3rd September, 1980 : A summit of six Aboriginal land councils today banned all mining on Aboriginal land until the West Australian Government guarantees protection for sacred sites in an oil exploration area on Noonkanbah Station, on Fitzroy River, in north Western Australia. Eighty Aboriginal leaders representing many of the tribes of Northern Australia agreed on the ban in response to the WA Government decision to move an oil drill on to a disputed site on Noonkabah last week.

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2nd September, 1979 : A killer know as the Yorkshire Ripper today claimed his 12th victim with the brutal murder of a girl student. He has succeeded in evading capture during a four-year reign of terror, and detectives at the centre of one of Britain’s biggest manhunts issued a warning that no woman was safe to be out on the streets at night on her own. By attacking Barbara Leach, 20, a student from Bradford University, the murderer has proved he was now picking off his victims at random, police said. Her mutilated body was found on the fringes of the city’s red light district, but unlike 8 of the Ripper’s other victims she had no links with vice.

 [ Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has been recorded telling family he will one day be able to 'pop to the shops' on day release, it emerged today (18th November 2012). The serial killer, who was jailed for murdering 13 women, was also taped at the high security hospital Broadmoor defending predatory paedophile Jimmy Savile. Sutcliffe, now 66, was recorded speaking on weekly telephone calls to his younger brother Carl Sutcliffe by a source who leaked the tapes toThe Sun.

 According to the recordings Sutcliffe, who was jailed for life in 1981 after admitting killing 13 women and attempting to murder seven more, has been deemed a 'low risk' prisoner as long as he takes his medication. During the calls, which the Sun reports were made every Tuesday and lasted 15 minutes, he also defends Jimmy Savile, as police investigate 300 cases of alleged abuse by the former BBC star across three decades. He claimed the victims were talking 'rubbish' and insisted his old friend was innocent.

Sutcliffe, whose reign of terror spanned between 1975 and 1980 in one of the most notorious serial killer cases in British history, was also taped boasting about how many visitors and penpals, some as young as 21, he had.

The former trucker, who claimed he was on a divine mission to rid the streets of prostitutes, is now a Jehovah's Witness and whinged to his brother during the calls that he could not find a copy of the Watchtower, a magazine produced by the religious group.”


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1st September, 1987 : The number of AIDS cases reported in Australia so far this year has already exceeded health authorities’ projections. A total of 583 cases have been reported, with 363 reported this year. Deaths from the disease since 1982 total 319, including 18 women. The majority of cases are homosexual or bisexual men. The most affected age group is 30 to 39 years, and New South Wales the worst hit State with 398 AIDS sufferers.

[As of December 2011 an estimated 24,731 people were living with an HIV diagnosis in Australia. From the start of the epidemic until the end of 2011, there have been 31,645 diagnoses of HIV and 10,796 diagnoses of AIDS. Australia has recorded 6,843 AIDS deaths. HIV transmission in Australia occurs primarily through sexual contact between men. Around 66% of people newly diagnosed with HIV in 2011 were among men who have sex with men; 25% were exposed through heterosexual contact; 3% were due to injecting drug use; and a further 3% were men with a history of both injecting drug use and sex with other men.” - See more at:]

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Srpnová neděle

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Fráňa Šrámek (1877 -1952)


To byla neděle, a když počínala,

Naše četa zuby drkotala,

půl sta moučných červů z písku lezlo, z děr,

po čtyřech jsme lezli, by nespatřil nás nepřítel.

Austro-Hungarian SoldiersNeděli tuto, Pane, my se neumyjem,

buď za to pochválen, že ješte žijem,

den bude horký. Poledne nevzpomenem,

večer se spočítáme.

To byla neděle. Za námi v borovém lese

koníček ržal, druh můj špičku dýmky uhryzal,

a plival močku, plival žluč a plival žal,

pak vyšlo slunce. A toho dne, toho dne

zle bylo. Bylo to v neděli.

A den byl dlouhý. Večer mnozí z nás chyběli.

Toho dne viděl jsem dva ryzce na lesní louce,

také jsem slyšel skřivánka.

/30.srpen 1914/

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Not exactly Q & A



/ Brigitte Gabriel /

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New generation

Water not yet boiling, so what’s the problem?


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Dachau,_Konzentrationslager28th August, 1933 : It has been officially confirmed that the Nazis are rounding up large number of Jews and sending them to concentration camps. Some have been arrested for ‘fighting Storm-troopers and others for ‘consorting with German girls’. Jews are not alone. The outlawed Socialist Party says 45,000 prisoners are being held in 65 camps, the largest being Dachau. Some foreign correspondents have been allowed into Dachau, and report that the camp consists of concrete huts used by munition workers until 1918 and are now surrounded by electrified barbed wire. The space between the double fence is patrolled by armed sentries who shoot, without challenge, anyone attempting to escape. The Prison Commandant, Herr Wekerle, said: “Four men made a dash for it last week. They got a hundred yards before the bullets hit them.”

[ Dachau concetration camp ]

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…from the quills of the dead white poets

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

	If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

	If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

	If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!
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America today in images

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Religion of peace


…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

But he doesn’t really mean it, does he? Would he try to make fools of all those experts? Perhaps …


President Barack Hussein Obama: That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

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 18th August, 1983 : Five people are dead and another 40 injured after a truck driver deliberately smashed a road train truck into the bar of an Ayers Rock motel early today. Unsuspecting drinkers had no warning as the driver rammed the truck, with lights out, into the tiny bar at 60 to 80 kmh, just before 2 a.m. Four people died instantly, and a woman died tonight in the Alice Springs hospital. The truck was driven into the Inland Motel, on the eastern side of Ayers Rock, and it is believed the driver was earlier involved in a disturbance at the motel. Police have charged the 36-year-old driver with murder.

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The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna

…from the quills of the dead white poets


Charles Wolfe (1791 – 1823)

No drum was heard, not a funeral note,

As his corse to the rampart we hurried;

Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot

O’er the grave where our hero we hurried.

moore.burialWe buried him darkly at dead of night,

The sods with our bayonets turning;

By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light,

And the lantern dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,

Not in sheet nor in shroud we would him,

But he lay like a warrior taking his rest

With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,

And we spoke not a word of sorrow;

But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,

And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought as we hollowed his narrow bed,

And smoothed down his lonely pillow,

That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,

And we far away on the billow!

Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone,

And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him, -

But little he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on

In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

But half of our heavy task was done

When the clock struck the hour of retiring;

And we heard the distant and random gun

That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,

From the field of his fame fresh and gory;

We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone -

But we left him alone with his glory.

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balloon.outback 13th August, 1989 : The collision of two hot-air balloons carrying tourist parties sent one plummeting to earth, killing 13 people, near Alice Springs, Central Australia, today. The tragedy happened about 10 minutes after four Toddy’s Tours balloons had taken off from a roadside. A passenger in the higher balloon said the balloon bellow came up and seemed to wrap itself around the gondola of his balloon. “It was very scary, frightening. Some people screamed on our balloon, but there was no sound from down bellow.” Another passenger said: “There was ripping as the top of the balloon bellow us tore, then you could hear a rush of air. Then it just slowly sank away beneath us”.

[ In 1992 the Northern Territory Supreme Court sentenced the pilot of the upper balloon, Michael Sanby, to two years' jail, with an eight-month parole period, after an eight-man, four-woman jury had found him guilty of committing a dangerous act. He was found not guilty on 13 charges of manslaughter. ... During his 13-week trial, the court was told that Sanby had outlaid about $1 million of borrowed money to get into the new commercial hot-air ballooning industry, and that business at Toddy's Safari Ballooning was booming. Sanby's conviction was subsequently quashed on appeal.” ]

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Golf gourmands

Paul Jacko

 I have some interest in golf, and I even try to play it occasionally, though my fellow players are of the opinion that I ought to take up a sport more commensurate with my abilities, such as sleeping.

 There are many things are do not know about golf, so I am not ashamed to admit that I had no idea that the winner of the Masters Tournament in Augusta augusta-national-clubhouseNational Golf Club, Georgia, USA, amongst many other perquisites, such as a multi million contract with a true blue American firm producing in Bangladesh golf socks, has the right to nominate a menu in the equally true blue clubhouse (seen left). Only for The Champions Dinner ( officially known as the Masters Club) of course, instituted in 1952 by Ben Hogan. “Each year since then, the previous Master’s tournament winner has hosted a dinner for the past champions. The event usually is held on the Tuesday prior to the tournament. The winner chooses the menu, and pays for the meal.”

 Even when my slice narrowly avoids the green-side bunker and I pretend I planned it that way the last on my mind would be the worry whether I would fit into that famous green jacket; and food? Frankly, I never think of it, I just cook and eat it.

 Yet, the winners are not ordinary people and obviously have time between rounds to ponder their contribution to the culinary culture (if that is a correct expression) of the United States.

 So, in 1989, Scotsman Sandy Lyle organised haggis and six years later Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal had paella. German Bernhard Langer couldn’t come up with anything more interesting than the Austrian Wiener* Schnitzel, hopefully veal, not a pork substitute. Britisher Nick Faldo (now Sir Nicholas Alexander Faldo MBE ) served Shepherd’s Pie and on the next occasion fish and chips (do you need a reference for that?). Clearly he is, or perhaps was, a man who knows what he likes and doesn’t care about PC kitchen twits. American left-hander Bubba Watson (Gerry Lester “Bubba” Watson, Jr. ) chose Caesar salad and grilled chicken, greens, mash and cheese macaroni, all to be supplemented by corn bread. He was born in Bagdad, Florida. That may explain it.

Tiger Woods (Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods), despite his Thai mother Kultida, decided that cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries and milkshakes are good enough for the honkeys. Perhaps a deep fried chicken and watermelon would rub the establishment too much; perhaps he could not afford caviar and truffles. Or perhaps it was the influence of his father Earl, retired lieutenant-colonel US Infantry, a Vietnam veteran.

In 2004 another left-hander Mike Weir (Michael Richard Weir, CM, O.Ont ) specified a feast of wild boar, elk, fish caught in Canada and Canadian beer, which beats milkshakes, in my humble opinion. No prize for guessing his country of birth, but for those whose intellectual handicap is in the double or higher figures: – he was born in Ontario, Canada.

 The way things in remunerative sports are going there will be kimchi or 糖醋里脊 (Sweet and Sour Pork to you gweilos) on the menu soon, though in the foreseeable future the sheep eyes and cuscus are unlikely, given mullahs’ and ayatollahs’ opinion of sports other than beheading, crucifying and stoning.

 Since so many asked – I would, if feeling sufficiently old-time patriotic, order the roast pork, sauerkraut, dumplings, and if contemporarily patriotic, a lamb on the spit. Otherwise, if I were to behave in normally selfish way, it would be my favourite – fried crumbed cauliflower and parsilladed pomme de terre (mashed potato to you).

 Alas, the Obama’s America is fast progressing (recall that those allegedly freedom loving American people voted for him TWICE) so MREs (US military Meals, Ready, purportedly, to Eat) are the likely way of the future. If one can get them on the food stamps** and if there are any left.

* * * * *

 */ As it, allegedly, originated in Wiena, not in Weina, the correct spelling is Wiener. So many get it wrong, including the author of the article which originally inspired me: “Masters menu” by Lucas Parsons in April 2014 Golf Digest.

**/ one in five Americans are already (2013) relying on them.

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Bureaucracy at work

…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

 ebola outbreaksAustralia’s chief medical officer has sought to allay concerns the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa could spread to Australia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the epidemic constitutes an international public health emergency, adding that the virus could continue spreading for months.

The latest WHO figures on Friday showed the worsening toll. Some 1,779 people have been infected and 961 people have died in the most severe outbreak in the 40 years since it was first identified in humans.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Baggoley, who was on the WHO’s expert committee, says the declaration is designed to bolster international solidarity to fight the outbreak.

“This just helps facilitate a coordinated international response,” he said.

“So the rest of the world, which has already been quite concerned about this outbreak, will be working even harder to assist those countries deal with this outbreak.cb080714dAPC20140807024513


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Adieu to a Soldier

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892)


Adieu to a Soldier,

You of the rude campaigning, (which we shared,)

The rapid march, the life of camp,

The hot contention of opposing fronts, the long manoeuvre,

Red battles with their slaughter, the stimulus, the strong terrific game,

spell of all brave and manly hearts, the trains of time through you

and like you all fill’d,

With war and war’s expression.

us.soldier.afghanistanAdieu dear comrade,

Your mission is fulfill’d – but I, more warlike,

Myself and this contentious soul of mine,

Still on our own campaigning bound,

Through untried roads with ambushes opponents lined,

Through many a sharp defeat and many a crisis, often baffled,

Here marching, ever marching on, a war fight out – aye here,

To fiercer, weightier battles give expression.

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6th August, 1953 : Australia House calls them ‘second-timers’ – the British emigrants to Australia who return home disillusioned, then miss the sunshine and decide to give Australia another chance. These families made their original outward trip under the assisted passage scheme at £10 a head. But for their return to Britain and their second journey out they have to pay full fares. The average one-way passage costs £80. One second-timer, tool-maker Jack Allitt, went back to England with his homesick wife when his father became ill. “But on my British pay I could not afford to pay off a house, run a car and still save as I could in Melbourne.”

[ Today's (legal) migration ]

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The Pirates in England

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

Saxon Invasion, A.D. 400-600

    When Rome was rotten-ripe to her fall,
      And the sceptre passed from her hand,
    The pestilent Picts leaped over the wall
      To harry the English land.

    The little dark men of the mountain and waste,
      So quick to laughter and tears,
    They came panting with hate and haste
      For the loot of five hundred years.

    They killed the trader, they sacked the shops,
      They ruined temple and town--
    They swept like wolves through the standing crops
      Crying that Rome was down.

    They wiped out all that they could find
      Of beauty and strength and worth,
    But they could not wipe out the Viking's Wind
      That brings the ships from the North.

    They could not wipe out the North-East gales
      Nor what those gales set free--
    The pirate ships with their close-reefed sails,
      Leaping from sea to sea.

    They had forgotten the shield-hung hull
      Seen nearer and more plain,
    Dipping into the troughs like a gull,
      And gull-like rising again--

    The painted eyes that glare and frown 
      In the high snake-headed stem,
    Searching the beach while her sail comes down,
      They had forgotten them!

    There was no Count of the Saxon Shore
      To meet her hand to hand,
    As she took the beach with a grind and a roar,
      And the pirates rushed inland!
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Can Putin survive?

Ludwig von Gress

By George Friedman / July 21, 2014

There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the context of recent events. 

Ukraine and the Bid to Reverse Russia’s Decline

Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. On Jan. 1, Ukraine’s president was Viktor Yanukovich, generally regarded as favorably inclined to Russia. Given the complexity of Ukrainian society and politics, it would be unreasonable to say Ukraine under him was merely a Russian puppet. But it is fair to say that under Yanukovich and his supporters, fundamental Russian interests in Ukraine were secure. 

This was extremely important to Putin. Part of the reason Putin had replaced Boris Yeltsin in 2000 was Yeltsin’s performance during the Kosovo war. Russia was allied with the Serbs and had not wanted NATO to launch a war against Serbia. Russian wishes were disregarded. The Russian views simply didn’t matter to the West. Still, when the air war failed to force Belgrade’s capitulation, the Russians negotiated a settlement that allowed U.S. and other NATO troops to enter and administer Kosovo. As part of that settlement, Russian troops were promised a significant part in peacekeeping in Kosovo. But the Russians were never allowed to take up that role, and Yeltsin proved unable to respond to the insult.

Putin also replaced Yeltsin because of the disastrous state of the Russian economy. Though Russia had always been poor, there was a pervasive sense that it been a force to be reckoned with in international affairs. Under Yeltsin, however, Russia had become even poorer and was now held in contempt in international affairs. Putin had to deal with both issues. He took a long time before moving to recreate Russian power, though he said early on that the fall of the Soviet Union had been the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. This did not mean he wanted to resurrect the Soviet Union in its failed form, but rather that he wanted Russian power to be taken seriously again, and he wanted to protect and enhance Russian national interests. 

The breaking point came in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution of 2004. Yanukovich was elected president that year under dubious circumstances, but demonstrators forced him to submit to a second election. He lost, and a pro-Western government took office. At that time, Putin accused the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies of having organized the demonstrations. Fairly publicly, this was the point when Putin became convinced that the West intended to destroy the Russian Federation, sending it the way of the Soviet Union. For him, Ukraine’s importance to Russia was self-evident. He therefore believed that the CIA organized the demonstration to put Russia in a dangerous position, and that the only reason for this was the overarching desire to cripple or destroy Russia. Following the Kosovo affair, Putin publicly moved from suspicion to hostility to the West.

The Russians worked from 2004 to 2010 to undo the Orange Revolution. They worked to rebuild the Russian military, focus their intelligence apparatus and use whatever economic influence they had to reshape their relationship with Ukraine. If they couldn’t control Ukraine, they did not want it to be controlled by the United States and Europe. This was, of course, not their only international interest, but it was the pivotal one.

Russia’s invasion of Georgia had more to do with Ukraine than it had to do with the Caucasus. At the time, the United States was still bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Washington had no formal obligation to Georgia, there were close ties and implicit guarantees. The invasion of Georgia was designed to do two things. The first was to show the region that the Russian military, which had been in shambles in 2000, was able to act decisively in 2008. The second was to demonstrate to the region, and particularly to Kiev, that American guarantees, explicit or implicit, had no value. In 2010, Yanukovich was elected president of Ukraine, reversing the Orange Revolution and limiting Western influence in the country. 

ukraine_militaryRecognizing the rift that was developing with Russia and the general trend against the United States in the region, the Obama administration tried to recreate older models of relationships when Hillary Clinton presented Putin with a “restart” button in 2009. But Washington wanted to restore the relationship in place during what Putin regarded as the “bad old days.” He naturally had no interest in such a restart. Instead, he saw the United States as having adopted a defensive posture, and he intended to exploit his advantage. 

One place he did so was in Europe, using EU dependence on Russian energy to grow closer to the Continent, particularly Germany. But his high point came during the Syrian affair, when the Obama administration threatened airstrikes after Damascus used chemical weapons only to back off from its threat. The Russians aggressively opposed Obama’s move, proposing a process of negotiations instead. The Russians emerged from the crisis appearing decisive and capable, the United States indecisive and feckless. Russian power accordingly appeared on the rise, and in spite of a weakening economy, this boosted Putin’s standing.

The Tide Turns Against Putin

Events in Ukraine this year, by contrast, have proved devastating to Putin. In January, Russia dominated Ukraine. By February, Yanukovich had fled the country and a pro-Western government had taken power. The general uprising Continue reading

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28th July, 1953: The war in Korea is over after three years of bloody fighting which has cost over two million lives. The armistice was signed at Panmunjom at 10.01 yesterday. The terms of truce, which has taken two years of bitter general.clarkwrangling to settle, stipulate that both sides will destroy their front line positions and withdraw for two kilometres. Allied troop will withdraw from the islands they occupy off North Korea, and the naval and air blockades will be lifted. Another important agreement is that no reinforcements of men or material will be brought in which will increase existing numbers and supplies. A special committee will be set up too supervise the exchange of prisoners. The Allied commander, General Mark Clark, said: “It is good to have the bloodshed end. But a long and difficult road lies ahead. There are no short cuts. We must continue our efforts to seek and defend peace.”

Is he playing golf or fundraising?

Is he playing golf or fundraising?

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