26th August, 1964 : The collision between the Australian Navy destroyer Voyager, and the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, in which 82 seamen died, was caused by Voyager‘s turning off course, a Royal Commission has found. Voyager was cut in half by the Melbourne when the two ships collided off the New South Wales coast on February 10. The Royal Commissioner, Sir John Spicer, said the accident was not due to any fault on the part of any person on the Melbourne.

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25th August, 1982 : Federal officials failed for seven years to stop tax frauds involving thousands of millions of dollars, according to a report by Royal Commissioner, Frank Costigan, QC. Mr Costigan said the Australian Taxation Office was aware of tax evasion schemes in 1973, but the Crown Solicitor’s Office had failed grossly to prosecute those involved.

The Royal Commission, initially appointed to investigate the activities of the Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union, found that the Crown Solicitor’s Offices in Perth and Canberra had allowed the most appalling conduct to continue. One Perth legal officer involved in the collection of tax debts had run a prostitution racket, used the Crown Solicitor’s Office number to advertise it, and understated income from it.

[The Royal Commissions come, Royal Commissions go .. Dogs bark and caravans go on. ]

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24th August, 1989 : Australia’s air transport system was all but shut down today as the nation’s 1640 domestic pilots resigned en masse in a dispute over a salary package. Despite plans by the Federal Government to use RAAF aircraft and international airlines to shift domestic passengers, the airlines were able to move only 2,000 of 30,000 intending eastwest.airlinepassengers. The pilots resigned after Ansett, Australian Airlines, East-West Airlines and IPEC started sacking individual pilots and issued writs seeking damages for breach of contract against 50 individual pilots. Until today the pilots had been flying only between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in support of their claim for 29.47 per cent wage increase, which the Government says is beyond the national wage fixing guidelines. The Government is planning to use RAAF Hercules and Boeing aircraft to carry civilian passengers, and refuel the aircraft at air force bases to beat a refuelling ban imposed by the transport workers. The Prime Minister, Mr Hawke, who says the pilots have an inflated idea of their worth and skills, today raised the possibility of recruiting pilots overseas.

[ If memory serves me, none of the above airlines exists today. The unions won. ]

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Streicher’s pupils

…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

Not many people remember Nazi Party comrade Julius Streicher and his infamous and notorious newspaper Der Stürmer. The truth to tell I don’t remember him either – he was hanged after the first Nuremberg trial, before I was born. He died, but his modus operandi lives.

Beginning in 1924, Streicher used Der Stürmer as a mouthpiece not only for general antisemitic attacks, but for calculated smear campaigns against specific Jews, such as the Nuremberg city official Julius Fleischmann, who worked for Streicher’s nemesis, mayor Hermann Luppe (de). Der Stürmer accused Fleischmann of stealing socks from his quartermaster during combat in World War I. Fleischmann sued Streicher and successfully disproved the allegations in court, where Streicher was fined 900 marks but the detailed testimony exposed other less-than-glorious details of Fleischmann’s record, and his reputation was badly damaged anyway. It was proof that Streicher’s unofficial motto for his tactics was correct: “Something always sticks.”

While I missed Der Stürmer, I recall the vile communist propaganda in Cominform Block media against Josip Broz, nom de guerre Tito, a Yugoslav (Croat) communist who upset Georgian communist Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, better know as Stalin. My later reading of the Third Reich history showed that the Communist propagandists left the Nazi ones behind.

Neither Donald Trump nor Pauline Hanson are my ideal politicians, though my ideal politician has not yet been born. Still, their political pot-pourri and personal peccadilloes aside, they seem to be logical products of the oppressive politically correct times. There are valid reasons to dislike and even oppose some of their ideas, which are sometimes clumsily expressed. However, the intelligent opposition is rare.

Instead, they are atacked dishonestly and personaly. Any two minutes search invariably shows that what is presented as a quatation is truncated, edited, taken out of context and often totally invented. Herr Streicher would be proud. I intended to write more, but many others, better qualified, finally started to wake up:

I do not see any i.e. any non-violent solution. The kids who used to get their jollies by tearing wings off flies, have now taken over the media. The decent people are powerless.


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23rd August, 1982 : Queensland unions have declared a general strike, the first in the state in 70 years, in what union leaders say is a war against the Bjelke-Petersen Government. The dispute over the introduction of a 38-hour week involves 52 unions and has stopped all trains, petrol deliveries and port operations, and closed many mines and factories. The leader of the Trades and Labor Council strike committee, Hugh Hamilton, said unions were determined “to make that bastard Bjelke-Petersen resign”. Mr Bjelke-Petersen said the dispute was Communist inspired and there would be no trade-offs.

[ From - “Here in Australia, Building Workers Industrial Union Queensland president Hugh Hamilton told his union’s rank-and-file state convention:

The demand for workers’ control, for the right for a say in industry — indeed, ultimately the final say — on many of the major issues will in the next decade rise to No 1 in any union’s log of claims. It could be to our peril if it doesn’t …

“The “god-given right” of the boss to make all decisions on how you and I and our children are to live must he challenged, and the only effective challenge is by the united strength of the working class and its allies. The trade union movement can and should be the most effective part in that alliance to control our lives.“

No bosses, no elected governments… just trade union apparatchiks. Like now. ]

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22nd August, 1985 : A Royal Commission into the effects of Agent Orange has found that air.spraythe pesticide has not damaged the health of Vietnam veterans and their children. The Commissioner, Mr Justice Evatt, said the Agent Orange “phenomenon” was the result of media glamorisation of “politicised scientist practising pseudo-science”. The inquiry found that Vietnam veterans were significantly healthier than the average Australian male today.

[ When not the Agent Orange, the Anthropogenic Global Warming will do ]

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Prague.tank21st August, 1968 : Several hundred thousand Soviet troops, accompanied by token units of other Warsaw Pact countries, are today fighting to turn the Prague spring of freedom into a Moscow winter of oppression. Fires are raging in the Czech capital as scattered bands of young Czechs fight the Soviet armour with guns, sticks and sometimes bare hands. People can be seen climbing on Soviet tanks and arguing with the men inside. Emil Zatopek, the Olympic gold medallist, appeared in his Colonel’s uniform and told a crowd of several hundreds the Russians had to go home. When Russian arrived to take over Prague Radio, crowds blocked their way. An ammunition lorry exploded, setting fire to buildings and Russian tanks. Several hundred people were injured and scores are believed to have died.

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The Moon In a Zenith

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Anna Akhmatova (1889 – 1966)

But nothing changed for ages here…
In the same way the divine lyre
Pours bliss from the eternal crests.

Same are the waters and stars’ throngs,
And endless bleakness of skies’ domes,
And flying seeds in airy flows,
And mothers sing the same sweet songs.

Forget all troublesome and cruel – 
It’s safe – my dear Asian home…
I’ll come once more. Let fences blossom
And pools be clear ones and full.
Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, 2002
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20th August, 1984 : The ring-in of a racehorse involved in a national $2 million betting plunge on a race at Eagle Farm, Brisbane, on Saturday was known on the course before the race, according to bookmakers. The horse, which won as Fine Cotton, was backed from 40/1 to 7/2. Brisbane consorting squad police are now looking for the real Fine Cotton and his trainer, Hayden Haitana, but believe the obscure eight-year-old with a mediocre record may be dead and buried. It is believed the horse which ran was the better performed Bold Personality, which was sold last week by Ballina trainer Bill Naoum. Mr Naoum said the horse was sold in good faith. “The new owner took possession of him on Friday and what happened after was a complete mystery to me’, he said.

gai & SonThe papers of Bold Personality show that he has a star on the middle of his forehead, and police believe this was the most important ingredient in his matching up with Fine Cotton.

Sydney bookmaker Mark Read, who took the brunt of the plunge at the Warwick Farm racecourse, last night blasted Brisbane racing. He said that, in his view, little had been done to clean up the “rampant crookedness” in the north.

[ At that time, Queensland racing people though that a kettle is calling a pot black ]

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19th August, 1917 : Strikes and union bans are delaying the movement of relief supplies to the war front and causing food shortages in Australia. The Government has developed emergency plans to maintain essential food supplies. The disruption began on August 2, over a plan to monitor the output of workers in the New South Wales Railways. Thousands of men, mainly from the country, have volunteered to keep essential supplies moving.

[ Long, sad history of trade unionism in Australia]

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mini_super18th August, 1959 : First pictures of British Motor Corporation’s new mini-car reveal a compact four-seater. Its roominess is achieved by placing the four small wheels at the corners and mounting the engine sideways in front. There will be an Austin as well as a Morris version, differing only in front-end look. Both cars are capable of 70 mph. The pictures show an austere interior with pull-strings to open the two doors, and sliding fitment of the front door windows. Instruments are sparse. The boot-lid is hinged at the bottom, forming a platform for a surprising amount of luggage. The car sits low on the road and gives a stable ride. It will cost around £500, with purchase tax.

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Unbiased media



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16th August, 1953 : The Soviet Union has broken the American monopoly of the hydrogen bomb, according to Georgi Malenkov, the Soviet Prime Minister. Malenkov made his disclosure to the Supreme Soviet after a bitter attack on United States foreign policy. He then made a very brief reference to the fact that the Soviet Union is now the world’s latest possessor of this most powerful of weapons.

The claim was greeted with both shock and scepticism in the West, where it was pointed out that no nuclear explosion has been detected at the Soviet Union’s Kazakhstan test site since 1951. Soviet nuclear weapon development has been under the control of Lavrenti Beria, the soviet secret police chief, who was recently arrested for spying.

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Turkey.flag15th August, 1974 : Turkish tanks rumbled into the Greek Cypriot port of Famagusta today to link up with Turkish Cypriot fighters. The Turkish Air Force supported the invasion with napalm and high explosive bombing attacks. The 12,000 Greek-Cypriot inhabitants have streamed out of Famagusta, as it was strafed and bombed, in a seven-mile long convoy, leaving it wide open to the advancing Turks who are now poised for a final assault tomorrow morning.

The town population had just a handful of national guardsmen to defend them. Most have now taken refuge at the nearby British base of Dhekelia. The Famagusta conflict makes a mockery of the deal signed by the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey in Geneva last month in the presence of the British Foreign Secretary, Mr Callaghan.

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Akbar’s Bridge

…from the quills of the dead white poets

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

Moved his standards out of Delhi to Jaunpore of lower Hind, 
Where a mosque was to be builded, and a lovelier ne’er was planned;
And Munim Khan, his Viceroy, slid the drawings 'neath his hand. 

(High as Hope upsheered her out-works to the promised Heavens above.
Deep as Faith and dark as Judgment her unplumbed foundations dove.
Wide as Mercy, white as moonlight, stretched her forecourts to
         the dawn;
And Akbar gave commandment, "Let it rise as it is drawn.") 

Then he wearied-the mood moving-of the men and things he ruled,
And he walked beside the Goomti while the flaming sunset cooled,
Simply, without mark or ensign-singly, without guard and guide,  
Till he heard an angry woman screeching by the river-side. 

'Twas the Widow of the Potter, a virago feared and known 
In haste to cross the ferry, but the ferry-man had gone.
So she cursed him and his office, and hearing Akbar's tread, 
(She was very old and darkling) turned her wrath upon his head.  

But he answered-being Akbar-"Suffer me to scull you o'er." 
Called her "Mother," stowed her bundles, worked the clumsy 
         scow from shore,
Till they grounded on a sand-bank, and the Widow loosed her mind;
And the stars stole out and chuckled at the Guardian of Mankind 

"Oh, most impotent of bunglers! Oh, my daughter's daughter's brood
Waiting hungry on the threshold; for I cannot bring their food, 
Till a fool has learned his business at their virtuous grandma’s cost,
And a greater fool, our Viceroy, trifles while her name is lost! 

"Munim Khan, that Sire of Asses, sees me daily come and go 
As it suits a drunken boatman, or this ox who cannot row. 
Munim Khan, the Owl's Own Uncle-Munim Khan, the Capon's seed,
Must build a mosque to Allah when a bridge is all we need! 

"Eighty years I eat oppression and extortion and delays-
Snake and crocodile and fever, flood and drouth, beset my ways. 
But Munim Khan must tax us for his mosque whate'er befall; 
Allah knowing (May He hear me!) that a bridge would save us all! "

While she stormed that other laboured and, when they touched
        the shore,
Laughing brought her on his shoulder to her hovel's very door. 
But his mirth renewed her anger, for she thought he mocked the weak;
So she scored him with her talons, drawing blood on either cheek....

Jelaludin Muhammed Akbar, Guardian of Mankind,
Spoke with Munim Khan his Viceroy, ere the midnight stars declined-
Girt and sworded, robed and jewelled, but on either cheek appeared
Four shameless scratches running from the turban to the beard. 
"Allah burn all Potters' Widows! Yet, since this same night was young,
One has shown me by sure token, there was wisdom on her  tongue.
Yes, I ferried her for hire. “Yes," he pointed, "I was paid." 
And he told the tale rehearsing all the Widow did and said.

And he ended, "Sire of Asses-Capon-Owl's Own Uncle-know 
I-most impotent of bunglers-1-this ox who cannot row-
I-Jelaludin Muhammed Akbar, Guardian of Mankind-
Bid thee build the hag her bridge and put our mosque from out 
         thy mind."

So 'twas built, and Allah blessed it; and, through earthquake, 
         flood, and sword,
Still the bridge his Viceroy builded throws her arch o'er Akhar's 
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Some slight Quadrant development

…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

The Quadrant article of 17th July, 2016, i.e. a few days after the then last Islamic massacre in France, – Enough With the Candles and Tears by Alan R.M. Jones, ends with the YouTube recording of the French Foreign Legion march. Well done. The article is definitely worth reading. The Quadrant itself, that proudly staid, semi-conservative, intellectual and annoyingly often pseudo-intellectual magazine, has recently turned slightly more realistic and less foppishly esoteric, though I admit its preaching to the choir had almost always been par excellence. During its sixty-years of existence it tried to keep to the right of the political trend, though the almost decade long editorship by Robert Manne is better forgotten.

One swallow does not make a spring; and a last few months of more realistic writing does not make Quadrant a serious conservative magazine, as opposed to a reading material for the tweed, leather-elbow patch jacketed, pipe-smoking, fence-sitting, by self-assessment of superior intellect, superciliously chuckling castrati.

Well, another couple of years and even Quadrant may gather the courage to fight, rather than kibitz from safe sidelines. The problem is that we don’t have a couple of years.

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balloon.sunrise13th August, 1989 : The collision of two hot-air balloons carrying tourist parties sent on plummeting to earth, killing thirteen people, near Alice springs, Central Australia, today. The tragedy happened about ten 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. Another passenger said: ”There was the 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”.

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12th August, 1955 : Germany’s greatest novelist, Thomas Mann, died today in Zurich, where he first made his home after the Nazis burned his books. His novels, from Buddenbrooks, (1901), through Death in Venice and The Magic Mountain, to The Confessions of Felix Krull (1953) span German life and society through the traumas of two defeats and the sickness of Nazism.T.Mann

Nazism and anti-Semitism repelled Mann, who married a Jewish woman and had six children. “God help our darkened and desecrated country,” he wrote “and teach it to make its peace with the world and with itself.” Mann was still writing up to the time of his death at 80.

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Government can make you rich


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11th August, 1972 : The last American ground combat unit in South Vietnam, the 3rd Battalion of the 21st Infantry, packed up its weapons today and left the huge base at Da Nang where the US Marines landed in March 1965 in a purely defensive role. Within days that role had been changed and the Marines went on the offensive. America’s role in the ground war is now at an end. President Nixon, faced with growing domestic unrest, is determined that the war should be “Vietnamised” and all the American troops be brought home.

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