Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hero Ripped Off

Heroism is often a momentary matter, but the man of the moment can dine out on it for a long time. Heroes are human and their moment just might be an odd one in an otherwise not so cheered life. Courage and bravery, overcoming great odds even over an entire career is not necessarily joined by intellect or even sound morals. Some heroes may even be taken for a ride. Conned. Deceived. Hero one minute: damned fool the next. C'est la Vie. But the public, especially when 'entertained' can overlook the darker aspects. Some, when let in on the realities might be saddened.

There were a few sad faces in the Tavern this evening when we took a look at a great Boxing hero. 

And how he was grievously deceived.

Muhammad Ali born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016, was an American professional boxer, activist and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century. From early in his career, Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial, and polarizing figure both inside and outside the ring.

He was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and began training as an amateur boxer when he was 12 years old. 

At age 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and turned professional later that year. 

At age 22 in 1964, he won the WBA, WBC, and lineal heavyweight titles from Sonny Liston in a major upset. 

He then announced his conversion to Islam and changed his name from Cassius Clay, which he called his "slave name", to Muhammad Ali. 

He set an example of racial pride for African Americans and resistance to white domination during the Civil Rights Movement. It was a classic double-deception. 

He had been conned, and in turn conned millions.

In 1966, two years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali further antagonized the white establishment by refusing to be drafted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. 

He was eventually arrested, found guilty of draft evasion charges, and stripped of his boxing titles. He successfully appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, by which time he had not fought for nearly four years and thereby lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation.

Ali was one of the leading heavyweight boxers of the 20th century, and remains the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion. His records of beating 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title (shared with Joe Louis), as well as winning 14 unified title bouts (shared with former welterweight champion José Napoles), were unbeaten for 35 years. 

Ali is the only boxer to be named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year six times. He was ranked the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time by Ring Magazine  and The Associated Press, and the second greatest pound-for-pound boxer by ESPN. 

He was also ranked as the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC, and the third greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury. 

Nicknamed "the Greatest", he was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were the Liston fights; the "Fight of the Century", "Super Fight II" and the "Thrilla in Manila" against his rival Joe Frazier; and "The Rumble in the Jungle" against George Foreman. Ali drew record global television audiences, including 1 billion viewers for "The Rumble in the Jungle" (1974) and "Thrilla in Manila" (1975)  and 2 billion for Ali–Spinks II (1978) and "The Last Hurrah" (1980).

As a Muslim, Ali was initially affiliated with Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam (NOI) and advocated their black separatist ideology. He later disavowed the NOI, adhering to Sunni Islam, practicing Sufism, and supporting racial integration, like his former mentor Malcolm X.

In 1984 Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's syndrome, which his doctors attributed to boxing-related brain injuries. As his condition worsened, Ali made limited public appearances and was cared for by his family until his death on June 3, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

So, that is a potted history of his career, as seen by 'Wiki'.

 But what is his real history and what was that great deception?

Dr David Woods gave us the detail. He is a scholar of Islam and History, and he uncovered for us the sad rejection Ali made of his real Heroic heritage. The one he had been named after. Cassius Marcellus Clay.  

Clay Jr changed his name to Cassius X, then to Muhammad Ali. Ali said that he changed his name because "Clay was a white name," while "Muhammad" and "Ali" weren't.

But Cassius Marcellus Clay, the nineteenth century Kentucky abolitionist who helped convince Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation was a real American hero of whom he should have been proud. 

Further and oddly enough, Muslim sources say that Muhammad was white, and that both he and his son-in-law Ali owned black slaves. 

Hence, the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time was deceived by Islam.

But let us hear the evidence for that for ourselves. 

How Muhammad Ali Was Deceived by Islam

I was one of those who felt sad. 

Whateverhisnamewas was a fine athlete and a great champion. He was not the sharpest knife in the drawer though.

He was a 'couldabeen' in his personal life. He could have been a proud carrier of a proud name.  An Heroic name. A name in the finer part of American history. 

He could have Honoured his ForeFather.

But he was conned by the followers of the Prince of Lies.

"Moves like a butterfly: stings like a bee", they said.

A bee only stings once and then dies.

Pity about the brain like a flea.

His adoption of Islam had a halo effect: a lot of young, impressionable black boys followed him into the pit of Satan's own 'religion'.

We keep the halos for Saints here, but we still applaud his sporting hero status.

So drink to him anyway.

And pray for him.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Cry Me a River - of Blood

What do you give a wealthy country for its birthday? A country that has everything: sunshine, beaches, forests, cities voted the 'Most Livable in the World', abundant energy, fine healthy people, enterprise, enthusiasm. One might look forward to more of the same and perhaps even a small increase to share around with friends. What one does not want is someone taking it all away.

But when you are 'up', the only way it seems is down. And Oz is reaching for the suicide pills.

Oz is the 14th wealthiest nation in the World. It used to be further up the charts though. At one brief point, Melbourne was the richest city in the world, but that was a time receding like an old man's hairline. Now Oz has Problems.

Some are home-grown, of course. Every nation has its mistakes. We are a young country, a teenager compared to many others with their long histories, and like teens we have a history of childhood falls out of trees and catching various diseases that we have managed to shake off as we grew. 

But now we have a predicted ailment. One predicted a half century ago by a British chap who did a stint teaching here.

Paul Collits sank a pint and stood to read a quiet but on-point Riot Act.  He started a 'conversation'  as the lefties so euphemistically (deceptively) put it. Some fairly blunt talk with an absence of virtue signalling. Well, mostly.  I have no doubt at all that the noises we heard from beyond the hedges were responding to his words. 
Apples, Oranges and Immigration
Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' speech raised the alarm about what was, 50 years ago, but a problem in gestation. 
Today, co-driven by globablism and multiculturalism's purported role as the salve for the West's real and imagined ancient sins, the need for a rational approach to immigration is pressing.
That estimable publication, The New Criterion, features in its current (May 2018) edition a piece from Enoch Powell’s biographer, Simon Heffer, on the (in)famous “Rivers of Blood” speech, fifty years on.  Yes, it is another “fifty years on” event to go with all the others from that momentous and significant year, 1968.
Enoch Powell had a long and highly distinguished career.  It included a professorial appointment in classics at the age of twenty-five at Sydney University – an ironic historic footnote, given that institution’s almost total conversion to oily political correctness – plus many more accomplishments in the military and in politics. 
He went from Private to Brigadier General in a few short years.
Yet, despite his manifest achievements, he is pretty much remembered for one thing only, that speech.
Powell has been variously considered principled, racist, foolhardy, prescient, and a lot more besides for his call to limit immigration his call inspired at the time by what he saw as mounting evidence of rising conflict resulting directly from the importing of other cultures to the UK.   
Little did Powell realise what would transpire in the early twenty-first century, an era described by Douglas Murray as an age of suicide by European governments seemingly hell bent on inviting immolation at the bloody altar of multiculturalism.  
What was a mere trickle from Commonwealth countries in the 1960s, leading to real but probably exaggerated racial disquiet, has become a deluge, 
a veritable invasion, especially of Muslims. 
They come armed with the mores of their troubled homelands and a culture endorsed in its presumed superiority by holy texts that, just for good measure, treat women and their human rights with a propertarian disregard for the conventions of the society they have entered and changed but never joined.
Back in Australia, in locations such as the increasingly lawless outer Melbourne, we see violence by out-of-control imported African gangs and the insipid responses of major parties and the politically correct Victoria Police, whose brass insist in one breath there is no gang problem and in the next admit there is. Then they deny it again. 
These same police, by the way, have been seemingly more devoted to investigating a senior Catholic cleric before any actual complaints were been lodged, then finding drug addicts, bash artists and main-chancers to validate them. 
That at least makes a change from shaking down motorists by serving as revenue agents and charging visiting speakers five-figure sums to protect them from rampaging leftist mobs.
This is the same Australia that tut-tutted at John Howard in 1988 when he suggested, very gently, from the Opposition benches, that a slow-down in the rate of then-rising (and now galloping) Asian immigration would be a good idea.  Like Powell, and very recently Tony Abbott, Howard was merely listening to what his constituents were saying.  And like the other two, Howard did not believe those constituents to be racist.
Each age has its “difficult” immigrants, it seems.  
What is different now is that, since the exponential rise in global people movements from around 1990 that was fuelled by globalisation policies seeking to impose a truly borderless world, we have now almost unrecognisable, discombobulated places whose long-term inhabitants’ heads are spinning. 
If Melbourne ever again gets that enviable 'Most Livable City in the World' accolade, it will only be because virtually everywhere else has totally collapsed. 
We have tribal enclaves where interactions with native inhabitants are minimal and non-collaborative. Try getting a beer these days in Lakemba now that the last pub has closed its doors. Understandably, we see an exodus of former residents who don’t know what has happened to their communities or why.  
We have increasing violence, emergent gang culture, lawlessness and an arrogance on the part of the newcomers, which is understandable. 
When the official doctrine of the state holds that all cultures are equal and, sillier even than that, how the ills of the world are a legacy of racist white colonialism, why make an effort to assimilate? 
Indeed, stick your daughter in a burka and do so with pride. Western feminists won’t utter a peep of protest and, if there is criticism, dash off a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.
So what is the response to all this, and what should tolerant, liberal people who live in a country built on immigration regard as an appropriate annual number and trajectory?  
In one sense, there is simply too much in play in the current debates over the appropriate level of immigration, with things getting badly mixed up as a result.  Here think of jumbled conversations and mistaken analyses of cause and effect.  Finally, there is the question of whether limiting the rate of increase of immigration now would have an impact on the problems we already have, problems that are possibly the result, at least in part, of our previous high immigration policies.
Some preliminary points are needed.
One, there is not much in principle wrong with the notion of a “big Australia”.  Many of the objections completely miss the point, especially those of Bob Carr and Paul Ehrlich-types who think all populations should be cut.
Two, there is no “magic” number of immigrants.  All numbers are relative to some other variable, such as available work, skills shortages and needs, general prevailing economic conditions, current birth and death rates, and so on.  The current “right” number of immigrants is only right in relation to these other things.
The birth rate of the white majority in Oz is made far worse by the madness, the evil, of abortion. Proportionally we kill more of our own babies in the womb that any western nation. Then we import foreigners !! 
Three, the impact of immigration on our economy is positive, but only marginally so.  The problems are non-economic. 
Hmmmm. I am not a bit convinced by that assertion. The rate of taxpaying work uptake by immigrants is woeful. But Paul gave no actual numbers with which any around him could take issue.
Yes, there is still “they took our jobs” thinking among existing residents.  But in a world of increasingly rapid changing skills and skills-matching-needs (due to globalisation, technology, outsourcing, offshoring, hyper-mobility, ease of moving, disruption and so on), this argument has lost a lot of force.
Four, neither is there a magic number for an Australian population of the “right” size. 
Personally I do not hold with keeping Oz population so low. We inhabit the only Continent with a single Nation. We could, with vision and deliberation increase our population to at least 150 million. But that is just the view of an old chap behind the bar.  The eyes of several large countries with enormous populations are turned toward our open spaces.

We are the world’s fourteenth-biggest economy and could easily do with more growth.  Yes, we are limited by governments that either can’t or won’t build the infrastructure we need in the places we need it, and who prefer vanity projects of little economic or social consequence.  There is indeed a correlation between the adequacy of infrastructure, the perception of the adequacy of infrastructure by residents, and fear of further pressure on infrastructure by future population increases.  
And yes, it is important that we maintain support for our immigration policies.
Hmmmmm. Is it? 
But, and it is a big but.  Cutting immigration numbers in the future will not solve existing infrastructure problems.  At whatever level of immigration we have, we will be required to build adequate housing and transport systems.  Much better to fix the systemic problems we have now – vertical fiscal imbalance, debauched federalism, out-of-control spending on things like transfer payments, the ABC, subsidised child care, useless education pipedreams, (and deliberate malfeasence) unaffordable NDISs, trams in George Street, regional vanity projects (and so on), that stop governments focusing on better infrastructure, one of their core tasks.
Five, law and order problems are law and order problems, not size-of-immigration-intake problems.  Kick out the troublemakers?  Too easy.  Limiting in-migration now is too late, and will not solve the problems.  
Get genuine police forces, not touchy feely community strokers.  
Limiting future immigration intakes, absent fixing the other problems we have right here right now, simply will not help.
Six, if we bleat endlessly about multiculturalism, we should insist that new arrivals should try it sometime!  It goes both ways, folks.
Seven, who comes is way more important than how many, the migrant mix being important beyond other things, such as the size of the intake. Bring in people who can speak the language or are eager to learn it, are ready to work or invest, who don’t come from troubled places where local mayhem has driven their decision to leave.  
Immigrants used to be regarded as the ultimate entrepreneurs.  Now many seem to be the ultimate welfare scroungers at best and troublemakers at worst. 
Spend 30 minutes in your local Centrelink and observe the ethnic mix of what, in this era of euphemism, are known as “clients” rather than mendicants. On this view, we could keep the current rate but radically change the mix.
So, solutions.
We should not mix up immigration issues with other matters that look like they are related but are not.  
We should do law and order properly.  
We should ditch multiculti fantasies and rediscover the real assimilation that was expected during the great post-war migration boom.  
We should ditch all welfare for immigrants.  
We should build proper infrastructure for a growing population.  
We should not ditch our long-term goal of growing bigger, but we should just do it smarter, for example by subsidising natural increase. 
We MUST STOP killing our babies !! 
The much-sniggered-at baby bonus was a cracker policy that actually worked. 
We should ensure visa scams are upended (we all know what they are and who is involved).  
We should attempt more seriously to stop foreign nationals buying up the country, its real estate and its infrastructure.  
We should all speak English routinely in the public square.
We do need to make Australia great again.  We need to make it Australia again, actually., and we can do that while continuing to grow.
By all means let us have our immigration numbers debate.  But do it with Howard and Enoch Powell in mind, and the actual problems they saw and commented on.  And let us do it with our eyes open by aligning the many problems we have as a nation with the best policy and cultural solutions available for these problems.  We should not burden immigration policy with the task of solving things for which it is not equipped.
What the Rivers of Blood speech did some half a century ago was to alert us to immigration follies 
....and to what should be the proper limits of an out-of-control concept Powell did not at that time know about: globalism. Powell’s speech still deserves our attention, indeed commands it.  
But let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. 
Population growth is good, indeed essential, and immigration will play its proper part in that and we need to get it right. But it is about way more than mere numbers.

Hmmmm. All very 'sound' suggestions. Many sitting supping agreed. But.....

With the dire decline in the numbers of those who profess to 'love your neighbour' as Christ instructed; and a rise in those that would profess killing anyone who even insults the false god; as well as those who see everyone through the lens of 'equivalency', 'equality',  and  'community' (except for themselves of course),  such a 'conversation' is unlikely to occur and we face a continued slide down a slippery slope soon to be lubricated by actual rivers of  blood on the streets.

Pray for Oz.

Pray for some decent leaders to arise. Men and women with cool heads and warm hearts who are not full of themselves.

Pray for yourselves and buy a jet-ski. It will be handy for traversing those rivers.

Drink up now.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Woman of Iron

Again Israel is in the news as the media join the terrorists that surround that tiny sliver of democracy at the East end of the Mediterranean in pouring petrol on the fires. Like it or not Israel has war brought to its borders and not just by evil middle eastern types but by the massed liars of the western press. One has to thank those who populate the internet for giving a more balanced picture of events.  But balance is not what Israel ever seems to get. 

It gets War instead. And it is hardly a surprise that it has War Leaders arise.

In 1973 it had shootin' War and the Leader was a woman of iron. It wasn't a long war, and it won, but the cost was high and the weight fell on Grand-maternal shoulders. As my Lady of the Tavern was telling today. She was sitting out on the patio in the sunshine reading about Golda Meir.  (The Southern Gal sitting out, not Mrs Meir ). I joined her, taking her a Mint Julep. 
The Israeli Iron Lady
She Looks Fine Enough to Me.
“Not being beautiful was the true blessing. Not being beautiful forced me to develop my inner resources. The pretty girl has a handicap to overcome.” ― Golda Meir
It is said that a strong matriarchal figure can be the glue that holds the family together. 
Golda Meir represents the strong Jewish grandmother holding her nation together through her wisdom and strength. 
Love her or hate her, she was living under an extreme time that often required extreme measures.
In comparison to other cultures (i.e. their pagan counterparts), Jewish women often enjoyed great liberty and esteem. Many women in the Old Testament distinguished themselves as prophetesses and leaders in Jewish society. Women such as Deborah, Esther, Hannah, Huldah, Jochebed, Miriam, Noadiah, Rachel, Rebekah, Rahab, Ruth and Sarah played important and decisive roles in Israel's history.  
These women were not weak.  
Anyone who grew up as a child hearing these stories can see the strong impact that these women made in their time. 
As evidence of the equality of men and women in the Jewish faith, the Ten Commandments require children to honour both their father and mother.  The degradation of women was, and is, often a perversion of the scriptures, which was never a part of the Creator’s intent for women.   Women were often used outside of the role of wife and mother to carry out a greater purpose throughout biblical history.  
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. (Exodus 20:12, NAS)
It is said that a strong matriarchal figure can be the glue that holds the family together.   Golda Meir represents the strong Jewish grandmother holding her nation together through her wisdom and strength. Love her or hate her, she was living under an extreme time that often required extreme measures.
 Meir was atypical for her time.  For one simple reason: she was a woman. 
Israel was her child….to nurture, to grow, to protect and even risk her life for. Much like a mother does her young.
 Every once in a while, you run across particular women in history who stand out for the good of humanity.  Women who take risks and do the right thing no matter what it costs.  Women who abandoned a life of comfort for the good of their people.  Women who are ordained by God for something bigger than themselves.  These women are willing to pay the costs.  
Golda Meir paid the cost, at times both personally and professionally.  
“It isn't really important to decide when you are very young just exactly what you want to become when you grow up. It is much more important to decide on the way you want to live. If you are going to be honest with yourself and honest with your friends, if you are going to get involved in causes which are good for others, not only for yourselves, then it seems to me that that is sufficient, and maybe what you will be is only a matter of chance.” 
― Golda Meir  
Golda Meir, was born Golda Mabovitch on May 3, 1898, in  Kiev, Ukraine.  Due to severe anti-Semitism in the former Soviet bloc country, her family immigrated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1906.  It was here she attended the Milwaukee Normal School (now University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and later became a leader in the Milwaukee Labor Zionist Party.  
Meir once revealed she didn’t have many fond memories of her childhood in Ukraine.  Being a Jew in Ukraine meant always being on guard against pogroms. Supporting a family during that time and place became nearly impossible.   The family was living in a ghetto in virtual poverty.  The anti-Semitism Golda witnessed early in her life would remain with her and greatly influence the course of her life.  Golda’s father, like so many of his countrymen, longed for a better life for his family and journeyed to the United States to earn money.  
Not long after immigrating to the United States, Meir showed interest in public service.  Golda was known for her strong will and stubbornness.  She grew to love the idea of the Jewish people having their own homeland and become a staunch Zionist.      
When Golda married Morris Myerson in 1917, settling in Palestine was her precondition for the marriage.   In 1921, she and Myerson and immigrated to Palestine and joined the Merẖavya kibbutz.  In the kibbutz her duties included planting trees, picking almonds and running the kitchen. She was a capable woman who managed all her responsibilities well. She became the kibbutz’s representative to the Histadrut (General Federation of Labour), the secretary of that organization’s Women’s Labour Council and many other. 
On May 14, 1948, Goldie Myerson was a signatory of Israel’s independence declaration and that year she was appointed minister to Moscow. She was elected to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in 1949 and served in that body until 1974. 
As minister of labour (1949–56), she carried out major programs of housing and road construction and vigorously supported the policy of unrestricted Jewish immigration to Israel. Appointed foreign minister in 1956, she Hebraized her name to Golda Meir. She promoted the Israeli policy of assistance to the new African states aimed at enhancing diplomatic support among uncommitted nations. 
Two Iron Ladies
Shortly after retiring from the Foreign Ministry in January 1966, she became secretary-general of the Mapai Party and supported Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in intraparty conflicts. After Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War (June 1967) against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, she helped merge Mapai with two dissident parties into the Israel Labour Party.  
A formidable personality, she was called the ‘Iron Lady’ of Israeli politics; she was also called ‘the best man in the government’ by former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
“We Jews have a secret weapon in our war with the Arabs; we have nowhere else to go…. we have to fight.”
-Golda Meir
 February 26, 1969, Meir, became prime minister.  Meir pressed for a peace settlement in the Middle East by diplomatic means.
“A story once went the rounds of Israel to the effect that Ben-Gurion described me as 'the only man' in his cabinet. What amused me about is that he (or whoever invented the story) thought that this was the greatest compliment that could be paid to a woman. I very much doubt that any man would have been flattered if I had said about him that he was the only woman in the government!” 
― Golda Meir
Her efforts at forging a peace with the Arab states were halted by the outbreak of the fourth Arab-Israeli war, called the Yom Kippur War in October 1973
Israel’s lack of readiness for the war shocked the nation.  
Meir formed a new coalition government, albeit with great difficulty, in March 1974 and resigned her post as prime minister on April 10. 
Just to fill in a little for the younger folk in the bars.....  the war began when the Arab coalition launched a joint surprise attack on Israeli positions in the Israeli-occupied territories on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, which also occurred that year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Egyptian and Syrian forces crossed ceasefire lines to enter the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights respectively. Both the United States and the Soviet Union initiated massive resupply efforts to their respective allies during the war, and this led to a near-confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers.

The war began with a massive and successful Egyptian crossing of the Suez Canal. Egyptian forces crossed the cease-fire lines, then advanced virtually unopposed into the Sinai Peninsula. 

After three days, Israel had mobilized most of its forces and halted the Egyptian offensive, resulting in a military stalemate. The Syrians coordinated their attack on the Golan Heights to coincide with the Egyptian offensive and initially made threatening gains into Israeli-held territory. Within three days, however, Israeli forces had pushed the Syrians back to the pre-war ceasefire lines. 

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) then launched a four-day counter-offensive deep into Syria. Within a week, Israeli artillery began to shell the outskirts of Damascus, and Egyptian President Sadat began to worry about the integrity of his major ally. He believed that capturing two strategic passes located deeper in the Sinai would make his position stronger during post-war negotiations; he therefore ordered the Egyptians to go back on the offensive, but their attack was quickly repulsed. 
The Israelis then counter-attacked at the seam between the two Egyptian armies, crossed the Suez Canal into Egypt, and began slowly advancing southward and westward towards the city of Suez in over a week of heavy fighting that resulted in heavy casualties on both sides.

On October 22, a United Nations–brokered ceasefire unraveled, with each side blaming the other for the breach. By October 24, the Israelis had improved their positions considerably and completed their encirclement of Egypt's Third Army and the city of Suez. This development led to tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, and a second ceasefire was imposed cooperatively on October 25 to end the war.

Here endeth the history lesson. 

Like Mrs Thatcher (who very likely gained iron in her britches watching from the sidelines, and who also successfully faced  surprise attack, although as far from home as one can imagine, and also had a stunning victory) Golda Meir was politically punished.
The Meir government was heavily criticized for failing to predict the imminent war and for being ill-prepared. Even though Israel won with American assistance and against overwhelming odds, Meir had lost the trust of the people.  The casualties for the Israelis were high.  Her party won the December 1973 elections, but she decided not to continue as the Prime Minister.
She remained in power as head of a caretaker government until a new one was formed in June. Although in retirement thereafter, she remained an important political figure. 
Upon her death it was revealed that she had been privately battling lymphatic cancer for 15 years. 
On December 8, 1978, she died at the age of 80.  
Golda had many accomplishments during her political life including being one of the 24 signatories who signed the Israeli Declaration of Independence which established a separate State of Israel.  She is also remembered as a person of strong character, known for her honest and straightforward ways.  Her extraordinary life was not without pain or controversy.  Many said her children and her own family were often neglected due to her political commitments.  
Despite Meir’s strong presence, she was no fan of the women’s movement.  She felt women held power on their own merit and wanted to be known for what she could accomplish first and foremost for her people.  
Meir was passionate about everything she became involved in.  She had an iron will to defend her people at all costs.  Some would call her policies extreme. Her nickname was the ‘Iron Lady’ of Israeli politics.  She has remained a controversial figure for some and was considered a savior of Israel for others.  
“I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.” 
― Golda Meir
Golda remained an important political presence and to this day retains a place in the heart of the people of Israel as the kindly grandmother who rose to greatness in her country’s hour of need. Golda Meir died in Jerusalem on December 8th 1978.  
What history says about her for good or bad…remains to be seen.  
And it will say much, and much will be mixed. There will be much more said about many more Israeli leaders, too, as their story continues.

A more abused people it would be hard to find, unless one looks to their enemies. 

The Muslim nations are very good at abusing themselves in their blood hatreds. 

Time will tell if the Israelis will prosper where they sit, or whether they will be driven into/onto the blue, warm waters of the Med.

Oz has huge expanses of desert, ripe for enterprising Israelis to turn into fruitful gardens, as those courageous and hard working people have done to that tiny, rocky land. They would make far better neighbours.

I sat and pondered with TSG this picture of Golda. Not a handsome old lady, but a warrior's heart.

Drink to Heroic people.

Pray for all the souls.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Prince Harry got Married

It was bound to be spoken of. The media has been soaked in it.  Prince Harry married his American lady yesterday while I was otherwise engaged on other matters in Church too. I will not say much, as many others have had their twopenneth worth inside and outside the hedge. Much of it was nasty, ungracious, unprintable and unrepeatable.

Good luck and happiness to them. Despite disparaging remarks about both - him being a bastard and she being a  foreign half-cast - I care not and neither does my Supplier. The Royal Family can get bad press from simply smiling at people some say should not be smiled at. Being conceived on the wrong side of the sheets is rather par for the course amongst the nobility everywhere, even where there is no nobility to speak off, just elected aristocrats. And being foreign is pretty normal in British Royalty. The lady - Meaghan ?- may bring some colourful events even more colour.

One lad said what I can echo. Chris Longden:

Harry Volunteered for 2 tours of Afghanistan. 
He set up Invictus games helping wounded service personal. 

He has Numerous unpaid charity volunteer appointments all over the world. 
The Royal Family brings in 400 million a year in private revenue that under the “ sovereign act 2011” the government keeps £360 million of.
The Royal Family brings in £1.8 billion per year in tourism. 
The Country is better off by £2.1 billion a year. 
Remind me how the wedding is waste of tax payers money ?
The wedding is paid for by the Royal heritage and private funding not the tax payer and that includes her dress! 
The tax payer will pay for the public security not private security. The same way the tax payer pays for public security at football matches etc.
Dont be a zombie and believe everything you see and read on the Internet, do a little research before sharing propaganda. Like it or not, the Royal family is a British tradition and icon. 
Let’s not forget that most the tw*ts complain about spending tax payers money are the ones who sit and sign for that money every Wednesday or daft liberals who haven't got a clue about reality.
 Not my words, nor Chris's own it seems, but well said!!

I pulled him a fine pint.

Now let us drink to the health and happiness of two people that we do not know personally, who have never lifted a finger against us.

God Bless.


PS.... Pity about that mad black 'bishop' fellow spouting his New Age nonsense infront of the Head of the Church of England. Went down like a lead balloon.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Invisible Wounds

I have not seen the US Bar so crowded as it was last night.  There were Spirits of the dead there amongst the living, drinking customers. We had a great bear of a man, a SEAL, a Special Ops man sitting at a table with a tiny (5'5") Major General, talking through the latter's long career and his Defining Moment in the heat of battle. It was one that I recognised, having experienced almost exactly the same m'self a long time ago. It had propelled his later life 'calling'. His focus today is on the dreadful and little known statistic of suicide amongst military Veterans.
There are 22 suicides of veterans every day,” 
Gen.Mukoyama said. 
“We lose more veterans to suicide in one year than all the deaths from combat since 9/11.”

It is not just an American problem. It seems to be one of our period in history, affecting many in Western nations which send men off to war. 

Australian veteran suicide, too, is troubleing. It is a stain on the 'laid-back Australian character. Tough men, trained and hardened should be able to weather the demands battle puts upon them. But it seems many cannot. 

The hardening is largely of the body: the toughening of the emotions, too. But the spirit is neglected. Men have souls and our training disregards men's souls. They return from war to hospitals where their fleshy wounds, sometimes of a dreadful nature, can be dealt with; but their souls are wounded too. And there is no-one to nurse that.

The main point in the bar was about the invisible wounds soldiers get. 

"Moral Injury stems from the participation in acts of combat that conflict with a soldier's deeply held principles. This unseen impairment leads to a sense of guilt, shame, and grief which can manifest itself as self-harm or suicide if not addressed. 

Vets rarely suicide because their body hurts. Many are incredibly stoic about that. 
They suicide when in despair.

Despair is deep in the pit of the psyche. It is at rock bottom. 

Huey Lewis expressed it well. Probably better than any other popular singer.
Suicide rate among (Australian) defence veterans far higher than for those currently serving

National Mental Health Commission says reason for phenomenon requires further investigation.
The rate of suicide among current serving Australian defence force membersis much lower than the general population, but higher for those who have left the force, particularly if under 30 years of age. 

It says the ADF must improve the preparation it gives personnel for life beyond the ADF, and then provide support services from the moment of discharge for the duration of post-service life.
The final report of the Commission’s review of the suicide and self-harm prevention services available to serving and ex-serving ADF members and their families was released on Thursday.
It relied on interviews with more than 3,200 serving and ex-serving ADF members, family members, and experts. It found current and former ADF personnel could access a range of suicide services, and a survey conducted for the review found 80% of current ADF members described their experience of those services as fair, good, very good or excellent.
But it heard a range of poor experiences of services, and feelings of cynicism, distrust, frustration, abandonment and loss, with many ADF members unaware that services existed, and barriers preventing some from accessing services.
When adjusting for age, when compared with all Australian men, it says the suicide rate is 53% lower for men serving in the ADF full time – a statistically significant difference. But the suicide rate is 13% higher for men who have left the force.
So just what did James Mukoyama have to say to Jocko Wilink that captured all the attention?  It was a very long evening and those of you who want to hear how a chap builds his way in the Warrior career path, gets disappointed, frustrated, learns a huge amount about himself and men, then please do listen all the way from start to finish. I did. I had to delegate Ale pouring to a handy consciencious objector.

Let me introduce the tiny Warrior.  His active career was short. His Reserve career was long, but oh, so busy. Major General James H. Mukoyama, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, on August 3, 1944.  He retired from the Army in May 1995, after over thirty years of total active and reserve component service, and two combat tours. 

He was commissioned as a Regular Army Infantry Second Lieutenant in 1965 upon graduation from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature.  He received his Master’s degree in the Teaching of Social Studies also from the University of Illinois in 1966.

During his five years on active duty, General Mukoyama served as a platoon leader in the demilitarized zone in the Republic of Korea and as an infantry company commander in the 9th Division in Vietnam.  He was the youngest General Officer in the entire United States Army in 1987 and subsequently the youngest Major General three years later. 

In 1989, he became the first Asian-American in the history of the United States to command an Army division.  Among General Mukoyama’s decorations and badges are the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, 3 Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, Parachutist Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

There was so much about the deep and detailed conversation that I recognised, from all the 'dream sheet' requests ignored, to the frustrations of working with the many Officers who were 'Duds' instead of 'Studs', to meeting and having first-class mentors, and of course to seeing 'Action' on the battlefield. He speaks too, of the inter-service rivalries; the political issues that are precursors of today's international issues: the 'race-relationship' issues affecting American (and other western nations): the struggle to gain understanding of just who one is.

But I shall point you to the 'Defining Moment, as it is relevant. 

You will have to go to around 1 hour and 9 minutes into the video. Follow for a good ten minutes to understand. Hold off your judgement.

Since his retirement from active federal service in 1995, General Mukoyama has volunteered and participated in numerous organizations, both governmental and non-profit charitable, benefiting our military, veterans, and the community.

In addition to his full-time civilian position as Executive Vice-President and Chief Compliance Officer of a national stock brokerage firm, General Mukoyama spent seven years as the Vice-Chairman of the National Memorial to Patriotism dedicated in Washington, DC in 2001.  He is a life member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Disabled Veterans of America.

In January 2013, General Mukoyama answered a calling to devote his life to the ministry of Military Outreach USA, a faith-based 501(c)(3) organization serving our military --- Active, Guard, Reserve, Veterans --- and their families, to cope with the visible and invisible wounds associated with military service to our great nation.  

In order to serve as the President and Executive Director, Mukoyama’s 38-year career in the financial services industry, where he had been a member of the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, ended.

He lives in Glenview, Illinois, with K.J., his wife of over forty-six years.  They attend Willow Creek Community Church where he has led a men’s small group for over a decade, co-directs a monthly men’s breakfast, and founded a military ministry program.

He has written extensively on the Moral Injury.  A summary of the Program would say: To define the little known invisible wound of war called Moral Injury; its history and insidious relation to Veteran suicide; that hope and healing is available; and how the community must get involved.

You can access information on Military Outreach USA:

It is a faith-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which is a national service organization dedicated to providing resources and support to caring Partners who envision a nation where no one in the Military Community lacks the mental, spiritual, physical or material support needed to live a full and productive life. 

As a faith-based organization strategically based in Northbrook, Illinois, Military Outreach USA develops resources, tools and programs to be used to serve the Military Community. These programs and resources are then shared at no cost with our partners.

They say that you cannot keep a good man down, and certainly this soldier is not going to simply fade away.

Now, I must be off to pour more Ale. It can cure ails.

And just as The General, as a young Knight, found the few moments in the heat of battle to say a prayer over the three men killed at his feet, so please, you pray too.

Men go to war, generally not having a personal dog in the fight. We are well aware in the west that much of the fighting we do is to defend our nations or those of our friends. Occasionally we embark on punative wars. But the men involved on both sides are MEN. All the same. We all bleed, We all fart. We all would prefer to be at home. But our soldiers' job is to kill the enemy, or else be killed by the enemy. 

Modern armies - particularly the US forces, and to only a smaller extent those of Oz and GB and Canada and NZ - have training regimes that emphasise 'hating' the enemy. Troops 'demonise' the enemy. This is not a good thing to do and training regimes MUST change. 

I was a warrior, paid to kill the enemy, not to hate him. So was young Lt Mukoyama. His sudden insight took him by surprise.  I was fortunate to have a Sergeant who knew what was needed. Men must be trained not to be suprised by this obvious insight.  They must expect it. 

Since the General's day, the moral codes have loosened.  Disastrously.  But deep down it is in our genes. We are Human being made by God. Young men go into the military, many without a firm moral foundation. The military ethos must start from square one with many of them and include defences of the spirit as well as how to clean a weapon. 

They must be taught basic respect for human life, even when they are obliged to take it. They must love their enemies.

Pray for our young men. And those young women who step up.

Best to pray before battle. For oneself and one's enemy.