"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Keeping My Hat On: A night, a day and another night in the life of an infantry soldier

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Peter Cundall
25.04.14 12:06 am

Peter Cundall has been involved in three wars, mainly as an infantry soldier. After serving as a 14 year-old air-raid messenger boy during the Blitz, he joined the British Parachute Regiment in WWII, serving in Europe as the war ended, mainly guarding Nazi war criminals awaiting trial. In August 1946, after accidentally crossing the frontier into Yugoslavia, he was captured by Tito’s partisans, charged with espionage and sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment. After 6 months total solitary confinement in a lice-infested cell he was finally released in 1947, as a result of British Government pressure. Shortly afterwards he was posted to Gaza and other parts of Palestine during the Palestine War during which 233 British soldiers were killed. He returned to the UK for demobilisation in April 1948.

In an attempt to by-pass the 2 year wait to migrate to Australia, Peter enlisted in the Australian Army in London as a fully-trained infantry soldier in November 1950 and was soon on his way to Australia. A few months later in 1951 he was sent to join Australia’s 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, then in action during the static trench warfare and massed artillery barrages, typical of the Korean War. He became a member of the Machine-gun Platoon, then under the command of Australia’s first Aboriginal officer Capt. Reg. Saunders. During this period as a front-line infantry soldier he was promoted in the Field to machine-gun Section Commander, remaining in the Line from June 1951 until August 1952.

This true experience is a brief attempt to describe the horror and stupidity of war from an infantry soldier’s viewpoint. 

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Selling state assets is ideology rather than logic

John Lawrence, Tasfintalk Pic* First pub: Apr 23
24.04.14 3:45 am

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Privatisation: Broader issues Privatising public assets is back on the agenda with Treasurer Hockey reigniting the discussion with his offer to State governments of a bonus if they sell remaining public assets and spend proceeds on new much needed infrastructure. … Tasmania’s existing government businesses comprise one half of the total State government sector, so for the Mercury writer to idly assert that they should be sold to fund as yet unidentified new infrastructure without comparing the before and after cash flow effects on the State’s budget with a reduction of 50% in the size of the State sector, just to qualify for a $100 million bonus from Joe Hockey, is a policy position based on ideology rather than logic.  Ideology also clutters the road to economic salvation as long as there are refusals to take a revised look at the role of governments, debt and money. Commentators and politicians are yet to realise the full implications of the changing world over the past five years.

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The Lives of Brian

Brian Greig*
24.04.14 3:25 am

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For six years I sat within meters of the late Senator Brian Harradine. Along with a few Greens and One Nation, the Australian Democrats’ senators sat among the cross benches in the curve of the senate chamber’s horseshoe seating pattern. From my location, mostly at seat 54B, I was able to study Harradine closely in terms of his exercise of power.

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The Mass Mobilization of Populations

Christopher Nagle, writing.com
24.04.14 3:15 am

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Shaping corporate totalitarianism out of democratic ideas in the 20th & 21st centuries ... a response to Max Atkinson’s Whither the Liberal conscience Except perhaps for its past twenty years, the last century had its main impetus through the two world wars & the preparation for the third.  The tremendous expenditure of human and material resources called forth by war was a powerful wasting tool that guaranteed force marched production.  The challenge was to maintain the war waste pace in peacetime.  Eventually, this was accomplished by (and by no means an exhaustive list), continuing partial militarisation, increased participation in the industrial workforce, higher wages, heavy borrowing, rapid introduction of new technology through substantial investment in research and development and an unprecedented application of advertising and marketing.

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Barry O’Farrell To Guest Star At Dark Mofo

24.04.14 3:05 am

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Former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is set to be a featured guest at this year’s Dark Mofo festival, inside sources have revealed. In the guise of Fairy O’Barrell, the Liberal politician will perform as a celebrity sommelier offering wine advice to patrons in the Beer, Cider, Wine, Spirits And Other Hideously Overpriced Beverages But You’re A Captive Audience Haha pavilion.

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Much learning does not teach understanding

Thomas Connelly, http://bogong-moth.blogspot.com/ Pic: of George Brandis
24.04.14 2:45 am

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Much learning does not teach understanding, else it would have taught Hesiod and Pythagoras; and in our times Heraclitus may have included George Brandis. Our Attorney General, the one with an office that has a publicly funded book shelf over six feet tall, defended his ludicrous notion that we have the right to be bigots by summoning the ghost of the French Enlightenment hero Voltaire.

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MH 370 debris ... ?  Just as John Hawkins predicted on TT ... ?

Fairfax. John Hawkins. Pic: onlinenewspoint.com First pub: April 23
24.04.14 2:30 am

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Debris washed up on the coast of Western Australia, have raised hopes it may be from the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370: Fairfax: MH370 search: Debris washed up on WA coast to be investigated. If confirmed it would also confirm a prediction from Tasmanian Times’ writer John Hawkins. Hawkins predicted exactly where any debris from a crash into the Indian Ocean would end up.

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Can we divorce theology from politics?

Philip Adams Late Night Live, Radio National, Monday 21 April 2014 10:05PM
24.04.14 2:09 am

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How free from a religious or sacred dimension is our political system? The West has prided itself for years on having shaped strong, secular and democratic institutions of government, devoid of a sacred element, but Philosopher Simon Critchley argues that political or civil theology is essential to the democratic process. He and Phillip engage in a wide ranging discussion, looking at the history of this concept, and how the politics of the West is becoming re-theologised.

AND, more philosophy on Radio National:

Nicholas of Cusa and the Instruction of Ignorance On a slow boat journey from Constantinople to Venice in the early 15th century, scholar and papal diplomat Nicholas of Cusa set modern scientific method in train when he conceived of the value of ignorance as a means towards knowledge:  The more one learns of one’s unknowing the more learned one is. Nicholas of Cusa is a figure of the scholarly moment, as philosophers and theologians mine ancient and medieval thought to critique modernity or to respond to contemporary realities such as religious pluralism.

Max Atkinson earlier: Whither the Liberal conscience?

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Nicholas of Cusa and the Instruction of Ignorance

Encounter, Radio National
24.04.14 12:30 am

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On a slow boat journey from Constantinople to Venice in the early 15th century, scholar and papal diplomat Nicholas of Cusa set modern scientific method in train when he conceived of the value of ignorance as a means towards knowledge. The more one learns of one’s unknowing the more learned one is.

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Whither the Liberal Conscience?

Max Atkinson. ABC Pic: of George Brandis. First published: April 21
22.04.14 7:00 am

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Some observers would be surprised to see Senator George Brandis in conflict with leaders of ethnic and religious communities - including Greek, Arabic, indigenous and Jewish - because he insists on re-writing Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act, the law prohibiting racial remarks.

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Liz Smith - Why I’m standing for the Legislative Council as an independent

Liz Smith. Pic: of Vanessa Goodwin MLC and Liberal Attorney-General. First pub: April 21
22.04.14 6:30 am

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Having been a Greens member of the Huon Valley Council since 2002, and having made the decision to stand as a progressive independent for the seat of Huon in the Legislative Council election on May 3, I am often asked why I am not standing as a Greens candidate, and why I am no longer a member of the Tasmanian Greens.

Nick McKim: Government should abandon plan to abolish suspended sentences

• mark hawkes, in Comments: Following is a real life example (apart from name change) of what Goodwin wants to change; ‘Mr X, in your case, I see no alternative to immediate imprisonment, but part of the term will be suspended and other orders will be made to give recognition to, and encourage your efforts at rehabilitation.  You are convicted and sentenced to ten months’ imprisonment, the execution of seven months of which is suspended on condition that you are subject to the supervision of a probation officer for a period of 18 months following your release.  A special condition of the probation is that you undergo assessment and treatment for alcohol or drug dependency as directed by a probation officer. You will have to report to a probation officer at 114 Bathurst Street, Hobart within one clear working day of your release.’ (Justice Porter, supreme court Hbt 2014) This makes sense to me and I’m not well educated. I can’t believe Goodwin would make policy based on ‘Mercury’ readers comments FFS.

Georgie Burgess, Examiner: Call for integrity power boost WHISTLEBLOWER advocates are calling for Tasmania’s Integrity Commission to boost its powers and be more like the New South Wales corruption body. The calls come in the wake of former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell’s sudden resignation after misleading the Independent Commission Against Corruption, and comments from Victoria’s corruption commissioner that more coercive powers were needed.

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The Politically Corrupting Bottle

Buck Emberg
21.04.14 6:45 am

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Wait a minute!  Hold on!  Just a second!  Being a ‘nice guy’ should be meaningless in the world of politics.

Mark Latham in the AFR: Both sides are broken

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As Tony Abbott puts the Budget together, he is being haunted by statements of campaigns past

news.com.au Wiki pic of Tony Abbott
21.04.14 6:35 am

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PRIME Minister Tony Abbott’s own words are nagging him as he prepares for ruthless pruning in his first Budget.

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Leg Co candidates’ pitch

21.04.14 6:15 am

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All candidates in the upcoming Legislative Council elections are invited to provide a 200-word statement of their pitch to voters (and photo) for publication on Tasmanian Times. As always, first-in, best-dressed!x

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An interim report on the state of play regarding MH 370

James Bond
21.04.14 6:10 am

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I herewith submit an interim report on the state of play regarding MH 370 via my You Tube connections.

• John Hawkins, in Comments: This is the reason for the loss of this MH 370 for it makes these expensive fighters immediately redundant. America has the Freescale technology and if it does not release or lose it to a foreign nation as was about to happen it can continue making the fighters and sell them to the likes of us; and use the cheaper option at home. This is the scale of the problem for Lockheed and a long term defence contract worth literally 100’s of billions of dollars supplying planes to Canada , Japan, UK, Australia and other currently committed purchasers. A conspiracy theory or a fact? Over to you Mr Bond.

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Mother Mountain: The Symphony of Birdsong (7)

Don Knowler.
21.04.14 5:59 am

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The “Respect the Mountain” forum ( here, here, and here ) at the Hobart Town Hall last month prompted Don Knowler to return to a diary he compiled after daily rambles on Mt Wellington during the previous year. In what promises to be a momentous year in the modern history of Kunanyi, the weekly diary gives the mountain and its wildlife its own voice. All Don’s Mother Mountain columns - and much more by this superb writer - can be found under the Category, Don Knowler, here

Cassy O’Connor: Hodgman government strangely silent on fees and potential road closures for kunanyi/Mt Wellington

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The underdog bites back

Gay Alcorn, Fairfax
21.04.14 5:45 am

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The election of Palmer United Party’s Jacqui Lambie to the Senate surprised many. But a 10-year battle with Veterans’ Affairs shows the former soldier is no pushover.

• AK, in Comments: The sitting of the new senate should bring interesting times and with it some interesting people. From the makeup, it may be a big surprise for the incumbents when they realise they won’t be able to get their way as easily as they have done in the past. I doubt Jackie could do a worse job than the current swill of party empty heads and will probably be a thousand times better. Even though I have no time for PUP, or it’s backer, it may be a good thing to take odds on how long she remains a member of PUP, before becoming an independent. So I wish her all the best and may she and the other independents stand up for the people and not just vested interests.

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Neville ‘Nifty’ Wran

Bob Ellis, http://www.ellistabletalk.com/ Pic: Bob Hawke, Neville Wran, at the peak of power
21.04.14 5:40 am

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(From Goodbye Jerusalem, 1997) …..Nifty I had known in a different way

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To be a decent citizen

Jon Jureidini, Ockham's Razor, Radio National
21.04.14 5:30 am

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It is more difficult than we think to define decent behaviour. We all understand it to mean being kind, generous and helpful. Child Psychiatrist Professor Jon Jureidini from the University of Adelaide takes a closer look at what it means to be a decent person. He says that decent acts are kind and generous, but more importantly, they are selfless.

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FT submission: It is not acceptable ...

Dr Alison Bleaney, Tasmanian Public & Environmental Health Network (TPEHN)
21.04.14 5:00 am

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‘It is not acceptable for Forestry Tasmania to continue to use (aerially apply) alpha-cypermethrin to plantations in water catchments and also seek a derogation for its use from FSC as FSC has considered alpha-cypermethrin to be a hazardous chemical and already removed it from the FSC list of acceptable pesticides that can be used by forestry industries.’

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A cable car in Tassie ... an historic chalet in Victoria ...

Darren Gray Rural Affairs Reporter, Fairfax. Wikipedia pic
21.04.14 4:48 am

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Plans to refurbish the historic Mount Buffalo Chalet have passed a major hurdle with the recent approval from Heritage Victoria for ‘‘outbuildings’’ behind the high country landmark to be demolished.

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Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

Selling state assets is ideology rather than logic 



Tony Abbott must protect UTAS and reject elitist plan for universities 



Muller Musical Magic 



Kate’s creative connection 



Tasting Tasmania: Pointing to food, wine reviews, with latest news, MRs below ... 




What's On

What's On

Theatre Royal: The Ten Tenors 



Barry’s last Cabernet Meeting 



Instead of moaning about the makeup of the standards development group - you could all have done something about it and…

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