Australia has been in the forefront in providing aid to undeveloped countries. Our contributions to overseas food, health and shelter programmes save the lives of many people who are in dire need.
Now, it is proposed that our contributions to overseas aid programmes should be reduced, to fund the support of a vastly increased number of illegal immigrants.
Hang your heads in shame.
Is The Strike Fighter Obsolete?
It is an unfortunate fact that, by the time that a new weapons system has been developed to operational service, it is obsolete. Typically, 10 years may elapse between conception and deployment.
We should consider how best to support our defence forces in the future. My guess is that the strike fighter will be superseded by helicopter gunships, for close support, and by drone aircraft for surveillance and for targeted missile delivery. Presumably both helicopters and drone aircraft may be operated from our new helicopter support vessel.
We are crazy to continue with the enormous cost of supporting the development of an outmoded strike fighter.
The strange case of Prisoner X, now identified as Melbournian Ben Zygier, has all of the plot intricacies of Alexandre Dumas's novel, the "Man in the Iron Mask".
Having had some experience of the contrivances of Australia's secret service, I have my own theory of Zygier's activities.
I believe that, as was common practice, Ben Zygier was recruited by A.S.I.S. while he was completing his law studies at Melbourne University. He was instructed to move to Israel, become an Israeli citizen, perform national military service, marry and start a family, and join M.O.S.S.A.D. (the Israeli external secret service, the counterpart of A.S.I.S.) His role was to be an A.S.I.S. "mole" within the Israeli security service. Unfortunately, he was "rumbled", and ended up in a high-security prison, to silence him.
It is incredible that he could commit suicide by hanging himself while under constant video surveillance in a high-security cell. Perhaps he was convicted of treason by a closed court, and condemned to death. It would not be the first time that the garotte has been used to execute a condemned man.
We will, of course, never know!
A September Election
Perhaps the early announcement of the election date will have the desirable result of less mud-slinging, more positive action, in the Federal Parliament. Certainly it has avoided the likelihood of skirmishing for positions in the Cabinet and in the Shadow Cabinet just before the polling day.
The clash with the important Jewish Day of Atonement is unfortunate, but since there are only 4 Saturdays in September, it is not surprising.
I remember that years ago, a Roman Catholic member of my staff produced an RC calendar, to prove that most dates were either Saint's Days or had some other religious significance, and so could reasonably justify a day off. I'm sure that a similar argument could apply to most other religions.
Whatever inconvenience may raise personal problems on polling day, whether it be religious observance or infirmity or absence, we can always lodge a postal vote. We should exercise our right to vote.
The Men's Shed
For some time, I have heard mention of the Men's Shed organisation. In December, as I foresaw a need for assistance with a tricky construction project, I sought information of my local Shed. This proved to be difficult, and the information which I did find was mostly outdated. When I did manage to contact the local Shed, it was undergoing a "resurrection". I soon found that the national organisation has a valuable role in promoting the physical, medical and mental welfare of men.
Although I'm now not able to give much physical help, I have established a web-site for the Willo's Men's Shed (at Willaston). Click on the link, if you would like to learn more about our local Shed, or about the national organisation.