Monday, February 26, 2007

The TMI Files. A Branch Falls From The Family Tree.

I wanted to write something really profound, but I find I am starting to cry properly for the first time.

My dad died last saturday. It was quick and (presumably) painless - massive strokes are like that - but his body didn't realise it.

So after a couple of days in the hospital, first in emergency, then intensive care, when we knew that there was no hope of recovery, we took him off life support.

It only took a couple of hours for him to wind down.

In some ways, it was good, in others, it was horrible.

I didn't say goodbye as such, as he wasn't there to talk to, but I did tell him that I prayed for him and he was in God's hands. I was also sure he'd be pissed with me about that, but I didn't care since it came with me and he could get over it. :)

We were all there. My sis and brother, niece, brother-in-law, my uncle who made it down from Brissie in time, my dad's wife and her daughter, and one of his best friends who was also with us when mum died.

It's a bit of tribe, but that's my family.

Magilla is with outlaws, so I've not seen her since saturday afternoon, but it will be good to see her tomorrow. A hospital is not really the most interesting or suitable place for a young primate.

One positive out of it all is that at least he went out doing what he loved.

On the golf course, of course.

For any golfers reading this, I can't tell you what hole he was on, or what his score was - I'll be finding that out in the next couple of days when we sort out funeral arrangements.

So. Posting will necessarily be light over the next couple of weeks while I get my head around things. God has given me plenty of strength to get through this so far - it's remarkable how I've kept it together so far. It's a lot easier than with mum, but since I've already been through losing a parent, I guess that helps, too.

My dad really was the best man. He wasn't perfect, but he was wonderful. He always did the right thing, and would do anything for anybody.

And now he's gone. As of today I am an orphan.

I've been missing him since saturday, and will continue to do so, but I also know that the hole that he's left inside me will never go away. It will just become less painful and less noticeable.

And I will also notice within myself how much I am like him.

We really do turn into our parents and they are always with us.

I just wish it were on the same plane.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Taking The Religious Piss.

Via GoV comes Dress Up Muhummad for all sorts of sartorial silliness.

Of course, in the interests of equal opportunity to get upset on religious grounds, we also have Dress Up Jesus.

Follow the links and go have fun.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The TMI Files. The Perils Of Christian Schools.

I've found the school I intend to send Magilla to next year. I've checked out a few, and the local catholic school is way too pc for my liking, while the state schools are too large, and appear populated by young ferals.

(Okay, sounds judgemental, I know, but I want to keep a very close hold on her education and that means vetting the school environs as well as the school. I don't call this place Bogan Central for no reason.)

The school I've decided upon is a private christian school - non-denominational, but with a strong emphasis on a biblical worldview. I've already had one interview with the principal, and as I explained to him: I grew up without God in my life, so I know how that absence feels. I would not have my daughter grow up the same way.

There is a strong emphasis on academics, and a lot of support services at this school.They have strong disciplinary procedures, and also emphasis on respect for authority.

They also demand that their students' families are practising christians, and to that end require a letter from the priest or pastor or reverend where they go to church.

All of this is fine by me, but an atheist of close acquaintance had a look at the school's website, and obviously spoke to people about christian schools.

Then he voiced his main objection:

It's a christian school! They ban Harry Potter!

Needless to say my response was a rather underwhelmed: So? Their school their rules. I've got no problem, so neither should anyone else.

I can think of worse reasons for objecting to a school than their reading policy, and considering that Magilla is not yet 5, it'll be a few years before Harry Potter becomes mandatory reading matter anyway.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Letter To JWH, The Greatest Leader In The Free World.

Okay, perhaps a bit too much hyperbole, but I try not to go over the top too often.

Dear Mr Howard,

Just a note to say thank you so much for your words, your vision and your leadership of our country at this time.

I've been watching with interest the so-called "war of words" with Mr Rudd and also Mr Barack Obama, and am amazed at those who can't see the blindingly obvious.

Thank you for stating what needs to be said, even if there are people who just don't get it.

Be aware that there are also plenty of voters who generally don't say much, but nevertheless applaud what you say and are happy to give you our unqualified support.

Anyway, in the interests of keeping it short,

Please keep up the great work, and God bless you.



Your turn.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Wonderful World Of Meeja.

Via LGF.

One of the big things last year in that small disturbance in the Force between Israel and hezbollah and hamas, was a certain photograph of a dead baby. Needless to say, it went around the world in 90 seconds flat, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing at the inhumanity of the Israelis.

Please excuse my levity, as I find this an incredibly offensive subject, but one which I do believe is necessary.

Recently, I had sent to a mate of mine a link to an article about the artwork of children in Sderot.

I also sent her a link to a blog post about the human cost of the so-called "primitive" weapons that are all that's left to the palestinians. You know the ones, the rocks, molotov cocktails, suicide vests filled with ball bearings, those ones.

Her reply?
Thanks Nilk. The savage truth about war is that there will always be children who will suffer, no matter which side of the border they are on, and this will never end as long as men continue to use ever-increasingly perfected weapons to enforce their point of view on others.

I've just seen 'Grave of the Fireflies', the Ghibli animation about the fire-bombing of Japan by the Americans. A powerful statement about the terrible ongoing effects of war on people, particularly children. Suffering children have been used by political, religious and humanitarian organisations throughout history because they are such a powerful emotional tool. The winner is the organisation who has the contacts and the resources to be able to broadcast their message to the widest possible audience. The thing to remember is that, while the exhibition is a genuine expression of the terrible pain and suffering of the children of Sderot, it is also being used in a blatant political way, to raise support for the Israeli cause in the USA. I would rather see a joint exhibition by children from many different countries, expressing their own feelings & experiences of war - this would be a truly powerful collective statement by children - and a reminder that war affects everybody in the same way, no matter what their beliefs are.

I have not been able to respond to this email in any way, shape or form, as it has left me truly speechless for one of the few times in my life.

I do wonder how she would feel upon seeing this picture?

Please excuse the lack of photos - I've included the links so you can go check them out yourself, and encourage you to do so. Nothing beats a further education on the perfidy of the mainstream media.

Well, That Didn't Take Long (AKA Socialism In Action).

Over in Venezuela, Hugo's Paradise on Earth is coming into being nicely.

"They say there are no shortages, but I'm not finding anything in the stores," grumbled Ana Diaz, a 70-year-old housewife who after eight hours, had managed to fill a bag with chicken, milk, vegetable oil and sugar bought at official prices. "There's a problem somewhere, and it needs to be fixed."

Gonzalo Asuaje, president of the meat processors association Afrigo, said that costs and demand have surged but in four years the government has barely raised the price of beef, which now stands at $1.82 per pound. Simply getting beef to retailers now costs $2.41 per pound without including any markup, he said.

"They want to sell it at the same price the cattle breeder gets for his cow," he said. "It's impossible."

Now I've not read anything of Hugo's own words, but surely a Great Leap Backwards might be in the offing.

And for all of those progressive (sic) aussies who think this guy's a genius and want to go for a ride along tour with local activists and hear all about how the peasants will get what they deserve, feel free to bugger off.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Notes On Being A Veteran

I found this over at Miss Ladybug's blog via Blackfive, where I've been lurking recently, and think it's something worth passing on.

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg, or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She or he is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another, or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat, but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in the Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket, palsied now and aggravatingly slow, who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being, a person who offered some of life's most vital years in the service of his country and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot "Thank You".

Remember November 11th is Veteran's Day.

"It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier,
Who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."

Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC

And my comment:

I've just come a-visiting via Blackfive, and am enjoying your blog.

Thank you so much for posting this. As an army brat (both parents), I take the military seriously, and it's always a pleasure to see that others do too.

With respect to your piece, the bit about putting ambitions to the side really struck a chord with me.

My dad effectively ran away to the army to get away from his mother (she really was a horrid woman), met my mother, got married and had a family.

He retired after 21 years as a Warrant Officer, and continued on, as you tend to do.

After my mum died in 2001, I was talking with him, and said something along the lines of, "You'll be able to do whatever you want now, go do anything at all."

This was after a couple of years nursing mum through cancer.

His reply was that he could never be what he always wanted, as his fingers were no longer as nimble and his eyesight was also not what it was.

So I asked what he had wanted to be.

He had always wanted to be a naturalist.

Instead, he spent 21 years as a radio tech in the army, did a tour in Vietnam, and a year on transfer to the USA.

He provided for a wife and three children, grumbling about politics and the neighbours, but never about what he could have been.

Sometimes he marches in the Anzac Day Parade, sometimes he doesn't.

Whether he does or not is irrelevant.

He's still my dad, and still a veteran and a hero.

Again, thank you for posting this, and I hope you don't mind if I lift it wholesale for my blog.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

CAIR To Lend A Hand?

Perhaps a few photos of the WTC, the Pentagon or Pennsylvania.

How about stills of the MSU from USC Irvine declaring that Israel be wiped off the map?

Suggestions more than welcome, although please try to keep it civil.

Call for digital images designed to document Islam in America

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/6/07) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today announced the launch of the "American Muslim Legacy Project," a digital publishing initiative designed to collect and preserve images of American Muslim life and history.

The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group is seeking photographs that depict the American Muslim experience and will ultimately offer the images in an online database as an educational resource. CAIR will collect images that depict Islam's long history in America, the diversity of the American Muslim community, Muslim contributions to society, and Islamic religious practices.

"The American Muslim community has a rich and multifaceted history that needs to be documented and preserved," CAIR Communication Coordinator Rabiah Ahmed.

Ahmed added that the initiative is also designed to identify and recognize talented Muslim photographers.

The project is open to both amateur and professional photographers. Photos must be sent to CAIR in an electronic format with descriptive captions detailing the subject and time period of the pictures. Any submission must be free of copyright restrictions and will become the property of CAIR.


Submit a digital or scanned photograph in any of the categories below:

1. American Muslim History
2. Diversity of the American Muslim Community
3. Muslims Making a Difference
4. Muslim Daily Life and Religious Practices

The project is open to both amateur and professional photographers. There is no limit to how many images may be submitted. Photos must be sent to CAIR in electronic format.

For all photo submissions:

1. Specify the category the pictures fall under in the e-mail subject line.
2. Send only .JPG images less than 5 megabytes in size. Photos must be at least at 300 dpi and at least 5" x 7" (12 cm x 18 cm).
3. Send photos as attachments to the e-mail rather than embedded within the body. Only attach one (1) photo per e-mail submitted.
4. Include contact information (name, phone, fax, e-mail, address) and detailed information about when and where the photo was taken.
5. Cut and paste the following disclaimer in the e-mail:

"I certify that I am the author or sole owner of the material I am submitting to CAIR. I agree that the submitted photograph becomes the property of CAIR. CAIR may reproduce, distribute, publish, display, edit, modify, create derivative works and otherwise use the material for any purpose in any form and on any media. I agree to indemnify CAIR for all damages and expenses that may be incurred in connection with the material."

6. A signature is required from a parent or legal guardian for those under the age of 18.

Not all pictures will be used.

All submissions must be e-mailed to:

Monday, February 05, 2007

The TMI Files. When Is It Okay To Lie To Your Child?

The scene: Dinner table, Chez Bougane. A few months back.

Magilla: I don't want that.

Nilk: Eat your dinner.

Magilla: But I don't like carrots.

Nilk: It's not carrot.

Magilla eats carrots.

The scene: At the stove, cooking, at Chez Bougane. Last week.

Magilla: Can I help?

Nilk: Yup. You can mix these in.
Gestures towards hokkein noodles.

Magilla: Eewww. I don't like them.

Nilk: Yes you do, they're like spaghetti.

Magilla: Oh, okay.

Later proceeds to eat chicken satay stir-fry with hokkein noodles.

GetUp Have A Plan.

From: "GetUp"
To: Nilk
Subject: This is the year we will change the country
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007 13:38:39 +1100
Click here to tell friends

Dear friends,

However you first came to GetUp, whether to demand justice for David Hicks, help halt climate change, secure ABC funding, or stop the detention of refugee children - you've helped build a movement that's putting people back into politics. This is the year we will change the country.

The federal election is coming and campaigns are already in full swing. But we have something the corporate lobbyists, right-wing pundits and even the political parties themselves don't: numbers. With more than 160,000 of us, we have the power to influence party rooms and press galleries and fight for the issues we care about.

GetUp staff are off to Canberra as Parliament reconvenes. And if we all take a minute now to email our friends about GetUp, we will grow to 200,000-strong in time for key, agenda-setting meetings with politicians from all parties. So the most significant action you can take today isn't signing a petition or writing your MP - it's inviting a friend, colleague or Australian living overseas to join GetUp. Our new system makes it easier than ever - just click on the link below or the button above:

This is your movement. You have the power to make it even stronger immediately, by reaching out to all those people you know who wish things were different but don't know what to do about it; those people who dread the idea of another election won or lost on self-serving agendas and backroom party deals.

But we can demand a positive agenda for our country instead. Help grow our GetUp community so we can force them to tackle the real issues: climate change and sustainable economic prosperity, a fair go for all, integrity in our relationships with other nations, and the guts to face our most pressing problems at home - such as overwhelming rates of Indigenous poverty, the lack of essential services in the bush and the surreal costs of childcare, education or a decent home in the city.

Without endorsing any one party, we can work together and make this election year about our needs and our vision for Australia, instead of their spin-doctoring and scare-mongering. Numbers = power, and if each of us takes a moment to spread the word now, we will change the country.

And in case you think you've seen it all before, this year there'll be more ways than ever to have an impact. We're planning new initiatives and adding new features to the website like crazy. You'll have the option to create your own GetUp profile, meet up with other GetUp members in your area, organise events, lobby MPs and blitz your local press and talkback radio, all at the touch of a button.

Enough talking from us - it's over to you to tell your friends to GetUp! Help us grow to 200,000 members today.

Thank you for being part of this,

The GetUp Team

PS: The person who invites the most friends to join GetUp will win the chance to visit Canberra with GetUp this year, to work the halls of Parliament House - all expenses paid. And if that's not to your liking, we have a pack of great film tickets to give away. Email your details and the number of people you've told about GetUp to

PPS: David Hicks is the focus of our campaigning this week - we're launching a national TV ad, our Bring Hicks Home mobile billboard is traveling around Canberra, and if you're in the nation's capital meet up at 11am outside Parliament Tuesday 6th for a peaceful rally.

Well, come on, death beasts, sign up with Get Up. Let's help them get their numbers up. And you can use their handy mass email program to send your own messages of encouragement to the pollies.

I've signed up - always happy to help moonbats waste bandwidth.

Why haven't you?

Updated to add: My addition to their mass mailout to Alexander Downer.

Dear Mr Downer, I hope you read this message. Keep up the good work.

Keep reading Mark Steyn, and add Robert Spencer to the list.

Also, please ensure that David Hicks does not receive a get out of jail free card courtesy of the moonbats spamming you via Getup.

There are plenty of sensible aussies who have no sympathy for a man who throws his lot in with terrorists.

Good luck with everything, and feel free to ignore the moonbats as the whiny minority they are.