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Posts by naturalman1975

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  • Israel Navy: Technical Failure Likely Sank Sub in 1968 With 69 Sailors Aboard

    09/01/2015 12:19:08 AM PDT · 7 of 15
    naturalman1975 to Jack Hammer

    Yes - she was located in the late 1990s by a joint American-Israeli team. Very deep, but part of the wreck was raised and a lot of examination was done.

  • Education Minister... steps in to stop ALL schools in NSW showing gay parenting documentary...

    08/26/2015 4:26:35 PM PDT · 15 of 16
    naturalman1975 to Lurker
    I do. Until 100% of the pupils are performing at or above their grade level you as a teacher should be concentrating on being certain the students in your charge can read, write, compose a coherent paragraph, all at the grade level.

    My students are well above grade level. I rarely have a student who leaves my teaching with a grade below the 90th percentile in my state.

    I'm also a history teacher, so while I don't ignore grammar, and other issues, I'm teaching something different.

    If my students weren't meeting basic standards, then, yes, I'd focus on those basic standards - but they are exceeding them by very large margins and if I didn't extend them well beyond what the curriculum requires we'd be doing nothing at all in the classroom for the vast majority of times.

    Keep your politics out of the damned classroom.

    I don't push my political beliefs on my students - I deliberately don't - but I will not let them remain in ignorance because of the prejudices of other people (especially of governments) either and I will not allow the official curriculum to stop me from teaching them more than it requires and other points of views besides those mandated by the curriculum.

    When I encounter a geography textbook endorsed by the government that calls military personal 'harmworkers' (and that's a real example) as a retired Naval officer, I will make no apology whatsoever for telling my students about the humanitarian work carried out by the military. And that's just one example.

    I do my best to give my students all sides of the arguments. If I only taught the curriculum, I wouldn't be doing that. In most cases, I'd be given them a highly left wing viewpoint I don't agree with if I did that.

  • Education Minister... steps in to stop ALL schools in NSW showing gay parenting documentary...

    08/26/2015 2:44:27 PM PDT · 1 of 16
    naturalman1975
    Follow up on an article I posted yesterday.

    I'll be honest and say I actually have some problem with this, speaking as a secondary school teacher, I don't like the idea of a Ministerial ban on what I can and cannot decide to show students in my classroom. In this case, I may agree with the idea that this particular film is one that shouldn't be being shown - but I routinely show students in my classes videos and films that I can see being blocked by a left wing government if they thought they could get away with it (I teach in a private school, so it's a lot harder for them to intervene here - but that just creates a situation where kids in state schools become even more likely to be the victims of government indoctrination because their teachers can't oppose it).

  • Violent maximum security prisoner refuses... protocol... Muslim... allowed to get away with it

    08/26/2015 2:29:08 PM PDT · 1 of 10
    naturalman1975
    Full headline: Violent maximum security prisoner refuses to follow strict prison protocol and kneel for guards 'because of his Muslim faith' - and is being allowed to get away with it

    To be clear this is an article about events in Australia.

    I like the Daily Mail but their headline writers make things tough to get things into the 100 character limit here.

    I actually do think the cross legged position is tougher than the kneeling position - but that really isn't the point. This creates a precedent for other claims to be made that could undermine security.

  • A true story of the Great Escape: How an Aussie surfboard maker built the tunnel...

    08/25/2015 2:40:57 PM PDT · 1 of 14
    naturalman1975
    'The Hollywood myth only told an American story and Australian families could never go over there for anniversaries – they were here only with their memories,' Ms Williams said.

    Actually, I'd say the 'Hollywood myth' of the Great Escape showed more of a British story than an American one (which is historically accurate - there were no American escapees, as the American prisoners in the camp had been moved to a different compound - yes, the film does include more American involvement than was strictly factual, but it still presented things as primarily British.

  • Parents outraged.. every student... MUST skip classes to watch a documentary about gay parenting

    08/25/2015 2:13:35 PM PDT · 1 of 21
    naturalman1975
    Full headline: Parents outraged after being told every student at a Sydney girl's high school MUST skip classes to watch a documentary about gay parenting

    Sydney, Australia, to be clear.

  • Leftist media traitors trash our hero, Captain Andrew Hastie

    08/23/2015 1:55:28 PM PDT · 1 of 6
    naturalman1975
    Notes - the Liberal Party of Australia is the main conservative party in Australia - the name was drawn from the classical liberalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, not what leftists have done their best to pervert the word into today.

    The Age is one of the two main daily newspapers in Melbourne, Australia second largest city. Along with its stablemate, the Sydney Morning Herald, these are probably the most left wing newspapers in Australia (they are countered in Melbourne by the Herald Sun and in Sydney by the Daily Telegraph and across the country by the The Australian which are all related, mildly conservative papers (they tend right, but nowhere near as strongly as The Age and SMH tend left.

    I doubt I need to explain what the SAS is to most Freepers, but just in case, they are the Special Air Service - Australia's most elite special forces soldiers among the best in the world (Britain and New Zealand also have units referred to by the same name with the same traditions - the Australian and New Zealand ones growing out of combined British Empire forces of the Second World War).

    Why are the left wing press now sliming Hastie? In essence, it's because of their incredible hatred of Australia's current conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and his government. If the Labor party manages to win the upcoming Canning by-election, it is possible this could trigger Mr Abbott being replaced as leader of the Liberal Party, and as Prime Minister - and they don't care who they smear to try and achieve these goals.

    To his credit, the leader of the Labor Party (and Leader of the Opposition) Bill Shorten does not seem to want any part of this vile campaign (he has very publically reprimanded two Labor state MPs for spreading these allegations) but that really just illustrates how disgusting the behaviour of those who are spreading it is.

  • Aussies to help US fire fight

    08/22/2015 6:01:50 AM PDT · 5 of 6
    naturalman1975 to luvbach1
    This has happened quite a few times over the last couple of decades.

    And just to be clear - that is in both directions. Australian and New Zealand firefighters have gone to the US to fight major fires, and American firefighters have come to Australia to do so. It's mutual aid in action. It's basically an exchange of specialists and senior managers - it's generally not that hard to find enough front line people to fight the fires (I'm a volunteer firefighter myself) - it's the experts working out where they need to be, and coordinating them all that are in short supply, and it doesn't take long before those type of people are exhausted and need relief once major fires start.

  • Aussies to help US fire fight

    08/22/2015 5:52:20 AM PDT · 3 of 6
    naturalman1975 to luvbach1

    The Australian and New Zealand governments will cover most of the costs, but generally American entities wind up covering food and accommodation. This has happened quite a few times over the last couple of decades.

  • Aussies to help US fire fight

    08/22/2015 5:43:22 AM PDT · 1 of 6
    naturalman1975
  • The Age’s front-page smear of a soldier and a Liberal (note, Australia "Liberal" = conservative)

    08/21/2015 5:32:40 PM PDT · 1 of 4
    naturalman1975
    Notes - the Liberal Party of Australia is the main conservative party in Australia - the name was drawn from the classical liberalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, not what leftists have done their best to pervert the word into today.

    The Age is one of the two main daily newspapers in Melbourne, Australia second largest city. Along with its stablemate, the Sydney Morning Herald, these are probably the most left wing newspapers in Australia (they are countered in Melbourne by the Herald Sun and in Sydney by the Daily Telegraph and across the country by the The Australian which are all related, mildly conservative papers (they tend right, but nowhere near as strongly as The Age and SMH tend left.

    I doubt I need to explain what the SAS is to most Freepers, but just in case, they are the Special Air Service - Australia's most elite special forces soldiers among the best in the world (Britain and New Zealand also have units referred to by the same name with the same traditions - the Australian and New Zealand ones growing out of combined British Empire forces of the Second World War).

    The attacks in the left wing press on this soldier are vile. Not only was Captain Hastie not even present at the incident they are writing about, detailed inquiries concluded that the soldiers who did cut off the hands of enemy troops did nothing wrong - they were not defiling the dead out of any ulterior motive, they took the hands in order to have a means of identifying the bodies, having no other practical way of preserving identity evidence at the time and after checking with a military lawyer that it was legal in the circumstances. It was unpleasant but military necessary and therefore justified.

  • Australia considers US request to bomb IS targets in Syria

    08/21/2015 4:55:10 PM PDT · 8 of 8
    naturalman1975 to Buckeye McFrog
    Is their Conservative PM facing an election anytime soon?

    The Prime Minister could ask for a double dissolution election (an unusual type of election - it's happened six times in Australian history - sanctioned under the Constitution to deal with Senate obstruction of government Bills) at any time which would mean an election as little as 33 days after he calls it (the minimum 'campaign period' under the Constitution). If he doesn't do that, an election is likely about a year away - there are practical reasons why a non-double dissolution election before 6th August 2016 would be unlikely (though nothing constitutionally prevents it) and an election must be held by 14th January 2017 at the latest.

  • Not ONE European Country Gives Automatic Birthright Citizenship to Children Born There Illegally

    08/21/2015 8:48:15 AM PDT · 16 of 17
    naturalman1975 to Ronin
    Australia or NZ might.

    They do not, for the record. Since 1986, a child born on Australian soil only becomes an Australian citizen if at least one parent is either an Australian citizen or holds a permanent resident visa. New Zealand introduced the same requirements in 2006.

  • US invites Aust to join strikes on Syria

    08/21/2015 8:40:17 AM PDT · 1 of 9
    naturalman1975
  • Australia considers US request to bomb IS targets in Syria

    08/21/2015 8:34:37 AM PDT · 1 of 8
    naturalman1975
  • Queen Risks Life To Mark 70th Anniversary of WWII, Whereas Obama Releases Spotify Playlist

    08/17/2015 4:06:17 AM PDT · 101 of 102
    naturalman1975 to Impy
    That was then, during a war, a real war, where everyone in London was in danger. No way in hell her current bodyguards would let her go somewhere if they actually thought there was a decent chance of a bombing.

    They don't get a choice. The Queen gives the orders on this, and they are obeyed. Her bodyguards may advise her, but they cannot force her.

    In 1981, somebody fired blank rounds at the Queen during the Trooping of the Colour - but nobody knew they were blank rounds at the time. While soldiers rode forward from parade to surround her, she was not evacuated, her bodyguards stayed back, and she continued the ceremonies after calming her horse.

    I was about twenty yards away when somebody fired shots (again blanks) at the Prince of Wales in 1994. In his case, his bodyguard did put himself between the gunman and the Prince, but once the man was restrained everything just went on as normal.

    They accept these risks as part of the job. They will not allow them to stop them doing their job.

    Their bravery during WW2 served a purpose. Her murder by terrorists today would be a tragic disaster, to be avoided at all costs, the 70th anniversary of V-J day is not so important to anyone that they would genuinely risk the life of the Queen.

    I think the Queen would say that if she didn't attend such a ceremony out of fear, it would be giving into the terrorists. Yes, her assassination would be a tragedy for her nation, and personally for her - but the Crown would continue.

    Notably, the Prince of Wales was not present (instead attending a different commemoration), when I normally would have expected him to be - it's quite likely that was the precaution being taken to preserve the succession in case something happened.

  • Queen Risks Life To Mark 70th Anniversary of WWII, Whereas Obama Releases Spotify Playlist

    08/17/2015 3:47:41 AM PDT · 100 of 102
    naturalman1975 to freedumb2003
    But history should also credit the Queen (whom I believe is the longest reigning queen in UK history?).

    Not quite yet. She will pass Queen Victoria in less than a month from now - on September 9th (63 years, 216 days).

  • Denton, Howard to speak at gun control event

    08/12/2015 2:58:49 PM PDT · 11 of 12
    naturalman1975 to BigCinBigD
    I thought Australia already confiscated all the guns? YOU MEAN THAT DIDN’T WORK!

    No, they didn't confiscate them all. This is my local gun shops web page:

    Miall's Gunshop

    There are restrictions, but there are plenty of guns still legally in private hands in Australia (millions of them in the hands of over a million people). This idea that they were all confiscated is a myth that just won't die.

  • Cross the floor and you will be sacked: PM (No same-sex marriage in Australia)

    08/11/2015 6:33:45 PM PDT · 1 of 7
    naturalman1975
    In a Westminster style Parliament 'crossing the floor' means voting against your party's stated position and with the opposition. Last night, Australia's conservative coalition government voted internally to maintain the position that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that therefore same sex marriage is against government policy, so any Coalition Member of Parliament who votes for it will have to cross the floor.

    Because the Liberal Party of Australia (our main conservative party - the name harkens back to the old idea of classical liberalism, not the left wing ideas the progressives have tried to hijack the word 'liberal' for) is a party founded on individual freedom, as a matter of longstanding policy, a backbench MP (that is, one who does not hold any government office, but simply represents their constituency in Parliament) is always free to vote as they wish without consequences, even against party policy - but those who hold office as Parliamentary Secretaries (junior ministers), Ministers, or Cabinet Ministers must vote the party line unless a vote has been declared "free" or face resignation, or being sacked. The Prime Minister is making it clear that he expects the Ministers to hold to this principle - and if they don't, they will wind up going to the backbenches themselves.

    I expect some backbenchers will cross the floor, as Warren Entsch has said he will. I'd be surprised if any Ministers did. Overall it is almost certain that not enough will vote with the opposition to force gay marriage through. For now the line will hold.

  • RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) must get closer to defence companies to thrive, says chief

    08/11/2015 2:27:07 PM PDT · 1 of 1
    naturalman1975
  • Not on my watch:... Tony Abbott says... 'marriage is between a man and a woman'(Australia)

    08/11/2015 2:17:34 PM PDT · 14 of 21
    naturalman1975 to LydiaLong
    Mark my words. He’ll be overruled by the liberal populace outrage.

    That's certainly possible, unfortunately. We'll need to see how it plays out.

    But the left already hates him - to an extent, it's hard to see how they could hate him anymore, or be any more negative.

  • Not on my watch:... Tony Abbott says... 'marriage is between a man and a woman'(Australia)

    08/11/2015 2:12:44 PM PDT · 12 of 21
    naturalman1975 to EQAndyBuzz
    Dropping Putin for Abbott. Now he just needs to ride a horse without a shirt on, do Taikwando and wrestle crocs.

    He doesn't quite go to the extent of Putin, but he is an athlete, who has nothing to be ashamed of in the chest and muscles department:

    Note - what he is wearing in the picture is the traditional competition clothing of a surf lifesaver - yes, it's revealing (and the Australian press loves using this image in caricatures of him) but it's about practicality in swimming as fast as possible to rescue drowning people, and over the years it's also evolved into a widespread series of sporting activities.

    He's also - still, even as Prime Minister - an active volunteer firefighter who still turns out to protect his community from bushfires when he can fit it around his official duties.

    He generally tries to avoid being photographed while firefighting, but there are a few good ones around.

    He really is a good man.

  • Not on my watch:... Tony Abbott says... 'marriage is between a man and a woman'(Australia)

    08/11/2015 2:00:27 PM PDT · 1 of 21
    naturalman1975
    Full headline: Not on my watch: Following marathon meeting Tony Abbott says coalition MPs WON'T have a free vote on same-sex marriage as 'marriage is between a man and a woman'

    For those unfamiliar with Australian politics, Tony Abbott is the Prime Minister of Australia, and the leader of Liberal Party of Australia, which is Australia's major conservative party (the name 'Liberal' is drawn from the classical definition of the term liberal which used to hold sway, before the left decided to try and appropriate it). Historically, the Liberal Party is nearly always in coalition with the National Party, which is the second largest conservative party in Australia, as it is now, hence references to 'coalition MPs' in the article - the Liberals and Nationals largely function as one party, and in some parts of Australia have actually merged (meaning there is also a Liberal National Party and a Country Liberal Party (the Nationals used to be called the Country Party) in the coalition). It sounds more chaotic than it is - 99% of the time, they can all be considered as a single party where the Liberal leader is Prime Minister, and the National leader (Warren Truss) is Deputy Prime Minister.

    What has happened here last night is that a joint meeting of the coalition MPs took a vote that the official position of the coaltion is to remain opposed to same-sex marriage - what those who support it in the party wanted was for the coalition to agree to a 'free vote' where the coalition would have no binding view, and MPs would be entirely free to vote as they wanted - under those circumstances, it is likely same-sex marriage would have been passed in short order, as the opposition Labor Party is largely in favour, and with support from coalition MPs voting freely, would probably give same sex marriage support a majority in the house. By holding the line on this issue, and succeeding in defending coalition policy, Mr Abbott has made that unlikely. Under longstanding policies of the Liberal Party (it's less clear with the Nationals), Members of Parliament are always free to vote their conscience, so some may still decide to vote with Labor, but the lack of a free vote means that any Minister who votes against coalition policy has to resign from the Ministry, and is unlikely to hold high office again - they can continue as an ordinary Member of Parliament, but they'd lose their position in the Ministry or the Cabinet. It is unlikely that enough will be willing to sacrifice their career over this issue.

    This doesn't end the discussion. Tony Abbott's leadership is somewhat tenuous (although more secure than it was earlier in the year) and this could reignite challenges to him within his own party. He is risking the Prime Ministership to hold this line. And while this issue is important to him, there are a lot of other issues that matter too, and at some point, he may feel he has to make a choice as to which particular issue to give in on, and I'm not sure what choice he would make. As politicians go, he's a good and decent one, who fights to hold a conservative line that he believes in - but he's still a politician in the end.

  • The final shortlist of designs for New Zealand's new national flag is revealed...

    08/10/2015 2:54:00 PM PDT · 17 of 35
    naturalman1975 to NorthMountain
    I noticed talk in Australia (two years ago, when I was there) of changing the flag. Is that taken seriously? The proposed “new flag” designs I saw were all butt-ugly.

    It's a perennial obsession of the left wing in Australia - they don't like the current Australian flag because it's not 'multicultural' enough for them, and they see it as symbol of oppression. There are a few people on the right who'd like to see it changed, but basically, it's mostly left wingers. They've been trying to change it for decades and one day they might succeed but most people don't see it as a priority - even if they'd have no problem with changing it, they just don't see it as something to spend much time on.

    I like the current flag and defend it. There's a poem I use that sums up my feelings about it.

    Our flag bears the stars that shine at night
    In our southern skies of blue
    And there's a little old flag in the corner
    That is part of our heritage too

    It's the English, the Scots, and the Irish
    Who were sent to the end of the earth
    The rogues and the schemers, the doers and dreamers
    Who gave modern Australia birth

    And you who are shouting to change it
    What you don't seem to understand
    Is it's the flag of our laws and of our language
    Not just the flag of some far away land

    Though there's plenty who'll tell if you ask them
    How when Europe was plunged into night
    How that little old flag in the corner
    Was a symbol of freedom and light

    It does not mean we owe some allegiance
    To a forgotten imperial dream
    We have the stars to show where we are going
    And the old flag to show where we've been

    It is only an old piece of bunting
    It is only an old coloured rag
    But there's thousands who've fought for its honour
    And who fell in defence of that flag

  • The final shortlist of designs for New Zealand's new national flag is revealed...

    08/10/2015 2:15:38 PM PDT · 1 of 35
    naturalman1975
    The almost-identical national flags of Australia and New Zealand are often mistaken for each other – distinguishable from each other only by the different colours of the stars.

    Well, that, and the Australian flag has two more stars than the New Zealand one, as we incorporate the five brightest stars of the constellation Crux rather than the four brightest that they do, and the Australian flag also bears the Federation Star at its lower left. But if New Zealand wants to change its flag, that's their concern entirely, but I look at most of these forty designs and think they are too complex to be easily drawn (which is meant to be one of the criteria by which they are assessed) - there are only a few that really 'look like' a potential national flag to me (a subjective judgement, but I daresay a lot of peoplewill understand it). It's a national symbol for the ages - not a brand logo.

  • Vegemite (Australian Marmite) Could Be Banned Because People Are Using it to Make Moonshine

    08/09/2015 7:11:11 PM PDT · 64 of 77
    naturalman1975 to Pontiac

    These communities impose the bans themselves. It’s not imposed on them by anybody else.

  • Vegemite (Australian Marmite) Could Be Banned Because People Are Using it to Make Moonshine

    08/09/2015 7:09:51 PM PDT · 62 of 77
    naturalman1975 to SamAdams76
    What does this Vegemite taste like anyhow?

    It's dominant flavour is salt. I hate it myself - six years in an Australian boarding school will do that to you :) - but it's quite a strong taste, and most people say it should be used in very small amounts because of that.

  • Vegemite (Australian Marmite) Could Be Banned Because People Are Using it to Make Moonshine

    08/09/2015 7:08:09 PM PDT · 61 of 77
    naturalman1975 to catnipman

    The key is whether it is causing a problem or not. Vegemite is currently causing a problem in some communities, which is why this issue has come up. Nobody is claiming at the moment that general access to grains or sugar or anything like that is a problem.

    This is very unlikely to happen anyway but if it did it would be because the local authorities (the elders of particular Aboriginal communities in essence) had identified a specific problem which they thought a ban would help with, and they asked the government to take action to help them enforce such a ban. It’s not a blunt instrument approach, it’s targeted based on the problems that are occurring, not problems that theoretically might occur in the future.

  • Vegemite (Australian Marmite) Could Be Banned Because People Are Using it to Make Moonshine

    08/09/2015 6:29:13 PM PDT · 26 of 77
    naturalman1975 to Tax-chick
    Interesting situation. I see the point now, but it’s still a question of whether anything can be made to work. Ban Vegemite, ban baking yeast, ban sourdough starter ...

    Yes - and it's just a suggestion at this stage. Some communities have a current problem with Vegemite being used in this way - but other substances currently aren't being used that way.

    Vegemite is a particular issue because it's so ubiquitous. The number of people in these communities who are actively baking bread is small. But Vegemite is common. The local authorities would notice quickly if people started bringing in much more bakers yeast than before, but bringing in more and more Vegemite wasn't noticed.

  • Vegemite (Australian Marmite) Could Be Banned Because People Are Using it to Make Moonshine

    08/09/2015 6:26:04 PM PDT · 18 of 77
    naturalman1975 to Bogey78O
    Aboriginal communities have a problem with sniffing gasoline.

    Yes, some do. There's a lot of different problems in some of these communities.

  • Vegemite (Australian Marmite) Could Be Banned Because People Are Using it to Make Moonshine

    08/09/2015 6:23:03 PM PDT · 13 of 77
    naturalman1975 to Tax-chick

    Note, these aboriginal communities choose to declare themselves ‘dry’ - it’s their choice, not something imposed on them from outside. The purpose of a ban is to give them the power to enforce their decision, by making it harder for people to circumvent the restrictions. And, yes, such a ban can also be applied to baking yeast, if that is an issue.

  • Vegemite (Australian Marmite) Could Be Banned Because People Are Using it to Make Moonshine

    08/09/2015 6:19:54 PM PDT · 6 of 77
    naturalman1975 to Tax-chick

    They are talking about the possibility of banning it in some isolated Aboriginal communities which are already ‘dry’ and where there is a serious problem with alcohol abuse.

    Not a general ban across the country.

  • ISIS Threatens to Kill the Queen During 70th Anniversary of VJ Day

    08/09/2015 6:17:04 PM PDT · 6 of 11
    naturalman1975 to nickcarraway

    God save our gracious Queen,
    Long live our noble Queen,
    God save the Queen:
    Send her victorious,
    Happy and glorious,
    Long to reign over us:
    God save the Queen.

    O Lord, our God, arise,
    Scatter her enemies,
    And make them fall:
    Confound their politics,
    Frustrate their knavish tricks,

    On thee our hopes we fix:
    God save us all.

    Thy choicest gifts in store,
    On her be pleased to pour;
    Long may she reign:
    May she defend our laws,
    And ever give us cause
    To sing with heart and voice

    From every latent foe,
    From the assassins blow,
    God save the Queen!
    O'er her thine arm extend,
    For Britain's sake defend,
    Our mother, prince, and friend,

    God save the Queen!
  • Islamic State Planned to Assassinate Queen Elizabeth in Massive Bomb Attack on Ceremony Next Weekend

    08/09/2015 2:34:42 PM PDT · 34 of 35
    naturalman1975 to Leaning Right
    But there must come a time when the monarch speaks out publicly against a rot that threatens the nation. I'm not talking about taking extreme action to close Parliament or anything like that. My hope is just that the monarch would speak out publicly, in measured tones, in an attempt to change the country's direction.

    She can't - not if it could be seen as opposing "Her Majesty's Government."

    Virtually every speech the Queen makes has to be approved by the government. Most of the time, somebody in the government actually writes them for her, but even when she does write a speech herself, it has to be approved. The only exception to this is her Christmas message every year - by convention, the government rarely intervenes on that one speech, which she does write herself. And as it is a Christmas message, it generally does focus on Christian ideals to a great extent.

    Perhaps Britain is not at that critical point, yet. Or perhaps, as a Yank, I'm being too hopeful as to what any monarch would be willing to do. At any rate, thanks again for your informative reply.

    I don't think Britain is anywhere near that point yet. I'm over there a couple of times a year (I have joint Australian-British citizenship, but I live most of the year in Australia) and I think a lot of Americans have an exaggerated idea about the influence of Islam in the UK - it's larger than it used to be, but it's still very limited. There are some areas of London, and a few other large cities, which are very heavily Muslim, but the country as a whole is nothing like that. 13 out of the 650 MPs in the House of Commons are Muslim - 2% - that really reflects the type of influence Islam has on British public life, and those 2% are not particularly radical.

  • Islamic State Planned to Assassinate Queen Elizabeth in Massive Bomb Attack on Ceremony Next Weekend

    08/09/2015 1:58:26 PM PDT · 32 of 35
    naturalman1975 to Leaning Right
    You make a very good point. I get that the British monarch is supposed to reign, and not rule. But there has to be a point where the monarch says "Oh, hell no." IMHO Britain is nearing that point, if not already there.

    If the monarch will not speak when the nation's very identity is at stake, then there is no point in even having a monarch.

    The Queen can only intervene in anything approaching a public way if Parliament is acting outside the terms of the British constitution. They're not, so she cannot publically intervene.

    But that doesn't mean she isn't doing anything. In private, the Queen has the right to be informed about government policy, to be consulted about government policy, to encourage the government, and to warn the government. There are almost certainly matters that British governments have chosen not to present to Parliament because the Queen told them that if they were presented, she would act - and that includes matters relevant to this type of discussion. But convention means that nobody publicises this. It is private.

    If a public conflict ever developed between the Queen and Parliament, Parliament would be likely to win, because that is the way the system is deliberately balanced in modern times, unless the Parliament was acting outside of the constitution. Her Majesty exerts influence behind the scenes for that reason, and while we may not see it directly, without it, Britain would be a different place than it is today. Tony Blair would have disestablished the Church of England. Britain would be on the Euro with the pound abolished. And those are just two of the most obvious differences.

    The Queen has to work within the limits laid down by constitutional convention. And she does.

  • Islamic State Planned to Assassinate Queen Elizabeth in Massive Bomb Attack on Ceremony Next Weekend

    08/09/2015 1:47:02 PM PDT · 31 of 35
    naturalman1975 to The Sons of Liberty
    It has been reported before that Charles is a closet muzzie.

    Yes, and it isn't true. The Prince of Wales is a fairly devout Christian - and one of the few Christian leaders in the Western World to have publically spoken out about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East in recent years. You probably didn't hear that though, as the media gave very little coverage to the speech.

    He's no friend to radical Islam, although he treats those who have no violent intentions with respect.

    I've known the Prince for nearly fifty years now, and I've been his friend in more recent times. I find the caricature of him that has been created in the media rather distressing. It happens largely because so much of the media likes to lampoon anybody who is conservatively inclined and to try to turn them into a joke - and with the Prince, for some reason, they've done a good job of it, with the use of carefully selected photos out of the thousands that have been taken of him, and carefully selecting little soundbites out of speeches that remove all context. He'd fit in quite well here on Freerepublic if you ignore his environmentalism - that's the one big issue on which he doesn't align with conservative thought, but on most issues he does.

  • Far North hunter hikes for two days carrying dog attacked by crocodile

    08/06/2015 5:36:39 PM PDT · 21 of 25
    naturalman1975 to All

    Just read the article again. While I certainly think Wayne Best deserves huge credit for what he’s done, I just want to draw people’s attention to what the article says about his mate, Shane Waymouth who picked them up and drove them the final distance into town - it says that’s he also joined Mr Best in looking for fruit picking work to help pay the (now-covered) vet bill. That is a mate - not his dog, but he’s looking to help straight away.

  • Far North hunter hikes for two days carrying dog attacked by crocodile

    08/06/2015 5:33:21 PM PDT · 19 of 25
    naturalman1975 to Squantos

    The article says he lives off the land most of the year, I guess living off his hunting in part. Doesn’t need to or plan to come into civilisation too often.

  • Far North hunter hikes for two days carrying dog attacked by crocodile

    08/06/2015 4:09:58 PM PDT · 1 of 25
    naturalman1975
  • Lone Pine battle marked at Gallipoli

    08/06/2015 2:37:50 PM PDT · 1 of 4
    naturalman1975
    The Battle of Lone Pine is one of the most famous in Australian history and the lone pine itself has become a symbol of Australian sacrifice in war - an Australian soldier who lost his brother in the battle brought home a pine cone from the site as a memorial, and in 1934 seeds were gathered from and planted. Two of them flourished, one of which was planted at the Australian War Memorial, and which still grows today. Each year seeds are harvested from it, and planted at sites across Australia - often war memorials, veterans' clubs, and schools.

    Seven Australians received the Victoria Cross, the British Empires highest award for bravery for their actions in the battle. They were:

    Lance Corporal Alexander Burton VC (Posthumous) (1893-1915)

    Corporal (later Lieutenant) William Dunstan VC (1895-1957)

    Lieutenant (later Major) Frederick Tubb VC (1883-1917)

    These three men represent the only case in Australian history of a 'shared citation' for the Victoria Cross. Their citation reads as follows:

    For most conspicuous bravery at Lone Pine Trenches on the 9th August, 1915. In the early morning the enemy made a determined counter-attack on the centre of the newly captured trench held by Lieutenant Tubb, Corporals Burton and Dunstan and a few men. They [the enemy] advanced up a sap and blew in a sandbag barricade, leaving only one foot of it standing, but Lieutenant Tubb with the two Corporals repulsed the enemy and rebuilt the barricade. Supported by strong bombing parties the enemy twice again succeeded in blowing the barricade, but on each occasion they were repulsed and the barricade rebuilt, although Lieutenant Tubb was wounded in the head and arm and Corporal Burton was killed by a bomb while most gallantly building up the parapet under a hail of bombs.

    Captain Alfred Shout VC MC (Posthumous) (1882-1915)

    Citation: For most conspicuous bravery at Lone Pine trenches, in the Gallipoli Peninsula. On the morning of the 9th August, 1915, with a very small party Captain Shout charged down trenches strongly occupied by the enemy, and personally threw four bombs among them, killing eight and routing the remainder. In the afternoon of the same day, from the position gained in the morning, he captured a further length of trench under similar conditions, and continued personally to bomb the enemy at close range under very heavy fire until he was severely wounded, losing his right hand and left eye. This most gallant officer has since succumbed to his injuries.

    Acting Lance Corporal (later Lieutenant) Leonard Keysor VC (1885-1951)

    Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Lone Pine Trenches, in the Gallipoli Peninsular. On 7 August, 1915, he was in a trench which was being heavily bombed by the enemy. He picked up two live bombs and threw them back at the enemy at great risk to his own life, and continued throwing bombs, although himself wounded, thereby saving a portion of the trench which it was most important to hold. On 8th August, at the same place, Private (Lance-Corporal) Keysor successfully bombed the enemy out of a position from which a temporary mastery over his own trench had been obtained, and was again wounded. Although marked for hospital, he declined to leave and volunteered to throw bombs for another company, which had lost its bomb-throwers. He continued to bomb the enemy till the situation was relieved.

    Private (later Captain) John Hamilton VC (1896-1961)

    Citation: For most conspicuous bravery on 9th August, 1915, in the Gallipoli Peninsula. During a heavy bomb attack by the enemy on the newly captured position at Lone Pine, Private Hamilton, with utter disregard to personal safety, exposed himself under heavy fire on the parados, in order to secure a better fire position against the enemy's bomb throwers. His coolness and daring example had an immediate effect. The defence was encouraged, and the enemy driven off with heavy loss.

    Second Lieutenant (later Lieutenant Colonel) William Symons VC (1889-1948)

    Citation: For most conspicuous bravery on the night of 8-9 August, 1915, at Lone Pine Trenches, in the Gallipoli Peninsular. He was in command of the right section of the newly captured trenches held by his battalion and repelled several counter-attacks with great coolness. At about 5 a.m. on 9 August , a series of determined attacks were made by the enemy on an isolated sap, and six officers were in succession killed or severely wounded, a portion of the sap being lost. Lieutenant Symons then led a charge and retook the lost sap, shooting two Turks with his revolver. The sap was under hostile fire from three sides and Lieutenant Symons withdrew some 15 yards to a spot where some overhead cover could be obtained, and in the face of heavy fire, built up a sand barricade. The enemy succeeded in setting fire to the fascines and woodwork of the head-cover, but Lieutenant Symons extinguished the fire and rebuilt the barricade. His coolness and determination finally compelled the enemy to discontinue the attacks.

  • Will Supersonic Planes Ever Make Travel Fastest Again

    08/05/2015 8:25:04 PM PDT · 3 of 24
    naturalman1975 to nickcarraway
    I flew on Concorde a few times - it was a great experience.

    One of the problems with it, I think, was the fact that it was basically only used for routes from western Europe to eastern America. That was the only route they decided made economic sense, and had the advantage of being mostly over ocean where nobody would complain about the sonic booms, but cutting an eight hour trip down to a four hour trip simply wasn't that dramatic. For commercial supersonic flight to really take off, it's needs the really long haul routes and I think that's what could make a big difference with any future attempt - India's growth, China's - it the cross-Pacific and cross-Asia/Europe routes that have the distance to really make a huge difference.

    I'd like a London to Melbourne route, but I doubt that would be viable. :)

  • B-52 bombers demonstrate their long reach in mock bombing run from US to Australia

    08/04/2015 1:33:56 PM PDT · 1 of 37
    naturalman1975
  • Aussie PM Tony Abbott Goes Full Dictator in Shotgun Grab

    08/03/2015 10:41:55 PM PDT · 20 of 22
    naturalman1975 to sargon
    Also, how is someone supposed to use a gun for self defense if there are requirements that they be locked up at all times? Do they have to concoct lies in order to protect themselves? "I just happened to take my gun out of its locked safe, in preparation to go to the target shooting range, when, lo and behold, there was a criminal invading my home who I luckily was able to shoot in self defense. Not that that's a valid reason to possess a gun in Australia, of course."

    Well, they don't have to be locked up at all times - that's an exaggeration, although it's closer to being true than I like. But the test that's applied is the reasonable person test.

    If you shoot somebody who has broken into your house in the middle of the night, the police are unlikely to charge you unless you did something like shoot the person in the back. Because you can easily argue you felt under genuine threat.

    The problem is this wrong idea that people don't have the right to defend themselves has actually caused people to get themselves into legal trouble. Because they did not understand the law and believed they had done something illegal, they've said things that have incriminated themselves. Under questioning, they've agreed they weren't legally justified because they did not realise they were.

    If I ever shoot somebody in self defence, what I will say to the police is simple. "I was in fear of my life." That's what I need to say.

  • Aussie PM Tony Abbott Goes Full Dictator in Shotgun Grab

    08/03/2015 10:31:37 PM PDT · 19 of 22
    naturalman1975 to marktwain
    I have heard that there is a movement to put all pump-action rifles, lever action rifles and shotguns, and straight pull bolt actions in the same category as semi-autos.

    Perhaps you can comment on that.

    There is such a movement, but I'd be very surprised if it succeeds. There are people who want to increase restrictions, but that proposal has been floating around since at least 2008.

    It's more likely more guns will be moved from Category C to Category B, than the other way around - in other words, the laws will be relaxed rather than tightened.

    For that to happen though, we need to avoid turning this into a hot button issue. That's when we get overreactions and the anti-gun lobby wins. Keep things calm and balanced, and we tend to get things rolled back.

    It all comes down to politics.

  • Aussie PM Tony Abbott Goes Full Dictator in Shotgun Grab

    08/03/2015 9:01:29 PM PDT · 16 of 22
    naturalman1975 to marktwain
    Pump shotguns are “restricted” in Australia. They are treated much like full autos.

    It depends on the magazine capacity (and it differs from state to state as well). Less than five rounds, it's treated on the same level as a semi-auto (Category C licence), more than that, it's a Category D weapon, which is basically the same as a full auto. An 'ordinary person' can generally get a C licence. Getting a D licence is extremely difficult.

    The Australian regulations are really nasty. Guns are not allowed to be used for self defense.

    That's not quite true. A person may use a reasonable level of force to defend themselves or another person. If they have a reason to fear that they are in serious danger of death or serious injury, then any level of force is reasonable, and if they have a gun available, they certainly can use it in self defence.

    The idea that you can't use a firearm for self defence is based on a misunderstanding of the rules that exist when you are required to provide a reason you want to own a firearm. If you put 'self defence' on that form, you'll be denied.

    They must be locked up all the time.

    Or under active control and in use. Exactly what that means is ambiguous - I suspect, deliberately so.

    A mandatory 30 day wait to get a new gun, even if you have several already. Air guns are treated the same as centerfire rifles.

    More or less true - technically they are different - air guns are category A, a basic rifle is category B - but as the lowest level of licence currently offered is an A/B licence, it winds up like that. But the alternative would be for an 'A category' licence to be introduced and that could be a bad thing for gun owners, because it could turn the B licence into a higher level licence, and make that harder to get.

    It was horrible law, and now they want to make it worse.

    In general, they are actually slowly being made better. The laws are getting less restrictive over time. It's a slow process, but there is progress.

  • Aussie PM Tony Abbott Goes Full Dictator in Shotgun Grab

    08/03/2015 8:24:05 PM PDT · 15 of 22
    naturalman1975 to yarddog
    I recall them banning semi automatics after a massacre in Tasmania.

    Not true. Semi automatics did become subject to new licencing laws, requiring more than a basic gun licence, but they were not banned.

    Now it seems they have gone practically insane with gun controls.

    Actually, in general, gun laws are being relaxed over time - not back to the level they were prior to 1996, not yet, at least, but in general they are getting less restrictive, not more.

  • Aussie PM Tony Abbott Goes Full Dictator in Shotgun Grab

    08/03/2015 8:21:35 PM PDT · 14 of 22
    naturalman1975 to Yo-Yo
    The sad part is that Tony Abbott is from Australia’s conservative party. RINOs come in all flavours.

    That's really a false equivalence. Australia does not have any provisions in our Constitution guaranteeing the right to bear arms, and only a very limited common law right in that regard. For this reason, unlike the situation in the US, gun ownership is not really seen as a fundamental right in Australia, and certainly not as a constitutional right. For that reason, it's not tied up or particularly linked to conservative politics. Tony Abbott is, generally, a strong defender of Australian's common law rights, but this isn't one of them.

    As Prime Minister, his duty is also to uphold the law as it is currently written, and this decision is based on those current laws. He wouldn't be able to ignore them even if he disagreed with them - I've no idea if he does, but just because he's made this decision does not mean he wanted to.

    What's going on with this current decision is hard to work out to be honest. I'm surprised that Abbott has intervened in this way, as I expect the current government (assuming it gets a second term in office) is likely to relax Australia's gun laws rather than tighten them (although as many gun laws are state laws, not federal, their ability to do so is limited). I'm wondering if he has had specific advice that these weapons were being imported by those who we have perfectly valid reasons for being worried about, given the references to terrorism. It may also be about domestic political capital, but that gets into some very complex areas.

  • Aussie PM Tony Abbott Goes Full Dictator in Shotgun Grab

    08/03/2015 8:13:53 PM PDT · 13 of 22
    naturalman1975 to marktwain
    Maybe I am exaggerating from memory. I think there are some Australian Freepers who could give us the story.

    I've never tried to bring firearms into Australia as a non-citizen, but the rules for citizens and non-citizens are somewhat different - and honestly, I don't have a problem with the idea that non-citizens have less rights than citizens in a country.

    Having said that, it is certainly complicated to import any firearm into Australia, so what you describe in terms of trying to bring a gun into the country doesn't surprise me. If somebody wants to hunt here they are probably going to find it a lot easier to use locally available firearms, as you say, because I doubt the paperwork is worth it to bring a gun in temporarily even if it would be regarded as worthwhile to do so permanently. And tourists do come here to hunt under those terms.

    Another thing, you can own pistols, after lots of paperwork, but all you can do with them is keep them locked up between the times you take them to a sanctioned range and back.

    Not quite. When you get a handgun licence, you need to provide a reason you want one. The easiest and most straightforward reason is 'member of a target shooting club'. If you give that as your reason, then, strictly speaking, yes, you should only be carrying the firearm for that purpose, which means to and from the club. A lot of people choose to get their handguns in that way for convenience, but it's not the only way of doing it. And, not that many people, bother - long arms are pretty common. Hand guns are pretty rare.

    It isn't easy to carry a handgun in Australia, but it's nowhere near as hard as some people try to claim it is. A lot of it does come down to the letter of the law, versus the way the laws are actually enforced. Commonsense is meant to be applied, and most of the time it is.

  • Jewish educators called to UK authority meeting on Rosh Hashana

    07/26/2015 7:07:39 PM PDT · 10 of 13
    naturalman1975 to Nachum

    Somebody didn’t check a calendar for Jewish holidays in setting the date. As soon as the Jewish schools raised the issue, Ofsted offered to reschedule the meeting. This was nearly a week ago.

    Yes, it’s a mistake that shouldn’t happen if people know what they are doing, but it does look like it was simply due to lack of knowledge.

  • Queen veers onto grass verge to avoid young family

    07/23/2015 4:53:27 PM PDT · 52 of 75
    naturalman1975 to miss marmelstein
    I don’t know about Charles.

    The Prince of Wales likes his cars, but he drives them in a way that makes me think he regrets the fact that they wouldn't let him fly fighter jets as often as he wanted to when he was in the service. At least, that's what it felt like when I was in a car he was driving. He may have been trying to make a point as I had just asked him when the last time he'd driven was.

    The Duke of Edinburgh used to own a London taxi cab and drive it around the city because it was nicely anonymous. I assume he doesn't do that anymore, but I've heard he even used to pick up tourists sometimes and then confuse them by refusing to charge a fare (he wasn't allowed to as he wasn't a real taxi driver).