Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Avalon Airshow, 2007.

I was fortunate enough to get good tickets to the 2007 Avalon Airshow and 'Exposition'.

Absolutely awesome! One of, if not THE best airshows I've been to (and that's a few).

Probably the Greatest Living Aviator was there - Chuck Yeager. (I had seen Chuck once before up close. He brought 2 F-15s over to an air show/demonstration at Laverton in 1976 - he was a serving Brigadier-General still at that stage).
The fast jets were great, but for me, the most impressive display was the C-17. For the sheer size of the aircraft, that pilot made it seem so agile. VERY impressive routine. (No, that's not me with Chuck - merely the best photo I could find).

More images courtesy of the RAAF here.

Have a look at Steve's piccies.

There was so much there. Love that old Connie (Constellation), there were F-111s, F-18s, Hercs, C-17, Hawks, Caribous from the RAAF. A C27J (Italian I think). US C-17 display (of course, as noted) and F-16 and F-15. Super Hornet (we are getting a couple of squadrons of those!). A B52 (a 'BUFF') did a couple of passes. Many warbirds (Daks DC-3/C-47) Harvards, P-51, Spitfire - the list goes on.


(Update 30-3-07 We are featured on Club Troppo's Missing Links! Thanks CT, Thanks Vee! - and welcome to visitors from CT).


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Don't mess with these ladies!

Whereas my blogger e-friend pumuckl admits to liking a uniform, I really think these piccies send a much more fundamental message.

As I pointed out there, I believe the West enjoys an advantage in the 'clash of cultures'.
Whereas Islam largely shuts women out of a full role in the greater society - which effectively means ignoring 50% of your resource of brainpower, and labour - the West goes much further in recognising men and women as having equal (though sometimes different) roles in society.

All female tanker crew flies Afghan mission.
"The 376th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron flew an all female KC-135 Stratotanker air refueling mission over Afghanistan on January 31..."

9/26/2005 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- "A crew of six Airmen at a forward deployed location climbed aboard a C-130 Hercules together recently for the first time in their careers. But something distinguished this mission from others they had flown --it was the first time an all-female C-130 crew flew a combat mission..."

'Media moments these may be, but there are many, many women in Western military forces. I think these stories really illustrate the point quite well though.

And not to be outdone, Some RAAFies and their preferred form of transport - an F111

Saturday, March 10, 2007

MSM - MainStreamMedia - have they lost touch?

Have those entities the blogosphere refers too as the MSM - the main stream media - TV, newspapers, motion pictures, radio - lost touch with the larger population?

Do they, do they seek to, reflect Public Opinion, or do they seek to direct and influence our opinions. How well does 'the Fourth Estate' carry out it's responsibilities and wield it's considerable power in the political and social spheres?

Perhaps some examples would be useful;

A hot issue (pardon the pun) these days is climate change and global warming. Some are sceptical. Many who advocate tough measures to fight what they see as an emergency advocate gagging those sceptics that disagree with them. For them, the issue is settled, and those that get in the way of what they see as needing to be done need 'dealing with'.
In Australia recently the Ten network made and ran Cool Aid, a programme on Climate change. The public where expected to tune in in large numbers, instead, they tuned out. As a newspaper put it;

"...Truthfully, we're confused," says Ten's network head of programming, Beverley McGarvey. "They didn't come. It's not like they came to the show, sampled it and went away. They didn't come..."
In 1999, there was the Republic Referendum, which was not just about IF Australia was to become a republic, but on the specific model. I would argue that Australians rejected the model, not the idea of a republic. However, we ask here if the media were even handed in their treatment of the subject. As I recall, of Australia's 19 major newspapers, 18 editorialised for a 'Yes' vote (1 - the Financial Review, essentially abstained). However, the 'No' vote won. Was the media biased, more to the point, were they out of step with public sentiment?
"...I think most people would see that it's been made quite clear from the print media that they're in favour of change. We've seen that time and time again: the Telegraph call their referendum page Queen or Country, as if there is no difference. Well I say that you can be a patriotic constitutional monarchist, and The Australian has made it quite clear that they are in favour of change and they've dedicated editorial after editorial arguing for change...".
And other issues. We see the media strongly support the idea of gun control. The other side of the story rarely gets any media coverage at all, it's very one-sided.
However, the 1988 NSW state election was supposed to be a 'referendum on gun control'. The opposition coalition parties backed shooters rights and won by a landslide. (Interesting to see what happened in Brazil when they had a referendum on the issue).

Does the MSM reflect, or seek to steer public opinion. Clearly they seek to influence rather than reflect. And that is why the blogosphere is so important, as an alternative source of news, commentary, and opinion, but also as an oversight function.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Some questions asked. Multiculturalism and culture clash.

I was pointed towards an interesting article by Miranda Devine in todays 'Sun Herald';

"If you find it difficult to understand how a home-grown al-Qaeda-trained terrorist such as David Hicks has acquired sacred cow status in Australia, or why community concern about Muslim gang-rapists targeting non-Muslim teenage girls in western Sydney was dismissed by academics as "moral panic", it helps to read the book Londonistan by Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips...."

And she makes some interesting points;

"...She identified a "lethal confusion, not just in Britain but throughout the West, in which people who claimed to be progressive and liberal were actually promoting the very opposite. As we could see in Britain when so-called progressives, committed to causes like gay rights and anti-racism, marched shoulder to shoulder alongside Islamists who believed in death to gays and the subjugation of Jews and Christians."...

"...Phillips is at pains to distinguish between those moderate Muslims who "merely draw upon Islam for spiritual sustenance" and those who despise the West and believe in the ideal of Islamic world domination. But she says the West is under threat from a "pincer movement" of terrorism and cultural pressure from within, in which its own liberal values and traditions of tolerance are being used as weapons by its enemies..."...

"...she warned that countries such as Britain and Australia which persisted with a form of multiculturalism which placed more value on minority values than those of the host nation, effectively abandoned young Muslims and made them more vulnerable to "predatory jihadis".

"For if there is no longer an overarching culture, there is nothing into which minorities can integrate."

I made some allied points here.

I wonder at the left. Womens issues. Gay rights. They are core dogma in the domestic sphere for the 'progressives'. But so is multiculturalism. Here we see one of the leading 'nodes' of multiculuralism - the need to be tolerant of the Islamic culture - no matter how intolerant it is of say, women's rights and homosexuality. Clash with other core 'principles' of 'progressive' ideology. How can such clear conflicts co-exist? They just seem to pretend that no such conflict exists. Clearly, it does.


(Hat tip - Mark).

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Whats the weather like at my place?

Just added, at the 'Interesting stuff' links area (bottom right of blog page) the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) 128k radar image.

You can see, real time, what the weather is in my part of the world.

We live near Bowral, which is at bottom left of the inner circle..

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