Who needs these Isis collaborators back in Australia?

So the young men who left Australia and joined Isis have asked to be allowed back into the country they abandoned.  Well whoopee!

Do we welcome them back? Do we believe that they will now turn their backs on the most violent and unscrupulous murderers in the Middle East?

Perhaps these traitors have discovered that joining a group of terrorists who want to destroy everything that is good in our world is not a picnic, after all.  It’s not an adventure for the bored sons and daughters of the Muslim community in Australia.

Pardon my scepticism, but if I were a member of Isis and I wanted to return to Australia to cause more trouble here, then I would pretend that I am disenchanted with the Isis credo. I would pretend that I regret having left my comfortable home here in Australia for a cause that is the work of the devil.

I would offer to betray Isis by blabbing all the secrets that I had  learned during my adventure with them.

But could I be trusted?

After all, a person who has been a traitor once, which these men have been, could easily become a traitor twice or three times over.

So do we want these men back here to cause havoc in Australia?

No way. Let them stay in the Middle East where they belong.

Good on you, Garland, Texas!

There was a time when I was against guns. But that was before the Sandy Hook School massacre in Connecticut, U.S.A in which 20 very young children were brutally killed by a gunman. There was no armed guard at the school which prided itself on being very liberal and tolerant.

That school had a marvellous philosophy which preached that we should all live in peace, and sing Kumbaya my Lord as we hug one another and pretend that everyone else agrees with us and wishes us well.

Sadly, the evil people in this world did not agree with the peace-loving ones at Sandy Hook and so 20 children were murdered by a monster.

That atrocity took place in 2012 and I grieve for the dead children and their families. There should have been an armed guard in the school to protect them.

So here we are in 2015 in Garland, Texas. A couple of crazy jihadists have decided to attack an exhibition which offends them. They arrive armed and ready to kill. The two pieces of excreta shoot a guard but then a policeman shoots the two murderers dead.

ISIS claims responsibility for the attack. That’s okay as long as the assassins were shot dead before they could massacre people. So be it.

The sooner that people learn that we live in a different world now and that good people are under threat from an horrifically evil force the better and they had better change their idealistic views.

If you don’t learn from experience you pay the price and surely Sandy Hook should have been a lesson to us all. We need to face reality and protect our citizens, even as we lament the loss of innocence in this world.

Back online

Following an erratic interruption of almost two weeks I am back online. I won’t go into the details but, fingers crossed, I hope to be online for a while. I still don’t really understand why my website had problems, but it has made me very sceptical about the reliability of it all.

Whilst the internet is an asset in many respects, it has changed the way we live, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

I know that communication is less frequent now because people expect me to be on Facebook with pretty pictures of my cat or dog. I also know that I can’t expect phone calls from people. Now it’s texting. And what pleasure is there in that? It’s like semaphores and smoke signals. Hard to have a real conversation nowadays without somebody fingering a phone.

No wonder I become nostalgic as I caress my Montblanc fountain pen and remember the letters we wrote together. But then who has the oportunity to express oneself in depth nowadays when everything has to be encapsulated into 140 characters?

Melbourne’s alcohol problem

There is something wrong in a society which demands that you explain why you don’t drink alcohol. This is the case in Australia, unfortunately.

It has been the case ever since we came to Australia in 1951. If you didn’t drink then you had better explain yourself. Are you ill, or are you an alcoholic, perhaps? Do you follow some strange religion which forbids you from touching a drop?

You were made to feel uncomfortable and unsociable if you said, “I don’t drink.”

Every occasion was accompanied by drinking alcohol. In fact, if you weren’t allowed to drink then you wouldn’t be able to enjoy watching sport or weddings or graduations or births or even wakes. Shades of Ireland really.

It was and still is the Aussie way of life. Friday night is for “getting pissed” as it is called and a hangover is proof that you had a good time, even if you hardly remember it yourself.

What has struck me since arriving in Melbourne is the number of liquor outlets in every suburb here. There are people drinking in the morning by themselves in many coffee lounges. The solitary drinkers ore often lonely women of a certain age.

What exacerbates the problem is that many of these people are driving after they drink. And to make matters worse, we have a big drug problem in Melbourne. It is cause for concern when you don’t know who is driving in front of you. We have been advised not to look at drivers if we drive alongside them on the road. Who knows what they are on?

The drivers here are very aggressive, competitive and rather frightening. They are obsessed with playing with their phones as they drive and even women have been caught under the influence when they try to park outside a school to pick up their children.

I did comment once in a previous blog that the most polite drivers I have ever encountered are Texans.

I really cannot understand why Melbourne is supposed to be “the most livable city in the world”. For druggies and alcoholics, maybe…

Melbourne Australia’s solution to insufficent public transport

It is hard to believe that the public servants in charge of Melbourne’s transport system are allowed to run free to ruin our lives.

Since The Intergenerational Report has been released by our government we have been informed that our population is aging.

This is an important report because it will help provide for the needs of a changing demographic.

One assumes, therefore, that the Victorian government is going to encourage the use of public transport which will inevitably be more in demand as the population ages.

So what have the brightsparks announced to ease the overcrowding on our trains and trams?

Those who run “the world’s most livable city” are going to remove seats from our trains and trams so that there will be more standing room. In other words, the result will be “cattle trucks”.

How that should prepare the city for an aging population who already find it hard enough to locate an empty seat in one of those contraptions is a mystery to me.

Lesley Gore made me cry today

Lesley Gore died today. Her song “You don’t own me” (1963) meant a lot to me and to my generation. It was a cry for independence and in a way it was one of the earliest declarations of feminism. “I am woman”(1975) came a long time after Gore’s beautiful plea not to be treated as a silly little thing.

Who can forget Bette Midler, Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn performing the song at the end of the film, “The First Wives Club”?

It was a tour de force!

RIP Leslie, you sang for us young women in the Sixties.

Thank you, Australia

Today is Australia Day, a day which will not be celebrated by demonstrations of military might. Tanks, missiles etc will not be shown off as they are in the rest of the world. There will be no messages declaring “We are the greatest, so watch out!”

Instead, friends and families will gather to enjoy a picnic and barbeque or watch the Aussie Open Tennis or the soccer. In other words, they will celebrate what is wonderful about this country of ours.

You see, Aussies don’t need to boast to make themselves feel better about living here. They know in their hearts that Australia is a fair-minded and decent country which has no delusions of grandeur.

Believe me, I should know. I have lived in the Soviet Union, in Siberia, in Poland, in a Displaced Persons’ Camp in Germany as well as several years in France.

I came here as a Displaced Person following World War II.

After the war, my family decided that they wanted to get away from Europe, the further away the better. We were told about a country at the other end of the world, where sheep wandered in the streets. It was called Australia and we knew absolutely nothing about it.

So we applied for visas to come either to Australia or South America. The visa for Australia arrived first and so we accepted it gratefully.

How lucky is that!

Life is mainly about luck and chance. I used to think that it was about hard work and perseverance, but honestly, without luck there is nothing. I know of people who have been extremely hard-working but have had bad luck through no fault of their own, so as I have grown older I have realised that life is mostly about good luck and bad luck.

And it was good luck that the visa to Australia turned up first.

Yes, it was hard to come to a country without a penny in the world, without being able to speak English, but Australia has been kind to us. If one is prepared to study and work hard then one can have a wonderful life here. And with a dose of good luck one can celebrate Australia Day with deep gratitude.

So I wish you all a very Happy Australia Day and Thank You for giving us a chance at life once more.

Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city, my foot!

I have resisted expressing my disappointment in “the world’s most liveable city” but today was the catalyst for writing the truth about how I honestly feel about Melbourne.

First of all, let me emphasise that I came to Melbourne full of hope and I have no intention of leaving it, but I am sadly disillusioned about the place.

Let me tell you why. Continue reading

What would Emile Zola write about the attack on the Paris Kosher Supermarket?

During World War II my Auntie Olga who was living in Paris had to change her name to “Simone” and pretend to be Christian instead of Jewish.

Why?

Because she was terrified of the French handing her over to the Nazis. There were many collaborators in France who were not friends of the Jews. These Jews had been loyal Frenchmen and women who discovered that, alas, France was not the country of liberty, equality and fraternity.

This sentiment accounts for the many attacks on French Jews prior to the latest murders yesterday.

The problem lies in the fact that France has been prepared to appease Muslim terrorism until the Charlie Hebdo atrocity. Whether it is out of fear of its 10% Muslim population or whether previously it was only a problem for the Jewish community, it is only when the Media itself was attacked that France began to protest against the monstrous attack perpetrated by three or four of its own Muslims.

Freedom of expression was at stake here and this is one of the treasured values of democracy.

But I am sure that Emile Zola would also ask about the freedom to live in safety without being murdered for being a Jew.

Disregard for the safety of the Jewish population and even anti-Semitism are not new concepts in France. My Auntie Olga learned this tragic fact a long time ago.

I am outraged at the executions by the Muslim terrorists. I weep for the staff at Charlie Hebdo, but I am not surprised. Neither is the long-suffering Jewish community in France.

The four Jews who were assassinated in the Kosher store are most likely to be buried in Israel where I am sure they will receive a kinder welcome.