We've been waiting!
Hopefully, we'll be back after the 19th
The lock-down has continued and continued.
So additions to the 'Keep in Touch' pages continue. But not only should more come from members, but some feedback on the themes would be appreciated. After reading this consider put fingers to keyboard or phone and add something as your contribution.
Yesterday, we had a speech by Robert Menzies. Today a speech which had even more implications for modern Australia by Menzies political foe, John Curtin.
The speech was published in The Herald (Melbourne), 27 December 1941, three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbour. Remembering that Japan had invaded China, Taiwan and Korea years before, it was reasonable that Curtin would have knowledge of its military prowess.
This speech points to the recognition that Britain could no longer defend Australia from external military attack and that the country would now depend on the USA for that protection.
The speech, delivered on 22 May 1942, defines and exalts Australia's middle class, which Menzies termed "the forgotten people". Menzies used the speech to outline the values and constituency that would form the basis of the Liberal Party of Australia. Menzies had previously served as Prime Minister as leader of the United Australia Party from 1939-1941. From 1942 onward, Menzies had maintained his public profile with his series of "Forgotten People" radio talks, similar to Franklin Roosevelt's "fireside chats" of the 1930s, in which he spoke of the middle class as the "backbone of Australia" but as nevertheless having been "taken for granted" by political parties and of being effectively powerless because of lack of wealth on the one hand, and lack of organisation on the other.
While poking around the internet looking for some Australian Snippets to go with those below, I found a reference to the Eureka Oath. Being curious I looked it up with a view to shedding some light for those reading this.
The oath itself is quite simple:
"We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."
while the website where I found it is well worth a look. Look here. It has a lot more history and excellent illustrations.
As an aside from the exploration above I found that any given list of the X number 'best' or 'most famous' typically will have 50% of its content known only to Trump supporters under 25. Finding a non USA character, or one who is old enough to have died requires significant filtering.
As an engineer, I always saw my task as doing something in the most efficient way, so as to minimise the resources used to achieve the required end. The video shows, not an endpoint of this work, but certainly a mind expander as to what can be done to minimise effort in doing any repetative task and hence remove the task from the available jobs listing.
It makes one think about how we should occupy the time of people displaced from conventional employment by this sort of technology.
An elderly man goes into a brothel and tells the madam he would like a young girl for the night. Surprised, she looks at the ancient man and asks how old he is.
He answers wih pride "I'm 90 years old."
"90! she responds, "Don't you realize you've had it?"
"Oh, sorry," he mumbles, "How much do I owe you?"
Adolf Hitler despite all his other bad qualities was clearly one of histories greatest speakers. He had the ability to draw huge crowds who listened to him for long times and were largely influenced by what he said.
It is clearly impossible to visualise any current person making a speech which kept the audience as involved as Hitler did.
There is a web site for Hitler's speeches and I had no intention of looking for the most interesting by reading even a sample, so I chose one with which I could relate to a distinct event - Hitler's trial in 1924.
It was made on Feb 26, 1924 to the court in Munich. The wording may suffer from translation to English and I'm not sure if it is complete. When you add this to 'Mien Kampf' which Hitler wrote while in prison after a later trial, no one could ever accuse him of being dishonest about his violent intentions.
The outcome of this trial showed an enormous sympathy for Hitler's views. His punishment was trivial compared with the acknowledged intentions of his group. There is a decription of this here.
The Magna Carta is famous as a source document of our rights as citizens of a country with an English cultural and legal heritage.
While I was in 'famous speeches' mode learning a bit more about it became an obvious target. Coming from complete ignorance I was surprised at the length of the document.
On June 15, 1215, in a field at Runnymede, King John affixed his seal to Magna Carta. Confronted by 40 rebellious barons, he consented to their demands in order to avert civil war. Just 10 weeks later, Pope Innocent III nullified the agreement, and England plunged into internal war.
Although Magna Carta failed to resolve the conflict between King John and his barons, it was reissued several times after his death.
This meant that there were several versions of it over the years - all written in latin.
Clauses marked (+) are still valid under the charter of 1225, but with a few minor amendments. Clauses marked (*) were omitted in all later reissues of the charter. In the charter itself the clauses are not numbered, and the text reads continuously. The translation sets out to convey the sense rather than the precise wording of the original Latin. Even conveying just the sense the translation uses names of procedures and acts which make no sense in our world.
For the last several weeks our "Keep in Touch" pages have featured music and speeches. Time for a change and I found this on the Internet. To my knowledge only Alan Baker should be upset if he didn't know this!
Who would have thought that General Motors through its Buick brand had the first car infotainment system in the '80s?
Cutting edge tech from Buick? While it is not what most people think of when the Buick name is brought up it has been used to describe some Buick models in the past.
The Buick Riviera was GM’s first car marketed as a personal luxury model and was well received by the automotive world in 1963 but by the 1980s auto manufacturers were changing their lineups closer to the compact category. The sixth-generation of the Riviera marked another first for Buick as the automaker’s introduction to the front-wheel-drive platform. The changes to the car proved to be successful with sales in 1985 ending with over 65,000 Rivieras on the road.
For the seventh-generation, the 1986 Riviera continued its reputation for being Buick’s ground-breaking model with the introduction of the first infotainment system called Graphic Control Center (GCC). It featured a nine-inch touchscreen display that allowed the driver to control everything from the cabin temperature to the radio while also displaying trip and maintenance information.
While this tech was highly praised by the automotive journalists at the time it was not so well received by customers. The GCC was clearly before its time and by the mid-1990s the technology was removed from Buick’s lineup. A move that cost GM the opportunity to further innovate the technology that later became standard in most vehicles on the road today.
I found this information here.
Some people argue that love is blind.
It proves that men are capable of real love
truly seeing a person’s inner beauty
not basing their decisions solely on looks.
Oh, by the way.
The new girl was Athina Onassis.
These two yanks had just gotten divorces and they swore they would never have anything to do with women again. They were best friends and they decided to move up to Alaska as far north as they could go and never look at a woman again. They got up there and went into a trader’s store and told him, "Give us enough supplies to last two men for one year."
The trader got the gear together and on top of each one’s supplies he laid a board with a hole in it with fur around the hole. The guys said, "What’s the boards for?"
The trader said, "Well, where you’re going there are no women and you might need these."
They said "No way! We’ve sworn off women for life!"
The trader said, "Well. Take the boards with you, and if you don’t use them. I’ll refund your money next year." "Okay", they said and left.
Next year one of the yanks came into the trader’s store and said, "Give me enough supplies to last one man for one year."
The trader said, "Weren’t you in here last year with a partner?" "Yeah", said the guy.
"Where is he?" asked the trader.
"I shot him", was the reply.
"I caught him in bed with my board."
A passenger piled his luggage on the scale at an airline counter in New York and said to the ticket agent: "I'm flying to Los Angeles. I want the large bag sent to Denver and the two small ones to Cincinnati."
"I'm sorry sir, but we can't do that," said the ticket agent.
"That's good to hear because that's where they were sent the last time I flew this route."
A couple of days ago we looked at Churchill's "We'll fight . . ." speech. It's just occurred to me that Hitler would have responded in some way. Of course he did and an internet search soon found this:
Hitler of course felt nothing but condescension and anger after the speech Churchill gave in the Commons – for before and just right after the war he had continued to stress ‘the importance of the British Empire’ – the fall of the British Empire, he stressed would only strengthen ‘the Japanese and the United States’ but not Germany. Add this to the fact that the peace offer he had given to Britain seemed very munificent given the beating the British had received in both Norway and France. The deal was simple – he offered a peace deal with Britain, Britain could keep it’s transatlantic empire as long as it gave Germany ‘a free hand in Europe’; there are speculations that Hitler had allowed the evacuation of British forces from Dunkirk to spare Britain the humiliations, but of course they remain mere historical speculations. The ‘we will never surrender’ speech merely aroused anger. Here is Hitler's reply to the speech.
It's probably fair to say that Hitler's main ambition for Germany was to expand to the East. If he could have negotiated a truce with Britain, he would have been free to concentrate his forces against Russia - that might have allowed him to conquer Russia.
With control of Russia it's really hard to believe Hitler would not have sttempted to conquer Britain, and if he could have kept the USA out of it, who knows what the outcome would have been.