The new year is a good time for reflections and my reflections this year turn to my ancestry. Because they seem to live in an eternal present, I would be surprised if many Leftists were proud of their ancestors but I am proud of mine -- mainly because I know a fair bit about them.
Most people start taking an interest in their genealogy in their '60s. I started in my early '40s. And because a lot of Australians survive into their '90s, a lot of my older relatives were still there, plugging on -- which meant that they could tell me about their lives and times. And the people they remembered lived long lives too. So living memory was able to take me back a long way -- to my great-great grandmother, who arrived in Australia in the hold of a wooden convict ship in the 1840s and who lived into her '90s.
And from what I heard, my father and his father were typical of the breed: Quiet, hard-working, uncomplaining men who never made a splash but did hard things for the benefit of their families.
My father was a timber contractor ("lumberjack") and his father and grandfather were bullockies. ("teamsters"). As a kid, I watched my father cut down big forest trees with just an axe and a crosscut saw. There were no chainsaws then.
And if you want to know what bullockies were like, Henry Lawson's poem "The Teams" is both graphic and accurate. It is my favourite poem. My grandfather, "Jack", never went to school as he was working a bullock team by the time he was 10. He was however taught at home how to read and write.
My grandfather's team
Jack Ray's father was Frank Ray. His obit in The Cairns Post of 28 February 1910 describes him as the first carrier (bullocky) on the Palmer [river goldfield] up Cooktown way. The was no road to the Palmer in those days so it is an abiding mystery how he got his bullocks up there.
A couple of small, illustrative details: I remember my grandfather, "Jack", well. He got a small splinter of steel in his eye in an accident. He didn't trust doctors so he just squinted for the rest of his life. In his time, distrusting doctors was probably wise. And my father's cousin, old Alex Fletcher, tended to get skin cancers, as I do. But he was a farmer living a long way from town so he just put his hot soldering iron onto the cancers to cure them. I blanch when I think about it. But he had it all thought out and explained to me how he did it. If you admire hardiness, how could you not be proud of such men? Once upon a time men were men and were in no doubt about how to do it.
The Australian pioneers worked hard to wrench a modern and highly civilized society out of a harsh natural environment -- and I am proud that my ancestors were among them. My only sadness is that I am not worthy of them. I am a degenerate compared to them.
An amusing coda: My father was far from dumb but the only way he knew to put bread on the table was by hard manual work. He was born in 1915 and that was how it was for most people in that era. So because I spent so much time reading books and not doing outdoor things, my father thought I would never amount to much. He had a vivid way of putting that which I won't relate. But when he heard how much money I was making from teaching at a major Australian university, he sat bolt upright with surprise and immediately reversed his opinion of his eldest son!
ZOA: President Obama and Amb. Power 'Have Anti-Semitic Hatred For Israel and The Jewish People'
In reaction to the United States not vetoing the United Nations resolution condmening the Israeli "settlements" in East Jerusalem and which describes Israel's actions as a "flagrant violation under international law," the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) criticized President Barack Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power for enabling "the passage of an extraordinary, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel" resolution that is "filled with falsehoods."
The ZOA further said that Obama and Power "have anti-Semitic hatred for Israel and the Jewish people," and called upon Congress to end the $600 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority and to "cut U.S. funding to the U.N."
"We are outraged – but not surprised – that President Barack Hussein Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power enabled the passage of an extraordinary, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel UN Security Counsel resolution this afternoon," said ZOA President Morton A. Klein in a Dec. 23 press release. "Also, the Resolution was filled with falsehoods and distortions."
"Obama and Kerry’s phony claim that they allowed this Resolution because Jews living in Judea/Samaria eastern Jerusalem would prevent a Palestinian State is a canard," said Klein. "The fact is that almost all Jews living in these very small areas are areas that would never be given away or prevent a State."
"The reason there’s no Palestinian State is the Arabs' rejection of a State in 2000, 2001, 2007 in virtually all of Judea/Samaria and parts of Jerusalem," said the ZOA.
Klein continued, "The resolution supports ethnic cleansing of the 750,000 Jewish people from the lawful Jewish homeland in Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem – the site of the Jewish people’s holiest places such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Mount of Olives Cemetery, the Jewish Quarter, for discrimination against Jews living in their Jewish homelands, and demands Israel’s withdrawal to the indefensible 1949 Armistice lines – lines that have absolutely no legal standing and would enable Arab terrorists to lob rockets into and endanger the entire Jewish State."
The resolution also supports and rewards the Palestinian Authority, said Klein, which reportedly supports terrorism against Jews and teaches Palestinian children to hate and to attack Jews.
Given the U.N. resolution against Israel, the ZOA said Congress and President-elect Donald Trump should stop the "$600 million in U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority and to cut U.S. funding to the U.N."
Because Obama and Power enabled the U.N. resolution to pass -- by not stepping in as a Permanent Member and vetoing it -- they clearly "have anti-Semitic hatred for Israel and the Jewish People," said Klein. "ZOA predicted eight years ago that 'Obama will be the worst president for Israel ever.'"
Pushing the Iran nucelar deal, which "paves Iran's way to a nuclear bomb," was not enough for Obama, added Klein. "Obama was not satisfied with giving Iran the means to destroy Israel; Obama's anti-Semitism runs so deep that he also apparently needed to drive one more knife into Israel's back."
Rep. Franks: If Russia Leaked Accurate Info., It 'Merely Did What The Media Should Have Done'
Commenting on allegations that the Russian government hacked into computers used by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta and leaked the contents to the public prior to the Nov. 8 election, House Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said, if this is true, then Russia "merely did what the media should have done" -- reported accurate information to the American people.
On Thursday's MSNBC Live with host Hallie Jackson, Rep. Franks said he was "all for doing what’s necessary to protect the election. But there’s no suggestion that Russia hacked into our voting systems."
"They, if anything, whatever they might have done was to try to use information in a way that might have affected something that they believed was in their best interests," said the congressman.
“If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done,” said Franks.
President Obama sanctioned several Russian intelligence officials on Thursday and expelled 35 of them from the United States. They have to leave by Dec. 31. He also ordered the closing of two Russian compounds in Maryland and New York. He took the action because of the reported computer hacking by Russia and the alleged harassment of U.S. personnel in Russia.
Roseanne Barr Tweets: Obama Pushes Anti-Jewish Laws Just Like The Nazis
Actress, comedian, author, and political activist Roseanne Barr, who is Jewish, strongly criticized President Barack Obama and his decision to not veto the U.N. resolution denouncing Israeli "settlements" in East Jerusalem, tweeting that Obama's actions on the eve of Hanukkah mirrored those of the Nazis.
The United States refused to veto the U.N. resolution on Dec. 23, one day before the start of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.
On Dec. 24, Roseanne Barr tweeted, "Nazis enacted anti jewish laws on the eve of jewish holidays -- exactly as @POTUS has done on eve of Hanukkah. Don't light candles 2night, BHO!" (POTUS stands for President of the United States, and BHO stands for Barack Hussein Obama.)
A few minutes later, Barr tweeted, "Liberal US Jews just helped Obama condemn the Jewish State to worldwide #BDS and Terrorism. If they light Hanukkah candles 2night =
BDS refers to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement which, according to its website, "works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law." (The g inside the two angle brackets
About one minute later, Barr further tweeted, "Today is Shabbat -- so I will say: Every Evil wished upon Israel and the Jewish Ppl is returned to its Source, cancelled and cleared." Shabbat is the Sabbath, Judaism's day of rest, essentially from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday.
Roseanne Barr, known for her left-wing views, was once a very vocal critic of Israel. In recent years, however, she has changed her opinion on Israel and said in February she was considering moving to Israel because she felt a part of the community, the people, the heritage there.
Contrary to some reports, Barr has clarified that she did not endorse Donald Trump for president. She said she would only vote for herself as president and write her own name in on the ballot. Back in August, Barr tweeted, "hillary clinton is surrounded by jew haters who make fun of the holocaust & jewish suffering ...."
From my Twitter feed:
David Wohl: Funny how so many peacenik, no-nukes, save the whales, hypocrite libs suddenly want war with Russia because their candidate lost.
Apafarkas Agmánd: To weed out charlatans in science look for the ones attempting to shut down debate, and declaring science settled.
Maurizio Morabito: Obama's banning Russian diplomats from entering into two diplomatic properties in the US is likely a violation of the Vienna Convention.
Steve Goddard: Any newspaper article which includes the words "say experts" or "experts say" can immediately be written off as "a giant pack of lies."
Augustine 25: The future should not belong to those who slander bacon.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.
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