Saturday, December 16, 2017

Hell Was in Session.

Before we move to celebrate the birth of the Greatest Child ever to come forth from a womb, intact, we need to clear the decks and hose out some really dark and dank matters. In Oz the TVs and newspapers have been full of the finalisation of the Royal Commission into Child Abuse. It is a huge report from a huge inquiry that has lasted five years or more.  And thousands were affected. But today we heard a little about just one, and not an Australian. 

I speak of my friend Moira. This is a lady I have refered to occasionally. She plays the harp and she sings. Moira is a splendid lady: a Good Woman. Damned lucky too: she survived.

She did not feature in the Royal Commission because she is not in Oz and wasn't abused by the Catholic Church. And let's face it, the whole intent of the Royal Commission, established by that hateful, nasty, feminist harridan of a Prime Minister, JuLiar Gillard, was to 'get' the Catholic Church. Destroy it's reputation. 

Moira was abused nonetheless. 

She was raised by perverts. Nasty people; wicked people; and would you believe it, quite famous and feted people. 

She has written a book about her upbringing.  

You can find it on Amazon...

The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon 
by Moira Greyland (Author),‎ Vox Day (Foreword)

Marion Zimmer Bradley was a bestselling science fiction author, a feminist icon, and was awarded the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement. She was best known for the Arthurian fiction novel THE MISTS OF AVALON and for her very popular Darkover series.

She was also a monster.

You may want to read a review of it before you buy it - and I hope you do both. And we have one at hand.

Into the US Room bar came  a chap I had not had the pleasure of serving an Ale to. His name is Amir Larijani, alias ReconsDad.  He says, of himself: "I’m an American of Kurdish-Iranian descent. While Islam is the religion of my national heritage, I am a Christian. As for my national loyalty, I was born in the United States, and I bleed red, white, and blue. For all her faults, the United States is the greatest country in the world. For a living, I am a systems architect for an outfit in the mid-western United States.

He read the book. He spoke to it for us. I let him tell the customers because he shares a Taverner's respect for bravery, courage, tenacity and strong Character.
The Last Closet: 
Moira Greyland Tells Her Story
In another life, I am very good friends with a retired Marine Corps Colonel who served as a co-van (advisor) in Vietnam; one of my great privileges has been to help him tell his story. He is an advocate for the cause of POWs and veterans with traumatic injuries including PTSD. 
In the course of helping him, I became enamored with the heroism of a select group of POWs: James Stockdale, Jeremiah Denton, Sam Johnson, George Coker, Harry Jenkins, George McKnight, James Mulligan, Howard Rutledge, Robert Shumaker, Ronald Storz, and Nels Tanner.

I am pleased and was pleasantly surprised to hear him refer to Jim Stockdale.  A 'blast from my past'. Jim was a good friend of mine, way back. A fine warrior back in those days (Vice-Admiral). No, I am not name-dropping: neither is Amir.

These POWs resisted the threats, beatings, and other tortures of their captors, and–in some cases–even turned the tables on their captors. (Denton’s and Stockdale’s exploits are the stuff of legend.) They strengthened the morale of other POWs and, as such, represented a special threat to their captors. 
For this reason, they were isolated from everyone else.
They were the Alcatraz Gang.
They didn’t take their abuses lying down; they fought back to the extent that they were able. They would become the standard-bearers for POW conduct: Stockdale would receive the Medal of Honor; Denton and Coker would receive the Navy Cross. Denton and Johnson would even go on to political careers. Denton’s book–When Hell Was In Session–is a classic.
But what does this have to do with Moira Greyland, who–a year older than myself–never saw action in Vietnam?
Moira was every bit the badass as every member of that Alcatraz Gang.
For most of her life, Hell was in session. Her story– The Last Closet– is now in print.
Fair warning: if you have endured and form of ongoing abuse–particularly physical and/or sexual – this book can be triggering, although Moira does a splendid job of providing warnings about very difficult paragraphs.
OK. This is not a book to be given as a Christmas present. But it is worth getting and giving for the new year. 
The daughter of science fiction legend Marion Zimmer Bradley (MZB) and famed numismatic expert Walter Breen (WB), Moira– on the very top of the surface – had a good life. Like her parents, she is very intelligent: a member of Mensa. She has many talents from sewing to singing to fencing and especially the harp.
OTOH, to call her home life horrific would be charitable.
While MZB and WB were very intelligent and accomplished, they were incredibly perverted: WB and MZB were extremely libertine about sex. To them, inhibitions were the result of religious persecution. MZB called marriage “an outdated screwing license.” To WB, homosexuality was the natural state, and heterosexuality was a product of religion. To them, “anything goes” meant “have sex with whomever and however”, including with children.
In WB’s case, especially with young boys.
MZB was abusive both sexually and physically, in many cases using the physical abuse to force her children to provide her with sexual gratification.
To Moira’s credit, she provides about as charitable a presentation of her parents as anyone could. They each were themselves abused sexually and physically; WB was raised by a very abusive Catholic mother, and was bipolar and a paranoid schizophrenic; MZB was herself raped by her father; WB was molested by a Catholic priest.
So he says. It is astonishing just how these perverts will calumnise the Catholic Church. But what does one expect from such a follower of the Prince of Lies.
They each had horrid upbringings that undoubtedly put them behind the 8-ball.
At the same time, Moira, also to her credit, does not excuse their abuses, and in fact lets their record speak for itself: when they were victimized by their parents, that was their parents’ sins. But when WB and MZB chose to abuse their own children–and, sadly, other children–they transcended even the depravity of their parents.
They did this in no small part because each, after enduring their abuses, rejected God. In effect, they said, “God didn’t save us from our parents, so we want no part of that deal.”
Their resultant lives–aside from their professional successes–were a complete descent into the worst of sexual depravity, leaving a trail of damaged lives. Some of their victims, broken from the abuses, would die young from suicide or other forms of self-abuse. Others would fight off various addictions and hangups for years.
Moira struggles with complex PTSD to this day, and probably will for decades to come.
(I am aware of complex PTSD because a family member on MrsLarijani’s side, also a sexual abuse survivor at the hands of her father, described that form of PTSD to me recently, as she has undergone much therapy and has even started her own initiatives to educate people in her profession about PTSD issues. And some of her reactions to certain things are similar to what I know from a friend of mine from my SBTS days who–also abused in such a fashion–experiences the same reactions.)
Here are my takes:
(1) Moira is brutally honest, even about herself. I’ve always contended that, if you’re going to recover from abuses–no matter how terrible they are–you must be willing to face the truth. 
She shows a lot more courage in her honesty than she credits herself. 
That also is probably why, in spite of suffering more than even her parents did, she is a Christian today whereas her parents rejected God altogether.
Moira is not just a 'christian'. She is a Catholic.
She was not perfect in her life; the abuses she endured left her with thin, marginally-existent boundaries. That led her to a level of experimentation in her teen and adult life that could have led to disaster. It also weakened her ability to see which men had her best interests in mind when they pursued her.
Thankfully, she escaped from that with a comparatively moderate level of self-inflicted baggage. I’ve seen people suffer far less than she did and make far worse decisions, and never learn from them.
(2) Moira shows, in stark, stomach-turning detail, the telos of the Sexual Revolution.

Her father, WB, was one of the early movers and shakers in NAMBLA, which promotes “man-boy love”; i.e. pederasty. They were the ones who coined the slogan “sex before eight or it’s too late”. Their view: pederasty is the purest form of love, and will prepare boys for adulthood.
Her mother was herself very “uninhibited”: she was a lesbian, but had many liaisons with men, multiple partners, etc. MZB and WB were polyamorous.
There were no sexual boundaries in her home. Nudity was expected; 
any expression of affinity for heterosexuality was met with hard criticism and derision; 
orgies were common; 
and MZB molested both Moira and Patrick frequently.
Every time Moira brought a boyfriend home, her father would pursue him for sex.
Her parents, obsessed with sex, dehumanized their children. Emotional support was all but nonexistent, with MZB always living on the edge of rage and WB lacking the stones to stand up to her. MZB, rather than being supportive of her daughter and complimenting her on her singing skills, was always hitting her with hard criticism. Moira could never be right about anything. WB, in contrast, was passive and often distant, chiding Moira for being a prude.
Early on, when Moira tried to report WB to police, her complaints fell on deaf ears. It was not until the late 1980s when, with the help of a counselor, she was able to successfully intervene on behalf of a child that WB was molesting.
Moira does a wonderful job articulating the whole problem with the paradigm of “consent”, even among adults, and why, even in libertine arrangements, it isn’t as cut-and-dried as the word connotes.
(3) Moira does a great job articulating the problem with gay “marriage”, and masterfully destroys the notion that sexual orientation is unchangeable. While Moira does not condemn gay people, she does confront the profound level of toxicity and dysfunction that is inherent in that lifestyle. That has rankled many in the sci-fi community who otherwise supported her, but that is her strength: Moira is, if nothing else, a truth teller.
My only criticism of her book: I wish she had shared more detail with respect to the spiritual side of her journey. She does point out that she became a Christian in her teen years, and she does a good job quoting Scripture in context in describing various situations. But other than that, not a whole lot about that side of her life.
In fairness to her, though, it could be that it’s still too early in her recovery–and the wounds are still raw–for her to do an adequate assessment of that.
In this review, I do not refer to Moira by initials or even by last name; I call her by her first name. There is a purpose for that.

One of the things Moira struggles with is the depersonalization that she suffered at the hands of her abusers. 
She was effectively a nobody. 
She wasn’t allowed to have a personality; she wasn’t even allowed to have a sexual identity: her father wanted her to look neither masculine nor feminine; her mother eschewed all semblance of femininity.
I will end this with a note to Moira:
Moira, you have a name. And, given that you are in Christ, you have a gift that no one can take from you.
That is important, as your parents failed you on just about every relevant front, not just sexually. While, through their successes, they were material providers, they failed to provide a stable, loving home life that even mediocre parents provide their children. Even worse, they subjected you to the most dehumanizing of abuses, stealing from you what was never theirs to receive let alone take.
Thankfully, in Christ, you have a reward that will never perish, nor shall any man (or woman) take it from you.
Some may ask why God didn’t stop the abuses. 
Almost every survivor of profound hardship will wrestle with that question. There are various theological answers based on particular schools of thought, most of which don’t rise to the level of useless.
My take: your experiences, Mark’s experiences, and every experience of every one of their victims, will be a witness against them on the day of judgment. There will be a day when they will receive the payback for their atrocities. And as the saying goes about payback, it is, in fact, a Biblical truth.
On the upside: your perseverance will also be a witness on the day of judgment. Jesus Himself said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give to them eternal life. Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
Your parents, having suffered a great deal in their childhoods, rejected God on account of what was taken from them. Their thinking was, in spite of their God-given intelligence, short-sighted and temporal. The results were tragic.
Your parents took a lot of things from you, including most of what was your earthly identity. You are recovering that, even if–at times–the progress comes in inches rather than miles, and takes years where you are used to accomplishing things in hours and minutes.
Having said that, the identity that matters most–the fact that Jesus has your name written on his hands–no one can take that away.
You were raised by two of Satan’s most devoted worker bees. 
Their abuses went far beyond sexual, although those alone were worse than horrid enough in their own right. They did everything they could to indoctrinate you in a secular paradigm that would gross out most hedonists. They tortured you like the Communists tortured American POWs in Vietnam.
But, by the grace of God, you fought back against your captors in a way that would have made James Bond Stockdale and Jeremiah Denton proud.
I know you don’t always feel like you acted with courage. But you did. In spades.
Hell was in session, and the gates of Hell lost.
You have fought valiantly, and have prevailed. There are still battles to fight, and there will always be times when those demons rear their ugly heads. But you will prevail, not because of great works you have done, but because you received Him who does great works.
Keep fighting the good fight!
Many a pint was shouted for Amir this day, I can tell you.

And many a glass raised to the courage and fortitude of the Good Woman, Moira Greyland (now with 'Peat' added), who took on the devil's disciples and won. 

I am pleased she considers me her friend too.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas Presents Time Again.

It is all too often left to the last minute. Just what can you give a chap or chapess who has far more than you do? My Christmas list always start with the three things I am not likely to ever get unless by some miracle.....So I shall pass over #2 and 3: the ten million bucks and the sporty aeroplane again. I still hold out hope for the first.

I was out and over the hedge today scouring the consumer palaces in the sinful city, the teeming metropolis, and was fortunate to acquire some quite nice things for those I am close to. I have to keep those secret though.

Meanwhile, as usual this time of the year,  Tavern customers have suggested some stocking fillers and perhaps some pleasant surprises for waking up to on Christmas morning (that did not include Rose from Dr Who).

So, let us see what they have come up with. The travellers amongst them seemed to like this one.


Fancy yourself as a bit of a globe trotter? Heading towards the Ten Million Miles Club like George Clooney? Then don’t waste time showing off by sticking pins in world maps - get yourself a My Travel Scratch Map!

Brilliant in its simplicity, this smart wall map depicts the world in all its jiggidy, jaggedy continent covered glory. So far, so what? Well here’s the clever bit: the land masses are covered in foil that can be scratched off to reveal the countries you’ve visited. Let’s see…New Zealand, Hong Kong, France…and oh yes, Timbuktu, erm somewhere...

Don’t worry if you’re not exactly Phileas Fogg in the travel stakes. The thought of scratching off new destinations serves as a great incentive to pack your suitcase. Failing that, lie. Just make sure you’ve got a good story if you scratch off Antarctica. Happy trails!

Not that many Oz folk go to colder climes for Christmas when there is a BBQ on the beach to be had. And what does a BBQ need?


It's called the Custom BBQ Branding Iron because you can customise what you brand onto your steak!

That's right, folks! The 52 interchangeable letters means you can change what you brand onto your meat. Will you brand each steak with the owner's name? What about branding a cheeky message onto your friend's steak? 

It's so easy to use. Simply:
Choose the letters for the message you'd like to brand
Slide the letters into the Branding Iron
Heat the Iron
Press Iron down onto the steak
Hold for 10 - 15 seconds
Voila! Branded Steak!

A great way to keep track of which steak is for whom, so you never give the 'Rare' to Mr. Well Done ever again! A practical novelty BBQ gift for backyard BBQ Kings and Queens.

And Knights and Tavern Keepers of course, I shall have on mine........
The Knight & Drummer Tavern.

A problem always arises though around BBQs. Flies. So.....


When the mercury starts warming up, do you find yourself with the swatter out instead of a nice cold drink? Flies are annoying, gross and for some, a challenge. Get your game face on and go into this fight with a real fly weapon. This Fly Assassin Gun Swatter is fast, fun and guaranteed to get you results.

Get rid of that annoying buzz
Fun, fast and effective
Great for the office

Safety string so the dart doesn’t fly far.

Mind you how are we to know if the day will be right for a BBQ? We need some sort of weather predictor.


The storm glass was developed by Admiral Robert Fitzroy and used on his historic voyage with Charles Darwin on the HMS Beagle.

Darwin actually stepped ashore not 500 metres from my cave. 
Not many people know that.

The unique liquid inside the sealed tear drop responds to changes in the weather, allowing the observer to forecast the possibility of storms, snow, wind, rain or clear skies. Although modern meteorology is far more accurate, these elegant glasses still hold aesthetic appeal.

Fitzroy spent years carefully documenting how the specific mixture inside the storm glass would respond to changes in the the weather:
If the liquid in the glass is clear, the weather will be bright and clear.
If the liquid is cloudy, the weather will be cloudy as well, perhaps with precipitation.
If there are small dots in the liquid, humid or foggy weather can be expected.
A cloudy glass with small stars indicates thunderstorms.
If the liquid contains small stars on sunny winter days, then snow is coming.
If there are large flakes throughout the liquid, it will be overcast in temperate seasons or snowy in the winter.
If there are crystals at the bottom, this indicates frost.
If there are threads near the top, it will be windy.
This Tear Drop Storm Glass comes with an elegant stand, making it a wonderful gift and a conversational room ornament.

Great gift for science geeks
Predict the weather by observing the changes in the size and shape of the liquid crystals
Stylish and beautifully designed
Comes with elegant stand & beautifully gift boxed
Dimensions: 24 cms tall including stand
Material: Glass

What do people drink at a BBQ, when the beer is all gone? The 'correct' Oz chap with some class will take that timeless beverage - Tea.


Is your teatime a little dull? Don't you wish you could be sipping tea aboard the Tardis? We do... but we'll add that we hope that it's not choppy on the time-stream because we don't want to scald ourselves. Nothing's worse than the combination of hot tea and astral turbulence.

You may need to get ahold of one of these toot sweet maties as changes are afoot: the next Doc is to be a woman !! She may well want a new paint job - Pink !! -  and a blue Tardis may be a collector's item.

For the Earth beverage known as tea
Lid helps keep the heat in so you don't have to reheat between cups
Drink up and escape to a different time
Great gift for Doctor Who fans

Proper Taverners though will want some of the Good Stuff and I recommend coasters under your glass. Here are some splendidly blokey ones. I am ordering twenty dozen m'self.


Wooden pallets are the trendy, new age life accessory that recyclers, trendsetters and everyone in-between can’t get enough of. Creating a classy, minimalistic edge in any environment, wooden pallets have been turned into all manner of household furniture from coffee tables to deck chairs. However, if your house is already crammed full and you really don’t have any room for this hip and happening d├ęcor display, then these coasters are the perfect solution. 

Made to resemble their full size big brothers, these mini pallets are prefect for hot and cold beverages alike. So get your hipster on, spread the pallet appreciation and add a trace of industrial chic to your home.

A set of four mini pallets for hot and cold drinks
Industrial chic, perfect for any living space
Stay trendy and acknowledge your inner hipster

And when your eyes get a tad bleary, you may need these....


Have you ever had a close look at a five dollar bill? A REALLY close look? What about the wing of a butterfly? Or even the back of your hand? Turn your world upside down with this pocket-sized miraculous microscope. Explore invisible worlds you’ve never experienced and reveal hidden details full of beauty, weirdness and wonder.

The MiMicro magnifies objects by 60x their original size. When turned on, a soft light illuminates your subjects and the focus wheel helps you find maximum details. There is even a built in black light; bank notes and even some bird feathers become magical patterns of light when viewed under this UV light. Included is a handy LED torch available for times of need as well as a soft pouch for storing. Children and grownups of all ages will never tire of exploring these unseen worlds. So prepare to have your mind blown with wonder as you start your adventure into the unseen.

Illuminates and magnifies objects to 60x their size
Pocket size and super powerful
White and UV illuminating lights will brighten up any subject

Nothing can escape your super stare!

There, those should keep you entertained. But for the really lonely chap over in the corner, all on his tod, a girlfriend might be appreciated. Someone give him one of these.


Looking for the girl of your dreams? Psst, want a girlfriend without the pesky dating, silly questions, nagging, jewelry and - gasp - mother-in-laws? With Grow A Girlfriend novelty toy, all you have to do is add water!

Perfect gag gift for a mate
Grow the perfect girl within 72 hours
Yes, she will not nag!


1. Put your girlfriend in a jar or container full of clean water at room temperature to watch it start growing
2. Note that the water temperature should be between 59-95 °F or 15-35°C
3. Do not expect instant results as it takes up to 72 hours to fully expand
4. Take it out of the water to watch it shrink back to its original size.

You can find these and more, with some prices too at....

But don't tell'em I sent you.

Of course, YOU might have some other gift ideas.

Tell us.

My own choices may differ from yours but some of the things I see at a friend's place could fit someone's bill. Take a look...

Drink Up.

Choose wisely.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lay in a Course, Mr Chekov.

Had I not been a Knight, what could I have been? We make choices that set the course of our lives and this choice denies us that other one. I couldabeen a human factors scientist in my middle years.  I came to Oz with that intent: to work on aircraft design. But as touched upon in the last discussion in this place of Ales and tales, the aircraft bizzo was packing up.

But science, aviation, cosmology, exploration, adventure, machines that fly are all deep in my soul and remain in abeyance. I am relegated in my sunset years to observing rather than doing.

I spent many a year telling pilots where to go. Yea, even unto correcting Navigators who needed a fix. But that was with my feet on the ground and my backside in a swivelling chair.  I could see a very long way. Not so much now, but....  as now, I could not see as far as some.

I saw this chap coming though, and had a pint waiting for him.

A facinating chap - although he looked anying but -  dropped in to tickle my fancies and entertain with a superbly informative and so very well delivered talk in the bars. 

I am busy right now wiping tables (someone has to do it) so I shall let Mr Paul Shillito take it from here and expand your minds.

If you like maths and science and space, be like the crew of the Enterprise and thoroughly enjoy.

Pull your own ales. I am out there somewhere.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Pique Warplanes - the Arrow on the Way Back ?

In a fit of pique Canada's PM, Justine Trudeau, recently gave America's newest military money pit the seal of approval.  He decided against buying the F-35 - which some customers were talking about in the Tavern recently - so it must be better than some think. In his seemingly usual Prime Ministerial style of operating at full pique of which even conservative Canadians are tiring, he had a spat with America over the deal. Which leaves the question open as to what will Canada have in the near and further future to defend its borders.

Perhaps he can get something from the nations - mostly Muslim - he seems hell bent on replacing  white Canadians with. Whoops, no. They haven't made anything since the chariot (plans borrowed from Greece).

To 'stop-gap' the strategic needs, Canada is planning to buy old Hornets ( F18s) from Oz.  

Hah! Can you believe it.  

Oz, of course, like Muslim nations, does not build any hi-tech aviation gizmos, not since the 'black box'. 

But it does seem to have relighted the pride and frustrations of Canadian airplane affectionados who are taking a new look at the Arrow. The CF105. Actually the Mk 3, 5th Gen Arrow, as the original has not seen the air since 1959.

The fifties. What a great decade that was for military aviation. And what a period for pique.

The Arrow went the way of its UK stable-mate, the TSR2 and for much the same reasons mulled over by 'experts' and some which few like to talk about.  Both aircraft were very advanced.  Both were well ahead of anything else.  Both were 'not American'. 

Both were killed by Pique Politicians, perhaps with a push here or there from America. Maybe even from elsewhere. (Nod and a wink. Say n'more guv).

The British Aircraft Corporation TSR-2 was a cancelled Cold War strike and reconnaissance aircraft developed by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in the late 1950s and early 1960s. 

The TSR-2 was designed to penetrate a well-defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, and then attack high-value targets in the rear with nuclear or conventional weapons. 

Another intended combat role was to provide high-altitude, high-speed stand-off, side-looking radar and photographic imagery and signals intelligence, aerial reconnaissance. Some of the most advanced aviation technology of the period was incorporated in order to make it the highest-performing aircraft in the world in its projected missions.

The TSR-2 was the victim of ever-rising costs and inter-service squabbling over Britain's future defence needs, which led to the controversial decision to scrap the programme in 1965. With the election of a new government, the TSR-2 was cancelled due to rising costs, in favour of purchasing an adapted version of the General Dynamics F-111, a decision that itself was later rescinded as costs and development times increased.

The replacements included the Blackburn Buccaneer (a Great warplane) and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, both of which had previously been considered and rejected early in the TSR-2 procurement process. Eventually, the smaller swing-wing Panavia Tornado was developed and adopted by a European consortium to fulfil broadly similar requirements to the TSR-2. But that was decades later.

Across the pond in Canada a similar debacle had occured. The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow, often known simply as the Avro Arrow, was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft designed and built by Avro Canada. The Arrow is considered to have been an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry. 
The CF-105 (Mark 2) held the promise of near-Mach 2 speeds at altitudes of 50,000 feet (15,000 m) and was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond.

Canada tried to sell the Arrow to the U.S. and Britain, but no agreements were concluded. The aircraft industry in both countries was considered a national interest and the purchase of foreign designs was rare.

The Arrow was the culmination of a series of design studies begun in 1953 examining improved versions of the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck. After considerable study, the RCAF selected a dramatically more powerful design, and serious development began in March 1955. The aircraft was intended to be built directly from the production line, skipping the traditional hand-built prototype phase. The first Arrow Mk. I, RL-201, was rolled out to the public on 4 October 1957, the same day as the launch of Sputnik I.

So where is the Arrow now? Like the TSR 2 the first 
planes and plans and jigs were wantonly and deliberately destroyed, 
leading many to suspect collusion between America and Russia against 'other' nations making planes and making it easier for one another to focus attention on what each had.

Now the Arrow is back in contention. David Ljunggren tells of the new deal first.
Canada scraps Boeing fighter jet deal, will buy used Australian F-18s instead

Canada is scrapping a plan to buy 18 Boeing Co Super Hornet fighter jets amid a deepening dispute with the U.S. aerospace company, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Instead, the Liberal government will announce next week it intends to acquire a used fleet of older Australia F-18 jets, the same kind of plane Canada currently operates, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The move underlines Ottawa’s anger at a decision by Boeing to launch a trade challenge against Canadian planemaker Bombardier Inc, which the U.S. giant accuses of dumping airliners on the domestic American market.
Piquie Trudeau has borrowed heavily to prop up Bombardier - which I hasten to add is a fine manufacturer. One wonders what role it will play in 'next gen'. 
It also casts into question the future of Boeing‘s military sales in Canada. Boeing says its commercial and defense operations in Canada support more than 17,000 Canadian jobs.

Canada and Mexico are currently locked into increasingly acrimonious negotiations with the United States over the NAFTA trade pact, which President Donald Trump says has not done enough to protect U.S. jobs.

The Liberal Party of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau initially said in late 2016 it wanted the Boeing jets as a stopgap measure until it could launch a competition for a permanent fleet to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 jets.

But as relations with Boeing deteriorated, Ottawa slammed the firm for not acting as a trusted partner and began looking at the Australian jets.

Two of the sources said Australian military officials had been in Ottawa late last month for talks.
One source said that by buying the Australian fleet, Canada would save money as well as avoid the need to train its pilots on a new aircraft or spend money on a new supply chain.
Officials had previously said that if the purchase went ahead, some of the Australian aircraft would be used for spare parts.
The offices of Public Works Minister Carla Qualtrough and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who share responsibility for military procurement, both declined to comment.
Boeing declined to comment. The Australian mission in Ottawa was not immediately available for comment.
Canada is due to officially announce the requirements for its new fighter fleet in early 2019, kicking off an open competition.
One potential contender is Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter, which Trudeau initially said he would not buy because it was too expensive. The government has since softened its line, saying the plane would be allowed to compete.

Another is the Arrow. 

Elton Hobson downed a pint and stepped up.
55 years later, biggest question surrounding Avro Arrow remains “what if?”
Fifty-five years ago today, on March 25, 1958, the infamous Avro Arrow made its very first test flight.
The plane was the crown jewel of Canadian aircraft manufacturer A.V. Roe Canada, better known as Avro, then the third-largest company in Canada. The hypersonic fighter was on the cutting edge of aerospace technology at the time: it could reach a speed nearly three times the speed of sound, travelling at an altitude of 60,000 feet.

The first flight of the Arrow should have been a crowning moment for the Canadian aerospace industry. Yet the plane was scrapped by the federal government just a few months later, in a decision that remains controversial to this day.
For many Canadians, the Avro Arrow has come to symbolize both the potential, and the unfulfilled promise, of Canadian innovation.
“The Arrow represents a period when Canada stood up on its own and did its own thing,” 
Paul Squires, a historian with the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association, told Global News. “In many ways, it’s become a symbol of the country.”
“At the time, we were in the top three of the largest producers of aeronautical parts in the world. But the cancellation of the Arrow absolutely devastated the Canadian aerospace industry.”
So why was the Avro Arrow cancelled by the Canadian government in 1959?
“The official reason given by the Diefenbaker government [at that time] was that the Arrow was too expensive, and it was no longer worth the money,” Cohen said. “Avro as a company was going through millions of taxpayer dollars.”
“The government had an agenda to destroy it. 
They wanted the money for other things, so they came up with all kinds of reasons why they didn’t need it,” Squires said.
The reasons for the cancellation of the Arrow were a mix of politics, timing, and bad luck. The CF-105 (as the Arrow was officially known) was originally designed as a long-range interceptor, meant to meet and destroy Soviet bombers.
But on October 4, 1957 – the same day as the first Avro Arrow rolled off the production line – the Soviets launched the satellite Sputnik, becoming the first nation to put a man-made object into orbit.
And just like that, everything changed.
“It really was a case of the worst timing,” Squires said. “The same day as Avro rolls out their aircraft, you had millions of people around the world looking up at the stars, trying to look for Sputnik.”
That development changed the focus for militaries on both sides of the Cold War, away from conventional bombers and towards atmospheric weapons like intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Such might well be an official statement, but what is the reality? The F-111. The B-52. Hello? 
Then there was the often-contentious relationship between conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, and Avro Canada president Crawford Gordon, Jr.
“Diefenbaker didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, he was a complete teetotaler,” Squires said.  “And in walks Crawford Gordon with his hip flask, a cigarette in his hand, pounding on Diefenbaker’s desk. They were complete polar opposites.”
There was also the changing politics surrounding the creation of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. One of the specifics of this deal was the purchase by the U.S. Air Force of the new Avro Arrow fighter.

“When we were negotiating NORAD under the St. Laurent government, the U.S. would send a note, and the government would haggle over specifics and send one back,” Squires explained. “Well Mr. St. Laurent lost [the 1957 election], Mr. Diefenbaker came in, and the newest U.S. paper now says they no longer wish to purchase the Arrow.”
“Diefenbaker just looked at it, said ‘looks good’ and signed it. Even Americans were shocked, because they expected some pushback.”
The cancellation of the CF-105 Arrow was a deathblow for Avro. It was also a serious setback for the Canadian aerospace industry as a whole.
“Fifteen thousand people lost their jobs at Avro [as a result of the Arrow’s cancellation], but many more people outside of the company lost their jobs too,” Cohen said. “People in the supply chain, parts manufacturers, the support network. Within six months, thousands more were out of work.”
What might have been.
To many Canadian aerospace experts, the real loss in the cancellation of the Avro Arrow wasn’t just in the plane itself, but the possibilities for what Avro may have done in the future.
For instance, SPAR Aerospace, the company which designed the CanadaArm, was originally the Special Projects and Research branch (hence the acronym “SPAR”) of Avro Canada.
“Avro had a top secret design department with the brightest and most innovative thinkers. Total out-of-the-box thinking,” Cohen said.
Some of the special projects at Avro were right out of science fiction. Others were years ahead of their time. The company had plans for a lunar rover, a flying saucer, and even a hovering truck.

Cohen notes other plans, such as a monorail system for Toronto from Union Station to what is now Lester B. Pearson airport, cameras that could capture and airplane travelling 1,300 mph and technology that could capture a rocket blast.
For Squires, the connection to Avro Canada is particularly personal – his father helped worked on the Avro jetliner, the C102.
“It broke four different records during first flight to New York,” Squires said. “If they had built the jetliner, they would have jumped 10 years ahead on commercial aircraft, and it would have given Avro another leg to stand on.”
Today, the legacy of the Avro Arrow is one of both pride and frustration for most Canadians.
I am in Oz where we do not have an aviation manufacturing industry at all. Sweden produces fine fighters with just 6 million people. Our four times as many population gave up after the black box.


At least Canadians have a dream.

Perhaps The Kanucks and Oz could put their heads together and come up with a joint effort. Eh?

Hey, just dreaming too.

Drink up.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

God in Secular Oz (Pt #2)

'Conversation' is one of those long understood terms now captured by the Left wreckers, the chosen method of whom is to riot in the street or harass bakers and florists with all the forces of 'discrimination' Law.  The homosexuals are showing us just how to do it in the 'new, progressive' manner. 

The promised protections for Christian folk - you know, the ones who built this nation - have melted away: each and every one suggested, rejected by the politicians who promised them. 

They had a 'conversation' amongst themselves  in Parliament, after the 'public vote', in the Q & A manner with the podiums stacked with liars and decievers. We can see that they do not believe in God and prefer the Prince of Lies instead.

Earlier we were treated to a short run through of the very basis of western civilisation when Greg Sheridan took up far too much drinking time. But now we can turn to the issue of how we are to respond, as Christians, to the increasingly intolerant thuggishness and deliberate provocations of the secular left in Oz. And their running hare du jour, the gays. 
Pillock. Presides over Abortion too.

Personally I do not think the homosexual lobby has really thought through what they are being pushed along to do, and neither do our politicians see the ramifications of their duplicity.

But to hell with them as they howl outside the Tavern's borders, when we have our own responses to consider. It is fortunate that I am in my elder years. As a far younger man I would have my sword in hand and be on the other side of the hedge doing a bit of trimming.

Stephen McAlpine has a more measured and thoughtful, not to say less hot-headed approach and he took his turn on the table:
Is it Really the Christian Way? 
Yes, Actually, it is.

That’s the question asked, no doubt, honestly and with great depth of meaning by a young gay relief teacher, Craig Campbell on the ABC last night. Mr Campbell is no longer on the relief list of a Perth faith based school after he revealed he was in a gay relationship.
In the wake of the same sex marriage vote in Australia it’s no surprise that suddenly the next question being asked is whether the old way of looking at marriage in Australia is allowed to co-exist.  
More to the point, can faith based Christian schools be allowed to discriminate in this area when choosing staff.  That’s the pointy matter.

Mr Campbell, first came to prominence in the local newspaper, before the national broadcaster, the ABC, ran a story on the matter last night.  You can read the story here, or watch the story here.

It’s worth pointing out that Mr Campbell was a relief teacher, and not on full time staff.  However the question is fairly moot, because the bigger issue is whether faith based schools will be allowed to receive government funding should they not sign up to anti-discrimination legislation in areas of sexuality for staff.
Don't you just love this? Government funding? What that means is children in school getting the dollar benefit of their parent's taxes, just as non-faith-based schools do. Except those schools get their full whack while faith-based ones do not. 
There are myriad issues surrounding this, but the key matter I want to address is the question that Mr Campbell raises, and that was the headline in the written article; “Is it really the Christian way?”
Both of these  lying scum claim to be Catholic.
They should be excommunicated.
Here’s the context in which Mr Campbell asks that question:

"I recognise there is a need for religious freedom but does it come at the expense of some of the most vulnerable in our society? Is that really the Christian way to act? I don’t think so."

In asking what is the Christian way to act, you have to ask what was and has been the Christian way to act down the two millennia since the followers of Jesus took foothold in the Roman Empire.
And the answer is this:  Christians were known first and foremost in a brutal empire to look after the most vulnerable in society.  They were defined by it.
But here’s what else they were defined by.  The Christian way to act when it came to sexuality was to hold to the gold standard of the Old Testament, and this was reaffirmed by both Jesus, Paul and the other apostles.  The early Christians did sex completely differently to the empire.  They were known for it.  That was the Christian way to act.

What is striking about the current debate is how the nature of who the most vulnerable in our society are. Up until recently the most vulnerable were constantly viewed as the poor, those who were trodden down by the rough economic forces of our rapacious culture.

That’s no longer the case.  
Christianity runs all but one or two of the biggest charities in Australia, precisely because the government has outsourced care for the poor, and has ramped up middle class welfare at the same time for those who think they are doing it tough but are not.

But secondly, since sexual ethics according to the Old Testament, Jesus, Paul and the apostles was, has been and will continue to be, the Christian way, then the culture and the church is headed for a showdown on this.

Mr Campbell articulates the tension perfectly in his question because he recognises the need for religious freedom also. 
  He’s going to be disappointed if he thinks that both will be able to live side by side. 
Let’s be frank, these two matters will be unable to co-exist.  One will have to yield.
And I find it ironic that progressive organisations such as the ABC, who seem to have little understanding of faith communities at any level, are confident enough to challenge Christians about what the Christian way actually is.

WA’s LGBTI Advocacy Group, Maxine Drake made it clear on the ABC report that things have to change.

The group is pushing for the state’s Equal Opportunity Act to no longer provide an exemption that allows faith-based schools to dismiss staff if their beliefs are at odds with the teachings of the school

To which I would say, it’s not simply beliefs, it’s actions, as Christianity is a corporeal religion.  We believe that God came to us in a body, lived among us in a body, died in a body, was raised in a body.  Therefore we are called to glorify God with our bodies.  
And the Christian way of doing that in terms of sex is heterosexual, covenantal marriage.  
Everything else does not glorify God, and even sometimes that is done in a non-God-glorifying manner.

So a school’s teachings have to be changed to accommodate those who do not hold to them, nor practice those beliefs.

Unlike say, a trade union or The Greens for example? But I digress.

According to Ms Drake:
"That exemption is now out of date and out of step with community feeling. This is no longer a political issue. This is a human rights issue."
Again. What is this 'community feeling' she talks about? The 2% at most homosexuals? What of any larger 'community feeling'?  Heck, Mulsims comprise 2% too. 
The very human rights that the Christian gospel gave to the Western world are going to be torn off and used to beat Christian orthopraxy over the head with.  This is a critical time.

I think schools will eventually lose their funding over this.  Not that we should take this lying down. But in the end the terms of reference have been framed, and not by us.  Ms Drake’s view is generally the culture’s view, this is a human right issue.  
It certainly is, but in our sexular culture sexual rights trump all others.  
Hmmmm. Do they? I wonder if Muslim caterer will have to serve bacon at a gay wedding reception, or  muslim bakers provide cakes with a firmly Homosexual topping.  I cannot see Parliament ordering that, can you? But someone should try it and see. Put these trumped-up Tribunals to the test. A hot iron to their feet.

Will a homosexual baker, asked to provide a wedding cake with a legend along the lines... "Only Holy Matrimony will do",  or " Married for Real, not the fake SSM Way" agree to provide it? It should be tried out. 

Provocation can work both ways.   
I believe that at some stage faith based schools that are funded by the government will have to line up or lose their funding.
Selling the schools to the State will reap a huge windfall for the Christian Churches in Oz and saddle the Gummunt with a far higher per-capita cost for pupils, currently subsidised by parents. 
Whatever the outcome, we should behave with dignity, love, compassion and moral clarity.  It may not give us the outcome we desire, but that was, after all, the way of Jesus and therefore is the Christian way.
The way of Jesus was to overturn the tables and take a knotted rope to merchant's backsides.  In 'modern' 'progressive' terms it means, to me, turning the tables on the homosexuals and their political bum-boys. 

Yes, by all means be compassionate: but not gullible. Have moral clarity and take it to the Powers that Be. They have feet of wet clay.

Excommunicate any Catholic MP who voted for SSM and voted against religious freedom protections.

Just look at the hospitals built by and run by the churches.  The Oz medical infrastructure depends upon them. Sell them and take the money. Make the State and its God-forsaking taxpayers foot the bill. Turn hospital and school buildings into homeless shelters.

Use the billions raised by the sale of schools and hospitals to harrass, sue, drive into the pit, all the vipers that have crawled out in the past few decades. Fund the lawsuits against homosexuals who villify and insult. Use their laws about 'hurt feelings'. 

Enough with the trendy progressive churchy mob. They have encouraged the rise of scum. Get rid of them too, all the lesbian 'decons' and 'priests' and 'pastors': all the homosexual priests. Throw them out.

Put them to the metaphorical sword.

It will be a battle, long and hard and fit for a Christian and may even bring some new Knights on line. 

Then, when we have driven the scum from the Temple we might have some .....