Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quick rant: "Mt Grandpappy didn't fight wars and restore classic aircraft so you ingrates could..."

I'll try and keep this brief. Yep, I chose the wrong time to leave Adelaide. The onset of the gorgeously agreeable yellow-tram-purchasing Mike Rann, rampant speed camera abuse, the commodities boom, and world famous wannabe terrorist David Hicks.

The Premier of SA and his speech writer. (Seriously).

Yep, I can proudly tell the Vics, sure, I know where Hicksy lives. Sharon used to work there. Huge place up on Grand Junction Road. Just around the corner is the original landing site of the Vickers Vimy, after it's historic Atlantic crossing flight in 1919. The aircraft was restored in 1954 by my grand-pappy Wing Commander Jim Gooch and is currently hiding in a hangar at the old Adelaide Airport terminal. He got no credit for the restoration, of course, even though he had to singlehandedly source the individual bits of the aircraft from all over Australia. Apparently he found the prop hanging over the mess hall doorway at Point Cook RAAF base, which is just down the road from where I'm working now.

I say Ross ole' chap, we make a historically significant landing here and they go and build a ruddy gaol round the corner! Poor form what??

But I digress. Hicksy was big news when he finally was freed from the oppression of the evil Dubya at Gitmo and returned to his rightful home and family, who clearly gave him such a loving, stable upbringing. After all, he was just a small town kid who made a few mistakes, hung with the wrong crowd. That's no reason to put him in a concentration camp, hang him upside down for days on end, electrocute him via the testicles and make sexual jibes about his mother for SIX WHOLE years.

I was also a small town kid who made a few mistakes and hung with the wrong crowd so I totally dig where he's at. I too actively sought out training with the hideous terrorist organisation Al-Qaida, underwent training in heavy arms and explosives for 8 months whilst writing to my family that I welcome death in the glorious name of Allah and desire the death of all non-believers from...

...wait a sec, no I didn't.

Now at the risk of sounding way too pragmatic instead of emotional, angry, I-hate-John-Howard-and-Dubya-and-if-I-ever-do-anything-bad
-it's-all-their-fault-because-they-made-me-angry type, here's the facts on Hicks: Terrorists, especially the Islamic kind (which seem to be most of them these days...boy I bet there's a lot of Northern Irish who are thrilled about that) practice a certain brand of deadly attacks on civilians which earns them the title of "unlawful combatants". This concept hearkens back to the days of the Nuremburg trials where, although some German soldiers did kill people lawfully (!) in battle, it was their genocidal habits towards around 6 million Jews and other demographic groups which landed them in hot water.

Oh, by the way, some of Hicksy's jihadist dear-mum letters were venomously anti-Semitic.

Yes I know the concept of "lawful war" is a bit detestable, but we live in a fallen world. What are you gonna do. Anyhoo, the unlawful combatants earn themselves different treatment to that afforded to prisoners-of-war, and do not necessarily earn civil criminal treatment either.

Now normally you'd accept these harmless (sic) hanky-headed jihadis running around in the Afghani desert doing commando crawls in khakis screaming about killing infidels are just full of hot air. In fact it actually looks like a lot of fun through the fuzzy resolution. Likewise, Hicksy never actually killed anybody although he did boast about firing on the Indian army in Kashmir. He was just a small town kid who blah blah bla....

Problem is, these jihadis are more than hot air. The same ideals to which Hicks proudly spruiked have perpetuated 10,200 deadly attacks on civilians in the last 7 years, and countless others prior. A long list of Islamic terror attacks beyond the scope of this blog. Islamic media littered with vile, Jew-hating and West-hating rhetoric. Killing almost daily in Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Jordan, "Palestine", Lebanon, Syria, India, slightly less killing in Israel (for some reason Jews have learned how to defend themselves) and...well, you get the idea.

Yet our mass media and entertainment industry are bent on convincing us that Hicksy and his ilk are the victims. Just what we need. Tell the murderers with their hate-filled ideology, which they practice to the letter, that they are the true victims. Talk about empowerment.

Admittedly, it's not hard to make them look like poor abused puppy dogs. After all, as bloodthirsty as these terrorist savages are (with unarmed civilians) I have it on the best advice that when they are confronted with a real soldier, they run screaming like little girls.

Now I'm not suggesting it's okay for some GI's at Gitmo to take nudey pictures of a poor terrorist or point him in the wrong direction for Mecca at prayer time and have a giggle about it. And yes there are shortcomings in the way the Government dealt with this Australian citizen (presuming he still deserves that title).

But I do wish, just sometimes, the cultural elite of our media would show the same outrage for entire villages of raped, murdered and enslaved Sudanese women or their headless husbands, or the mutilation and killing of Pakistani Christian children, or the gleeful joy with which "Palestinian" children declare their desire to kill the Jewish "swine", or the massacre of Phillipinos and Indonesian Christians, or the...well, you get the idea. It's not as if there isn't enough of this going on. And it's not all unrelated. And apparently it was even going on before Dubya was callously invading those peace-loving, human-rights havens like Iraq.

After all, wasn't he just a small town kid who....

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bright, sun-shiny day

On the weekend of Nov 24-25 I drove to Sydney, raced at Oran Park, then drove home. You can read about that here . Not satisfied with completely over-doing it for an entire month, I thought I'd squeeze in another activity, at least this time, for kid(s). Well, in this case, Sammy at least. The plan was to get up early-ish, drive to Queenscliff, take the leisurely ferry-ride to Sorrento, then drive calmly to Phillip Island for the V8 Stuporcars, since Sammy has become as tragically addicted to car racing as I was when around 12. Sad, that.

Seriously, I actually do think it's sad. The only reason I haven't taken him to a race yet is because I'm kinda over standing on the side of a hill with yobbos who actually think the cars racing are the same as the car they drove to the track .

But no, this time would be different. After all, the previous weekend my van to Sydney contained not only my race kart, but one belonging to the team manager for established V8 Supercar driver Jason Bright. Hence, he owed me a favour. So we would get the full garage tour etc.

How cool. When I was a little motorsport-junkie-tacker, the first touring car race I saw was as a guest of our local Holden Dealer. Things were a little more casual then but still, to be shown through Brocky's car and meet the man himself was pretty special. So, I suppose I have always tried to avoid joining the masses when attending these events. Why force the same unrealistic standard on my own boy? Because I can. Hehehee.

UP until recently all Sam had eyes for was "Craig Lowndes!!" He has now been converted to "Jason Bright!!" (Unfortunately Craig Lowndes is up the right end of the grid. Jason is up the other end).

HOw quickly the smile faded from this girl's face when she realised Triple Eight Racing's Jamie Whincup was just rushing towards his race car

So anyhoo, that was the plan. What really happened was that we missed the first ferry, took an ill-fated shortcut through the Mornington Peninsula which ended up in a road closure, got stuck through Saturday am shopping traffic, then drove anything but calmly to Phillip Island in a trip that took, all up, four and a half hours.

But it was all worth it with a slightly shy but enthused Sammy having the meet-and-greet with Brighty, sit in the car, photos, and some cool (free) team merchandise which yes, ahem, included some for daddy as well.

I was also told some (confidential) interesting stats on the money thrown around to run a V8 Soupedupcar team and sponsorship brokering. Britek's level 2 (Fujitsu-series) V8 Car is currently looking for a driver. They can't really advertise on because unlike most jobs, this one costs you a cool $350,000 for the year, and you still have to find your own accommodation and travel. The level one team costs around $7m to run per year. At the moment, they have a total of around $5m in sponsorship.

That's just a sniff. On the way home, Sam rather predictably said "I wanna be a V8 Supercar driver!!". I'm currently in the process of encouraging him toward something more economical, like an astronaut or airline pilot. More piccys soon, so if you happened upon this posting before I told you about it, go away and come back later. (Please).