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The diaTribe blog is our occasional take on life, the universe and everything. Observations on current affairs, the environment, politics, humour and music/gig reviews. Travel diary and extreme sports stories, along with the usual rants/raves are also chucked in for good measure.

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Yearly Archives: 2014

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Dec15

Truths about Government

Truer words are rarely spoken. Here’s 15 quotable quotes that pretty much cover what government is…and always has been.

  1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a government.
    - John Adams
  2. If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
    - Mark Twain
  3. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
    - Winston Churchill
  4. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
    - James Bovard
  5. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
    - Douglas Case.
  6. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
    - P.J. O’Rourke
  7. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
    - Frederic Bastiat
  8. Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
    - Ronald Reagan
  9. No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
    - Mark Twain
  10. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
    - Winston Churchill
  11. The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
    - Mark Twain
  12. The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
    - Herbert Spencer
  13. What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
    - Edward Langley
  14. A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
    - Thomas Jefferson
  15. We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
    - Aesop
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Nov30

Always Wear Underwear

Always wear underwear in public, especially when working under your vehicle.

Taken from an Brisbane newspaper

From the local paper comes this story of a Brisbane couple who drove their car to the shopping centre, only to have their car break down in the car park. The husband told his wife to carry on with the shopping while he fixed the car.

The wife returned later to see a small group of people near the car. On closer inspection, she saw a pair of hairy legs protruding from under the chassis.

Unfortunately. although the man was in shorts, his lack of underpants turned his private parts into glaringly public ones. Unable to stand the embarassment, she dutifully stepped forward and quickly put her hand up his shorts and tucked everything back into place.

On regaining her feet, she looked across the bonnet and found herself staring at her husband who was standing idly by watching.

The R.A.C mechanic however had to have three stitches in his forehead

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Sep18

Politicans and Pullets

Election time has rolled around again.

With the upcoming Scottish Independence Referendum and the New Zealand Elections, here is a story for all voters to think about, when they enter the polling stations:-

Old Butch

Bert was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young ‘pullets’ and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.

He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced. This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing. Now, he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.

Berts’ favourite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen, but this morning he noticed old Butch’s bell hadn’t rung at all! When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.

To Bert’s amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring. He’d sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

Bert was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Brisbane City Show and he became an overnight sensation among the judges. The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the “No Bell Piece Prize,” but they also awarded him the “Pulletsurprise” as well.

Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren’t paying attention…

Vote carefully in the next election, you can’t always hear the bells!

Idem dominus dux vetus adversus novam (meet the new boss, same as the old boss)

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Jul12

More MTW one-liners

Funny one-liners from a recent epiosode of “Mock the week“:-

  • I bought a slimming magazine in WH Smiths. I didn’t read it; I just wanted the big bar of Galaxy chocolate for a quid.
  • I was in a lingerie shop; I asked: “are these knickers satin?” and the sales assistant said: “No, their new”.
  • I went to buy a Christmas tree. The bloke said: “are you going to put it up yourself?”. I said: “no, I was thinking of the living room”.
  • Bought a chameleon…lost it.
  • Why is it that when women go to the toilet in pairs, no-one minds, but when I did it, I got thrown out of the greengrocers.
  • I got into a fight with my acupuncturist…he said he had never felt better.
  • According to the vet, my cat is in Heat. I didn’t even know she was famous.
  • I bought an Advent calendar from a Jehovahs’ witness; behind every door is a little bloke telling me to fuck off.

…and more available here

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May12

A Man’s Best Friend

Doing the rounds but available on shitmydadsends.com.

A real woman is a man’s best friend.
She will never stand him up and never let him down.
She will reassure him when he feels insecure and comfort him
After a bad day.
She will inspire him to do things he never thought he could do; to
Live without fear and forget regret.
She will enable him to express his deepest emotions and give in to
His most intimate desires.
She will make sure he always feels as though he’s the most
Handsome man in the room and will enable him to be the most confident, sexy, seductive and invincible…

No wait…
Sorry…

I’m thinking of whiskey. It’s whiskey that does all that shit.

Never mind.

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Apr24

ANZAC day

Tomorrow is the 99th ANZAC day – the national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand.

Founded following the WWI Gallipoli campaign in which 2,721 New Zealand soldiers lost their lives, ANZAC day has long been a day of solemn memory of the ultimate sacrifice made by so many, in all subsequent wars.

In recent years we have seen the general scope of ANZAC day widen to also acknowledge and commemorate the many who worked in roles that were more ancillary, but no less important (and in some cases nearly as dangerous) as the troops on the front lines. They have included resistance members, medical staff and the workers on the home front. But the story of the conscientious objectors has been conspicuously absent from the ANZAC day of remembrance…until now.

On Tuesday, I watched an excellent docudrama called ‘Field Punishment No. 1′ – the story of Archibald Baxter and the 13 other pacifists who defied conscription and who, on moral grounds, refused to fight in World War I. The 14 were jailed and forcibly shipped to the western front. Archibald Baxter was first transfered to a military prison in Dunkirk and subjected to "Field Punishment Number 1" in the depth of winter. He and the others were beaten, tortured and forcibly marched to the trenches.

One particularly moving scene in the trenches has Archibald discussing his views with a corporal assigned to guard him. I’m paraphrasing here, but in essence the corporal says to Archibald:-

"I have a son and if we survive this and go home, he will ask me: ‘What did you do in the war dad?’ What am I supposed to say? What would YOU say?"

Archibald replies:-

"If my son asks me that question, I’ll tell him that I did everything I could to stop it."

In another stunning visual scene, Archibald is forced to stand in an ammo dump, under fire by enemy artillery while the sergeant hides behind a wall of sandbags. With shells exploding all around him, Archibald remains steadfast and refuses to either return fire or cower from the barrage.

Archibald suffered a complete physical mental breakdown but survived the war and eventually returned to his home in Otago. He subsequently wrote an account of his experience called "We will not cease" which was published in 1939.

Whatever the views people may have on the issue of pacifism / conscientious objection, there is no denying that it takes significant courage and deep conviction to stand against the system…especially when the war machine is running at full power.

It’s time that their part of the story was told…

Undercoat website painting (Bob Kerr)
Field Punishment Number 1 (painting by Bob Kerr)

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Apr06

So much for granted

The news that Afghanistan voters have turned out in huge numbers today…in spite of Threats by the Taliban…is testament to the will of a hardy and courageous people.

After decades of armed conflict going back far beyond the cold war Soviet invasion and the subsequent succession of Afghanistan wars up to the present day, the Afghan people have lived under the yolk of virtually every form of tyranny yet devised. With the very-real Taliban threats to disrupt the election (in recent weeks insurgents stepped up shootings and bombings in the heart of Kabul), the population at large could be forgiven if – as some feared – they had chosen to stay at home.

Instead, they turned out in droves!

People stood in long polling station queues for hours, many in poor weather conditions. The biggest problem proved to be a severe shortage of ballot papers. The Independent Election Commission ordered voting to be extended by an hour, with ballot papers being dispatched where they were needed.

Could you get anyone here (or in any developed country) to stand in a polling station queue for more than about 20 minutes? Let alone in the pouring rain or as ground zero for a suicide bomber.

We don’t know how lucky we are.

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