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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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Monthly Archives: April 2014

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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.

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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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