"They're leaving as heroes. I want them to walk home with pride in their hearts," declared Col. John Norris, the head of a US Army brigade in Iraq. 1
It's enough to bring tears to the eyes of an American, enough to make him choke up. Enough to make him forget.
But no American should be allowed to forget that the nation of Iraq, the society of Iraq, have been destroyed, ruined, a failed state. The Americans, beginning 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, killed wantonly, tortured ... the people of that unhappy land have lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women's rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives ... More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile ... The air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium ... the most awful birth defects ... unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children to pick them up ... an army of young Islamic men went to Iraq to fight the American invaders; they left the country more militant, hardened by war, to spread across the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia ... a river of blood runs alongside the Euphrates and Tigris ... through a country that may never be put back together again.
"It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003," reported the Washington Post on May 5, 2007.
No matter ... drum roll, please ... Stand tall American GI hero! And don't even think of ever apologizing. Iraq is forced by the United States to continue paying reparations for its own invasion of Kuwait in 1990. How much will the American heroes pay the people of Iraq?
I came accross a heap of anti war slogans the other day. Something grabbed me inside, gut wrenching.
Iraq is English for Vietnam. Bomb a child, make a terrorist. How many lives per gallon How did our oil get under their soil God does not bless only America Born to drill, born to kill
I saved the best for last. If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.
All of these were tagged "Iraq". I didn't see much on the Gulf War, nor the deliberate use of Depleted Uranium to poisen Iraq's water supply. Not much about the horrific birth defects and cancers caused by DU and it's ever lasting effects.
The combat soldiers have now left, so we're told. Look at the bloody mess they have made, it's like Vietnam. A complete and total cockup. We promised never again to treat our soldiers like we did after that war, and as far as I know we haven't. In the West we tend to believe out Governments. Who to blame? The US Administration, and not just Bush, this goes back a long way before him.
Say what you like about Saddam, but Iraq was better off with him there. There were no suicide bombers, people were going about their daily lives, they had jobs, homes, and their children, Mothers, Fathers, brothers, sisters were alive. They lived side by side the majority of the time with no problems. Sunni, Shia, Christian inter married.
My Mum told me this while Bush was chest beating, prior to Shock and Awe, "if they remove Saddam they take the lid off Pandora's Box, and while Saddam is not perfect he knows what would happen to the country without a strong ruler". She was so right, it happened.
The US has torn her apart limb from limb, sliced and diced, destroyed her people. anarchy now rules.
Will they ever be able to put themselves together again? Will they be able to find a man to put that lid back on Pandora's Box? My heart says yes, and my head says no.
SHAME SHAME USA One last quote from Madeleine Albright on the loss of 500,000 Iraqi children: It was worth it.
Watching the results of the Federal Election on TV, interesting the swing to Liberal, and most probably because of the way Kevin Rudd was disposed of.
One person called Julia Gillard "Lady McBeth in Mary Poppins" clothing. What a mess Labor have made of things.
The Labor power brokerers, including the AWU have made the biggest mistakes of their lives by stabbing Rudd in the back. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
I have always voted Labor, I did so today as well, but with trepidation. I wouldn't vote Green or Independant, because no matter what anyone says, it's a wasted vote. They HAVE to throw their vote with either Labor or Liberal, no choice there.
There will be (they predict) in the Senate 1 Green and 3 Independants, with an equal amount of Libs and Labor Senators. So, a hung Parliament.
Either major party need 76 seats to win, and neither party's number cruncher is confident that will happen.
Guess what? No longer!!!! Finally a Citizen. I'm ecstatic.
They "found" me, actually they didn't really but after all this time I guess they decided that I had earned the right. I had a lengthy interview, sat my Citizenship Test, filled in piles of paperwork, had to get photo's authenticated, etc.
Anyway, here I am. Australian. BUT I will NEVER forget my roots.
Had a really frightening encounter with electricity on Good Friday.
Our power had been going on and off every few minutes, computers and microwave beeping all the time. We thought we were having power surges. Not so.
About 2pm we had no power to the appliances in the kitchen, then the toaster worked but not the microwave, swapped plugs and the same thing. Weird. We thought maybe the microwave have given up the ghost, the next thought was that we could be up for some rewiring, which we can ill afford.
All of a sudden the computer box in the kitchen went up in smoke. While I raced around and turned things off G got the computer outside. Next thing the monitor in G's "junk" room was pouring out smoke. This became seriously scary for me as G had to leave for a nightshift and I was by myself.
I rang the power company and was told there had been no power surges in my town since 6am when the guy had started his shift. I explained what had happened, and said I was too scared to turn on anything for fear the house would burn down. He was great and sent out 2 guys to have a look.
The repairman came to the door and said he could see a major problem from the ground, and pointed to a damaged cable running from the power pole to the house, there was about 10 inches of melted rubber, with exposed wires underneath. They replaced the wire and turned the power back on, nothing else went up in smoke, thank goodness. He placed the blame solely on that cable as they had checked everything else as well. He also said the cables in this area were quite old and it was probably the original cable, circa 1975.
I spent a really nervous night, each time I turned something on I stood and watched it just in case.
I think we were very lucky we were at home to turn things off , and that it didn't happen at night. We could easily have lost the house and possibly our lives. We do have smoke alarms, but I sleep like the dead and wouldn't hear the alarm. Burglars, that is NOT an invitation to you!!!
We lost a heap of stuff which the power company takes no liability for, but will pay pro rata, something to do with depreciation. The contents insurance was due on the 25/3, and hadnt been paid, so no joy there.
We are down a lot of dollars, but have our lives and the house. I am truly grateful.
A very touchy topic at this time, never -the - less, I have a fairly strong opinion.
There has been a lot of press in India re their students being targeted by Australians, hence the title "Australians are racist". The Indian press even went so far as suggesting Victorian Police were akin to the American KKK, showing pictures of the same.
I have lived here most of my life and have only heard one person make what I considered a truly RACIST remark, and it was about me. Odd don't you think, given my background? Just one comment.
There are of course the Aussie jokes about other countries, and I'm sure every other country has their own set of jokes about Aus. Jokes aside, this is no laughing matter.
In fact I think the bad press from India has stirred the proverbial pot, and made most Aussies furious about the comments. If they were sitting on the fence kicking back before, they definitely are not now.
In one particular attack, the people were of Asian appearance, quite possibly students themselves. Also, I wonder if Pakistanis are involved, given the conditions between themselves and India? In fact statistics show Indians are far more likely to be killed in their own country, more likely to be bashed and robbed, and more likely to be blown up.
So I ask you, why are there such large Indian / Asian / Italian / Greek / Middle Eastern etc. communities in Australia? Why did these people immigrate and / or come to study here? Because conditions are horrendous? Because they are likely to murdered or attacked?
Yes, people do get targeted, every race including so called "white" people get their fair share as well. This isREVERSE RACISM by India , and most unfair.
Then we get to "no one from India commits a crime here". Bullsh*t! This week a very tragic case, the murder or a gorgeous 3 year old Indian boy, Gurshan Singh. The crime committed by? A 23 year old member of his own household, GursewakDhillon. I know how Gurshan's parents are feeling, as I have also lost a child.
Then we have the rape of a 40 year old woman in a Taxi committed by the 21 year old driver, an Indian student, Rajveer Singh. Also I will cite the case of the Indian student who was charged with Manslaughter and drink driving after the car he was driving crashed, killing one person. He was given bail, and fled back to India.
Do you think I would label all Indian's as murderers and rapists because of the examples shown? No, I definitely would not, and neither would the majority of Australians.
The future remains uncertain. After many long hours talking with family, I have decided not to look for work. Things are too tough in this country area, there are people with Uni degrees working in takeaways, Target, Kmart etc.
Plus after the last effort, I'm hesitant to put myself through the ordeal again. Very demoralising. Of course, if a job happens to land in my lap, that's a different matter.
I've been busy in the garden though, spending a lot just in case we have to sell. I want it looking fantastic to maximise $$$. Next on the list will be the painting I still have to finish from last summer. Actually there's a long list of stuff which will keep me busy for months, including the "caves". (Sheds)
And if we don't have to sell, well I'll have a lot of time to sit and admire my handy work. Not looking forward to cleaning out the gutters though! Next door has trees on the boundary fence that hang over our roof, we now have babies (trees) growing in the guttering. Reckon they should come and clean them out, but that won't happen. We asked them to cut them back months ago. due to the high wind speeds we were / are experiencing and also the fact that they overhang my bedroom, which makes me nervous during storms. No, not going to happen.
Anyway, hopefully this is the last sook I'll be having and will look forward to posting on a more regular basis, and also some decent topics. :)
Am I happy, or am I sad? It seems my life will now be endless cups of tea. I got fired yesterday.
Will I miss the 1o hour days (plus some)? Nope. Will I miss being so tired, that my bones ache? Nope. Will I miss being surrounded by other tired, grumpy people? Nope.
Will I miss the money? Hell yes! Can we survive without me working? That remains to be seen.
Why? I'm wondering that myself. Being told my work is substandard and my customer service skills are not up to par is absolute bullsh*t. My previous employers would agree with me, as would past clients.
Maybe it's because I refused to extend my 50 hour week to 60, while being paid for 40? Or possibly because I insisted on having a lunch hour? Maybe because I put into words my concern about the amount of factory recalls on their vehicles? Possibly. Or, it might have been because I voiced my opinion on the elderly lady who was charged $1500 for 4 tyres, when she could have gone to a Tyre Service and paid $800? Or the other one, who was charged $195 to supply and fit a new battery?
I just raised my eyebrows and shook my head when given the news. I think I actually smiled, possibly from relief. I hate liars, cheats and thief's. How can you be a team player when this stuff happens?
So, buyer beware when it comes to your car, and service charges. Shop around for prices, don't just take it for granted that your local dealer is honest. Most of them are, by the way. But, this one is something else.
Getting fired is a first for me. And no, I'm not unhappy with their decision, just the lies contained in the delivery.
I have gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. Bored witless to frantic, in control to having no control.
I don't think I have made so many mistakes in a workplace before. It is so busy there is no time to learn the database system, it just goes over my head. The phone never stops ringing, there is always a customer in front of you waiting.
And I keep stuffing up.
They did tell me that it was busy, this is way past busy. Everyone comes into work at least a half hour early, (7.30am) trying to get things together before people start arriving.
You get an hour for lunch, but never take it because you know if you do things will back up. Fifteen minutes each for morning and afternoon tea, that just doesn't happen. Knock off is 5pm, the earliest I have finished is 5.30. We are paid 8 till 5, no extra.
I do however like the job, at least the day passes quickly. I don't like stuffing up though, it just causes others unnecessary problems, and precious time.
They are sending me to a quieter branch next week, where I will hopefully learn the system. If I don't, I guess I'll be unemployed again.
Well, well. Guess what I received in the mail today?
Obviously a letter, but what sort of letter? All the "manipulated" truths (non truths) from my employer over the last months have finally caught up.
They have gone into voluntary administration, and both G and I are creditors, we are owed just under $5000 in unpaid Superannuation. The letter was from the Administrator.
Now I feel vindicated in a way, because others who called me a liar to my face, now know the truth.
I'll wait for their apologies. Yeah, right.
Do I feel sorry for my ex employer? No. Do I feel sorry for the particular staff who pointed the finger at me, the ones who are left without? No. Am I glad we made the decision to leave and face loosing everything? Yes.
I do feel for the people who are caught in the crossfire, especially since the field is AGED CARE Unfortunately I helped some of them into this position, until I realised what was happening and resigned.
But, all is not lost. After speaking a friend this weekend, he said the administrator was very positive that the particular place could be sold as a going concern, which is great for the residents. I don't know what will happen to the creditors.
I have now found employment, thank goodness and start on Monday.
I seem to be having one of those days, or rather months. You know the ones, where you can't be bothered or are sort of down.
I still believe this state of "un-bliss" is caused by my former employer and very "tall tales". I guess I shouldn't be saying anything about that though.
The hot topic at the moment is employees bad mouthing their employers on their web pages, My Space / Facebook etc. Apparently they are being tracked down and eventually sacked.
I think this is rather funny, seeing my former employer took his former company's board of directiors to court for unfair dismissal. It turns out his private secretary had taped hundreds of hours of private employee conversations along with secretly videotaping board meetings when he (boss) was not present. He said he didn't know anything about that in court. This is all documented in court proceedings and made headlines around Australia. He is known as a 'colourful' charactor.
At the time I commenced employment with them, I didn't know a thing about this, not being an avid news junkie. So, I get this job offer, was promised the world and got basically nothing in return. For nearly 10 months I was strung along with broken promises. I trusted them, and I was loyal.
As I said earlier, I knew nothing about the former prodeedings what so ever, until I was asked to pack up another employees belongings, in amongst the bunch of stuff was a stack of newspapers, the Age, Australian, etc. On the front page of every one were article's about my employer and what had transpired in the Court prodeedings, plus other stuff as well.
I was absolutely stunned. That night I did some research on the net and read many articles from newspapers about the above. The only one I can remember was called "On her Majesty's Secret Service", it was about industrial espionage and although not about the above in particular, it was mentioned. Anyway, the more I read, the more concerned I became.
I guess I went into panic mode, anyway a lot transpired and I handed in my resignation. My employers last words to me were, of course making sure no one else was close enough to hear : "We could sue you, you know, about the garbage coming out of your mouth". The only 'garbage' was actually true, it's in the court transcriptions, and they lost. If I had of known about this prior to being employed, I would have run a mile, and would not want to be mixed up with this mob at all.
I have left a huge chunk of this story out, so everyone remains annonymous. There are a lot of major players and recognisable 'big' names ( and I really do mean big) involved. Oh, and did I mention they did not pay into my Super for nearly 7 months, and nor have they since I resigned? Oops, but I'm not allowed to tell you anything about that, I signed a contract.
Employers have a duty towards their employees, but not this mob. They chew you up, spit you out, and don't bat an eyelid along the way. Masters of manipulation.
Maybe I haven't moved to wordpress, after all that effort. Neo Earth doesn't advertise their product will not work on Wordpress. They will not refund you either, nor will they answer emails. Buyer beware. Waste of $40.
So, I hve moved back to blogger, but the comments have disappeared again. Why on earth do they show up on Wordpress, and disappear here????
Last night I could only see my post titles, no words. See what happens when you edit things whilst tired. I changed the background and the words disappeared.
Duh! Can't have black writing on a black page!
This seems to have turned into my diary, I hope to get back to doing some serious posting soon.
I have finally escaped, but how come I don't feel any different?
It took a couple of weeks to get her face out of my head every time I shut my eyes. Now, her face only appears now and then.
I can't sleep, so tried Valarian a couple of times. I had nightmares, spiders and tigers, so decided to give it a miss. I hate spiders.
I am gardening frantically, trying to get so tired that I will sleep. It's not happening, and I dread going to bed. I used to meditate to get to sleep, but can't manage to do that any more. Some refresher meditation classes might be in order, I think.
Not working is having a very bad effect on the bank balance, not sure what will happen with the house. Can't keep paying a mortgage with no income. So...........we'll wait for a few more weeks and see what happens.
On a more positive note, I have started on the 'quit smoking pill. I'm only on day 2, and have not noticed any side effects, and so far it has not stopped my cravings. I had to set a day to stop smoking, which I have done. Saturday 18th April. Hmmm!!!
I guess it's not so bad, as B said, we're still alive, have running water and electricity. Until we are unable to pay the bills, that is. :)
I haven't escaped yet, but it's getting closer. The boss sends me messages through G. Ask her to return the uniform please. What does she think I would do with it? Wear the bloody thing for fun? Yeah, right.
Actually, I send her messages through G too. Can you tell me when to expect my termination pay? I didn't get an answer.
I can feel myself retreating from the rest of the world. All I want to do is be by myself, the phone keeps ringing, I don't answer it. If someone knocks on the door, I ignore it.
One day........down the track, I'll tell you about this particular job, what I did, how people are ripped off. BUT only after I get paid out, including the 7 months worth of Super that hasn't been paid into my nominated fund.
Look at your next job offer, research the company and directors before you make the worst mistake of your lives, like G and I did. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. We may just go into bankruptcy because of these smooth talkers.