Friday, December 23, 2016

Do you get enough Magnesium Intake for Improved Health?

I have written about the importance of magnesium for good health before and, I know very well how important that mineral is for plants as well as the human body. In a discussion with a friend recently about food and health etc, we also came to the subject of magnesium and she asked, “How can I get magnesium into my body?” I recommended to her among other things to eat greens & nuts, especially almonds etc. So, I recommend to you to indulge in nuts and greens for better health!
I came across an interesting article by Jordyn Cormier which will tell you a bit more about how to boost the magnesium intake, so I thought to share it with you.

I take this opportunity to wish all my readers a wonderful Christmas, a happy &  prosperous New Year, but most of all good health. Being in good health is merely the slowest rate at which one can die. - Werner
How to Boost Your Magnesium Intake for Improved Health?

Magnesium is the unsung hero of the human body, yet many of us are deficient in this essential mineral. An estimated 80 percent of adults are slightly or severely deficient in magnesium. As the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, this comes as somewhat of a surprise. Why is magnesium so oft overlooked in terms of health?

One contributing factor may be the difficulty of diagnosing magnesium deficiency. Since less than 1 percent of the body’s magnesium is stored in blood, blood tests do not accurately reflect the body’s stores of this mineral. Thus, many adults may not know that they are magnesium deficient. Perhaps it’s time we paid more attention.
As a catalyst for over 300 important reactions in the body, magnesium is “the Great Regulator.” Many of its reactions help to regulate such important functions such as protein synthesis, insulin regulation, vitamin D metabolism and blood pressure.
Perhaps most essentially, magnesium helps to control energy levels on a cellular level by activating ATP, the cell’s primary co-enzyme for energy storage. It’s a pretty important mineral.

Here are a few conditions impacted by magnesium:
Generally, people who suffer from migraines have lower magnesium levels than those who don’t. The American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society have concluded that magnesium is “probably effective” in the treatment and prevention of migraines. The next time your head starts to throb, take magnesium into account.

Blood sugar.
Studies suggest that increased consumption of magnesium-rich foods leads to reduced risk for type II diabetes. The mineral is important for regulating blood sugar levels, and magnesium levels generally begin to decrease as insulin resistance sets in. Glucose cannot be properly broken down and utilized without magnesium.

Muscle function.
As an important electrolyte, deficiency in this mineral causes achy, spasm in muscles after long bouts of exercise. It also plays a role in restless leg syndrome. When magnesium levels are low, muscles have difficulty relaxing. Magnesium deficiency can also manifest as weak digestion, increased anxiety, worsened PMS symptoms, other nutrient deficiencies, osteoporosis, nerve dysfunction, cholesterol regulation, dental decay and more.

But what causes widespread magnesium deficiency?

This leaves the modern human with a handful of magnesium supplementation options:
Eat lots of magnesium rich foods Foods like spinach, Swiss chard, black beans, almonds, seaweed, cashews, potatoes and, yes, even dark chocolate can provide up to one third of your RDA in a single serving. So, if you are concerned about magnesium levels, focus on incorporating more of these foods into your diet. Any excess magnesium you consume from food is easily excreted through urine, so no need to worry about that chocolate habit.

Take Epsom salt baths.

Epsom salts are composed of a compound known as magnesium sulphate. Soaking in a warm bath of Epsom salts allows your body to absorb extra magnesium through the skin, while providing utterly luxurious relaxation and stress reduction. It’s an easy way to add magnesium to your body, especially if you’ve been feeling a little anxious.

Many varieties of magnesium supplements exist. Although magnesium has a relatively low toxicity risk, it is best to consult your trusted medical professional before embarking on any sort of new regimen. Certain medications and conditions can affect absorption and interact with magnesium levels. And, if you feel anxious or suffer from migraines, do yourself a favour — draw a bath, snack on some chocolate-covered almonds and allow your body to replenish itself. Don’t underestimate the importance of this humble mineral in your life.
My thought for today. – Werner
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ~ Hippocrates

Sunday, December 4, 2016

An interesting and healthy aromatic nut.

As far as I can think back, and that is a long time, nutmeg was always on our table, and still is today. We grate it into our soup to give it that wonderful aromatic nutmeg flavour. This was about all I knew about this “nut” then. But my inquisitiveness found that there is more to it than meets the eye. The nutmeg tree is a large evergreen tree native to the Moluccas (the Spice Islands) and is now cultivated in the West Indies. It produces two spices - mace and nutmeg. Nutmeg is the seed kernel inside the fruit and mace is the lacy covering (aril) on the kernel. Amazing!
This brings me to my cashew tree,  which produces two fruits; a nut and an apple all on one stem. I had once a nutmeg tree growing in my garden, but it produced only male flowers and was told that you need another tree with female flowers for pollination to get nutmeg – so, unfortunately, I didn’t get my own nutmeg. Nutmeg pictures.

Insomnia can be extremely frustrating and debilitating. It can have an effect on nearly every aspect of someone’s life. If you’re experiencing trouble sleeping, nutmeg might work for you as a natural cure. Nutmeg is a popular spice that is associated with a long list of health benefits, including its ability to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, detox the body, boost skin health, strengthen the immune system and improve blood circulation. Nutmeg is also believed to possess mild sedative properties that may benefit those who suffer from insomnia. I knew an old couple who drank warm milk with nutmeg grated into it before bedtime, and they swore that it helped them to get a good sleep – perhaps it might do the same for you.

Following is an interesting follow-up of this aromatic nut by: Shubhra Krishan. I hope you find this interesting. – Werner

8 Amazing Health Benefits of Nutmeg.

Just a little nutmeg grated into pumpkin soup or added to granola—even scrubbed onto the skin—can do a world of good for your health. Take a look at the healing benefits of this rich, aromatic spice.

1. Helps Induce Sleep.

When I was a child, my grandmother would give me a glass of milk with a pinch of powdered nutmeg in it before bed. It can also be mixed with ghee and rubbed around the temples at bedtime to enhance deep sleep and calm the mind.
2. Rich in Minerals.
A dusting of nutmeg adds aroma and enhances the taste of your food. It also gives you trace minerals that keep the immune system strong. Potassium, calcium, iron and manganese are among key minerals found in nutmeg.
3. Brightens Skin.
Just a little nutmeg, ground and mixed with water or honey into a paste, can make skin look clearer and brighter within a few days, reducing scars and alleviating acne. You can also add nutmeg to your face scrub for the same benefits.
4. Helps Digestion.
For centuries, nutmeg has been used as a medicinal spice that brings relief from digestive problems. So grate a little nutmeg into your soups and stews for a boost of flavour and a healthy gut!
5.Natural Toothpaste.
The star spice in dental care has traditionally been clove. But few might know that nutmeg too has proven antibacterial properties that protect the teeth and gums. Nutmeg oil has eugenol, which brings relief from toothache. That’s why you often find it listed among the ingredients of toothpaste. Combined with cinnamon, it makes a powerful antiseptic, antimicrobial paste.
6. Protects Your Brain.
Nutmeg keeps the brain sharp! It contains natural organic compounds called myristicin and macelignan, which is known to shield your brain against degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s.
7. Eases Swelling and Pain.
The essential oil of nutmeg brings relief from muscular and joint pain. Apply it to a localized area of swelling and discomfort, and feel the pain melt away.
8. Boosts Circulation.
In holistic medicine, nutmeg is often prescribed to rev up blood circulation because of the high potassium content. Traditional healers believe it also strengthens the liver.
A note of caution: It is almost impossible to overuse nutmeg, because all you need is a tiny dusting of it to reap its taste and nutrition benefits. Even so, I must state that overuse of nutmeg is known to cause palpitations, sweating, hallucination and other discomforts, so do use this wonder spice in moderation. Source:
Better Sleep. 
More reading.
My thought for today. – Werner
You can learn something every day if you pay attention. ~ Ray LeBlond

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Just eggs.

Eggs are a staple food that is consumed around the world. I grew up on our family a farm in Germany and we had chicken for the meat and the eggs. All we knew about eggs then was that they were good for us. However, with the event of the Internet, we have a library of information at our fingertips by asking questions and pressing a button on the keyboard.

Not so long ago (1961, to be exact), the Powers That Be had it that eating egg yolks was risky business because they could lead to high cholesterol, heart disease and even diabetes. But that edict has been lifted. Researchers are now saying that not only can you benefit from eating the whole egg, but your body absorbs more of the nutrients from other foods when you do. Source, Dr. Mercola.

Following is an “Eggcelent” article that will tell you a thing or two about this healthy food that is part of our food chain; you may not have known before. – Werner

What came first—the kitchen or the egg? There are few things more common to find in the
typical household than a carton of eggs. The staple of quick morning breakfasts and lavish weekend brunches, and an essential ingredient in baked goods, eggs are everywhere from quiches to cakes, omelettes to pizzettes. But which types of eggs are worth buying—are they all healthy for you, and are brown eggs really better than white eggs?

Eggs have been the focus of numerous studies and opinion pieces over the years, since they are a food that nutrition experts have constantly changed their minds about over time. In 1961, eggs were said to be bad for you, allegedly a culprit for delivering a huge amount of cholesterol, which is seen to have a negative impact on heart health.

An article published by Time Magazine in 1984, went a step further, all but declaring eggs as a food terrible for the human body. But in the years since, research has been unanimous that this former “egg panic” was far from justified, with nutritionists admitting that eggs are actually incredibly good for health and nutrition. Eating even just a single egg provides a huge range of nutrients including: B vitamins, including B2, B5, and B12—all of which are responsible for converting food to energy and boosting metabolism. Phosphorus, needed for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells and the production of DNA.

Selenium, which keeps the thyroid gland running on all cylinders and helps with reproductive systems. Folate, a must for pregnant women since it contributes to the health of developing fetuses and cuts down on the risk of birth defects. Vitamin A, an essential vitamin known to keep eye health strong and reduces the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration later in life. Eggs also have two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, that can help to strengthen the retina. Vitamin D, which helps regulate the immune system and neuromuscular system, as well as increasing the rate at which the body absorbs calcium. Zinc, presenting a huge boost to the immune system. Calcium, to build healthy bones and teeth and prevent breaks and the development of osteoporosis as the body ages. Vitamin E, an antioxidant that moisturizes the skin and reduces visible signs of aging. Vitamin K, to keep blood flow regular within the body and prevent blood clots. Omega-3 fatty acids, or the good kind of fats, that can reduce amounts of triglycerides in the bloodstream and lead to better heart health. However, not all eggs contain high levels of omega-3’s—rather, only those that are produced by hens raised with enriched feed. You’ll see it noted on egg carton labels. Choline, a compound that’s vital for building stronger cellular membranes and can influence the functionality of the brain, which means it plays a major role in the development of unborn babies. Eggs are a key source, containing more than 100 milligrams. Protein, the building block of human life. The body uses protein to create molecules and tissues, strengthen muscles, and fuel bodily functions. A single egg provides six grams of protein, including all of the essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own.

And when it comes to the cholesterol issue, it’s important to know that, today, cholesterol content in eggs is much lower than it was just ten years ago. The reason is that the hen feed has been modified to be healthier than older formulas, and results in a much healthier egg. Nowadays, a medium-sized egg contains about 100 milligrams of cholesterol, roughly a third of the daily recommended allowance.


Does colour really make that much of a difference? Sometimes, yes. Over the last several years, there has been a growing belief that brown eggs are better, which is probably partially related to the fact that other brown foods actually are a better option—brown sugar is better than white refined sugar, brown-tinged whole wheat bread is better than white bread, etc.

But when it comes to eggs, colour doesn’t mean much—in fact, the only thing that impacts the colour of an egg is the breed of hen that lays it: A white feathered hen with white earlobes will generally lay white eggs. A reddish or brown feathered hen with red earlobes will lay brown eggs.That’s really the big difference between the two. Nutritional values are the same, shells are the same thickness, and even taste will be similar (though brown eggs may end up costing more). One of the key reasons that brown eggs have a better reputation is that the small farmers and organic farms that are seen as producing better quality overall also usually raise the types of female chickens that produce brown eggs.

While brown eggs and white eggs may not have much of a difference, there are several types of eggs that do have significant components. Here are some of the most common: Cage-free. This type of egg comes from a hen that doesn’t live in a cage. Rather, they’re allowed to roam freely. This can impact the quality and taste of the egg in a positive way because the animal is considered to be happier and won’t produce the stress hormones or have the same amount of illness as other types of more herded chickens.

Organic eggs refer to those that come from hens that are fed a diet free from fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides. This doesn’t impact the way that the hen was raised, which is why many choose a cage-free organic option. But the important thing to understand is that organic eggs are exposed to fewer chemicals, which can impact taste and health benefits.

Pasture-raised.This takes the idea of “cage-free” a step further. Pasture-raised hens are allowed to live a pretty free life on the farm, roaming as they see fit. These female chickens also eat a variety of foods that they may not obtain in a cage, since they are able to forage throughout the day, which results in eggs that taste better and are better for you.

Omega-3-enriched.Hens that are fed foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as flaxseeds) will lay eggs that also have increased levels of omega-3’s, which benefit human health, too. The amount can vary, but you can look for these specific labels at the store.

Regardless of what color or type of egg you choose to purchase and cook with, eggs can be a versatile component of many recipes. While they taste great in fried egg sandwiches or with a side of bacon, there’s also some more inventive ways to use them.

Coconut Crème Brulee.Eggs make the fluffy custard that is iconic in this classic dessert, which is finished with a flame-basted sugary layer. This recipe keeps things Paleo-friendly by using coconut cream rather than traditional milk and coconut sugar instead of refined white sugar crystals. Secure a set of ramekins and a pastry torch, and you can enjoy this treat again and again.

Breakfast Pizza.
 Breakfast would be nothing without eggs, but you don’t always have to go for scrambled. Try this tasty breakfast pizza with a Paleo-friendly, gluten-free crust made from coconut flour, coconut milk, and some savory seasonings; it’s topped with sunny-side-up eggs, bacon, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes for some real slices of heaven.

Tahini Egg Salad.Egg salad can be a filling lunch, but egg salad doused in mayo—not so much. Scrap that in favour of this recipe that uses tahini instead. Made from sesame seeds, its nutty flavour pairs great with eggs without being overbearing. Complement the mix with some fresh radishes, Roma tomatoes, and avocados for extra flavour and texture.

Coconut-Creamed Spinach with Eggs.
Have a little extra time in the morning? Try baking your eggs for the perfect texture and consistency. The result is runny golden yolks with firm whites. This recipe wraps them up in a bed of warm spinach that’s been doused in coconut milk. You’ll also need coconut oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, and cayenne pepper to make this pan just right.

Eggs in Purgatory.Nothing about this one-pot meal disappoints. Here, eggs are poached in a rich tomato sauce along with honey, balsamic vinegar, bell pepper, savory spices, and a pinch of feta cheese for a bit of creamy tartness. This dish is so good you might want to save it for dinner, too!

Baked Eggs in Tomato Cups. Here’s an easier, less messy way to make poached eggs. Roasted tomatoes provide the perfect vessel and imbue the yolk with some flavour during the cooking process. To make these breakfast boats, you’ll also need some fresh thyme, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
My thought for today. Werner
The fool wonders, the wise man asks. - Benjamin Disraeli

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Inside the Invisible Government: War, Propaganda, Clinton and Trump.

We can no longer trust the mainstream media to report the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Their corporate ties mean their reporting tends to be slanted at best, and completely false at worst - often with a hidden agenda.
True investigative journalism is almost non-existent in today's mainstream media - and on the rare occasions it appears, the journalists responsible are likely to suffer a backlash.
Even supposedly trustworthy sources like the ABC aren't immune. A recent example is when Dr Maryanne Demasi did a report about cholesterol and statin drugs on Catalyst, and in a later episode about the connection between WiFi and brain tumours. Both programs were removed from the internet, and Dr Demasi was suspended - simply because corporate interests didn't like the truth being reported.

Thankfully good investigative journalists do still exist,
but to find them we have to look to alternative news sources. John Pilger is one such journalist, and his newsletters are well worth subscribing to if you are interested in getting to the truth about world affairs. The following insightful article is a good example.

(BTW Edward Bernays, mentioned in Pilger's article,  played a part in promoting the water fluoridation scam. In an interview by Christopher Bryson, author of "The Fluoride Deception," Bernays said that selling fluoridation was child's play because of people's inclination to trust doctors and believe what they were told by them). – Sonja (This introduction was written by my eldest daughter, Sonja Hardy)

PS: - It doesn't cost anything to subscribe to Pilger's newsletter, and they only come out occasionally. You might find it worthwhile to subscribe.
Here is John Pilger’s very insightful article to the blog title. Pilger is a real
investigative journalist, a rare breed.

The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda.The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was Bernays who coined the term "public relations" as a euphemism for spin and its deceptions. In 1929, he persuaded feminists to promote cigarettes for women by smoking in the New York Easter Parade - behaviour then considered outlandish. One feminist, Ruth Booth, declared, "Women! Light another torch of freedom! Fight another sex taboo!"

Bernays' influence extended far beyond advertising.
His greatest success was his role in convincing the American public to join the slaughter of the First World War.  The secret, he said, was "engineering the consent" of people in order to "control and regiment [them] according to our will without their knowing about it". He described this as "the true ruling power in our society" and called it an "invisible government".

 In my career as a journalist and film-maker, I have never known propaganda to insinuate our lives and as it does now and to go unchallenged.Imagine two cities. Both are under siege by the forces of the government of that country. Both cities are occupied by fanatics, who commit terrible atrocities, such as beheading people. But there is a vital difference. In one siege, the government soldiers are described as liberators by Western reporters embedded with them, who enthusiastically report their battles and air strikes. There are front page pictures of these heroic soldiers giving a V-sign for victory. There is scant mention of civilian casualties.

In the second city - in another country nearby - almost exactly the same is happening. Government forces are laying siege to a city controlled by the same breed of fanatics.The difference is that these fanatics are supported, supplied and armed by "us" - by the United States and Britain. They even have a media centre that is funded by Britain and America.
Another difference is that the government soldiers laying siege to this city are the bad guys, condemned for assaulting and bombing the city - which is exactly what the good soldiers do in the first city.

Confusing? Not really. Such is the basic double standard that is the essence of propaganda. I am referring, of course, to the current siege of the city of Mosul by the government forces of Iraq, who are backed by the United States and Britain and to the siege of Aleppo by the government forces of Syria, backed by Russia. One is good; the other is bad.

What is seldom reported is that both cities would not be occupied by fanatics and ravaged by war if Britain and the United States had not invaded Iraq in 2003. That criminal enterprise was launched on lies strikingly similar to the propaganda that now distorts our understanding of the civil war in Syria. Without this drumbeat of propaganda dressed up as news, the monstrous ISIS and Al-Qaida and al-Nusra and the rest of the jihadist gang might not exist, and the people of Syria might not be fighting for their lives today.

Some may remember in 2003 a succession of BBC reporters turning to the camera and telling us that Blair was "vindicated" for what turned out to be the crime of the century. The US television networks produced the same validation for George W. Bush. Fox News brought on Henry Kissinger to effuse over Colin Powell's fabrications.

The same year, soon after the invasion, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the renowned American investigative journalist. I asked him, "What would have happened if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged what turned out to be crude propaganda?"

He replied that if journalists had done their job, "there is a very, very good chance we would not have gone to war in Iraq". It was a shocking statement, and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question -- Dan Rather of CBS, David Rose of the Observer and journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous.

In other words, had journalists done their job, had they challenged and investigated the propaganda instead of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today, and there would be no ISIS and no siege of Aleppo or Mosul.

There would have been no atrocity on the London Underground on 7th July 2005.
  There would have been no flight of millions of refugees; there would be no miserable camps.When the terrorist atrocity happened in Paris last November, President Francoise Hollande immediately sent planes to bomb Syria - and more terrorism followed, predictably, the product of Hollande's bombast about France being "at war" and "showing no mercy". That state violence and jihadist violence feed off each other is the truth that no national leader has the courage to speak.

"When the truth is replaced by silence," said the Soviet dissident Yevtushenko, "the silence is a lie."The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. The human rights record of a Saddam or a Gaddafi was irrelevant. They did not obey orders and surrender control of their country. The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an "agreement" that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy. His people were bombed, and he was prosecuted in The Hague. Independence of this kind is intolerable.

As WikLeaks has revealed, it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked. From that moment, the CIA planned to destroy the government of Syria with jihadist fanatics - the same fanatics currently holding the people of Mosul and eastern Aleppo hostage.

Why is this not news? The former British Foreign Office official Carne Ross, who was responsible for operating sanctions against Iraq, told me: "We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence, or we would freeze them out. That is how it worked."The West's medieval client, Saudi Arabia - to which the US and Britain sell billions of dollars' worth of arms - is at present destroying Yemen, a country so poor that in the best of times, half the children are malnourished.

Look on YouTube and you will see the kind of massive bombs - "our" bombs - that the Saudis use against dirt-poor villages, and against weddings, and funerals.The explosions look like small atomic bombs. The bomb aimers in Saudi Arabia work side-by-side with British officers. This fact is not on the evening news. Propaganda is most effective when our consent is engineered by those with a fine education - Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia -- and with careers on the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post. These organizations are known as the liberal media. They present themselves as enlightened, progressive tribunes of the moral zeitgeist. They are anti-racist, pro-feminist and pro-LGBT. And they love war.

While they speak up for feminism, they support rapacious wars that deny the rights of countless women, including the right to life. In 2011, Libya, then a modern state, was destroyed on the pretext that Muammar Gaddafi was about to commit genocide on his own people.  That was the incessant news; and there was no evidence. It was a lie.

In fact, Britain, Europe and the United States wanted what they like to call "regime change" in Libya, the biggest oil producer in Africa. Gaddafi's influence in the continent and, above all, his independence were intolerable.So he was murdered with a knife in his rear by fanatics, backed by America, Britain and France.  Hillary Clinton cheered his gruesome death for the camera, declaring, "We came, we saw, he died!"

The destruction of Libya was a media triumph
. As the war drums were beaten, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian: "Though the risks are very real, the case for intervention remains strong." Intervention - what a polite, benign, Guardian word, whose real meaning, for Libya, was death and destruction. According to its own records, Nato launched 9,700 "strike sorties" against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles with uranium warheads. Look at the photographs of the rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves identified by the Red Cross. The Unicef report on the children killed says, "most [of them] under the age of ten".

As a direct consequence
, Sirte became the capital of ISIS. Ukraine is another media triumph. Respectable liberal newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, and mainstream broadcasters such as the BBC, NBC, CBS, CNN have played a critical role in conditioning their viewers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia when, in fact, the coup in Ukraine in 2014 was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.

This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington's military intimidation of Russia is not news; it is suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war.
Once again, the Ruskies are coming to get us, led by another Stalin, whom The Economist depicts as the devil.The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The fascists who engineered the coup in Kiev are the same breed that backed the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Of all the scares about the rise of fascist anti-Semitism in Europe, no leader ever mentions the fascists in Ukraine - except Vladimir Putin, but he does not count.

Many in the Western media
have worked hard to present the ethnic Russian-speaking population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, as agents of Moscow, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

There is almost the joie d'esprit of a class reunion of warmongers. The drum-beaters of the Washington Post inciting war with Russia are the very same editorial writers who published the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.To most of us, the American presidential campaign is a media freak show, in which Donald Trump is the arch villain. But Trump is loathed by those with power in the United States for reasons that have little to do with his obnoxious behaviour and opinions. To the invisible government in Washington, the unpredictable Trump is an obstacle to America's design for the 21st century. This is to maintain the dominance of the United States and to subjugate Russia, and, if possible, China.To the militarists in Washington, the real problem with Trump is that, in his lucid moments, he seems not to want a war with Russia; he wants to talk with the Russian president, not fight him; he says he wants to talk with the president of China.

In the first debate with Hillary Clinton,
Trump promised not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into a conflict. He said, "I would certainly not do first strike. Once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over." That was not news. Did he really mean it? Who knows? He often contradicts himself. But what is clear is that Trump is considered a serious threat to the status quo maintained by the vast national security machine that runs the United States, regardless of who is in the White House.

The CIA wants him beaten.
The Pentagon wants him beaten. The media wants him beaten. Even his own party wants him beaten. He is a threat to the rulers of the world - unlike Clinton who has left no doubt she is prepared to go to war with nuclear-armed Russia and China. Clinton has the form, as she often boasts. Indeed, her record is proven. As a senator, she backed the bloodbath in Iraq.  When she ran against Obama in 2008, she threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran. As Secretary of State, she colluded in the destruction of governments in Libya and Honduras and set in train the baiting of China.

She has now pledged to support a No Fly Zone in Syria - a direct provocation for war with Russia. Clinton may well become the most dangerous president of the United States in my lifetime - a distinction for which the competition is fierce. Without a shred of evidence, she has accused Russia of supporting Trump and hacking her emails. Released by WikiLeaks, these emails tell us that what Clinton says in private, in speeches to the rich and powerful, is the opposite of what she says in public.

That is why silencing and threatening Julian Assange is so important. As the editor of WikiLeaks, Assange knows the truth. And let me assure those who are concerned, he is well, and WikiLeaks is operating on all cylinders.

Today, the greatest build-up of American-led forces since World War Two is under way - in the Caucasus and eastern Europe, on the border with Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, where China is the target.

Keep that in mind when the presidential election circus reaches its finale on November 8th,  If the winner is Clinton, a Greek chorus of witless commentators will celebrate her coronation as a great step forward for women. None will mention Clinton's victims: the women of Syria, the women of Iraq, the women of Libya. None will mention the civil defence drills being conducted in Russia.  None will recall Edward Bernays' "torches of freedom". George Bush's press spokesman once called the media "complicit enablers".

Coming from a senior official in an administration whose lies, enabled by the media, caused such suffering, that description is a warning from history.
In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: "Before every major aggression, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack. In the propaganda system, it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons." John Pilger. 27 October 2016
My thought for today. – Werner
Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government. Edmund Burke

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Yearning for our lost Freedom.

Here is another wonderful poem by Brigadier George Mansford (retired). (Click on the link for more poems.)  George. is a true blue Australian compatriot.  This poem evokes nostalgia to the time - how Australia once was. This poem should be hanging in every school in Australia. Our younger generation have no idea how the Australian Diggers fought and died for our freedom. The Diggers would now turn in their respective graves if they would see how political correctness has changed this country. All our younger generation seem to know how to play with their mobile phones and, it seems they have lost the art of physical one to one communication.

Former USA president Harry S. Truman has very well described political correctness as early as 1945. “Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end!” Unquote.
Have a nice day and enjoy the little “Freedom” you still have! - Werner

Today, our treasured way of life exists mid weary yawns 
Believing this cornerstone of our nation will be there with each dawn
Yet confronted with increasing hatred, threats, bombs and strife
Why do we take for granted such a precious way of life? 

Have we forgotten how it came to be? 
A Colony born of the First Fleet and striving to be free
The toughness and resilience of our people were part of life 
They met the challenges of oppression and man- made strife

The rampant floods or merciless droughts that never seemed to end
The bloody World Wars where our people never did bend
The Great Depression with hunger, poverty, misery and pain
Yet always the smiles and the dreams for tomorrow, be it sun or rain

With each generation came the right to say what we thought
It was a priceless part of our Aussie way and could never be bought
We were equal and no matter whom a bloke was or where he’d been
You could rant from a soapbox or heckle anyone in a footy team

Those generations who came before us would turn in their graves 
To see the national apathy and meekness slowly making us slaves
Suits are selling off the farm while our heads are buried in the sand
Rabid fanatics are bolder by the day to possess our beloved land

Don’t stray from the new regime or you’ll be remiss
It’s odds on that you will quickly be branded as a racist
Political correctness is slowly and slyly stealing our prized legacy
Arrest the thief or find our vault empty of precious values for society

Raise our flag, beat the drums and tell the bas--rds enough is enough
To shove a pineapple you know where with the end that’s rough
Cure the colour blindness and return freedom to say what we think
To once more shout in Aussie  style  “Gawd, strike me bloody pink”
George Mansford ©September 2016
My thought for today. - Werner
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself – Aloud!”Coco Chanel

Sunday, October 16, 2016

An outstanding and outspoken Journalist, a rare breed in Australia.

When it comes to journalists, Julian Tomlinson, a columnist with the Cairns Post is one of a rare kind; we have far too few of them in Australia.  Julian is also known as the Regional Editor in Chief of (Innisfail Advocate, Atherton Tablelander, Tablelands Advertiser, Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette)

Julian is not afraid of saying as it is and not worried about being politically correct and calls a spade a spade; he is like a breath of fresh air. This used to be a well-known Australian trait, but today you have to be extremely careful what you say in order not fall into the racial vilification trap that our bleeding heart politicians have set. Yes, we have become too serious and as Julian said “laugh instead”.

I’m now side tracking a bit. Laughter is good for you, it decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. So have a laugh and click on the above links!

Julian’s editorials are characterized by directness in manner or speech; without subtlety or evasion. We certainly need more journalists like Julian in our country. Following is an excellent editorial by Julian in our Local Cairns Post, I thought to share it with those of you who don’t read or get the Cairns Post.  – Werner
Offended? Let’s laugh instead.

OF all the problems facing Australia – and particularly Far North Queensland – having the character and colour legislated and preached out of society is near the top of the list. We’re told repeatedly that we should accept everyone – except if that person shoots roos, catches fish, wears croc teeth in his hat, swears, tells politically incorrect jokes, harmlessly flirts with women, scoffs at overblown environmental concerns, flaunts masculinity, disciplines their kids and likes a beer.

We’re becoming a society where being hypersensitive and offended at minor things is encouraged, even by our legal system. A society where people are told failure is OK and you can do whatever you want because the government will take care of you.

A country where success is not encouraged,
and where the best way to distinguish yourself from your peers is not by doing great deeds but by identifying as a minority victim. In the past, Aussies lauded their best sportspeople, businesspeople, military, explorers and high-achieving loveable larrikins.

Entertainers Dame Edna, Sir Les Patterson, Rodney Rude and Kevin “Bloody” Wilson were proudly claimed as Aussie legends and if you didn’t like them, you’d be called names, but now you can complain to a tribunal to stop that.

Sporting events were a time to let your hair down, maybe laugh at a streaker, get sunburnt, drink too much and yell offensive slogans at the Poms. Not anymore. We didn’t take things too seriously and the thought of a prime minister draining a yard-glass of beer was cause for adoration, not scorn.
Now the bounds of admirable behaviour are dictated by people best described as “blancmanges” – that colourless, snobby French dessert. Our past three Australians of the Year have merely pushed social causes.

Our sporting heroes are now so sanitised that if someone says something even slightly controversial, it dominates the headlines for days. People say: “You can’t just tell someone to not be offended”, but I think we can and we must. Generations of mothers have soothed traumatised children with “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.Now we have social engineers changing that to “ ... but words can hurt me too”.

The true test of a person’s character is how they react to taunts or setbacks.
The person who responds to a gibe with something like “that’s pretty rich coming from a Collingwood supporter”, earns admiration, while the person who lashes out, sulks or runs to the teacher is shunned and held up to even more ridicule.

At my old Aussie rules club,
a Vietnamese teammate responded to light-hearted, race-based ribbing with light-hearted, race-based comebacks, topped off by turning up to Mad Monday dressed as a Vietcong soldier and carrying a “Red Card for Racism” issued to soccer crowds back then. Whenever someone made a racial comment, he’d blow a whistle, show the red card and the person had to skol a beer. Hilarious.While critics would say this bloke was a victim, I can honestly say there was not one person in the club who wouldn’t have run through a brick wall for him, such was the respect he earned via his character.

As a profusely sweating, mono-browed, slightly chubby kid of Lebanese descent, my boarding-school life didn’t improve until I owned the “wog” name and showed the other kids I wasn’t affected. After I chose to do that, I earned my classmates’ respect, and those blokes will forever be my close mates. To be clear, these two examples cannot be classed as unacceptable, deliberately intimidatory bullying – it was more poking fun and locker-room banter. There is a difference.

People – i.e. kids – need to learn and be actively taught, that having a thick skin is one of the most important tools for success in life. While we used to value resilience, a good sense of humour, courage, and toughness, we now preach softness, emotional fragility, and weakness. We shield people – especially kids – from adversity instead of exposing them to it and pass laws to enforce this. It can only end in tears, personally and for society as a whole.
My thought for today. – Werner
“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”~ Herm Albright

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pauline Hanson, a true blue Australian.

One can’t help, but admire Pauline Hanson for her courage and tenacity. Pauline always had the courage to say what most Australians only dared to think. If there was ever a woman in Australian history that was very unfairly treated, wrongfully prosecuted and jailed - it was Pauline Hanson. The treatment she got from our politicians with vested interests was totally and absolutely un-Australian. Now the politicians are crawling up to her. The Greens have to be despised for their puerile action of walking out when Pauline made her maiden speech. The Greens have just shown their real colours and characteristics. Following is Pauline’s maiden speech in the Senate, friends have asked me to publish it.Werner
Pauline Hanson's Senate maiden speech.
First of all, I would like to welcome everyone in this house and thank you for your attendance. It is very much appreciated. When I cast my mind back to the last day on the floor of the House of Representatives in 1998, just prior to the election, I called out across the chamber, ‘I will be back!’ Those around me cried out, ‘No, you won’t!’ My electorate boundaries were changed, forcing me to stand for the new seat of Blair. Also with the introduction of full preferential voting, this cost me the seat. Although I polled 36% of the primary vote, this was not enough against the Liberals’ 21% and Labor’s preferences delivering them the seat.

It has taken numerous elections, countless legal battles and doing a stint in maximum security on trumped-up charges — of which former speaker Bronwyn Bishop stated I was Australia’s first political prisoner - to find myself here. Some call it persistence and tenacity. My daughter describes it as a Johnny Farnham comeback. I call it standing up and fighting for what you believe in and not allowing the bastards to grind you down. So, to all my peers in this place and those from the past, I have two words for you: I’m back—but not alone.
I cannot begin to express the pride and honour I have in being joined in this place by three of my colleagues—Senator Malcolm Roberts, also representing Queensland; New South Wales Senator Brian Burston; and Western Australian Senator Rod Culleton—elected under Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. As a strong, united team I guarantee we will make a difference.
It has been 20 years and four days since I last delivered my first speech in this house, a speech that shook a nation, woke up many Australians and gave hope to those who thought no-one was listening. That speech was relevant then and it is still relevant today. The problem is we have not had leaders with the foresight or the intestinal fortitude to cast aside political correctness. They have failed to discard old treaties and agreements that are not in our best interest and have signed new ones giving away our sovereignty, rights, jobs and democracy. Their push for globalisation, economic rationalism, free trade and ethnic diversity has seen our country’s decline. This is due to foreign takeover of our land and assets, out-of-control debt, failing infrastructure, high unemployment or underemployment and the destruction of our farming sector. Indiscriminate immigration and aggressive multiculturalism have caused crime to escalate and trust and social cohesion to decline. Too many Australians are afraid to walk alone at night in their neighbourhoods. Too many of us live in fear of terrorism.
In my first speech in 1996 I said we were in danger of being swamped by Asians. This was not said out of disrespect for Asians but was meant as a slap in the face to both the Liberal and Labor governments who opened the floodgates to immigration, targeting cultures purely for the vote, as expressed by former Labor minister Barry Jones—to such an extent that society changed too rapidly due to migrants coming in the front door but also the back door, via New Zealand. Now we are in danger of being swamped by Muslims, who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own.
I love my country, culture and way of life. My pride and patriotism were instilled in me from an early age when I watched the Australian flag raised every morning at school and sang the national anthem; watching our athletes compete on the world stage, proud to salute the Australian flag being raised to honour them as they took their place on podiums. It is about belonging, respect and commitment to fight for Australia. This will never be traded or given up for the mantras of diversity or tolerance. Australia had a national identity before Federation, and it had nothing to do with diversity and everything to do with belonging. Tolerance has to be shown by those who come to this country for a new way of life. If you are not prepared to become Australian and give this country your undivided loyalty, obey our laws, respect our culture and way of life, then I suggest you go back where you came from. If it would be any help, I will take you to the airport and wave you goodbye with sincere best wishes.
Australia is predominantly a Christian country, but our government is secular. Our Constitution prevents governments from imposing religious rule and teachings. The separation of church and state has become an essential component of our way of life, and anything that threatens that separation threatens our freedom. Australia has embraced migrants from all different races, making us one of the most multiracial nations on earth. Most have assimilated and are proud to call themselves Australians, accepting our culture, beliefs and laws. I welcome them from the bottom of my heart. As they integrate and assimilate, the disruption caused by diversity diminishes.
Why then has Islam and its teachings had such an impact on Australia like no other religion? Islam sees itself as a theocracy. Islam does not believe in democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or freedom of assembly. It does not separate religion and politics. It is partly a religion, but it is much more than that. It has a political agenda that goes far outside the realm of religion. It regulates Muslims’ social and domestic life, their legal system and politics—their total life.
Australia is now seeing changes in suburbs predominantly Muslim. Tolerance towards other Australians is no longer the case. Our law courts are disrespected and prisons have become breeding grounds for Muslims to radicalise inmates. Muslims are imprisoned at almost three times the average rate. The rate of unemployed and public dependency is two to three times greater than the national average. Muslims are prominent in organised crime, with associated violence and drug dealing. Antisocial behaviour is rampant, fuelled by hyper-masculine and misogynist culture. Multiple social surveys find that neighbourhoods of Muslim settlement are suffering from collapsing social cohesion and fear of crime. Australians, in general, are more fearful.

Not only is terrorism seen around the world, but it is now part of our society, with Muslim refugees involved in the Lindt Cafe siege, the Curtis Cheng murder in Sydney and the stabbing of the two police officers in Melbourne. The Grand Mufti and other Muslim leaders are deafening with their silence, or lack of sympathy. Radicalisation is happening on our streets, in our suburbs and mosques. Yet, our leaders continue to tell us to be tolerant and embrace the good Muslims. But how should we tell the difference? There is no sign saying ‘good Muslim’ or ‘bad Muslim’. How many lives will be lost or destroyed trying to determine who is good and who is bad?
Many more Australian Muslims have volunteered, or have tried to volunteer, to fight for ISIS than we have in our own Defence Force. ASIO has over 509 terrorist suspects under surveillance. Civil tension is on the rise across the country, led by Australians feeling the impact of Islam in their lives and a distaste for its beliefs. Their tolerance to our customs has seen Christmas carols no longer sung at some schools and Bibles not to be found in most hospitals. Some public swimming baths have times set aside for Muslim women only, and drivers licenses are obtained by Muslim women wearing the burqa and niqab. Prayer rooms are now provided in universities, hospitals, schools, airports and shopping centres to accommodate Muslims.
Halal certification tax has been forced upon us, costing Australians approximately $10 million a year. Halal certification is not a religious requirement but a moneymaking racket, and certification is unnecessary for Muslims’ welfare because non-halal products can be consumed, provided the word ‘Bismillah’ is said over the food and a prayer is recited. Muslims want to see sharia law introduced in Australia. This law is a totalitarian civil code which prescribes harsh feudal rules imposed on everything, firstly for Muslims, later for everyone. As long as Islam is considered a religion, sharia conflicts with our secular state.
Islam cannot have a significant presence in Australia if we are to live in an open, secular and cohesive society. Never before in Australia’s history have we seen civil unrest and terror associated with a so-called religion, or from followers of that faith. We have seen the destruction that it is causing around the world. If we do not make changes now, there will be no hope in the future. Have no doubt that we will be living under sharia law and treated as second-class citizens with second-class rights if we keep heading down the path with the attitude, ‘She’ll be right, mate.’ Therefore, I call for stopping further Muslim immigration and banning the burqa, as they have done in many countries around the world. Burqas are not a religious requirement. Most Australians find them confronting, as did two of our former prime ministers. I am sure a lot of the women forced to wear them would love to cast them aside but live in fear to do so. In addition, no more mosques or schools should be built, and those that already exist should be monitored with regard to what they are teaching until the present crisis is over. Sharia law should not be acknowledged or allowed. And Australian companies should be banned from paying for halal certification.
Australians have never been permitted to vote on immigration and multiculturalism. When have we been asked or consulted about our population? We reached a population of 24 million this year, 17 years ahead of prediction. Governments have continually brought in high levels of immigration, so they say, to stimulate the economy. This is rubbish. The economy is stimulated by funding infrastructure projects, creating employment. What major projects have we had in this country for the past 30 years? How many dams have we built in the past 50 years? The only stimulation that is happening is welfare handouts—many going to migrants unable to get jobs. At present, our immigration intake is 190,000 a year. High immigration is only beneficial to multinationals, banks and big business, seeking a larger market while everyday Australians suffer from this massive intake. They are waiting longer for their life-saving operation. The unemployment queues grow longer—and even longer when government jobs are given priority to migrants. Our city roads have become parking lots. Schools are bursting at the seams. Our aged and sick are left behind to fend for themselves. And many cities and towns struggle to provide water for an ever-growing population. Our service providers struggle to cope, due to a lack of government funding, leaving it to charities to pick up the pieces. Governments, both state and federal, have a duty of care to the Australian people. Clean up your own backyard before flooding our country with more people who are going to be a drain on our society. I call for a halt to further immigration and for government to first look after our aged, the sick and the helpless.
Foreign investment and foreign ownership are great concerns. The government finally released its register of foreign ownership, which reveals that foreign interests owned 13.6% of Australia’s farmland. That is 52m hectares. It includes 30% of the Northern Territory’s farmland and 22% of Tasmania’s. The register fails to show the quality of the foreign owned land. Is it the jewels in the nation’s agricultural crown? Let’s have a register on all land owned by foreigners, including non-agricultural land and housing. And why is there no information on who owns our country’s vital irrigation and water assets, despite this being promised? The registry is a disgrace. It makes me wonder whose interests this government is serving. Australia needs a national government, not a corporate one, not a union one, and not an alternative lifestyle one. Any foreign ownership is regrettable, but why are we allowing the Chinese government, an oppressive communist regime, to own our land and assets? Why are we allowing our ports, utilities, services, agricultural land, and industries, to be acquired by foreigners of any nationality?
It is foolhardy to sell our water, agricultural land — our food source — essential services and ports. This is not in Australia’s national or security interests. This foreign takeover is destroying small towns across the nation. A farm once the home of an Australian family is now run by a manager. People move, less money is spent, schools lose students and then the town starts to die. Now these foreign owned properties become food bowls for their own countries. Tax is avoided, or very little paid, because they go straight from paddock to plate. Transfer pricing, which involves minimising taxation by artificially charging high prices or operating costs to subsidiaries in Australia, and other forms of tax minimisation, are a certainty.

Housing is beyond the dreams of ordinary Australians. Why? Because they cannot afford to buy, due to foreign investors driving up prices. Officially, foreigners can only buy new housing, but this is not policed. If the Liberal party wants a pat on the back for having reduced the purchase price to $15m before it has to go to the Foreign Investment Review Board, they will not get it from me. I intend to give them a kick up the backside. Australians have given their lives protecting this great land from foreign takeover. I can guarantee most did not want to go to war but knew it was their duty to ensure their loved ones lived in peace. But, more importantly, they fought for freedom.
I want Australian land, houses and companies to remain locally owned, and I believe I speak for the majority of Australians. Our land and assets are not for sale. Governments are only caretakers of our assets. No contract has been signed giving them permission to sell them. If they cannot rein in the budget with overpaid public servants—one being the head of Australia Post, who is on $4.8m per year — foreign aid, welfare fraud, politicians lurks and perks, including former prime ministers, and backroom deals for government jobs, then get out of the job of running this country. I warn this government and future governments: you never miss the water till the well runs dry.
Australia’s federal gross debt is currently $499bn. Our interest payments are over $43.5m a day. Out-of-control government spending, mismanagement of taxpayers’ dollars, multinationals not paying their fair share of tax and welfare that was introduced to provide for the aged and sick, or as a helping hand for those going through tough times, has now become a way of life for some and is abused and rorted by others. Welfare costs the Australian taxpayer approximately $158bn a year and this is expected to rise to $191bn by 2019-20. Nearly one half of our budget is spent on welfare. This is out of control and must be reined in.
Farmers are screaming out for workers and small businesses have difficulty in finding people who want to work. Welfare is not a right, unless you are aged or sick. It is a privilege paid for by hard-working Australians. I support the government in wanting to stop school leavers going immediately onto welfare. What message are we sending them? Teach them how to apply for a job, rather than encouraging them to become dependent on money they have neither earned nor worked for. Then we have the single mums having more children just to maintain their welfare payments, and Muslim men marrying multiple wives, under their laws, then having multiple children at our expense while they collect thousands of dollars a week from the taxpayer. How many have ever held a job? Why would anyone want to work when welfare is so very lucrative? If people bring children into the world, it is their responsibility not the taxpayers’. Therefore, I propose that if a woman has a child, the taxpayer will support the first child, but, if they have more, there will be no increase to the welfare payment. Get a job and start taking responsibility for your own actions.
Not only are we facing a crisis with welfare but also with our health budget. It also is being scammed, abused and rorted and is costing taxpayers billions. The Health Care Card has no identification on it, just a name and number. Anyone can, and does, take another person’s card when visiting a doctor, especially those who bulk-bill. Prescriptions are collected at a cost to the taxpayer, if the cardholder is on welfare. Overseas tourists, illegals and those not entitled to Medicare use their family’s card or a friend’s card. Let me give an example. When one tourist visiting family fell sick, he went to the doctor and used his cousin’s Medicare card. He ended up in hospital and died. The owner of the card had to admit it was not he. ‘What happened?’ you ask. Well, he just had to pay the hospital bill.
We have to stop the rorts, mismanagement and abuse of our taxpayer-funded services, whether it be welfare, health or education. If you want to access these services then apply for an Australian identity card. You must prove you are entitled to apply for the card on a points system. There should not be any complaints because applying for a $30 phone plan is the same. So I will not accept do-gooders complaining about people’s privacy. The card will have an identification chip, a photo and electronic fingerprint. If we are ever going to pull back our deficit we must stop the thieves. If you are not prepared to apply for the card, that is your choice, but expect to pay full price for doctors and prescriptions, and no more welfare handouts will be coming your way.
Family Law would be the most discriminatory, biased and unworkable policy in this country. I referred to it in my maiden speech 20 years ago and still nothing has changed - if anything, it is worse. As a nation, we should hang our heads in shame when, on average, three men, and occasionally a woman, suicide a day due to family breakdowns. The whole system is unworkable and is in desperate need of change. Children are used as pawns in custody battles where women make frivolous claims and believe they have the sole right to the children. Children have two parents and, until we treat mums and dads with the same courtesy and rights, we will continue to see murders due to sheer frustration and depression and mental illness caused by this unworkable system. Suicide is the only way out for those who feel there is no hope after facing years of costly legal battles. Their lives having been destroyed and the pain of missing their children are the reasons many end up in a state of depression caused by the trauma and in some cases the blatant vindictiveness from former partners.
Child support is another contentious issue and should be revised. Some parents are left caring and providing for children without any financial help from the other parent. Others refuse to work so they do not have to pay child support. The system needs to be balanced, taking in the age of the child on a sliding scale and both parents’ incomes should be taken into account. Non-custodial parents find it hard to restart their lives, with excessive child support payments that see their former partners live a very comfortable life. Make it fair with both custody and child support and most parents will gladly take on their responsibility.
I ask all parents: is it worth the pain and anguish to deny your child the love they so deserve from both parents? They are only children for such a short time and all children need both parents. Please put your differences aside, make your peace and come to agreements outside of law courts. The only ones to gain are the legal professions, who are rubbing their hands together watching the thousands of dollars coming their way. Is it worth losing the family home? Is it worth the grief it brings not only to you but also to your extended families, not to mention the children? At the end of the day, the answer is no. I speak from experience not only as a mum myself but also as a grandmother.
I am not going to do a Derryn Hinch and speak for 45 minutes—oh, he still awake! I have a lot more to say but I have six years in this place—Derryn, sorry, you only have three—so there will be plenty of time. Oh, I can feel the Greens cringing—no they have left—and squirming in their seats at the thought that I could possibly be here for six years.
In closing, I will finish on this note: very few of us ever travel a journey alone and nor should we. Our loved ones and friends we have accumulated along the way are an integral part of who we are. Three of my children are here today. They have been with me every step of the way sharing my triumphs and battles, my high points and the lowest in my life. I did not know my life was going to be such a roller-coaster of a ride. I love you with all my heart. But I hate to tell you guys: it’s not over yet; buckle up.
There are those who kept the political party I launched in 1997 alive for 13 years after I left in 2002 till I came back in November 2014. Special thanks to Ian Nelsen for never giving up and for asking me to come back and lead the party. James Ashby is a man I have the utmost respect and admiration for. Like myself, the establishment has also kicked him about unfairly. Your dedication and hard work beside me added up to the clincher that not only saw me win my seat but also saw the other senators win their seats. With deep appreciation and sincerity, thank you.
Thanks to Sarah Beric. You took on a task unbeknown to you, from performing as a professional violinist to running a political office and campaigns. You have been invaluable. A couple of strangers came along at the right time, helped me spread my wings and gave me the support and assistance I needed that now see me standing on this floor today. These people are no longer strangers but dear friends, welcome at home any time for another lamb roast. Thank you, Bill and Renatta.
As I said earlier, I was imprisoned in 2003 for three years, held in maximum security on electoral fraud charges. My sentence was quashed on appeal after 11 weeks. If it were not for my sister Judy and brother Peter fighting for my freedom and justice—and Alan Jones, along with approximately 90 per cent of Australians who believed I was wrongly imprisoned-I would have been behind bars for three years. My father always said, ‘Politics is a dirty game.’ I was one of seven children and the quiet one of the family—believe it or not! Believe me: you are lucky to have me here and not the rest of the Seccombe clan. We come from a breed of Australians who were taught values, morals, honesty, work ethic and common sense—things very much lacking today.
I will never take my position as a senator in this place for granted and nor should I. To the people of Queensland and Australia who voted for me and my party: thank you. You have given me a great honour. Now it is up to me to prove my worth to you. I can guarantee Pauline Hanson is a name that carries with it independence, honesty, assurance, quality and reliability — things the Chinese can never buy. Also, Halal snack packs are never provided — isn’t that right, Sam?
Mr President and my fellow senators: thank you for your indulgence. We may not agree on everything but we need to work together for the future of our country and its people. I look forward to working with each and every one of you, including the Greens, if you are prepared to see this country prosper rather than shut down.
 My thought for today; Werner
Good judgment comes from experience and great judgment comes from bad experience.
-- Robert Packwood

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Silky - our canine family member.

In almost my entire life, there was always a German Shepherd dog, each of them had their own distinguishable personalities, as well as their peculiarities and I can still vividly remember all of them.  But, there was never a German Shepherd like Silky; she was one of a kind.

It hadn’t been long since we had lost “Toby” our German Shepherd dog, through scrub tick paralysis, a real curse, and endemic to North Australia. With our cabinet making business at the back of our premises, we urgently needed a guard dog first of all – a pet was only a distant consideration, although all our dogs were always considered as a part of our family. I often said that if I get reincarnated as an animal, I would want to be a dog in the Schmidlin Family.

We were scanning the newspaper for advertisements – to find a replacement.  So, on a Saturday an advertisement in “The Cairns Post” caught my eye “German Shepherd puppies for sale,” at Freshwater. We rang the advertisers to make an appointment to see the puppies and possibly find one we’d like.  “We’ll be home all afternoon, come anytime, I was told. I decided to go for a drive and call in on the way home, but the kids were all psyched up to see the puppies so we went there first.

When we arrived at the place we were led to an enclosed compound at the back of the yard, which contained a German Shepherd bitch surrounded by eleven gorgeous pure bred pups. Now came the difficult part, which one to pick. “Take that one, no take the other one, no take that one over there,” the children called out with pointed fingers and enthusiasm.  Karola said: “This is hard, they are all beautiful”. It became obvious to me very soon that I had to take over the pup selection task.

Beforehand, Karola and I agreed that we would take a female this time.  We took into consideration past experiences, males tend to roam the countryside when “love is in the air,” a bitch in season.  Sex is the only thing on their brain then, being a guard dog becomes only a far distant secondary consideration – if any at all.

The picking task had now become considerably easier; there were only five females.
One particular pup caught my eyes, it was standing out from the rest, and it had beautiful markings on its fur, was particularly lively, but was only half the size of the others.  The reason it was so small was, we were told, because the mother had only ten teats and one pup too many.  This one was pushed away at feeding time and had to be content with the “leftovers” after the ten bigger pups had their fill.

“What is the gender of this particular one?” I asked the lady owning the dogs, “it’s a female”, she responded.  “Could I get a closer look at that little dog, please?” I asked. “Certainly,” said the lady and went into the pen and handed me a delightful furry “ball”. The coat of the puppy felt so soft and it felt as if I had a silky fur ball in my arms. It seemed to be quite happy to be in my arms and away from her milk depriving “tormentors.”  We all had a good look at the pup, but something inside me said repeatedly take this one – and that’s what we did. When it came to giving the pup a name, we all agreed that “Silky” would be most appropriate.

We paid for Silky and went straightaway to the veterinarian in Cairns, Mr. Kenny, who lived behind his surgery and was always on call. He examined the pup, checked its weight, gave it the necessary injection and medicine and, gave us some good advice. Silky’s, weight was a mere two pounds. Needless to say that this was the end of our planned Saturday afternoon drive, going home with the new acquired family member became the preferred option.

Silky settled nicely into her new place of abode, we kept her inside for the first night and her bed was a big carton.  She got into her food with gusto and gobbled it down quickly. No doubt, in the back of her mind must have been the thought about being pushed away by her siblings and missing out on one of her mother teats.  Within a week she had doubled her weight and looked like a fury ball with four little outriggers attached to it, and having difficulty walking as the underbelly was just about dragging on the floor.

At the time, we also had three cats, the mother cat and her two half grown kittens.
They all became friendly with this “fury ball,” played with each other, ate their food from one plate, at times Silky dragged a kitten to the plate as if to tell her, you eat this.  We were really amazed about this congenial cat & dog relationship; normally there is the inherent and mutual hostility for each other.

This unusual relationship lasted about nine months, until Silky came into season for the first time - then things changed dramatically.
The chemistry in Silky must have changed with her gaining the equivalent of a dog’s adulthood.  Her attitude towards the cats changed to hatred and she killed both kittens. This was a real enigma for us. How could such a sudden change take place? We asked.  Perhaps the intrinsic hatred for cats was dormant in Silky until her maturity, we speculated.

The mother cat was so frightened that she went into hiding during the day and visited us only late at night or early in the morning, when Silky was locked in her kennel. She announced her presence by miaowing in front of the door. We would let her in to give her milk and food and then she would disappear again until the next evening or morning. Some time later, when the cat did her usual miaowing in front of the door, Silky jumped at the kennel door, which opened and she made a beeline for the cat and up the external stairs. By the time Karola opened the door, our cat was dead on the top of the stairs.

Silky looked at Karola with a pleased facial expression. She was wagging her tail and the body language indicated that she expected a pat and praise for her “magnificent” deed.  This wasn’t forthcoming. Instead she was severely scolded, but we were sure Silky wondered why. What else could we do than to forgive Silky for her, in human terms, terrible misdemeanour, but in a dog’s way of thinking she did exactly what her instinct told her to do. The cause of this calamity was, it appeared, one of the children didn’t shut the bolt of the kennel door properly when locking Silky up for the night.

Silky grew into a beautiful dog, with a wonderful silver fawn coat; she was an excellent watchdog, exceptionally loyal, clever, obedient and, very easy and a pleasure to train. When customers or friends arrived, she barked until we said, "That’s enough, Silky." But she never took her eye off them, nor did she allow herself to be befriended. People used to ask for her name, so they could call her.  Silky, however, totally ignored them and pretended not to hear. If there was a persistent person who called “Silky” more than twice, she would look at the person, lift her lips, show them her white teeth and give off a growl – making it manifestly clear that she wanted to be left alone and didn’t want to befriend other people.

After a few years I decided to have Silky mated – to the chagrin of Karola and, oblivious to me at that time, of what I had let myself into.  In the meantime, Mr. Kenny’s veterinary clinic had been bought by a young veterinarian, Bob Griffith & his wife Pam.  Silky was regularly taken to Bob & Pam for examination during her pregnancy. As the pregnancy drew to the end, Bob gave me instructions in (dog) “obstetrics.”  He said everything seemed normal and he expected no trouble when the time came for Silky to give birth. “Once the waters break, things should proceed rapidly, and you, as the “chief obstetrician” should not encounter any problems.  If however,” Bob concluded, “things don’t go smoothly after Silky's waters have broken– give me a ring.”

In anticipation to this event I constructed a 1.5 x 1.5 meter enclosure with a bottom, serving as the “maternity ward.” I felt relaxed and calm, knowing that everything was under control and I was prepared for the “happy” event.  What I hadn’t anticipated was that Silky would start her "labour" late on a Sunday afternoon.  The “maternity ward” was in my workshop and I resigned myself to the fact that I’d spent the night with Silky in the workshop. However, the mosquitoes took a liking to my blood, and after 9 pm I shifted the maternity ward into the more comfortable lounge room.

When Bob told me to give him a ring if the waters had broken and nothing happened, he would have hoped that Silky started her birth during the normal office hours – not on a Sunday night.  At 11 pm the waters broke and I waited in anticipation for pups to appear. An hour passed and nothing happened. “Oh my God,” I thought, “do I have to ring Bob at this ungodly hour and tell him that the waters had gone, but the pups refuse to come out?” 

Bob & Pam lived in a Townhouse in Cairns and I was mulling and agonising, whether to ring or not to ring. Eventually I bit the bullet and rang.  I apologised profusely for ringing him at this time, but Bob said,"That’s OK, don’t worry. Give Silky another hour and if after that time still nothing has happened, ring me again.”  I waited two hours before I rang Bob again; it was just after 2 am Monday morning.  “Bring the dog in straight away!” Bob said. “We’ll be waiting for you downstairs.” I started the onerous task of getting Silky into the car; I had the backseat covered with old blankets.  With all the commotion, Karola woke up and helped me to lift Silky into the car.  Fifteen minutes later I arrived at Bob’s townhouse.  Bob & Pam had the lights on and the door open, and had the bathroom downstairs converted into a maternity ward. It was a relief to hand Silky over into good care. I was prepared to stay there, knowing too well that Silky was strictly a “one person” dog and doesn’t take easily to strangers, and I made this clear to Bob. But Bob said, “That’ll be OK, you go home and get some sleep.”

I arrived home just before three am, had a shower, and went to bed, but the though of not being with Silky and leaving her with strangers prevented me from sleeping.

Karola left just before 5 am, as usual for her job as a breakfast cook at the Imperial Hotel in Cairns. At seven o’clock I went to my workshop to work on a new kitchen for a customer, but I couldn’t get Silky out of my mind, nor could I concentrate on my work.  I just had to ring Bob again to see how things were progressing. “Everything’s fine, we have one pup and will take both down to the clinic at 8 O’clock.” Bob said.

But despite all the assurances given to me I just couldn’t get Silky out of my mind and wished I could be with her. Shortly after 8 am I rang the clinic and Pam told me that they had just delivered another pup, but it had to be induced with a drug injection. “Are you sure, that you don’t want me at the clinic, just in case Silky causes trouble?” I asked Pam, in the forlorn hope that she might say yes, come in. “Don’t worry, Werner, we are quite sure we’ll be alright. She’s no problem and we will keep you informed of Silky’s progress." After I got off the phone I felt utter uneasiness, knowing too well that Silky never made friends with strangers and now with her pups around her, that would be really unusual.  Perhaps, she has mellowed since becoming a mother; I tried to tell myself, hoping to ease my disappointment of not being with her.

I had hardly taken ten steps away from the phone, when it rang again. “Hi Werner, this is Pam. We have a big problem, Silky won’t let us go near her.  Would you please come in as soon as possible?”  This was like music to my ears, and told me that Silky was still her old self. “I’ll be on my way, Pam. I’ll see you shortly, bye.”  I rang Karola at work and told here what had transpired and where I was going.

At the veterinary clinic I was led straight to the enclosure where Silky was. Pam opened the gate, I went in and she shut it quickly behind me.  Silky was so glad to see me, and that was mutual.  She greeted me like a long lost friend, wagged her tail profusely and the look on her face was very close to a big “smile.” The enclosure had a low ceiling and I couldn’t stand up, so Pam brought me a footstool to sit on.   This was now my “prison” for the rest of the day.  As it happened, this was a difficult and drawn out pup delivery affair. Silky needed an injection to bring on the birth for every pup.  Karola called in after work, shortly after 2.30 in the afternoon, by then, we had accumulated 4 pups.  The 5th died as it had a torn navel cord and Bob couldn’t stop the bleeding.  By 4 pm the 6th pup was born and I was hoping it would be the last one, as I wanted to get out of this claustrophobic box. Bob examined Silky and was convinced that it was the last pup and said that I could go home with my “menagerie.”

The first night we kept silky and her litter in my purpose-build “maternity ward” in the lounge room so that we could keep an eye on things. While having breakfast, the following morning Silky started to mill around inside the enclosure arching her back and it seemed that something was wrong. I rang Bob and told him what was happening, and asked Bob, “Surely she wouldn’t get another pup, would she?”  “No, I don’t think so, but you better bring her in immediately.”  Bob had just uttered the last word, when I sprang in, “Bob! Silky has just given birth to another pup!” “Oh my God, that’s unbelievable, get in here fast.”
Unfortunately the pup was dead, most likely too long in her mother's womb. I rushed into town dreading the thought of spending more time with Silky in a low ceiling box. Bob gave Silky a thorough going over and assured me that it was definitely the last pup – and thank goodness, it was. When I got home, I shifted the pups into their new domicile, a big doghouse, large enough for three adults to sleep in, and it was made dog proof as well as mosquito proof.  It was also surrounded by a fence so the pups had some space to run. From time to time we let Silky out; in order to get some peace and respite from her demanding pups.
Our property didn’t have a fence then and one late afternoon I looked out of the kitchen window, where the Kennel and dog enclosure was and I saw a beautiful male Corgi approaching the enclosure.  I hurried out to chase him away, but I was too late and I found a dead Corgi lying prostrate in front of Silky who looked at me with great satisfaction and wagging her tail profusely. I thought, “Oh my God, I needed this like a hole in my head."  Karola had observed the whole incident through the kitchen window. “Silky,” she recounted, “grabbed the Corgi by the scruff of the neck and shook it a couple of times." And so ended the life of a male Corgi, which had the audacity to approach Silky’s domain and her pups. I agonised for some considerable time, what to do with the dead Corgi.  To find the owner was out of the question, as I though it would be better for them not to know what happened to their pet, and there could have been a hostile reaction about something I had no control over.  After dark I put the corgi in my Ute, went to a friend’s cane farm and buried it.

A couple of weeks later, Karola went to the Yorkeys Knob Post office and she was introduced to a lady by the postmistress. She went on to tell Karola that this lady lost a male Corgi recently and may perhaps want to replace it with one of our pups. The lady explained to Karola that she was puzzled by the sudden disappearance of her Corgi, but she thought that because it was such a friendly dog and would go with anybody, she was convinced that somebody piked him up and took him away.  She told Karola where she lived and that was 1.5km away from our place. Karola though it best not to tell what really happened with her dog and let the lady live with her assumption.
Silky’s extreme dislike of cats hadn’t diminished, no cat dared to come into our yard and disturb my vegetable plants, except when she was secure in her kennel or inside the house. But she was able to sense, hear or smell when a cat was in the yard and went nearly berserk and wanted to desperately go outside - and we knew exactly why and tried to calm her down. But on one occasion Silky was so determined to go out that she  put a slit in the door's mosquito screen with her claws – and the end result was, the neighbour’s cat was badly mauled and the vet had to put it down. After this incident I put lattice work on the bottom half of our mosquito screened doors.
In the early 1970s I managed a cane farm in Smithfield for a Cairns doctor. The Farm was located on the Captain Cook Highway as well as halfway down Yorkeys Knob Road.  The tractor shed and one of the farm houses, which was occupied at that time by an old pensioner, was on the Captain Cook Highway side and the house we lived in was on the Yorkeys Knob side. The pensioner had rescued a terribly skinny mother cat from a cane fire; her teats were full with milk and looked as if they would burst any moment. This of course indicated that she had kittens in the cane, which perished in the fire. This lucky cat had found a new home and the old man nurtured her back to good health.
One Sunday morning, I had to go over to the other side of the farm to check out the irrigation pump. Silky stood beside the “Land Rover” wagging her tail so profusely that that the whole hindquarter went from side to side,  indicating that she would like to come along for the ride, something which she absolutely loved doing. I opened the door and she waited for my command to say “jump in” and she sat on the passenger seat next to the open window. We drove into the farmyard and there was the cat walking leisurely across the lawn.  I stopped immediately, as I wanted to close the car door window on Silky’s side. However, Silky saw the cat and jumped through the open window.

I yelled at her, but despite being a very obedient dog, whenever she saw a cat her hearing went into selective mode, and she was oblivious to commands from her master. The cat tried to run up a palm tree, but with Silky in hot pursuit the cat had no chance.  The cat was about 1.5 meters up the somewhat leaning palm trunk and Silky grabbed the cat by the tail, pulled her down and shook her a couple of times and, the poor cat was dead. All this happened in a matter of seconds, much faster than I can tell the tale. By the time Silky died, she had killed nine cats. This was not a pleasant record in human terms, but for a dog’s way of thinking to kill its arch enemy is ingrained in their psyche and they just act instinctively.  Nevertheless, despite this unwelcome trait we couldn’t help loving Silky.
Silky was an extremely intelligent and a loyal family friend and it was a pleasure to train her all sorts of things very easily.  One of the first things she had to learn was not to run over my vegetable garden beds when chasing birds or cats, or when the kids played “catch ball” with her. She always followed diligently, after only a few lessons, the pathway between the beds.  Silky, obeyed any command given by family members when I wasn’t present, but in my presence she ignored them and looked at me, and waited for me to say, “It’s Ok Silky.” Only then did she carry out the command.

Since Karola had to get up at 4 am to get ready and go to work, she knocked off at 2pm and when she got home she always let Silky off the chain and let her into the house while she had a bit of a nap. So one day Edna, her workmate, who had a day off and was in the area, thought to call in quickly to see Karola and have a cup of coffee and a chat. Edna was well known to Silky and she let her in, but Edna found that Karola was fast asleep and decided to depart quietly. However, Silky had other ideas. As soon as Edna touched the doorknob, Silky bailed her up showed her lovely white teeth and growled. Edna backed slowly away from the door and sat in a chair and didn’t dare to move, and Silky didn’t take her eyes off her. When Karola finally woke up and walked into the lounge room she found Edna meekly sitting in the chair, with Silky close by. Edna's involuntary confinement lasted about half an hour, but the consolation prize was a belated cup of coffee, and Silky didn’t object to Edna’s leaving afterwards.
When Silky was about one year old, two tourists drove past and saw Silky in front of our house. They turned around and called in. They said what a beautiful dog she was and said that if she ever has pups, they would like to have one. We promised them that we would let them know. We gave each other our addresses and phone numbers. The people had a sheep station near Canberra ACT.

Five years had passed before Silky had pups and I thought the people from Canberra would have, by now, gotten a German Sheppard, but since I'd promised them to let them know, I rang them. I introduced myself and said, “I just wanted to let you know that Silky has pups now, but I’m sure that you would have gotten a German Sheppard in the meantime.”  “Yes, we did, but it is a male.  Would you please send us a female so that we can breed?” said the lady on the phone. At that time we had the two domestic airlines, the government owned TAA airline and the privately owned Ansett airline. Ansett had also an airfreight service, so I rang them to make inquiries to find out how I could send a puppy by air to Canberra, and when it had to be at the airport. I was instructed that I had to make a box with a waterproof bottom, the dog had to be given a tranquiliser and I could bring the box in any day at 4.30 am.
Constructing the box was no problem as I was a cabinetmaker and I made the box big enough for the puppy to lie down and stretch out. I also had a tin tray made by a plumber with a 5 cm high edge around it, to make the box waterproof. The morning arrived when I had to get up at the “iniquitous” hour of 3.30 am to tranquilise the pup with a tablet and put it into the box and take the whole dog cargo to the airport at Cairns. After all the formalities had been completed and the box weighed I had to pay the clerk $35.00. I handed him two twenty dollar bills and he gave me $5.00 back. Then another employee walked in and said this edge on the tray on the bottom of the box is not high enough and the box cannot be accepted. Arguing with him that the dog had little to drink, is tranquilised and would sleep all the way to Canberra and, that besides that, the dog wouldn’t piddle that much as to cause the tray to overflow, was to no avail. So, I was handed back my $35.00 and contemplated what I should do next?
I thought, I’ll just go to TAA and see if they will take my puppy to Canberra. To my surprise I found Tom Reid on duty, a German, for whom I had only recently installed a new kitchen, and whom I knew very well. Tom greeted me with, “Werner what are you doing at the airport at this hour?”(I didn’t tell him that I'd gone to the opposition first)  “Well, Tom, I have a box with a puppy in the car. Could you get it to Canberra for me?“  “No trouble, bring it in,” Tom said. I handed Tom the box and asked how much it was and he said, "Nothing”. “What do you mean, nothing?" I queried. “Nothing!” Tom repeated again, just go home and go to bed.  I left as I didn’t want to make a case about payment, especially since other people had arrived. When I got home I rang Tom and asked him how he gets away with not charging me, and Tom explained that Airline employees are allowed to send a certain amount of airfreight for free, and he sent it under his name. As the saying goes “all is well that ends well”. This certainly ended particularly well for me and I wasn’t sure if I should have rung the Ansett employee who told me that they cannot accept the box and thank him for saving me $35.00.
It was an Easter Sunday afternoon, many years later, Silky had reached the ripe old age for a dog of well over sixteen years, and this is really a very old age for a dog in the tropics. We were having a cup of coffee with friends, when Silky wanted to get up.  She got halfway up and collapsed and we could hear a distinctive sound like snapping or breaking of a bone. I lifted Silky up and found that her right hind leg was sort of dangling, there was no doubt that Silky had broken her hipbone.  I rang Bob, but I couldn’t get him, but finally got him Easter Monday and he told me to bring her to the surgery. After examining her, my worst fears were confirmed; her hipbone was broken right on the top.
“Werner, it is very difficult to put a plaster where the break is, also this would take a long time to heal, and her age is another factor against her. We could try to plaster it, but with the dog wanting to move around it would not be a success,” Bob said. “What is the alternative?” I asked Bob.  “The only alternative is, and I hate to tell you this, is to put her down.” This was very hard to take; I had never thought that I had ever to make such a difficult decision to end the life of my loyal and wonderful companion of so many years. I agonised for a long time, realising that what Bob said is true and that age is against her. With a very heavy heart I agreed to have Silky put to sleep. Bob said, “You don’t want to see this, you better go home. I stroked Silky, gave her a hug and a kiss on the forehead and left. I stopped at the door and gave her one last glance and I never ever forget the look on her face - it said, “You are abandoning me now.”
I became absolutely overwhelmed by emotion and burst into tears and they were freely flowing all the way home. Karola knew straightaway what had transpired, I didn’t have to say a word. I never ever forget the look on Silky’s face and I ever regret not to have stayed with her till her last breath.  As I write this, it brings once again tears to my eyes. The passing of Silky ended a wonderful chapter in our lives; Silky was an extraordinary dog and one of a kind. We had five more German Shepherds after Silky, all with their distinctive characteristics and personalities, but none of them could surpass Silky. Of these five only one was acquired as a pup, the other four were abandoned adult dogs we rescued from the council pound.
On one occasion, our son was looking for a dog and saw a photo in the newspaper of an abandoned German Sheppard, at the council pound. We went there on behalf of our son. But the dog was in a terrible state with all the ribs and the rib-cage showing, the head looked bigger in proportion to the body and the whole dog looked scraggly and had hardly any hair - in short it was a total wreck of a dog.  I said to Karola, “We can’t get this dog for our son in such a condition.” But the dog looked at us with sad and pleading eyes.  Karola nearly cried and insisted that we rescue this poor soul. I was very reluctant, mainly because we came here for a dog for our son, but Karola insisted and said, “We cannot leave this dog here, it well break my heart,” so we bought it and kept it ourselves.  It was company for the other German Shepherd we already had.   She was a female and her name, given by the pound, was Kora.  It took some tender loving care to get Kora back into shape, but in time she was in a good condition and turned out a wonderful dog and came close to the characteristics of Silky.

All of them eventually had to be put to sleep, either because of sickness or old age or both. But I stayed with each of them till their last breath. When we lost our last one in 1998 because of kidney failure, we decided not to get another dog. This time, age, we thought, is against us and it is so hard on you when you lose your dog.  What took a long time to get used to, was not to be greeted by our canine friend when we came home. I hope you enjoyed reading this story. – Werner
My thought for today. - Werner Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. Roger Caras