A friend in Australia pointed out something interesting about Lieutenant General John Monash, “the outsider who won a war” (the title of a biography about him published in 2004). He did, indeed, receive a knighthood from King George V in 1918. It was no ordinary knighthood.
The knighthood was unprecedented in that the King crossed the channel to present it to Sir John Monash at the Australian Army Corps headquarters in the Chateau where they were based. This was during the First World War, on August 12th, 1918. It was the first time in 200 years that anybody had been knighted on the battlefield.
Clearly, Sir John was held in high esteem.
My blood sugar has been worse since I returned to the US. It’s difficult to say why. I’m eating the same. Stress is minimal. I think the only difference is the quality of food.
There’s way too much garbage in our food (in bread, for example; the subject of an article in The Guardian newspaper this week. We have the worst bread in the western world. The bread contains additives, which are banned in other western nations.
Diabetes has restricted my mobility, which rules out hikes. It also means that I need a wheelchair when going through airports. The only airport that let me down was Detroit.
There’s only one solution – move to Australia! I could eat cheesecake every day and still stay within the recommended range.
CELL PHONE ADDICTION
Mobile phones are banned in Australia. You can’t drive and use a phone, of any type. You can’t even touch one in the car even if the car is stationery – I know a lot of people who would find it hard to let go!
Not only does this cut down the accidents, it’s also a great stress reliever.
I mentioned last week that Australia is more relaxed that the US. One reason must be mobile phones. When people are always on the phone, they don’t relax. Take a four- or five-hour journey in Australia – without a phone, it’s pure relaxation!
I should add that hands-free phones are ok.
DEATH OF BOB HAWKE
One of Australia’s most memorable prime ministers, Bog Hawke, died while I was visiting the country. He was PM from 1983-91.
News coverage was all positive. One TV news program said that he was “a gambler, a womanizer and an adulterer.” The same narrator added that he was “a great bloke.”
I’ve started reading Andrew Roberts’ 1,000-page biography of Sir Winston Churchill. This means I’m slowly progressing through two biographies at the same time, the one on Churchill and the one on Monash. I got both out of the library.
I may post a few quotes on Churchill as I progress through the book.
“No less a figure than Mark Twain introduced Churchill at his first New York lecture, saying: “Mr. Churchill by his father is an Englishman, by his mother he is an American, no doubt a blend that makes the perfect man.”
At the Press Club, he made the following observation. “After seeing many nations, after traveling through Europe, and after having been a prisoner of the Boers, I have come to see that, after all, the chief characteristic of the English-speaking people as compared with other white people is that they wash, and wash at regular periods. England and America are divided by a great ocean of salt water, but united by an eternal bathtub of soap and water.” (p 78, Churchill, by Andrew Roberts).
BORIS SET TO WIN?
Donald Trump isn’t the only leader going through constant efforts to discredit him. Describing Boris Johnson as “a friend of mine,” Mr. Trump came close to endorsing him Thursday. Mr. Johnson is the favorite so succeed Theresa May. Is it just a coincidence that legal action is being taken against him when he is running for the Tory leadership? He is being accused of lying.
His accusers say that his claim that the UK subsidizes the EU by 350 million pounds a week was a lie, which influenced voters in favor of Brexit. “Remainers” are as bewildered as anti-Trump voters in the US – they cannot comprehend that others disagree with them!
Mr. Johnson has promised to deliver Brexit with or without a deal. The British Foreign Office really doesn’t want to leave with “no deal.” Discredit Johnson and it’s likely the country will never leave the EU.
The European parliamentary elections were a mixed bag. People turned away from the main parties in droves. In Britain, the six-week-old Brexit party got more votes than anybody, but still not a majority. Some interpret this as the people supporting “Remain” in the EU.
A move toward the “extreme Right” was noticeable in many countries, including France and Germany; but, at the same time, there was also a move toward the Greens.
It will be some time before Europe settles down.
After all the upheavals, the prophesied ten nations will be in place (Revelation 17).
LONDON NO LONGER LONDON
Actor John Cleese is having to defend himself after making the comment that “London isn’t really an English city any more.” Of course it isn’t. Over half the people of London are immigrants (first, second and third generation immigrants). They are not ethnic Englishmen.
It’s a fact. Just don’t mention it!
Pat Buchanan asked this week (May 30th): “Is the Liberal Hour ending in the West?” With the rising tide of populist feeling in the West (and even in India), it seems that the ideas of “one worldism” are dying.
“Why is liberalism fading away, and nationalism ascendant?
“The former is an idea that appeals to the intellect; the latter, rooted in love of family, faith, tribe and nation, is of the heart. In its potency to motivate men, liberalism is to nationalism what near beer is to Bombay gin.”
DEATH OF FRANCE
The Middle East Forum saw symbolism in the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral and the death of the Judeo-Christian values in modern France.
“There was something darkly symbolic about the fire that nearly destroyed the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris on April 15 – the morrow of Palm Sunday — and the fall amid heavy smoke of its 93-metre iron spire. One couldn’t help linking the religious and architectural disaster with a deeper crisis: the passing of France as a distinct country, or at least as the Western, Judeo-Christian nation it had hitherto been presumed to be.
“Writing in Causeur the morning after, Hadrien Desuin, a conservative journalist, conveyed some of these feelings as he observed: “Beyond the cathedral’s fire, France itself is burning . . . We have witnessed the Church’s slow death . . . and now even the old stones are collapsing . . . Yes, France may die . . . That’s what Notre-Dame’s flames tell us.” (Michel Gurfinkiel, 5/30).
WHAT’S BEIJING DOING IN HAIFA?
“Below the radar screens of all but a few experts, a dispute is brewing with the potential to disrupt defense cooperation between the U.S. and Israel and embroil the Jewish state in America’s increasingly intense trade conflict with China.
“The story begins in 2015, when Israel’s Transportation Ministry accepted an offer from the Shanghai International Port Group to operate the port of Haifa for 25 years, starting in 2021, and invest $2 billion to expand the port into Israel’s largest harbor. Notably, this decision was taken without the formal involvement of either Israel’s security cabinet or its National Security Council.
“As far as I can tell, this agreement went almost unnoticed for three years, until the transfer of part of the new port to Chinese control in the summer of 2018 sparked a furor in the Israeli media. But it took a meeting this past August between a delegation from the Washington-based Hudson Institute and Haifa University’s Research Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy to make this issue a matter of international concern.
During this meeting, the U.S. delegation, which included retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations, and ex-Pentagon official Douglas Feith, weighed in against the deal with a vehemence that reportedly stunned many Israeli participants.
“Adm. Roughead noted that China’s presence in Haifa might force the U.S. Sixth Fleet to abandon the port and dock elsewhere. As he explained in remarks reported in the Jerusalem Post, “The Chinese port operators will be able to monitor closely U.S. ship movements, be aware of maintenance activity, and could have access to equipment moving to and from repair sites and interact freely with our crews over protracted periods.” He also expressed concern that the Chinese could use the new port’s information systems to conduct surveillance and threaten U.S. cybersecurity.” (William Galston, WSJ, 5/28)
GERMANY STRENGTHENS TIES WITH LATIN AMERICA
(Own report) – With a Latin America-Caribbean Conference, the German Foreign Ministry is launching a new political offensive in the struggle for influence in Latin America. Germany and the EU’s influence on the subcontinent has been stagnating, while China’s importance is growing. The government hopes to counteract this development by helping German companies to increase their opportunities in Latin America – and this at a time when massive protest is being raised against German companies’ activities, for example, in Brazil. The Brazilian judiciary has currently taken action against the Technical Control Board (TÜV) South, for its alleged complicity in a dam burst in January of this year, killing more than 250 people. Brazilian activists are also accusing the Bayer and BASF companies of selling agricultural poisons in their country, which are banned in the EU. Over the past decade, more than 2,000 people have died in Brazil from agrochemicals. Berlin is also envisaging the inclusion of Latin American countries into NATO structures. (German Foreign Policy, 5/29)
MERKEL AT HARVARD
Angela Merkel gave the commencement address at Harvard University today.
Politico reports: “Angela Merkel urged Harvard graduates Thursday to “tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness” in a speech laced with apparent jibes at Donald Trump and his policies.
“Though she did not name the U.S. president, the German chancellor devoted much of her Harvard University commencement speech to attacking major pillars of Trump’s presidency: protectionism, trade wars and building walls.
“She also warned of the “threat climate change poses to our planet’s resources” and called for the world to work together. Trump announced in 2017 that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.”
Trump will win 2020 election unless Democrats impeach, says expert