24.4.04

Now why would BLOGGER publish something saved as a draft? Will recheck the Anzac Day post tomorrow when it really is Anzac Day.

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From the ABC

N Korea admits train blast, welcomes help offers

By ABC China correspondent John Taylor and wires

North Korea has finally broken its silence over the train disaster near the Chinese border acknowledging that a very serious incident has occurred.

It took days but North Korea's official news agency has now confirmed there was a train blast at Ryongchon on the border with China.

The cause still remains unclear. The propaganda arm says the explosion happened when train wagons carrying ammonium nitrate fertiliser made contact with electricity but some officials have told western diplomats the wagons were carrying dynamite.

Regardless, several hundreds of people are believed killed and thousands injured.

North Korea has appealed for international aid to deal with the crisis but the border with China, less then an hour's drive away from the scene of the devastation, remains closed and quiet.

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23.4.04

disaster
An explosion between two train carrying fuel in North Korea has killed thousands. Phone lines have been cut off to hewlp with a news blackout. More about it here from the ABC.

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22.4.04

divine right of kings
It seems to me that something akin to this older thought is still prevalent among governments today. I can see it here in both Federal and State governments which are from opposing political parties. The Federal Government seems to thnk that it can do and say things with impunity. We have Howard's slavish following of Bush to Iraq and his lame duck explanations of matters since. We have seen the government believe it can lie to the people in the children overboard crisis. There are plenty of other instances of the government relying on its majority and its length of time in office to say or do something stupid.

The NSW State Government is acting in a similar way, although from the other side of the political fence. Elected for a record time, it seems to think it can do anything it wants.

This was shown in the recent council elections. Our state has a state government and is also divided up into local council areas, each of which has a mayor or lord mayor if the area is a city.

Some years ago, the larger City of Sydney was split into the City of Sydney and the South Sydney area. Two areas, two councils. South Sydney had a strong Labor following, same party as the government. The last Lord Mayor of Sydney was also from the Labor party but he was elected to Parliament in the last state elections where he waltzed into a ministerial position. Just before the last council elections a few weeks ago, the government decided it would amalgamate Sydney and South Sydney. Councils can be dismissed for malpractice and an administrator appointed, but this was a redrawing of boundary lines. It seemed that the purpose was purely political to ensure a Labor mayor holding this office of prestige. There was a great deal of protest, to no avail.

Labor had a candidate for the office and seemed to believe there would be absolutely no difficulty in getting him elected. However, Clover Moore, already an independent Member of Parliament, for an area from which South Sydney Council had been drawn, decided to run for the position of Lord Mayor of the new council. She had just three weeks till the election. Many volunteered to help her with publicity, manning stands etc. Other candidates paid such people. Hers did it for love. She won hands down. A huge majority.

The Labor Party lost seats on the council and was reduced to, I think, three elected councillors. When the council met for the first time, the man who was to have sailed into office, could not even manage to be chosen as deputy mayor.

Sometimes governments, as well as people can be just too clever and then find that things don't turn out as they had tried to engineer them.

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21.4.04

Michelle at Seeking Serenity has a picture of the Easter shrine which she and her son made. Now she is wondering what she can do for Pentecost and the Ascension.

I well remember a camp for primary aged children. The meetings were held in a very large hall with steel roof trusses and no ceilings. It was decided to illustrate the ascension by using a rope and pulleys to haul a child playing Jesus up into the air. Unfortunately the camp leaders did not test their idea first. They put a harness on a boy and then draped him in a sheet. Someone pulled on the rope as the story was read and he began to ascend to the roof. Unfortunately, the ropes became entangled in the sheet and he was left suspended for some time midway between the floor and roof. As he slowly twisted one way and then another, a frantic search was made for the caretaker and a ladder. One failed ascension bid!

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19.4.04

Potpourri

1. Which television series do you think had the best final episode?
I really have no idea on this one. I watch very little television and can't remember if I have ever watched a whole series.

2. Do you own something that you really should throw away but can't
part with?
Tucked away in the back of a drawer are some comfortable old clothes. They fit but are far too disreputable to anything in, even the gardening. They are old and comfortable and a reminder of happier times, so there they stay.

3. Would you be willing to spend a night alone in a house that is
supposedly haunted?
I've faced worse than "supposedly haunted." However, I don't seek such stuff out.

4. Go back to your childhood ... What did you want to be when you grew
up?
I spent much of my childhood in hospital and can remember briefly wanting to be a nurse. However, from about the age of eight, I always wanted to be a teacher. I trained as a teacher and now still function as one, without a formal class etc.

5. What do you need to make your favorite pizza?
I'm a minimalist here. Potatoes sliced super finely and rosemary are nice, as is chicken and goats cheese or chicken and sweet chilli sauce. More traditionally? Pepperoni, artichoke hearts, anchovies and olives.

From Sunday Brunch from Jeanne.

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