Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dawn Service, April 25th 2009

The Australian War Memorial
a beacon glowing in the dark
for all those who seek to pay their respects

The sun is not yet up
it will not rise until we are done

Australian and New Zealand flags
fly at half-mast
surrounded by an immeasurable crowd
Many carry candles, others torches
some a heavy heart

Military men, active, retired
joined by civilians

Thousands wear medals on their left breast
a sign of their own commitment
Some wear them on the right
medals of relatives no longer here
to wear them themselves
Some have medals on both sides
a family tradition
Left, right
left, right
military precision

Cockatoos burst from a tree
white against a cloud filled sky
still waiting for the dawn

The lights go down
a man speaks
the service begins
in front of the memorial
now held in the glow of a single light
where a man will soon play
The Last Post

Showers come and go
nobody notices

Birds screech their approval
as background accompaniment
to the Padre’s words
thoughts and prayers for those
whose names appear on the walls
of the memorial
as well as those who returned
and were no less brave

For some of us
the alarm rang at three A.M.
to get us here on time
Why did we come?
to remember
to say thanks
to represent some one long gone
or an ideal
to make a promise
that it was not for nothing
regardless of what madness
threatens our country

We will never forget
we will never surrender
we will never let you down
as you did not let us down

The sun is not yet up
but due to many brave young men
the sun will always rise

© Bernard J Rossi

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Interest rates show up the Government's lack of bite

It was nice to hear both the Prime Minister of Australia and his treasurer talk tough on interest rate cuts and the banks not passing them, but what about some action? When interest rates were going up, and even I could tell they should not have been toward the end, the banks were adding their own rises in between. Now they are dropping and the banks are refusing to follow. Time the Rudd and Swan grew a pair and stopped being pushed around. The financial sector got us in to a huge mess and its time Rudd stopped jetting around the world and big noting himself and got on with taking action. So far it seems the Labour Government is not sure how to spell action, preferring rhetporic and fancy speeches but time is running out.

GE money and other similar companies charge as much as 34.49% interest and one has to ask why? Surely we can legislate to cap the rate at no higher than 19.99%. If they cannot operate ata profit within that then they are either in the wrong business or (as is what is happening) they are lending to the higher risk people they should not be financing in the first place.

While we are on lack of action did anyone notice the price at the bowser rising every time the price of a barrel of crude went up? Have you asked the question now how the price of a barrel has dropped to one third what is was yet what we are paying at the barrel has only dropped by a far smaller percentatge. Yes, there are other factors but nowhere near enough to make up the difference. This government was voted in on many promises, one of which was doing something about the price of petrol. Well they have talked a good game, as they always do, but where is the action.

The financial crisis hit and they think we have forgotten, but we have not! If you can't think of two things at once Mr Rudd then move over and let someone who can take the reins. The Howard Governement's C game was better than your A game, so why not put your hand up and admit you are not up to this and call an early election so we can get on with returning this great country to the strong position it deserves to be in.

We wont think any owrse of you for being honest (how could we?). If you continue to refer back to previous governemnts when you get a curly problem you can never move forward. Try honesty, try action, try thinking, and try taking the banks on with a backbone instead of slapping their non existent wrist.