Shocked and saddened. Michelle saw disability for what it is. …

Comment on Michele Castagna, 1944 – 2016 by John Bell.

Shocked and saddened. Michelle saw disability for what it is. The luck of Life’s draw.
For some, the short straw, the glass half empty.
For others, a test of character, the glass half full. Michelle filled the glass to overflowing with love and good works.
Rest in peace, you beautiful lady. A treasured Alician who will be sorely missed.

Recent Comments by John Bell

To die for country
@ Kieran Finnane: “His emphasis is on Indigenous service in Australia’s overseas conflicts, which he sees strangely as a denial of their Aboriginality.”
With due respect, I strongly disagree with Ms Finnane’s take on Brendan Nelson’s statement. The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is a very special place. A unique symbol of Australia’s national cultural identity.
Over many years, I sat within its walls, gazing at the depictions of old battlefields where my (our) relatives died, contemplating the ultimate sacrifice by men and women from every part of the world, from every race and walk of life.
Every Anzac Day for so many years I stood in the pre-dawn darkness among the trees up the hill behind the Memorial, with the last remaining Diggers of my late dad’s battalion in their fold up seats, rugs over their frail old knees, listening to their whispered stories, gratefully accepting the passed-around hip flask to keep out the morning chill. A thousand candles flickering through the trees down the hillside.
And then, as the Last Post sounded at the break of dawn, the sleeping kookaburras all around us in the trees awoke and rose laughing cheerfully to greet the morning sun. Every year, without fail.
The old Diggers would look up to the sky, thinking their own thoughts, smiling.
Anyone who knows the Aboriginal legend of the kookaburra and the spirit of the young desert warrior now at peace will understand the beautiful cross-cultural significance of that poignant moment.
Above all else, the moment you walk through its portals, the War Memorial wraps you in a lovingly warm embrace of peace and unity, a universal oneness that makes no distinction of race, colour or ethnicity.
That is what Brendan Nelson meant. It is Mumu Mike Williams’s take, and it is my take.

The eternal chase: songlines of the Seven Sisters
@ Craig San Roque. Thank you for an interesting and entertaining snapshot of Greek mythology. Makes a good comparison with the story in Aboriginal Songlines.
They are great stories that have stood the test of time simply because they are great stories that stand alone.
It is only when they are captured by today’s Left and the Human Rights Brigade, the champions of victimhood and causes, and start putting today’s alternative spin on them, that the lustre and sheer brilliance begins to fade.

The eternal chase: songlines of the Seven Sisters
“His ‘longfella malpa’ takes off without him, Douglas recounts” has a troublesome message in Aboriginal art that crosses over into the art of all cultures.
The phallic symbol and its impact on social behavior has long been the subject of art discussion and consternation in western civilization, from the ancient statue of David down to the modern day.
Longfella malpa rampant has a lot to answer for in an increasingly violent world of clashing cultures.
Ancient Central Australian culture sums it up neatly in a single brilliant phrase.

Mayor Ryan short on answers on top issues
@ Evelyne Roullet. Point taken about humour. The lifeblood of friendly discourse.
We former long-haired young men of Melanka and Stott House with good ideas of the Boomer age are now Bald Old Men, too often mocked and reviled as out of date and un-PC.
Mayor Damo is a fringe member of our Bald Old Men club, copping a fair bit of flak at the moment.
The great Bald Men of History – Mahatma Gandhi, Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, Yul Brynner, George Castanza, Danny De Vito – to name a few – must be shaking their shiny domes in sorrow and empathy with our modern day plight.

Lasseters private enterprise beacon in stagnant town
Sun Yat Sen was a master military strategist. He advocated “soft power”, the non-military takeover of opposing nations through the Trojan Horse of trade, assets and land acquisition.
It is a wonder that Chinese state-controlled business interests have taken so long to move the Trojan Horse in a big way into the Alice. They have done it in Darwin.
The Stott House-Melanka sacred site of ye olde Baby Boomers is a prime target, ripe for the picking. And only a matter of time before they make an irresistible offer to the guardians of Uluru.

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