Wednesday, June 24, 2009


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is trying to figure out the "utegate" affair

The "Blitz"

Pictured above are a couple of "Blitz" trucks in mint condition. There were a number of variations of them. You see above, for instance, that they came in both 6-wheel and 4-wheel versions. They were made in Canada by both Ford and Chevrolet during WWII as part of the huge Canadian contribution to the war effort. Male Canadians and Britons in those days were men, not the whining mice that most seem to have become under Leftist influence in the postwar era.

My interest in the "Blitz" stems from the fact that my father used to use one in his work as a timber feller ("lumberjack" in North American parlance). Once you have felled a huge forest tree, you have got to get it out of the bush somehow -- either to a rail siding or a road where you can load it onto a truck.

Unlike his father, my father did not use a bullock-team to "snig" (drag) the log along a bush track to its destination. He used a Blitz. A Blitz was originally designed to negotiate the often difficult terrain leading up to battlefields and it therefore had both 4WD and a double-reduction gearbox. It was slow but tough and versatile and could go almost anywhere -- which made it ideal for forest work after the war. And it was immensely popular after the war. They were all over the place in country areas. They were often used as tow-trucks. The picture below is an indication of how many there were before they all eventually wore out.

What I would like to know is how they originated. They were apparently designed in Britain but look like no other British vehicle. My suspicion is that the design was a copy of an Opel Blitz of the period. Opel is/was the German tentacle of GM. So I suspect that the British just copied a successful German design. I have however not been able to find a picture of the Opel Blitz of that period.

The name "Blitz" certainly suggests a German origin. "Blitz" is the German word for lightning. On the other hand, maybe the name is simply ironical: Whatever else the Blitz was, it was certainly not fast.

There must be a million collectors of military vehicles worldwide and a Blitz in good condition would certainly be most prized in such circles so I hope at least one collector reads this and is able to give me the history behind the "Blitz".

Australia to cut skilled immigration, but let in lots of unskilled immigrants

This is typical Leftist destructiveness. Decoding note: The "Pacific guest worker program" mentioned below consists of bringing in totally unskilled Polynesians, a group known for a high crime-rate, obesity and not much else. "Shutting down the Pacific solution" means giving residence permits to illegal immigrants, mostly Middle Eastern Muslims with all their horrible attitudes. Leftist speech is routinely designed to cover up folly so needs a lot of decoding

Skilled immigration will fall due to the global economic crisis, the Federal Government says. ''I expect the numbers of our program to drop next year ... as a reaction to the economic circumstances,'' Immigration Minister Chris Evans told reporters. Senator Evans said the size of the cut would be a matter for cabinet.

The government was very aware that labour demand would differ across regions and economic sectors. ''It's not a one size fits all.''

In Britain the government is hardening immigration laws as unemployment rises amid the financial meltdown. Non-European Union workers migrating to Britain will, from April, have to hold a masters degree and will have to show they earned a salary of at least $44,000 before moving to the UK.

Despite the pressures on immigration, Senator Evans said the Pacific guest worker program would not be reviewed ''at this stage''. However, he did say the government was reconsidering what occupations should be listed on the commonwealth's critical skills list.

The Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union has already called for construction jobs to be cut from the list. ''The critical skills list is under review and that's one of the things we will look at as the circumstances change,'' Senator Evans said. ''We will probably have a formal look at that in the next couple of weeks.''

South Australia's Master Builders Association has warned against such a cut, saying the soon to come infrastructure spending by government meant plenty of workers would be needed in the sector.

Senator Evans' comments came after meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres. The meeting culminated in the government offering an extra $4.4 million in funding to the body. Mr Guterres admitted the snowballing economic crisis would not help refugees but praised Australia for taking a bigger role in the issue since Labor's election win, especially for shutting down the Pacific solution. ''We believe things are moving in the right direction,'' Mr Guterres said.


Australian Army red tape too much even for Germans

Pretty bad when a suppier would rather lose a sale than cope with all the self-important bureaucratic nonsense

THE army's $450 million plan to acquire new 155mm self-propelled guns faces a one-year delay because of the complexity of the Defence Materiel Organisation's tender process. The revelation comes as one of the two contenders to supply the artillery declined to participate in the final tender negotiation with the DMO.

German firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, whose PzH 2000 gun was favoured to win the contest to supply up to 18 guns to the army, has declined to participate in the offer definition and refinement process with the organisation. KMW is competing against Raytheon Australia, which is teamed with Korean manufacturer Samsung Techwin, which is offering the AS-9 gun.

Senior government sources told The Australian yesterday that neither tender had fully met the DMO's tough contractual requirements. Only the Raytheon consortium has chosen to continue negotiations with the DMO. According to informed sources KMW has cited problems with intellectual property as well as a requirement for more equitable risk-sharing with the commonwealth in its decision not to participate in the offer definition and refinement process.

Raytheon is now pushing hard for an early decision but the KMW tender offer will remain on the table and valid until next April.

Last month DMO chief Stephen Gumley told a Senate estimates committee there were a number of "technical issues" that had to be resolved before a decision could be made on a preferred tenderer. The German firm, which is partnered with BAE Systems Australia, has offered brand new surplus Dutch army guns as part of its tender in the Land 17 project.

The PzH 2000 gun is in service with the Dutch military in Oruzgan province in Afghanistan and has impressed the Australian army with its all-round capability.


Yummy donkeys

No doubt the animal-lovers will freak out over this but they wont be able to throw about their favourite word --"endangered" -- this time

WHAT a hide - donkey steaks, processed in Queensland, will soon be sold in China and the skins will be used to boost Chinese womens' libido. The emerging export industry will process meat from feral donkeys sourced from the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. Already there are talks with a Charleville abattoir, one of several Queensland operators set up for kangaroos but capable of processing donkeys.

This was confirmed yesterday by Primary Industries Minister Tim Mulherin, who said China had signed a trade protocol that accepted donkey steaks and skins. "This is a great diversification opportunity for the macropod industry," Mr Mulherin said. "This emerging donkey trade could mean dozens of new jobs for harvesters and processors and more than $20 million into our economy. "All going well, donkey meat will soon be hitting the woks in Beijing and the skins will be used in traditional Chinese medicine in a product designed to increase the female libido."

Donkey meat is considered a delicacy in parts of China where taste buds cover a wide range - anything from slivers of camel hump to pigeon tongues are served up. China has its own supply of donkeys but cannot meet all the demand, with importers regularly advertising overseas for the animal. And Australia has an estimated population of more than five million wild donkeys which would be killed and then transported to Queensland for processing.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Its definitely not the Opel Blitz. Beyond that I don't know anymore about it.