Home' Greymouth Star : May 5th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, May 5, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1646 - British forces under King Charles I
surrender to Scots at Newark, England.
1821 - France’s Napoleon Bonaparte dies in
exile on the island of St Helena.
1865 - Australian bushranger Ben
Hall is shot dead by one-time friend
Billy Dargin at Billabong Creek,
near Forbes, NSW.
1893 - Stocks in New York drop
sharply as investors sell at the start
of the ‘panic of 1893’.
1911 - New Zealand pilot
J J Hammond makes first flight over
1930 - Amy Johnson begins the first solo
flight by a woman between England and
1947 - Sixteen people die in train derailment
at Camp Mountain, Queensland.
1951 - Death of Rev John Flynn, founder of
Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Ser vice.
2011 - Claude Stanley Choules, the last
sur viving combatant from World War One,
dies in Perth, aged 110.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Karl Marx, German socialist (1818-1883);
Empress Eugenie of France (1826-1920);
Nellie Bly, US pioneer of investigative
journalism (1867-1922); Spencer
Tracy, US actor (1900-1967);
Tyrone Power, US actor (1913-
1958); Tammy Wynette, US country
singer (1942-1998); Michael Palin,
British actor-traveller (1943-); John
Rhys-Davies, British actor (1944-);
Craig David, British singer (1981-);
Adele, English singer (1988-).
“The future masters of technology will
have to be light-hearted and intelligent. The
machine easily masters the grim and the
dumb.” — Marshall McLuhan, Canadian
communications theorist (1911-1980).
“ But the advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the
Father will send in My name, will teach you
everything, and remind you of all that I have
said to you.” — ( John 14.26).
A breath of spring
and orange blossom
invaded the St
Columba Hall last
night with the Brides of the Year show. It was
a wonderful time for girls of all ages whether
the banns had been announced or not. While
the crowd huddled in heavy winter coats the
mannequin ‘brides’ fought off shivers and goose
pimples. They did it so well that there were
many sighs from the big assembly — sighs
that are more common to the church when the
bride makes her first appearance on her father ’s
As many a man has felt before, the male
contribution to the marriage ceremony —
while essential — is very much a formality.
The women of the world at this time “put up
with him”. Last night, men were even less in
evidence, not a ‘groom’ in sight.
The changing face of the marriage gown over
100 years was shown in the dress worn by Miss
Margaret Rutledge. It was lent for the show by
Mrs L D McGlashan and is of 1864 vintage.
Four other brides were dressed in the finery of
a much more recent ceremonial occasion. They
are Mrs Thelma Efford, Mrs Lola Jones, Mrs
Joy Lindley and Mrs Sandra Gray.
A new suggestion has been fired into the
controversial issue of the amalgamation of
West Coast hospital boards. It was triggered off
at last night’s meeting of the Buller Hospital
Board by Mr E T O’Connor and Dr W
Bennett who considered that the West Coast
area might be better ser ved by amalgamation
with Nelson and possibly Marlborough.
The Buller board agreed to discuss the
question with other Coast boards in the next
uFood for thought
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er campaign barely
three weeks old, Hillary
Clinton already has been
attacked by Republicans
on everything from
donations to her family’s
charitable foundation, to her tenure as
secretary of state and her ties to Wall
Street. But her rivals, and the political
action committees that support them, are
treading more carefully on one incendiary
subject: her age.
If elected in November 2016, Clinton
would be, at 69, the second-oldest person
to take the presidential oath for the first
time, behind only Ronald Reagan, who
turned 70 weeks after being sworn into
office in 1981.
Questions of health and fitness for the
presidency dogged two former candidates
of a similar age, Bob Dole in the 1996
election and John McCain in 2008, each
of whom was 71 at this point in the race.
Time magazine featured Dole on the
cover asking whether he was “too old” for
the job. McCain was so determined to
show that he was healthy that he often
put in back-breaking campaign days.
presidential campaign,” said Steve
Schmidt, who was McCain’s campaign
manager. “ There is a thin line between
seasoned and decrepit.”
But several Republican campaigns that
seem best positioned to exploit it do not
want to touch the issue — at least directly.
That is a shift from just a few months ago,
when presidential hopefuls Senator Rand
Paul, 52, and Wisconsin Governor Scott
Walker, 47, explicitly referenced Clinton’s
age as a possible disqualifier, and Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
likened her to a cast member of the hit tv
show The Golden Girls, which featured
four older women living together.
“It’s a rigorous physical ordeal, I think,
to be able to campaign for the presidency,”
Paul said in November, referring to
Clinton’s age. Now, however, Paul’s
presidential campaign does not want to
talk about the issue. It declined further
comment. As did Walker’s political action
committee, even though last fall, he, too,
noted that he could run for president
“20 years from now ” and be the same age
Clinton is today.
Campaign aides to Paul, Walker and
Senator Marco Rubio, 43, as well as
Republican strategists, said there was little
appetite in the party at the moment for a
direct assault on Clinton on the issues of
her age and fitness for office, even after a
2012 fall that gave her a concussion and
caused a potentially life-threatening blood
Similarly, anti-Clinton political action
committees such as American Crossroads,
America Rising, and Citizens United said
they had no plans to launch ads centred
on her age.
“It’s unwise to attack a political
opponent based on her immutable
characteristics, like race, gender and
age,” said Republican pollster Kellyanne
Conway. She said she has met with
at least five Republican presidential
campaigns seeking her ser vices and none
of them has indicated they want to go
after Clinton on issues involving her age.
With Clinton swamped by questions
about foreign donations to the Clinton
Foundation and criticism of her use of a
private e-mail server while at the State
Department, there is also simply no
reason at the moment to engage in an
attack that could be more divisive than
beneficial, Republican strategists said.
They fear that highlighting Clinton’s
age could alienate women voters whom
Republicans need to be competitive in
next year’s general election.
Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg
said women older than 50 would
probablly comprise the largest bloc of
voters in 2016.
There is little evidence that Democrats
and independent voters are concerned
about having another president in their
70s. A poll conducted this month showed
that Clinton’s age would not influence
how 67% of Democrats and 72% of
independents voted in November 2016.
And rather than downplay her
age, Clinton in recent campaign
events in Iowa and New Hampshire
embraced her role as a grandmother,
striking sympathetic notes with other
older women in the room about the
responsibility of raising a grandchild.
Supporters have also sought to dismiss
any concerns about her age as sexist,
noting that she is the same age as Mitt
Romney when he ran four years ago.
Romney largely avoided any protracted
discussion about his health.
While eschewing direct attacks, some
of the Republican presidential hopefuls
have found other ways to strongly hint
that Clinton’s age should be an issue
for voters. They have repackaged the
issue as ‘generational’ and suggested she
is a product of the politics of the 20th
Century. That argument will grow more
vivid should Clinton face a candidate who
could be a generation younger than her in
the general election.
“ When you look at Hilary Clinton’s age,
it becomes an issue in a general election if
she’s running against a 40-something new
face as opposed to Governor Bush,” said
Schmidt. Jeb Bush, the former Florida
governor, is 62.
Rubio, a quarter century younger than
Clinton, referred to her as a “ leader
from yesterday ” when he announced his
candidacy last month.
“ We welcome the contrast (with
Clinton),” said a top adviser to Rubio.
“This election is going to be about the
Clinton’s campaign declined to
comment on the various statements by the
Republican hopefuls, referring questions
to Correct the Record, a rapid-response
operation run by the pro-Clinton group
American Bridge. A spokeswoman,
Adrienne Watson, said it was Clinton’s
rivals, not her, who were behind the times.
“Republican politicians are stuck in the
90s — the 1890s,” Watson said. “I’m sure
all Americans, Republicans included,
would appreciate it if Republican leaders
would join (Clinton) in talking about our
She saw Rubio’s comments as a coded
attack on Clinton’s age.
“Marco Rubio basically disqualifies
himself to be president when he
diminishes any American for being too
young or old or anything else,” Watson
Yet Rubio’s approach is similar to the
one employed by Clinton’s husband, Bill,
in his re-election campaign against Dole
“I don’t think Senator Dole is too old to
be president,” Clinton said at one debate.
“It ’s the age of his ideas that I question.”
Dick Morris, who served as Bill
Clinton’s campaign manager, said it was
a subtle enough way to remind voters
of the age difference between the two
“ We obviously couldn’t attack age
directly because of older voters,” Morris
said. “ What we did is adopt a whole
strategy based on issues that would
summon the memories and ideas of age
without articulating it.”
Dole released his medical records in
1995 to assuage concerns about his
age. But the damage control was not
entirely successful: he mistakenly called
the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team
“Brooklyn,” and he tumbled off a stage
during a rally.
Hillary Clinton, too, had what her
husband seemed to term a ‘senior’
moment in 2008 when she erroneously
claimed she had come under sniper fire
while on a trip to Bosnia as first lady.
Bill Clinton blamed the episode on his
wife being exhausted, adding that her
critics, “when they ’re 60, they ’ll forget
something when they ’re tired at 11 at
night, too.” — Reuters
The danger of unexploded World War
Two aerial bombs lurking in the soil still
haunts Germany 70 years after the war
ended on May 8, 1945, exploding without
warning or surfacing after frost.
More than 2000 tonnes of live bombs
and munitions are found each year in
Germany, even under buildings. They
are defused or detonated in controlled
blasts but not before causing disruption,
evacuations or sometimes even death.
“The older they are, the more dangerous
they become,” said Detlef Jaab, a Berlin
police munitions expert who has defused
thousands of the devices over 23 years.
“It’s a dangerous job but there’s a lot of
variety and freedom to make decisions,
whether a bomb can be defused or is too
deteriorated and has to be detonated
where it’s found.”
The sounds and smells of World War
Two, which Germans will mark next
week, come back to life at a police
blasting ground in Berlin’s Grunewald
forest eight times each year when Jaab’s
squad blows up stockpiled munitions.
Air raid warning sirens wail before the
earth in the high-security area erupts in
successive explosions. The ground shakes,
red-hot shrapnel sometimes flies through
the forest and smoke wafts over the site.
“There are still an estimated 2500
bombs buried in Berlin and many more
artillery shells. Since 1948 we have found
1395 bombs,” said Jaab.
About 56 tonnes of unexploded
ordnance were retrieved last year in
Berlin, the prime target of British and
American aerial bombs that was further
devastated by Soviet artillery and
grenades during the climactic Battle of
Berlin 70 years ago.
The country was pummelled by 1.5
million tonnes of bombs from British and
American warplanes that killed 600,000
people. German officials estimate 15%
of the bombs failed to explode, some
burrowing 6m deep.
Many are found by city planners
studying war-era aerial maps,
construction workers or people digging in
gardens. Farmers sometimes find bombs
weighing up to 4000 pounds pushed, like
boulders, to the surface by the process of
frost and thaw.
“The dangers lurking grow more acute
as time passes,” said Wilfried Mueller,
who oversees the removal of munitions
on federal and military properties from
his Hanover headquarters.
Mueller said while some of the
bombs can be found by studying aerial
photographs and looking for signs:
“Dredging canals, rivers, lakes, seashores
or water ways is very difficult. Unexploded
bombs are everywhere.”
Germany ’s Luftwaffe began bombing
civilian targets early in the war before the
Allies responded with aerial attacks that
destroyed many German towns and cities.
Three police explosives experts in
Goettingen were killed in 2010 while
preparing to defuse a 1000-pound bomb
and last year a construction worker in
Euskirchen was killed when his power
shovel struck a buried 4000-pound
bomb. In 1994 three Berlin construction
workers were killed in a similar accident.
In 2012 a fireball lit up the sky in
Munich, causing millions of euros of
damage to 17 buildings, when authorities
had to detonate a deteriorated 500-pound
bomb. In April this year a 1000-pound
bomb ripped a 3m deep hole in a
motor way near Offenbach.
Hardly a week goes by without a bomb
being found, often forcing thousands to
evacuate their homes or offices. Germans
are often unperturbed by the disruption,
taking it in their stride as a fact of
“Germans have developed an obsession
about security and safety yet when it
comes to World War Two bombs that
are found just about everywhere we just
accept it,” said Jessica Gienow-Hecht, an
historian and war scholar at Berlin’s Free
“It touches on Germany ’s responsibility
and war guilt,” she added, saying she
grew up playing in bomb craters and was
matter of factly told about bomb damage
by realtors while looking to buy a house.
“ It’s part of what we did and you can’t
Bombs lurk beneath soil 70 years after war
Berlin police munitions expert Detlef Jaab stands beside a defused bomb used as a decoration at a police blasting ground in
Berlin’s Grunewald forest, Germany.
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