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Lucinda(after confessing various bets during a train ride she arranged expressly for the purpose): You have utterly absolved me?
Oscar(a man of the cloth who also enjoys gambling): Where is the sin? We bet. It has all been passed down that there is a God. We bet our life on it. We calculate the odds, the return that we shall sit with the saints in Paradise. Our anxiety about our bet wakes us before dawn in a cold sweat and God sees us suffer. I cannot believe that such a God, whose fundamental requirement of us that we gamble our mortal souls - it's true that we stake everything on the fact of His existence - I cannot believe that such a God can look unkindly on a chap wagering a few quid on the likelihood of a dumb animal crossing the line first unless it might be considered a blaspheme to apply to a common pleasure that which is divine. Shall we play?
After you had ducked his punches 3 or 4 times Wild hollered to the mob that you was yellow. Dummy were pushing in and out of the crowd and now he begun to make an unholy din. This brought your ma back into and she were screaming at you to kill Wild Wright.
The fight were slow the grass long since tore up and stirred to mud by this time and you were both bogged down in a heavy sort of punishment. When I pickedc you up your hands was a mess of blood and snot slimy and slippery like a beast just skun and slaughtered. Soon the wind came up and with it a dose of soaking rain Wild looked stooped and crumpled but to you the rain seemed a refreshment.
Wild were now slow and heavy while you was fast you hit his head he fell you hit his eye he fell again. The proddies' cheering become fainter Dummy were whimpering but your mother looked very pleased sitting bolt upright beneath Bill skilling's umbrella her hands folded in her lap.
Wild's pickerupper had to carry his man to the scratch but he done no more than stand there swaying.
You said Now we're square.
Then you emphasised them sentiments with a punch that straightened Wild's spine and sent him crashing to the ground.
A blind man could see Wild Wright were done as a dinner but his pickerupper were a proddy so he dragged his hero's body to the scratch and lifted him up all 16 stone of him. Bill Skillking were crying for you to top him off but you only pushed and Wild Wright fell down most thoroughly defeated...
Tom Lloyd were there that day also Bill Skilling and your ma and Maggie I didn't know Steve Hart at the time. Having placed no bets we had no winnings but we escorted you through the streets of Beechworth straight to Ryan's Hotel. On that day you was Jesus Christ Almighty even Father Duffy come to worship you. (-- at p. 179)
The Globe and Mail
Daily Trombone for Corporate Canada
Obituaries Dec. 28/05 Kerry Packer, Media Baron and Gambler 1937-2005 Australia's richest man owned newspapers, television stations, casinos, enormous cattle farms and vast amounts of real estate. A legendary betting man, he was also a cricket fanatic and polo player
Australia's richest man, media mogul Kerry Packer, was known throughout the world for his love of sports and gambling.
Listed by Forbes magazine this year as the 94th richest man in the world - at $5 billion (US) - he amassed his fortune through his family's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd., which he inherited from his father.
...During one trip to Las Vegas, Mr. Packer reportedly had an altercation with a wealthy Texan gambler who seemed unable to understand why the casino staff was pandering to an Australian.
"How much are you worth?" Mr. Packer shouted at the Texan.
"One hundred million," the man replied.
"I'll toss you for it," Mr. Packer said. There is no record of the challenge being met. (-- p. S8)
He was a tall man in his late forties, so big in the chest and broad in the shoulder that his fellows on the bench seat had felt the strain of his presence, but what his occupation was, or what he planned to do in London, they had not the least idea. One privately imagined him a book-maker, another a gentleman farmer and a third, seeing the excellent quality of his waistcoat, imagined him an upper servant wearing his master's cast-off clothing.
His face did not deny the possibility of an of these occupations; indeed he would have been a singular example of any one of them... (-- pgs. 3-4)
... The new challenge - 'Murdoch vs Black," the clash of the Titans - enhanced the minnow's status.
Black concealed his true dilemma. As a capitalist, he should have instantly cut the Telegraph's price and spent money on improving the newspaper's editorial content and promotional campaigns to blast The Times's challenge into oblivion. The cost excluded that option. Unlike Murdoch's media empire, which generated $7.5 billion a year, Black's kingdom was dependent on the Telegraph for more than half its annual profits, and despite the income, Hollinger had accululated debts rather than cash. Without any capital, Black relied on the previous day's cash flow to survive. Matching Murdoch's price cut, he knew, would not only jeopardize his finances, but would break a lifetime's habit. Black was fighting a war on uncertain terrain.
As a student at Oxford, Murdoch was renowned as a poker player. Ever since, his commercial career had been marked by risking huge sums to win, and occasionally bearing a loss. Black did not understand a game of chance among equals. He could only win if his opponent was in trouble and the odds were stacked in his favor. If he had gathered around himself serious advisers and directors rather than relying on Dan Colson, David Radler and Jack Boultbee, he would have understood this new battle. But openness was anathema to the cabal, a weakness spotted by Murdoch, who smelt blood. (From Chapter 9, ,The Torpedo, at pgs. 199-200)
New York Times Magazine
She Was Supposed to Be Dead A Vietnam war correspondent disappears for 23 days
By Maggie Jones
When Kate Webb reported from the battlefields of Cambodia, she kept her chestnut hair cropped G.I-short and wore jeans and loose shirts to obscure her breasts. This was 1971. Only a handful of women were full-time correspondents in Vietnam, and even fewer women roughed the front lines next door in Cambodia, where military officers believed foreign women were, at best, a distraction. At worst, they were bad luck.
Bad luck was a virus among foreign-correspondents in Cambodia. Unlike in Vietnam - where Webb arrived four years earlier at age 23 with a philosophy degree, a one-way ticket from Australia, a Remington typewriter, $200 in cash and a whisky-and-cigarette voice so soft people leaned in to hear her - there were no reliable phone lines in Cambodia to call your editor in an emergency. Tehre were no American military hospitals to sew up your bullet wounds; no helicopters to evacuate you when things got bloody. By April 1971, several years before the Killing Fields, at least 16 foreign correspondents were missing and 9 were dead.
On April 7, it was Webb's turn.
... Throughout that afternoon and night, the six of them (Webb and Cambodian journalists) crept therough the wooded foothills of Cambodia's Elephant Mountains, holding their breath as they stood within inches of chatting North Vietnamese soldiers. At 11:30 the next morning, tired, thirsty, their clothes and skin shredded by branches, they were crouching in the underbrush when they looked up to see two skinny North Vietnamese soldiers with AK-47s. The soldiers bound Webb's arms behind her back with wire, vine and tape and roped all of the captives together in a single line. They confiscated their notebooks, their ID cards, their cameras, their watches. Then they took one thing that Webb held dear: a gold Chinese charm that she wore around her neck. She had clung to that charm in foxholes and always came out alive. Now without it, she felt naked.
After a soldier tossed her and other prisoners' shoes into the trees, laughing, Webb was forced to walk barefoot on the hot asphalt and through woods littered with bamboo splinters and stones, until another soldier brought Webb a pair of thongs. She winced, knowing they had been stripped from a dead paratrooper. (-- p. 43)
More about Aussie Kate:
War Torn Stories of War from the Women
Reporters who Covered Vietnam
By Tad Bartimus, Denby Fawcett, Jurate Kazickas,
Edith Lederer, Ann Bryan Mariano, Anne Morrissy
Merick, Laura Palmer, Kate Webb, and Tracy Wood;
Introduction by Gloria Emerson
The Costco Connection
Magazine Freebie of Some Quality for Members
Do politics have a place at the Olympics? The recent call by some countries to boycott the 2008 Olympics in China again serves notice that the Olympics serve not only as an arena where the best athletes in the world compete, but also as a place where international politics can collide. ... the Olympics are a natural venue for non-violent political protest. The Games are used to promote democracy and human rights around the world, so what better place to raise awareness of human rights infringements and other injustices? ...
The Olympic Games by definition are political: They involve citizens, they involve tax dollars, they involve politicians and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) demands financial commitment on the part of relevant government bodies as part of the bid process. Sporting competition is only the tip of the gigantic Olympic industry iceberg. Multinational sponsors, host broadcasters, developers and the high end of the hospitality and tourism industries win most of the gold medals.
When politicians and Olympic boosters try to sell the idea of bidding for the Games, this isn't labelled "bringing politics into the Olympics." Nor is it called "political" when organizing committees lobby politicians to pour more and more tax dollars into the bottomless pit of Olympic spending. Or, in the case of Sydney 2000, when the head of the Olympic Organizing Committee happens to be the Olympics minister in the state parliament.
But when protesters take to the streets to get public attention focused on the misplaced spanding priorities in the host city/state/country, or to get world-media attention on local and global injustices, often with considerable success, they're accused of politicizing and contaminating something pure and holy, as if the Olympics are a religion or a social movement or an extended family. (emphasis added)
"The eyes of the world" argument pushed by Olympic boosters and politicians is equally useful for human rights organizations, anti-poverty groups, housing advocates, environmentalists and Indigenous peoples. As an activist involved in social justice protests in Canada and Australia over the last 10 years, I fully support their tireless efforts to make the Olympic industry accountable and socially responsible. (-- p. 13)
Her eyes they shone like the diamonds
You'd think she was queen of the land
And her hair hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band.
In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprenticed to trade I was bound
And many an hour's sweet happiness
I spent in that neat little town.
Till bad misfortune came o'er me
That caused me to stray from the land
Far away from my friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band.
Well, I was out strolling one evening
Not meaning to go very far
When I met with a pretty young damsel
Who was selling her trade in the bar.
When I watched, she took from a customer
And slipped it right into my hand
Then the Watch came and put me in prison
Bad luck to the black velvet band.
Next morning before judge and jury
For a trial I had to appear
And the judge, he said, "You young fellows...
The case against you is quite clear
And seven long years is your sentence
You're going to Van Dieman's Land
Far away from your friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band."
So come all you jolly young fellows
I'd have you take warning by me
Whenever you're out on the liquor, me lads,
Beware of the pretty colleen.
She'll fill you with whiskey and porter
Until you're not able to stand
And the very next thing that you'll know, me lads,
You're landed in Van Dieman's Land.
In appearance, M. Ximenestre closely resembled a drawing by Chaval: corpulent, with an air of amiable bewilderment. But now that the month of December had begun, he wore ane xpression so woebegone as to make every passerby with any heart at all want to stop and ask him what the matter. The trouble lay in the approach of Christmas, which M. Ximenestre, good Christian though he was, was this year contemplating with dismay, not having a sou with which to pamper the gift-hungry Mme.Simenestre, his good=for-nothing son, Charles, and his daughter, Augusta, an excellent calypso dancer. Not a sou: that was the exact state of his affairs. And there was no question of advances or loans. Both had already been obtained, without the knowledge of Mme. Ximenestre and his children, in order to gratify the latest vice of this supposed breadwinner; in short, to gratify M. Ximenestre's fatal passion: gambling.
Not just the ordinary kind of gambling where the gold trickles over the green baize, nor yet the kind where horses strain to the last gasp over another sort of green baize, but a game, yet unknown in France, which had, alas, become the craze in a cafe in the XVIIe arondissement where M. Ximinestre was in the habit of taking a glass of vermouth every evening before going home: a game of darts, but played with a peashooter and ten-franc notes. All the regulars were mad about it, apart from one man, who had had to give it up owing to chronic shortage of breath. Imported by an [b]Australian newly arrived in the district, this thrilling game had quickly become the object of an exclusive club, which met in the back room, where the proprietor, a fan himself, had sacrificed the billiard table.[/b] (From A Dog's Night, pgs. 121-122)
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