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OK, , I'm not sure of the spelling but several people who pretend to be Indians to benefit from  "positive discrimination" have been in headlines here in Canada recently. The outing of the singer Buffy Sainte-Marie as a New England Italian rather than a kidnapped as a baby Cree Indian from Saskatchewan has prompted a lot of discussion. Sainte-Marie is only the latest person whose Indian credentials have been challenged. Italians long passed themselves off in Hollywood films as Indian actors. Here in Canada several senior academics have had the claim of Indian ancestry that got them their jobs suddenly questioned. I heard one commentator point out that the universities involved hadn't checked out the fake claims because they wanted to virtue signal by employing Indians in senior positions while actually hiring white  "settlers" who wouldn't rock the boat. An interesting  take that explains a lot. 

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Well, the day many of you have been awaiting with bated breath, not, has arrived. The 2023 Book of the Year has been announced. Most years the short list is four or five books. That works out at maybe one book every three months. And that's from a field of 52 books in a year. It's been decided not to name and shame the worst book of the year. But regular readers of Book Briefing will know 2023 was not without its stinkers. The things I do for you. Anyway, check out Book of the Year to find out this year's winner. The book reviews part of the website can be viewed at Book Briefing.

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I don't know what the latest medical orthodoxy is but it used to be said that a glass of wine or a beer in the evening were part of a healthy lifestyle. A little relaxer. But I often wondered if the advice was based on surveys of the lifestyles of folk who reached an advanced age. Perhaps it wasn't the modest daily alcohol intake that was contributing to longevity. Maybe it was moderation itself. Moderation in all things.

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When I was around 10 years old we used to live on what was basically a building site. Our house was one of the first to be completed on a pretty substantial new housing estate. It was being built, by the way, by a company that had originally made its money running whaling ships out of Leith. Anyway, there wasn't a lot, apart from playing football at The Atlas Park, for kids to do. But there were a lot of empty oil drums on the building site. So, guess what we did? Yep, we used to cram ourselves inside old oil drums and roll down the hill until we hit the wall of a house under construction at the bottom. Do kids still do that kind of thing? Or are they too busy on their smart phones?

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The fellah in the poster’s standing there pipe in hand and his two mates are warming themselves by a roaring fireplace. What’s he selling? Why, a life in the Australian Army. The selling point is Comradeship. I reckon from the battledress that the three are wearing that the recruiting campaign must have been in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The poster is a bit different from most. They tend to feature The Missing Man, or What Did You Do in the War Daddy?, or A Square Meal and Plenty of Time Playing Football with Training for a Civilian Skilled Trade , or Be Part of A Proud Tradition, or Travel and Adventure. Roaring log fires and pipe smoking at the hearth and a promise what the Aussies these days I think call Mateship is an interesting approach to recruitment.

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