The Old Windmill, Brisbane

The Old Windmill is a heritage-listed tower mill in Observatory Park adjacent to Wickham Park at 226 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill, City of Brisbane, Australia. It is the oldest surviving building in Queensland, it is known as Brisbane Observatory and Windmill Tower. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992. Today it is the centrepiece of Observatory Park; the oldest convict-built structure surviving in Queensland, the windmill tower has accommodated a range of uses. Constructed in 1828 to process the wheat and corn crops of the Moreton Bay penal settlement, it had a treadmill attached for times when there was no wind but as a tool for punishing convicts; the mill ceased grinding grain in 1845 and the treadmill was removed sometime before 1849. From 1855 the tower was reused as a signal station to communicate shipping news between the entrance of the Brisbane River and the town. Substantial renovations were made to it in 1861 including the installation of a time ball to assist in regulating clocks and watches.

Twenty years a cottage for the signalman was constructed to the immediate west of the tower, with a detached kitchen erected to the south two years after that. Both were demolished; the windmill tower was used as a facility for early radio and television communications research from the 1920s and underwent substantial conservation work in the 1980s and 2009. In May 1825, after eight months of occupation at Redcliffe, the contingent of convicts, soldiers and their families comprising the Moreton Bay penal settlement relocated to the site of present-day Brisbane's central business district; the growing settlement was to be self-sufficient in feeding its residents by cultivating corn and wheat crops at the government farm, which were processed into meal and flour by hand mills. By 1827, with a substantial crop to process, the settlement storekeeper recommended a treadmill be erected to grind the crop into flour. Commandant Patrick Logan indicated at this time that such a device at Brisbane town would be of service and provide an avenue for the punishment of convicts.

There is little evidence confirming details of the windmill tower's construction. In July 1828, Peter Beauclerk Spicer, the Superintendent of Convicts at the time, recorded in his diary that convicts were "clearing ground for foundations for the Mill" and proceeded to dig a circular trench that reached bedrock and had a circumference of 9 metres. Allan Cunningham noted; the mill was constructed on the highest point overlooking the settlement on what is now Wickham Terrace. By 31 October 1828 the first grain was being ground at the site by a mill gang. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the wind-powered grinding of grain did not begin until December. There were two pairs of millstones inside the tower, each driven independently by the treadmill and sail mechanisms; the former was located outside the tower, a shaft connecting the treadwheel and the mill cogwheels inside. Two sketches from the early 1830s show the windmill tower and its sail stocks in place, while an 1839 description depicts a tower built from stone and brick, comprising four floors, a treadmill and windmill.

From 1829 the windmill tower was said to be continually requiring repair because its equipment was all made from locally available timber rather than iron. The treadmill was an important component of the mill, for use as punishment without trial, for times when there was no wind but the amounts of grain sufficient to sustain the settlement still required processing. No plans exist of the Brisbane treadmill. Between 25 and 30 men worked at the mill at any one time. Sixteen operated the treadmill, although as there are no plans, it is uncertain whether it comprised a standard 16-place treadmill, or two 8-place sections connected to a common shaft; each man would climb five steps to get onto the wheel, standing on the 9-inch-wide treads and holding on to the rail. The men would work as though ascending steps to operate the treadmill; some undertook this task while in leg irons, while the more able used one hand to hold on and the other to draw sketches of people and scenes on the boards of the mill.

The men would work from sunrise to sunset with three hours rest in the middle of the day in summer, two hours in winter. The first casualty of the treadmill, which produced the first official record of its existence, occurred in September 1829 when prisoner Michael Collins lost his life after being entangled in the operating mechanism. Maps of 1840s Brisbane feature a rectangular structure attached to the outside of the tower, Robert Dixon's in particular showing a 6 by 5 metres structure the treadmill, located on ground, to become Wickham Terrace. In February 1836 the windmill tower was struck by lightning, causing severe damage throughout, including to the treadmill. A convict millwright was brought from Sydney in June for the repairs, which amounted to a major rebuild of the structure, not completed until May 1837. In April 1839, with the closure of the Moreton Bay penal settlement being planned, the windmill tower was one of the buildings recommended for transfer to the colony; this was approved in 1840-41 but it continued to sporadically process grain until 1845, when due to crop failure, a stagnant population and the a

HMS Amazon (1908)

HMS Amazon was a Tribal-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She survived the First World War and was sold in 1919. During the First World War she served in the North Sea and the English Channel with the 6th Destroyer Flotilla. Friedman, Norman. British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-049-9. Gardiner, Robert. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5. Manning, T. D.. The British Destroyer. London: Putnam & Co. HMS Amazon, Index of 19th Century Naval Vessels "Royal Navy Log Books - HMS Amazon". Retrieved 20 December 2013. transcription of ship's logbooks August to October 1916

American decline

American decline is a term used by various analysts to describe the diminishing power of the United States geopolitically, financially, economically and in health and the environment. There has been a debate between declinists, those who believe America is in decline, exceptionalists, those who feel America is special; some analysts say that the U. S. was in decline. S. was in decline. While others suggest the decline either stems from or has accelerated with Trump's foreign policy and the "country’s ongoing withdrawal from the global arena." According to Noam Chomsky, America’s decline started at the end of WWII, dismissing the "remarkable rhetoric of the several years of triumphalism in the 1990s" as "mostly self-delusion". Gallup's pollsters reported that worldwide approval of U. S. leadership has plunged from 48% in 2016 to a record low of 30% in 2018, in part due to the isolationist stances of Donald Trump. This drop places the U. S. a notch below China's 31% and leaving Germany as the most popular power with an approval of 41%.

Michael Hudson describes financial pillar as paramount, resulting from bank-created money with compound interest and the inbuilt refusal to forgive debts as the fatal flaw. China's challenging U. S. for global predominance constitutes the core part of the debate over the American decline. Many of America's "leading" commentators, since more than half a century, have described the U. S. as "a weak, "bred out" basket case that will fall to stronger rivals as as Rome fell to the barbarians, or France to Henry V at Agincourt."Michael Hudson points to debt forgiveness being necessary when individuals' debts to the state are too large. Rome put an end to this practice, whereas earlier empires survived through periodic debt forgiveness, this practice ended with the Roman empire, resulting in impoverishment and dispossession of farmers, creating a growing lumpen proletariat; the same process contributed to the collapse of the British empire and continues today, with periodic financial crises which are only relieved by government bailouts and/or war.

Hudson adds that every time history repeats itself, the price goes up. I.e. the U. S. is being destroyed by bank debt with no forgiveness mechanism. The Roman Empire, the Tatar/Mongol Golden Horde, the Ottoman Sublime Porte all provided two essential services—unhindered trade and security—in exchange for some amount of constant rapine and plunder and a few memorable incidents of genocide; the Tatar/Mongol Empire was by far the most streamlined: it demanded “yarlyk”—tribute—and smashed anyone who attempted to rise above a level at which they were easy to smash." According to Dmitri Orlov, the American empire is "a bit more nuanced: it uses the US dollar as a weapon for periodically expropriating savings from around the world by exporting inflation while annihilating anyone who tries to wiggle out from under the US dollar system."There were 38 large and medium-sized American facilities spread around the globe in 2005—mostly air and naval bases—approximately the same number as Britain's 36 naval bases and army garrisons at its imperial zenith in 1898.

The Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD required 37 major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Yale historian Paul Kennedy compares the U. S. situation to Great Britain's prior to World War I. He comments that the map of U. S. bases is similar to Great Britain's before World War I. Kennedy argues that “British financial strength was the single most decisive factor in its victories over France during the 18th century; this chapter ends on the Napoleonic Wars and the fusion of British financial strength with a newfound industrial strength.” As the U. S. dollar loses its role as world currency, it will not be able to continue to have trade deficits to finance its military expenditures. According to Richard Lachmann U. S. would last much longer if it, like Britain, could restrict particular families or elite control over offices and governmental powers. Dmitry Orlov argues that the US is now in a rapid decline, "retracing the trajectory of the Soviet Union in the early 1980s toward national bankruptcy and political dissolution".

Orlov argues that U. S. is bedeviled by "runaway debt, a shrinking economy, environmental catastrophes to rival Chernobyl". He believes that there are some parallels with the U. S.: outsized military spending, growing international debts and trade deficits, unwieldy governments, rigid ideology, ecological crisis, resource decline. U. S. hegemony has always been supported by three pillars: "economic strength, military might, the soft power of cultural dominance." Kennedy argues that continued deficit spending on military build-up, is the single most important reason for decline of any great power. The costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now estimated to run as high as $4.4 trillion, which Kennedy deems a major victory for Osama bin Laden, whose announced goal was to bankrupt America by drawing it into a trap. By 2011 the U. S. military budget — matching that of the rest of the world combined — was higher in real terms than at any time since WWII. According to a 98-page report by National Defense Strategy Commission, "America's longstanding military advantages have diminished", "The country's strategic margin for error has become distressingly small.

Doubts about America's ability to deter and, if necessary, defeat opponents and honor its global commitments have proliferated." The report cited "political dysfunction" and "budget caps" as factors restraining the government from keeping pace with threats in what the report described as "