Posts Tagged ‘Canberra’

Is the end Nigh for Real Estate and Education?

September 19, 2017

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The news that the clearance rates at Real Estate auctions in the major Australian cities are dropping might well be welcomed by many. All bubbles burst and why not in housing? What should be of greater concern is that our education system keeps on failing our children. Language and numeracy results are lagging badly behind most developed nations.

Eminent educational expert keep on popping up on our TV screens  urging yet more tests. They go to American or UK  educational institutions trying to get inspiration in devising plots that will make a difference to the way we educate our young. At the same time our Government is twisting and turning in making permanent citizenship harder to obtain by devising English language tests for migrants and extending  years of waiting. We should really test our politicians instead of our school children or migrants.

Australia has this conundrum of many professional positions being unable to get filled by our own (badly) educated, and rely on Syrians , Iraqis, Indian, and many other well educated foreign professional experts to fill those positions. We often get experts on so many fields appearing on our TV with foreign accents. There are a dearth of highly professional positions that can only get filled by trying to attract overseas educated people. It seems the Government’s contempt for lack of migrant’s language skills ought to be sheeted home to themselves. It is embarrassing watching our deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce painfully searching for the words to express himself. Take out the verb ‘ensuring’ from our Prime Minister (A mere lawyer) and he too would have trouble getting his message across. Talk about painting the kettle black! Do your own English testing in Canberra!

 

Please, take the time and read this link which shows how education works:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/why-are-finlands-schools-successful-49859555/

“There are no mandated standardized tests in Finland, apart from one exam at the end of students’ senior year in high school. There are no rankings, no comparisons or competition between students, schools or regions. Finland’s schools are publicly funded. The people in the government agencies running them, from national officials to local authorities, are educators, not business people, military leaders or career politicians. Every school has the same national goals and draws from the same pool of university-trained educators. The result is that a Finnish child has a good shot at getting the same quality education no matter whether he or she lives in a rural village or a university town.”

I don’t think that the apocalyptical predictions associated with ‘the end is nigh’ will eventuate but,  isn’t it about time we do things better?

 

 

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And now for the good News

February 24, 2017

 

Almost ThereThe last few posts have been the work of the curmudgeon supreme. Jerimiah seems to have  reached a new level in delight and joy, highlighting the never ending stream of all that is going wrong. Sorry for the bleakness, but somebody had to do it. I don’t know why I watch the news. Relentless Trump and Turnbull. Neck on neck trying to outdo each other in a race to the bottoms-up, dehumanising their patch. Surely, there is something more cheerful to write about. Those grim purple faced bishops fronting the Royal Commission. Footage of one eminent church leader dipping a large feathered brush in Holy water sprinkling the congregation. Oh, such folly of voodoo and chicken feathers dressed with mitres and in flowing robes. Are there Technical tafe courses in becoming agnostic?  I am sure many are now queuing up.We need many more doubting Thomas’s.

 

The good news came from our National Library of Australia in Canberra.  ” Dear Gerard Oosterman.” “We would be DELIGHTED to receive a print copy of your book  ‘Almost there.’ Our records showed that this title is now published.”

Can you believe it? All this apart from both my books also having been entered in two of the State Library literary competitions. I am so happy that, after I posted the book at the Post office, I promptly shouted myself a nice  micro-wave heated up sausage roll. The word ‘delighted’ really did it. It was about time somebody got delighted.

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I walked with my fat sausage roll to a park bench in Corbett Gardens, Bowral. The same park where the three elderly sisters were hit by  lightning  last week.  I sat down with Milo. He looked keenly at my poly-styrene package holding the sausage roll. It was a mini celebration. I would like you all to share in my joy.

I gave Milo about half my treat.

It was so lovely and good.

The Heat is Melting the Word Order if not the Books

January 17, 2017

 

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Grapes, strawberries and figs.

This heat of C37 is now sapping all the words. I can feel them draining down my legs melting onto the floor, seeping down the stairs and ending up, totally shambled around a battery of whirring fans. Yesterday we had the good fortune of locking ourselves up in the comforts of our air-conditioned car. We drove to Canberra to re-new a passport at the  Embassy. It took us just seven seconds to run from the coolness of our car, through the C39 throbbing heat in Canberra to the air-conditioned comfort of the Embassy.

The night just passed, was all sweat rock and roll. No passing of cooling breeze, just the pitiful sounds of maddening insects hurling themselves against the fly-screens of the bedroom windows, all opened in foolish anticipation of relief.. Sheets all  tangled between clammy legs, like  Dutch-wives. (The term ‘Dutch Wife’ or the Indonesian ‘Guling Belanda’ originates from early Dutch colonial times and refers disparagingly to a roll of bedding that is kept between the legs during hot tropical nights. I’ll let you decide on why this roll of bedding became a term of derision. The Dutch in Indonesia were sometimes seen as haughty  and their broad-bottomed wives as being cold.

On the way back home we stopped mid-way and had a late lunch. The streets were mostly deserted. The bitumen highway on the way home a simmering black coated Sahara. No fata morgana nor beckoning oasis. What about the garden, the garden? No storm predicted. Those that were predicted in the previous week had eluded our town to such a degree, people were now shaking their fists at the dark but rainless clouds.  Coarse oaths were renting the still hot air.

The geraniums defiant though. It just shows that in times of despair one can rely on the geranium. “No good watering now, it will scorch the bay leave trees, oh look at our hydrangeas, all dry and forlorn.  They will have to wait till dark, you do the back and I’ll do the front.” Such unity in times of crisis. For dinner we re-heated a magic chicken risotto that Helvi had made some time ago.

The heat did not subside and all we could do was to sit spread-eagled in front of the  fans which we had put on the fastest speed possible. One is an evaporative fan. It blows air through water and is supposed to work better. We were beyond caring, and just drank water mixed with a little red wine ( reward), and did nothing much more than look at each other and supress sighing with repeatedly saying to each other; “isn’t it hot?”

What else could we do?

It is hot!

Marc Chagall.

September 28, 2014

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Australia’s minister for immigration, Scott Morrison and his off-shore and on-shore detention policies have now caused four deaths and a considerable number of attempted suicides, fifty or so by children.

It is totally wrong for this man to remain in office.
.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/09/self-harm-asylum-seekers-detention-surged-serco-report

If you are concerned and want to be part of taking action; Please voice your concerns to:

Address:
Scott Morrison MP
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 6022
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6277 7860
Fax: 02 6273 4144
Email: minister@immi.gov.au

It is as wrong now to inflict terrible conditions and treatment on people that have done no wrong, as it was during the days of Buchenwald.

I’ll leave you this lovely poem inspired by Marc Chagall.

When I read this poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, I had to chuckle, according to the poet his work is meant to be read aloud:

Don’t Let that Horse.

Don’t let that horse
eat that violin
cried Chagall’s mother.
But he
kept right on
painting.

And became famous
And kept painting
The Horse With Violin in Mouth
And when he finally finished it
he jumped up on the horse
and rode away
waving the violin.

And then with a low bow gave it
to the first naked nude he ran across.

And there were no strings
attached.

Remembrance!

July 19, 2014

5609750-3x2-700x467 The remembrance

“Malaysia Airlines MH17: Shrine of remembrance grows outside Netherlands embassy in Canberra

By Clarissa Thorpe

Posted 7 minutes ago

The teddy bears left outside the embassy gates are to remember the 80 children killed on board MH17.
Photo: The teddy bears left outside the embassy gates are to remember the 80 children killed on board MH17. (ABC News: Clarissa Thorpe)

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Dutch embassy

Map: Yarralumla 2600

Flowers and gifts have been left outside the front of the embassy of the Netherlands in Canberra in honour of the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Australia, Annemieke Ruigrok, said she was overwhelmed by the kindness shown since the plane was shot down over Ukraine.

The Boeing 777-200 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, with an estimated 190 passengers on board the tragic flight being Dutch citizens or permanent residents.

Initially, there was only a handful of flowers at the embassy front gates but in less than 24 hours the shrine included teddy bears to remember the 80 children killed.

Ms Ruigrok said many people were still coming to terms with the devastating loss of life.

“It was an absolutely unspeakable tragedy and we are extremely touched by all these expressions of support,” she said.

“Also people writing emails, letters and support on our Facebook page.

“We are united in grief.”

Flags at the embassy had been flying at half mast to remember those lost in the worst air disaster in the Netherlands’ history.

“We know that Australia has a big loss, and we have had a big loss,” Ms Ruigrok said.

“All nationalities, we mourn all of them wherever they are from.”

The embassy at Yarralumla is considering opening a book of condolence later this week for people to express their sadness.

Flags at all Dutch government buildings including the embassy in Australia have been flying at half mast.
Photo: Flags at all Dutch government buildings including the embassy in Australia have been flying at half mast to remember those lost on MH17.” (ABC News: Clarissa Thorpe)

Slap the condom , do it now. Your Country needs you

May 14, 2014

Put down that brick granny. Stop swinging the bicycle chain around Canberra Merv, you’ll get locked up! There are already dartboards for sale with Joe Hockey’s face as the target. It is mean but that’s what you get for tacking country’s perceived plight onto those already groaning under difficulties. I say ‘perceived’ because our financial situation regards debt is the envy of the world.

I remember some many years back buying toilet paper rolls with the previous Prime minister Malcolm Frazer’s face printed on every sheet. Boy, were we generous with using multiple sheets each time we used the loo. No stinginess then. No doubt, this will happen again. I wonder if we pensioners should pool our meagre finances and go into the production of cigar flavoured condoms with the images of Joe Hockey and Cormann embossed at the receiving tip of them. They might get used in the backseat of a rusty Holden ‘Special’ or inside a cavernous Bunnings store. (near the barbecue division when no one is looking)

Yet, much of Frazer’s earlier political shenanigans have softened and indeed, he has come good, often speaking in support of the underdog. But….he did resign from the Liberal party. Amazing a former Prime minister losing faith in a party that he gave much of his life for. Can you imagine both of the Bushes doing the same in the US? There is hope for all of us in this.

Rubber revolution

Rubber revolution

Look granny, who is walking right now around Canberra’s Burley’s lake? Is it Joe our treasurer? Yes, it is. Quick, put down the brick, here is a condom. Get him granny, and slap him with it. Go on, slap him with the condom, harder harder. That’s it, thrash him. Lay into him. Teach him a lesson he won’t forget. Make him smoke! Don’t stop now.

Ah, that feels better already doesn’t it?

The Funeral rites of a Government

October 7, 2013

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The scams that have been exposed of politicians claiming money as ‘work expenses’ from the taxpayers for extravagant weddings (funerals) is just the tip of an iceberg. It reminds me of the ‘cash for comments’ scandals some time ago. Pigs in the troth comes to mind. Radio shock jocks were getting nice little earners by mentioning products casually along the way of the program. Ah, glorious democracy in full flight. Secret deals were stitched making millions for both the shock jocks and the product suppliers.

One wonders if the same is also happening going to weddings and funerals. Do people deliberately get married or die so Prime minister and others can initiate yet another scam? There might be rorts going on even when the retorts at the crematorium all over the world are slowly consuming dead friends and politicians. How do we know? Secret flights are made with mining magnates to Hyderabad and Vladivostok destinations. Wedding and Funerals. They melt together as long as politicians can claim costs. The limousines, the endless sushi bars, the pole dancing clubs all are thick with heaving politicians with their pates still covered in confetti or retort ash, sometimes both

Would it not be nice to hold funerals for dead governments. I can’t see we should not commemorate the death of a government, especially if that government was pretty crook to start of with.

I can see it all. A golden carriage being wheeled around our capital of Canberra. Inside a casket holding the remains of a very dead Government. The carriage wheels are newly gold embossed and drawn by six black horses whose manes are adorned by ostrich feathers and their tails by white Leghorns.

Behind the golden hearse and manacled together by chrome plated chains are the remnants of the dead Governmental officialdom. The ‘Stop the Boats’ contingent was led by a sombre Scott Morrison followed by Julie Bishop dressed in some kind of jumpsuit which had a flap with press studs at the back were her derriere still was pouting. A sorry procession steeped in a mien of dejection and desperation with the crowds six deep lining King’s Avenue. There was cheering with some jeering. Little black flags by the children pushed to the front waving frantically, some even enthusiastically. Police were busy holding back teenagers trying to hurl walnuts at Pyne and Greg Hunt with the miserable ‘reclaim the Carbon Tax’ all in a final death throe twitch.

Some people who wanted to get the best view of the funeral procession arrived the night before with sleeping bags and supplies of pre-cooked Brat Wurst and cold cabbage. Others had taken cricket chairs and women were seen knitting booties in keen anticipation of this funeral of a dead Government.

I can see it all.