Posts Tagged ‘Democracy’

National jealousy Day in Finland.

May 9, 2019

Image result for National Jealousy day in Finland

National Jealousy Day, Finland.

 

It’s a well-known fact that through the decades the social democratic nations of the world consistently outperform most other democracies. And this outperformance is not just based on money only but includes social cohesion, societal levels of fairness and equality, empathy for others, acceptance and tolerance of differences, lower incarceration rates. Those social democratic nations are mainly concentrated in Northern Europe and the Scandinavian countries, including Finland.

Each year on the 1st of November, Finland publishes the names of all taxpayers and lists  all their earnings and the amount of tax they have paid. On that day, very early in the morning many people have spend hours queued up to get their first glimpse of those that have paid the highest amounts of taxation. It s seen almost like an honour to have paid the highest taxation therefore helping paying for the things that Finland strives for  to improve the country. Under the freedom of information Finland decided to lists those details in order to inform people of how much, where and by whom the taxation is paid for.

Have a look; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/11/finland-has-just-published-everyone-s-taxes-on-national-jealousy-day/

In Australia we don’t publish a list of taxpayers but instead we have the annual list of the richest which seems to be shamelessly published each year. We seem to tolerate with a nudge and wink how most of those very rich are happy to evade taxation and there is a  sense of admiration on how in Australia we treat taxation as an evil best avoided and lowered as much as possible. Apart from the US I know of no other country where taxation is held with such contempt, all richly manured and egged on by our shallow lot of politicians.

Indeed, with the present race for a national election of Government, it seems essential by most parties to lower taxation and give back taxation to the people and seen by many as a Trump card to win Government.  At the same time we witness almost on a nightly basis, TV footage of the brutalisation of our elderly in our underfunded understaffed and undertrained ‘Aged Care’. Each time the Australian Government gives a tax cut, your mum and dad will suffer the consequences in Aged Care. Your son and daughter will suffer in education, and the pensioner will eat Spam and Gruel.

Think about it! Look how in the US, Donald Trump is twisting and turning in order to avoid making his financial records public. Is that true democracy or is this a disgrace? Look at how in Australia many private hospitals are now listed in the tax havens of the Cayman Islands. How is this allowed to happen?

We used to be a fair nation!

Is democracy a failed experiment?

November 9, 2018

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It seems strange that Donald Trump is so opposed to things foreign. He has had two out of three wives  from Eastern Europe. He has German and Scottish genes in his background. Yet, he so desperately wants America only for the Americans.  Perhaps he is answering my question about his anti-foreign behaviour by wanting another women. This time a real good one, an American. Who knows? Something seems to bug him. He has a reputation as a misogynist. Remember that awful conversation he had about grabbing women?

He is also an unashamed liar, a bully and sociopath. Yet, he has passed two years as President, which most critics said he would not. I did not really want to venture into Trump phenomenon but his attack on the CNN reporter Jim Acosta  was so telling. It gave unassailable proof of his inability to see things away from himself. I just can’t figure he was chosen as a president.

Just going through his background and how his father formed the Trump empire. It was all built on tax avoidance, dodgy deals and schemes, transferring properties to his children well below their true value.  A true lesson in achieving riches through terminal materialism. An example in becoming a money driven spiritually dehydrated man. He directed the estate agents to not rent out his properties to black tenants! His son, Donald Trump is now the President of America. His father’s son through and through.

But, it is not just in America. There is a move to extreme right happening in many other countries again. Germany is veering towards anti-foreigners, and so are Austria, Hungary, Poland, Holland  and even Sweden, Italy, Greece. All are again flirting with excluding people based on colour and ethnic backgrounds. There is a movement to nationalism that attracts those that are dissatisfied. A longing for what has been.

America wants to be great again. But great again, based on separating children from their parents? Locking up those with a different nationality? Deporting those that don’t fit in? Shoot at those desperate people running the US border, the country of freedom?

Taking away the pass of Jim Acosta to practise his profession is how Trump responded to a question of why he used the racist card to advance his political position in the latest voting.

Acosta wanted to know about the (ABC Wires) “anti-immigration dog-whistling during the campaign, and specifically why he had referred to the so-called “caravan” of migrants moving through Mexico from Central America as an “invasion”, asking the President whether he had “demonised migrants”.

What will Trump do if he really gets pushed into a corner? It doesn’t bear contemplating. Trump is a ruthless megalomaniac and in my opinion competing with North Korean Kim Jong Il.

Australia is the same. The children that were catatonic with suicide ideation will be returned to Nauru soon after finishing their hospital treatment. The prime mister confessed ‘crying on his knees’ praying for the children but… he said; we must stop the people smugglers! And locking up people for years on end seems to be alright after you said your payers.

All is forgiven in the name of democracy. It seems. I don’t get it.

 

 

 

Take from the Poor and Give to the Rich.

January 10, 2017

imagesLoaves and fishes

The latest and most exciting new way of economics to hit Australia is the Government’s  novel way to re-vitalize the economy. Our PM  Mr. Malcolm Turnbull, a multimillionaire, had a flash of genius. Why not give the top-end of town much needed taxation relief with juicy superannuation concessions ?  The stroke of his insight did not stop there. He would also use the opportunity to pay for this by cutting back ‘entitlements’ to pensioners, the unemployed, the disabled and other unwanted flotsam washed on our shores of  previous care, consideration and communal empathy.

For some time now, any kind of ‘right’ has been transformed through careful manipulation by the media into an unnecessary ‘entitlement.’ Now there is the wonder of Western democracy, you can change almost anything. Rights now are unneeded ‘entitlements’ that we can’t claim to own anymore. The way to the future as determined by our Liberal National Government, in all its wisdom, is to demonise those that seek support from governments and with some deft manoeuvring, take away their previous rights and transform them into unneeded and bad entitlements.

The government has now taken away pensions  or reduced them away from the most needy. Unemployed are investigated and letters of demand send to return over-payments. There are no explanations of why our revered model of economics is constantly seeking ways to maximise profits by doing away with workers.  The way to profitable businesses is to employ less workers, preferably by paying them ever diminishing wages.  Combined with taxation cuts by successive governments given to the rich, the rows of those needing support is growing.

Increasingly, health and education are seen in the same light. We no longer can hope to see those as a ‘right’ of a country as a people that sees itself at the forefront of civilisation. Both Australia and the inventor of modern western democracy, the US, are falling behind in educating their young. Australia is way down the ladder in teaching language and math skills with the US  35th on the ladder. In Australia it is not much better.

So, where will we end up? Looking at Turnbull and Trump I am driven to despair. Once we are fattening the porkers and baconers of our societies and neglecting the vulnerable I suspect ‘Western Democracy’ is under threat.

Finally, here is one person’s view on the future of the US and I suspect this applies to Australia as well.

“Johan Galtung, a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated sociologist who predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, warned that US global power will collapse under the Donald Trump administration.”

“The Norwegian professor at the University of Hawaii and Transcend Peace University is recognized as the ‘founding father’ of peace and conflict studies as a scientific discipline. He has made numerous accurate predictions of major world events, most notably the collapse of the Soviet Empire.”

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/us-power-will-decline-under-trump-says-futurist-who-predicted-soviet-collapse

Almost There

 

 

 

 

 

The plight of democracy for Dogs (Milo will be calling you soon)

March 13, 2013

008The plight of democracy for dogs. (Milo will be calling you).

My, how time flies. Just now, while taking our Jack Russell ‘Milo’ for his constitutional, I saw and heard the first of the season’s leaf-blower at full throttle. No, it’s not a kind of rare bird or marsupial. It’s a petrol machine dreaded by some but mainly revered by many suburbanites whose life long aim seem to be to keep errant leaves at bay. This is going to be a noisy period and I dread it.

As it was, while walking past this lady with the strap on leaf blower, Milo decided he would let go of a couple of brownies of his own as well, right in front of her gloriously flowering pink Myrtle tree. They blended in well and were almost indiscernible from those golden shimmering autumnal leaves.  I always carry a bag to bare hand scoop the poop in but decided the lady’s’ blower might do that job just as well.

Some dog walkers carry the plastic bag ostentatiously in their hand or have it tied to the dog lead.  It is as if they want to say; look at me, I am brave enough to pick up the still warm and steaming turds of my dog. Look at me, look at me! I don’t suffer from this habit because I am a bit rebellious by nature and do not wish to conform in the poop scooping traditions of the neighbourhood at all times. I carry a bag in my pocket next to my hanky and this leaves many guessing if I belong to the brigade of callous dog poop on the footpath abandoners.

Milo and I have an unspoken understanding that, at times, he is allowed to do it spontaneously without his efforts being scooped away insensitively within seconds. We all know that dogs like to mark their territories by leaving calling cards. Who am I, as an intransigent dog lover to deny him those instinctive urgings?  It would be cruel, and I am merely heeding good dog etiquette. How would you like it if someone’s strange hand underneath deprived you of the same in such callous manner?

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Some years ago, when dogs were free to roam and do their business at call and with reckless abandonment, you could not walk around Amsterdam without risking slipping and sliding around the Damrak or Prinsengracht as a result of the unfettered democratic freedom rights of dogs and their calling cards. Some wit decided to exploit this natural phenomenon by sticking the world’s national flags into the dog poop and taking close-up photographs, producing souvenir Post cards for tourists to send home to.  He called those cards “Tulips of Amsterdam”. He made a fortune and is now whooping it up in the Bahamas stretched out on a deckchair while in deep contemplation of his deposit savings book.

A fair reward for laying flat out on the pavement taking those close-up shots within centimeters of dog s…t in Amsterdam before their free roaming days were outlawed and strict toilet habits for dogs introduced and made law…Amsterdam is now clean but many dogs are nervous and usually wait till they are back in the department and deposit it under strained conditions in a special box with vermiculite.

Milo is so lucky able to decorate the Myrtle tree amongst the autumn leaves. Good boy Milo, good boy.

The saddest thing and Democracy in the US

March 1, 2013

handbag12The saddest thing and Democracy in the US

One of the saddest things I saw on the news a couple of days ago was a father in the US with his six or seven year old son teaching him the finer points of holding a gun and learn to shoot. When asked a few questions, this little boy just parroted the father’s mantra of ‘pride in his country’ and freedom to ‘defend’. This poor little boy.

Another man proudly stated he had about 14 guns and was buying more. He was shown to shoot at clay pigeons together with a woman who also was a great believer in being ‘prepared’.

There is something very odd about how a country which prides itself of being at the forefront of democracy yet is now desperately fighting to retain a right which to me is proof of the opposite, an apparent inability to listen and take action against an evil opposing democracy.  The right to bear arms back in 1875 or earlier has nothing to do with hundreds of millions owning assault weapon and guns. The British have long gone and left, so have naughty Indians and Cowboys.

There is no way that a country that has more  firearms belonging to its citizens than their daily needs for loaves of bread or protective roofs over their heads can still belong to the pool of countries of the true democratic world.  It just doesn’t add up when guns generally are for detaining or locking away freedom. Has the US become a Liberia or Sierra Leone? How far is it removed from rampaging citizens roaming the streets looking for kills? There are already 30 000 people dying of guns a year. It is just staggering.

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Has anyone seen the footage lately of enormous exhibition halls, the size of cathedrals, holding gun shows? Row after row of sinister black assault rifles, all displayed in its macabre magnificence, gleaming and with glistening erect barrels ready to ejaculate its deadly load towards the perceived loathsome enemy, seemingly lurking everywhere  around  US’ wholesome societies corners. Last time it were the 20 children of Sandy Hook that were the ‘enemy’ together with 6 adults. Who knows where the next enemies might be hiding; in hospitals, churches, or more schools? At the gun shows there were hundreds and thousands of guns all shown as exhibited like up- market fashion items. Prospective buyers were seen to lovingly stroke and caress the naked barrels, murmuring sweet nothingness in their dark crevices of silencers and bullet magazines. .

With 30 000 shot dead annually, all one can say is,’ if believing that in the US citizens must be armed against the enemy, it follows also there must be lots of enemies in the US.’ You just can’t have it both ways. “We need guns to defend ourselves, but they are hardly ever used because in the US there are no enemies”, or,” we need guns because we are surrounded by danger and enemies are everywhere we turn”. ” At every step we take we might face our enemy and danger. Watch out or you’ll get shot so… get a good and faster gun and shoot first”.

It all sounds ridiculous and doesn’t make sense. There are now hordes of women buying guns with Prada and Bling being the main reason. Gun shops are run off their feet and everyone is onto more guns, hundreds of millions of them. The gun lobby now seems to dictate the country and I saw one man loading up his car with ammo and guns. He smiled into the camera almost expecting to be canonized for his foray into a frenzied shooting-out campaign against the enemy.

It’s clear that the NRA does everything in its power to whip up the hysteria and fear of enemies. They even advice that schools ought to arm themselves with a ‘good guy with a good gun.’ Is that democracy?

I am speechless.