Posts Tagged ‘Iceland’

A matter of contrast.

May 28, 2019

IMG_0128 the daisy as bright.JPG

An Irish family who have lived and worked in Australia for over ten years now faces deportation because their 4 year old son has a disability which the government deems to be too much of a ‘burden.’ Unbelievable, and how does Australia keep getting away with these deplorable cruel acts? https://www.sbs.com.au/news/this-irish-family-is-facing-deportation-because-of-their-son-s-cystic-fibrosis

If it wasn’t for our retreat into our garden with daily sun and nightly stars we would have left this barren and morally depleted country years ago. To be honest it’s not the country’s fault really, and perhaps the idealisation of perceived better places elsewhere on this earth might be totally wrong. I happen to read up on Iceland and was astonished to read they have a law that prohibits women earning less than men. They also do not have an army and at one stage had a government with women only. They also jailed corrupt banking moguls. Those sort of facts about a country gladden the heart, don’t they?

In fact, we did leave many years ago and lived with our three children back in Holland for just over three years. That first summer was glorious with everlasting evenings. The sun did not go down till 10pm and woke us up at 5am. We bought bicycles for all of us and rode around without a worry with weeping willows bowing to the wind and in our faces. We made the move back to Australia because my family were living there and I was missing my brothers and sister. We also had Whitlam,  Bob Hawke and Paul Keating as Prime ministers who moved Australia into the twentieth century.

But, let me just look at the positive. A few days ago I happen to take the above photo. As I walked out of the door I noticed this isolated daisy having risen from the garden during the night. I took out my iPhone and took this picture. Isn’t it lovely? A shy golden nugget daisy nestling against the coarse bark of the Manchurian pear tree. They seem symbiotic. The softness and colour of the flower gives sustenance and beauty to the coarse barked tree which in return gives shelter and support to the daisy.  The flower is raising its head in gratitude to the tree and the trunk seems to answer with ‘no worries’, mate.

If you look carefully at the picture you might see a cane basket at the back of the flower. It was used as a laundry basket for decades but was past it’s use and started to break. Helvi put it in the garden and filled it with leaves and some soil. No doubt the basket will be reclaimed by the garden in time and more daisies will come up. It is a give and take, isn’t?

 

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Iceland fixed the banking crisis by letting them fail.

February 4, 2019
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The idea that in Australia the banks will get punished for their appalling behaviour will not eventuate. It will be business as usual. It might be worth looking how Iceland got out of a similar crisis.

“The 2008 global financial crisis hit Iceland hard. The currency crashed, unemployment soared and the stock market was more or less wiped out.

But unlike other Western economies, the Icelandic government let its three major banks – Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbankinn – fail and went after reckless bankers. Many senior executives have been jailed and the country’s ex-prime minister Geir Haarde was also put on trial, becoming the first world leader to face criminal prosecution arising from the turmoil. although he was subsequently cleared of negligence.

So what can – or should – other countries learn from how Iceland responded?”

Seeing that the LNP refused a royal commission 26 times in Parliament, the question arises if our present, Scott Morrison and the former PM Malcolm Turnbull, should also be put under scrutiny and prosecuted if shown to have failed in their duty to protect the citizens from the banking rorts. Dead people were sold insurances and financial packages! It has been a national ‘free for all’ rip off. An orgy of terminal capitalism.

The rich getting richer, the poor poorer.

Have a look at how things can be turned around. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-35485876

 

The King Parrot is happy too.

October 18, 2018

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Jeffrey Sachs spelled it out on one of our Q&A TV programmes a couple of weeks ago. Good social conditions and support makes all the difference. Paying liveable incomes to the unemployed, pensioners or the disabled does not cause cultural collapse as is often touted by extreme capitalist leaders. The list of ‘happy countries’ proves that. Our PM and cohorts often cite that giving ‘free’ money makes people avoid work and lazy, encourages decadence as seen by SSM community now demanding wedding cakes. Unbelievable!

Countries that seem to be on top of the happiness scale each year, by and large, are also enjoying social democratic Governments. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Iceland  Finland. They prove that good social conditions improve employment, reduces crime and homelessness. It makes for ‘happiness.’

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“Based on a global ranking of happiness levels across 156 countries, Finland has claimed the No. 1 spot in this year’s World Happiness Report.

Now in its sixth year, the World Happiness Report is produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

The organization, along with three economists from Columbia University, the University of British Columbia and the London School of Economics’ Center for Economic Performance, created the report using data from the Gallup World Poll to reveal which countries are happy and why.

The report was released on March 14, less than a week before the United Nations celebrates World Happiness Day on March 20.

This year, the United States ranked No. 18 — falling four spots from last year and five from two years ago — “in part because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity, substance abuse and untreated depression,” according to World Happiness Report co-editor and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs.

Over the past two years, the world’s top 10 happiest countries have remained the same, but have slightly shuffled positions. Through a measurement of happiness and well-being called the “Cantril ladder,” Gallup asked nationally representative populations to value their lives on a scale from 0 to 10, with the worst possible life valued at 0 and the best valued at 10.

The top countries frequently have high values for all six of the key variables that contribute to overall well-being: income (GDP per capita), healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust (absence of corruption) and generosity.”

Movies on Demand.

August 4, 2018

The above music will be instantly recognized by those who have watched the Swedish drama ‘The Bridge’.

We bought a TV that can show movies that are not broadcast in the normal way. You ‘download them’ via your WiFi. Downloading is now very much in. I never thought I would reach that level. I am almost on par with one of my grandsons. He downloads all day. It is a bit of a worry. There have been wagging fingers on TV warning parents of dire consequences of too much downloading. I remember in the fifties we were warned about the evils of writing with ball-points! It was the ruination of youth and education.

With IT downloading comes, according to the experts, a disregard for authority with one finger gestures and many young saying ‘fuck you’. Mind you in the US and elsewhere those rude undisciplined young people are now our only hope of getting rid of Trump, Duterte and other unbalanced narcissists on course to wreck the world. Our parents and their parents were taught to unquestionably and passively accept what they were told at all times by authority. Civil disobedience is making a comeback. It might be our only hope.

‘Eureka Street’s blog caught my eye, especially this article.  ‘Cry the murderous Country.’  The Jesuits do good things.

https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=56136

But back to ‘downloading movies’ It was far more complicated than I thought. Like anything with modern technology. It doesn’t allow for mistakes. Buttons on the remote-control of this special smart TV have to be pushed in the right sequence. Even following the right order almost to the nail-biting finish; one wrong button and one is back to square one. But apart from the technological aspects there is more. Some movies that are advertised as having 10 sessions, might just have 4. We found out by watching a really fantastic movie called ‘Trapped’. An Icelandic movie made in Iceland. Now Iceland is a country that always fascinated me. That bitter cold and those windswept glaciers and mountains. Yet, heating and hot water of the capital Reykjavik and some lakes is achieved by geothermal means. Most people speak very good English and many non-English speaking people from other parts of the world go and learn English in Iceland. Perhaps that is the answer for the young here?

After watching the first 4 episodes of ‘Trapped’ we could not find number 5. We were channelling up and down on our smart TV amongst the hundreds of available movies; no number 5 of ‘Trapped’. And  this Icelandic movie is the very essence or epitome of those Noir dramas that Scandinavia seem so good at creating. Who could forget Swedish TV series ‘The bridge’?

“The Bridge (Danish: Broen; Swedish: Bron) is a Scandinavian noir crime television series created and written by Hans Rosenfeldt. A joint creative and financed production between Sweden‘s Sveriges Television and Denmark‘s DR, it has been shown in more than 100 countries.“[1]

Afters  torturous channelling on the TV we finally got a keyboard displayed on the screen on which one can ask information of a particular movie. I typed in ‘Trapped’ and it showed 4 sessions. It did not tell us about the 6 missing sessions. Are they still coming? Who knows? Next time we will make sure to find out if the movie is shown with all its sessions.