Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

The earnestness of an anti electric-car Prime Minister.

April 22, 2019
The Dementia                               Village

 

With the compulsory voting by punishment in Australia, it forces people to vote who haven’t got a clue. Or, if they possess any clues, they are most likely to have been spouted by the commercial world, especially the Rupert Murdoch world of inanities and plastic bubbles rolling around the sun-baked deserts of our suburban wastelands. You know how it goes; insincere policies are being uttered with as much sincerity as the shifty politicians can muster, this is of course then followed by an earnestness that can only result in becoming so boring that even  good sleep can’t make better or give relief to, it stifles all. We all know where the earnestness of politicians can lead to.

With Easter almost behind us, I can’t wait for normalcy to return, and with that a well-earned rest from chocolate bunnies and the proliferation of  multi-coloured aluminium foil wrapped chocolate eggs, row upon rows, and the kids are getting fatter. I wonder if the art of hand painting of real eggs is still being practiced? When I grew up our parents encouraged the colour-dyeing of real  eggs and hand painting them afterwards. I believe that the people from Eastern European countries were masters of that art.

We are still rummaging through the political scene that no doubt will return tomorrow together with the opening of all sorts of Royal Commissions of Enquiries with scandal after scandal renting the autumnal sky. The latest is the scheme of ‘water buy-backs’ where someone in the government has made a quick buck out of denying drought stricken farmers their entitlement to water that in rapid driven rivers flow past their properties. Farmer’s tear stained wives regaling on TV, husbands’ decisions to sell up the farm. Oh, this Australia ‘the best country in the world.’ We all know that Royal Commissions are guarantees for  non-action.

And then we have a Prime Minister warning us of the disasters to befall us if anyone would be as foolish and progressive as to buy an electric car. He said; ‘It will be the end of our Aussie week-end.’ ‘We will not drive our ute anymore and the price of electricity will go sky-high, he said.’ And to think we left Holland where the Government will not allow new petrol and diesel driven cars to be sold after 2030. In Norway fifty % of cars are now electric and China is starting up world’s biggest electric car manufacturers.

As for Helvi and I with those verging on their final years, getting concerned about ‘Aged-Care’, let me leave you with how CARE for the elderly is being tackled in Holland.

The Dementia Village

If I ever end up with severe dementia I hope I am fortunate enough to live in a village like this.

 

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Scandinavia and the Sami people.

December 6, 2018
Image result for sami people
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-06/sami-parliament-example-for-australia-of-indigenous-voice/10586566
“How might an Indigenous voice to Parliament work? Here’s some ideas from Nordic nations.”
      By Joey Watson and Annabelle Quince for Rear Vision
The Sametinget sits

 

the right to decide

The aim of the Sami Parliament is to strengthen the political position of the Sami people, paving the way for them to develop their language, culture and society.

The plenary, the highest body in the Sami Parliament, has 39 representatives elected by direct vote from seven constituencies across Norway.

The representatives from the largest Sami party form a governing council and select a president.

Finland and Sweden

While the Norwegian Sami Parliament is the most prominent in Scandinavia, it was not the first.

The Sami political movement was born in Finland after World War Two.

 

 

The King Parrot is happy too.

October 18, 2018

IMG_0144King Parrot.PNG

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.’

IMG_0139Bowral garden.JPG

 

“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.”

How to become more Australian.

July 21, 2018

15754791_1484711096_8585

You can tell that the elections for a Government are getting close. Politicians are ramping up a bit of nationalism by proposing that emigrants acquaint themselves with a ‘true Australian culture’. At the same time are hints about that  Australia is slipping away from its unique Australian culture. Even in far-away England an Australian politician, Alan Tudge is suggesting we are at risk of ‘veering’ away from our special uniqueness. It is useful, especially before elections, to try and get extra votes by suggesting foreigners are the cause for us slipping away from our special Australian uniqueness.

Here is part of what he said;

“Australia will consider adding a “values test” for those considering permanent residency in order to protect its “extraordinarily successful” multicultural society, Malcolm Turnbull said.

The prime minister confirmed what his citizenship and multicultural minister Alan Tudge told the Australia/UK Leadership Forum overnight, where he floated the idea of a “values” test to fend off “segregation”.

Tudge told his London audience “our ship is slightly veering towards a European separatist multicultural model and we want to pull it back to be firmly on the Australian integrated path”.

Whenever someone espouses Australian uniqueness one can rest assured that not a single definition or sample of this special Australian culture will come forth. How can it? Are the people in Italy or Norway without freedom of expression? Are the Dutch forbidden to have a choice in how or where they live. Do the French not have laws protecting them from exploitation by banks or crooks? Are Germans denied sauerkraut?  One thing that stands out separating Australia from the rest of the world, is that in our unique culture, we in Australia only, still don’t have a Bill of Rights.

If we are supposed to be well versed in Australian values and even go so far as insisting that those considering residency here to do some kind of Australian culture ‘test’, how come that our head of state is a British subject? With all that Australian uniqueness we still haven’t got our own Head of State. Why?

It were the American forces who saved Australia from Japanese occupation 1945, not that of Britain. We are guaranteed protection by our Anzus treaty foremost, and would be silly to think English troops coming to our rescue in case of wars.

This ploy to try and ramp up a freaky form of Nationalism using anti-foreign rhetoric is so typical of our state of degradation on the political front. We might get our politicians to do a test instead.

We should all despair and show it at the next election.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Can Australia help Holland out in closing down their prisons?

August 8, 2016

While here and in the UK, plans are under way to build more prisons, Holland is closing them. They even asked Norway to send a thousand criminals, to at least fill some of the empty cells and keep employing guards.
http://qz.com/644914/the-netherlands-keeps-having-to-close-its-prisons-due-to-lack-of-prisoners

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

The Map of Love

June 29, 2012

The map of love

277 Comments

Gerard Oosterman

The most awe inspiring part of a woman is her brain.

The multi-tasking capabilities of the female are well known. Many professors are spending their entire lives studying this phenomenon, trying to figure it out. Are there genetic codes or markers there?

The male on the other hand has trouble just doing a single task, and of course always expects great admiration and respect to follow.

The question is how this multi-tasking of females came about. Is it learned or gene related. Mothers with one on breast and another on hip (babies, not husband) can do cooking, cleaning, talking and write a thesis on 17th century Latvian ceramics…all at the same time.

The female does multi-task. The male with prompting can do serial tasking at best. He does one thing at a time. He changes his underwear one day; next day puts it on top of laundry basket and with luck on the third day or week after, might put his underwear actually into the basket.

During the long and bitter winters here in the Southern Highlands, well above 800 metres, one of the many single tasks that falls on my shoulders is the lighting of just one cube of fire lighter. Most nights our two fires are still alive next morning and just need topping up with wood. If lingering in the warm bed takes long, the risk is that a fire has to be started from scratch with the fire lighter starter.

This takes a male’s full concentration, and stillness is required now, no talking or interruption. The striking of the match first, then slowly approach the cube which is carefully underneath some kindling. Will the match die out or stay alive? The success of a positive day is now in the balance. If the fire starts, all is fine, if not, it might require an accusation to others that it is just not possible to do so many things at once. It will pale the morning.

In Norway, the proven multi-tasking capabilities of women is cleverly exploited and by 2010 40 per cent of company management must be women. If this is not done, companies will be closed down and all men sacked.

There is one thing that man is superior in. Map reading.

Not even Norwegian women can read maps. I suspect that maps are hieroglyphics to most women. Even the concept of North and South are mysterious entities, steeped with bearded explorers and arctic frosts. What is the genetic marker for that failure?

The male map reading genetic marker has been bedded down. This is a man’s speciality and the one thing standing between male self esteem and total annihilation. Keep this in mind fellows. Use it. It is not much, but hey, it is better than standing on a Norwegian street corner during winter after being kicked out of the warm office by a rampaging multi-tasking female work force.

Years ago, I converted a VW Kombi into a sleeper/camper with the audacious use of self tappers and window curtains together with short wooden legs hinged to chip board for a three-quarter bed. We decided to go to France and headed first for Paris.

After visits to Seine bridges, and Musee Du Louvre with Mona Lisa, Left Bank and Montmartre, we ended up at the Champs D’elysees and right in the middle of this wide Avenue we decided to set up camp on the ‘troittoir’. We thought it strange that no one else was parked there but next morning, much to our relief, there were many others busy with putting on trousers and blouses. No doubt, many wrapping up the fruits of true love as well.

We planned to have a breakfast of croissants and coffee after which a tour of the Loire Valley with Chateaux was in mind. This is where the inferior map reading by females became obvious.

Ecouter svp!

Getting out of Paris is almost impossible. This is why many give up and remain there forever. We ended up at a huge round-about with a bronzed statue of a large man on a large horse in the middle. We circled round and round this horse statue like a shark around a cadaver.

Finally, we stopped to ask a ‘gendarme’ how to get away from this endless round-about with the big horse. He not only kindly directed us but gave a special map on how to get off this round-about and towards the Loire Valley with its promise of vin blanc and chateaux.

We did manage to get away, but it was only temporarily, a huge detour, and back on the same round- about circle, no escape; we seemed destined to just keep on rounding and rounding. We were starting to wonder if all roads in Paris always ended up at this same round-about. Was it a fiendish plot to get at English speaking tourists and McDonalds and future Starbucks?

I was getting frustrated but decided to stop and ask police again for directions. Would you believe it, the same policeman? This time he pencilled directions on the map. Again, stoically we drove off. Another 50km, and through banlieues and Algeria, the horse statue again. I was sobbing now, close to being catatonic and pleading with my female partner to direct me from map. Half an hour, looked out and saw this fu###ng horse and the same policeman. He was laughing and pointing at my Kombi.

I then glanced sideways. The map was held upside down.

Remember now, men. We are good at map reading.

Norwegian Woods and Justice

December 1, 2011


We all know that the Norwegian fjords and forests are probably the most inspiring and beautiful examples of nature at its best. Just ask Edvard Grieg or simply listen to his music of Peer Gynt or his four Norwegian dances.
Those young Norwegian people camped out on their beloved island thought so too, till their serenity was cruelly interrupted by being killed. Seventy seven shot dead. A mass killer was on the loose. His name is Anders Behring Breivik. His court case is yet to start but it seems likely he will not be charged of any crime but declared criminally insane and will spend time in an asylum. A 240 page report has been presented to the Norwegian Prosecutors office by three psychiatrists. The assessment was made after thirteen interviews with Breivik.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/confessed-norwegian-gunman-anders-behring-breivik-found-to-be-insane/story-e6frf7lf-1226209668267

Here in Australia as in England an insanity plea is extremely hard to be successful. We are not so far advanced to accept that sometimes evil is done by sick people, indeed we are still struggling with accepting the idea of ‘mental illness’ and feel safer to lock those up in jail that have ended up doing terrible things.
Some years ago a similar deed was done by a blond Tasmanian. His name was Martin Bryant. Suddenly one Sunday he opened fire and thirty three were dead. It would not be beyond the law of averages to accept that an examination by three eminent psychiatrists would also have found him insane and for the prosecutor and Courts to have heeded to that. No such luck for the mentally ill Martin. He now languishes in a jail cell instead of in a hospital or asylum where he would still enjoy some kind of life. We concentrate on retribution, punishment, forget about insanity, and lock the bastards up, for life, forever, good riddance.
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/mass/bryant/index_1.html

Not long ago there was another terrible deed by two young children who had walked another even younger child along a railway line, stoned him and killed him. This time it was in England, a country that was still hanging children not all that long ago and sent convicts away from home and hearth to Australia for having stolen butter or bread. The act of legal “Gibbeting” was abolished before the hanging of children which was abolished in 1908.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_United_Kingdom.

The two children Thompson and Venables responsible for the killing were deemed to have known right from wrong and charged with murder then sentenced for many years to juvenile detention. England became somewhat divided but generally, the retribution enthusiasm succeeded above that of the principle of ‘doli incapax’ that presumes that children cannot be held legally responsible for their actions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Bulger

There have been countless books and even more movies made of the case, endless controversy that still pops up including a documentary about how that case would have never resulted in criminal charges being laid in Norway.
Norway’s 1994, in Trondheim, five year old Silje Redegard was beaten to death by two little boys. Today, the girl’s family still suffers and one of the boys is in trouble again- echoes of the Bulger case are clear. The public reaction in Norway has been startlingly different. Here are some of those differences.

The children involved were younger, but the most significant difference was that in Britain, the authorities decided to let the nation of its people judge the child killers. The children in England were tried as small adults and the media did, as they still do today, (keenly in contempt of Court), calmly and deliberately release mug shots and names of the boys. A roar of revenge was a result of the blood curdling and minute publication of the details of the killings. All this media hysteria was whipped up much to the disadvantage of Thompson and Venables, but it made millions by the media and salved the revenge seeking population in frenzy of hate towards the two children, stirred up by that same media.

What the Norwegian case demonstrates that it needn’t have been that way. In Norway, the initial response to the killing of that little girl was that of horror. What sort of monster did this? Revenge was foremost as well. When the news broke through that two little boys had done this, the hysteria for ‘blood’ died down and the case left to run its course without the media getting involved. There was no sensational reporting of the case in the Norwegian press. I doubt whether many of us here in Australia have even heard of this case. In Norway, even the mother Beathe Redergard felt bad for the little boys, even in the middle of her grief for having lost her daughter, because they were just’ little kids’. They were just six years old but even if they had been ten or eleven, it would have been dealt with the same way. Norway forgave and forgot its child killers.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2010/mar/20/norway-town-forgave-child-killers

The names of the two boys were never published, their anonymity have been protected even till today.
Those Norwegian woods will remain witness to terrible deeds, but no amount of the blood soaked soil will ever bring the victims back, nor will revenge on an insane and mentally ill person.
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