Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

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.”

Grasshopper, my Friend.

February 24, 2016
The Grasshopper

The Grasshopper

 

Just when the feverous counting of white spaces with fonts reached its peak, salvation turned up. It always does. We left the books on the outside table and nipped off to see a very good movie. It is called ‘Spotlight.’

“It’s not a stretch to suggest that “Spotlight” is the finest newspaper movie of its era, joining “Citizen Kane” and “All the President’s Men” in the pantheon of classics of the genre. Full review
Ann Hornaday·Washington Post.”
It is perhaps the best movie of the year and I can see it winning lots of awards with ‘Carol’ running a close second.
After  seeing the movie I felt pleased our own Cardinal Pell will finally front up too.  After the skirmishes between scores of lawyers and doctors he will finally, and by hook and by crook, but more by crook,  while luxuriating from his delightful 4 star hotel in Rome, face the victims of years of dreadful abuse by his church.
What I would not give for our Government to face similar scrutiny about the abuse, including sexual, of the asylum seekers.  I think it might well be inching its way to there.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-24/australias-immigration-policies-violating-international-law/7195432
But, the movie was not the end of it. With reckless abandon we went straight to Harris Market and bought a great rack of lamb for afterwards. A barbeque was coming. Actually, already before the movie and still counting lines of yet another book, I felt a barbeque coming on. You know how sometimes two people are subconsciously thinking of the same thing and at the same time. I don’t think that a barbeque is necessarily pushing itself on the consciousness of filmgoers just having seen a movie about child abuse. Perhaps a couple merging into a single unit. Or is it a kind of telepathy perhaps voodoo thought transference?
But this movie was so much more. With sighs of relief  the audience  were stunned, and remained seated going through all the credits at the end of the movie without a murmur. No one seemed to want to get up, go home. It is that kind of movie! Right at the beginning of the movie we were greatly comforted that the audience were not the usual or habitual food-eaters. Perhaps a couple of choc-tops ice- creams; it was a hot day. No buckets of eggs wafting pop-corn or cartons of chilli-con-carne. We were a serious lot. This movie had in its credits a list of the over 70 paedophile priests that were shifted around from Parish to Diocese in Boston and seemingly around the world, and included Australia on the receiving end, with at least Bendigo  and Mittagong  receiving paedophile priests that were soothed into escaping  justice by the presiding cardinal.
The Grasshopper

The Grasshopper

Anyway, the Webber was fired up and the rack of lamb, after getting marinated with rosemary, garlic and lemon juice, was just perfect and still pink inside. While eating the rack of lamb with Jap Pumpkin I noticed a friendly grasshopper staring at me while crawling over my hand. I was intrigued why it wasn’t hopping. I always thought they could only hop. Not this one though. It walked putting one lanky leg after the other. We both got on very well. It finally left my hand and went straight to a bottle of wine that I opened to go with the lamb. It was cheeky little number. Quite ambitious with a lot of peach on the middle palate.  The hopper knew it too. It climbed the bottle to the top.(one leg after the other). Having reached the top it found the cap screwed back on. A bit of a bummer, don’t you think? I quickly took my iPhone and here are the two pictures I took.
Enjoy!

Australia preventing scrutiny on asylum seekers in detention.

September 26, 2015

United Nations special rapporteur for asylum seeker human rights delays Australian visit, cites Border Force Act

The United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants has postponed a planned trip to Australia, claiming the Federal Government’s immigration legislation preventing people talking about what happens in detention facilities does not allow him to carry out his job.

Francois Crepeau said he was invited to travel to Australia by the Commonwealth and planned to gather information about the situation of migrants and asylum seekers in the country and on offshore detention centres.

He was due to arrive tomorrow.

“In preparing for my visit, it came to my attention that the 2015 Border Force Act, which sanctions detention centre service providers who disclose ‘protected information’ with a two-year court sentence, would have an impact on my visit as it serves to discourage people from fully disclosing information relevant to my mandate,” Mr Crepeau said in a statement.

“This threat of reprisals with persons who would want to cooperate with me on the occasion of this official visit is unacceptable.

“The act prevents me from fully and freely carrying out my duties during the visit, as required by the UN guidelines for independent experts carrying out their country visits.”

Mr Crepeau said he had asked the Government to give him a written guarantee people he interviewed during his tour would not be at risk of sanctions under the Border Force Act.

“As the Australian Government was not prepared to give the written assurances required by the official terms of reference for fact-finding missions by special rapporteurs, it was not possible for me to carry out the visit in my capacity as a UN independent expert,” he said.

“Since March 2015, I have repeatedly requested that the Australian Government facilitate my access to its off-shore processing centres.

“I was also extremely disappointed that I was unable to secure the cooperation needed to visit any offshore centre, given the international human rights and humanitarian law concerns regarding them, plus the Australian Senate inquiries on the offshore detention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, which raised concerns and recommendations concerning these centres.”

The ABC has contacted Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office for comment.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the announcement highlighted Australia’s immigration shortcomings on a global stage.

“The lack of transparency, the lack of free and unfettered access means that Australia is continuing to keep all of their operations in the dark, hidden even not just from the Australian media, but now from the United Nations itself,” she said.

“The Government should guarantee that any staff or professionals working inside Australia’s detention camps can speak openly to the United Nations, without fear of persecution, prosecution, or indeed the two-year jail sentence.”