Iain Hall's SANDPIT

Home » Popular Culture » Tourism (Page 2)

Category Archives: Tourism

Idiotous jetskius fatalus

Its usually Ray’s thing to denounce that menace on the waters, Idiotous jetskius   but this morning I’m making note of the fact that we seem to exported an even nastier subspecies, namely Idiotous jetskius fatalus :

click for source

Readers will notice the part of my screen shot that I have highlighted which points to a failed attempt to destroy the evidence made by the female of the species. Sadly the authorities in Hawaii are unlikely to either euthanase or even just neuter the members of this pernicious species so they can’t breed . The world would be a better place if they did.

Cheers Comrades

Labor’s love boat service

This would be really funny if it were not so true

hat tip to GD for finding it!

Cheers Comrades

Self Sustaining at Rio +20

Yes Robert another entirely pointless and very expensive talkfest at Rio which of course brings this song to mind:

Robert Kyriakides's Weblog

Rather as I expected the Rio +20 summit on sustainable development has closed without advancing the practice of sustainable development by one jot, one title or one iota. The forests will shrink as they are plundered in developing countries, the seas will become deserts as they are shorn of life and filled with what billions of humans no longer need, and the greed of every interest group attending the summit set the scene: talk was cheap, the begging bowl was held out and commitment to anything was somewhere else. The only sustainable thing that has emerged from this Rio+ 20 summit is that there will be another summit in Rio again. That at least is self sustaining.

View original post

Jo Chandler’s weekend away and her trip down memory lane

One of the staples of the travel section of any paper has to be the accommodation review which is often little more than an advetrorial and often given in exchange for a freebee offered to the author of the puff piece which is why I found the disclaimer at the end of Jo Chandler’s latest piece so amusing:

  All weekends away are conducted anonymously and paid for by Traveller.

The thought that came to mind for me was just how could Chandler, a well known journalist and  author,  meet the requirements of this disclaimer? Did she book the weekend under an assumed name? What she would think up as her “secret identity”?  Did she disguise her appearance with a wig and dark glasses? Maybe she took inspiration from a long dead author of depressive poetry and straightened her hair. Just how did she make herself “anonymous” enough   to meet the requirements of the article’s disclaimer?
Then again maybe it was just a nudge nudge wink wink arrangement with the owner of the cottage that meant that no questions or lies were exchanged …
 Cheers Comrades

Air Australia, the death of an airline is a portent for the future

Photobucket

I know that its going to upset the latte sipping class but there is one thing that I’m certain of and that is the simple truth that we are facing the end of “cheap” mass air travel, as the cost of the fuel that powers the planes keeps increasing there is just no way that we won’t see the prices of those tickets to any destination remain affordable to the ordinary people. Companies that try to keep their planes in the air will either have to substantially increase their ticket prices of run the risk  of going out just like Air Australia when they can’t afford to fill their planes:

With this and the news that Qantas is doing even more cost cutting in its maintenance facilities in this country which has seen the premiers of both Queensland and Victoria publicly grovelling in their attempts to see the other have to wear the loss of jobs that will result from this “downsizing”. Its hardly a dignified example of the politician’s role but I reckon that it is something that we are going to see a great deal more of over the next few years as the Air industry declines in the face of ever increasing fuel and wage costs.

There is an upside though and it is this, all of our global warming true believers will be able to avoid the charge of hypocrisy because they won’t be able to afford those expensive and emission heavy overseas holidays instead they will have to enjoy sojourning in places closer to home during their vacations, its not like we lack enough natural wonders or delightful accommodation  in this country to please even the most jaded Latte sipper now is it?

I have seen the future and in it there are far fewer aircraft are flying…

Cheers Comrades

Photobucket

Jo Chandler “Progress for world’s poorest ‘could stall'”, Hmm, Care to define progress Jo???

As is my want I check out the Age website each day to see what words of wisdom are published by my “favourite” senior writer at Fairfax. The two posts previous to the one I am considering today were essentially whine pieces about the way that New Guinea is managing the ownership of its forests at the expense of the more traditional systems of communal ownership, not exactly something that I care about, frankly our near north neighbour is a basket case that has only the tiniest veneer of civilisation and good governance and I really don’t know how long it will be before it collapses completely.  Anyway lets look at Chandler’s latest effort and consider if the Age is getting much value for the undoubtedly substantial salary that they are paying their “senior writer” in other words is she worth the price of a Chai Latte or the cost of a cup of International Roast?

Progress for world’s poorest ‘could stall’
Jo Chandler
November 3, 2011

FORTY years of progress improving lives in some of the world’s poorest countries could stall or go backwards by mid-century as a result of climate change and growing inequity, according to the Human Development Report 2011, released by the United Nations last night.

Has there really been forty years of progress is the question that naturally occurs to me. I can’t help wondering if much of the massive amounts of aid and efforts made to uplift the poor countries has come at the expense of their own autonomy and independence.

The report, which for the third year running ranks Australia second highest in the world after Norway on an index measuring education, life expectancy and wealth, argues that to fairly achieve a sustainable future will require tackling health, education, income and gender disparities as well as generating clean energy and protecting ecosystems.

Do you think that Chandler is trying to tickle our guilt chips here? Its an old trick so beloved by professional mendicants to remind us that we have much and those in need have so little.

In the Pacific, pollution, deforestation and rising sea levels are identified as key threats to progress in nations that already rank in the lowest sector – Papua New Guinea (153), East Timor (147) and Solomon Islands (142).

Gee all of these problems look to me as if they have one single and obvious cause, namely a lack of good governance in the countries concerned  and no amount of money thrown at it is likely to change that. Make no mistake what Chandler is implying here is that the rich west should be redistributing more of its wealth to those at the  bottom of the ranking. Why? well because (as the tell tale mention of “rising sea levels” suggests) we are responsible for “climate change” its our fault that they are languishing at the bottom of the heap of nations.

”The remarkable progress in human development over recent decades … cannot continue without bold global steps to reduce both environmental risks and inequality,” Helen Clark, UN Development Program administrator said in introducing the findings in Copenhagen.

”Sustainability is not exclusively or even primarily an environmental issue,” she said. ”It is fundamentally about how we choose to live our lives, with an awareness that everything we do has consequences for the 7 billions of us here today, as well as the billions more who will follow.”

Australian scientists welcomed the report’s focus on the linkages between social, economic and environmental indicators, themes they say dominate expert discussion but are still largely unrecognised in public commentary.

Which scientists Jo? And how precisely do you know this?

”Physical scientists, social scientists, economists are all talking about these things, while the public debate is still wallowing in the mud on the carbon tax,” Professor Dave Griggs, director of the Monash Sustainability Institute, said.

Right… Its just the opinion of an academic that you base this generalisation upon and from his title it seems clear to me that he is probably basing his claim upon wishful thinking more than anything else, but of course he is a “scientist” so you won’t question his sources or methodology here now will you?

”The science of sustainability, linking together all these different problems – energy, water, health, social inclusion, environment, gender – is still very young. This report dips a toe in the water.”

Exploring ”how global problems feed off each other will be the big preoccupation of the next five years”, he said.

That certainly sounds like left speak to me! Further it looks to me that for all of the sincere sounding lefty platitudes Dave Griggs has no answers for the hard questions here, but he sure is looking forward to the show… Makes you think though that there is something rather sordid and patronising  about the sort of conspicuous compassion that the left love  wallow in as they observe suffering   like a culture in a Petri dish.

Associate professor of environmental studies at Melbourne University, Peter Christoff, said it needed to be recognised that Australia’s exceptionally high ranking was underwritten by exports of coal and gas, ”which are making a very significant contribution to the problems that will be faced by others in our region”.

Time for another prod at our guilt chips!  We are obliged to engage in self-flagellation for the success of our economy and our society   according to the priests of the green faith yet strangely frequent flyers like Chandler and those of her ilk can enjoy a guilt free jaunts and a  Chai Latte any time and any where on the planet… Hmm that does not seem right to me.

The report underwrote the importance of investing in building resilience in communities to face the challenges of climate change, Oxfam director Andrew Hewett said.

”It is not just about increased vulnerability to humanitarian disasters, which is often the focus, but the impacts on livelihoods of coping with changing weather patterns, changing agriculture.”

Oxfam a science now? I did not realise that you can do a Phd in dogooderism and professional begging , No I take that back I do appreciate the value of altruistic service for those in need but really I can’t buy the Hanrahanesque line suggesting that we “will all be rooned”  because”climate  change” is making natural disasters more common/severe. In the age of the 24 hour news cycle and instant communication we certainly hear about cataclysms on an almost daily basis but are they really becoming more frequent? I don’t think that they are to be honest. Hewett is right about one thing though and that is the value of resilience and I agree whole heartedly that is where our efforts at a global level should be focused, not just to address “climate change”  but in general there is simply too much dumbing down of the general population, too much of the mindset exhibited by the likes of Chandler that we should just trust the “experts” and blindly do what they say rather than encouraging ordinary people to be clever and resourceful.

I can’t help thinking that despite being cited as a “senior writer” that Fairfax don’t get good value for the money that they pay  Jo Chandler, especially when her output consists of puff pieces like this one which she uses to push her favourite climate change bandwagon, it is a shallow piece about a pointless report that needs to define and justify just what constitutes “progress” before it has any value and when it comes to that task Jo Chandler is sadly far too committed to her own ideology and religious faith in “climate change” to provide any insight or answers.

Cheers Comrades

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I might take up self-flagellation if I wasn't worried that I might get to like it 😉 Nah ! I'll just stay guilt free and do what I can where I can to help those in need...

All quotes from here

Get a new card Julia, you need it.

I find it utterly stupid and just downright bizarre that after taking such a beating over the asylum seeker issue that The Gillard Government has tried to play the third country processing card without actually having the appropriate cards in her hand, Now with no deal signed between Australia and Malaysia or New Guinea they have thrown away what little credibility that they may have had by insisting that the latest arrivals will be processed in an as yet undecided third country  country:

Frankly this is as stupid as making an all in bet on that inside straight when playing poker, it may pay off but the risks are huge. In political terms Labor are just tying themselves in knots here all because they don’t want to admit that they they should have just bit the bullet and picked up the phone to Nauru where they know that asylum seekers will be both treated well and that the host government will accept the new arrivals. But they just have to ask themselves if the inevitable unrest as disappointed asylum seekers are forcibly put onto planes to Malaysia or New Guinea  is going to be worse than having to try to spin going back to the Pacific solution? Gee it looks to me as if Gillard and her immigration minister are going to be thinking that the crevice between that rock and a hard place is very cosy indeed compared to the media grist mill that they have jumped into here. The left are going to berate theme for being cruel when they should be compassionate and their heartland are just going to roll their eyes heavenward while thinking that this is just another example of Labor incompetence. The Coalition can quite rightly feel vindicated that the Labor party have substantially moved back towards their own solution to the problem of unauthorised arrivals while they also will appreciate that because this is only another ‘half way there” back-flip there is still plenty of room for them to promise the public that they can fix the problem properly.

Australia’s problem is that Gillard does not know how to play political poker properly, she does not seem to know that you don’t bet on an inside  straight and then show the world that you are missing that vital card that will turn nothing in your hand into something that you can bet and win with. Labor’s problem is that they too have made a bad all in bet by picking Gillard and they have no choice but to stick with her because there is no one brave enough or with enough of a political death-wish to grasp the now poisoned chalice of the Labor  leadership.

Cheers Comrades

Sentimental moments

click to enlarge

Well I was a good and Loyal Englishman and I watched the wedding last night and it was done well there were not hitches at all as far as I could see, The only , admittedly minor, quibble that I have is that the ensemble worn by our own PM was, well, hmm  rather cringe worthy and she looked decidedly uncomfortable wearing a frock rather than her more usual pant suit… Tim was not much better either… But the event was not about our PM in fact I doubt that they could have even see the wedding from their seats in the Abbey just as most of the other dignitaries would not have been able to see the  ceremony. It is perhaps the ultimate irony about such things that the ordinary people watching it  at home on the TV probably saw more of the event  than the official guests and dignitaries sitting in that ancient church did.  Those with pretensions  as  working class warriors who want to denounce the whole experience as an example of excess should take note of this little irony the next time they want to flash their red underpants at the monarchy and those in positions of power.

Moving on to the wedding itself, well I have to admit to being a total romantic about weddings in general and especially weddings where the couple are very obviously in love so I had no trouble enjoying the show Heck I even drank a glass of wine in honour of the event.

A fairytale moment

Questions about the virtue or vice of the institution of an hereditary monarchy can be argued endlessly and there are merits to both sides of the issue but the fact remains that, when it works, a constitutional monarchy can create a very good political system that has all of the necessary checks and balances against tyranny. That works well in the case of the house of Windsor because they have such a dedication to service. This is why the people love and respect them and why so many turned out to celebrate this wedding

Loved by the people

OK, enough of me getting sentimental about my homeland…

Cheers Comrades

%d bloggers like this: