Having my two cents worth

Giving an opinion on world events and news…

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Further information on the proposed Traveston dam controversy

Why did Brisbane have the worst floods since 1974? The building of the Wivenhoe dam was meant to stop those floods from ever happening again… yet it happened again.

Three years ago, the former Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie claimed that with climate change the soaking rains would never happen again, and therefore Queensland needed to find ways of supplying water. Amongst the ideas given was that people should get used to using recycled water (yuk!!).  Peter Beattie also argued in favour of building the Traveston dam, even though the National Party, and the locals in the Mary Valley were against it. The attitude of the locals was insufficient but let’s look at the history of this controversial project.

I found some useful comments on one of Andrew Bolt’s blogs where the subject was raised. Andrew drew on the opinions of the disgraced Tim Flannery, who had made many of the predictions that Beattie believed. You can read the blog post here:

I found some really good information in the comments, written by Dave Ross, Rose and brc ( I hope they do not mind that I am using their comments.

Dave Ross replied to yobbo of Brisbane
Wed 13 Oct 10 (11:09am)

Yobbo OB,
The State Labor government is building the Wyaralong dam as we speak.
The Traveston Crossing Dam was effectively stopped by the Qld. State Coordinator General who finally under intense government pressure, approved the dam but under stringent conditions that virtually made it impossible to build.
The ALP Feds involvement under the EPBC act was inevitable and an easy decision for them.
Not widely known is that the Traveston Crossing Dam site was previously investigated and rejected in 1977 and 1994 by the National and ALP State governments respectively, on economic, engineering, social and environmental grounds.
In 2005 the technical advisory panel to the Water Resource Plan for the Mary Basin reported to the Beattie government that any project involving a dam on the Mary would be subject to scrutiny by the Feds under the EPBC act and would certainly be rejected.
Beattie ignored this advice and declared game on for the TCD in 2006. The scientists have been proven correct.
The EPBC act was introduced under the conservative Howard government in 1999 and had the approval of all political parties, thus in democratic terms, the majority of Australian citizens.
Beattie cost us a fortune by pursuing the TCD nonsense for pure political gain.
He wanted to announce something big before the early 2006 election he wasn’t going to have and at the same time drive a wedge between the Liberal and National parties who were close to merging as the LNP.
The Libs being notionally pro dam and the Nats anti.
That didn’t work and the grandiose Labor dam plan failed us all dismally.

Rose replied to yobbo of Brisbane
Wed 13 Oct 10 (11:26am)

Peter Garrett also checked out the dam on economic grounds. The Centre for International Economics, Canberra, found that the Bligh Govt could not show that Traveston Dam was the best option to meet SEQld`s water needs. Peter Garrett posted this report online after Bligh complained of his decision.

brc replied to yobbo of Brisbane
Wed 13 Oct 10 (11:34am)

The Traveston crossing dam was another white-elephant in the making.  It would have destroyed a lot of productive farmland, and the scientific studies done were not even completed when work started.  The average depth was going to be a few metres, and evaporation was going to be a real issue.  As it was, it devastated a community. It would have cost a few billion and produced expensive water.  There are plenty of other workable and useful sites a lot closer to Brisbane than Traveston crossing.  That’s why it was a bad idea and why it was rightfully killed.  It’s a pity Garrett had to be the one that did it.

The main reason Traveston Crossing was chosen was it was the closest location Beattie could find that was never going to vote for him anyway.

Dave Ross replied to yobbo of Brisbane
Wed 13 Oct 10 (04:13pm)

Certainly the view that there were only a few National party voters in the area so there would be no political fallout was aired at a caucus meeting and of course there hasn’t been a state Labor member here for over 50 years.
However Pumpkin Pete made quite a large political misjudgement and the ALP has lost every neighbouring seat in the area starting with Noosa.
The ALP member at the time, Cate Molloy lost her endorsement for the seat after voting with the coalition against the dam proposal.
Many people in the seat of Gympie have relatives on the Sunshine Coast and the Wide Bay area.
Blood is thicker than water it seems.
Many members of Kevin Rudd’s mother’s family also live here including his Uncle Kevin who he was named after.

I must admit that I had not heard of the Wyaralong dam, so I gather that this dam is a substitute for the Traveston dam, and obviously it is being built in a better location. What these people are pointing out is that Peter Beattie was being cynical in his choice of location for the needed dam. On top of that, the dam was just completed in time to be filled up from the rains.   It would seem that this time around Peter Garrett made the right choice, not based upon the endangered species in the river, but for economic grounds. 


Brisbane floods–could this flood have been mitigated?

There are genuine questions to be asked about why the Wivenhoe Dam failed to protect Brisbane from its worst flood since 1974.  The history here is that the Wivenhoe Dam was built in response to the 1974 flood and it was supposed to protect Brisbane from this kind of disastrous flood. What went wrong?

Andrew Bolt has been asking some serious questions about why the operators of the Wivenhoe Dam failed to release larger amounts of water in the days preceding the heavy rains that led to the floods.  The issue raised by Bolt is that the Wivenhoe Dam at the time of the deluge was too full,  that it was in fact at about 160% capacity prior to the rains, and that the dam was filling up fast to the point where the flood gates would have opened automatically.

Bolt takes up the case presented by senior engineer Michael O’Brien who claims that the Brisbane flood was avoidable. The issue seems to centre around the fact that the SEQ water failed to release sufficient water from the dam in the week prior to the heavy rains, leading to the release of 645,00 mega litres on the morning of the Brisbane flood. This release was due to the rather alarming increase in the dam storage levels to about 190% capacity.

You can read the whole thing here.

Like Andrew Bolt I am not familiar with the information that has been provided. On the other hand, I have experienced a flood that was due to the opening of the Warragamba Dam’s floodgates. The effect of that action was quite significant, leading to serious flooding in the Richmond-Windsor district.  There is some similarity in circumstances because the flood was preceded by a week of heavy rain and then came the rising of the rivers which cut off the townships of Richmond and Windsor. In the case of Brisbane, as pointed out by Germaine Greer, the Wivenhoe had been as low as 10% capacity at one point, meaning that the SEQ operators of the dam might have been reluctant to release greater quantities of water.

At least Anna Bligh has ordered a Royal Commission into the floods, and hopefully the Royal Commission will examine all of the data that will explain why the Brisbane floods happened in the first place.

This is a different issue from the floods in Ipswich, Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley.  The wall of water that came beating down on the residents of that region was also probably avoidable. 



Richmond-Windsor District flood March 1978–(pt. 2 of a series)

I grew up in Melbourne, and not once during my growing years did I ever encounter the devastation of a flood. This is despite the fact that Victoria had her share of floods during that same period. Places such as Echuca, Horsham and Shepparton were known to be flood prone. Even in my family tree, there is the death of a boy aged about 14 that was probably a drowning due to floods in Horsham (I need to verify that point).

However, things changed when I married and relocated to the Richmond-Windsor district. First of all, in 1977, when I was living in a unit in Richmond, there was a minor flood. This happened when I was away visiting my in-laws who were living at Port Macquarie at the time. Our top floor unit was flooded due to the debris on the roof. However, it was the following year that I ended up in the middle of a flood.

It was in March 1978 that we had a week of non-stop rains. I had a newborn son (my oldest) and we had arranged that he would be baptized at the Easter Vigil at our local church, St. Matthews, Windsor. Since my husband was in the RAAF at the time, we were expecting our relatives to arrive from both Melbourne and Newcastle in time for the Baptism. What happened though, is that the region became flooded because of the heavy rains.

My memory of the whole thing has faded over time, but I do remember that there had been several deaths. Two of those deaths were a couple whose vehicle had been washed away in Toongabbie. The one that I remember most, though, was in Windsor, where a teenage boy was electrocuted when his boat touched overhead electricity wires as he was attempting to rescue people. This accident happened somewhere near a tavern known as the Jolly Green Frog which is located close to McGrath’s Hill.

This flood occurred because Warragamba dam had been full to capacity due to the rains that NSW had that year. As a result of the heavy rain the flood gates were opened and there was a spill that flowed into the Hawkesbury River. The twin towns of Richmond-Windsor are located on the Hawkesbury River.  There are several other river tributaries including the Colo River. Windsor gets cut off at one end (heading towards Colo) and South Windsor also gets cut off. Richmond was also cut off from North Richmond (the other end of the town heading towards the Blue Mountains).  South Windsor has flood plains, and even though we were on high ground we were surrounded by flood waters. There were houses at the other end of Cox Street that were flooded. Behind our street there was a golf course, and it was flooded. At our end, of Cox Street the railway line had been cut off because of the flood waters. We were cut off from Blacktown, yet we could get to Penrith via one road that had not been cut off.

During this period my husband’s squadron at the RAAF base Richmond, had been detailed to help evacuate people from their flooded houses. They worked to help these people, yet those rescued were not exactly grateful for the help that they received.

What did I learn from being almost cut off because of the floods? I learned about the wisdom of Governor Macquarie who had designated what are known as the five Macquarie Towns.  What I learned is that the NSW government had released land in an area that was a known flood plain, and that the house that had been built on the flood plain were the ones affected. For the rest of us, we were safe from the effects of the floods. This is because our homes had been built according to the plan set out by Governor Macquarie.  In other words, in 1978 some of the devastation from that particular flood in the Richmond-Windsor district was avoidable.

What was seared in my memory, however, is that the flood was in part caused by the opening of the floodgates at Warragamba dam. In other words if the dam is too full when there is heavy rain then the floods themselves are inevitable.

The new TSA theme song –t hanks Robo Monkey


The German stoicism in face of a terrorist threat

Intelligence has been received by Germany that there is a very real possibility that Al Qaeda is planning a terrorist strike. I have already blogged about how the Germans are reacting to this threat, that is they are responding in what I consider to be a proactive way. They have tightened security around the airports, the railway stations and at such places as the Brandenburg Gate. These are of course, necessary measures due to the nature of the threat involved.

What I admire most about the German response is the outright stoicism of the people, regardless of being on the left or right of politics. Der Spiegel online has been running a few articles regarding the response to this current threat. Here is an extract from those articles:

Commenting on the new terror warning in their Thursday editions, Germany’s main newspapers reiterate de Maizière’s exhortations for ordinary Germans to keep calm and carry on, with one newspaper suggesting that Germans seek inspiration in London’s famous "Blitz spirit" during World War II.

The centre-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

"Every individual, irrespective of the degree to which they — rightly — trust in the state (to protect them), can respond to terror, not only by being vigilant but continuing to live their life as they please. The minister said there was no reason for hysteria. That also applies even in the event of an emergency."

The centre-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

"What should citizens do (in response to the terror alert)? Should they not fly any more and not go to the opera or the movies? Should they avoid public transportation, Christmas markets and busy supermarkets? That would be the hysteria that the interior minister warned against. The terrorists will have already half won if they succeed in paralyzing public life."

"What should the state do? It can show strength. A democracy is strong if it can defend its principles with a cool head and calm courage. A state is strong if it realizes that human and civil rights are the best guarantee of homeland security. An interior minister is strong if he promises citizens every possible vigilance and keeps that promise. … But being vigilant does not mean immediately drafting a new anti-terror law at breakneck speed, as has so often been the case in the past."

"Germany’s homeland security is at stake. But homeland security also requires the guarantee that the principles that are intended to protect democracy also apply when that democracy is being defended. Homeland security requires inner resolve and an unwavering confidence in the fundamental rights laid down in the constitution — even in times of terror."

Did you note the wording here? This is what I mean about being proactive and at the same time safeguarding the rights of the population at large. Contrast this attitude to what we are witnessing in the USA where new useless and dangerous procedures are being implemented in airports around that nation. Those new laws indicate a government that is reactive to a threat that has already passed.

The conservative Die Welt writes:

"Islamists sometimes accuse Western societies of being too complacent and ill-equipped to deal with existential crises. Supposedly they are wimpy, unable to fight and lacking in pride. One of the most compelling features of our civilization is the fact that such accusations are not true. Again and again, Western societies have overcome severe crises without throwing their democratic nature out of the window and taking refuge under supposedly strong leaders with dictatorial powers. When London was being bombed by Germany during World War II, its society remained as free as ever, yet still managed to mobilize amazing strength. The same applied in New York in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks."

"There is no evidence that the Germans, who also reacted calmly to the financial crisis, will now be tempted to panic and overreact. There are situations in which keeping calm is actually a civic duty that has nothing to do with apathy. The population should react with a relaxed vigilance. The increased police presence will give them the sense that they are being protected. It is not a sign of indifference but of strength when life continues as normal even in dangerous situations. In democracies, heroism and everyday life can go hand in hand. The murderous nihilism of the fanatics is no match for such strength."

The mass-circulation daily Bild writes:

"As of yesterday, the ugly face of Islamist terror has become a bit clearer for us in Germany, in the form of a threat. But we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be led astray. If, out of fear of attacks, we no longer go to Christmas markets and avoid large-scale events, then the devil’s spawn from the terror camps in Afghanistan will have achieved their goal."

"We are supposed to be afraid of them? We are supposed to change our lifestyle, because they can’t deal with the way the world is? We cannot allow that to happen! The police and security agencies have to support us in that effort and send the following message to the terrorists: You have no chance!"

The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes:

"It is debatable how useful terror warnings are. Anyone who hears that something might happen, but doesn’t receive the slightest information as to the what, when, where or how (of the planned attack), tends to feel more unsettled than on guard. … Why then is the interior minister, who has previously showed no tendency to adopt the strong-arm anti-terror rhetoric of his predecessors, warning the population about an attack that could even happen this month? When the authorities have specific information about a terrorist attack, only one thing is worse than warning the public — not warning them. Even if citizens cannot respond to the warning in their everyday behaviour, they at least want to be sure that the authorities recognize the danger and are reacting accordingly."

"All the tightening of security measures which are now being carried out across the country could ultimately turn out to be futile. But if a bomb goes off after the population has been warned, the interior minister can explain it by referring to the impossibility of absolute security. If a bomb explodes without warning, the minister does not need to give any explanations. Instead, he need do nothing more than hand in his resignation — because he would be seen as having failed."

— David Gordon Smith

Responding to The Threat of Terrorism–Reactive or Proactive Pt. 2

In the first part of this article I dealt with the manner in which the USA has been reactive to the threat of terrorism, rather than being proactive. The end result of being reactive has been a series of measures, such as forcing people who are not likely to be terrorists to take off their shoes prior to entering the metal detector, as well as forcing many to undergo the indignity of searches that are akin to sexual assault.

In this part I will deal with the current threat being made against Germany, and how the German government has been proactive in dealing with a unknown but real threat of terror prior to the end of November. The details of this outline can be found in the following Der Spiegel article:


As a response to the intelligence received that there is an imminent threat in Germany, the security people there have done the following:

1. heavily armed police are to be seen at the Brandenburg gate;

2. increased security at airports;

3. bomb-sniffing dogs at the railway stations.

It should be noted here that the Germans successfully stopped a previous plot to blow up either railway stations or trains. It should also be noted that they have seen no reason to introduce measures that inconvenience their citizens that use trains on a daily basis. This is a direct contrast to the reactive restrictions and rules that have been introduced into the USA. However, I note that Germany uses the pornographic x-ray machines.

Der Spiegel notes the following:

The signs that Germany has increased security in light of a recent warning that terrorists may be planning an attack on the country are everywhere.

And it could stay that way for some time. Rainer Wendt, head of a major German police union, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Friday that the "state of emergency" is likely to be maintained until the end of the year. He also said that, with hundreds of traditional Christmas markets, which could be potential targets, set to open soon, police in many German cities have had their vacations cancelled.

"All security agencies are in agreement," Matthias Seeger, head of Germany’s federal police force, told the mass-circulation tabloid Bild on Friday. "On a scale of one to 10, with one representing no danger and 10 standing for acute risk of attack, we are currently at nine."

The drastic intensification of security measures comes following German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière’s statement on Wednesday in which he said that the German government had "concrete indications" that Islamists were planning an attack and that Germany could be a target.

The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes, in reference to Körting’s comments and demands to intensify German law:

"The demands (to strengthen German law and keep an eye on your neighbours) are akin to robbing ourselves of that which terrorists would like to take from us. It’s like destroying our free and democratic societies to prevent their destruction from terrorist bombs."

"Terrorists won’t have won if they turn the world into a crime scene and a train station, Christmas market or subway into a battlefield. Rather, they will have triumphed if they occupy our heads, control our thoughts and write our laws. The security which we demand from the state is a valuable commodity, but it isn’t the state’s primary purpose. It is a condition for freedom: We need security in order to be able to live in freedom. But those who want to live in freedom must accept that freedom can never be had without a certain amount of risk."


The Financial Times Deutschland writes:

"For anyone who had hoped to maintain calm in light of the allegedly heightened terror threat in Germany, there are apparently several others who are countering that effort."

"One German politician, however, cannot be blamed: Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière. During his term in office so far, he has acted with restraint, has not stoked fear unnecessarily and has avoided sounding alarmist. And he has declined to use the apparent threat to push through tougher laws. His behaviour makes both him and the warning he delivered more credible."

"Politicians, security personnel and investigators must do everything in their power to prevent an attack. A public warning is part of that effort. Such warnings can work as signals to potential attackers — at best they can delay or even prevent an attack. Such a warning should serve public safety — and should not be politically abused."

Rather than doing nothing when there is an uptick in the chatter, the Germans have put the nation on alert.

When the terrorists in Yemen attempted to send some bombs via air cargo, these parcels moved through Germany without being spotted. One of the packages was picked up by UAE and the other was nearly missed in the Midlands Airport in England. If it had not been for the co-operation between the various Secret Services, and that the English were told to have another look, there might have already been an air disaster once again over England.

As a result of that particular threat, packages being sent from Yemen and Somalia have been stopped. However, what is the point of putting into place a restriction that packages more than 1lb will not be flown by air from Japan? This is yet another silly policy that has been implemented because Al Qaeda attempted to send some bombs via UPS and FedEx in Yemen through to an address in Chicago. What gets me about this case is that there had been a dry run in September. U.S. intelligence must have known about the dry run, so why did they not put in place restrictions upon sending parcels from Yemen and Somalia prior to that attempt? Instead they have been reactive because the bombs were placed in toner cartridges, thus the restriction upon the size of the package.

The kinds of restrictions that have been put in place are unnecessary because they are closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Let’s face it:

  • Richard Reid was caught before he could ignite his shoe bomb. You could say that the shoe bomb was a failure.
  • The Underwear bomber managed to singe his balls with his underwear bomb. That bomb attempt was also a failure.
  • The Times Square bomber was interrupted by the vigilance of a street vendor. Quick thinking saved everyone in Times Square at the time.
  • The plotters in the U.K. who were planning to use their children to place bombs in baby drink bottles were discovered prior to carrying out the plan. No one else has wanted to imitated them.  There is no need to restrict liquids being carried in flight.
  • People with prosthetic limbs are unlikely to be bombers.
  • People with small children, and the children themselves are not likely to be bombers.
  • Young attractive women are unlikely to be suicide bombers. It might be true if they are wearing a burqa.

One thing should be noted here: the Arabs and Somalis and other bombers have been dressed in the same way as westerners. Richard Reid had fair hair but he also had a Muslim alias. 

Once an unsuccessful bombing attempt has been made it is unlikely that it will be repeated. These Islamists will try to find other ways to carry out their plans, just like they did with the World Trade Centre. The first bombing attempt failed. However, taking over aircraft and then sending the aircraft into the twin towers worked: they succeeded in bringing down the WTC.  There must be a lesson that can be learned from this fact. So far everybody has failed to learn from the lessons regarding the first and second attacks on the WTC.

Should Shirley sue Andy? Smearing the TEA movement pt 3

I have been reading with interest the tale of the bigotry of Shirley Sherrod.  Andrew Breitbart was sent a video clip showing an Obummer appointee, Shirley Sherrod speaking at an NAACP event. In the clip Sherrod mentioned her own attitude to “whitey” and how she had refused to help a white farmer, then thought better of her actions. It sounds like a redemption story. Yet there are some stings in this story that do in fact highlight Sherrod the Marxist continues with her bigotry against Whites even though she claims a different ending to the story.

Why did Andrew Breitbart release the tape? Was it to point the finger at Shirley Sherrod? Or was it to show how the NAACP were in fact the bigots when they sat and cheered as Shirley Sherrod related her story of treating a white farmer in a bigoted fashion? First of all, I think that the latter is the case, and that Sherrod was not the highlight of Breitbart’s story, although certainly many people who viewed the clip certainly thought that she remained a bigot. Now why was that? I will get to that in a moment. Second, Andrew Breitbart is not responsible for the reactions that came from the NAACP or from Sherrod’s boss in the White House. No one should have forced Sherrod to resign.  They reacted stupidly… and yes that goes all the way up the chain.

Now the thing is when the clip is viewed in context Sherrod made statements that proved she is a liar with regard to her redemption story. For starters she went on a Bush rant… it seems Shirley has a really severe case of Bush Derangement Syndrome, a disease that is rampant amongst members of the current White House Regime. In fact BDS is so bad and viral amongst the members of the Regime that I believe that they all need a permanent rest from their jobs.  Then Sherrod made statements regarding the TEA movement that were nothing more than a smear – a blatant lie. In this case Sherrod made untrue statements about the opposition to the health legislation that I term Abominablecare. Sherrod, like all of the other Marxist members of the White House regime persists with the lie that the protests were about skin colour, when in fact that was never the case.

Immediately after the release of the tape, Shirley’s boss forced her to resign. Was that Andrew Breitbart’s fault? I do not think so. She was forced to resign because the White House regime over-reacted. From here the story gets very murky. Sherrod then turned around and started blaming FOX news for her forced resignation, as well as blaming Andrew Breitbart. Yet, it seems that Sherrod does not blame herself for her own bigotry and racism.

It is statements like: “He spoke to me in a way that showed he thought himself superior” (or words to that effect) that in fact show that Sherrod was in fact being racist towards the white farmer. It shows that she had not changed. Yet the story that Sherrod told ended with her statement about how she realized that the way forward was to help the poor against those bad rich dudes…. sounds like class warfare, eh Shirley?

Since Sherrod did not shut up, and since she has been running around stating that she should sue Andrew Breitbart, it might be interesting to look at Sherrod’s background with litigation, and oh boy, what a background!!  Shirley Sherrod and her husband started up a co-operative type farming community. She and her husband purchased the land, and yes eventually they were unable to pay back the loans and yes they lost the farm. Sherrod and her husband were involved in what is known as the Pigford case. They sued independently from the class action and won more than $13 million plus $300,00 for “pain and suffering”. It seems Shirley has enriched herself on the taxpayer dime. So it seems that our Shirley the bigot, sued the government and won her case, and then she was offered a job by the Regime.

If it had not been for Shirley Sherrod shooting herself in the foot by continuing to shoot off her bigoted mouth, I would have felt sorry for the woman because of the way she was forced to resign, but the more I find out about this bigot, the less that I feel any form of empathy with her, especially when she has so deliberately maligned others, and has even gone as far as demanding that Andrew Breitbart’s sites are closed down….

Sorry Shirley, old girl, but that kind of demand infringes on the free speech rights of others. I guess since you Shirley happen to be a Marxist, you do not believe that others have a right to that free speech.

The age of 11 is too young for sexual activity

Yemeni Bride, 11, Hospitalized with Genital Injuries – ABC News

A few weeks ago a 13 year old girl died as a result of injuries to her genital area. It seems that she was raped by her adult husband. The man is now in custody, but I will bet that he is allowed to go free. This is because of the attitude of the Yemeni mullahs who actually condone child brides…. after all Mohammed came from Yemen and he married Aisha when she was 6 years old, and he had sex with her when she was 9 years old. That poor child.

Now I learn about yet another child bride who has been raped by her husband. She has been hospitalized with genital injuries. When will this end? These girls are way too young for this kind of sexual contact. If these men want to prove themselves then they really should be having brides over the age of 18. However, we are talking about the very backward country of Yemen, a country that is backward because it is controlled by a theocracy.

Some of the women of Yemen are beginning to fight back. They want to see an end to the practice of child brides. What is the use of parents agreeing to such an arrangement on the promise that the child will not be touched until she is more “mature”, only to find their daughters fighting for their lives within days of their marriage?

The infant and maternal mortality rate in Yemen is also quite high, again because these children are being forced to have sex and then end up pregnant. Their young bodies can hardly sustain a pregnancy, let alone going through labour. Yemen is not the kind of country where women have the best of conditions in order to have a baby, and I doubt that there are many if any Caesarian sections being performed. Their small and immature vaginas are simply not big enough for the process of birthing.

We women of the west need to take up this fight to stop the marriage of these children. We need to stand by the women in the Saana movement and protest the fact that child bride marriages are encouraged. These women need to face mullahs who are themselves misogynists. Let us stand beside them and say “no more child brides” !!!!  No more sacrificing of these children who are too young to be married and too young to be giving birth.

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Animal tales of the moment

Micro-pig: The dog, the cat, and the six micro-pigs who share a home together | Mail Online

Having had the experience of a dog and cat that “slept together” and “ate together” well, what really happened is that the dog thought that she was mother to the kitten, I do like to read these animals stories. This one is no different because the dog, cat and micro pigs living together in harmony makes a great story.

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Hare Krishnas banned from collecting money at LAX airport – Telegraph

Hare Krishnas banned from collecting money at LAX airport – Telegraph

It was in the early to mid-1970s when the Hare Krishnas were all over the streets in Melbourne. At the time I was a student at Melbourne University, and after classes I would often walk from the university to Flinders Street station (sometimes I used to catch the tram). On one particular occasion as I was making my way towards the station, after being in some shops, I was approached by some Hare Krishnas. They started by handing out a hard bound book and at the end of the conversation they wanted a donation. In those days I did not earn much in the way of money, only getting some from babysitting jobs. I would have no more than about $5 for the week upon my person. Anyway, my donation was a very small sum,something like 20 cents because I really did not have any money. The next part of the conversation went along the lines of “is that all you have? I was expecting about $5”.  Then he wanted to take back the book, which was fine by me, leaving me with a tract.

During that time the Hare Krishna used to come out into the streets, singing and dancing and making a lot of noise. Their target in the centre of Melbourne was Flinders Street Railways station but they used to harass shoppers outside of the Myer store as well.

This particular story about the Hare Krishna losing their case to seek donations at LAX reminded me of that episode in my life. The Supreme Court in LA made the correct decision to keep the Hare Krishna from seeking donations at LAX, especially in the present climate of tighter security. 

Now, using LAX is a very interesting experience indeed. Last year when we flew to the USA for a month long visit in USA and Canada, we arrived early at LAX. After arrival we had to go through security, then wait to pick up our luggage before finishing the security checks and then head out of the airport to Marina del Rey where we stayed for the remainder of the day and overnight and then headed back to the airport to catch the flight to NYC.  We found that we could not leave our luggage to go to the toilet or even wait for each other without being told to move on by a guard!!

The next morning we arrived very early in readiness for our continuing flight to NYC. At that time of the morning it was not all that busy. However, it did not take long for the crowds to pick up. It would have been very inconvenient to be hassled by the likes of Hare Krishna!! 

Then on our way home, our flight left after midnight, and we had to sit around in the airport for hours waiting for the flight to arrive and then depart an hour behind time. What is so annoying is that with all of the safety procedures getting to the flight lounge itself is a real hassle. Again, if we are called for boarding the aircraft, the last thing that we would want is to be hassled by the likes of Hare Krishna with their demands for donations.

From my point of view, it is a good decision, and I say good riddance.

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