Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 162

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The Martinshof Story - A Philosophy of Happiness - Life Awareness - Maps & other Text series

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Wednesday, May 26 2010 (diary)

On a fluisterboot at the Weerribben, July 2008 Hurray! Success after all.
After initial lamentations that it was too far away, too strenuous, etc., but followed by strong voices in favour, especially by my close friends Hauk Fischer and Carel van der Vijver, my original suggestion to cruise on fluisterboten through the Weerribben for our student club's 2010 summer reunion has won the day. We will have the event in Weerribben on August 12 and I look very much forward to it.

Today is my swim day, but the Nightcliff pool is closed for maintenance for three weeks. So I have tried out the pool in Palmerston instead. I used to go there on a daily basis a few years ago. It is a very good pool with the best water of any public pool I have ever been it. It is chlorinated, but very lightly only so that it feels and smells like pure fresh water. It is surrounded by green grass and plenty of shady trees so quite pleasant, although of course a long way away from the beach.
I have also started my daily morning walks around the Mango farm again. I was getting just too lazy, doing little else than sitting around reading or writing.

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Thursday & Friday, May 27 & 28 2010 (diary, politics)

Mango tree in bloom, June 2009 The weather is still unusually warm and rainy for the year. Darwin received several strong downpours the last two weeks. Here on the farm it has been somewhat drier, but we did have some showers this week.
The Mango trees usually start to bloom after some cold nights, but as we have not had any so far all trees (unlike last year) are still dormant.

I think it was Australia's former Labour Government Prime Minister Paul Keating who said that "When the Government changes, the country changes."
I personally agree with that. I felt emotionally very close to, and rather proud of, Australia during the 11 years John Howard's Liberal Government was in charge. Now under Rudd's Labour I feel more like living in cuckoo land.
Such opposite notions are most likely in countries such as the UK, USA and Australia where the national politics are dominated by two parties (socialist and liberal conservative) with diametrically opposite philosophies.
This tends to polarise the country and reduces the political debate to trivial point scoring and shallow mud slinging.

The sad result of such a situation is that real progress is mediocre, achieved by a process of one step forward, two steps back. New initiatives by one party are immediately negated every time the other party gets into Government.
In Australia, miraculously, during 20 years of government (first by Bob Hawke and Paul Keating's Labour, then by John Howard's Liberal Government) real progress was made for example on industrial relations reform. Then in one fell sweep it was wiped out immediately by Kevin Rudd's present Labour Government.

I see it therefore as a great opportunity for the UK now that a 3rd party (the left leaning Liberal Democrats) has come into play as part of a coalition Government with the Conservatives. Will this result in productive pragmatic compromise between the two parties and produce real progress for the country? Time will tell.

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Saturday, May 29 2010 (diary)

SBS television I watched Semifinal 1 of the Eurovision Song Festival held in Norway (last year's winner) last night with a warm feeling in my heart. It is wonderful to see that despite their cultural and (sometimes) political differences all European nations come together as one happy family in this glittering event.
Seventeen countries competed for 10 places in the final. My favourite choices were Finland, Belgium, Albania and Greece, three of which made it to the final. Only Finland, to my great disappointment, did not get through.

Our two SBS commentators for the Song Festival interviewed several of the performers. All of them were rather surprised that there was so much interest in the event from a country so far away as Australia.
Tonight the delayed telecast of Semifinal 2 when another 17 countries will compete for 10 places in the final.

Five additional countries have automatic entry into the final. They are Norway (having won last year's competition) plus England, Germany, France and Spain . We saw short previews of these and I especially liked Germany's effort. The delayed telecast of the final will be shown here on Sunday night.

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Sunday & Monday, May 30 & 31 2010 (diary)

Lena from Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 Another night of listening and watching 17 performances on the Eurovision Song Contest. Even a better quality group than the first one.
I especially like the haunting song performed by the girl from the Ukraine who made it through to the Final.
In the final (telecast) on Sunday night all songs were repeated however, so I only watched the 5 new entries. In the end a young (barely 19 years old) girl, Lena comfortably won the Contest for Germany.

On a more serious note I also watched Tom Albanese, the boss of Rio Tinto (the 3rd largest mining company in the world), being interviewed on the (ABC TV) "Inside Business" program. Passing through on a world trip while speaking to mining executives around the world he warns that Australia is rapidly losing its attractiveness as a reliable country to invest in.   "The damage" Albanese says "has already been done!"

The blunt introduction of the Government's proposed Resources Super Profit Tax (RSPT), without any consultation or meaningful negotiation whatsoever (with the industry), has made this country highly unreliable as a stable tax environment. Inevitably considerable investments will bypass Australia in the future, heading for South America, Africa and Canada instead.

The Rudd Labour Government is now spending 38 million dollars (of tax payers money) on an advertising campaign to "explain the tax to the public", a blatant attempt to hoodwink the Australian public to vote for them again in the upcoming general election later this year.

My Mercedes Vito van, 2009 The fuel line of my Mercedes Vito van appears to be playing up again. I have had this van now for 8 years and it is going well, but I do have recurring trouble with the fuel supply to the engine.
It is increasingly reluctant to start each morning, but once it is going restarts are fine throughout the day. There must be a leak somewhere creating an airlock or the fuel is running back into the tank after standing for some time. I have booked the Vito in for a check up on Thursday, I hope it will keep going until then.

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