The United States(!) of A

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factotum started the topic in Thursday, 27 Aug 2020 at 11:12am

Septic Tanks are going to Septic Tank

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zenagain Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 12:10pm

Wouldn't you say in a socialist society that the state and the upper echelon members of the state are the privileged class? Those that are responsible for the distribution of wealth? Power corrupts and all that...

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sypkan Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 12:16pm

it was an attempt at humour, but...

"...believing that a privileged class should control the wealth of the nation and believing that the views of the educated and well informed are more likely to coincide with reality..."

that's your reality blindboy

which at times comes across as a real special brand of reality...

a special brand of reality that seems to have new bee bonnet relationship with neoliberalism ...with a contradictory history of defending some of the excesses of said scourge...

just sayin...

and I gotta say, you do across a bit tony abbott sometimes...

ie. a little mixed up about education versus intelligence

but carry on, you clearly have conviction, and good intentions... some... sometimes...

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blindboy Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 12:17pm

sypkan, please post anything I have ever said that could be seen as supporting neoliberalism......but don't bother coming back to tell me when you can't find it.

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blindboy Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 12:24pm

Zen all human societies are hierarchical to some degree or other. Socialism is a pretty broad term and it is often used with negative connotations so I will just say that one of the measures of a just society is that they have high social mobility so that wealth and power are not largely determined by birth. On that measure I suspect Australia needs to seriously lift its game. I will have a look for the stats later.

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brutus Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 12:26pm
zenagain wrote:

Wouldn't you say in a socialist society that the state and the upper echelon members of the state are the privileged class? Those that are responsible for the distribution of wealth? Power corrupts and all that...

hey Zen lets start with Capitalism.....1% of the Global population owns 50% of the World assets...5% of the "elite" own 80% of the Worlds assets......so the model is get as much wealth into a few hands and hope that some of the wealth trickles down to the rest of us . When you consider 3 billion people in the World make $2 or less........hmmmmm
A socialist System try's to build from the ground up , by supplying the basic needs of humanity , in free Health care , free schools and uni etc , making sure the most vulnerable in our society are cared for....more equality , more better ....

The waste of natural and human resources that we are currently experiencing...like a billion tonnes of food go to waste every year , or 40% of the worlds food.....the lobby's, fossil fuel lobby's bribing all sides of Government to keep mining at any cost...!!!

Bring on a benevolent King , like the King of Morocco...

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Roker Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 12:32pm

"Bring on a benevolent King , like the King of Morocco..."

Anyone in mind for the gig?

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brutus Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 12:42pm
Roker wrote:

"Bring on a benevolent King , like the King of Morocco..."

Anyone in mind for the gig?

yeah Paddy Mills , LOL!!

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D-Rex Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 12:47pm

As I've said here before, no-one on these forums has ever changed anyone else's opinion so it's all just an exercise in self aggrandizement. Why then the need to get all miserable and personal, stu? I can understand your frustration at not being able to convince others of your point of view but hey, we're all dealing with that. BTW perceived insults to a general body of people is not a personal attack - hopefully you can see the difference.

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blindboy Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 12:53pm

So homophobia is cool with you D-Rex?

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D-Rex Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 1:02pm

Unlike the woke brigade which you clearly love, BB, I don't get my knickers in a twist when someone makes a gag about gays, wogs or coloured people. I know that having a politically incorrect viewpoint is grounds for execution in some quarters so if you or stu want to use that as an excuse to delete me be my guest.

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blindboy Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 1:10pm

So a racist too. Why not go for the triple crown? A misogynist too by any chance?

More seriously mate the year is 2021. It might be time to get over your sad, pathetic and anachronistic attitudes.

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Roker Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 1:17pm

My vague recollections of Aust. History classes reminded me that William Lane put theory into practice with his Neuva Australia socialist utopia in Paraguay the 1890s. A point of interest being that it was based on a common-hold rather than a common-wealth, meaning members could cash in their stake if they left.

I think where he erred was the teetotalism tenet. If a society is to be communist and exclusively Caucasian then it’s gotta have grog. The USSR proved that. No way it would have lasted for nearly a century without vodka to dull the lesser comrades pain.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Australia

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zenagain Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 1:32pm

Gosh, I don't know how to put my point across coherently but in my ideal world, power would not be central to the one authority, people would be free to work as hard as they wished or not. That hard work would be rewarded. Innovation would be encouraged, nurtured and rewarded. Education would be free as would healthcare. There would be no such thing as a need for private health insurance nor private schools. Energy and water sure as hell wouldn't be privatised nor would transport and infrastructure. The elderly would be cared for to the grave as would the disadvantaged, the needy and the disabled. Workers would rise through the ranks on merit, not by quotas based on gender, colour or sexual orientation because under one roof, everyone is protected by law with equal opportunity. Business and those that take the risk to start businesses should not be seen as takers but as doers and regarded as such. Tax should be equitable, the more you make the more you should pay but not to the extent that it would discourage anybody to aspire to more.

Anyway, tell me I'm dreamin', because it ain't gonna happen. The elephant in the room is human nature- that won't ever change.

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sypkan Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 1:38pm

it's more a defend the excesses of it than support it... as I said...

a lot of them!

in a status quo preserving 'well that's the system we work within' acceptance...

very tony abbott...

again...

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GuySmiley Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 1:45pm

There is a world of difference between being clever and offensive, something to do nuance that allows most things to be discussed and even joked about.

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sypkan Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 1:46pm
zenagain wrote:

Gosh, I don't know how to put my point across coherently but in my ideal world, power would not be central to the one authority, people would be free to work as hard as they wished or not. That hard work would be rewarded. Innovation would be encouraged, nurtured and rewarded. Education would be free as would healthcare. There would be no such thing as a need for private health insurance nor private schools. Energy and water sure as hell wouldn't be privatised nor would transport and infrastructure. The elderly would be cared for to the grave as would the disadvantaged, the needy and the disabled. Workers would rise through the ranks on merit, not by quotas based on gender, colour or sexual orientation because under one roof, everyone is protected by law with equal opportunity. Business and those that take the risk to start businesses should not be seen as takers but as doers and regarded as such. Tax should be equitable, the more you make the more you should pay but not to the extent that it would discourage anybody to aspire to more.

Anyway, tell me I'm dreamin', because it ain't gonna happen. The elephant in the room is human nature- that won't ever change.

you're a bloody socialist zen!

well, a scandinavian little bit of this, little bit of that, not too hot, not too cold, baby bear socialist...

(without all that neo marxist bullshit...)

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zenagain Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 1:58pm

Born a socialist, became a conservative reverting back to socialism.

Who woulda thunk it?

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Fliplid Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 2:03pm

You’d think that Australians would be happy with that setup Zen but it seems that we are on a continual slide in the opposite direction

Spykan I look at the Scandinavian countries and wonder why we can’t be the same. As good a model as you can get I reckon

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gsco Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 2:32pm
zenagain wrote:

Gosh, I don't know how to put my point across coherently but in my ideal world, power would not be central to the one authority, people would be free to work as hard as they wished or not. That hard work would be rewarded. Innovation would be encouraged, nurtured and rewarded. Education would be free as would healthcare. There would be no such thing as a need for private health insurance nor private schools. Energy and water sure as hell wouldn't be privatised nor would transport and infrastructure. The elderly would be cared for to the grave as would the disadvantaged, the needy and the disabled. Workers would rise through the ranks on merit, not by quotas based on gender, colour or sexual orientation because under one roof, everyone is protected by law with equal opportunity. Business and those that take the risk to start businesses should not be seen as takers but as doers and regarded as such. Tax should be equitable, the more you make the more you should pay but not to the extent that it would discourage anybody to aspire to more.

Anyway, tell me I'm dreamin', because it ain't gonna happen. The elephant in the room is human nature- that won't ever change.

Well balanced approach, close to spot on I think. In many ways Australia used to be like this.

It’s actually a long way off from communism/socialism. More like a sensible mixed economy approach trying to find a reasonable balance between equality and incentive.

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blindboy Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 2:34pm

sypkan, so you couldn't find anything but you came back anyway to say the same thing again. Yawn, More Nonsensical Bullshit. Remember the initials. I expect that they will save me quite a bit of time.

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 2:47pm
stunet wrote:
indo-dreaming wrote:

what's this great alternative to capitalism from history ?

FFS, I'll explain to you as you have history here and at least attempt to understand ideas.

I've never said there's a better alternative to capitalism, but instead that capitalism works best when the extremes are kept in check. This point gets ignored, accidentally or otherwise, when certain others reply.

I also said that capitalism is only a recent iteration of social organisation, that we have 300,000 years of other systems, some of which displayed aspects of capitalism, some of socialism, some of systems that don't exist anymore. We'll also move beyond this current system to something else. Those who claim current capitalism is 'the perfection of humanity' display a most short-sighted view of history, as change is constant.

Also, it's bollocks to say that hunter gatherers were capitalists. Whoever utters it doesn't know the first things about anthropology and is only looking to bolster a dumb argument. Such tribes also worked on a division of labour similar to 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs'.

Now where have you heard that before..?

Okay maybe we misinterpreted you when you said things like this

"- Capitalism may be a "natural system" but it's not the only one. Through history, humans have organised themselves in myriad ways, and will continue to do so long after capitalism disappears in the rear view mirror."

Agree on the hunter gather thing (It wasn't me who said that), those societies would have been more socialist based being sharing a kill and what was collected and not having ownership of land by the individuals but more by the tribe taking ownership in a sense of an area and its resources.

Natural capitalism would have really ramped up when people settled in one place, and divided up much of the land in an area and started farming, they soon had too much of one thing and not enough of other things so started trading and then needed a system to record what was owed which lead to money.

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 2:58pm
Fliplid wrote:

Spykan I look at the Scandinavian countries and wonder why we can’t be the same. As good a model as you can get I reckon

Id much rather Singapores model, It's a weird mix, is capitalist but also has the better aspects of socialism, and even a focus on green zones, but also doesn't fuck around death penalty for certain things etc

I thought this guys view was a good example, cut and based from elsewhere, in regard to if Singapore is a socialist or capitalist country.

"Both. It’s a very interventionist state that is simultaneously further left and further right than what most countries would normally vote for. Here are some examples:

1-The government manages massive sovereign wealth funds — essentially holding companies — that invest locally and abroad. They manage funds in the hundreds of billions and invest in key economic sectors: finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, infrastructure and so on. Much of the local economy has links to them, yet they are fairly hands off and treat their investments as investments, even selling off assets in strategic but non-performing sectors (semiconductors, power generation). Their profits are also used to subsidise the government budget and contribute to lowering taxes. Basically the government intervenes in the free market to compete in the free market alongside MNCs and other firms.

2-Public housing is extraordinarily regulated. Every estate must reflect the demographics of the nation to ensure that there are no racial ghettoes. Public housing is sold (leased) for 99 years and does not include the astronomical cost of land. It is by no means cheap, but it is much more reasonable than the private market, which the government does not interfere in, leading to $50 million penthouses and the like. The government also does not impose too many restrictions on the resale of public housing (after 5 years) and a $350K apartment can be sold for close to a million depending on the area — older housing is more expensive than new units.

3-It is similarly schizophrenic about the environment — the country is extremely green, with almost 50% of the land dedicated to nature reserves and parks, including the famous attractions at Marina Bay. But it has also reclaimed almost 150 sq km of land, precipitating an ecological disaster in the Mekong and the Riau Islands, where entire islands have been excavated to meet the demand for sand. This is also the same country that built a bridge over a highway for animals to cross from one part of the forest to another.

4-The government has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by moving energy generation to LPG, but still operates the third-largest oil refinery on Earth on Jurong Island (Singapore has no oil reserves).
The government has always maintained that people are the country’s top resource and it invests heavily in all levels of education but seems to stop caring once people enter the workforce. There are few worker protections — no unemployment insurance and unions, whilst prominent, have been made the pets of the Ministry of Manpower.

5-But in other respects, Singapore maintains a full welfare state. Universal healthcare, public housing and most people actually receive some form of subsidy or disbursement from the government. The poorest segments of society receive a lot of government support, including rental flats priced at $30/month. But the government is also extremely wedded to the idea of personal responsibility. Social mobility is worsening and meritocracy (one of the nation’s values) is enshrining a technocratic aristocracy. It’s unclear how much of this was by design and how much is a byproduct of their elitism and obsession with excellence.

I can think of many, many other examples, but I think these provide an idea about why I don’t consider the government left or right wing. They’re a bit sui generis but then again, there also isn’t that much of a difference between autocratic communist regimes and fascism. Not that Singapore is either of those things, but it’s also clearly not a socialist state."

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I focus Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 3:55pm

ID "3-It is similarly schizophrenic about the environment — the country is extremely green"

Isn't it Singapore money that burns Indonesian forests...

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Fliplid Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 4:43pm

Didn’t know some of that Indo, I’ve usually just read about the scandinavian countries. Thanks for putting it up

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AndyM Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 5:50pm
I focus wrote:

ID "3-It is similarly schizophrenic about the environment — the country is extremely green"

Isn't it Singapore money that burns Indonesian forests...

It's easy to be green when you outsource everything.

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 5:59pm
I focus wrote:

ID "3-It is similarly schizophrenic about the environment — the country is extremely green"

Isn't it Singapore money that burns Indonesian forests...

Interesting i never heard that before but a quick google search says

"Foreign investors based in Singapore and Malaysia control more than two thirds of the total production of Indonesia's palm oil, and small farmers represent about 40 percent of the industry."

Theres a bit of irony there because Singapore (assume) government has tried to take legal action against Indonesia or Indonesian companies for forrest fires which are generally to clear areas for palm oil plantations which in the past has put Singapore under a haze of smog for weeks to months.

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AndyM Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 6:01pm

Just stumbled across this article.
No matter how local or global the neighbourhood is, the concept is the same.

"Neighbourhoods that are not slated for gentrification or redevelopment are getting more toxic facilities, more industrial facilities and no green amenities. They are being sacrificed for the sake of redevelopment in these other places."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-07/the-myth-of-sustainable-developme...

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tubeshooter Saturday, 9 Oct 2021 at 6:23pm

Very interesting , saw something about the Indonesian moratorium on new Palm oil plantations expired last month. Still seems to be some confusion if it's going to be extended , but officials claim they won't be approving any new permits still.
https://news.trust.org/item/20210924090311-unm3b

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Snuffy Smith Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 9:59am

Inspiring.

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blackers Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 2:52pm

Geez thats grim.

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Island Bay Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 3:00pm

Very grim.

I was blown away by San Francisco and how shitty and depressing a lot of it was, but this is bleak degradation on another level.

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Robwilliams Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 3:34pm

Casualties of the first world? poverty porn? anything for a buck right as long as it isn't in an area near us, we don't have to acknowledge it or respond to it. An urban wasteland of our own making. So long as it's out of sight it's out of mind. I bet at night time it becomes another level of heavy. skid row apocalyptic fallout of a vulnerable society laid to waste. I was told they have everything under control.

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Blowin Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 3:58pm

Why put such a disgusting depiction of a defeated culture up there and label it inspiring? I don’t understand what your point is? That you’re better than these people because you were lucky enough to have the support / environment/ love / education/ opportunity to avoid this outcome yourself?

Whatever happened to not punching down?

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gsco Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 4:08pm

Huh…but that’s everywhere in the US…no surprises here…

Could be coming to a city near you if Abbott/Turnbull/Scomo continue with our path of Americanisation.

What scares me the most is the continued deregulation and USisation of our tertiary and health/private health insurance sectors.

We need to escape and get out of the US’s clutch while we can, before it’s too late.

That’s the lesson from that vid.

Anyone with any doubts needs to take an honest tour through any US city of their choosing. I never feared for my life absolutely anywhere in the world like I did many times in the US.

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Roadkill Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 4:04pm

And the good old US of A, are still deluding themselves that they are the greatest country in the world.

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Robwilliams Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 4:11pm

To think America has the power and money to reduce this, but accepts this reality for it's most vulnerable says it all. Why deal with this when you can have world as your oyster or get to mars. the ongoing war on drugs isn't working by the looks, failed health care etc. As a young democratic country we must make better decisions for our weak. Humanity deserves better in the first world. Don't kid your self it isn't happening on a smaller scale in Australian cities.

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I focus Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 4:30pm
gsco wrote:

Anyone with any doubts needs to take an honest tour through any US city of their choosing. I never feared for my life absolutely anywhere in the world like I did many times in the US.

Haha travel for 12 months in the 80's through South America wall to wall dead bodies some times in many of the local papers, scariest place over all down town LA.

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Hutchy 19 Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 4:52pm

My wife and I went to Africa in 1999 . Joberg and Nairobi were the only major cities we stayed in .

Felt much safer walking in the wild , ( no guns ) seeing lions , hippos and elephants etc , than in the cities .

The terrible images in the video could easily be replicated in Australia .

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Robwilliams Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 5:01pm

the third world were life is cheap and death is normal, so far from the comforts of the first.

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san Guine Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 5:08pm

Only place I was properly mugged was Jo'berg. I should have known better, but it was the first day of a 10 month trip. Fresh off the plane.
Late afternoon, walking through Hilboro with a Dutch(?) girl. Middle of a busy street, I got jumped from behind.
Home made knife (like a sharpened cutlery knife)pushed into my mouth (fortunately only minor damage) another one in my ribs. I just instinctively totally relaxed and put my arms out horizontally. These 4 guys were yelling 'Give me your money!!'
They rummaged through my pockets took my passport, wallet, and train ticket.
This one guy then throws the train ticket on the ground, then bizarrely walks back over to me and hands me back my passport!!
I'm now bleeding (not too much) and shaking and all I could say was "Thanks mate"!

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gsco Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 5:26pm

Had a machete pulled on me/us in Sumbawa, on way to Lakey Peak early 90s. But they just wanted more money and all was fine when we agreed. Didn’t worry me.

Didn’t like what I saw in a lot of the US.

After doing an honest tour of one’s favourite US city, a good comparison is to then take a quick flight to Europe and have a similar honest tour of the big Nordic cities. Then report back what one’s thoughts and feelings are on alternatives for Australian economic and social policy options.

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stunet Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 5:31pm

Careful, that's socialist-talk, GSCO.

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andy-mac Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 5:48pm

Such sad images from the supposedly richest nation on earth.....

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freeride76 Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 5:53pm

Never forget driving back from Mexico to Canada with a mate and breaking down under an overpass in Portland.

The desolation. fires in drums, just a complete shadow society living under the freeway.

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nomad1 Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 6:39pm
gsco wrote:

Had a machete pulled on me/us in Sumbawa, on way to Lakey Peak early 90s. But they just wanted more money and all was fine when we agreed. Didn’t worry me.

Didn’t like what I saw in a lot of the US.

After doing an honest tour of one’s favourite US city, a good comparison is to then take a quick flight to Europe and have a similar honest tour of the big Nordic cities. Then report back what one’s thoughts and feelings are on alternatives for Australian economic and social policy options.

Which is why alot of right wing people come here to Scandinavia and try to seize any negative they can and blow it out of proportion. One British one came here to Oslo to talk about no go areas for police. She did this infront of a Mosque. which was over the road from a jail and 200m from the main police station. The closest business is a hipsterish restaurant that specialises in Nature wine (good food, and wine though really) and the only other person in shot was a woman in tights out for a jog... the ridiculousness of this sort of stuff is obvious but doesnt stop rwnj's trying to jump on it.

Not that Scando countries are perfect, far from it. but yeah as a model for Australia vs the US i know which way id recommend.

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Spuddups Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 6:50pm
san Guine wrote:

Only place I was properly mugged was Jo'berg. I should have known better, but it was the first day of a 10 month trip. Fresh off the plane.
Late afternoon, walking through Hilboro with a Dutch(?) girl. Middle of a busy street, I got jumped from behind.
Home made knife (like a sharpened cutlery knife)pushed into my mouth (fortunately only minor damage) another one in my ribs. I just instinctively totally relaxed and put my arms out horizontally. These 4 guys were yelling 'Give me your money!!'
They rummaged through my pockets took my passport, wallet, and train ticket.
This one guy then throws the train ticket on the ground, then bizarrely walks back over to me and hands me back my passport!!
I'm now bleeding (not too much) and shaking and all I could say was "Thanks mate"!

That's nuts. Just desperate rather than completely bad people by the sounds of things. A wide gap between rich and poor is the problem generally.

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Snuffy Smith Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 6:59pm
Blowin wrote:
Why put such a disgusting depiction of a defeated culture up there and label it inspiring? I don’t understand what your point is? That you’re better than these people because you were lucky enough to have the support / environment/ love / education/ opportunity to avoid this outcome yourself?

Inspiring as in the way it is just raw footage no social comment no bias and how it produces such powerful thought provoking images Paradise Lost.

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indo-dreaming Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 7:16pm
gsco wrote:

Had a machete pulled on me/us in Sumbawa, on way to Lakey Peak early 90s. But they just wanted more money and all was fine when we agreed. Didn’t worry me.

It's weird how as soon as you head west from Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba the cases (or stories) at least of muggings especially by machete increase greatly, its been a while since ive been down that way, but even just the vibe always feels a bit more on edge with locals.

While when you go east through Java and anywhere in Sumatra (even Aceh) you rarely hear of muggings especially machete's getting pulled (and they still have them) even that bad vibe feeling ive only experienced in very remote areas of Sumatra and one village that use to have bad vibes, ever since a surf resort opened not far away and the locals had more interaction with westerners that vibe disappeared. (and it was there as the village always had a bad reputation with charter boat owners etc too)

You could put it down to poverty especially as going east its a harsher dry landscape, but some areas in Sumatra are also very poor, maybe there is a cultural aspect, honestly dont know, but it's intersting.

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san Guine Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 7:18pm

"Just desperate rather than completely bad people by the sounds of things"
Absolutely Spuddups, not judging anything just reminiscing about a close shave.
My general experience of travelling through poor and impoverished countries, is of how warm, generous and giving people are

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gsco Tuesday, 12 Oct 2021 at 7:55pm
indo-dreaming wrote:
gsco wrote:

Had a machete pulled on me/us in Sumbawa, on way to Lakey Peak early 90s. But they just wanted more money and all was fine when we agreed. Didn’t worry me.

It's weird how as soon as you head west from Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba the cases (or stories) at least of muggings especially by machete increase greatly, its been a while since ive been down that way, but even just the vibe always feels a bit more on edge with locals.

While when you go east through Java and anywhere in Sumatra (even Aceh) you rarely hear of muggings especially machete's getting pulled (and they still have them) even that bad vibe feeling ive only experienced in very remote areas of Sumatra and one village that use to have bad vibes, ever since a surf resort opened not far away and the locals had more interaction with westerners that vibe disappeared. (and it was there as the village always had a bad reputation with charter boat owners etc too)

You could put it down to poverty especially as going east its a harsher dry landscape, but some areas in Sumatra are also very poor, maybe there is a cultural aspect, honestly dont know, but it's intersting.

Yeah I’ve had a couple bad experiences in Lombok too, and I’ve heard quite a few stories. Heard some bad things bout Sumba, not sure what it’s like nowadays and I never went there myself.