Organ Donation

We seem to have the concept back to front.

In Oz, we  have to ‘opt in’ for organ donation, rather than ‘opt out’.
In an apathetic nation, this means that so many, many people, who would willingly wish to help others, don’t, because they have never got around to opting in, as a donor.

If we could all be ‘scavenged’ for useful parts, after death, (unless we formally advise otherwise), many people, who now die, would be given the gift of continued life.

Only about 2% of people die in a way that facilitates organ donation, and we have around 400 people nationally, living in the hope of finding a donor. We need many more donors.

Surely we could so easily help them all to a better life with some new national legislation?

The Angst Over Australia Day

While most are happy as things are, we do seem to have a few options as to a more widely suitable day to celebrate being Australian.

Captain Cook’s Survey (Botany Bay) – 28th April 1770
Current Australia Day- First Fleet Arrival 26th January 1793
Federation Day – January 1st 1901.
Ned Kelly’s Birthday??

It may be worth us continuing the national dialogue, with a view to, when we become a republic sometime in the next ten years, picking a day for such change, when we are light on for a day off, (say in August) ?

Did You Know About Easy Mode on Your Mobile?

We have an elderly friend who has been having routine difficulty with the complexity of a later model android phone. This is a common problem as the family hands such down. All she wants to do is to take and send text and calls. Seeking to swap her phone for a simpler one, we asked a young and smart Optus advisor to do such. Instead, he pointed out that the smart phone had a little known option under Settings. It was to select EASY MODE.
This redesigned the look, and reduced all the clutter and simplified the key processes. She is delighted, and it saved buying a new simpler mobile.
If you are having a similar problem, do visit your provider, and ask them to do the same for your phone. (Its reversible).  While you are there, ask them as well, about using a stylus, it makes for many less errors in typing text messages, especially for those with big finger tips and small keyboards .

A quick way to separate yourself from your money.

The ABC will, on Monday night (26th June) run an expose on the costs to seniors who enter retirement villages, featuring one group in particular. Among ‘over the top’ charges, we have heard of horrendous ‘make good on departure levies’ before, but apparently a departure charge of 40% of the original cost of buying a unit ‘takes the cake’….

No senior should ever trust anyone who is selling us services of any kind. Always get opinions from others who are using or have used such services, from house cleaning, repairs, through to accommodation, and more.

Pollution in our Waterways

Port Phillip Bay is about 1900 square kilometers in area. Its shoreline is about 200k. It is subject to the endless onslaught of waste from the Yarra and other rivers, and hundreds of drains. In the Summer we can get around 300 000 cigarette butts a day enter the bay, and countless plastic waste.
Every small plastic bottle that finds its way in to the Bay, eventually breaks down to over 25 000 toxic particles!

These get in to the food chain through fish ingestion, (they look like plankton when small), and can eventually cause all sorts of human health problems.

Plastics also kill endless sea creatures each year through entanglement, ingestion and  and strangulation..Fortunately a new beach cleaning volunteer group known as Beach patrol has grown to encompass and support many small groups who clean up our beaches once a month, to great effect. If you are interested in details for your area, please email the editor.

Overuse of the Word Hero

Why must the press devalue the word hero?

A hero is someone who puts their life or limb at risk, to save another.

A hero is not a surf lifesaver who swims out and brings someone in as part of their skill set, (unless they are taking a personal risk to do so), it is not a 3 year old who dials 000 when their mum is ill, (they are smart and most valued citizens to be, though), it is not someone who applies CPR to someone for an hour, or someone who tries to put out their neighbour’s house fire with a garden hose…

All those, and so many more human acts, are to be deeply valued, but they are not heroic acts.

Unfortunately today, so many words are becoming devalued through over hyped use.

Snouts in the Trough Again

We were regaled earlier this week with news of an Australian CEO, funded indirectly from the public purse, who is paid about $6 million p.a. for doing a job that his US counterpart, with a business at least ten times as large, was paid $350K p.a.!

After a lifetime of seeing such matters arise , I think its well overtime that we established  independent, national and state, Public Salaries Probity Boards, with sweeping powers of arrest and recovery, if such is legally justified. Those  who have approved ‘found to be corrupt or wrong’ payments, should also be charged. .No wonder so many of the disaffected voted for Trump. This sort of stuff has gone on long enough!!!

Since this post the Victorian Goverment Speaker has resigned after failing the ‘ pub test’, for about $35000 allowances apparent misuse, and now his Deputy Speaker is under pressure re a much larger amount. for a similar matter.!!!

We Need to Keep Basic Capacities

With the last big car plant closing down for good and  immediate profitability reasons, (they can be made cheaper elsewhere),  we lose another level of independence. We forget that keeping a minimum fall back capacity within OZ, for all important resources, is a security matter,. If we don’t, then one day, we will deeply regret it.  Why don’t we take over an existing car manufacturing facility and design a special Australian peoples utility vehicle, (as the Germans did with the VW as part of a post WW1 economic recovery plan). It could be viable if, from day one, we scaled it appropriately, and  we began with instructing all government departments to buy say,  30% of their fleet,  from our own factories.This would save jobs and keep many valued skill sets in Australia.

Trump. A reminder of an earlier post

Donald-TrumpThe news that dominates all other, is the election of Donald Trump, an outcome that has polarised the world it seems. The election of his predecessor, Barak Obama, however, only polarised America.

Not all, but most Americans, have a high regard for Obama now, and one can only hope that over time, Trump might fall into that same category.

Pundits from both sides are still settling down, and so should we. We should ignore the rhetoric from both sides and see how this new President acts, (and is permitted to act).

“Ye shall be known by your actions, not your words.”

Let’s hope for the best, keep our powder dry, and see what evolves.

Love in Venice vs the Uglies

rieu-2-love-in-veniceOver Christmas, I watched Andre Rieu’s Love in Venice concert on TV. It was totally absorbing from start to finish, and radiated much that is the  best in humanity. Among the acts, was a nine year old girl who sang a wonderful aria. She brought us all to tears, both in the loungeroom and among most of those attending the concert.

This event was in stark contrast to the so many ‘uglies’ who bring pain and grief to others and blight our world.

I kind of hope there is a heaven and a hell!

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