Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cairns, the jewel of tropical North Queensland, Australia.

If you want to go to paradise, then Cairns, the heart of Tropical North Queensland should be your destination. Cairns is a vibrant city, and the place where the Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef meet. Queensland is known as the Sunshine State.  But North Queensland claims the bulk of the sunshine, combined with a blue sky, a balmy tropical climate, laid-back ambience, friendly people and an evergreen landscape all year round. Click map to enlarge.
The World Heritage listed Wet Tropics Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef and the Outback are all within easy reach. Cairns is surrounded by the spectacular rainforest mountain ranges and the sparkling water of the Pacific Ocean. Watch this interesting Great Barrier Reef Video. Click here.
The Cairns Esplanade is the city's most popular attraction with a lovely oceanfront promenade, saltwater swimming lagoon and beach. You'll find numerous restaurants, bars and hotels lining the Esplanade... all offering beautiful waterfront views. Thousands of visitors flock to the Esplanade to enjoy the alfresco dining and relax in the beautiful surroundings of this modern city.  Cairns pictures, click here.
Kuranda, the rainforest village, 20 minutes by car from Cairns, is often referred to as the “air-conditioned suburb of Cairns” and can be reached: 1. by car via the Kennedy Highway and the picturesque the Kuranda Range starting at Smithfield.  This is also the gateway to the beautiful Atherton Tableland, only a “kangaroo jump” from Cairns, with many of its own natural attractions. It is the food bowl of North Queensland with dairying, coffee growing, tropical fruit, vegetables, peanuts, corn, and sugarcane, just to name a few. As a matter of interest, potatoes are harvested three times per year. In certain areas they can get frost in winter (May to August) and temperatures have been listed as low as 9 degrees Celsius below zero. However during the day temperatures range between 16 to 22 Celsius. Click here, and here. for more information.

By Skyrail. This is the world’s most beautiful rainforest experience. The Cableway spans 7.5kms over pristine rainforest, allowing you to explore the wonders of an ancient tropical rainforest and learn about one of the most botanically fascinating and diverse areas on earth. Click here.

3. The Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns, which snakes its way up along the edge of the Macalister range above the Barron River Gorge, going through 19 tunnels and over bridges on this magnificent journey, passing Stoney Creek and the Barron Falls; before reaching the Kuranda Railway Station. Explore the past and enjoy the present on the wonderful Kuranda Scenic Railway.

The world famous railway experience is a must-do when visiting Cairns and Tropical North Queensland, Australia. You will discover the pioneering history of the tropical north from way back in the late 1800's, be astounded by a magnificent engineering feat and explore some of the great characters involved in the construction of this great railway. The Kuranda Railway station is adorned with tropical ferns and other interesting plants. Click here.

Other points of interest include a trip along the picturesque Captain Cook highway,
which starts on the Barron River Bridge just north of the Cairns airport.  The highway, in one section, snakes for 22 Km along the base of high mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, and must not be missed. Port Douglas, the Mossman Gorge; the Daintree village and Cape tribulation at the end of the line are places worthy of a visit. 

There is so much more to tell you, but that would be too long. The best way is to come here and experience it all. Werner
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The Cairns Visitor Centre. Click here!

My thought for today. – Werner
Come to Cairns, and have the best time of your life.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Australia’s costly boatloads of uninvited illegal migrants.

The Gillard government with their soft options on border protection resulted in opening the flood gates for illegal immigrants, aka boatpeople. The boat arrivals are unabated since this government negated John Howard’s (Former Prime Minister) policy on border protection.  The cost to the Australian taxpayer is enormous, not only for housing them, feeding and for looking after their wellbeing, but also paying for the damage they have caused by burning buildings, when they didn’t get their way. This is becoming a millstone around this government’s neck.

Those boatpeople are mollycoddled; are provided with excelled housing with all the mod cons, given money and free health care.  Most of those arrivals come from Islamic countries and will never accept our culture or our way of life. With the employment situation in Australia at the moment, few, if any, will get work if they are allowed to stay, and will be dependent on welfare, a burden to Australia without any benefit. 
Migrants that came here legally and by invitation, like we did, had to fend for themselves, look for work and often lived in very primitive dwellings without any modern conveniences - but we never complained, got on with life and assimilated into the Australian community.  See my story below “Our abode in Miallo, North Queensland Australia.” If those illegal migrants would be housed in such dwellings; they would complain to the United Nations and the Human Rights Commission.

Before we left for Australia, my paternal grandmother used to tell me over and over: “The fried chickens will not be flying into your mouth in Australia!” In other words, don’t expect a free lunch in Australia. I always replied that I never would expect that. However, what we now see happening is that our illegal “boatpeople” do get the proverbial "free lunch" and much more. They have become a financial millstone around our collective necks. See also: Asylum seekers made to feel at home, thanks to a $10,000 welcome pack.

So far as boatpeople are concerned, it must be appreciated that if, as now, Australia continues to have an excessively sympathetic attitude, it will continue to be singled out as a place for illegal entry. Although one may wish to treat kindly those who are subject to unreasonable or oppressive governments, if a firm position is not taken there will be a continual expansion of the business of bringing illegal immigrants into Australia. Those who organise transportation are highly remunerated, and it would be naive to believe that they can be restrained otherwise than by firm and decisive treatment. - Werner

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 “Our abode in Miallo, North Queensland Australia.”  
A true migrant story from our lives.    Click on image to enlarge.
It was 1958 and we had just travelled about 4000 Km by car with our three young children - from Yarram in South Gippsland, Victoria, to Miallo in far North Queensland, where a job as a cane cutter awaited me. When I originally wrote this story, Malcolm Fraser, our Prime Minister in the 1980s, coined the phrase: “Life wasn’t meant to be easy.”

When I was musing about that expression of the Prime Minister, I realised that I had come to that conclusion long before Fraser’s utterance slipped off his tongue that “Life wasn’t meant to be easy.” In fact I did at the exact moment when we came to the farm in Miallo, 10 Km north of Mossman, and Stan Andrews, my new boss, showed us our abode.

It was a kind of a hybrid, embodying all the features of a house, barracks and a shed; nothing to brag about, but it kept the wind and the rain out. The farm had no mains power, but an electrical generator supplied us with light.  Once again I had to think about what Schmidlin Oma had said to me before we left Germany – never to expect anything. What she actually said to me many, many times was: “Don’t expect that the fried chickens will fly into your mouth in Australia” - a German proverb. What she wanted to tell me was that there is no such a thing as a free lunch in Australia.

The dwelling’s entrances were at ground level and fitted only with stable doors, cut horizontally through the middle.  The windows had no glass, just corrugated iron shutters in a timber frame.  A coach bolt inserted on either side fixed it into the window opening, substituting as hinges, so the shutter could be opened and closed.  To let daylight or a breeze into the rooms, the shutters had to be held open with a prop.  We had various lengths of props stored near the windows to allow us to vary the opening.  The kitchen was “adorned” with an old kerosene fridge and a wood stove. The ‘bathroom’ was attached to the side of the “house” with a “bush shower” suspended from the ceiling.

Since our dwelling was located in the horse paddock with eight horses freely roaming around, we had to get used to, horses poking their heads into the kitchen and neighing.  At first we made the mistake of giving them bread in order to befriend them, and it didn’t take them long to make a nuisance of themselves when we sat at the table. All the doors in the dwelling were stable doors, cut horizontally in the middle to make two parts. This had a particular reason.  All the rooms were facing towards the outside, and since the area was notorious for snakes, rats, bandicoots and cane toads, the closed bottom half kept them out and the open top half let the air in.  The mosquitoes, especially at night were bothersome, and sleeping under a mosquito net, and burning mosquito coils during evening meals was absolutely imperative. 

One day Karola inadvertently left the bottom half of the kitchen stable door open, while she was at the back of the dwelling hanging out the washing.  She heard a noise coming from the kitchen and went to have a look. To her surprise she found a horse inside. There was not enough room to turn the horse around and so Karola had to back it out through the door.  She never forgot to close the bottom half of the kitchen door again.  In the end the horses became such a nuisance, apart from their droppings attracting flies, that we had to put a fence around the place to keep them at a distance.

Carpet snakes were not so much of a bother as they were nocturnal, and once they had had a meal they slept for a few days to digest it.  However, the venomous Black Snakes were on the move in the daytime and one had to be constantly on the lookout.

Having small children, and living in close proximity to the sugar cane, was a worry.  On more than one occasion, when I came home, I would find Karola and the three children sitting on the kitchen table, waiting for me to dispose of an unwelcome visitor; a black snake.  Our in-house defensive arsenal consisted of, a stick, a hoe, a cane knife and a rifle.

Stan gave us excellent advice, on how to avoid stepping on snakes: “When you walk, always look down at the ground in front of you, and when you want to watch birds, stop walking”. I have adhered to his advice ever since; and although I had had many close encounters with Black Snakes, I have never stepped on one.  Doris, our second daughter, complained a few times that she thought a snake was in her room during the night.  Karola dismissed it as a dream or fantasy, until one day she found a Carpet Snake (python) skin in the children's bedroom.

The bush shower in itself was a simple and interesting contraption, doing efficiently what it was supposed to do and it was economical in water use.  It was a bucket-like container holding about ten litres of water, which was dispensed through a rose at the bottom.  An extremely dirty cane-cutter could easily clean himself with as little as four or five litres of water.  A spring-loaded valve attached to a mechanical lever prevented the water from running out of the shower, and to let water out, one had to pull the lever by way of a string.  When the string was let go, the water-flow stopped.  So, the procedure was simple: pull the string to get wet, soap yourself, and pull the string again to rinse off. The shower had a rope over a pulley in the ceiling, which made it easy to refill. The plumbing was of an equally unsophisticated nature: just a cement floor with big gaps on the bottom of the four walls, to let the water escape.

I must not forget to mention the epitome of early Australiana - the smallest of small Australian ‘cottages’- better known as the outhouse, the dunny the thunderbox or in a normal house the toilet.  Our toilet was about fifty yards from our dwelling, in the middle of the horse paddock, and looking like a lone sentinel. The construction was simplicity in itself: corrugated iron all round including the door; while the interior had a simple timber box with a lid, which hid a deep hole below.  It was often necessary, before we could take over ‘occupancy’, to first chase out, rats, toads and, at night, carpet snakes. They used it for a different purpose than we did - for shelter, and the latter one to catch a meal of a bandicoot or rat.  The snakes have learnt from bitter experience that toads are highly toxic and they gave them a miss

I never had the courage to describe our living conditions to our families back in Germany.  Karola’s family would have been worried sick and would have made every attempt to persuade us to come back to Germany, whilst my family, I imagined, would have said, "Serves you right.  Didn’t we tell you not to go to Australia?"  But once again, Oma's maxim, "Don't expect fried chickens flying into your mouth", helped me through difficult times, especially in the beginning of a new chapter in my life in Australia.

My thought for today: - Werner
If you can learn from hard knocks, you can also learn from soft touches. --Carolyn Kenmore

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fluoride, the ubiquitous poison in our food and water.

Since the Queensland state election is imminent, it is important that the subject of compulsory water fluoridation has to be brought to the fore – once again. Water fluoridation is not only useless against tooth decay; it is also costly for the individual councils and subsequently the rate payers. The initial cost of water fluoridation, according to Anna Bligh, was $35 million, but this has blown out so far to over $113 million. What an exorbitant waste of money for something that doesn’t work. The LNP is saying that they want to stop waste, if they will form the next Queensland government, well, stopping this insidious practise will exactly do that.

Not all fluoride is the same so it is important to understand this. Underground water (bores and artesian water) contain the natural fluoride, which is calcium fluoride.  Even though this type of fluoride is natural, it still has the negative side effect of dental fluorosis making teeth brown and brittle and accumulating in skeletal bones.Click on image to enlarge. 

In contrast to the silicofluoride that our “Know-All” premier Anna Blight forced our councils to put in our drinking water and down our respective throats comes from China. This is a Schedule six (S6) poison and is a waste product from the fertiliser and aluminium industries and doesn’t do a thing to reduce tooth decay. This silico-fluoride crap is sourced from factory smoke stack wet pollution scrubbers and contains small amounts of heavy metals, such as lead cadmium and arsenic. It is an industrial grade product.

Less than 2% of water is consumed and 98% goes down the drain, so one has to question the wisdom of this.
Besides this, exposure to fluoride is implicated in adverse health effects for a significant number of vulnerable people (see the 2006 USA National Research Council Report Fluoride in Drinking Water) but this Bligh government doesn’t seem to care. For some unknown reason this government is hell-bent on disposing China’s toxic waste through our drinking water system and our kidneys.

Please do not take my word for it on this subject
- simply look at the abundant latest research and you would come to the conclusion that we have been misled by Anna Bligh and her health bureaucrats. This brings me to a quote by Adolf Hitler: “What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.” Unquote.  I’m sure Anna Bligh would agree with Hitler and is glad that this is the case in Queensland and the rest of Australia. There are two books I highly recommend that are available at the library. Those books make compelling reading.
1.   " Fluoride: Drinking ourselves to death?"
  By Barry Groves.
2.   "The Fluoride Deception." By award winning Journalist and BBC producer Christopher Bryson.

Sonja Hardy, a retired school teacher, has read both books (so have I) and wrote an excellent commendation of Christopher Bryson’s book: “The Fluoride Deception.”
I quote:

Do you enjoy tales of intrigue, conspiracy and corruption?  Then “The Fluoride Deception” by Christopher Bryson won’t disappoint.  It’s a very well written, meticulously researched exposé of the history of fluoridation, which Dr Robert Carton (formerly of the US Environmental Protection Agency) has described as “the greatest case of scientific fraud of this (20th) century, if not of all time”.  It’s a history of “greed, collusion, personal aggrandizement, corporate and government cover-up,” littered with human tragedy and the tattered careers of scientists who dared to try to expose the truth.

“The Fluoride Deception reveals
how a secretive group of powerful industries, all of which faced extensive litigation for fluoride pollution, collaborated with officials from the National Institute of Dental Research to launder fluoride’s public image.” It also points out the significant and wide-ranging health concerns of long-term consumption of even minute quantities of this poison, for its supposed benefit in preventing tooth decay.

There is growing scientific evidence that consuming fluoridated water provides little, if any benefit to dental health, and that the risks far outweigh any possible benefit.
  If you value your health and that of your loved ones, educate yourself about water fluoridation, and help to spread the word.  The Fluoride Deception is a good place to start.  I found it compulsive reading – as good as any conspiracy novel you’d ever read.  Unfortunately, however, this is not a work of fiction. - Sonja Hardy. -  Unquote.
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But if you think that fluoride is only in our water, think again. Read the compelling article and watch the video by renowned physician, Doctor Mercola, which tells you that we get fluoride into our bodies not only through water, but also from the food we eat.  – Werner

Here is an extract. I quote: A Primary Source of Fluoride: Your Food! 

While toothpaste and drinking water would appear to be the leading sources of fluoride exposure, probably the most common source of exposure is actually non-organic foods! The reason for this is because of the widespread use of fluoride-based pesticides.

According to Green, non-organic food could account for as much as one-third of the average person's fluoride exposure! This is important, as many people are under the mistaken assumption that by avoiding fluoridated water, they've eliminated the primary source of fluoride. But if you're still eating conventionally-farmed foods, your fluoride exposure is still likely very high.

"Cryolite is actually sodium aluminium fluoride... This sodium aluminium fluoride is especially effective at killing bugs," Green explains. "It's also very sticky, so when they spray it, it's more likely to stick on your produce, unless you're... really working at trying to get it off of it. As time has gone on, and... everybody said fluoridation must be really great, they ramped up the amount of residue [allowed on food] from these fluoride-based pesticides. They have petitioned the EPA to be able to allow it, and they come out with larger and larger [allowable] amounts."

Amazingly, based on the assumed safety of such fluoride-based pesticides, iceberg lettuce can now contain a whopping 180 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride—that's 180 times higher than what's recommended in drinking water!
"The assumption is that on a head of lettuce, you're going to peel off those outer layers and you're not going to eat much of that. Whether you do or not; that's up to you... Romaine lettuce and what we call leaf lettuce are allowed to have 40 ppm, with the assumption that it's down inside there and you're going to have to do more cleaning. But because it's so sticky, it's almost impossible [to wash off] unless you go back to the old ideas of the Fuller brush... produce brushes that you... scrape this stuff off with. The majority of people don't make that extra effort to be able to take it off."

Citrus fruits are allowed to be contaminated with 95 ppm's of sodium aluminium fluoride.
Potatoes may have 22 ppm's on the outside and up to two ppm's on the inside. Raisins can have up to 55 ppm's. But of all the foods, grapes are perhaps one of the foremost sources of fluoride exposure. Unquote. To read all of this, and I recommend that you should, for you own health’ sake. Click on this link.
We are in a catch 22 situation. Talk to your politician about this; grow your own vegetables if you can and wash the bought ones in veggie wash with filtered water.

Elucidate yourself with further reading.
1. Quotes from eminent scientists.

2. Firewater documentary: Australia’s Fluoridation Disgrace.

3. The case against fluoride, by The Case Against Fluoride” by Doctors Paul Connett, James Beck and H.S. Micklem.

Michael Trout, LNP candidate for the state seat of “Barron River”
on the northern side of Cairns is totally against water fluoridation and so is the whole LNP Barron River branch. Michael has promised that if he is elected he will take a resolution to the next LNP Party convention to make a case against fluoridation and it is hoped that it will be adopted and water fluoridation stopped.

Darren Hunt, Katter Australia Party candidate for the state seat of Cairns Qld.
stated in the Cairns Post 6.2.2012, in regards to fluoride in the water. I quote: “If you don’t want it you shouldn’t have it forced down your throat and your children’s throats. Unquote. 
My thought for today. – Werner
A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others.  Proverb
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