It is my Friday Lay Day blog and it is going to be relatively quick. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal (December 23, 2015) – Economists Say ‘Bah! Humbug!’ to Christmas Presents – that says a lot about how my profession struggles to appreciate reality in all its dimensions. Every year, it…
The weeks go by quickly when you have fun and its my Friday lay day blog again, which brings some relief because I don’t feel quite as squeezed for time. Denmark seems to know a thing or two that other governments do not. They clearly stood their ground after the population failed to ratify the Maastricht Treaty and forced the European Council to create a special appendix exempting the nation from having to adopt the euro as their currency. Staying out of the Eurozone was very wise. This week, we learned that unlike other governments such as the Australian government, which is legislating to jail any citizen who goes to fight for various Muslim fighting units in and around Syria, Denmark’s approach is to offer them a job to restore their sense of hope in the Danish society and avoid a sense of alienation and social exclusion.
The Fairfax report (October 22, 2014) – Give them a job: how Denmark deals with returned Islamist fighters – tells us that:
… in Denmark, a country that has spawned more foreign fighters per capita than almost anywhere else, the port city of Aarhus is taking a novel approach by rolling out a welcome mat … In Denmark, not one returned fighter has been locked up. Instead, taking the view that discrimination at homeis as criminal as Islamic State recruiting, officials here are providing free psychological counselling while finding returnees jobs and spots in schools and universities. Officials credit a new effort to reach out to a radical mosque with staunching the flow of recruits.
Sounds like a model for others to follow. But a basic level of understanding of human psychology is required which seems to be lacking in other advanced nations.
You cannot blow up or lock up an idea. But you can create new ideas with hope.
The US – precision airdrops
Some predictions come true. A short time ago, anybody who knew anything about anything predicted that the US air drops of weapons and supplies aimed at the Kurdish fighters would end up, at least partly, in the hands of the IS fighters.
As night follows day, it was reported earlier this week by RT that IS fighters now have some nice new weapons courtesy of the US – Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
The First Dog on the Moon, which appears in the Australian edition of the Guardian newspaper covered the announcement.
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You might wonder what this display of surfboards is about
It was taken this week at my local surf spot in Newcastle – Nobbys Beach – and displays the outcomes of Operation Drop.
The Newcastle local branch of the national broadcaster, the ABC launched Operation Drop “to help a fledgling surfing movement in PNG” by:
… collecting everything surf-related, packing a freight container to the brim and shipping it to PNG, where the Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea (SAPNG) will distribute your donations to communities in need.
The ABC report – Operation Drop In attracts an avalanche of surfboards – said that:
… hundreds of surfboards that local surfers have donated … [and] … dozens of other items, including boardshorts and swimming costumes, wetsuits, leg ropes, boogie boards, surfskis and even board wax … [further] … The PNG Surfing Association is determined to empower women in its communities, and for that reason 50% of all of the donated boards have their noses painted a fluorescent pink to be set aside for female surfers.
The work of the PNG Surfing Association – is worth supporting.
Related coverage with some great photos are available as follows:
- Operation Drop In: Helping surfers in PNG
- Surfboard campaign set to change lives in PNG
- Surfboards don’t grow on trees
Better than blowing each other up
This is what I have been listening to this morning as I work in my office.
The video of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song comes off the CD released by Playing For Change, which “is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music”.
Better than blowing each other up and forcing millions into despair with jobs.
I have been ‘jamming’ (that is what we jokingly refer to it as) lately with a close friend who has decided to take up ukulele. I play the guitar providing a wall of strumming and notes to accompany the one-person ukechestra on classics such as Ring of Fire and Three little birds. Perhaps we should port it into the Playing for Change orchestra!
The Saturday Quiz will be back again tomorrow. It will be of an appropriate order of difficulty (-:
That is enough for today!
(c) Copyright 2014 Bill Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.