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  1. #1
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    Default An outsiders view of The Lucky Country

    I pulled this from Facebook, I don't think there's any copyright infringement.

    Australia: an American's view

    Interesting set of observations from a visitor from the other side of the Pacific.'Value what you have and don't give it away.' There's a lot to admire about Australia, especially if you're a visiting American, says David Mason. More often than you might expect, Australian friends patiently listening to me enthuse about their country have said, ''We need outsiders like you to remind us what we have.'' So here it is - a small presumptuous list of what one foreigner admires in Oz.

    1... Health care. I know the controversies, but basic national health care is a gift. In America, medical expenses are a leading cause of bankruptcy. The drug companies dominate politics and advertising.
    Obama is being crucified for taking halting baby steps towards sanity. You can't turn on the telly without hours of drug advertisements - something I have never yet seen here. And your emphasis on prevention - making cigarettes less accessible, for one - is a model.


    2... Food. Yes, we have great food in America too, especially in the big cities.
    But your bread is less sweet, your lamb is cheaper, and your supermarket vegetables and fruits are fresher than ours.
    Too often in my country an apple is a ball of pulp as big as your face.
    The dainty Pink Lady apples of Oz are the juiciest I've had. And don't get me started on coffee.
    In American small towns it tastes like water flavoured with burnt dirt, but the smallest shop in the smallest town in Oz can make a first-rate latte.
    I love your ubiquitous bakeries, your hot-cross buns. Shall I go on?


    3... Language. How do you do it?
    The rhyming slang and Aboriginal place names like magic spells.
    Words that seem vaguely English yet also resemble an argot from another planet.
    I love the way institutional names get turned into diminutives - Vinnie's and Salvos - and absolutely nothing's sacred.
    Everything's an opportunity for word games and everyone's a nickname.
    Lingo makes the world go round.
    It's the spontaneous wit of the people that tickles me most.
    Late one night at a barbie my new mate Suds remarked, ''Nothing's the same since 24-7.'' Amen.


    4... Free-to-air TV. In Oz, you buy a TV, plug it in and watch some of the best programming I've ever seen - uncensored.
    In America, you can't get diddly-squat without paying a cable or satellite company heavy fees.
    In Oz a few channels make it hard to choose.
    In America, you've got 400 channels and nothing to watch.


    5... Small shops. Outside the big cities in America corporations have nearly erased them.
    Identical malls with identical restaurants serving inferior food.
    Except for geography, it's hard to tell one American town from another.
    The ''take-away'' culture here is wonderful.
    Human encounters are real - stirring happens, stories get told.
    The curries are to die for. And you don't have to tip!


    6... Free camping. We used to have this too, and I guess it's still free when you backpack miles away from the roads.
    But I love the fact that in Oz everyone owns the shore and in many places you can pull up a camper van and stare at the sea for weeks.
    I love the ''primitive'' and independent campgrounds, the life out of doors.
    The few idiots who leave their stubbies and rubbish behind in these pristine places ought to be transported in chains.


    7... Religion. In America, it's everywhere - especially where it's not supposed to be, like politics.
    I imagine you have your Pharisees too, making a big public show of devotion, but I have yet to meet one here.


    8... Roads. Peak hour aside, I've found travel on your roads pure heaven.
    My country's ''freeways'' are crowded, crumbling, insanely knotted with looping overpasses - it's like racing homicidal maniacs on fraying spaghetti.
    I've taken the Hume without stress, and I love the Princes Highway when it's two lanes.
    Ninety minutes south of Bateman's Bay I was sorry to see one billboard for a McDonald's.
    It's blocking a lovely paddock view. Someone should remove it.


    9... Real multiculturalism. I know there are tensions, just like anywhere else, but I love the distinctiveness of your communities and the way you publicly acknowledge the Aboriginal past.
    Recently, too, I spent quality time with Melbourne Greeks, and was gratified both by their devotion to their own great language and culture and their openness to an Afghan lunch.


    10. Fewer guns. You had Port Arthur in 1996 and got real in response. America replicates such massacres several times a year and nothing changes.
    Why?
    Our religion of individual rights makes the good of the community an impossible dream.
    Instead of mateship we have ''It's mine and nobody else's''.
    We talk a great game about freedom, but too often live in fear.
    There's more to say - your kaleidoscopic birds, your perfumed bush in springtime, your vast beaches.
    These are just a few blessings that make Australia a rarity.
    Of course, it's not paradise - nowhere is - but I love it here.
    No need to wave flags like Americans and add to the world's windiness.
    Just value what you have and don't give it away.


    David Mason is a US writer and professor, and poet laureate of Colorado.
    To grow old is inevitable.... To grow up is optional

    Confidence, the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.

    What could possibly go wrong.

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Thanks for posting that, it'd be well for it to be bumped up on a daily basis

  4. #3
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    What a great piece.
    Its too easy for us to sit back and grizzle about stuff, but this report is like a kick in the tail to make us look around and to re-appreciate our homeland
    Just do it!

    Kind regards Rod

  5. #4
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    I like it
    trouble is our malls are all starting to look the same

    but this comment I thought great

    "Ninety minutes south of Bateman's Bay I was sorry to see one billboard for a McDonald's.
    It's blocking a lovely paddock view. Someone should remove it."
    regards
    Nick
    veni, vidi,
    tornavi
    Without wood it's just ...

  6. #5
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    You do not have to travel very far to realise that we have the best country in the world - it is a pity that more do not appreciate it.
    Tom

    "It's good enough" is low aim

  7. #6
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    Default

    I loved who ever wrote this sense of poking the tongue at Australian's

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy John View Post
    I pulled this from Facebook, I don't think there's any copyright infringement.

    Australia: an American's view

    Interesting set of observations from a visitor from the other side of the Pacific.'Value what you have and don't give it away.' There's a lot to admire about Australia, especially if you're a visiting American, says David Mason. More often than you might expect, Australian friends patiently listening to me enthuse about their country have said, ''We need outsiders like you to remind us what we have.'' So here it is - a small presumptuous list of what one foreigner admires in Oz.

    1... Health care. I know the controversies, but basic national health care is a gift. In America, medical expenses are a leading cause of bankruptcy. The drug companies dominate politics and advertising.
    Obama is being crucified for taking halting baby steps towards sanity. You can't turn on the telly without hours of drug advertisements - something I have never yet seen here. And your emphasis on prevention - making cigarettes less accessible, for one - is a model.
    I guess he didn't watch much TV or changed channel often during commercials on Free To Air TV during a decent nights viewing we get runs of drug advertising of all sorts even those for Police shows arresting drug cartels.

    2... Food. Yes, we have great food in America too, especially in the big cities.
    But your bread is less sweet, your lamb is cheaper, and your supermarket vegetables and fruits are fresher than ours.
    Too often in my country an apple is a ball of pulp as big as your face.
    The dainty Pink Lady apples of Oz are the juiciest I've had. And don't get me started on coffee.
    In American small towns it tastes like water flavoured with burnt dirt, but the smallest shop in the smallest town in Oz can make a first-rate latte.
    I love your ubiquitous bakeries, your hot-cross buns. Shall I go on?

    RRFLMAO yep a Macca's on every corner a KFC across the road, Burger King, Red Rooster
    Yep confused is he moaning about the bread?
    Obviously not here during a drought when Lamb is like Diamond's you buy the mistress. Where cheap cuts are no longer cheap. But they are possibly not on a general wage as a factory worker either.
    Yes Fruit well often we get imports from USA and other countries as our farmers leave the industry in droves OR the farrns taken over by USA and Asian buyers and conglomerates.
    Not been to the likes of Flemington in Sydney where they can be cold stored for months.
    It is good though we do not over intoxicate ours with chemicals sold to us by USA.
    Is he saying our Pink ladies are small?
    Knows bugger all about our coffee Australia doesn't grow its own in vast quantities its mainly imported.... from US owned growers obviously he drank Macca's coffee.
    LOL seriously this person has no friggin idea a latte is made with steamed milk not water f USA milk is that bad compared to Australia's pasteurised homogenised watered down crap they need to drink milk straight from the cow.

    3... Language. How do you do it?
    The rhyming slang and Aboriginal place names like magic spells.
    Words that seem vaguely English yet also resemble an argot from another planet.
    I love the way institutional names get turned into diminutives - Vinnie's and Salvos - and absolutely nothing's sacred.
    Everything's an opportunity for word games and everyone's a nickname.
    Lingo makes the world go round.
    It's the spontaneous wit of the people that tickles me most.
    Late one night at a barbie my new mate Suds remarked, ''Nothing's the same since 24-7.'' Amen.
    Did they get called a Yank and other things while here?
    Gee's never been to the UK and heard ryhming slang which was round long before Lt Cook sighted the main land. He should sit down and watch Mary Poppin's with Dick Van Dyke LOL



    4... Free-to-air TV. In Oz, you buy a TV, plug it in and watch some of the best programming I've ever seen - uncensored.
    In America, you can't get diddly-squat without paying a cable or satellite company heavy fees.
    In Oz a few channels make it hard to choose.
    In America, you've got 400 channels and nothing to watch.
    Yes we get such as Ellen Degenerate, Days of our Drearies, Dr Phil, CSI X 3 varieties, Dexter,and much much more.
    Insurmountable TV shows on such as Voice, MKR, etc etc all designed by USA. Then the TV stations which are stations owned by USA and governed by them and what they show who just happen to have stakes in pay TV also. Free to Air sphooping channel which sell USA exercise equipment.



    5... Small shops. Outside the big cities in America corporations have nearly erased them.
    Identical malls with identical restaurants serving inferior food.
    Except for geography, it's hard to tell one American town from another.
    The ''take-away'' culture here is wonderful.
    Human encounters are real - stirring happens, stories get told.
    The curries are to die for. And you don't have to tip!
    Give the USA corporate s time they are having trouble sneaking in the back doors of politicians and filling their pockets its happening slowly we don't have a Mexico so we are shipping in other cheap labor from OS.


    6... Free camping. We used to have this too, and I guess it's still free when you backpack miles away from the roads.
    But I love the fact that in Oz everyone owns the shore and in many places you can pull up a camper van and stare at the sea for weeks.
    I love the ''primitive'' and independent campgrounds, the life out of doors.
    The few idiots who leave their stubbies and rubbish behind in these pristine places ought to be transported in chains.
    Free Camping must have been camping on some poor buggers front lawn well away from the homestead gee's even I know some driveways which are small at 2k's long.
    Typical large area councils with small workforce didn't get round to collect the fee's.
    Will the USA please take them back?


    7... Religion. In America, it's everywhere - especially where it's not supposed to be, like politics.
    I imagine you have your Pharisees too, making a big public show of devotion, but I have yet to meet one here.
    They banned soap box preachers in the Domain upset the Government employee's of State politics for NSW while they had luch in the park or watching out the windows.
    I though he said he'd seen TV must have still been out on Sunday morning after Saturday night? It would have flt like USA home week.


    8... Roads. Peak hour aside, I've found travel on your roads pure heaven.
    My country's ''freeways'' are crowded, crumbling, insanely knotted with looping overpasses - it's like racing homicidal maniacs on fraying spaghetti.
    I've taken the Hume without stress, and I love the Princes Highway when it's two lanes.
    Ninety minutes south of Bateman's Bay I was sorry to see one billboard for a McDonald's.
    It's blocking a lovely paddock view. Someone should remove it.
    I suppose when NSW has a population of one small country town of USA whie the whole of Australia doesn't match even 1/2 olf some of USA cities.
    AS for the state of road spaghetti if you only traveled back roads no wonder you didn't see any its there just got to know where to look.
    As for the sign please by all means pack it up and take it home with you.



    9... Real multiculturalism. I know there are tensions, just like anywhere else, but I love the distinctiveness of your communities and the way you publicly acknowledge the Aboriginal past.
    Recently, too, I spent quality time with Melbourne Greeks, and was gratified both by their devotion to their own great language and culture and their openness to an Afghan lunch.
    I told you he's tongue in cheek or
    Yes Greeks in Melb aren't bad
    Afgan food is tops my first tasting was at school when one of the guys from Lebanon's mum gave me a try.



    10. Fewer guns. You had Port Arthur in 1996 and got real in response. America replicates such massacres several times a year and nothing changes.
    Why?
    Our religion of individual rights makes the good of the community an impossible dream.
    Instead of mateship we have ''It's mine and nobody else's''.
    We talk a great game about freedom, but too often live in fear.
    There's more to say - your kaleidoscopic birds, your perfumed bush in springtime, your vast beaches.
    These are just a few blessings that make Australia a rarity.

    Of course, it's not paradise - nowhere is - but I love it here. This is true corporate USA seems to want to stuff every paridise up.
    No need to wave flags like Americans and add to the world's windiness.
    Just value what you have and don't give it away. Well thats fine but lets stop USA rapping and plundering though the back door with threats and fear tactics.
    Big business and sales its all about the money.
    At last light at the end of the trip.



    David Mason is a US writer and professor, and poet laureate of Colorado.


  8. #7
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    Seeing as my other post has been deleted I'll rephrase. If you can't say anything nice - don't say anything.
    To grow old is inevitable.... To grow up is optional

    Confidence, the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.

    What could possibly go wrong.

  9. #8
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    Default

    Deleted? Nothing offensive in that post.

  10. #9
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    The previous one was deleted. I've sent a PM to mods asking why.
    To grow old is inevitable.... To grow up is optional

    Confidence, the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.

    What could possibly go wrong.

  11. #10
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    Its true that Australia is so awesome. I just returned home from a 7week stay in America, and my god I'm glad to be back home where the roads are not falling apart due to non-existant maintenance...travelling in the bay area of cali, thru Phoenix and also in Wisconsin for 7weeks, I saw very little in the way of current roadworks. Its also good to come back and get some decent Bakers Delight white bread. All of the bread I tried in the states is stale 30mins after baking

    Our taxes are some of the highest in the world, and at times it seems that they are too high with little gained in return, but after seeing the same potholes in the same roads in the USA year after year makes me realise that perhaps the tax money is being put to good use.

    Australia rocks!

  12. #11
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    "Our taxes are amongst the highest in the world" - where did you look? Brunei or Kuwait? We have some the lower taxes in the Western world. Most of Europe is higher and the Baltic countries nearly double ours. Interestingly, in Europe, the countries with the highest taxes are the 'happiest'. The reason is that their governments can afford to finance health, education, infrastructure and aged care comfortably, whereas we are constantly hearing about cuts needing to be made because we haven't got the money (mostly balmed on the previous government of course).
    GST in Germany is 19% - and not limited. Everything you buy has GST. People on low income don;t pay any income tax. That way, poor people who can afford to buy less pay less tax and rich people who buy lots pay lots of tax - not on the money they make but on the moneyu they spend.

    I agree with the poet professor's views of OZ (having lived here for 43 years after migrating (and travelling abroad lots since). We are bloody lucky!

    One of the biggest differencences I noted a long time ago is that in Germany (and much of Europe) NOTHING is allowed, unless it;s permitted by law - here EVERYTHING is allowed unless forbidden by law. Think about it. It's a BIG difference. People are much more open-minded as a result. Or put another way, the people here LIVE real freedom while protecting their community. In Germany the law control everything while ALLOWING people the freedom it sees fit for them not to abuse (too much).....

    I love this place! and wouldn't live anywhere else for quids....
    Cheers,
    Joe
    9"thicknesser/planer, 12" bench saw, 2Hp Dusty, 5/8" Drill press, 10" Makita drop saw, 2Hp Makita outer, the usual power tools and carpentry hand tools...

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy John View Post
    Seeing as my other post has been deleted I'll rephrase. If you can't say anything nice - don't say anything.
    I don't post much on the forums and usually only do when someone or something gets up my nose.

    I happened to see Grumpy's "post earlier this-arvo, before it was deleted and would like to give him a pat on the back. I wholeheartedly agree with what he said. Some people just don't know when they are well off. Some just like the stir the pot.

    Three cheers for Grumpy John's post.

    Darky
    Evil to the bone. But really cute.

  14. #13
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    FenceFurniture is offline The prize lies beneath - hidden in full view
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelinround View Post
    I loved who ever wrote this sense of poking the tongue at Australian's
    I guess he didn't watch much TV or changed channel often during commercials on Free To Air TV during a decent nights viewing we get runs of drug advertising of all sorts even those for Police shows arresting drug cartels.

    RRFLMAO yep a Macca's on every corner a KFC across the road, Burger King, Red Rooster
    Yep confused is he moaning about the bread?
    Obviously not here during a drought when Lamb is like Diamond's you buy the mistress. Where cheap cuts are no longer cheap. But they are possibly not on a general wage as a factory worker either.
    Yes Fruit well often we get imports from USA and other countries as our farmers leave the industry in droves OR the farrns taken over by USA and Asian buyers and conglomerates.
    Not been to the likes of Flemington in Sydney where they can be cold stored for months.
    It is good though we do not over intoxicate ours with chemicals sold to us by USA.
    Is he saying our Pink ladies are small?
    Knows bugger all about our coffee Australia doesn't grow its own in vast quantities its mainly imported.... from US owned growers obviously he drank Macca's coffee.
    LOL seriously this person has no friggin idea a latte is made with steamed milk not water f USA milk is that bad compared to Australia's pasteurised homogenised watered down crap they need to drink milk straight from the cow.





    etc
    etc
    etc
    etc
    etc
    etc
    Up until this morning I thought we did live in by far the best place in the world - no contest.

    However, after reading this particular post I now realise how thoroughly misguided I've been for half a century, and so I'm going to apply for citizenship in North Korea. I'm told that place really is Paradise - they even execute you for free if you speak out of turn. I mean - how good is that? And they won't waste precious timber on my coffin - no sirree, just bundle me up and drop me in a ditch with a sprinkle of lime. Very considerate of the environment and woodworkers resources.

    I'll send yez a postcard (won't be an electronic one though, for obvious reasons).



    Or not.



    As Fletty says "If you can't see the bright side then polish the dull side". Best get the Brasso out and rub like buggery, as both sides would appear to be dull.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

    COLT DRILLS GROUP BUY
    Jan-Feb 2019 Click to send me an email

  15. #14
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    FenceFurniture is an OZ writer and professor, and poet laureate of Katoomba.
    To grow old is inevitable.... To grow up is optional

    Confidence, the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.

    What could possibly go wrong.

  16. #15
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    John if your deleted post was pointed at my take on what the Prof had written sorry I seem to have upset you and NO I didn't see your post.

    America I do not care for never wish to go there nothing there draws my attention well enough.
    I have had my fill of America & American's at first hand during my driving years.
    knew some who immigrated here and friends, know Aussies who lived in USA.
    The Aussies who have lived there all can't wait to get back here sadly some can't leave US behind they want to bring all it has to offer here.

    I also immigrated here with my parents who dragged me kicking and screaming away from friends and relations much the same as many USA citizens kids I suppose. I came to love this country and all its wonders, its freedom and its diverse culture/s and I have tasted many from original inhabitants through from being a kid during my working years and still.

    I have lived in a time and suburb when and where bikies took over the street and had 4 days of freedom due to lack of Police 3 cops was all that could muster to prevent what took place. Some 200+ bikies, brawling, rapping, shooting, assaulting general public. Mid 60's

    I have seen and lived where one nationality has forced others out for their own greed and need without as much as a head turn from authorities because of racial discrimination threats. That was in the late 60's I have seen it 3 time since then my own in-laws had to sell up due to local council who refused to halt what has proved to be another lie and use of racial discrimination to gain what was developed.

    My comments were not all tongue in cheek as many are fact.
    Sadly all to often Australia has sold itself far to cheap to USA and we will suffer in the long run.

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