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19 posts from July 2011

July 28, 2011

Clouds are clearing

P7260171SonnyPhotos
Went into town today with Jacqui to grab some nice clothes from Saint Augustines Academy, their store on Bourke street. ( I did a wee little favour for them in return for some clothes )on our way back, clouds have cleared, so surf check, and greeted by two rainbow lorrikeets at the head land looking out to sea P7260172SonnyPhotos rain clouds finally moving out to sea P7260173SonnyPhotos
big black crow , also soaking up the sun after all that rain P7260174SonnyPhotos
So I head for a surf after dropping Jacqui off at home with her new clothes. Water surprisingly not that cold, just the air temperature P7260175SonnyPhotos
Swell has dropped of a lot  ( no longer 6 x massive ) P7260176SonnyPhotos
so not a lot of people around P7260178SonnyPhotos
and great scenery P7260179SonnyPhotos looking out to sea as the sun is setting behind me P7260181SonnyPhotos
P7260188SonnyPhotos fun session, small, but fun, time to go home and eat a warm home cooke dJacqui meal :-)

July 25, 2011

4 Days of really really wet weather in Sydney

well, most of the east coast really IMG_0526sonnyPhotos It doesn't look like much in this photo, but it blowing a gale, and the rain is coming down sideways. It looks like a little white wash breaking in the ocean, but that white wash alone measure about 3 meters high. I'm staning on the headland at the south end of Bungan Beach, the waves, when they are good and coming in at the right direction, break along the rocks at about 1-2 meters, so this thing further out beyond the rocks is big IMG_0527sonnyPhotos massive wave trying to break further out the back. IMG_0528sonnyPhotos
Bigger wave. IMG_0529sonnyPhotos
Massive, and many more lines heading in from the ocean. So this is day one of the downpour, and it was like this all day and all night , no letting up IMG_0530sonnyPhotos
Day 2, still raining, and massive messy waves, out of control IMG_0531sonnyPhotos just massive amounts of water washing into the beaches. Staying indoors all day today IMG_0532sonnyPhotos
Day 3, and a brief break in the clouds, but still massive wild waves IMG_0533sonnyPhotos
nature ! IMG_0534sonnyPhotos
Day 4, it ain't getting any better IMG_0535sonnyPhotos Even though the weather hasn't improved I do a run of the beaches to check out any damage, and I straight away notice a lot of beach erosion form the high tides and massive swell IMG_0536sonnyPhotos
Hope it creates some intersting sand banks for the waves to break on IMG_0538sonnyPhotos On the way from Palm Beach to Whale Beach, I always see a lot of for sale signs on the houses ( Fredcha, wanna buys a house ? ), but this one caught my eye.
I wonder in their sales pitch they mention the proximity of waterfall to the house during heavy rain IMG_0537sonnyPhotos sure, it would not happen every week, but would happen every couple of months, and in this case, it would be raging like this for at least 5 days IMG_0540sonnyPhotos
look how close to the house :-) IMG_0541sonnyPhotos blown away by the amount of sand eroded away at Whale Beach IMG_0542sonnyPhotos that's over a meter IMG_0543sonnyPhotos
so much sand, gone IMG_0544sonnyPhotos
and on the other side as well BeachErosion
Bring on some sunshine !!

:-)

Bush Walk with the Girls

IMG_0518-polasonnyPhotos Gum trees at wakehurst parkway IMG_0516-polasonnyPhotos
We knew there was a lot of rain heading to Sydney, and the girls wanted to get a bush walk in before the rain set in IMG_0520-polasonnyPhotos they brought their own lunch, so when we got to the top of one of the many rocky outcrops we found a rock to pause and have lunch IMG_0521-polasonnyPhotos

bottle brush IMG_0524-polasonnyPhotos
India IMG_0523-polasonnyPhotos
Belle IMG_0525-polasonnyPhotos Bettery ran out, so no more photos, but was a pretty walk, complete with leeches and tics :-)
Must do it again, but this time spray ourselves with some eucalyptus first to protect us from the tics.

Stand your Ground

Drew Gardner is an English photographer, who, like most photographers , is passionate about his craft, but he is also passionate about his right to photograph in public places ( as am I , and hate this idea of photo permits ! )
So was great to see this video that Drew has come across, please watch , and tell me what you think.
Also, does anyone know what the rules are in regards to this in Australia, and if so, would there be 5 - 6 photographers out there along with a video camera, willing to test this out with me ?


ps, video frame does not fit on my blog ( why ? ) so best to click link above to view full frame

July 24, 2011

Akira Isogawa

Just found this , thanks to Jac Vidgen ( no, not Jack Vidgen ! .. Jac Vidgen aka Mr. R.A.T. :-)

part 2

July 21, 2011

Scissors, cut, draw & generally be creative

Harri Peccinotti from camerabag.tv on Vimeo.

July 16, 2011

I'm glad I found this article with all it's comments ( get comfy, it's a long one )

I hope you like it to
read on
and thanks Geoff Lemon for putting it out there

You shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth

Three days on from Julia Gillard’s policy announcement, and the most striking characteristic of the carbon tax debate is just how closely it resembles a dozen retards trying to fuck a doorknob. The only apparent solution is a massive airdop of Xanax into our reservoirs, because really, everyone needs a few deep breaths and a spell in the quiet corner.

Sure, the weeks leading up have all been hysteria: Tony Abbott marching that bulldog grimace up and down the length of the country, like a Cassandra made of old leather and stunted dreams, cawing grim warnings of imminent ruin and destruction at the gates of Troy. But you might have expected, once the details had been released, there would arrive a little more perspective.

Nothing doing.

Far from being objective carriers of information, media outlets have been trying to manufacture furore. “Families earning more than $110k will feel the pain of the carbon tax,” warned the Herald-Sun, straightfaced. “Households face a $9.90 a week jump in the cost of living.”

$9.90.

Cry me the motherfucking Nile.

Households on less than that income would be even less affected. Those in the upper range would have their ten bucks a week at least partly compensated, while others would be fully or over-compensated.

The tax, after all, was not on people, but on 500 high-polluting companies. The compensation was to guard against costs those companies might pass on to their customers.

So, no big deal, I said to myself when the details were announced. Surely this’ll all blow over. And then, found myself more than a little surprised when a Herald-Sun commenter (one step above YouTube on the food-chain, I’ll admit) said “Somebody needs to assassinate Julia Gillard NOW before she totally destroys our way of life.”

Just… hold up a minute. Ten bucks a week? Our way of life? Aside from incitement to murder a head of government being ever so slightly illegal (and something the Hun mods should probably have picked up on), the response just doesn’t make any sense. Here is legislation that might make some things marginally more expensive. Probably not much. It isn’t going to drive industries offshore, because things like power generation and mining Australian resources kind of have to be done in Australia.

And yet the hysteria, even when not reaching Lee Harvey Oswald levels, has been constant throughout, led by the paper who defines ten bucks a week out of a hundred grand as “feeling the pain”.

“Social demographer David Chalke said the tax threatened values at the core of Australian society. ‘To an extent it will make people question, “is it really worth the bother?” They’ll smell in this something of a class war,’ Mr Chalke said.”

Ten bucks a week. Core values. Class war. Then, “Generous payments to those on low incomes and higher taxes for high income earners would anger hard-working Aussies.” Because, people on less than $110,000 don’t have to work hard. That’s why they get paid less! Scrubbing toilets is easy and only takes five minutes, while high-level boardroom execs spend 20-hour days chained to some kind of awful lunch machine being beaten with lobster foam.

I also enjoyed “On 3AW yesterday, Treasurer Wayne Swan was unable to say how the carbon tax would affect a Falcon. He also couldn’t say what the price change for a can of tomatoes would be.” The random grocery quiz had undone the Treasurer yet again. “Wait, wait, wait, got one…uh… large box of Libra Fleur? Nope. Uh, Sara Lee Chocolate Bavarian? Hah, you got nothin’, Swanny!”

Then there were the numerous headlines about airfares set to “soar” (geddit!). Well-meaning travellers were interviewed saying higher airfares would make it much harder to afford family holidays. Tres sad, especially when Qantas “said it would need to fully pass on the carbon price to customers, with the price of a single domestic flight ticket to increase on average by about $3.50.”

Three dollars. Fifty cents. They currently charge you more than that for a bottle of water. They charge $7.50 to buy a ticket online, $8 for a cup of noodles, $25 to use their check-in counter, and $6 to board the plane first. The best comment left after that article was, “So people won’t be able to buy a newspaper for the boarding lounge anymore? Good.”

So let’s never hear any talk of ABC bias ever again, because the Sun has well and truly picked its horse on this one. Any online article on the tax was headlined by a video of the lovely Andrew Bolt, telling us it was “the greatest act of national suicide we’ve ever seen.” Funny, I thought that was when they gave him a TV show. There was also a great line about “so-called solar energy” – because now solar energy is just a theory too. Like gravity, or Adelaide.

I am a sometime journalist. In that sense, the staff in the Herald and Weekly Times building are my colleagues. This makes me feel a bit like whorehouse linen. No doubt they all say they’re just doing their jobs, looking for opportunities. Nonetheless, they’re still actively promoting harm for the sake of attracting an audience. Concentration camp guards are just doing their jobs, too.

And with that level of reporting, the effort from their readers is no surprise. “Co2 is not a pollutant. It is vital for life on Earth. Without it, trees will die,” said John. Get that man on the climate panel.

“How much will Australia’s temperatures decline once the tax is implemented?” asked Marty. Well, Marty, the atmosphere takes notes about where its constituent particles come from, so we’ll get a full report from the Hole in the Ozone Layer each quarter. He wears a jaunty hat, and gives every boy and girl a delicious melanoma.

The dumbshititis was also evident in the audience of the Prime Ministerial Q and A on Monday, where the average question could be summarised as, “I’m a person, and I don’t like paying money. Can I not ever pay money for things?” My favourite line, from a surgical swab of a man towards the end of the show, was that because he earned too much to be eligible for low-income handouts, “I feel I’ll be taxed into poverty.”

This taps into a very prominent feature of our political landscape: the constant line from Tony Abbott that Australian families are hurting, that Aussies are doing it tough, that life is somehow getting harder, that the cost of living is on the rise.

Shenanigans, Tony. Let’s get one thing very clear. Australians, en masse, are enjoying a better standard of living than has ever been enjoyed in this country’s history.

And not just marginally, but by a huge degree. Really, along with a few other developed countries, we are enjoying a better standard of living than any group of people has in human existence. We have every kind of food and beverage from around the world deliverable to our doors. We have technological advances that make a decade ago look archaic. We have goods and luxuries of every conceivable kind; cheap and accessible. We have more and better options with transport, entertainment, comfort, place and style of residence. We have the most advanced medicine and best life expectancy of all time.

While there is still poverty in Australia, it does not even touch the kinds of poverty experienced in most countries on earth. Support systems and sufficient wealth exist to cover at least basic needs. The small proportion of genuinely homeless usually have other factors that keep them away from those systems. Being poor in Australia means living in a crappy house, in a crappy area. Maybe a commission flat. It means living on welfare, getting by week to week, not having any money for nice things. It might mean the kids have to go to their friend’s house to play X-Box, or that they don’t get sweet Christmas presents. It sucks, but it’s safe. It’s solid. It keeps you alive. It’s a level of stability and security that half the world would kill for, and even the basic amenities of a commission flat are amenities that half the world doesn’t have.

Poor people in Australia do not starve to death. They don’t die of cold. There is clean water running in any public bathroom. If they’re ill, they can walk into a hospital and be treated. If they’re broke, they can get welfare. They can get roofs over their heads, even if they’re temporary. They have options. If the utilities are shut off, they can find a tap, or a powerpoint. They can make it through the night.

And those poor aside, the rest of the country is doing very fucking nicely indeed, thanks very much. Reading these stories of parents bitching about working long hours to afford their private school fees just makes me want to give their little tow-headed spawn a spew bath. The lack of perspective is astonishing. Their kids are safe and fed and healthy and getting every opportunity to do whatever they want with their lives. They’re not getting sent out to suck tourist dick for enough US dollars to get their siblings through the week.

It should make us ashamed that there are people with good earnings ready to claim victim status on national television over a worst-case scenario of five hundred bucks a year. This is what is driving people into a panicky rage. Five hundred dollars, if you can afford it. Less if you can’t. If you run a red light camera in Victoria it’s $300. Do 40 ks over the limit, $510. If we get fines, we bitch about it, but inherently accept the rationale: the fine is levied as a penalty by someone endangering others in the society. It’s the basic structure of how a society works. We all agree to abide by certain rules as a form of insurance, to make sure that we’re not on the receiving end of the negative consequences of lawlessness. When people refuse to abide by those rules, they’re variously censured by or removed from that society.

If we obtain energy by burning irreplaceable fuel, and the consequences threaten the safety of our society, then surely we should pay a penalty for that (adding to a fund to guard against those consequences). The rule is basic: you make the mess, you clean it up. Ten bucks a week is a sweet deal.

But in being part of the luckiest couple of generations of people to yet walk the earth, most of us still like to imagine we’ve got it tough. It’s that same sense of entitlement that I was discussing regarding Raquel a couple of weeks ago. When you grow up with a certain standard of living, you come to regard it as the natural state of affairs. If someone threatens that state, they are depriving you of what is fundamentally yours. To your mind, you have a right to live like this, purely because you’re lucky enough to have lived like this.

Well, you don’t. So if you claim you can’t afford ten bucks a week, I call Shenanigans, with a healthy dash of You’re a Dick. One dinner at the Flower Drum would make up your year’s liability in one hit. Genuinely struggling people will get compo anyway. But even they could afford it if they had to. Buy one less deck of Holiday 50s a week. Buy two less beers. Leave off the Foxtel subscription. Wear a franger, save half a mil. What the fuck ever. Remember that you live in a country where drinkable water comes out of a tap inside your goddamn house, and where the power runs 24 hours a day. This in itself is a goddamn privilege, and if you are going to bitch and moan about having to pay for that privilege, you can fuck off and die in a ditch.

Because you do not have a right to this way of life. No-one does. We just have the extreme good fortune of enjoying it, and that won’t last forever. We should appreciate it while we can.

Perversely, part of me wants to see what would happen if the sea levels rise a couple of metres, the coastal cities get swamped, the rainfall dries up, the power goes out, the militias take to the streets. Part of me would love to see these squawking indignant right-to-luxury dickwipes learning how to live in the dust, scraping out dried plants from the earth and hoarding their remnants from the Beforetime. It’ll be a sight if it happens. Dirty red skies will rise up from the ground each morning like a curse. The only creatures that seem to thrive, the cockroaches and carrion birds, will swarm black against the sand and the sunset, rasping dry songs with their throats and with their legs. The water will be gone. The world will not remember ice floes. And for her sins, for ten dollars a week from each and every one of us, Julia Gillard will hang from the garret at the gates of Troy.

July 15, 2011

Wish look book

Cover ImageSonnyphoto Shot this a few months back, forgot to post it ( well, could not on the day, as the collection was not released yet ) 54437Sonnyphotos
4641Sonnyphotos

Sydney

Are you loving all my posts and updates.
thought so

sorry about that, what with all the excitement of the men's shows 2 weeks ago, it just seemed lame for me to post pictures off the endless blue skies in wintry cold Sydney.
Yes, it has been cold, bitter cold, and Sydney homes built in the 70's weren't really built with insulation in mind, thye were built for summer, so even with the gas heater on at night, it is cold inside.
From sun setting at 10 pm a few weeks ago to pitch black at 5pm , it really does feel like the days are shorter and I'm not gettign as much done ( including this blog )
I'll try to post on a more regular basis again now after more than a week off
:-)

July 08, 2011

Desperation on both sides

Thursday 7 July 2011
by: Noam Chomsky, Truthout | Op-Ed

In May, in a closed meeting of many of Israel's business leaders, Idan Ofer, a holding-company magnate, warned, "We are quickly turning into South Africa. The economic blow of sanctions will be felt by every family in Israel."

The business leaders' particular concern was the U.N. General Assembly session this September, where the Palestinian Authority is planning to call for recognition of a Palestinian state.

Dan Gillerman, Israel's former ambassador to the United Nations, warned participants that "the morning after the anticipated announcement of recognition of a Palestinian state, a painful and dramatic process of Southafricanization will begin" – meaning that Israel would become a pariah state, subject to international sanctions.

In this and subsequent meetings, the oligarchs urged the government to initiate efforts modeled on the Saudi (Arab League) proposals and the unofficial Geneva Accord of 2003, in which high-level Palestinian and Israeli negotiators detailed a two-state settlement that was welcomed by most of the world, dismissed by Israel and ignored by Washington.

In March, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned of the prospective U.N. action as a "tsunami." The fear is that the world will condemn Israel not only for violating international law but also for carrying out its criminal acts in an occupied state recognized by the U.N.

The U.S. and Israel are waging intensive diplomatic campaigns to head off the tsunami. If they fail, recognition of a Palestinian state is likely.

More than 100 states already recognize Palestine. The United Kingdom, France and other European nations have upgraded the Palestine General Delegation to "diplomatic missions and embassies – a status normally reserved only for states," Victor Kattan observes in the American Journal of International Law.

Palestine has also been admitted to U.N. organizations apart from UNESCO and the World Health Organization, which have avoided the issue for fear of U.S. defunding – no idle threat.

In June the U.S. Senate passed a resolution threatening to suspend aid for the Palestine Authority if it persists with its U.N. initiative. Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., warned that there was "no greater threat" to U.S. funding of the U.N. "than the prospect of Palestinian statehood being endorsed by member states," The (London) Daily Telegraph reports. Israel's new U.N. Ambassador, Ron Prosor, informed the Israeli press that U.N. recognition "would lead to violence and war."

The U.N. would presumably recognize Palestine in the internationally accepted borders, including the Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza. The heights were annexed by Israel in December 1981, in violation of U.N. Security Council orders.

In the West Bank, the settlements and acts to support them are clearly in violation of international law, as affirmed by the World Court and the Security Council.

In February 2006, the U.S. and Israel imposed a siege in Gaza after the "wrong side" – Hamas – won elections in Palestine, recognized as free and fair. The siege became much harsher in June 2007 after the failure of a U.S.-backed military coup to overthrow the elected government.

In June 2010, the siege of Gaza was condemned by the International Committee of the Red Cross – which rarely issues such reports – as "collective punishment imposed in clear violation" of international humanitarian law. The BBC reported that the ICRC "paints a bleak picture of conditions in Gaza: hospitals short of equipment, power cuts lasting hours each day, drinking water unfit for consumption," and the population of course imprisoned.

The criminal siege extends the U.S.-Israeli policy since 1991 of separating Gaza from the West Bank, thus ensuring that any eventual Palestinian state would be effectively contained within hostile powers – Israel and the Jordanian dictatorship. The Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993, proscribe separating Gaza from the West Bank.

A more immediate threat facing U.S.-Israeli rejectionism is the Freedom Flotilla that seeks to challenge the blockade of Gaza by bringing letters and humanitarian aid. In May 2010, the last such attempt led to an attack by Israeli commandoes in international waters – a major crime in itself – in which nine passengers were killed, actions bitterly condemned outside the U.S.

In Israel, most people convinced themselves that the commandoes were the innocent victims, attacked by passengers, another sign of the self-destructive irrationality sweeping the society.

Today the U.S. and Israel are vigorously seeking to block the flotilla. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton virtually authorized violence, stating that "Israelis have the right to defend themselves" if flotillas "try to provoke action by entering into Israeli waters" – that is, the territorial waters of Gaza, as if Gaza belonged to Israel.

Greece agreed to prevent the boats from leaving (that is, those boats not already sabotaged) – though, unlike Clinton, Greece referred rightly to "the maritime area of Gaza."

In January 2009, Greece had distinguished itself by refusing to permit U.S. arms to be shipped to Israel from Greek ports during the vicious U.S.-Israeli assault in Gaza. No longer an independent country in its current financial duress, Greece evidently cannot risk such unusual integrity.

Asked whether the flotilla is a "provocation," Chris Gunness, the spokesperson for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the major aid agency for Gaza, described the situation as desperate: "If there were no humanitarian crisis, if there weren't a crisis in almost every aspect of life in Gaza there would be no need for the flotilla â(euro) [ 95 percent of all water in Gaza is undrinkable, 40 percent of all disease is water-borne ... 45.2 percent of the labor force is unemployed, 80 percent aid dependency, a tripling of the abject poor since the start of the blockade. Let's get rid of this blockade and there would be no need for a flotilla."

Diplomatic initiatives such as the Palestinian state strategy, and nonviolent actions generally, threaten those who hold a virtual monopoly on violence. The U.S. and Israel are trying to sustain indefensible positions: the occupation and its subversion of the overwhelming, long-standing consensus on a diplomatic settlement.

Noam Chomsky's most recent book, with co-author Ilan Pappe, is ''Gaza in Crisis.`` Chomsky is emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

© 2011 Noam Chomsky