full body scanners

A trip to evaluate retirement in subtropical Queensland

In April / May 2014 we made a trip to south-east Queensland in order to decide whether this area of Australia might be a good area in which to live in retirement. Fortuitously we knew several people living in the area, so we could get several different opinions. One person had been living retired in Penang, another was our neighbour in London in the past, and other friends had relocated from other parts of Australia and abroad.

We had a great time, partly because we could enjoy being with friends. We spent some time staying overlooking Brisbane River near the city centre and enjoying perfect BBQ weather, then on a farm in the Sunshine coast hinterland, later on a vineyard inland near the Queensland-NSW border, and finally staying in a campervan in a campground right next to the beach.  The water was refreshing but not cold, and the sun was hot. One day I even took part in a sports car rally in the Gold Coast hinterland.

car rally

car rally

I was concerned about a couple of things before going.

One is that in most parts of Australia the public water supply is poisoned with added fluoride.  will be.  Harvard University recently examined about 40 studies of fluoridation and about 35 studies showed that it decreased IQ by about 5 points. Of course, they are many other symptoms, too, such as fluoride blocking the body’s uptake of minerals from food. I wrote to Tourism Australia:

I will be soon making a trip to Australia. As far as I can gather, most water in Australia is fluoridated. Most of the rest of the world regards fluoride as a poison, as does the UN, and it is forbidden. How can I avoid washing in fluoridated water and drinking it, or ingesting any products with it? I will be in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast area.

Response? None.

The other was that Australia is the only country in the world that forces people who they select at airports to be irradiated by full body scanners.  In 2012 people who refused  were threatened with arrest, imprisonment and a criminal record.  It seems that now people who refuse are blocked from flying for 24 hours. Still, a very expensive matter for most people.  The airport enforcers of body scanners in the US are dying young from cancer, if that is any consolation. With only a couple of years use in Australia that trend has probably not yet become obvious.

We avoided fluoride as much as possible by staying on farms which had their own water supply.  And at Brisbane Airport few people were picked out to be irradiated.

What did we notice in Australia? First what was not good.

Most noticeable is how expensive it is.  Finding a cup of coffee for less than $4 was pretty well impossible where we went.  Eating out was too expensive in most cases – even a sandwich was $9. A 20 minute bus ride in Brisbane cost $6.10. We heard the cost of utilities was very high.  And what wasn’t expensive? Cars are reasonably priced, wine can be cheaper than Asia, and our rental campervan was only $21.00 per day.  That’s cheaper than both of us riding the bus into Brisbane and back! And real estate?  Prices are very high. http://www.realestate.com.au/buy

The government seems very authoritarian, with signs everywhere telling you either what you must do, or must not do, and how much money they will take from you if you do not obey.  Having said which, we really didn’t see any police, who are the enforcement arm of the rulers.

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People told us violent crime is high – especially in the Gold Coast.  For this reason we didn’t even go there, although we had planned to.

Finally, there was a backdrop for the trip of government budgets.  With signboards and the media this topic was in the forefront. The Federal Government was about to reveal its budget for the coming year.  And in Queensland the government was warning the people it had – meaning the people had – to deal with a massive debt, and wanted to hear from the people. “The choices are clear, we can massively increase fees, taxes and charges like car registration or stamp duty on the family home, we can reduce much-needed services or we can investigate the lease or sale of some government businesses.”  If you had another other ideas the government wasn’t interested.  So, after a massive mining boom, which fueled inflation but not pay for most, almost everyone is far worse off.  If Norway was in charge there’d be a huge sovereign wealth fund for the people, and all social payments would be funded for the next few decades.

There were plenty of good things:

Driving was far safer and easier than Asia.

You can buy anything you want or need, warranties are upheld, and you have consumer protection if there are any problems. In shops, sales staff are knowledgeable and helpful and friendly.

There is a big range of food, too, and it is fresh.  Plus there are a lot of markets around.

The sea water was  clear and the beaches clean. If fact, there was almost no litter around. Of course, you can swim in the sea.

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Nature is easily accessible, and thus there are a lot of free activities.

We were surprised that there were not as many mosquitos and flies as we thought – in fact, mostly none.

Being sub-tropical, the weather was easier to live with than the tropical weather we normally have.

We heard that now enough solar electricity can be generated by rooftop collectors to power on’s house, and with a solar rooftop water heater you can be off-grid if you want.  In fact, if you are in the country and disconnected from the water and sewerage you can save $4,000 per year! Plus, of course, you avoid fluoride.  And your electricity and hot water are free, once you have bought the solar generators / collectors.  I do not know how long it takes to repay the capital cost from your savings.

One way you can live cheaper in Australia is to live in a campervan.  Where we asked you could no longer buy permanent sites in a camping ground, but possibly a long-term rate is $30 per night.  If you stayed long-term in camping grounds, gradually moving around the country when you tire of one place, then you could keep costs down.  Your housework is minimal, too. There seem to be plenty of people who do this, at least part of the time.

We concluded that it is just too expensive to live there at the moment, and difficult to avoid fluoride.  Even travelling outside of Australia is a potential hazard due to their use of scanners.

Things change – people in Australia are fighting fluoride now, exchange rates vary, and in the future we may find it easier there. I hope so.

http://penangmonthly.com/migrate-for-what/ gives another view.

Ant the antidote to fluoride? Tumeric, according to this article –  http://www.naturalnews.com/045433_turmeric_fluoride_poisoning_brain_health.html

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Airport full body scanners, and avoiding them

I have mentioned the evil full body scanners on this blog in the past. Any radiation is bad, radiation is cumulative, and so should be avoided if at all possible.

I was aware that Schiphol Airport had these scanners, but I didn’t know which flights they were used on. It seems that they are not employed on flights within the  Schengen area, but they are on long haul. This is just an observation.

When I arrived at the departure gate I noticed two lines of people going through security, and all of them were going through one of the two scanners. To walk through the normal metal detectors takes perhaps three seconds, but to walk into the full body scanner machine, assume the “surrender” stance, and walk out takes maybe 10 seconds – three times as long. Boarding the plane commenced one hour 20 minutes before departure, showing a lot more time is needed. Half an hour or more extra.

EU law mandates that passengers have a choice as to whether they get scanned – but this doesn’t apply to the UK, strangely. Schiphol’s website stated people have a choice, but I notice that now they have removed this information from their website. You can download this new brochure, without the choice paragraph.

This is the paragraph they removed:

The choice is yours
This new way of inspecting persons may be different from what you are used to. This is why, for now, the use of the Security Scan is not obligatory.

But there is no notice to the effect that you have a choice posted, and people followed others like lemmings into the machines.

Obviously I couldn’t photograph this.

Many people still had a pat down after the scanner, so they submitted to extra radiation for nothing.

I just picked the line with the friendliest looking attendant and said I didn’t want to go through the machine, and that their website also stated this. I had a printout of this page, but didn’t need to show it. Another person appeared and asked me to remove my shoes and put them with my carry on luggage to be scanned by the normal machine. I was patted down, and then I picked up my possessions and quickly moved away from the source of radiation.

Newspaper articles have said US TSA workers are coming down with cancer.

Opting out was simple, the attendants polite, if a little put out, and faster than for those who were irradiated and then patted down anyway.

From Bangkok to Penang by train – Part 1 – planning and establishing the details

Health note: Bangkok airport now, it appears on a sporadic basis, employs full body scanners,  which scientific studies have shown cause cancer, and damage DNA.  In the US the machine attendants are coming down with cancer.  Besides, many dangerous objects have been snuck through them, and so they are not even effective. I for one will not fly out of Bangkok anymore.  An alternative to flying to Malaysia is catching the train south.

I am planning sometime this year to catch the train from Bangkok to Penang. The first step was to check The man in Seat 61. There you can find good information and photos.  The information here is in addition to Seat 61.

Then I asked a friend who has done the journey a number of times.

You have to buy a ticket at the station in Bangkok. They speak English.

There is only one class of travel to Butterworth.

However, there are upper and lower bunks.  The lower is far more popular as there is more headroom, and a window..

The ticket is about RM110 for the upper bunk, the lower a bit more.

The station is at the end of a subway line, so easy to get to.

There is only one train a day – around lunchtime. Two carriages go to Butterworth.  It arrives about lunchtime in Butterworth.

But the train can be three or four hours late arriving.

Food is available on the train – the conductor comes around and takes your dinner order fairly soon after departure.  Dinner is basically Thai food.  Beer is available anytime and isn’t expensive.  You can also get food when the train stops at stations.

The train is reasonably clean, and the bedclothes are clean. There is a basin and a toilet at the end of the carriage – which is not clean. There is no shower.  There aren’t mosquitoes.

The aircon is too strong so it is cold.

The beds are made up around 8 or 9pm, and then people tend to sleep.  And the beds are returned to seat state when people wake up – but it is done so noisily everyone wakes up.

Scenery tends to be paddy fields in Thailand and jungle in Malaysia.

The train stops at the border, and everyone disembarks, and goes through first the Thai Immigration and Customs, which is quite quick and not thorough, and then through the Malaysian equivalent, which is much slower and may check luggage.  Then it’s back on the train – which hasn’t moved. All told it takes less than an hour to cross the border.

At Butterworth the train terminates, and then you can catch the ferry across to George Town, Penang.

Addendum on 8th September, 2012:

Now I have made the trip, which you can read about here.

Alternative Media this week

Vitamin C proven to help protect Fukushima victims from radiation poisoning, cancer


My thought: So perhaps if you really have to fly out of an airport that forces you to go through a full body scanning machine, you can protect yourself from the DNA damage and from the cancer they cause by a two month Vitamin C regime.

Interesting thoughts or articles I noticed from the alternative media this week. I don’t endorse or dismiss the ideas – and in many cases I have been aware of these ideas for years, but perhaps there is additional information or there is something new.