Freo's View

HAPPY TO LIVE IN FREO WHERE LISA LOOKS AFTER US

Posted in anti-social, city of fremantle, violence by freoview on March 10, 2016

I need to share an observation I made that will not please all those Fremantle blasters who believe nothing is right in our city and that Freo attracts undesirable people while in councils like the City of Perth it is all honky dory.

Going to a photo shoot I took the train to Perth and had coffee and read the paper at Forrest Place for an hour from 9.30 this morning. It basically was awful! There was a lot of shouting, people looking really angry, a man dressed only in jocks waving a bed sheet in the air while falling over his feet, a man on crutches wearing a full face mask, people pointing the bird at people relaxing on benches. I felt uncomfortable and kept looking over my shoulder because there was aggression in the air.

I just wanted to point out with this short message that the grass is not always greener on the other side and that other councils have similar problems as Fremantle has. These are not problems created by certain councils or certain elected members, but issues that our society has created because we are not dealing very well with them.

I was happy to hop back on the train after the shoot and even happier when I walked through Pioneer Park where City of Fremantle security officer Lisa had a smoko with a colleague. I told her I am lucky to live in a city where Lisa looks after me. ; > )

Roel Loopers

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DOES OUR SOCIETY STILL HAVE VALUES?

Posted in fremantle, roel loopers, values by freoview on May 18, 2015

Overcast weather always makes me a bit morose, emotional and contemplative, so I went back to some of my old writing in what once was meant to become a book. 50,000 words later the book has not eventuated, and probably never will, but I want to share these thoughts with you and see what reaction it creates.

What precisely are our values and morals, and do they mean the same for us? Are values for individuals, groups, communities? I believe we often do things to please others so that they like us, but that is then conditional liking/loving. Only if we do what they expect of us are we judged as being nice, good, likeable. I see that as a large part of the problem. Instead of sticking to our own values (if we know what they are) we adopt the ones other people set for us, be that politicians, friends or colleagues .

 Society likes sameness but feels challenged to accept individuality. Individuals are judged as not being normal. They are strange, unpredictable, scary even. Once people can place one into certain drawers it is fine. It makes them feel safe. I believe that is also why people don’t stand up and speak out about social injustices, etc. It would make them stand out from the norm, the crowd. It is much easier to hide in a crowd by being one of them.

 The result is that we all lose, because to move forward and improve society needs individuals who are brave enough to be different, and who might be abused for daring to be different. By not generating difference we create mediocrity and a lazy, complacent, greedy and selfish society where dog eats dog, where not many care about others. Combine that with ignorance and we have a breeding ground for one-eyed, narrow-minded bigots, zealots, extremists, fundamentalists and fascists. This is where the real danger lies. Add to that governments that want to take our liberties away by pretending that it is in our best interest-homeland security- and for our own safety.

 An American presidents once said something along the lines that it is dangerous and possibly counter productive to give away liberties for perceived temporary security. But that is what governments all over the world have been doing. All that on the back of thousands of decent, non violent muslims who now have to live with racism and rejection, often in the western countries where they were born. (Once governments create a common enemy people will live in fear and will embrace radical changes to their liberty).

 Moral values and obligations to others don’t seem to exist. We don’t respect religions other than our own. The other religions are the common enemy. They are wrong, not we, and the God we believe in is better than their God anyway.

 Governments love this us and them thinking as it gives them more power to control all of us and it allows them to keep taking away liberties from us. I keep asking myself on what values this is based.

 Instead of a WE society we live in a ME society. Me, me, me, it’s always only about me. I believe the basic values are respect for other people and their beliefs, and a desire to care for and share with our fellow human beings, and being an active and positive part of the community and the exciting global village we live in. Now that must make me positively mad in the eyes of many. No wonder some call me Loopy. ; > )

Roel Loopers

ARE POLITICIANS ARROGANT OR JUST DEAF?

Posted in aboriginal, colin barnett, fremantle, politicians by freoview on February 2, 2015

emperor

The word arrogant is one of the most (over)used words when the public is asked for an opinion about politicians, be that local, state, or federal.

John Howard and Kevin Rudd were considered to be arrogant, as was WA formerPremier Alan Carpenter and present Premier Colin Barnett.

In Fremantle the entire Council gets accused of being arrogant because residents believe Elected Members no longer listen to them and run their own agendas.

I have met many local, state and federal members and have yet to meet one whom I would classify as arrogant. Aloof, self-righteous, blinkered, one-eyed, out of touch, yes, but arrogant they are not.

Lessons need to be learned though from what happened in Queensland on Saturday and Tony Abbott’s lack of consultation with backbenchers and the community. When voters believe elected members have stopped listening to them they get very irate and abandon even the parties they prefer.

P.S. Interesting to read State Government is investing some $ 40 million on a new Mandurah Bridge when all the Fremantle railway bridge is getting is a few venders to stop ships from bumping into it. Not happy, Colin!

Roel Loopers

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INTOLERANCE IS NOT SUPERIORITY

Posted in fremantle, terrorism by freoview on January 10, 2015

I have been wondering for a long time what it is that makes so many people believe they are superior to others. My thoughts have been going there for years. Why are people racist, why do people believe their god, their culture, their skin tone is superior? And it does not stop there because it happens in schools and in the workplace and on our roads. People become bullies because they believe they are superior to others, they kill because they believe their religion and their god are superior and that they should punish those inferiors who dare to believe in a different god and who have a different culture

The West Australian reports today about an increase in road accidents involving cyclists, who end up badly hurt under trucks and four-wheel drives, mainly because motorists believe they are superior to other road users. It’s not often ones sees a car give way to pedestrians when rounding a corner, although that is a requirement.

Religious zealots around the world believe they have a god-given right to kill people and kids believe it is okay to defame and humiliate other children on social media, because society is becoming more righteous and selfish. The ME society is more about ego than about sharing and tolerance. Lack of respect for others makes people feel superior and hence they don’t care about the consequences of their actions. Killing an ‘infidel’ or a cyclist is no big deal for those whose arrogance is disproportionate to their intelligence. Inconsiderate speeding hoons terrorise our roads daily while religious terrorists go on rampages to prove points their prophets have never made.

What we don’t seem to understand is that we are all just ripples in the big pond of life and that our self-importance is basically silly. Life is like a market with many stalls and there would not be a market if there were only one single stall, run by someone with a big over-inflated ego. It is a very simple message really, but one that many people don’t seem to get.

Share and care, show empathy instead of judgment, show love not hate, embrace and don’t reject. Have enough confidence to respect other gods and cultures because it won’t diminish the importance of your god and your belief. Your car does not make you the owner of the roads or superior to cyclists, so slow down, give way, take care, and show that you care!

The world is a grandiose place of immense beauty and there is enough of it for all of us to share, no matter what we look like or believe in. Let’s go out there each and every day and show that we care and that we value the lives of everyone.

Je suis Charlie. R.I.P.

Roel Loopers

YOUTH PLAZA TEAMWORK A LESSON FOR ALL

Posted in city of fremantle, skaters, youth by freoview on August 25, 2014

EYP

The Fremantle ESPLANADE YOUTH PLAZA skatepark is getting rid of some misconceptions and urban myths about modern youth I hope, because it is a fine example of how well a large group of young people can respectfully engage and have fun.

There is no screaming, no four letter words, no alcohol, no vandalism, but there is a lot of consideration, sharing, learning, teaching and supporting going on. It is how the entire community should be, because the kids at the EYP are far more selfless than a large percentage of grown ups in our society are.

There is no queue jumping, no elbows out to get in first, and ahead of others who have been waiting their turn, and it’s all done with appreciating the efforts of others, complimenting them, or giving tips on how to improve. Although they all come as individuals they have amazing skills at team work.

Roel Loopers

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TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR WASTE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 30, 2014

Waste is a huge problem all over the planet. Domestic and commercial waste needs to go somewhere, so it ends up in landfill or designated areas, where often toxic waste leaks into the ground and ground water.

What is the future of waste a forum at the Fremantle Town Hall asked, with an indication that an incinerator at Kwinana could be the preferred option.

It is always difficult for lay-people to know what the facts are, so I won’t even attempt to deal with the technicalities, but it became clear that even incinerators still produce toxic ash that goes into landfill, and release toxic gas that pollutes the atmosphere. No surprise then that there were quite a few people from Kwinana asking the question why they should live with other council’s pollution.

It is neither practical nor economically viable for every council to operate their own incinerators, so the locations for them are always going to be controversial. As Greens Lynn MacLaren said, Cockburn Sound Cement problems have not given the community much confidence, as locals have had to live with toxic smells and dust from that plant for years.

In my opinion the problem with waste management around the world is that it is re-active instead of pro-active. We produce far too much waste and that needs to stop and it starts with our manufacturers and supermarkets. Society should no longer tolerate excessive and double packaging, plastic bags in cardboard boxes, etc. etc. The pressure needs to be put on our governments, but also on Coles and Woolworth and let them know we no longer want old-fashioned packaging, but we insist on new, more environmentally friendly and less packaging. That would be a start.

We also need to turn around our wasteful mentality and throw away attitude, the need in the western world to have the latest of everything, thus making perfectly working appliances obsolete and ready for the enormous global waste heap. We need to ask ourselves if we really need the latest mobile, TV, computer, camera, kitchen gadget, or if what we’ve got will suffice for many more years.

Waste management should start with each and every one of us. WE need to reduce the amount of waste we produce because WE are creating a huge problem for all of us.

Are incinerators the solution or just our way of making governments responsible for our inconsiderate behaviour?  Taking ownership of our waste would be a good start.

Roel Loopers

ROAD USERS TRY TO GET HOME SAFE

Posted in fremantle, TRAFFIC by freoview on July 26, 2014

bike shadow, tiff imported cars, tiffThe motorist versus cyclist debate on this blog and in the media makes me wonder about society’s tolerance and selfishness. What is the mad rush all about? Are we really so important and under pressure that we can’t accept that pedestrians are slower than cyclists and people on bicycles slower than cars? Does it really matter if we are getting to our travel destination a couple of minutes later? Leaving a wee bit earlier will make up for any loss of time should one get caught behind a mob of the lycra-clad or a person walking the dog.

When one looks at countries where bikes are prevalent and where the different forms of transport peacefully work together, one has to wonder why there is so much aggression and road rage between car drivers and pedal pushers in Australia. One gets the feeling there is a hoon mentality in both groups. Get off the road because I am more important!

It does not stop there because intolerance and lack of care for pedestrians is also common. Hardly ever do I notice a driver or cyclist giving way to pedestrians when rounding a corner, and at least twice a week another car will overtake mine when I stop at a zebra crossing in Fremantle. It is just a matter of luck they have not swept up a pedestrian on the supposedly safe crosswalk and killed someone.

People rush without taking the time to be in the moment. They feel the urge to answer calls, text messages and emails while being in the company of others, and even when driving cars, at speeds that kill people. The me, me, me, what about me, I am more important than you, society is showing blatant disrespect for the lives of other road users, and that needs to stop.

We needs to learn to share the roads better and to be more considerate and aware. It’s not all about you, silly, it’s all about you and me and everyone else getting home safe. Slow down and take your time. It’s not a race!

Roel Loopers

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NIGHT HOOPS WILL MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE

Posted in fremantle by freoview on July 24, 2014

It should have been a public holiday, because it is a rare occasion indeed when Premier Colin Barnett visits Fremantle. But cynicism aside, he came for a good cause to launch the Night Hoops basketball project for at-risk youth.

The Premier said it was a fundamentally important project that he strongly supported, and he thanked local governments and businesses for getting behind it. He said it would teach young people how to interact graciously with one another and that sport is a training ground for learning social skills.

Griff Longely, who has been running the highly successful Midnight Basketball in Midland and who will organise the Fremantle/Cockburn Night Hoops with a group of volunteers, said that finding the right way to get together in society was hard, but the Midland project showed that is can be done.

The Town Hall atrium was full of who is who in Freo with the tall brigade of Richard, John and Griffin Longley towering above the rest.

Also there: comedian and author Ben Elton, super chef Anna Gare, Fremantle Foundation CEO Dylan Smith, Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Milsom, Notre Dame Uni Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond, Sirona Capital managing director Matthew McNeillie, CODA architect Kieran Wong, Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk, Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett, officers of the WA Police, developer Bruce Moriarty, Brian Smith of the Bendigo Bank, and of course the Fremantle Mayor, most Councillors and several City of Fremantle directors.

I believe that Night Hoops is exactly the kind of ‘low hanging fruits’ project that will make a difference, so congratulations to all involved!

Roel Loopers

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SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN. IT’S LEAD

Posted in fremantle, women by freoview on July 6, 2014

The thing that disturbs me most with the Rolf Harris case is the silence, the fact that no one stood up and spoke out in public, while Harris was known for many years as the octopus, the one who groped and could not leave women alone, even in public in radio and TV stations. How could this happen? Why did those prominent people not reveal what was going on, to protect other women and girls from the pervert?

Why do people remain silent when they are abused, or witness abuse? Why is it considered un-Australian to dob someone in, someone who has blatantly broken the law. Isn’t it our civic duty to expose those who do wrong, to protect our community?

When I lived in Germany I was amazed that so many people claimed they had not known what happened to the millions of Jews and other people who were killed in concentration camps. Did they not ever ask what happened to their neighbours who were rounded up and taken away? Were they never curious or concerned? Did they care?

Years ago ABC presenter Susan Maushart said she had asked her female friends about abuse and eight out of ten had told her they had been or were in an abusive relationship. Should we sit back and just accept that or should we scream and yell and confront the cowardly bastards who believe women are fair game? Should we not be alert and question when we see very unhappy children avoiding certain family members, and should we not more often directly ask them if something is wrong? Time and time again we hear in the media when abuse cases are revealed, that people suspected something was not right but they did not want to interfere, and that is wrong. We can’t wait till it’s too late. We have a duty of care, especially to children.

We don’t dob in Australia. It’s just not us. We think that silence is golden, when in fact it is lead, because it let’s people and our whole community down. We can’t hope for the governments and police to do it all for us. They can’t do it without us. Be brave and stand up and don’t wait for other people to do it first, because it might never happen and more people will get badly hurt.

Roel Loopers

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Bookings: Text 0419 850981. Email: roel.loopers@iinet.net.au

THE LUCKY COUNTRY FOR SOME

Posted in fremantle by freoview on June 16, 2014

OXFAM asked the question Is Australia Still the Lucky Country? and the report they released shows that most Australians don’t believe it is. Nearly 80 percent of the people interviewed said the gap between the poor and the rich had widened, and over 60 percent claimed that inequality is making Australia a worse place to live .

According to the Oxfam report the wealthiest one percent of the population have more money that 60 percent of the population, and that the most wealthy Australians have too much influence.

It was interesting to listen to the ABC radio Geoff Hutchison program this morning. I did not hear it all but there were quite a few people who said they were leaving Australia, and others who said they were leaving W.A. because they could no longer afford to live here because of high living costs. One man told Geofff that he and many of his mates were going to move to Asian countries because they were fed up with the whingers and hand-out mentality.

I believe taking responsibility as a society is what it comes down to. Leaving the battle to others and going AWOL in another country is never going to be the solution, and neither is it to believe that it is someone else’s problem or that governments alone have to deal with it. We’re all in this together and we should all try to make life better for those who are not as lucky as others.

While (Western) Australia is not perfect, I still would not want to live anywhere else. Life runs its own course and while we are often in control of our own destiny, sometimes the universe has other ideas. Life is not for ever, so make the best of it and enjoy it while you can. I reckon it helps a bit to live in Fremantle, in a community minded place where people care.

Roel Loopers

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