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4 Need-To-Knows When Travelling To The USA

Collaborative Post

US flag

The US is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world — and it’s easy to see why. As a cultural leader for decades now, there’s something almost familiar about the idea of heading to the US — even if you’ve never been before. New York and California seem like old friends given the number of TV shows that have been set there, and we’re all familiar with the political machinations from Washington, DC. Add this pseudo-familiarity to the fact the US is host to some of the most exciting tourist attractions in the world, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular vacation destination.

If you’ve decided your next big holiday will be to the US, there’s a few things you need to know before you travel. Bear these in mind, and you can be sure your trip will go as smoothly as possible…

#1 – Be Ready For A Body Scan

To travel through a US airport, you’re going to need to become familiar with the idea of a body scanner. These are used at most major airports. You may be able to opt out of going through a scanner, but this is becoming less likely thanks to a rule change. As a general rule, if you’re not comfortable with the idea of potentially being asked to go through a body scanner, it’s best not to travel to the US.

#2- Visa Requirements Are Stringent

You will need an ESTA — which stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation — which helps to speed up the entire process. Just ensure that you’ve got this arranged well in advance of your departure date, as it can take some time to be processed. There is also a fee that you will need to include in your budgeting for the trip.

#3 – Understand The Tipping Culture

The tipping culture in the US is incredibly common; you will be expected to tip for almost any service, such as someone carrying your bags to your hotel room or even the fare you pay for a taxi. While this can feel jarring, it’s nevertheless a big part of the American economy, where service staff don’t make enough money without the addition of tips. Stock up on small-denomination dollars before you fly so that you’re ready to offer tips at all opportunities, and be ready for a gratuity to be added to any restaurant bills.

#4 – Prepare To Abandon The Metric System

The US still relies heavily on imperial measurements rather than the more commonly used metric system. This can take some getting used to, especially if you’re going to be buying your own food while over there, or driving a car on a road with speed limits in mph rather than kph. Download a converter app that can help you figure everything out as soon as needed. For cars, the speed dial will usually have dials for both metric and imperial measurements; just remember the road signs you’re seeing use imperial, and stick with that.

With this information locked into your mind, you can be sure your US trip will be one to remember — for all the right reasons.

Captain Cook was the first QUEUE JUMPER – This Country needs a Fucking Shake Up (Wake UP)

Yeas, I know I feel the need to post this song periodically, but, after the last month or so, with BORDER FORCE and the like, I totally think it’s time again

Well I’m left sitting here staring into a beer
shaking my head at the same ol’ loathing and fear
Stranger in my own land, can’t understand
How the very word Australian has just been damned
I fucking hate myself, take ‘Aussie’ from my name
Erase this endless shame, forever casting blame
If you don’t act the same will I destroy you?
Everyone looks the same beaten, black and blue
So I’ve had enough of these redneck pricks
When fact is the only real shit that sticks
Watch as I tear the very skin from my face
So none’ll see my race, my deep disgrace
Your not even from here in the first place
And those that are you wanna further debate
Nup, no more, never again whether by fist or pen
I will defend, cos I’m at a loose end
The shattered remnants of Aussie dignity
I’m a skip, whitey, round-eye suprise me
By using your shrivelled brain to please explain
How the clever country just went down the drain
We rode the sheep’s back now the sheep ride you
If this is how its gonna be don’t call me ‘true blue’
I denounce my ancestors, wounds still fester
If you say ‘it aint so’ I suggest ya’ wake up

(Chorus)

It’s time for you to
Wake up – this country needs a fucking shake up
Wake up – these cunts need a shake up (x4)

Talkback squawking hacks won’t relax
Until Jones’y, Zemanek and Laws are all axed
77 percent of aussies are racist
And if you’re here, I’ll say it your faces
Rich redneck pricks still hold all the aces
So I’ll buy ya a beer, with an arsenic chaser
Better off dead? is that what I’ve said?
Tempting to take for all the blood you’ve shed
No doubt your as bad as your dads and ya mums
Mainsteam media making me so fucking glum
Just anglo reality, intellectual cavities
Channel 9 fostering prejudiced mentalities
I won’t be a casualty, just mention casually
That I can’t stand for you shit-eating bullies
Preying on peeps without a mainstream voice
Most of you stay silent but I’ve got no choice

(Chorus)

Well I’ve yelled my lungs out but to no avail
Well I’ve yelled my lungs out but to no avail
Well I’ve yelled my lungs out but to no fukin’ avail
That you’re a stranger yourself now thats the sting in the tail
Captain Cook was the very first queue jumper
It was immigrant labour that made Australia plumper
Enough is enough, whiteys go pack your stuff
Don’t wanna live in England? That’s fucking tough
I’m sick and tired of this redneck wonderland
Most’ve you stay silent and I can’t understand
I just can’t understand (understand)

It’s time for you to
Wake up – this country needs a fucking shake up
Wake up – these cunts need a shake up (x4)

and, yeah, deliberately publishing at 7am. Because that’s the best time to call your incompetent pollies cunts.

Why am I against, so called, “marriage equality”?

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Oh, Hai there.

My name is Fiona, and, yes, I’m rather cynical when it comes to the gay//equal marriage movement. I try to articulate why. but it can be hard to when the world you live in is full of weddings and babies and people wondering why someone might be content with the already happening legal recognition of relationships, or even the, supposed, equality that “WILL” come by saying people can marry.

So, in Australia, defacto relationships actually afford the same protections as state or religious sanctioned marriages.

Yeah, so I shack up with a guy or a girl for 6 months or so, and, legally, it’s seen as a marriage, in that I have property rights. Yep, his/her shit could be mine. Remember 2008 where everything except Howard’s precious “vows” became equal? When your pensions and Centrelink payments were combined, when Health insurers considered you a couple?

Yeah, so everything except that state-sanctioned vow is legal.

yeah, some of you want it…. but having to have your relationship sanctioned by the state…. doesn’t that make you turn in your early grave? I need Abbott to say my love is legit…. *spew* I’ll pass..

And continue to live in “sin” and so on. Have your white wedding, I just hope it brings you the hope you thought it would.

Your senate just voted against the mandatory reporting of child abuse…

Yesterday, I put forward an amendment to the Government's detention bill that would make the reporting of child abuse…

Posted by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young on Thursday, 25 June 2015

From the link here

Question—That the amendments be agreed to—put.

The committee divided—

AYES (Voted Yes), 16

Senators—

Di Natale (Greens)

Ludlam (Greens)

Rhiannon (Greens)

Waters (Greens)

Hanson-Young (Greens)

Madigan (Independent)

Rice (Greens)

Whish-Wilson (Greens)

Lazarus (Independent)

Milne (Greens)

Siewert (Greens)

Wright (Greens)

Leyonhjelm (LDP)

Muir (Independent)

Wang (PUP)

Xenophon (Independent)

(Voted No) NOES, 31

Senators—

Back (LNP)

Colbeck (LNP)

Ludwig (Labor)

Peris (Labor)

Bernardi (LNP)

Edwards (LNP)

Macdonald (LNP)

Ruston (LNP)

Bilyk (Labor)

Fawcett (LNP)

McGrath (LNP)

Seselja (LNP)

Brandis (LNP)

Gallacher (Labor)

McKenzie (LNP)

Singh (Labor)

Bullock (Labor)

Gallagher (Labor)

McLucas (Labor)

Smith (LNP)

Bushby (LNP)

Ketter (Labor)

Moore (Labor)

Sterle (Labor)

Canavan (Nationals)

Lindgren (LNP)

O‘Neill (Labor)

Williams (Nationals)

Carr (Labor)

Lines (Labor)

O‘Sullivan (LNP)

They should be ashamed of themselves and if you voted for these senators you should be letting them know it. Find their contact details here.

Edited so I can share the wording of the amendment proposed by Senator Hanson-Young, as it’s not the easiest piece of text to access

From here:

197BAA Mandatory reporting of reportable assaults
(1) If a designated person believes on reasonable grounds that a person has experienced, or is experiencing, a reportable assault, the designated person must, as soon as practicable, notify the relevant authorities of:
(a) the alleged assault; and
(b) the grounds on which the person has formed the belief that the alleged assault occurred.
Offence
(2) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person is required to make a notification under subsection (1); and
(b) the person fails to comply with the requirement.
Penalty: 60 penalty units.
Geographical jurisdiction
(3) Section 15.3 of the Criminal Code (extended geographical jurisdiction—category C) applies to an offence against subsection (2).
Interpretation
(4) In this section:
designated person means:
(a) an authorised officer; and
(b) a person appointed or employed by, or for the performance of services for:
(i) the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; or
(ii) an authority of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; and
(c) a person employed by another person or body that is contracted by the Commonwealth, or an authority of the Commonwealth, to perform services in relation to an immigration detention facility.
relevant authority means:
(a) in any case—the Department and the Australian Federal Police; and
(b) if:
(i) the victim of an alleged reportable assault is a child ; and
(ii) the alleged assault occurs in a State or Territory;
a relevant authority of the State or Territory that has functions relating to child safety; and
(c) if:
(i) the victim of an alleged reportable assault is a child; and
(ii) the alleged assault occurs in a foreign country;
a police force of the foreign country.
reportable assault means any of the following, to the extent that they occur, or allegedly occur, in an immigration detention facility:
(a) unlawful sexual contact;
(b) sexual harassment;
(c) unreasonable use of force;
(d) any other assault.

Edit again :p (5:30pm)

Okay, I’ve had my outrage, read the amendment through a few times, and feel that it needed to be better thought out, phrased, and actually discussed with Labor. Unfortunately they did not have the time for that as Cormann threatened to have the senate sit until it passes and were hell bent on rushing it through in order to stop a high court challenge on whether they are actually legally allowed to detain people offshore.

*sigh*

edit sat
Oh and also the rest of the amendment such as limiting offshore detention to 3/months doesn’t fit with labor’s need to race to the bottom and be “tough” so they couldn’t vote for it. That and the proposal to not send vulnerable people such as kids. You know because we have to treat all refugees as non persons regardless of age

Hold me, I’ve become THAT person

The one that says –

Why care about GST on tampons…. when women in detention centres have to live up for one or two pads or tampons at a time, don’t get enough pads for the month and swap sexual favours aka get sexually assaulted in return for shower time.

Why care about gay marriage…. Just get it over with so people can worry about actual discrimination, such as Tasmanian schools wanting to be able to expel queer teens on religious grounds.

I’m sure there’s more… But those two are pissing me off this week. And I’m on my phone and suck at Swype.

I used to hate those people. The my cause is more important than yours… But I’m wavering!

Or reading too much Razer ( I blame you Bronwyn!)

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