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Thursday, October 20, 2016

We've Never Had It So Good.

My saddlebags are packed and my steed is fed, ready for our great travels. I am ready to leave this fair Island to travel across the seas to the Big Island to the North.  The Tavern will manage without me behind the bars for a week or so, and you are welcome to raid the bottles hanging behind the bar and to pull on the pumps for a fine ale or three.

En route I shall be visiting the Company of Knights: those fine old men of the Order of the Southern Cross who count me amongst their number.  And I shall be addressing them on weighty matters to do with the mass murder of babies. Indeed we live in nasty, brutish times. But all is not doom and gloom: a fact we were reminded of just the other day by one Johan Norberg. He sees the bright side that we all need to be reminded of from time to time.
Why can’t we see that we’re living in a golden age?

If you look at all the data, it’s clear there’s never been a better time to be alive
‘We have fallen upon evil times, politics is corrupt and the social fabric is fraying.’ 
Who said that? Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders? Nigel Farage or Marine Le Pen? It’s difficult to keep track. They sound so alike, the populists of the left and the right. Everything is awful, so bring on the scapegoats and the knights on white horses.
My cue, m'thinks. He is correct but for all our advances - which he will show us - we have simply 'expanded'. The fabulous 'good' that we have attained is balanced by the awful evils at the opposite end. But let me not deter him from expanding on his thesis.
Pessimism resonates. A YouGov poll found that just 5 per cent of Britons think that the world, all things considered, is getting better. You would think that the chronically cheerful Americans might be more optimistic — well, yes, 6 per cent of them think that the world is improving. More Americans believe in astrology and reincarnation than in progress.
You don't believe that? Where have you been ? 
If you think that there has never been a better time to be alive — that humanity has never been safer, healthier, more prosperous or less unequal — then you’re in the minority. But that is what the evidence incontrovertibly shows. Poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, child labour and infant mortality are falling faster than at any other time in human history. The risk of being caught up in a war, subjected to a dictatorship or of dying in a natural disaster is smaller than ever. 
The golden age is now.

We’re hardwired not to believe this. 
We’ve evolved to be suspicious and fretful: fear and worry are tools for survival. The hunters and gatherers who survived sudden storms and predators were the ones who had a tendency to scan the horizon for new threats, rather than sit back and enjoy the view. They passed their stress genes on to us. That is why we find stories about things going wrong far more interesting than stories about things going right. It’s why bad news sells, and newspapers are full of it.
Hmmmmm. There are far too many, especially the young, who would prefer their skateboards and body-painting at the beach to even reading deeply enough to grasp the difficulties they cause. But.....
Books that say the world is doomed sell rather well, too. I have just attempted the opposite. I’ve written a book called Progress, about humanity’s triumphs. It is written partly as a warning: when we don’t see the progress we have made, we begin to search for scapegoats for the problems that remain. 
Sometimes, in the past and perhaps today, we have been too quick to try our luck with demagogues who offer simple solutions to make our nations great again — whether by nationalising the economy, blocking imports or throwing out immigrants. If we think we don’t have anything to lose in doing so, it’s because our memories are faulty.

Look at 1828. Most people in Britain then lived in what is now regarded as extreme poverty. Life was nasty (people still threw their waste out of the window), brutish (corpses were still displayed on gibbets) and short (30 years on average). But even then things had been improving. The first iteration of The Spectator, in 1711, was published in a Britain whose people subsisted on average on fewer calories than the average child gets today in sub-Saharan Africa.
Karl Marx thought that capitalism inevitably made the rich richer and the poor poorer. By the time Marx died, however, the average Englishman was three times richer than at the time of his birth 65 years earlier — never before had the population experienced anything like it.
Fast forward to 1981. Then, almost nine in ten Chinese lived in extreme poverty; now just one in ten do. Then, just half of the world’s population had access to safe water. Now, 91 per cent do. On average, that means that 285,000 more people have gained access to safe water every day for the past 25 years.
Global trade has led to an expansion of wealth on a magnitude which is hard to comprehend. During the 25 years since the end of the Cold War, global economic wealth — or GDP per capita — has increased almost as much as it did during the preceding 25,000 years. It’s no coincidence that such growth has occurred alongside a massive expansion of rule by the people for the people. A quarter of a century ago, barely half the world’s countries were democracies. Now, almost two thirds are. To say that freedom is still on the march is an understatement.
Hmmmmm. I have mentioned before, somewhere, that GDP is simply a measure of the speed at which money circulates.  One could double it overnight by confiscating everyone's money and wealth at one minute to midnight and returning it to them at a minute past.
Part of our problem is one of success. As we get richer, our tolerance for global poverty diminishes. So we get angrier about injustices. Charities quite rightly wish to raise funds, so they draw our attention to the plight of the world’s poorest. But since the Cold War ended, extreme poverty has decreased from 37 per cent to 9.6 per cent — 
in single digits for the first time in history.

This has not happened through the destruction of the western middle class. Times have been rough since the financial crisis, yet for all the talk of Americans ‘left behind by globalisation’, median income for low- and middle-income US households has increased by more than 30 per cent since 1970. And this excludes all the things you can’t put a price on, such as advances in medicine, an extra ten years of life expectancy, the internet, mass entertainment, and cleaner air and water.
Speaking of water, Disraeli described the Thames as ‘a Stygian pool reeking with ineffable and intolerable horrors’. As late as 1957, the river was declared biologically dead. Today it is in rude health, with scores of different species of fish. The idea of the environment as a clean canvas being steadily spoilt by humanity is simplistic and wrong. 
As we become richer, we have become cleaner and greener. 
The quantity of oil spilt in our oceans has decreased by 99 per cent since 1970. Forests are reappearing, even in emerging countries like India and China. And technology is helping to mitigate the effects of global warming.

Parts of the world are falling to pieces but fewer parts than before. Conflicts always make the headlines, so we assume that our age is plagued by violence. We obsess over new or ongoing fights, such as the horrifying civil war in Syria — but we forget the conflicts that have ended in countries such as Colombia, Sri Lanka, Angola and Chad. We remember recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have killed around 650,000. But we struggle to recall that two million died in conflicts in those countries in the 1980s. The jihadi terrorist threat is new and frightening — but Islamists kill comparatively few. Europeans run a 30 times bigger risk of being killed by a ‘normal’ murderer — and the European murder rate has halved in just two decades.
In almost every way human beings today lead more prosperous, safer and longer lives — and we have all the data we need to prove it. 
So why does everybody remain convinced that the world is going to the dogs? 
Because that is what we pay attention to, as the thoroughbred fretters we are. The psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky have shown that people do not base their assumptions on how frequently something happens, but on how easy it is to recall examples. This ‘availability heuristic’ means that the more memorable an incident is, the more probable we think it is. And what is more memorable than horror? What do you remember best — your neighbour’s story about a decent restaurant which serves excellent lamb stew, or his warning about the place where he was poisoned and threw up all over his boss’s wife?

Bad news now travels a lot faster. Just a few decades ago, you would read that an Asian city with 100,000 people was wiped out in a cyclone on a small notice on page 17. We would never have heard about Burmese serial killers. Now we live in an era with global media and iPhone cameras every-where. Since there is always a natural disaster or a serial murderer somewhere in the world, it will always top the news cycle — giving us the mistaken impression that it is more common than before.
Nostalgia, too, is biological: as we get older, we take on more responsibility and can be prone to looking back on an imagined carefree youth. 
It is easy to mistake changes in ourselves for changes in the world. 
Quite often when I ask people about their ideal era, the moment in world history when they think it was the most harmonious and happy, they say it was the era they grew up in. They describe a time before everything became confusing and dangerous, the young became rude, or listened to awful music, or stopped reading books in order to just play Pokémon Go.

The cultural historian Arthur Freeman observed that ‘virtually every culture, past or present, has believed that men and women are not up to the standards of their parents and forebears’. Is it a coincidence that the western world is experiencing this great wave of pessimism at the moment that the baby-boom generation is retiring?
So who did say those words at the start of this article, about how we have ‘fallen upon evil times’? It wasn’t Trump. It wasn’t Farage. A century ago, an American professor found them inscribed on a stone in a museum in Constantinople. 
He dated them from ancient Chaldea, 3,800 BC.

Johan Norberg’s Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future 
And with that I shall pull a few pints and ask you to raise your glasses. But remember, each age has its challenges by evil. Look to yours and do your part to make the next age even more golden. 

Now I must away.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Sing, my tongue

I cannot claim the Troubador Knight's skills with the voice, nor even the Lute. I am not a musical man. But, as they say, "I knows wot I likes". And in my daily visits down into the cellars below the Tavern - to check the barrels and make sure no-one is pinching the wine bottles - it is my habit to make sure that everything is clean and tidy in the the Crypt, too.  And there, no-one can hear my croaking and wheezing as I let my tongue loose.

Hearing me at it can make a grown man weep, and I do ! The tears wet the floor for my mop.

It is not quite the same as when I mop the kitchen floor, as I was doing this evening in my cave below the mountain, in that I do not sing there, but I do my Gentleman's housekeeping to fine music.

The crypt singing is accompanied, of course, by a choir that one cannot see.

Pange Lingua Gloriosi
Sing, my tongue, the Saviour's glory.
This extraordinary Eucharistic hymn, by the great St. Thomas Aquinas, is a  favourite among the Latin Mass faithful. This version regrettably leaves out the second verse. The recording is from the CD illuminations, compiled by Dan Gibson. the Latin text and English translation follow: 

You are encouraged to sing along or at least hum.

Pange, lingua, gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
quem in mundi pretium
fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit Gentium.
(Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory,
of His flesh the mystery sing;
of the Blood, all price exceeding,
shed by our immortal King,
destined, for the world's redemption,
from a noble womb to spring.)
Nobis datus, nobis natus
ex intacta Virgine,
et in mundo conversatus,
sparso verbi semine,
sui moras incolatus
miro clausit ordine.
(Of a pure and spotless Virgin
born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
then He closed in solemn order
wondrously His life of woe.)

In supremae nocte coenae
recumbens cum fratribus
observata lege plene
cibis in legalibus,
cibum turbae duodenae
se dat suis manibus.
(On the night of that Last Supper,
seated with His chosen band,
He the Pascal victim eating,
first fulfills the Law's command;
then as Food to His Apostles
gives Himself with His own hand.)
Verbum caro, panem verum
verbo carnem efficit:
fitque sanguis Christi merum,
et si sensus deficit,
ad firmandum cor sincerum
sola fides sufficit.
(Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
by His word to Flesh He turns;
wine into His Blood He changes;
what though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
faith her lesson quickly learns.)

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
veneremur cernui:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui:
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.
(Down in adoration falling,
This great Sacrament we hail,
Over ancient forms of worship
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith will tell us Christ is present,
When our human senses fail.)

Genitori, Genitoque
laus et jubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.
(To the everlasting Father,
And the Son who made us free
And the Spirit, God proceeding
From them Each eternally,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.
Amen. )
My song is nowhere near as pleasant, but He seems to approve nontheless.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Four Presidential Horsemen for the Apocalypse

Should the Tavern be ordering in sand-bags?, asked a customer. I knew where he was coming from. The treat is not a flood or tsunami such as I mentioned the other day, but an overwhelming tide of Incompetence. And even that is just a part of the worry. I am fortunate that the Tavern sits within the bounds of calmness and Faith, not to mention Charity. We are Hopeful here.  

While America, that Great Power which just might be mentioned along with Principalities and wickedness in High Places in the side bar, is in the throes of 'choosing' their next President,  the Russian President is stitting on a stockpile of weapons, most of which have your name written on them. And he is making some most worrying noises, barely heard amid all the shouting and cacophony going on in America over The Donald and Hillary.

I wonder what colour shirt he took off.

Tom Batchelor was looking out of the window and drew our attention:
Vladimir Putin issues emergency call to ALL Russians to return home amid WORLD WAR fears
RUSSIA’S Vladimir Putin has issued an emergency decree that all officials urgently repatriate any family members living abroad amid fears the world is about to be plunged into a new global conflict.
According to reports, the Russian leader has told diplomats of all ranks to “bring relatives home to the Motherland”.
Administration staff, politicians and public sector workers have been ordered to take their children out of foreign schools immediately.
Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky told the Daily Star: “This is all part of the package of measures to prepare elites to some 'big war’.”
The worrying development – which follows after President Putin suddenly cancelled a visit to France – applies to all state employees.
Workers were reportedly told to pull their children out of school immediately, even if it was in the middle of term.
Anyone who fails to act will put their chances of promotion at risk, local media reported.
Putin's cancellation is the latest deterioration in ties between Moscow and the West.
Earlier, the Russian strongman said the United States would have to compromise in the war in Syria.
Mr Putin said: "There is a need to behave like partners and take each other's interests into account. We are ready for that."
He also launched a stinging attack on France, accusing President Francois Hollande of deliberately luring Moscow into vetoing a United Nations resolution on Syria and questioned whether Paris was doing the bidding of the US.
But with whom will a compromise be negotiated, one wonders. It certainly won't be with that bozo Obama who is on his way out and calculating his pension plan and what foreign (muslim nations) inputs he can count on. Hillary has taken the lionesses share of foreign donations already by all accounts.

But she is not yet President: shudder the thought. She has competition, which of course is an anathema to such a fat-cat socialist as she: with or without the competitor she has in The Fantastic Donald (self-called).

And the dumbed-down American voters - with not a little help from a tidal wave of illegal immigrants - have to diligently work their way through a sea of pros and cons. There are Big and small of both. Trivia abounds. Needed diligence is off the shelves. The American voter adores trivia and to some extent Donald supplies what the people want, whether he likes it of not.
OK, It is not really Hillary with a horse. It's fake, like she is.

So let us look at some of the main 'Track Record' elements of moment. Hillary has an unfair advantage of real political activity to examine. We can only guess at what sort of political job the Donald will do as his record is entirely 'business'. But in balance one recalls the past-Presidential note that ....

"the Business of America is Business"
That should give the Donald a boost.

James Shott, a Patriot, took us through some matters of note.
It Wasn't Donald Trump Who...

A little compare and contrast for the sake of argument.
Almost everyone agrees that this is the most unusual election in our lifetimes. We have two major party candidates with the highest disapproval ratings that anyone can remember. And each candidate’s supporters ignore the negatives and continue to support the candidate because so much is at stake.

Democrat Hillary Clinton comes from decades in the political sphere as the wife of a governor and president, as a U.S. senator and as secretary of state. Republican Donald Trump comes from decades in the private sector as a businessman and entertainment show producer, having first entered political life for the 2015 Republican primary.

Both have a long list of negatives their political enemies hope will disqualify them in the eyes of voters. However, there are important differences between them.
This is faked too.
It wasn’t Donald Trump who for personal convenience as secretary of state flaunted the rules and long-established procedures, taking the unprecedented step of evading the official secure government email system in favor of a private email server for government business, including classified information. 
And it wasn’t Donald who then had the server scrubbed, destroying thousands of messages that were not only government property, but evidence, and then couldn’t provide a credible reasons for any of it.

It wasn’t Donald Trump whose possible-criminal situation caused untold irregularities in the operation of the State Department, the FBI and the Justice Department. Those included a“chance” meeting on an airport tarmac between the prime suspect’s husband and the attorney general of the United States, putting dozens of public servants in the position to destroy their credibility and trustworthiness to save a presidential candidate’s backside.
It wasn’t Donald Trump whose vast experience in government in the U.S. Senate and the State Department resulted in neglecting dozens of requests for increased security prior to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. That attack resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans. 
And it wasn’t Trump who then blamed an obscure Internet video for a clear terrorist attack, resulting in jailing the video’s producer.
And it wasn’t Donald Trump whose frequent profanity-laced tirades insulted and denigrated Secret Service agents and White House staffers.

But that was a long time ago, and since all of that was a long time ago, it probably isn’t relevant that it also wasn’t Donald Trump who worked for the congressional committee investigating the Watergate cover-up many years ago, and was fired for lying.
It was Donald Trump who took some money from his father, invested it in businesses and created hotels, casinos, golf courses and television shows. Some of his creations didn’t work out, as is not uncommon in the world of business. Luminaries such as Henry Ford, Walt Disney, F.W. Woolworth, Albert Einstein and Bill Gates also sometimes failed.
It was Donald Trump who claimed business losses of nearly a billion dollars on tax returns many years ago, probably cancelling an equal amount of income over several years, using provisions in the tax code to reduce taxable income, just as most every American who pays taxes does through deductions for such things as dependents, mortgage interest and charitable giving.
As an aside, I am reminded by a voice from the past regarding taxation....
"No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his stores. The Inland Revenue is not slow, and quite rightly, to take every advantage which is open to it under the Taxing Statutes for the purposes of depleting the taxpayer's pocket. And the taxpayer is in like manner entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the depletion of his means by the Inland Revenue"
James Avon Clyde, Lord Clyde KC DL (1863 – 1944) Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session from 1920 to 1935
But.... back to Mr Shott... 
For taking legal tax deductions Trump has attracted mountains of criticism from his betters, who somehow twist this into meaning he doesn’t care about the country, or the military and dozens of other things. But the thousands of people who work in his businesses do pay taxes, and that is significant.
And, yes, it was Donald Trump who managed to anger his primary opponents and many Americans with his petulant personal attacks against those who opposed and challenged him. His crass manner leaves much to be desired, and his locker room vulgarity, spoken in private 11 years ago, justifiably repulsed anyone not blinded by partisanship. But 
if some rapper had used those same words as lyrics, it’d be #1 on Billboard.

Apparently, it’s a more serious offense to say things that offend someone than to put national interests at risk, to lose $6 billion of State Department funds and generally fail to competently run the agency you’ve been entrusted to run, and then go on to make millions giving $250,000 secret-content speeches to Wall Street banks that you publicly criticize. 
By virtue of merely having been elected a U.S. senator and appointed as a cabinet secretary, you are thus qualified to be president, even if the “best” you did in those positions was inconsequential or, too often, harmful.

Strangely, people are more offended by Trump’s words than Hillary’s vicious attacks on her hubby’s numerous sexual victims and conquests, her position on coal mining and the Supreme Court, and her comments supporting open borders, spoken in a private $250,000 speech.
Trump is a crass bully with an authoritarian streak. 
Clinton’s hubris already put national security at risk, and she will continue Obama’s dangerous, destructive, and unconstitutional policies. 
Thus is our choice.
Which may be as nought if President Putin, ex-KGB Colonel and Communist converted to Mafia has his way. A wicked way without a doubt. 

A fine enough (in a Terrible sense) third horseman. 

There is very little chance that they will all play nicely. They are all arseholes, frankly.

We look out of the window for the fourth on his/her horse.

It is thought that the 'King' that lights the blue touch paper will be a 'little' one, a small horn.  It is rumoured that Obama would fit the description. He won't go away, you know.

Another old and tested saying comes to mind: If you are going to have to kiss an arsehole goodbye, make it your own.

Drink deep.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hell is coming to Breakfast

It has been very quiet in the Tavern lately. You know how it is when a Tsunami is coming: the water drains away quickly exposing large swathes of beach. The small swishes of the usual little waves are no longer heard, but in the disatnce there is a roar building.  A Huge Wall of Water is coming. The beach is littered with previously unseen kelp. There is a smell in the air, and not a nice one.

The Presidential 'debates' are like that beach. The stench is bad enough with the 'I'm the Great Donald, the greatest, everyone says so' on one side, and the 'baby-killer and anyone else that gets in the way killer' on the other. The Hairy Narcissist vs the Zombie, face-eater. Can you hear that roar? Enough to make a man weep.

In the Tavern it is quiet. I have spent some time that past week down in the cellars; my tears have been put to use washing the floor in the Crypt. 

'Is this Thy Justice, Oh Lord', I ask. 'Is this what we deserve?'

Just around the headland in the small pristine bay that is Oz we are also hearing and smelling the wind. The 'debate' here is called the 'Plebisite', which frankly sounds like an infection. It certainly smells rotten. 

We have rarely been in such an awful state of moral decline. It is overwhelming us. Little girls, once charming and a delight have been sucked into the maw of depravity. Dragged out from the beach where they played they are tumbled in the detrius and will be cast ashore, torn.  And the so-called adults cheer.

And I am preparing for a Journey to a far off Mainland, taking messages along with me to be delivered before I put m'self in the hands of a ship's Captain. Hense the lack of posting on this notice board. 

We like to think that we are our own Captains, charting our own course, but we can be overtaken by Great Waves. Age is one such: History and cumulative error another. So I have been in a reflective state.

As a Warrior of 'Standing' I know of War and know the signs. I know that sometimes a war is justified; and sometimes it is a vortex that drags the wise and the foolish alike unwillingly into the maelstrom.

There are wars external and wars internal. I talk of the Man called to Battle, and of his own internal battles, where he fights the evils invading his soul. In a war a Man goes his own way, and here he goes again.

Just look at the carnage in the Middle East. Do you even remember how we got into that mess? There was a justifiable war to drive the Iraqi troops out of Kuwait, a small nation known only for its oil. Invaded and taken over it cried out for help.

People I once knew well went to their aid. Good soldiers, Knights.

And here we go again, down that road. But the justification has changed. From the 'aid and succour' we have moved to 'interference' and joining the evil. It has been like tackling a hornet's nest. You need to be very careful how you do it and what you do with it.
We are unfortunate in having a 'leadership' in the west of men (and women) of bad faith. Odds; Incompetents; deliberate mischief-makers; downright evil sods.

But there will be a price to pay.

We look to the Middle East and see a horde growing, enslaving, killing, destroying. And 'we' - our leaders and many outside of the Tavern's hedges - cheer them on, and join in.

We know not what we do.

Inexorably, inevitably, a war comes our way, from outside and in.

Hell is coming to breakfast.

Be in a Crypt when the enemy comes to drag you out. For no-one will be spared.

It is well not to have this conversation....
"What did you do in the War, Daddy?"

"I went to a Miley Cyrus Concert"


PS. I shall be quiet in the Crypt for a while and then away in the Sinful City, the Teeming Metropolis for a while. Occasional short snippets may be here during that time.  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

An Epic Rant from the West

I do like a good rant in the bars. As long as no-one pees on the carpet, mind you. And on this first day of the month with the sun trying hard to get through we were treated to one by a visitor from the West.
Customers are well aware of my thoughts about Hillary's Village, that Lalaland beyond the Tavern ground's hedges. It is a village that encompasses vast swathes of the mental landscape even extending to Broome in W.A. and more points north of there.

And it was from one such point that Terry O'Brien came to give us some clear insights and his views of matters of the day.  I was happy to sit back and pour him a long cold Ale and keep it flowing.

For those of a sensitive disposition here is a 'trigger warning'. He uses some Oz colloquialisms which have been translated for you.
Who would Marry Hillary?
I have to kick this "It takes a village to raise a child." bull (shorts) in the teeth.
This is some harmful (shirt) if not properly examined.
First connection to community is family. 
Get that wrong, or don't get enough of it, and you won't have a village capable of raising potatoes, let alone a functional human.
Family (functional family) is where a child first gets to experience the conditionals of morality and love. That is; trust, commitment, surrender and reciprocity.
That's where the individual learns these things that are THEN taken out into community.
If enough families are getting that right, then the child with less than optimal circumstances is still surrounded by good people, and the village is capable of helping make up the shortfall.
No healthy family. 
No healthy society.
There is NO making up for the requirement for most families to be healthy, strong and connected. 
Community is ONLY as strong as the families within them. NOT the other way around.
That said. There are things community can do to mess up the family. 
Family is hard work, and requires a good deal of not just trust, commitment, surrender and reciprocity, but dedication and even sacrifice.
If community undermines the support or strength of family, it's undermining its own foundations.
This is exactly what is happening now. 
We are expecting society to raise our children as women's and men's redefined (socially engineered) roles, means raising a child as a dollar value equal to childcare, and institutionalized "education" is expected to do the rest.
This is what the "village raising the child" looks like.
We have marriage rates plummeting while divorce rates skyrocket, and we're not having enough kids to replace ourselves while those kids we are producing are not creating a village healthy enough to bring up the next generation capable of getting us past things like the unfunded liabilities our governments have accrued to buy us the "entitlements" we demand.
And what do we discuss, when it comes to the core of family?
Gay marriage.
Are people (chooking) serious?

Personally. I don't give a (shirt) what two people decide to call their relationship. 
But how about we look at some facts about the core of not just community, and society, but civilization itself?
Marriage, for the purposes of civilization, is for family. 
It is the outcome of making a situation of trust, commitment, surrender and reciprocity optimal for the purposes of passing these traits onto the next generation. 
It doesn't have to be for this. Sure.
But if it isn't this for MOST people, there won't be civilization. 
Plain as that.
And these mental delinquents that think that just because some individuals do OK in less than optimal circumstances, that optimal circumstances are now optional, are overlooking that a healthy majority, growing in optimal circumstances is needed to allow those individuals to become the ones the village can help raise.
Civilization is on the line and there needs to be a serious discussion about how to instill trust, commitment, surrender and reciprocity as the core of a societies morality.
NOT some bull (tackle) that makes some so-called snowflakes feel special.
This "gay marriage" thing is really staring to (shugger) me off. 
Not that I care about how they define what they do and how they relate to each other.
It's not that. 
It's the pathetic non-arguments around it.
Why should the state dictate the terms and conditions of any relationship?
Because that is what making it "legal" does. 
So it's not really in favour of gays at all.
When we have already pretty much destroyed marriage and even family in Western culture by handing the terms and conditions of relationships over to the state, do we want more dilution of marriage, and seek to completely disconnect marriage from its intended purpose.
Because like it or not, marriage provides the best outcomes for the next generation we NEED to have civilisation at all.
But "Ah the fear of the unknown....". 
Let's just relegate all opposition to this as irrational. That way, no one has to listen. 
Alinsky would be proud.
Meanwhile, marriages are failing at record rates. 
Women have gone from having the choice to work to the responsibility to work as the family unit has a greater effect on the economy of the family unit than anything else.
We are not replacing ourselves because it's more a liability and a burden than it's ever been. 
So without the framework marriage provided to bring up a child capable of understanding that love comes from commitment, trust, surrender and reciprocity, we will not produce enough people that understand this to be able to not squander the civilisation we inherited from people who did understand this. 
I'd be seriously asking the question right now. How do we strengthen family again?
Not. How can we dilute the core of family?
No. Marriage does not have to be about children at all.
But for the sake of civilisation, we'd better hope that for most people, marriage is the core of family.
If you buy a hammer, you bought something to deal with nails. 
You don't have to use it for nails. 
But it's what it's for.
Marriage, family, kids, civilisation.
If kids are not taught, through the commitment, trust, honesty, surrender and reciprocity of their parents how to look for that in others and offer it to others, then the traits that make up the foundation of all morality, which in turn is the foundation of all civilisation, there won't be a generation capable of carry on with civilisation, and all that we inherited, at the huge cost it came at, will be squandered.
If marriage for family is not protected as a central mechanism of society, we won't get to have society.
But most of all, do not relegate opposition to irrationality. 
That is called the "Shut-up" game, and people are getting very tired of it. 
Subjects like this need to be discussed by as many people as possible.
What can I add?

A Prayer most likely. 

Thank the Lord it is Sunday tomorrow. I must get to the crypt and mop the floors.  

Reminder folks. Clocks tonight. 



Thursday, September 29, 2016

He / She said, What?

Time and events rob folk of memory. For this we can often be grateful but these days we get reminded all too easily, what with the internet and the propensity of people to remind us. Our current crop of Politicians certainly need such reminders.

I was reminded too of a politician long gone. Well nine years gone as he departed this land and life in 2007.  An old-school Gentleman and Knight, Sir Denis James "Jim" Killen AC, KCMG was an Australian politician and a Liberal Party member of the Australian House of Representatives from December 1955 to August 1983.

Much has been said of Sir Jim but it was he who had the turn of phrase. 
"Mr Whitlam has accused me of holding racist views.  
But may I say to him that I for one swam bare-arsed in the Condomine with Aboriginals."   
(House of Representatives, 13 August 1969)
He was once pursued down a busy street by an earnest young woman reporter for the ABC, who asked a question of long and involved complexity with at least ten subordinate clauses. Eventually, as she ran out of breath, he turned and answered, "No"

Shocked, she found another breath and said, "No? Is that all the answer you can give?" To which he replied, "And what would you have me do, my dear? Compose an essay?"

Chris Mitchell was in the Oz room reminding us of other politicians who cannot seem to remember what they said last year to the easiest of questions. He had the compliant and forgetful media in his sights too.
Amnesia suits the politics of today’s media generation
Something odd is happening in our media when journalists are so publicly contemptuous of everyday Australians; those people who make up journalists’ audiences.
It is hard to know where to start given how much rubbish was written during the past month about same-sex marriage 
For me the issue was crystallised by my friend Chris Kenny. “If Labor proposed a plebiscite, (media)gallery and #theirABC would endorse a wonderfully democratic and inclusive way to enact social change,” Kenny tweeted on -August 28.
The response on Twitter was a hoot but the point was correct. It’s just politics. Right up until 2013, Labor in government under the then prime minister Julia Gillard was implacably opposed to same sex-marriage. 
Were Gillard’s comments in favour of traditional marriage “hate speech”? 
Surely not and surely what could be safely said by our first female PM and one time queen of the Victorian Left of the Labor Party can be said only three years later by any thinking Australian.
Many in the media have lost their memories. 
But the amnesia suits their politics. More proof?  As Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, now a passionate same-sex marriage advocate who thinks the “plebiscite plebs” should not be trusted to vote on the issue lest hate speech be unleashed nationally, once supported what? You guessed it: a plebiscite, and as recently as 2013.
Why don’t passionate same-sex marriage advocates in the media ever point out the truth about Labor’s formal position on the issue? 
Shorten is sponsoring a private member’s bill because Labor’s formal national platform allows its MPs a free vote on the issue until 2020 and many on the Catholic Right of the party oppose changing marriage laws.
Wait.... wait..... a bon mot a'comin'.

Shorten could not remember his own “haters under a rock” words from before the election when he abused Anglican minister Ian Powell last week, claiming he was being verballed when Powell mentioned the comments after a Canberra parliamentary church service last Monday.
Many reporters rushed out to defame Powell and deny Shorten had said only a few months earlier what he claimed he had not said.
Robert Manne in 2001 wrote a wonderful book called The Culture of Forgetting: Helen Demidenko and the Holocaust. For senior media leaders in newsrooms around the country this culture of forgetting is accelerating with the 24-hour news cycle.
Many journalists can’t remember what was said by national leaders a week ago. With more young journalists bursting forth with naive opinions in this era of media “curation” (rather than editing), a much older book springs to mind. The Cloud of Unknowing, a Christian mystical text from the 14th century, reminds me what a mystery some of the opinions sprouting forth this past month are.
Like Kenny, I blame the ABC. 
In my view, the ABC has been slowly taken over from the inside, culturally at least, by Triple J. The anti-establishment ethos of the ABC’s home of alternative music eventually infiltrated television and radio.
It is fascinating to see how well the Triple J crowd has done. From European correspondent Steve Cannane, to radio broadcaster Angela Catterns, science commentator Dr Karl, comedian Wil Anderson, radio duo Roy and HG, radio announcer Robbie Buck and many more. There are prominent exceptions such as Leigh Sales and Chris Uhlmann but even Q&A and occasional Lateline presenter Tony Jones, admittedly not a graduate of Triple J, affects a Triple J kind of radical chic.
He once remarked about a propensity towards violent anti-Vietnam War street protesting and the turning over of police cars. Never mind he was a schoolboy in Year 9 at prestigious Sydney GPS boys school Newington College in 1971 when the war ended, as Gerard Henderson pointed out in Media Watch Dog in July 2011.
Not to be denied his ABC radical chic, he told my colleague Caroline Overington at the time that, yes, he was too young to burn police cars during the war, but he had good memories of the riots during the visits of US President Lyndon B Johnson to Australia in 1966 and 1967 (there were absolutely none) and at the Star Hotel.
Back to my music theme. As Cold Chisel famously chronicled, there was a riot at the Star Hotel in 1979 and police cars were overturned, but it was a riot about the closing of the pub and the end of free beer that night to celebrate. Zero about Vietnam.
That does not play into ABC skinny-tie political chic but it does fit my theory about the inversion of cultural power. 
Many of the kids from Triple J grew into real talents on ABC TV and radio. Even when they annoy us we often enjoy their shows, and their values affect and increasingly reflect those of their audiences.
This is not a conspiracy but a worldwide phenomenon as the generation of the 60s and 70s assumes cultural hegemony.
A conspiracy can be a phenomenon. 
The example is replicated across new media outside the public broadcaster. The Western world is facing a rise in identity politics, often driven by the values of the young who preach tolerance as the greatest virtue of all yet display intolerance of any dissent from assumed pieties. Journalists are not exempt.
Yet the radical Left was once the spiritual and intellectual home of dissent worldwide, at least outside Russia, China, anywhere in the Muslim world (which still loves beheading dissidents) and right across the developing world. The Left now warns against violence and violent language but intimidates anyone not on the same values page.
Hmmmmm. I pulled a pint and mused at his choice of words. The left was the spiritual and intellectual home of dissent, eh?. Maybe. But it was almost wholey destructive of traditional norms. There was much hatred and very little intellect about it. Veiled praise of communist inspired and paid-for destruction doesn't cut it in the Tavern. I had to give him a glass of water.
Still destroying.
The children of the revolution have become very good at thought control, as Pink Floyd described it in Another Brick in the Wall. So why fear a free vote on same-sex marriage? 
Why pretend the burka is anything other than an instrument of oppression. This was the standard feminist position only a decade ago.
Why defend the subjugation of French Muslim women as an exercise in those women’s rights to cultural identity? 
Can the ABC, Fairfax Media and other progressive outlets be serious about their defence of Section 18C?
Back to my Triple J music theme. Pete Townshend got it right with The Who’s 1971 single Won’t Get Fooled Again: “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.” Except the new cultural leaders turn out to be a pretty moralising, humourless bunch who actually oppose freedom of thought and expression. 
For political reasons mind you.
Imagine such an overtly sexist white male record cover being released today. Who’s Next, the fifth studio album by The Who, depicted four men, having urinated on a concrete piling, doing up the flies on their tight denim jeans.
Twitter, which seems oblivious to all the racist and sexist abuse that abounds in US rap, would go into meltdown. The Drum and The Guardian would have a moral middle-class field day.

I must find some space on a wall somewhere for some Killen quotes. Meanwhile here are a few for you.
Killen To John Armitage - "If brains were water, your head could be declared a drought area."
(House of Representatives, 26 May 1976)
To Hon Clyde Cameron - "If you will wait for a few moments, even your dull mind will be able to gather up the fragments of the point as it passes by, or through you." 
(House of Representatives, 29 April 1959)
"I am delighted to be able to congratulate Mr Gough Whitlam on becoming Leader of the Opposition. Never before has a party been led with firmer assurance into the bleakness of the Opposition benches as was the Labor Party at the last election… May I further congratulate him on the speech he has delivered this evening. It surely would represent the most sustained, accomplished piece of moaning this Parliament has ever heard."
(House of Representatives, 24 February 1976)
"I now come to the Labor Member for Grayndler, Mr Fred Daly. If ever there was a well-merited slogan chosen by his political opponents it was "be decent, be clean, change Daly".
(House of Representatives, 21 May 1965)
Would that we could see and hear such fine language again in our parliaments.