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Careful What You Wish For

Lottery

Coming from very poor circumstances and after a lifetime of dealing with the financial vicissitudes of life, I’ve often wished I could win Lotto. In my wishful state, I envisage the money would buy me a home, a new car and services that would ‘see me out’. Families also stand to benefit.

How to manage the funds residual beyond immediate needs presents a quandary which fails so many lottery winners. Difficulties arise from inability to think through the issues to plan how best to apply the funds, avoid demands and divisiveness to make the most of the privilege. Many revert to their “wishful” state all too soon as funds dissipate. In the autobiographical book, The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen, winning the lottery enabled the family to move to a property in central western Queensland to create papier mache dragons for an exhibition which failed to win patronage. Funds were soon drained. Stories of similar windfalls too often result in similar outcomes. Be careful what you wish for.

COVID

Don’t we all wish to be free of COVID-19 constraints that ever increase as the inner authoritarian is alighted in so many? Stupidity rather than science prevails. No longer is it sufficient to be vaccinated, masked, sanitised and isolated, we must also be locked down, whatever the cost to mental health, education and business viability. All perspective has been lost over something we have to learn to live with. Fear must be dampened. Public re-education about how to live with the reality of COVID, reinforced with vaccination and earliest treatment with mono-clonal antibodies, needs to be marshalled for speediest recovery if we wish to reclaim freedoms. Yet with freedoms come responsibilities that many have cheerfully shirked in thrall to possible death. Be careful what you wish for.

Those who have read my book Becoming will recall that choice and responsibility are key elements of maturity, as illustrated in my Maturity Model. Making decisions in our best interests and accepting responsibility for the decisions made is more fulfilling than merely wishing. At least we remain in healthy charge of our life.

“Renewables”

Many are not only wishing for, but are politically active in promoting 100% renewables under the global “Great Reset” amid fearful imperative of climate catastrophism. Fear of catastrophe is a powerful driver to motivate acolytes, money, power and virtue.

Whereas lottery winners may be remiss in failing to handle the fallout of the win, so do others. For instance, thinking through to achievement of the much wished for 100% “renewable” energy, reveals devastation much worse than the release of Australia’s 1.3% of the 4% global carbon dioxide load in the atmosphere essential to plant growth. Fact is that industrialisation made possible by coal-fired energy has brought billions out of poverty over the last 200 years. Developing countries are yet to benefit. Holding up the Adani coal mine in Queensland for nine years prevented 300 million disadvantaged Indians from improving health and amenity in their short lives of around 40 years as they cook burning dung. Bloody marvellous! Virtuous! Honourable! I’m sure poor Indians are grateful to local virtuous!

Were the wishful able to think through the business case for “renewables” or be alert to the broader aim of de-growth, de-industrialisation of western capitalist society like ours, their wishes would be abandoned to facts and good sense. Facts are: “renewables” are entirely dependent on much despised mining and Chinese manufacture; they are located remote from existing transmission grids (energy is lost over distance); have a short life span; and most importantly, presently have no known process for recycling or disposal. Wishing for 100% renewables may result in the biggest waste issue of our time. Not to mention de-industrialisation at taxpayer expense as precursor to socialism. Good sense would avoid reliance on unreliable weather to generate energy. Careful what you wish for.

Relationships

Over time, many relationships in family and work are soured by bullying, violence, threats and over the top expectations unlikely to be met while under-resourced and unsupported. Sometimes relationships become stale when partners fail to grow together as the years pass or businesses fail to grow on to the next stage. The natural tendency when change cannot be affected is to wish the offender would leave (the decent thing to do), wish you could leave, or just leave. Wishing freedom from turmoil doesn’t solve what comes next, which, like disposing of “renewables”, needs more thought.

A couple of women I know recently departed well established marriages to decent blokes who loved and supported them and their families. While it’s always difficult to read other people’s intimate relationships, seems to me each experienced a classic mid-life crisis in which blame for normal turmoil within was projected against the husband, instead of addressing the interior challenge of resetting a platform for living out the rest of their life. (More understanding of midlife crises can be found in Chapter 6 of my book Becoming). In time, with assertive action, turmoil passes as wished for, except family relationships are forever fractured and the path forward may not bring enlightenment and relief envisaged. Be careful what you wish for.

Joe Biden

Three times over near 50 years in the Senate, pedestrian Washington swamp dweller Joe Biden tried to become President of the United States. Eventually he was successful after ‘campaigning’ from his basement, confident that the Democratic Party machine, main stream media and big Tech would win victory for him. Biden’s career-long wish was attained.

By contrast, Biden’s feisty opponent, Donald Trump, was a business man, not a swamp dweller. Trump ran on the MAGA doctrine, Make America Great Again, placing what was best for America at the forefront of any policy initiative. Much was achieved: taxes were reduced, businesses thrived, more people of all categories were employed; America became energy self-sufficient for the first time; borders were firmed. Blacks benefited from the One Step program releasing from prison those with long term non-violent offences and guaranteed funding for black colleges. Under the Abraham Accords, economic relationships flourished between Israel and four Middle Eastern nations, breaking the hold that Palestine had over ME politics. Trade agreements with China and NAFTA were renegotiated and countries benefiting from US military support (South Korea, Taiwan, NATO) were asked to stump up more in payments. Until COVID struck.

Yes Orange Man was abrasive, prone to exaggeration, tweeted too much and often un-presidential. He was President, not Pastor. Who could blame Trump when he was constantly assailed by false allegations, three impeachment attempts that clouded any good he did and faced weaponised operatives in agencies like the DEA, CIA and FBI. Media trashing, supported by Big Tech, just wanted Trump gone.

Well, by getting rid of Trump the people got what they wished for. Buyers’ remorse must be setting in, as, in a mere eight months into Biden’s presidency, the southern border has collapsed as 1.3 million people from around the world flooded in with no sign of stopping, despite the Supreme Court ruling against open borders; an unnecessarily ignominious departure from Afghanistan has been completed with the deaths of 13 defence personnel that could have been avoided; loss of energy self-sufficiency with the closure of the Keystone pipeline first day in office and stopping of fracking, leading to Biden pleading OPEC to increase oil production; prices of gas have gone up and inflation is soaring.

$Trillions is being spent on the Green New Deal socialist frolic in repayment to contributors to the Democratic campaign funds from organisations such as the Teachers’ Unions, who haven’t fronted up for in-class learning. Not to mention the Black Lives Matter, Critical Race Theory, Cancel Culture and other indoctrination traded for education. Rule of Law is constantly flouted with inconsistent treatment of offenders: catch and release; no charges for rioting, burning and looting.

Unlike Trump who set about to Make America Great Again, each of Biden’s policy directives weakens the USA, democracy, capitalism, history and the Judeo-Christian traditions on which western countries have thrived. Capture of the media and (other people’s) children are first principles of Communism. So too is destruction of legal systems affecting crime and property, whether treatment of offenders, rezoning of districts, preventing eviction from non-payment of rents all break down reliable institutional systems. Loss of free speech, history and tradition furthers the socialist cause.

Repercussions for us are coming too. Should Biden (that feckless, dementia ridden piece of crap as described by the mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan) manufacture USA decline so that China takes over as the dominant global culture and currency, much of western civilization will decline and Australia’s value will sink with it.

Be careful what you wish for.

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Making our Marx

Our lives are mere blips in history: insignificant in the overall scheme of things. Yet as we try to deal with the daily struggle to survive and thrive, we hope and trust it may be meaningful; that it has not been for nothing and we will be remembered more fondly than notoriously. Maybe not up in memorable lights for all of posterity like recent Olympians, or famous painters whose extraordinary works appear at GOMA in the exhibition of European Masters, yet memorable still to those near and dear to us. We will have made a mark in our life amongst those we love. Whether they love us in return is another matter.

Who knows how life pans out? And does it matter? For one, I relish wisdom from the ages. Old and New Testaments are sources of much wisdom as relevant today as a couple of thousand years ago. Another very old tattered book I value is 100 Great Thinkers, which presents the lives, thoughts and aspirations of outstanding men of philosophy, religion, economics and political theory – from the Babylonian law-giver Hammurabi to the more contemporary existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. An occasional woman is mentioned (I did say the book is very old). Contributions of each man are discussed within the social and philosophic framework of the time in a broad survey of man’s attempt to understand himself and his universe. Just what we are trying to do now in this era of COVID constraints.

Building on wisdom of history

While reading the potted history of these famous people a few interesting impressions emerged. Firstly, each made their mark in wisdom and leadership, often in very difficult times like the present, building upon the knowledge and wisdom of those who preceded them in history. Memorable philosophies were built on the gifted legacy foundation of knowledge to which they added greater insight pertinent to the particular era in which they lived.

Secondly, almost invariably, generativity and generosity of spirit pervades their philosophy. Like us, they made their mark seeking to leave the world a better place, richer in understanding.

An exception is Karl Marx (1818-1883). From his privileged origins in middle class wealth and university learning, Marx was the first to integrate, in masterly theses, the fields of history, economics and sociology, to create ‘scientific socialism’. Misery and poverty of workers, Marx believed, would be overcome by the destruction of capitalism and its wealthy owners.  

We have since learned that destruction of any operating state, system, family and faith does not guarantee the glorious equality of outcome envisaged. Marx underestimated industrialists’ capacity to grow and change in societies based on Judeo-Christian ethics of freedom of individuals, known to elicit free speech, initiative and enterprise. Industrialisation brought billions of people out of poverty. Wealthy capitalists became managers of shareholdings rather than owners, bound to cede better pay and conditions for their workers.

In countries where Marx’s philosophies took root, destructive revolutions led to brutal dictatorial rule, starvation, imprisonment, torture and death that continue today. Thought and speech are monitored and controlled. Equality of misery is assured. Just ask the people of Cuba, Venezuela, survivors of Pol Pot in Myanmar, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, North Korea and China.

Lessons for today

History shows that destruction of a flawed system does not guarantee it will be replaced with the perfect one envisaged, however well intended, as has often been repeated in the history of communism. People value liberty. Holding onto lessons of history and wisdom from the ages that inspire our health, wellbeing, family and faith is crucial to contesting threats to freedom and benefits our forebears have won so dearly.

Yet today, from the top of the Mazlow hierarchy where many of our needs, even toilet paper, can readily be met, we need to be alert to the Marxist revolution simmering to destroy all that has been so hard won. Note the slow, deliberate erosion of our institutions through the promulgation of lies, deceptions, untruths and misrepresentation, evident in:

  • The Great Reset of capitalism promoted by the elites making their mark on the world, in the Green New Deal, the great wealth transference scam, threatening us to pay up or risk catastrophe, years/decades/centuries in the future. All promises, like Communism, have proven false. Yet the Marxist goal of de-industrialisation and destruction of capitalism is rapidly being realised through this very propaganda.
  • Extinction Rebellion seeking to make their mark in the world by staining our buildings, deriding our history, preventing the congress of ideas and industry. ER should be stopped in their tracks to feel the full force of the law, at least as much as a pensioner walking in the sun during lockdown or a pregnant woman in her kitchen.
  • Politicians and bureaucrats from their ever expanding fiefdoms and increasing pay, who’ve made their mark in daily press conferences promoting their propensity to destroy businesses by arbitrary lockdowns for a virus we will have to learn to live with. At the same time restricting the communion of families and faith, weddings and funerals. Get the drift? Family and faith fragmented.
  • Educators who’ve traded education for indoctrination, making their mark on other people’s children, betraying their profession and destroying children’s opportunities for literacy and numeracy. A curriculum stacked with climate change propaganda, gender fluidity, evils of colonialism (never the benefits) and race baiting ensures life options for their captives are limited and depressing.
  • Media social activists, no longer journalists, making their mark as key influencers on TV, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to the empire of the ever offended, undermining truth and resilience. Add activist judges and doctors.
  • Military leaders who’ve made their mark failing responsibilities. Who’d send a sociologist to investigate battlefield behaviours, demoralise veterans, and undermine the morale of serving personnel – at least those who haven’t painted their pinky with nail polish? Their real job is to produce force and equipment battle ready, seeing as how we are likely to need it soon the way China is posturing. Didn’t that woke?
  • Corporate oligarchs, not satisfied with being the richest men on the planet, tend to think they are also the smartest. Like all great communist leaders, they make their mark on the world by controlling what we can hear, see, learn, think and do. On the inclination of an algorithm seeded with misinformation, they can change the course of opinions, elections and history. We can be cancelled, disappeared. How mighty are these feudal lords! How base we plebs! Time for a reality check!
  • Financiers who Velcro their reputation to the woke green agenda by choosing not to finance any fossil fuel projects like coal mines or power stations essential to providing base load power and revenue for health, education and their electric car frolic. In effect, these fools open the market wide to more honest and intelligent investors interested in servicing manufacturing, jobs and energy to the people, especially the poor of this country. What a mark to make!

Making our Olympian Marx

We are ever enriched by traditions, modified, not discarded. Even the Olympics which so enthralled me over a COVID lockdown, are steeped in history, legend and mythology, from which today’s traditions are drawn. For 12 centuries between 8th C BC to 4th C AD, games were held every four years. Circuses are ever important. Modern Olympics resumed in 1896. Symbolism of the lighting of the torch continues, though no longer lit by parabolic mirror and sunrays as at the ancient temple of Hera in Greece.

The modern Pentathlon incorporates skills needed by an ideal Greek cavalry soldier of the era operating behind enemy lines: swimming, equestrian, fencing, pistol shooting and cross country running. Even the marathon stems from the run by Pheidippides from the town of Marathon to Athens, a distance of around 40K, to carry a message of Greek victory.

History and tradition enhance the significance of making a mark winning Olympic honours. Our mark may not be made in winning an Olympic medal, but in supporting and celebrating those who do. At the same time, every bit as remarkable, is living with respect for others and gratitude to those imperfect people who’ve gone before us. Initiative my orphaned grandfather showed escaping from a Dr Barnardo’s home in London when 11 years old, working his way on a ship to Australia, is alive and well in enterprise driven by his descendants today.

We can use the wisdom of discernment to speak out strongly against those gods of the new religions, the new self-appointed lords of our universe who seek to destroy, in order to control, in the best Marxist tradition, rather than adapt the traditions that have brought us to this privileged state. We can claim responsibility for our children, without relinquishing their minds to savage indoctrination and the cocaine high of online capture. If we can do that we will have made our mark.

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Vaccine for Peak Stupid

Photo by Ali Raza from PX Here

The further from main purpose, the more stupid and detrimental policies become, not just in COVID, but also in environment, defence, education and health. Furthermore, hard won tax payer dollars invested in stupidity driven by political advantage fund increasing numbers of public servants to control we the people, whether we like it or not, in a giant make-work scheme.

Older persons’ friend

We are all going to die. Pneumonia has long been known as the old person’s friend for hastening the end of life. Better that than languishing in extremely diminished condition or in the increasing oblivion of dementia. Given that on average we live 30-40 years longer than our forebears did merely a little over a century ago, a healthy attitude would find us making the most of additional time of life. Many do. Good grace accepts the inevitable. Be sad. Be grateful.

As known early in 2020, COVID mainly affects the very elderly, especially those with co-morbidities: obesity, heart conditions, diabetes and the immune compromised (the medical miracles). Like pneumonia, COVID can bring a swift, if unpleasant, end to suffering. Even so, peak stupid failed to protect the elderly adequately with quarantine and staff controls. Yet the average age of deaths was 82 years. Sad, yes, but inevitable. Every life passed should be mourned.

At the same time, the same peak stupid locked up everyone else repeatedly for weeks and months, disrupting and destroying businesses, jobs, livelihoods, education, families, travel, vacations and the simple pleasure of walking in the sun in the open air. Except for politicians and public servants who increased in number and remuneration like amoeba, while so many others went to the wall.

“Flattening the curve” to prepare hospitals and PPE for anticipated numbers of infected that failed to materialise, morphed into seemingly endless, erratic lockdowns and unpredictable openings. Politicians hid behind Chief Health Officers daily to milk whatever political advantage was to be had from sticking up for “their” State, saving “their” people. Oh please! Spare us! Political advantage masking peak stupid!

Nothing will change until we people rebel against the loss of freedoms deferring to central socialist control for indiscernible benefit.

Note: I am in the “at risk” elderly category, am vaccinated, wash my hands, wear a mask and have duly, if unwillingly, abided by government diktats.

Climate catastrophe

The thirty year evolution of the global climate catastrophe industry of wealth transference is perhaps the ultimate “naked emperor” of peak stupid in the current era. And it is pursued without shame! Trillions of dollars invested in this farce have ignited enthusiasm faster than a 100mw/m bushfire and as uncontrollable. Posturing Europeans now seek to impose restrictions on imports from countries not abiding by (their) standards of CO2 reductions. Global financiers withhold funding for development unless climate obligations are met.

My own early experience of the (then) Australian Greenhouse office began in 2000 when the AGO was seeking to go full renewables. At the time I was working with a scientist to reduce fuel costs and emissions from coal fired power. That push for renewables was an impossible farce evident from the beginning. So it has proven peak stupid, based on emotions, failed forecasts, facts ignored and faith in the new gods seriously misplaced. Not to mention the opportunity costs of demolition of base load power, failure to allow construction of new power stations, disallowance of nuclear energy development, all contributing to the loss of manufacturing capability and production, weakening this country immeasurably for no benefit. Green lies have made us vulnerable.

Take failed forecasts by such eminent persons who’ve cashed in on the scam, including, but not limited to: Tim Flannery, John Kerry, Prince Charles, the IPCC, Greta Thunberg and Bob Brown. Collectively, with the regular catastrophists, their predictions of the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, sinking of Pacific Islands, the death of polar bears, loss of glaciers and polar ice have all failed! Repeatedly! It is beyond peak stupid that we remain under capture to this folly, politically and financially.

Facts are ignored in this catastrophe frolic, regardless how thrilling impassioned fear may be. My lay understanding is that presence in the atmosphere of the big bogey man (can I say man?) of essential plant food CO2 is a mere 4%, of which 3% is estimated to be human induced. Australia’s contribution is said to be 1.3% of the 3%, which equals 0.00039. Use your calculator to check it yourself. Given the facts, why are we chasing down the wombat hole of unsustainable renewables, which still rely on despised mining to produce, and which destroy the ecology, while presenting the yet unresolved problem of how to recycle or dispose as they pass their use by date all too soon. Peak stupid indeed!

A double vaccination of facts and common sense (with a back bone booster) would see new HELE coal fired power stations built around Australia (as is happening at speed around the world using our coal), nuclear energy approved, and the Iron Boomerang project built. Iron in the Pilbara would link with coalfields of central Queensland, manufacturing steel both ends for export instead of importing from China.

Doing so would lift our vision from fear to aspiration, even excitement. Surely better than the stupidity of trying to stop cows from farting.

Defence

Peak stupid is spending defence budget on political pursuits rather than national protection. Nevertheless, shoring up Christopher Pyne’s seat in South Australia took precedence over the country’s need for an early, ready, suitable, affordable submarine fleet. Pyne was gone from politics before the submarine project was launched. All we’ve reaped is an over-sized Chinese embassy within touch of submarine operations. Injecting pragmatism, Australia needs to revisit the submarine contract now shamefully over cost and interminably delayed. In the meantime, two Chinese warships hover on the Great Barrier Reef just outside our economic zone monitoring joint military exercises.

Education or Indoctrination

Protecting children by keeping them locked down, out of school without face-to-face learning, social contact, sport or activity has had a very damaging impact on child wellbeing, not to mention our education standards already in decline internationally. All the time it has been well known that children are less likely to be affected by COVID, yet lockdowns, masks and sanitising have continued the theatre of alarmism, even with vaccination.

Notwithstanding declining standards, education unions and bureaucrats seek infiltration of literacy and numeracy learning with indoctrination with falsehoods on gender fluidity, colonisation, critical race theory and climate catastrophe. Peak stupid! Unless, of course, these policies are a deliberate part of the broader elitist socialist strategy, capturing children’s minds on the way to destruction of family, faith and freedom I noted permeating over 40 years ago.

Evidence from the petri dish of communist experiments show poverty, brutal control, imprisonment, torture, starvation and death awaits socialist enthusiasts, as people in Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Russia and China will attest. Yeonmi Park, who escaped North Korea, describes in detail just how brutal life is in that country in her book In Order to Live. But don’t let facts get in the way of emotional thrall of a peak stupid indoctrination message. Only a double jab sand blasting injection of facts and good sense can cure. “Liberdad!” (Freedom!) is the cry from long  suffering Cubans.

Peak stupid pervades

Peak stupid raises destructive force everywhere, to weaken us educationally, economically and defensively: in the purge of history, books and statues of western civilisation; in capture by activist socialist media; in inflated bureaucracies at home and internationally seeking control of our lives, where and how we live, eat, learn and play; in academia constraining free speech with cancel culture deferring to China; in the tech oligarchs, who, like so many uber-wealthy people, believe they are smarter than we are and should control what we hear or see, and tell us what to believe. How dumb is that!

Our future depends on being aware of the risks and marshalling the courage to take the cure: vaccination with facts and common sense.

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A Reckoning

It’s hard to get away with lying, though some appear to do so. In the short term being dishonest may bring advantage. Eventually though, there will be a reckoning which may have more impact on our life than had we been honest in the first place.

While being honest takes courage, it can be a short cut to a brighter future in the long run, allowing us to move forward without looking over our shoulder. We can be more at peace, more productive.

Yet, despite knowing in our hearts that it is best to be honest, wisdom about honesty echoing down the ages is being dismissed by the regressives (who cannot be called progressives as everything they spout is regressive). Foundation documents like the bible are being discredited, history and literature cancelled, statues and heroes torn down, children indoctrinated with patent lies of critical race theory, gender fluidity and climate catastrophe.

Wisdom Disdained

Honesty can be uncomfortable. As Winston Churchill once said, “The truth can be shockingly inconvenient. Ignorance can deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is”. We must deal with it. We must deal with it or face a reckoning.

From the forgotten Ten Commandments of scripture, we are exhorted “not to bear false witness against our neighbour”. Yet so easily does reputation destroying slander slip from our tongues and our keyboards, we should expect it, because whether we are chaste as ice or pure as driven snow, we will not escape calumny.

Renowned psychologist Jordan Peterson, author of the best-selling book 12 Rules for Life, advises us to Tell the truth – or at least, don’t lie”, as “It will keep your soul from withering and dying while you encounter the inevitable tragedy of life”. Seeking the truth, Peterson believes, can allay the terrible desire to seek vengeance for tragedy.

Against persons

In the reality show of the media and the Family Court (and other Courts), daily we see prism of malice identified by Churchill and vengeance of Peterson’s insight played out to destroy people by lying to meet a particular agenda.

  • A wife, after 20 years of peaceable marriage to a former champion boxer, painted him as a violent abuser when she went off on a frolic with a lesbian lover (it was his fault).  Through the prisms of malice and vengeance the ex-wife gained bulk of the goods, yet lost the love and respect of her sons and former husband.
  • Potential future Prime Minister Christian Porter was outed as a rapist of a student debating colleague 33 years earlier by their ABC journalists, though police investigations had not proceeded. The Court enforced settlement against the ABC did not pursue the malice of intent to destroy Porter’s reputation and career in the process of weakening the government. A small reckoning was attained in the loss of reputation of the journalist and the communications giant.
  • After six challenging tours of Afghanistan, VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith has been forced to confront yet another enemy at home. Accusations of war crimes and domestic violence have been cast against him in the media, costing his reputation and career. Ben is suing for defamation and damages. We are yet to see how this case plays out, though the claim of jealousy for his bravery award seems to have seeded malice and vengeance in the lives of accusers.
  • Twenty year much awarded veteran Navy Seal, Eddie Gallagher, faced a similar experience in the USA. Eddie’s fight for his country’s freedom turned into a fight for his own freedom at home, as he, like Ben, was accused of war crimes. In true warrior spirit, Eddie endured a long process upholding his truth and 9.5 months in jail to win acquittal and freedom. His inspiring journey is outlined in a book The Man in the Arena, co-authored with his wife, Andrea Gallagher.
  • An appeal to the High Court ultimately determined Cardinal George Pell innocent of charges of molesting two altar boys decades earlier. Pell had already spent 400 days in jail following conviction in lower courts. Vengeance against Catholic Church failure to reign in sexual abuse of children seems to be the prism through which media and Victorian police canvassed for lifetime potential offences by Pell, who was the most senior Australian catholic. Public conviction of Pell through the media drew condemnation from the courts.
  • Biden’s climate tsar, John Kerry’s 2006 book and documentary An Inconvenient Truth, made him rich and famous. Scientific inaccuracies and predictions of global climate catastrophe that failed to emerge have been discredited in Michael Moore’s 2019 documentary Planet of Humans, as well as by countless scientific studies since. Yet Kerry’s predictions (lies) continue as part of the climate propaganda in education and policy globally (status, money, power).
  • Countless allegations against former US President Trump have been safely debunked, since the main objective of removing him from the White House has been achieved (political power, vengeance and money). Reckoning is still coming for the tech giants who admit to suppression and cancelling. Like the main stream media, the techies admit to conspiracy with the Democratic Party. Since Trump’s departure CNN has faced a reckoning in the loss of 76% of its audience.

Little attention is paid to the enormous cost of lying: $trillions invested in useless “un/renewable” energy schemes; millions died because the never-Trump media trashed Trump for issues since proven true:

  • Closing the border to China;
  • Suggesting hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were suitable therapies for early stage COVID-19;
  • Vaccines could be produced within a year;
  • Strict border control is a security measure;
  • 3-year Russian collusion investigation was a sham to run diversion from Hillary Clinton’s illegal destruction of emails;
  • Pandemic was manufactured in a lab in Wuhan China;
  • Three impeachment attempts were baseless.

 Reckoning for the Left is being realised by the people daily in the gross ineptitude of Trump’s successors, Biden and Harris. Lives have been lost unnecessarily, property and livelihoods destroyed and costs escalate inestimably as China flexes its muscle over Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific countries including ours.

Where responsibilities lie

Each of us has responsibility for honouring the truth promoting our values of individual freedom, faith and family so much under attack by the regressive Left. We can support, tangibly with donations or with our voice, those who dare to carry the banner of our beliefs. Otherwise the day of reckoning will come for us in the loss of freedom we treasure.

Main stream media (MSM), especially the ABC, has much to answer for. The hard work of journalism researching and reporting the news has become largely social activism, reporting opinions and unverified stories, many palpably untrue to a discerning viewer. Once cadet journalists came up through the ranks, learning on the job. Today would-be Watergate stars are products of learning from lefties in academia rather than through the ranks. Reckoning is coming in the guise of costly major law suits, loss of revenue from loss of patronage and decline in respect and credibility.

Ever the filters or prisms through which people judge issues affect the story. As Stephen Covey advises in his book The Speed of Trust, the reckoning for dishonesty is the loss of trust that can readily bring down governments, organisations and families. Don’t let it be us.

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Feeding the Crocodile

Title of this blog is from a quote by Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States. In full, Reagan’s truism reads,  “To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last, but eat you he will”.

Reagan lived his belief. By confronting the crocodile of Communist aggression, Reagan, with Margaret Thatcher then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, brought down the Berlin Wall leading to the ‘opening’ of Russia, seeding years of relative peace in the world.

Conversely, appeasement of Adolf Hitler by Neville Chamberlain (British Prime Minister 1937 to 1940) merely fed the crocodile. By signing the Munich Agreement in 1938 relinquishing a region of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis, Chamberlain hoped to stave off another war. Hitler was emboldened, as was Emperor Hirohito of Japan. Devastating World War II ensued, the deadliest military conflict in history, in which an estimated 70-85 million people perished.

Chamberlain’s decision was understandably a considered softer option intended to protect his country, still not fully recovered from World War I, with military materiel unprepared for another war. Yet it failed catastrophically. The crocodile still bit.

Since then those familiar with history, having learned from such a graphic example, believe in peace through strength.

Today lessons of history are being readily discarded as big business prioritises self-interest, pandering to China to reap extraordinary profits accessing that market, even speaking CCP lines to justify their position. Clive Hamilton combines meticulous research with compelling prose to expose precisely this insidious Chinese methodology in his book Hidden Hand (with Mareike Ohlberg). Yet smart global leaders, never believing democratic freedoms and national sovereignty may be gobbled, feed the crocodile of Xi’s China Dream that rains contempt on the global rules based law in pursuit of world domination.

Fattening the crocodile

I know! I know! None of this has anything to do with us, puddling along in glorious oblivion, anxiously hoarding more toilet paper with every recurring lockdown. Yet each of us has been seriously affected by China’s conscious export to the world of COVID-19, with its accompanying illness, death and economy destroying consequences. Blaming Trump or Scomo is hardly a sensible response: the communist China crocodile has been fattening for decades. The crocodile is coming for us, not the cavalry. Each of us needs to step up and speak up before it is too late.

Having failed in the hot war, communist sympathisers sought power by infiltrating and undermining western democratic institutions. In this they are increasingly successful: policies infecting the universities, education, unions, bureaucracies, arts and media dominate public discourse. Central control of the populace, restrictions on freedom of speech and faith and fragmentation of family have become passé, while falsehoods are promoted with moral certitude.

Seeds of the march through the institutions troubled me early in the eighties when involved in the women’s movement. Marxist feminists backed by Victorian Education unions urged policies that challenged the nuclear family. Women who boasted a number of abortions sought control of other people’s children (and still do) through “values free” education. Their success has graduated from abortion for 14 year olds without parental support, to gender fluidity, pornography, denial of biological reality of male and female, mother, father and breast feeding, in concert with political indoctrination on climate change and critical race theory. Contempt for western civilization and the Judeo-Christian values that brought us to this free and prosperous state are part of their ticket.

George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 has become a manual for governance. Big Brother slogans: War is peace, Freedom is slavery and Ignorance is strength are becoming a reality as history and individuals are cancelled (vaporised), and facts are replaced with Newspeak. Presciently, Orwell writes, “By 2050 all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed”. Sounds all too familiar!

Confronting the crocodile

As Orwell reflects through protagonist Winston, Hope lay with the Proles (proletariat, the deplorables, the Quiet Australians in Newspeak) rather than the elites who dominate. Yet, “Until they become conscious, they will never rebel and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

If we value what Australia has achieved, it is up to us to take a stand or two against the crocodile of dishonest regression if we wish to preserve our free, democratic society for our children and grandchildren. My own response was to develop the Maturity Model and publish the book Becoming specifically as tools to help ordinary people make sound decisions meeting the emerging challenge to traditional conservative values as society becomes more diverse.

“Tank man” who stood with his plastic shopping bags before a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square 32 years ago was a prole who rebelled. We do not know his name or his fate: he was probably vaporised, along with thousands of others who protested for democracy in China at the time and since. Yet his stand against oppression has become a symbol of courage in the face of adversity.

Psychology professor Jordan Peterson, author of several books including 12 Rules for Life: an Antidote for Chaos became globally renowned for making a stand against Canada’s intention to criminalise the misuse of personal pronouns, stalling the crocodile. Peterson objected to limitations on free speech as an early step towards the dystopian totalitarianism of China, and as outlined in Orwell’s 1984. Peterson’s writings and interviews have assuaged the confusion of many, especially young men confounded by overt contempt for ‘privileged white males’, who fought wars on our behalf and to whom we owe our freedom.

Former PM Tony Abbott shirt-fronted the crocodile of the callous people smuggling trade by stopping the boats and the tragic deaths of illegal immigrants emboldened to pay to risk their lives on the high seas to get to Australia. To do so, he had to withstand the legal and political onslaught of conspicuous compassion invoking kindness, yet which causes endless downstream costs, tragedy and harm, fuelling false hope.

Wrestling our crocodile

Take for instance Kara who defied family and friends advice to go on supporting her drug addicted young adult son, who had exhausted family energy and funds, stealing to feed the habit. Kara confronted the crocodile, decided to let the law take its course. Her son ended up in jail. On release, having gained a job, a partner and a family, her son said sending him to jail was the best thing she could have done.

Then there is Joanna working in a large, very busy enterprise dominated by the mood and behaviours of a crazy maker. Even senior staff seemed under capture to the crazy maker’s damaging antics. Joanna confronted the crocodile, took the matter directly to the manager and demanded action in the interests of office harmony and productivity. Appeasement was not an option.

Individual and group initiative necessary to confront our specific crocodiles needs courage that will be hard to produce in a society that has institutionalised cowardice. Nevertheless we can provide tangible and personal support for those who bear the burden of challenge to our way of life and values on our behalf. In Australia, that may mean getting on board with the cavalry coming to save us: people like Andrew Hastie, Senators Amanda Stoker and Matt Canavan, the Institute of Public Affairs and others of your choice. It may also mean refraining from trolling heroes like VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith who put his life on the line on our behalf countless times.

Look to it!

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Letting go

Mindlessly cluttering our lives

When I was young we had as a neighbour an elderly bachelor called Bill who collected and stored paper, mostly unpaid for. Newspapers piled ceiling high with only a narrow pathway through, stacks of that awful shiny government toilet paper filled a bed and a stash of one dollar bills (pre-coin days) were heaped on the kitchen table. Tea and conversation with mum fortified Bill for the races he loved and supplied him with our newspaper for the form, which no doubt went to top up his stack.

The image of Bill recalled seems as laughable a caricature today, as then. Yet many of us, like Bill, accumulate visible and virtual things over time, unaware, as was Bill, of the inhibition to our evolution as people to the hoard of tightly held possessions, forever restricted to a narrow, hazardous track.

Recent COVID behaviours show that Bill’s propensity to hoard toilet paper isn’t so uncommon, however irrational: we have only one backside. There was a time of scarcity when some of that newspaper could be used for the same purpose – reused in best environmental practice, as were many things that were repaired, reshaped and reused for practical reasons. That was before cheap Chinese goods with short life spans flooded the market and the Greens held us under capture.

Vacuum Law of space and attraction

Getting rid of stuff is liberating (after the challenge). Ask anyone who has down-sized or moved house. Have done it myself: positioning a large skip under the balcony and tipping years of life, work and items into it. Only one or two things were ultimately missed. More recently environmental, in concert with a philosophy to keep everything circulating, furniture, books, clothing and equipment were boxed. Strong, polite young men from 1800gotjunk loaded it all onto a truck to take to a centre for recycling to charities. Only what would be useful in the next stage of life made it to the new, smaller place, with size appropriate furniture.

A wonderful space opened up to create the next phase of life. We come into life with little and certainly can’t take it with us. Under the vacuum law of space and attraction, it is hard to grow on until we create the space by letting go of things no longer relevant. A real ascetism, holiness, ensues in doing so.

Inability to let go can create hazards – health, accident, aesthetic or environmental. Little point in holding onto obsolete machinery, white goods, equipment or clothing. Best to take good care of goods, repairing to extend usefulness and lifecycle, before disposing properly, immediately the item becomes non-functioning. Collections of dead refrigerators, washing machines, tools, furniture and equipment are clear indicators of a cluttered mind in the cemetery of ideas.

Clothing, shoes and accessories are an obsession for some who take joy in shopping for things they may never wear. Charity stores provide a wonderful opportunity to recycle accumulated wardrobe items, which become welcome finds for the less fortunate and bargain seekers. While creating space in one’s own life, we can practice environmentalism and support worthy causes at the same time as creating welcome space in our own lives.

Letting go of people

As we are naturally social beings, letting go of toxic people and relationships can be every bit as challenging, especially if we are related and feel compelled to love them. Going along with people, enduring their negativity, may seem easier at the time, though is unlikely to end well. Applying my Maturity Model, both parties become less mature, resulting in fragmentation of individuals at high social and economic costs. Often such toxic relationships prevent development of more beneficial relationships with others. Plenty have complained about the grumpy, sullen or aggressive family member that inhibits friendships and dialogue, causing discomfort, robbing joy.

In addition to physical and psychological risks to person, there remains a very high opportunity cost of staying in an unsatisfactory job or relationship. Whatever benefits appear to accrue from staying put need to be weighed against the wonders of development that stand to flourish once free to be oneself. Life is short. We pass this way but once. Do it today. For yourself.

Troubled family relationships and situations are fraught. If tied to kin, perhaps it is best not to go as often or stay as long, limiting exposure. Same applies to friends who pass into our lives for a time before moving on as friendship sours.

Be mindful, too, of capture by eternal victims who generate serial crises for attention, consuming time, money and energy to no good effect. Wisdom of discernment resolves that it is best for us to be measured in any response, conscious always of attending to our own needs and capacities before sacrificing all where little good can come. Shake their dust from our sandals and move on.

Realism dealing constructively with flawed relationships and moving on is sound practice for later years when options for doing so may be taken out of our hands. Friends and family members succumb to issues of health, accident and ageing, passing on from this life, whether we like it or not. Without preparation, we will not be ready to absorb the shock of loss and change, potentially missing out on valuable future growth.

Similarly, failure to make conscious decisions or take assertive action in a timely manner can result in those decisions being taken out of our hands abruptly, in a way that shakes the foundation of our sense of self. What we most ignore can become the very thing that claims us.

Letting go of things, relationships and people over time is practice for the ultimate letting go as we prepare for our own end.

Letting go of daily detritus

Excellence is the commitment to completion is a quote from self-help author and philosopher Bob Proctor. I live by this quote. It is the ultimate environmental guide, although Proctor’s advice preceded environmentalism.

Translated into everyday use, it means such simple things that enhance life: completing tasks thoroughly and promptly; putting away the groceries instead of leaving them on the kitchen bench; getting rid of waste and disposing properly of packaging as it arises; finishing off the laundry and putting it away; and following through on discipline of children promised. Once completed, each of the said activities frees our minds and bodies for more satisfying pursuits that enhance life.

For businesses, political parties and workers, the same applies: do the job properly, otherwise it can cost health and lives (as we’ve seen through COVID); dispose of unworkable policies and practices cluttering a strategy (such as the Labor’s anti-coal climate change policy that has cost them government); and forego unrealistic demands on workers that cause fragmentation, lowering productivity.

Above all, enjoy the liberation and virtue gained by letting go.

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Don’t believe the Greens

The main reason it’s unwise to believe the Greens is that they lie. As evidence, examine Greens’ policies and pronouncements for their tug on emotion to win supporters, rather than reliance on facts. Condemnation rains from an assumed position of moral superiority

Having won the war to raise awareness about caring for the planet, Greens have no plan for having attained success. Like any good idea taken too far, environmental activism has become extreme, dishonest and destructive. From chaining themselves to trees and blockading mining and development sites, inner city Greens have moved upmarket to pressuring banks, corporations and superannuation funds to prevent projects being financed, denying opportunities, jobs and taxes that fund essential services, even environmental services.

Invariably Greens’ policies capture the agenda on emotion, cranking up fear and concern: the world will end in (x) years from global warming; the Great Barrier Reef will be destroyed; Pacific Islands will be under water, dams will never fill again, frequency and intensity of cyclones and bushfires will increase due to global warming. All proven false!

At a basic level just how dishonest are the Greens was brought home to me while handing out how-to-vote flyers during a federal election. A schoolteacher, a Greens member standing in front of a wonderful poster of a turtle on the Great Barrier Reef, was denouncing the Adani mine because of the damage the mine would do to the GBR, as well as contribute to the global warming catastrophe.

People love turtles and don’t want to see them harmed. Seeking to do the right thing, they respond at an emotional level to what is presented as a moral, virtuous choice promising personal satisfaction and conspicuous virtue signalling by voting Green.

Green lies about the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is a real global heart tugger. On a plane travelling from London to Rome I found myself allaying concerns of the scientist in the seat next to me. He had come from a conference where premature destruction of the GBR was a pre-eminent topic of discussion. The scientist had no idea of the scale or geography of the reef.

My hope was that the activist teacher handing out how-to-vote flyers was not in charge of geography or social studies. Factually, we know that geographically the Adani mine is 400km from the coast, with another 100km to the reef, which is kilometres wide in parts. Furthermore the 3,000 reefs stretch around 2,400km long, crossing many degrees of latitude and temperature, from Lady Elliot Island off Bundaberg in the south, to Torres Strait north of Australia, rendering claims of bleaching from “warming” irrelevant. Science shows amazing resilience of the reef to recover from cyclical bleaching events.

Nor does agricultural run-off have a major long term negative impact on the reef as Greens claimed for years, influencing agricultural policy. Professor Peter Ridd denounced previously touted claims demonising farmers for runoff. Farmers have bent over backwards to improve farming practices and foster riparian vegetation to slow farm impact on waterways. Ridd’s study found only 3% of inner reef was temporarily affected by runoff after flood events, and then only on the inner reefs. The Green Shirts movement of ethical farmers has begun to fight back against Greens’ lies to defend their right to produce.

Greens’ lies about Bushfires

Cyclically various parts of Australia are damaged by bushfires, which Greens now claim are increasing in frequency and intensity because mining fossil fuels for electricity hasn’t been shut down to prevent global warming. Never mind the facts that bushfires have been a part of Australian ecology forever.

Aborigines traditionally cool burned undergrowth to conserve their food sources, 183 arson charges have been issued in relation to the 2020 fires, punitive fines have prevented farmers from widening fire breaks to protect their properties and governments at all levels have failed to clear undergrowth in National Parks and state property in keeping with best practice recommendations of previous Royal Commissions into catastrophic fires.

As mentioned in an earlier blog Confidence of the hunt, two old blokes with 100 years forestry and bushfire management experience explained, forests here differ from northern hemisphere forests in that in Australia trees shed leaves and bark which build up. Drought dries out the fuel burden. Normal fuel build up is one ton per hectare per year. Double that and the fire risk rates four times higher; double again and it becomes 16 times, and so on. A fire in a 50 ton/hectare burden cannot be stopped. As the Aborigines before them knew, hazard reduction burns work.

Under normal bush fire conditions, a fire burns at 3 megawatts per metre. During Black Saturday, fires reached 70 mw/m.  Fire intensity of 100 mw/m and fuel loads have never been higher as a result of a 30 year build up. At that intensity, heat is so great it is impossible to withstand.

Greens claim to support hazard reduction and backburning to reduce the impact of bushfires, guided by scientific expertise. Yet under pressure from Greens, government regulation preventing any vegetation removal, combined with 183 arson charges, was far more damaging in the 2020 bushfires than fake claims of global warming.

Facts, even about an issue as relevant to Australia as the cause of bushfires, don’t fit the Greens’ emotional narrative. Their lies perpetuate.

Greens’ lies about renewables

At first glance, renewable energy seems like a good idea worth exploring and possibly introducing, ostensibly to replace fossil fuel generated reliable energy using coal or gas. Fossil fuels have been demonised as destroying the planet raising CO2 levels, causing global warming. Never mind that CO2 comprises less than 4% of the global atmosphere and is an essential plant food pumped into greenhouses to accelerate plant growth. Scary stuff if we care for our children’s future. Scary for children if they believe Greens pundits that they will fry and die all too soon. See them weep in the streets and dare us to action from global platforms! Strong moral and emotional motivation for taking up renewables!

Yet on any reasonable factual environmental or business analysis renewables fail:

  • Inputs require extensive despised mining – hundreds of tons of concrete, steel, nickel and lithium for each windmill; materials for solar panels and batteries
  • Relatively short life span: deteriorating in effectiveness after 10 years
  • No known way of recycling materials once defunct; US$200k to dispose of just one windmill which must be buried in landfill.
  • Extensive area for solar and wind farms destroys environmental aesthetics and ecology; causes inescapable noise pollution
  • Uncompetitive without taxpayer subsidies, paid by disadvantaging the poorest people with higher energy prices
  • Incur significant transmission loss at great expense because of long distance from remote locations to grid/use; uneven supply disrupts flow to the grid
  •  Unreliable when sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow
  • Increased energy prices for renewables have forced early retirement of reliable coal-fired power and manufacturing, at enormous cost to the country’s productive manufacturing and business base.

Forever chasing down the Greens’ CO2 induced global warming rabbit hole defies facts. The world is has warmed less than one degree since 1900, despite claims the science is settled and the Bureau of Meteorology fudging historical records to influence the narrative. Climate is always changing, largely dependent upon solar activity rather than the mere 3% of human induced CO2 (of 4%) essential plant food. What I learned from the Royal Tyrrell paleontological museum outside Drumheller in Alberta, Canada, was that we are in a late ice age. The museum holds marvellous dinosaur exhibits exposed as glaciers recede, having formerly covered all of northern America.

Industrialisation that brought hundreds of millions out of poverty and starvation using coal fired power, has responded by improving efficiencies with HELE plants’ lower emissions, now being built in countries around the world using our coal. Not here, though, because finance is not possible. Pious virtue signalling from government, spineless banks and investor groups refuse funding under ever threatening social media activists. Adani’s efforts to extend benefits of cheap energy to 300 million of India’s poor without electricity were stymied by delays over nine years from Queensland’s Labor government under Green law fare. Poor Indians dying from respiratory illness and COVID are no doubtful grateful to the Greens for holding back progress in their short, difficult lives.

Meantime scientific experts are questioning the warming claims: Chief Scientist Alan Finkel said no matter what we do it won’t make any difference; Professor Ian Plimar has written books on the falsehoods; former climate alarmist Michael Schellenberger has revised his position in a book Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, in which he accuses climate activists of misleading the public and contends that policy solutions such as green energy are making matters worse. Former Obama physicist Steve Koonin’s book Unsettled debunks claims that surging sea levels are inundating the coasts, hurricanes and tornadoes are becoming fiercer and more frequent and climate change will be an economic disaster.

Greens’ lies about intentions

Despite their glossy rainforest and GBR posters, Australian Greens’ policy platform is no longer about environmental issues. Watermelon Greens have boarded the climate crisis gravy train of the global Great Reset and the Green New Deal. Red shines through. Aim is for a socialist utopia of cradle to grave care by big government funded by taxes on our 122 billionaires, to turn around growing inequality and the climate crisis, to fight for our future”.

Greens’ push for a socialist agenda demonstrates a lack of understanding of history and business. In spite of grandiose Marxist promises, like the Greens’ fantasy, recent history shows great failures of Marxism costing the terror and death of 100 million people. Is that what you sign up for? Green folly compounds in pursuit of the unsustainable, unaffordable, unattainable (100% renewables) in response to the unprovable (human induced global warming).

Lack of business nous is evident in the absence of a lifecycle business case for ‘renewables’, including mining, manufacture, transport, establishment and maintenance, disposal, subsidies and opportunity cost. Wouldn’t pass muster in a small business application to the local bank, but seems justification for a global scam. We are left to wonder how global elites have captured the agenda and the gravy train of global funding redistribution, except, as in all socialist states, elites benefit grandly from the moralistic emotional coercion of Greens’ lies and manipulation.

Neither is there any understanding of business and capitalism in Greens’ fantastical “tax the billionaires” strategy, allegedly because the billionaires are heavily government subsidised and pay no tax. We know from experience that taxing billionaires in reality means taxing us all – in higher prices and subsidies for green initiatives. For people who have forever lived on the public teat, never risked all to start a business, never put their hand in their pocket to pay a worker, how could Greens possibly understand entrepreneurship, innovation and having a crack, as demonstrated daily by individuals starting business in a competitive environment?

Billionaires Kerry Stokes, Gina Rhinehart, Twiggy Forrest and Clive Palmer haven’t always had their own capitalist way: they have had to endure the vicissitudes of the marketplace to be where they are today. Fifteen years ago a guy started a business from a garage.  That business is now valued at $5billion. The company provides health services around the country and the world, leading in research and treatment, enhancing the lives of tens of thousands of people. In practical terms, what part of this person, business and ingenuity would the Greens clip in their objective of attaining equality? Think about it!

Telling the truth

One of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life relevant to the Greens’ policy positions, “Tell the truth – or, at least don’t lie”. Though difficult to attain, Peterson believes our lives benefit from being honest. At least we never have to look backwards. The Maturity Model described in my book Becoming specifically requires truth/facts as the basis for making sound decisions that we can live with. The alternative is fragmentation of individuals and groups at great social and financial cost.

It would be wise, therefore, to examine closely the policies of the Greens, who use misinformation and manipulation coercively to win support and influence on emotional and moral, rather than factual bases. No doubt you want to do the “right” thing, so be aware. On analysis, Greens’ policies have moved beyond environment to socialist objectives using the vehicle of orchestrated climate crisis.

Value your money and your vote. If, as the Greens claim, a change (of only) 828 votes is needed for Greens to hold balance of power, to be in a stronger position to kick the Liberals out, to tackle inequality and the climate change emergency, then it’s incumbent on us to look beyond the new environmental morality of Green gods to the facts of policy appeals.

We can do our bit environmentally and sensibly by following another of Jordan Peterson’s rules: Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world. Dispose of rubbish promptly and appropriately; reuse and recycle; don’t waste; plant trees; reduce farting by pensioners and cows; don’t travel. Oh wait! COVID solved the last advice.

Otherwise bloated socialist bureaucracies will reach ever further into our lives to dictate where and how we can live, what we can eat, learn, say, think, do. Almost there!

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That’ll see me out

In later years we find rapid acceleration of the challenges we dealt with (or didn’t deal with) in midlife. How well we’ve established sound decision making skills determines the level of ease or difficulty in surmounting the challenges ahead. Midlife challenges are spelled out in some detail in my book Becoming.

Control over what happens can decline rapidly, whether health, sight, hearing, mobility, bladder or teeth, limiting our ability to communicate with relevant others as freely or as confidently as usual. Keeping our memory and marbles are yet other challenges. Limited finances in later years with no further capacity to earn present constraints that override many other factors.

At the same time, adult children can step in, kindly or bumptiously, to take over management of our affairs, whether we like it or not. Without being asked, a friend recently removed from her home into residential care by her daughters, has found difficulty adjusting to her new living environment, the move accelerating confusion. Her present residence will be her final one: it will see her out.

Passing in the fast lane

Today we enjoy the privilege of living a long life of 70, 80 or 90+ years, around half a life more than our forebears a hundred years ago. The privilege has not been free: it has been built with gratitude on the sacrifice and efforts of soldiers, scientists, engineers, parents and cleaners, who have respectively serviced our freedom, health, housing and sanitation. As we’ve learned over COVID, failing to wash our hands may see us out.

Longer and better quality of life does not absolve us of the responsibility to doing the best we can with the privilege with which we have been endowed. Appeals to active physical and social life for Omega3 charged elderly attests that many are taking up the opportunities. Cruises and fun to see us out! Hopefully, we’ll die quickly and peacefully in our sleep, without having to think much about it.

The biggest issues to deal with may be changes in relationships with adult offspring, struggling in their relationships with partners and children (grandchildren), dramatically different values and beliefs, as well as disparity in power and financial positions. Choosing a relatively carefree lifestyle amongst peers in a purpose built retirement village presents as an attractive lifestyle to see us out.

Passing in the slow lane

Few get to choose the time of passing, which “comes like a thief in the night”. For many of us in this longer life, the end, or indicators of the end, may come slowly. Even a comfortable, relatively healthy life can become a drag for those in later years who have exhausted family goodwill, finances, and/or desire to continue. Death seems welcome.

Having cared for an elderly relatively till he was 101, I know how zeal for life can fade, along with spirits and bodily functions. People at that point don’t need convincing otherwise, no jollying up, just patient pacing, reflecting quietly on memorable moments to be plucked from memories surfacing from the shrunken frontal lobe.

A similar approach needs to be taken when a terminal health condition is diagnosed, meaning life will be finite in a number of weeks, months or years.

When my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness over twenty years ago, we were fortunate to have the support from my sister Kathy, fresh from a couple of months in a Buddhist monastery in Dharamsala India. Buddhists, she said, practise dying first thing in the day, as no one knows whether they will die this day. Then they get on with living. It’s a pretty good philosophy for anyone.

Kathy was instrumental in soothing the grief of my husband and me, his family and friends, by assuring them that Evan was at the right place for his stage of his life. Keeping the patient comfortable, fresh and in quiet company was all that was required.

Our bodies die from the extremities: food loses appeal; entertainment becomes passé; and company previously relished is all but over, barring quiet patient pacing to the end. Like many diabetics, our mother loved her food. Death came once she missed lunch. Best intentions of one of my husband’s friends nearly killed him by taking him out on an excursion for five hours. Knowing what to expect and how to accept graciously the inevitability of the death of someone close, are valuable aptitudes that will see us out.

Grief

Our limited conversations about death extend to limited understandings of grief. For everyone, the experience of grief is personal and different. Put aside chemical solutions to feel more fully how grief affects the mind, body and soul, in order to attain meaningful recovery in due course. Only by acknowledging the loss and mourning it, can grief be processed. Then we can emerge enriched by the crisis and change.

Following Evan’s death after 34 years of marriage, grief affected me as bone weariness that no sleep could resolve. Instinctively, I felt that basic routine would help. Consequently each day began with a exercise, shower and dressing for work, getting on with the necessities of the day, as if I felt OK. Eventually, months later when grief passed almost without knowing, I was ready to move on productively. Faking it till I made it.

Mind you, I am no expert on palliative care, dying or grief. What’s on offer are positive thoughts that might help those presently facing difficulties, or likely to be confronting the end of life, in the hope they might draw some value from the thoughts.

In the meantime, be of good cheer as possible. Make the most of every day of this privileged life in this privileged country, with gratitude to those who’ve paved the way for us, yet who did not live long enough to suffer the pangs of later years.

Jesting “that’ll see me out” is a light hearted, yet serious quip, which at once acknowledges the finitude of life for me, while asserting I’ve done the best I can with what life has gifted me.

Easter is about new hope from the death and resurrection of Christ. We will rise again in the spirit of our children and grandchildren after enduring the vicissitudes of this life.

May the blessings of Easter come to you all.

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Before we fall

Seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.

As always my messages aim to be relevant at a personal level, while bringing understanding how the personal can also be political, especially for those who tend not to follow politics as closely as I do.

In a post-truth world where feelings not facts count, immorality is being rewritten as: racism, transphobia, sexism, climate change denialism and colonialism. Pride, as one of the seven deadly sins, seems positively archaic. Yet the adage pride goes before a fall is an ancient saying that still applies. Not the boastful vanity one normally associates with pride, but that of sensitivity, authority, knowledge and complacency. A closer examination will show just how relevant the saying is today.

Understanding how each of these manifestations of pride affects our communications in family, work, business or administration, offers some help towards more meaningful, harmonious relationships.

Pride of Sensitivity

Probably most of us know people who are way too sensitive, always ready to be offended, lacking resilience, ever victims. From personal experience it is hard to have a decent conversation while walking on eggshells. Consequently, rarely is truth disclosed and neither party is enriched. The relationship withers.

In a workplace, a worker who cannot take correction or advice will never improve performance, dragging down the business. Same applies in a sporting team. No use being too sensitive when much is at stake: people have to toughen up a bit.

In the broader political sphere under the new moralities, an empire of hurt and victimhood floods the daily headlines about something said, often taken out of context and misrepresented, to fan the pile-on and blame. Arbitrarily, the career and life of the unwitting can disappear without redress.

Who can forget AFL legend Adam Goode taking serial offence at comments deemed racist, while being enriched and lauded for his playing skill and being awarded Australian of the Year. I’ll have some of that racism! Prime Minister Julia Gillard claimed misogyny against a startled Tony Abbott and more recently Eddie Maguire losing his job for misspeaking in this politically correct world.

I give a pass to people who choose to be offended while not listening to discussion, so deliberately misrepresent according to their own predisposition to project resentment and victimhood. No ready cure for that. Shake their dust off my sandals.

The groundswell of emotional vitriol emanating from pride of sensitivity, often on behalf of someone else, clearly has very high social and financial costs. Those costs are additional to the failure to mature, which tends to be enduring. We all fall.

Pride of Authority

The high social and financial cost of pride of authority over the COVID panic is there for all to see in the behaviour of Labor Premiers, Daniel Andrews, Anastasia Palaszczuk and Mark McGowan. Each orchestrated fear to terrorise the populace into submission to ever changing rules against constantly moving goal posts. Their decisions had a devastating impact on businesses and jobs whose taxes are necessary to support public sector employees without skin in the game, yet who were making rules.

Each of these Premiers failed to follow recommendations according to Harvard Business Review’s Cyneform decision-making model: to reduce command and control once the crisis has passed.

Pride of authority can also surface in families, schools and businesses, generally leaving the “leader” in absolute control, with little scope for development in those operating below leadership level, which would avoid a leadership vacuum. Ultimately all fail to flourish, as it is in the initiative of individuals that opportunities bloom.

Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg’s book, Hidden Hand: Exposing how the Chinese Communist Party is reshaping the world provides a detailed, well documented analysis of the determined authority being exercised by the CCP to achieve world domination. Obedience and compliance are mandatory. Individualism is not allowed.

Over COVID how easily have we slipped into the Chinese pattern of obedience and compliance at the cost of our freedoms? How easily we have fallen.

Pride of Knowledge

The knowledge class elites have certainly demonstrated they know what’s best for we Neanderthal deplorables merely trying to get on with our lives and do the best we can in our families, jobs and communities. Take Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and other tech billionaire oligarchs, who felt their leftist ideas should be imposed on the rest of us. They conspired to influence what was allowed and who was allowed media on their platforms to suppress and distort information to influence the USA election and opinions beyond. Apparently Iranian mullahs and paedophiles were okay, though not Christians or conservatives.

At a lesser scale we have the indoctrination of school children on issues such as climate change, negative impact of colonialization on Aborigines, gender fluidity and racism, mostly big on emotional self-hatred and short on facts. Kids must bow to the knowledge master or fail. We all fall.

Conversations with know-alls become one-sided and tedious very quickly. Instead of being open to new knowledge or debating challenging concepts respectfully, only one voice is allowed. Opportunities for enrichment are lost. We fail and fall as a consequence of the pride of knowledge.

Pride of Complacency

Those proud of their disinterest in politics, staying beyond the fray, may find themselves falling as events overtake them in their powerlessness as policies with which we would never agree become law to our detriment.

Having taken the “easy” path to child raising asserting little correction or discipline, parents may find in time they have nurtured an uncontrollable, unproductive adult that returns grief. Remediation is often fraught and costly.

Similarly policies of government to which we have paid little attention can build to overwhelming and untenable, if we do not take any interest, speak up at the time or lend support to those who do represent our point of view.

In our complacency, we have seen how tacit support for same sex marriage has morphed into promotion from kindergarten upwards of gender fluidity, transgender, sexual choice at whim, unisex toilets, trans men in athletic competition against women and girls and abolition of female denominations of girls, mother, breast feeding, and other biology defying basics of language.

Any protest is labelled homophobic or transphobic (pride of sensitivity) rather than merely another point of view that respects the LGBQTI+ rights and expects the same for others. After all we are all in this together.

Loss of freedoms

Power and control is common to each manifestation of pride, whether sensitivity, authority, knowledge or complacency, as freedom of others is restricted. Whether freedom of thought, speech, movement or association, increasingly we seem to come under greater controls of elites in authority or of knowledge (e.g. Chief Health Officers).

Early indications of patterns of control were evident to me in the feminist movement of the 70’s and 80’s. At that time, women who boasted the number of abortions still wished to control the minds and futures of the children of others, using policy agenda to fragment intact families and direct school curricula. Since then, Marxist philosophies have gathered strength in the march through the institutions, demanding compliance at risk of being cancelled.

Ironically, should, through Australian complacency, the CCP ultimately be successful in dominating this country, we will truly have fallen. Those who have assumed powerful elitist positions may find themselves without the freedom they have long denied to others.

Uncategorized

Making Straight the Way

Parents are not God in their children’s lives; their job is to make straight the way to adulthood so that children can grow up to own responsibility for fulfilling their potential, whatever that may be.

To make the way straight requires honesty derived of God-like courage, confidence to hold to principles and willingness to allow children to make and experience decision-making appropriate to their age and stage in life, as remote preparation for adulthood.

Parents must be friendly rather than friend to the child, developer rather than controller.

Enjoyment or Anxiety

Chapter 4 of my book Becoming analyses the current challenge for parents

Instead of being a natural, enjoyable, loving experience, producing and raising a child has become a rule-bound, anxiety fraught program entered into with preconceived expectations that are unlikely to be met. Rather than helping parents, expansion of the dominion of the knowledge class of experts has made raising children an unnecessarily anxious, onerous and complex task. Parental fear has increased, while confidence has diminished. Ever greater energies and resources are vested in ever smaller families. Natural or inherited intuitive parenting skills fail to flourish, are suppressed or dismissed by those in thrall to the “rules” and fads of experts in the interest of child safety and promised outcomes. Many, confounded, muddle through, or relinquish responsibility to government agencies willing to intrude to justify their own importance and expansion at taxpayer expense.

For families to flourish and mature a simpler understanding of raising families is needed – one that places the child in context in family and society, fostering decision-making aimed ultimately at enabling the child to reach mature, competent adulthood appropriate for democracy (i.e. able to make sound decisions). Parents would then be able to move on seamlessly to the next stage of their own lives. And enjoy the experience.

Context

Something that can be lost in the confusion is that the child does not exist to be cosseted as a precious entity alone: the child exists in context in family and community, where respect for boundaries and others must be learned as self-respect and self-esteem develop. Encouragement and correction are part of that growth to maturity. It takes a village to raise a child.

Those familiar with my book Becoming will recall that understanding the context in which situations occur is essential to making good decisions that people can live with. Socialising children comprises a myriad of daily decisions, often repetitive, each contributing to making straight the way to mature adulthood: learning respect for self, family members, property and broader community. No need for parents to beat themselves up over a daily tally of how they’ve performed: merely look at the trend of development as the child progresses through ages and stages, building capability to make decisions and assume responsibilities accordingly.

Expectation is a basic factor in developing self-esteem and resilience. Parents aren’t perfect. Expecting children to accommodate reasonable parental imperfection is part of challenging children to deal with reality.

Always giving, and giving in to a child’s demands ill equips them for collaboration and cooperation, cornerstones of mutual respect, which, in turn, frees the young adult to reach fullest potential.

Control, Development or Complacency

Parents seeking to do their best might consider whether their approach to parenting is one of control, development or complacency.

Control, when taken to extreme is selfishly about the parent. Often rigid expectations and demands are used to exert control. Discipline is strict and punitive. Expectations may have little to do with the child’s capability. Parents make all the decisions, limiting opportunities for children to gain experience in thinking, exploring options, making choices and wearing the consequences that makes for robust self-awareness.

Helicopter parenting absorbs every sling and arrow of the child’s interface with the community. Instead of stepping back to encourage the child to resilience by dealing with realities, however unpleasant, the child is “saved” from hurt to be good for little. Given the ultimate goal of parenting is to make straight the way to competent, confident adulthood for the growing child, excessive control fails parent and child, both of whom linger in immaturity at great social and economic cost.

By contrast, a development approach allows the child latitude to make decisions within a safe framework, in keeping with the age and stage. Mature parents can be confident how they exert authority over children, both living and learning along the way. Over the years between birth and 18 years, parents gradually let go of responsibility for controlling all factors of the child’s life, good or bad, to grow in maturity along with the child. The child gains experience in making decisions and accepting responsibility for them. At 18, when the child is viewed as adult by law and the community, both can celebrate the arrival as adult, however imperfectly.

A complacent, laissez-fare approach has the appeal of letting parents off the trouble of socialisation, allowing the child to make its own way, passing responsibility onto others (childcare or school). Timing is critical to success. In these days of a long life, a few years laying the foundation for the whole of the rest of a child’s life is worth it in a long life of self interest  . Remediation is costly, flawed and often unsuccessful. Best to put the effort in at the right time, to fortify the child’s life and spare angst for everyone down the track.

Cost of failure

Most parents do the best they can under the circumstances. Still many fail, through one reason or another as statistics show. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:

  • 26% of children aged 5–14 and 22% of young people aged 15–24 are overweight or obese;
  • 74,000 children aged 0–14 and 80,000 young people aged 15–24 were hospitalised in 2013–14 due to injury and poisoning.
  • Around 39,700 children aged 0-12 (or 9.6 per 1,000) were on a care and protection order in Australia on 30 June 2018.

Disturbed young lives need plenty of support to break through a pattern of dysfunction. All strength to the 990 in a thousand who haven’t come to the attention of government agencies. Enjoy and celebrate your families.

https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/population-groups/children-youth

https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/children-youth/australias-children/…