avant garde conservative comments, quirks and whimsy with a mild stab at convention
Silly Socks on Friday started in Africa in the early 90’s. The blog followed in the early years of the 21st century
We stand for quirks and whimsy, and intend to take serious looks at silliness and silly looks at seriousness.
The rant is a favoured mode when things get my goat.
Our first campaign was a global war against that yoke of uniformity, the neck tie, now largely won. There can be no logical explanation why people continue to tightly tie strips of cloth round their throats and then dangle them on their chests.
Next on our list is a twin campaign to attack the plague of plastic and promote the global revival of hemp
Wear silly socks on Fridays, if you like.
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Please comment on what is written, especially if you disagree. Outrage is a validation of effect!
I suppose it’s the first 4 letters which generate in my mind a sort of carrot up the arse, stiff upper lip, holier than thou image .
I think maybe it was a desirable trait in the days of Queen Victoria, when it denoted a moral, conservative stance. Nowadays, it is a trait of the progressives who are awake to any opportunity to denounce.
It is also the armour of the petty bureaucrat, who will follow the letter of the law despite great injustice being the consequence. e.g.:your visa renewal is refused because you paid the wrong fee; you must quit your job and leave the country.
These thoughts have been kindled by a recent article on Celebrity Slavery*:
The fashionable pursuit of reparations from celebrities, who might shell out rather than run the risk of ‘cancellation’ and humiliation, smacks of extortion.
Certainly the latter suggests a commercial morality: a skeleton of a rich man’s ancestors is far more valuable and attracts greater media attention.
Much easier to apply leverage to an individual than governments of former colonies where there aremany of the estimated 40 million people still in slavery.
Researching rectitude, I came across this graphic of virtues:
They seem pretty wet to me, grounded as I am in the more traditional cardinal virtues of prudence, fortitude , justice and temperance.
Be careful, be brave, be fair and moderate in all that you do.
If you practise those virtues you don’t need to be woke, righteous, progressive or vociferous.
*Article by Peter Kurti, The Spectator, 21 January 2023,
The world is dominated by the big 3 from last year: Ukraine, China and Covid.
The latter two are intertwined: I fear Covid will generate even more desperate measures in China, now that imprisoning those affected has failed.
The lack of data from China leads to speculation, which is the breeding ground for conspiracy theories, so I will try not to conspire.
Apparently huge numbers of Chinese people have been stricken by the virus since movement restrictions lifted with hospitals unable to cope. It is said that millions are likely to die in a very short space of time.
Most of these people are likely to be the elderly, people over 65.
That will greatly impact the ability of families to work, as grandparents were the main child carers – so widespread adjustments will be needed in highly emotive areas.
It seems possible that there will be greater discontent with the government who are likely to seen as the source of the misery and mortality.
The Chinese economy is likely to take a huge hit. International markets have all been rattled by their dependency on China and will have made significant moves to reduce that dependency.
So, will the CCP decide to distract the population and stimulate its military industrial complex with a war – the invasion of Taiwan has clearly long been planned…?
Frighteningly, the same could be said of North Korea!!!
Let us pray that they will not do so.
(Maybe western governments should cut China a break on Covid testing?)
I hesitate because I am aware of the commentator’s curse, but I think we will see peace between Russia and Ukraine and maybe the end of Putin (no tears here)
Covid outside China is a dead duck as an issue, being treated like we handle ‘flu.
Of course there will be alarums, rumbles and recriminations, but it has been moved into a boring conversation status.
The disruptions to the global economy will reverberate well into next year.
So what else?
Having become a conservative liberal as I age, I see the greatest challenge to the world as the Woke movement. Because this is a well entrenched movement based on emotion, it defies objective argument. Indeed part of its campaign is the cancellation of opponents.
I believe it was born in USA in the 1950’s with the Civil Rights movement legitimising radical opposition to goverment policies. It has always been fashionable for students to be left wing and radical. Che Guevarra spawned generations of revolutionaries and became the ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.
American imperialism in Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, Afghanistan has alienated many people , who regard America and capitalism as the Great Satan.
Many attacks on western institutions such as democracy, freedom of speech, the rule of law and criticisms and protests have been levelled through universities, which have become the home not only of intelligensia, but the idle rich too. They also have become fertile grounds for agents provocateurs who know the untrammeled reverence the western world has for Freedom.
Social media has become the bludgeon of the wokesters, but seems largely disdained by conservatives.
The people of the US, which is a supposed torchbearer of democracy and the free world, have become deeply divided to the extent that further insurrection is quite feasible.
Maybe the world woke war will be fought there? I am repulsed by the idea that Trump may be the leader of anti-Wokesters, but that seems somehow to be how the narrative is shaping up.
In Australia, the battle of Woke will be the the referendum for a Voice.
Africa will definitely be Woke as they see new sources of money in reparations for slavery and colonial conquests. Notwithstanding the endemic corruption, nepotism, discrimination, xenophobia, female subjugation and genital mutilation, which are ignored and if mentioned attract immediate cancellation of the mentioner . (Oh dear…maybe I’ll be canceled too!)
Cultural values have changed and now appear to be totally under the influence of prevailing media.
I think 2023 will see clarification of the division between Woke and the Tories
The huge gaps in wealth between the very rich and the rest is eroding capitalism’s credibility.
The antics and influence of corporate billionaires appear to proceed unchecked and we should pray that they remain philanthropic and benevolent.
In Europe, right wing factions will grow in direct proportion to the waves of Third World refugees flooding over their borders.
If you do not like something speak out, do not avoid the issue
de l’audace, encore de l’audace, et toujours de l’audace is what is needed.
“Patsy” – American slang for somebody who has been set up to take the risk and the blame.
“Grifter” – con artist,scammer
There are a number of ways to attack a government other than in open Parliament and through the ballot box.
What better than a sex scandal ?
‘A sex scandal the party can be proud of. Another Barnaby but without the baby haha,’
Maybe somebody thought about that and made a plan.
So, around 4 a.m. one Saturday morning in March 2019, about a fortnight before a federal election is called, the female parliamentary aide who texted about a sex scandal, is found by security, lying naked on a couch in a minister’s office. Woohoo! Imagine the media potential – an Australian Watergate!!
She says she is okay, turns over and goes back to sleep, eventually leaving at about 10 am that morning.
Cleaners are sent in to clean the office, but find nothing suggestive of inappropriate conduct. (Seems a somewhat routine response for a serious place like a Minister’s office?)
The following Tuesday, explanations are sought from the woman and the man with whom she had entered the buiding as to the propriety of their entry so late at night. The woman raises sexual impropriety and reports to Police at Parliament. She hadn’t reported this before.
The man is dismissed for inapproriate entry to (not at) Parliament and another unrelated matter. I wonder why she wasn’t fired too? Passing out drunk and naked in a Minister’s office?
Some 2 weeks later an election is called by the Prime Minister. Two days after that, the complainant withdraws her complaint to the Police.
In October 2020, the media and a union raise questions about workplace culture in Parliament. A review ensues as there are other shaggy stories about after hours Parliamentary hijinks. The plot thickens…
In January 2021, the woman resigns after a meeting with a prominent journalist. Hmmm!
Two days after an interview is recorded for publication, the woman re-ignites her complaint first made 22 months before with the Police.
Former MP’s, Ministers and a Prime Minister are all tarnished by allegations about their parts in the piece.
A minister is obliged to apologise for calling the complainant “a lying cow” – talk about power!
A book deal for $325000 is offered.
Notwithstanding Police advice that the case is weak and the complainant unreliable, the Director Of Public Presecution decides to proceed. Did he jump or was he pushed?
The trial commences in October 2022. The complainant is not a good witness with inconsistent and improbable evidence. She takes a mid-trial break for mental health reasons and repeatedly weeps in public … something she said she could do again on tv, if required.
The jury is undecided and a protracted deliberation ensues. Fortuitously or unfortunately, a juror is found to have considered material extraneous to the trial and a mistrial is declared.
The plot gets thicker… The complainant goes to work for a former Labor Prime Minister!
But wait there’s more – both parties are now suing for damages, the complainant apparently while still under treatment for a mental condition.
No one has yet openly raised the possibility that the complainant is lying.
Other than her word, which is not convincing, there is no corroboratory evidence indicating sex occured.
Maybe her fragile nerves are a consequence of lies and the temptation of feminist fame and big bucks?!
Maybe she is a patsy, being manipulated by others?
There is big money and acres of potential scandal. Maybe she is a grifter…?
My money is on the former. I reckon she’s been inflated by others who see benefit in prolonging the chaos that has ensued.
It is important that you think about this matter which has extremely wide repercussions:
It probably contributed to the LNP election loss and downfall of a Prime Minister
Parliamentary security was demonstrated as culpably lax; there is a strong suggestion that late night shenanigans are not unusual.
The DPP’s initial decision to prosecute was improper, at worst by political direction, which indicates gross intereference and dereliction of duty
The attempts to amend the Evidence Act suggest further political involvement
The civil damages suits are likely sponsored by wealthier parties than the man and woman. Cui bono?
There has been clear evidence of manipulation by the media
From a wider perspective, it is clear that our judicial system needs serious review.
Victims of sexual violence need to be better protected but not at expense of the presumption of innocence.
The Jury system is no longer fit for purpose.
The right to silence should be suspended by warrant based on substantial implicatory evidence. In other words, if a magistrate is satisfied that sufficient evidence exists to require explanation, he shall issue a directive requiring the person implicated to answer questions, perhaps in a closed court session.
Lie detector tests should be required for all witnesses.
Remember Don Quixote who charged a windmill as he believed it was an evil giant?
I identify with the old gentleman. I too am a bit bewildered by the modern world: hasty but easily confused, I take umbrage swiftly when faced with blind zealots cloaked in do-good deeds.
The new windmill we all must face is an evil giant, so big, we cannot see all of it – I beg you to believe this.
You will need great courage to defeat it because it is well entrenched and has many powerful and erudite supporters who believe that they are right.
I feel like someone in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s when the politcal system was perverted and Storm troopers set the moral tone, burning books and bullying, looting, then eventually exterminating Jews, Gypsies, Communists, the insane and mentally handicapped en masse: their own people. The silent majority let it happen then – will you let it happen now?
We have a greater threat than Storm troopers facing us now. We have a culture of do-gooders, armoured in virtue so as to be apparently unassailable. They are taking our values and history and perverting them, persuading us to join the lynch mobs to do the job.
No Church nor brave politician has yet been strong enough to withstand these insidious forces who quell dissent with floods of populist rage, causing timid buraucrats to act according to the mob’s demands to suppress, notwithstanding their own codes and commitments to freedoms and fairness.
Their rationale is that all must enjoy equal freedoms in today’s society and recompense for their struggles of the past. Redress must be instantaneous on mere request. Only victims’ views and claims are considered. It is disrepectful to oppose these views.
This You Tube video on the transgender phenomenon clearly manifests one of the workings of this evil modern day windmill – it horrified and enraged me. If you are not similarly affected, go away and revel in your ostrich ways!
Teachers and doctors and administrators and politicians permit practices because they cannot stand up to unsubstantiated claims, they go with the flow. The media who trumpet the virtue signals which mask the atrocious demands are the agitators who see profit in the flames of chaos in society.
We have a moral obligation to “stay woke,” take a stand and be active; challenging threats in our communities, protecting freedoms from erosion by allegation and mob support.
Ask your MP, school principal, class teacher, doctor the following questions:
do you believe that gender is a choice and has nothing to do with biology
are kids who haven’t even gone through puberty capable of making the decision to change their sex
should children under 18 be permitted abortions, puberty blockers and hormonal treatments without court order or parental permission
If the answer is yes, make sure everyone knows that fact.
Now is the time for them to nail their colours to the mast and take sides. Post the questions on websites, ask their associations what their positions are and publish their answers, silence or evasions.
Get the answers now before they are passed into law because there is no opposition. We are fighting for our values and our children.
The debate over the referendum to grant a “Voice” to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia sparks many thoughts in my mind, most of them cynical.
Now I don’t have a vote in Australia, but I have paid taxes here for nigh on 10 years so should have one; thus I figured I am entitled to speak my mind.
My first thought is that these people do have a voice and representation by their own elected representatives. (Does this mean that democracy has failed them?)
My second thought is that the concept of a “Voice” for this poor benighted sector of the population is quite a funky meme-ish idea, likely to appeal to the shortspanofattention current generation. It is a crisp, simple virtuous PR vehicle, ideal for politicians.
My third thought is that the referendum is likely to be quite divisive, because of the modern propensity to factionise and label for easy meme-ing. The ‘aye-sayers‘ are inclusive, woke progressives and the ‘nay- sayers‘ are racist Tories.
Wait, it gets even more … rough-edged?
There are about 500 different Aboriginal tribes in Australia, each with their own language and territory and usually made up of a large number of separate clans. more than 250 languages and about 800 dialectal varieties
Which language will be used by the Voice? And will all agree on the words that are spoken? In New Zealand, there are still big money debates going on about the meaning of the Te Reo Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi, thought to be clearly written in English.
The Indigenous population in Australia declined to a low of 74,000 in 1933 from an estimated 314 000 when the First Fleet arrived. About 12 000 were killed by colonists, the rest likely succumbed to the ravages of disease and by products of western civilization such as alcohol and despair.
A Voice will give 3.2% of the population additional power in Parliament – a 25% increase in that population since last census! It seems that aboriginal heritage is gaining flavour.
This portion of the population is the most poorly educated, unhealthy, socially destitute and criminal of all Australians. It is also diverse and disparate. It has a history of subjugation and some abuse, some of which may have been well meaning by the perpetrators but devastating for the victims.
Can we expect clarity, foresight and community interest from the speakers of the Voice? Will they be united and informed and representative of their electorate? Is that likely? Or will there be Boards and Committees and advisors and bureaucrats to give the Voice a neck and a head…? Lots and lots of money…!
It’s not a new political trick. In 1967 a referendum relating to Indigenous Australians, was called by the Liberal-Country Party Holt Government. Voters were asked whether to give the Federal Government the power to make special laws for Indigenous Australians.
Acts of Parliament have appointed Protectors of Aborigines and Aboriginal Protection Boards in the past, with little apparent success.
The persuasion for this campaign is founded on the wave of Woke thinking which is sweeping the old, democratic Western societies, which recently saw off ScoMo and the LNP.
The fact that the Aboriginal population suffers significantly less advantage in society is regarded as a consequence of a racist hegemony, enriched by its historical suppression and racism: massacres, dispossessions and stolen generations.
The guilty must now pay a penance which will (maybe) absolve them of this horrible taint of the past and make everything okay …. yeah, right!
My last thought is related to my antipathy to Woke-ism, which you may have detected.
Once the benighted Aboriginals have a Voice, will we not be bound by precedent to enshrine more power for the exclusive use of women, then the homosexuals, lesbians, transexuals, pansexuals, one knee cappers and sheep lovers, etcetera?
I will leave the allocation of body parts to a new age biologist!
While I am here I was wondering why there is no rainbow flag in Parliament and why no-one took a knee at the opening of that august body, soon to be given a new voice.
Australia has survived an election and is somewhat refreshed by the efforts of the new regime … so far.
New Zealand is drowning its recent history and elevating first nation culture and hegemony …
I hesitate to allow my mind to dwell on the general state of civilization in Africa. The extent of corruption of the elites and the neglect of the populace is apparent.
What is infuriating is the charade of following democratic principles and the lofty debates in Parliaments and the imitated pomp and ceremony of Westminster parliaments. But the civil service has become totally inept, corrupt and unable to perform its functions.
In South Africa, the legacy of apartheid led largely to the exclusion of white managers and supervisors from government departments and the rapid promotion of inexperienced and frequently unqualified individuals, often deployed by the ruling party in some sort of reward for activism. As the Zondo report revealed, all too many of these cadres deployed by the party have used the opportunity to plunder and extort the community at large …aaarrgh , it is too sickening to think about.
Consequently, the infrastructure of the country is collapsing. The government at every level is unable to prevent revenue from being looted, so cannot provide adequate social services. Power, sanitation and transport systems are failing. Already the new age colonists have come offering support in return for access to resources and the government will be bought off.
So there will be new masters who will control the governments who will be paid off … and the people will suffer and society will breakdown into armed camps, each protecting their own.
That’s Africa. Pretty crude and basic, unlike Europe and America with ‘democratic’ institutions stretching back for many centuries (I have tongue in cheek). The World Wars and Spanish and Irish Civil wars laid the foundation for their current state of civilisation. Continental wars on two fronts in Europe and Asia are only a presidential whim away (let’s hope the lion sleeps tonight!)
While I am on the sad state of the world I may as well note the revived anxiety about Covid 4 or 5 or whatever and the renewed call to get vaccinated to reduce the demand for ICU beds… Scepticism has set in: we ‘oldies’ are advised to get vaccinated now and probably will need anther before Xmas…. nah!
I won’t start up about the Cancel Culture which is eroding our remaining democratic principles like floods in New South Wales.
Oh well – I have six rugby tests to watch this weekend!
Birds are courting and mimosa is beginning to bloom, so the icicles must be melting and another new year begins…
Recently I asked friends what they knew about carbon credit systems. They knew almost nothing, save that it was designed to combat carbon emissions into the atmosphere, intrinsic to the battle against undesirable climate change. We are talking about tertiary educated people in early middle age in a first world country. Their knowledge reflected my own: almost zilch.
So I made an appointment with Dr Google and started reading. AaargH!! It soon became too much for my little brain: convoluted, confusing and, at least to me, a system wide open to manipulation and fraud.
It appears that governments have devised a system to assess the carbon footprint of countries, businesses, industries, services et al, engine exhaust, cow farts, factory smoke etc. They are required to maintain this below set levels, which in many cases is difficult or too expensive. I mean, how do you stop a cow fart?
So, in order to avoid these activities being driven out of business, the government established a cap and trade level of carbon credits.
Companies that pollute are awarded credits that allow them to continue to pollute up to a certain limit. That limit is reduced over time. Meanwhile, the company may sell any unneeded credits to another company that needs them.
This has become nationalised and countries and businesses with excess credits can sell them to those that pollute excessively.
Extra credits can be earned by minimising pollution or growing trees (they convert CO2 to oxygen). The market for compliance credits is estimated to rangeas high as $272 billion for the year 2020.
You can imagine how many bureaucrats would be needed to administer and monitor these matters …. and how creative accountants would be able to milk the system…
How easy would it be to claim an extra few thousand trees in a forest ?
Seems the limits set by the Kyoto Protocol were too hard for the US (the biggest polluter) and China (the second biggest), so they declined to play..
I wonder how many of you read this far?
This is an extreme simplification of the system.
My questions are : Who is going to administer the sytem in the future if only a few understand it?
How are our children and their children supposed to see through the smog of these bureaucratic jungles?
Who will save the world in the future?
I guess it is up to you and me to spread the word.
So do your bit: learn about the sytems so you can call out pollies when they try to confound you with greenwash!
Those of you who know me or who follow my currently sporadic blog, are aware that I was raised a Catholic, steeped in the conventions and rituals of that ancient organisation.
So, when Lent comes around I attempt to focus on objectives requiring some discipline. Sadly my resolve to skip one meal a day and ride more kilometers on my bike only lasted a week.
However I am glad to say that I have approximately completed one objective, which was to paint at least one sketch a day. Approximately, because I missed some days and did some in batches – but I did at least 40 during Lent.
Regrettably, like my writings, most are mediocre; but here and there a glint of almost art may peek through.
I promised my sister in law I would post them all, so here they are. Please do exclaim on the variety of colours to be found in leaves. (There is no need to mention the unsophistication of the artist – he is cognisant thereof.)
Like any good showman, the best is saved for last!
The sketch is of sunflowers we picked from a farm field.
Who said farming can’t be appreciated by many? I don’t mean just the produce, but the intrinsic beauty of crops in the field.
An enterprising farmer recently opened the sunflower fields for the public to enjoy.
Thousands of people left their city homes and travelled over 100 kilometres to walk about the fields, smiling and posing and picking sunflowers while avoiding bees. The entry fee was not hefty.
Pop-up food and souvenir stalls abounded: I had a very fine, cheap hamburger and some unremarkable gin in grapefruit juice.
One could glamp in luxury tents, wander through a maze in the sunny fields, get married amongst sunflowers or take a helicopter flip to photograph the fields.
I half expected a March Hare and a Queen of Hearts to appear – it was a sublimely pleasant experience!
On the same yellow road: Autumn is the month for the flowering of Golden Penda trees which almost outnumber flamboyant trees in our part of the world.
After good rains (which we have had) the trees burst out in yellow sprays of flowers, which have copious nectar. This attracts the honeyeaters which include the rainbow lorikeets, who become besotted and wild, seeking out more and more.
I have written before about the cacophony of Austraian bird calls. In this season, the noise starts before dawn and continues into the heat of the day. Gangs of the electric green, purple headed birds speed from tree to tree, shrieking their critique of the nectar quality for all to hear. It is almost oppressive.
Are bureaucrats humane and pragmatic? One would hope so.
Assuming they are, it follows that they must have regard for the impact of their decisions.
Last year a long term resident had his application for renewal of his residence visa refused, because his original visa granted in 2014 had expired when he submitted his renewal application.
He had applied in time in 2019, but that application was found to be invalid because the wrong fee had been paid.
The correct fee was paid in July 2019, but by the time the application was submitted in August, the fees had been increased. Government applications require proof of payment before submission of applications.
In a matter of days, the application was declared invalid as there was a feeshortfall of $25. The applicant was advised by the department to re-apply with evidence of full payment, which was done, but by the time the new application was received, the original visa time period had elapsed by one or two days.
The applicant was also advised that he could no longer work as he had no valid visa and he had to resign.
After a week he was granted a bridging visa pending the consideration of his subsequent (late) visa application. Fortunately he was re-employed by his employer.
After 15 months, he was advised in 2021 that his application was refused as it had been made in Australia, when he had no valid visa.
He has lodged an appeal against that decision and his bridging visa has been extended.
This appeal will be heard in anywhere between 15 and 30 months.
The applicant is a family man, who has held full employment as a manager since his arrival in 2014.
The man loves Australia; he is a sportsman and lover of the outdoors; he wants to buy a house and raise his family here. He has no criminal record or history of bankruptcy; his partner is a top level educationist. His qualifications have already been scrutinised when he first applied in London in 2014.
The prolonged torture of having one’s career and family future hanging by a thread for 3 to 4 years is agonising for him and his family.
Why can’t bureaucrats look beyond such petty transgressions which can be so easily fixed? Presumably when appeals are lodged the relevant decisions are internally reviewed.
Does this mean this type of petty bureaucracy is condoned and thus encouraged in government ministries?
Where is the benefit for Australia?
Politicians would not survive scrutiny of such petty acts.
Just a thought – If these processes were digitised, turnaround would be almost instantaneous.
Even systems can be taught compassion and common sense.