The magic of Edward Lear

One of the sweetest things happened recently: our daughter confessed that  she always associated Edward Lear’s poem: The Owl and the Pussycat with us, her Mum and Dad. The connection had been made via two photos of us dancing: one at a school dance and the other at our wedding.

It is a wonderful poem with delightful images of traditional love rituals.

pea green boat

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are, you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are.”

Pussy said to the Owl “You elegant fowl, 
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?”

 They sailed away, for a year and a day,                                 piggy ring
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose, his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?”
Said the Piggy, “I will”
turkey marriedSo they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

by light of moon

Serendipitously, I quoted from Edward Lear’s Jabberwocky in my wedding speech which I related as my father’s advice on getting married:

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! 
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! 
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun 
      The frumious Bandersnatch!” 

 

We must never discard the magic interwoven in our memories nor disregard the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

 

It’s a topsy-turvy world we live in

Do not for one moment think that the Establishment exists for your benefit or that the government or the opposition or doctors or bankers are right.

 

Check the facts – make your  own mind up.

 

With that as a theme I reviewed some articles I had saved and these are a few quotes that I found thought provoking from an article called Intolerant Liberals by Tucker Fitzgerald 

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”Isaac Asimov

Do not accept everything you are told by the Man:

There is no such thing as an outright political lie. Instead there’s distortion, exaggeration, misrepresentation,deception, half-truth and overstatement. The assumption is that the risk is worth it.

Because democracy isn’t the only value we hold. We don’t accept the 51% enslaving the 49% by popular vote. Because Hitler was brought to power by a democratically elected government. Because American slavery was legal.

lenin deception

The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

Gary Kasparoff

Now  – getting closer to the point I want to make:

More people are recognizing that the economic paradigm that guides our global system today is deeply misaligned with a thriving future.

The Neoliberal economic system is a cultural construct. It has a particular history and espouses a cogent set of core beliefs, social values, and organizational practices. There is a narrative coherence to notions of “freeing” markets from regulation, letting wealth “trickle down” from the coffers of the rich, and a “rugged individualism” that pays too little attention to the social factors that shape economic outcomes.

Joe Brewer

Soreefersmetime last week Queensland news was filled with the successful busts by police of numerous marijuana growers who had rented suburban houses and converted them to grass growing hothouses. A number of serious statements were made about these heavy criminals.

 

There have been over twelve million cannabis arrests in the United States from 1996 until 2013.

35.6 percent of 12th graders in US and 67% of medical students had used marijuana during the year prior to a recent survey

Also last week, I received an article from an investment advisor heavily tipping investment in marijuana projects listed on stock exchanges.bank of ganja

The United States Marijuana Index (a stock exchange index) has jumped from a level of 48.39 a year ago to the current level of 70.83, an increase of 46%

Enjoying a growth rate of 77% over the last few years and an estimated 700% growth rate by 2018, it’s bigger than corn, bigger than cotton, and bigger than wheat.

In fact, according to UN data, it’s valued at about $142 billion. To put that in perspective, the global coffee market is valued at about $80 billion per year.

Possession and cultivation are Federal offences but lawful in over half the states in US. It will be totally decriminalised in Canada next year. Possession is lawful in South Africa and Netherlands. Medical marijuana can be lawfully prescribed in Australia.

Now how about that for a disconnect in values?

I am not a recreational user (yet), but I may well become an investor.

How does one reconcile that with being a law abiding citizen?

 

And just to see if you are awake and did read this to the end, I have included a quotation which should make most of my African readers grin.

This is a gentleman’s affectionate description of his donkey:

“most fokkin fency-schmency blerrie fokkin perd on the whole of the Cape-Flats, eating epples from fokkin Woolwurths.”

donkey grin

Random Views

 

“Democracy is popular because of the illusion of choice and participation it provides, but when you live in a society in which most people’s knowledge of the world extends as far as sports, sitcoms, reality shows, and celebrity gossip, democracy becomes a very dangerous idea.

democracy

Until people are properly educated and informed, instead of indoctrinated to be ignorant mindless consumers, democracy is nothing more than a clever tool used by the ruling class to subjugate the rest of of us.”

– Gavin Nascimento on Collective Evolution

desperate pol

 

Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favour of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be.

Marshall McLuhan

Now this is an attractive thought!

A representative who is a server (pun intended) that:

  • will be fully informed on all relevant information, legislation and current affairs
  • cannot deviate from principle, without electorate approval
  • can consider rationally every submission made by electors, evidence in committee and Parliamentary utterances and vote in accordance with his electors’ wishes
  • can attend multiple meetings in hologram simultaneously
  • is not subject to suspicions about national loyalties
  • is not distracted by things politicians should not be distracted by
  • is not corruptible
  • does not need expenses

We need to find better ways to rule ourselves – people are just too human and unreliable!

well thought out pol

You’re the nigger, baby

(Watch the video)

James Baldwin puts the finger on racial epithets. So sad that the lesson hasn’t been accepted in the US yet, let alone the rest of the world.

all same

In the meantime, we hope that somehow or other, control over the big, nasty toys is removed from the nasty little boys.

us korea

 

 

 

 

Murphy’s Law No 147(b)

If you have a puncture while cycling, it will be in the proximity of the furthest point from home.          

Being  a disciplined thinker, I didn’t invoke any special inference the last time I had a puncture just after I turned to go home and had to walk 2 miles to get there. However, it seemed more than coincidence when I had a puncture yesterday, just 100 metres from where I turned to go home. This time it was a 4 mile walk.

Maybe next time it will be 8 miles from home… except that I am going to carry one of those puncture fix kits from now on!

black schnauzerJust as well for that bit of reverse fortune, as the black dog had slunk in for a sombre lurk and the enforced march cleared the air; black dogs don’t like competition, so it slunk off!

I think it slipped in with my tax return. This is my 4th year of involuntary unemployment, so I have little to distract the taxman with. That doesn’t make completion of the form any easier! One would think that by now the Revenue dudes would have worked out an idiot proof format so that any dummy could complete a return…

But… wait… maybe they did … and my brain has atrophied to super-idiot size…!  See how easily the black dog slinks in? Its the government’s fault and I don’t have a vote even though I do pay tax…. rage can get the endorphins flowing nearly as well as exercise!

My consolation is that I have time to enjoy the birds making their nests and write mimosawonderful books about myself and sniff the subtle anisescent of the spring flowering mimosa on the wattle trees.

photoOf great joy right now is the bright colours of my nasturtiums, which are nearly my favourite flowers now, especially as they are entirely edible: flowers, leaves and seeds

Hmmm… maybe I should be finding a new project to distract me – this design by IKEA caught my eye:

ikea-flat-pack-garden.jpg

It’s a flat-pack garden farm of the future – I have the plans if anyone wants to build one: all you need is a saw, hammer and a screwdriver.

Or maybe this is more your style? ikea garden

Whatever – the point is that we all need to start growing our own vegetables…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ephemera *

*things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time.can opener

To think that motor cars, meat, doctors, lawyers (yay!), teachers are ephemeral, just temporary fads, is quite sobering.

My grandfather was a cavalryman, born in 1861 in Ireland. He died in 1931.  I am pretty sure he never owned a motor car.

A forecast I read (which I checked out in case it was fake – it wasn’t) noted:

In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don’t want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving.

My grandkids will never get a driver’s licence and will never own a car.

Here’s another point from the same list:

  • The price for solar will drop so much that all coal companies will be out of business by 2025.
  • With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter. We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.
  • Aeroponics will need much less water. lab burger
  • The first petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow  produced veal in 2018. …

There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat.

Sustainability requires us to reduce the environmental footprint of the meat producing industry…accounting for some 18% of our total greenhouse gas emissions.

A Tricorder X machine  that works with your phone, will replace your doctor:  it takes your retina scan, blood sample and you breathe into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease.

online medic

shongololo

Enough for today – my mind has been boggling since I read this… hope I didn’t spoil your day.

Anyone for a shongololo burger ...

spidersauce

 

 

with spidersauce…?

Another Myth

Once upon a time, less than 40 years ago, I sent people to gaol for growing hemp; reeferswell, the recreational type of it. In those days it was used as a drug for purposes of pleasant intoxication and it was verboten!

It seems that marijuana was caught up in the prohibition legislation years when all intoxicants were demonised and prohibited: liquor, morphine, heroin, etc.

Before that industrial hemp was a major crop: even George Washington grew it, as did the ancient Egyptians. Henry Ford said: “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” 

Big business seems to have had a hand in suppressing the cultivation of all types of hemp.

These days we are slowly rediscovering the wonders of hemp (including marijuana). All that is necessary is to re-educate ourselves. Even legislators are grudgingly relenting on the illegalities of cannabis, persuaded by its undoubted medicinal benefits.

We are all educated to a high level now, so we can get over the mythical monsters of past propaganda… even communism has been deflated as a 20th Century bogey.

So … get your mind around the fact that industrial hemp is a wonderful and highly useful plant:

  • 75-90% of all paper in the world was made with hemp fibre until 1883. One acre of hemp can produce as much paper as 4 to 10 acres of trees over a 20-year cycle, but hemp stalks only take four months to mature, whereas trees take 20 to 80 years.
  • Clothing & Fabrics: One acre of hemp will produce as much material as 2-3 acres of cotton
  • Hemp can be made into various different building materials, hempcrete, fiberboard, carpet, stucco, cement blocks, insulation, and plastic.
  • Hemp plastic can completely replace oil based plastic materials that we are using today… and is completely biodegradable hempstalk_diagram
  • Hemp can be made into fuel in two ways: biodiesel, or ethanol and methanol.
  • Hemp seeds are very high in protein, containing 25% protein content. Along with magnesium, potassium, dietary fibre and almost every vitamin and mineral that the body needs, they contain high amounts of essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
    • In Australia it fetches above the average price of grains that are currently grown.
  • In Canada, industrial hemp has become a booming multi-million dollar export.

So check it out for yourself. You will find that like butter, hemp is good stuff! Become a new age hero and promote hemp as a replacement for paper and fossil fuel.

Not as easy as you may believe. Common sense has other opposition:

hemp joke

This is the new age challenge: rooting out fake news and reviving buried treasures of the past: Remember Nikola Tesla  – his inventions are now being realised as the treasures they are!

There’s a kick in Silly Socks!

no necktie noblesThose of you who have followed the doings of the sillysocksonfriday school/movement will know that victory was recently declared in the campaign against the necktie and a new target was identified: plastic bags!

no use bag

Well now, you may be as surprised as we were when within a few weeks of our declaration, the big supermarkets announced they were banning the horrible thin bags and would promote re-usable bags.

sugar snakeAs you will recall we also targetted the sugar snake recently and there are increasingly loud calls for a sugar tax as a prelude to a stronger campaign to reduce sugar usage.

no sugar cokeCoca Cola have now released a No Sugar Coke and are moving into the bottled water market.

Tell me that is not mega-impact!

So where to now? We need a Goliath to tumble!

don quixoteObsolete windmills or naked emperors are the preferred targets for a quirky tilt, but occasionally some dumb stunt will prompt a rant or a sunny day an ode to the good life.naked emperor

Please add your ideas and targets in a comment below.

namaste.jpg                                                           Namaste!

Because it played on Pandora today and it has always moved me, I have added this little gem  from Crosby, Stills , Nash and Young for y’all:

Teach your children    (click on the link to hear the song)

You, who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself because the past is just a goodbye.
Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by,
and feed them on your dreams, the one they pick, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
so just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years, can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
and so please help them with your youth, they seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well, their children’s hell will slowly go by,
and feed them on your dreams, the one they pick, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
so just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

We don’t know how lucky we are!

Here in the Redlands Shire of Queensland, we probably have the best living conditions in the world!redlands survey2017 p1 2017-07-06 001

Take a look at the major issues of the shire! Wow! Drugs are the major threat – a modern day Nirvana affliction.

Traffic is a problem because we have too many cars!  There is horror when the two coincide:

  • Driving along a main road recently we nearly got taken out by a spaced out punk in a hot rod spinning out doing a wheelie at an intersection. He lost control doing a 360⁰ spin which missed our car on the other side of the road by inches!

And you think living in Syria is dangerous, or Paris, Brussels, London or New York..!

But our rural roots come through in the swing to the right that is evident in the attitudes below.

surv p2

But look at the support for euthanasia and medical marijuana! And the sugar tax!

So we rich people want to get skinnier, die when we choose and do so happily!

We see China as a big threat but are happy to take their money for our exports, sell them our property and encourage their tourists.

What are the questions not asked?

Do you support increased Police powers including:

  • invasion of privacy of communications
  • shoot to kill if there is a  threat to life
  • preventative arrest and detention of terror suspects…?

We are not back to the death penalty yet, but it may come back to that…!

Another touchy political subject is student loan debts … perhaps no more loans unless a 75% pass rate is achieved? And don’t leave the country until you have paid what you owe?

Lucky I am not standing for election! In a social welfare funded state, clawing back what has been granted in the past is a political nightmare.

Therein lies the root of the failure of liberalism – if you swing too far and maktrump-fingere too many allowances, the return swing becomes very lumpy – ask the US Democrats!

 

Not only do we need to count our blessings, we also need to ensure we don’t give them away!!

 

never-let-society

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose

So sang Kristofferson and Joplin after Bobby McGee left them heartbroken and bereft.

That may be true in the sense that relationships and possessions carry obligations which are fetters on your freedom.

Throughout Africa, freedom from colonial rule has led to continued corruption and tyranny, the destruction of agriculture and plunder of natural resources without regard for posterity and a disregard for welfare of the people, which will soon leave nothing left to lose.

In the supposedly more civilised ‘western world’, increased freedoms have led to the inability of governments to curtail or restrict the increasingly conflicted demands on the fiscus and the disempowerment of Police, Border Control and Armed Forces. Soon they too may have nothing left to lose, because everything is free.

But I digress.

I have recently done a course on What Works in Development Aid strategies

corruption funnel

The course started off by saying that not many aid strategies worked because of the rip-offs by the empowered elites in recipient countries.

Somalis, Sudanese and Ethiopians are still starving after how many years and dollars of aid . In addition, because the development aid in health has been so successful, there are many more people doomed to hunger!

We are talking big money: $135 billion in 2014 spent by OECD countries alone!

The United Nations sustainable development goal number 1 is: to leave no-one behind by 2030. Cute, hey?

trickle down effectPerhaps consideration should be given to the existence of the development aid industry as a whole: from UN agencies, to government ministries, to universities to aid workers and supply chain operators – is it worth the significant expenditure of taxpayers dollars?

Should foreigners be intervening in sovereign states to prolong life expectancy in a world where natural resources are being depleted and destroyed by too many people?

Or is the development aid industry too entrenched to re-consider its roots. The disguise or suspicion of imperialism and market growth will remain.

Should we continue to shore up tyranny by removing the desperation of their populace, who eventually must be the authors of their own liberation? The alternative is the one that communism and agencies like the CIA instigated: arming people to enable them to confront abuses. Is the morality not the same?

The survival of our world is threatened by the wholesale destruction of our environment by unrestrained economies with burgeoning populations. The survival imperative is to safeguard resources. Economic and political interventions are apparently tenuous and entail the appeasement of tyrants for success, which is morally unpalatable.

Military intervention to impose and sustain appropriate institutions and practices is an alternative, but failed in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somaliland, Syria and is much more expensive and politically sensitive!

However, my putative rant hit a brick wall.

A little more research and thinking about the topic suggests that it is in fact very necessary expenditure:

  • On average, the richer states spend only about 0.7% of their gross national incomes on aid (relatively insignificant)
  • it curbs global spread of diseases
  • it buys friends, allies and access to resources
  • it provides markets…
  • the aid industry employs many people at home and abroad; e.g.: in the US all aid supplies must be made in the US.

In 1990, 1.9billion (36%) of the the world population of 5.3 billion, lived in extreme poverty. In 2010, only 1.2 billion (18%) of the increased population of 6.8 billion, lived in extreme poverty. Aid is believed to have significantly contributed to this reduction in poverty and increased life expectancy and the eradication of a number of diseases.

It also definitely contributed to the 28% increase in population.

 

There are other secondary (or maybe primary objectives), like the renewed

scramble for Africa, illustrated by the numerous and significant projects

china aid.gif

funded and manned by China.

It is ironic that China was one of the main supporters of the spread of communism in Africa, until its loss of credibility.

 

However, over 150 countries (of the 196 in the world) have committed themselves to the United Nations Development Programme’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

This is where our hopes lie, as signatories can be held accountable to their commitments.

Here’s hoping!

global goals

 

 

A new campaign

Our current campaign is a global war against that yoke of uniformity, the nenoose tieck tie.

There can be no logical explanation why people continue to tie strips of cloth tightly around their throats and then dangle them on their chests. 

This was blogged on 16 October 2005, but the real campaign against the necktie started in practice in the 90’s with the wearing of silly socks on Fridays. The more radical followers of the movement also began wearing outrageous and unseemly ties to draw attention to the folly of the fashion convention.

The recent neck-naked appearances of those prisoners of convention and foremost icons of the stiff upper lip Society, HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, KG, KT, PC, ADC(P), HRH Prince Henry of Wales, KCVO and the Obamas indicates their clear support for the campaign and clearly demonstrates that the campaign is all but won. (The speculation that they read this blog can not be confirmed.)

no necktie nobles.jpg
Long live the revolution!

We will not be distracted by celebrations of victory but rather dedicate our considerable efforts to a new campaign.

Ban the Bag 

plastic jelly fish

The New York City Sanitation Department collects more than 1,700 tons of single

turtlefood
Turtle Food

use carry-out bags every week and has to spend $12.5 million a year to dispose of them.

Clean up Australia informs us that plastic bags have been around for 30 years now. It is estimated worldwide that 1 trillion bags are used and discarded every year.

 

plastic picnic spot
Protected picnic place

Australians use 3.92 billion plastic bags a year, that’s over 10 million new bags being used every day. An estimated 3.76 billion bags or 20,700 tonnes of plastic are disposed of in landfill sites throughout Australia every year. Australians dump 7,150 recyclable plastic bags into landfills every minute or 429,000 bags every hour.

We know that we can do without them; they are a recent invention – we used baskets or boxes before, we can use them again. Aldi has none and we flock there!

ACT, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania have banned single-use plastic shopping bags. Why do Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, Europe and the World not follow?

This is one way we can contribute to saving our world – work on it, work on your politicians, teachers and children: you can do it!

Start by taking your own carry bags to the supermarket and greengrocer – don’t use their bags. Not that easy – you have to put on your Crusader’s armour everytime you shop!

biobag-I personally will have to work out a solution to picking up dog poo, but I will try too.

I wonder if the Princes are good to go on this? (Not the dog poo bit, but lending their weight to a plastic bag ban…)

Our destiny is in our own hands! Seize the opportunity and strike a blow for everyone of us!

whats your vote