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Contraception and Population

There is an opinion I hold on contraception which I thought was pretty radical. I mentioned it to someone I knew some years ago and he said it was unrealistic. But recently I mentioned it to another friend, and she seemed to think that people might be interested in it. So here it is.

Instead of telling our young people to remove their heads from nude selfies how about we suggest that intercourse should be for procreation only? If life is precious, is not the creation of life just as precious? Has not our treating sex as a pleasurable entertainment led to all sorts of problems? Including a generation of young people increasingly addicted to porn (apparently)?

What have we got to lose? Better intimate relationships, more beautiful and meaningful intercourse, and such relationships more likely to be between people who really love each other?

The virtues of Mothers

Mothers have been esteemed throughout history. They are so powerful an influence on their children, that their sons, when grown men, call for them as they die on the battlefield - I say die, but not in despair - because they know there is one who loves them, and who would risk her own life if she could, to come to his aid.

Is it wrong to call a boy a girl?

There is much fuss at the minute about name calling. I certainly agree that calling people names in an attempt to demean them is an unpleasant act, and one that should be discouraged. But in recent debate I have noticed that people are getting very upset about statements such as "you throw like a girl" etc. The implication is that this is demeaning to girls. I wish to argue that until recently, that has not been true. Furthermore, it is suggested that such statements are made by boys and men as a means of degrading girls and contribute to misogyny. I don't think this is true. I will tell you why. Firstly, I grew up with a slightly older sister - whom I adored. So I did anything she asked (although I stopped at eating poo out of the toilet which she insisted to me - when I was around 3yo - that it was chocolate). But at one stage when I was about this age, she and my rather young aunt played a game where they put me in a dress. A photo was taken.

The Left Has Been Highjacked

The left has been hijacked by unwitting servants of the neo-liberal agenda.

I was talking to a friend the other day explaining how I always considered myself left wing, but now apparently I wasn’t. I explained why and she declared that the left has been hijacked.

And it struck me: she is right, it totally has. Remember when the left was about worker’s rights? It was about preventing the rich giving themselves privileges whilst denying ordinary people both rights and access to resources. It was, in large part, about protecting people and the environment from the rapacious appetites of the elite rich. In short, the left was about ensuring that everyone had a level of human dignity and the ability to raise a healthy, happy and educated family.

Scottish Clearances - the removal of an Indigenous people


In Australia over recent decades we have become increasingly aware of the dispossession of the Indigenous Australians. Perhaps what we are less aware of is that many of the immigrants that came to Australia and Canada, were themselves dispossessed Indigenous people. In particular I am referring to the Scots, especially the Highland Scots, who were cleared from their land to make way for Cheviot sheep.

Sheep on ruins of former villages.

Things are Desperate - a Last Chance at Change Through Politics


Hi Everyone,

This is a call to arms. The science and other evidence is now without doubt - we are in the final days of our civilisation, whatever it might be called by history; it is hardly Western Civilisation anymore, since the destruction of nature (and I would argue human values, and quite possibly humans) has extended now across the globe.

We have environmentalists who, mostly in small groups, have been fighting the enslaught against nature since industrialism began. They have had their successes, but the rate of destruction is too fast and vicious, and their efforts are overwhelmed.

There is one example that has recently prompted me to post this call. At Stanley one company (with more soon to join) are buying farmland and mining the water i.e extracting the water which is supposed to be for farming and selling it as though it is their own private property. This is not like mining gold, extracting water in this way extracts it from all the neighbours as well. And now more companies/selfish individuals look likely to join the extraction, adding to the problem.

Natural Seaford Foreshore being destroyed by Council

It seems we are losing our natural foreshore by a process of stealth. The Seaford community has fought for years to retain the beautiful natural bush land along the foreshore. It is, and has always, been at risk. I have spoken to people who would like to see the bush removed and grass and palm trees planted all along there. But we have resisted this. We have also resisted repeated pushes for hard paths through the bushland (for bike access). But not-so slowly we are seeing the foreshore change, gradually more and more of it is being developed, paved and covered with boardwalks, and even street-lighting in the bush area:

What's going on at Seaford Rd intersection? Letter to Ministers and Councillors

"Until a few days ago, traffic travelling towards the beach on Seaford Rd in Seaford and turning right down railway parade would only back up in the worst of peak times. But several days ago the light sequence was changed, now it is almost permanently backed-up for several hundred metres, up on to the bridge over the freeway. [...] People in the local community are suggesting that the light sequences are deliberately being changed to cause jams so as to justify level crossing works. Certainly there is something suspicious about an intersection which rarely backed up several days ago and now is almost unusable."

#metoo - What can Men do to help?

The #metoo campaign gives the impression that women go through life suffering constant sexual advances and harassment. I obviously have no experience of this (nb: I have experienced similar, but not as awoman) but what I can confidently assert is that many men go through life suffering constant physical violence, or threats of violence.

Can Britain Feed Itself? How Industrialism reshaped England and the world

There was an argument made that it could in 2007 you can read it here

However, my own research into this question suggests that the most people Britain could feed, on its own resources, is around 8 million people. This is the conclusion I reached after looking into the claims of an "Agricultural Revolution" during the industrial revolution. My research is presented below:

Chapter 1: Where are we? (The Technological Tempest: Charting a New Course)

Prelude

This book arrives in a society completely lost in a sea of technological gadgetry. Furthermore that society is unceasingly buffeted by powerful winds of change that continually destroy and reshape both the social and physical landscape. The book attempts to explain how we arrived at this situation, what forces and visions drove us here. It recalls the warnings of the prudent which were ignored as we discarded the anchor of past moralities and left the safety of the shores for a new adventure that promised wealth and opportunity for all. To some extent it is a story of pirates and brave heroes, but it reads as much like tragedy as it does epic. The book reveals what we left behind and by drawing on small islands of knowledge it attempts to chart a course to take us through calmer, safer waters.

Harvey Weinstein - to hate or to help?

There are a lot of stories coming out about Harvey Weinstein. True, his actions do sound terrible. But how should we respond to such actions and such people? Wienstein is still a human, and still has feelings and emotions like anyone else. Should he be hated by his victims and despised by the rest of society? Because that does seem to be the response to the recent allegations against him, Spiked magazine for example states:

Practical Ways in Which Everyone Can Improve Society


Not many people are Christians these days. However, there is one aspect of Christian thought which is perhaps worth modern atheists considering. That is the idea that improvement needs to come from the ground up – i.e. from the grass roots. We may lament the poor quality of our politicians, the corruption of political donations, the failure of neo-liberalism, and we may feel we are somewhat powerless against these. Christian thought says otherwise. Christian thought sees society as a product of its members, as a sum produced from the parts. Under this ideology, if you improve the parts you improve the overall organism. Thus according to this idea - which in modern language is perhaps associated with the term synergy - individuals are not powerless. In fact, the quality of the whole depends on the quality of the parts.

Where is the love in Google's sacking of James Damore?

James Damore was the man who sent a memo in Google in which he suggested that maybe the low participation of women in tech areas was because women in general had less desire to work in those areas. For this he was sacked.

Now for purposes of this article I am not so interested in whether he was right or wrong. I am interested in how he was treated. I think how James was treated in this matter reflects a far deeper malaise within our culture; that malaise is a lack of love and concern for others. If we really want to create a better society, with less conflict, hatred and violence, then we really need to consider deeply why people are punished and to what end.

Citizen Shadow Parliaments - an alternative planning approach?

Do you ever wonder what our society would look like if everyday people were calling the shots? If everyday people had more influence rather than a few privileged rich and large corporations? Would we have sold our public utilities? Would the centre of Melbourne look less like Manhattan; have less poorly constructed and dangerous residential towers? Would citizens be forced into selling off the backyards of family homes to pay their outrageous mortgages? Would we ever have allowed negative gearing and its looming financial tsunami?

On the traditional roles of men and women in Industrial Society

I have found that I and people I know are increasingly working longer and longer hours. And this with ever increasing demands on the job, as the demands for perfection increase, and the support to achieve it decreases. Especially the large organisations in which we are working appear as despotic, in that one has no say over what happens or what might happen, but instead is faced with a stream of orders and new demands being delivered constantly, yet randomly, through the impersonal medium of email. There is no discussing with this new invisible master - often the sender is not even a person with whom you can engage in conversation, but some impersonal departmental (i.e do-not-reply) email address. Then one finds that travel to anywhere is time consuming, and extremely stressful, as conditions are crowded and arrival on time is far less than certain - whether it be by train or car. With people arriving home late, exhausted we must prepare meals, often reply to a few still-unanswered work emails. All of which leaves us little spare time - and in such a state of mental exhaustion that we could not enjoy it anyway. Necessarily our weekends are often consumed with the other chores of life, maintaining houses, shopping, and preparing food and clothing for the next hectic week. This sad condition of modern people led me to reflect as to how we got into this state, and what has changed to make modern life so difficult. I wondered how we used to cope, and I recall as a child how the weekends were quiet, the shops were closed after midday Saturday, and there was hardly any traffic. Now, the busiest traffic times are on weekends, as is the busiest trading. And a major reason, I think is the fact that now both partners work, there is no-one with time to do shopping in the day, prepare meals for 6.00 pm (we often eat much later, even if we feed the children earlier, either my wife or I may find it is 9.00 pm before we have time for dinner). So why is modern life so crazy?

Musing on the Monarchy

A small public garden at Healesville in Victoria has a plaque stating that the garden was planted in 1953 in commemoration of the coronation of Queen Victoria II. She was crowned in 1952, almost 65 years ago. For such a long time has she reigned; few regents could boast 65 years in office. And it is over us, Australians, that she reigns; quietly, discretely, non-politically - in the background. But will it always be so? Prince Charles has shown a disposition to make comments on political matters. Will he continue the monarchy in the same silent manner? Surely his time must come soon – no one lives forever. What will happen then? What could happen then?

Gated Carparks for the Homeless - by the Seaford Housing Action Coalition

The Seaford Housing Action Colalition is looking at strategies to deal with homelessness in the Frankston area. They have held discussions with a number of people in the community and also other groups and bodies that have been dealing with these issues.

Attached here is a copy of their report examining the potential to use Gated Carparks as a place of safe refuge for people sleeping in cars or sleeping rough.

SHAC: Solidarity with homeless people and those at risk of homelessness
SHAC3198@gmail.com
http://www.seafordcc.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=20

The real challenge facing 'Back to the Earth' communities?

On Friday June 3rd 2016, the Simplicity Institute screened its newly produced film 'A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity'. The film is essentially a documentary of the Institute's attempts to create a simple living community along permaculture lines. Following a public invitation to participate a group of mostly fairly young people participated in this experimental community on a rural property in Gippsland. The project involved them growing and preparing their own food, and building the necessary infrastructure which included: houses for each other; a communal living area and kitchen in a large shed; vegetable patches; composting toilet systems, etc.

Patriarchal values are not male values.

Feminists may say that the prevailing attitude of men has always been that women’s place is in the home. Well the truth is that until the industrial revolution, everyone’s place was in the home. Home was where families worked – together. Men did not go off to work in offices and factories until there were factories and offices to go to. For most of western history they worked on the farm or in the shop with their wives and children. It was only the industrial revolution that rendered families and communities asunder, culminating in the stereo-typical 1950’s housewife – at home, isolated and alone – in a way, and on a scale, never seen before in human history. This article asserts that neo-liberal values may rule more men but that they are not natural male values and that Christianity, for instance, although dominated by male figures, endorsed values opposite to liberalism. Comments welcome. Editor, Candobetter.net.

The West is learning about Collective Responsibility

We are starting to realise that all the little decisions we make about what to do, or what not to do really matter. We are learning that throwing our plastic bag (or our used coffee cups, or our cigarette buts) into the street, does matter - because collectively all this rubbish is having an impact on our environment and especially our wildlife. We are learning that things we once thought of as insignificant are in fact significant and often have far reaching effects. In Australia we have learned that longer showers affect our water supplies, that our small individual actions are impacting our water storages as well as the flow down our rivers, and consequently the water available for farming and other purposes. What an awakening!

TPP: Time for Abbott to rethink this 'preferential' and 'dangerous' agreement

Yesterday, as the U.S. Senate resolved to ‘fast- track’ the TPP, in Australia, the Productivity Commission came out all guns blazing declaring the ‘free’ trade agreement ‘preferential’ and ‘dangerous’. Bill Davis and Dr Matthew Mitchell report.Republished with thanks from original article at Independent Australia.

See also: The Day the Earth Died and why Sierra Club, Greenpeace, et al. were virtually silent about it (25/6/15) | Global Research

Save Seaford Cabin Park


Meeting 27 Nov., 2014, Seaford Community Centre, 6.30 –
8.00 pm
Car parks over Community? Seaford Cabin Park houses marginalised people in around 80 units between Nepean Highway and Kananook Creek. Council plans will see people evicted from 20 of these units and possibly the closure of the entire cabin park.

The Cabin Parks sits in part on Crown land which it has leased from the Council for over 20 years. Council now wants to terminate that lease so as to create a car park. This will lead to the loss of around 20 cabins, meaning that the residents of those cabins will be displaced. The loss of the lease may even affect the viability of the entire cabin park, meaning all residents would need to find alternative accommodation.

There is very little 'social housing' available around Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula, yet Council has suggested these people could be relocated to Mornington - in an entirely different community! Assuming that such accommodation can even be found - there or anywhere else. Despite no clear justification for a car park, Council is stubbornly insisting on continuing with the eviction.

The problem is power, and our failure to learn

A couple of years back a Vietnamese colleague of mine told me how his father had to flee from Vietnam (after the war I believe). I asked about his family, and apart from his father, who was an academic, the rest were all farmers. Curious about how bad things really were in Vietnam before the war, and in so-called 'poor developing nations' in general, I enquired about the standard of living of his farming relatives, in particular his uncle - whom we were discussing. The first question was "Did he ever go hungry?". The answer was a no, hunger was never really an issue. The next question was "How hard did he work?" Here I was imagining dawn-to-dusk drudgery in the fields. My friend's reply was 'about four hours a day". At the end of this conversation life as a peasant farmer in Vietnam didn't seem too bad, debt free, and no (or little) risk of hunger or unemployment.

Australia - no home for the homeless


The Frankston Times and The Age have both this week published articles dealing with the problem of homelessness, and in particular the problem of "rough sleepers" - those sleeping on our streets and reserves.

There are rough sleepers in Frankston, and recently there have been anecdotal reports that these people are being preyed upon by small groups of thieves and sexual predators. This article discusses the problem of rough sleepers and a possible way we can help protect these people in Frankston.

Down's Estate at Seaford Wetlands - Public Meeting Thursday, June 26

7:00pm Thur, 26 June 2014, Public Meeting: Seaford Community Centre Meeting Room. The Down's Estate is the former farm owned by Harry Down a famous whip and saddlemaker who had a store on Nepean Highway in Frankston. It is located on Wells Rd Seaford, opposite the motorcycle club track. Representatives from the different groups will be talking at this meeting about the proposals for the area around the house site of the former Down's Farm (approximately 3 hectares of the 20 hectare site). See inside for details.

India: "Capitalism - a ghost story," by Arundhati Roy

The same forces are at work across the entire globe - whether it be Ukraine or Australia, Elites (the 1%) are seeking to make the vulnerable more vulnerable in an insatiable effort to consolidate their wealth, and perhaps more importantly for them (and us) - their power.

It is now clear that America's democracy is completely corrupted.
It seems that Australia is also going down this path, with Joe Hockey 'selling' access for $22,000, and many other rorts for a privileged few going behind the scenes, such as those involving Sinodinos.

ISDS and the TPP: Trading our National Sovereignty

This article was originally published at bloggerme.com.au Since Tony Abbott was elected, Australia has progressed with two trade agreements that place Australia at risk of Investor-State Dispute Systems (ISDS) — one already signed with Korea (which definitely includes ISDS) and another close to agreement with Japan (which may include an ISDS). ISDS creates a parallel legal system that allows foreign investors to sue Australian taxpayers if Australia passes laws that reduce the value of their investments or their profits.

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