Lost and found

Is it just me or has anyone else found these times of “Corona” to be mentally draining? I’ve been neglecting my WordPress blog and the blogs of those I follow due to feeling so drained, lethargic, mentally exhausted. Anything that needed thinking about was pushed aside in favour of mindless pursuits such as Facebook or watching YouTube videos. Writing or even reading books was a task rather than the usual joy I experience. Add to this the unusually grey, cold, rainy and overcast weather we’ve been experiencing here in New Zealand through our first month of winter and the result is a wish to hibernate until it’s all over and springtime, sunshine and blue skies mean that normal service has once again resumed.

BUT, I’m back…..maybe not 100% back, but at least I’m reading again and have finally posted a short but hopeful post here. Sorry to all those I follow, for not actively following and commenting on your posts recently. I’m sure that there have been many good ones and I will be attempting to catch up on what I’ve missed over the last couple of months. Also apologies for those who have been following me for several months and have started to wonder if I’d fallen off the planet.

I’ll be doing a review of a trilogy of Margaret Atwood books – Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam. Thankyou Margaret for rescuing me from the brain fog I’ve been lost in for several weeks. For anyone who hasn’t read any of her books yet, you’re missing a treat. She has a very imaginative mind.

I may even review some of the mindless but oh so addictive Zombie movies I’ve been watching on YouTube. There have been many over the weeks – some good, some bad and some really terrible.

This time of year the garden gets a good tidy up and I’ve already got seedlings coming up in my seed trays in the relative warmth of my shed window. Another week or so and they will be ready to plant out, under cover of plastic tunnels, so the frost doesn’t kill them. Life goes on.

I hope that you’re all well, have avoided the dreaded virus, and are thriving – physically and mentally.

Until the next post. Thank you for reading. And to borrow a phrase from our Prime Minister “be kind to one another”.

Controversial documentary removed by “Thought Police”

Years ago, while still at school, I read Orwell’s 1984 and it scared me. I re-read it only a few months ago, pre-coronavirus, and it still scared me. Although at the time of my re-read I thought that although Orwell had predicted a lot of things accurately, there was still a certain amount of freedom of speech in the modern world….and freedom of movement…..freedom to gather in public places….

Then came COVID-19, and everything changed. Not only were individual rights and perceived freedoms eroded, but more and more things on Facebook and YouTube were removed as being “false or inaccurate information”. What they should say is that items were removed because they didn’t reflect the official narrative. Yes, Orwell’s Thought Police from 1984 have now well and truly arrived.

Planet-of-the-humans.jpg

This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day – an annual event to celebrate and protect the environment. It falls on April 22nd. Film Producer Mike Moore chose Earth Day as the release date for a documentary movie directed by Jeff Gibbs called PLANET OF THE HUMANS. A movie made because and I quote “we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.

It would appear that Moore, Gibbs and author Ozzie Zehner – who’s book Green Illusions forms the basis of the documentary – have ruffled the feathers of some powerful people….Al Gore included. So much so that website “Films for Action” have removed it from their listings as being “inaccurate and misleading” – in other words they have been leaned on by someone with a lot of clout because the movie does not follow the official narrative. In the documentary some very powerful, rich (billionaires) people are called out for selling the environmental movement down the river. They don’t like it. Moore has released the movie for free in order to get the message out before it’s too late for humanity.

On the day the movie was released I watched it twice, because there was a lot to absorb. I suggest you see it for yourself, check the facts delivered yourself…..use several websites and not just the first ones thrown up by Google….and come to your own conclusions.

I have tried to put a link to the YouTube movie three times now and all I get is a brief loading of the movie followed by a lot of flashing as the link appears and then disappears, appears and disappears. However, I have managed to find another post where someone has managed to embed it successfully….and that won’t load on here either. Try clicking on the link below….

Homepage

It is well worth viewing. You will not believe how two faced some leaders of the environmental movement are and how far they have been “influenced by big money”. It’s an eye opener and it turned my views completely on their head.

I’ll close with this excerpt from Wikipedia below, and thank you once more for reading. Please watch the movie, self check the “facts” and come to your own conclusions.

The central thesis of the film is that reductions in consumption and population might be needed because humans can’t rely on green energy to achieve sustainability. One reason is that sustainability encompasses areas beyond fossil fuel concerns, (like species‘ extinctions due to habitat loss through agriculture). Another that human energy needs are too great. And finally that the green energy movement is corrupt and misleading. Various people and organizations in the United States claiming to promote green energy have actually been promoting biomass energy, which mostly entails the burning of trees instead of fossil fuels. This practice is neither carbon neutral, renewable, nor sustainable. The film also claims that wind power and solar power don’t fare much better once all the inputs for construction and maintenance, requiring the use of fossil fuels, are taken into account. Jeff Gibbs has said that the film is designed to prompt discussion and debate beyond the narrow issue of climate change and look at the overall human impact on the environment, including issues such as the contemporary extinction crisis in which half of all wildlife has disappeared in the last 40 years, and whether green technology can solve these issues”.

The conclusion that the movie comes to is that we have overpopulated the planet – at the expense of all other lifeforms – and we over consume – energy…things in general. We need to reduce population rapidly and stop being so wasteful and destructive. A forest is NOT a commodity….it is NOT a “resource” to be abused by us….it is a lifeform and supports millions of other lifeforms. We get up in arms about destruction of the Amazon Rain Forest and yet allow our local forests to be clear felled….as if it’s OK for us to destroy nature but not someone overseas. AND we are being sold down the river AGAIN by the people who are meant to be leading us out of the climate crisis, people who, by far, value their own material wealth over the welfare of the planet and all life (including ours) on it.

False news….false, false news!

The President and the disputed word

As the president’s official speechwriter I’d like to point out that the president is not offended by the label of “Cockwomble”. This is what he had to say earlier today when Fox News reported that he had indeed been labelled a Cockwomble.


“The definition, given above, of this outstanding word is false news. Very big false news. Very hugely big false news in fact. The term, if you look it up in the official White House dictionary of modern American words, that incidentally I’ve just finished writing….a great great book of wise words…… frankly is actually a compliment. A big and very great, and I must say very apt complement. I’ll break it down for the stoopid journalists among you. “Cock” – well we all know that the cock is in charge of the henhouse. So this just means that I’m the numero uno Rooster in charge of this great great nation…this beautiful and very wonderful land of the free. Numero UNO! As for the second part “Womble” – some people, not all, just the smart ones like me….when I say smart like me of course I actually mean that you wish you were all as smart as me…you wouldn’t believe my IQ if I told you….off the chart…way off…super smart…very super duper smart. But anyway the Wombles were very cute and wonderful creatures on British TV who cleared up other peoples mess ups. Much like I’ve done since taking over the bad…the very bad…the incredible, very bad mess left by Obama. I’ve cleaned up Obama’s mess. Cleaned it right up. I’ve been given China’s mess to clear up, this Chinese virus, started in Wuhan….in CHINA, so it’s a Chinese virus okay. Very deadly, but I’ve defeated it more or less single handed. The WHO and the UN are incompetent and very stupid people. Can’t be trusted. So I’m removing funding. I’ve turned things around again and made America great again…AGAIN. How great? Very very wonderfully super duperly great. Greater than ever actually. It’s an outstanding achievement. Everyone says so. Everyone. All the big, big players say so. America is great, just like Great Uncle Bulgaria of the Wombles was a great great man, that’s why he was Great Uncle….very wise, so very very wise – like me, people come to him with problems and he uses his amazing outstanding wonderful great wisdom to sort things out, so the analogy is quite correct, except of course that I have better hair. God bless America.”

So there you have it Donald Trump, President of the USA and proud to be a Cockwomble.

God help…..I mean God Bless….America.

Again thank you for reading and I’d just like to point out that Great Uncle Bulgaria rejects being compared to Mr Trump……and also rejects Mr Trumps definition of the word Cockwomble.

wombles on Tumblr

Coronavirus update….29 March 2020….New Zealand.

I know that most people are sick and tired of hearing about nothing but this bloody virus so I’ll try to make this brief, and make it my last word on the issue.

As of today New Zealand has had its first and only death (so far) attributed to Coronavirus. The number of infected has passed 500 but only 9 are now in need of hospital care and I believe 56 or 57 have already recovered from the illness.

Just a few things I’d like to run past you at this point. Anyone who has been confirmed to have Coronavirus, no matter how mild a case is numbered among the infected – which is fair enough. What is less fair, and adds to the hype and panic over this “flu like illness” is that even if it was not the coronavirus itself, but other pre-existing illnesses that actually caused the death, the person is still put down as a coronavirus death, due to coronavirus simply being present. I’m not necessarily referring to the single NZ death here, because no details have been released yet at the request of the deceased’s family, but basing it on information about the thousands of deaths in northern Italy. What also needs to be taken into consideration is the age, particularly in northern Italy of the majority of the victims – average age of mid 80’s and the fact that many had other health issues including bronchial illnesses caused by air pollution in that area (worst air pollution in Italy).

Similarly in Wuhan…very bad air pollution and incidentally home to a lab experimenting with viruses.

Other than “essential” workers, New Zealanders are on lockdown supposedly to protect the most vulnerable in the community – the very old and the very sick, with pre-existing medical conditions. And yet, staff working in old folks homes or making home visits to the elderly do not have to wear personal protection equipment. No masks, no gloves. How does this help to keep the elderly and sick safe?

Why self isolate everyone, even the healthy? If a healthy person gets a mild dose of this coronavirus they feel under the weather for a couple of days – some don’t even show any symptoms at all. Once recovered the body has natural immunity, as they do with other illnesses. If enough people who would not be considered to be “at risk” get the illness, don’t need hospital treatment, just a little R and R at home, and build a “herd immunity” for the community and therefore protect the elderly and infirm in doing so, why are we not doing this rather than locking everyone down? By all means lockdown those most at risk – AND then protect them by having all people who look after them wear masks, gowns and gloves. After all they have worked and paid taxes all their lives to help fund their health service and pension funds. Pensioners are not freeloaders….they earned their pensions.

OK, so those of you who believe everything that their government and the media tell them….who believe that their government care more about people than the economy and making money….you should stop reading here.

1100+ Nodes now signal #BIP148 for #SegWit! http://www ...

Those labelled conspiracy theorists, by the CIA in the 1960’s to discredit their claims, might say that todays governments, or the 1% who control the governments have the following aims.

1. Control of the masses and elimination of citizens who are a burden on society – (the old and the sick) – otherwise why lock everyone up and yet leave the elderly and sick without adequate protection – staff without PPE gear.

Are Tory cuts to police budgets the reason we need troops ...

2. Putting armed police and military on the streets to enforce lockdowns (although it’s not got that far yet in NZ)….gets us used to the sight of military on the streets to “protect” us….later to control us.

3. Having everyone at home 24/7 using household internet servers puts a strain on the wifi service. This results in complaints of slow download and streaming times from the public demanding better service. This gives the government the go ahead to roll out the untested 5G network – Which has not been shown to be safe. There are public health issues, but it will be fast tracked during or just after this coronavirus lockdown period. This tactic is known as “Problem, Reaction, Solution”. The government create a problem – strain on the internet caused by locking the entire population down at once – the public react by demanding their internet speeds be retained in times of high use – the government provide the solution – 5G an untested health risk…using technology not dissimilar to the Active Denial System weapon used for crowd control – really, look it up…which will in turn continue to reduce the human population due to the health complications it causes in the community at large. It also disorients bees and birds….but who needs bees right? Who needs bees to pollinate 80% of our food?

Non-lethal weapons technology demonstrated on MacDill ...

Incidentally, it is claimed that the wavelength that 5G operates on is detrimental to human health and weakens immune systems among other health issues. And coincidence or not, Wuhan was a testing ground for 5G which was then rolled out across China. South Korea had 5G rolled out in 2018 and by 2019 85 cities were covered. The UK – coverage of the major cities began in 2019 and by 2020 over 70 cities have 5G. Vodafone launched 5G in Italy in these five cities in June 2019: Naples, Bologna, Milan, Turin, and Rome. And by 2020 had added another 6 cities. Vodafone Spain was the first operator to launch 5G in Spain and it’s available in many Spanish cities already. Vodafone Spain launched 5G trials in various cities in June 2018, including Madrid, Valencia, Seville, and Barcelona. In late 2018, they installed a 5G network node in La Nave, Madrid, and in February 2019 used standards-based 5G phones to complete their first 5G video calls between Madrid and Barcelona. In the USA 5G is currently being rolled out. It’s in a number of cities already and more areas will get at-home and mobile 5G this year.

Is there a connection between 5G and coronavirus victims due to reduced effectiveness of immune systems? Or is it coincidental that every hotspot for coronavirus around the globe just happens to coincide with 5G technology? Why have NO INDEPENDENT TESTS been done on the health effects of 5G before it was rolled out in all these countries? Why are governments – who are supposed to work for the benefit of their citizens – so desperate to roll out this untested technology as quickly as possible?

4. The lockdown period, initially of a couple of weeks in some places, 4 weeks here in NZ will be extended “to make sure that Coronavirus is wiped out”. BUT eventually they will tell us that the only really safe way to make sure that there are no more coronavirus deaths is vaccination of the masses. They could even make vaccination mandatory and attach penalties to those who try to avoid vaccination such as community restrictions – no vaccination, no school, no college. Or no vaccination, no benefit payments (already being pushed in Australia). Possibly even no vaccination, no passport. State sanctioned medication of the masses, even against our wishes. Then again they are already doing this in NZ with fluoride in the drinking water – mass medication of citizens without our consent.

5. The elimination of cash money. The excuse will be that viruses spread on bank notes…true, but you could also say no more door handles, no more petrol pumps, no more manually operated taps, no more library books, no magazines in waiting rooms – all surfaces that could pass on a contaminant / virus. Where do you draw the line? BUT in getting rid of physical money and making everything digital they make control of the financial world so much simpler. Another benefit being that your wealth can disappear at a click of a mouse should you do or say something that those in charge don’t agree with. But hey…they’d never do that would they?

Thousands of Swedes are getting microchip IDs inserted ...

6. Microchipping of the masses. Already underway in Sweden. AND being done to people who are asking to be chipped, not being forced! This is being done firstly as a replacement for money and credit cards….just wave your chipped hand or finger over the pad and hey presto you’ve paid your account. Which is a worry in itself in my opinion. I’d rather lose a wallet to a mugger than a finger or entire hand….BUT, it can also be used to track and control movement.

7. Many of the western countries involved in the coronavirus shutdowns of countries are borrowing millions, billions and in some cases trillions of dollars in order to pay workers and keep businesses afloat. The entire world is in debt, but to who? The USA alone already had a national debt of over 23 trillion dollars – a ludicrous amount – and they are adding to this to bail out corporations who are meant to then let this bail out money trickle down to their workers….good luck with that. All of which adds to a world debt that can never realistically be paid off. Eventually the entire debt based economic system has to implode. So what’s the solution? The big banking families…the less than 1% of the worlds population who hold the vast majority of its wealth will offer individual nations an offer they can’t refuse. A one world currency, regulated by a one world bank which will have total financial control. Enter the one world government. Farewell sovereignty of nations, farewell individual rights and freedoms.

Re: Agenda 21 | Redwood Forest

8. United Nations agenda 21….superseded by agenda 2030 which is meant to be about environmental measures but is actually about making money from the state of the environment….AND massive population reduction.

BUT of course this is all simply conjecture from conspiracy theorists. None of it can be true can it?

I’m not asking you to believe any of it. Just because I’ve written it doesn’t validate the claims. What I would ask though is that you take your time – since we have lots of it on lockdown – and look it up….all of it…. individually. You’ll find sites to debunk every claim….but who runs those debunking sites? Follow the money. Sure, some of the sites you’ll come across are run by crackpots wearing tinfoil hats, but others are respected professionals, experts in their fields. Can they ALL be wrong or is there a grain of truth? Can we really trust those who govern us? Don’t be a sheep….don’t automatically believe the government….don’t believe me either, or the other tinfoil hatters. BUT don’t be lazy or complacent either. Do your own research, don’t just rely on sites recommended through Google either, come to your own conclusions.

Something to think about during your confinement. As usual thanks for reading….and yes, if this is what I write after only 3 days of lockdown… you can imagine what a month or more will look like. Greetings from the crazy house. Take care. See you on the other side.

The Coronavirus debacle

Before you start calling me irresponsible for referring to what is now, according to the W.H.O. a pandemic, as a debacle, I’m using the word firstly to describe the conflicting, contradictory information and advice we are being given either through the media or from government/health officials and secondly due to the sometimes crazy response from the general public….and thirdly I am writing this a little bit tongue in cheek – because the whole issue is absurd.

Reading an article in the NZ herald newspaper, it talks about a 79 year old grandmother who was scared she may be infected with the virus as she was sitting close to a woman on a plane from Italy who has since been confirmed as having the COVID-19 coronavirus. So far she is not showing any symptoms but since there is an incubation period of between 2 to 10 days she was afraid that she may have already passed on the virus as she had attended aqua aerobics classes with lots of other people. She has since been advised to self isolate for 14 days. But what about those she has been in contact with previously?

Now here’s where the conflicting info comes in. The W.H.O. world health organization says that anyone who doesn’t have symptoms is not infectious. BUT the scientists in China, where the virus originated, have prompted the Chinese health minister to state “that the ability of the virus to spread seems to be getting stronger.” And that “people with novel coronavirus may be able to spread the illness before they even develop symptoms.

Doctors slam face mask price hikes, call for better ...

Similarly there is conflicting information about whether wearing a mask will protect you or not. Officials have said – on the one hand – that masks are ineffective against coronavirus because many of them don’t seal to the face…..and in the next breath they tell us that we shouldn’t stockpile masks because we are causing a shortage for front line health professionals dealing with the virus, and putting them in danger. So….the masks don’t protect civilians, but somehow work for doctors and nurses…..right. Meanwhile Mitre10 and Bunnings Hardware stores along with any other store selling masks of any kind have been cleared out, so you may have to be inventive……and don’t forget about your pets.

You Won't Believe The Items People Are Using As Face Masks ...
Chinese pet owners are creating makeshift coronavirus ...

Similarly there was a rush on supermarkets in Auckland – which has a high Asian population. Security guards were only allowing one person into the supermarkets as one person left the supermarket to save congestion and chaos inside. Shoppers cleared the shelves of bottled water, toilet paper and canned goods. Of course if they had been sensible New Zealanders who should, in theory, already have a stockpile of food, water and other essentials for a minimum of 3 weeks to see them through a natural disaster such as earth quake, volcanic eruption, superstorm etc there wouldn’t have been this panic buying. I mean come on people it makes sense to build up a stock pile over time….a couple of extra cans or packet of dried food every time you go shopping. Be prepared Kiwi’s.

Coronavirus: Empty supermarket shelves amid panic buying - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

To put things into perspective. Coronavirus COVID-19 has caused about 4500 deaths world wide so far. There seems to be a lot of fuss about something that has yet to cause a single death in New Zealand, and yet the flu causes 500 deaths here on average each year (and about a half million deaths yearly, world wide). Around 400 people die in traffic accidents each year in New Zealand too….and New Zealanders are really crap drivers….but drivers are not asked to self isolate. We also have around 800 to 1000 deaths yearly attributed to alcohol consumption….of course tax on alcohol brings a lovely amount of cash into the government coffers so we can’t really stop people drinking can we?

The “leader of the free world” – cough cough….and no I don’t have the virus…..on the one hand told us that it’s all false news and pushed the problem across the desk for his deputy to deal with, but now has closed the borders to European travelers….as well as Chinese, Koreans and Iranians. BUT he’s allowing travel between Britain and the USA, even though there are already over 200 confirmed cases in Britain……AND he’s not stopping American citizens from going to Europe, or returning. It’s really difficult to understand the logic there. President Trump’s latest brainwave….I call it a “brainwave” because I think he has finally waved his brain goodbye….is to be talking about putting a ban on flights from California to Washington D.C. It’s all very strange. Perhaps he doesn’t realize that California is part of the USA? But its unfair of me to say that because we all know that Mr Trump is a clever…very clever…intelligent….very intelligent, super intelligent man who knows a lot….much more than most people actually about just about anything – he told us that himself….many times, many, many times.

Meantime to counter the US claim that COVID-19 is both the fault of China and originated in China, the Chinese are now saying that the virus was manufactured in the USA, that deaths in the USA from the coronavirus have been happening for a long time (before it broke out in China) but were attributed to the flu. The playground squabbling has begun. “It was him…no it was him, he started it!” Yes folks these are the people we elect to “RUN THE WORLD”…..what a joke!

China, Korea and now Italy have shut down their countries in order to get on top of the coronavirus situation and by the sound of things the USA isn’t far off sealing it’s borders to anyone but US citizens and Brits.

Meanwhile here in little old New Zealand people coming into the country are still not being monitored or examined by health professionals. They are instead given a piece of paper telling of the symptoms of COVID-19 and are told that if they feel ill they should self isolate for 14 days. Of course everyone who comes into NZ are totally responsible and will obey this bit of paper. History has told us how little faith we should put in a piece of paper. Remember British PM Neville Chamberlain with his piece of paper from one Adolf Hitler guaranteeing “Peace in our time”….in late 1938. Oops!

Meanwhile the stock markets are taking a beating and of course this is being blamed squarely on COVID-19 even though the cracks in the world economy were already showing prior to the virus. Some economists were even predicting another crash like, but worse than, the one in 2008. So is coronavirus being used as a convenient, or even manufactured, scapegoat? The conspiracy theorists say so. Naturally “Joe Normal” isn’t going to believe anyone who is a “conspiracy theorist”…..maybe if we changed the name to “Truth Seekers” the public would listen?

I’ll give it a try…see how it sounds….roll it around the tongue.

The Truth Seekers ….oooh yes I do like the sound of that…..The Truth Seekers say that the Corporate bosses and their bought and paid for media are blaming the Coronavirus for all the financial problems that have brought about the drop in the stock market. The Truth Seekers say that this is just a smokescreen so that the public won’t realize that the whole foundation supporting the economy and finance was about to crumble and fall anyway. Like all great civilisations of the past, ours has run its course. The debt part of the Debt Economy has finally caught up with us. The Trillions of dollars of debt finally needs to be paid. Blaming the coronavirus is a last ditch effort to buy time to try to shore things up. And governments restricting civilian movement is the first step in the United Nations agenda 21….now superseded by agenda 2030…the reduction and control of the civilian population. They can’t just close borders and restrict travel or people will complain about their rights….BUT do it as a “safety measure” to “protect the people”…. and I think we may fall for it. And lets face it the public can be sooo stupid! Sales of Corona beer have plunged because of its name…..it’s too much like coronavirus. I kid you not. So there you have it. If someone with such a responsible name as the TRUTH SEEKERS say the economy is a sham, and BIG BROTHER from Orwell’s 1984 is about to come true…then surely it must be true. And it must therefore be time to start anew and find a better way of running things…….right?

Either way….if you haven’t already stocked up on food, water and toilet rolls, for goodness sake don’t forget toilet rolls….AND cleared out your bank account before the collapse….do it now.

If you only see one movie this year. See this.

I have literally just walked in the door from seeing the movie Dark Waters and was so affected by it that I had to get on here and write about it…right after feeding my cat and grabbing a beer from the fridge.

Dark Waters is a true story of one lawyers fight over a period of 20 years battling (initially against the wishes of the company that employed him) with corporate chemical giants DuPont over their poisoning of a community in West Virginia. The thing that strikes the viewer about this isn’t that DuPont accidentally poisoned a community…..but that they knowingly poisoned a community and then tried to bury the evidence for over 40 years….and carried on producing the toxic chemical responsible…and sticking the residue in landfills, which leached into the public’s drinking water.

Movie trailer.

They, DuPont, even managed to shut down an investigation by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) – a government body – such is their power and reach. The movie goes to show that money is God and that corporations, the regulatory authorities and the government themselves are corrupt to the point…actually passed the point…of criminality.

DuPont’s own scientists had already told the corporate heads that TEFLON – yes the thing that coats so many of our saucepans and frypans – is toxic to human health and causes 6 different types of cancers and several other illnesses AND birth defects. The chemical that is in Teflon is Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)—also known as C8—and is a perfluorinated carboxylic acid produced and used worldwide as an industrial surfactant in chemical processes and as a material feedstock, and is a health concern and subject to regulatory action and voluntary industrial phase-outs. This is a cousin of the stuff used in Scotchguard on furniture, curtains and other fabrics to keep them clean…which is also toxic and is called…Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (conjugate base perfluorooctanesulfonate) (PFOS) is an anthropogenic fluorosurfactant and global pollutant. PFOS was the key ingredient in Scotchgard, a fabric protector made by 3M, and numerous stain repellents. It was added to Annex B of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in May 2009. PFOS can be synthesized in industrial production or result from the degradation of precursors. PFOS levels that have been detected in wildlife are considered high enough to affect health parameters, and recently higher serum levels of PFOS were found to be associated with increased risk of chronic kidney disease in the general US population. This association was independent of confounders such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension, and serum cholesterol level.

Yet Scotchguard on furnishings is marketed as a great thing. WTF! As are Teflon pans…again WTF! Yay for carcinogens….you go chemical companies….make oodles of money for your shareholders but kill us all in the process.….said very ironically!

Get this folks….these chemicals are ones that don’t break down…they don’t go away….they amass…accumulate in the human body and increase their toxicity as each molecule is absorbed into us. 99% of life on earth has traces of these toxins and they are particularly high in the human population – no wonder that cancer affects one in three people in the western world these days….and this is rising to one in two. All thanks to the wonders of science. That is frightening!

Anyway, getting back to the movie….Dark Waters, inspired by the true story of Robert Bilott and stars Mark Ruffalo as the attorney who took on the DuPont company in an environmental suit exposing a decades-long history of chemical pollution in drinking water. And it may have never come to light. In 1998, Robert Bilott was working as a corporate defense attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio. One day at the office, farmer Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp), an acquaintance of Robert’s grandmother, arrives with boxes of videotapes, requesting Robert’s assistance. The thing is that Roberts job is working in defence of the corporates, but after seeing what is on the video tapes made by the farmer and visiting the farm and seeing all the dead cattle, Roberts conscience…his sense of right and wrong….his ethical inner voice if you like, tells him to take what he knows about defending these pariahs and turn it against them.

He almost loses his job, his wife and family, his health, in pursuing this “lost cause”. And it really does seem like a lost cause. There are so many factors against him. The corporates have so much power that they influence regulators and government authorities ….they buy off small towns by building schools or providing employment…..but they are poisoning people…AND THEY KNOW IT.

You walk out of the movie wondering how these bastards can get to sleep at night…knowing that they are killing people, but treating things as “business as usual”.

Please see the movie to see the outcome of Bilott’s 20 years of legal persistence. DuPont of course are still to this day in existence as are several other chemical billion dollar companies who put profit over the health of the people. DuPont’s slogan, coined in 1935 was “Better Things for Better Living…Through Chemistry.” This changed twice. The first time in 1982 when they dropped the words “Through Chemistry” because of negative feedback from sectors such as the environmental movement that saw Chemical companies as polluters. Then in 1999 it was changed completely to “The miracles of science”. Based on the belief that “science knows best”. This may be true…science may know best…..but it depends on the morals of those in charge of science as to whether it is best for us all or just best for the investors.

Please see this movie! Please boycott DuPont, 3M and their fellow chemical corporates. Why 3M you ask…since they were named on Forbes list of most ethical companies? – What a laugh that is!!!

Here is a copy of what is on line…..

Timeline of Who Knew What & When about Toxic Teflon

Scientists, 3M researchers, and government officials have known about the dangers presented by these industrial PFAS chemicals for decades. The complexity of the coverup is most evident when seen as a timeline of events.

In 1947, the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M) began producing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) by electrochemical fluorination.

In the 1950s, 3M expanded worldwide with operations in Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

In 1951, DuPont started purchasing PFOA from 3M for use in the manufacturing of teflon, a product that brought DuPont a billion dollars a year profit by the 1990s. DuPont referred to PFOA as C8.

In the 1970s, 3M had evidence of the compounds’ effects on the immune system. Those studies are just now driving the lower levels put forward by the ATSDR, several states, and the European Union.

In 1993, scientific literature states that goats passed PFOS to their offspring through their milk.

In 1998, a discovery is made that PFOS had found its way into eagles found in the wild.

In 2000, 3M gave the EPA hundreds of documents it had withheld from the agency. This means that these documents were in the EPA’s possession for at least 18 years without the agency taking definitive action. PFAS were allowed to spread into groundwater and then drinking water, families, animals, plants, and the food system, where they remain today.

Since 2000, the number of scientific articles published on the health effects of PFAS has increased more than tenfold. The findings have linked the chemicals to a wide range of health effects in people, including testicular and kidney cancer, obesity, impaired fertility, thyroid disease, and the onset of puberty.

In 2001, 3M staff epidemiologist Geary Olsen wrote a report based on an enormous database of more than 55,000 products and more than 90,000 3M employees. The report stated that a positive association existed between the amount of PFOA in workers’ blood and their levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

In 2003, Olsen and 3 co-authors  — all 3M employees — published an article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that contradicted Olsen’s original research. “There were no substantial changes in hematological, lipid, hepatic, thyroid, or urinary parameters consistent with the known toxicological effects of PFOS or PFOA.” The authors note that PFOA was “positively associated with cholesterol and triglycerides” and that “serum PFOS was positively associated with the natural log of serum cholesterol … and triglycerides” but dismiss these effects as “minimal.” The article omits most of the original information that laid out the increase in cholesterol and triglycerides in exposed workers.

In 2005, many of the 3M documents were placed under seal as a result of a separate lawsuit over PFAS contamination in Minnesota.

In 2006, 3M was slapped with more than $1.5 million in penalties for 244 violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act.

In 2010, the Minnesota attorney general filed a lawsuit that charged that 3M polluted groundwater with PFAS compounds and “knew or should have known” that these chemicals harm human health and the environment and “result in injury, destruction, and loss of natural resources of the State.”

In 2012, Robert Delaney, a Minnesota state scientist who tried to raise alarms about the chemicals, was largely ignored. Now Delaney, who delivered a report to his superiors about high levels of the chemicals in fish and the dangers they presented to people, has been “heralded as prophetic.”

In February, 2018, 3M settled the suit for $850 million, in essence admitting that they “acted with a deliberate disregard for the high risk of injury to the citizens and wildlife of Minnesota.” The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office released a large set of documents — including internal studies, memos, emails, and research reports — detailing what 3M knew about the chemicals’ harms.

The EPA says it remains committed to evaluating PFOA and PFOS under the regulatory determination process using the best available science. As a part of the evaluation, EPA will be reviewing all newly available scientific information including the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) report. (Their 2-page fact sheet is quite helpful.)

The EPA says it is taking steps to accelerate the determination process before the existing statutory deadline, which is 2021.

So as you can see…..$1.5 million for 244 violations was not even a slap on the writs for multi-billion dollar companies. Even the later $850 million is still small change for these people. The fact that the EPA can’t do anything until 2021 due to existing deadlines shows that the system does not work for the people, it is there to support corporations.

When it comes to protecting you and your family….or your community, don’t trust corporations to do the right thing, don’t rely on the regulators or the government to protect you….it’s down to individuals like Robert Bilott.

Thanks again for reading. Likes, shares, comments much appreciate and PLEASE SEE THIS MOVIE.

Down on the farm – NZ farms open day.

Sunday 1st March was “Open Gate Day” for many New Zealand farms, a time to let the public in to see how farms are run.

Our farm of choice was Lindsay Farm, near Waipukurau, in Central Hawke’s Bay. Why this farm you ask? Even if you didn’t ask, I’m still going to tell you. Lindsay Farm is where we as a family, and as shareholders in the herd of cows, get our milk from. Not just any old milk though. The milk from Lindsay Farm is delicious, straight from the cow, raw milk…..as it was intended to be. See their website for full details (link at foot of page).

The farm, run by the Ashton family, is a great place to visit to see the animals and the paddocks at their best….their healthiest. The dairy herd feed on mixed pasture….no boring mono-crop grass for these cows…a cornucopia of vegetation grown on organic principles, as you’ll see from the photos below, helps to keep the animals in tip top condition to produce quality wholesome milk.

After parking in a paddock and deftly negotiating our way through the minefield of cow pats, we had a wander around the farm taking a look at the cows and the free range chickens. The “chooks” are free to wander pretty much everywhere, but tend to stay within range of the grain feeder in the chook houses. They even get in amongst the grazing cows in the next paddock. Their habit of scratching the earth looking for bugs and worms helps to turn the cows manure into healthy soil, which in turn helps to produce healthy grasses to feed the cows, which in turn produces our delicious, nutritious milk. And naturally the chickens produce eggs – organic free range eggs. As the cows are rotated to the next paddock (to prevent over grazing – giving the grasses a chance to recover and thrive), the chickens and their mobile “chook houses” follow. It’s a great system.

As you can see from the photos above, the hens have their needs met very nicely here on the farm. The mobile “chook houses” are airy and clean with plenty of room and a choice of roosts on perches at night. Dust baths (see top row right hand pic) are a necessary part of chickens health. Not only do they help keep their feathers clean and control oil on the skin and feathers, they also keep away parasites like lice and ticks.

Paul Ashton talks about the milking procedure.

Next up was a visit to the milking yard where Paul, the head of this farming family, took us through the milking procedure, including the chilling and bottling of the milk. Because the milk is raw untreated milk, everything possible is done to make sure hygiene standards are not just adhered to, but are regularly surpassed. The herd is a small dairy herd and those who deal with the cows get to know each one personally – their habits and mannerisms, their usual behaviour patterns – and can soon spot if a cow is a little under the weather. This being the case, the cow is separated from the others at milking time and given a thorough checking out. If there is any doubt about the health of the cow, it still has to be milked, but the milk does not end up in bottles.

My family has been drinking raw milk from Lindsay Farm for many years and have only felt the better, health-wise, for doing so. Having seen the way that the cows are looked after, the mixed pasture, the rotating of paddocks and the way the milking shed is run I can see why Lindsay Farms milk is so sought after (despite the efforts of the M.P.I to make life as difficult as they can – but that’s another story). It really is a wonderful product.

After our farm tour we wandered down to a bend in the little river, that runs through the farm, where a marquee, coffee cart and a couple of food trucks had been set up, for lunch. Close by the marquee was a stall operated by Farmhouse Kitchen of Middle Road, Havelock North – who gave demonstrations of cheese making and fermented foods. A little later in the afternoon a band played for a couple of hours in the marquee – very good entertainment – and there was a colouring in and calf naming competition for the kids. Also for the kids, although I can bet that there were a few adults itching to give it a go too, was a water slide. It was a warm day so many of the young ones took advantage of the water slide, or a paddle in the river, to cool off.

All in all, not a bad way to spend a late summers afternoon. Informative and enjoyable. As usual thank you for reading. Until next post…..

I tried to include links to Lindsay Farm NZ and for Farmhouse Kitchen’s websites but for some reason the WordPress editor keeps rejecting them. Click on the links and if they don’t connect, please type yourmilk.nz/ into your browser for Lindsay Farm and https://farmhousekitchen.co.nz/ for Farmhouse Kitchen. Useful information and contact details can be found on both sites.

Instagram – my photos there.

I’ve been promising to do a post featuring photography, so finally here it is. I’ve been a photography nut since childhood when given a simple point and click film camera. Eventually I saved enough for an SLR – it was a very basic Russian made camera and I added a few different lenses and shot on print film and on slide film. As I improved, so did my cameras and I upgraded to an Olympus OM10…as advertised by the photographer of the moment, David Bailey. Of course we’re now in the digital age so another upgrade was needed.

I’m a relative late comer to Instagram, but have posted over 80 photos there so far. I try to make them as diverse as possible – some in colour, some in black and white – travel, fashion, people and portraits, nature, transport, aircraft, architecture and more. Here are a few examples from my Instagram posts, which can be found at https://www.instagram.com/malcfrost/

Please call by and take a look. There are a lot more photos to see there. I mainly shoot photos using a couple of Nikon DSLR’s, but also occasionally fall back to my old trusty Fuji FinePix HS10

Some of the latest posts above.

Full size photos can be viewed on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/malcfrost/

Oh yes, he cheekily adds, I am available for commissions and am on the lookout for suitable models.

Thank you for reading. Comments, likes, shares are most welcome.

The Day The World Came to Town 9/11 – in Gander, Newfoundland

Jim DeFede’s book has rather a long title (above), but for the ten thousand people of the town of Gander, Newfoundland, it really did seem like the whole world had arrived on their doorstep in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy in New York.

When the second plane hit the twin towers and the American Government ordered the closing of all American airspace, the planes that were already over half way from their take off point and heading for the USA had to land somewhere. For almost 40 passenger aircraft and a few private planes, that didn’t have enough fuel on board to be able to turn around and head back to their origin airport, Gander was their designated emergency airport. The question was, what happens when a town of ten thousand suddenly has to accommodate a further six and a half thousand people? It was a logistical nightmare that would have tested a city, never mind a small town in the middle of nowhere.

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander ...

DeFede’s story was taken from interviews with hundreds of people who were affected by this sudden influx of people….this tide of humanity…. washing up on their doorstep. He interviewed the residents of Gander, the passengers and flight crews and has come up with a true story of heart-warming humanity which came about as a result of the terrible terrorist action of the eleventh of September 2001.

The people of the town of Gander were more than up to the challenge in front of them. Everyone pitched in to help the people on the planes as best as they could. Even striking bus drivers left the picket lines to provide transport from the airport to many varied places of accommodation. Because the flight crews and support staff had to be ready and refreshed to fly out at a moments notice, they got the priority accommodation at the motels and hotels available both in Gander and nearby towns. The passengers were accommodated in various church halls, schools, sports clubs and residents homes for the few days that they were stranded.

It was a true league of nations with a multitude of nationalities, religions and languages to be attended to and cared for. Food, clothing, bedding and many more personal items were all donated by the residents and stores in Gander without a thought as to personal cost. They took in these strangers not only because it was the right thing to do, but also because they simply wanted to help their fellow human beings. And help them they did, by opening up their homes and their hearts. Volunteers arrived at the various halls where beds had been set up for the stranded passengers offering to drive them where ever they wanted to go…or to take them home to use their shower facilities, or simply sit and chat over a cup of tea.

Among the stranded were millionaires, company chief executives even movie stars families – they were all given the same level of care as everyone else, and it must be noted that although some of the high flyers (excuse the pun) were offered to be sent certain luxuries to make their stay easier…or even a flight out on a company jet, they refused, saying it wouldn’t be fair on the other passengers and they would see it out in solidarity with the rest of the group.

Various bits of blurb on the cover of the book tell it all….An inspiring true story that spotlights acts of kindness in a world shocked and saddened by unimagined violence. And When you read this book, I predict tears in your eyes almost from the beginning, but they will not be tears of sadness or grief. They will be tears of joy and pride for the citizens of the little town of Gander, Newfoundland, who bravely stood up and said to the world, “Today we are all Americans.”

It is quite a lovely story, all the better for being true and DeFede does a wonderful job of weaving so many personal accounts together into one big act of humanity, of love and caring for our fellow human beings. It is not without its tragedy though and your heart will bleed and the tears will sting the back of your eyelids as you read about certain personal losses.

On the plus side, once it was all over and the stranded passengers were flown out to their various destinations, many of the people who had been helped by the selfless generosity of the town folk of Gander, donated money into funds to help the people and the institutions who had helped them.

When tragedy strikes, humanity steps in. It’s how it should be and it’s how it was in Gander.

A book well worth a read.

Thank you for reading this post. Can you recommend any other true stories of acts of unconditional love and kindness?

The Chrysalids – John Wyndham (Review and comment)

Hello all. Firstly a shout out to John Bainbridge (https://walkingtheoldways.wordpress.com) who suggested I read this book. Thanks John, it’s certainly an interesting story. I had read what is arguably Wyndham’s most famous story – The Day of the Triffids – when I was at school many, many years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it, as I did the movie and TV series that followed. I didn’t quite know what to expect of The Chrysalids though.

The story is one of 6 of Wyndham’s best yarns in an omnibus edition hard cover book that I picked up a few years ago and had been languishing on my bookshelves until the prompt by John to give The Chrysalids a read. The blurb on the cover states – “A thrilling and realistic account of a world beset by genetic mutations and of a community whose rules will not allow for any abnormality, even at the expense of its own children – and the chances of breeding true are less than fifty percent.”

The Chrysalids was first published in 1955. It is regarded by some critics as his best novel. An early manuscript version was entitled Time for a Change.

Amazon.co.uk: John Wyndham: Books, Biogs, Audiobooks ...

The story follows a young boy called David, who lives with his puritanical parents and sisters in a “closed community” where the bible is strictly followed. The part of the bible that describes how man is made as a perfect image of god, with 2 arms, 2 legs, five digits on each hand and foot etc. is strictly adhered to. Any plant, animal or human, found to be “deviant” in any way, by the local inspector, is destroyed – or in the case of humans, driven out to live in the Fringes or the Badlands. For humans, the flaw could be something as little as a birthmark, or different coloured eyes, or an extra toe…….”ACCURSED IS THE MUTANT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD”…well, you get the idea.

Early in the story, David has a dream about this fantastic city with things flying in the sky. He tells his older sister Mary about it and she advises him to keep quiet and not to tell anyone else. As David grows, he realises that he is different from the others, but not physically different. His difference, or deviation, or mutation, is in his brain. He discovers that he can communicate with his cousin Rosalind by thought….but it’s not communication by simple words, it’s more a wholeness…a communication that includes feelings, of what they call “Thought Shapes”. He then discovers that there are more children just like him and Rosalind, a group of eight of them scattered across the district, who can transmit and receive thoughts from others over several miles. Naturally, this would be seen as abnormal by the older generation so they have to keep their abilities secret from the “Norms”. They manage this just fine for a number of years.

Meantime, David meets a girl called Sophie in an area beyond the banks of their settlement. Like kids do, and have done for thousands of years, they play and have fun sliding down the bank. One time though Sophie’s descent carries her into some rocks and her foot becomes trapped. David tells her to undo her laces and slip her foot out of her shoe to free herself. Strangely, she refuses and continues to struggle, her foot however is firmly stuck. Eventually, with no other way to escape, she agrees to let David undo her laces and pull out her foot. As he does he sees that she has 6 toes, not the regulation 5. Rather than recoiling and branding her a mutant, he accepts her for what she is and helps her back to her house. Along with Sophie’s parents, David is now part of the inner circle who know about Sophie’s deformity. He agrees to keep it a secret and continues to meet Sophie to play on the bank and in the stream nearby.

One day however another, older boy happens along as the two play in the stream and he sees a wet footmark on a rock, clearly indicating 6 toes not 5 and tries to capture Sophie to take her to the elders – to report a mutant in their midst. David fights with the bigger boy and keeps him occupied long enough for Sophie to escape and run home. But, now that someone else knows about her toes, her parents decide to pack what little possessions they can carry onto their two horses and head for the Fringes. Naturally David is devastated that his friend is gone…forced to flee by the puritanical regime. And for his sin of mixing with the mutants David is flogged mercilessly by his devout father.

He confides in his uncle Axel – who is himself a widely travelled man (for their day and age) – someone who David feels that he can trust with his secret. Axel becomes a close friend and advisor to David and warns him not to reveal to anyone else about his ability to “thought shape”. He also tells David about mysterious lands beyond the badlands.

After a few years, unexpectedly, his parents have another baby, a daughter called Petra. When she achieves the age of about 5, Petra wanders off and falls into a body of water and struggling to make it to the shore – unbeknown to her, she sends out very strong thought shapes of panic and terror which are picked up not only by her brother David, but also by Rosalind who instantly drop what they are doing and sprint off in the direction of the transmission and successfully rescue her. Suspicions are aroused by a few other people who wonder how the two of them knew that Petra was in peril. They claim to have heard her calling for help. They then try to explain to Petra about her unusual ability and swear her to secrecy.

A little later on Petra is again in trouble when she rides her pony into the woods – a place that is off limits – and her pony is attacked by a wild animal and killed. Again she sends out loud and violent “thought shapes” and again David and Rosalind sprint to her rescue….but this time she had sent out such a strong signal that all 8 of the kids who had this “power” came running to her rescue. Unfortunately 2 of the girls were followed by a man, a stranger to them, who demanded to know what this group of kids were doing in the woods and how they had heard Petra’s calls for help, when he hadn’t and was in fact closer to Petra’s location than they. They managed to fob him off saying that they had definitely heard her and eventually he let them go on their way.

However, not long after this event, 2 of the girls were taken in for questioning by the authorities. The questioning soon turned to torture and one of them broke down and confessed to being able to communicate by thought alone. After using hot irons on her, the inquisitors gained the names of some of the children involved. Fortunately the girl managed to send out her thoughts to the others and warn them. David and Rosalind had no choice but to flee to the Fringes and onward toward the Badlands, taking Petra with them.

It becomes clear that Petra’s gift of being able to transmit thought shapes is significantly more powerful than any of the other children as she is able to contact others who share their abilities over a much larger distance. It also soon becomes clear that the authorities are not content with driving them away from the community when they form a posse to hunt them down. A reward is issued to take them prisoner preferably….or to kill them all. The kids are soon running for their lives – threatened not only by the pursuing posse, but also by the mutants and outcasts already dwelling in the Fringes and the Badlands.

I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone who wants to read it by telling you any more of how things progress or the ending. But let me just say that Petra’s range of thought shaping is vast. More powerful than anyone else on earth. For anyone who likes a little SciFi or Dystopia it’s certainly worth reading.

My own thoughts….just the standard sort of thoughts…I don’t have the ability to send out thought shapes, is that the puritans (or Norms) are too set in their ways and are totally inflexible when it comes to anything that deviates from the normal. In their world you can’t have anything to do with evolution. An evolved being would be considered a mutant and destroyed. They are very reluctant to accept change of any kind and so live what we would term a rather backward existence. It seems that perhaps the old world has been destroyed by nuclear war – hence the genetic mutations and the Badlands where nothing grows and the survivors have gone back to a subsistence existence and have embraced the teachings of the bible for guidance. But the rigidity of sticking exactly to the Word is their downfall.

In modern life it’s a timely reminder to us all that “different” doesn’t automatically mean inferior and we need to embrace all types of people. Not turn them away or shun them for being different – whatever that difference may be. The current situation with the Coronavirus outbreak has sparked racism against the Chinese. We need to recognise that it’s not the Chinese people who are the enemy, it’s the virus.

Thank you again for reading my blog posts. If anyone else has read the Chrysalids – what was your take on the story? And again thanks to John Bainbridge for recommending the book to me. For anyone interested in history and walking in the UK, John’s blog is well worth a visit. The link is in the first paragraph at the start of this post.

Lecture 06 - Some Characteristics of SF