What Is Love?

by Alton C. Thompson

In our society love and (especially) justice are held up as having especial importance. Thus, it will be useful here to begin by giving some attention to justice.

The first point to make here is that love and justice do not occupy distinctly different realms but, rather, are overlapping. One might argue, for example, that it is one’s valuing of love that causes one to pursue justice. Which implies that love is an attribute that we associate with individuals, justice one that we associate with institutions—and specifically our legal institutions.

It has been said regarding justice that:

According to most contemporary theories of justice, justice is overwhelmingly important: John Rawls claims that “Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought.” [Note that he fails to mention behavior!]

And

Justice can be thought of as distinct from benevolence, charity, prudence, mercy, generosity, or compassion, although these dimensions are regularly understood to also be interlinked. Justice is [linked to ]the concept of cardinal virtues, of which it is one.

The concept of fairness is related to justice in that—referring now to a specifically legal context—if fairness occurs during the course of a trial, one has a good reason to conclude that justice was served. We also, however, use the term fairness with reference to interpersonal relationships and our relationships with institutions. For example, employees wish to be compensated fairly—usually meaning paid what they (believe they) deserve. “Deserve” itself can, of course, be interpreted variously, with some arguing that (regarding wages) they should be paid on the basis of the quality of their work, others the quantity, with still others arguing that all should be paid equally, given that “we are all equal in God’s sight.” Etc.

A major problem associated with the concept of “deserving” is that it can easily result in one adopting a “blame the victim” stance. That is, if one holds the belief that fairness prevails in, e.g., the economy, so that everyone receives on the basis of desert, it follows that one will believe that the poor are receiving what they deserve. Because they are, one is allowed to argue, in good conscience, that given that the poor are receiving what they deserve, one is absolved of any responsibility to provide any sort of assistance to them. In fact, one might carry such an argument to the point of asserting that helping the poor would represent a disturbance of the social order, and therefore possibly dangerous!

Insofar as justice, in the sense of fairness, is involved in our relationships with other individuals and institutions, it is usually understood as existing at a somewhat lower level than love. That is, one may treat the others with whom one interacts with fairness, but it does not follow from that fact that the motivating factor was love; rather, one’s treatment of others fairly may have been motivated by, e.g., a conviction that one is obligated to treat the other decently.

How, then, does treating one in a loving manner differ from treating others fairly? Those of us raised in Christianity might, for example, cite the Good Samaritan parable as a story exemplifying what “love” means. What being “loving” means, that is, involves:

  1. When one is “out in public,” don’t be preoccupied with one’s work or whatever but, rather, observe the people whom one encounters, and make judgments about their degree of well-being.
  1. If one observes certain individuals who seem to suffering from ill-being, and one is not pressed for time, (a) try to make a judgment as to what their needs are, and then (b) try to engage them in conversation, and (c) if they are willing to converse with you, (d) seek to explore with them the nature of their ill-being, and, finally, (e) do what one can to help them. If the individual(s) is, e.g., obviously in need of medical attention, call 911, of course (unless someone else already has).

Of course, the Good Samaritan parable was told at a point in history when communications technology was very primitive compared with what exists today. Therefore, the modern Good Samaritan might seek out volunteer opportunities, identify and give financial support to, charitable/relief organizations, etc.

Although in the Good Samaritan story the word “love” is never used (but is implicit in what occurs), Chapter 13 of Paul’s I Corinthians is a famous Biblical paean to love, and for that reason is often read during wedding ceremonies. What Paul says under the heading “love” can be placed into two groups, as follows:

  1. How the loving individual relates to others:
  1. Is kind.
  2. Protects the other.
  3. Trusts the other.
  4. Shows honor with reference to the other.

 

  1. Certain personal attributes are associated with the loving person (which help conduce loving behavior). A loving person:
  1. Is patient.
  2. Is not envious.
  3. Is not boastful.
  4. Is not proud.
  5. Is not self-seeking.
  6. Is slow to anger.
  7. Keeps no record of wrongs done to oneself.
  8. Rejoices in truth.
  9. Hopes.
  10. Trusts.

What can one possibly add to a list such as this, one might very well add?! There is, I believe, one very important point that can be added:

To be truly loving, a person must first be empathetic. It is not enough to just learn a set of “rules” (as Paul’s list can be perceived—and as it implies), and then try to follow them. One must first strive to develop the capacity for empathy, and then act on that capacity.

Unfortunately, I can offer here no guidance on how one can develop a capacity for empathy; I would, however, like to think that we humans are “hard-wired” to be empathetic (as primatologist Frans de Waal, e.g., has argued), and that it is only our “possession” by the dominant value system of our society (consisting of greed, materialism, and greed, e.g.) that prevents so many in our society from being empathetic. (The Fundamentalists among us would attribute the possession of these traits to the “original sin” supposedly committed by Adam and Eve while in Eden, when in actuality those traits have a societal basis.)

The fact that empathy is the basis for love is an important one. But the fact that everyone is different (in terms of interests, intelligence, personality, etc.) is also important—especially in the case of those others with whom one has personal contact. For the knowing about that one will have relative to such people will enable one to individualize the love that one demonstrates for them—meaning that the love one demonstrates for one person is likely to differ from that demonstrated for any other person. Thus (and to borrow an item from Paul’s “list”), how one is kind to one person is likely to differ in its specifics from how one is kind to another person.

Still, an important point that needs to be added to this discussion is that one does not need to know another to have empathy for that person. I’m convinced that most of us are born with an ability to read faces, so that whether one has personal contact with others or “merely” sees others on the television (or movie) screen, most of us can “read” the emotions of others by viewing their faces (along with watching their bodily movements, gestures, etc.) It’s true, of course, that the emotions expressed by an actor are not genuine; but what makes an actor a “good” actor is his or ability to convey to the viewer a given emotion correctly—i.e., in a fashion such that it will be “understood” (at an unconscious level) by the viewer. (As an aside, is not what we consider a “great” movie one that evokes in us many of our emotions? A rhetorical question!)

Thus, the modern person with the capacity for empathy can go far beyond the Good Samaritan. Who among us, seeing the faces of those in pain in Africa, Iraq, or wherever, have not wished that we were billionaires, so that we could provide help to the millions in desperate need our sorry world?!! I, for one, can’t help but feel this way. I suppose that I should wish that I had been brought to be a person who valued wealth and fame; I know, however, that it is precisely that sort of person who tends to be Scrooge-like (before Scrooge became transformed, that is—the ostensible point of that story being that transformation is, in fact, possible).

In conclusion, acquiring ideas regarding what it means to be loving (by reading what Paul wrote in I Corinthians, e.g.) is of value, but is not enough. One must also have empathy; and those who are able to resist the pressures placed on us by our society to be individualistic, greedy, materialistic, selfish, etc. will have that ability. If you lack that ability, why not try to acquire it? For if you do, not only others, but yourself will benefit—as the transformed Scrooge came to realize.

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Comments 67

  • Alton

    In terms of human culture, if love is not demonstrated, it is not activated, and remains a dormant core human activity – the core human activity IMHO.

    Humanity hopefully will never get to that position collectively, because if it ever does, it will have lost it’s humanity.

    I think that is what we commonly call ‘A Machine’.

    ‘Terminator will not stop …. Ever’

    Just a cheer up moment to start with….

    😉

  • Nope. i disagree with your idea (or explanation) of justice. Justice is a game played in the social arena with arcane rules – that’s it. Anything else you attribute to it is your own opinion.

    Right now, justice rules state that corporations have the same legal standing as people but not the responsibilities or punishments. Does that sound like “justice” to you Alton? Most of the laws that have been codified once originated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights and their interpretation. Now the Constitution is ignored and the Bill of Rights (actually they’re “privileges” as Carlin pointed out) has been shredded. So in my worldview we’re now a failed state in which anything goes – like Ferguson for example, where “the police” (effing thugs with guns) can kill anyone for no apparent reason and nothing is legally done about it (this isn’t the only case) – so there IS no justice.

    When Obama was elected President, the first thing he did was IGNORE the war crimes of Bush/Cheney et al. Torture – which is against international law to which we are signatories – is ALLOWED. Habeus corpus has been suspended as has posse comitatus.

    These are just a few examples from the U.S. We haven’t even touched on the environmental laws that are routinely abbrogated and little to nothing is done about them either.

    So i find it hard to swallow your pie-in-the-sky version of what justice SHOULD (or could) be. It isn’t fair and it isn’t justice.
    This is happening all over the globe now.

    i’m not so sure people really know how to love either – because we’re all so damaged by our messed up worldviews imposed by society. i’ll get back to you on this a bit later. i didn’t enjoy this essay.

  • Why not try and acquire empathy?

    You are seriously asking others to “acquire” essential core values?

    Well, I guess that explains why you only quote ‘works of fiction’ to make your case.

  • I agree with Tom.

  • In my experience of living for 64 years on this planet love and justice are abstract, and may or may not be witnessed/experienced EVER in the life of an individual human -think of the child that is locked in a cupboards and starved to death by its unloving parent(s), and when the coroner’s report is released there is evidence of broken bones and burn scars- and human interactions are frequently characterised by BETRAYAL. Indeed, BETRAYAL seems to be the byword of the system we endure. And the level of BETRAL is increasing.

    To labour the point made many times previously, politicians and ‘community leaders’ are quite prepared to BETRAY their own children’s futures for the sake of a little more accumulation of digits in computer systems and a bit of ego massaging.

    The so-called justice system is largely a means for sociopaths -police, lawyers, judges etc.-to make a living and has nothing to do with real justice. Every day, if we so choose, we see images of policemen (sometimes women) abusing their power, beating and kicking innocent people because they can. Indeed, the present economic-political-social system can only operate by maintaining extraordinarily high levels of injustice.

    Derrick Jensen summed it up when he said that violence by those near the top direct at those below is considered normal and justified; violence carried out by those below towards those above is regarded as outrageous and is fetishized. Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert focused on this very point recently; rich bitch get a slap across the wrist from the ‘justice’ system for stealing; poor black boy gets murdered for a lesser crime. Many of the worst criminals in human history walk the streets of western nations with impunity; indeed, they are richly rewarded for being criminals; think Tony B Liar, Jamie Diamond, Barack Obama etc.

  • I once said to a friend (can’t recall the context now): “If there were any justice in this world…”

    I didn’t get a chance to finish my sentence, because he immediately and emphatically interjected: “There isn’t.”

    That was me told – and wised up.

    Never underestimate the healing and clarifying power of
    disillusionment.

  • That said, I continue to try and relate with others – and the natural world – in a fair, just and (to the extent I’m capable) loving way; and expect (sometimes foolishly and with evidence to the contrary) to be treated in the same way.

  • Repeating what I have said several times before, so-called community leaders are worse than the Nazis who ran the death camps because, although the Nazis who ran the death camps did terrible things to Jews, Gypsies, Russian prisoners etc. the Nazis who rand the death camps did love their own children and went to extraordinary lengths to protect their children. The fascists who run most western government won’t lift a finger to protect their own children’s futures, let alone anyone else’s.
    .

  • LOVE… The total and absolute absence of the “me”.

  • http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/mystery-infected-epidemiologist-had-no-contact-with-patients-as-3rd-doctor-dies-from-ebola-in-sierra-leone/

    Mystery: infected epidemiologist had no contact with patients, as 3rd doctor dies from Ebola in Sierra Leone

    August 2014 – AFRICA – A third top doctor has died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, a government official said Wednesday, as health workers tried to determine how a fourth scientist also contracted the disease before being evacuated to Europe. The announcements raised worries about Sierra Leone’s fight against Ebola, which already has killed more than 1,400 people across West Africa. The World Health Organization said it was sending a team to investigate how the epidemiologist now undergoing treatment in Germany may have contracted the disease that kills more than half its victims. “The international surge of health workers is extremely important and if something happens, if health workers get infected and it scares off other international health workers from coming, we will be in dire straits,” said Christy Feig, director of WHO communications. Dr. Sahr Rogers had been working at a hospital in the eastern town of Kenema when he contracted Ebola, said Sierra Leonean presidential adviser Ibrahim Ben Kargbo on Wednesday. Two other top doctors already have succumbed to Ebola since the outbreak emerged there earlier this year, including Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, who also treated patients in Kenema. Rogers’ death marks yet another setback for Sierra Leone, a country still recovering from years of civil war, where there are only two doctors per 100,000 people, according to WHO. By comparison, there are 245 doctors per 100,000 in the United States. The Senegalese epidemiologist who was evacuated to Germany had been doing surveillance work for the U.N. health agency, said Feig, the WHO spokeswoman.

    The position involves coordinating the outbreak response by working with lab experts, health workers and hospitals, but does not usually involve direct treatment of patients. “He wasn’t in treatment centers normally,” she said by telephone from Sierra Leone. “It’s possible he went in there and wasn’t properly covered, but that’s why we’ve taken this unusual measure — to try to figure out what happened.” WHO said late Tuesday that it was pulling out its team from the eastern Sierra Leonean city of Kailahun, where the epidemiologist working with the organization was recently infected. The team was exhausted and the added stress of a colleague getting sick could increase the risk of mistakes, said Daniel Kertesz, the organization’s representative in the country. Canada also announced late Tuesday it was evacuating a three-member mobile laboratory team from Sierra Leone after people in their hotel were diagnosed with Ebola. The Public Agency of Canada said none of the team members was showing any signs of illness but that they would remain in voluntary isolation during the 21-day incubation period. Health workers have been especially vulnerable because of their close proximity to patients, who can spread the virus through bodily fluids. WHO says more than 120 health workers have died in the four affected countries — Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. While some local health workers have lacked proper protective gear, the teams from the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders are usually well-equipped and trained in how to use the protective suiting. –ABC News

  • Kevin

    “…violence by those near the top direct at those below is considered normal and justified; violence carried out by those below towards those above is regarded as outrageous and is fetishized.”

    Why is it that we rarely see those below even attempt to attack those criminals above? Even when someone loses it they tend not to go after those most responsible. Remember the “freedom loving” husband and wife who shot the cops having lunch a month or so ago? It’s not like it would have been that hard for them to find some greasy lawyer/business/political types to attack with plenty of blood on their hands. Yet they chose to stick with people more or less near their social standing (working people). This seems to be the rule when people snap. I wonder if this is purely a cultural construct or hardwired somehow? I’m sure this one is going in my file for my potential kangaroo trail.

  • Alton C. Thompson says: “justice”

    Justice

    Observe social hierarchy—it’ll
    Explain why some crimes get acquittal;
    Till overshoot we’re
    Still doomed with it here:
    Laws are for people who’re little.

  • Sent this to Carl Herman at Washington’s Blog…Maybe he will bite and develop an article.
    Also used Kevin Moore’s conjecture as fact, but what the hell…
    ===
    Subject: Runaway Release of Arctic Methane and its Ramifications
    Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:56:50 -0500
    To: Email@WashingtonsBlog.com
    Hi Carl,
    I have been following macro-economic events since 2006, but surprised to discover an even more pressing problem than than what is contained in energy, economics, or government; and I think your readers would like to know about it.

    That problem is runaway (exponential) feedback loops which engender global warming more than what is currently predicted by climate models. Since these feedback loops are not used in climate models, some suggest their absence skews predictive capabilities to an optimistic time-line by 50 or so years.

    Over 30 feedback loops have been identified in the last few years, but the most significant is the recently identified increasing rate of Arctic methane release. The most accessible and recent information on this topic can be found in the Arctic News blog: https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/

    Methane is a special greenhouse gas. In the Arctic, there are places where the concentration of methane in the atmosphere is 2ppm (2000ppb) that could be having an effect on the order of 600ppm CO2 equivalence, which, when added to the currently acknowledged 400ppm CO2 takes us to around a whopping 1000ppm CO2 equivalence.

    Dr. Guy McPherson has authored a lengthly connect-the-dots article, using results from scientific journal publications, which describe these recently observed runaway phenomena. https://guymcpherson.com/2013/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/

    Furthermore, to appreciate the immediacy of the problem, please see Paul Beckwith and Jennifer Francis links which describe how this warming directly effects the Northern Hemisphere jet stream and, as a result, our weather.

    Big Waves in Jet Stream Mean Extreme Weather

    Our extreme weather and climate future

    Explanation of Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream Dynamics

    Explanation of Southern Hemisphere Jet Stream Dynamics

    Climate science results are released to the public too slowly
     

    Jennifer Francis – Understanding the Jet Stream – Abbreviated Version

    Jennifer Francis – Understanding the Jet Stream: Climate Change and Extreme Weather – Long Version

    Lastly, see for yourself as you view NASA real-time wind data in the Earth Wind Map http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/250hPa/orthographic=-95.46,30.23,481 (The URL parameters provided center the view over North America at jet-steam altitude.) Hold down the middle mouse wheel to rotate the view to the Southern Hemisphere Antarctic and note the jet stream. Now rotate to North pole and view our jumbled remnants of a jet stream. Also, please return to this map from time to time when extreme weather events occur and note how the jet stream is associated with the event.

    Thank you for you time in considering this material.

  • Many people born with simple eye disorders (near-sighted, far-sighted,) cannot “read” faces. Many people learn to “hide” their expressions, not only actors learn to disguise them.

    In Dickens day, it was easy to tell the difference in economic status as well as social status.

    In today’s world, someone might well be frightened by a person who was “Only trying to help.”

  • @ Apneaman Says:
    August 27th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    I have often wondered about that, too, over the past decade or so. I have found no “answer” but do take it as one part in a plethora of evidence that “we the people” have been “programmed, pigeon-holed and played” since the day each of us were born and far too few of us ever recognize this, let alone do anything about it. Nonetheless, I do suspect there may be a connection to the neurotoxins that have for many decades become more abundant in the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the cleansers and cosmetics we contact, and the abject poisons pushed by the medical-pharmaceutical-complex. It is not going to end “well.”

    Moreover, in light of Tom Lewis’ latest post on The Daily Impact, I find myself wondering if the Chinese people will remain as somnolent as ‘muricans and continue to be manipulated by the multinational conglomerates as agents of their own demise solely to increase the riches of the oligarchs controlling said corporations. Perhaps it will come to…

    Do you smell that?! I love the smell of thermonuclear fusion in the morning! Smells like… extinction!

  • ‘The fascists who run most western government won’t lift a finger to protect their own children’s futures, let alone anyone else’s.’

    kevin, i think most of them are quite clueless. there probably are a few who are clued in, but perhaps, just like us, they’re or perceive themselves to be powerless to stop the stupid/crazy train before it’s deadly crash. perhaps like some here, they feel it’s already too late. for any who do know and just don’t give a damn, what can be said? their genes, like ours, face extinction. i suspect virtually all of us share some blame/responsibility for ‘doom’, just as we (will) share consequences. we’re all flawed, more or less, plagued by insufficient ‘free will’, or else we’d all be perfect, and everything would be fine. (of course, according to some sages?/lunatics!, our lives aren’t surreal, and none of this surreally matters. it all depends upon the breadth and length (or lack thereof) of one’s point of view. right, robin?)

    ‘Laws are for people who’re little.’ -ain’t that the f truth?! (most cops may be ‘little people’, but not when they wear the badge and act in the name of ‘authority’!)

  • @ kevin

    Repeating what I have said several times before, so-called community leaders are worse than the Nazis who ran the death camps because, although the Nazis who ran the death camps did terrible things to Jews, Gypsies, Russian prisoners etc. the Nazis who rand the death camps did love their own children and went to extraordinary lengths to protect their children. The fascists who run most western government won’t lift a finger to protect their own children’s futures, let alone anyone else’s.

    These people built The Machine…

    ‘The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favors that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.’
    The Rothschild brothers of London, writing to associates in New York, 1863.

    It’s been up and running for a long time now and it has penetrated almost all parts of the planet and almost all levels of soceity.

    The British people have had almost a century of being told what to think by the BBC. Who was responsible for the BBC ? Lord Reith, the admirer of Hitler and Mussolini. See his wiki page.

    “I am pretty certain … that the Nazis will clean things up and put Germany on the way to being a real power in Europe again. They are being ruthless and most determined.” [22] After the July 1934 Night of the Long Knives, in which the Nazis ruthlessly exterminated their internal dissidents, Reith wrote: “I really admire the way Hitler has cleaned up what looked like an incipient revolt. I really admire the drastic actions taken, which were obviously badly needed.” [22] After Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Nazis in 1939 he wrote: “Hitler continues his magnificent efficiency.”[22][23] Reith also expressed admiration for Benito Mussolini.[22][24] Reith’s daughter, Marista Leishman, wrote that her father in the 1930s did everything possible to keep Winston Churchill and other anti-appeasement Conservatives off the airwaves.

    But since then, The Machine, and the BBC, got taken over by even more despicable and disgusting people, like Kerry and Bush belong to Skull and Bones, with a whole lot more, check out the list of names and how that began, and how those two fucked some poor little boy at Bohemian Grove and then shot him in the head, same thing in UK, because to prove you are ‘in the gang’, ‘one of us’ (Margaret Thatcher) you have to be initiated, like bikers have their ceremonies and rites of passage, only for those filth, it’s paedophilia and necrophilia and murdering prostitutes, and so we have Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Edward Heath, Lord McAlpine, Leon Britten, Tony Blair, caught in a public toilet ‘procuring’, prosecuted under his first two names…and an enormous long, long list… and all these vermin are all, and have always been, known to the police and MI5 and MI6, and also to Mossad and CIA, because for more than 20 years GCHQ and NSA has been reading their personal messages and listening to their phone calls, but these are ALL THE SAME PEOPLE, they are all in the same ‘club’, they all play the same ‘game’. If you do as you are told, you get a top job, money, power, in NATO or the IMF or in banking or whatever, and if you don’t, then you get outed and the police find some incriminating shit on your computer, or you have a nasty ‘accident’.

    I don’t think that ANYBODY in any of the 5 Eyes plus Israel, gets a key position who is not implicated in this totally evil, sordid and corrupt network of power and control.

    Some people here, e.g. Paul Chefurka, like to think that our destiny is the result of some sort of rather abstract conjunction of forces that we cannot really comprehend or confront, because they operate on scales and in dimensions that are far removed from ordinary people’s lives, e.g. entropy, etc. I don’t enirely disagree, there’s so many factors involved, the world is very complex… but for sure, there is HUMAN EVIL at work here, just as plain as plain can be.

    Since Margaret Thatcher came to power hundreds of children went missing from care homes and orphanages, all kinds of reports came to light of terrible sexual and other abuse, and every enquiry that got started got aborted on instructions from the highest level of authority in the land, because they are protecting, so to speak, The Crown Jewels. This is not some ‘abstract force’, this is real people who commit real crimes who avoid any investigation, because they are very powerful and can prey upon those who are weak.

    If enough people make enough pressure, then something can be done about this. People do have power, if they decide to use it, if they understand what has been going on.

    The problem is, it is so hard for ordinary decent people to believe that any humans can be so absolutely depraved as to have sex with dead bodies and to fuck little children and murder them for pleasure. But that is what they have been doing.

  • Sorry, that should be Bush and Cheney at Bohemian Grove, not Kerry.
    Yayaya, bad blunder on my part, don’t want to get shot for slagging the wrong guy do I

  • ulvfugl.

    Thanks for the information about Lord Reith. I must admit, I thought he wasn’t too bad because he resisted pressure from the government for the government to be in complete control at the time the BBC was set up. I guess we cannot trust anyone who is a ‘Lord, ‘Lady’, ‘Sir’ etc. You don’t get a title unless you are a member of the looters-and-polluters-and-and-exploiters club.

    I had a rather heated argument with someone (who shall be nameless) recently because I described our so-called community leaders as EVIL, the very word you use. She would not accept the use of the word EVIL, and got into quite a rage. I responded that EVIL was the appropriate word because these people do know right from wrong and continually do wrong, lying continuously to the masses in the process to cover up their crimes. To my mind that is the very definition of EVIL; to know what is right, just and moral, and do the very opposite. And that is what I said to the person I was arguing with.

    As I am writing this, there is a ‘meet-the-candidates’ event being held at the other end of town. I corresponded with someone closely associated with the event and said I would not go because I did not want to listen to Jonathan Young (National MP) and Andrew Little (Labour list MP under MMP) spout a whole lot of lies and propaganda. I have had dealing with both and found them both to be mendacious and untrustworthy.

    On Tuesday I sent the following email:

    ‘The problem with Grey Power is that it is a business-as-usual organisation which panders to the short-term entitlement mentality of the vast majority of members. As far as I can tell most members think they are entitled to cheap energy and they think they are entitled to pollute the environment for purely trivial reasons, e.g. travel club. Rather than accepting that consumerism is a very short-term aberration in the grand scheme of things which is destroying the planet’s life support systems and will come to an end very soon, they think it is normal and to be encouraged, e.g. discounts for purchases.

    I doubt that more than 1% of Grey Power members are aware we are in the midst of the greatest planetary meltdown in all of the Earth’s history, or that present economic arrangements will collapse within five years (they are already collapsing in numerous nations overseas) as a consequence of energy depletion (forecast many decades ago and panning out much as forecast) and environmental collapse: for instance, the corrupt NZ mainstream media are not reporting the utterly dire situation in California or that it is likely to put an end to ‘civilised’ life the within a few years.

    I doubt that many Grey Power members are aware that NPDC is in constant breach of the Local Government Act, and that they are lied to on a continuous basis by all mainstream politicians and eth corporate media.

    For what it is worth, here is a question for candidates which Ai would appreciate you asking:

    Knowing that global extraction of conventional oil peaked prior to 2008 and that the economic system is being propped up in the short term by extremely costly practices, both financially and environmentally, such as fracking and digging up tar sands, but that such strategies are very short-lived and doomed to failure; and knowing the Earth is suffering dire effects of carbon dioxide emissions -ocean acidification, disruption to the Jet Streams and rapid melting of ice sheets etc.; and knowing that the global financial system is a gigantic Ponzi scheme which has been held together since the peaking of oil extraction via massive money printing by central banks at historically low interest rates, please explain why the general public are not being told the truth about anything, and why the vast majority of politicians are obsessed with building more roads at the very time when road building is clearly one of the worst wastes of resources imaginable.

    By the way, did I send you a copy of the report to Gary Bedford and Andrew Judd, delivered January 2014, which both of them totally ignored? Them ignoring the whole thing is just further evidence we should have no faith whatsoever in either of them. In fact I would go as far as saying that Gary Bedford is one of the biggest obstacles to any kind of genuine progress in Taranaki, and is clearly an incompetent fool and a lackey of the corporate system which is in the process of rendering the Earth largely uninhabitable for humans and most other vertebrate species.

    Kind regards

    Kevin’

    The response came back that my question was ‘longwinded’ and could not be asked but maybe the candidates could be given written copies to answer at a later stage, and that the media would be present.

    To which I responded:

    ‘I knew from the start that the meeting will be a complete waste of time because, as is always the case, none of the issues that matter are ever addressed or even discussed. The candidates will churn out lies about economic growth, budget surpluses, meeting community ‘needs’ and other nonsense (well maybe not Sarah Roberts), and everyone will go home feeling happy and reassured, knowing no more than when they arrived.

    The Taranaki Daily Spew? What a waste of time that outfit is.! No, worse than that, a propaganda machine. On a previous occasion (at a Grey Power meeting) I spent half an hour going over why the so-called Perpetual Investment Fund could never be perpetual and, using mathematical analysis, why it would fail miserably (as it has). Not one word of it was mentioned in the so-called write up, of course.

    George Orwell said it 70 years ago: “I discovered early on that no newspaper ever report any event accurately.”

    The entire system is geared to keeping the proles uninformed and consuming. So that’s how the proles remain: uninformed and consuming, as the world burns and the global economic system transitions into the implosion phase.

    I cannot justify the time required to cycle across town or the fuel necessary to drive my car that far to listen to Young and Little lie continuously and spout a lot of propaganda, which is why I asked you to ask the question.

    Kind regards

    Kevin’

    So the game continues, with everything being made worse by the sociopaths in control of all western (and most other) societies.

    There has been significant discussion about Nicky’ Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’ recently but really it’s pretty irrelevant, since the people stirring things up have the quaint notion that politics can be something other than filthy and corrupt to the core. And they are scientifically and financially illiterate, of course, and totally unaware of any of the real issues.

    If the self-serving liar John Key were to be taken down by the fallout from the book, all that would happen would be that another self-serving liar would replace him. That’s the system.

  • Ops, the bold was supposed to have ended there;

    ‘why the vast majority of politicians are obsessed with building more roads at the very time when road building is clearly one of the worst wastes of resources imaginable.’

  • Oh yeah. And as part of the initiation they made them KICK PUPPIES too. Evil never sleeps.

  • Who has not wished they were billionaires? The assets and funds are there. Available to you now. The only question is why haven’t they yet been seized and what tactics are you going to employ going forward?

  • ulvfugl, the only difference in the monstrosities against children committed in the UK and in the USA is that the ones in the UK are more well known in these days. Here in the USA..well, we had the McMartin preschool scandal years back..and the kids were all called liars, even the three year old with gonorrhea was lying I suppose, and the tunnels were lies, until they were found and that was never reported on, but the cover-up that it was all lies persists to this day..and that is just one example. Here in the USA the crimes will in all likelihood NEVER be discussed even like they are in the UK and NO ONE will ever be convicted or even arrested. We hear of Bohemian Grove, but even talk of that is filled with so much disinfo and covered up with cointelpro hacks like alex jones that again..the real crimes and deaths will never see the light of day.

    And what is love in the face of that? Since this all started with quotes from scripture, I will go ahead and discuss it in those terms to start with. “suffer the children..”..well they are suffering ENOUGH. There is enough suffering in the world, period. I know that people say that the human race deserves the extinction it is bound for, and maybe it does, but I know the children and the innocent in this world damn sure don’t. The sociopaths are running the show, and polluting and destroying everything as they go, and that means all life on the planet, because I think in the end they want the planet to be just as ugly and dead and lifeless as their souls are inside.

    What is love? How about instead of looking at what love is in words of what it is like patience and what it is not like jealousy, words written by a Patriarch who told people not to have sex or get married and women to shut up in church, but the original man he was following, Jesus himself. Love isn’t a quality, it’s an action. Towards the end of the book of Matthew, in the parable of the sheep and the goats, he talks about who his real followers would be and what they would do..they wouldn’t be those who went to church or tithed or prayed..they would be those who fed the hungry, gave the thirsty a drink, ministered to the sick, and visited those in prison. That, to me, is a better definnition of love than what Paul wrote in Corinthians, but I think the bible overall is vastly overrated as a tool for moral guidance, to say the least, filled with violence and bloodshed and heinous acts..and the threat of eternal torture if you don’t do things just right.

    For a better deity, I like Quan Yin..she went down to hell, saw those there who DESERVED to be there and helped ease their suffering and made hell so much of a better place the devil kicked her out. A goddess of mercy and compassion who hears the cries of the suffering of the world and does not judge..someone who listens..now THAT’S love. Not a sadistic father who needs to torture his son to forgive people, sorry.

    In the end, sometimes Love is just about being there for one another ..and listening..and caring. And I think that when the end comes, that might be all we have left, and yet it will be and is so damn precious to have too.

    and justice? Justice has nothing to do with love, and does not exist today. period.

  • Kevin,

    I’m interested in any specific road building projects you might want to describe. That said, I don’t know what roads are being built or planned in my own neck of the woods. (I just can see sprawl without knowing the detailed mechanisms behind it.) The decision to construct roads is generally made years before the ordinary citizen is aware. And who wants to spend all their time driving into the city and pursuing maps and the minutes from meetings long past? You may be better at it than most of us. So anything you care to share (including simple maps and environmental impact report summaries, etc.) could be inspiring and instructive. Maybe. Having to spend a lot of time puzzling over text and legalese won’t work for most. But the simple, broad gist of things, much simplified, would be helpful. In a way, the essential trends in NZ are identical to those occurring everywhere else.

  • @ Brites

    LOVE… The total and absolute absence of the “me”.

    I don’t think that works, actually. There are people in mental hospital like that, who have lost their ego, sense of self, of me, of boundaries, and have to be helped, because they can’t function. That’s not ‘love’.

    For sure, not being overly concerned about one’s self, putting others first, is generally seen as being loving, generous. But I think one has to be strong to be able to do that, no ?

    I think you could say that applying love requires wisdom, otherwise you can just do harm. Like all the people who see ‘lost’ baby birds and take them home to ‘save them’, and a few hours later they are dead, when if they just left them alone, their parents know where they are, and they are not lost.

    @ Apneaman

    I don’t know what you mean, is that sarcasm ?

    @ Amy Pike

    Nobody even knows how big or how dirty this nest of filth really is, slowly, slowly it’s getting dragged out into the public domain, and they let the smaller fish be sacrificed, but the big ones ?…. well, who knows ? The rumours have been around for many decades but everybody has been terrified to come forward, because of what happened to those who did, and anyone who spoke as I am doing got branded ‘a mad conspiracy theorist’, but it is said the reason Lord Mountbatten got blown up in the Irish harbour was not because of being British or the politics, but because the locals knew what he was doing to the children from the home, same as Heath was doing from his yacht… take them for a lovely days sailing… except they never came back.

  • artleads.

    There are 95 road improvement/construction projects listed here;

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/results.html?region_id_fk=0

    The one that directly affects people around here is:

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/project.html?ID=217

    which, according to the Orcs, will ‘support future economic growth and support ongoing land development at Bell Block and Waiwhakaiho.’

    Oddly enough, there is no mention of increase pollution levels, increased emissions, or increased dependency on imported fuels.

    There is a railway line adjacent to this ‘development’ which gets very little use.

    One is forced to wonder whether we are boondoggle-land where the government prints money to pay contractors to construct infrastructure that will have no utility in the near future simply to keep the economy from imploding. In addition to the $16 million bridges and road widening projects we have a $10 art centre under construction.

    Needless to say, perhaps, the road ‘improvements’ will deliver vehicles to sets of traffic lights and city gridlock, perhaps somewhat faster that the current road system does.

    many of us thought that oil would ‘go through the roof’ post peak oil; however, demand destruction and manipulation have seen oil languish around $102 US, and fuel prices have actually fallen again, the last thing we need.

  • Prosopagnosia (face blindness) Is a recognised brain disorder.

    Deficits in affect recognition (inability to recognise emotion from facial expression) can occur with bilateral limbic system damage, particularly to the amygdala, and is also seen in some forms of psychopathy. Enhanced affect recognition is a feature of highly functioning and socially successful psychopaths.

    Attributed to Francis Bacon: “The Law is like a net. Little fish swim through it. Big fish wreck it. Medium fish get caught.”

    Justice = just us.

    “LOVE… The total and absolute absence of the “me”.”

    That is a corollary of the second of the three features of existence in the Buddhist tradition: “no entity has a soul” (no entity has any separately existent identity). It is also a corollary of the fifth defilement in the Vedic tradition, the fear of cessation of individual existence. Each of the defilements even in the slightest degree is a barrier to realisation.

    Tradition has it that Yagnavalkya was a realised person who was materially well off and had decided to go into retirement and contemplation in the forest and therefore was going to divide his property between his two wives, Maitreyi and Katyayani.

    Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

    II-iv-1: “Maitreyi, my dear”, said Yajnavalkya, “I am going to renounce this life. Allow me to finish between you and Katyayani”.

    II-iv-2: Thereupon Maitreyi said, “Sir, if indeed this whole earth full of wealth be mine, shall I be immortal through that ?” “No”, replied Yajnavalkya, “your life will be just like that of people who have plenty of things, but there is no hope of immortality through wealth.”

    II-iv-3: Then Maitreyi said, “What shall I do with that which will not make me immortal? Tell me, sir, of that alone which you know (to be the only means of immortality).”

    II-iv-4: Yajnavalkya said, “My dear, you have been my beloved (even before), and you say what is after my heart. Come, take your seat, I will explain it to you. As I explain it, meditate (on its meaning).

    II-iv-5: He said: “It is not for the sake of the husband, my dear, that he is loved, but for one’s own sake that he is loved. It is not for the sake of the wife, my dear, that she is loved, but for one’s own sake that she is loved. It is not for the sake of the sons, my dear, that they are loved, but for one’s own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of wealth, my dear, that it is loved, but for one’s own sake that it is loved. It is not for the sake of the Brahmana, my dear, that he is loved, but for one’s own sake that he is loved. It is not for the sake of the Kshatriya, my dear, that he is loved, but for one’s own sake that he is loved. It is not for the sake of worlds, my dear, that they are loved, but for one’s own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of the gods, my dear, that they are loved, but for one’s own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of beings, my dear, that they are loved, but for one’s own sake that they are loved. It is not for the sake of all, my dear, that all is loved, but for one’s own sake that it is loved. The Self, my dear Maitreyi, should be realised – should be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon. By the realisation of the Self, my dear, through hearing, reflection and meditation, all this is known.

  • Obviously, love is a preprogrammed response to the appropriate stimuli. The neural pathways are identical with those of drug addiction i.e. dopamine.

    Just like you have two hands.

  • MMM: great job sending that info to Washington’s Blog (that you know I link to often). i’d like to see all this climate information go more mainstream so people will stop living this materialistic fantasy in which we’re embedded – or at least wake up to the fact that our very habitat is in severe decline as a result. We both know it’s far too late, but knowledge is better than “hope” and uninformed worldviews. You’ve been hittin’ ’em outta the park lately with your posts, comments and links – keep up the good work.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/pulitzerwinning-scientist-warns-wildlife-face-a-biological-holocaust-9689902.html

    Pulitzer-winning scientist warns wildlife face a ‘biological holocaust’

    Half the planet should be set aside solely for the protection of wildlife to prevent the “mass extinction” of species, according to one of the world’s leading biologists.

    The radical conservation strategy proposed by Dr E.O. Wilson, the hugely-influential 85-year old Harvard University scientist, would see humans essentially withdraw from half of the Earth.

    Dr Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, warned that we are facing a “biological holocaust” as devastating as the extinction of the dinosaurs unless humans agree to share land more equally with the planet’s 10 million other species.

    Outlining his audacious “Half Earth” theory, he said: “It’s been in my mind for years that people haven’t been thinking big enough – even conservationists.

    [so of course this plan can’t happen]

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/climate-change-may-disrupt-global-food-system-within-a-decade-world-bank-says-20140827-108w8x.html

    Climate change may disrupt global food system within a decade, World Bank says

    [may?]

    The world is headed “down a dangerous path” with disruption of the food system possible within a decade as climate change undermines nations’ ability to feed themselves, according to a senior World Bank official.

    Rising urban populations are contributing to expanded demand for meat, adding to nutrition shortages for the world’s poor. Increased greenhouse gas emissions from livestock as well as land clearing will make farming more marginal in many regions, especially in developing nations, said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President and special envoy for climate change.

    “The challenges from waste to warming, spurred on by a growing population with a rising middle-class hunger for meat, are leading us down a dangerous path,” Professor Kyte told the Crawford Fund 2014 annual conference in Canberra on Wednesday. [read the rest]

    [yet another ‘down-playing’ of current conditions]

  • kevin: ‘dirty politics’ American style

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/08/politicians-and-billionaires-pledging

    Politicians And Billionaires: Pledging Allegiance To Each Other In Secret

    What happens when billionaire businessmen bent on reducing the taxes, regulations, and wages they pay gather with the politicians most closely aligned with their agenda? Because of Lauren Windsor’s groundbreaking investigative journalism on The Undercurrent and The Nation, into the Koch brothers’ secret conference at an Orange County California luxury resort, we now know. The revelations today about Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, and Cory Gardner flying to a luxury resort in California and pledging loyalty to the Koch agenda are breath-taking, especially the detailed information about the Koch brother front groups’ electoral strategies. It confirms all of your most cynical fears about the behind-the-scenes deal making between politicians and their financiers.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, before I go any further, let me note that the organization I founded and chair, American Family Voices, has a consulting contract with Lauren to produce and promote a lot of our content. AFV has also been a public sponsor of her investigative journalism work through her web-show, The Undercurrent. AFV’s support of The Undercurrent is in keeping with our history from the early days of our organizational work; supporting indie journalism is something we have always done.

    These articles now provide us with an in-depth look at the Koch strategy for political domination, and their relationship to candidates who are eager to do their bidding.

    Here’s Mitch McConnell: “I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David, for the important work you are doing. I don’t know where we’d be without you.”

    And the head of the Republican Governors Association: “We’ve had no stronger partner over the last four years than American For Prosperity.”

    Or Republican US Senate candidate Joni Ernst: “The first time I was introduced to this group was a year ago, August, in New Mexico, and I was not known at that time. A little known state senator from a very rural part of Iowa, uh, known through my National Guard service and some circles in Iowa. But the exposure to this group and to this network and the opportunity to meet so many of you, that really started my trajectory.”

    McConnell’s entire speech is about how he has made as the number one passion of his career to make sure the millionaires and billionaires in the room can give as much money as they want to whatever politician or political entity they want without having to disclose who they gave to. He even brags about leading filibusters, and inventing a new one, in his fight against campaign finance reform in his very first term, saying, “And I was so determined, I came up with a new filibuster.”

    [oh there’s more, read it if you can stomach it]

  • everyone:

    Dan Dennett: Dangerous memes

    [hat tip to Dredd, from which this link originates]

  • Neven Acropolis’s Arctic Sea Ice Blog:

    Looks like a reprieve from an ice-free Arctic Ocean, at least for 2014.

    SEARCH 2014 Sea Ice Outlook: August report

  • Kevin,

    It would be hard to do justice to the very clear and comprehensive list of projects you linked to. That’s why I wish you had a sizeable group working with who could take on different bits of research.

    But we do the best we can. My ignorance about NZ could hardly be matched. A surprising number of indigenous names. That’s a great strength, I think. Finding what the indigenous land names mean, whether they have sacred connotations, etc. Do your native people live on reservation-like set-aside places? Are there groups that would (potentially) speak up about conserving sacred land?

    The map below (of your area?)shows a forest area along the eastern edge. Is that mountainous? If so, are there watershed entities working to protect its watershed value? Is Mt. Taranaki a watershed area? If so, what does it flow into, and how does that flow or basin affect the urban hub on the west?

    What part of the basic road infrastructure was built by the British, and what part the reflection of new Americanized global standards? Distinguishing the two might have some value…

    http://www.aatravel.co.nz/img/content/maps/search_taranaki_wanganui.jpg

    Young artists are doing the most visionary landscape project. I went from writing this (back and forth) to watching “Artbound” on TV. One project (Fallen Fruit) was planting fruit trees in public spaces in Los Angeles.

    http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/del-aire-fruit-park.html

    Some possibilities for that new art school?

  • Tom

    Loved the Dennett video.

    What is Love?

    Could love be about something you do rather than about someone you love? Or both? Things? Thoughts?

    It’s too big a subject to grapple with in two days (if ever). But since we’re all in NBL school, and are asked, (FWIW) I’ll chime in too:

    I think of love as inward. We soften our hearts, and that spreads from inside out and back again. Perhaps. But I think of fairness as a duty. I think we should be fair to all (as far as we can figure out what all is), especially those whom we dislike. Destructive people should be confined and restrained.

  • artleads.

    ‘Finding what the indigenous land names mean,’

    Big hill. Big river. Place where ‘x’ trees grow. Hidden valley. Settlement on the big hill. Settlement by the river. Etc. Te Hawera = ‘Place of burning’, after one group attacked another and burnt their settlement to the ground. The Te got lost after European settlement. Te Henui = The big mistake, because allies were mistaken as enemies, leading to a mutual massacre.

    ‘Is Mt. Taranaki a watershed area? If so, what does it flow into, and how does that flow or basin affect the urban hub on the west?

    Taopu = sacred. To the land-hungry settlers of the mid-nineteenth century nothing was sacred, other than Queen Victoria, Lord Nelson, the Battle of Trafalgar, the supremacist God etc. Hence, every town and city has a Victoria St. Naoier is rather interesting because many streets were named after writers; Dickens, Milton, Thackery etc.

    ‘What part of the basic road infrastructure was built by the British’

    Until the 1890s most people moved around by boat, canoe, on foot or on horse. There were few roads. The British built Great North Road and Great South Road out of Auckland to move troops and supplies more quickly into disputed areas where the natives were not moving off the land at the required rate.

    New Plymouth was settled by boat-loads of ‘peasants’, mostly from Devon, England. The big opening up came when railways construction commenced. From memory it was in 1875 that the Rothschild empire lent money (at interest) to the NZ government to facilitate railway construction. So one could say that it was in 1875 that NZ started to become truly fucked.

    Roads were little more than dirt tracks until the railway system was fully developed, facilitating the removal of a large quantity of crushed rock from the eastern side of Mt Taranaki to rail depots around the North Island. A lot of opening up for the production of wool and dairy products was done by men using hand tools and bullocks, so rugged was the terrain and so scare was machinery. .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whangamomona

    Roads then become ‘metal’, i.e. dirt with broken rock spread and compacted onto it. As recently as the 1970s most rural roads on the Auckland region were ‘metal’. Interestingly, it was Russell Mathews who pioneered the use of bitumen as a road sealing material, and made a fortune out of it, enabling him to acquire and develop Tupare, about 1.5km up Mangorei Road from where I live.

    http://www.trc.govt.nz/tupare-stories/

    (also, click on the garden link)

    ‘what part the reflection of new Americanized global standards?’

    America was ‘loved’ as a source of farm machinery and cars.

    Although American whalers came to NZ in the early 1800s, there was no mass arrival of Americans or American culture until 1942, when NZ became a major base for US activities directed against Japan. At the end of the war the Americans left and NZ returned to a very British way of life. In the 1970s 90% of cars were British-made. And because they were expensive and parts were hard to obtain, they were kept on the road for decades. I was amazed to see 1950s models in superb working order when I arrived in 1974 (another British export), the miners’ strike, Ted Heath, 3-day week and all that).

    The oil shocks of the 1970s clobbered car culture temporarily. But then Mobil came to the rescue and the saboteurs of the time, Rob Muldoon, Bill Birch and company, forced through the construction of a gas-to-liquids plant at Motunui at the expense of NZ tax-payers against vigorous protest. Bill Birch rushed through ‘fast=track’ legislation, crushing opposition (as is the way with Orcs and looters and polluters), in the plant being constructed at great expense, which with other ‘Think Big’ projects resulted in a massive currency crisis in the mid-1980s. But it did make the money-lenders and speculators a big profit, which is what it has been mostly about from the beginning of industrialisation. It was in order to facilitate the transport of humungous sections of chemical processing gear from Port Taranaki to Motunui that the northern section of SH3 was upgraded in the early 1980s: 100-wheel vehicles with two or three locomotive units (rather like used to move Saturn 5 rockets to the launch pad) were used in the transport of components made overseas. The gas-to-liquid plant got mothballed as uneconomic, then reopened. The fact that half the energy content of the natural gas used as feedstock gets wasted is of no consequence to Orcs.

    The big opening up of NZ by Americans, and the imposition of American culture on NZ came in the 1970s, when television became nationally available and programmes like ‘Six million dollar man’, Dallas’ and ‘The Dukes of Hazard’ arrived. Then came McDonald’s. KFC, Pizza Hut, K Mart etc.

    It was the deregulation of the NZ economy and the importation of millions of second-hand Japanese vehicles that really gave ‘car culture’ a boost in the 1990s. The Orc of the time, led by Jenny Shipley (arguably the worst prime minister in NZ history, but they have all been so awful since Norman Kirk, it’s hard to tell the worst) actually celebrated the APEC conference in Auckland as contributing to NZ economic growth.

    ‘Is Mt. Taranaki a watershed area? If so, what does it flow into, and how does that flow or basin affect the urban hub on the west?’

    Yes, very much so, which is one reason I shifted back here when I escaped from Auckland (Orcland). There was a small amount of vision when NZ National Parks were established, and Egmont national Park -now reverting to the original Maori name of Taranaki- is a ‘rain magnet’. Due to the fairly steep terrain, water flows quite quickly to the sea. NP water supply comes from Lake Managamahoe, a manmade lake formed when the valley was dammed.

    http://www.newplymouthnz.com/OurDistrict/Attractions/Walkways/LakeMangamahoe.htm

    The land further to the east is what is referred to as ‘hill country’, mostly in the range 500 to 1000 metres, covered in native bush (moderate size trees), with some beef, wool and mutton farming, sparsely populated, with population decline a feature since the heydays of the 1950s and 1960s.

    One other important point: when the sheep-farming and dairying sectors were established there were closely-knit communities and few people travelled more than a few kilometres. Practically everything everyone needed was in their community. Taranakinis littered with abandoned dairy factories (one every 5 kilometres or so) as a consequence of centralisation brought about by road transport. Now, practically all the milk processed in Taranaki is transported to a gigantic facility south of Hawera via heavy double-unit tankers. I understand a major expansion of the Hawera Processing plant is underway.

    Nobody in government or commerce gives a damn about the increasing dependence on liquid fuels at the very time when they are about to go into global decline or the increase in emissions concomitant with all this ‘development’, especially not Gary Bedford, the so-called environmental director of the Taranaki Regional Council, who is nothing more than a shill for the industrialised dairy sector and declared that ‘climate change will be good for Taranaki’.

    The system is riddled with fuckwits and liars, which is why there is no hope.

    That’s said, Taranaki will probably be one of the last places to go under, economically, and environmentally. I should not be advertising that fact. However, ‘nobody’ is listening. 🙂

  • Tom.

    Great links. Thanks

  • @ artleads

    My ignorance about NZ could hardly be matched.

    Hard to match your ignorance on most topics, isn’t it, artleads ?

    What you going to do, recommend that the NZ people live underground, as you decided the Palestinians should ? I’m sure the Palestinians appreciated your advice.

    Where’s your reply to Tony Weddle, re ‘the impasse’ ? Presumably you have one ? Or was that just another example of your usual bullshit, trying to ingratiate yourself, agreeing with everyone whatever, talking vacuous meaningless pointless nonsense.

    I mean, what’s changed since you first appeared here ? You were clueless then, you forced yourself centre stage, you are still totally clueless, bouncing off the furniture like a drunk at a cocktail party, pretending that you have some serious intent. But it’s all bluff, fake, feigned, an act. Name dropping and nonsense, when you have no idea what you are talking about or what the reality of the world is. All bullshit.

  • The topic switches whenever I post but here goes…

    What is Love? I know what it isn’t. Ever seen this article about Emmett Till? Please look at his face first. Then, realize he was a 14 y.o. Then read the explanation.

    http://www.onthisdeity.com/28th-august-1955-–-the-lynching-of-emmett-till/

    If every serviceman brought in from the wars was immediately put on display at State Capitals around the country. The populace would get sick of war and atrocities.

    Real love is showing reality so we can eliminate some terrible things before we all go to hell.

  • From the Blue Cliff Record (I finally found it):

    Case 32: Jo and the “Essence of Buddhism”

    A senior monk Jo asked Rinzai, “What is the essence of Buddhism?”

    Rinzai came down from his seat, grabbed him by the lapels, slapped him and thrust him away. Jo stood there as if rooted to the spot.

    A monk standing nearby said, “Senior monk Jo! Why don’t you make a deep bow?”

    As he made a deep bow, Jo suddenly attained a great enlightenment.

  • ulvfugl: oh, you mean like this?

    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/08/sons-guns-canceled-after-host-charged

    ‘Sons Of Guns’ Canceled After Host Charged With Raping 12-Year-Old Daughter ‘Almost Daily’

    According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Hayden told the little girl, “Don’t tell them nothing, because I’m all you got.”

    [article ends with this]

    Last year, it was discovered that Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Fauxbilly Duck Dynasty clan, had advocated for men marrying children in a 1996 sermon amid the controversy over his disgusting remarks regarding black people, the LGBT community, Muslims, the Chinese, and more.

    Somehow, he still has a show.

  • @ Shep

    The populace would get sick of war and atrocities.

    You are a simpleton, Shep. It doesn’t work like that. Ordinary healthy simple folk hate violence and killing, they just like a peaceful life, to have fun, sex, kids, enjoy themselves, have a life that has some meaning and purpose, as they see it.

    It’s really quite difficult to get them stirred up and angry enough to get violent and go to war. They may not like the other people living across the tracks, or in the next valley, or with a different skin colour, but they mostly prefer to rub along and do deals and accept differences.

    But what happens, POLITICIANS play one side against another, to get power, for themselves. They turn people against one another. They say ‘Those people are getting a better deal than you are, you better watch out, they’ll be coming after your women, they’ll be taking your water, your hunting ground, your fishing places, I’ve heard them plotting, you better vote for me, so I can make sure you are protected’

    And then they get some thugs and pay them to commit an atrocity, just like you depicted, and they blame that on the other people, so everyone gets angry and outraged and wants revenge. And if that hasn’t been enough to start a war, they pay the same thugs to do some more killing, until there’s vendettas and blood feuds going that demand an eye for an eye… and it’s their warriors against our warriors until the killing eventually ends…

    That’s been going on for thousands of years.

    But ever since Machiavelli, at least, it’s down to a fine art. It’s how the British Empire was built. And it’s how America does business, all around the world. It’s what the State Dept and the CIA are there for, it’s what they do.

    They just did it in Ukraine, when they turned the peaceful Maidan demonstrations into violent revolution, by using snipers to shoot people on both sides, and then to commit the most ghastly atrocities in Odessa, including raping and garrotting a heavily pregnant woman.

    All of these actions are carefully measured and calculated to make the peaceful population so angry and upset that they will fight and kill.

    The CIA were quite happy to talk openly and boast how successful they were at this stuff re the revolution in Romania. Of course, most of the time, USA denies that it ever happens, and all we hear are leaks, like Nulands ‘Fuck the EU, I want Yats’ phone call and so forth.

    My point is, that this has nothing to do with ‘love’, you don’t solve this problem by getting people to be more ‘loving’, you solve this problem by the death penalty for war criminals who start this stuff, as was done at Nuremburg.

    We already have international laws laid down that would prevent this sort of thing. Unfortunately, USA, Britain, Israel, don’t abide by them.

  • ulvfucku is an asshole. Go to hell, Mr Big Dick.

  • @ Shep

    FFs, how old are you ? Six ? Fucking brain damaged American, I suppose, fluoride casualty, one of those people in Jerry Springer’s audience, sorry I used too many words, made you dizzy.

  • q. What is love.

    The 2nd Human imperative. Fuck I don’t know. Okay, I do. But if you have to ask, then fuck it:

    Love is what happens to your emotions when you value the life of another over even your own, …imo. haha

  • Another example of the handiwork of Homo callidus:
    Southeast Louisiana is being devoured by the sea — and it’s going to get worse, even quicker
    By Bob Marshall, The Lens, Brian Jacobs and Al Shaw, ProPublica
    Thursday, August 28, 2014 15:36 EDT.

  • Mornin’! Monty Python style:

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/monty-python-state-department.html

    Scene: A cafe. One table is occupied by a group of Vikings wearing horned helmets.

    Whenever the word “war” is repeated, they begin singing and/or chanting.

    A man and woman enter. The man is played by Eric Idle, the woman is played by Graham Chapman (in drag), and the Secretary of State is played by Terry Jones, also in drag.

    Man: You sit here, dear.

    Woman: All right.

    Man: Morning!

    Secretary of State: Morning!

    Man: Well, what’ve you got?

    Secretary of State: Well, there’s sanctions and prosecutions; sanctions drone strikes and prosecutions; sanctions and war; sanctions prosecutions and war; sanctions prosecutions drone strikes and war; war prosecutions drone strikes and war; war sanctions war war prosecutions and war; war drone strikes war war prosecutions war cyber war and war;

    Vikings: War war war war…

    Secretary of State: …war war war sanctions and war; war war war war war war targeted assassinations war war war…

    Vikings: War! Lovely war! Lovely war!

    Secretary of State: …or a United Nations resolution combined with infiltration, a USAID fake Twitter application, a CIA overthrow, trained enhanced interrogators and with crippling sanctions on top and war.

    Woman: Have you got anything without war?

    Secretary of State: Well, there’s war sanctions drone strikes and war, that’s not got much war in it.

    Woman: I don’t want ANY war!

    Man: Why can’t she have sanctions prosecutions war and drone strikes?

    Woman: THAT’S got war in it!

    Man: Hasn’t got as much war in it as war sanctions drone strikes and war, has it?

    Vikings: War war war war… (Crescendo through next few lines…)

    Woman: Could you do the sanctions prosecutions war and drone strikes without the war then?

    Secretary of State: Urgghh!

    Woman: What do you mean ‘Urgghh’? I don’t like war!

    Vikings: Lovely war! Wonderful war!

    Secretary of State: Shut up!

    Vikings: Lovely war! Wonderful war!

    Secretary of State: Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can’t have sanctions prosecutions war and drone strikes without the war.

    Woman: I don’t like war!

    Man: Sshh, dear, don’t cause a fuss. I’ll have your war. I love it. I’m having war war war war war war war targeted assassinations war war war and war!

    Vikings: War war war war. Lovely war! Wonderful war!

    Secretary of State: Shut up!! Targeted assassinations are off.

    Man: Well could I have her war instead of the targeted assassinations then?

    Secretary of State: You mean war war war war war war… (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)

    Vikings: (Singing elaborately…) War war war war. Lovely war! Wonderful war! War w-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-r war w-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-r war. Lovely war! Lovely war! Lovely war! Lovely war! Lovely war! War war war war!

    No actual diplomats were harmed in the making of this production.

  • @ulvfugl

    You did not say one thing that any dolt doesn’t know! U OBVIOUSLY missed the point. Ignorant racist bastard!

  • Plus, ulvfugl must be a Morris Berman bot. You fool!

  • https://robertscribbler.com/2014/08/29/leaked-un-report-shows-failure-to-swiftly-act-on-climate-change-results-in-catastrophic-harm/

    Leaked UN Report Shows Failure to Swiftly Act on Climate Change Results in Catastrophic Harm

    Over the past week, various sources have leaked information passed on to them by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The reports highlighted stark consequences for continued failure by policy makers to act, providing a general view of rapidly approaching a terrible and very difficult to navigate global crisis.

    [topics include]

    Dancing on the Edge of a Global Food Crisis

    Wide-ranging and Terrible Impacts

    The Terrifying Rate of Human Emission

    Rapid Mitigation is the Only Moral Option
    [which hasn’t happened and isn’t going to apparently]

    [concludes]

    Given the current behavior and mindset of policy-makers, an even more direct approach may well be necessary. That said, the current IPCC report, as alluded to by these leaks, appears to be a far more impactful summation than its previous iterations. Given the very narrow window in which we have to prevent the most severe future harm, such a shift is appreciated and highly appropriate.

    [the ‘window’ he alludes to has been painted shut years ago; nonetheless it’s worth reading]

  • @ Shep

    What point was that, Shep ? You seem to have trouble with making points, foaming at the mouth, spitting, spluttering ulvfucku is an asshole. Go to hell, Mr Big Dick is not making a point, is it, as far as I can tell, nor is Ignorant racist bastard!
    How you managed to find anything racist beats me, but possibly it’s the drink and drugs has got you all mixed up and dizzy, poor fella. Go and have a rest, maybe you’ll feel better later on.

    Then you can explain to me how your trite, simplistic, silly remark
    The populace would get sick of war and atrocities. addresses events like the Rwandan Genocide which was deliberately engineered in the manner I outlined, just as the Ukraine civil war has been engineered

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/evidence-of-kagames-crimes-suppressed-by-chief-rwanda-prosecutor-louise-arbour-testimony-of-michael-andrew-hourigan/5377200

  • Hell, FUGL, everybody knows that Rwanda was engineered. What’s ur point, stupid!

  • @ Tom Says:
    August 28th, 2014 at 4:36 am

    Thanks for the Dennett video, it was moderately interesting. However, it was quite disappointing in that he doesn’t even mention why some ideas/memes are “dangerous” while others are not. Moreover, he doesn’t say anything regarding why some ideas/memes (dangerous or not) seem to be more infectious/virulent than others. Do you know if he addresses either or both of these issues in any other videos?

  • @ Shep

    What’s ur point, stupid!

    You need to go back to the beginning, read my comments, think what the words mean, maybe give it a few goes, then ponder, let it sink in. Maybe you’ll understand. Maybe you won’t. Sorry, sweetheart, there’s a limit to my devotion, if you don’t get what I’m telling you, and don’t make the effort, I can’t help that. The first recorded massacres are something like 20,000 years ago, and they’ve been happening ever since, and there’s been plenty of study of the subject, and when you make some dumb uninformed statement like The populace would get sick of war and atrocities I find that kinda irritating you know ?

  • I imagine u find ANYTHING irritating that you didn’t think of? You’re an overblown know-it-all that thinks yourself superior in all cases. Get a life.

    Here’s a picture of the fugler.

    Enjoy, Mr. Know-it-all, white supremacist.

  • I think you imagine all kinds of rubbish, Shep, dear. I have a most excellent life. What I find irritating is stupid, ignorant people, hence my annoyance and impatience with you, and your idiocy. I imagine it is you that is the white supremacist who thinks he knows it all, but you are incapable of getting your poor tangled mucky mess of a brain straight enough to know what it is that you actually want to say, because thinking makes you dizzy. Best go and lie down again, eh. Maybe you’ll feel better tomorrow ?

  • I knew it!!!! You look DOWN on people. Maybe u hate patriarchy? Huh?

  • Great essay, spot on.

    And yet, there must be a certain sense of self-protection in order to keep from draining the pool dry. Like the airline attendant who admonishes, “Parents, please put your oxygen mask on first before assisting children,” we must be aware of our own capacity for love, and guard against “using it all up.”

    Göthe noted, “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.” Love comes from a reservoir that must get “topped up” periodically.

    There are many people who qualify for love, and yet they are incapable of returning it. When does empathy become too expensive to be sustainable?

    “One must also have empathy [to be loving]”

    Which is why corporations cannot be persons — they are incapable of empathy, as are sociopaths, narcissists, and others with various personality disorders.

  • Shep,

    Just randomly pulling out whatever ridiculous slur comes to mind, isn’t going to help you make your point, especially when it’s completely off the mark. If you think Ulvfugl is a “white supremist”, then you clearly haven’t spent much time here. If you want to engage in name calling, at least come up with something that carries water.

  • Daniel,

    He/she acts like all the other white supremacists I know. She/he went off on me about Emmett Till just like a George Zimmerman fan would. I think he/she is a brat and thinks she/he is better than most. Most don’t consider themselves racist, but they clearly are. I live amongst many black haters. Seems funny to me that he/she doesn’t think the Till article is worth a mention. Sounds like a Glen Becker or a Rushbo sort from out of this country. Also sounds like a powered wig type.

  • Shep,

    You may not care for Ulvfugl, but that doesn’t justify unsubstantiated conjecture on your part, especially where it’s concerns racial issues, I’ve read Ulvfugl for several years now, and he has never said anything to give credence to your rather absurd accusations. You just can’t go around calling people white supremist because they don’t respond as you think they should. I read the Emmett Till article and didn’t mention anything, does that make me a racist? You’re being way too cavalier with projection and choice of words

  • Well now Daniel,

    Ulvfugl is one of the most condescending, quick tempered, slanderous, posters I’ve run across. He/she constantly responds, like he did with me, with out-of-the-blue words like “simpleton” that are totally uncalled for. What about that? He jumped on me without even a mention about Till. Still hasn’t. What is good for the goose is good for the gander and I’ll continue to call she/he out. It’s really none of your business, is it?

  • Well Shep, if you can’t deffrenciate the difference between calling someone a ‘simpleton’ and a ‘white supremist’……then Ulvfugl might be on to something.

  • Okay then. U are obviously a fan of whatever his/her name is. I’ll go back and drag up the many derogatory names he/she has used over the past month or two. Doubt it will help though.

  • @ Kevin

    [quote] rather like used to move Saturn 5 rockets to the launch pad [/quote]

    Now that you’ve brought the Apollo mission up, I’ve been wanting to tell you a few things about it.

    In 1976 NASA had an open house at Cape Canaveral, where they allowed far greater public access to the facilities than normal (they wouldn’t even think of doing that nowdays what with the department of [i]fatherland[/i] [b]in[/b]security and what not)
    As a teen during the moon landings [i] I personally saw though my own telescope [/i] the lunar lander separate from the control module and make an orbit around the far side of the moon, then re-appear on the otherside and gradually disappear as it descended. (I only had a 50 X telescope so they were just tiny dots)

    And during openhouse we went there (again) for vacation, I personally sat in one of the control module seats, and most importantly, [i]closely inspected the heat shield [/i] looking at the melt pattern, from globs of rough features down to the tiniest details, of hair sized features, including cracking and bubbling. This heat shield was one piece the entire bottom of the module.. In order to fake it they would have to subjected it to an enormous blast furnace big enough to fit it in. I went partially around it (some of it was roped off) looking for any sign of inconsistencies in the blast pattern.

    We also went inside an older control room (not the current one, we could only see that through a big window on an upper deck walkway)

    The Astronauts had major trouble with the moon dust they tracked in after they walked around outside. It has the characteristics of flour, sticks to everything, and is extremely destructive to both equipment and their lungs. [b] I was exposed to some of it[/b] They went into great detail about how it clogged filters, air intakes, the air recirculation system was damaged by it, all over their space suits (especially their boots) inside them when they removed the helmets, in their gloves, itches like crazy like fibreglass they said, in instruments, control panels, switches, etc. Several developed permanent lung damage similar to silicosis..

    The last point I wanted to tell you is that they left a retro-reflector there (like a giant cats-eye) which [b]you yourself can shine a LASER beam at and get a detectable reflection back from it[/b] if you want to. (although laws technically prohibit you from shining a LASER beam into the sky, people do it anyway and rarely get caught)

  • Alton, you sure aren’t afraid to look at the Big Issues, and I admire that…but Justice and Love are not so linked together that you can’t talk about the one without invoking the other. Just my opinion.

    I do view justice and fairness as cardinal virtues, but they both get a lot of lip service and not much real consideration, in this world we’re in. That’s all I have to say on that subject.

    Love is different. Empathy and love are not only possible, but are very frequently demonstrated by people of all levels….rich, poor, smart dumb, white, black, male, female. Love is a much more basic thing than fairness and justice.

    My dogs know nothing about fairness and justice, but they are completely capable of the most unconditional love.

    Love manifests wherever I look, and it is love that makes me glad I’m living.

    One thing you didn’t touch on that I’d like to mention is that the ability to love has a lot to do with being able to forgive. Acquiring empathy for me is tied up with realizing that I am a failure…that we are all failures in one way or another, and that forgiveness is absolutely essential. For oneself first, and then for others. For the human race.

    This doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for one’s actions. But it means that we have to give up the notion that our lives are a sum of positive and negative behaviors, and that the positives need to outweigh the negatives in order for us to be worthy of love.