Thursday 1 March 2018

How do we save those who believe that "Hope" is only a place between Here and Hell ?

R U OK M8 ?

Since the apparently sudden suicide of Chester Bennington (front-man for Linkin Park), I've been thinking about the statement made by so many of his friends and fans; "I didn't see it coming...".  It is a refrain made by many of the closest confidants of people who finally lost that last shred of hope.

I don't subscribe to the belief that a personal non-aggressive* suicide results in eternal damnation in the way that the various Faithful claim.  No.  What I *do* believe is that whatever your Faith, you will suffer in the hereafter for eternity, but not from an external source.  Rather, you have to face eternity with the knowledge of the pain you caused to those who loved and needed you.

(*ie: "non-aggressive suicide" is to end your own life only, and not intentionally kill anyone else with you.  Euthanasia is whole other ball of wax, and well beyond the scope of this post...)

How arrogant are we that believe that we can stand Judge over the ending of the life of another ?  (Not to get preachy, but look it up...)

Rather my personal view is that non-aggressive suicide is not the act of a sane or mentally balanced person.

I have been part of the crowd who called suicide the coward's way out; that it takes courage to face life.  I no longer believe that.  Intentional non-aggressive suicide is the act of a person who believes there is no hope to be found in this universe... ie: a state of absolute despair and desolation.

Dante Alighieri's view of Hell depicted the worst of humanity, but I believe the punishment of of those who commit suicide is not accurate. Eternal emotional and psychological pain derived from knowing how your suicide impacted others would be far worse than any physical assault.

And so we return to the trigger, despair, and the question, why? (asked by those left behind).

They do not know why because they missed the signs and did not ask; "R U OK?".

Look up the campaign or talk to any of a host of counselling services globally for help in knowing the signs and when and how to ask.

Do not let another "One More Light" moment (see LP's album of the same name) occur if you could have prevented it.

RIP Chester.

Footnote: For me, the saddest part of the story of Chester is that the signs were there, but very few realised how bad it was, or if they did then they did not know what to do.... There is a reason that "suicide watch" is a thing folks... (and no, I am most definitely NOT blaming anyone for how Chester's last days played out.)

Disclaimer: I have no association with LP beyond being a fan. I have no association with RUOK? Limited, nor any other organisation or charity. . No endorsements should be inferred from  the information presented. I am not making any implied statement of support for or criticism of suicide in any form.  The information is presented for educational purposes only.  It should be noted that both suicide and euthanasia are listed as "illegal" acts in many jurisdictions, and may have consequences for both the deceased and those left behind.... (but remember, I'm not a lawyer...)

Monday 29 January 2018

Anti-Democratic Laws in the Guise of "National Security"

I won't belabour the point. The headline is far from "news". (We've been living with this idiocy since "9/11" spawned the PATRIOT Act in the USA.  No, this is not one of "those" articles.)

True democracy is dying at the hands of the far right across the world.

Here's a simple question.  How do YOU as an individual get a voice in the government of your country ?

The majority of people will answer with the over-simplistic "at the ballot box"or "by my vote".  Sorry, but that would only work if all our votes were of equal value and ANY person in an electorate could realistically stand as a candidate, garner enough votes and enter one of the houses of government with an equal voice.  That is not the truth and you should know it.

Ignoring the whole "1 vote, 1 value" issue, most of us live in countries where there is effectively a 2 party system.  Yes, there are other political parties, but as has become patently clear, the ruling parties will do whatever they can to eliminate or render impotent such groups.

Now we're seeing active attacks on the ability of citizens to gather and create a unified voice.  Don't forget that they have effectively neutered the trade unions and cut off protesting at the knees.

Don't misunderstand, I agree that agents of foreign interests should not be able to derail the electoral process.  But.... We already have a reasonable reporting requirement in place for "substantial" contributions (currently $13,500 until June 2018).  So why require small donations to lobby groups to be recorded?  There can be only one purpose in that; to make it economically nonviable to collect small sums. Of course it'll have almost no impact on the companies who have been using the lobbying scam for decades.  But they don't like it when Joe Public decides to use the same means to fight back.

If you do not want to lose your somewhat limited access to voices in the nation's houses of parliament, then you should read what is being done to your rights.

Here's a few possible starting points:

Don't believe it, or don't want to believe it ?

True "Democracy" has been in the hands of the wealthy elites since before any of us were born. What little influence we have is being "lawyered" away faster than our nearly nonexistent "rights".

I can't speak for anyone else, but if one more politician uses the "T" word to justify some soul crushing Law, I think maybe that we should reconsider our options, and NOT vote for him next time around.

Saturday 30 December 2017

Subexistence, ...or... The Dying Art of Living


Scorched wasteland to the horizon before me.
More featureless wasteland all around as far as the eye can see.
As above, so below. There is no life.
Once I sowed seeds of hope on barren ground to grow nothing.
I sowed hope on fertile ground for less.
No hope grows here. Nothing does.
All is flat and featureless. At least I have no pain here.
Even the rocks and stones have crumbled to dust.

I see a man in a long flowing robe hanging from his spare frame.
He sees me but does not approach, but he does not flee.
He watches me with sad but curious eyes.
There are unknowable depths to his eyes.
His hair hangs long but lankly from his skull.
He is not alone.  I am not alone.

There is the other man. He is garbed in fashionable clothes.
He also sees me but does not approach nor flee.
He watches with an unknown fever in his bright eyes.
There is fear and hope in those eyes. There is also a darkness.
His hair is coifed elegantly, or is it a wig?
He is not alone. I am not alone.

It has been said that the greatest trick the lord of lies pulled in was convincing Us that he didn’t exist.
It has also been said that there are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.
Alone in a barren land and yet I am not alone.
I brought my demons to keep me company.

They say that the last thing remaining in Pandora’s box was “hope”.
That makes no sense.
If upon opening that cursed box she released all the ills of the world, that would mean it was a box of woe.
That means that “hope” is yet another “ill” that can beset the world.
What then is having hope but another lie?

The well-dressed man is smiling, as if to some wry humour.
The robed figure seems to be fading into some wraith.
Both beckon. Once only.
Choose, but choose wisely. There will be no second chances.
Choose I must, but how to choose.

All around the wastes extend.
Horizon to horizon.
Tis only now that the absence of the sun is noticed.
There is a permanent twilight as if seeing a poorly lit room through a veil.
And yet there is both heat and chill felt on the feint zephyrs that pass.

Now the sound is gone.
In this barren wasteland there was at least a sound of the crushing and grinding from some unknown origin as if the dust itself was still being ground down.
Now there is silence.
I open my mouth to speak. No sound comes forth.

The suited man appears to be speaking.
No sound is heard.
The robed man speaks.
Strangely I can hear him like a whisper carried on the wind.
Fragments of words that are more like a soliloquy spoken to the front row as I stand in the foyer.

There is a strangeness about this place.
There is familiarity too.
But how? Why? Whence do such feelings come?
I had thought I was past feeling anything.
Numbed by the Fates.
Numbed by my follies.
And yet, as the song goes, I still have tears to shed.
But none come forth.

Now the well-dressed man is fading too.
The robed man is as insubstantial as the shapes I once saw in clouds.
But there are no clouds here.
No birdsong.
Even the air feels thinner now.
Is it darkening also?
Fading to a darker shade of colourless grey?
Beige may be a boring colour, but there is something malevolent in grey.

There is an urgency and yet no movement.
There is need, but no suggestion of what is lacking.
There is no sense of purpose to anything.
Now all is stilled.
Both men, my personal demons, have faded to be indistinguishable from the grey that surrounds.

Am I alone?
No and yet yes.
There are teeming masses beyond the veil of grey.
I cannot sense them other than by the certainty of inner knowledge.
Past. Present. Future. Everyone and everything.
All exist in this one stretched moment in time.
And yet I know I am alone.

No thoughts now but one.
Choose what?
Why must I choose?
Between what things must this choice be made?
Do I have the knowledge to make an informed decision?
And yet I know I must.

A single silver coin spins up from nothing into the space above me.
It hangs there flashing with light in this place of endless grey un-being.
Is this what it has come to?
My life to be chosen for me by a single toss of a coin?
Yes, but I will not be told what the choice was nor the outcome of the toss.

I am alone and not alone.
I am nowhere and nowhen.
I did not. Could not. Choose.
So it was chosen by my inaction. My fear of choosing poorly condemned me.
This is the grey, purposeless existence of a drifting lost soul.
This is my life.
This is subexistence.

Copyright (C) 2017 rpgc. All rights reserved.

Inspired in part by Ozymandias (alt). It may not have lasted but at least he did something.

Saturday 24 June 2017

More Control of The Sheeples... This time it's their $$$...

You are probably sick of hearing about the latest piece of idiocy from our political overlords.  I know I am, but something that you should pay attention to is when they decide to impose restrictions on you without any clear mandate from the electorate....

I am not a lawyer, so the implications of the proposals on both side of the Pacific by the US and Oz federal governments are being interpreted by me in "simple English".   I haven't include links to the various Laws / Statutes because there are simply so many.  Just go google "reporting bearer negotiable instruments" for your government (the link is for the Oz "".... just drop the ".au" for the US).

That said, the limit on CASH (or equivalent blah, blah, "instruments") being carried IN TO or OUT OF either country is $10,000.  That has to be declared when you pass through customs.

As others have said, I don't really see a problem with that as it is currently defined.  I'd be nervous carrying that much cash (USD$ or AUD$) when travelling internationally.  Anyone who seems to see a need to carry that much "negotiable monetary instruments" internationally is likely as not trying to hide something.  Either taxes, duties or the legality of their purpose.

However, the US Congress has gotten it into its collective head to place a limit on those same "negotiable monetary instruments"  (ie: CASH) when you carry it around WITHIN your own country.

Disturbingly the Oz federal nutters are making noises of a similar idiotic nature.

Ok, I get it.  Someone carrying 100's of $1000s of dollars is probably doing something shady.  But setting the proposed limit at the same as  the cross-border transfer one of $10k is ludicrous. Think for ONE second how much things cost and how much you get for a "cash discount".... For those not familiar with the problem here, there are ceilings / limits on EFTPOS transactions, ATM withdrawls and bank-to-bank transfers.  Want to guess how LOW those limits are ?

The limits vary a little from bank to bank and between countries, but for Oz, the typical ATM tops out at $1k, EFTPOS at between $1k and $2k, and the bank-to-bank daily limit at $10k.  The limits on non-prepaid credit cards is massively higher (think buying a new car with a CC... it happens).

So when you negotiate that marvelous discount off your new lounge, white goods, home theatre or car, you had better think about how you will actually make the payment.

Having haggled a large discount on a used car by offering a cash settlement on the day (end of month for the dealer, so he had an incentive), I know that EFTPOS, ATM and bank-to-bank were not options. My only recourse was to front up to a bank teller at a business branch (not just any old branch due to size of withdrawl... I phoned ahead to find out what I had to do), sign an actual piece of paper and enter my PIN and acknowledge that I knew the bank would report the transaction as required under Law.  All that was fine by me and the bank and the dealer.

However, under the proposed Law for the USA (and likely as not heading for Oz), the fact of carrying that amount of physical currency without the appropriate government forms would lead to forfeiture (ie: they get it and I can never claim it back, even in court) plus the added problem of arrest and imprisonment for 5+ (at least) years.

If you think your (US or Oz) government is seriously doing this to "fight drugs" and/or "fight terrorism", you might want to think again.

Included in the proposed Bill is an attempt to bring control of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies under the same umbrella of Laws and strictures that apply to physical currency.  If you don't believe that this is happening, do a quick google of the proposed Bill.  Here's one search link as an example; Google Search "Senate Bill 1241".

And finally, for those "stackers" who think shifting any of their savings into precious metals will mitigate the risk, that is a possible solution, but not without its own risks.  Quite apart from the need to keep it OUT of any financial or government-run institution (look it up), keeping it safe somewhere you can get at it and not have it stolen or seized is a bit problematic, except possibly for "preppers". But do not forget that what amounts to legalised theft by your government is not beyond the realms of possibility... they HAVE done it before back in the USA in the 1930s.... (have a read....Gold Reserve Act of 1934).

Always remember; the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.... (never trust a desperate, bankrupt or corrupt government)...

Friday 16 June 2017

Equality At What Price ?

To avoid being dragged into court, I'll put the disclaimer first.  I have no affiliation with, nor do I make any representations regarding the views held by anyone I reference in this missive.... and I am not a lawyer (thankfully)...

In regards to relationships in the 21st century I have only ONE thing to say to any male seeking female companionship..... "caveat emptor".

Why ?  Have a look into what has happened to "equality" in the context of Family Courts around the globe.  Stuck for somewhere to start?  Try the books and videos by one Helen Smith.

Otherwise, "have a nice day".

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Advisory: "Cookies notification in European Union countries"

According to Google, apparently my little blog has to comply with an EU directive about cookies even though I don't use them or Adsense, simply because apparently they (Google) do use cookies on my site for some purpose. (Extract; "The notice lets visitors know about Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies on your blog, including Google Analytics and AdSense cookies.")

To that end, please find Google's notice <here>. I have no control over what they choose to wrap around my blog.

Now for the generic disclaimer that presents almost zero legal defence..

  • I do not use or create any cookies on my blog (<>)
  • I do not use any Alphabet Inc, or subsidiary company tracking or marketing tools on this site.
  • As suggested as a possibility by Google's notice, the default warning does not appear.
  • I do not have any affiliation to any Alphabet Inc. company.
  • This is a personal blog and does not necessarily represent any position for my employer.
  • I am not now, nor have I ever been associated or affiliated with Oracle Corporation.

Per my other sites' disclaimer; "If you represent an entity or representative with suitable authority to request removal of a link,  I'm sure you have the resources to determine my personal email and direct the appropriate correspondence."

If you represent any person or legal entity that takes issue with any content of my blog, and have some content you wish redacted or modified, please contact me before calling lawyers.... Please note that comments are turned off to prevent 3rd parties placing potentially litigious content. Also please remember that this blog is generally comprised of personal opinion pieces and are not reflective or endorsed by my employer.

Remember, when we go to court the only winners are the lawyers. ;-)

Sunday 14 August 2016

Your "Rights" end when they impinge on someone else!

Political correctness is worse than a bad joke.  Just search the term in reference to any of the "noisy" movements/groups and you will get the idea.

There was a time when being "PC" was considered necessary to curb the trend in so-called "hate speech" and other malicious verbal attacks.  The argument is simple.  The target's perception of statements was the important part, rather than any implied or intended nature by the source. That's great.... it *should* work.

I'll avoid the obvious arguments about "PC zealots", etc.

What has PC to do with "Rights" ?

Here's the problem.  The bulk of the western countries (just the "West" hereafter) have entrenched political correctness and related "protections" in Law.  That includes Legal protection of individual's Rights in the face of nonphysical attacks.  Critically, that protection is largely without exception.  So how does this become a problem?  When people and groups use these "protections" to disguise attacks on others.

When people and groups say that they are experiencing an "attack on XYZ" in response to not receiving special treatment, THAT is a perversion of the intent of the Law.  What they are saying is that they should have Laws enacted or changes in existing Laws to "protect their Rights".

But what "Rights"?

Now we have a problem.... because the "Rights" they claim are needed would inherently impact or remove the Rights of those they claim are attacking them.  That "claim" is highly dubious since the "attacks" usually are of forms of behaviour or speech that they claim are somehow harmful to them.

Their solution?  Revoke the Rights of the group or people they claim are the offenders.  Most sane people would say that if there are existing Laws to protect from these attacks, the logical course would be to engage Law enforcement to take action.  Yes, that would work, except that this is not logical and engaging the Law would run counter to their objective. Why?  Because in most of the West there are also Laws about defamation, libel, slander and misuse of the Law. Their claim would be tested in a court of Law, and almost certainly thrown out.  But why?  They are raising a furore about something that only exists in their heads, not reality.

So, if going to court and using the current Laws is counter to their objective, what is their objective?

I'm drawing a subjective assessment of news over the past decade, and so it could be wrong, but I don't believe so....

They want to have the Laws changed and new ones enacted to explicitly change the nature of the country and its legal system to favour them over others.  Yes.  I believe that they want their "Rights" to be extended to such extent that if you do not agree, then you are wrong and your Rights are less important than theirs.


How does political correctness get entangled in this mess?  People in the West have generally become too forgiving and too inclined to back away from confrontation.  Sure, there are exceptions, but most people will try to help.  When faced with outright hatred and vehement diatribes, we have been conditioned by decades of enforced PC behaviour to try to calm the situation or just not add to the vitriol that is being spewed forth.  So we become meek.  We ignore, yes ignore, the hate speech being fired at us so we can "listen to their grievances calmly"..... because that is what we're supposed to do... right?

What just happened?

We let someone spew forth a stream of violent and unforgiving hate speech, and we didn't slam them down for it?

Picking a random group previously targeted as an example.  Let's say we witness a violent verbal attack about the racial background on a recent immigrant.  What do we do?  At the very least, we will stand as a witness in any ensuing court case.  At the most, we may spring to their defence and interject to counter the abuse.  Ok, that may only apply in a perfect world, but there are still good people who do that sort of thing in the right way (not just for a headline).

But what happened when someone abuses someone by CLAIMING that said someone has somehow offended them to such a degree that they (the attacker) feel threatened?  They seem to get away with it time after time.  Just watch the news.  How many times do we see this?  Violence being ignored for fear that any reaction will be met with CLAIMS that the offenders are actually the victims....

Rather than start a flame war about the specifics, I've left out the groups in question, but you should note that this tactic of claiming to be fighting to "defend their Rights" while simultaneously trying to strip others of theirs is not unique to one group.  There are better examples than the "immigrant" one, but if I used them, then I'd be accused of attacking group X or group Y.

We've been so passive and so dedicated to being PC that we no longer have the stomach for it.  We will need to if we are not to be crushed out of existence.

The bottom line is simple.  YOU have Rights.  I have Rights.  YOUR Rights END where they impinge on MINE!  (And vice versa of course.)

So, the next time you hear someone sprouting a diatribe, listen to check if their "claims" would in effect remove someone else's Rights.

Footnote: I know I'm not the first to say any of this. Google it...