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I was raped as a child – an essay

Last night talking at the dinner table with our young teens we sought to explain how ‘in our day’ – as we were growing up in the 60’s and 70’s – raping a child was called ‘kiddie-fiddling’. With their jaws agape and a quizzical look in their clear eyes they both said ‘really?’ 

We explained that yes, ‘kiddie-fiddling’ was indeed a ‘thing’ (as it’s called these days).  When our children are innocent they can see the world and it’s frailties with ease.  Try to explain ‘war’ to a child – break it down into word-chunks they might understand.  Give it a shot!  In your attempt to translate the concept of war into simple sentences you will see how ridiculous it really is.  Such is the power of our human language.  You can start with something like this “Well, a long, long time in a land far away there were a group of humans who didn’t want to share, and who thought they should have more than everyone else…”  you get the idea.

As part of that conversation we explained that I had undertaken the next part in my journey to be free from my past – I had emailed my family – and shared with them the secret of my life.  I disclosed that I had been raped as a child and 40+ years on my life remains in tatters from those experiences.  They were shocked and said it’s not possible!  I explained in my email that I had no memory of whom, when or where – or how old I was.  My brain adapted to these experiences when I was a child as a coping mechanism to the pain and suffering I endured.  Why is that such a crazy idea? WIKIPEDIA Child sexual abuse

After we got over the ‘who’s to blame’ bit I had to explain to my family that there are so many more stories than they have read in the newspaper or had seen on TV – once you start looking for them. 

So many stories I’ve heard personally too, of our living generation, and the horrors of rape in their own childhoods, for those who have memories.  The Royal Commission (thank you Julia Gillard) has published many more stories – the transcripts of interviews with those whose lives were shattered in some of the most appalling treatment you could imagine – and then some!  One story I read with such gratitude for his courage to share his painful life.  Because you see fellow human beings – we are lingual creatures.  Our stories we pass from generation to generation seek to inform and guide, to speak truth and justice, a whispered wish for the future generations yet to be born.

He was an abandoned child and ended up at the church, as it was with ‘illegitimate children’.  The abuse started when he was 5 or 6, he says.  The nuns were in on it – they would taunt the children with their own horror story and then enable the priests to rape and torture – and indeed murder at times – the children in their “care”.  I’m sure the nuns had some weird pleasure in the pain and suffering afterwards – as the child would lay uncomforted in their cot and wish they were dead – bleeding and whimpering in pain.  And asking god if this is all that life would be for them.

Don’t think just because women don’t have cocks they are any less guilty.  Our partnerships – or our duty of care – for our children has been cast aside.  Women and men allow the abuse of our children.  End of story.

He is in his 40’s now – giving his testimony to the Royal Commission.  His life has been topsy turvy after enduring the next 7 years of abuse – imagine having to wake up to the prospect of that kind of suffering every day?  Why is it so hard for the naysayers to believe that you might end up a drug addict or suicide from this mistreatment all those years ago?  Why does the media give air to ideas like ‘money-grubbers’ when referencing victims seeking compensation?  I can never understand how readers of that type of language could think the children should just pull their socks up and get on with it.  Then, or now as adults.

I’m here to tell you – the effect of child rape is devastating.  I know.  I have lived with it every day of my life.  Some days I think I can’t live with it.  That I can only remove the pain by removing myself – or taking my own life – suicide, if you prefer.  Suicide is a funny thing when you’re staring down the barrel of it – ‘scuse the pun.  It seems such a logical way to make the full-soaking pain go away once and for all.  Unfortunately there’s no cure for my condition.  There’s a choice of medications – alcohol, anti-depressants, heroin, cocaine (if you can afford it), meth or ice (if you can’t afford it), over-eating, and other unhealthy addictions.  Then we’re on to funding nasty habits and the crime that goes along with that.  And jail.  Or homelessness.  If you were born into a poor family your outcome may be less favourable.  I feel I’m one of the lucky ones.  I could be dead.  I know that.  But the poverty of affected families is the real killer for healing our wounded. I once read something that went like this: the success of our society is measured by our treatment of our most vulnerable.

Anyways, our 40 something alter-boy from ‘the day’ has gone on to have a pretty awful life, as you can imagine.  After wading through 40 odd pages of the transcript with tears flowing down my face I got to the real clincher – his arsehole doesn’t close anymore.  Really.  He said that.  WIKIPEDIA Fecal incontinence  To this day – he wakes up in the morning and is reminded – as he does a shit – of the horrors of his life.  How real is that? Crikeys!

So, as you see, it can be a bit sad for us to call those people ‘money-grubbers’ when they’re so desperate to keep their lives on track – to survive.  It must make survivors so sad to hear words like that used when we know and understand they’re not liars trying to get a free-ride.

What about that nephew of Father Gerald Ridsdale?  Nice uncle he turned out to be.  He was raping our hero David until he was 15 or something like that. Really?  How the fuck does that look when you’re toddling off to school the next day after having lived a nightmare of rape – again?  Repeatedly.  And you’re a teenager.  And no one is doing anything about it – even if you do tell – and he did tell adults!  What does that do to your head?  Like you’re some kind of eternal liar?

These days as a grown woman with my life partner, two beautiful children, a supportive and loving extended family, work I believe in, and a community I adore it’s probably hard for anyone that knows me the depths of despair my life leads me to sometimes.  I took alcohol medicinally to ease the pain for most of my adult life.  I told my parents it could have been worse.  It could have been heroin and I might have ended up on the streets like so many of my counterparts.  Broken and poor.  The trappings of a middle-class life meant that my life can seem ‘normal’ to those I meet on the street.  But it’s not ‘normal’ I can assure you.  On my ‘bad days’ this is a living hell.

So who raped me as a child?  Who got to me?  How many were there?  How many people knew and never did anything to help me?  As I explained to my parents, I will explain here. 

As our generations start to speak up about this episode in human history and more stories become available we can start to see the extent of our cultural condoning of this behaviour.  From our legal system’s protections and our government’s complicity to keep ‘the dirty secret’, to our cultural ‘leaders’ like the church, our schools, our youth groups, our senior public servants, our judges, to our grandfathers, uncles, friends of the family, brothers, cousins and fathers – and let’s not forget the nuns, grandmothers, mothers, aunties, sisters and friends of the family whose private-secret-keeping has enabled this behaviour to go on – generation after generation.  I’d like to think it’s because we just don’t know what to say.  Because in the cold light of day it’s hard to believe this behaviour continues – that children around the world, in Australia, in our offshore detention centres are being raped today.  Right now as I write this there are children being devastated.  At what cost to our future? 

To those children who were raped today – I am so sorry that our society has allowed this to happen to you.  I’m sorry that your life, happiness and potential from now on will be compromised.  And I’m sorry for me too.  I’m sorry that my culture failed to protect me as a child all those years ago.

So, I don’t know what happened to me.  As a young child I didn’t think to take names or semen samples – or to note the witnesses of the crimes being committed against me.  I remember reading a story in the news last year about a 20 something year old man in a public library trying to ‘get at’ a 3 year old in the children’s section.  So if we’re talking about ‘access’ to our young people – gee whiz – is it such a leap to make that in the time when ‘kiddie-fiddling’ was a seeming-fun-thing to do for adults – that we weren’t ‘accessed’ on a not-out-of-the-question extraordinary level?  Doesn’t surprise me at all!  You?

Then there’s the Jimmy Saville story… wow.  If you haven’t read the depravity yet – and have a strong stomach – then go ahead and google it.  This ‘entertainer’ coined the termed ‘kiddie-fiddling’ – I’m sure!  Fun and games abounded!  He accessed children in the entertainment business, volunteered his time in children’s wards in hospitals… and even worked at the morgue.. eeeccccttt.  He was a ‘child racketeer’ and gave ‘access’ to his friends and associates.  Lovely man.  Enough said about the society he lived ‘in the day’.

I do feel free today.  I feel free that I’m not carrying my ‘dirty little secret’ anymore.  Sharing it does make me feel better and lighten my otherwise dark-emotional-load.  I have forgiven my parents for their failure to protect me – and I said hey – that was ‘the days’ right?  I’m not surprised.  And neither should they be.

In the transcript of our courageous hero altar boy he talked of the nun’s behaviour towards the children and the heavy load of emotional, verbal, physical and spiritual abuse.  When I finished the document I couldn’t help but wonder where the pictures of the nuns were in the news stories covering the Royal Commission?  How do we forgive them more easily than the kiddie fucking priests?  Because they are women?  They were there.  They knew what was going on.  They enabled the raping of children in their “care”.  Why aren’t they being summoned to the Royal Commission to have their day in court and to be found guilty of failing to protect the children in their care?  Just because they have breasts and a vagina instead of a penis they are less guilty?  Really? 

A child is raped or not raped.  Those who participate in that behaviour – be it the dick or the enabler – guilty.  There are no excuses.  Let’s expand our opportunity for the truth in this Royal Commission and not have to wait for some other round in the future which will take years to plan as this one has – not to mention more expense to our already underwhelming government spending.

I saw in the news yesterday that the Catholic Church is trying to wriggle out of their obligation to pay compensation to those ‘money-grubbing’ child bandits.  They are poising themselves, using and modifying our legal system, to avoid paying for the generations of damage that has been inflicted on our communities in the name of their so-called-god.  I don’t know what kind of god would allow this type of treatment of the most vulnerable people in our societies – our young.  I’m not sure if they’ll even need to do much to avoid paying up as our weak government will no doubt step in and make us, the taxpayer, foot the Human Suffering Bill that is upon us in the present time.  How many suicides?  How much addiction?  How much abstract porn?  How much sexualising of our children through the cultural media?  How much detachment from our food and environment?  How much war, death and destruction? How much more can we take?

Daily I am afraid for my future.  I am afraid for our young teen’s future.  As we try to explain to them the ‘way the world works’ it is becoming increasingly hard to ignore the faults of our current cultural narrative.  Like this ongoing child raping thing.  I feel like our societies have lost touch with what’s important for life and living.  Our children are the future.  If we don’t look after them when they’re young – they aint going to want to look after us when we’re old.  Simple as that. 

And for those people who think that children are a ‘lifestyle choice’ – I say to you – raising children is fucking hard work.  Being a conscience parent and raising good people is a tough job… this is no choice… this is a labour of love.  If you’re not interested in raising kids – fine – but don’t knock those who see it as their life’s work.  Those who choose to raise children in our societies today need to be supported. They are bringing into being the people who will one day have to wipe your arse when you’re old and incontinent – don’t knock the task we take on as parents.  It is a lifelong commitment to our young – the next generations – to honour and protect, to serve and love.  Maybe it’s time to get back on track?  The period of history we are leaving now wasn’t called ‘The Dark Ages’ for nuttin’.

 

PLEASE NOTE: We also grew up in a time where domestic violence – men pitted against women – and women pitted against men – in the home – with children bearing witness to this abhorrent treatment of human beings.  The ‘Behind Closed Doors’ violence that I had to endure in my childhood was enough to make me constantly anxious when un-sedated by medication – all my life.  Both my parent’s verbal, emotional, physical and spiritual abuses that took place in our home have affected me to this day – in my own life, and the abuses, I in turn, inflict on my own young family in the current day – as was handed down to me.  The story about love and care and kindness is lost on children who experience domestic violence.  Children should never be exposed to explosive violence… I’m not talking about general disagreements here… let's not be silly about deflecting this. 

For those who were sheltered in homes where love has become violence – and for those who are still living in those conditions – I am very sorry our culture has failed to protect your innocence in the present time.  That your future has been sold down the river by those who continue to fail to protect you.

Please join me to be sorry for those lives that have already been lost to Domestic Violence and Child Sexual Abuse through suicide, high risk behaviour that leads to ‘accidents’ and dis-ease.  And for those children in the present day who are still suffering in silence – we are sorry this is your life so far and we hope to help you soon by changing our cultural narrative to:

RAPING CHILDREN (or anyone for that matter) IS NEVER, EVER OK.

Currently:

RAPING CHILDREN IS FINE SO LONG AS YOU KEEP IT A SECRET, THE KIDS DON’T TALK AND NOONE LISTENS IF THEY DO.

What are you going to do about it today?  How do we change our cultural narrative for real in 2016?

Peer to Peer “TV”

As I started to form the idea of a local Youtube “TV Station” (in the old terms) I liked the concept that every community has clever people doing clever things – from music and the arts to cooking and gardening to inventing and innovating to politics and people.

In the old days, TV Stations were centralised with information, perspective and profit centering on a few individuals with lots of employees, large business premises and lots of profit in garnering the sentiment of all those who watched the station.  The news readers were selected carefully to represent the viewer’s ideas of themselves and their own lives and values.  The information was biased toward a certain narrative.  The narrative was largely there to support the system from which it had a symbiotic relationship – corporations and media in bed together at last.

The content on Youtube is amazing… you can learn how to do just about anything through visual tutorials conducted by “experts”, ie. people with a passion for an activity that want to share their knowledge willingly.  After a good cross check with similar content you can assess your approach and go with either – or both – or come up with your own next iteration of that melt in your mouth Chocolate Mudcake.  We can all become experts at most things, with practise.  Practise is the natural progression of an activity we find pleasurable.  We spend the time to perfect an activity with reproducible outcomes.  And when we become a Master Mudcake Maker, naturally we want to share our knowledge with those who are also passionate about Mudcakes.

Peer to Peer TV is evolving and in its present form is a global phenomenon with a truly awesome array of content added by ordinary people happy to share what they know with others, their peers.  That’s all there is to it.  As this idea develops we need to encourage localised indexing of content to give our physical location a connected community.  Ultimately, our news and information will be given by ordinary people following their skills and creating our new paradigm in real time.  A newer, up-to-date version of ourselves, as humans sharing our life-giving wondrous planet Earth.

Free Clean Green Energy Globally – let’s have a bit of that then

It all started when Grandpa sent through an news article he received from a friend.  His friend was excited because he'd found a news article online that talked about breakthrough technology.  He said this in his email (my emphasis in red):


Hi All

Greetings from Clunes – Graeme is busy getting the marinade ready for the chicken and beef for tomorrow night’s meal  and June has gone to Ballarat to play the recorder in a recorder band.

Looking  forward to catching  up tomorrow.

Attached is a momentous news item. It has the potential to wind down the fossil fuel industry. Watch the opposition/resistance to implement these inventions!.

Regards

[name witheld :-]


Click here to open the article Renewables changing the nature of power and check out the details yourself.

Ok- so let's presume for a moment that this might be true.  So, there's some scientists at Harvard and MIT (real human beings) that understand how this technology could work for humanity in a meaningful way.  Who owns these ideas?  Harvard and MIT?  The human beings whose brains continued the work of their scientific forbears?  The forbears – do they own the ideas?  What about a rich First World corporation – can they own the ideas? Or do these ideas really belong to the Commons – the collection of all human knowledge used for the benefit of all human beings – not just a bunch of rich fellows already having a totally awesome life with the benefits that come with unlimited funds.

I understand that business has an imperative to deliver innovation and service to their customers.  Science and technology provides a total, rounded solution to all global resource issues.  We are "hitting the straps" about now with our human endevour and so it becomes a choice – do we keep doing this dumb shit we're doing or do we open up the patent office – or better still take Elon Musk's lead – to expose the ideas that will form the new global paradigm?  No brainer.

Here is Paul Gilding's encouragement for those in the positions of organisations of influence:

Global Energy Market's Moment of Truth

Ideas stick better when they’re shared – the end of the Patent Era

Wow!  Elon Musk.  Good for him to follow this train of thought and make his conclusions about the open source movement and the sharing of ideas for the common good.  The abberation of these ideas is a blip in our evolutionary tale – not an innate human condition.  Share we must.  And we do.

New Scientist – Why electric car maker Tesla has torn up its patents – 14:27 16 June 2014 by Will Oremus

That article was written in response to Elon Musk's blog post on 12 June 2014.

All Our Patent Are Belong To You

I particularly like this quote:

"After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible."

 

And then, enter the hyperloop – another awesome open source project from Elon Musk:

Hyperloop – Wikipedia entry

 

Here's a really good recent doco on Elon Musk – although the thought crossed my mind that maybe humanity should be feeding the starving people on Earth first – before heading to Mars.

Utopia – John Pilger’s incredible and recent look at our First Australian’s plight

Click here to watch John Pilger's awesome doco 'Utopia' (SBS Video on demand – free 1:50:22)  And luckily for us there are some great comments at the bottom of that piece to balance out the argument some more.  Worth scanning.

Gee whiz that is a powerful piece of work.  For me, I love the historical aspect and the human story of what happened.  Of course, the real story played out way before any of us alive today can remember.  It's an oral history – the First Australians experience of being invaded has been recorded as an oral history from these past centuries (in some locations in Australia a lot less!) and in more recent times scatttered photographs and writing.  These histories are now being documented and corroborated to give us, at the very least, an overall approximation of the shameful neglect of beautiful and culturally rich peoples who were doing just fine before we got here.  There was no need for the Indigenous Australians to be "civilised" and our western ideas about a "good life" need not necessarily have been correct – for everyone.  Of course, in retrospect we can evaluate our beliefs in a contextual way and see that our white forbears thought they were doing the right thing, after a fashion.  I'm sure there were people with the best intentions to somehow save what they saw as a hard life – little did they realise the aboriginal people were actually having a pretty nice life on this land – hunting, gathering and sharing their stories with their children as they had done for many thousands of years – 50 thousand years by some accounts.

The UK sent some of its more compromised citizens to the colonies to work and build its then idea of its place in the world as an imperial power.  I guess that was the done thing in those days… set off in ships to find new resources – food, plants, spices, textiles, land, slaves, etc.  I think life for the convicts in their homeland was bad enough but to be sent away from their families to the other side of the world would have no doubt added to their already traumatic life.  Those early days would have been extremely confrontational and quite frightening for both the Indigenous Australians and the newcomers.

The only real contribution of Rudd's government was to actually say sorry. I was really glad when that happened… it was getting a little awkward.  Sorry for what?  Well, in my mind it's better than not saying sorry.  It's a damn good start.  Just because we ourselves in these generations alive now weren't there and didn't see what happened I think we can safely say the evidence is in – that the Indigenous Australians were deeply affected and are still living with the effects of the invasion all these generations later.  I hear the rhetoric often that these people should get up, brush themselves off and get on with it.  Get a job and start acting like the rest of us?  Get a house and aspire to the same crap we're aspiring to – unsustainable consumption, materialism with perpetual waste and broken familial and community bonds (individualism – 'every man for himself').  Well, there's a hole in the bucket dear Liza.

So, what's the solution?  What needs to happen next?  Crikey – I don't think it's easy at all to figure out what happens next.  I guess we could start with sharing and helping a bit more than what we do.  As in John Pilger's doco you can see they're not happy with their lot – and indeed why should they be?  A third of Indigenous Australia will die before they reach 45.  WTF.  Seriously?  In one of the wealthiest and most propsperous countries in the world we have a minority group (3% population) of our own First People living treacherous (health / eduation outcomes) lives.  I've heard people say that they should stop drinking and get a job.  I've seen the drinking and I know for sure no one would choose that life.  Seriously.  Who would say – hey I want to live an Authentic Alcoholic's life?  I want to die young from renal and liver failure.  I want to be in pain and suffer with the burden of failure for my community, my family and my self.  I don't think so.  I think the issues we see in our aborginal communities are of neglect to offer appropriate resources and support.  To ask them how they want to live and build their image of themselves and their culture in 2014 – not build a bunch of square boxes and demand assimilation.  Our country is rich enough to do the right thing in this case – to right the wrongs of our ancestors.

I'm not sure I understand the funding arrangements but I can assure you this.  The funding that we are paying via our taxes isn't always hitting the ground.  The people who are working in Indigenous programs are moving fast and working hard to find solutions for their community issues.  So what's going wrong?

A couple of days ago (5 June) this piece this the news:

Warren Mundine puts Indigenous council offside with suggestion of extra $600 million in savings to portfolio

System Design

One of the biggest challenges we face is the system design for the Resource Economy.  This is the system that will replace the outdated Monetary System – so says Peter Joseph (as mentored by Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows – where's her Wikipedia page?  Crikey – give the woman some credit too :- )– and I believe him.  In my mind the challenge is aligning  this Resource Economy with a suitable social structure – humans are part of the Resource Economy as skilled specialists and so is money allocated as a resource as we transit to the new system.

So, the design is two fold… I'm sure this base is in the idea of sustainability… thanks to all the brilliant breakthrough work people are doing all around the world on that idea!  Sustainability is about ensuring our systems are in balance with our physical environment.  Our physical environment includes us humans – dang what happened over the past thousands of years that we've forgotten that basic fact.  I'm guessing scarcity of food, shelter, water, etc set in around some earlier human cultures and our behavior and feelings about our world began to change.  Of course, this change is so slow and organic that it takes so many generations for the change to happen and as each generation documents it's existence through its art and artifacts (yes, science is art :- ) the picture of the truth changes as our experience of life does.  And the victors get to write their version of history… ahem with their perspective.  But, as we know there is always other sides to the same story.

So, back to humans being part of nature… if we take that as fact then we must also understand we are "one mob" – out of Africa millions of years ago – this is pretty long but worth definitely worth watching to get that idea secured in your heart:

Social Structure

This is a tricky one… Russell Brand describes communism as "just sharing" and I'm sure he's got a great point.  There is a lot of grumbling around communism because distilled, it caused more harm than good in the end.  We don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water on these great ideas!  You know, they had their time and we tried them out.  We can take the good bits and move on with the next idea.  I've done some reading on Deep Democracy and I think that sounds pretty good.  Basically we all have time in the future to discuss issues at length and come up with creative solutions because we collaborate rather than trying to OWN ideas.  It's quite a strange idea to think that we can indeed own anything because at the end of the day our forebears over millions of years developed who and what we are right now, as you read this.  Each new scientific discovery (we even had scientific discoveries back then :- ) have lead to the ideas that govern our world.

Meritocracy is another idea that is described in the TED talk below.  I did a bit of a search and there was some critics but idealism doesn't hurt in the planning stage.  Visionaries are the ones that challenge the norm.  I find Eric X. Li inspirational as he relates his own life (his story) to the development of a new idea / social order.  The only thing I don't like is the graphical representation of the system because it's got a pinnacle and I think some people would think that they can buy those positions.  In actual fact the shape is more Venn diagram where our human resources are developed according to the child's strengths, ie. their individual talent / passion / interest  and provide a society to nurture their creative nature – the way a life should be.  At the moment we're raising our children into a corporatocracy monoculture.  Stamping them out one after one with some crap-idea-mould that serves only a few.  We are so ready to make this change – no one needs to get left behind.  We have the technology now to move on it.  The challenge is transition.  I think we need to figure out a loose medium to long term structure to get the short term aligned correctly.

Here is another interesting paper on Meritocracy:

Meritocracy Is a Good Thing

Daniel A. Bell is Zhiyuan chair professor at Jiaotong University (Shanghai) and professor of political 
theory and director of the center for international and comparative political theory at Tsinghua 
University (Beijing). He is the co-editor (with Fan Ruiping) of Jiang Qing’s “A Confucian Constitutional 
Order” (Princeton University Press, 2012). 

 

 Resource Management

We haven't spent much time on this idea yet other than to have watched just about everything Peter Joseph has done – movies and interviews – and trust that he has it in hand.  His credentials are good to go on the money market, resource market and sustainable systems.

How much is enough?

It occurred to me just now… how much is really enough to make us happy?  I guess that must mean different things to different people – with quite some variation considering:

    • the culture in which we grew up, including:
      o   our family, friends, broader community and our relationships with them

      o   our global location

      o   our global position, eg. First World, New World, Third World, Fourth World

      o   the access we have to the natural environment to connect with nature (cities mean less access, rural areas more)

      o   our education

      o   our embodied health and the healthcare available at our global location

      o   our religion, if applicable

      o   our financial status

      o   our social standing

    • our primary caregivers (usually our parents) and their attitudes, bias, general outlook and happiness
    • the order of our birth and our siblings (and their individual characters and our relationship with them)
    • whether we have endured tragedy in our generation and/or whether we carry the tragedy/ trauma of our forbears

    Our own unique version of happiness is for each of us to decide.  How we choose to live our lives is defined by the decisions we make and the actions we connect with.  Our beliefs need no backup from popular culture (which has been corrupted by the corporatocracy) as we each know intuitively what is right and just.  We may think the problems of the world are too big and that we can’t do anything to bring about change – this isn’t true.  We are part of the corporatocracy because we participate in the “market economy“.  Peter Joseph has done some really insightful lectures on what the market economy is, how it impacts our daily lives and it’s future.  He seems to be saying in this lecture that there is NO future for this system (read “idea”). Please make sure you watch all three of his main movies – links in the sidebar.

    Other highlights: 7:17, 45:51, don’t miss the end!

    For me, I’m happy.  I’m having a great life – wonderful family, enough to eat, a roof over our heads and meaningful work.  And fun.  And the internet!  Then I feel guilty 🙁

    Check out these ideas:

    First World privilege – Wikipedia

    First World problem – Wikipedia

    Sometimes I think these feelings of guilt hobble my action or does it encourage my in-action?  I feel guilty because I think that sharing more means my family will get less.  That figures right?  Well, I guess it does in a very linear fashion.  Now that we know the paradigm is no longer linear / analogue then we must know we now also have different options.  Every human alive has choices.  Our current structures mean that we can marginalise different groups or  countries and  reduce the impact of their human choices – in fact in some global locations humans fight for the most basic type of survival in the physical realm.

    So, what we’re left with is the market-economy-rich locations in the world self perpetuating their own idea of what’s fun and not really giving much consideration to anything or anyone else.  The First World is a teenager.  As we know, teenagers don’t really turn into adults.  They become young or pre adult for another 10 years or so and develop further.  We’ve stunted our First World teenager now rather than encouraging them to explore their reality and to find their creative place in it- along with the rest of the world’s humans because we are all the same.  That is, to contribute their best abilities for the good of all.  Sounds a bit grandiose, I know.  The creativity I’m talking about is brain synapses crackling as they discover new ways to think.  New ways to creatively solve the problems of the world.  We’re there.  Just need a bit of a plan now to avoid Prabaker’s shocks.

    Can’t be summed up any better than this at 3:45 on this TED talk (worth watching the whole piece if you have time and are interested in education of our young people for the future 🙂

    You know – it’s ok to evolve out of one paradigm and into the next. It’s what we’ve always done since we came down from the trees. We are creative by our nature – we have ideas that we share and if they resonate with our communities the ideas are adopted. When the idea is superceded by the next idea we welcome it as an innovation – not a slight on the humans who have participated in the train of thought that got us to the latest incarnation. There is no blame.

Bees

Start with watching this (8:17 mins):

At 8:05 the man (John Miller?) says “we’re almost able to fix it” and grins.  This clip was published on 20 February 2014 so I’m wondering whether we’ve started fixing the problem yet or whether we’re waiting for something to happen first.  I asked the question and posted in the comments.  Nothing back as of today.

He says we’re losing a third of our bees year on year.  That is a problem in itself for the pollination service they supply to our human food chain – but more so for me – the bees are the canary.  Rudolf Steiner reckoned that humans have 4 years from the time the bees die until we do.  Crikey!  That’s not much time, is it?  So, if we go with bees are the canary then what I see is that once the bees are gone – so are we.  Sure there’s other pollinators but by the time the bees are finished they will be already toast.

We keep bees here at our place.  We love our bees.  We’re on the local bee list.  This came through:

REF: Neonicotinoids in Australia (about 1/3 down the page- red is my emphasis)


As far as I have been able to find, there are no field test results on bee contamination/IMIDACLOPRID for public viewing in Australia. The APVMA has issued a recent change to labelling warning of high toxicity to bees. You can purchase NEONICS in Bunnings, Woolworths, Coles, the local hardware and Rural Co Operatives, Elders and Landmark, Cotton Seed Merchants, most other seed merchants and the like. Usage requires no licence. When asked about the amount of canola seed that was treated with GAUCHO at Landmark Tamworth, the Seed Merchant replied ‘Almost all of the canola seed is now being seed treated with GAUCHO {IMIDACLOPRID} and a fair bit of the pasture seed as well’. The employee was sympathetic and largely unaware of any potential danger to bees, I would like to think that farmers also would show concern, if they thought that they might be hurting your bees. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the USA, some of these NEONIC sprays have a half-life of up to nineteen years in heavy soils and are soluble in water.


Seems like the beekeepers need to talk to their clients (farmers) and say they won’t do the pollination deals unless they can show NEONICS has not been used – or a solid plan that it will be phased out.  The farmers can’t do it without the beekeepers.  The beekeepers have the power in this situation.  Is there an alternative chemical to  NEONICS that is safe for bees?  What should the beekeepers advise to use instead?  Is there another supplier of a safe chemical pesticide the farmers can use immediately to remove NEONICS from the market?

This issue seems so cut and dried but there’s something else going on.  Like the chemical company wants to get rid of the current chemical first instead of just chucking it out (crikey – how do u dispose of a haul like that thoughtfully?)  Or they’re too lazy to come up with a new and safe pesticide for the crops that don’t affect the bees?  Lol.  Is that possible?  We were recommended pyrethrum for the green ants on our hive so I’m guessing that doesn’t affect the bees so much but does affect the green ants?  A deterrent rather than kill?  My feeling is that pyrethrum wouldn’t be strong enough to conquer with the GM bugs that are rising up in monocultures around the world in increasing numbers as each generation of pesticide fails (similar to antibiotics, I guess?).  Then we get into that whole “monoculture” idea which kinda sucks in its own right. I wonder what the largest monocultures in the world are?  Something snack food related – like cheap filler food products.  Or canola for feeding beef and cooking for fast food chains? A quick glance in Google looks like animal feed crops – so that’s a serious meat eating culture!  So, to save the bees the “first world” needs to stop eating so much meat.  Probably should be anyways – the stats say there’s increases in bowel cancer, heart disease, etc… diet related illnesses.  Even with all that going on – still seems cut and dried to me.  Not eating so much meat doesn’t mean that we will die.  Really?  What about the snack foods and fast foods – we’ve got to have a bit more respect for our bodies (and our children’s) than to do that – surely?

And / or, there’s a whole bunch of crops that are wind pollinated and so the bee health aren’t high on the priority of the farmers?  Colony Collapse Disorder doesn’t affect them?  Or the picture isn’t big enough?

Just looking closer at NEONICS on Wikipedia (worth a click to scan the article):

Imidacloprid is currently the most widely used insecticide in the world. (REF:  WIKIPEDIA – don’t forget to donate when Jimmy Wales puts the word out 🙂

Ok. So, if not Imidacloprid, what can we use?  Is there an immediate alternative?  If yes – then let’s get it out there.  I’m picking the answer is no 🙁

This is what we use it for, click here to  read the list  of ‘Authorized Uses’ – even our dogs cop it as a pest control.

From Bayer’s point of view they are making the most widely used insecticide in the world.  Life is good – ahem – from a corporation’s point of view.  I’m not sure what percentage of farmer’s don’t need bee pollination – I might try to work on a list.  I’m guessing all the “grass” type crops – wheat, canola, maize, barley, etc are wind pollinated.  That would follow that those farmer’s don’t really have concern about the bee situation.  Presumably that is the bees on adjoining farms that are being affected?  Drift or do the bees forage on the wind pollinated crops also?

Some excellent reading here:

Imidacloprid Wikipedia entry

Bayer – CN website

Monocultures article (http://www.carbontradewatch.org/issues/monoculture.html)

US Staple Crop System Failing from GM and Monoculture – scroll down to the bottom of the page for the conclusion – read the whole article if you can stick it out (http://permaculturenews.org/2013/07/11/us-staple-crop-system-failing-from-gm-and-monoculture/)

Honeybees and Monoculture: Nothing to Dance About (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/06/07/honey-bees-and-monoculture-nothing-to-dance-about/)

Monoculture diets and honey bee health (http://www.honeybeesuite.com/monoculture-diets-and-honey-bee-health/)

Monsanto Wikipedia entry

Syngenta Wikipedia entry

Entry into force of EU restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid
insecticides imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin – Greenpeace media release  Nov 2013

List of most valuable crops – Wikipedia

Pollination management > Number of hives needed per unit area of crop pollination – Wikipedia

Later… I found that we are actually phasing into NEONICS now!  Eeeecccct.  Read this link and check out the first paragraph.  “The neonicotinoids are the newest class and are gradually replacing the organophosphates and methylcarbamates.”  So this is our best technology being used so widely in all aspects of our lives – from treating our pets for fleas, to pesticides used on most (?) of our crops, termite control in our homes and sprays we buy from Bunnings to put on the food we are growing in our gardens.  We better get a wriggle on and figure out what the next thing is because this isn’t going to cut it.  I don’t know what was paid for the patent but maybe they should get their money back?  We shouldn’t have to live with it until it’s earn’t it’s keep.   Should we?  Humans are smarter than this… in fact that professor looks like he can push on and get the next class that will not affect the bees.  If you follow the logic along though… if humans are ingesting and living in and around this toxin and it affects the bees brains then what the heck is it doing to ours?

Here is a paper from 2001 – click here to scan through it (pesticide.org).  Definitely read all the bold bits at the top.  Interesting reading from the studies that have been done and the  conclusions that were made 13 years ago!  A cautionary tale.

Ok – so if we accept that the probability of developing a “safe pesticide for bees” and other beneficial pollinating insects is highly unlikely let’s look to what the solutions might be.  Well, it looks like “non-crop margins” are the solution.  We have to pull out some of the monoculture bits to create corridors for the bees to forage a variety of plants to complete their diet and ensure their health.  Probably also set the maximum monoculture size plots to something a lot less to create more bio-diversity.  

Click here to read the full article At the bottom of the page is this:

“A potential solution that is relatively simple is the idea of having ‘non-crop margins’ interspersed in large agricultural regions. The margins would managed to have native wildflower species to supplement the monoculture diet.”

Later again… I guess the tricky part is acknowledging our past and those brilliant humans who have got us this far.  The actual people who invented these chemicals – not just the neonicotinoids but all the pesticides that preceded it – were just trying to help.  They were using the best technology at hand to create a solution to a pest problem we had as we were trying to feed the world.  It was logical to use it on the crops to control particular “non-beneficial” insects.  The picture was on the smallish side it’s true (only in hindsight).  Maybe something about our discovery and subsequent study of micro-organisms blindsided  us for three hundred years and we waged war on a small scale with chemical warfare instead of recognising that only imbalance can be corrected by understanding the true nature of it.  This really just means there are no weeds – only plants in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Same with bug blooms – they are an imbalance in our natural environment because we’ve not set it up to ensure diversity and in doing that all the bugs work together and live happily ever after.  And we do too.