Sunday, 11 December 2016


Is globalization good or bad for mankind?

An anonymous wit once wrote a definition of globalization based on the tragic death of Princess Diana. It went like this:

An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashed in a French tunnel, while riding in a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whiskey. He was followed by Italian paparazzi on Japanese motorcycles. She was treated by an American doctor using Brazilian medicines. This information was sent to me by a Canadian using American computer technology including Taiwanese chips and a Korean monitor, all assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singaporean factory after being transported by Indian truck drivers, after being unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, and after previously being transported by Mexican illegals. And that my friend is Globalization.

The globalization/Princess Diana social media post and circulating email has been doing the rounds for years. It has been shared and liked millions of times by people who believe that it sums up globalization in a nutshell. The inference being that globalization is worse than bad. It is evil. Also, circulating with the globalization claim is the other viral claim that Princess Diana was murdered. That claim must also reinforce the globalization claim since she could not have been murdered without the help of a Russian agent and a Swiss banker.
International trade is generating prosperity
on a scale never before seen

But let’s not be diverted away from globalization. Is it good or bad for mankind?

Overwhelmingly, the people of the world are afraid of globalization. Powerful organizations have been formed both to fight it and to promote it. Globalization is a word used to encompass free international trade, international investment, free movement of labor, aiding financial conspiracies, and adherence to international rules for conducting business and the affairs of governments and people. Often it is summed up as one-world government as a means of extending the power of the already powerful over the less powerful.

But let’s use Diana’s case to see what would happen in a world that was entirely without any kind of globalization.
Land and sea trade routes have been bringing
wealth to populations for thousands of years

We can assume that Diana, being an ex-Royal, would have had the means to travel to France. But she would have had to drive in a French car. Her British car, like the German car, would be a prohibited import in an unglobalized France. Every part of the car would have to be French-made including the rubber tires. Now here the French would have a problem. They could try starting a rubber industry in France, a land that is too cold to grow rubber trees, or they could license and tax the importation of rubber. No. That wouldn’t do. That would be too expensive and the people would see it as just a small step away from globalization. Then there would be the problem of powering the French car without importing fuel. France’s Total oil brand would not exist because that would involve investment in protected markets in Canada, Iran and North Africa and those markets would ban trade with other countries, including France. Oh, well, France would have to revert to steam to power its cars. But, unfortunately, France has less than 1% of the world’s coal reserves and 66 million people are not going to drive far on that resource. It would be unthinkable to have to import another country’s coal. That would be making the rich richer while the poor Frenchman gets poorer. That would be exploitation. But in a deglobalized world there would be no mass production of anything. Designing cars, making the materials and building the finished product would be a cottage industry where one man working pre-industrial revolution hours, would produce one completed car every five or ten years, and then find that it was so expensive that no-one could afford to buy it.

Let’s not labor the point about cars being impractical without international trade. Let’s move on to the Belgian driver. Unfortunately, in a deglobalized world, there would not be a Belgian living or working in France. As for the Scottish whiskey that the driver is reputed to have become sozzled on, it would take someone with the business acumen of Al Capone to get the bottle into France, in a deglobalized world. The Scots would have to drink it all themselves. On the positive side, deglobalization would stop the spread of haggis, bagpipes and tartan trousers.

To be serious, the tragedy in Paris is merely a reflection of the normal world and the way it operates. We do live in an international world where the free movement of goods and services and people is becoming the norm. Throughout history the greatest trading nations have always had a larger proportion of their people enjoying a better standard of living than nations that existed in seclusion. The trickle-down principle really does work, even though it is one of the most ridiculed tenets ever espoused. A person with ideas, initiative and access to money can start a business that employs dozens. His success will be shared by all. But the dozens will rarely succeed if they attempt to run the business without the founder. They need each other for all to prosper. But I’m digressing again.

To return to globalization, the example of the Diana tragedy and how it may have had international implications, is an excellent example of how the world really works and how wealth is shared among nations and among peoples. We hear many claims why people in the twenty-first century are living longer than ever before. Medical science certainly plays a huge part in that, but nothing has made increased longevity possible more than modern inventions, improved working conditions and increased discretionary spending power. The international movement, of ideas, goods and service, and people, has been crucial to the better world that we live in.

We have looked at how the production of one product, the car, would be affected in a world where countries did not trade with each other. Without international trade, the world would still be using hand-carts. But let’s look at what would happen if individual countries split up into independent regions with trade and labor barriers. Supposing the United States was to revert to the thirteen states again; if North Carolina was unable to trade with South Carolina, and if you were born in one state and were prohibited from working or starting a business in another state. Can you imagine the poverty that would strike everyone, 
regardless of station? Take it a step further. What would be the point in stopping one city from trading with another? Can you imagine the hardship if the people of Philadelphia were prohibited from trading with the people of Pittsburgh, both cities in the same state?

Anyone who can understand that applying tighter stranglehold barriers and borders would be economically disastrous, must also be able to understand that pushing out the market limits is infinitely better than keeping the existing barriers and borders in place.  Nothing can ever help more people to get a fair slice of the cake than trade and employment.

So, to return to the original question; is globalization good or bad for mankind? My answer is good. But people persist with the mistaken notion that there is something rotten going on. Well, something rotten is going on, and it’s going on on social media and fake news sites. The rot has seen the UK vote to leave the EU. In America, they have just voted for the man who will lead their country out of the Trans Pacific Partnership. The borders are closing when they should be expanding. Poor people are going to get poorer when they could be getting onto the lower rungs of wealth.

 That is an infinitely greater tragedy than the crash in the Paris tunnel.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


Global warming hysteria’s long goodbye
From American Thinker
The twenty-second session of the United Nation’s climate change conference ended a few days ago in Marrakech, Morocco, and the proclamation went forth that the conference “successfully demonstrated to the world that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is underway and the constructive spirit of multilateral cooperation on climate change continues.”
All “well and good,” but with the incoming skeptical Trump train, the trundling of the Marrakech Express is going to become a bit more problematic.
A new era for atmospheric science may be dawning, as the likelihood for voices with a broader perspective on climate forecasting may be encouraged to speak.
The practice of science in general, and climatology in particular, is about the freedom to creatively synthesize scientific knowledge with individual skills and perspective to comprehend and predict the Earth’s complex climate.  In this way, climate science can advance for the benefit of both people and the planet.
Regarding the practice and essence of this specialized field, bestselling author Matt Ridley, in his recent book The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge (HarperCollins, 2015), gives ample challenge to the status quo imposed by controllers of supposedly unassailable climate outlooks.
In his book, Ridley frequently gives contemporary climate science as an example of top-down, inapt scientific practice rather than a bottom-up, more effective, emergent-friendly system.
To Ridley, the advancement of science is more from a “procession of fascinating mysteries to be challenged” rather than a collection of facts for students and the populace to accept from those with a received wisdom.  Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Ridley includes his extended exposé of pompous anthropogenic climate change assertions in his chapter on the evolution of religion.
Ridley points to several “characteristic features of a mystical and therefore untrustworthy, theory.”  These anti-science characteristics include the fact that the theory is not refutable, appeals to authority, relies heavily on anecdote, makes a virtue of consensus, and takes the moral high ground.  Specifically, much of climate-change science is:
Not refutable.  Predictions of climate doom centuries from now cannot be validated until centuries from now.  Nice work if you can get it.
Appeals to authority.  The fact that dozens of scientific societies have endorsed human-induced climate disaster does not make it so.  In fact, elite officers of such societies who make the endorsements are not always typical of the wide-ranging viewpoints of society membership.  The American Meteorological Society is one case in point, where surveys of the members reveal substantial dissent among the society’s hoi polloi.
Relies heavily on anecdote.  When I was a kid, winters were much snowier than they are today.  So what?  Somewhere else on the globe, someone is recalling that his winters were much less snowy.  The data trends are what matter.  Unfortunately, the data coverage over the years has been relatively sparse and imprecise.  However, what the trends do show is a much smaller increase in global temperatures than anticipated by vaunted climate models.  Furthermore, minuscule fractions-of-a-degree increases in annual estimated global temperature are heralded as the “hottest” year on record.  Exemplary hyperbole.
Makes a virtue of consensus.  It bears repeating that no matter who or how many are absolutely convinced of a particular theory, “science is never settled.”  That truism must be redoubled for reliance on long-range prognostications.
Takes the moral high ground.  Sadly, so many religious people have taken up the cause of saving the planet from the possibility of everyone living in comfort with a mix of affordable energy largely realized via fossil fuels.  Unfortunately, religion and moral superiority seem to have inspired so many to vacuous activism, especially on this complex issue, which practically necessitates faith on the part of the vast majority of angry climate congregants.
So America must proceed with caution.  For now, with all the rough track along the route of climate science, it’s time for the U.S. to hop off the U.N.’s Marrakech express.
Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist with 40 years of experience in air-pollution meteorology and science education and author of In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail (Stairway Press, 2016).

Peter's Comment
The world can be a confusing and misleading place in which to live and grow up. As children and young adults we visit the sea once or twice a year and we observe that the shoreline is still in the same place and the tide still rises and falls, as we understand it has always done. But then we heard, if we were born in the 1940's, that the weather patterns were changing and it was all due to atomic bombs. Earlier generations were told that everything from steam engines to flying machines and mining activities were changing the weather. Essential to these myths was the suggestion that the seasons were getting later and that man was the problem.

The myths were always spread by ordinary folks with little understanding of meteorology and even less understanding of climatology, until some researchers fastened onto the opportunity to gain research funding. Add a little political hype and suddenly the whole world population is alarmed at the prospect of the world becoming uninhabitable within a few short decades.

The world that we once knew seems gone. The mountains, oceans, rivers and forests that we thought hadn’t changed in millions of years, are suddenly threatened. We thought we lived in a world that never changed. Each morning when we looked outside everything was the same as the day before, but the climate alarmists have convinced us that the end is nigh unless we change our ways.

The climate alarmists avoid the reality that temperature changes have ranged from no ice anywhere to ice covering almost the entire planet. They won’t tell you that the world is constantly recycling itself and that every piece of dry land was once under the sea, or that every piece of ocean floor was once dry land. Likewise, vegetation has come and gone too, along with deserts, mountain ranges and plains. The world is always changing, with or without man.
Continued below . . . 

The alarmists tell us about the infinitesimal changes in average temperatures since 1850, although they don’t call them infinitesimal, but they fail to tell us about the millions of years of temperature changes before 1850. Why? They want us to believe that the industrial revolution is to blame. They don’t want us to know that climate has always been changing and sometimes quite dramatically. They tell us that sea levels are rising and unless we change the way we live coastal cities and many small island nations will disappear. They don’t want you to know that sea levels have always changed and people who want to live safely should quite simply not live by the sea. The sea is dangerous.

Average world sea levels have risen 130 meters since the last ice age, but in the last 1,000 years the rate of rise has slowed considerably. Man cannot control the rise and fall of tide and sea by changing the composition of the atmosphere any more than he can control the level of the bath water by farting in the bath. Man cannot change the climate, but there is a huge industry where people make money from trying to convince us that we can change the climate.

The alarmists must know now that eventually they will lose their argument and their funding. They have already dropped the term global warming and substituted it with climate change. By doing that they can argue that industrialisation is creating storms that are more frequent and more violent. That is easy bait to swallow. We can all remember vividly the storm of last week, but we don’t remember a similar storm from two or three years ago. But the simple fact is that the world records for high temperature and wind speed were created early in the twentieth century. No new records have been created in the twenty-first century.

Man-made global warming/climate change is a hoax.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


Sheltering homeless victims of New Zealand natural disasters

Since records began, more than a thousand people have lost their lives in natural disasters in New Zealand. But during the same time, tens of thousands have been made homeless by the forces of nature. Tragedy can strike anywhere anytime.

Floods, earthquakes, eruptions, landslides, tornados and cyclones are a fact of life in New Zealand. Between civil defence, police, the military and emergency service workers and volunteers, we have learned to cope well with most disasters – until we are struck by a greater catastrophe.

The Canterbury Earthquakes of 2011 were a case in point. Despite the best preparation, the emergency services were simply overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. To illustrate the point, it must be remembered that a 7.0 shock on the Richter Scale is ten times stronger than a 6.0, but may do 50 or 100 times more damage. This week’s 7.5 Kaikoura quake was five times more powerful than an ordinary 7.0. To make matters worse, the Kaikoura shock was closer to the surface than most seismic events.

If Kaikoura had been centred under Wellington Harbour, the capital could have been destroyed and the death toll could have been tens of thousands.

Fortunately, Kaikoura is a sparsely settled area with 2,000 residents and 1,200 visitors on the night of the quake. Fortunately, it struck just after midnight when most people were in bed, the safest place in an earthquake. The wider districts of Kaikoura and Hurunui, also devastated, have about 6,000 residents. It is a low population density region, but nevertheless, the number of people now homeless will be in the thousands.

So, what to do with Kaikoura’s homeless victims of nature and the plight they never deserved? Right now, helicopters are flying essential supplies into the town and the most desperate victims are being helicoptered out. It will be a long drawn out operation, and those remaining will have no water, sewage, power, or food. Most will not have habitable homes. They will be shell-shocked; their lives ruined. But where will they be taken after rescue?

Following the 2011 earthquakes, my wife and I called on our neighbours in Ngatea and drew up a list of people willing to give temporary beds to earthquake victims. We arranged for free transport to be provided from Auckland airport and we sent our list to Civil Defence. Nothing happened. I visited Civil Defence in Auckland. Still nothing happened. On television, every day we saw footage of people sleeping in parks and cars. Thousands of them. The problem was that there was no-one to coordinate for us in Christchurch. We didn’t have an organisation and, on reflection, little chance of helping the victims.

New Zealand needs to be better prepared to provide temporary free beds for disaster victims with a national network. There will be more natural disasters in the future, and as the population grows, the potential for larger death tolls will grow too. If a main centre were to be struck by an 8.0 or 9.0 strength quake, a category 5 hurricane, a VEI7 volcanic eruption (like Taupo 2,000 years ago) or a 50-metre-high tsunami (the world record is over 500 metres), thousands could be killed and millions made homeless. New Zealand will always be at risk of a catastrophe far beyond the scope of anything experienced within living memory.

Disaster relief does not end with rescue. Victims need a place to go where they will have food and shelter, and understanding, where they can start to live again while they prepare for resettlement or a return home. A national network of volunteer bed providers and area coordinators is needed to provide the next step after victim rescue.

Therefore, I am proposing that a national organisation should be launched to meet these aims and I want to hear from like-minded Kiwis in all areas with one or more beds to spare. I also want to hear from people who can provide volunteer management and coordination skills. I particularly want to hear from people with experience in civil defence, the defence force, police, St John, fire service, citizen’s advice, Red Cross, homestay organisations, counselling, health and social workers.

Realistically, there may be little that a new organisation can do for the Kaikoura victims, but we must do what we can and at least prepare for the next big one by creating a nationwide network now.

If you can play a part in helping preserve life when tragedy strikes, please contact Peter Blakeborough at or call on 07-211-9876 or 021-115-0543.

Your help will be most welcome.



Social media is generating weird voting outcomes

The United States presidential election result of 2016 confirmed a trend already established by the British Brexit vote and the New Zealand flag referendum; that social media can have a major distorting effect on voter decisions. Elections have become contests to determine which side can tell the greatest porkies, who can create the most alarming warnings, the most outrageous conspiracy theories, or the most despicable accusations of criminal offending.
Will this be the new American flag?

Most people who share posts on Facebook, Twitter and other sites simply don’t check the authenticity of what they are sharing. If it sounds alright on the surface, or it suits their preconceived beliefs, most people will share with others and think nothing of it. Facebook and Twitter have been around for many years, but recently there has been an explosion in the number of smartphones and an explosion in the number of sites pumping out information, fake or fair.

Years ago, it was customary to quote something from a newspaper or radio station, and for authenticity to say, “Well, it was in the news. So, it must be right.” We trusted the news and mostly the news media was trustworthy. Not anymore. Today’s news media has descended into the greatest bun fight in history. Many once great newspapers have lost all credibility in their scramble to win advertising revenue and readership in a rapidly changing world.

Between newspapers (print and online), radio, television, magazines, fake news, satire and political sites, it is a race to the bottom and readers are being taken for suckers.
An alternative Trump slogan

In the middle of the bun fight are the pollsters, taking samples with varying degrees of scientific methodology, analyzing them and publishing the results. Some pollsters are politically biased while others try hard to be impartial and accurate to impress potential market research clients. Taken together and averaged out, the polls can portray a fairly accurate picture at the time when they are taken, but only then. Polls can indicate past trends, but they can never predict future trends. The future depends entirely on future events, many of which will be a complete surprise to most people. It is there that social media can change everything in a flash.

In the past polls taken at regular intervals showed either a steady situation or a slowly changing trend. But social media can change everything hour by hour, minute by minute. It’s effect can be massive and immediate. The political newspaper The Hill summed this up with, “The influence of social media in this presidential election is stronger than it has ever been.” The co-founder of SocialFlow, Frank Speiser has said, “This is the first true social media election.”

The involvement of social media was not just a case of people talking about who they would vote for and why. It became much crazier and wilder than that. People posted and shared things like, Hillary had people killed, and Donald raped a thirteen-year-old. Posts like those got millions of likes and shares. Some people believed everything they read and even a majority believed most of what they read. Gullible people were targeted by political activists, and fake or satire news sites wanting to make a buck from advertising, and getting people to share for free was key to their success.

At one time the candidate with the most money to spend on a campaign was almost assured of victory on election night, because the money was usually a direct indication of popular support. Not anymore. Social media has stolen the thunder from the almighty dollar. Money was evil, but now the race to out-lie an opponent is strangely seen as legitimate. During the campaign Clinton raised $1,068 million from supporters while Trump raised only $512 million, proof that money didn’t buy the election. Social media won the election with a bombardment posts, tweets, and satirical and fake news, interspersed with the latest outrageous conspiracy theories.  Both sides’ supporters were at it. But Trump’s people went the extra mile. They were prepared to play dirtier than Clinton’s supporters. For example, Trump was accused of groping women, but Clinton was accused of murdering people, and all the while gullible and sometimes twisted people, liked and shared without caring to look for the truth.
Hillary Clinton: the most experienced candidate in a generation
was beaten by a clown and social media nonsense

Social media must be held responsible for the rise in anti-establishment fervor that is gripping the world. The fervor is driven by conspiracy theories about politicians, big business, and theories like One World Government, the Illuminati, the Rothschilds, staged moon landings and on and on. Most of these have been disproved time and again, but people still fall for them again and again. Donald Trump pressed all the right conspiracy and rigged election buttons right up to polling day, appealing to the Rust Belt unemployed and the generally less educated. Typically, the people spreading the social media nonsense have learned to like and share, but not how to authenticate or assess what they read.

The Brexit campaign seemed in the bag for those wanting to stay in the European Union. The polls were indicating that a slight majority wanted to stay. But alarming and false trash on social media meant that nothing was set in concrete. It was constantly changing and on the day the remain vote crashed. The polls were not wrong. The game simply changed at the wrong moment for those wanting to remain in the EU.

The New Zealand flag referendum was a similar example. Numerous polls put the British/New Zealand flag ahead of the proposed new flag by varying margins. Others put the two options neck and neck. But all that was irrelevant because the social media debate with it lies, distortions and false history, was in charge of the campaign. The campaign failed and the New Zealand flag still has another country’s flag in one corner. Social media!

And so, to return to the US presidential election, President-elect Trump used social media like never before in a no-holds barred way. Clinton was always his main target before she got the nod. He seemed to know that Sanders would be too far left for the American people. With Sanders as the Democrat nominee, Trump would have wiped the floor with him. It would have been a full return to McCarthyism. Sanders has some great ideas. He could have made a great prime minister in the UK, Australia, or New Zealand, but never would he have had a chance of becoming President in one of the world’s most extreme right democracies. It came down to Clinton and Trump.
Trump had already prepared his run by assassinating the character of President Obama with claims that, “He created ISIS,” and “His birth certificate is a forgery.” That just made it so much easier for him to successfully attack Obama’s heir apparent. There was the email scandals Mark I and Mark II carefully timed for fatal effect. The cries of, “Crooked Hillary” brought American politics to an all-time low. It was a scurrilous attack on one of America’s greatest leaders of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Clinton was the most experienced and best qualified presidential candidate in a generation. She was up against a non-establishment novice it seemed. And the anti-establishment people wanted the country run like a business and a non-politician was the best person for the job – like they would want their brain surgery performed by a brick-layer. But on some of them, the brick-layer would be hard pressed to find a brain.

Meanwhile, Clinton was nearing the end of a long and distinguished career, first in law, as First Lady, and then as a senator and as Secretary of State. It was a grueling campaign for a 69-year-old suffering from pneumonia. But the polls showed Clinton leading, although the gap closed in the final days, she was still ahead by several points. Again, the polls portrayed what was probably an accurate picture at the time, and indeed in the end she scored slightly more popular votes than Trump.

Although many people claimed, on social media, that one candidate was as bad as the other, that cry can be heard in any election. It’s as old as the hills and totally worthless. It comes mostly from people with little understanding of politics.

In the 2016 United States Presidential election, there was one outstandingly good candidate and one other that was a huge embarrassment to a large part of the world. That candidate was a vulgar, big-headed lout with an ego larger than the Statue of Liberty and a tax return as elusive as the Loch Ness monster. He didn’t deserve to win, and he didn’t win the popular vote. Clinton beat him by 600,000 votes. Trump had to rely on the slave state inspired Electoral College to steal the election from the majority.

America needs to take a serious look at the wisdom of retaining the electoral college. If there is one thing that could trigger another civil war in the USA it is that spanner in the works known as the electoral college. Its whole purpose is to defeat democracy, by giving a handful of voters in a handful of states a chance to overrule the majority.

Meanwhile, it has been rumored that during the Obama-Trump private meeting at the White House, that when Mr Trump heard the words ‘Mr President-elect,’ he looked over his shoulder in puzzlement to see if there was someone else in the room. From Log Cabin to White House was a famous biography of Abe Lincoln, the greatest Republican President. The best title for Trump’s biography would be From Clown to President.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


A preview of President Donald Trump’s inaugural speech

By Richard Seymour-Legge

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This document has been made available to a selected few people for their feedback only. It should not be shared or posted publicly before the inaugural address is delivered in January 2017. If you have received this classified document in error, you should immediately destroy/delete it without reading it or discussing its contents with any person whatsoever.

My fellow Americans, I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest presidential inauguration address in the history of the world.

Four score and ten years ago my father, Frederick Christ Trump, in whose shadow I stand today, was arrested while engaged in a New York riot while wearing a uniform of the KKK. My father knew who should be on which side of the tracks. My father became a momentous great beacon light of hope to the millions that he owed to banks when he overstated his building costs and was investigated by a US Senate committee in 1954 and found to have overcharged by $3.7 million. My father, Fred Christ Trump, was the world’s greatest mentor. Without his inspiring mentorship I could never have learned to make billions while paying no tax.
The 2017 United States flag

My fellow Americans, I have a scheme.

I have a scheme that will outlaw taxation, all taxation and every form of taxation, for those who contribute the most to this great nation’s economic well-being by employing workers and producing the nation’s electronics, air services, hotels, casinos, and the contractors who will build and run the thousands of extra prisons that will be needed in the future. Prison will be prison, an eye will be an eye, a tooth will be a tooth, and the Clintons will be incarcerated for three life sentences each.

I have a scheme.

Former Presidents Obama and Lincoln will be removed from America’s official list of famous leaders and sent to a hall of shame along with that Bible bashing Martin Luther King, although I do acknowledge that he had a damned good speech writer. My fellow Americans, the Negro now has too much freedom. Some of them even live in houses and most are rapists, and I pledge to send them all back to China where they came from.
I have a scheme.

In a sense I’ve come to our great nation’s capital to cash your check. When the architects of our republic wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence they were signing a promissory note made out to President Donald J Trump, and when the note has been cashed I will run this nation like a business, like a Trump business, and I will, by presidential decree, suspend the Constitution of the United States of America. I will create a great new nation which shall be known as the United States of Trump. On the advice of my esteemed friend Betty Windsor, I pledge to create the Kingdom of Trump.

My fellow Americans, I have a scheme.

The unalienable right to life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness will not apply to Mexicans, Muslims, Negros, democrats, immigration agents, and political agitators because they will be on the other side of the wall which they will pay for. And pay they will. Any check that comes back marked “insufficient funds” will lead to an immediate execution of the guilty one without right of appeal. And they will build the wall, even if they have to build it using chips from a bankrupt casino. They will build the wall, with the hard labor help of the imprisoned Clintons, they will build the wall. It will be a greater wall than the one in China.

I have a scheme.

From this day forward, America will be raised from the dark and desolate valley of taxation and accountability to the sunlit path of Trump supremacy and the outlawing of business bankruptcy for evermore. Now is the time when the quicksands of business bankruptcy will be replaced by a rock-solid business brotherhood. Jesus was the second name on my father’s birth certificate. I am the son of God. My disciples will be my cabinet.

Now as your ruler, I am not unmindful that some of you have had great trials and tribulations during the sweltering heat of the campaign, but now the Clintons will soon be locked away and I won’t ever again be asked to make public my tax returns, and tranquillity shall reign throughout the land.

Preacher King said we cannot walk alone, but that was fifty years ago, when I was starting my first business with my daddy’s millions. Now I can walk alone. The Republican Party won’t walk with me, but who cares? I can walk on water if I have to. Even though I have faced the most serious allegations during my life, I still have a scheme. It is a scheme deeply rooted in the American scheme. Yes, I have a scheme. It is the scheme that one day very soon all male, white Americans will be born equally tax free. I have a scheme that the tenements of the New York slums will be subjected to rent hikes to offset the losses of all the other Trump enterprises, both failed and failing.

I have a scheme.

I have a scheme that this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal except aliens, darkies and pussies. So let us not wallow in the valley of despair, my friends . . . 

As your President, I have many presidential prerogatives to propagate and I must bring this great inaugural address to a close. I will address you again in four years, and again eight years, but meanwhile I have an important appointment with the Ellen Degenerate Show. Thank you, my fellow Americans, and don’t forget I have a scheme for everything.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


How reliable are viral posts on social media?

The greatest fear in the western world today appears to be that Muslim refugees and terrorists are taking over the world and are hell-bent on destroying Christianity and western civilisation in the name of Allah.

But is there anything new in the world when it comes to nasty, dangerous bigots spreading their poisonous bait for a gullible public to feed on?

Bigotry is as old as mankind. The only things that change over time are the targets and the means for spreading the hatred. But spreading it, and having is accepted, is easy because it is human nature to be negative about the future and about the things we don’t understand.

Before a majority of people could read and write, the original carrier of hatred was word of mouth, and while that means is still used today, it is not used exclusively. Newspapers became the new means by which people learned about the world and its dangers. 

Newspapers were a great vehicle for galvanising populations in readiness for war. It was difficult to question anything published in newspapers. Newspapers were seen as an authority and few people questioned the contents of their daily rag. Dissenters could go to a library and do their own research, and they could write a letter to the editor but only selected letters were ever published.
Bendix  Hallenstein

The news underwent some liberalisation with the arrival of radio and later television due to the competition that they offered, and that often led to opposing opinions being published or broadcast. But even then there was a reluctance to go against the grain of popular opinion or to get into conflict with authority. Loyal citizens just didn’t do that.

Then along came the internet and social media. It didn’t matter if a newspaper editor wouldn’t publish a letter. The citizenry could then do their own publishing, and in ever increasing numbers they now do. This state of affairs has certainly led to more openness, but also to more exposure of all that is false and misleading. This is simply because the population has largely forgotten the traditional library and is still to learn that there is an even larger library on the internet where they can find confirmation or rejection for the myriads of myths, hoaxes and scams that circulate on the internet and elsewhere. It is just too easy to read something on social media, accept it then and there as accurate if it looks good, and share it with others.

But to understand the bigotry of today it is also essential to understand the bigotry of the past. It tells us that bigots are always in search of fertile new grounds and that they will always pick on minorities in the area in which they spread their hatred. This is basically because bigots are cowards.

To give an example of the connection between bigotry and cowardice, I recall a party at an Auckland house in the 1970s. It was a time of much hatred of Poms (English) in New Zealand. There was even a ‘Punch a Pom’ campaign at the time. A Kiwi at the party detected an English accent and proclaimed loudly, “All Poms should be sent home as deck cargo on submarines.” The room suddenly went quiet as all the Poms stood up and silently faced the bigot, who without another utterance quickly left the party.

This writer lived in Australia for two years during the early 1960s working as a door-to-door salesman and witnessed first-hand the shameful treatment that Australians dished out to immigrants, not to me, but to those who were obviously immigrants and particularly to immigrants from Italy and Greece who were arriving in large numbers at the time. They were called Wogs and were accused of taking Australian jobs, involvement in organised crime, failing to assimilate into the Australian way of life, refusing to learn English and a host of other un-Australian maledictions. Of course it was obvious later that the Australians had been totally wrong on every point and today many of the household names in business, politics, the arts and sport are Italian and Greek; names like Albanese, Bouris, Campese, Contouri and Makris.

But, for those who think the world is in a worse state now than ever before, let’s go back over a hundred years to the Great War (the war to end all wars). Anti-German feeling and propaganda was running high in May 1915 throughout the British colony of New Zealand, and thousands of young New Zealanders had gone overseas to fight for the Empire. In provincial Wanganui, it was alleged that a local butcher by the name of Heinold refused to allow his children to sing the national anthem in school. Heinold, a German born New Zealand citizen, was obliged to pay for a newspaper advertisement to clear his name. But that only inflamed the situation further. On the advice of police, Heinold closed his shop and fled before a crowd of 3,000 irate patriots hurled bricks at the windows and reduced the shop to ruins. Then they raised the Union Jack (not the official New Zealand flag) and sang patriotic songs.

The angry crowd then turned on the premises of the Dresden Piano Company and Hallenstein’s men’s outfitters. The total damage for the three shops was, in 2016 values, about half a million dollars. Little did they know that all the victims were all loyal New Zealanders who happened to have German names. Most notable of all was Bendix Hallenstein (1835-1905) who founded the Hallenstein business in 1873 and was a onetime mayor of Queenstown and Member of Parliament. But poor Bendix had been dead ten years when Wanganui’s patriotic thugs destroyed the Wanganui branch of Hallenstein’s nationwide chain. Little did these ignorant Wanganui criminals realise that the businesses they destroyed were insured by British insurance companies. Such is the stupidity of the merchants of hate.

Meanwhile, in Wellington at Victoria University, where one would expect a degree of logic and reason to prevail, Professor George von Zedlitz was dismissed from his post as professor of modern languages for no other reason than he had a German father and an English mother.

So why did these thugs commit their terrible crimes in the name of patriotism? Put simply, they failed to get their facts right. They were misinformed by people who should have known better and they failed to authenticate the information they were given about who their country’s enemies might be.

In today’s context, that means checking what you read on social media. There are lots of reliable sites that people can turn to for the truth including Snopes and Hoax Slayer. When you see something on Facebook or a blog that is racist, religious, or about conspiracies, please authenticate it before liking, sharing or commenting. It may be just a load of old codswallop and spreading in may do far more harm than good.

Monday, 3 October 2016


Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese all used herbal remedies

From archaeological evidence it has been found that herbal remedies date back at least 60,000 years, and written evidence confirms the use of herbs at least 5,000 years ago. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese all have a history of widespread herbal medicine use going back thousands of years. Supporters of herbal, or natural, remedies are often quick to point out this long history when making a comparison with manufactured pharmaceuticals, or chemical products. So what is the truth?

From 60,000 years ago to about 4,000 years ago, the world population was almost static at about 5 million people, apart from fluctuations of a million or two, due to famines, wars and plagues. Apart from starvation, war and disease, the other great killer of the time was poisoning. That’s right. Poisoning. People got sick and died from eating the wrong things.

This must come as a shock to people who believe that natural is best because chemicals are generally toxic. But there is no clear distinction here. Chemical compounds and natural products can be equally toxic when compared as whole groups. Ever heard of hemlock?

Socrates was killed by Hemlock. Then there is Oleander, a small tree that grows in many parks and domestic gardens. It can be lethal. Devil’s Helmut is another. Angel’s Trumpet is also on the list of the world’s most deadly plants. Also on the list is Manchineel, or Little Apple of Death. Just brushing against it can have lethal consequences. Cerbera Odollam (the Suicide Tree) is a relative of the Oleander and has highly toxic seeds. Then at the top of the list is Ricinus Communis (Castor Oil Plant) which is regarded as the world’s most poisonous plant, but one that takes lives at a leisurely pace of 3-5 days while the victim suffers the most excruciating manner imaginable. But these plants are just taken from the list of the top ten worst.

Altogether there are thousands of toxic plants around the world. We only know that lettuce, cabbage and carrots are safe because someone ate them and survived. If you venture into the forest and just start randomly eating things, the chances are you won’t survive.

Herbalism is not something to be fooled around with by people who don’t know what they are doing. Before the advent of modern pharmaceuticals, herbal and traditional medicines were the best that was available. Mostly they did little good and often did a lot of harm.

While it must be acknowledged that increased life expectancy can be attributed to many things, the advent of modern pharmaceuticals has been paramount. In the earliest days of natural remedies life expectancy was only about 20 years. Organised farming, mechanisation and distribution raised world life expectancy to about 30 years. The industrial revolution raised it further, and modern medicine further again. In 2016 Monaco has the world’s longest living residents with a life expectancy from birth of 89.47 years, while Swaziland at 49.18 years is the place to go to for the shortest life. The world average life expectancy from birth is now 71.4 years.

The development and testing of pharmaceuticals is an expensive business and unfortunately the benefit of reliable remedies has only reached large numbers of people in the most affluent countries, which are also the countries with the highest life expectancy. Elsewhere, most people can only afford unreliable traditional medicines.

But surely, you may ask, natural cures are better than chemical cures? Well, it’s not quite as straight-forward as that. There is much blurring of the margins between natural and chemical, or traditional and manufactured. It could be said that everything in the world is derived from a natural source, and that everything is ultimately chemical in nature. But in terms of medicines, there is a huge difference.

Producers of herbal remedies are not required to undergo the research, development and testing of their products that pharmaceutical companies are. The herbal peddlers are quite often nothing more than snake-oil salesmen. Typically, they spend a few cents on the ingredients and a fortune on advertising their supposedly magic cures. Genuine money-back guarantees are as rare as their cures. Often, a later feeling of well-being may simply be due to the placebo effect where the patient gets better for a time, because they expect to get better.

On the other hand, manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, who, incidentally, also use many plant extracts as well as minerals, invest millions of dollars researching and developing their products, testing them and providing reasonable proof as to their effectiveness and safety, before putting them on the market. The cost is extremely high and the revenue from successful products must also cover the cost of the many products that failed along the way and never reached the market, or were withdrawn soon after.

Old habits, customs and traditions die hard, and the modern pharmaceutical industry has always struggled with its reputation when compared with the honest little people of the natural world of ancient and natural medicine. So let’s have a look at a snapshot in the history of these little people and their products.

At the start of the twentieth century, governments in most western democracies started trying to reign in these witch-doctor remedies, but it wasn’t easy. Many peddlers of cures, when shut down, would pop up again with a new name and new label. One of the best known (and most useless) products was Beecham’s Pills with the all-embracing claim to cure once and for all constipation, headache, dizziness, wind, pain, spasms, restlessness, insomnia, indigestion, lack of appetite, liver complaints, cold chills, hot flushes, low spirits and nervous afflictions, insanity, scurvy, pimples, blotches, ulcers, wounds, kidney and urinary infections. The Beecham pill consisted entirely of aloe, ginger and soap. The was only one way that Beecham’s pills could give relief from any ailment and that was to take a lethal overdose. But Beecham nevertheless became Lord Beecham.

There was also Dr Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People. In addition to giving patients their colour back, these Pinkies could cure anaemia, sciatica, paralysis and rheumatism as well as lady’s complaints and loss of manly strength. This mixture of sulphate of iron, potassium carbonate, magnesium, liquorice and sugar sold to the faithful at 360 times its production cost.

So for people who don’t trust the medical establishment, there is little hope. They certainly should not be trusting their lives to quacks and frauds and unauthenticated Facebook medical rumour.