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The Scene
The last week was a pretty successful one, personally. I closed a business deal. I’m disorganized so I am chasing loose ends. It’s fairly minor. Real estate.
I finished a Calculus paper. Started a second course of study. Neuroscience. I’m interested in the brain and behavior. Trauma and rehabilitation. How do people overcome adversity. How do they come back from “Hard Things”. Post war life, addiction. Traumatic chronic illness, Is there a recipe? An algorithmic soup as it were?
Last week my daughter starred in the Lion King as Scar in the Local Production. She has the ability to go into character. Maybe she will explore acting. I want her to have an easy uncomplicated life.

Oh, and our family home was raided by the Cops. Mid morning on a Tuesday. Ten units, K9, guns and a Hobbs Seal (no knock warrant) warrant to search) (assault rifles Inc. AR 15’s)
Why?
We have drugs in the community. Opioids; Fentanyl. Meth. Teenagers are dying in many suburbs of America. A number of teens got their persons and their houses searched that week in surrounding counties.
I was at school at the time. I knew our house was about to be searched. How did I know? Unusual activity in the neighborhood. When you go to treatments for drugs and alcohol over and over like I did, you learn stuff. How to be observant. You play spot the Undercover Cop.
My oldest son had been taking opioids off and on. He had been detoxed under medical advice in 2021. His initial encounter with heavy opioids was in a hospital setting for pain relief.
I told my teen to sort his shit out on the Monday. I cleaned my bathroom in case the cops would think I was a pig if they came through and went to class. I was more concerned about missing calculus than freaking out.
I called home at school break and I guessed by the tone of hubby’s voice that they were at our house so I left class and drove by. Asked the Sergeant how long they were going to be. He said, about an hour, so I picked up a coffee from the coffee cart and went back to class. I felt like a right cock for being late back to class.
Isn’t it interesting how the human brain works to protect the mind and consciousness?

The rest of the week unfolded. I scrambled to keep my family safe. My son got put up in Motel 6.
He had to get a lawyer. I went to watch my daughter perform in a play. That was heart wrenching considering the circumstances of our family.
I wished I could have done better in my Calc final. The injury in the parietal and temporary lobe hamstrings me in exams. Not to mention the hours I had spent cajoling my previously opioid addicted son to his senses, over his interaction with the cops.
He had been arrested at McDonald’s in the early AM before the search.

On Saturday following the search. I woke up with my nerves jangling. I decided to get my son out of town TODAY! He had a treatment bed pending, and being aware of details which I can’t or won’t disclose, (he is now early in recovery) I chose to lam it with him. He was free but because of his actions I was unsure how long it would be before we drawn back into the scene .

After my journey to treatment with him and living with my son for a year, I have come to the certainty that: 1. ) There are several agencies on the drug “scene” that are vested in it’s continuation, none of whom have my son’s best interest in mind. 2. ) The cartels are selling drugs widely in the ‘burbs of America. Maybe they have always done this. Only now the drug being fenced is deadlier. Micro-doses of Fentanyl enthrall some. (Small amounts shut down the central nervous system.)

Imagine if as a social drinker every 250 times you drank you were forced to chug a handle (1.75 liters) of alcohol) There is no guarantee you would come out alive. These are the odds: Or as the sheriffs of a border county say: “Will you get on the plane today”? The link is an interview by Jacki Daily of two border county sheriffs. The sheriffs liken this public health crisis to, a 757 every day taking off and dropping out of the sky and killing all on board.
AND NOBODY IS DOING ANYTHING!
3.) Teenagers like my son are being addicted and recruited. Addicted and recruited. In a profitable enterprise. It’s like a Santa sack pegged up on a tree or a Clothesline. It’s full of goodies and no-one wants it to fall and spill the goodies everywhere. Every now and then a peg is removed and discarded. A teenager dies. Someone like my son loses his mind.

And Mom’s like me have to do an fifteen hour road trip with a methed up opioid addict on the come down because medical help is so hard to access even with health insurance.
Don’t get me wrong. It was fun. It was a little quirky back-tracking though a prison town to distract him, to see if we could score when an afterhours clinic wouldn’t prescribe suboxone. (We of course didn’t go on an illicit drug buying mission, but I have heard of other Mom’s resorting to extreme measure to keep their children alive, stable and seizure free)

What now?
Fentanyl deaths have touched our lives. I’ll ensure my son knows the meaning of accountability for having drugs in his room. But I won’t let anyone fucking touch him, anymore. And I had hoped that I could pull together a narrative that might resonate with other Mom’s and after checking with a lawyer; What might be revealed other than anonymously that would be useful to other Mom’s and Dad’s and politicians to change the War on Drugs to how to Minimize Harm from Drugs.

But I digress. What I learned today from my own Drug and Alcohol Counsellor is that while there is chaos in the suburbs. Death, detritus and mayhem:
This is but the latest chapter in the War on Drugs and there is NOTHING that can be done about it.
Everybody wants drugs to stay illegal. Nobody wants to close the border until the measures are put in place to regulate the flow of guns and drugs and so kids will still die, go homeless, or go to prison.
With the Federal Governments blessing. The cartels are quite open: “It’s okay to kill the American”, a cartel member said to one of the sheriffs.
And why should they care”, said my friend. “We”, (Our Government) hasn’t!
There will be more fentanyl deaths.

And right now I’m jaded. No-one cares so I’ll look out for my own. I’m sober, in recovery and I’m going to get my nails done in Santa Barbara and go home and plan my next trip to a border county.
Why am I going? a taste for travel. Thirst for knowledge. To check in on my son.

A Mom and Son

And if anyone chances on this who has some input into public policy. The only way out is this: Full legalization. Regulation. Total border and customs control until the supply side is regulated.
Forget the bleeding heart about the importees or the deportees.
Lastly. Stop pinning it on the fragile addict. we are sick to fuck of playing doctor, lawyer, politician and gangster.

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Its been over a week since Roe vs Wade ws overturned.
In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled that a woman had a Constitutional right to abortion under a Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment conferring “right to privacy’. It’s technical but the initial ruling treated women as having a say in entering into pregnancy and balances a woman’s and the state’s interest in termination of pregnancy and the welfare of the Mother and fetus in different trimesters.
Henceforth, there is no Constitutional Protection. All women may NOT CHOOSE. From the moment of her conception to Fertilization she is property of the State.
Her rights are nil if she lives in the state of South Dakota under Governor Kristi Noem:

Kristi Noem, governor of South Dakota, pauses while speaking during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Sunday, July 11, 2021. The three-day conference is titled “America UnCanceled.” Photographer: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

.
Noem got grilled on State of the Nation on July 3rd and indicated children would be forced to give birth to children if it happened on her turf in South Dakota. She must have got a fright at the reaction because a few hours later she went turncoat on her Republican party values and gibbered out some words about it being time to enact Paid Family Leave.
This policy is totally against what the Republican party stands for and a demonstrably controversial platform to attack her on. Noem is effectively pushing Democratic Party values, straight after saying she would force a child to have a baby. It follows a controversy where a ten year old Ohioan girl was denied an abortion in her home state at six weeks pregnant.
Imagine being violently raped and then made to feel like a baby murderer by state Officials.
See it here:

This is the worst of politics.
Noem tries to dodge the question to avoid judgement and suggests that what the child was impregnated with has value. Unwanted emission doesn’t have value over human life. Unless you believe in fairies and haven’t ever studied biology.

It’s Wrong.

This is child abuse. It is child abuse and sexual enslavement to force a child to carry a pregnancy to full term.

But Kristi Noem will do anything for power. Kristi Noem is a lizard woman who snuggles up to power. Because she knows power comes with only one thing and that one thing is.

Cocks.

Men made the rules about reproduction despite women carrying babies to term. It’s not about morals here. If you know anything about biology, you know it is spurious to equate the inception of life with a baby. Two copies of chromosomes fuse and voila. A chain of events is set in motion but those chromosomes do not have a soul attached.
Unless we live in a dystopian nightmare.
Which we do, because Republicans guilt us with the notion that there is a floaty rainbow string with a soul attached to the zygote. (The zygote is the product of the gametes fusing. It’s not special. Yet.)
Slithy operators endeavoring to crowbar apart these legal protections, forced the abortion debate until our Constitutional right to manage our reproductive years was snatched away.

And women have done nothing much to upset this order of things.

But Wait. What? Forced pregnancy?


Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade, you, or your child if she becomes impregnated would be forced to carry that to term.
To become responsible from inception to viability for a life that you morally, and personally have to vested interest in.
Oh no! That’s right!
The State says you have a moral duty to incubate unwanted genetic material even though it might have been inflicted upon your person in an act of violence.
Though your life and health might depend on it. Though it doesn’t resemble a life UNTIL YOUR PARENTS OR THE STATE FORCE YOU TO SAY YES! “I MUST HAVE WANTED THIS ALL ALONG!

Those sickos in some pregnancy help centers have special training to help you unknow your own mind. (They don’t just gift young mothers car seats and baby blankets; Oh no. Not in this country.

Even though Nature herself commits some of the most violent acts of genetic rearrangement during cell division and you might not have a viable creation in your uterus. The choice too, has been taken here because, LIFE!

Is it any wonder females still have no real political power in the Greatest Democracy of the World?

But Who’s to Blame?

We Fingered the Wrong Justice, Guys:
I too blamed Clarence Thomas for this complete abortion.
ClusterFuck

Perversion of justice. Misrepresentation of women’s interests.
but Alito would appear to be the one with callous disregard for the fair and equal representation of women:
Writing for the court majority, Justice Samuel Alito said in his draft opinion that the 1973 Roe ruling and repeated subsequent high court decisions reaffirming Roe “must be overruled” because they were “egregiously wrong,” the arguments “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority:
Those were his Republican Predecessors actually.

Alito’s opinion also shows he has more dogs in the hunt.
Watch out; Same Sex Marriage.

Writing for the majority, he said decisively that abortion is a matter to be decided by states and the voters in the states. “We hold,” he wrote, that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.”
But it did in 1973.
Are you feeling like you have been mad-fucked by a demented octopus flying a helicopter while Mt Rushmore erupts and the Oompa Loompas chant dirges in Main St?
That’s American Politics.
Happy Fourth July!


I cannot understate how partisan this Bench is. They have a duty to interpret the law impartially but they have a duty not to throw out fifty years of precedent, an undoing that throws a shroud over the lives of all women. Mothers. Grandmothers, daughters.
SCOTUS could have made a recommendation to the Senate and the House. Separately. A legal stop gap measure. Without it, their bias against the welfare of women is clear:

But Biology has no bias and no politics.

My Observations and recommendations:

Lizard People wear green. Joke.

1. Nature has abortions all the time. Gametes and zygotes are coming and going on the Earth all around us. Visit a farm.
Stitch the sanctity of life here on earth into legislation. The reason why I drop biology lessons into these posts is to iterate:
Belief should not control the outcome for the majority, being 50% of the population. ABORTION IS NOT A MORAL ISSUE. IT IS A CONTROL ISSUE. The more people you control, the more political power you have. If you control reproductive rights then you control women.
It is not about the value on life.
These sick fuckers know: It is about control of minds and votes.

2. We must protect women from the horror of carrying an unwanted child when the reality is so much closer to nature’s solution to unviable pregnancies.

3.We must not let them the lizard people (joking) and the Barbie fascists continue the lie that women are killers and that babies are being murdered.

All women who have lost pregnancies have mourned them. Or mourned lost innocence.
We are women first and foremost and we deserve better.

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When tragedy happens it causes us to ask questions. Of the nature of humanity and what carries us. Will we be capable of doing the unimaginable? Finding hope after tragedy?

Uvalde

“Oh no”. “It can’t be true. I saw my phone light up with the notifications about Uvalde on Tuesday. That kind of horror happening in your country puts you in a dream. I was writing. I’d been to the hairdressers that morning and talked over Memorial Weekend Plans with my Hairdresser. What can you do? I carried on with my day, I almost forgot to collect my kids. Because I was dragged back to social media for updates. And to argue. Endless arguing all throughout the day. People both for and against gun control. Then I found myself arguing about abortion. My goodness. During the day I found some real fruit loops like the Republican Rep Gosar who tweeted a Reddit photo he later retracted blaming the shooting on a ‘trans’, immigrant. And a Republican player called Marjorie Dannenfelser who would seek to put all women back into subjugation under their own biological processes. Personally I think she has some kind of OCD which puts her in the mentally ill realm (untreated). I saw some pretty bizarre tweets online where Dannenfelser targets research institutions in a way that is not appropriate. So being a mature person. I called her crazy and I reported her tweets as did others. I then realized I had done nothing all day but argue about gun control and abortion. Thought, “How American is that”, then I picked up some Ray Bradbury to read and went to the stars.
What can you do? During the next day Democrat gubernatorial nominee Beto O ‘Rourke got emotional and got told to leave a conference hosted by Governor Greg Abbott. “Get out of here”… “Sick Son of a Bitch,’ Uvalde Mayor Blasts Beto O’Rourke for Crashing Abbott’s Press Conference on Shooting.

And seeing a bunch of grown ass Texan men sitting there on stage killing themselves with grief and guilt was one of the saddest things I had seen in quite a while.

I was quite mindful of my kids this week though I did forget to pick them up from school Friday. I’m a little forgetful when I’m in the garden. Life is abundant in the garden and out. We value it so in all it’s forms. We are unified in our humanity in how horrific it is to bear the burden of the knowledge of the attack that happened at Uvalde. We think, “How could I go on if it happened to me”. We put ourselves in those poor, poor grieving families shoes.
Because all life is precious and that’s as good as any a reason to go on. When unthinkable things happen to us. Despite knowing these kind of atrocities can happen to others. To remain caretaker and a caregiver,. Should the unthinkable happen. Take care and grasp onto hope wherever you are, on this Memorial Weekend.

Taking comfort in Nature with these beautiful gladioli’s,
white lilies, statice and iris. There is also Alstroemeria,
(Peruvian Lily) as filler.

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Come with me on a journey. I suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2006. The TBI or stroke, was the result of an arteriovenous malformation where the network of blood vessels servicing the right hemisphere of brain ‘organ’ was entangled. The arterial network was incorrectly connected directly to the venous network in my right Temporal Lobe. I know. Details, right? Most people say they had a stroke and leave it at that! I tease out the specific areas of the brain affected to differentiate the person that is me, Monique, the version that is a collection of the experiences before and after the stroke, that I actually have some influence in shaping, from the more fixed version people think they are.
We tend to think of people as: “The person that is their brain”. A squidgy brick of playdoh encased in a skull with a word hole and two little globes with light receiving irises. Sexy huh? Every part that defines their personality or character is thus fixed by virtue of being somewhat unmalleable. You might challenge me on that. I think that’s what we unconsciously believe and are surprised when people show up differently.
Just keep this in mind if you follow me on this journey.

I have never fallen into the trap of thinking that the blunt force trauma of having a stroke has self-limited me to only taking on what was believed to be within my abilities as defined by the medical profession.
I have never let society tell me I should not take on this role, or that because I am the wrong sex, or too old, or too young.

My journey started when they told me I would never walk or run again.
Last Winter I skied at Tahoe. I’m working on running.
I just finished a Semester studying math and General Chemistry. I intend to study either parietal lobe dysfunction, or AI. I haven’t decided yet. I’m a writer, a volunteer and a mother. When I have down time I play around with Python as that is the programming language used by neuroscientists for data analysis. Or I game. Clearing out dungeons or Civilizatio,n if you’re wondering, waiting for the Overwatch release.
I eased back into my education by studying to be a vet tech.
After all these years after the stroke, I finally got a proper diagnosis for ADHD, a mood disorder and I did some treatments for drugs and alcohol. Liver is fine. Thanks for asking.
That’s my generation. We solve a lot with drugs or alcohol or hard work until it catches up.
The proper pharmacological treatment was essential to stabilize my brain so I could study but this was quite different from the holistic view I now have of myself. I was not my brain, I am my spirit but I was being hampered at every turn until I treated my physiological self.

They told my loved ones I would never talk again.

I may never play the piano again. (Never played it before.)
But there is so much else I can do. Being aware of the points of reflection around which I create my reality, I can take on many challenges and build my own actuality.
Which may eventuality differentiate us from machine anchored intelligence.
(As machines get smarter than us, will they assist us or will they go down their own period of self reflection in evolution?)
But that’s another line of thought. I merely meant to say. Hello world. In all the horror of this year. Throw on a little black dress or a suit and come see what marvels do exist in the world. Like a cute beaver.


Beavers return to London after 400 years. It’s impossible to be without hope when we wake in a universe in which beavers exist. 🙂

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So far this week in Politics.

On Monday, Biden said without reservation that if China looks twice at Taiwan with military force, the U.S. will fall on the South China Sea. Leaving most of the world’s press at a loss to string together a last minute editorial on this unexpected turn of events. Biden was not meant to break a long standing tradition of ‘Strategic Ambiguity’, in the region where China bullies the Indo Pacific region and the U.S. is meant to stand by unless China makes a move.
No-one has seen a way out of this rabbit hole so the only explanation is that Biden is a doddery fool, right?
Biden appears to be a rulebreaker when it comes to Press Corps Diplomacy or acting as a Commander In Chief in a different vein as his predecessors.
Biden doesn’t start wars without going to Congress; aka Trump and Obama. Both sent troops to the Middle East first and were questioned later. One such deployment resulted in the assassination of Al Qaeda top boss Bin Laden and under Trump; Iranian General: Qassem Soleimani. It was debatable if this was legal.
Biden doesn’t deploy troops before Congress has taken a vote to authorize it like H.W. did when he deployed troops to the Persian Gulf region in 1991. There were 150,000 troops sent to the region within seven weeks of the operation commencing after it was narrowly passed in Congress and H W Bush urged world leaders to join the Coalition of the Willing.
Biden won’t go in defiance of the ‘War Powers Resolution’, which modifies the Constitutional War Clause that requires a President to go to Congress before deploying troops to new conflict:
“The War Powers Act is a congressional resolution designed to limit the U.S. president’s ability to initiate or escalate military actions abroad. Among other restrictions, the law requires that presidents notify Congress after deploying the armed forces and limits how long units can remain engaged without congressional approval. Enacted in 1973 with the goal of avoiding another lengthy conflict such as the Vietnam War, its effectiveness has been repeatedly questioned throughout its history, and several presidents have been accused of failing to comply with its regulations.” ‘War Powers Act. History.Com

Clinton was the main ‘offender’, here:
NB: Clinton waged war in the Balkan’s in the early ’80’s without Congressional Approval. Ordering in concert with NATO allies a massive air and missile assault against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Clinton moved troops first without authorization by both Houses of Congress. Serbia was responsible for the massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Croats by the end of the period of the Bosnian War: 1993-1995. “The Law”: The Clinton Theory of the War Power by David Gray Adler.
“The attack which ranks as the most intensive and sustained military campaign conducted by the United States since the Vietnam War may have been justified on moral and policy grounds but it nevertheless required authorization by Congress.”
Clinton’s downfall may very well have been the aphrodisiac effect that came from flouting the Resolution and sending forces and strikes to the Balkans that killed thousands. All that power on one man’s shoulders was what the Congressional forefathers wanted to avoid.
Championing the breakaway Muslim country was also a good distraction from the sex scandals that plagued Clinton through the”90’s.
Acting alone was not without without Presidential precedent. In June 1950, President Harry S. Truman sent armed forces to fight in Korea without obtaining the permission of Congress. Most Presidents ever since have grappled with or used the resolution as High jump practice to hurdle over in the pursuit of a resolution to drawn-out wars or regional conflict.
That’s commonly why accusations are thrown around of the U.S. being ever ready to start a war. It’s not true but there is some merit to the accusation at the Presidential level. There has been a succession of Presidents abusing their Presidential powers.
Obama is probably one who could be seen in the most favorable light. Unfortunately when you open your yap in such High Office, and make promises you had better follow through with them. Obama threatened to take troops to Syria if Bashar AL Assad used chemical weapons and then backed down and used the old: “I better run it past Congress”, proviso.
What a dummy. Assad got worse. Putin pinched the breadbasket of Ukraine and made plans to pinch the Eastern regions down the track (and Moldova) and housewives all over the world were shaking their heads saying: “You can’t do that!
You can’t make empty threats and back down and expect there to be any kind of discipline. And now here we are.
So Biden has seen the lay of the land. The mistakes of his predecessors. the U.S. is not the Sheriff of the world and neither can it afford to isolate and pander to non-Democratic Superpowers.

So What Just Happened?

Biden just made the most nifty Foreign affairs Maneuver of this decade by re-energizing the Quad ( initially proposed by the Japanese) with his presence. I’ll finish this up and come back to the details but this is what he has said without the use of force:

“No, China. We acknowledge your position that you believe you have legal sovereignty over Taiwan but not by the use of force. We will not allow the use of force in the Indo Pacific region”. Full Stop. Underlined. Next stop the Solomon Islands.
The US naval forces are very carefully strategically placed to reinforce that the US is prepared to battle here where it won’t go head to head over Ukraine.
Biden:

“Be glad that we’re now going to drop it and roast Modi for not facilitating a diplomatic solution to the shit going down in Odesa.” (And also for banning wheat exports adding to worldwide inflationary wows.) Modi looks like a Rockstar at home where they actually value age.

Australia’s Albo probably got an invite to the White House after the Primaries have played out which has to be spaced with a visit with New Zealand’s Ardern.

Biden’s other message to the world loud and clear was: “It’s time to chose. You are either with us and Democracy or you have other priorities. We stand for many values. But fundamentally what underpins our decent and fair society are the values pulled together by Democracy. And we will fight you over that.

Again, But Why? It looks a LITTLE… AMBIGUOUS.

Biden doesn’t need to wage an unwinnable war in distant terrain with the effort required to ship an endless supply of cannon fodder to a distant land to be one of the most influential Presidents of the century. He doesn’t need to. He understands that Russia won’t escalate the Ukraine occupation militarily. Rather, it is a war of economic attrition on the West by Putin.
To prevent misunderstandings with China in the Indo Pacific region and make it clear to all those that threaten allies and friends of the U.S. Biden is sending a message to both China and Russia: You will not threaten the pillars of Democracy or we will be forced to defend it with all the might of the U.S. armed Forces. Stationed in Japan.
(Except for the Amphibious assault forces on the Kearsarge and the troops on the USS Truman, near Ukraine )

“You will not threaten Democracy”. That’s pretty black and white. No strategic or moral ambiguity and there should be no Congressional ambiguity either if push came to shove.

The Leaders of Japan, India, Australia, United States. Japan Times: May 22


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I was going to leave to space to others to comment on MIQ a little longer. So much being said. And when all is said and done, the arguments for both sides are fairly reductive:
The trolls: You shouldn’t have left. Oh really? The phrase ‘bodily autonomy’ renders that one redundant from the outset. Humans have flowed back and forward across borders since the beginning of time. The concept of citizenship recognizes the rights and privileges’ to the individual and likewise the benefits to societies and communities accrued by the exchange of ideas and commerce back to the home nation.
The Government: ‘No need to go around lighting matches with a bonfire burning’. Ardern. Or from NZ Health Minister Chris Hipkins came the phrase: Returnees via MIQ are gauged as, “cumulative risk”.
Oh really? As your resident Enlightened Gen X Housewife and microbiology student I went looking for this phrase in reputable publications to see how this position might be informed. Nothing has yet been published in the field of virology with regards to how travel across borders increases ‘cumulative risk’ to the growth of viral outbreaks. ‘Cumulative risk’ is a phrase that has been largely coined in the medical field to apply to an individual’s risk profile. It has also been used in the arena of social justice to apply to risk factors to under privileged communities. As politicians do, Hipkins made shit up, to keep us out.
Why would he do such a thing?
One: They, the Government doesn’t know what to do. The most likely reason. At the time this phrase was bandied around, Labour hadn’t got their act together around the Omicron response and the rapid testing required for greater circulation of the population. It was easier just to make shit up on the fly.
Two: The polls. Incumbent governments poll really well in wartime if the enemy is losing. The enemy in this instance being Covid. Make no mistake about it, The Government could have declared a victory of sorts after Delta numbers fell so quickly and border numbers incoming were outweighed by numbers infected in the community. Delta and Omicron are different enough that this was a clear chance to unite all New Zealanders. But the Government was worried about it’s polling in light of National rolling former National Leader Judith Collin and replacing her with the more publicly palatable, rugby club type persona; Christopher Luxon. So the obvious way to regroup and bolster is to revert to formerly successful tactics and encourage a cancel culture around the inadvertent carriers of the enemy. Us. You and I. (Only relevant if you are outside of the borders. But this should cause everyone pause to think. Even the trolls)
Except. It’s not really the same enemy anymore.
Omicron is not a death wave waiting  in the wings. This skirmish is more of a pesky excursion courtesy of attendees to events arranged or encouraged by the Government.
And this is where the Government realized it had to change it’s messaging and approach from Keep It Out to ‘Let It Rip’!
Omicron came in on a Welcome Mat laid out by Labour. They won’t admit to this of course. But it did. The first DJ didn’t let it in. But you have to question. Which event organizer, or performer might have tested positive after arriving here. There were an awful lot of events that we know about organized thanks to the activity of the Arts portfolio under Ardern. But lets not blame the musicians and artists. I drop that sector in for a sense of perspective.
How about those diplomats and Government Department workers who were unable to complete all business by Zoom. If you think no-one working for the Government moved across the border in the past two years then you were born yesterday. They were sucking up MIQ spots faster than a hooker giving a blowjob.
And the business people. This sector also had to compete with the above and expats. But the Government could not afford a completely unfriendly business approach less the job layoffs get completely out of hand.
Exclude for now the Expat MIQ contingency. Do you get the sense that the inn is bustling with a whack-ton of people coming in and out of New Zealand at the Governments behest or with the Government’s blessing? What is the chances of all those people retuning without some being infected? That’s right. Slim to none.
So at some stage we were softened up for the arrival of Omicron and lo and behold Omicron has arrived and it was no surprise when we were told that it was too tricky to continue to trace the virus via whole genome sequencing.
For two years the sequencing has been done religiously. The Delta was sequenced right back to the walkway or lobby it potentially transmitted in and all of a sudden: “Yeah nah this shit is beyond our best labs and so we as a nation have to start preparing for the circulation of Omicron”.
Do you follow my housewife logic?  In my household, if the behaviour has been going on for a while and then appears to stop: Either there is drugs or money involved or that person really doesn’t want to get caught!

How then to continue to fight the war when we’ve conceded a defeat of sorts and we’re actually having a toast to the fallen and laughing at the other countries fallen numbers on the battlefield but we don’t want to get roasted by other political parties or bleed out in the polls?

You make someone else the target of public focus. And that’s usually the most vulnerable group who has the least comeback to the Government. They already have every reason not to fight back (who would listen to them) and probably have a good dose of Imposter Syndrome where they feel like they’re just nobody anyway and as soon as someone points this out everybody will know. You can put up a reasonably light defense and it will act as an offense to those who are seeking to assert their rights but have imposter syndrome. As someone who used to be afflicted with this I should know. It goes with the territory of being a Mum. Disabled, or on your own or other factors.

In a foreign country.
So The Government instead of reuniting expats with NZ after united efforts to borders tight to keep out Delta decided to take on pregnant ladies seeking space in MIQ.

 

A lot of Kiwi babies have been born oversea during the past two years.

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New Zealand does not yet have Omicron circulating in the community. While the rest of the world is boiling over with lysis and recombination (Cell death and transmission plus mutation).
This is a the result of a combination of luck, strict border measures and being surrounded by ocean.
The only thing you can predict is that when Omicron does get into New Zealand. Someone will die with it. And there will be much gnashing of teeth and chest beating and politicians will count their allies. And maybe call in a few favors to stay in or out of the press. And we must not have that. Ever! See, this is not about health outcomes after all this time. This is about political opportunism. This is what happens when an unprepared governing party is caught on the hop by an ever evolving virus. Kiwi Jaime Ridge who was caught out in LA and unable to return to New Zealand called the Government, “Muppets”, in a cute youthful way.
If so, the opposition is comprised of the Fraggles and the Doozers: (National and Act) who been caught out too with a dearth of trusted advisors. Computational scientists and exponential modelers are probably fairly thin on the ground and most of the talent has been hoovered up by Labour. And that is why all political parties are now singing from the same song sheet. It reminds me of shoals of fish. Except for a few principled individuals. They are easy to spot. Even when Parliament is in recess they are working for the dispossessed and in need. Their play is more about where is the system failing people than point scoring or: “Look at Me”. Such as National’s Erica Stanford.
Those scientists and politicians in the limelight aren’t helping by trilling over and over: “Get jabbed”. Those who haven’t, won’t.” There are still those who feel uncomfortable with what they see as unnecessary medical procedures. And won’t shift. Even if these people have no hard and fast scientific argument against vaccination. But when the heck was every citizen expected to defend their views and personal physiology with knowledge requiring a Masters in Biological Sciences? Now, scarily it seems individuals are demanded to go one step further and exhibit their loyalty to Vax constantly, or be excluded and de-platformed. More about that later.
Thoroughly gaslit by now, the unvaccinated may be less scared of the actual virial entity than the specter of social control and ideological forces underpinning the mass vaccination campaign. I get it. I went into my pharmacy the other day and there was a line up of people waiting to get jabbed by my pharmacists. All these pharmacists are familiar and I know all by name. But it was so surreal watching the mass vax action unfold with everyone moving like automatons. I felt like I’d stepped into the Twilight Zone.
And although vaccinated, I would put personal freedom and the right to choose for my body over whatever the majority of the population has decided is sane or reasonable. Basically. You can think I’m mad but if I live within my values I’m good. Mmmmkay?
My conscience still bothers me a lot. Its a tough gig.
Something goes up on YouTube that gives the 10% unvaccinated a tendril of hope that there is a voice to unite them. Dr Robert Malone on Joe Rogan. Then it goes down. News abounds about curfews for the unwaxed around the world. Utter madness.
Re Dr Malone’s concept of “Mass formation psychosis”? I’m not a fan of boxed debunking of accepted medical practices. But I can tell you exactly why Malone pulled the disunited and cynical crowd. They are the kind of folks who might take what works and discard the rest and are brutalized by cruelty towards the unvaxed for having a different set of values. Mass Formation Psychosis is absolutely a thing and there is another word for it:
Culture.
The cultural divide of ‘pro vax’ vs ‘anti vax’ has got to be the biggest Cultural worldwide explosion since the Beatles! ‘Blame’ culture on steroids. All built around keeping safe.
But New Zealand is safe because the only play in town is having the drawbridge up and it got emphatically pulled up two years ago. On the 18th March 2020, Kiwis were encouraged informally to get home now. I say informally because the only way they might know would be to be apprised of the interviews of the New Zealand media with Foreign Minister Winston Peters. On the 24th March 2020 an official edict was issued for foreign nationals to Shelter in Place.
New Zealanders Overseas Encouraged to Shelter In Place

But how do you account for the misery that has caused in the Ledger of Human Suffering since March 2020 otherwise known as Ground ZeroCovid?
The cost of no tolerance for Covid is high. Businesses fail. There is money in health being spent to keep Covid at bay that is not keeping operating theatres going at optimum throughput. Elective surgeries are deferred and health screenings delayed.
The media seems to have little to offer in the way of holding either the Government or the opposition to accountability unless they are willing to piss Ardern or the cabinet off. That is the litmus test. Going somewhere different. People and economic systems reach the limits of tolerance. You  can only meaningfully reliably gather and rely on data in a closed system to adhere to Scientific Method. But people and economic systems are not by their nature Closed Systems.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over in a system that is made of human parts and hearts that yearn to be connected. For growth and for warmth. For youthfulness and healing. But Labour wants to keep doing the same thing over and over. To keep Brand Ardern going like a stubborn pack mule. The economy and the New Zealand culture cannot keep taking on the strains of being separated from the outside world forever. Businesses are going over and inflation is rampant but as I’m not an economist or a statistician I can’t comment. But people unable to thrive are leaving and a surfeit of New Zealand citizens are unable to easily enter the border, contravening the spirit of the nation’s Bill of Rights (1990) If not the law which will be tested later in January by the group Grounded Kiwis representing the rights of expatriate Kiwis.
A purported 1/5 of New Zealand’s population residing outside the borders at some point in 2020 was not guaranteed easy passage inwards. Safe. Yes. Your patience (two years and counting) is required) But Easy? Hell NO!
Not all of them wanted in at once. A good portion have travelled back via MIQ facilities. The Government’s response has been that they (Labour) are doing a good job. I don’t believe it. A good job would be to weight equally the health requirements of all citizens inside and outside the borders. This is what us hardy Kiwis forget. Humans aren’t automatons pulling a wage and putting food on the table and tithing to church and the unions. TAB & a jug at the pub Nation. Though it suits the politicians that we fall into this liver spotted wallpaper of a life. Once downtrodden (as a result of too little money in the household kitty and this as a casualty of little education and inflation) we tend not to question authority.
We need to remind the leaders we have mental health needs too. The Prime Minister neglects to focus on the ties of family and mental heath and this extends to Kiwis beyond the border. You can’t ignore the health of offshore or onshore Kiwis without affecting the mental health of the other group. Poor mental health can be just as deadly as physical ailments. A border solution needs to balance compassion with pragmatism.
Bring up that Ledger of Human Suffering. Think of all the birthdays, births, deaths, cancers that develop and spread and husbands and wives kept apart in that population of one million.
But close the leather bound ledger. Slide it across the desk to the Labour Ministers of the New Zealand Government, (Grant Robertson, Chris Hipkins, Andrew Little) because all that suffering matters naught. Compared to the handful of Covid deaths and the tens of thousands of Covid deaths that were imminent since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Yes. Like dominos. Bound to happen. Makes sense doesn’t it? Omicron is as scary as a cold on steroids but will overwhelm the health system and Maori. Makes sense.
It’s as though there is a sense of inevitability about a wave of Omicron devastation but this need not happen if the breakouts are ring-fenced and well managed?
Why are music festivals still happening? Because infection can be well managed now the bedrock is down and they give Labour a win directly within Arden’s jurisdiction. She is the Associate Minister for Arts. Covid turned up at the festivals that went ahead (the deadlier Delta version)
In Sydney it’s reported over fifty percent of cases that turn up at hospitals are Delta. So any music festival still has the potential to be a super-spreader event. This is conveniently ignored while Brian Tamaki drags the pox wherever he goes.
Instead of freaking out about Covid give it to locals to manage.
The best example of Covid control occurred in my hometown of Eltham, Taranaki which had an outbreak of Covid. It even mentions my former marching team! Stuff reports In a good example of regional response:
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said the iwi had copied the model of Te Whānau o Waipareira and were able to respond “really fast and understand really, really quickly if we have Covid in our community.”

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/ldr/457869/covid-19-iwi-swing-into-action-after-positive-test-in-taranaki

In any case. The balance of scientific evidence is on the side of vaccinating communities: Yale recently came out with a study showing that vaccinations are your best defense against both infection and mutating stains:

5 Things to Know About The Delta Variant

And if they are fully vaccinated. Why are travelers being kept for up to twenty days in MIQ uninfected? A slow transition into prepared communities desperate for tourism and equipped to vaccinate and test and welcome home weary travelers is better  than what New Zealand has now. A pile on of Fear. And say what you will about any of the political parties. Any one of them could be leading. Quite frankly it seems to be the workers. the public servants, the PR agencies, the TV channels, the MIQ and the Armed forces putting in the hard yards.
The Prime Minister couldn’t have chosen a better time to get married. And I commend her on going on honeymoon first so she appears in the best light to overseas media come the Omicron outbreak.
I am after-all a proud Kiwi. If all anyone around here knows about New Zealand is that we have bugger all Covid. “You’ve done sooo well keeping Covid out of New Zealand. You must be sooo proud”! 🙂 I’ll take credit.
Over the Winter Break, I looked at the phylogeny tree of the Nebraska outbreak that showed a shorter incubation period of omicron. My Professor who got his doctorate at Berkeley had this to say:
“As far as the incubation time, I wouldn’t be surprised if what we’re seeing is evolutionary pressure towards higher transmissibility and more rapid incubation (since variants that can’t do that are having a harder time finding viable hosts to continue their “lineage” due to us approaching herd immunity through vaccination) and lesser severity (since killing your host also makes you unable to survive).  I think it might be a “chicken vs. egg” question as to whether we’re seeing more mutations because the virus’ life cycle is being compressed vs. the mutations leading to that more rapid incubation cycle; tough to know for sure, but I’d lean toward the former.”

Ie: 1. Virus spawns more frequently in a shorter lifespan (more offspring leading to more recombination events) as for Natural selection to occur more offspring must survive than are reproduced.
2. A mutation has occurred that has been favored and passed through the population which has favored transmission and decreased incubation period.
Hard to say. Hard to say. Probably the former and that is why MIQ has an abundance of omicron cases at the border. It’s due to the forces of Natural Selection. And codon substitutions at the S1 spike protein. (Mutations)
But it’s not due to lack of effort on the part of your neighbor vaccinated, skeptical, offshore or quarantining. Keep holding your Government to account as a pandemic needs to be actively managed. Saying “We’ve done well”, but keeping mute or muzzling every sector of the population that disagrees or could show the Government in poor light with shush money while stirring the pot around the Pile on of Fear is causing irreparable economic and societal damage to Aotearoa New Zealand. All the best in your navigation around the vax issue.
Love love.
M

PS Where is Luxon. After coming back and taking the helm has he gone travelling? Like Uncle Gobo?

Uncle  Gobo

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Elon Musk did it. Hosted Saturday Night live and geeks and haters and Late Night aficionados world wide tuned in to catch his SNL debut. I did. I was excited to see how he presented. There was so much offhand hatery presaging his appearance. People were outraged he was invited to host. There were spurious accusations of mistreatment of staff and the odd article appeared impugning his character while falling short of defamation.
Thank You Texas For Taking Elon Musk
I think most of the rumblings of discontent were generated by pissyness that he recently moved to Texas and wasn’t too happy about the spectre of unions organizing on his shop floor.
What else? Oh. He thought Coronavirus was a well-perpetuated hoax or it was a myth that it was as contagious as it was. “The Coronavirus panic is dumb” Musk tweeted on March 6th. He criticized lockdown encouraging his workers to continue to work and advocating for an approach like Sweden’s which initially pursued a no lockdown herd immunity approach it later abandoned.
Which actually makes him not that much different from, well many people who were popping up all over my Facebook feed that time last year (March through May). No one wanted to wear a fucking mask and many thought it was a sign that our freedoms were being eroded. That it was a cunning plot by the Democrats to steal the election. Turns out the Democrats didn’t need any help. Either they were well organized ahead of time to do it on their own or Trump shot himself in the foot enough times over and over it was a walk in the park. Masked up of course. The two men showed some similarities in their beliefs and behaviors last year One word. Chloroquine. Musk wondered on twitter if it would be effective in the fight against Covid after it was used to treat him when he fell ill with a deadly form of Malaria: Falciparum in 2000
But while Trump would double down and lash out on Twitter and in real life: thus ensuring his Megalomania ego part would dominate and take charge of the rest of his personality, Musk has an endearing ability to pause in the aftermath of any misstep, impulsive tweet or action  and self reflect and take ownership of his presentation to the world.
He makes a comment in the opening SNL skit about being reduced to “the dumbest thing they ever did”! (He smoked a suss cigar on a Joe Rogan podcast in November 2018. ) This caused Tesla shares to drop and two execs to walk. “one time I smoked weed on Joe Rogans podcast. It makes makes me look like I go from podcast to podcast lighting up joints”, said Musk last Saturday!
“I reinvented the electric car and I’m sending humans to Mars on rocket ships. Did you also think I was going to be a chill normal dude?” He laughed on SNL

He talked about having Asperger’s. By taking the mickey he did something wonderful. He freed up the topic of atypical intelligence and linked it to behavior which brings it up for discussion. If a billionaire Wunderkid can take the piss out of himself and acknowledge the odd pratfall but, get this: Not apologize for his actions because. Really? Where’s the harm? He got a little stoned once on air. So what. He mostly adds value to his company and what CEO doesn’t get up the nose of some of his execs or directly impact on the value of the company stock. They can’t rise in a straight line forever.
He’s not friendly to unions. The unions are one of the checks and balances of life but Musk isn’t obliged to see eye to eye philosophically or politically with anyone. No-one is.

He’s certainly comfortable with who he is and what he believes in. That is far more enviable than the billions. I must photoshop myself into a photo with him and osmose off that confidence.

Speaking of neurodivergence. I did some neuropsyche testing recently. The results came back. I found on top of, well. Everything 🙂 Like the 5cm hole in my head from the stroke. I have ADHD. Essentially I have a great idea and I can’t pay attention to it! OR I just get bored and you won’t see me for a couple of years. So anyway. A schedule is a key for ADHD and right now I am getting ready to write a book and the only way to do that is consistency and a calendar. I think the lesson that can be learned in the case of Musk is that self awareness is key, be non apologetic and then use your neurodivergence to your strength. Because if you’re at all atypical your brain has immense untapped potential.

 

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Meghan Markle delivered! Isn’t she fantabulous!

Meghan Markle

I picked it as a boy. The bump was so high. How could it not be a boy!
It was the baby delivery we were all were waiting for! We all wish her and Harry the best. I remember my oldest son was difficult from the get-go 🙂
I didn’t get the natural birth as he was breech. His legs came out kicking after the doctors tried to turn him (an inversion)
He was so tall! I ran interference for him continuously! Oh I could tell you the stories. And now he’s 6ft”3 and playing American Football. Defensive on the Line. The first time he played he took out the Tackle and the Guard and the Coach said you’re gonna take us all the way to the NFL with this aggressiveness! 🙂

Anyway, I just shared on Instagram how my blog was about the Beauty and Pain!
I have taken this from a blog: Drugs over Dinner.Org:

People don’t know how to deal with consciousness. We’re programmed to believe that the only thing real is what we think and believe. Our culture doesn’t teach that there’s an alternative to living in our heads, so we’re stuck in these thoughts and they torture us. People who’ve been hurt so much that they can’t stand it anymore have to find something to do. Otherwise, it’s like sitting in a fire. It’s completely understandable that people struggle with addiction.

he stories we replay in our minds about our lives are so painful. That’s what drives some people to drugs. The stories are painful, and they just keep playing, and we keep reacting and reinforcing them. My best solution after being though a lot is to get out and garden! 🙂 And draw lots of smiley faces! And keep up with current events!

From my garden. Just to show that not every rose has a thorn 🙂

Yeah that’s shit. Everyone knows every rose has a thorn. But our boys grow and surprise us 🙂

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Did I tell you what else hurts! The stories people leave you with.

One of my favs was honest Kev! Did I talk about 9/11? I think I did. When I hung outwith honest Kev, my heart broke for him. His dad cleaned up in the aftermath you see; his Dad was dying because of this.Mesothelioma.  His Dad is dying after cleaning up post-9/11. Kev had a coke habit. Kev was such a good guy and he always treated me like a lady!
One of the guys; people who love you will love you and sing your praises!

This one is for Kev! 🙂

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