December Writing Challenge/ Prompts:

https://patchworkmomma.wordpress.com/manifest20-prompts/

  1. Choose one word which you would like to embody during 2020 as a sort of theme for the year. How would you like to see this word manifest in your life?
  2. Who inspired you in 2019? Why? What gifts did they give you? How will you carry these forward in 2020?
  3. What made you feel joyful in 2019? What steps can you take to create more joyful moments in the coming year?
  4. What goals did you accomplish in 2019 that you’re proud of? How will your achievement continue to benefit you or others in the future?
  5. What musical discovery did you make this year? Share a memory involving music or tell us what artist or song would feature on the soundtrack of your life for 2019?
  6. What surprised you in 2019

 

Today I want to write about Nr.  6!

So, what surprised me in 2019?

Did it surprise me that Greta Thunberg continued to get so much media attention? She is a very determined young woman, only sixteen, but she stuck it out, did not hesitate to live by her principles. To find supporters that made it possible for her to travel for instance by boat to the Americas and back again. Well, this was quite an achievement!

Yes, in a way it did surprise me that Greta was able to get such an enormous support!

I want to keep it brief. So I only want to mention, that I find it surprising that so many people these days are able to live into their eighties or nineties. I would be surprised, if Peter and I were able to make it to the nineties! Somehow, I cannot quite imagine it. I am surprised about every year that we are still alive.

Just recently I was surprised that independent Senator Jacqui Lambie voted with the government to repeal the medevac bill. It does not seem to make sense, not at all.

Here is an interesting link to an article about the repeal bill:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-05/medevac-repeal-bill-scott-morrison-new-zealand-png-nauru/11765456

Australia is at present in the grip of enormous draught as well as disastrous bushfires with soaring temperatures and extremely strong winds. The government says, this is quite normal for Australia. A lot of people here want to talk about it why there is so much climate change, but the government says there is no need to talk about it or to do something about it. Am I surprised that our government acts this way? No, not at all. The Australian voters voted the present government in. It surprised me at the time. And I’ll be still more surprised, should they be voted in again at the next election.

 

 

 

 

 

1

Smartphones creating generational and income divide

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-18/digital-divide-australia-inequality-access-to-technology/11627020

Updated 

Desmond White leads a very modern life, riding his bike around inner-city Newcastle, where he lives on his own in a fifth-storey apartment overlooking the wharf.

Key points:

  • The Australia Talks survey found 96 per cent of Australians use a smartphone
  • 62 per cent of Australians spend between one and six hours a day on their devices, the survey found
  • Most people think technology is making life better in Australia

But the 93-year-old was unimpressed when he recently became the owner of an iPhone.

“I had one of the old traditional phones, which was misbehaving. All callers — and I’ve got a lot of callers — would say ‘what’s up with your phone, what’s wrong with your phone?'” he said.

Optus offered Mr White a new phone and he agreed, but he was surprised to find it was an iPhone that arrived in the mail.

“I was expecting one like the old-fashioned stuff,” he said.

Suddenly, Mr White, who once presided over a successful tyre business, found himself unable to perform the previously simple task of making a phone call.

“Everybody promised — I’ve got grandkids and whatnot — to show me what to do with it,” he said.

With most of his family outside of the Newcastle area, Mr White turned to a computer club for older Novocastrians.

“I somehow managed to be able to make a call, and of course receive one … but it would be nice if I could do ever so much more, because I know it has so much to offer,” Mr White said.

“Some of them feel a little bit intimidated, feel a little bit upset because the world is changing so fast.

“It is scary, a lot of them are fearful.”

Tutors at the club say where once people would come in curious to explore this new frontier, they are now coming in because they have no choice.

With Australia moving towards a cashless economy, many people have found themselves caught out, unable to use internet banking.

Ms Keen said the generational gap was particularly glaring when younger people tried to help out.

“They [older people] say, ‘oh I asked my son, or my daughter or my grandson or granddaughter … and they say, ‘oh you do this, this and this, press this button, do that, that’s how you do it’,” she said.

“The person sitting there who hasn’t understood the vast difference in the language and all the terminology, and hasn’t seen that before, is suddenly thrown and they’re thinking, ‘I have no idea what that person did’.

“They go to replicate it later and they have no idea.”

Has technology made life better?

It has been more than a decade since Australians were introduced to smartphones, and the ABC’s Australia Talks survey found 96 per cent of people in the country now own one.

Not surprisingly though, the data shows the older you get, the less likely you are to have one.”

I, Uta, copied the above. This new technology I find very scary. I get the creeps when I am bombarded with terms like ‘the cashless society’! I am not 93 yet, I am ‘only’ 85. But I have very poor vision. The idea that in future I  may have to use an iPhone does scare me no end. My husband Peter is very close to my age. However, he knows how to use a smartphone and keeps in touch with the children and he also accesses all the information about the children that is available on Facebook. He spends many hours a day on these gadgets. I find it very helpful that he can always give me information about family and friends. So far it worked out all right that I have to rely on Peter for all this information. I think to have to spend hours and hours on these gadgets to eventually get some valuable information is not a very efficent way to get to the news that is important to me. I think I prefer to keep in touch via email or a ‘normal’ phone call if person to person contact is not possible. So far I have been lucky in that person to person contact has still been possible a lot of the time. And occasionally I still get some beautiful emails! And I like the World Wide Web and WordPress! 

“Tutors at the club say where once people would come in curious to explore this new frontier, they are now coming in because they have no choice.”

So this is what the tutors say! NO JOICE? I hope this is not true for me. I just do not feel like going to that ‘new frontier’ and spending the last bit of time that may be left to me with torturing my brain with new things that I feel I should not have to learn at this stage of my life!! Please understand, I am willing to adapt as much as possible to new things that are necessary for instance to cope with climate change, but somehow I feel that new frontier technology I should not have to be confronted with . . . .

 

 

ABC announces probe into feminist Q&A episode after audience complaints

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/abc-announces-probe-into-feminist-q-a-episode-after-audience-complaints?cid=trending

Monday night's Q&A panel with guest host Fran Kelly.
Monday night’s Q&A panel with guest host Fran Kelly. Source: ABC

Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher said the decision to investigate Monday night’s Q&A program was “appropriate”.

UPDATED

“The ABC will investigate whether Monday night’s episode of Q&A breached editorial standards after receiving several audience complaints about the language and ideas expressed by the panel.

The entirely non-male panel featured high-profile feminists – Egyptian-American writer Mona Eltahawy, Indigenous screenwriter Nayuka Gorrie, journalist Jess Hill, business leader Hana Assafiri and anti-ageism campaigner Ashton Applewhite – ahead of this weekend’s Broadside Festival, hosted by the Wheeler Centre.

ABC Managing Director David Anderson said the intention of the panel was to “present challenging ideas from high-profile feminists” but he acknowledged the program was “provocative in regard to the language used and some of the views presented”.

.  .  .  .

 

Sydney Metro in meltdown

Hundreds of Sydney Metro passengers were ordered off trains during the height of Thursday morning’s peak hour services after mechanical problems on a train at North Ryde caused serious delays.

Commuters reported being left stuck for up to 20 minutes on stationary trains after 8am and being told to disembark and wait for buses.

Sydney Metro commuters face delays

Sydney Metro commuters face delays

Port Augusta woman charged with murder

Sydney Metro commuters face delays

Tania Matin said she was told via an announcement to get off the train at Macquarie University and catch a bus, but nobody was there to direct passengers and she returned to the station after waiting 15 minutes.

She was then able to board a train, but ordered off again at Macquarie Park, where she was greeted by a line of “thousands” waiting for buses. After another 20 minutes, she gave up and took a metro train back to Epping.

Ms Matin said she was angry “not at the mechanical failure… but lack of communication, mismanagement and lack of skill to control the huge crowd [at peak hour]”.

Services on the network returned to normal about 11am.

It’s been a poor week for the Sydney Metro, which also had a train break down at Chatswood on Wednesday. On Tuesday, a fire alarm prompted services to skip Macquarie Park.

The network has faced frequent technical problems since its opening in May.

Jenny Noyes

Jenny Noyes is a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald. She was previously a writer and editor at Daily Life.

 

 

MS St. Louis GERMAN OCEAN LINER

https://www.britannica.com/topic/MS-St-Louis-German-shipArticle History

Revised: Nov 09, 2018
By: Amy Tikkanen
MS St. Louisin full Motorschiff St. Louis, also called SS St. LouisGerman ocean liner that gained international attention in May–June 1939 when Cuba, the United States, and Canada denied entry to its more than 900 Jewish passengers, most of whom had fled Nazi Germany. Ultimately, several European countries took the refugees, though some 250 passengers were255 of the passengers arebelieved to have later died in the Holocaust.The St. Louis was a transatlantic luxury liner owned by the Hamburg-American Line. On May 13, 1939, it departed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba, a popular stopover for refugees seeking to emigrateimmigrateto the United States. On board were 937 passengers and 231 crew members; the captain was Gustav Schröder. Most of the travelers were Jews leaving Germany amid growing concerns over safety; some six months earlier Nazis had attacked Jewish persons and property in an event known as Kristallnacht. The passengers had obtained landing certificates to enter Cuba, where most would then wait for their U.S. visas to be approved.

However, before the ship departed, there were indications that the passengers would not be welcomed. In early May Cuban Pres. Federico Laredo Brú signed a decree that invalidated the passengers’ landing certificates. His decision was supported by many Cubans who feared that the immigrants would compete for jobs as the country continued to struggle through the Great Depression. Further inflaming public opinion were rumours—which some believe were spread by Nazi agents on the island—that the Jewish passengers were communists and criminals. On May 8 a large anti-Semitic rally was held in Havana.

Against this backdrop the St. Louis arrived on May 27, 1939. The Cuban government admitted 28 passengers who had the necessary paperwork but refused to let the 908 other travelers disembark; one of the elderly passengers had died during the voyage and was buried at sea. For the next several days the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) attempted to negotiate with Cuban authorities. During this time, morale among the passengers waned, and one man attempted suicide by slashing his wrists and jumping overboard; he was taken to a hospital and allowed to remain in Cuba. As the talks dragged on—with money reportedly being at issue—Laredo Brú ordered the St. Louis to leave Cuban waters on June 2.

After waiting off the coast of Cuba for several days, Schröder sailed for Florida. However, the U.S. government also refused to admit the refugees, citing the country’s yearly immigration quota. The U.S. State Department told the refugees that they must “await their turns on the waiting list”—which was several years long. The U.S. Coast Guard shadowed the vessel, though the USCG later claimed its “units were dispatched out of concern for those on board” and not to keep the ship from docking. The Canadian government also refused to admit the refugees. As the saga continued, the Nazi regime used it as propaganda to support its anti-Jewish policies.

On June 6, 1939, Laredo Brú ended the negotiations. With supplies dwindling, the St. Louis began the voyage back to Europe later that day, and it reached Antwerp on June 17. Through talks spearheaded by the JDC, England, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium agreed to take the refugees, and by June 20 all the passengers had disembarked the St. Louis. In September World War II officially started. It was later determined that of the 907 passengers who hadreturned to Europe, 255 were killed during the war;,the vast majority of them dieddyingin concentration camps.

The incident was notably chronicled in the book Voyage of the Damned (1974) by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts. It was later adapted (1976) into a film. In 2017 the ill-fated voyage received new attention through a Twitter account that listed the passengers who haddied during the war. The account was created the day before U.S. Pres. Donald Trump signed an executive order that suspended immigration from certain Muslim countries. The following year Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally apologized for his country’s failure to grant asylum to the Jews on board theSt. Louis.

 

Catastrophic Climate Change

I made the following comment on the contributor’s site: 

‘You say: “. . . we might still light a candle for democracy, for freedom, and for truth.” Let’s hope so. Great article. I’ll publish a link to it on my website together with some excerpts of your article.’

Catastrophic climate change is not a problem for Fascists — It is a solution

Catastrophic climate change is not a problem for Fascists — It is a solution


Umair Haque writes: The tables have turned. The problem isn’t climate change anymore, and the solution isn’t global cooperation — given today’s implosive politics. The problem is you — if you are not one of the chosen, predatory few. And the solution to the problem of you is climate change. To the fascists, that is.

How Capitalism Torched the Planet by Imploding Into Fascism

Umair Haque, Eudaimonia & Co

…………….

“There are no solutions, because these were never “problems” to begin with. The planet, like society, is a garden, which needs tending, watering, care. The linkages between these things — inequality destabilizing societies making global cooperation less possible — are not things we can fix overnight, by turning a nut or a bolt, or throwing money at them. They never were. They are things we needed to see long ago, to really reject together, and invest in, nurture, protect, defend, for decades — so that capitalism did not melt down into fascism, and take away all our power to fight for our worlds, precisely when we would need it most.

But we did not do that. We were busy “solving problems”. Problems like…hey, how can I get my laundry done? Can I get my package delivered in one hour instead of one day? Wow — you mean I don’t have to walk down the street to get my pizza anymore? Amazing!! In this way, we solved all the wrong problems, if you like, but I would say that we solved mechanical problems instead of growing up as people. Things like climate change and inequality and fascism are not really “problems” — they are emergent processes, which join up, in great tendrils of ruin, each piling on the next, which result from decades of neglect, inaction, folly, blindness. We did not plant the seeds, or tend to our societies, economies, democracies, or planet carefully enough — and now we are harvesting bitter ruin instead. Maybe you see my point. Or maybe you don’t see my point at all. I wouldn’t blame you. It’s a tough one to catch sight of.)

The tables have turned. The problem isn’t climate change anymore, and the solution isn’t global cooperation — at least given today’s implosive politics. The problem is you — if you are not one of the chosen, predatory few. And the solution to the problem of you is climate change. To the fascists, that is. They are quite overjoyed to have found the most spectacular and efficient and lethal engine of genocide and devastation known to humankind, which is endless, free natural catastrophe. Nothing sorts the strong from the weak more ruthlessly like a flooded planet, a thundering sky, a forest in flames, a parched ocean. A man with a gun is hardly a match for a planet on fire.

I think this much becomes clearer by the year: we have failed, my friends, to save our home. How funny that we are focused, instead, on our homelands. It would be funny, disgraceful, and pathetic of me to say: is there still time to save ourselves? That is the kind of nervous, anxious selfishness that Americans are known for — and it is only if we reject it, really, that we learn the lesson of now. Let us simply imagine, instead, that despite all the folly and stupidity and ruin of this age, the strongmen and the weak-minded, in those dark and frightening nights when the rain pours and the thunder roars, we might still light a candle for democracy, for freedom, and for truth. The truth is that we do not deserve to be saved if we do not save them first.”

RELATED

UN says climate genocide is coming. It’s actually worse.
David Wallace-Wells, NY Mag
We’re on track for four degrees of warming, more than twice as much as most scientists believe is possible to endure without inflicting climate suffering on hundreds of millions or threatening at least parts of what we call, grandly, “civilization.” The only thing that changed is that the scientists, finally, have hit the panic button.

Report: The rise of the Right and climate catastrophe
Michael T. Klare
Nationalistic exceptionalism could become something of the norm if Donald Trump wins, or other nations put the needs of a fossil fuel-based domestic growth agenda ahead of global climate commitments. In its latest report, the Norwegian energy giant Statoil outlines a chilling scenario focused on just this sort of dystopian future.

Without a viable alternative to capitalism, our goose is cooked
Richard Smith
The fundamental contradiction with capitalism is that maximizing profit and saving the planet are inherently in conflict and cannot be systematically aligned even if, occasionally they coincide for a moment. But saving the world requires that the pursuit of profits be systematically subordinated to ecological concerns— and this no corporation can do.

Capitalism and the destruction of life on earth: Six theses on saving the humans
Richard Smith, Truthout
As global capitalist economic growth accelerates planetary ecological collapse, Richard Smith argues that – impossible as it may seem at present – only the most radical solution -the overthrow of global capitalism, the construction of a mostly publicly-owned and mostly planned eco-socialist economy is the only alternative to the collapse of civilization and ecological suicide.

How vulture capitalism is swallowing the world
Honi Soit, HoniSoit.com
“What you see in a lot of countries is a predatory capitalism, from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Australia, which show the corporations that are involved in the neo-liberal agenda, an agenda that has been implemented without really any public consent. This is happening, I would argue, almost by stealth,” says author and journalist Anthony Lowenstein.

 

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2 Responses “Catastrophic climate change is not a problem for Fascists — It is a solution”

  1. 2nd October 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Sorry to say, this is too superficial for such a serious subject, not convincing at all. This is merely scapegoating a system, i.e. a thing, for the “sins” of humans, groups of humans and leaders of humans.
    This is also very cheap. Since all of us are humans, can think and have a will, Haque and leftists who share this view (Ecologise.in has referred to two articles of Richard Smith) can exonerate us all by blaming a thing, namely capitalism, for everything that is bad in the world. As if capitalism fell from the sky like a meteor. As if it were a sort of Satanic being, a Frankenstein, with a character and will of its own.
    This is also ahistorical thinking. Industrial Capitalism as we know it – and Huque is writing of this capitalism – is just 200 to 250 years old. Who or what is to blame for its coming into existence? Who or what is to blame for all the pre-capitalist evils and environmental destructions? Who or what was responsible, for example, for the demise of the ancient Sumerian civilization? (Please read Clive Ponting’s A Green History of the World). Were not the Jews persecuted in Europe since much before Capitalism came into being? And why could not the Kaiser. the king and the Czar of Germany, Great Britain and Russia respectively, who were even cousins, cooperate to prevent the First World War?
    This is not the place to write a whole essay. I only suggest that Haque and all who share this view of his delve a little deeper into the human condition in search of answers to the serious questions of our cursed times, and in order to know what can still be done. For instance, take cognizance of the fact of limits to growth, of the fact that It is simply impossible to fulfill the continuously growing “needs”, demands, wishes, aspirations and ambitions of a continuously growing world population while our resource base is continuously dwindling and the ability of nature to absorb man-made pollution is continuously diminishing, of the fact that it is a lunatic idea that in a finite world infinite growth is possible.

  2. Anonymous

    15th October 2019 at 3:30 am

    Yes, it is obvious, in a finite world infinite growth is not possible.
    So, if infinite growth is not possible, why then do capitalists act as though it was possible?

 

No Class, Posted on October 6, 2019 By John Stepling

Below I copied some of John Stepling’s post, that is titled ‘No Class’.

It is interestig that Stepling cites several authors in connection with climate change, capitalism and class. He cites for instance John Bellamy Foster who talks about

the growth of various movements in the fascist genre (whether prefascism, protofascism, classical fascism, postfascism, neofascism, neoliberal fascism, ur-fascism, peripheral fascism, white supremacism, or national populism …..’

Stepling says that ‘global warming is a fact that humanity will have to adjust to and learn to live with.’ And that the ‘so labeled *Climate Change* crisis has very little to do with protecting Nature.’

He also says: ‘The incursion of technology into nearly every waking moment of the daily life of the Westerner has conditioned a populace, one that doesn’t read, to see the acceleration of everything as natural. . . And capitalism is not compatible with the direction those changes and care must take. Risking the direction for needed change by allowing capital investments to chart the course is a very dangerous idea.’ 

“I think that most of the confusion in this respect has been the product of a failure to develop a class analysis of these changes. From a class perspective, it is clear that what we are seeing is the growth of various movements in the fascist genre (whether prefascism, protofascism, classical fascism, postfascism, neofascism, neoliberal fascism, ur-fascism, peripheral fascism, white supremacism, or national populism—you can take your pick). Fascist-type movements share certain definite class-based characteristics or tendencies. Although it is common in liberal discourse to approach such movements at the level of appearance, in terms of their ideological characteristics, such an idealist methodology only throws a veil over the underlying reality. — John Bellamy Foster, Interview, Monthly Review, September 2019″

The purveyors of free-market global capitalism believe that they have a right to plunder the remaining natural resources of this planet as they choose. Anyone who challenges their agenda is to be subjected to whatever misrepresentation and calumny that serves the free market corporate agenda. — Michael Parenti, Interview with Jason Miller, 2016

When environmentalism unfolds within a system of heightened inequality and inadequate democratization, it does so unequally and autocratically. The result is not a “saved” climate, but rather enhanced revenue streams for corporations. — Maximillian Forte, Climate Propaganda for Corporate Profit: Bell Canada

 

The following I copied from Stepling’s writing:

“John Bellamy Foster noted that it was a lack of class analysis that has stifled left discourse over the last twenty years. And I have noted that when one does engage in class analysis the first response, very often, is to be called a conspiracy theorist. Now, this is largely because any class dissection will tend to unearth connections that have been hidden, consciously, by Capital — that those hidden forces and histories are experienced by the liberal left and faux left as somehow impossible. Class analysis means that the non-marxist liberal left is going to be faced with the malevolence of the ruling class, and in the U.S. certainly, the ruling class tends to be adored, secretly or otherwise, by the bourgeoisie.”

“When the U.S.S.R. dissolved the West intensified its propaganda onslaught immediately. And a good part of this propaganda was focused on the denial of class. On the right, the FOX News right, “class warfare” became a term of derision and also humour. And among liberal and educated bourgeoisie the avoidance of class was the result of a focus on, and validations of, rights for marginalized groups — even if that meant inventing new groups on occasion. Class was conspicuously missing in most identity rights discourse.”

“And the climate discourse, which was suddenly visible in mainstream media early 2000s, there was almost never a mention of class. Hence the new appropriation of that discourse by open racist eugenicists like “Sir” David Attenborough, and billionaire investors and publishers. Even by royalty. By 2015 or so there was what Denis Rancourt called the institutionalisation of a climate ethos. I have even seen of late self-identified leftists suggesting the “Greta” phenomenon was the working class finding its voice. (No, I’m not making that up). I have also seen many leftists — many of whom I have known for years — simply hysterical around the subject of this teenager. Her greatest appeal is to middle aged white men. I have no real explanation for that. But then these same men quote, often, everyone from Guy McPherson (who I think needs a padded cell, frankly) to Bill McKibben — an apologist for militarism and wealth… here …. […]”

I have read Stepling’s post several times. I am not sure what his opinion is as far as capital investment goes. Does he think that capital investment should not chart the course of needed change? He also says capitalism is not compatible with the direction those changes and care must take’.

Another thing is that he  describes Bill McKibben as an ‘apologist for militarism and wealth’. Is it perhaps that he means that the class of right wing ‘capitalists’ cannot be trusted to do something for the majority of people about climate change that would help the ordinary people in some way?

And what about Guy McPherson? This is what Wikipedia says about him:

Guy R. McPherson is an American scientist, professor emeritus[2] of natural resources and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona.[3][4] He is known for the idea of Near-Term Human Extinction (NTHE), a term he coined[4] about the likelihood of human extinction by 2030.”

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

Here I copied something about Guy McPherson’s latest book:

https://auntyuta.com/2019/10/10/only-love-remains-dancing-at-the-edge-of-extinction/

Stepling does insist that ‘Class exists and is part of the hierarchical system of global capitalism.’