Sunday, December 30, 2012

Blessed are you G-D King of the World Who Gives the Rooster to understand the difference between day and night

This is one of the first brachot (blessings) we say in the morning. Why you might ask would we thank and bless Hashem for giving a rooster the understanding to herald the break of day after the night? On a very simple level it is an allegory for light and darkness and the eternal struggle between the two conflicting elements. If such a simple creature as a rooster can understand the difference between night and day and vice versa, how much more so can the human who is of a far superior intellect - an intellect that is more complex and rational as well as emotional, understand the fine lines between right and wrong.
Some of my blog posts are controversial and extremely confronting. They are meant to be. If it makes some people re examine their whole emotional and psychological paradigm and think about consequences of their life styles it is worthwhile.
Many people have and do call me ignorant and stupid. They have suggested all sorts of physical abuse should be coming my way in order to enforce their viewpoints as right. I find that very ironic and indeed a little frightening that such violence without reason be directed towards me and my son.
We have never threatened you or any person of gay or lesbian lifestyle. I find ironic that my lifestyle is so threatening to you. I, for one, find violence is an extremely simple and primitive response to any sort of stimuli.
No one has put forth a rational and well thought out argument for same sex marriage. It is all emotive BS. That descends into the depths of personal abuse and ad homenim attacks that do not argue rationally or coherently before the above.
If a rooster, an instinctive creature is aware of the of the exact boundary of day and night, how much more so should we not be tuned to what is appropriate behaviour and what is not.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Respecting Privacy of others

Recently I had a rather nasty surprise. A friend of mine had some posts of mine given to her by some people purporting to be my friends and 'concerned about me' and what I post on this blog. The fact that they had printed out great numbers of my posts was not what bothered me. If I put it on the net and discuss or debate issues, I am not ashamed of people reading it. They also said to her, 'See, this is the sort of person you are friends with.' That shows 'great love for me, NOT.' Already the connotation is negative and is a comment made by someone trying to denigrate not to be supportive or friendly. I have many friends who I may not necessarily agree with their views on everything and would I want to agree with everything my friends said or did? No, because if I wanted them to act exactly as I wanted, that means I rob them of their individuality and purpose in life which may be very different from my path or direction in life. See, I believe everyone is here for a purpose and it is to do good. My intentions are simply to discuss and debate what I consider are important social concerns in society and sometimes these are personal opinions and views and other times not so personal but general concerns. You the reader are always allowed to disagree with me. I used to love playing devil's advocate in my English classroom because how do students learn best? They learn by being inspired and moved to debate passionately, whether it is oral communication or through written communication and they learn to think. Not only do they learn to think deeply, but they learn to differentiate between fact and opinion and to understand consequences. There is so much emotive writing out there and people are openly manipulated and brainwashed into certain situations and to support certain causes these days. The same sex marriage debate is an ongoing example, of such brain washing and manipulation. We are led to believe that not to support same sex marriage is akin to 'abuse of gays and lesbians.' Well. I for one do not buy into that argument and will not. There are other people out there who also believe as I do and they keep very quiet because of the torrent of abuse that they will be subjected to if they dare speak out.
By the same token, I would not and do not support or advocate job discrimination, gender discrimination or any form of abuse of a homosexual person. They are people with feelings just like you and I, but I do not agree with their choice of life style. Simple. They want marriage rites, they need to live a lifestyle that is conducive to being a participant in that. If I was very jealous of all the Muslims having fun at the Hajji and circling the Black Rock in Saudi Arabia, I would have to take steps to become a Muslim. I am not, but that is an example. If I wanted to sacrifice to Buddha I have to become a Buddhist. Understood.
Now what shocked me, was not that this person or persons was obsessive enough to go and print out my posts on the Internet and give it to a close friend in an effort to denigrate or put me down in her eyes and the eyes of her family. It was actually quite flattering that I have moved a person enough to do such a thing.
What shocked me was that among those papers was a letter I wrote a few weeks ago to my son's teacher. It was on a word document on my laptop. It was not published in any shape or form what so ever by me on the Internet. I was actually very angry because for that to be given to a friend of mine is a gross invasion of my privacy and the privacy of my son. Some strange things have happened lately like the disappearance of my son's report card. I had to get a copy of the report. It was a photocopy. To be honest, in these days of Internet and wi fi technology it is possible probably to access my word files and I do know now that everything I do, my every key strokes on this laptop computer could be recorded by some individual who I see as rather obsessive and frankly dangerous. That really does not bother me, because I do have nothing to hide. However it is my privacy that has been invaded and that bothers me.
I can write on another computer with no access whatsoever to the Internet if I want to keep my affairs private and will probably do so now especially if I want to write some short stories and poems in the new goyishe year or write any more personal letters to a teacher of my son's concerning either his academic progress or other issues at school. For the person who did either put this on the net or maybe they have hacked my computer, it is sort of like living with some one's nose up your backside. It is actually quite disgusting.
I received some very freaky letters from a woman who I was previously friendly with, in June and July of this year. She accused me of being a pedophile, having mental problems, being a pervert and other quite crazy things. I did a radio show with this woman and I was actually shocked by the troppo nature of what she wrote to me and then accused me of being the ranter and the raver. At first I tried to defend myself and then could not waste time on it as I was dealing with some extremely frightening and upsetting personal issues.
Hashem gives us all trials for a reason. I know I am not a pedophile and have never been one, nor do I access pornography on the Internet or otherwise. I find even the idea of that sort of thing, extremely distasteful. Nor am I Satan in disguise. Although to some of my biological family I am, but that is simply anti semitism of the worst kind. That is them and not me. Yes, there are reasons why I have not been working which are rather  complex and to be honest, I am trying to get into paid work and have been for many years. I am not lazy. I have studied Professional Writing and Editing and am doing another course - a Cert IV in TAE because I want paid work where I can utilise my skills.
This brings me back to an incident which happened many many years ago, where these two sisters abused me because they objected to me being Jewish around the time I finished my conversion, they objected to the fact that I was doing a degree in Secondary Teaching and were horrified that 'a disgusting person such as you' should not have been accepted into a course for teachers and in other words as I was told by the older of the sisters, 'you are better off dead. The way you treat your family and what you did.'
They obviously only knew part of the story and how they knew that I will never know. Maybe my mother rang one day and talked to one of them, who knows. But I know who I am and I do know that the image created about me among members of my biological family which is totally totally negative, serves only to reinforce their disgusting behaviour towards me. I understand why this is so. I went to therapy and understood that often in some families a person is picked to bear the brunt of the dysfunctional of the other family members. They become right in their eyes and the eyes of those they are close to by deriding and isolating another member of the family. Everything that person does is seen in a negative light or other connotations are put on it to the extent that a person's life is deliberately destroyed or prevented from flourishing in order to protect themselves from any scrutiny. They decoy and blame all the ills of a family on one member in order to make themselves right.
What horrifies me is that this person somehow has gained access to personal computer files and feels that they have a right to stick their noses into my life and indeed to set about destroying my life because that is what it is. If they really felt 'so concerned about me and my son' they would have approached me directly and spoken to me in person rather than go behind my back to friends and attempt to destroy my friendships of a long standing nature. That tells me immediately that something is very very wrong. That is sick behaviour. I do not attempt to destroy relationships between people and never have. People do make their own judgements on the character of a person, but to tell lies about someone and go around telling people that I am pedophile, a pornographer and other wacko statements, that is sick and someone out there must hate me a hell of a lot. That is their problem to deal with and if they continue to try and access my personal life, one day they are going to overstep the mark and they will find themselves in real trouble.
I have done nothing wrong and I am definitely not one of the above. I have been called a bigot and other terms by people who I believe have something to hide. They have the agenda, not me. I live my life as simply and honestly as I can despite the restrictions of not being employed at present. I do not intend to allow these sorts of people to spoil my life or that of my son's by their devious and horrid manipulations of others lives.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A couple of great shuirim today at the summer learning program @ Yeshiva College


Every year there is a summer learning program at the Yeshiva College which I look forward to every year. This year I will probably only be able to make several days and not the whole program unfortunately. I have my Havrusa with an Adass lady a weekly basis when we study the weekly parsha and I would love to add another learning hour into my week if I could find some one to learn Chassidus with by phone at night. However, the learning that takes place starting on the 25th of December every year is something special. We get to experience the depth and breadth of the learning of many talented and special Rabbonim and rebbetzins.
Today the first shuir for the women was Taffy Aron talking about Facebook and intimacy. Unfortunately I missed some of it as I took longer with the goat milking this morning than I anticipated. What Taffy had to say about Facebook and how it is used in today's world and how it impacts on our perceptions of the world and our relationships with others was frightening and indeed what I heard gave much food for thought. His main point was the fact that people are sharing far too much of their personal life with others to the extent it has eroded our level of family privacy to such a degree that there is nothing left to share with a spouse or family. It is all out there on Facebook. Embarrassed laughter broke out when he gave the example of a woman announcing on Facebook that 'her waters had broken.' Even I, a normally very open person would not share that detail, thank you very much and maybe the person who did thought better of it later. In essence, his talk made me think very seriously about what I have previously shared on Facebook about relationships with my biological family and even personal details of my life that I should perhaps be sharing with a counselor or mentor about events that have impacted on my life and realistically I have thought that being alone for ten years has made me more open in one way to sharing details of my life and my child's life that I should not. I guess, what I am saying is sometimes you crave someone to bounce ideas off and it is not such a good idea as there are a lot of creepy people out there who can give you the wrong advice or advice that is in essence flawed.
The fact is that when you have a partner like a husband, you do your sharing with him and not on FaceBook. I have to say, on that level, having a partner makes your more private because what you are sharing has to impact on another person and you cannot share without checking with him and by the time you check, 'Oh dear, do you mind if I tell the world that I cooked us a nice vegie soup and made a tuna pie tonight?' the need for sharing has gone because you have shared it with him.  I am of course, not going to tell the world that you hated my chicken with a plum sauce, but I will state that you loved my cholent with smoked bone and pumpkin.
I guess having a husband would be like having an in house censor/editor.When you are single, maybe you are more out there and more vulnerable.
What do you share on FaceBook? How do we use FaceBook and certainly we need to think about how our children are using FaceBook? FaceBook is the antithesis of being Jewishly correct and tznius on a very personal level. Certainly one should leave the relationship status of your FaceBook profile blank unless of course you are happily married and want to advertise it. I have never updated my profile status and would not, even if there was something to report. If I had dated in the last 10 years which I have not, it would be no one's business but mine and the other person's. I would not want anyone to know until I was engaged if that was to ever happen, then date set for nuptials. Nobody needs to know if you are dating, living with someone, breaking up with someone or getting together with someone. Taffy was spot on that this sort of thing is very counterproductive to intimacy and personal privacy.
Personally, I think FaceBook should be pretty much Adults Only sort of like sex. Yes, we know that there are children out there experimenting, but giving them sex education is not going to stop STD's, prevent teenage pregnancies or enhance and improve their relationships with the opposite sex. There is an age for sex between consenting adults and while it is preferable for two people to be blessed with the sanctity of a marriage ceremony before physical intimacy takes place, we live in an age where such things are viewed a lot more casually than they used to be.
I am of the opinion that we need to improve the level of intimacy between children and their parents to prevent the sorts of abuse that our children are potentially open to from strangers and even 'friends' on the net. We need to keep the channels of communication open at all times between our spouses and our children. I need not add, through medium like FaceBook or My Space. We need face to face human contact with friends and family from time to time. We need to sit and have coffee or brunch with mates that is between us and not others and not shared with others.
I moved to the country to preserve my sanity and the sanity of my child in a pure environment away from the corrupting influences of city life. I remember many years ago as a pretty stupid and naive young woman of 17 and a half, fresh out of six years of an all girls boarding school floundering in my dealing with the opposite sex and even with how to handle the bitchiness and falseness of relationships between women. I had no idea and when I got involved at 18 years of age with a 36 year old rather degenerate man in Melbourne far from home and having no idea how to conduct myself in the 'new age of freedom'  I got some very rude shocks in my young life which marked me for quite some years and I would not wish what happened to me on anyone.
What this made me realise however is that those who believe that we can protect children  by decreasing the age by which we educate them about sex, alcohol and drugs are living in a fools' paradise. you only have to look at the phenomena of schoolies week to see how futile that approach has been.
What we need to do is to educate and instill in young people a set of values that will allow them see illicit sex and drug or alcohol taking as undesirable and perhaps for them to realise the consequences of such before they try such behaviour. I remember being told as a young woman by a man that 'I like to test drive something before I buy it.' I had no answer for that kind of attitude in the 1970's. Today with the hindsight of experience, I would advise a young woman to tell any man who would say that to her,'Great you go out and buy yourself a second hand car if that is what you are after. I am not a bloody car and if I was I would be a customized model built for only one man and out of your price range.' Now I will have to wait until next lifetime to use that line. Worst luck. The price range I am talking about has nothing to do with monetary value though.
I think that a lot of young women today do suffer from low self esteem because of the looseness of the sexual values and lack of importance placed on physical intimacy with only one person. We were conned into seeing ourselves as free and that to make ourselves available was a good thing. It was very destructive to be so available to so many and many women today are realizing that cultivating friendships that are not based on physical intimacy is far more humanising for both men and women. Yes, there are people who do operate on a very physical level and there always will be those people who do so and they are quite happy to do so.
However, I personally feel a great sense of loss that I did not meet someone at eighteen or nineteen and marry and have that long term relationship with the one person and have children with them and perhaps I would have even been a grandmother several times over by now.
You cannot attain the level of intimacy in a short term relationship that you can with a relationship that has stood the test of time over say twenty, thirty or forty or even fifty plus years. The level of personal growth and understanding of the other person is there and even if you do not see it or are blind to it, it is always there for you and your spouse. It is up to the two people concerned to make sure that the relationship between them is kept alive and nurtured. A relationship is like a tree or even a very fragile baby animal. It needs constant attention and exclusive attention to thrive. Some relationships are hardy and will survive with minimum care and even the occasional cyclone or storm to batter it. However it is ideal that you do work through and maintain a relationship. Nothing should be left to chance. There is a saying that the couple that fight together, are more likely to stay together. It is in my extensive experience, the cold silences, the breakdown of communication, the separating of ways that destroys a relationship. If you can have a good fight now and then, it shows you are interested enough to struggle with what is uncomfortable in the relationship and to maintain it. It is like a car repair, if you do not care, that knocking will just get worst until the car completely breaks down. A person in a relationship does worry about the other, whether it is a friend or spouse. Friends of course, have to know when to step back and respect the intimacy of a friendship in different ways to a spouse. There are somethings and information that friends should never be privy to in a relationship. That is seen as very old fashioned in this day and age of open doors in all compartments of life, but if the building and home is to be preserved, we must close the doors on some areas of life and teach our children to do the same.
I want to end with a really shocking story. I was horrified to see the posts of a girl who is on my facebook and I have made the mother's friend aware of what I saw and unfortunately read on her Facebook. Apart from the fact, I am wondering how she got onto my account, she uses language that I know about but do not use and she talks about things that I as an adult would be extremely squeamish if any one I was friendly with spoke in that manner. To be honest, she was talking like some of the workers I used to take from their places of work to their homes. I used to do taxi driving at night. I used to try and knock off before four am. The brothels used to close down about then. Great fares although they used to be pretty disappointed to get me as a driver because they often used to offer to work off their fares with the male drivers. Me, they had to give cash as it was the only legal tender I accepted. A lot of them would go out to Noble Park and Dandenong or Cranbourne. Great fares, but they used to talk about their work on the way home and often I would feel like taking a very hot and long shower afterwards. It was actually really disgusting. Often I would feel close to throwing up and used the Ajax spray liberally on the back seats afterwards.
There are many facets of life out there that we are better not knowing about and working at setting our children on the right tracks in life that they do not fall into such paths. Education, education and more education is the only way. I thank G-D have worked to preserve my child's innocence and raise him in the paths of Torah, humanity and compassion. It is better that he does not have contact with children or adults who are exposed to sexual immorality, drug abuse and suspect values. It makes life hard and if it means living out in the country seven or eight kilometres from a small town and having his life controlled then so be it. I lived on a property until I was 11 and a half with only my two brothers and my parents. We rode our bikes to my grandmother's house eight miles away but that was the only other contact we had except for a workman's children and even those were kept at a distance. Then I went to boarding school. An all girls school. I will however not do what my parents  did to me. I will endeavour to educate my son as to the pitfalls that may await him out there in the real world and endeavour to have him married as quickly as possible once he turns nineteen and has a suitable trade to support a wife and children. We have blurred the lines between right and wrong, between what is good and bad to the extent that we have created much unhappiness for the future generations because of an attitude of permissiveness.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The sad state of the family world


Family is a word that has many connotations lately. In the rush to 'modernise families' and the concept of 'family and make the term family more 'inclusive' we have forgotten the most important elements of what family should be. Family used to mean (back in the days of dinosaurs and stone age when I was a kid, just kidding) Mum and Dad and siblings as the immediate family and then there were uncles and aunts with cousins and also Grandparents. The idea you grew up with was that you would one day meet your soul mate or better half and marry and create another offshoot of your original family and strengthen the family tree and so forth down the generations.
Now family has taken on a more transient and superficial meaning for some and they want to normalise unions between two adults of the same sex having children and creating 'families'. Somehow it just doesn't have the same ring of stability and honesty that exists in the ideal hetrosexual and even the flawed hetrosexual marriages. Most marriages are flawed. They have to be because that is the idea that the couple work on themselves and refine and grow through the relationship and work together to create a stable family unit within which to rear children who are happy and well adjusted. There is a great sense of security and peace for a child to know that he has a mother and a father even if one or both of them is not the perfect mother or perfect father.
If you were to ask any child with 'two mothers' or 'two fathers' if they felt the same sense of rightness and security as a child with a mother and a father, despite what they had been brainwashed into saying by their same sex parents, I would bet that they would want to know who their biological father is one day in the case of a child raised by two lesbians and in the case of a child raised by two men, it would surely want to know who its mother was. Who was the person who carried him or her for nine months and then gave him or her over to be raised by two men?  I will be honest enough to say I find that disgusting. I would not be so disgusted by say two uncles raising a child who was related to them, because that is the child's natural kin, but to have two men cohabitating and raising a child, especially a girl, there is something quite off about it. Perhaps the mother died and had brothers or whatever, but for two unrelated men to raise a child that is only biologically half theirs is perverse.
I do not care how much money they have or how 'good' a person they are, that is not the point. A child deserves a father and deserves a mother. Not only does a child deserve that, he or she is owed that and a lot more. He or she is owed love and affection, nurture and care and concern for his or her welfare.
Yes, there are plenty of hetrosexuals who have kids and have gotten it wrong. That does not make homosexual unions the best thing and something to supercede conventional marriages and hetrosexual unions.
In fact, just because you are a rich or well off lesbian or gay man, does not make you a good parent.
Family means creating bonds of real affection between people related by blood or not and sustained nurturing and meeting challenges day after day, week after week and year after year. There are enough challenges in this world without throwing a real clanger into the pot for a kid to deal with.
Ask me if I want to see a world where same sex marriage is normalised and I will tell you honestly no. If you think that allowing same sex marriage is going to bring more 'luv and peace' into the world, you are very wrong and very deluded. It will just confuse an already confused world even more.
Sitting down at night, eating dinner with Mum and Dad, how many people do it these days? Discussing the day, talking about important topics, going over issues that arose during the course of the day, resolving them and moving on to more issues etc,that is normal. Parents are a kid's safety net to normalcy and what happens when that safety net is warped and knotted up and the kid is constantly facing challenges that are overwhelming him or her because of the flawed family unit?
Family values, normal family values are our saftey net to a better stronger person. A person who can meet the world sure and secure in his or her beliefs and faith.
When my ex husband told me when I was four months pregnant with our child, that he had found someone else and that I would miscarry because I was too old to have a baby, I would not have survived without my faith in G-D and knowing that G-D would not have allowed me to carry my child if I was not destined to carry him.  My will is now like iron tempered in the fire of grief. Nothing will break it. Once I have raised my son, I can bid this world farewell and go to eternal peace in the next world. But for now, I have a job to do and that is to help and raise my son to be a good person with derek aretz or to be a mentsch.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

ח. וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה אֶל יַעֲקֹב כַּמָּה יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיֶּיךָ: 47And said Pharaoh to Ya'acov


And said Pharaoh to Ya'acov How many are the days of your life?  ח. וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה אֶל יַעֲקֹב כַּמָּה יְמֵי שְׁנֵי חַיֶּיךָ:

What is happening in this parsuk? Yosef brings his father Ya'acov who is at this time one hundred and thirty years of age to meet Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt. It is a very emotional time for both Yosef and Ya'acov. The father and son have been separated for 22 years. Ya'acov is to spend 17 years in Egypt before he is niftar. He will be in the care of his son Yosef just as Yosef was in his father Ya'acov's care for the first 17 years of his life.
The question that Pharoah asks of Ya'acov is crude and unseemly for the ruler of a country to ask in conversation with an elderly man - father of his  chief minister, second only to himself.
It indicates several things about the relationship between Yosef and the Pharaoh and how Pharaoh views those around him. We should remember the corruption of the morality of Egypt. They built great edifices to death and were obsessed with death. They had a crude understand of spirituality and life after death and indeed often when a Pharaoh died his favourite concubines, servants and wives were slaughtered and interred with him. The Pharaohs often married their sisters or half sisters, thus a lot of inbreeding and many of the Pharaohs showed physical signs of inbreeding with resulting genetic disorders. This has been studied by anthropologists.

Even then there was a grossness about Egyptian culture and despite the extravagance and sophistication, it was a crude culture and one that lacked refinement. This statement by Pharaoh to the elderly patriarch of the Hebrews is rude and stupid. It shows Pharaoh to be either completely stupid or so arrogant and wrapped up in himself as a 'God King' that he forgets or does not feel it is appropriate for him to show respect to an elderly man who is the father of his chief minister. No wonder Yosef is appropriately clever in his dealings with the Pharaoh and even when bringing his brothers before Pharaoh, he brings the five 'weaker' ones of the eleven and cautions them to say that they are shepherds so that the 'Egyptians will distance themselves from the Hebrews'.
It must have been a very stressful occupation for Yosef to be the chief minister in Egypt where court intrigues were deadly and par for course. Many among the nobles and priest hood would have been extremely jealous of Yosef and one wonders if dealing with the treachery of his brothers stood him in good stead and helped to watch his back constantly.
The question also reveals Pharaoh's lack of subtlety and sophistication in dealing with his courtiers. In other words, he was probably quite stupid and easy to read or so arrogant that he did not care to see either Yosef or his family as the equals of the Royal family in Egypt. Yosef was a very clever and aware man,  a person with great depth and understanding of people and the situations around him.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Visiting the goat farm and our first Shabbat in the country and male goats could be a cure for homosexuality


This morning we went to visit a lovely couple who run a goat farm and the lady goat person checked out my milking technique and see that I am milking my goat properly and not pinching her teats. Turns out I was handling the teats too high and that was not good. I have to use two fingers and it is also meant to help my arthritis. I was also raising the matter of a shidduch for my Osnat.
We visited the boys in the buck pen to check out who might be a suitable match for her. She is fine boned and quite delicate so I do not want a heavy boned buck. The boys are quite smelly. They love to pish over their own faces and other bucks too, so they are very strong smelling. They all came over to have a look at the visitors. Nir declined to go in. He was scared of the little goats who ran after him and started to suck on his trousers and shirt. It freaked him out. He will get used to them. They are just very tame and friendly. She also has a couple of Alpachas in the herd to stop the wild dogs attacking the kids and the young goats. I keep ours in the house yard at night and after hearing what she had to say about the wild dogs, I will keep Osnat or Ossi for short, locked up at night in the pen next to the chook house.
There were some beautiful boys there. A couple with horns that are too old to bud and the others are polls or hornless goats. They are so sweet. I like Osnat who does have horns but I will get her kid budded as it makes for easier handling and milking. Horns can be quite dangerous.
The boys got very excited and some of them might be close to rut which means that they are feeling kind of sexy. One of the must have smelt my doe goat on my clothes as I had milked her and had just come from my milking observation with Rhonda's female goat so he came at me with his tongue popping in and out of his mouth and making a funny wup wup noise. He got a smack on the snout which still didn't quite deter him. I think if I was breeding goats, I would go into the buck pen with a plastic raincoat on. When they are in rut, they try and pish on you too. Stinks like anything and you do not run the boys with the girls when you are milking goats, because the stench enters the milk.

Come to think about it, being around billy goats and stroking their heads and faces, could be a cure for male homosexuality. A male couple who feel attracted to each other could each roll in the billy goat pish or allow the goat to spray them on a daily basis. they would then give each other a wide berth for the day. Any time they feel close to sinning with each other, they allow the billy to spray them. That should calm things down. I guess it would take about twenty one days. both males would begin to associate the attraction to a person of the same sex with billy goat pish and a bbbadddd, bbaddd smell. Then you take them to a luxuriously furnished room with a wonderful perfume wafting through the room and show them pictures of females who are appropriately clothed and nice looking girls. Every time you show a picture of a woman you make them eat a chocolate or a favourite food choice. You also must make an education program that will restore their sexual balance. So bad smells are associated with same sex attraction, good food, peaceful music and positive things.
I think there are a lot of people out there who see themselves as homosexual and they are simply conned into being gay by the bully boys and girls of the gay community and these people feel they have no choice,
Let's go and prepare for shabbat. It is a great day and I am looking forward to my first country shabbes. Pity we do not have guests. However it will happen.
Shabbat shalom and I want to get a bit more insight into Vayegash.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

B & B getting up and going plus bought a milking goat

I will be off line for some time now I am so busy getting this room ready for a little B & B.  I would love to have the money to transform this huge shed we have here into a small studio apartment for artists and writers to create in the peace and quiet. Maybe I should have bought a Lotto ticket but I am even too poor for that. I would love to buy the whole farm and start a writers and artists retreat and breed milking goats. G-D are you listening? Please listen. I would also like to do respite care for kids who normally do not get to spend time in the country. It is good for kids to get out of the city and breathe fresh air and have space to think, feel and just run around.
I love goats. They are very smart.  My new goat Osnat is an absolutely drop dead gorgeous creature. Black and tan, like a kelpie. I have posted her pictures on facebook. Dolly is horrifying jealous. She reared up and tried to butt her. I stopped her, of course. Dolly looks good. She is so fat. She has eaten herself silly since I have had her. I must admit I have encouraged her to do so. It keeps the lawn down but I will have to get a cheap mower ASAP.
Found this great little three piece lounge at Vinnie's and found a new secondhand furniture shop with the most helpful and simply delightful man who shares my love of older character furniture pieces. I have been searching for days for two good quality single beds. There I found two single beds in red cedar and the gorgeous wood tones of the cedar are totally divine. They are solid too. I want to get rid of the TV cabinet which has never been used for a TV as I do not believe in TV. Trashes up the mind.
It was refreshing talking to this guy in the furniture shop.
I had had a conversation with a man that I was buying the goat feed off. Apparently he had had goats at some stage. Anyway talking with this man about milking goats, I noticed he was not looking at my face but at my chest. Goodness I thought to myself, is he nuts or just one of these instinctive morons? I am two years off sixty. My milking days are certainly well gone. He may have just been queer and I don't mean gay.
You have got to have some sort of comment for these sorts of people. When I was younger it always used to make me feel very uncomfortable, like you were not a person when you talked to a guy and his eyes slid all over your body, everywhere except your face. Sleasey, very.  You feel like you should carry an umbrella and give them a belt right between the legs and say 'lift the eyeballs up fella. Talk to me face.' That's where a walking stick would come in handy. Maybe I should get one as my back is getting quite bad. It would be handy in more ways than one.
I could have picked it up and accidently wacked this guy on the shoulder. You know swing it around at shoulder height in a broad circle.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Shabbes at Yeshiva


Normally I go to Beit Haroi at Mizrachi Shule. This week I davened for the first time in years at Yeshiva. I was shocked by the amount of talking during layning of the Torah, the Rabbi's speech and also during the amida prayer later at Ma'ariv. It is just not on. How can you call yourself religious, if you are conversing with your friends and laughing raccaously during any parts of the service. It as almost as if some people have forgotten why they are coming to shule.
The Rabbi gets up to speak and even if he is not your personal rav or spiritual mentor, at least have some respect. He is far more learned than probably 99% of the people in shule, especially those upstairs in the women's section. Now I am not saying the women are ignorant, although a couple of the Rebetzins who are unusually learned were not in shule. However, when the Rav of a shule gets up to speak, shut up and listen or go quietly and respectfully into the foyer at the back of the women's section and continue your conversation there if it is that important.
I have seen the Rav at the main shule in Mizrachi actually tell the Hazan to stop and wait until people are quiet. Perhaps someone at the Yeshiva should do the same. The level of noise is extraordinary and not in a good sense. I actually had someone come up to me whilst in the middle of davening the amida prayer and she wanted me to do something which I promptly forgot because it was the wrong time and place.
If we respect Torah we shut up during the layning of the Torah and we show at least some respect for the learning of the learned.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The reasons why - isn't it obvious?

As the print and electronic media fill with sensational and gory stories, interspersed with anecdotes of outstanding heroism like that of the school principal and counsellor who ran towards the gunman and tried to stop him, young teacher Victoria Soto who used her body to shield the children in her care, one thing becomes obvious. The media focus is warped. The focus on me, on ego is astounding. We do not need to know that victims were shot multiple times at close range. 'Up to eleven times', one paper trumpets. What exactly are we supposed to do with that bit of information? Wallow in it? Reflect on it? Think about how the victim must have felt? Think about how the gunman must have felt? No, maybe he did not feel anything except his anger at the world and his mother and his father and anybody within his gun sights.
How might this kid have fared in a normal family where love and affection were par for course? Who knows what angers and anxieties were transmitted to the child by those around him. The anguish of divorce and family relationships gone awry hit some kids harder than others. Some kids survive the adult storms and others go under as this kid did.
There is such a dark side to life these days. I was looking for something today in Wagga Wagga for my son to play which will enhance a lot of his learning skills and fine motor skills. PG is definitely not ok any more. PG can come with terms like Mild Animated Violence, Mild Violence, Language, Themes of Violence, Bad Language so we need to go to G rated and vet those very, very carefully for the themes and the language and the violence levels.
We are poisoning children's minds with sensationalised trashy movies, sexually explicit themes, adventure (read violent adventures) movies where some very sexy lady kick boxes men's heads in and they attack her in turn, pounding her into the ground and stamping on her groin and she retaliates. Kids watch this early on in their lives and we then expect them to have normal relationships with the opposite sex. We allow all sorts of corrupted behaviours and relationships to be displayed on TV, DVD's and movies and we expect kids to have normal values. Is the whole world turning insane? I do wonder daily.
It used to be that the only time we saw naked bodies was if the child was under three for example and it was skinny dipping in a back yard pool or it was a piece of art work like Rubens or Michangelo or Monet. Artists wanted to strip their subjects down and paint life in the raw or we were nurses or doctors and had good medical reasons to uncover parts of the body normally covered for diagnosis. Now everyone is getting their gear off or wearing as little as possible especially on hot days and it is disgusting. Some bodies are better not seen. Mystery can be a good thing. A body clothed well has covers for many flaws and shows us at our best despite nature's lack at times.
A certain Michael Barnett offered his nether regions to Michael Danby a politician to 'kiss' and then stated the pleasure is reserved for his male partner. Gross. I am sure Michael Danby would not be in a hurry to take up the offer. It just shows how crude and the inelegant depths our social interactions have sunk to in these days of anything goes. Michael is certainly no Oscar Wilde and never will be. He is too crude, too unintelligent and frankly vulgar. Such a person cannot discern the subtleties of elegant and proper living. I have far more respect for people who can make their point without having putting it in the most vile and filthily perverse terms. I prefer funny people, people with a sense of humor that is not based around certain bodily functions or is at least sharply observant and funny at the same time.
We need to fill our children’s minds and thoughts with goodness, sweet things, acts of kindness, peace and good and positive experiences. We cannot allow them to mature and develop with the trash churned out by Hollywood that masquerades as children’s entertainment.
Look what happens when a highly sensitive boy who is socially inept is not allowed to develop the maturity and skills to deal with the world around him? Do not laugh. He could have gone the way of say, Bill Gates, another nerdy guy or he could have become a homeless hobo or be remembered in the ghastly way he will be now until the end of time.
We need to work on showing kids how to love and be loved without sex or violence or bad language. We need to attach ourselves to a more mannered and graceful way of living. We need to respect each other and work at a peaceful world everywhere.
G-D should bless us all with the power to change our inner world and reflect the light of a G-D given life in all that we do today and tomorrow and the day after.

Why another massacre and why primary school children?


We struggle in this world today to come to terms with many things that each of us can see is wrong. We may all have similar concerns or widely differing concerns.  Whether it is a moral issue, an issue that is more tangible, lack of proper education, fast food versus home cooking, parenting issues or behaviour issues in society with both peers or the youth of the day, we worry the issue and try to understand it.
The question of youth violence and the massacres that have taken place in the world, not just the USA, wrenches at the gut of society. Intelligent kids, overly sensitive and bullied, take a turn down the road of darkness and despair. They have access to firearms in the USA much more readily than in many other countries, but that is not the problem. The problem is the mentality of the person wielding the firearm.

I spent 7 years in the nineties in Israel. I spent a year on Kibbutz in 1986 in Israel. My boyfriend at the time, had taken part in the Lebonon war. Many of his unit were killed in an ambush. He lost friends who had been to school with him. He was in a paratroop unit. If anything his combat experiences made him hate war and killing more. I saw that dislike of killing in the army haverim I had the honour of teaching English to down in Sderot. They were people who had spent up to 25 years in the IDF.
You get on a bus in Israel and you share it with army soldiers all armed. But for these kids and they are kids mostly, around the same age as Adam Lanza and many younger, a gun is not an instrument to wield in a mad rage against a person or group of people who have hurt or injured them and their family. It is a tool to be wielded in defence of their country, the citizens of their nation who they serve and protect, often with their lives. Every high school class that graduates in Israel, those kids know that one day, they may be standing in front of the open grave of one of them within a couple of years and saying Kaddish (Jewish prayer for the dead). They make jokes about it. The humour is often very dark and biting in Israel, but it is often how people survive emotionally and psychologically. If you do not laugh, you cry and rather than cry all the time, you make jokes about things that stress you and make you want to cry. Sounds crazy and maybe it is, but you know something it is far healthier to laugh a bit now and then, than to cry non stop.
The Israeli army psychologists are pretty good. They do not allow anyone with the potential for mass murder to serve in sensitive positions. The concept of arms and what weapons are is different.
By the same token, I do not see much difference between the Adam Lanza's, Derek Klebold's and Eric Harris's of this world and many of those people wielding guns and firing into the air in Aza and Syria. All of them take up arms without thinking. They are driven purely by instincts that are aggressive and irrational. Instead of thinking their way through to the future, they prefer to fight it out to the finish of the world and themselves. It is a nihilist approach to problem solving. Very scary. I prefer personally to talk things out. Most of us do. Some of us can't.

I read this article and found it interesting. Very interesting. Interesting because I think personally there is a level of detachment there between the son she is having problems with. There is something about his personality that she is not dealing with. He feels rejected or on the outer from her.  He is not being challenged and he is seen as defective or wrong and that is what is frightening for a child.

In a way you have to wonder how long her rejection of him as a person has been going on and how this has affected him. Highly sensitive individuals do not deal well with subtle rejections. You can either find out what happened between this kid and his mother very early on in life and I am talking about reassurance, affection and actually parenting skills and his connections with his siblings and how the parent's rejection of him has somehow affected their reactions to him.
I have seen this sort of complex but highly subtle rejection of a family member in a family with divorced parents and four kids. One kid was picked out as the 'problem family member' and all this stuff was loaded onto the boy who was not present because he was living with the father who was 'in denial that there was something wrong with the kid'. What struck me as strange was that the mother sat with the three other siblings and ripped this kids apart with friends and there was not one positive word said in this boy's defence. It was scary. I ended up feeling like I wanted to meet this kid and ask him to write out for me ten positive things about himself to give his side of the story and to start a healing process.
One thing you have to realise as a parent, if you cannot stick up for and defend your child, don't expect others to do so. You can be firm, but fair. You can set boundaries, but your child must know those boundaries are because you love him or her. They are not to restrict him or to hurt him unnecessarily. You can lock him or her away in a room, but you will lose your child. You will never really know what makes that child tick. He or she will become unknown entities. For a child, you as the parent are their sun - their life giver and source of goodness. Only later for the religious of us, do they learn it is G-D and we are the instrument of G-D in their lives.
In 18 years of teaching, I learnt a few things and one of the most important lessons I learnt in the classroom was that students respond to positivity almost without fail. There are the odd one or two that take more time than others, but if you treat them with positiveness, a caring attitude and enjoy teaching them they will eventually respect and respond accordingly. Sometimes that positivity can be blighted by the odd person or two who is determined to try and destroy a certain teacher's calm or lesson but that is usually a cry for help. Like the person who walks into a room full of people listening to a speaker and coughs loudly or makes comments about the talk that are offensive to others to draw attention to him or herself or the prima donna who always has to make an entrance late to a function because there is the need in that person to be 'noticed'. Some people are slightly narcissistic, and yes, we know they are and tolerate it because they have other positive aspects to their nature and they can be fun at times to be with, but others can be toxic to be around.
I often wonder at the brazenness of a person who can walk in late to a function and make a loud entrance or the person who can wear a dress to a wedding that over shadows the bridal gown. Those people have no boundaries that allow others to take centre stage, apart from themselves. They are total egotists.
Now what happens with a child like Adam Lanza? Had his personality become so negated by the needs of those around him, that he could only reassert himself through such an act of sheer terrified murder, not self defense, maybe in a some macabre way it was to his way of thinking.
Why did he chose that primary school? Why the primary school if his mother did not work there? Did he go there and something happen in that Primary school that had some bearing on his mental state at this time in his life? G-D only knows and we have to pray for kids like Adam Lanza as much as we must for the 27 other murder victims that included his own mother.
Simply horrific that those children, those little babies were gunned down in cold blood and their families are dealing with something that no family, no parent and no sibling should have to deal with. You imagine explaining to older and younger siblings what has happened. I simply cannot.

 I simply cry for you America. Something is seriously wrong in your education system. Something is seriously wrong with the way highly sensitive and intelligent kids are treated in the system, not just in America but world wide. They are being labelled as developmentally delayed and given other tags. What if they are not? What if our education system is becoming so out moded and so dangerously narrow, that many worthwhile and highly intelligent kids fall through the cracks as much as those who are different and do have recognisable syndromes. The latter should also not be treated disrespectfully and should also be able to get an education that is supportive and relevant to their needs.
We should not drug kids to control them. I have had this argument many times with people who argued with me that Ritalin is necessary for kids to be able to study properly. I am against drugs and feel we should be taking a whole health approach with kids and that means regular routine, good diet, enough sleep and enough exercise as well as learning. You need to look at how lessons can be modified for kids who learn differently. Modification does not always mean easier. Modification means looking at the core outcomes and asking yourself, what do you want the students to learn and how can this be achieved in several ways apart from the conventional. How do you motivate a group of students? You also need to know who they are and what they like? What are their pastimes and recreational activities and build learning into those pastimes and activities. Try and broaden their interest base and develop curiosity and a thirst for knowledge in many other disciplines. That is easier in History and English than say Maths, says me who dislikes maths, but if you put maths and gematria together I enjoy it. I do like problem solving.
We need to do something about the Adam Lanza's of the world and there is no lazy way out or no cheap way to do it. Education needs to be a priority and education needs more finance and more work on dealing with the kids who have what others perceive as 'problems'. There is no easy or safe answer. It could have been my kid or your kid on either end of the spectrum. We are all parents and we need to be aware and caring. We need to leave our egos behind and look at the child before us. More money on child care. More attention to the developing kids and their health. Their mental health and that may mean only 16 kids in a kinderclass and not 20 or 25. Education is crucial for us all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

leeds: Ashes of Holocaust victims used by Swedish Painter...

leeds: Ashes of Holocaust victims used by Swedish Painter...: B'H Certainly the boundaries of decency and compassion have shifted in these last 50 or more years. Along with sexual immorality, the bound...

Ashes of Holocaust victims used by Swedish Painter - reflections on artistic realities

Certainly the boundaries of decency and compassion have shifted in these last 50 or more years. Along with sexual immorality, the boundaries of what is good and decent behaviour have shifted right out there. We live in an age where there are no holds it seems on what is right and wrong in society. Films depict all sorts of indecent acts between people of opposite genders and same genders. Things I would rather not speak about, but must, if I am to draw a line over which I do not want nor desire to cross.

Now, what is this? An artist, that is what he calls himself, steals the sacred remains of people from a crematorium where unspeakable crimes were committed.  Firstly, I call that thievery. He is no artist. He is a common thief and a very brazen one at that. Secondly, he has no respect for himself and any other member of the human race, to do such a thing.

Then, he uses those ashes, those remains of what were once living breathing human beings and creates what he calls a piece of art, a painting. I have utter contempt for such an individual. He is no artist. He is just a common criminal. There have been many common criminals who aspire to be artists, poets or writers. Admittedly, there are also many individuals who began their artistic or writing career in jails or ended up in jails because what they wrote pricked the conscience of rulers or some unrelated matter landed them in an institution of incarceration. I am not talking about the Oscar Wildes or Alexander Solzhenitsyns or Voltaires or even the Cenvantes. These people were artists without a doubt and indeed deserved their accolades. There are some jail birds like Jean Genet or William Burroughs who are lauded by some as literary giants par excellence, but I consider then magnificent con artists and not really of true literary worth. They are simply swine wielding the instruments of artists and dribbling out rubbish that is seen by some as art for whatever reason. Somewhat like the story of the emperor's clothes where two very clever con men convince a naked emperor that he is clothed in the finest of raiment. Interesting that such things are passed off as art, but then can art be seen as a subjective medium? What is one person's art is another's drivel or dabble and vice versa.

To use the ashes of any human being, from my perspective is actually disgusting. If someone took feces and painted a portrait of a person, some today would call that art. Let's hope there would be clothes pegs in a basket by the portrait or free air fresheners for the viewers. I would call it regressive infantile behaviour, because it is what you expect of a baby exploring his excretions and they do grow out of it thankfully. When a grown human being plays with feces, whether it is his own or somebody else’s, that is disturbing behaviour and I would be ringing a good psychiatrist right away and recommending some behaviour modification therapy. But to call it art, that suspends belief and is crazy, to my way of thinking.
Using ashes of dead victims of the Holocaust is totally disrespectful. It is worst. It is a belittlement of the pain and the tragedy of the holocaust and to turn around and call it 'art'?  That the gallery director did not at first, 'see there is anything wrong with using the ashes of holocaust victims' shows us just how far our boundaries of decency and what is right have been stretched. It was only because of public outrage that the exhibit was closed.
Some things need to be set down in black and white. There is art and there is art and some things are definitely not art. This is one of them.
Art or a piece of art is supposed to make a statement that is relevant to the time in which it was created. All this says about a would be artist who uses the ashes from a crematorium where Jewish victims were burned to cinders is that he or she has a very flawed and stunted perception of what the holocaust or the Shoah means in terms of the twenty century history of human kind.

I would not go into the fields of Rwanda and dig up the bones of victims of genocide and create a statue of bones and then call it art. Nor would I go to the fields of Pol Pot and dig up a skull and clean it up and polish it and then use it as a container or decoration on my writing desk. I would find that macabre and disgusting. But do you know that people did do that in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? They called themselves archaeologists. It beggars belief but then perhaps I am just too sensitive to that sort of thing.
The ancient Britons appeared to love a decent goblet made out of the skulls of friends and family. That somehow does not settle well with me. I feel a bit uncomfortable and squeamish about the mere thought.  But then I am a tad conservative and uncomfortable about a lot of things in this world. There are quite a lot of things I would not do and others would. There you have it.
I conclude that art is not a matter of subjective opinion. A piece of artwork has to make some statement that is relevant to the time in which it was created. A piece of writing has to make a statement for a particular culture, group or society in which it was created. It must say something that does not offend or belittle a group of people or culture or religion. I consider John Lennon’s statement many years ago that the Beatles were more popular than JC as a relevant statement for the times because it was not meant to belittle Christianity but to make a factual statement relevant to the society that Lennon and the Beatles lived in and played music for. It said something yet many were offended, because they wanted to deny the reality.
If Lennon and Mc Carthy had wanted to create a religion and called it the Church of Beatle, I am sure they would have created a lasting institution of Beatle and it would have been well established today. John Lennon could be the Messiah for this group. He has all the required elements of martyrdom I guess and it just takes some groups to get together and expect him to rise from the dead and to create an industry around the artifacts and to flog to the unsuspecting public. There are people who would be gullible enough to believe it just like they believe the end of the world is going to be the twenty first of December.
Ok folks only one more Shabbes left. Enjoy while you can and good shabbes. Talk to you next shabbes same time and same place only if we are not in the middle of a gigantic earthquake or tsunami. Then you will find me heading to the hills atop Mount Baw Baw. I may still have some reception, G-D willing.  :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Shouldn't he be unemployed for good?


I do not understand our justice system. Maybe I am just so dumb as to be unbelievably dumber than dumb. Here you have a drug addicted, very flawed individual making such pathetic statements asking for society's pity and it is almost as if he is trying to shift the blame onto a 17 year old girl. He is 41 years old. Let's not forget that. He is also her teacher or was her teacher. As a teacher you have a very serious duty of care relationship with students. What do you do if there seems to be something troubling a student? You are in a school with team of professionals who all have duty of care and are trained different specialities like counselling for instance. I am and I was an English teacher. My role was to teach communication in English in spoken, written forms and to develop reading comprehension in my students. It was not my role to counsel students, except on a very superficial level. If there was something bothering a student or something I could see either through the student's writings, verbal utterances or behaviour that was wrong, I have and did have a duty to steer the child to the student welfare officer who is trained to deal with precisely that. It is also my role to ensure that the welfare officer is aware of anything unusual happening in students' lives.
Unfortunately at the school where I made a complaint against the Principal and Deputy for the inappropriate and insulting way they handled an incident or not just one, but several incidents, there was only one and a half days for the counsellor to be available to students. This is in a school of students many of whom with very high needs in terms of counselling and support. You would think that I would have been able to direct students to others like year advisers or even the Principal of the school. One however has to understand the nature of those I was working with. The principal hated my guts. To him, I was just a slutty single mother (all single mothers were slutty or even if they were not, they were not stable married women) with a teaching degree and not worthy of even the slightest ounce of respect. Women who could not stay married were flawed and suspect, hiding really bad character flaws, because all decent women are married and if you are not married and with a child or children, there was something wrong with you. Very simplistic logic. Where is this leading to?

Well if I wanted to rock into his office to talk about my classes and some of the students and to ask advice, I was not coming to do that. I was possibly coming with an ulterior motive. I could be coming to put the hard word on him. Yeah, sure, as if. Anyway I soon learnt after about three or four tries, that this man would cut me short, with no explanation and go into a long rant about his and Cheryl's life and their kids and blah, blah, blah, blah. It was the most infuriating experience and time wasting that I have ever had in my 18 year career. You know as a teacher you do not have time to waste. You have got to get on with the job. Every minute is and was precious.

I had this girl in my year 10 English class. A sweet kid with a lot of guts considering what she had suffered in her short little life. She was known to some of the other teachers who were very judgemental, as a foul mouthed slut. But let's not go there. Her year adviser, one of the 'brilliant, compassionate individuals' that I was supposed to work with once discussed her future with me and told me she was only fit to be a sex worker up in Sydney at the Cross. I disagreed and still do. I do not like labels. You put a label like sex worker, slut, faggot, homo, dumb, trouble maker on my students my hackles go up. Students have names and personalities that are slowly being formed by their experiences and their peers and they themselves.
This kid had club feet when she was born. She asked me to hold her shoes as she wanted to race in the 800 metres and preferred to do it barefoot. I glanced down at her feet and you could see the scars from surgery. I didn't say anything but she said to me. 'I was borned with twisted feet.You  know, club feet.' It was defensive and tossed at me like it did not really matter but it did. Already she has been born with a challenge. But she raced and even though she did not come first, she ran because she was saying to the rest, she could run. Even though she was not the best, she was taking part in the race. She participated and I thought then she deserved medals. She had operations and then there was her family who along with some teachers, just did not see who she was.
She used to be absent from school on Mondays. I found out that she was working for her family at a truck stop and she said she was sweeping floors for twenty four hours and serving food. She got $20 for this work. I spoke to the counsellor. There was not much we could do.
Then I had an idea. My son was around 20 months old. I wanted to give her the $20 possibly $30 for her to spend two or three hours with him while I did corrections. I though she could come to my house play with him for a short time while I worked on my lesson plans and corrections. It would give me a break and she would earn some money and not need to miss school. We made an arrangement and she never turned up. I saw her down the street the next day with a much older man. She was only 15 and this man was closer to thirty than twenty. She was shame faced and apologised. I kind of understood and it was then spelt out for me by another teacher. She was not sweeping floors. The family were using her and gave her some pocket money but there were truckies at that place and another teacher said, well there are stories...I did not want to hear any more.
Sometimes you want to reach out and help young people turn their lives around but they have to want to and conditions have to be right for them to make a change to the straight and narrow. What I did find disgusting was the inference from the Principal to another teacher that my interest in her was unnatural. It was nothing of the kind. Personally I think we should be able to do more for kids like that and we have to show them we care and that there is another way. However, they may not want to change their lifestyle and we have to accept that.

There are many quite sick and twisted people out there, teachers like the man in this article who will abuse the trust put in them and who will try to justify what they are doing because they have abused a young girl or boy under the guise of caring. They are attracted to the vulnerable like this girl who was already self harming at 13.
I know a little bit about self harm. It happens when you have reached such a low point in your life that to injure yourself or cause pain like slapping or punching yourself actually feels good. You are numbed from emotional anguish and the pain makes you feel alive. It happens when you feel so bad that you feel you must be punished and it allows you to face the world again because you know you have been punished for being bad or wrong. The ultimate self harm is suicide. You feel that there is no purpose to your life any more. No one wants you and no ever will. You are a burden on your family and those around you. You are incompetent and stupid. You can do nothing right and some people out there enjoy giving these sorts of messages to others because it makes them feel better. Somehow they are bigger and more worthy than you are. You are stupid for any number of reasons. You are dumb. Etc Etc.You don't think the way I do. We are not all meant to be the same and the only thing that saves one from suicide is a belief that the Creator put us here for a divine purpose and we are forbidden to take our lives. We are meant to live life out to a divine plan. We have a mission in this life and Hashem reveals it little by little. We are meant to live and that is why faith is so important. Without faith, without belief we are all dead spiritually.
That does not mean I do not respect a person's right not to believe, however. I do.  I just do not know how they get up in the morning when things are bad. Really bad. I get up because I have to say 'Modai ani' and I have to wash my hands and do other things like look after my son. Many times I see things of great beauty and read things that are very inspiring and I feel better. I think the Master of the Worlds helps me to find a worthier path and to contribute something of worth hopefully to every one I meet. Even if it is just a mirror for reflection.
I make no excuses for myself and I am my own harshest critic. I have to be. I have to be the best I can be.
Now I pray for the young girl who was so abused by this man. Hope that she finds healing and a purpose in life. He has given her a life sentence in terms of what he has taken from her. Child abuse stays with a child. I remember a beating received at four years of age. And more. How much she will remember and how will her life and relationships be tainted by what this animal did. He should be in jail and stay there. It saddens me when a parent abuses a child. They have been given a gift by G-D and they do not treasure it. It saddens me when a teacher or social worker or someone in a position of authority abuses a child or older person.We need to step back and look at ourselves and what is the right and correct action to take. There are no sides and no judgement except what will come.

The film Hitler's Children and the ugly legacy of the Nazis

Just watched a trailer for a film that is coming out. It is a documentary that deals with the children of the most cruel and horrific war criminals from the Shoah. It is a legacy that those who bear it do so in the main part unwillingly and with different reactions to it. I cannot think that anyone would be 'proud' to be the son or daughter or grand child or great grandchild of a Nazi, especially not a high ranking one.
One woman and her brother sterilized themselves in order that they would not 'breed' any people with the Goering traits.
Himmler's granddaughter married an Israeli Jew and they have a child. To my way of thinking that is far more positive. The Nazis were into sterilisation of people they saw as 'defective', killing of Jews, homosexuals, political prisoners and gypsies. It must really stick one into the caw of the dyed in the wool Nazis to see that one of Himmler's grandchildren is married to a Jew and has a Jewish child and is being raised as a Jew. There is a delicious irony in that. It is a transformation. It is the fresh rose growing out of the sewer.
How does one live with the understanding of the Nazi legacy in one's own family? It is not something that one is proud of and further more to deny one's roots is worst. I tried for years to negate the German pride of mother's Hitler Youth brain washing and to try to get her to truly realise that Hitler and the Nazi ideology was a horrendous blight on the human race. That people could do that to others somehow suspends rational belief in natural compassion of each and every human being for the other.

I have been trying to get her to accept for years that the Nazis and Nazi ideology is very very sick and flawed. It is probably one of the reasons my mother hates me so much. I am her conscience. She knows in her deepest heart of hearts how evil the Nazis were, but she will still defend them and bemoan the fact that I never learned German and in fact refused to learn German and in doing so rejected her so she says. I only ever wanted to change her perception of the Nazis as these 'super heroes who somehow lost the war unjustly to the Americans who came in when everyone was tired out. So unfair.' she used to say. I could not hear her without shuddering. I wanted her to know the truth. But she did not ever wish to acknowledge or know that truth. She used to say that my father's older brother had bought book after book on the Holocaust and Nazi atrocities just to spite her because she was Austrian and therefore by default a German. Interesting the way some people's minds work. She would state how much he hated her and also how she hated him.
German is a language tied up in the death of millions.  I hear the gutteral tones of German and the images that flood my mind are ones of starving people, children with raised hands, German Jack boots coming down on Jewish bodies, mass graves and crematoriums, ovens filled with the bodies of beautiful Jewish mothers, fathers and children, grandparents, someone's uncles and aunts and it is hard to sleep knowing that even if one's mother did not have a hand in it, she ignores it and condones the actions of the perpetrators. She excuses them, makes excuses for them.
The survivors and the generations that come after, should not forgive and should not forget. You cannot even ask for forgiveness for murderers and definitely not mass murderers and torturers surely?
What hurts more is to see self hating Jewish descendants of survivors side with the corruption that is Hamas and Palestine. You can imagine that Shoah survivors wanted to build families, to raise children, Jewish children and then to have these children turn aside from their yiddishkeit and side with Hitler by not getting married and not having children and what's more siding with extremist Palestinian groups - they must be turning in their graves. To have survived for this sort of child, and yet, and yet this is precisely the Jew who needs to be brought home. The Jew who hates him or herself to such and extent, this is the Jew who must be brought back to love him or herself and to be opened to the light of Torah and Yiddishkeit.

It has never been easy to be Jewish and it never will be. It demands growth and maturity. Sometimes if one's family are so toxic - there is only one choice left.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The 2day announcers a brave and responsible front

The best thing that Mel Grieg and Michael Christian could have done was to show that they have learnt a very harsh lesson about the power they have within their grasp as Radio announcers on a public radio station. They did. They did not make money from this appearance.
While they both are broken and shattered by this experience, it will hopefully make them better and more compassionate individuals who have gained a deeper and enduring respect for the responsibility of their roles as announcers. I even hope that eventually they will be given another chance to work in Radio. I think, they are better people because of what they have endured over the last few days.

Unfortunately not so a senior writer at The Age Michael Idato. His piece entitled ACA wins battle of the DJs is disgusting. It focusses purely on the numbers who watched the show. There is no moral lesson to be gained there for Michael whose focus is on the sensational aspect of the 'battle' between ACA and Today Tonight. Aha, this number watched ACA in Sydney and Melbourne as opposed to Today Tonight. Who really cares, Michael, except some twat of a senior writer of the Age. You are shallow, and in fact, you have not depth at all. With you, there is no water, just dirt.
He is not capable of any real reflection about what this means for us all, but states the obvious and I quote the conclusion of his pathetic article:

During both interviews the pair appeared to be in an extremely brittle state. Really Michael, you expected them to be cheery little chums,  did you?
Both apologised for the prank, in which they telephoned the King Edward VII Hospital, pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles and blagged a nurse into talking about the Duchess of Cambridge's condition.
At different points of the interviews, both DJs broke down.
And this is the extent of Michael Idato's brilliant analysis? Wow, so much for interpretive skills and analysis from supposedly one of the senior writers of a leading print media organisation? People got their knickers all knotted up about the letter that was fired off to the 2day Radio people from the head of the hospital in the UK and became huffy because 'Just who do they think we are? Bloody clotty uncivilised colonials?' Well, have I got news for you! We are just that and this incident just proves it. We all need to lift our game and be more civilised, mannered and have a eye and ear to the consequences of what we write, where we write it and how.

Really Michael? That is what it is all about? Numbers of viewers. Not the content of the shows, what lesson we are learning here, but purely numbers of viewers? That is the only reason you think that these two went on TV. I thought it was to make a public apology and to say to the world, 'We are deeply and honestly sorry for the pain and suffering caused to a family and to the woman who so tragically felt she had to take her life to escape the shame.' I think the two young people understand the world and consequences so much better and will be in future more sensitive and understanding of the damage that they can do with pranks. Yes, there are pranks, but pranks without the consent of all participants becomes bullying and degradation. In this world, we should be above that. To shame a person is in Judaism like causing the death of a person and in this case, unfortunately, a beautiful, sensitive and caring professional was shamed into taking her life. Never forget that. To reduce it down to just numbers watching a show, now that is pathetic. Maybe one of the two announcers could make a career in  print journalism. They could get rid of Michael Idato and he could  carve out a career writing bad novels. Give Mel Grieg or Michael Christian his job and they could not probably do it better than he ever will.

Bigotry - definitions of and Daniel Clancy

I received a message the other day which I saw just yesterday. It was from a man calling himself Daniel Clancy on the 14th of November. It goes like this:
"You are a disgusting bigot, and I will be calling the Victorian department of Education to demand that you be sacked."

What is interesting is when you look at the definition of a bigot, I fit into some of it, but as for calling for hatred and intolerance of members of the Gay and Lesbian communities, I do not.

 I do say, that I am not a supporter of same sex marriage, I do say I am not in favour of lesbian or homosexual lifestyles being touted as 'normal' because I believe they are not. I do not advocate in any way violence, discrimination or hatred against homosexuals. I just do not. It is not in my nature to hate another person. I might dislike their lifestyle and their views but them personally, no. I can thankfully, separate the person from his or her views.
What Daniel Clancy wrote to me is mild compared to what Michael Barnett of Aleph has written about me, a lot of which is patently untrue or slanderous. Michael is so lucky I am penniless and cannot engage a decent lawyer because what he has written about me is vile and damaging to my reputation and person. I also get these anonymous crowd who have over the past year or so promised
1. to have me raped with instruments not normally used even by gynocologists to the point of death because such a wicked evil homophobic person as myself does not deserve to live'
2. to have my head smashed in
3. to have my son raped in front of me and that is low, because he is a child and it shows their level of depravity and hatred
4. Told that such a person as myself should never have had the nerve to teach in schools because I would damage countless numbers of gay children because I would discriminate against them and cause them to commit suicide. That one, just after promising to anally rape my child in front of me. The irony of that one was not lost on me.
Let me tell you that this sort of abuse constitutes what is pure and outright bully behaviour, whether it is done to a gay or straight person. I can disagree with a person's views, have them at my table, work with them and socialise to some degree with them. In fact, I had even invited an old associate of Michael Barnett's to my Shabbat table, but she never returned my call or even bothered to pick up a phone to say just hi. You see, I don't have a problem with gay or homosexual people. Some of them have the problem with me, because I am simply one of these people who refuses to be bullied into acquiesing to their view that two men or two women should be allowed to marry. I say 'No'. simply honestly and without hatred or malice. I just do not believe it is appropriate for two men or two women to get married. I believe it is rite of passage for a man and a woman who are going to create a family with Hashem's blessing and they will procreate and have children. If that means I am a religious bigot, then so I will wear the title gladly and with 'straight' pride.
Look I have been refused employment in quite a number of Christian Schools because I do not subscribe to a 'Christian World view'. I respect their right to choose who they want to employ in their schools. By the same token, they respect my right to never want to work in a Christian school  even if I was starving and in dire need. I would rather die of starvation than subscribe to a Christian world view because it is contrary to my Jewish world view. That is me. I like my faith. I will not become a Christian, a Muslim or a Buddhist for any money or any sustanenance or whatever reason. We are told that it is better to face our Creator than to renounce our Jewish faith. And so it will be.
I have received more hate mail with regard to my view on this than I think is warranted, but I am glad that I can speak out, because anyone else who thinks what I say,  is met with a barrage of hate from the gay and lesbian community that beggars belief. I don't hate anyone. I don't accept that it is right to hate people. However no bully, Gay or Straight will get me to change my views. They will stand and people do have a right to voice views that do not call for discrimination against a group, but simply supports the notion that a certain rite is not right for this group.
Do I want to go and pray five times a day and do a Haj despite not being a Muslim. Do I want a statue of Buddha in my house? Do I want to eat pork chops? No. I am a Jew and for me it is forbidden.
On this note, if you have the impression that my views are simply a mirror reflection of common views held in the Orthodox Jewish community, they are not. They are my views and my views alone. I take full responsibility for them. That is why I state that I am a convert and it is for this reason I do so, so the broader Jewish community is not tarred because of my views which are considered extreme by many. Yes, I am an extremist. I believe these times call for extremist views to separate between what is holy and right and what is profane and wrong. But while I may end up sacrificing my life for my beliefs and faith, I will not be instrumental in bringing harm to others. You see I respect life and people. I believe the creator created us all with infinite mercy and love. We are all here a purpose. In my life I have had a few accidents and suffered a bit of pain here and there, more than most people. I have the scars both emotional and physical to prove it. I thank Hashem for entrusting me with those scars and that pain. It has made me a stronger person. A person who is not weak in the face of hardship or pain.
Once when I was around 18 I went to someone who was a palm reader and tea cup reader. She read my palm and cried.  I asked her why. She did not want to tell me. She said I would have an interesting life and had the possibility to have quite a few children (on that she was wrong) and she said I would not marry until I was in my late thirties or early forties, but could have at least six children. However she was right about other things that she told me. The only thing she did tell me with urging was that I would have a very ugly death, but that my death would save others. Interesting. I hope, only at the end to be able to recite clearly the Shema Israel prayer and then I know my purpose in this world is finished until ....
I am a religious bigot and I will wear the title with pride because it is better to have a belief system and to live by it truthfully than to live profanely in a corrupted world. The greatest evil is caused by those who stand by and watch wrong actions and harm caused to others and do nothing.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

BeyondBlue founder is Beyond TRUE

Just when I thought Jeff Kennett was mellowing, developing some maturity and compassion, he comes out with some ridiculous statement about not blaming these two 'fragile' wannabe radio personalities. They are blameless, apparently, for the suicide of a nurse in the UK after she was publicly humiliated by them on an international scale and held up to ridicule through their inane bad taste 'prank'. She probably felt that she had no where to turn and nowhere to hide. "Oh, there goes that idiot nurse! You know, the one those two dumb cluck Aussie radio announcers took the mickey out of." she could probably imagine them saying.

She, who by all accounts, was a dedicated and competent professional who in the course of her career had contributed to the well being of many in society, was psychologically destroyed by these two vicious, brazen dickheads who have contributed nothing, but a bit of sick humour to those dumbed down enough to listen to such trash. Their so called 'humour' had no purpose but to denigrate and destroy others. It is not even good satire. Andrew Bolt also joins the fray. 'Lets not be hypocritical', he brays like a donkey with a motorised voice box. Andrew with all due respect, you need to take a reality check and look at the facts.

However, lets read between the lines and see what the real issues are here. They are ethics, sensitive and empathetic behaviour, respecting the privacy of others and above all, what is good humour and good comedy. I heard the cackle of those two morons and frankly I have raised Isa Brown hens with more intelligence and humour than those two displayed in their short radio careers.

On the issue of ethical behaviour, you need to accept that as a public broadcaster you have a responsibility to the general public. What is that responsibility and what is not crossing the line? You think before you open the hole in the middle of your face and spout on with wheels spinning in the mental sand.
Can you imagine them making fun of say a Muslim head of state and one of his family commits suicide? Well, no they would not do that. Why NOT? Too many petro dollars involved and also nasty buggers, those guys. They will start to burn down embassies and riot. In fact, they would want to be hiding out for life, if they had dared had the gall to take on the Mohammedans. Sometimes, in the interests of good taste, we should be more proactive and perhaps we should not be so lay back and we should start putting definite guidelines down. Can they escape from what they have done? No and they should not. They should remember it and beware the rest of their lives. They will be better human beings for it.
I listened to the head of the here 2day and gone 2morrow it appears, Radio show, Rhys drowning in hubris and trying to make excuses for his radio station was pitiful. He did not want to take responsibility for any of the hurt  caused by his presenters. Instead he tried to downplay the incident and defers blame onto the victim. Bad move, Rhys. The fact is that your radio station is a vile juvenile bad taste station that specialises in nasty jokes that humiliate and degrade others. Is this what good radio is about?
I am a fan of Andrew Denton. Now there is a good radio host with humour that is biting and satirical. He and Derryn Hinch, both very different, are what I call good radio presenters. Andrew is funny. He used to be on the breakfast show in Sydney in 2002. He and his female co-host used to brighten my mornings with real humour and their satire was funny. They poked fun at themselves, politicians and any who deserved it. They did not have to pick on the average hard working nurse or teacher or police officer or other public servant unless they were in parliament to ridicule.
The world should take note that these two are not 'normal' Australians, we would hope.

Bushland ballads

Far in bushland, away from the loud light
Of street illuminations and the city night,
Under a dark blanket sprinkled with pinprick sparks
That blaze tiny glows deep into the outer reaches, stark
Of a universe without ending,
Only a continual beginning, a sound
That booms infinitely on
 Into night to day that changes around
We are a grain held in sand cupped in a hand
Of the ancient Holy One, poured out and in again
Through the dimensions of space - place and time meeting.
The flames burst forth, a warm glow, rich and alive
On a solid menorah of metal bound, silver or gold,
The oil, fruit of a hardy tree, flares up from glass cups, their blaze strives
To bring light as truth shining into this long night of thievery and injustice.

So far removed from dead pines cut and transported on trucks,
To houses where they stand in crepe covered buckets, spun with tinsel strings
Plastic fairies or angels perched at their peaks,
Like the idols of old along with coloured balls that tend to break
Into dangerous shards able to tear tender flesh.
Children are told over and over
Of a white bearded fat man wearing a red suit
Come rain, hail, summer heat or sleet
Who travels in a sky sled around the world in one night,
Defining good and evil in each child
Through the parents’ sight
A metaphor for justice who gives
 To the worthy; to those wanting, each in their measure
For you there is the cat’o’nine tails  and you there is treasure
A cunning device built on a scale for ancient myths
To explain the unexplainable.
Under this dead symbol of living, are placed temporary tokens
Of esteem and good will just for the day
When families gather to gobble ham bone and roasts lashed with gravy, gluttony reigns
Beer and sherry abundant for adults, soft drink or shandies for children
Who compare gifts and judge the givers’ worth
On a family stock market
Where affection is measured on the scale of each dollar spent
And means a rise or fall in the affections bank.
To finish with wine trifle, size up the family members
Store away thoughtless remarks to stew angrily over the year
Berate your children that they do not become
like stinky older uncles who sit in offices all day.
‘you are just like him. You will never get married.
Don’t eat too much ice cream. See, you have a fat bottom already.
All he does is watch birds all day.
Here give him some deodorant soap and spray.
Wrap it well.  Be sure to put “enjoy in good health”
Neatly inside the card. Your best writing now.’
Or uncles with corks attached to battered hats,
Who play real stock markets and guzzle beer
Married to an interesting aunt in tight leopard skin who slithers
Her thigh next to your father’s leg and looks up into his eyes
 With an inviting look and loud laugh
That he does not see and only half hears,
Intent on discussing livestock markets with his older half brother,
He is busy with next year’s sheep and cattle prices
Besides he is already well married to your mother
In a contract so binding he would not look at another,
Thus she preens for another brother, Jezebel
With a ring that sparkles for naught.
The tree is thrown out and another cut next year.
Paper litters the carpet and is gathered and sorted,
The torn for the bin and the whole folded and kept for birthdays and another year.
The day is swept away for another twelve months.
However in another space,
The menorah is used for eight days, a flame that brings redemption
Is lit each day to increase, one by one until eight is reached.
Dreidels are played and gelt given, latkes fried in oil enjoyed,
Children laugh and sing in that warm glow.

Then after the eighth day, the menorah is cleaned and packed away.
The sight of the flame held within, a hope, a pinprick of light holds tight against the night,
That yearns for a better day to dawn, when all men will join together
To form a holy alliance of true peace
To recognize One as G-D of justice and truth
Then will they put aside the tinsel, plastic angels and cards
The yearly rite of a shallow generosity
To take on a whole creed that requires
Daily attendance and reckonings,
 Not just annually.