Archive for August, 2007

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Connection

August 29, 2007

We’ve been having a hard time lately, I’ve got several blog posts that I want to write up that I can’t get near (and I’m about to make it harder by writing this instead).  Karen reached a point of mothering overload last week, and a friend stepped in to help her out. The friend is a good friend but parents more or less in the conventional manner. It’s fair to say’s she tends toward our way of doing things but most of the help consisted of the mainstream idea that at times like this you need to get the mother away from the children.

Basically the maintream solution to this problem is through separation from the children. I want to be clear that I’m not criticising this friend in particular, she took on an extra load herself and has indeed given Karen a break but I suspect that if we’d had friends in town who parent like us their instinct would have been toward building connections instead of creating separation. They probably would have descended on the house to take some of the responsibility away while still enabling us to maintain our relationship with our children. 

As parents I think that a large part of the stress we’re loaded up with comes from problems in our relationship with our kids. We are tired and don’t want to attend to their genuine needs or they are feeling fractious and are acting it out in ways that certainly bring their needs to our attention but also press buttons from our childhood that cause us to back off from our kids like our parents did to us. So our parent’s bad relationship with us begins to repeat itself. 

I believe the solution to these problems is to work on the relationship and to strengthen it. I confess that sometimes I don’t know how to do this and at other times I just don’t have the inner strength but I still think it is important because it’s really apparent that when the relationships are suffering our kid’s behaviour really goes downhill. 

Our oldest is someone born with incredible persistence, she never waits until she is sure she can do something before trying she just starts doing it. She started walking at 9 months and fell down about a million times learning but she got their quickly. She learned to ride a bike without trainer wheels over a period of about three days when she was 3 years old – she just never gives up no matter how hair-raising it got. Unfortunately when her emotional needs are not being met this same level of persistence amounts to total harassment for us parents. We’re lucky their’s two of us so we can tag-team her when there’s a problem. She’d be a nightmare for a solo parent or for a school, especially as all the co-sleeping and non-coercive efforts we have gone to have made her a very strong person. I think she’ll be an amazing person when she’s an adult (yes, I know this is her father talking :-) but right now she can be really hard for us. 

With all that in mind, when our kids got back home yesterday afternoon after having spent the second day in a row away from us she was incredibly difficult, the worst I’ve ever seen. I also got the angriest I’ve ever felt at her because of it and it wasn’t a nice evening. We were at our wit’s end. 

After we’d managed to get them off to bed we sat down and to figure our where we’d goen wrong and decided to try to get back on track. 

Basically she went to bed and slept in physical contact with Adi (oldest daughter) all night, told her she loved her a million times and (this is very important) apologised for the things she hadn’t got right without making excuses about it being hard and this morning when we got up Adi was back to her normal self again. Just like that.

Honestly it feels like someone has waved a magic wand over the girl. It’s a testament to the bedrock strength of Karen’s relationship with our kids that she can do that even when she’s under stress. I suspect that conventional parenting techniques cause the parents to have to shut off their feelings for their children while they teach the child to ‘cry it out’ and that it leaves them permanently numbed to one degree or another. Staying connected to your kids means you have a really deep love to draw on when things get tough. 

Karen is still in need of a break for a few more days but we’re going to do it by having me come out of the office for parts of the day and she’s going to take them out for things like bush walks because it is also apparent from our fussy-baby (now five) that time spent in nature has a very soothing effect.

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Guns and Gold

August 25, 2007

You may have read a little about the economic crash in Argentina and how nice middle-class ladies were seen attacking ATM machines with knives amidst other mayhem. Well here’s an article formed out of what appears to have been a series of postings to a peak oil message board by a guy living in Argentina. From what he says Argentina is in a permanent post-crash situation and the article is both highly illuminating and very frightening with the advice it dispenses. Particularly worrying is the amount of time the guys spent talking about guns.Yes I still believe that oportunites for community will occur but I after this I am much more convinced of the need to be  prepared for, shall we say, other eventualities.

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Home Work

August 24, 2007

Further to Ran’s discussion of roofing materials yesterday, I was indeed glad he bought the issue up, We will probably end up using a modern roofing material on the house we will build but I think we will make it steep enough so that long term some kind of thatch can be used over the top of it when it begins to fail, or else make the timbers strong enough that they can take homemade clay tiles if it comes to that. 

Ran quoted an email of mine which ended with: 

This roofing issue is hard, maybe we need to get away from attempting to go long term and look at what renewable materials are available locally so we know we can always maintain it. 

If we’re looking long term then this really is our only option but I have to admit that it wasn’t my ‘position’ on sustainability that prompted me to make this comment. It was a combination of trying to think really long term along with a quote from a book called Home Work, by Llod Kahn. This quote got the point across to me in a way that no one had previously: 

In the early 70’s I got on a charter flight to Ireland, crossed the Irish Sea and got a long ride with a salesman; when he learned I was interested in building he started pointing out buildings and showing us that each was built of materials from near the site. You see the slate roofs, there’s a slate quarry nearby…” and then, “Now the roofs are tile because there is clay in the soil here…” As we travelled through England, it was striking: the thatched roofs in Norfolk, land of marshes and reeds; the sandstone walls of the Cotswalds, where the light tan colours blend perfectly with the surroundings; cob in Devon; flint in Sussex… 

I got the book because it has a photo collection of unusual and low-tech buildings in it. It will serve as creative fuel for when I get to designing our new place but it also has more than that. It’s full of inspiration for dropping out and using non-mainstream methods of constructing homes. Plus it’s great eye-candy. Here’s some of the pictures from the front cover. Note the house on the little island.

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One thing that bugged me though was the collection of people in the book who had gone off the grid. The main focus for all of them was their wind and solar power generating systems. Clearly the issue of EROEI was never discussed but somehow it seems worse that in their attempts to get ‘away from it all’ they had actually bought ‘a lot of it’ with them. They had simply altered the energy equation so that they could maintain essentially the same lifestyle – except with the addition of more trees about the place.

A minor quibble though, it’s a great book, not just for the know-how but also for the inspiration.

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The Root

August 22, 2007

Via Idleworm a great video, Money As Debt by Paul Grignon, explaining the economic system we live/serve in. If the economic system has never quite made sense to you or seemed to beyond comprehension this will put it all in perpsective.Basically though, you were right. It doesn’t quite make sense.

I’d imbed the video here if I could but Blogspirit is not yet part of the Google empire and I’m no hacker.

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Piggish Sexism

August 17, 2007

What I think is, a women’s place is in the home. But only if she’s got kids right? That’s fair.
Howl’s of outrage anyone? What about if I said a man’s place is in the home too. Would that make a difference?

I work at home and now that our oldest is five is obvious that if I was away from them all day they would be missing something. They notice if I am out for more than a few hours and ask Karen where I’ve gone,  and they like to be able to come and visit me in the office regularly throughout the day.

So if it’s clear that I should be at home it must be true that the mother, who small children are more attached, to should also be at home.

I’m especially happy to be saying this since I saw this interview of Aaron Russo. Russo was asked to join the global elite by Nick Rockefeller after they had known each other for a few years. He of course chose not to but before they parted company Rockefeller told him that the elites helped promote feminism – for two reasons. One was so they could tax women. All that work they did in the house couldn’t be taxed but now that women go out to work someone else gets paid to clean the house and look after their kids and very probably the family eats out a lot more too.

The second reason to promote feminism was to break up the family

In a later conversation, Rockefeller asked Russo what he thought women’s liberation was about. Russo’s response that he thought it was about the right to work and receive equal pay as men, just as they had won the right to vote, caused Rockefeller to laughingly retort, “You’re an idiot! Let me tell you what that was about, we the Rockefeller’s funded that, we funded women’s lib, we’re the one’s who got all of the newspapers and television – the Rockefeller Foundation.”

Rockefeller told Russo of two primary reasons why the elite bankrolled women’s lib, one because before women’s lib the bankers couldn’t tax half the population and two because it allowed them to get children in school at an earlier age, enabling them to be indoctrinated into accepting the state as the primary family, breaking up the traditional family model.

I’m not saying the stated goals of feminism were wrong. I totally agree that women should have the same rights as men. I also think children should have the same rights as well, but clearly the whole thing has been hijacked to the elite’s advantage. Ironic as it may seem now the most radical act a women could make these days is to stay at home.

I’m still making my way through Hold on to Your Kids by Gordon Nuefield and the one area I would disagree with him on is that he proposes an attachment village as the solution to children being away from their parents a lot of the time. He’s trying not to rock society’s boat and point the finger at anyone, which is fine, a lot of people will listen to him because of it.

I think this sort of thing is partially why the conservative Christian right has appeal to some people – because they can see where left wing movements have gone wrong. Of course their response it similarly one-dimensional nad probably plays into the hands of the elite in a different way.

My instincts tend toward the left but they make it hard and harder for me, so much of what they do contributes to the power the state has over our lives. In New Zealand we have a child-less (rumoured to be lesbian) women as Labour Prime Minister . All this fair gets the Christian’s in a lather – especially as lately she’s been encouraging women to leave the home and go and join the work force to help the economy. Of course the more noise the Christians make the more galvanised the activist community on the left gets. It fair drives me nuts, they’re supposed to both be fighting for the rights of people on the bottom of societies heap – according to their respective manifestos – but are much more interested in squabbling with each other.

I seem to have digressed. What I want to say is, fight the bastards by loving your kids and staying in their lives. Hold on to Your Kids is a great resource for that, as is anything that promotes non-coercive parenting and co-sleeping. And remember, by staying at home you not only deprive the system of your children you also deprive it of your economic input.

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Armegeddon and all that stuff

August 14, 2007

Just read this excellent article from Information Clearning House by Carolyn Baker. I’ve read a lot of intelligent and scathing articles about the corruption of America by a guy called Mike Whitney at ICH but this, if anything, is better. For people who don’t read Cryptogon or similar sites this article will give you a nice summary of where things are with the US economic system.Carolyn Baker talks a lot about the corruption of the system and mentions the law changes that are going to be used to control the population, I just wish I could find someone in New Zealand who was making a similar conmmentary for us down here.

I think I’m going to have to resurrect my old radio show so I can have an excuse to interview people like Carolyn Baker.

Stop Press. No I won’t. I just went to her website and saw that she already does radio.

Anyway, here’s a wee quote:

It is crucial to understand that the current economic meltdown is a transfer of wealth from the middle and lower classes to the ruling elite. Wealth transfers do not just happen, nor are they the products of incompetency. They are intentional and well-planned. Central to wealth transfer is corruption at the highest levels of the economic and political systems

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Holographic Universe

August 13, 2007

This is more Ran’s territory than mine but here, via Free Range Organic Human is a fascinating article about how the universe is a hologram.

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The article has a myriad of links and upon following one of them  I discovered that it had a New Zealand based domain. Out of curiosity I went to the homepage and discovered this Indigenous Weather Modification site. Until the advent of the internet there really was nothing else that could deliver this degree of ‘unusualness’ to my life. 

The operator of the site claims to be able to modify the weather using unspecified techniques that seem to be based on traditional Maori knowledge. It would also seem that the universe-as-hologram theory could be used to understand how it might work. 

Delving further into the site I discovered something that had a fantastic only-in-New Zealand quality to it: 

A Maori Sovereignty group had wanted to fly the Maori Independence flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi day, New Zealand’s National day. The body that overseas the bridge, Transit New Zealand, had refused permission and upset a great number of Maori including the person running this website. 

Shortly after this hit the headlines Transit New Zealand received an email from John Porter, weather modification consultant, telling them that he was going to teach them a lesson to the tune of $100 million dollars of weather related damage to New Zealand roads. 

I can only guess at the reaction of the staff of Transit New Zealand at the arrival of this email – or at their reaction at the arrival of subsequent emails toting up the costs after every piece of bad weather we’ve had this winter. 

I know this isn’t usual Village Blog fare and I can’t verify any of it except that the storms did in fact happen but I just love a good story.