Saturday soapbox

Saturday’s  soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
RICH MIND RICH MAN's photo.

Education is not the learning of facts, it’s rather the training of the mind to think.

31 Responses to Saturday soapbox

  1. TraceyS says:

    Here’s another good Einstein quote:

    “The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity.”

    One of my children was thinking the other day and became curious; “what if [name of loved family member] chose to die?” Realisation of the prospect that this conceivably could happen was clearly unsettling. It made me wonder about exposure of children to the euthanasia debate.

    It also made me wonder, were that to pass, what effect would it have on the psyche of children whose minds work differently to adults? What will very young children imagine? And will the debate (let alone the reality) undermine the sense of security that arises from knowing that their loved ones will be around until nature takes its course?

    We haven’t discussed the below news item in our house but the children could have seen it on the news, online, or heard discussion about it at school.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/75950444/daughters-of-australian-scientists-who-took-their-own-lives-reflect-on-their-parents-plan

  2. Andrei says:

    We can only expect more Godless hubris under John Key’s National Government Tracey – alas. And this abominable thing will pass and Government will extend its necrotic reach into areas it should not go near

    One of the most foolish things I ever did was to give my vote to National in 2008 expecting that we would stop the depredations of Big Government on decency and slow New Zealand’s slide into depravity

    A mistake I will not be making again – National, Labour as bad as each other

  3. Andrei says:

    Meanwhile panic in NATO headquarters as the Syrian Government in Damascus moves to re-establish control over the moderate rebel terrorist held city of Aleppo

    Syria war: Fresh clashes near Aleppo as refugee crisis grows

    These lying toads are trying to blame Russia for the “refugee crisis” which actually began long before Russia got involved and the displaced come not only from Syria but from other lands smashed up by the forces of darkness, like Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Mali and Afghanistan.

  4. Will says:

    Don’t feel bad Andrei. I actually voted for Peter Dunne once. If that’s not a slide into depravity then I don’t know what is.

  5. Andrei says:

    Don’t feel bad Andrei. I actually voted for Peter Dunne once

    Well you must live in an electorate then where voting is a total waste of time because most of the candidates are total deadshit list mps and will get to polish the debating chambers green leather seats anyway.

    And boy that electorate has produced some real beauties over the years – As I recall the National list MP from those parts resigned just prior to the last election to become something to do with the funeral directors association – there’s a joke in there somewhere but I wont make it

    Charlie Chauvel was another from those parts – what became of him?

  6. TraceyS says:

    Then we, the parents and grandparents, will just have to work harder Andrei.

  7. Andrei says:

    Nothing you can do when the darkness falls and your Government is consumed by evil Tracey – your children’s fate is sealed

  8. TraceyS says:

    Raise your children to have courage that’s what you can do. For me, part of that is demonstrating the courage to face whatever. If I am destined to face a long illness so be it. I will face it rather than depart before my time is up.

  9. Andrei says:

    Tracey dear it does not take Einstein to see where this “Death with Dignity” bill is heading.

    The fight is now because bit by bit the barbarians who make up our leadership will erode every bit of human decency they can until there is nothing left

    You might not get the choice sweetheart to choose how you depart, and your kids certainly wont if this abominable thing comes into being – which it will

    Eventuially a board will decide when you have passed your use by date and then it will be the needle for you

  10. TraceyS says:

    “Eventuially a board will decide when you have passed your use by date and then it will be the needle for you”

    I don’t believe it will bear out like that, Andrei. That is far too simplistic and there are other options which are no worse for the government such as putting limits on medical interventions at a certain point and allowing life to wind down naturally. This already happens.

    You may be suggesting that people living in state paid care who are deemed past their use by date will be lined up for involuntarily termination. I doubt that will ever happen but in my thinking the way to influence this on a personal level is to raise your kids with enough courage and compassion that they would resist it and take their elderly parents into their own care if need be. I would be prepared to accept that if my children grow up to allow this to happen to me or their father then I haven’t been the parent I would hope to have been.

    “You might not get the choice sweetheart to choose how you depart…”

    I don’t want the “choice”. Dying naturally is not a choice, it is a right. I will stand up for that choice. Your prediction that this will be a failed effort will not deter me.

  11. Andrei says:

    Tracey
    Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    Do you seriously think that the so called “Death with Dignity Bill” when passed will be the end of the story?

    It has always been obvious that you are an incredibly naive person with little knowledge of the real world but can you really be that simple minded?

    I know two people who would be incredibly vulnerable to be being pressured into signing away their life without comprehending what they are signing

    After this has passed and we have gotten softened up to the idea of putting people down, there will be new “hard cases” with people not competent to sign the forms and the law will be amended to cover these cases

    And then there will be court cases involving people who refuse to sign the forms to determine if they are actually competent to decide for themselves and the courts will decide for them – new protocols and precedents will be set and more and more inconvenient people will be put down

    We have seen this all before……

  12. TraceyS says:

    “I know two people who would be incredibly vulnerable to be being pressured into signing away their life without comprehending what they are signing…”

    If they truly don’t have capacity, and you truly care, then why don’t you apply through the court to be their welfare attorney? Did you encourage them to appoint an EPOA themselves while they still had capacity? You know how the system works don’t you? It isn’t as you have presented it and your portent for the future system is nothing more than your own fantasy.

    If it does come to bear as you imagine it will be because people cannot make the cognitive link between the plight of their loved ones and their own futures. You can call me naive all you want. All that means to me is that I have survived my experiences without my curiosity and hope being lost.

  13. Andrei says:

    Gay Marriage which is an ABOMINATION and SATANIC Tracey dear is not my fantasy

    And on each step of the way to it we were assured it was ridiculous and would never happen

    But it has and vile it is because it has transformed an institution that was about raising children in a safe and secure environment to one of the STATE (i.e. BIG GOVERNMENT) giving its blessing to sodomy

    If they truly don’t have capacity, and you truly care, then why don’t you apply through the court to be their welfare attorney?

    How can anyone be as utterly clueless as you are beggars belief

    Suppose Tracey dear, if you have more imagination than a gnat that someone, not myself, was watching an aged parent’s life savings (their potential inheritance) dwindling away as it is spent on care in a high needs unit of a rest home.

    What might the temptation be sweet pea?

  14. Will says:

    It’s not like you to be so impolite Andrei, especially to a lady. Obviously you feel strongly about this, but I do not believe the outcome you describe is at all likely.

    You could be right about gay marriage being Satanic, those angels have always looked pretty effeminate to me.

  15. Andrei says:

    Yes Will – a little OTT, apologies Tracey

    …but I do not believe the outcome you describe is at all likely.

    Will it is inevitable – the so called “Death with Dignity.” bill fixes nothing. it certainly doesn’t alter the unpalatable fact that we age, get sick and die and suffer along the way.

    This is just the first step on the path to perdition it is to get us used to the idea that doctors can put people down like old pets

    As soon as we have been softened up then the act as first legislated will be found inadequate through some gut wrenching “special case” that falls outside its scope and it will be amended, the first of many amendments

    I give it ten years to get to the point where 30% or more of deaths in New Zealand are through this mechanism, including the intellectually and physically handicapped.

    We are already aborting downs syndrome babies and have been for years – no statistics on the actual number are available but this is yet another precedent that shows how it will play out

    I’m Cassandra

  16. Will says:

    I would not want to see the state or private sector doctors, or anyone taking peoples’ lives. But I am equally unhappy about the state meddling in such a private matter as suicide. Decriminalisation ought to be enough. Obviously those who kill themselves are beyond the law, but someone who provides the means is not. Surely an acceptable compromise can be found without involving the slippery slope of death panels.

    Some point to greedy heirs, pressuring the elderly into early death, but I think this would be rare, and preventable. After all, those heirs will be in the same position soon enough.

  17. Andrei says:

    But I am equally unhappy about the state meddling in such a private matter as suicide. Decriminalisation ought to be enough. Obviously those who kill themselves are beyond the law, but someone who provides the means is not.

    Suicide was decriminalized years ago Will – people who attempted suicide and failed were prosecuted in days of yore but that has long gone

    As for people being prosecuted for helping the terminally ill for ending their life – it isn’t happening. The last two prosecutions for euthanasia both involved activists who roared about what they had done through the media megaphone and these prosecutions were both more than a decade ago as far as I know

    30,000+ people die in this country every year and for the most part nobody looks too deeply into the circumstances of the last hours of the deceased because there is no real point in the vast majority of cases

    A woman I knew was prescribed sleeping pills by her doctor, her daughter bought her a bottle of vodka and she washed the pills down with it and didn’t wake up – her choice, did the doctor know she would use the pills that way? Who knows, who cares. Did her daughter know she would use the vodka that way, again who knows or cares and nobody did – she was dying and decided to speed the process

    That was recorded as suicide because it was so overt but those involved peripherally were never questioned and their motives will never be known by mortal man and that is fine by me

    There is no problem here with leaving matters grey – we will all be better off letting sleeping dogs lie because legislation is a very blunt tool

  18. Will says:

    You may be right.

  19. TraceyS says:

    “Suppose…that someone, not myself, was watching an aged parent’s life savings (their potential inheritance) dwindling away as it is spent on care in a high needs unit of a rest home.”

    Why would the State be complicit with this Andrei? The person has money (presumably why greedy onlooker wishes them to pop off early).

    The person has money, so in the State’s eyes they can pay their way, and are expected to (a fact that many people don’t realise until they get there).

    Alternatively, the person has little money and cannot pay their way. The State picks up the tab. Greedy onlooker isn’t seen for dust…

    “…if you have more imagination than a gnat…”

    I’m not relying on imagination here.

    The fact is that the State has no reason to conspire with the greedy onlooker (and that would be required). In fact, the motivation is quite the opposite. The State’s interest is in providing the best care for the minimum cost. Bumping off paying customers early is the last thing the State would aim for because while these people are alive they are providing jobs and other economic activity like consuming food and medical supplies. Greedy onlooker would probably just pay off their mortgage.

    Those who cannot pay their way are a greater cost to the State. But there is no motivation for anyone other than the State to want them out of the way. You appear to foresee the State deciding, on it’s own, the termination date of these people’s lives. That would be so wrong – and an enormous departure from where things are currently at.

    Why would people support the law changes required? What would their interests be other than keeping tax rates down as the aging population burgeons? That’s too distant a connection (for most) to be compelling enough to accept such a major departure from our current norms.

    I am not for the euthanasia bill. Like you I think it is an issue better left alone for the time-being.

    My original point was about the damage done to young people’s sense of security from hearing the discussion and wondering what their loved ones will choose and when. Whether or not the bill passes I reckon 50% of the population will just assume that it has anyway because that’s how much attention we pay to things political. It’s not the actual law that matters so much but the anticipation and acceptance of it by large numbers. But the discussion can’t be prevented and shouldn’t be. Because two wrongs…

  20. TraceyS says:

    “Gay Marriage…is not my fantasy…And on each step of the way to it we were assured it was ridiculous and would never happen…But it has…”

    I never said that euthanasia was your fantasy. I referred to your prediction about the system around it, the way it would work, which was what you described and what I doubted.

    I also doubt your assumptions about gay marriage and the effects of this. Essentially nothing has changed except a few more marriages have occurred. Haven’t noticed anything changed in my marriage since gay friends married last year anyway. Why on earth would it?

    Is your marriage any weaker since the advent of gay marriage, Andrei?

  21. Andrei says:

    Tracey we live in a corrupt and fallen world – my goodness have you learned nothing from history

    New Zealand like the rest of the Western world faces a demographic crisis – too many old and not enough young

    And a huge superannuation liability which is increasing as the population ages

    “Voluntary Euthanasia” is going to come in mighty handy in the not too distant future to reduce the burden of the elderly on society

    I’m not going to discuss marriage – gay marriage was brought up as an example of how something went from being ridiculous and impossible to a fait accompli in less than a decade

    The goal posts will be shifted – they always are

  22. TraceyS says:

    “Voluntary Euthanasia” is going to come in mighty handy in the not too distant future to reduce the burden of the elderly on society

    Only if we let it.

    I won’t let it within my small sphere of influence. If enough people think and feel like that then it won’t become mainstream.

    You say I won’t have the choice but there are always choices.

    You should have more faith, Andrei. Instead you choose to insult people who refuse to lie down and accept your portents of doom.

    Sad 😦

  23. Andrei says:

    You really are naive Tracey

    I have faith just not in politicians

  24. Mr E says:

    I am happy for a voluntary euthanasia law to be written.

    I am against a careless law, but am not against the principle. That doesn’t make me ‘godless’. I think I was ‘godless’ before I had contemplated euthanasia. But in line with that thought, it is my belief that we are all probably ‘godless’.

    When I consider euthanasia, I think of the person who is, for all intense purposes, dead, being kept alive against their wishes. I also think of the cost to sustain that state. Yes I am not afraid to say, I consider the cost. Imagine how much good that could be done for the well being of others. People can be given the gift of sight for $10. Imagine.

    I would hate to be the person who is a seemingly endless, pointless, tax on others, when those resources could be used for the betterment of others.

    My views are ‘godless’, but I am happy to say that.

  25. TraceyS says:

    I am what I am, Andrei. As Mr E points out, that’s all any of us can be.

  26. TraceyS says:

    “I have faith just not in politicians”

    Based on experience, I have no reason to have any less faith in politicians than I have in lawyers, farmers, doctors, government officials, accountants, company directors, midwives, teachers, employees, employers, business partners…and so on.

    All are capable of erring and most of the time it is unintentional and very infrequently is it driven by evil intent. There’s always a possibility but that’s what your heart is for – such a sensitive instrument it is. Naive to trust in it some might say.

    Do you want to know who I have faith in?

    My kids.

  27. Andrei says:

    3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

    4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

    5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:

    Politicians are people who know how to “go along to get along” Tracey

    This “Death with Dignity” thing was fronted by Maryan Street before the last election – it was pulled in the run up to the election so as not to scare the sheep as they went to the ballot boxes

    Now it is fronted by David Seymour, A National MP in everything but in name so it can pass under a National Government but they will not own the opprobrium c.f. Pilate washing his hands

    “Death with Dignity” the title of the bill is of course the product of Madison Avenue spin doctors and has been universally deployed across the English speaking world to make this seem like a humanitarian advance, all fluffy and cuddly rather than the very sinister thing it is.

    And if you think that once passed it will be the end of the matter, rather than the foundation for a long list of amendments to cover hard cases you are living in a fools paradise

    To quote an exchange from further up the thread

    Andrei

    “Voluntary Euthanasia” is going to come in mighty handy in the not too distant future to reduce the burden of the elderly on society

    Tracey

    Only if we let it.

    I won’t let it within my small sphere of influence. If enough people think and feel like that then it won’t become mainstream.

    You are letting this happen – you are allowing the first step to be taken which will allow people to be put down and once we have been softened to that idea then the next step will be taken and the next until you wake up and find that we have evolved to a regime that would be totally unacceptable to the vast majority today

    But what the heck – there are prophecies about this from various mystics. I rarely quote them, they are not a part of political discourse

    The funny thing is that the Orthodox mystics and the Islamic mystics same the same things from different perspectives

    To be obscure Jerry Garcia has been dead nearly twenty years and this song is much older – it references Pushkin and English folk songs – odd but appropriate

  28. TraceyS says:

    “…you are allowing the first step to be taken which will allow people to be put down and once we have been softened to that idea then the next step will be taken and the next until you wake up and find…”

    Who says I’m going to sleep?

  29. Andrei says:

    You are asleep Tracey

    What day is it today?

  30. TraceyS says:

    I said I do not support it. You do not listen.

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