Is The National Party Now New Zealand’s Natural Opposition Party?

It may now have to be conceded that the Labour Party is a genuinely superior economic manager to the National Party. The Sixth Labour Government has just announced a $5,500,000,000 surplus for the last year, and there’s no sign that they intend to piss that money away on tax cuts. As this essay will examine, Labour’s established record of superior fiscal management suggests that the National Party no longer has any claim to be New Zealand’s natural government.

The New Zealand electoral cycle is based on a cosy truism: the National Party makes the money, and the Labour Party distributes it. Like Daddy and Mummy, the National Party is responsible for the wealth being generated by the system and the Labour Party is responsible for making sure that this wealth filters down to those who are too vulnerable to fight for it themselves.

However, if one casts an eye back over the last thirty years, there doesn’t seem to be any real evidence that National is better at generating wealth.

As anyone who has lived in Scandinavia can tell you, a nation’s wealth is primarily a function of the degree of investment that previous generations made in the current one. Scandinavia is wealthy because, for decades, their governments have made heavy investments in the human capital of their people in the form of education, health and welfare, and these investments have paid off handsomely in the form of an extremely productive workforce.

The National Party let our country rot for nine years: our hospitals decayed, our mental health system decayed, our housing crisis worsened with every year, and for all of this time John Key and Bill English just grinned and let their people suffer. After all, the suffering of Kiwis meant immense profits for someone else, especially wealthy property speculators and banking interests.

As a consequence, we now have the developed world’s worst youth suicide crisis, as the neglect shown to our people during the Key-English era shows its effects in a reduced will to live. The National Party failed to make any meaningful investment in the human capital of New Zealanders, and the true cost of this is now becoming apparent.

Over the past three decades, a pattern is clear. When National is in power, the rich become bloated and the people suffer; when Labour is in power, the rich hold their position while the people take some small steps out of desperate poverty. Anyone who has lived through these times has conclusive evidence that the idea of National being better economic managers is complete horseshit.

National Party economic management is like not going to the doctor or dentist for nine years, and then bragging about how much money you’ve saved while your skin is covered in lesions and your teeth are rotting out of your head. The National Party forgot the parasite’s maxim that some minimum care of the host body has to be taken otherwise it will die.

With Key and English now given knighthoods and put out to pasture, the National Party suddenly seems bereft of managerial talent. The hapless Simon Bridges looks every bit the Head Prefect auditioning for a role that is above his level of competence. Judith Collins waits in the wings like an overfed vulture, and the only other contenders are Paula Bennett – who needed surgery to prevent her eating herself to death – and a parade of faceless grey men.

Jacinda Ardern also looks every bit the Head Prefect above her level of competence, and so much so that the Opposition has an open goal in 2020 – but they’re too clumsy to kick it in. Meanwhile, Ardern has had the opportunity to build a cult of personality, John Key-style, by dragging her baby along everywhere and styling herself The Mother of the Nation. This strategy might prove effective on the pudding-headed virtue signallers among New Zealand voters, and given enough time it could make Ardern’s position unassailable.

With both their historical record and their potential record both looking extremely bad, it might have to be conceded that the National Party are effectively now New Zealand’s natural opposition party. The idea that Labour was the natural opposition party may have been true in the days of big agriculture and the need to be ready to fight war on behalf of Britain at any time. Nowadays, it’s looking ever more like it’s National who are fundamentally unsuited to meet the challenges facing the nation.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The Case For Cannabis: Cannabis Is A Religious And Spiritual Sacrament

We are supposed to have freedom of religion in the West, but in practice this only applies to certain favoured religions, in particular Abrahamism and its derivatives. Other religious traditions, particularly those that employ psychoactives as part of their rituals, are effectively discriminated against by the War on Drugs. This article will discuss the established tradition of cannabis use as a religious and spiritual sacrament.

The Indo-European peoples have been using cannabis as a religious and spiritual sacrament for thousands of years.

Cannabis is mentioned in Indian texts going back to 1,000 B.C., primarily for its use as a medicine, but also for its purported ability to facilitate contact with the divine. There is an age-old tradition in India of weed-smoking holy men known as sadhus. These are ascetics who have renounced worldly wealth and pleasure, and who use cannabis to get into touch with Shiva. Among sadhus, use of cannabis is especially popular when meditating, for the moments of tranquillity and serenity that it is capable of bringing.

The Nepalese smoke it publicly and ceremonially during the festival of Maha Shivaratri. The enlightenment brought about from the cannabis high is said to represent the coming-to-awareness of the first guru in the world. It is said that it was at this moment that the consciousness of the first guru transcended the material and the illusion of space and time, and the cannabis high is intended to replicate this.

In ancient China, cannabis was used by holy men in healing and early magical rituals. Early Taoist shamans systematically experimented with the ritual use of cannabis, with some declaring that smoking it was as good as climbing into the mountains for those who were physically unable. Their traditions began with burning cannabis as incense for the sake of smoking out demons and evil spirits, and soon evolved into inhaling cannabis for the sake of drawing in good energy from God.

Cannabis was also used by the Scythians in a ritualistic form that amounting to the hot-boxing of small smoke tents. The participants would gather inside these tents as part of funerary rites and cast buds onto superheated rocks, causing them to burn and to fill the tent with cannabis smoke. The change in consciousness brought about by these rituals were considered to bring the participant into contact with the spirits of the dead.

From there, it spread to Germany, and from there to Britain and Scandinavia. The Vikings came to associate its aphrodisiac effects with the fertility goddess Freya, and spring festivals sometimes involved the ritual consumption of cannabis. Viking herbalists were also aware of the pain-killing properties of cannabis, and they appear to have cultivated it in Southern Norway since 650 A.D. Evidence suggests that at least some of this cannabis was cultivated for ritualistic and shamanic purposes.

Therefore, cannabis use has been part of our natural spiritual traditions for thousands of years. The state of cannabis prohibition brought about by Abrahamism is an obscenity, the kind that comes from such false doctrines. It is not right for us Westerners to live in a state of cannabis prohibition, because it separates us from our natural connection to the divine, replacing it with a doctrine of women-hatred, gay-hatred, genital mutilation and ignorance.

Many modern people could tell you that cannabis use is still part of our natural spiritual traditions. It is the Western subcultures that smoke cannabis who are most likely to reject the obsession with materialism that has captured our culture. After all, the spiritual effect of cannabis comes from its ability to separate the user from the material. By inducing a state of physical and emotional calm, consciousness focuses instead on the spiritual. By pacifying the user’s base physical desires, they can concentrate on a form of living that pays homage to God.

Rastafarians say of cannabis that “The herb is the key to new understanding of the self, the universe, and God. It is the vehicle to cosmic consciousness”. Many Westerners who do not follow an organised religious tradition can likewise tell you that smoking cannabis gets you closer to God. There are millions of us who could tell you that we have had profound spiritual epiphanies from sacramental cannabis use, and that these epiphanies are worth gold.

Cannabis being illegal therefore amounts to religious discrimination. It’s essentially no different to a law that makes the Bible or the Koran illegal. If cannabis use is a means by which some people get closer with God, how can it possibly be anyone else’s right to say otherwise? The people who support cannabis prohibition would be appalled at the thought of Government agents going into someone’s house to take their Bible away, but they do much the same thing with cannabis without a second thought.

There is a need for cannabis law reform so that religious and spiritual alternatives to Abrahamism can be explored. There is no valid reason for people to be forced to follow an Abrahamic tradition, and therefore no valid reason for the law to prohibit the spiritual sacraments of non-Abrahamic traditions. True spiritual and religious freedom requires that none of the established methods for coming closer to God are made illegal – this includes cannabis use.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: Cannabis is an Exit Drug

Many people erroneously believe that cannabis is a “gateway drug” that leads to users moving on to harder and harder drugs. The reality, like many myths relating to cannabis, is closer to the opposite of this. As this article will examine, cannabis can serve as an ‘exit drug’ to help people overcome addictions to actually harmful substances, in particular alcohol, synthetics and opioids.

In New Zealand, there is a “synthetic cannabis” epidemic underway. A couple of recent deaths in Christchurch were believed to have been caused by the substances, and the total number of deaths in New Zealand this year attributed to them is approaching 50. This is rightly a public health crisis, and is increasingly being understood as such.

The substances being sold as synthetic cannabis generally have nothing to do with cannabis – they are mostly unknown psychoactives that generate some kind of buzz when smoked. No-one’s really sure where they come from or what’s in them, they’re just sold through shady contacts – often at tinny houses when someone was looking for natural cannabis – and end up killing people in the streets.

It doesn’t matter that these substances aren’t really much like cannabis, because they fill a market niche that would otherwise be filled by cannabis. If a person doesn’t like to drink alcohol, for whatever reason, the major alternative is some form of cannabis. If cannabis is not available, because prohibition has made it impossible to supply, then “synthetic cannabis” might have to do, because it will frequently be available through the same channels that a person would try to access natural cannabis.

For the many thousands of Kiwis believed to be addicted to synthetic cannabinoids, and for the hundreds of thousands who are at risk of encountering some synnies from one of the infamous “bad batches” that kill people from time to time, legal cannabis could serve as an exit drug. With legal cannabis in place, even if only at the medicinal level, a synthetic cannabinoid addict could be weaned off the synnies with a replacement medicinal cannabis regimen.

In America, there is an opioid epidemic underway. Opioid overdoses were believed to comprise 49,000 of the 72,000 drug overdose deaths in America in 2017. This contrasts with about 10,000 such deaths at the turn of the century. This represents several times more deaths than even the infamous American homicide rate – clearly a crisis of such proportions that extraordinary actions must now be considered.

Cannabis has shown immense promise as an exit drug from opioid addiction. Science Daily links a report from the University of British Colombia that found significant evidence to suggest that cannabis can help in the case of alcoholism and opiate addiction. There are already clinics in operation in Los Angeles where cannabis is in a clinical program of rehabilitation from heroin and alcohol misuse.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that rates of opioid use are lower in American states that have legalised medicinal cannabis, which suggests that individuals who use opiates are themselves happy to wean themselves off by using cannabis, if only there are given the opportunity. The JAMA study found that “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws.”

A report by Time Magazine found that rates of death by opioid overdose had quadrupled from the turn of the century, and that states which had legalised medicinal cannabis had saved hundreds of millions of dollars from alleviating some amount of opioid abuse. Even if a patient does not stop taking opiates completely, it is possible that a synergistic effect from the cannabis can potentiate the opiates they do take, meaning that they can take less for the same painkiller effect.

All this means that cannabis prohibition is effectively killing people, by preventing those addicted to alcohol and opiates from accessing a potential exit drug, and thereby forcing them to remain addicted to the substance. Despite the apparent moralistic intent behind cannabis prohibition, we can safely suggest that the spirit of the law was not that it should kill alcoholics and opioid addicts.

Cannabis law reform is necessary so that medicinal cannabis can be applied as an exit drug to people who are addicted to, or dependent on, more harmful substances. This will have the effect of substituting a substance that heals for substances that harm, and thereby preventing suffering.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Folksjälvmord

On my first visit to Sweden, from 2001 to 2003, I found occasion to coin a word in the Swedish language. They already had a word for genocide (‘folkmord’) and they already had a word for suicide (‘självmord’), but they didn’t have a word for the sociological phenomenon, widespread at the time, that combined both. This essay discusses ‘folksjälvmord’ and the reasons for it.

If you have 1,000 crowns in one bank account at 6% interest, and 100,000 crowns in another bank account at 2% interest, inevitably the first account will become larger than the second (assuming no withdrawals or changes to the rate). This is a matter of mathematical certainty, and can be proven true in every case where a smaller balance has a higher interest rate than a larger balance. No-one disputes this.

By similar reasoning, we can see that if the population of a minority group is increasing faster than their host population, then the minorities will eventually outnumber their hosts. Assuming no withdrawals (i.e. deportations or genocides), then a population that has a fertility rate of 3.0 plus 50,000 immigrants per year will eventually grow to overwhelm a population that starts out a hundreds times larger, but which only has a fertility rate of 2.0 or less (and no immigrants).

This process is known straightforwardly as “conquest” in any other context, but when the host population has an overwhelming military advantage compared to their invaders it isn’t so simple. If the hosts are willingly paying tax money to import these minorities, and then paying again to have those minorities breed while on welfare, then they’re effectively paying for their own ethnic cleansing.

This process can only be likened to a collective suicide, or suicide at the level of the population – folksjälvmord. After all, politics is little more than the expression of power, and the expression of power is mostly a numbers game, particularly in a democracy. If the host population stops being the majority then they give up power, and giving up power within your own country to a foreign entity that you imported can only be analogised as stabbing oneself in the leg or stomach, perhaps harakiri style.

Swedes didn’t think much of my witty neologism. The thought that it might happen to them seemed to be so unpleasant that it simply couldn’t be countenanced. It didn’t seem to matter to them that the same process of inevitable mathematical conquest was precisely what happened in the New World, where I came from. Better to simply blindly believe that all would be well than to ask how the Africans and Muslims would behave when they comprised 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%+ of the population.

This wilful, oblivious ignorance about the state of their situation might be likened to a delusion-based psychiatric illness, in the same way that someone who is obviously dying but who refuses to admit it.

A man addicted to heroin doesn’t want to hear that the drug will soon kill him; a nation addicted to virtue-signalling and self-righteousness doesn’t want to hear that the mass importation of foreigners with incompatible values will soon destroy them. In either case, a well-meaning observer might be well aware that the behaviour in question was effectively suicidal.

Sixteen years after this first visit of mine, it’s possible to observe the results of the practice of folksjälvmord. Although the decay of the country is yet to reach the elites – and therefore, yet to be officially acknowledged – the Swedish people are certainly aware of it. They responded by giving 18% of their votes to the far-right extremist Sweden Democrats in a General Election last month.

In Germany, which has also recently imported a large number of low-IQ immigrants, a similar phenomenon can be observed. Opinion polls for the next German Federal Election show that the far-right extremist Alternativ fuer Deutschland is now polling higher than the Establishment social democrats. This phenomenon is likely to spread to other nations that let in large numbers of “refugees” against the better judgment of the more sober of their citizens.

Folksjälvmord, then, doesn’t simply refer to a declining population, because populations (historically speaking) tend to resist conquest with as much violence as they can muster. It can also refer to the coming to power, within a nation, of groups of people who are patently unfit to rule, and who wreck the place. Folksjälvmord could, in that context, be considered a symptom of a dark age, or Kali Yuga. The destruction is as much internal, and spiritual, as external and physical.

The state of the world has notably changed since first coining the term ‘folksjälvmord’. The national suicides of the European nations are continuing apace – but now the Far East Asian ones have joined them. Indeed, the fertility rate in Far East Asia is now lower than Northern Europe (China 1.6, Japan 1.4, South Korea 1.2, c.f. Sweden 1.9, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway 1.7), and is continuing to fall there.

Perhaps the most frightening realisation is that folksjälvmord is far from a uniquely Swedish, European or even Western problem. It seems to be a natural part of the ebb and flow of empires and the golden ages of various peoples: as before, so after.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

VJMP Reads: David Seymour’s Own Your Future X

This reading carries on from here.

The ninth chapter in Own Your Future is ‘Personal Responsibility’. Seymour opens here with a stark claim that ACT doesn’t believe in the nanny state or in a paternalistic government. Many of our laws are holdouts from an age of Victorian values, he states, and they are enforced by politicians who transparently do not have a deeper grasp on morality than anyone else.

Breaking rank with the other Parliamentarians, Seymour is willing to admit here that cannabis does less harm than alcohol and tobacco (although he points out that cannabis is not without its own harms). He also echoes a point often made by Kiwi cannabis law reform activists (such as here), that the burden of Police enforcement of cannabis prohibition falls mostly on Maori.

Seymour cites a Treasury study that estimated that cannabis prohibition costs the country $300,000,000 annually, as well as tying up 600,000 hours of Police time. Worst of all, the supposed criminal deterrence doesn’t even work – the overwhelming majority of people convicted for cannabis offences go on to use it. Moreover, the law is applied in a haphazard manner, as can be seen by the 26-month sentence initially handed down to Kelly van Gaalen.

In a distinct break from the right-wing that ACT is usually associated with, Seymour repudiates the moralising that is chiefly responsible for cannabis prohibition, pointing out that not only is there a heavy majority in favour of cannabis law reform, but that majority is steadily growing. This contrasts with the proportion of people who oppose actual crimes, such as murder – this proportion remains constant.

True to the libertarian image that Seymour is trying to stake out, he argues for legal recreational cannabis as well. However, true to the conservative streak that binds his party to National, he is torn, claiming that 80% of the New Zealand public opposes recreational cannabis. He does not cite a source here, and neither does he note that such opposition would be unusual in the context of places like Colorado and California voting by referendum to legalise medicinal cannabis.

Seymour takes pains to seat himself as immovably as possible, right in the middle of the fence. He is open to the possibility that countries that legalise cannabis might “lose their morality” and “become cesspits of unmotivated human squalor” (as if alcohol was not well capable of achieving both), and wants to have a Royal Commission that takes five years before he will consider that we have satisfactory evidence to make a decision.

He rightly pillories the Government for its sharp increase in the tobacco tax, pointing out that the people most sharply affected by this are those who can least afford it. Worst of all, it seems that raising the tax further will not help persuade people to give up smoking. Those who are still addicted are so addicted that they will do almost anything to get hold of tobacco. Sensibly, Seymour would legalise vaping and e-cigarettes.

Euthanasia is another thing that Seymour would legalise, promising an end to “morality-based harassment”. His reason for promoting this is to avoid the indignity of the last weeks of life. Having nursed elderly grandparents to the end of a terminal illness, I can commiserate with him in this regard. He is also in favour of abortion, which makes him less hypocritical than the old right. Seymour doesn’t want to pay for your kid either, but he’s happy to help you get it aborted.

It’s hard to find fault with any of Seymour’s proposals in this chapter. Even if the only right he champions with conviction is the right to die, it’s an excellent thing that these libertarian proposals are even being suggested. It is interesting to note how similar ACT is with the Greens on issues such as cannabis, especially if it is considered that being young is highly correlated with both voting ACT and Green.

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If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).

The Case For Cannabis: Cannabis Is An Alternative to Booze

Alcohol is great fun – but it also has its downsides. Severe downsides. Violence, sexually transmitted diseases, mental disorder and verbal abuse: when the booze goes in, it all comes out. This essay will argue that the downsides of alcohol are severe enough that we ought to be permitted a recreational alternative in the form of cannabis.

The downsides to widespread alcohol use are considerable. The New Zealand Police Manager’s Guild Trust states that “alcohol is present in about 30 percent of family violence incidents they attend,” and according to the study The Burden of Death, Disease and Disability due to Alcohol in New Zealand, 3.9% of all deaths in New Zealand can be attributed to alcohol.

Any Police officer, emergency nurse, heart surgeon, barman, oncologist or taxi driver could give you supporting evidence. We are doing tremendous damage to ourselves on a daily basis through widespread consumption of a drug that has a number of highly toxic side-effects. The bashings, the rapes, the bodies wrecked in traffic accidents represent a great deal of human suffering – and we’re not given a recreational alternative.

Alcohol brings a great deal of joy, of course, which is why it should not be banned. The anti-depressant effects of being able to have a good time with friends is incalculable, even if one can measure the physical damage in dollars. Ultimately, we cannot say that any action that causes us to enjoy life without harming anyone else is immoral, and most alcohol use falls into that category.

However, much of it doesn’t. For those of us who do not wish to participate in the weekly debauchery, violence and chlamydia-fest that is the New Zealand alcohol culture, there should be a recreational alternative.

In Amsterdam, where recreational cannabis is effectively legal and sold openly from “coffee shops”, we can get a glimpse of what a cannabis-based recreational alternative to alcohol might look like. On the Rembrantplein on any sunny day, one can see a park full of people peacefully smoking cannabis, with no violence or disorder. This is not just because Dutch people are well-behaved (because Dutch people chimp out on booze much like anyone else) – it is more that non-violence goes hand-in-hand with cannabis use.

The fact is that cannabis is a relaxant and a pacifier, and it tends to make people more quiet rather than boisterous. So one of the best things about repealing cannabis prohibition is that it would give people a recreational alternative to alcohol. This means that anyone wanting to relax and unwind on the weekend wouldn’t be forced to partake in the culture of a drug that was associated with violence.

Indeed, it can be observed that rates of sex and violence crimes decrease in the wake of cannabis legalisation. This has been observed in the American states that legalised recreational cannabis since Colorado was the first in 2014. The obvious explanation for this is the vastly different effects that cannabis has on human behaviour compared to alcohol.

This is of utmost importance to those who are not compatible with alcohol, for whatever reasons. Many people know that they are not well-suited to drinking alcohol, because they tend to end up in trouble with the Police. When fully sober, many people can tell you that if they start drinking they will start fighting. But there’s no recreational alternative.

Legal cannabis would allow people to have options when it came to unwinding and having a good time. If they didn’t want to get messy they would be able to simply go to a cannabis cafe, and get blazed and talk some shit without the risk of violence.

Of course, the fact that cannabis is an alternative to booze is one reason why it’s suppressed. It has been demonstrated previously that political parties are soaked in donations from the alcohol industry, and that the purpose of those donations is to incentivise the politicians to vote against cannabis law reform. In other words, alternatives to booze mean lower profits for the booze industry.

This shouldn’t prevent the correct actions from being taken. Ultimately, the best option is to legalise cannabis so that there is a recreational alternative to alcohol. Those who are compatible with alcohol can drink alcohol, and those who are not have the option of using cannabis to unwind. This is much fairer and safer method of dealing with people’s recreational needs than by forcing them all to drink booze.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Parts of Language Words

Word – kupu

An old woman walks up to a box and says “Eh, you words shouldn’t be cooped up in that box.” She opens the box and hundreds of words come out.

Sentence, Saying – rerenga kōrero

A woman reads from a piece of paper: “Rare anger, core ear? This sentence doesn’t make any sense!” The man next to her, who has apple cores for ears, gets angry. It’s a rare anger, core-ear.

Paragraph – kōwae

A boy is writing on a piece of paper, and a second boy reads the paper, and says “Paragraph, paragraph, paragraph.” The first boy says “Go away”.

Consonant – orokati

Two canoes are racing. One is covered in consonants and the other is covered in vowels. One of the rowers in the consonant canoe is a cat, and his partner says “Oh, row, catty!”

Vowel – oropuare

Two canoes are racing. One is covered in consonants and the other is covered in vowels. One of the rowers in the vowel canoe is a very wealthy-looking man, and he says to his partner “Oh, row, Poorer!”

Language – reo

A man says to a cat “Hey, do you speak human language?” The cat replies “Rrreoo!”

The Maori word for ‘lower-case’ – pūriki – shares a p-r-k construction with the English word ‘pork’

to spell – tātaki kupu

On a tarry road covered in tacks, there is a chicken coop. It is the tar-tacky coop. In it, the chickens are busy spelling out words.

to define, Definition – tautuhi

A schoolteacher asks a boy “Can you define the word for the class?” The boy says “Totally!”

Letter (lower case) – pūriki

A lower-case letter is being filmed doing a cooking show. It adds some meat into a frypan and say “This is the case of pork.”

Letter (upper case) – pūmatua

A bunch of upper-case letters are spectating a boxing photo shoot. The bout is between an Argentinan rugby player (a Puma) and David Tua. In upper-case letters above the shoot spell out: “P U M A – T U A

Alphabet – arapū

A man says “Hey I composed a rap. It’s about the alphabet.” The man raps off A-B-C.

Phrase – rerenga kupu

Two men watch a chicken coop in which the chickens are angry and fighting. One says “That’s a rare anger coop.” The other says “You know the phrase: it’s a cold winter when you have a rare anger coop.”

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

The Case For Cannabis: Prohibition Harms Respect for the Law and for the Police

“Fuck the Police, comin’ straight from the underground,” go the lyrics. Many young Westerners can commiserate with the sentiment that the Police are not there to protect and serve them, but rather to harass and abuse them. But why should it be this way? This article examines the corrosive effect that cannabis prohibition has had on respect for the law and for the Police.

In the Netherlands, the occupation of Police officer doesn’t carry anywhere near the same stigma that it does among cannabis users in other Western countries. Not enforcing cannabis prohibition against the will of the people means that Police officers are seen as allies with a shared interest in the peaceful functioning of the community. Dutch people are not afraid to approach Police officers to ask for help or directions.

In other Western countries, by contrast, many young people see the Police as the enemy. It’s hard to have sympathy for someone “just doing their jobs” when doing their job involves conducting a war against their own people on behalf of their paymasters in the Government. Actions taken by Police officers in arresting people for using cannabis, such as the ones described here and here, are acts of evil in the eyes of most people, and certainly so in the eyes of cannabis users.

The first thought of many people, when they get high for the first time, is to immediately realise that they have been lied to about cannabis. It is not a substance that causes psychosis, but the contrary: it’s a medicine that removes it (although it arguably causes psychosis in non-users). Cannabis users gain the ability to go over previous traumatic memories and view them with new, happier eyes. In other words, it’s a healing herb.

This means that the Police are happy to carry out the task of imprisoning people for using a medicine, and for no other reason than that they were told to by their paymasters in Government. This is inherently disreputable conduct. Standing in the way of any sick person accessing their medicine is an act of evil, and if the Police willingly do this for money then it’s inevitable that the populace come to disrespect them for doing so.

There are knock-on effects of this which form a positive feedback loop. Cannabis prohibition deters decent people from joining the Police, because they know that if they do join they will have to enforce an immoral law against innocent people. So the quality of the average Police officer goes down on account of that the most moral and empathetic individuals disqualify themselves from service.

Another effect of cannabis prohibition is that people come to lose respect for the law. Many people, upon realising that cannabis is medicinal, ask themselves: if the government is willing to pass a law as stupid and counter-productive as the prohibition of cannabis, who’s to say that they put any real amount of honest thought into any of the other laws they passed?

This effect is certainly responsible for much of the hard drug use that people engage in. Many people who use cannabis and realise that the law against it is illegitimate come to think that laws against other drugs must also be illegitimate. This leads to them experimenting with those other drugs out of disdain for the law. When those people discover that the other drugs are much less kind than cannabis, it’s too late.

This process needs not stop there either: it can lead to disrespecting other laws, or even the concept of laws. If the Government is capable of passing a law as blatantly crooked and immoral as cannabis prohibition, why assume that any of their other laws are based on reason and logic?

The major undesirable effect of losing respect for the law is that social cohesion falls. After all, the vast majority of laws exist for good reason: violating them causes human suffering. Murder, rape, theft, assault – all of these cause unnecessary misery to other human beings. Cannabis does not, so if there is a law against that, then the law can’t be based on preventing suffering. It must be based on something else (such as corporate control etc.).

There are a large number of medicinal cannabis users, and they are an ever-growing number. Possibly they will continue to grow for some time yet as the medicinal qualities of cannabis become apparent to more and more people. If the Police continue to attack people for using medicinal cannabis, then the level of respect that average people have for the law and for the Police will continue to fall.

Comprehensive cannabis law reform, so that ordinary people were never persecuted for using or cultivating cannabis, is necessary so that the Police and the law can regain the respect of the public.

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This article is an excerpt from The Case For Cannabis Law Reform, compiled by Vince McLeod and due for release by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2018/19.

Why Science, Correctly Performed, Will Lead To A Belief In God

Nobel Physics Prize laureate Werner Heisenberg once said “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.” Something that Heisenberg understood, but which most lesser scientists do not, is that a belief in God will arise from doing science correctly. As this essay will examine, atheism is not necessarily the correct attitude to take into the natural sciences.

The scientific method begins with determining what we know for sure, and from there reaching out to what else can be stated with some degree of certainty. For instance, if a particular chemical reaction has transpired in a particular way a hundred times, we can predict with a high level of certainty that it will transpire that way one more time. From there, we can make alterations to our methodology in order to learn more.

What do we know for sure?

As it turns out, there is only one thing that a person can know 100% for sure: that they are conscious. Everything else is necessarily a matter of faith. Every belief, apart from the belief that one is conscious, is a matter of faith, because it is a statement about the material world.

All phenomena within the material world are known to be transitory, and therefore they contain an element of chaos that precludes total understanding of them. One might declare with certitude that “The Sun will rise tomorrow,” but even this is an article of faith – the Earth could be struck overnight by a gigantic comet that reduced the planet to cosmic rubble, thereby proving one wrong.

Although one might be 99.9999% sure about such predictions, one can never truly be certain, in the way that one can be certain that one is conscious. No prediction that depended on the permanence of some aspect of the material world could ever be made with 100% certainty – Heisenberg himself expressed this understanding with his Uncertainty Principle. It is certainly possible to predict that things will change (i.e. that you will die), but it is seldom possible to predict precisely when.

If one doesn’t know for sure that the material world exists, but one knows for sure that consciousness exists, then it doesn’t make logical sense to assume that the material world is the basis of reality. Consciousness can easily create the impression of a material world – it does so every night in our dreams. But there is no scientific explanation, no plausible explanation, that can demonstrate how the material world might develop consciousness. All talk of “emergent properties” is merely materialist dogma, special pleading.

Ockham’s Razor tells us that it’s more likely that consciousness dreamed up the material world and Planet Earth, in much the same way that it dreams worlds at night (an explanation that requires one step), than that the material world spawned from nowhere and evolved to be conscious (an explanation that requires hundreds, if not thousands of steps).

Therefore, there is no reason to assume that the death of the physical body ought to affect consciousness. If the material world is simply a set of phenomena that are dreamed up by consciousness, then there is no reason to assume that the death of one’s physical body ought to affect that consciousness. Therefore, there is no reason to assume that consciousness “disappears” or “dies” or even so much as changes form when the physical body dies.

The real question, then, is: of what does one become conscious upon the cessation of the temporal patterns that corresponded to one’s physical body? It isn’t easy to speculate about such things, because it depends on how laws from this world translate to the next. One thing can be said for certain though: of the next world, one will be conscious.

Ockham’s Razor can also be applied to the realm of biology to support the contention that consciousness is the prime materia.

Evolutionary science tells us very clearly that organisms do not evolve unnecessary appendages. None of limbs, organs, or parts of the brain will come into existence unless there is an evolutionary pressure that favours them. This will only be the case if those limbs, organs or parts of the brain (or early forms of them, at least) confer some kind of selective advantage. Without this advantage, there will be no selective pressure in favour of that appendage, and without that pressure it will not come to exist.

Consciousness confers no survival advantage. The human animal does not need to be aware in order to carry out any of its survival functions. All of the thoughts and calculations that the human brain performs over the course of a human life could just as well be made without consciousness. After all, a computer or android could be programmed to scan its physical environment for the sign of predators or food sources. It wouldn’t need to be conscious to do so.

If consciousness confers no survival advantage, then it cannot have been selected for by natural selection (i.e. by biological or material means). If it was not selected for by natural selection then it cannot be biological and attached to, or arising from, any part of the brain. To the contrary – the material world, including the brain, arises from consciousness.

If consciousness can dream up this world, and if it can dream up the fantastic nightscapes of our dreams, then it can dream up an infinitude of other world, realms and dimensions. And indeed it has – the entire rest of the Great Fractal is currently being explored by consciousness, in an infinitude of realms that you cannot even hope to perceive (yet).

Anything within the Great Fractal (i.e. everything that it is possible to perceive) can be dreamed up and explored by consciousness. Consciousness is infinitely creative. Consciousness can find a way to perceive anything that is perceivable. If it’s perceivable, then there’s a path to it through the Great Fractal from where consciousness currently is.

This effectively means that consciousness is omnipotent: after all, it is capable of conjuring anything from all the permutations of what’s possible.

It is often said that belief in God is a question of faith. Indeed it is. There is no possible way to prove that any being apart from oneself is conscious. All other beings could be conscious like you, or they could be programmable meatbags – and you have no way to prove otherwise. If they are conscious, that consciousness cannot be observed or measured. There is no instrument that will detect its presence or absence.

If consciousness is eternal, has the power to create anything possible, and whose presence in others is necessarily a question of faith, then consciousness is therefore God. It fulfills all of the criteria commonly attributed to God by Epicurus and others. This understanding can be arrived at scientifically, by logic, without need for faith.

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