Friday, May 13, 2022

The rejected soulmate lady again

I commented on this story here on 9th. But the Daily Mail has now picked it up. And they have added a whole lot of comments from readers about the story. The opening of their story:

"A mother-of-two has gone viral on social media after writing a memoir about leaving her husband of 14 years to pursue a stranger who she thought could be her 'soulmate'.

Amanda Trenfield, from Sydney, explained that she spent 20 years building a 'somewhat predictable life' with a career in the financial services alongside caring for two young children and her marriage.

In an extract from her new book, published by The Sydney Morning Herald, Amanda said that she was hoping to reconnect with her husband during a three-day conference in Margaret River but found herself drawn to another man, Jason, at the event due to the 'strong and raw' electricity between them"

None of the comments showed much understanding of what the woman reported so I am glad that I was able to add a supportive voice to the discussion.

At one level what she reported was a teenage "crush" very late in life but I thought that there was more in it than that. I have actually had similar experiences at a somewhat lower intensity. So I thought it might be appropriate for me to tell a bit about how it once went for me quite recently -- in 2020 -- with me in my 70s

In my story the lady is the one who was conflicted. We both felt right to one-another from the beginning but a circumstance made a relationship impossible. She knew that she should see nothing of me after our first meeting but for a while she just could not let me go.

We got on very easily during our initial meeting over morning tea but there was a large age gap between us. I was 77 and she was 64. We both saw that as a problem so all I could offer her was friendly dinners.

It turned out that my offer was attractive to her. And we did subsequently enjoy one another's company a lot over many dinners -- mostly on Saturday nights. Except for the age problem we would have formed a lasting relationship to see us through our remaining years.

Despite recognizing that we were not going anywhere together, she still wanted to see rather a lot of me. She too saw us as being of a related "type"

We never did have stable arrangements. A couple of times my physical unsuitability would get to her and she would email me breaking it off between us. Come the next Saturday night, however, she would relent and ask me to take her to dinner. I was happy to oblige. A friendship is less demanding than a sexual relationship.

Saturday is of course the big "going-out" night in our culture so that was significant. You usually see your "significant other" on that night

So on one such occasion we went to a nearby Burmese restaurant where we had a very good dinner and where we got on well. We watched some operetta back at my place after dinner.

Later on on a Sunday I had a breakfast at my usual haunt with her. She picked me up from home in her large Toyota Camry hybrid. We got on famously. Our breakfast lasted 3 hours, the latter half of which we spent back at my place! We discussed a remarkable range of things, including some quite intimate details of our pasts.

On a later date, she said she had been celebrating her 64th birthday with her family all the week so needed a special dinner on Saturday night. So I took her to the Persian restaurant, which always impresses. As I usually do, I ordered the the platter for two, which is actually two large platters plus a smaller platter, all three covered with enticing food. She was suitably impressed.

I had intended to bring a bottle of champagne but forgot. So she offered to walk down to the nearby drive-through to pick up a bottle. I gave her a $20 for the purpose. She asked me what I wanted and I said: "Just some cheap champagne". She was quite tickled by that. She kept repeating "cheap champagne"! She knows I am well-off so was surprised that I would drink such a thing. I just smiled. Anyway she came back with a rather impressive-looking $30 bottle of French champagne. French wine has got a lot cheaper in recent years. She said "I don't do cheap champagne". She is the ex-wife of a well-off professional man so is probably a bit spoilt. What she bought was a reasonable drop.

She and I normally dined together on Saturday evenings. Last Saturday, however, she was away for the long weekend ending on Monday. She obviously missed our Saturday, however, as she texted me on Tuesday morning (6th), asking if we could have breakfast together. I got the text a bit late for that so I took her to the "Buncha Buncha" North Vietnamese restaurant at Stone's corner that night.

On the way home, we picked up a dessert from Aldi-- Mango sorbet. We took it back to my place. First we had a cup of tea then the dessert. After that we watched part of an operetta on DVD. We were both a bit tired before we had watched much of the operetta so called it a night at that stage: a very pleasant night

Later: I had a particularly nice time with her at my place that night. She brought over champagne and some excellent pizza and drank rather a lot of the champagne. We mostly talked about relationships. We have both had a few

So for a while she and I had been having some good Saturday night dinners. And we got steadily closer as dinner followed dinner. We found a lot in common in our thinking.

So on another Saturday we had another good dinner together at a local restaurant, followed by dessert at my place, which was as pleasant as usual. But this time there was a sequel

Next day she turned up to meet me for breakfast as well. Dinner only with me was not enough this week. And after breakfast we did a Sunday drive to Wynnum. So I now seemed to have a definite new friend, which pleased me greatly. We did have lots of laughs while we were together

But something came up in her life that alerted her to where we were going and she knew that the age gap between us would be a long-term problem for her so she finally broke it off with me.

My present relationship is in some ways similar. I rapidy got on well with Zoe but there was not the compelling initial feeling like I had with the lady above. There does seem to be a strong draw to me for her, however. We both are aware of great differences between us and she often comments on them. She is for starters a Serb with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Belgrade. So much for a common culture! And she has often declared it "off" between us because of our differences. But she kept coming back to me and we now have arrived at a warm relationship between us. I think she is gorgeous. See her below -- JR

image from

UPDATE: Zoe has now read the above story. She commented that she too initially thought that I was not right for her but she too found that she could not leave me alone


Boston's ignominious record of disrespecting free speech

by Jeff Jacoby

THE SUPREME COURT'S 9-0 decision Monday in Shurtleff v. Boston, the City Hall Plaza flagpole case, marked the third time in recent memory that the high court ruled unanimously that free speech rights in Boston and Massachusetts had been suppressed in violation of the Constitution.

In the 1995 case of Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston, the private organizers of the city's annual St. Patrick's Day parade turned down an Irish gay-pride group that wanted to carry a banner in the parade. The group, known as GLIB, sued for the right to march, arguing that the parade's organizers had no legal right to exclude them. Every Massachusetts court, up to and including the Supreme Judicial Court, ruled in GLIB's favor and said the parade organizers were obliged to accommodate them.

But when the case reached the nation's highest court, all nine justices agreed that Massachusetts was wrong. Under the First Amendment, the organizers of a private parade could not be compelled to admit a group whose message they chose not to promote. Fundamental to "the principle of free speech is that one who chooses to speak may also decide what not to say," wrote Justice David Souter. Massachusetts, the court held, "is not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one."

Then there was the case of McCullen v. Coakley, which challenged a Massachusetts law requiring opponents of abortion to stay at least 35 feet away from the entrance to any abortion clinic. The law made it a crime, punishable by fines and imprisonment, to speak, pray, or hold a sign within that "buffer zone" — even on a public sidewalk. Once again the Massachusetts courts, applauded by much of the state's political and media establishment, upheld the violation of free speech. Once again the US Supreme Court unanimously overruled them. All nine justices agreed that the Massachusetts law was repugnant to the First Amendment. Even the court's staunchest defenders of abortion rights — three of them women — emphasized that citizens have a right to express their views on public sidewalks.

Now, in yet another unanimous decision, the high court has admonished public officials in Boston for contravening the free speech rights of a group whose message they didn't care for.

For a dozen years, city officials had routinely allowed private organizations to hold hundreds of ceremonies on City Hall Plaza, always permitting them to raise any flag they wished on a flagpole that Boston had explicitly designated a "public forum." But when Harold Shurtleff, who heads a civic group called Camp Constitution, tried to schedule an hour-long ceremony to "commemorate the civic and social contributions of the Christian community" while flying a Christian flag, the city said no. This was the only time the city had denied a flag request, and its reason for doing so was clear: City Hall rejected Camp Constitution's application, wrote Justice Stephen Breyer in his opinion, because of "the fact that it was the Christian flag." In so doing, Boston "discriminated based on religious viewpoint and violated the Free Speech Clause."

Any one of these cases might have reflected honest confusion among Boston or Massachusetts officials about their constitutional obligation to protect freedom of expression. Three such cases point to a more serious problem. All three times, the power of the state, either legislative or judicial, was deployed to suppress a conservative and/or religious point of view. The parade organizers didn't want to celebrate LGBT pride. The prolife protesters wanted to recommend alternatives to abortion. Camp Constitution wanted to honor the role of Christianity in Boston history. Each time, the muscle of the government was flexed to keep the viewpoint from being expressed. And members of Boston's influential liberal elite, with rare exceptions, either said nothing or endorsed the infringement of the conservatives' First Amendment liberties.

Perhaps the most egregious occurred in August 2017, when a small group of little-known libertarians and eccentrics secured a permit to hold what they billed as a "Free Speech Rally" on Boston Common. The group posed a threat to no one. But their rally took place a week after the "Unite the Right" march of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., degenerated into deadly violence and there was a rumor something similar was planned for Boston. At a press conference with other elected officials, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh amplified the rumor and denounced the organizers of the minuscule rally. "Boston does not want you here," he declared, vowing to do everything he could to shut down the event.

In the end, the rally took place but the handful of speakers on the Parkman Bandstand were prevented from being heard. They were segregated behind a 225-foot buffer zone and uniformed officers made sure no one got close enough to listen to them. A directive from the Boston Police Department barred even reporters from approaching the speakers.

As a result, the members of the little rally "spoke essentially to themselves for about 50 minutes," the Globe reported. The city's "security measures denied them an audience as well as press coverage of what they had to say." When the city's police commissioner, Bill Evans, was later asked if it had been right to treat them that way, he unapologetically pronounced it "a good thing," adding: "Their message isn't what we want to hear."

The whole episode was shameful — another case in which the free-speech rights of a disfavored Boston minority were trampled underfoot by local government.

For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, the phrase "banned in Boston" evoked the right-wing Puritanism of the city's political leadership. Today Boston and Massachusetts are left-wing bastions, yet the willingness to stifle unpopular expression persists. All that has changed is that those censored now are likely to be politically or religiously conservative. That — and the fact that the justices of the Supreme Court, liberals and conservatives alike, are far more vigilant about upholding freedom of speech. How many more times must Boston be spanked by all nine members of the nation's highest court before it learns to treat the First Amendment with respect?


New Zealand's minority problem

Political corruption may always be endemic, but moves by our powerful, now immensely wealthy neo-tribal corporations have become so blatantly cynical they are arousing resentment throughout New Zealand.

When the constant, opportunistic claim comes that anti-Maori discrimination is such that Maoris are over-represented in all areas of disadvantage throughout New Zealand, few ask to see the actual evidence by asking who is actually Maori? These claims are routinely made by wealthy individuals – such as one former Maori MP earning hundreds of thousands of dollars annually sitting on Maori boards and trusts – reportedly owning close to $5 million in property and other assets, while constantly complaining colonisation has failed Maoris.

However, those making the most strident complaints seem in no hurry to repudiate the advantages which accrued as a result of European settlement – comfortable housing; heating; medical care; European clothing; supermarkets; cars; deep-freezers; cellphones; computers and so on.

European scientific discovery and technological wizardry gave Maori, too, the ability to fly anywhere in the world, to share in all innovations. So little was discrimination practised that no full-blooded Maoris can be found in New Zealand.

Every race has its villains – as any history of co-settlement makes plain. But New Zealanders became proud of being One People – as Captain William Hobson wished. History records many Maori chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi being greatly relieved to now be under the protection of the British Crown, sharing the same legal rights as all other New Zealanders – as were the slaves and those aware that the vagaries of internecine warfare had them in line to be eaten, according to the barbaric and brutal practice of cannibalism.

Most part-Maori today share the same values as all other New Zealanders, anxious for their families to be cared for and to prosper, working to achieve success in the trades, professions, and on the land – as so many do. But not activist extremists and neo-tribal hierarchies, who, in spite of achieving multi-million dollar settlements for past grievances – some justified, others arguably fraudulent – don’t desist from demanding more and more ‘compensation’ from other New Zealanders.

Their constant complaints are that the supposedly detrimental effects of colonisation on the original Polynesians still persist today. It does not lead them to surrender the taxpayer-funded Maori television channel – risibly contrived by claiming entitlement to this by the signing of the treaty – nor to surrender priority placings reserved in our universities, our medical and law schools and elsewhere for those claiming even a smidgen of part-Maori inheritance. And although Maoris caused widespread ecological disasters – such as burning forests to hunt the last great moas to extinction, as with the giant Haast’s eagle, with its habitat destruction and the extinction of its prey – their neo-tribal descendants are now claiming special consultation rights throughout New Zealand on the grounds that Maori have superior conservation insights in these areas.

These same hierarchies manipulatively claim to represent ‘our people’ – the majority of whom they demonstrably don’t. So where did all this start? Undoubtedly, indoctrinating young Maoris in neo-Marxist orthodoxies coincided with removing the definition of a Maori, restricted until the mid-Seventies to those with 50 per cent Maori genetic inheritance. It then became claimed that if one felt Maori, one was Maori – with today’s neo-tribes anxious to incorporate those with as little as 1/16 or 1/32 genetic inheritance, or even less, to swell the numbers of a particular iwi, and gain more political influence. However, I well recall the well-respected Whetu Tirikanete-Sullivan, MP, of Ngai Tahu descent, pan-Māori in her approach, arguing against this emphasis on tribal affiliation as divisive.

And what of a moral compass lacking not only among these iwi leaders but of lawyers representing them? In some instances the latter have apparently been incredibly ignorant of the fraudulent nature of the claims of tribes engaging them in litigation against the Crown.

In others, has a factor been the perennial problem of competitive lawyers seeking at all costs to win against the opposition?

The Ngai Tahu settlement of 1998, for example, has been described as a swindle – much evidence presented blatantly untrue – much of it a misrepresentation or twisting of actual facts. It has been well claimed this third ‘full and final settlement’ – with arguably unwarranted top-ups such as sole right to whale-watching in Kaikoura or to South Island greenstone (long carried north for barter by a prior, established tribe) – should never have been ratified by the government. Since its last supposedly final settlement, Ngai Tahu have contrived more handouts – even the right to plant their trees on Crown land which should belong to all New Zealanders.

However, most memorable are statements made at the time by the leaders of both Ngai Tahu and its powerful competitor, the Waikato/Tainui tribe. Robert Mahuta, known as Bob, the principal negotiator of its multi-million dollar settlement, was the father of Nanaia Mahuta, Jacinda Ardern’s highly controversial spokesperson on foreign affairs and local government issues – including the quite shocking Three Waters attempt to wrest assets from local ratepayers for basically iwi control.

When it was pointed out to Bob Mahuta at the time of the settlement how much this would be able to advantage needy tribal members, his reply was that the money would go instead to the young of the tribe, these who were committed to learning Maori and enrolling in university, law, and media courses – for the ultimate benefit of tribal advancement. The Ngai Tahu leader’s response to the suggestion that their poor and disadvantaged could now be taken care of was to the effect that they were no-hopers – it was up to the government to take care of them.

With the Maori economy now worth an estimated $70 billion, the affluent corporatised iwi, largely exempt from even paying taxes, still constantly claim disadvantage – for example, that the New Zealand health system discriminates against Maoris – against plenty of evidence it has long worked hard to treat all, irrespective of race, now even prioritising those of Maori descent.

However, the Ardern government’s attack on our democracy to give more and more advantages to part-Maori, even planning for their votes to count more, has at last become the tipping point for New Zealanders.

And above all, an important question needs addressing: when is the constant lying going to stop?


How Safe Haven Laws Help Make Abortion Unnecessary

A “distressful life and future” threatens women unless they have the ability to avoid the burden of unwanted parenthood via abortion. So reasoned Justice Harry Blackmun in his 1973 Roe v. Wade majority opinion, which deemed elective abortion a newfound constitutional right.

Yet, decades after the Supreme Court’s grim assessment of the options available for those facing an unexpected pregnancy, nationwide “safe haven” laws add another important choice for women outside of Blackmun’s false dichotomy.

First enacted in Texas in 1999, safe haven laws now exist in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Hospitals, fire stations, or other designated emergency locations serve as 24/7 drop-off points for those seeking both immediate care and long-term parenting support for an infant.

State laws prioritize privacy and legal protection for women surrendering a baby, with complete anonymity possible throughout the drop-off process in a growing number of states. Many jurisdictions now utilize so-called baby boxes, climate-controlled locking devices accessible from the exterior of buildings, which send an alert to the facility within seconds to allow the safe surrender of a child with no in-person interaction with health care workers or public officials.

Monica Kelsey, founder of the national organization Safe Haven Baby Boxes, emphasizes the “100% anonymous options for parents in need” offered by the fixtures.

Increasingly, states have extended the time period in which a parent may relinquish parenting duties. Over half of states now have policies allowing a baby to be surrendered through at least 30 days post-birth.

In Virginia, recent bipartisan legislation extended from 14 to 30 days the time in which a baby can be delivered discreetly into community care through the state’s safe haven law.

Recognizing the need to raise awareness of the little-known policy, legislators also charged the Virginia Department of Social Services with launching a 24/7 hotline and a statewide marketing campaign to help women know how to access this critical option after birth.

The postpartum time period, aptly dubbed the “fourth trimester” by health professionals, can be especially overwhelming for single parents navigating the physical and emotional transition following birth. Safe haven policies give these women time and choice about their family’s future even after birth, relieving the fear that a parenting burden is inescapable.

Making women aware of safe haven policies during pregnancy can also help women avoid feeling pressured or coerced into an abortion decision in the early weeks of a pregnancy.

Expectant mothers commonly report ambivalence regarding plans for an unexpected pregnancy. Many of the 600 women that our free clinic serves each year share their conflicting emotions about a surprise pregnancy as they discuss their desire for their child alongside their own perceived parenting limitations.

The concerns they voice reflect worries about caring for a child beyond birth, not the actual experience of pregnancy. Indeed, finances, relationship fallout, and career consequences are among the main reasons for abortion cited in various qualitative studies conducted by the abortion industry. Yet, even as women often recognize the future challenges of parenting a new baby, they also report complex emotions about the abortion decision itself.

Many women see abortion as an imperfect resolution to unwanted parenthood. It’s time we listen to their voices and emphasize a broadened framework for choice that includes parenting with community support services (like those freely offered by the nearly 3,000 nonprofit pregnancy help centers similar to the one I lead), open adoption, and also safe surrender options beyond birth.

In Roe v. Wade’s companion case Doe v. Bolton, Justice William O. Douglas stated in his concurring opinion: “Elaborate argument is hardly necessary to demonstrate that childbirth may deprive a woman of her preferred lifestyle and force upon her a radically different and undesired future.”

Yet, more conversation is necessary. Fears and reluctance to raise an additional child can be very real for women, but a “radically different and undesired future” shaped by forced parenthood is no foregone conclusion.

Safe haven policies give women an additional option to spare themselves the heartache of ending the life of a child they do value, while also providing a private and secure transition of care for that child post-birth.

As the Supreme Court prepares to rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it is imperative that the justices reject the Supreme Court’s anachronistic view that only unfettered abortion access can prevent a dismal future for women.


I Am a Soviet Writer Now

Roger L. Simon

In recent weeks I have been canceled by Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all without explanation.

I tried in each case but was unable to get one. In fact, I was even blocked on Facebook from any explanation other than the most generic “community standards“ blather. I never used Instagram much in the first place.

In the case of Twitter, I was attempting to make my return after many months—I had left on my own in disgust at the bias, not to mention the mysterious disappearance of my followers—hopeful that it might be a more collegial space with Elon Musk in the process of purchasing the company and promising free speech.

No such luck.

What I got for my troubles was something extremely bizarre. I was asked to authenticate myself by identifying one of six squares that contained an inaccurate shadow. I had to do this fourteen times, but on the fifteenth, I was told I was in error and sent back to one again. This happened several times. It was an obvious shell game set up by someone at Twitter. I was never admitted—or told anything, for that matter.

I have no idea how many others were receiving the same treatment, but so much for Twitter—with or without Musk.

This is no joke. We are living deep in an era of thought control. For writers even slightly on the right, it is extending into many areas. I am someone who once wrote for the likes of Simon & Schuster, Random House, Universal Studios, and Warner Brothers. It is highly unlikely—almost impossible—that I could do so now.

And, of course, those are the big players with the big audiences and mass distribution, the major access points to middle America, those few that are left not on one side or other of our great divide and who might be persuaded of something.

Those of us anywhere to the right of Trotsky are not allowed to talk to them. (That’s an exaggeration, but not by much.)

So every day when I get up, I have a moment of anxiety when I turn on my computer. It is supposed to open automatically on The Epoch Times where I now write as well as get a substantial amount of my news? I am worried that it will still be there, whether I and/or it will be branded “misinformation” and “disappeared”?

Long may The Epoch Times—and those few others like it—thrive. And thank you so much to the readers who keep them alive!

Nevertheless, this is all starting to remind me of the Soviet Union that I visited twice on cultural exchanges during the early glasnost (in the late ’80s). In fact, the America of today has for some time.

I remember visiting two apartment buildings that were named Screenwriter I and II. They housed favored writers, screenwriters or not, and were sought after because, I was told, they contained the best medical clinics in Moscow on the ground floor.

In the Soviet Union, decent medical care was only available to party officials and others—scientists and cultural workers—who played along.

Writers who didn’t had to find other access. The greatest writing of Soviet times was the clandestine samizdat (literally “self-publishing” in Russian), those who obviously had the courage to buck a vicious system—the Solzhenitsyns, the Mandelstams, and so forth. Financial remuneration, not to mention the best medical care, was not for them.

Of course, we are building our own more open-minded structures, some in publishing, others in film. They all have good intentions. But for the most part, we are only allowed to preach to the choir. We are kept off in a corner, segregated.

Somehow this must be overcome. We must be able to reach the masses because we are the masses, not them.

What is going on in our country today is a full-on attack on free speech under a duplicitous, fascistic facade of making sure the public is correctly informed, that there is no “misinformation” (the big lie word of our times).

So when I say I’m a Soviet writer now, I hope you know I mean those great writers who wrote samizdat in opposition to a totalitarian state. I have nowhere near their courage. I have nowhere near their depth. But I identify with them because my country is on the verge of being turned into theirs.




No comments: