Photo of the Day

Lee reads several newspapers daily. She especially likes the funnies, and always does the Word Scramble puzzles. © Jessica Eve Rattner

Lee reads several newspapers daily. She especially likes the funnies, and always does the Word Scramble puzzles. © Jessica Eve Rattner

House of Charm

House of Charm is the ongoing portrait of Lee, a woman whose eccentricities conceal a beauty and intelligence that most people do not easily see

In 2003, the photographer Jessica Eve Rattner moved into a house in Berkeley, California, around the corner from an old woman named Lee.

At first, Rattner knew Lee as a shopping-cart pushing raider of recycling bins, a dishevelled old woman with foot-tall dreadlocked hair. But a quick exchange in the driveway, while Lee scoured for recycled cans, changed everything. Instead of dismissing her outright, Rattner became smitten by her intelligence and quirky charm. She asked Lee if it was okay to photograph her, and to her surprise, she agreed.

At first, like others, I knew her as the neighbourhood “bag lady,” a dread-locked raider of recycling bins who pushed her shopping cart through the early morning streets. Lee’s dilapidated home stood out in a neighbourhood where even the most modest homes were valued at half a million dollars. She had neither heat nor running water. The roof and floors were rotting; many windows were broken; and the rooms were choked with recycling, found objects, and cat feces. The condition of her house was — and continues to be — what most would consider uninhabitable.

Most people perceive Lee as “crazy,” someone to be avoided. Few get close enough to learn that while she is eccentric, she is also intelligent, charming, and self-assured. And perhaps most remarkably, that she leads the life she chooses to — one for which she is neither apologetic or ashamed.

Rattner has long been interested in ideas of beauty, happiness, and mental health — especially as they relate to women. In a culture obsessed with youth, materialism, and physical appearance, Lee’s apparent indifference to these things sets her apart. Lee will soon turn eighty. Is Lee crazy to be happy in conditions others could not tolerate? Is something wrong with her? Who decides?

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The truth about the spread and enforcement of Sharia law in Europe

Many Westerners are living under Sharia law but are totally oblivious because 99% of Westerners have no understanding of what the Shariah is.

The creator of the burkini, Australian-Lebanese designer Aheda Zanetti, said the burkini was designed to give women more freedom. However, these freedoms are taken away from women through oppressive garments such as the burkini. We saw the same thing with hijabs. Hijabs were once an option and now the only Muslim women represented in the media are hijabis. In other words, what Muslim women are being told – and shamed with – is that if you’re not covered, you’re not Muslim or modest. It’s a soft form of slut-shaming that surprisingly few feminists have caught onto. One day it’s hijabistas and the next day it’s burkinis, but the message is the same: cover up.

The burkini is a new adaptation of that. Though unintended by the designer, the consequences are the same: if you’re not covered, you’re inappropriate. And that’s what the underbelly of Islamic culture does: it aims to control a woman’s space, whether it is in the mosque, in the bedroom, in the home, her body, or her voice. It’s an abusive cultural conditioning.

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Whaleoil Music Quiz

Is there an advisory panel for people paying for all of this?

Via the tipline


Medicinal Cannabis Benefits – Part 1 of 2

Guest post

If millions of people/voters suffering daily from chronic pain and terminal illness is not enough of a reason to legislate for medicinal cannabis; nor the prospect of delivering a modicum of dignity and self respect to these sufferers in their hour of most need, then maybe these other benefits might persuade legislators…

One law change would have numerous flow-on benefits, including –

  • $450-550Million annual Government spending reprioritised into healthcare & education. Net spending benefit to NZ Inc of between $900Million – $1.1Bn
  • Create an entirely new dairy/pharmaceutical industry – employment, industry, taxes, regulatory requirements.
  • Fix housing demand in high demand locations  & grow Provincial NZ simultaneously
  • Save some of $NZ1.7Billion in Aid… AND reduce unemployment benefits around NZ
  • Increase dairy farmer payouts

…and all by allowing the growing of a herb that ironically grows like a weed… all over NZ.

  • Entirely new industry – anyone, anywhere can participate in – leading to additional specialist niche industries. Such as medicinal cannabis products – edibles, butter, cookies, drinks.
  • Stronger Regional growth and immediate reduction for housing in high demand locations. (Overnight, North-facing land becomes farmable and profitable.)
  • Huge reductions in unemployment / benefit / Aid payments in the Far North and Coromandel …and Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga etc
  • Similar “Follow my lead” legislation enacted from Pacific Island nations, would reduce the need for over $1.7 Billion NZ Aid from 2015-2018,  also reducing the need for NZ to take so many economic refugees –further reducing housing demand in high need locations.
  • Increased pay-outs for Dairy farmers Read more »

It is the beginning of the end for French Women’s freedom

The Burkini ban is over before it could even start.The French have already surrendered to Sharia law. Once again the democratic laws of equality and freedom of religion have been twisted and used by the followers of anti-democratic and anti-women Sharia law to their advantage. Within a decade it will be a lone French woman bravely wearing a bikini on a French beach. She will stand out, surrounded by burkini clad non-Muslim and Muslim women alike. She will feel the pressure to conform and hostile Muslim male eyes will be upon her. “Slut” they will call out, ” Prostitute!” “She is asking to be raped,” they will say amongst themselves, ” she is being provocative,” they will whisper and the lone French woman will feel the fear and wonder when it all went so horribly wrong for France.

Image: thelibertarianrepublic

Image: thelibertarianrepublic

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Andrew Little notched up another quiet day

cockup 4 13

Nothing on Facebook, nothing on Twitter, no press releases.

He may actually have had Saturday off. Read more »

ISIS step up the outrage by using child executioners


An Isis propaganda video released on Friday has shown five children participating in an execution attempt on kneeling captives.

One of the five boys has been determined to be from Britain.

The other executioners, who are all of similar ages, are Egyptian, Kurdish, Tunisian and Uzbek, according to captions of the video shot in Syria’s Raqqa province. Read more »

Current cannabis laws perversely mean politicians are breaking OSH laws

Guest post

Yes, there’s man-made Cannabis-based medicine already available in NZ. However at $1000/month coupled with more hoops and rings to jump through than an Olympic gymnast just to be “approved” – by a non-medically trained politician – is just the sort of thing only politicians could dream up. Terminally / chronically ill individuals could have all the cost, angst, time, effort, criminal associations and worry eliminated – simply by growing their own medicine on their own property along with their parsley… like mankind throughout the World has done for Eons since time began.

If business owners & Company Directors are held responsible and liable for the wellbeing of staff and anyone on their property / premises under OSH laws, including for things like stress and bullying. Should politicians also be held accountable for the stress and angst their wilful hypocrisy inflicts on terminally and chronically ill people in their hour of most need, when politicians choose to leave laws in place that are tantamount to State-Sponsored bullying of terminally and chronically ill people – all for growing their own herbal medicine? Denying a preferred, organic medicine to a chronically or terminally ill person who could grow it themselves, must surely be considered, inadvertent State-sponsored bullying under OSH laws? Or more perversely, is it tantamount to the Government of the day assisting/sheltering organised crime with their income streams as politicians choose to maintain the status quo? Read more »

Hide: No sex please

No one was promising to halve the number of benefit-dependent teen mums but that is what happened. And it has taken just five years.

In 2010 there were 4502 teenagers with a child included in their main benefit. Today there are 2057.

The drop is astonishing.

Abortions are down, too.

They peaked for 15-19 year olds at 4173 in 2007 and dropped to 1635 last year. That’s a 60 per cent drop.

Similar drops have been reported in England, Wales and the US.

Surveys in the US show teens having less sex. No one knows why.

We may not “know” to a scientific double-blind study degree, but it isn’t hard to see that a lot of social interaction is no longer face to face.  Read more »