Resurrected site

This site is a reincarnation of ‘whois’ tells me is registered in Portugal, but it has long been inaccessible – the latest error reports a database problem. It looks like the ‘fat-and-happy’ ‘portly Portuguese geezers’ have imbibed too much Port. That site was only one all-text page, so here it is (though I’ve inverted its chronology for better readability):

Posted on June 25, 2015

How’s this for starters?

My family situation has led me to observe the trend of society’s state
here in New Zealand and I get daily less gruntled as I observe:
— greater use of force (Police) to curb greater violence – incidence and
severity – from ever-younger perpetrators
— increasing disrespect for self, environment, law and authority in general.
— increasing escape from reality in drugged stupor (alcohol on up).

Is this our future? Will this become the Norm? increasingly
institutionalised youth? It is readily apparent that current practices

What can we do to reverse this trend? I can offer some pointers, but they
are likely to be politically impossible. I’d welcome others’ perspectives.


Posted on June 27, 2015

As mentioned previously, this blog is about Society, particularly in New
Zealand, and the role of Government (in the form of CYFS).

Why do I call this post Alligators? read on… this was penned back in
2007 and posted on a relevant forum (which is now gone, or maybe subsumed):


Open advisory to anyone dealing with a bureaucracy.
This is particularly applicable to LARGE bureaucracies such as
Government agencies.

Be aware at all times that you are dealing with an ALLIGATOR – a
reptilian living fossil from the age of the dinosaurs.
As such, this beast is notable for its BIG mouth, SHARP teeth, small
eyes and even smaller ears – it is NOT built for dialogue!
Despite the above, the beast is VERY good at survival.
Such senses as it has are exquisitely tuned to ANY sign of PREY, and
though it spends most of its time [seemingly] inert it can move
blindingly fast in its ecological niche.
It is also very well-armoured, and extremely dangerous when aroused.

I’m sure all can recognise these traits in CYFS:
big mouths in terms of ‘consultations’ being mostly monologues by pedagogues
sharp teeth in terms of police FORCE backing
extensive use of inertia (the bureaucrat’s’ tactic of ‘‘enough delay, it
goes away’’)
selective hearing, alert for anything that can be subtly twisted to
self-serving ends

Now the question arises: WHY do we trust this beast with the ‘care’ of
our young humans?

One of the very few animals (relatively) capable of dealing with
alligators is the Human.
It does this largely by avoidance. This entails supreme vigilance, and
skilful use of Man’s supreme weapon – Intelligence – in terms of memory
and experience.
Other means include containment or culling. These entail use of weapons
(particularly for culling!).
Humans have social codes that taboo culling and make containment
impractical in the case of bureaucracies.
Avoidance is by far the preferred option. If not possible, then we must
be extremely skilful in the use of LAW as weapon, or co-opt those who
have such skill [Edit: be careful here – we initially chose an advocate
who proved damaging to our cause and kids’ fate].

Bureaucracy is a human concept/construct. By definition, it is “Rule
from the Desk”.
Just how does this human concept/construct of Bureaucracy become an
Largely by valuing its own survival and welfare over that of its
clientele (e.g. how many decisions are made to benefit CYFS rather than
the client/s? and how many clients are dragooned into situations and
actions benefiting the Service just to retain/maintain such legally
mandated rights as Access?).

This can be seen by experience in the quality of decisions made when
compared to the seniority of those bureaucrats doing the deciding.
The more ‘human’ decisions are made by the juniors. Unfortunately, more
senior staff detect such, and countermands are mandated as promptly as
The most severely draconic decisions are made by committees and ‘boards
of inquiry’ consisting of the most senior staff.

Your thoughts please.… This comparison was occasioned by noting the
‘alligator’ phenomenon in Amateur Radio, where a powerful transmitter is
used in a given station in conjunction with an insensitive (‘deaf’) or
badly adjusted receiver.



Posted on June 30, 2015

The following is more discussion from the PANIC bulletin board. PANIC
had evolved beyond its original intent to a more beneficial one, but
suffered from unfortunate history. Now re-named as FCIS (Family Crisis
Intervention Service), it continues to benefit anyone having
difficulties with CYFS. (this is my input, the replies are from PANIC)…


The Government is the Biggest Gang! It has Police and Army as it backing
We lesser mortals are supposed to have faith that Government will do the
Right Thing.

CYFS, as the relevant Government Agency, has proven time and time again
that it fails.
In our case the failures have been serial and serious. We have lost that
We are trying, with the help of PANIC, to educate CYFS as to where and
why they are failing.
It’s a hard sell.

Your right it is hard work. The problem is that many social workers are
unable to see their own
mistakes or parts in why things go bad.
They work between lines that are often made of steal when no two
families are ever alike.
The needs of each child must also be put into the picture and these
needs must be greater
than what is book learned.
Children grow up and the mistakes made now can cause bigger scars than
if they had been left
with family or placed with someone who in some situations would not have
passed their check list.

[New topic: Philosophy]

I was recently refreshed to a philosophy I encountered some 40 years ago:
have we all got the wrong end of the stick here?

Consider human interactions as a stick. Like a stick, it has two ends:
Rights and Duties.

The USA, a global Power, was built in no small measure by exploiting
Africans as slaves.
There was an awareness of the humanity of these slaves, but it was
largely politically suppressed until the 1960s with the ‘race riots’.
These riots were perhaps a necessary wake-up to ‘whiteys’, and spawned
the ‘Human Rights’ movement/s which are still very much to the political
This emphasis on Rights fits well with Humanity’s ingrained grasping
nature – “Gimme more!”

Now consider the same as a bowl – a finite resource.
If everybody grabs for their rights, the bowl empties, and only the
increasingly scarce few of generous disposition (or position?) contribute.

If more emphasis were put on Duties, the bowl tends to fill, eventually
Everyone gets their rights!

Obvious? Perhaps, but another hard sell, requiring GENERATIONS to
implement even slightly.
It also has deep implications to interactions at all levels – consider
business practice, politics, Government …
It would generate an environment of EXCELLENCE, even if only as an
inspirational tendency at first, but consider the long-term prospects!

Utopia? NO! Utopia implies nothing in terms of effort. This would be
hard to generate, and even harder to maintain – humanity’s tendency to
indolence and backsliding is very strong (‘rust never sleeps’, or
‘entropy tends to increase’, the second law of thermodynamics).

Again, consider the prospective cost/benefit.

Now, turn to CYFS as one of the aforementioned Government agencies, with
Law and Police behind them.
To return to the ‘stick’ analogy, this time to its use(s):

The stick can just as easily be used as weapon or support.
CYFS seems fixated on the use of the weapon, to force society into its
ideal (built with statistics and theories largely from overseas).
It also applies these methods globally, with little or no thought to
applicability, and with that Law/Police backing.

How much more beneficial the use of the support, to help all (Agency and
Clientele alike) to more beneficial outcomes through Excellence?

Please note here: I have encountered nothing but Excellence in the
dealings I have had with PANIC! (Also note that Excellence in CYFS’
execution of its duties would obviate the need for PANIC! Further, that
Excellence in bureaucrats’ execution of their duties would obviate the
need for the whole industry of Advocacy!)
Please contrast this with the impression I have gained from my dealings
with CYFS: the only detectable excellence being the ability to plug
square pegs into round holes, resulting frequently in damage to both peg
and hole!

Your comments?…
Posted on July 1, 2015

Let us consider Government, and its process: governance.

In a Mechanical context, this is constraint of a system within bounds.

A Governor is a device which adjusts parameters to keep a dynamic system
operating in or at a desired manner or rate. It does this by timely
adjustments appropriate to the level of divergence from that ideal.
Timely: if there is delay in application of the adjusting effort, the
system is at risk of compounding its divergence from nominal, to the
point of destruction.
Appropriate: if insufficient effort is applied, the system similarly may
be at risk of further divergence, and if too much effort is applied, the
means of application (the governor itself) may be at risk of damage or
destruction, and the system thus remain un-governed and at risk as above.

Let us now consider Society as a system. It requires governance,
therefore we have Government.
Now let us consider CYFS as a hand on the arm of the Ministry, that as
an arm of Government. Thus CYFS enacts the policies set out in Law by
Government as relevant to Children, Youth and Families.

Our experience has been of draconic ‘one size fits all’ jack-booted
intervention, followed by inordinate delay resulting in decisions being
either no longer sufficient or appropriate, or excessive. The only
decision we have lauded is their devolving direct interactions to
Community Agencies. These have enacted previously mandated
recommendations to the benefit of our grandchildren.
Posted on July 1, 2015

[Penned Dec 2012]

I have been poisoned – by a glimpse of Excellence!

I follow developments in Space science and technology, and NASA in
particular. Ventures in Space demand excellence – one small deviation
from Nominal can be disastrous. NASA’s meticulous attention to detail,
and continuing quest for improvement, minimises such deviation and
therefore risk. This poison has a ready avenue into my very being: since
early childhood I chose a path in Electronics, a field similarly
demanding – Electricity can be a very good servant but, to belabour an
old aphorism, a very _BAD_ master.
Having been so poisoned, I can no longer recommend NZ as a living
environment. We live in a Mediocracy, inured since youth to abandoning
the quest for ‘better’ once a basic competency is achieved. Very few go
on to develop this quest as a personal ethic, pursuing Knowledge
(‘More’) and not realising there is another level: Wisdom (‘Better’).
My own personal circumstances have brought me into two major areas of
Government particularly lacking in excellence – the Education system
(the major part of the guidance given us as we develop), and the
Ministry of Social Development (in the form of its Child, Youth and
Family service). I am a little heartened by some recent developments in
both, but saddened by milquetoast implementation and slow rate of uptake.
Despite policies to detect and deter bullying in schools, my 2 eldest
step-grandsons, already damaged by upbringing in a ‘Once Were Warriors’
environment (before I became involved), were mercilessly bullied in one
of their primary schools, and the Head’s response was to consign it to
the ‘too-hard’ basket.
I had little chance of improving their lot – parents and step-parents
kept me largely out of their sphere.
CYFS continued this trend with 2 societal crimes: re-inventing the
wheel, and decisions with pre-biblical ‘sins of fathers’ results. The
then-current Minister (of MSD and CYFS) [Paula Bennett] has at least
acknowledged that Change is necessary, but does not realise [nor, in
fact, does the present Minister] how radical a change will be required
to begin to improve the situation.
  How to get away with MURDER
Posted on July 1, 2015

A current TV series is entitled How to get away with MURDER. Here in NZ
it plays out like this:

How to get away with MURDER?
Be a Government servant.

Firstly, criminalise your victim by placement in a position of risk,
then wait until your victim falls into the trap.
Next, allow the intended weapon to acquire the target:
place your ‘mole’ in range of your victim and allow the ‘mole’ to advise
the weapon of your victim’s location.
Now just wait until the weapon strikes.

Government servant = CYFS (body corporate) (serves itself and its parent –
Government- not those it is purposed to serve).
Victim = our grandson.
Position of risk = placement with ill-considered ‘last-gasp’ caregiver.
Weapon = family (and associates) of your victim’s ‘victim’.
Mole = member of Weapon’s family.

Please note: second grandson even deeper in the trap.
Posted on August 12, 2015

Well, a glimpse of sanity! Just had a visit from granddaughter’s Social
Worker. We’ve enjoyed a good rapport with her by (mostly) email – in
person she’s a pleasant change from the boys’ SW. I noted she spent most
of her time listening, and most of the rest asking. A very pleasant
contrast to the monologues by pedagogues we’ve been forced to endure. I
suspect her superiors engender a  culture of Enablement where to date
we’ve encountered brick walls in the grandsons’ case. Our gradual
acceptance of granddaughter’s placement (with paternal grandmother) is
now confirmed as endorsement. Only a pity it took so long.


Quoting Loony Tunes: “That’s all, folks!”, then as the adverts say: “But wait, there’s more…”

[Addition 2016]


I’m a fan of the Raspberry Pi (, and follow the Forum there. A recent post showed a hot-shot USAF pilot being consistently bested in dogfights by  an Artificial Intelligence (AI) called ALPHA running on one of these cheap computers. One reply there quoted the recent case of a Tesla accident, ultimately attributed to the (human?) driver. My take on this:
Never mind the instantaneous reaction. This, I take it, is one AI acting as one individual in control of one vehicle. What I’d love to see is an array of these interacting and reacting to the vagaries and chaotic variability of governing Society. It would take a whole array of bureaucrats out of ineffectual positions and more effectively and honestly inform political and legal “powers that be”. Bye-bye corruption and (pertinent to my situation) Institutional abuse! :)
… and later:
Star Wars, Tesla, Government (read my previous post) … It all boils down to AI being an excellent _advisor_, but decidedly _not_ a replacement (yet :) ).
… but who knows? AI has the potential to absorb the variables of the human over time.

Stu Piddity

He sure gets around, doesn’t he?
His destructive ventures in MSD/CYFS, as presented in this Blog, had a source in another of his ventures, this time in the Justice system, with an ongoing incursion into in the Medical system.

Let’s take the Justice system first – in particular, Corrections.
During her incarceration, as part of her normal daily chores, my wife stepped back onto a round wooden ‘Dolly-Peg’. This was a common experience evidently, and you don’t see many around these days – they’ve since been recognised as a household hazard and taken off the market. To return to my wife’s experience: her complaints of continuing pain were consistently ignored, and her mobility thence was severely impacted (also ignored). This had further effect on her health, with her weight and body ballooning due to decreased capacity for exercise. Information gleaned since has revealed a budget blowout that precluded appropriate timely investigation and possible remediation/amelioration, and later investigation revealed damage to the coccyx (tailbone) and nerve damage there. This is an important node in the nervous system, with effect not only on motor function (mobility) but also on digestion and control of waste processes. No wonder there were problems! Having been ignored so long, remediation – and even amelioration – were no longer possible even by the time of my wife’s release.

Now let’s take a peek at the Medical system.
Our local DHB’s Hospital is touted as a ‘teaching Hospital’. Well, they say the best way to learn is to teach, but is it (also) a ‘learning Hospital’? I doubt it.
Our personal attempts at amelioration (para. above) included an attempt at USANA (multi-vitamin). This had considerable benefit, not only to my wife, but also to me myself and to our grandchildren (3 of at that time). Unfortunately the prior situation, with the physical effects, had resulted in sorely reduced social life, a necessity for a Usana Associate, and we had to bail out. The benefits thus far had continued effect for quite some time afterward, and we sorely miss that to this day (more than a decade later).
Now back to the System.
The cost as a ‘preferred customer’ for the basics of Usana at that time was around $100/person/month. Let’s double that for some extras (just for us), and allow for inflation. Let’s say current cost could be around $500/month.
The cost to us (subsidised) of the conventional pharmaceuticals we are presently consuming has hit the $100/year cap at 7 months (let’s be generous – 8) which would be around $150/year if un-capped. What would the actual cost to the Nation be?. Now factor it as ongoing and increasing with our age.
Then compare, but not before factoring in that Usana (re)activates bodily systems that (naturally and ultimately/rapidly) obsolete the hammer-blows of Pharmaceuticals, and gives broad-spectrum benefit to the body that reduces load on the Medical System as a whole.
Now Usana has long been the world leader in Vitamin Supplementation. Others are now in the field (the field itself becoming more and more accepted as a necessity in our increasingly polluted and depleted environment), and though perhaps less expensive at present they have some catching up to do in terms of effectiveness and are rapidly becoming equally (or more) expensive.

Go figure, Stu! …and when you’ve stewed that for a while, are you going to do something worthwhile for the Nation? On present form, I doubt it.