Twenty Eight

Monday was my 28th birthday. Twenty eight on the twenty eighth. I think it's referred to as a champagne birthday, no? I planned on having some champers that night but ended up feeling not so great after work. I did have an excellent day, though, and was truly and utterly spoiled by all. Perhaps more than any other birthday.

Friday night we headed over to my parents house for a delish dinner made by my little brother the chef and some pickle ball in the backyard. My parents were in Bermuda and my brother left on Saturday to meet them in NYC so my birthday festivities were all in advance. Yes, I was left at home in rainy Vancouver while the rest of my family was in sunny New York City. 

On Sunday, two of my girlfriends popped into work with prezzies and balloons. Such sweethearts and know how to make a girl feel loved!

I also got my hair done... finally! Excuse the self portrait, but I was very excited to finally have some layers and some new highlights for the summer (when it gets here). I rarely get my hair done because sitting still and doing nothing for 4 hours drives me bonkers. My days off are valuable to me, and wasting half of one away in a salon chair is not my idea of fun. This time, however, I had a very captivating novel to read on my iPad, so after I excused myself to my stylist, I read away and the appointment was over before I knew it!

My always adorable hubby could not wait until my birthday to give me my presents, so a week before my birthday he gave me a gorgeous new handbag (I should have taken a pic- she's pretty!) as well as a wine aerator (I've been wanting one for ages and so happy to finally have one). And, as I posted about last week, he painted our bedroom! No more builders beige! Now it's an earthy, moody grey and I can't wait to get to decorating the rest of the room.

I have been lusting over mint watches for a while now. I saw some to.die.for ones online made by a (Swedish?) company called Tiwari. Alas, they no longer sell them on their website, and I was unable to locate them anywhere on the interwebs. I did, however, see this one on Pinterest, and when I followed the link through, guess where it brought me! Tar Jay! Oh yay! A mint watch AND it's affordable. Saweeet! Unfortunately it's not available online, but I still asked for it for my birthday. My sweet baby bro jumped in his car the same day and made the hour long trip to the states in hopes that they had them in stock, and they did! Wippee! I was beyond shocked to open the gift up and find he had actually bought it. The colour is even better in person than pictured on their website as well.

And from the hubby and the in-laws, I was SO happy to get my Silhouette Cameo! I haven't set her up yet but I can't wait for my next day off to see what I can create!

And when my parents returned from their NYC trip last night, they surprised me with not one, but TWO new watches to add to my collection. My collection that just started about a month ago. But I'm having fun collecting them and learning to accessorize with them. I now have rose gold, mint, white, dark teal and silver. 

And I also received a bunch of gift cards and cash as well that will really help me make a dent in our bedroom design. I really can't wait to show you what I've got in mind!




My opposition to Mr Trifkovic does not stem from his "Serbian-ness", rather, my opposition to him is more ideological, resting on a difference in opinion in his conception of "Conservativeness" and mine. At stake here is not an issue of Croatia vs Serbia, rather my version of Conservatism and his, and our opposition reflects what I consider a major problem in conservatism; who is in or out of the fold?

It is my opinion that Conservatism primarily is a philosophy that orientates itself around the "truth of things." The conservative therefore lives his life according to the truth, by the truth and for truth. As the Master said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set ye free", and the commandment, "Do not bear false witness", attest to the importance of truth in Christian thought. Our criticism of our liberal opponents ultimately boils down to their ignorance or denial of some aspect of the truth.

If we use "the primacy of the truth" as the definition of Conservatism, we approach the liberal-Conservative divide from a totally different perspective. Instead of seeing the Left as permissive and the Right as strict,  we can recategorise the Left-Right divide as being being a divide between those that are right and those that are wrong. It also lets us recognise that there can be both authoritarian and liberal wrongness. Stalin, Hitler and Noam Choamsky thus are easy to catergorise as being anti-conservative even though they sit poles apart on the authoritarian spectrum. The premises from which their respective philosophies arise are wrong with regard to the reality of the human condition.

Intelligent modern Christian Conservatism takes the tenets of Christianity as being true as well as the direct observations of the senses. Therefore Christian Conservatism has to exclude those people who deny Christianity in practice and those who misrepresent the nature of reality. Walter Duranty is outside the Christian fold as he deliberately misstated reality. So has Srdja Trifkovic. Not only with regard to his statements with regards to the nature of events during the Bosnian War, but also with regard to regime he allied himself with during it.

People have accused me of being either willfully or unwittingly biased against Mr Trifkovic because of his background. Personally, I find that offensive, not only because it makes gratuitous assumptions with regard to the nature of my character, but because it implies that no man can actually know the truth, all he can know is his version of it. Of course, this is straight out of the post-modernist philosophical playbook and is ultimately a denial of any sort of objective reality. In practice however, most people don't believe that.  Most people would hold that an intelligent English, American or Frenchman could discuss the dispassionately the events in Nazi Germany without prejudice. However when it comes to the events that have happened in Eastern Europe, particularly concerning the former Yugoslavia, there is an impression that people there just can't do the same. It a subtle form of condescension.

Still, some people have tried to look at the events dispassionately, even people from the region of the former Yugoslavia, in order to determine what actually did happen. Charles Ingrao, a American Historian from Purdue University,  set up the Scholars Initiative in order to determine what actually happened during the break up of Yugoslavia.  He describes how the study was organised and how it began with the approval of the Serbian Academy of Sciences. Over two hundred historians from different nationalities opted to join. The historians were then divided into eleven teams with the purpose of answering certain questions with regard to the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Given the overriding need to establish the project’s credibility throughout the former Yugoslavia, each of the eleven research teams was jointly headed by a Serb and non-Serb scholar who worked together in establishing and executing a common research agenda. As a rule, practical considerations (such as language, health, or personal preference) mandated an asymmetrical division of responsibilities, with one team leader emerging as the “principal investigator”. The two leaders’ chief responsibilities were to direct their team’s research activities and, eventually, draft the group’s final report.
The full report is lengthy (4MB) is lengthy but can be found here.
Shorter bullet point summaries can be found here.
Charles Ingrao gives a good talk on the study and its methodology here.(Audio)

It is perhaps the most objective history of the breakup of Yugoslavia to date produced.

With regard to the War in Croatia (and my last post), this passage from the summary is appropriate:
Belgrade played on these fears with a massive propaganda campaign that portrayed Croats as “genocidal killers” bent on a campaign of violence and genocide. At the same time, however, Serbs were motivated not only by an understandable fear, but by the desire to be part of a Greater Serbia, regardless of how they were treated by Zagreb.[Ed] Much as the quest for a Greater Serbia had helped drive Yugoslavia toward dissolution, it now played an equally important role in the war’s outbreak.
and from the summary on the break up of Yugoslavia:
But neither these national historical narratives nor the (perceived) injustices they recounted ‘caused’ Yugoslavia’s collapse. Rather, it contributed to the maintenance of inter-group boundaries, distrust, and resentment that would enable an ambitious politician to mobilize his own group against others. Indeed, it required human agency and a conscious strategy – and money -- to take a people who had been neighbors, in-laws, friends, and comrades and lead them into a fratricidal war. It was Slobodan Milosevic who exploited economic and other problems by leading a “national revitalization” movement within Serbia which sought political and territorial objectives incompatible with the interests of other republics and national groups. [Ed]
I'm not denying that the Croats and others contributed to the break up, but but the major dynamic which drove the war was a quest for Greater Serbia. Charles Ingrao pretty much states the same in his talk listed above (about a third of the way through). The Nationalist forces which arose in the different communities were a response to the Serbian Nationalist project.

The study also goes to show that claims of Muslim fundamentalism, especially in Bosnia, were non existent.  Trifkovic's claims that the Serbs were warring against the Jihad is bullshit. He is doing a Duranty. But it was meant for gullible Western Consumption--( the useful idiots of the right)-- and it continues to be pushed as a rehabilatory mechanism to counter negative public opinion earned by Serbian Nationalists during the War.

(That's not to say that Islam is compatible long term with the West. Personally, I don't think it is. Still killing innocent people is not the way to solve the problem. In the former Yugoslavia, the Muslims had adopted secularisation almost as enthusiastically as Christians do now in the West. It was the barbarities and brutalities meted out to them during the War (by Srdja's friends particularly) that radicalised them. BTW, Srdja's friends were quite happy to cut deals with the muslim invader whenever it suited their interests.)

Reality is a bitch.


30th of June to 1st July bus factory in Newtown will be home to 7 local creative brands. Play Energy Drink presents The Griffin Sessions, this event will put all the chosen HEROES in one venue, each exhibiting their art. Exhibition include music, fashion and photography and Max Mogale a Cape Town based photographer will be showcasing his skills/work. Fashion will include Thesis, Head Honcho and Dope Store. Street culture being more involved we also have Kool Out Lounge, 1808, Thesis Social Jam Sessions and Party People. Get to know the heroes; with Dj Kenzhero doing weekly interviews with other #PlayHeroes on his radio show on UJ fm on Mondays from 21:00 till 00;00. Thursdays come with a chance to go on an intimate chill & talk with The Heroes at The Play Pop Up Store in Dope store. There’s been monthly build ups to the big event, all the build ups are emceed by Siyabonga Ngwekazi, he’s been on point at every show I’ve been to. Every brand/individual involved in this has their own story about their experiences. You can check out what they each have to say about their lives as they play out the ordinary. For more info check out the link.

Reflections. MBFWA Outfit Post

You know I would happily live in Sydney, purely on the basis that there are so many fantastic spots to take photo's. Honestly, the bloggers there have no excuse for not executing perfect outfit posts. I guess that's WHY so many of the bloggers there do so well. 

I have been having so much fun with these amazing Cue earrings. The add the perfect pop of colour to an outfit and the really remind me of the Dannijo stuff (which is way beyond my budget when it comes to accessories). It was rather fun wearing my Sass & Bide "the righteous one" pants around the passenger terminal during MBFWA... mostly because the sequins kept shooting off reflections into peoples faces, it was rather amusing actually. Especially when riding on the bus, early in the morning. 

Top & Pants: Sass & Bide / Earrings: Cue / Bag: Alexander McQueen / Shoes: Diavolina by Zomp Shoes

Photo's by Kaity

Follow me on...
Bloglovin / Twitter / Instagram:socialemissions / Pinterest

Running Through Thorns.

Presenting fine jewellery collection from fellow blogger friend Sammi Burley from Chase Dakota. Loving perfectly curated stones and on trend rose gold pieces. I am actually struggling to pick which piece I want the most. If you have made up your mind though on which one you will be snagging for your self, Sammi  has kindly offered 10% off for all Social Emission followers. Just enter "SOCIALEMISSIONS" at the checkout. 

Collection is available for sale here

PHOTOGRAPHER: Bianca Blades/Jess Konstantinos/Mathew Dodd
STYLIST: Mo Koya/ Bianca Blades

Shades of Grey

My birthday is next Monday, and along with my much anticipated Silhouette Cameo, and a bunch of other gifts the hubby has showered upon me early, he is also giving me one of the best presents I could ask for. He is painting our room!

The wallpaper came down the night before last. The walpaper paste came off last night (5 hours it took him) and the paint is going on today! Wippee! Now just to pick the perfect shade of grey...

 While he's been toiling away (I offered to help but he won't let me) I've had my nose stuck in a certain trilogy. I'm about to start book three, and I'm going to take it with me (on my iPad) to the salon today to get my hair done. Hope I don't get any weird looks. Now I'll have Grey on my iPad and grey on my master bedroom walls. How fitting. Oh Fifty.... sigh.

Srdja Trifkovic and the Right.

For his actions and his writings, Vulliamy was named “Foreign Correspondent of the Year” in 1992 – an accolade he fully deserved. But that was two decades ago. After the end of the Bosnian war he moved to America, where he reported on such things as the drugs war along the Mexican border, and the aftermath of 9/11. One might imagine that, with so many new crises to think about, he would have “moved on” (as the cant phrase has it). But however far he has moved, Bosnia has stayed with him, for two reasons – one good, and one bad. 

The bad reason is the campaign of denial about the camps which still rumbles on to this day. A article called “The Picture that Fooled the World”, published by LM Magazine (“LM” was short for “Living Marxism”), accused the journalists of deliberate deception. One of the news organisations involved, ITN, sued for libel and won. Yet the lies put about by atrocity deniers – for example, that Mr Alic, the xylophone-ribbed man, was a TB sufferer who looked like that normally – still circulate on the internet, and Vulliamy is obliged to set the record straight again and again

Srdja Trifkovic gets a fair amount of time in the Conserve-o-sphere and has many supporters amongst people whom are otherwise quite clear thinking individuals. I suppose he gets the traction that he does because he is a good writer with monarchical tendencies and a strong anti-Islamist. I think therefore his writing resonates with the sympathies of many conservative and they tend to think of him as "one of us."

His bio, which can be found here at Wiki makes for interesting reading. He was a cheerleader for the Serbian Republic in Bosnia and their two founding fathers Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. Two very, very nasty men. My beef with Trifkovic is not because he is pro-Serbian. As a conservative, I expect a man to love his country; my beef with him is the ideology he supports is evil, and his love of Serbia is of the same type as Hitler's love of Germany; to the exclusion of everyone else.

To understand the war in Yugoslavia, one doesn't need to delve into complex histories or study very many books. To understand the war in Yugoslavia all needs is to understand the ideology of Grossdeutshland Greater Serbia.

All the troubles in the last Century of that region ultimately hinge around issues of support or rebellion against the ideal of Greater Serbia. In fact, WW1, which was probably the most calamitous event in terms of the destruction of traditionalism in Europe, was started by an assassination which was meant to further this aim.  So much for shitty little backwater provinces not being important.

Now, as a Christian Conservative, the only conservatism that I'm interested in is the conservatism that supports God's law. Trifkovic's conservatism is not of this kind, so he kind of rubs me the wrong way. He is quite good on condemning the crimes perpetrated by others onto the Serbs but basically turns a blind eye when team Serbia is pursuing the dream. The issue then becomes more "complex".  To Trifkovic, Srebrencia (7000 Muslim men and boys executed by Mladic) is a political event blown way out of proportion. Never mind the video.

Srebrenica was the final straw which snapped the world passivity to Greater Serbian aggression. As the Serbs were surrounding Muslims in other pockets, domestic pressure, especially in the U.S., led to NATO airstrikes against Serbia to stop further repeat massacres. To Trifkovic, it was a naked expression of  U.S. imperialism.

Unlike in the 30's and 40's where there we no television crews to report on events. The day to day coverage of the war in Yugoslavia left Serbia with a tarnished reputation. A reputation which finally began to turn the corner with one pivotal event;

September 11.

Muslims which were only of trivial concern to the U.S. suddenly became the number one enemy and the apologists for greater Serbia were able to seize on this change in sentiment with gusto to rehabilitate it. Just like the Nazi's who claimed that their war against Russia was a war against Bolshevism instead of a pursuit of Lebensraum, the Serbs recast their territorial expansion as a war against Islam. Suddenly they're the West's friends. This is why Trifkovic, in my opinion, is beating the Muslim menace drum. He's not concerned about Europe as much as he is concerned about rehabilitating Serbia.  We're all on the same side now.

Trifkovic, from what I see, also uses several other journalistic devices to further his aims.

Firstly, with regard to the war in Yugoslavia he claims that the Serbs were unfair victims of public opprobrium during the war since all parties committed morally repugnant acts. And like all great lies there is an element of truth in them; yes all sides did commit atrocities. But anyone who looked at the facts squarely saw that the vast majority of the crimes were committed by the Serbs.  The Allies bombed Dresden, but only a moral idiot could equate the occasional sin of the Allies with the systematic evil of the Nazi's.

Secondly, he argues that the break up of Yugoslavia was not the Serb's fault since they did not want succession. Once again mixing a lie with a bit of truth. Neither did the Croats or the Slovenes want full independence initially, but the Serbian nationalism reasserted itself with the fall of Communism, and being the privileged parties in the former Yugoslavia they were quite keen to keep their exploitative positions. Britain too, did not want America to gain independence. The Americans were obviously bastards for wanting to leave such a "happy family".

Finally, in issues of moral clarity against his cause he needlessly introduces complexity into the issue whilst in issues favouring his, the moral clarity is obvious. So with regard to issues like Srebrenica, a few Muslim men who clearly committed atrocities are roundly and explicitly denounced, whilst Serbian crimes are obfuscated away.

Trifkovic's problem is his moral relativism, which is at the heart of the Western disease. His inability to clearly distinguish between right and wrong (especially with regard to matters Serbian) stains his conservative credentials.The conservative patriot will damn his own "in-house" murderers as harshly as those of others. When he starts excusing his then I damn his moral relativism, in him, and in any Croat\Greek\German\Englishman who thinks the same. He carry's within hm the Western Disease, the inability to see the difference between right and wrong. The fact that he speaks sensibly on some things is more a co-incidence between Western Conservatism, with its emphasis on the truth,  and Serbian monarchic nationalism with its primary good being Serbia. The real test of his conservative credentials is where he stands when the two differ. He has failed the test.

He wins the Walter Duranty award.

Poem for Mayor Sarno

The last time we occupied the mayor's office for lunch, Amanda (who is living in a welfare motel although DHCD is trying to kick her out) wrote a poem which she brought with her.  Seeing as the mayor was "not available," we read it to the staff and left a copy for the mayor.  Here it is:

The poor have no choice
Poverty denies them the right to choose
It makes decisions for them
Like a dictator makes decisions for a country
There are no negotiations
Poverty is a dictator.

The poor eat whatever is there
No matter how rotten it is
no matter how little it is

The poor wear whatever is there
No matter how torn it is
No matter how dirty it is

The poor live in whatever shelter is there
No matter how small it is
No matter how run down it is

There poor do whatever job is there
No matter how low-paying it is
No matter how dangerous it is

So I take the time again

Please give us a task force
for low and moderate housing


Liberalism: A Tale of Two Men.

Commentator Ingemar, in my previous post, quoted Auster whom he felt gave a better explanation of liberalism than I was offering:
An explanation of the origins of liberalism that I have frequently proposed is that liberalism begins with a denial of God or higher truth. This denial of truth removes all moral hierarchies above man and makes human will and desire the highest thing, with all human wills and desires now being considered (in the absence of any moral standards above man) as equal.
Now personally, I don't think Auster's solution probes deep enough into the mechanism of denial which I feel is the ultimate source of liberalism.

Take your average committed Socialist for instance. Most socialists that I know are motivated by a benevolent desire towards humanity in general and Auster's assertion that they do not follow a "higher" morality would seem to me to be false. Most of these socialists whilst denying God would still believe is some overriding ethical system though admittedly its not the traditional Christian one. People forget that Christianity does not have the monopoly on martyrdom. Men and women have died and martyred themselves for the cause of Communism and Nazism as well. As I said before, belief in God is no protection against liberalism if your God is a liberal.

I think the origin of liberalism can be best illustrated by comparing the lives of two young socialists; Malcolm Muggeridge and Walter Duranty. Both men were British educated and as young men started off as committed socialist Journalists. Both were drawn to the then exciting experiment that was Stalinist Russia and were sent by their respective Newspapers to report on the events.  Both got to witness first hand the Stalinist engineered Ukrainian Famine.

Faced with the horror of the Famine, Muggeridge recoiled at the inconsistency of his belief in the promise of Socialism with the reality of its terror. His wrote a book, Winter in Moscow, which fictionalised his experiences. Gerard Reed's review over at Amazon describes the effect on him better than I can:
Muggeridge rapidly discarded his illusions in the face of the monumental evils he witnessed. One of his characters finally concluded: "Every tendency in himself, in societies; the past and the future; all he had ever seen or thought or felt or believed, sorted itself out. It was a vision of Good and Evil. Heaven and Hell. Life and death. There were two alternatives; and he had to choose. He chose" (p. 226). He chose to deal honestly with reality rather than blind himself with ideological rhetoric, to tell the truth rather than toe the party line.
Walter Duranty, special correspondent for the New York Times, faced with the same reality took altogether different approach. He denied that it was happening, pilloried Muggeride and similar reporters, and wrote back glowing reports to the people in the U.S. He lied.

Both men were well educated and came from reasonably privileged backgrounds. It's not as if education or intelligence were an issue. The problem lies far deeper. The problem lay not in the intellect because of a deficiency of education, Duranty was fully aware of the Russian reality, the problem as Muggeridge recognised was in his choice of how he responded to the reality.  It is in recognising how we choose that we find the sustaining power of liberalism.

All human acts are directed toward some form off good. In Duranty's case, he thought lying on behalf of Stalin was "good". Duranty's "good" was evil. Not evil in the specific sense of supporting Stalin, but evil in the sense of lying. Duranty thought it was good to lie. I don't care why he did so, in fact it is irrelevant but what I do know is that he was deliberately trying falsely "inform" Americans.  He thought it was good to private the intellects of his readership and distort their sense of reality and was acting contra Caritas.(Charity)

He chose to bat for the dark side.

Our education is a product of circumstances and intellect, and the young man with the unfortunate luck of being born into a liberal household and educated in a liberal school will enter the world with liberal ideas in his head. It doesn't matter what these ideas are, but ideas which don't conform to the nature of reality are quickly dispelled by the experience of it.............. unless a man chooses not to see or learn: It's the deliberate mutilation of a perceptive faculty.

Charity acts to perfect things, evil acts to destroy; and whilst liberalism may be the product of faulty thinking, naive optimism or stupidity, it would be quickly dispelled by the experience of the truth of things. No, what sustains liberalism is a deliberate desire for non-correction, a refusal to yield in the face of the truth. Caritas, which would crush liberalism, is opposed by liberalism's sustaining power.



The will, possessed by Evil, sees the good in corruption and deprivation and acts appropriately. Liberalism is sustained by the power of Evil. Dramatic, but true.

Calls have been made for Walter Duranty's Pulitzer Prize to be revoked. It hasn't been.

His portrait still hangs in the offices of the New York Times.

Subtle classism

I didn’t get to finish college. I started, but then life got in the way. It happens all the time. Me, I quit school to go to work full time and help support my family. My dad was dead and we were poor, so there wasn’t much choice. It didn’t stop me from learning it just stopped me from going to “a traditional school.” Instead, I went to what they use to call “The school of hard knocks” but it’s really just life.
This past year, though I had the chance to be part of The Clemente Course in the humanities at the Care Center in Holyoke. A bunch of “non-traditional” students gets to study the humanities twice a week for eight months. Writing, literature, art history, American history, and moral philosophy--> We range in age from early 20’s to 60+ years. I’m at the top end of the age group, with only two other women older than me, mostly Hispanic but a good mix of black, white and “other.”
This week we are starting on the last part of the course, moral philosophy. I’ve made friends I probably would have never met otherwise, both students and hopefully teachers. You see, the teachers get it. They get why the humanities are an important part of learning, but some people don’t.
I started this post because this past week I’ve been floored by statements made by people who, you would think, should know better. One statement was in a recounting of a conversation, which brought to mind another statement made late last year, and the other happened just the other day at a meeting.
Anyway, last Thursday, Kent, our lit teacher and coordinator of the course asked to speak to a couple of us. He was writing an article on the course for a publication and because his word count was limited, he needed some advice. What was it about humanities that made it worth studying to non-traditional students? The question arose out of a conversation he had when asked about his work. The person he was speaking to asked him why learning the humanities was important to the students in the Clemente Course and wouldn’t it be better if we were taught a skill in stead? I mean, really, WTF--talk about academic privilege and classism. This brought to mind a statement about the benefits of mixed income housing, so the more affluent in the community would have workers close by that would work cheap. Duhhh! And this from the head of the local non-profit low-income housing agency. We call people like that “Poverty pimps.”
This week I was at a meeting to try and sort out some issues that came up between members of a coalition we, Arise, belong to. We were talking about how Arise as an organization was perceived by some of the coalition members, as if because we were intelligent, politically astute, knowledgeable about social justice, and have a power analysis from a poor people’s perspective, we must have been to college. We must be one of privileged. So when there was a misunderstanding, and we got accused of trying to steal/horn in on/takeover a campaign that not even one Arise member had been working on, and that we, as a poor people’s organization had been looking at as part of a solution for homelessness, for years, at least 10 years and the accuser was one of the ‘up and coming’ leaders of the organization the coalition started, and when one of the strategies of the coalition was to shake up the privileged class, nobody said Boo! So in building a new organization/coalition from a grassroots base where members, the people, are the driving force, well then our voices not only weren’t as important but all of a sudden we weren’t to be trusted? When I said academic privilege in the context of perception, OMFG did I hit a nerve. The people at the table just stared with blank looks. Kind of like “What? Who? Me? I have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t feel guilty for going to collage.’ ” Gee, do you think they/he really didn’t know what academic privilege was? To me, it sounded like guilt, a lot of guilt. Whether it was guilt because of academic privilege or guilt because they got called on their shit or just the exceedingly high levels of testosterone in the room, I can’t say for sure, it could be any one or all three. What I do know is that at that meeting, there were nine of us, 3 men and six women, 2 other male regulars were not there and one of the women that was there is not usually involved in this specific work. All of the men, including those not in attendance, have at least a bachelors’ degree and only 2 of the women, I know for sure went to college this included the woman who isn’t usually involved. The rest of us learned this shit the hard way, by living it every day.

Comfort. MBFWA Day 2.

After literally standing for almost 12 hours in heels on Day 1at MBFWA, my feet felt like they were literally telling me that If I was going to keep this "fashionable footwear" business up for next 4 days, I was going to have to opt for comfort for at least one of those days. I guess I was just lucky that high tops are all the rage at the moment, and not for minute did I feel under dressed or uncomfortable with my choice. It has been two weeks since my return from MBFWA and my feet still feel awkward in anything over an inch high. They are literally traumatised.

Leather Dress: Target / Jacket : Aje. / Bag: Alexander McQueen / Earrings: Mimco (old) /  Delicate Ring: Pandora

Photo's by Kaity

Follow me on...
Bloglovin / Twitter / Instagram:socialemissions / Pinterest

Look What I found at the Dolla Store | Part Two

*Quick note! I am experiencing some issues with Pinterest for some reason. If you are pinning from the .ca site you may receive an error saying my blog has been flagged due to inappropriate content (hmmm, Pinterest doesn't like the Dollar Store?). I have contacted Pinterest and hopefully the issue will be resolved soon!*

It's that time again! That time of the month where I curate some of the best finds my local Dollar Store has to offer. In case you missed it, check out my intro to my dollar store finds here, and Part One of "Look What I Found at the Dollar Store" here.

I decided to only feature one find today, and that is because I heart it so so much! I picked it up a while ago and have been eagerly waiting to share it with you guys! 

These little notebooks are too cute for words. They look like something you'd find for $10- $20 at a bookstore or gift shop, yet the two of them only cost $1.25 TOTAL! Such a steal. The colour is obviously my fave, but they have so much more going for them. Perfect size for  your purse, you can easily jot down notes or ideas. They are actually stamped with "Pella Paper" which from their website looks to be a line of stationery that might have been discontinued? Whatever the reason, I am happy they ended up at Dollorama (and that they don't have "Dollorama" stamped on them!).

The material of the notebook and the pages are good by dollar store terms, and again, you just can't beat the colour! If you're planning a bridal shower anytime soon, how cute would these be for favours? 

You can even leave a cute little personalized note in the front for your friend that will make their day every time they go to open up their notebook!

I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting my Silhouette Cameo and one of the reasons is because I really want to do something amazing to the front of these lil guys. Until then, I've used my kraft stickers to demonstrate how cute these would be personalized (and give you an idea of scale since the labels are 2.5 inches). I know I said in one of my previous dollar store posts that I would never get a gift for a friend at a $ store, but I might just have to eat my words. I think this would be a perfect hostess gift (paired with a bottle of wine) or a great takeaway for the next girls night I host.

What do you think? Are you in love like me? I think you need to go to Dollorama STAT and snag some up! I know I will be :)

The Panic. MBFWA Day 1

SO, first day of MBFWA did not run quiet as smoothly as I planned.

1. My hair consists of a braid that was 3 days old. I stupidly thought I would have enough time to wash my hair at 4am in the morning before catching my flight. I nearly snorted when someone asked me if they could take a picture of my, I quote "awesome hair".

2. Flight was delayed. If you follow on my on twitter, you would have know I was actually frantic to get to Sydney on time for my first show... Gail Sorronda. 

3. Had 45 minutes to get from the airport, to where I was staying and dump my bags. Made the cab driver wait for us as we frantically changed into fashion week appropriate footwear and grab camera essentials.

4. Discovered what "the box" was/meant and was bitterly disappointed. If you were there during the week, you know what I am talking about.

Check out my incredibly cute Karen Walker - Mini Skull Studs from Beginning Boutique.

Fashion week essentials at their very best. 

Follow me on...

Bloglovin / Twitter / Instagram:socialemissions / Pinterest

Some Comments on Liberalism.

Over at The Orthosphere, Jim Kalb has put up a post on the etiology of Liberalism. Now, from what I can see, Kalb's contention is that liberalism arises from the interpretive weltanschauung (big picture view of life) which is the modern scientific method. 
The most recent revolution was the modern one, which involved, at the most fundamental conceptual level, the attempted rejection of formal and final cause in favor of exclusive reliance on material and efficient cause [Ed]. That revolution was closely related to the rise of modern natural science, modern capitalism, and the modern state, and involved a great increase in the social emphasis on control. (How such things come about is a complicated story that can be told various ways. Etiologies have their own etiologies.)
What Kalb is trying to say here is that philosophical system that rejects concepts of "ultimate purposes" and "natures" is at the heart of liberalism. Personally, I don't buy that, because hard-arsed scientism leads you to conservatism and the not the other way around.  Premature, weak and logically inconsistent science is justified by liberalism, but it is quite a mistake to confuse the scientific world view with liberalism.

In fact, if you look at liberalism in action, what you see is a rejection of the scientific method when it conflicts with its world view. The recent "Climategate" events are a case in point. Here "inconvenient truths" are pushed aside in the name of a greater good. There are other examples from unrelated fields as well. For example, scientific studies have long shown the religion makes people happier, yet atheist still bang about it as if it were a curse. Married couples have, on average, more frequent sex than single people, despite liberal propaganda. Scientific evidence also shows that people seem more happier with their own kind and so on. In fact, what you find, is the better the science, especially in the sociological fields, the more it confirms to the conservative vision.

Quite a few Nobel Laureates, and I'm talking about those who won hard physical science awards not the bullshit ones, saw no problem with belief in God and the scientific method. Richard Feynman, a freakishly brilliant scientist who was also an atheist, also saw no problem with science and the idea of God. But Feynman was a man who understood that any consistent scientific theory had to take into account all of the facts, not only the ones that we found convenient.  And what divides the liberal from the conservative is this fact that the liberal regards it as OK to lie for the greater good.

Now, by lying, I don't mean that liberals always consciously lie; it's just that they ignore, overlook, suppress, explain away facts which they find inconvenient. Individual conservatives, do this as well, but nowhere is this habit so culturally entrenched, supported and justified as it is in the liberal movement.

In this regard, I agree with commentator Thursday, who gave a good rebuttal to Kalb.
The context of all this is my fairly longstanding disagreement with Jim Kalb on whether liberalism comes out of changes to human psychology that come about under conditions of safety, prosperity, and comfort or whether it comes out of what JK has outlined here as concepts. (There is a fairly substantial experimental literature that shows that inducing anxiety and fear make people both more conservative and more religious.)...........JK doesn’t really have an etiology of liberalism. As I have pointed out to him before, it doesn’t seem to tell us where those ideas that lead to liberalism come from, nor why they seem to stick in people’s minds.
Still, I have some critiques of Thursday's thoughts as well. Thursday too, doesn't provide an explanation of the origins of Liberalism. Rather, he places a strong emphasis on biological factors which predispose a person to liberalism. He cites Jonathan Haidt, and his research on moral foundations, which would seem to imply a cognitive biological difference between liberals and conservatives. i.e. In that certain individuals seem "wired" in such a way to give them their liberal tendency. Haidt's research is pretty good and I also agree that externalities such as threat, anger, plenty and security influence our thinking. The saying, "that there are no atheists in foxholes" is the common wisdom which modern psychology has only recently rediscovered.

Now, people can be roughly divided into the two types; the people whose actions are motivated by their animal instincts (the sheep, proles, common man) and the those who live according to the life of the mind( the shepherds, intellectuals, aristocrats). This biological explanation has the most influence mongst the sheep. In communities where there is both democracy and religious freedom, people will vote along biological instinctive lines, with the rationalisation hamster directing the vote to the appropriate party. Those who feel comfortable with liberal "anarchy" will vote left, whilst those who need "security and structure" will vote right. In times of low threat people are more open to "tolerant" government whilst in times of stress people drift towards more "authoritarian" regimes. The more
"inclusive the democracy" the stronger the "biological vote". (This explains the drift to both Communists and Fascists during the 1932 German elections in Protestant Germany and the current drift in Greece towards extreme political parties.)

But what fear and its opposite, comfort, seem to introduce is not liberalism but bias. Comfort/Security biases the mind towards liberalism while danger pushes towards the opposite direction.  The Nazi's, especially in their early years, were fat and happy but no one would describe their treatment of the Jews as Liberal. What motivated Nazi actions was ideology, not circumstance or disposition.  It was the Nazi ideas about Germany's troubles and potential solutions that produced the historical entity that was the Third Reich. Most normal Germans, in normal times, would have have dismissed their ideology as out of hand, but given the circumstances in Germany in the late 1920's and early 30's, it no surprise the the populace had become receptive to their message, since both the Nazi and Communist ideology appealed to the instincts of the herd.

Indeed, this is where liberalism draws its strength from; by providing an ideology that appeals to the instincts of the herd, Liberalism becomes the justifying ideology of the proletariat. Liberalism draws its strength from "instinctive synergy".

No, for the origins of liberalism you need to look amongst that other class of men, the "shepherds" or the "intellectuals". In this group of men, instinct is subordinated to the intellect and thereby the mind, or ideas, have more sway. In this level of society, man is more intellectual and less biological.

It's my opinion that liberalism started as a corrupted form of Christianity (and its Western atheist derivatives) which places emphasis on the "nice" and "agreeable" over the Good. Liberalism is an easy variant form of Christianity, and contrary to Jim Kalb, belief in God is no protection against liberalism if the God you believe in is liberal. It's an ideology of believing in God on My terms. It's the modern shepard who have taken this view and fed the proles of message of "instinctive synergy".

Liberalism originates from an intellectual rejection of God as he in preference to a God as he should be. Jesus, in a liberal mindset, becomes a person like myself. In its mildest forms, liberalism may manifest itself as an incomprehension of those of hold that fornication is wrong even if there is an element of deep love between two unmarried people, at its most extreme it manifests as militant atheism.

The problem with liberalism though is that its vision conflicts with reality and what happens in the end is that the liberal has to deny reality in order to live as he sees fit. Science, that ultimate asserter of empirical reality, is denied, and in doing so, the liberals join those unwitting conservatives, who in undercutting science are digging their own grave.

EVENT TONIGHT: Videogames as Telehealth Technology

Speaker: Stuart Smith

Time: Thursday 17 May 2012, 6pm for 6:15pm start

Location: John Goodsell Building Room LG 19 Parking station at Botany St Gate 11, University of New South Wales Kensington Campus

Cost: Free. Public welcome

RSVP: Lyria Bennett Moses (
About the event
Declines in physical or cognitive function are associated with age-related impairments to overall health. Functional impairment resulting from injury or disease contribute to parallel declines in self-confidence, social interactions and community involvement. Fear of a major incident such as a stroke or a bone-breaking fall can lead to the decision to move into a supported environment which can be viewed as a major step in the loss of independence and quality of life. Novel use of videogame console technologies are beginning to be explored as a commercially available means for delivering training and rehabilitation programs to older adults in their own homes. We provide an overview of the main videogame console systems (Wii, Playstation and Xbox) and discuss some use case scenarios for rehabilitation, assessment and training of functional ability in older adults or those living with a disability.

About the speaker

Dr Stuart Smith is an NHMRC Career Development Award-Industry researcher with a particular interest in the application of technologies such as video games and the internet for home-based monitoring of health.

He was involved in establishing the Technology Research for Independent Living Centre in Ireland which developed technologies to monitor the health of older adults to facilitate their continued independent and healthy living.

He currently chairs the working group on Games for Health within the Health Informatics Society of Australia, whose aim is to establish connections between health researchers and video game developers and manufacturers to develop games that are appropriate for patient rehabilitation.

Dr Smith has secured NHMRC funding to develop video games for reducing fall risk in older adults and is a PI on Dr Penelope McNulty’s NHMRC project investigating the use of the Nintendo Wii in rehabilitation of upper limb function following stroke. He is also involved in pilot trials assessing the effect of video game play in rehabilitation of stroke and spinal cord injury patients at the Prince of Wales Hospital.

Dr Smith has recently had a manuscript accepted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine on his modification of the ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ video game for step training in older adults. He has two recent book chapters on the application of video gaming technologies to rehabilitation and has organised workshops on Games for Health at international conferences.

Recently Dr Smith contributed to a successful bid for funding from the Federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to build video games that are specifically targeted at health.
About the sponsor
The IEEE is a voluntary organisation with more than 350,000 members. The SSIT has about 2000 members in 56 countries worldwide and growing. The Society focuses on the impact of technology on society, including both positive and negative effects, the impact of society on the engineering profession, the history of the societal aspects of electrotechnology, and professional, social and economic responsibility in the practice of engineering and its related technology.
SSIT publishes a quarterly journal, IEEE Technology & Society magazine (free with your Membership).
SSIT can be contacted at