Monday, 15 December 2014

Two Movie Reviews - For Greater Glory & Machine Gun Preacher

Two Movie Reviews - For Greater Glory & Machine Gun Preacher

Two very different movies about Christianity, that are both supportive instead of dismissive of Christianity.

For Greater Glory
This movie is set during the 1920's in Mexico during the Christero War. The Mexican Government at this time was very anti-clerical and sought to destroy the power of the Catholic Church within Mexico. To this end it placed many bans upon the activities of the church, including mass. It also expelled foreign born priests and bishops. Graham Greens famous novel, The Power and the Glory is set in Mexico during this time. The Chistero's were those who took up arms to fight against the Mexican Government and the movie is the "hollywood" story of that war. The movie is on the side of the Christero's, but it tells the story quite well. It also show's that both side committed atrocities and had victories and defeats. It is a decent, made for television movie of a piece of history I didn't know about and that I think is worth seeing. Even though it is recently made it has an old time feel to it, more adventure than war movie, although it does have battle scenes. I would give it 7 out of 10.

Machine Gun Preacher
This is a very different movie that also deals with Christianity. A true story about a white criminal who gets out of jail to find out his wife has stopped working as a stripper and has found God. That doesn't make him change his ways however, he is still a violent criminal and these violent crimes are shown in the movie. For the first 30 minutes or so this is not a story about God, but is instead a story about violent crime. Then he finds God and changes his life around. In real life it took years, in the movie it happens within minutes. Then he goes to Africa to help build and he see's how bad things are there. Back in America he becomes a Preacher and starts a church. Goes to Africa and starts an orphanage and he fights against the Lords Resistance Army (let by a man called Kony, who you might remember a bit of a fuss was made about a few years ago). Hence the name Machine Gun Preacher, he's not called that because he talk's very fast, he fights with a machine gun!

This movie is really heavy going and deals with alot of very serious issues. It is very violent and it doesn't hold back. The only movie about Christianity to come close to it in terms of violence is The Passion of the Christ. But it is quite an interesting story, it's not boring and it makes sense. If you like or can handle violent movies I would recommend it. Like the movie above I would also give it 7 out of 10.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?
16 of 20 Profit

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Twenty First Month

The Twenty First Month

In November I had 1854 visitors my third best month ever!

I also had 5 countries having over 100 visitors at the same time for a good portion of the last month. Sadly that has ended, but I hope to see it go up again. The United States and Australia are good, but France, the United Kingdom and the Ukraine I want you back!

My worst day was the 22nd of November when I only had 22 visitors, my best day was three days later when I had 145 visitors.

11th November-11th December

United States
United Kingdom

11th October-11th November
United States
United Kingdom
The United States is up, but the big increase is from Australia, up 175% from last month. Both the United Kingdom and France are up, although both were higher during the month. 

The Netherlands is back into the Top 10 and India is also in the Top 10.

Germany is basically the same and Canada is slightly down.

The Ukraine has collapsed from it's high, very sad, although it is still in the top 5 countries and I have hope it will make a comeback. Poland has also dropped by alot.

China and Romania have again dropped out of the Top 10.

I have also received visitors from the following countries Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Poland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Belarus, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Pakistan, India, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, New Zealand, Fiji, Argentina, 

I look forward to seeing you again.
Mark Moncrieff

Saturday, 6 December 2014

We Live in a World Where….

We Live in a World Where….

We live in a world where the Australian Government can announce that women are now allowed to serve in combat units and in the same year ran a massive media campaign “say no to violence against women”!

We live in a world where Conservative Government’s make homosexual marriage legal!

We live in a world where most of those who vote to save the natural environment, live the furthest away from it!

We live in a world where those who most support Multiculturalism live the furthest away from actual immigrants!

We live in a world where we are constantly told everyone is equal but that women and minorities need special laws to protect them!

We live in a world where we are told the best way to get out of debt is to spend money!

We live in a world where marriage is discouraged and then people wonder about why there is so much loneliness!

We live in a world where the members of a religious group declare war on us and our Governments declare them “the religion of peace”!

We live in a world where police are warned off arresting law breakers if too many of them come from the same minority!

We live in a world where there are people who really believe that a man wearing a bad shirt stops women from becoming scientists!

We live in a world where our own Governments support policies that will turn us from majorities into minorities!

We live in a world where the unemployed are blamed for being lazy because Governments have encouraged business to export their jobs!

We live in a world where our representatives in Parliament don’t represent us!

We live in a world where law abiding people don’t trust the law!

We live in a world where people dispose of their families and it’s legal!

We live in a world where we can see our society failing!

We live in a world where we can see our entire Civilization failing!

We live in a world where things have gone so wrong, even satire is dead.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Manipulating History - The Eureka Stockade

Manipulating History - The Eureka Stockade

On the 3rd of December 1854, a very minor event in world history, but a very big one in Australian history, occurred. That event 160 years ago was the Eureka Stockade. What I would like to do is to first give you an outline of the Eureka Stockade and then to talk about how it has been manipulated to show history in a particular way.

The Colony of Victoria was settled by the British in 1836, in 1851 gold was discovered starting the gold rush. In 1850 Victoria's white population was roughly 50,000, by 1860 it was 500,000. Nearly all of that increase was because of the gold rush. When gold was first discovered some people just picked it up off the ground, but of course as time went on it got harder to find. And as more people pored in it created all kinds of trouble. In Melbourne, the Colonies capital and chief port, men left in large numbers for the gold diggings. Ships bringing settlers and goods to the colony were deserted as sailors, sometimes even the captain, left to go find gold. They came from Britain, from Europe, a number having fought in the Revolutions of 1848, they came from America, many straight from the gold fields of California, they came from the other Australian colonies and they came from China. 

However the economy was collapsing, because so many people were abandoning their jobs, and the Government had to find a way to restore it. It decided on a gold license. To dig for gold you needed to buy a license and it didn't matter if you found gold or not you needed a license. To enforce this police were sent to the gold diggings, but in the early Australian colonies many of the police were ex-convicts. Men used to being treated rough and in treating others rough. In short they were uniformed, armed bullies and the Government did not discourage that in any way. When a miner didn't have his license on him, because he hadn't bought one or because it was his tent or for any reason, he would be arrested. The Police would go on "license hunts" through the diggings looking for men without a license and they were very rough. This continued for months with the Government desperate to bring the miners under control and desperate to get the normal economy working again. But instead things spun out of control as the brutality of the Police created first a movement and then armed resistance. The Eureka Stockade.

The man who came to lead the Eureka Stockade was an Irishman by the name of Peter Lalor, the last of 11 sons from a prominent Irish Catholic family. His father had been a Member of the British Parliament, his oldest brother James was a leading Irish Nationalist and another brother also became a Member of the British Parliament, Three other brothers fought in the American Civil War, on both sides. Lalor, a trained civil engineer, was a leading light in the anti-licensing movement and when things turned violent he was voted to lead it. 

A flag was created, a white cross on a blue background with 5 white stars, one at each end of the cross and one in the centre, the stars represent the southern cross. This flag is now known as the Eureka flag. Under this flag took place a famous oath taking, the men manning the Stockade took this oath "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand  truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties. Amen".

In the days leading up to the 3rd of December, a rumour was spread that the Government was sending cannons to destroy the Stockade. A large number of men went off to capture these cannons. But the rumour had been started by the commander of the British troops in the Colony and instead of sending cannon he force marched a force of 276 soldiers, police and Royal Navy sailors to Ballarat, the site of the Eureka Stockade. At dawn on the 3rd, he attacked and within 15 minutes the Stockade was taken. Only around 150 men were present to defend the Stockade and they were taken by surprise, 22 miners and 6 soldiers were killed.

Peter Lalor was shot in the arm and escaped, a wanted man with a 400pound reward for his capture. But 13 others captured at Eureka were charged with treason and in 1855 they were tried in Melbourne. 7 Irishmen, 1 Italian Revolutionary, 1 Scottish Jew, 1 Dutchmen, 1 Australian and two black men, one from Jamaica, the other from the United States. The trial didn't turn out the way the Government expected as the population were nearly all on the side of the miners and they blamed the Government for provoking the situation in the first place. To the shock of the Government, all the accused were acquitted. 

Even though the Eureka Stockade was a failure it is regarded as a turning point in Australian history as before the Governors of each Colony were in charge and afterwards the courts and Parliament were. In 1856 Victoria gained a Parliament and elected to that Parliament was Peter Lalor, now pardoned. 

Up to now the account is pretty standard, although maybe a little too neutral. The Eureka Stockade was about the license system, the cost of buying a license and the brutality used to enforce it. But that is not how many have seen it. For Irish Nationalists it has been seen (more in Australia than Ireland) as an Irish rebellion, for Republicans it was about creating an Australian Republic, for Communists it was about class struggle, the beginning of an Australian Revolution and for Australian Nationalists it became about fighting for an Australian nation against British rule. 

But if that's true any fighting spirit was very short lived as Australia has seen no other rebellion or revolution since. In fact what is remarkable is how bizarrely out of step the Eureka Stockade is with the rest of Australian history. Of course there has been violence in Australia's history, but very rarely is that organised violence. And that is why this event has been seized upon, because their isn't much else for these radical causes to grab hold off. But grab hold they have. The Communist youth movement was named the Eureka Youth, Trade Unionists carry the Eureka flag when protesting, some even wear it on their work clothes. Eureka is seen as a radical cause and so the symbols of Eureka are used to support radical causes.

But what that means is pieces of the real history must be ignored. A famous part of the Eureka story is the oath, but hardly any accounts will tell you that two oaths were sworn that day, not one. All of the miners at the Stockade swore the first oath "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand  truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties. Amen". But directly after that a second oath was sworn by those who were British subjects, including the Australians, including the Irish and including Peter Lalor. And that oath? It was the loyalty oath to the Monarch, Queen Victoria. In time honoured tradition they swore an oath that they were rebelling not against the Monarchy but against bad government. 

Peter Lalor is famous in Australia. In fact I grew up in the suburb of Lalor and went to a school that bore his name and had the Eureka flag as the schools emblem. But the school was not at all radical, nor was the suburb. But apart from being taught he lead the Eureka Stockade I wasn't taught much about him at all. Nor are most Australians, a man we have all heard of but know next to nothing about. But I think that's on purpose. You see Eureka is seen as a radical cause and obviously the leader was a radical as well. Only he wasn't.

In fact apart from the Eureka Stockade Peter Lalor had a very successful life as a member of Victoria's elite. I said earlier he was elected to Parliament in 1856, well he stayed there for decades and became the Speaker of the House. He was even accused of being a hypocrite because he wasn't a radical. One thing that has been held against him is he voted against universal white male suffrage. Now that isn't the thing the hero of the Eureka Stockade is supposed to do is it. It turned out that Peter Lalor wasn't a radical at all, but a Conservative. To prove it let me quote part of a speech he made in the first month of his long Parliamentary career.

"I would ask these gentlemen what they mean by the term 'democracy'. Do they mean Chartism, or Communism or Republicanism? If so, I never was, I am not now, nor do I ever intend to be a democrat. But if a democrat means opposition to a tyrannical press, a tyrannical people, or a tyrannical government, then I have been, I still am, and will ever remain a democrat." 

At the Eureka Stockade there were men who supported all of those things, and many other ideas as well. But that wasn't why the Stockade was created, it was created because of much more immediate concerns. But the myth lives on and I for one do not think the myth is better than the reality. 

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?



Sunday, 30 November 2014

Dress Codes and Conservatism

Dress Codes and Conservatism

Recently European Scientists landed a space probe onto a comet. It is quite an achievement to land a moving object onto another moving object. But one of the scientists received alot of criticism for what he was wearing. Feminists complained that his shirt, featuring scantly clad women was sexist, Conservatives responded by complaining about the Feminists.

Here is a Feminist article showing what he was wearing and their criticism,

Now my first reaction was to think the Feminists were overreacting, then I saw how he was dressed.  I thought he was dressed disgracefully. A shirt with scantly clad women is not something any respectable person should wear to a press conference. It is a shirt you might wear socially, but it is not formal wear and it is not acceptable to give an interview in. Remember he was not a random person approached on the street, he was being interviewed as part of his job. 

Sadly I was not very happy with comments from many "Conservatives", who basically said "who cares what he's wearing". Someone commented on one site, I assume someone who is not a Conservative, that they remembered a time when Conservatives would have been appalled by what he was wearing and that we were no better than cheerleaders supporting our team instead of our values. Sadly I agree.

Once upon a time we would have been appalled but now we are no better than Liberals. Who cares what he's wearing it's his choice they say. What was wrong with a boring white shirt, a lab coat, a suit or even a jumper? 

I haven't even mentioned his tattoos, in fact I haven't heard anyone else criticise his tattoos at all. It's all about personal choice it seems. Standards, we don't have them anymore, they aren't important. His tattoos, like his shirt are disgraceful!  

Then I read what the Feminists thought. They didn't do any better. Their idea was that a bad choice of shirt stops women from becoming Scientists. Typical Feminist insight, women can do anything as long as nothing upsetting stops them.....pathetic.

Once Conservatives believed in standards, that included in how people dressed. We believed that people should dress modestly and in attire that was appropriate for the occasion. Shouldn't we still believe that?

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?

Saturday, 22 November 2014

How Not to Run a Conservative Party - Pauline Hanson and One Nation

 How Not to Run a Conservative Party - Pauline Hanson and One Nation

This week Pauline Hanson announced she would rejoin the party that she helped create, One Nation. For those of you who have never heard of Pauline Hanson, or were too young or have simply forgotten the details let me give you a short history.

Pauline Hanson was an Australian politician who was kicked out of the Liberal party, the main Right Liberal party in Australia. She joined the party in 1995 and was endorsed to run as a candidate in less than a year, and she won a seat in the Federal Parliament. But in her maiden speech to Parliament she said something that scared the living daylights out of nearly everyone else in the Parliament. She attacked multiculturalism and mass immigration. When the party told her to change, she didn't and within a year she had been expelled from the Liberal Party. In 1997 she then co-founded a new political party called One Nation.

One Nation attracted alot of attention and in it's first election it won 18% of the vote, but due to Australia's electoral laws the party didn't win a single seat in Parliament. At the next election it's vote was down to 5%. At the most recent election that it ran candidates in, the Queensland state election, it had less than 0.1% of the vote.

In 2003 she and others within One Nation were convicted of electoral fraud for claiming more members than existed. She was sentenced to three years imprisonment but she only served three months before she was acquitted by the Court of Appeal. As you can see it's quite a story even in the short version I've given.

Here are some links to follow if your interested in finding out more.
wikipedia Pauline Hanson

abc pauline hanson-returns-to-one-nation Particularly check out the different views in the comments.

one nation

But I'm not writing about Pauline Hanson as such, what I'm going to write about is why things went wrong. I should point out that I never supported Pauline Hanson or One Nation, even though I agreed with much of what she said. So why didn't I support her?

The problem is multiculturalism and mass immigration, not any particular race or group. She was too focused on them and not enough on us. Here was a point that she and One Nation made over and over again, they knew what they were against but they they didn't know what they were for. They were against mass immigration, but what happened if they won office? It seemed their policy was 'well their here now we have to put up with them , but not one more!'. There was a negativity to their policies and not much that was positive, that would improve things. Stopping mass immigration is great, I support that, but what happens then?

It often seemed that they wanted exactly what the Left always accuses us of, wanting to return to the past. I don't want to live in the past, the past got us here and I really don't like it here. But so many of their policies were trying to step back in time with no real idea of what happens next.

They presented themselves as Conservative but they were a party of reaction, they reacted to the world around them and they did not really have an ideology. They were not a party of Conservatism  because they didn't believe in men and women being distinct and having different roles within society. They endorsed women as candidates, most famously Pauline Hanson herself. A women who seeks political power is a Feminist, no matter what she says.

One Nation rose on the back of Pauline Hanson's personality and message. Without her the party would never have existed. Unfortunately Pauline Hanson was totally aware of this and she exploited it. A number of growing political groups joined One Nation as they wanted much the same things as she did. But anyone with any personality, popularity or organisational ability was found and expelled. This was Pauline Hanson's party and she wasn't sharing it with anyone else. That meant that when she lost her popularity, so did the party. Just as it rose because of Pauline Hanson so did it fall.

This meant that the party was always very amateurish. Pauline Hanson herself is terrible in interviews, but if she has ever received any training it sure doesn't show. Until quite recently the website was still the same as it was when put up in the 1990's, it is now quite good. Currently on their website they have this: "Immigration and Multiculturalism - have we ever been asked?"

Absolutely correct, we have never been asked and it is wrong. But then in an article talking about former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who died recently this is said: "Multiculturalism was forced upon Australia by Whitlam without anyone being asked if we wanted it. I am not talking about a multi-racial society, which is what we are, and should be".

When were we asked if we wanted to be a multi-racial society? Both were forced on us but one is terribly wrong and the other is terribly right, if you can work that one out good luck, because I sure can't.

One Nation is an example of how not to run a political party or a political movement. It has particular relevance to Conservatives as here is a party that many of us would find many things we agreed with, but that wasn't enough. Only when we have worked out what we stand for and what we want from the future can we hope to successfully fight. It is not enough to simply be against something.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might like?
Living on debt aka stealing from the future

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Why Divorce is Bad

Why Divorce is Bad

Recently there was a divorce scare in my family. The couple in question had some problems and the wife decided that they should separate and she moved out. Fortunately after a few months they patched things up and they are now back together in the family home.

But as you can imagine it got me thinking again on this topic.

I was 5 when no fault divorce was made law in Australia, I've known many divorced people, including my own parents. I often heard when I was young, when divorce was also in a sense young, that it was better for people to divorce if they were unhappy and that it was better for the children as they didn't have to live with two parents who hated each other. But over the years my experience of seeing divorce and divorced people was quite different, I learnt that divorce was responsible for alot of human misery.

But if divorce is so bad why do people get divorced?

When a man wants a divorce, 9 times out of 10 another women is involved. You would think that a man who was abused, cheated on, belittled or humiliated would divorce, but they tend to stay married. Men tend to be doubtful that the grass is greener in the other field, unless he has found out it really is greener. Men's natural pessimism makes them stick it out, even when things are bad.

Women are much more complex, they divorce for the most serious as well as the most trivial reasons. Women have been granted divorces for everything from their husband confessed to being a serial killer to I want to be free. If my wife confessed to being a serial killer I think I'd want a divorce as well, if she "wanted to be free" I'd tell her she was pathetic. Sadly in no fault divorce any reason is good enough no matter how trivial.

Liberalism has, if you'll excuse the pun, liberalised divorce laws from something that only God through the Church could grant, to something only Parliament could grant, to today where there are thousands of Judges around the world who's only job is to grant divorces and deal with the legal aftermath. But from Liberalism's point of view it makes total sense. If the aim of Liberalism is the autonomous individual, and it is, then people have to be free to make as many choices as they possibly can and they need to be protected from the consequences of those choices. And as marriage is a choice so should being unmarried.

Liberalism has very high and mighty ideals, but sadly most of them tend to boil down to "I can do anything I want, simply because I want to". Morals, loyalty, the good of others, the good of society are all absent because they interfere with choice.

Divorce is simply another way for Liberalism to create autonomous individuals. Because when you think about it marriage is a real problem for Liberalism. Married people are dependent upon each other, when they aren't a marriage doesn't tend to last.

The premise of divorce is that if your married and you have problems, you can fix those problems through divorce. It turns out that in nearly all cases that premise is wrong. Because the real reason they have problems is because of life. Life creates problems, each of us has been mistreated in life and it affects how we think of ourselves and how we relate to others, that's natural. Unfortunately so are disappointments and money worries, as is conflict. Our spouse will disappoint us, they will be stupid, we will fight with them, sometimes most annoyingly they will be right and all of this is natural.

But many people believe that marriage is about happiness and that our partners job is to make us happy. So if we are unhappy then our partner is responsible. And instead of pushing our way through bad times, we instead decide that the problem is our partner. That if we got rid of them we'd finally be happy. It is all about self.

When a divorce takes place it destroys not only a marriage but a family. Husband and wife are not simply two people, by joining together they become a family. Children add to that family. But divorce means that all of that is gone.

One of the things that people learn first hand about divorce is that it is a great destroyer of wealth. All the assets of a marriage now need to be divided. How do you divide a house? Either one party gets control and deprives the other or the house is sold. Money is divided, meaning that if a couple have $10,000 in the bank and it is divided equally, then we now have two bank accounts of $5000. Each making less interest then if it was a lump sum. That happens to all money, bonds, superannuation, etc.

Husbands, in most cases, earn more than wives, that means that after a divorce a women's standard of living drops and stays down. A mans standard of living also falls, but in time it will most likely improve. A women loses her husbands income and while she will find others it will rarely match let alone better what she had while married.

Couples save more money then men and men save more money then women. Partly that's because they make more money, but partly it's about thinking of the future. Couples see a future, men think about the future and women tend to be more focused on the here and now. That means that over time women are poorer than men and men are poorer than couples. You'll find exceptions of course but as a general rule it holds up. Financially it's a mess.

I haven't even mentioned children. Most people believe that their children are the most important thing in the world. But in a divorce either one parent loses their children or the children get to become the rope in a tug of war. I struggle to give advice on what to do about children to people I know who have gone through a divorce. Is it better to fight and for everyone to get hurt, and they do get hurt or is it better to not fight and just give up? Does that lead to less hurt or more? Is there any way to have a divorce and not end up with hurt parents and children? I've never seen a way. Here divorce isn't bad, it's bloody evil!

And at the end is the personal cost, no matter who started it or who gets the most, no one really wins. Every divorce is a failure, a betrayal and a heartache. The man loses, the women loses, the children definitely lose and society loses. Divorce is bad.

Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
Another Article You Might Like?
Homosexual Marriage