Tuesday, June 30, 2009
That it has all been an elaborate hoax, one designed by Michael to either escape the glare of publicity or possibly a fraudulent way not to perform his forthcoming tour.
We had it with Elvis didn't we? The few wacko's who said they had seen him eating burgers in a diner downtown.
Already Michael's family are speaking of something sinister having happened to their son and sibling and of having another autopsy. Perhaps they are right but for this weary Englishman far too many conspiracy theories have driven me to the conclusion that most are the overactive imaginations of those who have little else to do with their lives than to create madness where there was once only insanity.
God's bless Michael where he rests but let us all hope he is allowed to rest in peace before the media slice his myth into pieces.
In these past ten years or so we in Ireland, North and South, have been enjoying a stable and hopefully lasting peace. The thirty years of conflict, bloodshed and loss of life are more or less over. (It ended in the early to mid-nineties of the last century) Yet, as peace-makers we can never become too complacent, because there is much hatred and bitterness North of our border. Now, I am not saying for a minute that our brothers and sisters in the North of Ireland have a monopoly of these two vices - far from it. I readily admit that there is not a little hatred and bitterness in the hearts of some South of the border. However, statistics show that the North of Ireland is an extremely racist country. A report recently declared that some 20 or so Romanian people of the Roma ethnic minority had to flee back to their homeland because they had literally been burnt out of their homes. I am old enough to remember such happening in the Catholic areas of the North of Ireland in the early to mid 1960s. So, all people of good will, North and South of the border, and, indeed, all people of good will everywhere must be peace-makers with a deep compassion for all our fellow human beings! There is too much conflict in the world today - and there probably always was - but in these more enlightened days let's be conflict breakers or conflict busters.
Sadly religions of all hues have been more often than not repositories, and indeed often promoters, of hate and bitterness. Anywhere in the world where there is inter-national and indeed intra-national war oftentimes religion or interpretations of that phenomenon lie at its heart. We have to go beyond religion and find a spiritual ground or baseline - the only solid foundation for intra and inter-national peace. With these thoughts in mind I offer here some words from the wonderful Dalai Lama on the matter of the difference between Religion and Spirituality:
I believe there is an important distinction to be made between religion and spirituality. Religion I take to be concerned with belief in the claims to salvation of one faith tradition or another--an aspect of which is acceptance of some form of meta-physical or philosophical reality, including perhaps an idea of heaven or hell. Connected with this are religious teachings or dogma, ritual, prayers and so on. Spirituality I take to be concerned with those qualities of the human spirit--such as love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony, which bring happiness to both self and others.
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama
From "The Pocket Dalai Lama," edited by Mary Craig, 2002. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, www.shambhala.com.
Monday, June 29, 2009
(Note: This is a slightly revised form of a comment I left in Amrit Hallon's blog, Writing Cave.)
I find myself unable to ignore the death of Michael Jackson, as much as I might like to. The death of this sad man-boy-freak has become the usual media circus and I'm a bit sorry to join in. I do, however, have a few thoughts and ideas of my own to express.
This reminds me of the hoopla when Anna Nicole Smith died. There IS a difference, of course. Michael Jackson was a talented performer who actually did something of note with his talents. He has been at least on the periphery of my life since the late 1960s. Someone who had "always" been there is gone. It leaves a blank space.
Love is a strange thing. I have learned, to paraphrase R. A. Heinlein, the more I love, the more I CAN love. Each love teaches me to love a little more.
I care deeply about poor people, hungry people, cold people, sick people, oppressed people, hurting people - but I have learned that if I don't distance myself a bit, I'll go mad. (Some say I already have.) I do what I can, mostly by alerting people online, as I am physically unable to do much and my financial resources are small and dwindling. Then I do just a little more than I can, push myself.
My friends and doctors insist that I cut down on these 16-18 hour days, the world will go on just fine if Mai takes a nap in the park. They are right. Sometimes I wonder if all I try to do has any impact on anyone. Still, love compels me to try.
Was he a pedophile or simply a strange guy who had an innocent interest in children, being childlike himself? Was he an ogre of immorality or merely eccentric? I do not know. It is possible he did all the nasty things he was accused of. It is also possible that those were all false charges from people who wanted to open their wallets to put in large amounts of Michael's cash.
The death of Michael Jackson is just this: He brought music, dancing and joy into the lives of millions. He gave us a lot to talk about with his weirdnesses and eccentricities. He made our lives a little more interesting, a little less mundane. And that, my beloved readers, (as Martha Stewart would say) is a good thing.
Good-bye, Michael! The human heart is big enough to care about you and all suffering humanity at the same time.
In memory of two people who deserve to be remembered, this is my martyred son Sandeep's favourite MJ song. I must admit that there is something endearing about a love song to a (literal) rat!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I entered GlobaLove Think Tank in the
Google 10 to the 100th contest months ago.
I was expecting to get the results of the
contest in January but it seems the response was
so great it bogged down the process and the
announcement date is up in the air.
Here's Google's comment.
Thank you to everyone who submitted an idea.
We received over 150,000!
Due to the enthusiastic response we received,
it's taking us longer than we expected to review all the ideas.
Check back later, or sign-up to receive an email
update when we've announced the top ideas.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
A man walks out of his apartment,
When he gets to the crowded subway platform,
But he doesn't care,
He also said,
"And people make you nervous
"You'd think the world was ending,
"Well maybe you should just drink a lot less coffee,
"Maybe you should cut your own hair
"And people are just people,
"The world is everlasting
The world is everlasting
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
"Voice of Iran"
"Angel of Freedom"
Neda means "voice" or "calling" in Persian,
she has been referred to as the "voice of Iran"
and "a symbol of pro-democracy protesters
battering the Islamic regime" in the world
Neda was shot and killed June 20th during the
2009 Iranian election protests. The graphic videos
were posted on the Internet, and her name quickly
became a rallying cry for the opposition
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Edward R. Murrow (born Egbert Roscoe Murrow; April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965) was an American broadcast journalist. He first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada.
Fellow journalists Eric Sevareid, Ed Bliss and Alex Kendrick considered Murrow one of journalism's greatest figures, noting his honesty and integrity in delivering the news.
A pioneer of television news broadcasting, Murrow produced a series of TV news reports that helped lead to the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy.
On October 15, 1958, in a speech before the Radio and Television News Directors Association in Chicago, Murrow blasted TV's emphasis on entertainment and commercialism at the expense of public interest in his "wires and lights" speech in which he said, "During the daily peak viewing periods, television in the main insulates us from the realities of the world in which we live. If this state of affairs continues, we may alter an advertising slogan to read: Look now, pay later."
At the end of his 1958 speech, Murrow made a hopeful statement: "This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of television could be useful."
Saturday, June 20, 2009
The leadership of this new government originally had popular support, for the Iranian people felt that they had reclaimed their nation from foreign influence. Over time, however, the decision to impose an inflexible standard of behavior on the individual lives of the Iranian people that was structured to intrude on the most intimate details of living and that promised harsh punishments for those who did not comply was bound to fail. This is especially true in a country where two-thirds of the population is under thirty-five years of age within an historic era where instant communication is widespread and has no geographic boundaries.
This authoritarian regime, led by fundamentalist religious clerics, is now decidedly on the horns of a dilemma. If they are to retain power, they have no recourse but to come down harshly on the opposition. This intractable behavior is yet another example in the sad history of human civilization of the utter waste of human resources and human potential that is a natural consequence of the unquenchable search for power. What makes it especially poignant is that this attempt to control human destiny in order to make life fit into a restrictive and unrealistic mold will ultimately collapse at no small cost.
for r. singh (especially) and children everywhere
i tell my mummy
i don't want to go back
she asks me why
i tell her
today in the playground
shout at me
even osama bin laden!
everything i know
i am not
i fight back
throw a fist
imagine the bullies as monsters
call them ugly things too
my cheeks burn
my heart thumps
i am MAD
i didn't start this
i am just one
and no one listens
when i yell
leave me alone!
no one helps me
when the bullies
rip the cloth
from my head
not even the friends
i swing with
everyday on the monkey-bars
or the kids
who swap sandwiches with me
in the cafeteria
not even the adults
who patrol the playgrounds
to make sure
everyone follows the rules
the teachers sit us down
a peace negotiation
where no one questions
why am i a target?
i am like a match
like the ones my daddy warns me not to play with
a blue flame
which grows shorter every second
burning my insides
faster than i expect
i go home
i tell my mummy
wraps her arms
around my shoulders
tells me she loves me
with her eyes
my long hair
runs her fingers through
is like the night sky
is the universe
she combs my kes
with a kanga
twists my hair firm
on the top of my head
a galaxy you carry high
she takes the square patka cloth
like a diamond
sets the patka on my scalp
and ties it tight
mummy tells me
you will wear a turban
cloth as long as the seven oceans
the full span of the earth
will rest on your head
be a brave young prince
like Sahibzaada Zorawar Singh Ji
like Sahibzaada Fateh Singh Ji
big as kings
for carrying the universe on their heads
like true princes
with three nights
in the cold
in the dark
when everyone wanted them to just be children
they raised their chins high
just the ways of the lion prince
with questions and conversation
a duty for the kingdom
mummy kisses my cheeks
i kiss her back
i will go back to school tomorrow
i will be like a prince
a shooting star
bright and brave
where ever it is cold
where ever it is dark
Friday, June 19, 2009
The President should understand that he has the people behind him. In my judgment, he needs to take the offensive and clearly indicate what he will not accept. Otherwise, this is reform in name only and will consign us to an abysmal future where the public health is once again secondary to profit. I believe that if the President does not act decisively on this issue, an important opportunity will be missed. He has a wonderful opportunity to achieve greatness in the eyes of the American public.
To base national health care on a for-profit model is a totally bankrupt concept. Even though the Congress has demonstrated repeatedly the degree to which they have been corrupted by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, the President can appeal directly to his millions of loyal supporters. If he chooses to rubber stamp this approach, he will run the risk of disillusioning many of those who voted for him, myself included. This is a very important issue that must be attended to with the appropriate solution that will provide enduring and meaningful change; to accept less is a travesty, in my opinion.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Iran are suspected of doing the self same thing.
Here in Great Britain we have enough nuclear weapons to level the world, to bring rack and ruin raining down upon the heads of humanity along with our fellow animals.
So do the United States of America.
So do Russia.
So do China.
North Korea has escaped the wrath of the West which has to beg the question why?
Iran is now being handed the velvet gloved hand of friendship from President Obama as a token concilatory gesture. It is a most welcome move.
Prior to this act of goodwill there has been mounting tension between the two nations. The United States does not want yet another country building weapons of mass destruction and as we know from recent history a country that holds such weapons get the full of weight of the world's mightiest nations sent against them. Unless of course you are North Korea.
Iran's desire to have these weapons stems from mistrust; mistrust of the West and the USA in particular. Fortunately there is now a President in the White House who appears to be level headed and peace loving.
Perhaps if such a man with such a wealth of diplomacy had made the same gestures of peace, goodwill and friendship to the North Korean government then they to would not have felt the need to build an array of arms that are currently pointed at us all.
These are not new lessons. These are just constant repeats but still we repeat them. One day we might learn.
But then again one might as well be someday.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Capital has been disappearing into the organs that used to create supportive juices. The lack of jobs is only half the problem that the pre-existing jobs keep exposing as economically lacking. We can't help being so socialistic-ally connected by irresponsible conditioning.
The unbalanced attitude of being indebted is the health issue.
The most basic example of health is a balanced budget (or diet.)
Government has sold-out It's responsibility to create credit without debt.
Statistical education is the most important correction to knowing "Federal Reserve" accountability (& who "they" are.)
A U.S. Note as an equal democratic credit is the only administration that can bail-out capital criminal leakage (from "their" leverage.)
A country entitles itself to citizens by credit for participation creation.
The idea of taxes is a gambling device like roulette, when citizens actually deserve access to supportive assistance.
Government as an administrative model is the only expected generosity engine (to bail-out) while all other administrations seem to bail-on their responsibilities.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Where romantics are born
And frosty hearts will melt;
Seduction is suntanned skin,
Sunscreen scented sexuality
And sea breeze tousled hair.
Shore lapping indigo says
Lay your nostalgia to rest
Warm your aching limbs
In tiny pebble blankets,
Close busy overburdened eyes
Breathe in rhythmic waves;
My kindness keeps you safe.
Siren song paradise pulls
At yearnings of the heart
“Everyone wants to live here
But no one wants to move”
Lashing rainstorm tear reminders
Of what they’ve left behind
Come home, beloved miserable
Trapped and busy souls!
All are welcome on our shores.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969)
The word "aikido" is formed of three kanji:
- ai - joining, harmonizing
- ki - spirit, life energy
- dō - way, path
The term dō connects the practice of aikido with the philosophical concept of Tao, which can be found in martial arts such as judo and kendo, and in more peaceful arts such as Japanese calligraphy (shodō), flower arranging (kadō) and tea ceremony (chadō or sadō).
The term aiki refers to the martial arts principle or tactic of blending with an attacker's movements for the purpose of controlling their actions with minimal effort. One applies aiki by understanding the rhythm and intent of the attacker to find the optimal position and timing to apply a counter-technique.
Historically, aiki was mastered for the purpose of killing; however in aikido one seeks to control an aggressor without causing harm. Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido declared, "To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace." A number of aikido practitioners interpret aikido metaphorically, seeing parallels between aikido techniques and other methods for conflict resolution.
My sense of sight creates personal style with individual image development.
The sense of hearing wants me to develop a voice.
Our sense of taste considers who to do lunch with.
Some sense of smell will pick the space and bring the flowers.
The sense of touch is a body of relationships reaching for shared conclusions.
The sixth sense is the drama of opinion by critical awareness.
The health of attitude is the seventh sense of integrity &/or balance.
. . but what you think I am IS WHO? . . projected interest?
Saturday, June 13, 2009
There are more than 1000 PlayPump systems in sub-Saharan Africa, providing clean drinking water to more than one million impoverished people.
The PlayPump water system is a like a playground merry-go-round attached to a water pump. The spinning motion pumps underground water into a 789,500-liter tank raised seven meters above ground.
Roundabout Outdoor is a company that manufactures, installs, and maintains PlayPump water systems throughout sub-Saharan Africa. PlayPumps International is a nonprofit that raises the funds to donate PlayPump water systems to African communities and schools.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
This is Genevieve Johnson speaking to you from the Odyssey in the Canary Islands.
When I reflect on our time researching at sea over the past five years, two unrelated things stand out - sperm whales and plastics.
We are not always assured of finding sperm whales. However, even in the most remote regions of the ocean, plastics are guaranteed. Unfortunately, the relationship between plastics and all marine life is far more intricate than most of us could possibly imagine.
The numerous benefits of modern society's productivity make almost all of us utterly addicted to plastic products. Most of the products we use on a daily basis include, or are contained in plastic. We drink out of them, eat off them, carry food and clothing in them, sit on them and drive in them. Plastics are durable, lightweight and can be made into virtually anything. It is these very practical and useful properties of plastics that make them so harmful when they make their way into the oceans. Unfortunately, most of us give little thought to where plastics come from or where they end up after they have served our brief purpose.
The vastness of the ocean is incomprehensible to those who have never spent any time at sea. Yet, as we gaze out over the horizon from onboard Odyssey over what most of us imagine is a pristine seascape, we are continually confronted with a sea of plastic.
Historically, humans have always tossed waste into the ocean but marine organisms broke it down in a relatively short time. Unfortunately, our quest for convenient packaging over the past 50 years or so, created a class of plastic products that are immune to even the most rapacious bacteria.
Despite the era of recycling, only 3.5% of plastics are recycled in any way throughout the world. Today, plastic debris causes considerable, widespread mortality of marine wildlife, including mammals, birds, turtles and fish through entanglement in monofilament plastic fishing gear and ingestion. Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and other prey. Seabirds, particularly Albatross, mistake plastics floating at the surface for food and ingest them while foraging. Three hundred thousand cetaceans drown annually in fishing gear, while necropsy records of several stranded cetaceans, including large whales and particularly dolphins, reveal the ingestion of plastic debris.
The problem with plastics is they do not biodegrade. When something biodegrades, naturally occurring organisms break down natural materials into their simple chemical components. For example, when paper breaks down it becomes carbon dioxide and water. However, plastic is a synthetic material and never biodegrades. Instead it undergoes a process called 'photodegredation', whereby sunlight breaks it down into smaller and smaller pieces over very long periods of time. A disposable diaper takes an estimated 500 years to break down while plastic 6-pack rings for cans take 400 years and a plastic water bottle can take up to 450 years to degrade. However, this does not mean they will disappear, all remain as plastic polymers and eventually yield individual molecules of plastic too tough for any organism to digest.
In 2001, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation based in Long Beach California led by Captain Charles Moore, conducted a survey thousands of miles out to sea in a remote region of the Pacific Ocean known as the North Pacific subtropical gyre in an effort to assess the extent of the problem of plastic pollution in the ocean. Gyres are areas where oceanographic convergences and eddies cause debris fragments to accumulate naturally. What the researchers discovered was both shocking and outrageous, a floating mass of plastic junk stretching across an area of ocean the size of Texas. Rivers of soda and water bottles, spray can tops, candy wrappers, cigarette lighters, shopping bags, polypropylene fishing nets, buoys and unidentifiable, miscellaneous fragments collected in a huge rotating mass of plastic pollution.
In addition to large obvious pieces of plastic, the results of the survey revealed minute plastic fragments mixed with tiny sea creatures. The published results from the survey reveal a sea of plastic soup comprising "six pounds of plastic floating in the gyre for every pound of naturally occurring zooplankton." Charles Moore now believes "plastic debris is the most common surface feature of the world's oceans."
Until now, no studies were conducted on filter-feeding organisms such as jellies, whose feeding mechanisms do not permit them to distinguish between tiny fragments of plastic debris and plankton, and no studies to assess potential effects on these filter-feeders. It is now known that plastic fragments heavily impact these creatures. When broken into smaller pieces, these tiny plastic fragments accumulate non-water soluble toxicants such as PCB's, and pesticides such as DDT. Plastic polymers, or tiny plastic resin pellets act as sponges for these chemicals and other persistent organic pollutants, concentrating such poisons up to one million times higher than their concentration in the water as free floating substances.
The implications and scope of the problem is astounding considering about 250 billion pounds of plastic pellets are produced annually worldwide for use in the manufacture of various plastic products. When these products break down into fragments and disperse throughout the oceans, they concentrate and transport toxicants. In the North Pacific oceanic gyre, Moore and his team witnessed filter feeding jellies or salps with brightly colored plastic fragments in their stomachs. Fish consumed by larger and larger predators in turn eat these tiny organisms, all the while the toxicants continue to climb and concentrate up the food chain. In many cases, this chemical pathway leads directly to human beings. Many of these chemicals are 'hormone mimics' and 'endocrine disruptors' and are released into the body when plastic is ingested. The effects of hormone disruption on humans can range from birth defects to cancers.
The facts are daunting and the future looks grim. Moore and his colleagues currently predict a 10-fold increase in plastic in the ocean by 2010 bringing the ratio of 60 pounds of surface plastic to every one pound of zooplankton in the North Pacific gyre.
In the meantime, it is up to all of us to be aware that we share one fragile earth, sustained by one ocean system. We can all contribute to its demise, but more importantly we are all responsible for the conservation of our marine environment and the amazing life it supports. We do not need to make sacrifices in our lives, only minor modifications. We can help minimize the impact by being responsible about the amount of plastic products we consume. Unfortunately labeled recycling bins are not always reliable; if possible reduce the amount of plastic products you purchase by searching for alternative materials and reuse plastics where possible. We can all make a difference.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I'm posting here the part 5 (of 10) but they're all very important for anyone's studies and willings on/for Freedom!
...and I also recommend his :
Johnny Liberty - The Global Sovereign's Handbook
(you can download it here) everyone should read it!