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Showing posts from 2016

Time Waits For No Man, they say

Dear Reader,

"Time marches on" is the common epithet, and even though we are entering a New Year, time is still time, and no New Year celebration changes that! Time is a continuous process, but we like to break it up into manageable chunks, don't we?

But a New Year does give us chance to reflect and think about where we are at and what we might hope for in the New Year. For my part, I can only hope that my life becomes even more simple, and I will try to make it so. In fact, I see simplicity being a major basis for happiness: when we are cluttered with too much - especially when it's not needed - discontent seems to become a bed-fellow. Many of us tend to seek for more to escape the feeling of discontent but we invariably fail miserably to get what we really want - which is peace of mind.

In all sincerity, reflecting on all that's been going on since the start of the Millennium (and before) I feel that we have been manipulated - or massaged - into believing that war…

Can The Ocean Fill A Small Hole In The Sand?

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Dear Reader,


Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35
Well, Christmas approaches again. I wonder how many of us have thought that perhaps this time should be about contemplating how (it is has been said) to “Cut the 'I' feeling clean across and let your ego die on the cross, to endow on you eternity.”

About this, the author of the following is Father Charles Ogada, a Catholic Priest of the Order of the Holy Ghost Fathers, who revealed this story a few years ago:
Many spiritual masters have said that it is with the mind that you can conquer the mind. And this is true. But nay, it is very difficult. Why? Naturally the mind does not want to die. How then can you trick it into destroying itself! How difficult it is for the thief to catch itself.
...
Even when one has succeeded through rigorous spiritual exercises in emptying the mind of all thoughts and desires, yet that tiny root-seed-impulse, the seat of ego-consciousness, the sense of I–ness f…

What Has Populism To Do With Coral Reef Destruction?

Dear Reader,

Our focus, perhaps media-driven, seems to be on populist determinations. The Corbyn, Brexit, Trump and Italy's referendum events have opened the doors to people wanting to have their say; to have a proper share of the control in what is going on in the world. However, though I can see the point of the reaction - certainly because we have created leaders and governments that are usually not in touch with the everyday affairs of ordinary people - do we (the masses) understand enough of what we are doing and what direction we are going in? Are the right reasons being employed? Is this all just another expression of the 'me, me, me' phenomenon?

Populist movements are not new, of course. One of the greatest such movements was led by a banker, Thomas Attwood, back in the 1810-1830s period, when he led a campaign in England to introduce a fair system of elections and proper representation in government. But from his home base in Birmingham, he utilised the remarkable s…

You Think You Know Where We Are Going?

Dear Reader,

Despite that time in the early 60s, when we seemed to be at the edge of World War when the Russians were sending ballistic missiles to be installed in Cuba, Cuba under Castro was well-led and to be admired in many respects: in my opinion. Certainly, there were articles appearing in the liberal press postulating the view that the country was the best led country in the world!

After all, education, health and the economy were all looked after well, with no reports of corruption nor, even, any secret police to spread terror - and certainly no extreme materialism. The Cubans that had fled their country at the time of the 1959 Revolution have never been happy with Castro's presence, of course, but those that remained seemed to be happy under Fidel's regime.

But Trump the Philosopher sees things somewhat differently. To him, Castro removed people's rights and was - in his words - "an evil person". But I have to ask the question, what "rights" do peo…

Headless Chickens Need To Be Given A Direction

Dear Reader,

Do you get the impression that previously respected world powers now have their heads of government running around like headless chickens? Well, that's my impression anyway.

Our own Prime Minister May met Chancellor Merkel yesterday with both ladies all smiles ... and later parted with facial expressions showing clear division between the two. Brexit has caused a stir and no mistake, with our Tories thinking that the Great in Great Britain still means as much as it did 60 years ago. But we made a mess in the campaign against President Nasser of Egypt over the Suez Canal in 1956 (incurring sanction from the US) and then President de Gaulle put a stop to Brtish pride. I don't think we've learnt from those lessons. At least Prime Minister Wilson refused to join in with the US over Vietnam, but Wilson wasn't Tory, was he? Ahem, but Tony Blair wasn't Tory either (in theory), so his international ventures need a bit of explaining.

This year, however, we have ex…

Well, The Trump Card Has Been Well And Truly Played...

Dear Reader

Hello! And I hope you're adjusting to your world, wherever you may be. These past few months have produced some utterly surprising outcomes, not only throughout the world but here too, on my own patch.

You see, we did not - in the end - move house to anywhere. Yes, having declared that we were on our way, we had to reconsider owing to my wife's health. But we still plan to go once we've gone through all the health checks that have still to be made.

But I delayed writing a further article until the outcome of the US presidential election. For some reason, I had a doubt that Hilary would win even though she appeared (to me at least) to be by far the most qualified.

As far as the president-elect is concerned, I have heard little from him other than false promises. Already he has indicated a modification to his intentions on the so-called Obamacare plan, and many feel that it will be impossible for him to build the Mexican wall. On top of that, the very idea that he ca…

Time To Rest My Pen - For Now!

Dear Reader,

Over the next few weeks, Anasuya and I will be searching for, and moving to, a new home, and we will be so busy that I need to suspend this column. There is just too much to do to reflect properly; if I were to try to write anything coherent in the next few weeks I would probably only succeed in driving you all from this column!

But I enjoy writing on matters that affect us all, and hope that I have made some kind of sense. One thing is certain, the world is going through stresses and strains that we may not properly comprehend, and the situation calls on us all to reach our higher selves. I believe that we will be very tested, and many are probably already being tested: we will find that only by looking deeply into our hearts will we be able to properly sail through the storm. 

I hope to return in about two or three month's time refreshed and able to write further perspectives of where we are heading on this planet and home, called Earth.

Thank you for reading this and p…

I Believe In This...

Dear Reader,

You've no doubt heard of the old tale that trouble comes in groups of three? Well, I had three messages this week (and within the space of three days) which may not be "trouble" in themselves, but possibly indicate something of what we might be doing more of. That is, reflecting on what's really what.

The first was while innocently watching a BBC TV quiz programme called 'Pointless'. Now in this programme, a list of questions was asked of the contestants related to Charles Dickens' "Christmas Carol". And one particular question seemed to be the trigger for the other two messages I was to receive; the question was "What was the last dream scene that Scrooge was taken to by the Spirit?". The answer, of course, was the isolated grave of Scrooge himself, with a simple headstone revealing nothing about his life.

Now the second message that came to me was at a wedding, when I met a relative by marriage who, like me, is retired. He …

One Big Cloud

Dear Reader,
A year ago, Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party by its membership and by a very substantial margin in the process.Since then, the centrist members of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) have made quite a few noises of dissatisfaction, and this week it became very apparent that the reformists of yesteryear want back what they believe to be their party. They believe it's their party, in stark contrast to the view of the membership. They (the centrists and hangers-on) now believe that they will overcome this Corbyn spectre in the September leadership election.It is very noticeable that none of the bigger names in the party have been brave enough to put their names forward for the contest, stating that the rather nondescript Owen Smith will do the job for them. I ask one question: really?All the indications are that Jeremy Corbyn will win again, and again by a substantial margin. Leastways, I will be surprised if that is not the result. And the outcome…

Time To Wake Up?

Dear Reader,

“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.” 
― Edward R. Murrow (a famed American broadcaster of yesteryear)

At the end of a hard day, it is forgivable that we like to just be fed what is in front of us with the minimum of effort on our part. But if we truly want to know what is going on in the world then we surely need a service that informs, and informs well. But can we trust that service? The answer is, regrettably, that the issue of the quality of news reporting and what is deemed to be transmittable is under scrutiny. 

John Pilger is one of those that work hard to tell us the truth, and there are others too, like Robert Fisk; but Pilger works independently and the quality journalists are too few in number, often framed by their own hype. Also, the best journalists tend not to be presented at peak-times on TV. Perhaps part of the reason for the lack of journalistic quality is the little-publicised fact that around 300 journalists (of all nationalities) were kil…

Is There Just One To Blame?

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Dear Reader,

It is inevitable that there is a cry to bring an individual "to justice" for this or that, but even for the most basic malfeasance there is often some other factor that influenced the act to be perpetrated. In Tony Blair's case there were - I believe - several influencing factors,  but perhaps the most important factor was how the 9/11 phenomenon gained the sympathy to swing the matter to support the US. But I have to say that I believe that a further major factor was in the rise of 'New' Labour, and its apparent attempt to be all things to all people.

Not long after Tony Blair took over as leader of the Labour Party, one of his acts was to remove the famed "Clause 4" from the Party rulebook, and though I can understand why he thought it was "old hat", the principle in the clause was to link the importance of the ordinary worker to the wealth of the country - that the worker was just as much an important cog in the economic process …

A Pause Amidst The Hurley-Burley

Dear Reader,

As the referendum re-run petition comes close to 4 million signatures, I thought it timely to re-cap a little after these mad last few days.

The petition has really been triggered because those with the most working years left have been left high and dry in the vote – and to a large extent by the very people who voted ‘in’ in 1975.

In other words, those who voted ‘in’ in 1975 (when two thirds of the country voted ‘in’) have decided to become independent after the UK has become non-independent by virtue of selling off its crown jewels and (over the years) becoming deeply ingrained with Europe: the academic inter-action and security being two prime examples, as well as privileged trading conditions within the EU. We once advertised to investors: "Come here and be part of the EU". So, investors did come, but now we choose to turn our backs on them.

Of course those who voted in ’75 must think it to have been a mistake, otherwise they wouldn’t have voted that way, would …

URGENT! Please Petition Parliament To Change The Voting Rules!

Dear UK Citizen,

For a Just result, please link to...

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

Kind regards,

John

It's The Oldies What Did It! Shame!

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Dear Reader,

Well, it does look like the 45s and above age group ("the oldies") have seriously prejudiced the futures of the younger people, particularly the u-25s.

For me this is a serious matter, that us oldies, who are much more numerous, have taken to remaining selfish about what we want. This is again a situation where we forget that we're not here for that long and yet we presume, near the end or past the end of our working lives, we can take away the chosen futures of those who have their entire lives ahead of them.


Click on the image to get a bigger view. I cry "shame!".

Not only this effect on the young but we may well see the break-up of the UK: Scotland and even Northern Ireland may well decide to take their own trip. And I don't blame them as they can see their English cousins are more concerned about their own affairs than the future of the UK as a whole.

The EU may now break-up as well. Perhaps the Brexiters may not be concerned about that, but this…

The EU Exit Post-Mortem

Dear Reader,

Today is one of the saddest days in my life, feeling that I'm going through another divorce.

But I feel as though it's unfinished business. I don't see how 48+% of the UK population can be regarded as defeated (whichever way it had gone), and it raises the spectre of identity issues in Scotland and even Ireland, where the border issue comes up once more. And the impact on trade and relationships with the Republic of Ireland.

What will it mean for our farmers, I wonder?

Added to that it appears that much of the North-East vote (for Exit) was more of a protest vote against politicians than anything to do with the EU. But will the political parties listen to that protest?

It's a totally unsatisfactory situation we're now in i.m.o., and I fear it's all going to get worse as the world is not what it was when we were last "on our own" over 40 years ago.

And what I think many people have overlooked - or don't wish to consider - is that the …

EU In or Out - My Last Thoughts

Dear Reader,

If you can spare the time please watch this talk by Prof. Dougan. Also his comments on the immigration issue that he didn’t have time for in the video: link.

What is alarming is that he poured cold water on the notion of a 2 year EU exit deal (which Brexit are promoting) and was talking more in terms of around 10 years to bargain our way out … which leaves an awfully big interim situation with an unknown affect on our economy. And, consequently, the poorest yet again being hit the hardest.

Another video that supports Dougan is one from an academic at Oxford, Prof. Collier: So, having listened to 2 such brains, it’s really a no-brainer, surely! I'm sure you will vote according to your commonsense.

Jo Cox

Dear Reader,

My ability to write with a clear head this week is severely interrupted by the awful news of the killing of this amazing lady and member of parliament, a mother of two young children.

I therefore mostly limit this week's article to the words of others, including the following from a leading member of Avaaz, the well-known pressure group:
I can't imagine, in these tears, how to honour her, but then yes I can. It's through love. Jo was passionately campaigning for Britain to stay in Europe. Not just because it is smart, or advantageous. But because she spent her life caring for Syrians, and Africans. She was a beautiful light of love for all people, for humanity. The man who took her life, stabbing her and shooting her over and over, screamed "Britain First". Somehow it's not surprising, in an awful way, that her life would be taken by that kind of hate, that kind of selfishness. Because it was to fighting that darkness that she devoted her ti…

The Big Picture - What Are We Being Led To?

Dear Reader,

My comment (last week) about how the main news channels seem to deliver superficial reporting led me into reading the results of some disturbing - and other elevating - investigations into what has really happened in the world over the last 15 years. Although I have been aware of a fair amount of it for some time, the scale of it now astonishes me.

Without wishing to sound like a doomsayer, I detect a certain feeling that the future of the world is coming to a head. How we are to get through the next few years, in my view, will be determined very much by how we come to see ourselves. "What are we really, physical or spirit?" is the leading question, as I see it, and I would suggest that the question can be answered individually by seeking to determine whether we allow ourselves to be controlled by fear.

An article I recently read partly addresses the matter in the following statement:
One of the central features of traditional societies, as outlined by the UN’s 2007…