I had a shock today and it was very unwelcome. At the start of this month I’d gone through my address book and sent out Christmas cards to all my friends. In one or two I’d added a note perhaps regretting I’ve not seen so much of them recently. I must have thought of it as a duty performed. Today as I came home from being with Yvonne I picked up my cards from behind the door. After an urgent trip to the loo for bus journey bladderitis I put some lunch on then opened my cards.
One card had but a single name on it and I couldn’t quite register the fact and I know my eyes scanned the card for the other name, the lead name. It wasn’t there. There was a note which I read carefully. My friend’s wife told me he’d been diagnosed with liver cancer this year and had died peacefully in August. I’d known nothing of it because I’d not seen anything of them this year and the last time I’d written was an Easter card. At one point Mike and I used to see them virtually every Saturday morning as we were finishing our shop as they arrived to start theirs. Then we started and finished a little earlier to satisfy me and that contact, slim as it was, had been broken.
J had been the Senior Officer in an office I used to visit perhaps once a week for benefit surgeries. I’d been going there a few years and he was always pleasant and would always pass the time of day until the office opened. There were others there that I perhaps I used to talk to more but it was for only about ten minutes until the office officially opened and my work started. Ten minutes, maybe once a week for some years. I could never honestly say we were friends but we were friendly. When I became ill and went on long term sick very few of my work colleagues visited me (says more about me than about them) but J made the occasional visit. After Ju died he perhaps came a little more often and maybe stayed a bit longer. He and his lovely wife even took me to a concert which had my nerve ends screaming but I managed it. He insisted they were only ever a phone call away. They did not deserve my neglect and just the occasional card. He had become a friend who deserved so much more as did his wife who might have needed some of the support they gave me when I needed it.
OK, the reason for this post is to maybe remind some of you that if you’ve got friends you haven’t seen in a while and have perhaps just dropped the odd card on. It might be a nice idea given the time of year if you can perhaps give them a phone call or maybe even a little visit. I’m sure they’d appreciate it and hopefully you aren’t met with the shock I was.
Here we are mid November and is the world in a happier place for Christmas? Of course not. Half the countries in the World don’t celebrate the same season as the West since they don’t worship the same God as the West. But, that distinction allowed, each set of peoples is happy to watch and share in the joy of another peoples holiday. At least I am, having been happy to share in the joy of Diwali just a couple of weeks ago. India celebrates a national holiday on 25th December so maybe that joy will be reciprocated.
What bothers me more than usual at this time of the year though are divisions within our own countries, pitting one side against another with little give and take. In my Country for instance there is the ever nearing Brexit separating one side from the other instead of the Bremainers just giving in gracefully and saying lets just make the best of it we can. It’s much easier it seems to complain about it right to the last moment and each side to blame the other for not getting the results they wanted.
The American side seems worse. The problem here started in the early days of the 2016 election when one side seemed to concentrate on policies and the other purely on the cult of personality. Tell a lie, big it up and then start a chant. I have no idea whether Hilary Clinton would have made a better President (the odds are with her) than this man who chanted Lock Her Up seemingly from morning to night and never once had to discuss a programme of reform. No-one who knows me will be in the least surprised to hear me say I HATE Trump, bu it may surprise you to hear that I have no fondness for the Republican Party either. they have since the election ended put forward no policies intended to benefit the Country. Plenty which will benefit themselves by way of tax breaks but no help for businesses, the working man. Trump is not a working man and his businesses relying on Business as Usual seem to be OK.
In the recent mid-term elections Republicans ensured that a large number of votes were removed or hampered from minorities. In Georgia this was done by the man standing as a Republican candidate against a black person. That’s cheating pure and simple yet it’s unlikely to draw much condemnation. Trump never carried out his early promises of building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, nor having the Mexicans fund it. He has fallen down on all his election promises to the people yet all he has to do is mention the wall and people cheer. It would be better if he and the Republicans had tried to repair the ACA and found some insurance for health care that carried promises from the previous President.
Before January is upon us and the new Representatives take their seats in the house Maybe the two sides in this war found ways in which they could agree to help the people and put forward legislation to make 2019 a brighter year, not for themselves but to benefit the United States. Let Christmas 2018 be a time of Peace on Earth.
Eritrea is a small African country in the North East or Horn of Africa. It’s Capital is Asmara. After the Second World War Eritrea was taken away from the Italians and administered by the British until 1952. At that time the UN General Assembly voted to make Eritrea self governing but tied to Ethiopia it’s larger neighbour for a period of ten years. In 1962 the Government of Ethiopia annulled the agreement and tried to annexe Eritrea bringing about armed resistance from the Eritreans and they proved to be difficult to defeat. In 1991 after almost 30 years continual warfare Eritrea got it’s wish. Or did it? It became a one party state under the EPLF which later became the People’s Front for Democracy. In itself, if this didn’t make me laugh I’d have to cry. National legislative elections have been postponed time and again.
The Government of Eritrea has been accused of some of the worst Human Rights abuses in the World with arbitrary arrests and detentions. Freedom of speech and freedom to assemble are limited and the press has been placed at the bottom of a list of 180 countries and there is no private press in Eritrea.I’m sure by now you think I have no point to make, but here it is. A steady flow of Eritreans want to leave the country and head for Europe ( to the countries that pillaged their own in the past). They leave Eritrea after paying smugglers.and get to Rama in Ethiopia then go on from Rama to Omdurman in the Sudan (where Gordon fought the Mahdi ). From Rama to Chad and on to Tripoli in Libya. The journey is fraught with perils as there are plenty of slavers about but for now these people are safe in Tripoli.
Only they’re not safe. Once there they’re handed over to someone else to complete the journey to the West only to find they’ve been sold. More money is demanded to help them complete their journey with torture and severe beatings while the subject is force to make a phone call back to Eritrea for money. Those that can’t get it may be tortured some more then sold on again or may just be murdered. When the ‘lucky’ ones get more money they’re moved on, but very often just to continue the process of being bought and sold. While in the camps they’re very often not fed and when they are it may be a piece of bread.
We know this slavery goes on.My question is this, “Why do we let it?” Libya has gone to pot since Ghaddafi fell which had an awful lot to do with the machinations of the Western powers. Satellite imagery should be good enough to spot these slave camps and I’m sure troops could be helicoptered in there from an adjoining friendly nation to rescue the slaves and take the slavers in . It should work provided no money is changing hands between the slavers and members of the Government who know when an operation is happening. Whatever way it could be done and I’m sure there are many other theories of a better way, it should be done rather than leave these already desperate people in the hands of the slavers.
Massive Hugs to all.
I’m well aware that many Americans thought badly of Obamacare. I’m also aware that many more Americans found it a lifeline. It would have been a whole lot better had the GOP not blocked so much all the way through. As it ended up it still helped a lot of people in dire straits until Trump decided it had to be dismantled along with anything else that bore the signature of President Obama. In fact they couldn’t find anything better to replace Obamacare but it seems not to have mattered as their latest moves have created a crisis anyway. According to the Congressional Budget Office, health insurance premiums will go up by double digit percentages from 2019. Insurers are expected to raise the premiums on benchmark plans by some 15 % over this years.
I’m gritting my teeth and saying this very slowly. Millions of people will be adversely affected and some millions will be out altogether. The projections say 3 million will not be able to be insured in 2019 with another 3 million added over the next two years.That”s on top of those that can’t afford to pay already, The (ACA Affordable Care) Act is now the UCA (Un-affordable Care Act) or who gives a monkey’s for the poor act. It’s certain the politicians don’t.
The GOP have maintained that anyone needing treatment can go straight to the Emergency Room, in that case why not make it the same for everyone and turn it into a National Health Service as I think Obama’s dream went. The vision of all Americans being looked after equally no matter income, from a service paid through taxation.
I’m raging that the GOP went after providing a tax rebate for the rich and placed a huge debt on the country as a whole and now slam the poorest yet again while the Insurance Companies can rub their hands together. Healthcare should not be in the hands of Insurance Companies but in the hands of professionals who know the cost of curing patients even when their illnesses don’t show. Cancer patients don’t have to plead for lifesaving drugs when their insurance money is running out.
The GOP must shoulder a lot of this blame alone but Trump is due his fair share, especially being the one who gets upset when he sees Obama’s name on anything. He is making the world more unstable with his decisions made after ignoring his professional help and asking the tea lady’s opinion instead.
I’m raging that the evangelicals who follow Trump are not devout enough to steer clear of a much married misogynist who touches women without their permission and who tells lies all the time, but are prepared to turn their biblical heads the other way because he’s a Republican and speaks their language. BS. If you’re going to say you believe in God and Jesus then at least try and follow the teachings of the bible and not conveniently ignore things when it suits you.
Make those votes count in November Democrats and all you new voters out there. Move these bottom crawlers away from Congress for as long as you can and hope Trump resigns because you can be sure a Democratic Government won’t listen to him.
Hugs to all, please spread them around.
It was one of those very rare occasions when the majority of the World’s powers came together in agreement. It was not a good idea for Iran to have the capacity and the equipment to build a nuclear weapon. An agreement was made instead of putting sanctions in place, for the agreement to stop their building there would be concessions.
This year, this month sees the renewal of that agreement which will only go ahead if the signatories of the original agreement accept that Iran has honoured it’s side of the bargain. The European powers France, Germany and the UK all agree that Iran has kept to it’s word as do China and Russia. However, Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu of Israel has approached the other main signatory, the U.S.A.with a story that Iran has not held up it’s end of the bargain and had been secretly working to continue making a bomb. All the paper that’s been produced confirms the pre-agreement activity but nothing since. It’s in Israel’s interest to have the agreement cancelled and sanction put in place instead which keeps another nuclear power out of the Middle East.
The trouble with this picture is that Donald Trump, who has been saying he’s not going to renew the agreement has accepted Netanyahu’s word that Iran has broken it’s word and wants sanctions instead. He’s threatening to do this despite disagreement from his own people, the experts, and instead is accepting advice from recent appointees to his own cabinet who have no expertise in the matter and who have seen what happens to those who disagree with Trump.
It could be that Trump is just bluffing right up to the last minute….because he can…..and will end up agreeing to renew but it’s not looking that way right now. One very big problem with the scenario of him carrying on his present course is his intended meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who will see that any agreement made by the U.S.A. is not worth the paper it’s printed on and so would feel no obligation to uphold his end of any bargain made and he already has nuclear weapons. He’s already indicated threats to Japan or other American allies if further sanctions are brought to bear. He has allied himself with both China and to a lesser degree Russia. Food is shipped from China to help feed the North Korean people who have suffered badly under the U.S. sanctions. He won’t want more and nobody knows just what he’s capable of.
We appear to be on the brink of a possible World disaster with various players having nuclear weapons. All down to a President so jealous of his predecessor that he wants to wipe out everything he ever achieved. These are the actions of an overgrown child not a mature adult, as seen by the number of affairs he’s had outside his marriage(s). But his actions should not be allowed to put the world at risk of war again. He’s already done so much damage to the clean air and the rivers of America and another agreement made which he won’t agree to sign. The Paris Agreement. He has people in positions where their expertise is the antithesis of what the job entails. Pruitt in charge of the EPA when he’s a man that disagrees with global warming and the clean air act. https://jilldennison.com/2018/05/03/pruitts-got-to-go/?c=44608#comment-44608
It’s time to ensure your senators and representatives know that Trump can’t carry on being reckless and that the Iran Nuclear Agreement is renewed. It will also give the World a message that America sticks by it’s agreements. It will hopefully bring the world back from another stupid brink and ensure the safety of another generation.
Keep Hugging the World until friendship is assured.
Picture of the smug bastard thenewdaily.com au
This Friday 30th March 2018 I spent the day almost incapable of speaking to anyone, and I certainly didn’t want too. It’s the 5th anniversary of my wife’s death. Though I seem to have willed the glumness on despite all the happy memories it’s not through choice, it’s just because I miss her. My daughter misses her and no doubt he husband does too as will many nephews and nieces. It made me wonder just how many people throughout the world are feeling as I do today and how many tomorrow and the next day. Multiple thousands of people die each day and they will mostly have someone who mourns them and misses them greatly.
We, the West seem to accept the sales of weapons as being normal. If we’re involved in the use of those weapons in somebody else’s country then a little collateral damage seems acceptable, some deaths from friendly fire almost inevitable. Where weapons are sold for use at home in America, not even in war, there are hundreds of deaths a day and also the slaughters of innocents because of the types of weapons freely available to buy. Having said that, it’s disgusting that certain weapons are available to buy when you’re not in the military and it’s equally disgusting that those weapons are freely available to so many people who should never be anywhere near a weapon. The mentally ill for a start. The pressure applied by vested interests to make sure laws are not introduced which will affect their sales is phenomenal. And that’s only for the domestic market. Imagine what pressure would be brought to bear if it was suggested that weapons sales throughout the world was halted. Any yet, consider this, are there not enough weapons already out there to wipe us all out without selling more. What happens to the surplus, the slightly date, the out of fashion? Is there a trade-in deal to be had against new models and the old ones can be offloaded to a tribe of Tuaregs to use against the Kurds who so many Countries seem keen to wipe out. Allies of the West but whom we don’t seem to offer much support in the devastation of their homeland. It’s time to bring our troops out of Syria since Bashar al Assad has assistance from the Russians and also for President Edogan of Turkey, another enemy of the Kurds. Saddam Hussein committed real atrocities t try and wipe out the Kurds and others are doing the same.
My rant as such it is, is to suggest we don’t need more weapons in the world, we especially don’t need more weapons like the AR15 in the hands of teens and adults when there’s no practical purpose for them unless you believe in conspiracy theories about the Government attacking you. Be fair, if they did, what use would an AR15 be to you? It’s no good for hunting, you don’t need it or most of the other 10 you’ve gathered for overkill. You have to start thinking logically about just who should be kept away from weapons and how best to do it. The suggestions made so far have been pretty logical. Change the age to 21 for buying weapon. Makes sense, they;re not in school and less likely to have childish grudges. The mentally ill. Fair enough, no telling if the illness might bring on delusions which seem real enough to clear with a gun. I’d go further, but a start is a start. Now, lets concentrate on the world. Bring our boys home. Not because they’re not good at what they do but because we’re not winning hearts or minds and we’re just making more enemies. Secure some kind of peace for the Kurds before pulling out though. Make sure we bring every weapon we can. No use leaving them to increase the killing. Be happy with what you have and don’t buy any more armaments. I don’t mind if it puts the dealers in death out of business. The world won’t miss them and they can retire on the Kings ransoms already made.
Now concentrate on making friends. No, you stop that, he’s just the same as you just darker.Play nice, now Hug. Remember I’m waiting for votes for the job of Benevolent Dictator of the World and there will be exams on hugging techniques and points for friends made.
I was reading a post today by Elfidd at As the Rooster Crows https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?hl=en#inbox/161aef79d8782cbb
Every great person, despite their culture, religion, tribe, or ethnicity, believes in certain words of wisdom.Those words transcend the differences among people. This code of living forms one’s character. It molds every culture to be unique and unrepeatable.
Possibly one of the most spiritually advanced and personality building code is The Native American Code of Ethics that was originally published in the Inter-Tribal Times in October 1994. It’s a Code of Ethics that teaches everybody, American or not, how to live their lives in the best way.It’s fascinating to note that most of these teachings are reflected in other beliefs and faith as well.
1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone and often. The Great Spirit will listen only if you speak.
2. Be tolerant of the people who are lost on their path. Ignorance, jealousy, anger, and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they’ll find guidance.
3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Don’t allow others to create your path for you. It’s your road and yours alone. Others might walk it with you, but nobody can walk it for you.
4. Treat your guests in your home with consideration. Serve them the best food, offer them your best bed and treat them with respect and honor.
5. Don’t take what isn’t yours either from a person, community or culture. It wasn’t earned nor given. It isn’t yours.
6. Respect every little thing placed upon the earth.
7. Honor other people’s thoughts, desires, and words. Let each person express themselves.
8. Never speak of others in a mean way. The negative energy you put out into the universe is going to multiply when it returns to you.
9. All people make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.
10. Negative thoughts cause illness of the mind, body, and soul. Practice optimism.
11. Nature is not FOR us, but a PART of us. Animals, plants and every other living creature are all part of our worldly family.
12. Children are the seeds of our future. You need to plant love in their hearts and shower them with wisdom and precious life’s lessons. When they’re grown, give them space to mature.
13. Avoid hurting other people’s heart. The poison of the pain you cause will return to you.
14. Be honest at all times. Honesty and truthfulness are the tests of one’s will within this world.
15. Keep yourself balanced. Work out the body to empower the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional pain.
16. Make conscious decisions regarding who you’ll be and how you’ll react. Be responsible for your actions.
17. Respect the privacy and personal space of those around you. Don’t touch the personal property of others – especially holy and religious objects. That’s forbidden.
18. Be true to yourself first. You can’t nurture and help others unless you can nurture and help yourself first.
19. Respect others religious beliefs. Don’t try to force your beliefs on other people.
20. Share your good fortune with others. Also, participate in charity.
What a great start in life if our children were taught this in school instead of how to segregate by colour or faith. I have no real religion and see problems coming from faith based schools but I see no problems if all children are taught about a Great Spirit at school and have their own faith lessons after school. I still feel personally that religion should only be addressed by those old enough to understand it, so keep it away from children until they’re at least 14 and can decide for themselves. We shouldn’t be imprinting them as we do.
Hugs to you all.
Once again we approach a Christmas. We are just over a week away and most people are starting to get a bit mellow. Perhaps a Christmas party or two to attend with work and gatherings with friends and family. On the other hand we have those for whom Christmas is an occasion of real stress and in some cases sadness.
People who are out of work and can’t afford to give the family a Christmas they imagine is wanted. People who live alone and see so many others coming together with family and friends. People who are dispossessed altogether and have become homeless. That of course is only the tip of the iceberg since there are refugees the world over bombed or brutalised out of their homes. There are prisoners of conscience being held and tortured by those regimes to whom the idea of a free society is anathema. There are even free societies who are not free because the mega rich control the Governments. This is the time of year when suicides are at their highest.
I would ask that each of us keep an eye open for anyone who doesn’t seem to be full of the joys of the season or who looks worried. Sometimes an ear to listen to problems is enough. Other times you may find that help is needed and you may or may not be able to provide it. But perhaps you can point someone in the right direction especially if you’re worried about them. If they’re desperate then perhaps The Samaritans.
There are troubles all over the world. Dictators are doing ill to their people in order to get rid of the opposition. Wars are being fought and the displaced are having to leave their homes, sometimes their family in order to reach safety which may not be in the same country. Those refugees are suffering enough hate from those fighting in their countries without having our hate too just because they need to reach a place of safety within our borders. But there may be terrorists hiding amongst them some cry. It’s true, there may but in the name of humanity we must take those suffering people and take a chance on who there is. We suffer the home grown terrorists more than those who pretend to come as friends.
Finally ( I know you’re glad) there have been some devastating storms this year. People in some of the Island Groups have suffered beyond belief and are still suffering because there is no longer a basic infrastructure to rely on. They need help. My good friend Jill Dennison of Filosofa’s Word https://jilldennison.com/2017/12/14/good-people-doing-good-things-three-amazing-kids/ is more eloquent than I on the subject: In September, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico with a vengeance, doing far greater damage than any of the other devastating hurricanes this year. More than 60% of Puerto Ricans remain without electricity or running water. This will be a bleak Christmas for the residents of Puerto Rico, and especially for the children. I ask that you remember them, for they have been largely forgotten by their own government. And if you can find it in your heart, if you can find a few spare dollars in your wallet, please do what you can to help make Christmas just a little bit brighter for these children.
Have a Happy Christmas. Share and spare as many smiles and hugs as you can. There’s always someone in need. Spare some change which might make the difference between going to bed hungry or being fed for a homeless person. Spare a little more if you can maybe even pay for a meal in a cafe to be given free to someone in need. Pay it forward. But most of all be tolerant and kind all the time not just at Christmas and we can unite the world and rid ourselves of war.
If they can stop fighting and become friends it shows they would prefer peace to war. It’s not the common man that carries on the wars. We can stop the warmongers if we don’t give them the option.
Posted in Peace, Uncategorized
Tagged Christmas, Christmas 1914, family, Give Peace a Chance, Humanity, kindness, Love, Peace, Terrorism, wars
Tomorrow on the eleventh day of the eleven month at the eleventh hour many countries will hold 2 minutes of silence in honour of the fallen of World War I or as it was known 99 years ago The Great War, the war to end all wars. We all know now that it wasn’t but who back then knew Europe would be throwing it’s young men away again in just 21 years. Mothers must have been distraught that they wouldn’t see their beloved sons again, fathers might have been broken but proud. Wives would lose beloved husbands and some children a father they didn’t know. Some poor people would lose out by losing a loved one in each World War as those too young the first time round rushed to join for the second.
I think over the years since then there have been a few more localised wars for some of us. The young still join the forces because of a pride they have in their country and go off to fight and die for their causes. But should they? I’ll be honest and say if I was a U.S. citizen called to fight for my country these days I wouldn’t want too unless there were Russian troops on my soil. There’s nothing there to be proud of anymore and let’s face it, the next war may be there anyway between Republican and Democratic voters or worse still Black and White. Things in the UK could become just as bad with the Brexiteers and the non- Brexiteers.
Over all these 99 years and heading for a big anniversary next year we need to decide whether the mothers and fathers, wives and children have cried enough for what they’ve lost and whether the rest of us have taken note. There’s no need for this mass killing anymore, no need to lose a generation of people who might, if still alive, make huge contributions to our health or welfare.Let’s concentrate on getting along with our neighbours and making the world a safer. nicer place to live in where no-one is bankrupted by the cost of war anymore, be it money or lives.