my favourite high

Posted in journal, opinion on September 27th, 2009 by george

woody_&_ralph_kipA good nights sleep is a wonderful thing. Last night I had one, the night before I did not. This morning I feel ready for anything. Yesterday I was exhausted, without a drop of creative juice left in me. Read more »

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no borders, please!..

Posted in opinion, rants on September 24th, 2009 by george

namibiaA long time ago, someone for the first time drew a line in the sand and indicated that everything their side of the line was theirs. And thus was the first border created. So began the long human history of border disputes, fights and wars.

From determining which part of the vegetable patch was whose, the use of borders grew to define first villages, then cities, and eventually countries and empires. However, one fundamental objection remained unanswered.

How can anyone claim exclusive ownership of even a grain of sand? Read more »

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hope

Posted in journal, opinion on September 21st, 2009 by george

I watched the above this morning, and loved it, but by the end of it my chuckling was a little hollow. If George Carlin was right, and it is very tempting to believe he was, then there is no hope whatsoever of changing or influencing the status quo. In worldly terms, our predicament is hopeless. At best we are doomed to be, as John Prine once sang, ‘…happy sailors dancing on a sinking ship…’

This got me pondering the nature of hope. Read more »

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we dont want them here, we dont want them there….

Posted in opinion, rants on September 17th, 2009 by george

jungle_1483532cIn these times of easy travel, there is an unstoppable tide of ‘migrants’ heading for our materially blessed lands. They come from parts of the world with a daily diet of poverty, despair, violence and death. They are attempting to do what the bravest of us would do in their place. Against overwhelming odds, they want to escape a terrible life, to create a good one. They are our brothers and sisters.

Yet in every developed country, armies of angry, frightened citizens focus on protecting themselves rather than helping those in need.

The French authorities have undertaken to close down the ‘jungle’ of makeshift shelters and tents affording temporary homes for migrants around Calais. Where do they expect them to go? All this guarantees is that their miserable lives will be made even more difficult.

It fits in with a pattern of persecution of the less fortunate by governments everywhere. If you vote and pay taxes you must be protected from those that dont.

Heres a personal message to ALL world leaders. There is only one GOD, and you are not it. ALL God’s creatures are equally entitled and deserving of your respect and care. As long as you are protecting the ‘greedy bastards’, you are one of them. A greedy bastard, that is.

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open closed to us in uk

Posted in rants on September 15th, 2009 by george

rupert-murdochThanks Rupert! I have to presume it is the machinations of your media empire that has meant that tennis fans in the UK are denied TV and radio coverage of the US Open. Read more »

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sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under

Posted in journal, opinion on September 13th, 2009 by george

jungleIts a phrase from one of the very first rap records. It sprung to mind this morning. Looking out at my backyard , contemplating finally clearing the now shoulder high weeds,  ‘the jungle’ seems a better metaphor than ever. Read more »

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stamp your democratic feet

Posted in opinion, rants on September 10th, 2009 by george

I became aware yesterday of the stand-off brewing in the US concerning Healthcare Reform. Today I heard from my American son in New York who is just finishing up his last year of training to become a doctor.

I wont pretend to be sufficiently knowledgeable to explain what is happening. However like you, I can glean an impression from the deluge of reporting and comment we are being inundated with. Its not a pretty picture.

The basic right, within what is still the wealthiest nation in the world, of every citizen to have access to basic health care, is still being denied. It is being discussed again, thanks to President Obama’s current initiative to implement some major policy changes. What are the chances of success? Read more »

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rent dancing

Posted in opinion, rants on September 8th, 2009 by george

wall st

Its as old as the hills. One way or another, as long as anyone can remember, men and women have been doing it, mostly with great difficulty. For most of us, the rent dance comprises doing anything and everything we can to provide food and shelter for ourselves, and our immediate family. In recent history this has meant having, getting or holding down a job. This little blip in human history is now drawing to a close.

Let me paraphrase what a  great teacher once said, ‘Before the industrial revolution, everyone was self employed. The industrial revolution is over. So the future is once again self employment. Start your own business!’

This may sound a little grand, or even downright terrifying. But it neednt be. Your business could be as humble as shining shoes or selling pancakes out of a wheelbarrow. The point is that there aren’t enough jobs to go round. Read more »

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cousins

Posted in journal on September 6th, 2009 by george

cousins

I’d like to say a few words in praise of the cousin. Cousins are family, and mostly appear at the best of times. Weddings, summer holidays, family gatherings are all made more interesting by the presence of these people of similar age who you feel you know even though you sometimes dont very well. You are intrigued by each other, the daughter of a mothers brother or the son of a fathers sister, or whatever. This must mean something. Kinship? Certainly you are predisposed to like one another. You suspect you have something in common. Blood is thicker than water, right?

My mother had no brothers or sisters, so her 21(!) cousins were extremely important to her, and she stayed in touch with all of them her entire life. As a result, my brother and I know a number of our second cousins, children of my mothers first cousins.  A few of them I am very close to and fond of. We see each other regularly and our children, third cousins(?), know and like one another. How long can this go on? Read more »

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immigration policy…who does it serve?

Posted in opinion on September 4th, 2009 by george

I have been working  in an Immigration Detention Centre, a former barracks, where around 400 grown men are confined to remain while the labyrinthine Home Office processes that must explain their present condition and decide their future unfold. These men are from all over the world. Some are escaping dire, life threatening situations in their home countries. They are labelled asylum seekers. Some have come to the UK hoping to find a better life, to earn enough to send something home to their families. These are referred to as economic migrants. Some have been living legally in the UK, but have fallen foul of the law, and now find themselves liable to be deported, in the name of the war on terrorism. They will have come here straight from prison, having served their sentences. Often their only crime was to be caught using false ID papers, without which they would never have been able to escape their homelands in the first place. Read more »

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