Politics


Disiaster Victims Still need help

I want to donate to  victims of Disaster

This charity appears to be doing some good work http://www.dec.org.uk

This excellent article from Time Magazine rounds up all the places and areas you can continue to help with the Japanese Tsunami 

If you would like to donate to the American Red Cross for Japan Earthquake Relief, just text REDCROSS to 90999. Each text will provide $10 toward the Red Cross’s humanitarian efforts.

Good stuff on mashable here

Mesopotamia | Iraq

kipind1

Iraq amd Mesopotamia

So I remembered this when thinking about the war in Iraq this morning, and sent it to a friend by email, then thought I should post it here.  It was the poem that most struck me when sometime ago I worked at a theatre where there was a one man show on about Kipling.  He wrote it after his son was killed in the First World War.

Mesopotamia
1917
Rudyard Kipling

THEY shall not return to us, the resolute, the young
The eager and whole-hearted whom we gave:
But the men who left them thriftily to die in their own dung,
Shall they come with years and honour to the grave?

They shall not return to us, the strong men coldly slain
In sight of help denied from day to day:
But the men who edged their agonies and chid them in their pain,
Are they too strong and wise to put away?

Our dead shall not return to us while Day and Night divideÑ
Never while the bars of sunset hold.
But the idle-minded overlings who quibbled while they died,
Shall they thrust for high employments as of old?

Shall we only threaten and be angry for an hour?
When the storm is ended shall we find
How softly but how swiftly they have sidled back to power
By the favour and contrivance of their kind?

Even while they soothe us, while they promise large amends,
Even while they make a show of fear,
Do they call upon their debtors, and take council with their friends,
To confirm and re-establish each career?

Their lives cannot repay usÑtheir death could not undoÑ
The shame that they have laid upon our race.
But the slothfulness that wasted and the arrogance that slew,
Shall we leave it unabated in its place?

Is this the eve of destruction

When Ever I listened to the sounds of the 60s on Saturday morning Radio, I was entranced by the sense of positive and directed energy that appeared in the lyrics, music and artists of this period…we can do so much more with this legacy

The reason for this is much of what they sang about in protest songs still holds true today.

These lyrics of the ‘eve of destruction’ by PF sloan encapsulate that era as do many other songs, from the Beatles to The Dave Clark 5…

The Eastern World
It is explodin’
Violence flarin’
Bullets loadin’
You’re old enough to kill
But not for votin’
You don’t believe in war
But what’s that gun you’re totin’
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’ 

But you tell me over, and over, and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction 

Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today
If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
There’ll be no one to save
With the whole world in a grave
Take a look around you boy,
It’s bound to scare you boy 

And you tell me over, and over, and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction 

Yeah, my blood’s so mad
Feels like coagulatin’
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth
It knows no regulation
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world
Is just too frustratin’ 

And you tell me over, and over, and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction 

And think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
Ah you may leave here for four days in space
But when you return it’s the same old place
The poundin’ of the drums
The pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace 

But you tell me over, and over, and over, and over again my friend
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction
No, no, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction 

some time ago someone asked me,after I had spoken about what we could do in todays world to try and make it a better place, they spoke about their own sense of powerlessness in the face of war, evil, poverty, greed and suffering. A Tall order but I tried.

From the Kennedys to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and countless others, these inspirational people who wanted to lead the world in a different direction were killed, like it says in the song The Diggers, “they were dispersed and only the vision lingers on". This song goes on to say:

"You poor take courage, you rich take care
This world was made a common treasury for everyone to share"

and so it is, but the greed goes on because our leaders are frightened to talk about what we might be willing to give up, actually its what they and those at the very top of our moneyed societies might be willing to give up. 

I heard a Sikh speaker the other day, say that bringing simplicity back into our lives may be the only way to save the world. I mean do I really need a dishwasher?

This is the spirit we must carry through, to not let go of the positive energy built in the post war period for a better world. Our present political leaders have moved back to a policy of the 1950s and 60s, exploitative, aggressive and lacking in empathy and understanding. We do have a choice as to how we react to this. Both Locally and globally.

Our attitude to each other, at work and play and in our communities means something. Our attitude to our elected or unelected representatives (remember in most countries now decisions are made in the main about our lives by unelected people…yes even in the US and the the UK).

They keep us busy so we don’t complain, work hours get longer, and we just take it. No wonder family life is stressful if we don’t have time for it. Contact and communication break down all sorts of boundaries, as does thought for others and kindness. 

Where were the things you buy and you wear for you your family and home made, and by whom, did they get a fair price, how much of your taxes goes to subsidising organisations or people already wealthy, while the poor starve across the world. 

Every action we take has an effect somewhere, their are no innocent bystanders, if you work in an industry or commercial enterprise that is directly or indirectly exploitative or leads to the denegration or death of others then you will need to think over about your share in the responsibility.

We need not just to be against things but also be for something, it is not enough to say that we are against war or weapons manufacture, we need to provide alternatives for the people that work in these industries, we also need to offer other ways of governing if the present ideal of democracy is not working.

Death war and destruction are not the answer, we need to think both, why people might want to become terrorists or members of the army, why might someone want to kill for a living or for a cause. 

We talk of spin, but the earliest spin and rebranding was The Ministry of War becoming the Ministry of Defence. But enough of all this moaning, its really just another way of losing the spirit of power that we can see in the short period between 1963 and 1973.

For many of us individually we can change the way we act and react to things around us and we can gather with others to who feel similarly to us, we can also use our votes wisely on election day. If you don’t vote, think about why not and what you might do instead.

I still have a vision and a belief that the world and our relationship to it will and is getting better, I have given up my jaded view, and am trying to put into practice a better way of living, I will make mistakes, will stumble and falter, but will still keep getting up and moving forward. Why because I know I have the power, however ordinary it is to change myself and to help others change, that power is our inheritance, our ability to bring back smiles to peoples faces, to give instead of expecting something and to Love even in the face of others hate.

As George Fox said in the 17th Century
“be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; “