Monday, 24 April 2017

Spring Scene


The day is still

Memories call,

Birds whistle tunes

Depression lifts,

Around me flowers

Spread in splendid array,

Raise their heads

On fine Spring day,

Silence is golden

As if in a dream,

Nothing intrudes

It almost feels supernatural,

Though sadness whispers

Deep in the undertones,

I am made strong by Love

that shines down from  far away,

Making impalpable imaginings real

A new beginning - another day passes,

Shadows give way, as life flows

The world temporarily bathed in joy.


Sunday, 23 April 2017

St George the Palestinian hero.

The above picture is from  the Ghinass children centre in Bethlehem depicting the dragon  as the Israelis  build their apartheid wall, with St George leading the Palestinians to slay it.

St George's Day , the national day of England whereupon true patriots celebrate their total ignorance of their origins and history  because St George was actually born in Cappadocia, part of modern day Turkey into a noble Christian family in the third century, around 270 CE, whilst Wikipedia has him born in Lydda, Syria Palaestina  (Lodd) – 23 April 280 CE. His mother was a Palestinian. She came from what was then the larger area of Palestine (Israel and the Occupied Territories today.) and she took George back to her homeland after the death of his father.
The Roman Empire had at the time spread all over this region. George joined the Roman army, becoming a fairly high-ranking officer. But he fell foul of the Emperor Dioletian, who, fearing a plot against his pagan second-in-command, embarked on a systematic terror against all Christian believers. George refused to bow to Diocletian and abandon his religion. Anticipating trouble, he gave his property to the poor and freed his slaves. He was imprisoned, tortured, and finally beheaded at Nicomedia, on April 23, 303AD.
His example, as a man of courage in defence of his religion and a helper of the poor, spread throughout the world. For the Palestinian St George is revered today, as a martyr  who fought against oppression, intolerance and injustice and stood up for his beliefs. Also known as 'Al  Khadr' (the Green) and is associated with fertility and growth.He is revered in Palestine as a hero , a fact that many right wing idiots in the UK fail to remember, demonising immigrants and multiculturalism while forgetting that St George is not actually English. Both muslims and christians in Palestine, today take part in celebrations in honour of him. Although St George lived four centuries before the birth of Islam, his wide appeal, beyond borders or races, has made him a figure sacred to Muslims and Christians alike.In Palestine he symbolises Christian Muslim unity and shared Arabic culture.There are still tens of thousands of his successors in Gaza and the West Bank - 100,000 at the last count and with its associations of courage, gallantry and honour, the Christian name, George, remains one of the most common in the Palestinian Territories.There are also  many churches in the West Bank and Israel that bear the name of St George - at al-Khadr, Lod and in the Galilee, for example.
Oh and St George also happens to be  the patron saint of Lithuania, Portugal, Aragon, Germany and Greece, as well as cities including Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice.The episode of St. George and the Dragon was clearly a legend  brought back with the Crusaders to Britain.There is so much information around about St. George it’s hard to tell fact from fiction. 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Happy Earthday - Captain Beefheart

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network http://www.earthday.org/ and  is celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.
Today me and the Captain honour the rich vast Earth , that's sustained generations before us and continues to nurture life and inspire wonder. I personally honour also my dear beloved, who though gone remains a sacred particle of this Earth, she loved nature and the plants that helped sustain our mother earth. And when our planet becomes broken and unsafe, and  we have no other planet to move to., and when we no longer breathe the air, drink the water, or grow food on the land, we will all perish too.
The earth very precious,  and undertaking a savage battering as I type, but we can do all we can to sustain and protect it. It belongs to everyone of us, not the corporations who  currently seem with their greedy thirst for profit, seek to destroy it. We must continue to challenge  the complex problems that it faces, like climate change, hunger, war, corporate colonialism, extinction, depreciating ecosystem services, etc. This is a fight that we cannot simply choose to ignore.
The following is the final recording made by Captain Beefheart / Don Van Vliet. Sung over the phone in the early 2000s.
Happy Earthday.;


Observatory Crest - Captain Beefheart


Friday, 21 April 2017

Poem for my Grandson : Five Years old today

I have thought about this little one today
spared hardly a thought for the Queen,
though one is five today,  the other 91
this one pictured far more important,
I got him a little place of adventure
Thunderbird's Tracy Island,
previously owned but in good condition
with lots of figures and machines,
came with rockets  and sound effects
even included  some trees,
a perfect playground for a super kid
my beautiful rascal grandson,
turning  5 today getting rather big
and very smart  too hope he has a treat,
unlike her royal  highness
I hope he inherits the world,
and in the future bright
finds himself living in a republic,
maybe he could get himself elected
and become the head of state.




Thursday, 20 April 2017

Tories Out: No more Austerity

Thirty two Tory MP's are currently facing election fraud and Maggie May has called a snap election for 8 June,she and her party are simply taking the piss but some of you might still vote for them. May hopes to opportunistically take advantage of the polls, and to see off inconvenient prosecutions of Conservatives alleged to have broken election spending laws in 2015. But this election won’t fix our broken politics. All signs are that we’ll continue to have a government with too much power, elected on a minority of the vote.Already, the Prime Minister is trying to treat democracy as a formality - she’s ruled out TV election debates despite them being hugely popular with the public. We are facing deeply turbulent times, more than any other in recent memory, this election will be about Britain’s place in the world. After years of a Tory Government our public services are on their knees, our NHS is in crisis, our schools are underfunded, thousands rely on food banks to feed their families, people are on poverty wages while prices soar, the most vulnerable have been hit again and again. If the Tories get back into Government things will get much much worse.Last year, up to half of mums under 25 skipped meals to feed their kids; two-thirds struggled financially; one in four resorted to food banks.20% of households are already deprived, with the Department for Work and Pensions counting 3.9 million children living in poverty in 2015. This was itself an increase of 200,000 on the previous year. More cuts are planned, more privatisation, more misery for the majority. We simply have to stop the Tory's now more than ever, we can't let the main architects of austerity remain in office any longer.Their toxic policies and their conscious cruelty is hurting our communities. As manifestos are drawn up, I would hope that all political parties stand up for the principles and laws that protect the rights of ordinary people across the UK. That whoever ends up in power continues to commit to protecting our Human Rights Act and maintaining our membership of the European Convention on Human Rights. I sure don't trust the Tories to do this. I don't tend to support political parties generally , but this time the stakes are to high, so if you really want change and believe in social equality, justice and peace then vote for Labour,(I am not a member). I don't think Jeremy Corbyn, should dilute his message either, we need a radical shift in another direction,that represents a better future, for most ordinary people,or maybe vote tactically for another progressive candidate if they have no chance of getting in,in your constituency, we have to much to lose, if the Tories get in again , they will simply be uncontrollable, we have to get rid of this vile Tory Government and begin to repair our public services, confine the rotten Tory's to the dustbins of history . We owe it to our children, our grandchildren and ourselves. With there right wing measures and continuing attacks on trade union rights, asylum seekers, benefit claimants , the poor and the vulnerable,wealth inequality, asset stripping,there attempts to destroy the welfare state, they deserve to be kicked out.They are a party of the elite, only serving the elite, while making the rest of us suffer. We can't allow the Tories another five years to savage us with their cruel policies, it is time for a fundamental change in society run in the interests of the majority instead of for the profits of a few. The Tories crippling austerity measures have simply failed, Tories out; No more Austerity.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Bicycle Day :Happy birthday LSD

Most people today in Great Britain today will be discussing the upcoming General Election,we are guaranteed toxic days ahead,I will undoubtedly return to the subject, meanwhile I'm going to slip back in time. Exactly 74 years ago, April 19, 1943  Albert Hofmann, a 37 year old chemist for Sandoz, in Basel, Switzerland, ingested intentionally a  minute amount—just 250 micrograms--of a compound derived from the ergot fungus thus synthesizing  lysergic acid diethylamide for the first time.Three days earlier, he had absorbed a small amount of the drug either through his fingertips or by accidentally ingesting it. Anyway, less than an hour later, Hofmann began to feel strange and noticed sudden and intense changes in his perception. He decided to pedal home from his laboratory. His bike ride accompanied by strong hallucinations developed into a real trip. Hofmann turned on, tuned in, and dropped out for the first time. This is how Hofmann learned about the effects of this substance and  had the first LSD trip where  here he experienced all its heavenly and hellish effects.
Psychedelic enthusiasts  across the world now commemorate Hofmann's discovery of LSD's effects every April 19, a.k.a. "Bicycle Day. "  He wrote about his experiments and experience on April 22, which was later put into his book LSD: My Problem Child. He called LSD “medicine for the soul” and saw the drug as a powerful psychiatric tool. But Hofmann admitted that the substance would be dangerous in the wrong hands.Look at the sad tale of Syd Barret and others, we've all probably encountered, the same drug that awakens us can also enslave us or drive us mad. In the 1960's, LSD use became widespread among people who sought to alter and intensify their perceptual experience, to achieve insights into the universe and themselves, and to deepen emotional connection with others. The American researcher Timothy Leary identified phases of the psychedelic experience with the Bardo stages of consciousness outlined in the Tibetan Book of the Dead,from "complete transcendence" to " routine game reality" and indeed the arrival of LSD coincided with a surge of interest in mystical and esoteric subjects. Albert Hoffman's amazing discovery subsequently contributed to countless works of art, literature, and music. Releasing a rich banquet of inspiration that still manages to fuel our senses today.From the books of Aldous Huxley, Kurt Vonnegut , Jr, to the music of Jimi Hendrix, my local heros Sendelica, acid still catches the imagination. I've personally taken a few trips in my time, not for a while though, never seem to come across  it,  perhaps people are hiding it from me, because they've seen me under the influence, managed to hitch back from glastonbury to west wales back in the day, but had to stop for respite in a field by the motorway for a while, to gather my senses and spend time talking to a tree. happy days. Oh and I have a flying frog in my living room called Albert.
My frog who goes by the name of Albert

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Albert Einstein : ( 14/3/1879 -18/4/55) His powerful voice of social conscience and humanity that still resonates.

 

Albert Einstein who  was born at Ulm, Wuerttemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879 was a theoretical physicist, author, philosopher, moral leader and is perhaps the most influential scientist to ever live. Einstein has made great contributions to the scientific world. He received the 1921 Noble Prize in Physics for his services to Theoretical Physics. Einstein is now regarded as the most influential physicist of the 20th century.
In letters, and articles, Einstein wrote that the welfare of humanity as a whole must take precedence over the goals of individual nations, and that we cannot wait until leaders give up their preparations for war. Civil society, and especially public figures, must take the lead. He asked how decent and self-respecting people can wage war, knowing how many innocent people will be killed. Throughout his life he used his professional fame to promote his  strong voice of social conscience,including crticism (while living in Germany) of Germany's role in World War I.Because of his fame, Einstein was asked to make several speeches at the Reichstag. and in all these speeches he condemned violence and nationalism, urging that these be replaced by and international cooperation and law under an effective international authority.
Einstein believed that the production of armaments is damaging, not only economically, but also spiritually. In 1930 he signed a manifesto for world disarmament sponsored by the Womans International League for Peace and Freedom. In December of the same year, he made his famous statement in New York that if two percent of those called for military service were to refuse to fight, governments would become powerless, since they could not imprison that many people. He also argued strongly against compulsory military service and urged that conscientious objectors should be protected by the international community. He argued that peace, freedom of individuals, and security of societies could only be achieved through disarmament, the alternative being “slavery of the individual and annihilation of civilization”. He also lent his voice in support of pacifism, anti-militarism, in defense of socialism and to a degree the behavior of the Soviet Union, believing that a socialist planned economy was the only way to eliminate the inequalities of capitalism, he also strongly opposed Adolf Hitler  his ,disapproval of racism  and hate having suffered from it because of his Jewish identity. He also condemned  America's use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  stood against Joseph McCarthy-era restraints on freedom of speech, in June, 1953, he wrote a letter to a school teacher in which he characterized certain tactics of a Congressional investigating committee as "a kind of inquisition" that "violates the spirit of the Constitution," and advised the "minority of intellectuals" to refuse to testify on the ground that "it is shameful for a blameless citizen to submit to such an inquisition." Faced with this evil, he said, he could "see only the revolutionary way of non-cooperation in the sense of Gandhi's." he also  had a strong disapproval of racism having suffered from it because of his Jewish identity.. Scientific expertise was of no value in most of these cases, yet Einstein's words were taken seriously and reached a large audience.
In letters, and articles, Einstein wrote that the welfare of humanity as a whole must take precedence over the goals of individual nations, and that we cannot wait until leaders give up their preparations for war. Civil society, and especially public figures, must take the lead. He asked how decent and self-respecting people can wage war, knowing how many innocent people will be killed.
For his efforts, he was threatened with assassination several times, was in danger of deportation from the United States, and accumulated a huge FBI file. He even was denied security clearance to work on the WWII atomic bomb project. Einstein's courage in his public activities ran on a track parallel to the boldness of his scientific work.Throughout the remainder of his life, in addition to his scientific work, Einstein worked tirelessly for peace, international understanding and nuclear disarmament. His last public act, only a few days before his death in 1955, was to sign the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, warning humankind of the catastrophic consequences that would follow from a war with nuclear weapons. Since his death  he is know considered one of the outstanding thinkers of his generation, a symbol of the human spirit and its highest aspirations, a fighter for social justice and human fraternity, a powerful voice of peace that still resonates. .
Here are a  few  valuable life lessons that Einstein said :-

1. Follow Your Curiosity -
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

2. Perseverance is Priceless -
“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

3. Focus on the Present -
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”

4. The Imagination is Powerful -
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

5. Make Mistakes -
“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

6. Live in the Moment -
“I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”

7. Create Value -
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

8. Don’t be repetitive -
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”


9. Knowledge Comes From Experience -
“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”

10. Learn the Rules and Then Play Better -
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
 
11. Devote Your Life to a Cause -
 “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”

12  Serve the World  – 
“The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule. The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.”

13. Question Authority - 
" Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

14. Imagination is more important than knowledge -
 “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
 

 15. Never ever stop learning  – 
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.

16. We are all one -
A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

17. Never stop Questioning-
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
" People like you and I, though mortal of course, like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live. What I mean is that we never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born."

18. Let nature be your teacher -  
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

19. There are no limits except those we impose on ourselves -  
“Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.”
“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”

20.  Dare to be your true self -  
“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.”
 At the end of the day, we will all experience successes and failures.So strive, fail, succeed and smile and remember, there is always room for optimism and  another world is possible. Thank you Albert Einstein for your valuable words.