Alan Rusbridger and his team over at the guardian news paper are the guys who broke the Edward Snowden, American spying story. After the media disgrace that was the pre Iraq and Afghanistan war coverage, Alan and his people have restored some respect for newspapers. There has been all kinds of pressure put on the guardian. Threats of fines and closure but still they kept reporting about the Orwellian secret spy systems the Americans and British have used to collect the whole planets private online information. A journalist’s partner was held under anti terror laws as he passed from Germany to brazil via London.
Yesterday Alan was in front of the British Home Affairs select committee. He was grilled like he was the problem by the members of the committee. He was even asked at one point, do you love this country? The last refuge of a knucklehead is patriotism. Look at all those skin heads walking around waiting to fight for their motherland. Alan did very well with his answers. He is doing a delicate job honorably. Here is a quick YouTube video of the juicier bits of the questioning. It is the activities of fair minded people who can turn the tide of the ever encroaching police state.
In the vain hope of living forever I have decided to start eating a couple of dried sea buckthorn berries each day. Today is day one, I will report back in a month or so and see if I notice any difference. The berries are packed full of vitamin C, omega fatty acids and a whole host of other goodies. Check out more info here. I am interested to see if there is any increase in cognitive ability as is claimed (lord knows I need more brains!!!)
As we become more medically advanced, as far as I can see, the doctors and experts are consistently saying the best medicine is preventative care. Good, healthy food and exercise is essential. I started doing yoga in June. Now I do it three or four times a week and I absolutely love it. Yoga is a long way from my bone crunching rugby playing days. I have gotten strange looks from old team mates, but I knew from the first yoga class that this was an amazing health generating activity, so stuff the funny looks.
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a sacrifice. Food is the major nutrient source for our bodies. What you put in effects your system. Fast food is not good for you. All that salt and fat will some day come back to haunt you. I feel a massive difference if I cook a normal well balanced meal compared to a fast food menu.
Anyway I will report back on my experience with the sea buckthorn berries, if there is a positive reaction, I will be trying to get you to try them too, so get ready!
Ukraine is going through quite a turbulent time. Nine years ago we had the orange revolution which swept the Russian leaning government out of power. We have a story worthy of Shakespeare here.
And the ugly,
Nine years ago the people camped out in the main cities of Ukraine. The country roughly consists of half ethnic Ukrainians and half Russian. The pro European ethnic Ukrainians want closer ties with the European Union. The protests were symbolized by the color orange. The revolution was led by two characters, Victor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko.
If you notice Victor Yushchenko’s face you can see he has a lot of scaring. This is because the Russians tried to poison him. The Russians were dealing with the situation in a very old fashioned soviet way, poison the bugger who wants to have closer ties with the goody two shoed Europeans. Well he survived, thanks to European medical care and he went on to be the country’s president. Yulia was the prime minister. It was the victory of truth and justice . . . or so we thought.
Unfortunately in real life there are very few permanent, and they all lived happily ever after. Today president Victor, once poisoned by the Russians is now their ally. He was supposed to sign an economic agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. Russian pressure/bribes/dirty tricks has made him tilt last minute away from the Europeans he once championed. Ex prime minister Yulia is currently in jail. The new government she helped form has imprisoned her for her ambition.
The European Union has always brought up and protested against Yulia’s incarceration. As they were negotiating this current European, Ukrainian economic cooperation agreement, part of the deal included releasing Yulia from prison. Now don’t get me wrong, Yulia is no angel, she was in charge of some massive gas projects which has probably made her an extremely rich ex prime minister. This part of the world is not known for its fair play. They are all corrupt, but some are at least trying to do what is right for the country as well. From her prison cell Yulia called for the Europeans to conclude the deal with Ukraine, even if that meant her not being released.
Ukraine is at the beginning of a new chapter. Will they move towards Russia or Europe? For what it is worth I believe Ukraine will have its first female president soon. She is incredibly popular, and wants to move towards European integration. There needs to be a peaceful transition of power. Victor has had his day, and he has blown it. He has taken the Russian ruble after it nearly killed him nine years ago. This is not a straight forward game. Russian power and money along with an almost 50% of the population will warp what should be a natural realignment with the law and order that comes with close cooperation with the European Union. I hope for all those cold protesters standing up for progress, that a new beginning will take hold. A more transparent government, willing to use the newly discovered huge gas field’s money to better use than lining the corrupt politicians pockets. Time will tell.
We had Black Friday, now it is cyber Monday. If big business had their way they would rebrand each day of the year to encourage you to buy something from them. Well in honor of their slyness, I am declaring Ralph Waldo Emerson Mondays to go after graffiti Fridays. We must counter their nonsense with our own
Well said sir, well said!
Loving your life sounds easy. There are self help books and blogs to guide you but in the end it is your own inner power that leads you to happiness. The month of December is a bleak month weather wise but the wisdom of our forefathers gave us Christmas to split up the dark cold nights. I am sitting in one of those dark cold nights, I can hear the late night trams calling out like a lonely whale as it rounds the bend at the top of my street.
The next 23 days are going to try to teach us what we need to buy our loved ones for Christmas. It is all nonsense. We have been led down a consumerist path. Businesses with the help of all consuming media have tricked us into thinking, love has a dollar and cent cost. There is an illusion, like a spell being cast on our collective consciousness about Christmas and it is time to stop. Time to snap out of the automatic response to December’s struggle to find the perfect gift.
My December gift is to show more love to you and to myself. I have spent years meditating. Growing still and silent in my mind until the flicker of my inner being communes with my conscious mind. I believe the individual person is more precious than any gift. This month both increases the love we have and also the indoctrinated need to spend money. It is a battle for your soul. Do you listen to the loud, distracting advertising voice heard all around you or will you show wisdom this year, by listening to your true self. You always know what to do if you think. We have evolved into a species that is so busy that we have stopped thinking. Once we know what is expected of us we turn to autopilot to try to cope. Look at all the stimulants we need, coffee, coke, cigarets, red bull. If it has caffeine we consume it to keep us going. How are we expected to have a still mind in this mayhem of a modern life. To see the true value of our life when we are racing from task to task. Lets not rush through this month. Lets take each day as the rebirth of hope, of fun and friendship. This year we are taking back Christmas from the clever marketing executives. There won’t be a dramatic, life changing moment when we buy less presents but spend more time with those we love, but a slow healing of the soul begins.
Christmas is coming. Prepare for the brainwashing to kick into high gear. There will be lots of beautiful adverts trying to link some companies product and an emotional scene you wish to have with a loved one. A father giving the son a new whatever. Everyday we have the chance to start over, to begin with the good intentions we have and make them happen. I want new presents, but I don’t want them at any price. A new ipad seems lovely. It is made in china where the workers are living in such hell that they kill themselves to escape.
The ipad is just one example. The suicide news was very embarrassing for apple but we shouldn’t pick on them too much as there are lots of other companies and products that cause as much damage. We are part of the problem. Christmas is an excuse to just let go and consume . . . Since when? Christmas was about family. Sharing time and food with each other. Now we have Black Friday shopping all the way up to Christmas Day and then the sales. At what point do we say, ok enough. Yes the new pretty thing in the box looks nice and we have certainly been tempted by the adverts but this year it is back to old school love and friendship. Friendship for our fellow man and the planet.
We don’t have to be hysterical about it, but we make a difference when we are consciously aware of the media brainwashing. You don’t have to say anything to anyone else but you could take a mental note to be nicer, make more of an effort with your chosen family. Kindness doesn’t come with holiday wrapping. You are either kind or you are not. A nice present once a year or someone being cool to you throughout the year. I know which I would pick.
Let this be the Christmas where we don’t get hassled and pressured into expressing our love for our family by buying mass produced products. The present isn’t the important bit, you are. Time eventually erodes all the presents, it steam rolls everything. Moments spent with loved ones is Christmas. Don’t waste them by staying out late trying to find the perfect (mass produced)present that represents your love in material form.