Sunday, 12 June 2011

Sandi Toksvig: Rebuilding the grey matter - Telegraph

I like the idea of just taking time out to sit and be, reflect on nothing much and allowing the old grey cells to regenerate. Especially on a wet windy chilly day in – June!

Sandi Toksvig: Rebuilding the grey matter - Telegraph

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

June My Goodness half way through the year.

Flaming June, well not yet, April and May were lovely with sunshine till May Bank Holiday, then guess what...

Been busy doing nothing much, interacting with political ideologies and philosophies. The notion that the state is bad for us as it impinges on our freedom vs the notion that the state prevents the abuse of our freedom, by use of of prejudices against others, by setting up equality and anti-discrimination rules and laws. In an ideal world we would not need such laws, in the Libertarian philosophy of we do not coerce anybody and all work nicely with each other, having nice voluntary agreements as to whom we should discriminate against and do business with or associate with, like good consumerists and profiteers that we are known to be, all would be well. Human nature has yet to prove that one totally right. A utopian an ideal as could be. The premise of Jesus, to treat others as you would want to be treated, would also prevent the need for equality and anti-discrimination laws. Sadly most of us are selfish and cannot be trusted all  of the time to deal straight and fair. We are as they say. being human.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The End of The Fasting & Prayer

Sojourners fasted and prayed for Congress to be compassionate in their understanding of cutting or removing aid from the less fortunate and disenfranchised citizens of its country. Sadly the cuts were still very harsh and the removal of certain aid will lead to great distress and misery for those who have little by way of wealth power and status. The same could happen in the UK under the Conservative and Liberal Democratic Party coalition. When money is god then common-sense of reality goes out of mind. It is not that these are evil men and women, just that society has become bowed down at the alter of money. Money is a means not an end in itself. As gold was a means not an end in itself. Governments will always be in debt because bills always have to be paid. Certain bills of provision are needed and to cut them or remove those provisions is not realistic but folly of the highest degree. Sadly, as long as man bows at the alter of money, or thinks he is the emperor in fine new clothes that only he can see - the rest see him as a naked beast frolicking about in the wilderness - then the folly of misinformed and dis-informed leaders will be the blight on the peoples. Shame on them.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Fasting for Common Sense To Prevail

The purpose of this fast is to focus us on those who go without adequate supplies of food, health care, or education on a daily basis, and I pray that this fast helps us prioritize our lives and budgets differently.

https://secure3.convio.net/sojo/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=399&autologin=true

“Markets don't work in the way they are supposed to unless there are some well-enforced rules."

-- Elizabeth Warren, in charge of establishing the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, speaking to the Chamber of Commerce. (Source: New York Times)

If we need government cuts then it has to be balanced so that the low waged, poor and those in poverty – want, disease, squalor, ignorance and jobless – do not take the brunt of the cuts. Social programmes run by the government have to be maintained at a humane and compassionate level. If we fail in this we have failed to be human, we are acting on our base innate primordial nature. We should be ashamed of ourselves if we act this way. We ALL should be above that.

If someone like Sir Norman Tebbit is worried about the cuts and changes to the NHS for instance then we should be concerned all is not right with our political leaders.

Cuts or budget revisions within the social sector and other government agencies will be something the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats will long be remembered for. They had to take up the so called “poison chalice” from Labour, who now pretend they are the good guys looking after public interests, knowing that they continued the social service provisions descent from day one of Tony Blair. The Conservatives before that. If a government abdicates its responsibility to the less fortunate or disfranchised members of society it is not worth my respect or my vote. But then I did not vote for this government.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Something for so called Christian and Jewish Politicians, and those with a conscience and compassion.

“Woe to you legislators of infamous laws ... who refuse justice to the unfortunate, who cheat the poor among my people of their rights, who make widows their prey and rob the orphan” -Isaiah 10:1-2 (Jerusalem Bible).

http://www.sojo.net/

“So our “What Would Jesus Cut?” campaign is meant to raise a challenge. How do the values we hold, rooted in the person of Jesus, affect the decisions made in the public policy arena? We certainly aren’t trying to turn the “Sermon on the Mount” into H.B. 173, but we believe that legislators who follow Christ should always ask the question of how the bills they pass and the policies they make affect poor and vulnerable people. Jesus was concerned with “the least of these,” and we think Christians should follow Jesus’ words with the policy decisions they make.”

http://blog.sojo.net/2011/03/02/is-what-would-jesus-cut-heresy/

As you go about the cutting and the slashing of public and social amenities and programmes, keeping the corporate subsidies, tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy and more affluent – in the name of progress, production and cutting the national debt, keeping the defence budget alert by hostilities against Libya – remember that people like Bobby Kennedy were more than money orientated:

Below is a quote from Bobby Kennedy on what the Gross National Product means and more importantly what it does not mean.  He would have a made a fine economist...

"Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product ... if we should judge America by that - counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

"Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."

Robert F. Kennedy Address, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, March 18, 1968

http://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/faculty/michael.brandl/main%20page%20items/Kennedy%20on%20GNP.htm

Remember that without money people can not but or pay for things (rents, mortgages, food, health insurance – USA, health care choices – UK, savings and pensions  and without jobs and steps to help those impoverished by society through no fault of their own they will be part of the rise in crime and homelessness, desperate people do desperate things.

If our politicians fail us now the result will be catastrophic and there will be a dark age yet again. Shame on you, you legislators of infamous and unjust laws.

I am aware that GDP and GNP are different but we harp on about both like religious fanatics drugged up to the nines. No sense and all mouth and menace of violence. There needs to be cuts but we all need to be cut not just those unlucky enough to be on social benefit or relying on social programmes. Voluntary, charitable and compassionate profiteers can take up some of the slack – allow them to by dismantling petting regulations and obtuse political correctness doctrines, help people to help people, and remember we all have a vote.

Friday, 25 March 2011

The Newness of the Old

I very much enjoy watching Poirot, Miss Marple and any of the Ealing black and white films; and of course a lot of the American black and white films and dramas like the “The Thin Man” and “Dragnet”.

There is a gentleness and genteelness about the past – which of course is sheer nostalgia and not a truism – which lends itself to calm. It would be nice to think that those looking back on the current genre of dramas and films will have the same nostalgia of feeling of enjoyment, though there has been an increase in violence for the sake of titillation rather than adding a meaning to the story.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Just Because...

Thought this was pretty cool. I like the feel it gives when you look down the tunnel.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Lunatics Are Back In Power! Who You Gonna Call?!

This could be the Coalition Governments Poll Tax says Dr Kailash Chand OBE is a GP and chairs Tameside and Glossop NHS [The Guardian, Joe Public Blog] Before we blame the Dave & Nick Show it was:

 

  • “The idea that competition breeds excellence and market forces make everything more efficient is a myth anyway. Two successive governments have now shown that simulating a market ethos in the NHS might bring blips of success, but it carries the potentially fatal consequence of producing erratic behaviour from otherwise sensible people.”

 

  • “Competition between hospitals on price, and all hospitals having to "liberate" themselves from what he sees as the dead hand of state control. As Milburn says in Polly Toynbee's column today: "'Any willing provider' means anyone can set up shop and steal easy patients: the result will be anarchy. What a naive assumption that you can leave everything to the market. Price competition changes everything."

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/feb/04/andrew-lansley-nhs-reforms

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2011/jan/31/nhs-reforms-poll-tax?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

So boys and girls, “Who You Gonna Call?!”

Is Labour so different? After all it was pushing the Welfare State into private hands, even if those hands were tied a bit.

Reading the Guardian, see links, you have to say, “The Lunatics Are Back!”. The Dave & Nick Show, tickets only at £100,000 a piece if you don’t mind, and did you go to the right schools, hob-knobbed with the right ‘class’? Oh goodie come on in, have you met…?”

That is one reason I am voting Yes

BSD_yes_btn_a3Poster for

 england-flag-03 and for myself.

Time to shake some power from the Etonian & Etonian Wannabe Boys before we all get sucked into the Underclass as described by Frank Field, who “identified four forces of expulsion as having created an ‘underclass’, separated from the rest
of society ‘in terms of income, life chances and political aspirations’.”

  • unemployment
  • widening class differences
  • the exclusion of the very poorest from
    rapidly rising living standards
  • and a hardening of public
    attitudes

So as I asked, “WHO YOU GONNA CALL?!”

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A Change Of Scenery

Thought I would cheer my blogger blog site up and use a new template. Thank you peeps for providing such nice free templates.

Were are we now in the 21 C? Still have poverty and inequality of wealth. Millions are dying of starvation, thirst, disease through the corruptive governments and indiscriminate marketers.

The privatisation by outsourcing the UK social welfare, cuts, cuts, and even more cuts being the mantra of the day. There was a reason welfare systems came about – something to do with not only for those who could afford it?

UK troops are still deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as Africa, Brunei, Canada, Cypress, Germany, Gibraltar and the South Atlantic Islands. Is it not time to let those countries get on with their own lives? Of course our troops have helped them, especially Iraq and Afghanistan, to build better infrastructures, hospitals, schools, and have helped to ‘keep the peace’, time to move out now.

Obama has not proved to be a president of great worth, I predict he will not get elected for another term. The Republicans will get in, not sure under whom though, take a look at The Contenders. Though I am a Brit I would like to see any of these three get in:

  • David Petraeus
  • Bobby Jindal
  • Jed Bush

As an outsider I’d like to see take a step is Ron Paul as his views are very different – Libertarian.

Why not the darlin’ of the Tea Party club, on theirs and hers good days, Sarah Palin? She seems the least trust worthy of the lot to me. But I will keep on watching and learning more about the TP RW Woman.

So what about the Dave & Nick Show – who would I like to see replace the Posh Toffs – I’m not sure really they are all pretty measly. No Thatcher or Baldwin amongst them. I look at Labour and to be honest think, so what. Liberal Democrats, you’re having a laff, Conservatives, well, to be truthful I just do not trust them. Lets see what happens further down the road…

Just out of interest I wonder who my USA choices would align themselves to if they were British – would they automatically veer toward the Blues?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

FREEDOM TO SAY WHAT YOU THINK

Victory for Margaret Forrester, a Christian mental health worker who was told today that she would be restored to work and even offered a better job, following her suspension for expressing her private views on abortion to colleagues.

Margaret Forrester was suspended by her NHS employers after she mentioned privately to colleagues her concerns about the information women were given prior to having an abortion. She shared with colleagues, not members of the public, a booklet containing stories of women who have struggled with post-abortion syndrome in order that they might have the full picture when advising women discussing their unexpected pregnancy.

Soon afterwards, Ms Forrester was suspended from work for 'distributing materials some people may find offensive'. Today, after the intervention of the Christian Legal Centre, she has been offered, and accepted, an even better position at another location.

http://christianconcern.com/our-concerns/religious-freedom/victory-as-christian-health-worker-restored-to-work-and-offered-a-bet

At last common sense can prevails – the woman was suspended for 'distributing materials some people may find offensive', please grow up people. Both secularists and Christians will be faced sometime in their lives with something they find offensive; the truth can hurt and can be offensive to some peoples sensibilities and ideologies. For goodness sake, both groups, religious and secular, grow up.

The Law is preventing people from saying what they think about a certain issue, rightly or wrongly, the State is not and should not, take on the role of making sure people sensibilities are not hurt. We are adults now and it is time to behave like adults and not cry those nasty people are hurting my feelings. Feelings will get hurt – but better to debate, hopefully with facts and not just with ideologies, than to supress information or even a different way of thinking about an issue.

We have got to move away from the notion of “it might offend…”. It might but that’s life. Get over it.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Were you born in the 1940’s, 1950’s or 1960’s

I got sent this via an email.  Thought you would appreciate it :)
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE
1940's, 50's and 60's !

First, we survived being born to mothers who drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air
bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the
corner store and buy  Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.

We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY , no video/dvd  films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no   Lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time.

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays,

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had try-outs and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine
that!! Getting into the team was based on...
MERIT

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bully's always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like
'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL !

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Hope you enjoyed this, I did Smile

Happy New Year 2011 to you All.

A reply and my response

Evangelicals who believe that the bible is the word of God you would expect churches that follow the biblical pattern to buck the trend. In the USA where conservative evangelicals are a much bigger part of the church, it is much easier to see the results of holding on to a biblical worldview. In churches like Mark Driscoll's in Seattle, probably the most secular city in the USA, they have slightly over 50% men. So yes it can be done. And we know how.

Yes I agree with you that certain ‘conservative’ churches have a slightly higher ratio for men at church than the normal 2:1 or dismally 3:1.

When you consider the gender ratio for the USA population at approx. 50:9 Female to 49:1 Male, I think the church gender ratio complies with the stats; more women all round :)

http://www.nationalatlas.gov/articles/people/a_gender.html

Even Seattle, where Mars Hill Church is based, has a percentage ratio much the same as the national average:

Total Population: 563374

Total of Sex Male: 280973Total of Sex Female: 282401

Percentage of Sex Male: 49.9%

Percentage of Sex Female: 50.1%

http://www.maps-n-stats.com/us_wa/us_wa_seattle_a.html

A slightly different ratio from http://www.city-data.com/city/Mars-Hill-Maine.html gives the % at 52.7% Female 47.3% Male

Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church only slightly bucks the stats - I could not find the gender ratio for Mars Hill Church – obviously not asking the right ‘search’ questions.  So yes it can be done, but are we asking for the ratio to change 60:40 in favour of men, 70:30 in favour of men, or are we asking 50:50? 

A gender stat. I did find however was interesting:  http://www.thisischurch.net/church-news/the-churchs-deadly-ratio-part-i-the-problem/

Of course it is good if more men and women attend church, be it conservative or not, as that would be good,; good for them.  Maybe it is a case of men, and women, need to fight of the falsehood of secular media led society - have you watch any of the UK soaps lately, EastEnders, Coronation Street, or the popular Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives drama-soaps?  Chills me to the bone.  So banal and degrading to men and women; huge viewing figures though.

However, from what I've read, Mars Hill Church is male impassioned, which is nice because it gives power to men who maybe do not know where they are at in relation to their gender; if you are told you are the important one it boosts your moral and confidence.  Maybe that is what men really need.  To be told they are the important ones, the leaders... Who knows, but I do hope it is the Word of God they are listening to and not ‘the Man?  I have seen that happen a few times.  Sad but true.  So obsessed with themselves, and yes, their gender, those male leaders and sadly church members, forgot to reach out to others as Christ did.  Personalities lead the way, biblical men and women or not, and a kind of idolatry follows. 

See the following for my reason for some of my comments:

http://stackblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/time-to-give-mark-driscoll-a-sabbatical/

http://lklouise.com/392/driscoll-misogyny-masculinity/

I personally veer towards Billy Graham, his daughter Anne Graham Lotz, Joyce Meyers, David Pawson, N T Wright and Nicky Gumble biblical teachings. 

Anyway, all-in-all any church based in biblical doctrine, however flawed or warped it may be, not the doctrine or the Word, but the way it is implemented, and I believe the Holy Spirit will deal with such churches accordingly in time, is better than a church that relies on tradition and cultural patterns to exist and hold on to its power, which is a very Pharisee mentality, think the Catholic Church as in Roman and Eastern, Church of the Latter Day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses.  Good doctrines/theology badly used, with the Message of Christ being substituted for ‘we rule ok?’; excuse the disdain, but I do wonder sometimes what book some preachers are reading from.

Any church that can bring in both more men and women if spiritually led is a good thing.  If men, or women, need empowering to feel important again then that may be a good thing.  Personally I think cultural attitudes do play a part, and I would prefer a system of teaching that had a division of the sexes, maybe my single sex schooling has something to do with this, as when my school went co-ed both the male and the female grades dropped, as well as co-ed sessions as I have found, in both my working and advisory experience, that it is important for men and women to have an outlet and a safe environment to be taught and to be encouraged to express themselves without fear of being seen as foolish, feministic, machoistic, and being intimidated by such.

I think you would say the problem might be the feminisation of the church and education system, “that treat the decline of men in the church as the outworking of a process of feminisation”…. “the same process [that] has been happening in society with the decline in boys performance in education".

Two schools of thought about feminism: (A) the right to be treated as an equal with equal pay for the same work, access to the means of provisions, education and life chances through reversal of discriminatory ‘rules’ and the implementation of ‘positive discrimination’ to level the ‘playing field’ of life chances and aspirations; role playing, who does what, and the subverting of, is not on the agenda.  (B) the expectation of women to behave and take on all role models of men, and visa-versa, though this is often frowned upon and ignored by ‘evangelists’ of feministic views, they see all men oppressing all women through the structures of society – home, education, work-place, religious - and there is therefore a call to either de-masculine society structures and power bases, or to coerce women to ape the masculine behaviour, which leads, in my view, to confusion and conflict for both sexes.

Both hard-line views, the (B) feminisation of society,  and the re-masculinisation of society, which in order to correct the (A & B) feminisation of society, could come about, which ideologically could end up a subversive truism if not looked at and amended seriously, are bad for both the church and society.  Disastrous for Men and Women.