I cannot say that I was too active in the Anti-Apartheid movement – I was a member. I can remember letter requests coming through the Trades Council (Brighton and Hove TUC), and it was one of the few non-contentious issues that met with total approval. The mass movement activists like myself, the Trots and even Right-Wing Labour were all supportive of the AAM.
My proudest mass movement memory was an International Trade Union Solidarity conference I organised, and I say I organised from a Mandela-sense in a partly derogatory way. At that time I was deeply fervent. I was wearing several hats. I was international officer of the Trades Council, I was national secretary of the Labour Aid and Development Committee, I was a member of the non-political World Development Movement (BDM for the sake of this blog) and I was also liaising with the local Oxfam through the Brighton Labour Aid and Development Committee (BALADC). To be honest I was held back by BALADC and BDM, but between meetings I would forge ahead in developing the conference. When I reported to the meeting it was a shock to them what I had done but they were not a part of it. I was creating the same alienation I am now so critical of. One member of either BALADC or the BDM spoke to Oxfam, and I had a long and heated argument with the Oxfam Development Officer at the time. He claimed he had no political differences with me but that Oxfam’s charity status was always under question. But in this case his condemnation was that I was acting individually. My argument was that I welcomed anyone in the organisations to do more as they had all agreed support for the conference, but they were unwilling to be more active. The Oxfam guy claimed I alienated them, I probably did, but they weren’t active anyway; my alienating them was an excuse. But I was bulldozing, using democratic process and agreed motions to bulldoze; definitely NOT Occupy.
So locally I had little support but I was international officer of the local TUC, and this Trades Council was important in terms of local grass roots activism so alienating members of such token groups was not significant – discussed later. As national secretary I had access to a national database – 300 people interested in aid and development. As a result Brighton held an education conference on international trade unionism with 30 attendees including, I think, most of the local groups – in total 10 people.
The AAM was one of the education sessions as support for COSATU was very significant in terms of International Trade Union Solidarity. Most people congratulated me on the success of the conference – I will again discuss that in a bit, but what always comes to my mind was the plenary session. This was held in the largest room, but only needing to hold 30 people. Dry stuff was happening when out of the audience came 5/6 black South African women dressed in traditional clothes, and began dancing at the front of the conference room. They were the Sisters of the Long March, part of the Moses Mayekiso campaign. This was a complete wow for me – as organiser I had no idea they were going to do this; they were the main act of a dance the organisation (me) had arranged that evening – because I was busy with the conference I didn’t know they had arrived. When I later worked in Botswana I got to know that women getting up in traditional clothes and dancing was common-place, but to see it for the first time in a dry meeting room in middle-class Brighton was mind-blowing. When I think of Mandela I think of this.
I was in Southern Africa during the first election but before I reflect on that I want to discuss the alienation I caused. Firstly the international trade union event was a one-off, because there was only one organiser and activist – me. It was after this event that I decided that it was pointless for me working with half-hearted middle-class Christian and development groups. People must be as active as they are willing to be, that is between them and their consciences, but at the time I was a bull in a china shop to them. It was a learning point, and I then decided to devote myself to the Labour Movement. I suspect a significant aspect of my involvement with the group member, the Oxfam guy, and myself was guilt. The Oxfam guy had a cushy number satisfying his conscience so politically he didn’t rock the boat, the member felt guilty watching what I was prepared to do, and I was guilty because I hadn’t done enough up to that stage in my life.
This was in the second half of the 80s. I left the Brighton groups, and was voted secretary of the Trades Council where all my hard work and organisation was used to keep together a dying organisation – Thatcher’s heyday. My activity reached a crescendo in the first Gulf War where a typical week was a coach trip to Trafalgar Square, and then my workweek was a vigil and or meeting after school, and marking when I got home at 11.00pm. Needless to say I burned out, and when the war ended so did I – exhausted. My activities continued minimally, and then personal issues took me to Southern Africa.
On reflection my activity neither helped nor hindered the Brighton groups, they continued in their way – they were probably relieved when I moved on. Once my activity was part of larger organisations it was less personal the structure took over – it shouldn’t be personal. Brighton was very important to me as a time of activity, what I learned politically there through activism I carry with me now, but it was also a time of personal issues that eventually took me to leaving for Southern Africa.
So at the time of the first election I was in Botswana watching on TV. I keep recalling Mandela and Winnie walking along a lined route from a car – that was his release, but it must have been shown so often when I was in Botswana I got the feeling I was there for it; at the time, 2/11/90, I was active on the Gulf War and would not have been watching. Amongst 3 of us his release sparked an interest in teaching in South Africa so August 1994 we trapsed down to Pietermaritsburg on a fateful trip. It was this trip that I learned what racial division in South Africa meant. It was as if the pavement was divided in lanes, the white lane was wide and spacious, and then there was the lane for Indians and Coloureds, and the black lane – the Indian and Coloureds was marginally better but compared nothing to the white lane.
There were 3 separate education departments, and we walked into the black education department. I don’t know whether they had met liberals walking in before, but immediately they saw us they sent us to the white department. We said we wanted to work with black kids but we were dismissed. Hearing later of the troubles in the black schools I am now grateful. None of us wanted to work in white schools. I returned to Botswana, was more settled, and renewed my contract – I worked in Botswana just over 6 years. My friends went back to the UK after their two-year contract where I met them a couple of times and we drifted apart.
As a further indication of the racial prevalence in South Africa I got a train back to Johannesburg. I had heard this train was dangerous so I sought out a compartment with a white person in it. We got talking eventually and it turned out that he was senior in the Volksfront attending a national conference in Jo’Burg – the Volksfront were an apartheid organisation that stood for everything I didn’t believe in. Once the introductions were over we accepted each others’ differences – presumably my disparagingly being a British white liberal. The journey passed in safety, and I will always remember the journey where I genuinely felt safer with such a fascist – this taught me about apartheid in South Africa.
Over my time in Southern Africa I had much dealings with South Africa – South Africa had the infrastructure and finance in the region. There were a couple of trips to Jo’Burg to get computer stuff and fix my computer, at the time no chance of getting it in Botswana. South Africans travelled around the game parks, and I often got to meet them. One time in the Great Zimbabwe game park I met a guy who had been to a school I taught in – before I taught there, and he had emigrated 20 years before. He was a South London racist, his attitudes fitted in the white lane but he was just living his life. One time in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe I met some other guys. They were very pleasant, and described how they had grown up believing black South Africans were the scum of the earth. They needed to believe that because there was conscription and they had to take tanks into the townships to kill blacks; even at that time 96? they were apologetic. But these were just ordinary guys living in a country looking after their families – they were the same mould as my father – wage-slave, life and family. Before I left the UK for Botswana I hated the white South African accent but after meeting them they were just typical wage-slaves, the same the world over. I didn’t agree but empathised. A black friend came to visit me, and was horrified by their attitudes in one game park. I was watching them, the white South Africans were making a real effort to be friendly but for them there was years of conditioning to fight. One confided that British blacks must be different – better; of course my friend was different but not in the way he meant.
My memory of South Africa. It was the most beautiful country in the world with perhaps the worst people. This is what Mandela came out of.
PS I had just watched this Democracy Now tribute, and it sparked the above:-
After my previous analysis, Occupy in Thailand, on the situation in Thailand I found some stuff on Al Jazeera.
But before I discuss Al J I want to clarify what I mean by Occupy in Thailand. There are protests on the streets. Some people might construe that I believed those protests to be akin to those of Zuccotti Park. Far from it. These are traditional protests, leader-led, and fundamentally orchestrated by Thailand’s 1% – the anti-Thaksin 1%. There are some counter-demonstrations, these are also of the traditional type. I am not criticising those demonstrations, they are part of a peoples’ expression, and whether I believe that expression to be manipulated or not the people have the right to do so – I wish amongst all the western critics of Thailand there were just a few people who were expressing their own dislike of their systems on the street. Maybe it would not be so easy for Washington and Europe to start wars?
But these demonstrations are still part of Thailand’s Veil, politics that is centred around the finance based in Bangkok. The Occupy I am talking about is what was described (in the Bangkok Post Op-Ed) as the genuine grass roots councils allying reds and yellows in some rural areas. Based on the description this is exactly what Occupy was trying for.
I felt this was not clear so now to the Al Jazeera stuff. First I listened to the interview with Yingluck and Veronica Pedrosa:-
It is extremely hard not to see Thaksin when she is talking. Is she genuine? Of course not she is a politician, but as a politician if her brother comes back then she is not PM – so to cling to power she doesn’t want him back. So is he pulling the strings? Cannot possibly know the answer to that.
When it come to politics so little goes the way of the people that the strategy is for the people to take what they can get. In breaking ranks with the practices of Thailand’s 1%, Thaksin adopted a strategy of adopting policies that benefit the people. Now whether he was buying them off or not, what he did gave the people some money. But when the Democrats were in power the people got nothing. So as a mass movement politician the question is a no-brainer, I would bite the bullet and vote for Yingluck because she gives some money to the poor.
It is interesting how the interview describes Thailand as rice and rubber – I never knew that even though 50 yards from my house are rubber trees. These rubber trees are usually owned by big landowners. They hire cheap workers, often Cambodians who come illegally over the border, and can be paid less than the minimum wage of 300 Baht per day. They are landowning 1%, so are my natural enemy. But the problem is Thaksin. He is a crook and he is trying to get back into the country. He has control of the anti-1% movement that opposes the 1% who control the yellows. Because he controls the reds it makes it hard for a democratic socialist like me to support the reds, but in reality the Pheua Thai give more benefits to the people so it is a no-brainer.
It is interesting how Yingluck talks about changing the nature of Thai politics. She focusses on democracy. Maybe I do her an injustice but I don’t believe she is a democrat. So what is she doing? If the power of the country was solely electorally democratic, the Pheua Thai party would win; if there was a referendum to allow Thaksin back in the country without charges I guess he would win as well. But this democracy is a threat to the prevailing power of the 1% – as are all genuine democratic movements. So the establishment doesn’t want them back in. This is the underlying agenda of the yellows, the desire to keep out the forces which will take the money from the 1% power-base in Bangkok. Because Thaksin is so corrupt and manipulative – and might attempt to topple the king, people like me (previously) don’t see the yellows for what they are – the dupes of Bangkok’s 1%. Without Thaksin the Issan poor get nothing, with his manipulations the poor get something. It is politics so the genuine choices are intentionally limited by the Veil. It would be nice for a genuine mass movement to emerge, but all the 1%, Thaksin included, would never allow that. So as always the people get crumbs, the crumbs that are only offered by Thaksin and not the Democrats.
At the same time her talk of democracy is an attack on the military – and sideways an attack on the King. She focussed a number of times on the military corrupting the democratic process. In 2006 the military supporting the yellow demonstrations created a coup. This is what the yellows want now, a minority-inspired coup d’état. Yingluck’s talk of democracy is pushing against a coup, and is turning international opinion against the 1% who are inspiring such an approach through the yellows – very good thinking towards her aims.
In the talk Yingluck also focusses on peace, placing the onus of the violence on the yellows. The day before the King’s birthday the police symbolically allowed the yellow protesters in. Whilst she will never win over the yellows, the fact is that she will win internationally. The yellows are losing the debate. They want a council based on the rural models but it cannot be democratic because then Thaksin would get in.
She also talks about the economy. If the 1% continue to inspire the yellows the economy will suffer so the yellow business people will suffer. If Yingluck continues to take the high ground then the 1% are stuck. Yingluck will continue to curry democratic favour in Issan, through her peaceful approach that is anti-military she will win over the international press. Ultimately who will suffer with the demonstrations? Bangkok business. It is noticeable that the yellow focus is Victory Monument and government offices near there, the yellows have not targetted the shopping areas where the reds were and where they were killed.
In the end the yellows will stand down because the 1% behind the yellows will lose their profits. Yingluck’s strategy is sound. Why then did she introduce the amnesty bill?
Long term the only possibility for peace is to renounce the possibility that Thaksin could come back. This would satisfy the yellows but the red poor would suffer as there would be no reason for anyone to buy them off – provide financial support. So for democratic reasons and to benefit the poor it is good to continue the campaign to support Thaksin – even though he is a complete crook. Politics is strategy, it is never honest. My honesty concerns the poor of Thailand, and at presnt the only way they can be helped is through the Pheua Thai – Thaksin.
I ate an unhealthy breakfast this morning as I came up to Pattaya to service the bike. During breakfast I read the Bangkok Post, and there was an interesting Op Ed piece that threw a certain light on what has been happening.
To understand a little of what I am discussing I need to give you the way I see the background. My history in Thailand only goes back to 2006, when soon after I moved in there was a military coup. I spoke with the manager, my friend at the Suksawad, and he said there was relief in Bangkok when the tanks went on the streets exemplified by the suais putting garlands on the gun barrels. Trying to understand what has been going on since is difficult as political analysis requires the ability to read between the lines and I can’t converse in Thai – let alone read between the lines.
The military established elections after a year, and that began an electoral see-saw. This see-saw has two levels, let’s deal with the corrupt level first. The manager’s anger was with Thaksin who was a crook and used government office to further his personal gains, but perhaps more than many democracies Thai politicians see office as money-making – taking of bribes to award government contracts etc. During the military “junta” Thaksin was tried and found guilty of crimes, he fled the country, and now lives in the Emirates where apparently he cannot be extradited. However since he fled he has been pulling strings to try and get back.
In the election following the junta a Thaksin party won the election with a minority and formed a coalition. They then proceeded to change the law so that Thaksin could be innocent and come back. This so angered the Bangkok elite and Thailand’s middle-classes that there emerged the yellow movement who demonstrated on the streets against the puppet Thaksin government, and their most public showing was when they took the airport during the tourist season. As a result of yellow agitation a new coalition was formed involving the democratic party, the yellows were satisfied, and Thaksin was not coming back.
Whilst ostensibly this coalition was democratic the reality was that the party with the most votes was not in power, so there started the Reds. To understand the reds it is necessary to understand the distribution of wealth in Thailand. Thailand is very centrally-governed in Bangkok, and Thailand’s wealth is centred around Bangkok and provinces south of there. I once studied an electoral map of red and yellow provinces, and this divide is blatant – extremely visible. The red areas are to the north and east of Bangkok, and these are the poor areas. Thaksin understood Thailand’s people enough to know that he could buy the poor off, and he introduced some meaningful but token policies that helped the poor. By token I mean that Thaksin had absolutely no intention of empowering the poor, he gave them just enough to buy them off and make them loyal – establishing a populist power-base.
Once the yellow street tactics had been successful, Thaksin maneouvred the reds into trying to do their own street tactics, and soon after Abhisit formed his coalition the reds started to demonstrate. This demonstration went on for a long while, and Bangkok’s economy was hit and schools were closed. Abhisit sent in the troops in May 2010, and nearly 100 reds died. The election that followed these deaths gave Thaksin a majority in the parliament, and Yingluck, his sister, was prime minister. Violence more than anything alienates the Thai electorate.
For a couple of years peace has reigned under Yingluck although corruption has apparently increased. But then Thaksin got pushy and introduced the amnesty bill, and this was a political diaster for his puppetry. In order to give himself an amnesty he had to give an amnesty to Abhisit et al who had killed the red demonstrators. When this bill was passed in the first house all of Thailand erupted, the yellows because they saw Thaksin coming back, and the reds because their slayers were getting away with it. The second house blocked the amnesty bill, but its introduction had opened the gates of populist expression. The yellow demonstrators did not go away, and have been rife in taking over public buildings. Yingluck or Thaksin, knowing the electorate’s reaction to violence, have been pushed and pushed, and although 4 people have died they effectively surrendered and allowed the yellow demonstration to take over significant government buildings without confrontation. This is where they are at today.
Thaksin is a traitor to Thailand’s 1%, this is the first thing that is special about Thailand; their 1% has broken ranks and Thaksin got too egotistical. The rest of the 1% have joined ranks against him, and have manipulated the middle-classes to join them in an anti-Thaksin movement. Thaksin has therefore turned more and more to the red working-class but to see this as a class struggle would be a mistake because in the red movement he has established his own puppets in positions of power and has made no attempt to democratise power.
And here is where the Bangkok Post Op-Ed comes in. This spoke of significant proportions of the people in red areas rejecting the Bangkok-centrist model of government. The writer describes areas of Thailand in which reds and yellows have worked together forming community councils to work in their joint interest against the interests of Bangkok-centralism whether as Thaksin’s only-1% or the rest of the 1%. This is nothing short of Occupy in Thailand.
The current yellow leader has latched onto the success of these councils. He cannot call for elections because the people of the north and east will not vote for the yellows because yellow government just dumps on them. So he has called for a people’s council of good people, hoping that the good people will have sufficient control to prevent another Thaksin push. This suggestion is totally undemocratic but the only yellow choice is to subvert democracy. In Abhisit’s last government the writing was on the wall for the yellows. Thaksin had cheaply bought off the people in the red areas, and when Abhisit got in he could have instituted policies that helped the poor and weakened Thaksin’s grip. What did these yellow 1% puppets do? Nothing. Except violently suppress the legitimate expression of peoples’ anger. The Veil that is Thailand’s version of 1% politics is deadlocked because one of the 1% has got too greedy and defected. Hopefully more and more of these Occupy councils will develop taking power away from the 1% who for once have been split.
As a socialist I have always examined this political struggle in terms of class analysis, and this struggle is not a class struggle. Perhaps more than any working-class Thailand’s working-class is at loggerheads. On the streets are the yellow middle-class and the red working-class, when class analysis would identify both interests as the same. A significant cause of this division is Thaksin himself, and this fits in with the non-democratic leadership-oriented version of electoral politics that is Thailand – Thailand’s Veil. In addition Thailand has her King. Royalty does not in general appeal to me, but the current Thai monarch is an eminently stabilising figure in Thai society. The majority of Thais whether red or yellow will say they love the King, and the King has helped his people on occasions. Many yellows claim that Thaksin was working for a republic – trying to oust the King and make himself a President increasing his opportunity for wealth and power. In my view this could never happen in Thailand, and is another example of his arrogance.
This additional element of “Occupy” has to alter my position. Previously I have supported the yellows as I have been anti-Thaksin, and in truth I have ignored the 1% basis of their movement. Whilst I would naturally support a working-class movement, Thaksin’s presence within the reds means that I can never do that. But Thailand’s Occupy I can support. What appears to be the best way of promoting these councils? With the yellow leader proposing a government of such community councils my tendency is to continue supporting yellows. But in truth I think the yellow leader is talking hot air, and is willing to be undemocratic to get his aims. Fundamentally the yellows want an end to Thaksin’s ability to pull strings – what was discussed in the Bangkok Post as a thaksinocracy. The leader’s call for councils is a tactic he would hope can achieve such an end. But the yellows are 1%-driven and such a council reeks of genuine democracy – especially if there are communities of reds and yellows working together to sever Bangkok’s control. These yellows are Bangkok money men and they do not want control to devolve. Perhaps there is more opportunity for such control to devolve under the reds because of where the support base is, but Thaksin does not want such a devolution either as he wants finance kept in Bangkok so he can exploit it. Much like in the UK there is little point in supporting either group now, but if I had a vote my vote has marginally switched to the reds as they are “marginally more likely” to devolve some power.
But there is hope with these joint community councils, I would like to know more. Occupy!!
I silently cheered in my chair at home as I saw the headline:-
Maldives swears in new president,
then to my dismay I opened the Al Jazeera article and saw that it wasn’t Nasheed. So after ousting him in a coup, tactically voiding previous elections, creating smear campaigns, appealing to traditional Islamic voters, the Veil puppets have engineered a vote for the establishment. I discussed some of the electoral tactics in a comment update here, and the climate reasons they didn’t want him in the same blog.
No matter how unfair the process has been Nasheed conceded based on the vote without attempting any electoral tactics. A democrat, and because he is concerned about violence. Watch The Island President to see what is being lost.
And as the Maldives sinks under the rising Indian Ocean yet another genuine democrat will sink with her.
Sleep and hormones continues to be an issue. It is now 5.10, I went to bed at 12.40am, and it was like I didn’t want to sleep as I wanted to force myself to think about hormones. The hormones-chakras interface is something that needs to be considered. The fact that meditation techniques, meditation and chakra meditation, helped solve the physical hormone problem is an indicator. If I am not understanding the relationship between hormones and the body, I am not understanding. The schemas connecting chakras and glands are significant, but I feel as if I need to know more. This has now become Mandtao as it is about “what is man?”
I include the rest of the post here as it includes diet changes:-
So to start the Mandtao blog again here is the hormone-chakra graphic for reference:-
In chapter 3 he talks of “The 10 hormones that control health & weight”, I need to get familiar with the relationships between the hormones he describes. I am not sure about his diet though, he appears to have meat. I will not eat factory meat but maybe I can get free range stuff.
From Ch5 the “key principles of the Perfect 10 diet, “[p139] “The Perfect 10 Diet is all about nutritional balance—40 percent carbohydrates, 40 percent fat, and 20 percent protein.” Not sure, must try to work out where I actually am in relation to this.
Immediate reactions – calcium supplementation and refined meat? Should do daily exercise but am not chilel-ing.
The more I read The Perfect 10 the more in line with it I am. Change bread. No more fluffy brown bread, rye breads. He’s against fruit juices – check the ones I get. Some sugar but OK – think natural. Butter – but careful Reduce Oishi. Occasional fish – sea fish and cook myself. Organic chickens. Salad dressings.
Perfect 10 Foods:-
Changes – think about duck occasionally. Fish once a week – use salmon, no more bplaa duk. Reduce carrots – insulin issue. Oatmeal. Olive oil on salads.
Change bread. No more fluffy brown bread, rye breads. Think about duck occasionally. Fish once a week – use salmon, no more bplaa duk. Reduce carrots – insulin issue, more leafy greens. Oatmeal. Olive oil on salads.
This is very long so you can jump to the conclusion
I touched on the issue of vaccines when I was considering a flu jab – and rejected it out of hand. My flu problem was dragging on – it turned out to be a glandular issue (click tag cloud glands), so my mind turned again to vaccines. In this blog I analysed further the use of vaccines. I accepted the homeopathic principle (discussed here) that says that a small amount of the “virus” will help produce antibodies. However I concluded that:-
“Basically they didn’t make vaccines until they could be sure that nothing would happen to the companies if there were side effects. I don’t trust the companies anyway, and if they are given carte blanche – no way.”
Checkout this animate from the Health Ranger, I now consider him extreme but this is worth watching for details about the legal shenaningans in the US that support BigPharma.
I have seen further stuff on vaccines, and downloaded this film – The Greater Good. My first reaction was that I don’t feel it is hard-hitting enough. However it does raise questions, and that is what I want to do here – raise more detailed questions and look for answers.
There was one thing I didn’t factor into my consideration of vaccines because of my distrust of BigPharma, and that is how successful they have been in eradicating some diseases. So what do I replace this with if I make a blanket refusal to vaccinate? A much better question. Not only have these diseases been eradicated vaccines have been used over time successfully. So the real question is not just about vaccinating, but what has changed and when did it change? In the movie it says that children in the US are expected to have 69 doses for 16 vaccines in 2010s as opposed to when they had 23 doses for 7 vaccines in 1980s:-
This is a big change. Remember a vaccine contains a disease or virus, and the purpose of them is to build up antibodies. Are we giving our children too much to fight causing them illness?
But what put me off the flu vaccine was the chemicals that help the vaccine:-
Chemicals commonly used in the production of vaccines include a suspending fluid (sterile water, saline, or fluids containing protein); preservatives and stabilizers (for example, albumin, phenols, and glycine); and adjuvants or enhancers that help improve the vaccine’s effectiveness. Vaccines also may contain very small amounts of the culture material used to grow the virus or bacteria used in the vaccine, such as chicken egg protein.
This is from the CDC, so there is no dispute that there are chemical additives, the dispute is concerning the dangers of the additives. Mercury is recognised as a poison yet it is contained in many vaccines disguised as thimerasol; there is also formaldehyde and aluminium, all are discussed in the movie The Greater Good and also discussed here. What the movie points out is that there has not been sufficient testing of the vaccines long-term? I would also suggest that there has not been enough testing on the volume of vaccines. In the 80s when the vaccines eradicated diseases without the problems being reported now, they were only treating 7 diseases, now it is 16. Perhaps the immune system (that is producing the antibodies) has too much to cope with, and perhaps that is why we are having conditions such as autism arising from the vaccinations.
What horrified me was the boy in the movie whose mercury levels were so high:-
In the movie (43m 50s) one system doctor cited studies that the level of mercury in vaccines was acceptable, maybe it isn’t in an accumulation of vaccines. Either way for me taking any mercury is a huge risk, and each person has to balance this out with the risks of the disease itself. Another doctor (44m 50s) said that in 1999 the level had to be reduced, but that still leaves open the question why were vaccines not a problem in the 80s. What was also raised is that mercury tolerance is different for different people, and perhaps this boy was particularly vulnerable. Why isn’t that tolerance tested? Surely that can’t be difficult?
A fascinating point arose around 58m. As in my above conclusion it was pointed out that BigPharma is not liable. Initially they were, and paid out huge money. So the revolving door led to BigPharma becoming immune to prosecution. The lawyer effectively said the government made this for the “greater good”, there must be vaccination. Why doesn’t the government take control? Why doesn’t the government produce and test the vaccines for themselves? And have a procedure for accountability? Rather than leaving it in the hands of companies who put profits before people?
Here is another question, and it scuppers my original statement that immunisation has worked. This particular doctor suggested that improved hygiene awareness contributed to the reduction in disease:-
According to this doctor vaccines were introduced after the reduction in deaths. Is this true? Check this timeline.
This doctor is questioning the effectiveness of vaccines, but after reflection I tend to think this is a red herring; but I am not sure. The principle of vaccinating in my opinion is sound. It is the chemicals and volume of disease I have issues with.
The movie concluded with a very sound position. The science is not there to prove that vaccines are safe nor is it there to prove they are not safe. The problem is that BigPharma has control of the government (in the US the FDA and CDC), and vaccines are recommended or mandated. How can the vaccine be safe with mercury in it? That doesn’t make sense to me. What about other chemicals, that also doesn’t make sense to me.
The debate is polarised, this is the problem. When science is questioned scientists can get defensive. This page tells us which chemicals are in vaccines, it reads like a list of don’ts on my diet; it is produced by the CDC. There are strong detractors of vaccines such as the health ranger, holistic health 1 and 2 (disgusting does not make it bad for you?) , and here. Here is a UK detractor describing the cover-up of vaccine hazards, and here is the UK schedule – not legally mandated apparently.
The hazards are real. The benefits of sound vaccination are real. The vaccines the doctors give are unnecessarily hazardous because of the toxins they contain. Can we produce vaccines without these toxic chemicals? Here is a description, and here is a description of how UK vaccines can be hazardous. What struck me when reading this was that the science process was fine, and that the problems come from mass production – the need to mass produce requires preservation; and mass production is Big Pharma’s profits. So the way forward for vaccinating is clear – small is beautiful BigPharma can kill. The problem is – does small exist?
So I investigated the claims for homeopathic vaccines. I found some places on the net talking of homeopathic vaccines and nosodes, but it wasn’t clear. Then
“The Faculty of Homeopathy represents hundreds of professionally qualified clinicians such as doctors, nurses, vets and dentists who are statutorily regulated and safely use homeopathy on a regular basis to the benefit of their patients, many of whom have found little or no relief from their symptoms using conventional medicine. Members of the Faculty of Homeopathy would never recommend homeopathic medicine instead of conventional immunisation. It is the poor advice given by some lay practitioners as highlighted in the Newsnight programme that undermines homeopathy as an effective medicine and results in the hostile media stories.” Case closed on homeppathy as an alternative for the moment.
Some vaccines are a necessity. It would be socially irresponsible to contract diseases that spread and cause deaths to others. But what is definitely clear is the role of the 1% in this. BigPharma use the puppet government agencies of the FDA and CDC in the US and their equivalents in other countries to mandate, or otherwise, the taking of their vaccines; but neither the FDA nor the CDC have properly monitored the quality of these vaccines. To increase their profits Big Pharma have used chemical processes that preserve the vaccines but in doing so have used chemicals that are toxic and some carcinogenic. The impact of these drugs is not consistent as some children have immune systems that can fight them. Whereas in some cases there are strong indications that in some children the vaccines have caused autism and other neural conditions.
Homeopathy sadly does not offer alternatives authoritatively.
So the vaccines taken need to be kept to a minimum because of the potential risks caused by the chemical additives. Vaccines that were given to me in the
Vaccines are necessary but are not being investigated. BigPharma is given carte-blanche to make vast vaccine profits with medicine that is now unproven. Parents must vaccinate but be prepared there are significant and regular side effects.
Drones make me ashamed to be British, how can they be happening?
Then this clip from Democracy Now discusses the film with excerpts:-
They also discuss a Pakistani family, the family Rehman, whose grandmother was killed in an open field by a drone strike, the two grandchildren were injured. They were invited to congress to be heard, only 5 representatives out of 535 members attended – but this apparently is good. The clip cut short but there is additional 5 minutes here.
Earlier in the year Democracy Now discussed a leaked report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism; for accurate info on the results of drone attacks goto the Bureau of Investigative Journalism website.
I first discussed drones here, but this blog started with my interest in Malala and asking questions. Will this family get the same publicity as Malala? Malala sits down with Obama, and this family meets 5 from congress!! Is this an indication of propaganda?
In this post I began asking questions about Malala Yousafzai. With minimal response there were two distinct positions, on facebook some Middle East contacts liked what I had to say, and I offended a western intellectual who felt he had the right to support her irrespective. I don’t find either reactions surprising. People in the Middle East have lived their lives amidst war, and are under tremendous threat from the Nato alliance – the corporatocracy’s armed wing. Whilst these people would defend the right for women to be educated, they understand that these things are never straightforward. Miseducation in the West promotes rights above all else – even though their governments do not practice these rights, intellectual ideals, so you often find westerners who promote idealism despite the consequences – see tag cloud intellectual.
I am very ignorant of the situation in that area, shamefully so when you consider that there is a British presence in Afghanistan. For me wars are concerned with increasing profits for the MIC, but what is the “democratic” justification for the war in Afghanistan. I have some vague notion that it is connected with the Taliban, but the reasoning is so confused it is hard to discern a NATO position. Equally so what is the justification for the illegal drone strikes in Pakistan? There is never legal justification for drones anywhere, but why partciularly in Pakistan?
In this article from Al Jazeera, a Pakistani Taliban leader has been killed in a drone strike. It was reported by Pakistani sources but at this time I cannot find an official statement from Washington. (Here is further Guardian info.) There is no outcry as apparently it is accepted that he has been responsible for killing CIA people – this apparently is an atrocity, whilst any killing is atrocious it cannot be more atrocious than the murder of Pakistani civilians by drones. It is my understanding that the CIA involvement is to provide the intelligence that is given to the presidential office who then issues the instructions to kill. If you are an organisation defending against drone strikes, cutting off the intelligence has got to be a legitimate target.
Are the Taliban such a legitimate defensive organisation? The answer appears to be no. You will note repeated use of the word “appears” in this blog because nothing is clear.
Here is how I read the situation – for info search wiki using Taliban. In Pakistan the Taliban come from the Pashtun tribe who live in what is known as Pashtunistan. They have a traditional code they follow called Pashtunwali – search wiki using Pashtunwali. This is a code of a traditional rural mountainous people, and western liberalism would not empathise with such codes.
Here is a description from the same wiki of one of the Pashtunwali principles:-
“Nanawatai (asylum) – Derived from the verb meaning to go in, this refers to the protection given to a person against his or her enemies. People are protected at all costs; even those running from the law must be given refuge until the situation can be clarified. This was demonstrated recently when Osama bin Laden was provided special protection by a group of Pashtuns in Abbottabad, Pakistan, but when it became clear that he was involved in terrorist activities, other Pashtuns helped the United States to get to him.”
Whilst the NATO alliance might not consider this a good practice it is moral, and far better than NATO justice with Osama bin Laden’s final scenario in which no body was recovered and no trial was held.
Here is a map of Pashtunistan:-
What can be clearly seen from the map is that an arbitrary boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan has divided the Pashtun people; there is no difference between Afghan and Pakistani Pashtun. If there is a US attack against Pashtun in Afghanistan that would also be signalled as an attack against the Pashtun in Pakistan.
In this quote from wiki-Taliban:-
“While in power [BZ - in Afghanistan], it [BZ - the Taliban] enforced its strict interpretation of Sharia law, and leading Muslims have been highly critical of the Taliban’s interpretations of Islamic law. The Taliban were condemned internationally for their brutal treatment of women. The majority of the Taliban are made up of Pashtun tribesmen. The Taliban’s leaders were influenced by Deobandi fundamentalism, and many also strictly follow the social and cultural norm called Pashtunwali.“
As well here is a talk on the Real News network in which the pundit says that the Taliban are fighting for their right to establish their version of Sharia law (Sharia law is discussed below):-
In this article the writer sees a deadlock as long as the US remain in Afghanistan. And whilst there are drone strikes against the Taliban how can that deadlock be broken? What is the US strategy for winning? Is there one, do they actually want to win?
It seems to me that Afghanistan is like the Israeli war against Palestine, an ongoing fact of life in which expansion of territories, the war itself and all the family tragedies are the reasons for its continuance. Neither the situation in Palestine nor Afghanistan can be resolved on the ground as there is nothing to resolve there, they are wars created for profit and political reasons. On the ground what are they fighting for?
Let’s examine the issue of Sharia Law, a key question when it comes to the Taliban. It is difficult to put a handle on Sharia Law. There is one positive compared to western law, and that is that it is based on the Quran; so unlike western law it has a moral basis. What base does western law have? The bidding of the corporatocracy?
But beyond this it gets very messy to discern what Sharia Law is. Apart from being based on the Quran it is also based on legal decisions made by previous judges, the same process as western law. Over the centuries this has built a huge amount of legal precedent. I cite a number of references (1, 2, 3 and search wiki – sharia law), and you can decide how much of them you want to read. There have been a number of legal schools over the years as well as all the precedents so sharia law is a huge morass of legislation. Such a precedent-based system is open to abuse, much like Citizens’ United. Custom and practice dictates what laws are actually used in individual countries. Having lived in 2 Islamic countries (with western sympathies at the time) I perceived the sharia law as being what the country accepted, in my case Bahraini sharia law and Omani sharia law; they were the laws of the land. In neither country did I see people with severed limbs (1999-2002). I did see two societies in which people were generally peaceful. I saw no street crime; in Oman I saw people going to the supermarket, and leaving the car open with the engine running so that they could leave the aircon on in the heat. It was understood that both countries were dictatorships. When I arrived in Bahrain I spoke to a number of westerners who were happy to bring up their families because of the education and peacefulness. However Bahrain was rocked that year (2002) because of the renewal of Israeli hostilities against Palestine; Bahrain was a major US airbase. This demonstrated underlying tensions which erupted a few years later in the Arab Spring.
Where does this leave me in understanding the Taliban? It seems to be generally accepted that the sharia law the Taliban are looking for is similar to the legal framework they established when in power in Afghanistan:-
Go to 1.34 in this clip (shown above). What this Taliban law actually is I am unsure but my perception of it is that there are draconian laws especially those governing women. It is not sharia law itself that has to be so draconian, it appears that it is the particular laws the Taliban wish to apply that are the problem, laws that may have been applied many centuries ago and laws they now want to use to create their oppressive regimes.
The Taliban version of sharia makes them an easy western target as few western intellectuals could possibly accept this oppression. So they are a good post-cold war enemy, a target western people would accept – much like the reds under the bed; oh the reds weren’t there. Being so unsympathetic it is easy to say they are not wanted, and it is easy to see westerners making the jump of disliking their priniples to accepting them as terrorist enemies. Here is a Guardian opinion on the Taliban.
In conclusion it appears to me that initially NATO, the corporatocracy stooges, blamed Al Qaeda for 9/11. They created a new enemy, the Muslim terrorist, and when there was less to blame on Al Qaeda they then started to blame the Taliban as the Taliban were fighting in defense of their own beliefs and their own people in Afghanistan. In that same Guardian opinion the writer clearly states that
“The Taliban leader accepted again a key US demand not to use Afghanistan as a base to threaten other countries. He denied the Taliban would seek to monopolise power and said the group favoured an “inclusive government run on Islamic principles”. This is all to the good, although this could also be the Taliban posing as the government in waiting, the same absolutist posture that sank the opening of its political office in Doha earlier this year.“
Such a statement makes it clear that the Taliban are religious intellectuals who have turned to violence to achieve their idealism in their particular areas. Because of some of their unacceptable principles (to me and to many westerners) they have become an easy terrorist target through propaganda.
In response to Dottie I wrote this blog about going deeper to solve the gland problem. I suggested that the glands might be a notional border between the body and energy as examined through the eyes of the 3 tenets:-
Improving the mind
Harmonising our energy
Taking care of our bodies
I have looked at healing the glands through food with diet etc. and my main treatment was energetic through acupuncture, but what about the central focus of energetic work – the chakras? Vaguely there was a notion that the glands and chakras were connected so I searched. Now corresondences abound with chakras and organs, chakras and colours, chakras and elements, and quite often there is a difficulty in finding a pattern with these correspondences. But between the chakras and glands there was no difficulty, every reference gave the same, the following table being a typical example (taken from here:-
(Here is another giving the same correspondences from a different tradition).
As I am having issues with the glands I can help resolve those issues through chakra healing.
I had already been looking at chakra meditation (breathing in the colours consecutively for each chakra), and this has helped. But is there more I can do? As I searched there were two avenues that opened up for chakra healing, breathing and yoga postures. Here are yoga postures – asanas – for healing the chakras. But I have never got on well with yoga. So I began looking at the breathing. The most documented on breathing is the Indian system of pranayama, and for the chakras they suggested nostril breathing. Nostril breathing is something I had picked up from Daniel Reid, I am not sure whether it was in “The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity” or “A Complete Guide to Chi Gung”, and I have done it before to a little benefit. So I had a chakra healing strategy.
The proof of the pudding is in the sleeping. 8 hours is too much – especially as I doze at the beach sometimes or whilst using the computer, so I tried 10.30 to wake up at 5.30. I lay down and focused on the nostril breathing.
Right open, left closed in 1->5
Left open, Right closed in 1->5
I did this for each chakra, and then I began the colour work breathing in the colours in and out, I use light blue for the brow and lavendar for the crown. Never made it I was asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night – toilet, and awake at 5.20. Success.
I am sure it won’t be so easy every night but …. where am I at? Through treatments I have improved the hormone balance. My particular problem is that the pineal gland is stressed even though the glands function as a whole endocrine system. I have done relaxation techniques for the pineal gland, and now I have nostril breathing for the glands via the chakra healing and similarly with colour work. I also will be doing herbal massage and herbal sauna once a week. Let’s see if that nails it. Maybe flu will be a thing of the past?
Yesterday someone tried to tell me that Cromwell was the birth of democracy. Aaaggh, so frustrating. It was a beach conversation and the guy was drunk so it was pointless – no learning, but at least it sparked this blog.
England was a feudal country run by royal landowners, their land gained by inheritance. When you consider the statement that Cromwell was the birth of English democracy there is an implication that Cromwell created parliament. This is far from true as Cromwell himself was an MP, in fact the war was between parliamentarians and royalists.
It is worth examining the history of parliament to understand whether Cromwell was in fact fighting for democracy. Search wiki for parliament, and you will see that parliament was an advisory body set up by William the Conqueror, vestiges of that origin still exist in current formal practices such as Royal Assent and the Queen’s speech – details here.
So how genuine was the democracy that voted for Cromwell?
Here is a description of the history of UK suffrage – wiki search suffrage click United Kingdom so that you can follow the links:-
King Henry VI of England established in 1432 that only male owners of property worth at least forty shillings, a significant sum, were entitled to vote in a county. Changes were made to the details of the system, but there was no major reform until the Reform Act 1832. It was not until 1918 that all men over 21, and wealthy women won the right to vote, and it was not until 1928 that all women over 21 won the right to vote. Suffrage in the United Kingdom was slowly changed over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries through the use of the Reform Acts and the Representation of the People Acts, culminating in universal suffrage, excluding children and convicted prisoners.
Reform Act 1832 – extended voting rights to adult males who rented propertied land of a certain value, so allowing 1 in 7 males in the UK voting rights
Representation of the People Act 1928 – this made women’s voting rights equal with men, with voting possible at 21 with no property restrictions
In other words Cromwell was voted in by rich landowners, and the civil war was effectively between rich landowners and royal landowners. One could squarely argue that Cromwell was a parliamentarian but to argue anything concerned with democracy is quite clearly out-of-line. When I was just starting out I remember a Ugandan activist telling me that people only got the vote when the powers-that-be had control of who you were voting for, this is the Veil – see the movie “Lifting the Veil”. Universal suffrage only occurred in 1928 or 1969 depending on how important age (21 or 18) is for you, but there were property requirements until the end of the First World War. By the end of the First World War the bipartisan model of politics was well established (“Veil”), and whilst the Labour party at that time had some vestiges of being a working-class movement it was still a party of opportunists with mass movement rhetoric. With Blair the Veil was complete, maybe Milliband is a reaction to him? Back to the blog theme, for me the above clearly indicates that Cromwell fought for moneyed interests against royal interests, democracy nowhere near a consideration. For further indications as to how self-serving parliament was at that time briefly read wiki on long parliament, rump parliament etc.
I will be perfectly honest, the drunk at the beach has helped me. If his boorish behaviour had allowed I would not have argued from fact even though the sense of what I would have said would still have been true – I had it in the back of my mind that Cromwell used the people with a mock democracy to establish parliament, far from the truth he was just a round peg that fitted the hole that business parliament wanted him to fill. Whether some people fought for democracy I don’t know, whether Cromwell’s war rhetoric was about peoples’ rights I don’t know, but what is certain his actions were based on the profits of the business class in parliament. This also fits his later exploitative role – the first colonialist in Ireland, colonialism being concerned with the expansion of land procurement with a view to profit – a business venture.