Monthly Archives: August 2014

SHOULDA, WOULDA, COULDA

READ THIS VERY SLOWLY… IT’S PRETTY PROFOUND.

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word ‘refrigeration’ mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched ‘ Jeopardy ‘ on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , ‘How about going to lunch in a half hour?’ She would gas up and stammer, ‘I can’t. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday. I had a late breakfast. It looks like rain.’ And my personal favorite: ‘It’s Monday.’ She died a few days ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because we cram so much into our lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We’ll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of ‘I’m going to,’ ‘I plan on,’ and ‘Someday, when things are settled down a bit.’

When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It’s just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now….go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to…not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? I had a friend from high school that I was always going to call and never did. The other day her name was in the obituaries so we never had that chat.

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask, ‘How are you?’ Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow.’ and in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say ‘Hi’?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift….Thrown away…. Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND including me if you consider me a friend. If it comes back to you, it affirms your circle of friends.


To those I have sent this to… I cherish our friendship and appreciate all you do.


‘Life may not be the party we hoped for… but while we are here we might as well dance!’

TTIP: Gross Political Irresponsibility

TTIP

By World Developement Movment (https://www.flickr.com/photos/wdm/14657251391/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday I looked in stunned disbelief at the headline in The Independent – ‘Philip Morris International threatens to sue Government if plain packaging introduced’, with a picture of a cigarette pack beneath it. Something we have all been fearing with this Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has already begun . . . And the deal hasn’t been ratified yet as I understand it!!

What does Philip Morris know that we don’t was my first response, closely followed by “If this is the beginning, where will it all end?” As a Society we have been nurturing the abolition of smoking for many years now. Laws have been passed that would now appear to be totally worthless with this agreement, undermining the very fabric of our democracy.

And what happens if Philip Morris win an obscene ‘profits over health’ action such as this. Does it create a precedent for the other brands to jump on the bandwagon and take our Government for zillions? Let’s not forget that this is taxpayer money we are talking about here. What you have is a lunatic situation where a corporation could take our money without selling any of its products because of this crass agreement . . . Corporate Utopia!

If we then follow this to its logical conclusion we will have sports car and motorcycle manufacturers suing the Government because of the 70 mph speed limit on motorways as it is harming sales of their speedy machines and impeding profits. An identical situation to cigarettes I would suggest, where legislation designed to safeguard our welfare is restricting profit growth.

Far more frightening to me is what havoc could be wreaked upon our food, as manufacturers sue because they are banned from using additives to prolong the life of their products and the knock on effect to their bottom line. Let’s face it their track record is already worrying, particularly in the case of companies such as the king of GM, Monsanto! Continue reading

Bitcoins Displaces Dollar in 2021 . . . A Major Tipping Point for the 99%

Bitcoin

By Micha L. Rieser (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I have just arranged a holiday abroad. To help with my decision making I went on a virtual trip to look around the place, courtesy of Google, investigating the towns, restaurants (plus their menus!) and places of interest that are 1700 miles and 4 hours flying time away. I also had a video call to the owner of the place where we are staying to fine tune transfers and other ‘hygiene’ details.

The internet has changed forever the way we live our lives from just 10 short years ago, as it lifts the veils of distance and communication that, for millennia, have kept the world outside our own immediate vicinity a mystery. This is truly evolution at work, as we recognise and adopt this new world, lacking any desire to return to what existed before.

In the same way that human ingenuity has enabled our computers to ‘talk to and see’ each other through the wonder of Skype, and at little or no cost, so that same ingenuity has enabled us to create our own money. ‘Cryptocurrency’ is the jargon for this phenomenon and it has taken off across the Planet as people, and now growing numbers of corporations, adopt it as a means of trading.

What the banks have turned into an international monopoly is now under threat, causing serious concerns to no less an august body than the Federal Reserve. A recently alleged Whistleblower post on Reddit* stated that Fed governors are ‘highly alarmed’ that Bitcoins has the potential to completely displace the dollar as early as 2021. The cause for concern obviously being that this vast technological monetary system will leave the Fed, US government and ‘other entities’ with much less control over our species. Continue reading

Bernie Ecclestone: When does a Fine become a Bribe?

Courtroom

By User:Lincolnite – un contributeur du wikipedia dans la langue anglaise [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

A friend of mine divorced her husband after he made losses on private stock market trading with funds the family didn’t have. When a figure of £90,000 was mentioned she retorted, “Don’t be ridiculous, I would divorce him for £90,000, it was £250,000!” Having married ‘for richer or poorer’ I wonder when she fell out of love with him. It wasn’t at £90,000, so was it £150,000, £200,000 or £225,372.98p!

Bernie Ecclestone transformed motor racing into a global phenomenon, courting controversy along the way as many successful businessmen do. His dealings with a German bank have led to a trial in the German courts over alleged bribery of a bank official. As I understand it Mr Ecclestone admits to passing money but contends it was paid to silence the official who had threatened to report him over irregularities in his tax affairs. What a lethal combination!

The case has dragged on for three and a half years and the legalities of the process have made it difficult for Mr Ecclestone to run his business. The upshot of all this inconvenience is that he has agreed to pay a ‘fine’ of £60 million to bring the trial to an end with, in his own words, “ the judge ‘more or less’ saying I was acquitted”.

What I struggle with is that if a figure was arrived at to end the case and exonerate Mr Ecclestone, how was it arrived at and why was it necessary. Either he was guilty or he wasn’t and that is why we have our courts and an established judicial system. Was it to cover court costs, which to my untutored eye would say it was a little excessive, and why was £1 million passed to a children’s charity.

How were children affected by this action? It just seems a little clinical at a time when children and warfare are so closely intertwined and therefore has me seriously questioning its definition as a ‘fine’. Not that I begrudge the kids one single penny. God knows our young need all the help they can get in these troubling times.

It seems as though a ‘fine’ is the solution to all corporate and political skulduggery where seeming fortunes are readily paid, although the amounts are merely petty cash to these global conglomerates. Our judiciary seem to have bypassed the need for personal accountability where banks and other conglomerates are concerned, and something so essential to all other legal proceedings. It is as though courts are now an ‘accounting process’ for the corporate world.

If Democracy has been undermined by raw financial power, and now the judiciary are succumbing to the same pressure, Society faces a serious moral abyss where the final bastion of a civilised Society, the rule of law and justice, becomes an irrelevance. The evidence of this is apparent as we are increasingly numbed by a level of abuse that is destroying trust and integrity, values so fundamental to the healthy functioning of any community. And I am not talking about a local community here but our aspiring Global Village.

Like my friend falling out of love, we are measuring our relationships by narrow financial criteria that are easily bent to accommodate shallow goals. This is turning us against each other when we should be uniting us in a common cause, to safeguard the future of our children . . . instead of killing them.

Voters and consumers are the most powerful people on this Planet. They have to work this out for themselves and then bring that awesome power to bear, or we will enter that financial abyss from which there is no return. It’s up to us and nobody else!

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Gaza: Bloodbath or Global Inspiration . . . You Choose!

Betty_Williams

“Betty Williams” by http://www.centersofcompassion.org – http://www.centersofcompassion.org. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Betty_Williams.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Betty_Williams.jpg

Mairead_Corrigan_Gaza

Mairead Corrigan By Free Gaza movement [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

From the fall of Rome in 476 the recorded history of warfare has shown that the quest for power and then holding on to it has cost the lives of millions, if not billions of innocent people, manipulated into fighting by religious or political greed. As the war in Gaza turns into a bloodbath we are again witness to this constant barbarity and manipulation, with military thinking that has changed little over time.

It is somewhat surprising to me that we have evolved from tribes living in caves and mud huts to nations living as sophisticated societies, with current scientific and medical achievements beyond the comprehension of our parents, let alone our forefathers, and yet our barbaric aggression towards each other remains unchanged.

However, there is a BIG change now going on in this 21st century, diminishing forever the control of the political and religious propaganda machines that previously created whatever version of the truth justified the aggression and its reporting, as our technology lifts the veil on the horror of modern day warfare and its causes. Continue reading