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Showing posts from May, 2017

Why People Join Extremist Organizations

"People join extremists organisations for quite a number of reasons. Some - especially those locally recruited - mostly join for economic benefits." Mahdi Abdile is Finn Church Aid’s Regional Representative for East and Southern Africa. European Institute of Peace.

In countries where opportunities are scarce, weak governments and unprotected human rights, terrorism is an opportunity for destabilizing the status quo. Somalia, 27% joined al Shabab for economic reasons and 15% mentioned religious reasons. Once established 13% were forced to join.


Simon Cottee writes in The Atlantic"Since the 1980s, (the idea it is driven by individual pathology) has fallen into disrepute, and the scholarly consensus now holds that the roots of terrorism lie not in the individual, but in the wider circumstances in which terrorists live and act."

Noam Chomsky warns in an Alternet article, a false flag terror attack could be staged as Donald Trump supporters realize  he can't fulfill…

How to Fight Terrorism

Again my heart goes out to the people who have lost loved ones in the recent bombing in Manchester, those whose lives have been interrupted and first responders who will be traumatized by the images. It is outrageous that so few  can  destroy so many. The appetite for revenge is primal but revenge will not solve this problem.

So how can we fight that instinct to keep blowing up the blown apart?  Invest in peaceful, healing initiatives that make violence redundant.

1. Invest in mental health services to give those at risk the help they need before their illness isolates them from society.

2. Re-establish the primary needs of people - shelter, nutritious food, education, living wages and time for family.

3. Support families by providing health services, family planning, women's reproductive education.

4. Sex education that covers the real experiences of young men and women on top of the scientific knowledge about human sexuality.

5. Encourage children to develop a social conscience…

We Don't Want Prosperity or Justice

Usually, all it takes is 30-40% of the population to determine the outcomes of our democracy. Less than half the population who have  chosen gadgets and toys above clean water, clean air, or good health. 40% who are not interested in equality, because, if they look closely at their preferences,  what they (we) want is superiority.

Superiority is a fantasy of being part of a tribe, race or nation that is wealthier, more intelligent, of good breeding, who are entitled to control others.

Political parties who claim to want equality have to be so careful how they phrase that. The word itself diminishes the hope of "getting ahead", "being on top", "control". Equality is a threat to the  massaged ego looking for any opportunity to win. How can anyone or anything prove itself in a world that values all?

There are many literary references to this ego. Othello, Death of a Salesman, and countless TV dramas.  George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, among many others, have …

It's the worship of power that alienates us from our own power

I grew up believing that, to be a success, I had to emulate the rich and famous people on television and movies, as they presented themselves in public - for surely that is exactly who they are.

An incredible assumption isn't it?

In one of the teen magazines I filled out a questionnaire which told me this was the way to find out who I am.

The conclusion was that I was shallow! I was shocked because the people I looked to for advice said, I thought too much, I was too serious, and the boys would not like me because of that.

At the time I had no idea of how power worked. I thought you had it or you didn't, and if you didn't others would wipe the floor with you. In defence of that I decided to stand strong and not let anyone push me around. What I couldn't see was how others actually saw me.  Many years later, after many mistakes and several bouts of depression, I realized I appeared snobbish and cold.

So I re-masked myself, drew in some confidence and went out to learn …

The Mycelium Party

I think it might be time to create another new political party called the Mycelium Movement

The emphasis of governing principles being about control has turned the best of human nature into a reductionist cruelty. 

Those at the 'top' find ways to restrict freedom, contain life, rather than encourage it. Political leaders must fall into the machinery of external control and use whatever powers they have to win from it. This is like negotiating with a tape worm growing inside you.

Of course the language is prettied up and sanitized by phrases such as "jobs and economy", or even "social justice". These notions imply we must fit into a thing instead of building on an idea. Originally the terms had positive meanings but have been corrupted so much they mean something else entirely.

Hegemony has spread in and over our imaginations. Being well adjusted has meant our own creative ideas take the back seat in a dark corner.

Many great thinkers know that we thrive on lov…

Evensong for the night before elections

This is the night before an election where we shall choose a future for the people and the planet on which they depend, or corporations and profit.

The future for people is fraught with complexity, darkness, and light. The future for corporations and profit will be a continual move towards death, war and poverty.

May we have the fortitude and insight to choose the former, even as those who are our leaders may not realize the gravity of their positions.

Eyewear: Fortnight Prize for Best Poem Every 14 days

Ends on May 10, 2017 £7.00 GBPThe Fortnight New Poem Prize is meant to celebrate poetry in a fast-paced digital world, where too often prizes are entered with interminable waiting times between submission and result. For this prize, any original, English-language poem written by the author is eligible, even one that has appeared in print before (online or on paper, for instance). The poem must be less than 70 lines long, and must have been written or published in the year of submission. All poets are eligible to enter, 18 or over, so long as they do not work for Eyewear Publishing or are related to anyone employed at the company. Poems can be submitted for seven days, and then a shortlist of the 14 best poems is announced on our widely-read website (archived by the British Library). The winner is announced a fortnight from commencement of the prize, and they are paid the same day by PayPal invoice. The prize is £140 and publication on our world-famous blog. All rights remain with the…

Only one bear in a hundred bites, but they don't come in order

Video by Bob Bossin and Paul Grignon