International Women’s Day.

More power to the women (at least most of them – Thatcher demonstrated that they’re not all good!).

I think the world might be a lot better place if we were led by women such as Jacinda Ardhern instead of populist clowns and fascists like Johnson and Trump.

More women in politics, more women in power. Yes Yes.

Poetry – Papa Jose – The Only Good Addiction is Love

Papa Jose – The Only Good Addiction is Love

Love

Is the only

Good addiction.

That is the magic of Mujica.

Fairness

Is the only

Thing worth being shot for.

That is the magic of Mujica.

Equality

Is the only

Struggle worth a bean.

That is the magic of Mujica.

Freedom

Is the only

Dream to hang on to.

That is the magic of Mujica

Hope

Is only one

Of the gifts

That Jose Mujica radiates.

Opher 29.1.2016

Papa Jose – The Only Good Addiction is Love

Jose Majica is an old man, a past President of Uruguay, a fat old contented man, living modestly in a little house no bigger than most of his compatriots. He is a man who spurned the trappings of power and wealth. He is a man that has been shot three times for his beliefs and refused to die. He was a terrorist rebel. He stood for fairness, justice and equality.

He is one of the few who put those values into practice when he achieved power. For Jose it was not rhetoric.

He was a liberaliser and a pragmatist.

He legalised marijuana but insisted that it was not good. He stated that the only good addiction was love. But it was better for the health of the people if the drug was controlled and the money taken out of the hands of the underworld.

He chuckles a lot. He is old and fat but still full of fire. I wish he ruled the world.

Core Values – Number 2 – Fairness

I believe in fairness. I’m not sure if that come from my upbringing or is something intrinsic to my character. One thing I am certain of is that it does not stem from any religious belief. I have no religious belief.

My trust in fairness leads me to all manner of social and political views.

I think the gross inequality created by capitalism, feudalism, monarchies, despots, global elites and all other systems created by human beings – stinks.

Politically this could lead me to communism. But I stop short of that. I do like the idea of equality but it seems to me that communism tends to create tyrannical control which impinges on my freedoms. So it leads me to Social Democracy. I think all people should be treated fairly and rewarded according to their effort and worth – but not over-rewarded. I think we should take care of the weakest in our society.

Fairness leads me to despise all forms of racism and misogyny, homophobia or discrimination.

Fairness leads me to recognising the value of all life and not treating animals with cruelty or thoughtlessness. They too, wild or domestic, should be treated fairly.

The drive to treat all people and animals fairly drives my life. It’s inherent in everything I do.

Poetry – The Global ‘National’ Anthem

The Global ‘National’ Anthem

I wrote a piece on my blog about the National anthem and Kellie made a great comment about needing a Global ‘National’ Anthem. That really sent me thinking. She’d put her finger on it. It was just what we needed.

I had just been playing some Woody Guthrie and was reminded of his wonderful ‘This Land is Your Land’. What we needed was something that spoke of beauty, unity and tolerance, that took responsibility for the way we lived in this rich web of life and cared for each other as well as all life around us. I had a vision of a world of harmony, fairness and the helping hand. I have a vision of a world in which instead of war, abuse, inequality, pollution, nationalism, fundamentalism and greed, we all valued each other and the beauty of nature and worked together. It’s a dream. But it is also a vision worth working for.

Where would we be without our dreamers?

At our best humans are wonderful. We work for peace, cherish nature and are happy in our diversity full of love and altruism. At worst we are callous, selfish destroyers full of hate and cruelty.

An anthem shouldn’t be a pompous, grandiose, rousing song of war; it should be a happy, simple statement of love, tolerance and equality of a people who value this green planet and everything in it and recognise that all life is one interconnected force. When we damage it we are damaging ourselves. An anthem should be a celebration of us at our best.

This is what came out:

The Global ‘National’ Anthem

All join hands from sea to sea

And rejoice for the beauties that we see.

We’ve got one world

For you and me.

With a beaming smile and helping hand

We join our spirits across this land.

We’ve got one world

We can understand.

All together we can build it true

There’s lots of work for us to do

We’ve got one world

For me and you.

The rich green forests and the mountains tall,

Rolling seas and desert sands.

There’s room enough for all

To use our minds and hands.

There’s one world

One human band.

So value the earth and the fresh clear water

Care for the animals and care for the plants

That provide the life to our sons and daughters

They will endow everyone with all life grants

There’s one world

And abundance.

For we must use it well and use it wisely

The rich tapestry of life

All connected so precisely;

Not crucified with the gun and knife.

There’s one world

For man and wife.

All our brothers and sisters in strife

Living free in equality;

One people in the web of life

Living our lives so happily;

There’s one world

One family.

All join hands from sea to sea

And rejoice for the beauties that we see.

We’ve got one world

For you and me.

We’ve got one world

For you and me.

Opher 17.9.2015  (Thanks Kellie)

Poetry – Fair Taxation

Fair Taxation

Close the loopholes, don’t be lax
Graduate the income tax
The economy will have a bounce
Just from taxing the off-shore accounts

Fair taxation! Fair taxation!

The heart of any civilised nation!

Everyone should be aware
Ensure fat cats pay their share
For fairness in the economy
We need greater equality.

Fair taxation! Fair taxation!

The heart of any civilised nation!

So politicians do what’s right

Graduate the tax tonight.

The whole country will cheer

If those loopholes disappear!

Fair taxation! Fair taxation!

The heart of any civilised nation!

Opher & Bumba 17.1.2017

With A/I creating greater and greater inequality the world is either going to move into a situation where there is no employment and most of humanity is in hopelessly languishing in desperate misery while a small elite have more money than they can possibly deal with, or we find a way forward.

Without fair taxation there is a future of mass migration, war and hate.

There will be violent revolution.

It’s already happening.

France’s health workers to be given €8bn pay rise for the role they have played in fighting coronavirus

France’s health workers to be given €8bn pay rise for the role they have played in fighting coronavirus

The announcement has prompted calls for similar moves to be made in the UK.

Poetry – Strife

Strife

All my life is strife

Until I achieve my aims.

For my philosophy has energy

With which to play the games.

Equality and frivolity

Go hand in hand;

Connecting a great wisdom

To the zest of the gland.

Freedom we feed on

As we strive to be heard.

For the power of a bomb

Is less than that of a single word.

Tolerance is no offence

It is the basis of what is right.

To impose your will on others

Is not even polite.

Peace, love and happiness –

A cliché it is true.

But one on which to base a life;

A future for this world and you.

There is no rest

Until all wrongs are right.

Until that day

All life is a fight.

Opher 13.7.2015

Strife

I was listening to Bob Marley on the radio. It seemed to me that he made equality, freedom and justice the centre of his being and expressed it in all he did.

It was inspiring.

You can live your life happily and express your philosophy in all you do, with a smile.

For love, smiling and friendliness is not weakness and some things are even worth putting your life at risk for.

Tolerance, freedom, justice, equality and fairness are merely words. They implicitly carry respect and responsibility within their compass. But when those words are put into practice they produce happiness, harmony and love.

That’s the future I fight for with every word.

I won’t impose my views on you if you refrain from imposing yours. To argue is good. To listen is better. To respect each other is necessary.

I want freedom with a smile; tolerance with respect and no indoctrination.

I want humans living in harmony with the planet.

That seems worth basing your philosophy on.

Poetry – Death to Tribalism

Death to Tribalism

 

I’m brown in the sun

And black at night,

But in the light,

I’m white.

 

I’m privileged

And immune,

Treated with respect,

Not subject to neglect,

As a member of the select.

 

But I’m not happy,

I crave for equality,

A better society,

A meritocracy,

Fairer, without inequality.

 

I don’t care about your pigment,

Or your race.

I want to see a smile

On your face.

 

It’s primitive tribalism

Holding us back.

Let’s stop thinking –

Brown, white and black.

 

Opher – 26.5.2020

Skin Colour

Skin Colour

skinr skin

We are all children of Africa. Our species evolved from the Rift Valley in Ethiopia. We have a common ancestor with the Chimpanzees and Gorillas with who we share 99% of our genes.

There used to be a number of different species of hominids but unfortunately only two survived to recent times and our close relatives, the Neanderthals, didn’t make it. We are alone.

We nearly didn’t either. At one point it appears that our numbers got so perilously low that extinction was the more likely option. We prevailed.

Now we are present in teeming numbers (7 billion and counting) and are changing the very eco-structure and climate of the planet.

We appear to be so different yet we are not. I look at Asian, African, Australian and European and I see differences. Under the skin, aside from the cosmetics of appearance, we are the same. Incredibly there is more genetic variation within groups than between groups. We can all be traced back to the same mother.

I wonder. I can imagine her sitting on her haunches in that African valley, cradling her first born, surveying the landscape, watching the rest of her troupe, and wondering. She could have had no idea.

At first our skin was black; full of the pigment melanin. That black pigment gave us protection against the strong UV light of the African sun. That sun gave us Vitamin D but it also gave us melanoma. With our hairless bodies we need protection.

When we migrated out of Africa to more temperate regions we underwent minor mutations. They gave us our body shapes, our facial characteristics and our skin colours. The different races of mankind were born.

We were all black once.

In terms of skin colour the reasons are simple. We need Vitamin D to keep us healthy and give us strong bones. We need protection against UV Light to prevent skin cancer. It is a balance. In the tropical sun the skin needs to be black. In the temperate regions white. And in the between regions shades of brown.

Our skin colour is the result of minor mutations to balance protection from the UV rays and the production of vitamins.

Now we settle in various parts of the world there are certain lessons we need to learn. If you are black and living in Norway then take some vitamin supplement and get out in the sun as much as possible. If you are white and living in Africa then cover up and use strong sun shield.

Incredible to think that such pragmatic evolution should have resulted in such prejudice, discrimination, racism and hatred.

Human beings are a recent evolutionary invention. We are not yet civilised. We have much to learn. We are still cruel, tribal and incredibly stupid.

It is our mother’s birthday! We should all celebrate.