Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Excitement & Meaning of Christmas

The above picture was taken on Christmas eve, it was wet (thus the spots on the camera) and shows St Johns with its brilliant christmas statue. The statue is a wicker 3D construction of a woman holding aloft a baby, with a hole where each breast should be and a large hole where the "bump" of a preganant woman should be. I always love the statue, it is so earthy yet the way the baby is held aloft implies so much excitment and anticipation as well as joy - and the holes show from where it all stems. Just thought I would share it with you. Take Care Y'all John

A True Epic Of Our Times

Today's wee video comes from an American publicity campaign aiming to get people purchasing Organic goods. It is a very fine and cutting film which deserves much publicity. It clearly goes through the case for organic food in a fun, amusing way but this only works if you know the star wars series (not to geeky level so don't panic!) If you aren't satisfied with the quality of the youtube film version then click here to view it from the official website. Take Care Y'All John

Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

Today all that can be considered is the execution of Saddam Hussein. This man, who enslaved a country through ideology, subsequently keeping hold through force, is now dead. This is the re-birth of Iraq - through the execution of the old leader the new Iraq can take shape. Well, that would be the tale if the spinmiesters are to be believed. Instead there is something more questionable going on here. Earlier on in Dec a news story was circulated about Prince Charles raising the issue of a Brit of death row in Pakistan (see here. It appeared the UK was up in arms that a UK Citizen could be executed somewhere else in the world and this time pressure was exerted to ensure his sentence be commuted. Whilst diplomatic eyebrows were raised about this possible interference in another legal system it was resolved with the man not being executed. The bottom line was, wherever in the world you are the death sentence is not a solution. Therefore it is a rum state of affairs where the “allies” had Saddam Hussein over to the Iraqi state in full knowledge of his execution, even though the UK Government has stated (before and after) that it doesn’t support the idea of a death penalty. Yet it is willing (as both those links demonstrate) to allow "Iraqi Justice" to take place. Therefore posing the question, has the UK government acted in a morally questionable way? If the UK is in control of sections of Iraq, albeit prior to handing full control back to the Iraqis then I think it should be upholding its laws on human rights etc within that area as well. Instead we are seeing a double-edged sword being wielded. On the one hand the US/UK going into the war to liberate the people from a system of terror and death that the governments wished to see changed, indeed they saw the whole system as corrupt therefore brought down not just the leaders but the state apparatus to ensure real rebuilding. Yet the moment something of questionable nature, i.e. the sentencing to death, is to be committed a blind eye is turned claiming that it is time for the Iraqi system to take course. Almost as though we’ll turn our backs for some negative aspects to continue – how much nation building is really going on? Therefore I shall end by referring you to the picture at the top of this entry. The picture currently sits on the front page of the BBC News website. It rather summed up the situation for me, it reminded me of the IRA or Unionist kidnapping and murder tapes from the 1990s. Papers have later been released illustrating that throughout the “troubles” in Northern Ireland the UK Government (this statement doesn’t cover the 1990s as no papers are out from there yet) has had some knowledge of gang warfare and what could be about to happen(a few examples of this are contained within this report about the murder of defense lawyers). Yet some claim that the government (of whatever political colour) didn’t do enough to stop them because it was politically expedient. Ultimately – all governments sometimes place other values above the cost of a human life and I just wonder if that is the right way round. Take Care Y'All John

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

St John's Day!

Today's bible reading comes from 1 John 1 v1-9
John 1 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
(Fine replace "all men" with people and you get the idea) This is today's reading and falls on the celebration of St John. Already the excitement of Christmas is wearing off and so this build-up to the birth is over - where next? Well a good place to start is with children. One of the most exciting and enjoyable things about being in a room, with a child, is the perception that the child has of everything. Often things have to be explained, explained and explained again because alot of what is seen and experienced starts from fresh... therefore we are almost then in the position of moulding their outlook. Why share this nuggets of known information? Because today is my birthday and also St Johns day so a reading about creation was most enjoyable and worth sharing... Take Care Y'All John