And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda

25th April is Anzac Day in Australia. It commemorates the  26,111 Australian casualties, including 8,141 deaths, when young men were sent to their deaths in the Gallipoli campaign of World War 1, along with forces from New Zealand, the start of the Anzac tradition. This figure doesn’t include those who lost their lives from other countries involved in the campaign

Supposedly Australia came of age of a nation on the date of the landings at although I have never quite understood why the slaughter and crippling injuries of a nation’s youth in a senseless battle can be seen as any cause for celebration. Nevertheless, we remember and respect those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, but we do not worship a war fought for the redivision of territory among the Great Powers of the time.

There is magic riding the Divine Unseen in this wild, swirling world of ours.

But also blowing on the winds and eddies

the grief, pain, suffering and whispers

of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of lives lost

in pain, fear and terror on the battlefields of the past

and whose spirits now ride the wild galactic winds among the stars.

These voices do not die – they blow in the fierce winds,

weave into the breezes

and whisper their losses and reasons for losses

Into the hearts and souls of those who can hear the

nuances of magic

to inspire those whose soul music

is love, kindness and a commitment to a world with no more wars.

 

 

Rage, Rage, Against the Dying of the Light!

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Today, my friends, I want to present the modern-day Yellow Brick Road – Yellow for Cowardice; Brick for Stupidity and Road … well, more like a trail in the sky of missiles hitting Syria and possibly paving the way for global conflict on an unimaginable scale.

On this road are staggering the Tin Man, the Dumbo Donald of US presidential infamy; the Cowardly Lion, British Prime Minister, Theresa May, too gutless to stand up to an increasingly unhinged, Dr Strangelove-look-alike and refusing to seek approval from Parliament for the missile strikes on Syria; and the Scarecrow, France’s President Macron, a Bonaparte wannabe/Little Lord Fauntleroy tagging along behind war criminals bombing Syria hoping to join the Big Bad Asses .

Because, yes, you bomb a country which has been bombed to smithereens because that’s somehow going to put fear and loathing into the hearts of President Assad, President Putin, the leaders of Iran and Iraq, and screw any civilians killed in the air raids.

So let’s bury the hand-wringing and hypocrisy of lives supposedly lost in a recent chemical attack in Syria. There are so many unanswered questions about the authenticity of this so-called attack but action by the three leaders has pre-empted any international investigation of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in Syria.

But hell, why bother with the truth that for these three war criminals beating the drums of war is a handy diversion from their own troubles at home: Dumbo,  the legal inquisitions dangling over his head as well as the open corruption of the Republican senators and congress puppets of the billionaire class; May with her austerity measures looking increasingly like screw the many while filling the coffers of the very few in the billionaire class sucking Britain dry; and Macron trying to implement similar measures on behalf of the super-rich in France.

Hey, why not distract from the increasingly difficult task of trying to prop up a failing facade of democracy with a modern gladiators’ show of glitzy missiles, flash missile trails and bright lights of said missiles exploding somewhere in a foreign, strange land where in reality lives don’t matter to the Three Conquistadors of international criminal action because – let’s also not forget – the doors of welcome are closed to the many thousands fleeing Syria and seeking refuge.

These three monsters act as pimps, prostituting themselves at the feet of the military-industrial-energy conglomerates to flog weapons to the likes of Saudi Arabia which is bombing the shit out of Yemen, causing death, starvation and destruction to thousands of people and  killing many, many, many children – yes, real children, but hey! who cares when the dollars are pouring in from arms sales.

And puh-leez, let’s not forget the real basis of the US, UK and France trying to meddle in Syria and get their murdering mitts on the country – gas pipelines. Two are proposed as per the map below:

These are the REAL yellow brick roads – control of resources, always at the basis of wars throughout history and even more so in the era of US, British and European empire-building and empire-protection. And the reason the Western powers are stomping around in a snit is because Russia moved into Syria first and stole a march on those same Western powers who thought they’d corralled Russia in recent years and would get their mitts on the country’s resources and control them. So don’t bang on about Putin being so godawful, because they’re all damned well godawful.

Just let’s remember and repeat Dylan Thomas’ words – relating to old age but just as relevant to the war criminals in the US, UK and France, because their actions could well herald a much more dangerous international situation with the threat of nuclear warfare and a Third World War:

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Love is All Around

Look to this day
for it is life
the very life of life.

In its brief course lie all
the realities and truths of existence
the joy of growth
the splendor of action
the glory of power.

For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
makes every yesterday a memory
of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day….
 
~ ancient Sanskrit poem ~

 

The Resistance: Justice Rising

I’m an optimist, always have been, always will be. So I see the large numbers in the States marching and organising against fascism as a brilliant development, confirming my faith in the goodness of the majority of people in the United States.

Similarly I see the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK as a sign that people are organising for social justice, peace and decent wages and working conditions, and an end to the class warfare of the Tories under the euphemism of “austerity”.

And just this past week I’ve seen reports of how the progressive government in Portugal in 2016, according to figures released on March 24th, cut the budget deficit by more than half to just under 2.1% of GDP (see chart), the lowest since Portugal’s transition to democracy in 1974. The administration restored state pensions, wages and working hours to pre-bail-out levels, and also brought the deficit well under the 2.5% target set for it by the European Union.

So there are lights on the horizon even though negative news about Trump fills a lot of newspaper, TV and radio space. The trick is not to focus on the negative but instead on the positive.  It’s how we’ll survive these challenging times!