Archive for January, 2011

When Isis Wept for Egypt

January 31, 2011

How is it that I have no words to speak of the trouble in Egypt? I look for a healing light within me to cast as a balm upon the open wounds I see. I look to my Isis statue (black basalt) and, oddly tonight, I see it. Running like a gash across her forehead, dried white salt falls as if it were blood or tears of the goddess. In truth, the marks may have been made by holy water, during the last 30 days; but the symbol strikes me with its poignancy now.

On December 21, prior to my meditation with Isis (lunar eclipse at winter solstice, if you recall), I went to my altar to work with an Isis crystal and found it had broken, resting as it was all by itself in the case. I put the broken wand upon the altar and left the room to find matches for the candle. I did not intend to use the wand. When I returned the wand moved by itself, rolled off the altar and the other half of the crystal broke. It occurred to me that that something was afoot, that a life I had known had just been irrevocably broken.

Two weeks later on the day of the solar eclipse in January, during the Coptic Christian celebrations of Christmas, we learned of attacks against the Alexandrian congregation. And now 30 days later at the full moon in January, these shadows that passed over Egypt are passing again across the hearts of every one of us as we watch the demonstrations in Cairo. Much larger darkness looming over Egypt, but it breaks my heart to be its witness.

Inside my head, I hear the keening of Isis, the wail for the shattered body of her husband, the wail for the brother who takes arms against another brother, the calling down of some good to come from out of all this sorrow. And in that moment, while Isis grieves, Horus is conceived. He is the healing to come.

I believe that healing is coming to Egypt, and I believe that change will accompany it. We are watching an aeon turning. The divine exists in all things, even in the broken crystal, a broken body, a broken country, a broken heart.

Imagine. A new constellation has arrived, Ophiuchus, the wounded healer who holds the head and the tail of the serpent in his two hands even as the snake encircles his waist. He is the Islamic snake charmer Al Hawaa, the Greek father of medicine Asclepius and the Egyptian god of healing Thoth. Wisdom comes from the hero’s battle with Apophis and Set. We must pass through the trial that eventually leads to a new understanding and brotherhood.

How can we respond to the change? Stand still in the midst of its challenge. Hold out your hands and fill them with light. Know that truth is always more than one thing. Hold the opposition while you stand in balance. Bless what your heart tells you and what you do not yet know. And with your light-filled hands offer the highest and best to the Creator of All, who in Infinite Wisdom already knows the prayer in your heart and will answer it.

Posted by Normandi on her blog.

Also see

We lost our fear

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Tax dodger Boots turned into a field hospital

January 30, 2011
Boots field hospital

Boots field hospital

Boots: We won't buy your cuts

Boots: We won't buy your cuts

Ambulance for protesters attacked by police

Ambulance for protesters attacked by police

A man washes his eyes after police used CS gas on tax protesters

A man washes his eyes after police used CS gas on tax protesters

Tesco on Oxford Street

Tesco Every Fiddle Helps - tax dodging brands taken off the shelves

We don’t want a meal deal, we just want a fair deal! — Boots chant

The staff at Boots were fantastic and took us inside and gave us free treatment. My eyes were really streaming and my face hurt but I was most struck by the violence used by the police. I have been on a lot of demonstrations and have not seen anything like this before. — Gordon Maloney, UK Uncut protester attacked by police

In the last weekend of January we saw the first big weekend of action of the New Year against tax dodgers. Sunday dawned with The BSRC knocking on the doors of Tesco, Boots, Vodafone and the Arcadia Empire of Sir Philip Green. The last big protest was last year on the busiest shopping weekend in the run up to Christmas.

Boots was turned into a field hospital.

Why Boots? Boots is a tax dodger. Boots is owned by a hedge fund. The head office for Boots is in Switzerland. On further investigation the head office is a letter box, but that is sufficient for Boots to dodge UK tax. False Economy estimates that the tax they pay on their profits has fallen from around 33% to 3%.

Why a field hospital? The ConDem Government are planning massive changes to the NHS (National Health Service), changes the public has made clear they do not want. But the ConDems seem as deaf to the wishes of the public as the repressive regime in Egypt.

The field hospital came into its own when police officers decided to pepper spray protesters. The Met must learn tactical policing from the Security Police in Egypt. What did they do, watch the coverage from Egypt then decide they too wanted a bit of the action? An ambulance had to be called to give medical aid to those assaulted and injured by the police.

Well done PC CW 2440 who thought it a clever idea to spray peaceful protesters with pepper spray, but such an idiot was he that he pepper sprayed himself in the face!

But thanks to the Boots staff who were so appalled by the police tactics that they went to the aid of the injured protesters. Thanks also to Ben’s Cookies next door who gave milk to wash eyes and help neutralise the burning.

Tweeted by @BootsMealDeal:

We at Boots are disgusted by police behaviour today.

Why did Boots then remove all their tweets from twitter?

If nothing else the police thugs who used pepper spray on peaceful protesters should be charged with assault. Since when has posting leaflets through a door been criminal damage?

If you were a witness to the pepper spray incident, then please write down what you saw as a witness statement and send a copy to UK Uncut and gbc@riseup.net.

Anna Williams who saw the incident said:

I condemn the violent behaviour of the police who have attacked a peaceful protest against tax avoidance, with three people being taken away in an ambulance.

This is yet another example of political policing that is about protecting corporate interests and not those of ordinary people. We will not however be intimidated off the streets! We have a right to protest when the government are making unnecessary cuts that will hit the poorest in our society the hardest.

What is wrong with the Met? If there ever was a need for an inquiry into a police force, then it is the Met.

– unlawful killing of an innocent bystander at G20 protests
– cover up of the G20 killing
police brutality at student protests
police infiltration of activist groups
sexual violation of activists by undercover cops

Before today’s protest, Sir Hugh Orde, president of Acpo, had warned that police could adopt more extreme tactics to counter the growing wave of protests. It would appear he was true to his word!

Orde has criticised the lack of willingness of new protest groups that have sprung up around the internet, such as UK Uncut, to engage with police before protests. He said if they continued to refuse to co-operate, then police tactics would have to become more extreme. He seems to fail to understand that in this country we have policing by consent. Or does he think he is in Northern Ireland? The role of the police in a democracy is to safeguard the right to protest. The only violence on the day was when one of his thug officers decided to assault peaceful protesters who posed no threat to his officers.

It is not good enough to throw our hands up in the air and say ‘Oh, we can’t negotiate because there is no one to negotiate with’. There are lots of people we can talk to, but they need to stand up and lead their people, too. If they don’t, we must be clear that the people who wish to demonstrate won’t engage, communicate or share what they intend to do with us, and so our policing tactics will have to be different … slightly more extreme.

Brutality was not limited to the police. A security thug attacked a protester. The security thug refused to give his name, was not carrying ID as required by law. If anyone was a witness to the attack, has film footage, or knows who he is, please contact UK Uncut.

Vodafone (£6 billion unpaid tax) were targeted and their stores occupied. Their Oxford Street store in London was once again occupied.

Vodafone acceded to the repressive regime in Egypt and shut down their network, giving yet another reason to shut down Vodafone shops. When the Egyptians finally take back control of their country they should seize the network from Vodafone and hand to another network operator. I suggest Grameen Bank in Bangladesh who operate the largest mobile network in Bangladesh. It can then be run as a social business for the benefit of the Egyptian people, not as a cash cow for tax dodger Vodafone.

Tax dodger Tesco Every Fiddle Helps, were targeted. Not content with destroying our towns, leaching money out of the local economy, Tesco dodge their taxes. Tesco avoid over £100 million in tax despite making £3 billion in profit

In Lincoln a small Guerilla action emptied the shelves of Tesco.

– Kraft owns Cadbury’s and have moved HQ to Switzerland to avoid around £60m in tax, despite Kraft making £590m in profit in 2010
– Walkers crisps: potatoes, workers, factories & Gary Lineker. All British, except the profits held in Switzerland to avoid tax

Please note Green and Black chocolate are now owned by Cadbury’s. The leveraged buy out of Cadbury’s by Kraft was financed by the taxpayer-owned bank RBS.

Shame on the BBC who once again had a news black out on the day of action. But space could be found for an item on a has-been boy band who will be at the Eurovision Song Contest!

In the Lake District thousands of people turned out to oppose the sell-off of our woods and foreests.

Yesterday was a day of protest in Manchester and London by students and trade unionists. The action in Manchester was notable for the carpetbagger NUS President Aaron Porter being chased down the street by fellow students! And police please note: No kettles, no violence!

UK Uncut will feature on Newsnight BBC Two at 2230 GMT Monday 31 January 2011.

Note: An edited version of this article posted on Indymedia UK was censored raising once again questions as to the credibility of Indymedia UK. Indymedia UK has already been exposed as bunch of liars with their false claims that they do not retain the IP addresses of those who use the site.

We are all in it together
Bringing the Hospital to Boots
Press release: UK Uncut condemns political policing at peaceful protest
CS spray used on UK Uncut protest
Police use CS spray on tax protesters
Video appears to show police using CS spray on tax protester
Clamping down on UK Uncut
UK Uncut strikes high street stores
UK Uncut protesters force closure of Boots store in Oxford Street
Poll reveals widespread suspicion of NHS reforms
UK Uncut: The Twitter Network Revealed
Pics: #ukuncut shut Ox st Boots in NHS cuts action
Police pepper spray #ukuncut protesters
UK Uncut, the start of something beautiful
MPs’ defiance at Grizedale forest protest
Britain’s woods and forests for sale
Bailgate Pound

Allumons les bougies pour nos Martyrs

January 29, 2011

Haunting music for the martyrs of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia.

Posted by A Tunisian Girl بنية تونسية (@benmhennilina).

We are not Free yet!
Tunisia’s Revolutionary Blogger and Freedom Fighter: Lina Ben Mhenni, “A Tunisian Girl”
Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia

Flu Attack! How A Virus Invades Your Body

January 29, 2011

When you get the flu, viruses turn your cells into tiny factories that help spread the disease. In this animation, NPR’s Robert Krulwich and medical animator David Bolinsky explain how a flu virus can trick a single cell into making a million more viruses.

Sunday evening my throat started to hurt. Monday I felt none too good. By Tuesday very poorly.

I am now very very poorly with bronchitis. Coughing very badly, much worse at night.

Bronchitis is an infection of the main airways of the lungs (bronchi), which causes them to become inflamed. It is common in winter and often develops following a cold, sore throat or flu. The main symptom of bronchitis is a cough, which may bring up yellow-grey mucus. Bronchitis may also cause a sore throat, wheezing and a blocked nose. Cause can be virus or bacteria. It can develop into pneumonia. Not a good sign when you start coughing up blood! Nor a good sign when you have repeated bouts of bronchitis.

Rest, warmth and plenty of fluids help recovery. And do not go out in the cold. Living in a cold, damp house does not help.

Drinking hot soups is good as you get plenty of fluids and nutrition.

We lost our fear

January 28, 2011
Friday prayer

Friday prayer

courage is contagious

courage is contagious

Subversive protest: Egyptian protestor kisses riot police officer

Subversive protest: Egyptian protestor kisses riot police officer

Mubarak has been an ally of ours in a number of things. And he’s been very responsible on, relative to geopolitical interest in the region, the Middle East peace efforts; the actions Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with Israel. I would not refer to him as a dictator. — Joe Biden, US Vice President

I think Benjamin Netanyahu might be sweating even more than Mubarak right now. Who will help quarantine Gaza after this? — Naomi Klein

Overwhelmed by the courage of Egyptians standing up to a regime they know will show them no mercy. — Naomi Klein

Supporting the Egyptians (that unfortunately cannot read this, because their government blocked Internet today). — Paulo Coelho

Following Friday payers they took to the streets calling for the hated Hosni Mubarak to go. The previous night there had been mass arrests of opponents to the hated regime.

If reports comming out of Egypt tonight are correct, the protesters have taken control of the streets, have driven the security thugs off the streets, the ruling party’s headquarters have been set on fire, a police headquarters has been set on fire.

Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, William Hague have lost all touch with reality. They call on the government in Egypt to listen to the people on the street, to carry out reform. Last year this would have been appropriate but now too little too late. The president has to resign, the elite has to resign, the ruling party has to be disbanded and its assets handed to the state.

All it would take is one phone call from Clinton or Obama for Hosni Mubarak to go.

Obama should call an emergency press conference calling for Hosni Mubarak to stand down. Should praise the people of Egypt for their courage in ridding the country of a tyrant. Should apologise to the people of Egypt for keeping the tyrant in power.

Hosni Mubarak showed he was as out of touch with realtity as Obmama et al. He blamed the people on the streets for causing the violence.

The former UN Secretary General and before that close ally of Hosni Mubarak and Egyption Foreign Secretary showed how out of touch he too was. He claimed Mubarak was loved by the Egptian people. He also tried to claim the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was behind the street protests. The latter no doubt a tactic to scare the West.

In Cairo local residents have removed passwords from their wi-fi routers so that people on the street can access the internet.

Shame on Vodafone who acceded to a request from the regime to shut down their network. One more reason to occupy Vodafone in the UK Uncut day of protests this weekend.

One again US hypocrisy is exposed: We bring democracy to the world.

unarmed protesters took on the forces of repression shouting we are peaceful protesters.

When a government deploys its security forces against its own people, it has no mandate to remain in power.

One by one the dominoes fall. Tunisia, now Egypt. No regime in the Middle East is safe.

We are all Tunisians now. We are all Egyptians now.

Do your bit to support the people of Egypt. Swamp Egyptian Embassies with calls for the dictator to go.

Also see

US urges reform in Egypt?

Egypt protests escalate in Cairo, Suez and other cities

Egyptians losing fear of confrontation with regime

Breaking News! Audio: Eye-opening interview with an activist in Cairo

‘Biggest ever’ UKuncut protest on Sunday

Evidence of torture and repression by Mubarak´s Police

Help Egypt – Join the Cloud!

Stop a Massacre from happening in Egypt today

Egypt: Night Falls, After Day of Rage

Vodafone confirms role in Egypt’s cellular, Internet blackout

Uprising in Egypt: “This is the Biggest Political Challenge the Regime Has Yet to See from the Streets”

Egypt Leaves the Internet

Will today mark the end for Mubarak?

Hillary Clinton Forgets to Mention Tear-Gas, Tanks, Concussion Grenades Used Against Egyptian Protesters Are Made in the U.S.

BBC News – World News America – Bill Keller on Wikileaks consequences in Tunisia

How Users in Egypt Are Bypassing Twitter & Facebook Blocks

Egypt: Mubarak sacks cabinet and defends security role

Burdened by the high cost of living and corruption, Christians and Muslims united in Cairo streets

A people defies its dictator, a nation’s future is in the balance

Prague 1981

January 28, 2011
Prague

Prague

Once, in the winter of 1981, I was walking with my wife through the streets of Prague when we came across a young man drawing the buildings around him.

Although I dread carrying things with me when I travel (and there was still a traveling ahead), I was taken by one of the drawings and decided to buy it.

When I handed him the money I noticed that he was not wearing gloves, despite the cold weather (it was 5 degrees below zero).

“Why aren’t you wearing gloves?” I asked.

“So I can hold the pencil.” And he began to tell me how loved Prague in the winter, that was the best season to draw the city. He was so happy with his sale that he decided to do a portrait of my wife without charging anything.

While I was waiting for him to finish the drawing, I realized that something odd had happened: we had chatted for almost five minutes without being able to speak one another’s language.

We made ourselves understood only by gestures, laughter, facial expressions and the desire to share something.

The simple desire to share something had enabled us to enter into the world of language without words, where everything is always clear and there is not the slightest risk of being misunderstood.

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

This is an expience I have experienced many times, talking to people on the street and somehow managing to communicate.

In A Warrior’s Life, a biography of Paulo Coelho by Fernando Morais, we learn more of his time in Prague.

For reasons not known, the Infant Jesus of Prague has a special place in the heart of Brazilians. On a hippie trip across Europe, Paulo Coelho visited the infant Jesus of Prague and made a special request: ‘I want to be a writer who is read and respected worldwide.’ He realised he was asking a lot and ought to offer a gift in return. He looked up and noticed the infant had a rather threadbare cloak. He promised: ‘When I am a well-known author, respected worldwide, I will return and bring with me a gold-embroidered cloak to cover your body.’ In 2005 Paulo Coelho returned to fulfill his promise. He brought with him a gold-embroidered cloak made by Christina’s mother.

I would love one day to visit Prague, at least the old part. It would also be an opportunity to see my lovely Czech friend Iva who I miss.

It is a pity therefore that the old part of Prague attracts drunken British scum, not attracted by its history or culture but to drink cheap booze.

For my lovely friend Iva.

Synchronicity and Paul Torday

January 27, 2011

Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer. — Carl Jung

I was thinking of my lovely friend Sian and The Girl on the Landing by Torday, a chilling novel about schizophrenia. I turned on the radio and caught Open Book on BBC Radio 4. The first item was an interview with Paul Torday!

Paul Torday writes quirky novels though once you have read a couple you find like novels by Agatha Christie they are peopled by the same characters in similar settings.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2006)
The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce (2008)
The Girl on the Landing (2009)
– The Hopeless Life Of Charlie Summers (2010)
More Than You Can Say (February 2011)

Synchronicity is that of meaningful coincidences, coincidences that are so improbable that they cannot be explained by chance alone.

Synchronicity and Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho at World Economic Forum in Davos

January 27, 2011

http://cdn.livestream.com/embed/worldeconomicforum02?layout=4&clip=pla_99e2ceba-44cc-4779-882c-76792493d346&autoplay=false

There is probably a way to embed this video in wordpress, but I do not know how, therefore please click on the link.

http://livestre.am/AIAh

World Economic Forum in Davos is where the rich and powerful meet.

Disruption Talk
Hey Davos! What about the tax havens

US urges reform in Egypt?

January 27, 2011

Where on earth do they dig these idiots up from?

This week an idiot from the US State Department displaying US hypocrisy on Egypt. Last week I heard a similar idiot, only this time it was a British Foreign Office Minister talking about Tunisia. Swap the scripts and you would not have been able to tell the difference.

When will we learn? We prop up these corrupt regimes, eventually they collapse, then we reap as we have sown.

Egypt is the largest recipient of US largesse outside of Israel. It is Uncle Sam who pays for the repressive regime in Egypt. MI6 helped train the corrupt Palestinian Authority to put down Hamas, the same corrupt Palestinian Authority willing to sell its own people to the Zionist State of Israel. In Afghanistan US-UK prop up a corrupt regime that is flooding the West with heroin.

Why do people take holidays in Egypt? Why do they do business with the corrupt regime?

PJ Crowley, the idiot from the US State Department, describes Egypt as “an ally and friend of the United States, an anchor of stability in the Middle East which is helping us pursue a comprehensive peace in the Middle East”.

For this we read working with Israel for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Today there were reports of a massacre in Suez.

Yemen next? Today protesters took to the streets of the capital of Yemen.

Jordan? Even in Jordan unrest has spread to the streets.

Like dominoes they are falling one by one. There are 22 versions of Ben Ali, the Tunisian president who fled Tunisia like a rat up a drainpipe, all must be removed from power.

The Arab street has power. Tunisia proved it. We are all Tunisians now!

Egypt: One by one the dominoes fall
Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia
What’s Happening in Egypt Explained
As Egypt Censors Internet, Anonymous Starts Attacks
Egypt unrest: ElBaradei returns as protests build
Yemen protests: Thousands call on president to leave
Tunisia political turmoil inspires Jordan protesters
Guardian Journalist Arrested and Beaten Alongside Protesters in Egypt Secretly Records Ordeal
Guardian Reporter Jack Shenker on Egypt Protests: “Fear Barrier Seems to Have Been Broken”
Help Egypt – Join the Cloud!

Maria

January 26, 2011
Paulo and Maria 2002

Paulo and Maria 2002

“At every moment of our lives we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.”

“When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side… And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.”

“If I must be faithful to someone or something, then I have, first of all, to be faithful to myself.”

“If I’m looking for true love, I first have to get the mediocre love out of my systems.”

“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally come to realize that nothing really belongs to them.”

“The art of sex is the art of controlled abandon.”

“Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path.”

“In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.”

“The great aim of every human being is to understand the meaning of total love. Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person. The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.”

Pain and suffering are used to justify the one thing that brings only joy: love.

“Considering the way the world is, one happy day is almost a miracle.”

From the diary of Maria, the prostitute in Eleven Minutes. Also posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho is the story of Maria, a Brazilian girl who is enticed to work in Switzerland and ends up working as a well-paid prostitute.

Danish composer Stig Nordestgaard turned Eleven Minutes into a musical.

For my lovely friend Polina who read Eleven Minutes in English, then Russian. And for my lovely friend Alisa at whose suggestion I read Eleven Minutes.