So, if we are being realistic, this afternoon I took my last power nap. Seeing tomorrow we are all gonna die, some of us have first class seats on the rapture express to heaven, and then the rest of us will be stuck here to live in hell until the end of the world in October.
I had only one thing on the table for tonight, and that was a meeting. I got up earlier today and farted around, I am not one for usual daytime tv, since I am a night person. So I checked my mail, did some surfing on the web and decided to take a three hour nap before having to get up and prepare to go out this evening.
I must have been channeling the apocalypse because I had this very vivid dream which I know I was dreaming because I brought it out into the waking state and it is still in the front of my brain at this hour.
I was on this planet and everything was laid wasted and I was on this continuum of movement. I was on this train of movement. And things around us were in flux and the more I moved forwards the more things were changing, being destroyed and being recreated at the same time. Everything around me was moving.
As we moved forwards I could see things being built again from scratch and forming here and there as I moved through this “space” then I was on the shore of the ocean and a bridge went up and we were building the bridge. Then we were back on land and pictures of things were passing us by. I could see the pictures and what they were, people and places. Then I was in this huge crafting room and watching markers and paints pass by and as they did, I could collect some of them for myself, I don’t know why I was collecting them, but I did.
The continuum kept moving forwards and I was on this moving platform. Then we moved through this manufacturing building making ovens and ice cream makers, I knew what they were because I once worked in an ice cream shop as a teen-ager.
It was all very colorful and weird at the same time. It just kept going on and on, and I was roped into my place on the line and I could see people I knew moving past me on other lines. It was all very strange.
Things were changing and moving. People were coming and going. I couldn’t stop people on their trains, as I could not stop mine. And as things were destroyed and recreated the colors were amazing – I kept noticing things that I recognized as I moved from here to there.
It was almost an astral projection. And maybe it could have been. I don’t usually bring forth technicolor dreams like this, I usually forget them quickly after waking. Maybe because the world is fixated on the end of the world, the dream stayed present.
*** *** *** ***
I got up when the alarm went off and I got in the shower and prepped to go.
I made all my connections and got to the meeting at half past eight. It was a good meeting. Tonight’s speaker was the fiance of the young man who spoke last Friday night at that same meeting. Just a couple years sober, her story was all over the place. It was insane. Listening to newbies speak is painful, add to that the fact that she is a slipper and is fresh in the program and she is telling her story and I was stuck there in this spot identifying with her on many topics that she brought up.
It all came out in the laundry. I did some of the same things she did in early sobriety. Some of those things are not recommended, but for some it works out. Hopefully this is the last time for her to get sober, she might not make it back again. And wouldn’t that be terrible since she is marrying a member in just a few months time.
Oh well, we hopes and prays for them.
That was my day.
More to come, stay tuned…
Things are not looking up. People are starting to worry about their lives, their lively hoods, their safety. Fear is beginning to permeate life.
It is hard to watch the news right now. I’ve been following the disaster unfolding in Japan. What the people in Japan are going through, I would not wish on anyone.
On late night radio, we are starting to hear the first tones of concern and fear. A number of people – many people – are wondering what comes next. The name Lindsey Williams in being beckoned once again. People want to hear what he has to say now, and what to expect.
This is what people are beginning to fear. Fallout reaching the shores of the U.S. and further abroad. I listened last night to men talking about what’s coming and it is becoming clear that fear is in the air.
I think the not knowing and the “they don’t need to know the severity of things” discussion has begun. Will we get the truth from the governments involved in this disaster? Many questions and concerns are being raised.
The crazies are out saying all kinds of things. The word “Armageddon” has been raised by some. And from last nights discussion, it is not what if, but when. People are reading the signs, and the question is, who do you believe? What do you believe? And what are you going to do to insure the safety of your family and friends?
*** *** *** ***
The weather is getting warmer. Hopefully the great thaw has begun. Maybe if we are lucky, the last vestiges of Winter are passing away. The snows are melting and soon, we will see grass in open spaces.
The sun shone today and it was a good day all around. I am on reading week so I have the week off. But my two profs have left us enough work to keep us busy all week in preparation for mid terms next week, and I have another oral presentation to present in two weeks time.
I got set up done early tonight and spent the better part of an hour working on my mid term at the hall. The prof gave us a page of questions, terms and theories to look up in the text and from the slides from class. I got a good portion of the questions done today.
We had good numbers at both meetings. We talked about change. That’s about the only constant in life, change…
*** *** *** ***
Things are changing, things beyond our control. People in Japan are facing what seem like insurmountable odds to find the dead and missing, to clean up the mess and try, once again, to rebuild their lives from such utter devastation.
The world weeps with them. And the world is paying attention to every update that passes over the airwaves. We hope for the best, and we hope that there is transparent information exchange.
People are afraid, there are no two ways about it. People are seeking answers to questions that, in my estimation, cannot be answered simply. Some believe that the signs are written on the wall. I don’t subscribe to this line of thinking.
We must have hope. The world is not coming to an end. Some say the rapture is coming soon, May 21st to be exact. But the bible tells us that we won’t know what the appointed day is, and when it is coming. But there are those who are set in a belief that Jesus is gonna come, and soon.
We shall see who is right.
*** *** *** ***
It is going to come down to a choice, wait for it …
Who has the real truth? Who are the true believers? Are the end of days on their way? And if there is a God, do you believe he is warning us of dire things to come? The fundies have their panties in a wad and something is gonna have to give sooner or later.
Pay attention to the signs and omens. Change is afoot. It may not come like we want it, or how we need it. But I believe that if we are steadfast and hopeful we will prevail. I am in the life and living crowd.
All we have is today. We are powerless over tomorrow.
We pray for those souls who have died, we pray for those who are left. We pray for the world in this time of calamity. And we hope that things get better, and not worse. We don’t need another disaster.
We need a miracle. A few of them at that.
I’m not giving up just yet to sit here and wait for Jesus to come get me. I’ve lived this long, and I am sure as hell not ready to die either. And I know that many of you out there don’t want to die either.
So we will see what Jesus has up his sleeve in the coming weeks.
Did everyone watch Hope for Haiti last night? It ran across every television station on the map from all the Canadian feeds through all the US feeds. They say that in Canada we raised upwards of 2.5 million dollars in our first hour of the Canadian broadcast that started at 7 p.m. I read on another blog that Fox did not carry the telethon. Stupid bastards…
Not much going on here today. The weather in Montreal is mild. We are sitting at a balmy -7c and it is a little breezy. We haven’t seen significant snow in weeks, which is making this a very mild winter for us. But it usually doesn’t go downhill until February or March when we get slammed with the -20’s and lots of snow, but we shall see.
They are starting to freak out in Vancouver because of the lack of snow and the mild temperatures right now. With the Olympics just a couple of weeks away they have started acting on their contingency plans of bringing the snow down from the peaks to fill the runs for competition. It may get ugly if they don’t get any snow in the next week.
Meanwhile in California, God is washing everything away with days and days of rain. I heard on late night radio last night that George Noory predicted an earthquake in southern California in the next week. I don’t know about that, one of the determiners of impending earth shaking is the sudden disappearance of animals from homes. Massive pet and animal movements usually portend something not so good. When the animals start running away you better pay attention.
This afternoon I had to go do some supermarket safari … A quick in and out shop today for fruit and munchies. I’ve been trying to keep up my fresh fruit stocked in the fridge to eat between meals, I’ve been pretty successful at staving off junk food and crap. My numbers have been good as of late so I want to keep the trend going.
That’s about it from here at the moment. Yesterday we downloaded some new conversion programs and I captured a handful of videos from You Tube for my library, and we also found a good video to MP3 converter called Fetch MP3 – from FETCH MP3.COM … Maybe I will put up some video in the coming days. I would need to bump up my storage capability on the blog first…
More to come, stay tuned…
If you pray, pray. If you can give, GIVE. If you can help, help. We know tonight that the devastation is massive. Hundreds of thousands may be dead, and the need for medical supplies, food, water and shelter are needed badly.
At the end of this report you can click on the link provided to join the rescue effort.
Let is be said tonight that Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson of the famed 700 Club have earned one way express tickets to hell for their responses to this tragic turn of events in Haiti. I won’t give them their full attention they think they deserve but men like that don’t deserve to breathe the same air that regular human beings breathe.
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told CNN Wednesday the death toll from the earthquake that rocked his country could be “well over 100,000.”
The 7.0-magnitude quake struck Tuesday afternoon, and has left Port-au-Prince, the capital city, in ruins.
No official casualty numbers have been released yet.
Haitian President René Préval told the Miami Herald Wednesday he has been stepping over dead bodies and estimated thousands of people were killed.
He said Bellerive’s projection may be high because it was based on the extent of the destruction rather than firm counts of the dead.
“We have to do an evaluation,” Préval said, describing the scene as “unimaginable.”
“All of the hospitals are packed with people. It is a catastrophe,” he said.
“Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed,” he told the paper. “There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them.”
Shattered communication systems in the Caribbean country made it impossible to immediately determine the number of casualties from the Tuesday afternoon quake, but an International Red Cross official estimated that three million people in the impoverished country of nine million may have been affected and could need emergency aid.
UN supplies funding
Paul Conneally said it would take a day or two to get a clear picture of the number of dead and injured, as well as the damage.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealed for massive aid for Haiti and announced that the United Nations is releasing $10 million US from its emergency funds.
“There is no doubt that we are facing a major humanitarian-assistance emergency and that a major relief effort will be required,” he said.
Ban said the earthquake has had a devastating impact on Port-au-Prince, while other areas of Haiti appear to be largely unaffected.
“Buildings and infrastructure were heavily damaged throughout the capital. Basic services such as water, electricity, have collapsed almost entirely,” he said.
Aftershocks also continued to rattle the capital.
Scores of injured people lay in the streets of Port-au-Prince early Wednesday as aid groups around the world prepared to provide disaster relief.
Simon Schorno, a spokesman with the International Committee of the Red Cross, told The Associated Press that finding and rescuing survivors will be a priority, and aid workers will also help hospitals cope with casualties and establish clean water sources.
He said the 7.0-magnitude quake had caused “massive destruction in all the main neighbourhoods” of Port-au-Prince.
“Haitian Red Cross staff are trying to do what they can but are completely overwhelmed, so there’s no structured response at this point.”
Countries pledge millions in aid
Worldwide relief efforts have begun in earnest, with countries pledging to provide aid, including rescue workers, doctors and supplies.
U.S. President Barack Obama promised an all-out rescue and humanitarian effort, adding that the U.S. commitment to its hemispheric neighbour will be unwavering.
“We have to be there for them in their hour of need,” Obama said.
A Homeland Security official also said the U.S. will halt the deportation of Haitians who are living illegally in the country in light of the earthquake. Those who were to be deported to Haiti will remain in U.S. detention centres for now.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada “stands ready to provide any necessary assistance to the people of Haiti during this time of need.”
The government will deploy the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) — Canada’s team of 200 Canadian Forces personnel, which provides help to areas affected by disaster for up to 40 days.
A 20-member reconnaissance team is due to land in Haiti on Wednesday afternoon to determine how best to assist the country, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon.
Other nations — from Iceland to Venezuela — said they would start sending aid workers and rescue teams. Cuba said its existing field hospitals in Haiti had already treated hundreds of victims. The United Nations said Port-au-Prince’s main airport was “fully operational” and open to relief flights.
The quake struck at 4:53 p.m., centred 16 kilometres west of Port-au-Prince at a depth of eight kilometres, the U.S. Geological Survey said. USGS geophysicist Kristin Marano called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti, on the island of Hispaniola.
The temblor appeared to have occurred along a strike-slip fault, where one side of a vertical fault slips horizontally past the other, said Tom Jordan, a quake expert at the University of Southern California. The quake’s power and proximity to Port-au-Prince likely caused widespread casualties and structural damage, he said.
“It’s going to be a real killer,” he said.
Most of Haiti’s people are desperately poor, and after years of political instability, the country has no basic construction standards.
Tuesday’s quake was also felt in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, but no major damage was reported. In eastern Cuba, houses shook, but there appeared to be no significant damage.
How to Help
To help those affected by the earthquake, here’s a list of organizations accepting donations.
So I waited to review these books until I had finished both of them. I have to say that I enjoyed reading “This is How” it was a good read. Although I was troubled by the main characters choice of actions partway through the book then the storytelling became just a journal read, which I found to be really boring. You have to read the book to understand why I just said that. If I tell you why, then I will spoil the whole book for you. Needless to say it wasn’t wasted money.
Here we have Wally Lamb. A most prolific writer and a good one at that. This story was a LONG read. It took me over a week to finish it overnight in bed. It tells the story of a couple (a teacher and a student nurse) who are married and living in Colorado during the Columbine tragedy.
The story narrates what happened to them on that fateful day and just how a series of really bad events can screw up a life in more ways than one. Wally tells a really good story. He weaves missives in between the main story line and connects the dots with pin point precision. I found in the read that he tells us a series of connected stories to enhance and enlighten the main story line.
It all wraps up into a really fine work of art. As I reached the end of the book, the story heads in a number of different directions and ends with a finality that brought tears to my eyes. I was saddened by the way that Wally ended the story.
But there was no way to really end the book in any other way – because of the story line and what was going on for most of the read. It had a lot of similar lines of “This is How” it was a fluke that I picked up BOTH these books at the same time, because they are so similar in story line.
There in the book was love, loss, death and destruction, and recovery and grace. Wally wrapped up all the major emotions into a really good read. I would recommend this book to you with high points all around.
READ THE BOOKS – I Highly recommend them.
Most of us are not archaeologists or astronomers, anthropologists or astrologers. Yet the majority of what is written about one of the most exciting and relevant subjects of our day – the approaching Winter Solstice 2012 end-date of the Mayan Calendar – appears in words aimed at specialists and couched in language that can be hard to read. This article is written for the Everyday Earthling who may be hearing a lot about the Mayans, their calendars, hieroglyphs and mysterious temples scattered throughout the jungles of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.
Let us begin with some questions. Why is there so much talk about the “end of the Mayan calendar” and what does it mean? Is there something significant we should know about the Winter Solstice date of December 21, 2012? How were the Mayans able to track long periods of time and why would they want to? Why should we care about the Mayans today? Is there anything we can learn from them? I’ll begin by sharing how my own interest in the subject developed and go on from there.
I first learned about the Mayans in 1987 from Jose Arguelles’ book The Mayan Factor. It was during the months leading up to the event known as Harmonic Convergence that Arguelles, artist and visionary, introduced me to the 20 Mayan daysigns and the thirteen Mayan numbers – and to the wonderfully engaging and mysterious 260 day Mayan ceremonial calendar, called the Tzolkin (pronounced chol-kin). My pursuit of knowledge about pre-Columbian culture had begun.
A great deal of scientific and visionary research work has been done about the Mayans, so I started reading. I learned that the Mayans tracked cycles within cycles within cycles of time. Their calendar acted as a harmonic calibrator, linking and coordinating the earthly, lunar, solar and galactic seasons in an aesthetically simple and elegant manner. The provocative simplicity of the daysigns and the sheer harmony of the calendar drew me in. Then a landmark article by John Major Jenkins appeared in Mountain Astrologer magazine in 1994, revealing for the first time in our era the true meaning of the end-date.
Is there something significant we should know about the Winter Solstice date of December 21, 2012? Yes. On this day a rare astronomical and Mayan mythical event occurs. In astronomic terms, the Sun conjuncts the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic. The Milky Way, as most of us know, extends in a general north-south direction in the night sky. The plane of the ecliptic is the track the Sun, Moon, planets and stars appear to travel in the sky, from east to west. It intersects the Milky Way at a 60 degree angle near the constellation Sagittarius.
The cosmic cross formed by the intersecting Milky Way and plane of the ecliptic was called the Sacred Tree by the Maya. The trunk of the tree, the Axis Mundi, is the Milky Way, and the main branch intersecting the tree is the plane of the ecliptic. Mythically, at sunrise on December 21, 2012, the Sun – our Father – rises to conjoin the center of the Sacred Tree, the World Tree, the Tree of Life..
This rare astronomical event, foretold in the Mayan creation story of the Hero Twins, and calculated empircally by them, will happen for many of us in our lifetime. The Sun has not conjoined the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic since some 25,800 years ago, long before the Mayans arrived on the scene and long before their predecessors the Olmecs arrived. What does this mean?
Due to a phenomenon called the precession of the equinoxes, caused by the Earth’s wobble that lasts almost 26,000 years, the apparent location of the Winter Solstice sunrise has been ever so slowly moving toward the Galactic Center. Precession may be understood by watching a spinning top. Over many revolutions the top will rise and dip on its axis, not unlike how the Earth does over an extremely long period of time. One complete rise and dip constitutes the cycle of precession.
The Mayans noticed the relative slippage of the positions of stars in the night sky over long periods of observation, indicative of precession, and foretold this great coming attraction. By using an invention called the Long Count, the Mayans fast-forwarded to anchor December 21, 2012 as the end of their Great Cycle and then counted backwards to decide where the calendar would begin. Thus the Great Cycle we are currently in began on August 11, 3114 B.C. But there’s more.
The Great Cycle, lasting 1,872,000 days and equivalent to 5,125.36 years, is but one fifth of the Great Great Cycle, known scientifically as the Great Year or the Platonic Year – the length of the precession of the equinoxes. To use a metaphor from the modern industrial world, on Winter Solstice A.D. 2012 it is as if the Giant Odometer of Humanity on Earth hits 100,000 miles and all the cycles big and small turn over to begin anew. The present world age will end and a new world age will begin.
Over a year’s time the Sun transits through the twelve houses of the zodiac. Many of us know this by what “Sun sign” is associated with our birthday. Upping the scale to the Platonic Year – the 26,000 year long cycle – we are shifting, astrologically, from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. The Mayan calendar does not really “end” in 2012, but rather, all the cycles turn over and start again, vibrating to a new era. It is as if humanity and the Earth will graduate in the eyes of the Father Sun and Grandmother Milky Way.
Why should we care about the Mayans today? Is there anything we can learn from them? The trees give us oxygen to breathe and help create the nourishing rains upon which we depend, sustaining life. We are missing these rains in places where the trees have been cut down or burned. Fires begin that nature can no longer extinguish. For the Mayans, trees were intermediaries between the physical and spiritual worlds, and absolutely essential to life. They believed that without the tree man could not survive and that “with the death of the last tree comes the death of the human race.”
The ancient carved stones and the stars themselves tell us we are on the brink of a new world age. There is no reason not to take a leap of faith into imagining what may be in store. We may trust that it is time for humanity to awaken into a true partnership with each other, with the Earth, and the Cosmos. By accepting this partnership we may claim our birthright and become Galactic Citizens who care for and sustain the planet, thus sustaining ourselves. This is clearly the challenge of our times. Yet, arriving just in time and on schedule is the Winter Solstice dawn on the day we may remember that we are truly Children of the World.
One never knows when the dam is going to burst and the flood of emotions that will follow are going to occur. Over the last few weeks I have been trying to help hubby deal with his rejection by McGill University in the most helpful ways I can. Alas, I have failed in that effort.
I don’t know how to help him cope any better than I can, with all that resources I have at my disposal and people for him to speak to. How do you keep someone safe from the world? It has been a very upsetting day because hubby came home from his routine day of school and errands and he was a psychotic mess. Today we broke furniture and came to blows and I was the target of his assault. I guess I am not doing enough to help around here and that my efforts are useless and I do absolutely nothing to help him, in his own words.
We warned him of this happening. We tried to stave off the disappointment, but he is going to deal with his misfortune as he will, you can talk, talk, and talk, but as I said yesterday, people are going to have to figure it out on their own time and in their own way. So I have been sitting back watching this all come about, and they say silence gives consent right? He says that I do not talk, which is untrue. He thinks that I won’t listen without judgment, which is untrue. He has flown through this cycle very quickly and to damaging ends.
All this work he has done, has been for naught. The climbing the mountain has brought him no accolades, no scholarships, not acceptance by his peers and in his mind this has been a total outright evil rejection by a system that does not want him. We must add that as a mature student the stakes are different. We are much older that the regular university student – we may get good grades, and we may have to work harder than the rest to get ahead, but in hubby’s mind there is no difference. But there is…
Now he has to start from the beginning again and work on a second BA because his BA in English does not qualify him for very much and all of his friends got further academic acceptance including financial promissory notes of support for schools ‘out of province.’ So we talked about moving…
There are not many choices left to him to consider and the best viable plan is to return to Concordia this summer and continue his studies in communications where he has been studying for the last three years, this is not a choice he made easily, and it came with much revulsion and gnashing of teeth. How could he achieve such academic greatness, graduating with distinction and at the top of his game and not get one iota recognition from anyone further? Although on a personal level, all of his advisers told him that he is brilliant and smart, those words have fallen on deaf ears. He doubts everything that is being said to him because there was no pay off in his graduation. There isn’t going to be a huge celebration for him…
I don’t know how to help him cope any better than what I am already doing, because every time he gets angry he comes after me. and Fuck me for trying right??? In the Big Book it says that there are no justified resentments and that expectations are something that we cannot afford to have to a certain degree. Anyone knows that when you sets your sights too far up and your expectations find themselves in the stratosphere that the fall from those heights can be fatal. Hubby has had a fatal fall from heights that even I cannot save him from…
His attempt at surmounting McGill university was an exercise in futility and we all warned him of that, he did not listen. He was going to do things his way and be damned the ones who tried to deter him from starting the climb. They say that when climbing Everest [Sagarmantha] if you do not approach the mountain with respect and reverence and you do not honor the time told traditions of the climb, that you will fail at summiting the peak. McGill university was the closest to Everest that hubby was going to get, and he came at the mountain with expectations, an ego and a handful of really virulent resentments. And what did the mountain say to him…….. “You shall not summit my peak!”
He doesn’t want to attend any functions with other students because he has been humiliated at the highest degree, he only told his best friend and myself what happened. And graduation is going to be another upsetting event in his litany of fuck all events of this academic year. Many of them are moving forwards, where hubby, it seems, is only moving backwards with his going on to another BA instead of MA work.
All of his friends will be moving away and beyond and he will be stuck here, doing it all over again, and for him that is such punishment that even he cannot seem to bear at the moment. I am powerless to stop this from happening and I am not God, I cannot change the time line we are on. I am powerless over people, places and things.
So I am useless, All I do is sit here and do nothing, I contribute not enough and I am not pulling my weight around here. fuck me!!! I am without words for what happened today. I’ve been assaulted, insulted and read up one side and down the other for remaining steadfast and solid. At least I followed the program to the best of my ability and I only thought about drinking once today…
God grant me serenity…
This situation just sickens me, that holy men and innocents are being killed, this was my comment to Neil McKenty earlier today.
Isn’t there some temporal directive of hellish punishment for someone who kills a holy person? A monk, in my opinion ranks higher than a temporal leader. CHINA can do many things in many places, yet they don’t. This just backs up their human rights violations that they let things like Darfur (read:Oil and Money) and Burma (read:Religious Intolerance) happen.
While the generals shoot to kill the world stands idly by. Someone is going to hell for this one, on the express train.
Reports from BBC News Online
Q&A: Protests in Burma
As demonstrations in Burma continue to gather pace, the BBC looks at what triggered the protests, who is involved and what they could mean for the country’s military leaders.
What sparked the protests?
On 15 August the government decided to increase the price of fuel. Both petrol and diesel doubled in price, while the cost of compressed gas – used to power buses – increased five-fold.
The hikes hit Burma’s people hard, forcing up the price of public transport and triggering a knock-on effect for staples such as rice and cooking oil.
Burmese people are angry about the sudden fuel price increase
Pro-democracy activists led the initial demonstrations in Burma’s main city, Rangoon. When about 400 people marched on 19 August, it was the largest demonstration in the military-ruled nation for several years.
The authorities moved swiftly to quell the protests, rapidly arresting dozens of activists. Nonetheless, protests continued around the country. Numbers were small, but demonstrations were held in Rangoon, Sittwe and other towns.
Why are monks involved?
The monks started participating in large numbers after troops used force to break up a peaceful rally in the central town of Pakokku on 5 September.
At least three monks were hurt. The next day, monks in Pakokku briefly took government officials hostage. They gave the government until 17 September to apologise, but no apology was forthcoming.
When the deadline expired, the monks began to protest in much greater numbers and also withdrew their religious services from the military and their families.
There have been protests every day since the deadline, both in Rangoon and elsewhere, and they are getting bigger by the day. Tens of thousands of monks are now involved.
More and more Buddhist monks have been joining the marches
The participation of the monks is significant because there are hundreds of thousands of them and they are highly revered. The clergy has historically been prominent in political protests in Burma.
Because of the clergy’s influence, the government has tried hard to woo many senior abbots. The fact that these abbots have chosen to remain silent is a sign for many people that they condone the protests.
Analysts believe that any violence against the monks could trigger a national uprising.
What has the government done about it?
At first, the country’s military leaders held back, letting the protests continue.
But on Monday they said they were ready to “take action”.
By late Tuesday, troops and riot police began to arrive in Rangoon, and a dawn-to-dusk curfew was introduced.
On Wednesday violence broke out at the Shwedagon Pagoda, Rangoon’s holiest shrine, as police used baton charges and tear gas to try to stop monks embarking on a ninth day of protests.
Further clashes were being reported on Thursday.
Are the protests still about an apology?
For some of the monks, yes. But for others, it has now gone far beyond that.
A group called the Alliance of All Burmese Buddhist Monks has emerged to co-ordinate the protests, and on 21 September it issued a statement describing the military government as “the enemy of the people”.
They pledged to continue their protests until they had “wiped the military dictatorship from the land of Burma”, and they have called on people across Burma to join them.
One rally marched past the house of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, clearly linking the monks’ movement with a desire for a change of government.
Are others joining in?
In the initial days of the protests, the public did not appear to be involved – commentators suggested that they were too scared of retaliation.
But this has gradually changed as the demonstrations have grown in size.
Footage of one protest showed people lining the route as the monks marched, forming a chain to protect them from any retaliation from soldiers.
Aung San Suu Kyi was able to greet the monks over the weekend
And on 24 September, thousands of people responded to a call from the monks and joined a massive protest in Rangoon.
Key members of the opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) are now said to be joining the protests, after initially distancing themselves from the action.
When did Burma last see protests like these?
The last time Burma saw anything on this scale was during the popular uprising of August 1988.
These protests were triggered by the government’s decision in 1987 to devalue the currency, wiping out many people’s savings.
Demonstrations began among students and then gradually spread to monks and the public. These culminated in a national uprising on 8 August 1988, when hundreds of thousands of people marched to demand a change of government.
The government sent troops to brutally suppress the protests. At least 3,000 people are believed to have died.
By Paul Reynolds
Burmese military has managed to hold together
The military crackdown in Burma is a reminder that street demonstrations do not necessarily lead to success for popular uprisings.
The key factor is the destabilisation of the existing regime and if protests cannot bring that about, they become vulnerable to the kind of repression the Burmese authorities have imposed.
So far, the Burmese military has held together. The campaign for democracy in Burma still hopes for rapid success but fears that the project will be more long-term.
In our day, we have perhaps become so used to seeing pro-democracy protestors toppling authoritarian governments that the difficulties involved can be underestimated.
A handbook for overthrowing such governments would have to include the following factors:
Widespread public protests, bringing in many different social and economic groups
An opposition leadership with clear ideas around which people can rally
The ability to use the media in some form to get a message across
A mechanism for undermining the existing regime – whether by internal coup in the case of a military junta, the emergence of reformers, or the simple exhaustion of an existing government leading to its collapse
External pressure from key countries able to exert influence.
Experience has shown that a combination of the above is usually necessary for success.
In Eastern Europe in the 1990s, for example, several factors came into play. There were the protests, the communist governments were exhausted, reformers came to the fore, the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev withdrew its support and the local security forces switched sides.
However, in Uzbekistan in 2005, protests in the city of Andijan were swiftly repressed because they did not lead to wider influences being brought to bear.
And in China in 1989, the democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square were eventually dispersed by force because the Chinese government cracked down instead of cracking up.
In Burma, the protesters have been faced with an implacable military government. Maybe elements of the armed forces will rebel and overthrow the old guard. But this has not happened yet.
In the meantime, the regime has blocked off the media, including the new phenomenon of the internet, which proved instrumental in helping to mobilise opinion abroad.
External pressure, in the form of international condemnation and talk of sanctions, has not been strong enough to be decisive.
The China connection
I watched the unfolding events while on a visit to China, and it was interesting to note the approach to events in Burma there.
On satellite television, one could see the concern growing in Europe and the United States. This emphasised the way in which the foreign policies of Western governments are influenced by non-governmental organisations, human rights groups and also celebrities.
On French television, the actress Jane Birkin was interviewed at length about Burma and the next day led a delegation to see President Nicolas Sarkozy.
In China there was none of that. The media almost ignored the crisis in Burma. The first 10 minutes of the nightly news concentrated, as it always does, on the comings and goings of the senior Chinese leadership, which seemed to consist mostly of making speeches.
The government in Beijing is not susceptible to influence on human rights grounds. It has a policy of pursuing its own interests world wide (which require the acquisition of large amounts of natural resources) while keeping out of world crises as far as possible.
There is only one point of pressure on China – the Olympic Games being held in Beijing next year.
The Chinese government is desperate that there should be no boycott. The Olympics are presented as the symbol of China’s “peaceful rise”, as it is called.
So China has to pay some attention to world opinion. That has led to it calling for restraint in Burma, but not much more.
The prospect in Burma now is for another lengthy campaign for democracy of the kind that has had to be waged since the last major crackdown in 1988.
There will always remain the hope among activists, though, that one of the other decisive factors can suddenly turn things around.
I got some mail from London today and in it was a really wonderful gift from my Big Sis, needless to say I was amazed and overjoyed. I have really great family and friends, all over the world. It is far easier to love one another than to criticize or be hateful. So this little note starts off my gratitude list for tonight. Thanks Sis…
- I didn’t drink today
- I hit a meeting
- I had a great day in class this morning
- I saw some new friends
- I did some writing earlier
- I have great friends
- I have a great life
- Tomorrow is my Home Group
- And I am right, and I am happy!!
“Oh to be this young and beautiful – again…”
So I was trolling my reads today and I ran across this picture over on DAN NATION, it seems he’s got a new job in the valley and I spied me some Chad Fox, isn’t he a cutie? Kinda makes me want to move out to the coast and join the Sunday Brunch Crowd! I even got an invitation from Dan the man himself!! I love me some CHAD FOX!!
What could be better than a room full of beautiful men on a Sunday morning? I don’t know about you but we don’t have that many good looking men here in our fair city! OMG!!
The Forest, I love the forest. If you get a chance go over and take a look see at COOPER’S CORRIDOR, he has some beautiful writing and photos of his family from an outing this past weekend. Cooper is another fantastic read, no one should go without every day. He breathes such joy and wonder into my day, because he is such a gifted writer. I think this weekend we shall take a meander out to the green space and take some photos of our forest in the middle of the city (we call it Mount Royal). The real forest is far, far away from here up North.
From Cooper’s Blog: one of his favorite words, Forest:
“Because it is full of promise … because it is wild … because it is fragile … because it is strong … because it sings of simply being … because it is part of my bones and blood … The forest is in my heart”
You can go read my friends and show them some love. First we have Steve, we call him Dr. McCoy, because he’s a Trekkie! I wrote a piece earlier for Arkano, he lives in South America and he is new to our little “Bubble of Love.” My read list, over on the Blog Roll is getting ‘closer’ by the day, as I noticed that many of my friends here, read over there and they comment as well. So please, if you like to look at beautiful men, and you are interested in fantastic reads, check out my read list. I have updated all the links and I am sure everyone will appreciate your visit.
Fall is on it’s way, it is 19c here and rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days! AS is the custom here in Montreal, the weather cools off, the rain comes, then we have our fist cold snap “in the city” then the leaves start turning in earnest. This photo above is a wishful prayer for Montreal in the coming weeks.
Tonight’s meeting was an experience. I heard what I needed to hear. I spent an hour doing nothing but be present and to live in the moment. My Monday night commitment to support “Came to Believe” persists. Things I heard tonight:
- It’s all Good
- Live in the Moment
- Stay in the Now
- At any time of the journey, you are right where you are supposed to be at any given location and at any moment on the time line
- There are no mistakes in God’s time
- Live and Let Live
- Easy Does It
- But for the Grace of God
- Think, Think, Think
- First things First
I took a resentment to a meeting, and I left her there. But I will close with this little blurb on the Blog Nazi!! If you have a complaint about anything you see, read or perceive on this blog, please, by all means, let me know. If I have misrepresented Concordia University in any way, I haven’t heard that from any one. My disability and my student status is between my doctor, myself, my husband, my department, the government and the University and NO ONE ELSE! What I do with my education is my business. If you don’t like something on this blog, there are certainly other blogs for you to read. I am not changing my presentation or writing for anyone, even YOU Rebbecca.
They say in AA that acceptance is the KEY to all of my problems, and if someone has a problem with you, that – that is a direct signal that someone has a problem with themselves. And what YOU think of me is none of my business. If I have a problem with you then I need to look at me and find out what’s wrong with me. So you got a problem, first ask yourself what that problem is, and then fuck off…
I’ve never EVER had anyone complain about something I have shared on this blog, nor posted to this, my personal web log. AND I am not going to take horse shit from some chick who has an axe to grind with me so get the fuck off my blog! Oh, that felt good!
DO YOU GET THE PICTURE???
It was a quiet day. The weather turned hot and muggy, as Montreal waits on a saving rain to cut the humidity from the air. On hot miserable days, all that I want to do is blast the AC unit and stay cocooned inside my blankets, which is what I did today.
You will be assimilated, Resistance is Futile… My body is reverting back to its old sleep schedule. For every six days of action, I have to give up one day to sleep. It is a fine trade off because I enjoy my sleep, especially when I get the lucid dreams that go with them. As for the rest of the day, I did a little shopping for dinner and now I am sitting here trying to write something worth while, and I don’t think it’s going very well…
I don’t feel inspired tonight, so I will call it a night.
Hello, my name is Jeremy and I am a Graduate Student in the Department of Theology at Concordia University… Try that one on for size…
Today was a big day … My first day of school as a Graduate Student. The beginning of the Fall semester is always fraught with drama long lines and insanity. This morning brought with it some sad memory, as my Monday-Wednesday morning class is in the Mother House in the West end of the house which has been transformed from living quarters of former nuns to classrooms and offices. I wanted to go visit the chapel this morning and spend some time in prayer, but that wasn’t in the cards today.
Christian Origins is my first class of the week, and it seems, because of certain technical problems, [read:no internet connections or electronic availability] in the room we are using, means a room change is in the offing soon. I saw some familiar faces from my summer as an independent student.
Thank God that none of the witches from the religion department are in any of my theology classes! There IS a God!!!
I took the afternoon to do some power shopping for books at the Diocesan Book Store in the core after class, and I even treated myself to a BK Lunch, Woo Hoo!! The Eaton Centre food court is really interesting at lunch time lots to see…
The Textbook for Christian Origins, Theo: 206 is called The Shaping of Christianity, and can be purchased at the Diocesan Bookstore at Place Cathedral at the McGill Metro. The book ran me $33.87.
I came home from my journey to the “Core” and took a short power nap before my evening class, hubby decided to join me for a nap… [he just can’t nap by himself when I am home] … I had 3 hours to nap, and I was in the middle of this fantastic adventure dream, it was action packed and I was really into it, when the alarm clock went off at 5:15 and it startled me so bad and I was so groggy that I could not hold onto the visual to write anything about it… I know I was in a town with a above ground subway system, it was dark and I was running all over the place. So I washed up and left for class and I couldn’t raise the dream in the light, I hate when that happens…
This evening I went to my Theology 204 with Fr. Ray was quite interesting. I saw many of the same faces that were in my morning Christian Origins class, which was great because this class is a lot smaller – with about 45 students in a smaller intimate lecture room. I think it is going to be a great semester…
The University Book Store also has the course packs for Theo: 204 Christian Ethics with Fr. Ray. The texts books are available and are on reserve in the library.
We had some really great discussion, and it is really nice to have Fr. Ray teaching the course, since he is one of my spiritual advisers, on the Catholic side. I told him that I had one foot in the religion of my family [Catholicism] and one foot in the Anglican Church, having been given a green light by Bishop Barry. So now Fr. Ray calls me the Anglo-Catholic. I am hoping that I reach some place new in my spiritual journey.
We are going to play Word Association now:
Your three words are:
Ethics — Morals — Christian
We talked about Religious Studies being a study in culture, society, history and tradition and Theology having a different Methodology, it is faith seeking understanding. Will we agree on all issues in Theology, probably not. Especially with a GAY, HIV+, Married, Catholic Queer in the classroom. This should be an interesting semester. I can look into my crystal ball and see much discussion and choppy waters ahead.
We all introduced ourselves in class and shared our majors and reasons for taking that class, many of us are in Core Studies for Theology, though, many of the students are from many other departments like Psychology [YAWN] Applied Human Sciences [Double YAWN] and others… If today’s discussions were indicative of what’s to come, this class should be incredibly enjoyable because of the varied beliefs, opinions and ages of students in the class. There are a few Graduate and Master’s students in the class, which is really cool…
Tomorrow should be even better with Religions of Tibet. I have high hopes for this class because I have been studying Buddhism and other Eastern Religions over the past four years, last academic year I took Buddhism and Jainism [at the same time] which was a real challenge. I did better in Jainism because it was more writing and academic study into a tradition that is labor intensive, because of the scarcity of primary source material. I flubbed on my Buddhism final exam, which hurt my grade. I hate huge multiple choice exams with very little writing!!! I perform better when I write.
See I did learn something in University! I learned how to write Good Essays and I learned how to write academically sound papers. It took me four years, but I was successful in my writing career. Writing here as well, has enhanced my academic writing because I can work out my ideas here before I add them to a paper.
In The Montreal News:
The Strike at the Notre Dame de Neige cemetery is OVER!! Thank Bloody Christ, it is about time – for Pete’s sake! Now gravediggers go back to work on Monday and they have over Seven Hundred and Fifty Caskets to bury, that have been in cold storage for Months!!
I talked to Fr. Ray about this on the way home tonight, we walked to the Major Seminary where he was parked just up the hill from home, The Bishop of Montreal got involved to try to end the strike, we all admit he was a little late with his word, but it seems to have worked! The Religious Authority has some sway over our community thank God for that!
So we are at 1042 words… Have I gone on too long here???
Ok that’s all for tonight. More tomorrow from the world of Tibet…
Oh, I forgot to mention that I am listed as an ALUMNI Blogger on the Concordia University Website!! Very Kewl!! We are also listed on the Religio Scholasticus website as well. I am really grateful for the support of my peers at Religio and as well from the University.
JetBlue and a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official, identified as “Inspector Harris,” would not let Raed Jarrar board his flight at John F. Kennedy Airport until he agreed to cover his t-shirt, which read “We Will Not Be Silent” in English and Arabic script. Harris told Jarrar that it is impermissible to wear an Arabic shirt to an airport and equated it to a “person wearing a t-shirt at a bank stating, ‘I am a robber.'” The American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the TSA official and JetBlue Airways.
“It is a dangerous and slippery slope when we allow our government to take away a person’s rights because of his speech or ethnic background,” said Reginald Shuford, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program. “Racial profiling is illegal and ineffective and has no place in a democratic society.”
I’ve had this blogger on my read list for some time, along with Baghdad Burning, since the war in Iraq began. I happened upon Raed’s blog today and saw this latest entry and I thought I’d share it with you, since it is relevant and appropriate. You can click on the link above and find out more.
Tonight’s offering comes via CNN’s presentation of God’s Warriors, Part 2 and the discussion of Islam, with Christiane Amanpour. Tonight’s presentation was truly eye opening. My area of study is not Islam, so I will share with you my observances from the documentary and tell you about my experience in my own community.
I have nothing against my Muslim community. I have never had issues with the Muslim community here in Montreal – let’s state that from the outset. I have no issues with the living of Muslim life and the practice of Islam as a religion. In fact, I have once written that Islam is truly a remarkable religious tradition because One Must LIVE Islam every day, every moment and every minute. You must observe the laws of the Qu’ ran and you must be a good Muslim and you must pray five times a day. Muslim life is very labor intensive but it is a way of life for millions of people around the world. Hence, I do not intend to make issue with the Muslim community.
If you learn anything about Islam, it is unlike Judaism and Christianity in its practice and requirements. Something I think Christians take for granted for Christianity is a one day a week observance. Unless of course you are a die hard Bible Thumping, Arrogant, Homosexual Hating, Abortion Abhorring, Judgmental 24/7 Evangelical Christian, I am sure you won’t be putting in hours of religious observance as a Muslim person does daily.
Many Muslims, like many people around the world, they “abhor violence.” it is said that militant Islamic violence is but a symptom of a greater problem. That this violence stems from the rage and anger of Muslims around the world.
“That for the extremist, it is an “Us versus Them mentality, that Christians and Jews are expendable.”
The split between the Shia and Sunni Muslim populations fuels the fire that burns in the Middle East and within Muslim countries like Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. We know as fact today that in Iraq, ethnic cleansing of occurring. The split between Shia and Sunni Muslims is a raging problem, and the split between the two factions occurred when Imam Husayn was martyred: from Wikipedia
The Day of Ashura (عاشوراء transliteration: ‘Āshūrā’, Ashura, Ashoura, and other spellings) is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram but not the Islamic month.
This day is well-known because of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala in the year 61 AH (AD 680). Furthermore Sunni Muslims believe that Moses fasted on that day to express gratitude to God for liberation of Israelites from Egypt. According to Sunni Muslim tradition, Muhammad fasted on this day and asked other people to fast.
The word ashura means simply tenth in Arabic; hence the name of the remembrance, literally translated, means “the tenth day”. Islamic scholars, however, give various explanations as to why it is thus called.
“It is also said that the conflict between the Christians and the Muslims will not end until one annihilates the other.”
It is with inflammatory statements like this one that gets the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. It is words like these that remind me that my world has changed. I am no longer insulated from World Issues in Montreal. I know who all of my neighbors are. I have Muslim friends and Muslim teachers. I for one, don’t want to see the world come to a conflict of annihilistic proportions.
For the extremist like Bin Laden and his followers and all those Muslims who fight against the infidel [insert here the U.S.] that the presence of American soldiers on Muslim holy ground is a “Sacrilege.”
Pictured above, Egypt. The beating heart of the Arab – Muslim world. What happens in Egypt trickles down to all the Muslim states in the Middle East. In a country that is oppressed and under rule – “Religion is the antidote to the secular government.” Islam is the cure for the secular government. It is the one thing that the people turn to. It is the energy that fuels the Muslim man and woman.
For the Fundamentalist Muslim, the “Secular state is one without moral purpose.”
Here once again, is another phrase that gets me uppity. I don’t think that I live a life without moral purpose, even if I am a homosexual and that is taboo is Muslim society. But I also understand the “why” behind the moral view of the West, where materialism and arrogance is something that they see from the West. Our lives are so different from those who are Muslim. These broad sweeping statements of conditional extremes would get any society up in arms about just how far the West is going to allow Islam and Muslim people to grow to a number that might facilitate the growth of Islam in a Western location.
Statistically, Islam is the fastest growing religion around the world, spread across the face of the earth. Islam, we know is a peaceful religion, save for the factions that are hell bent on creating chaos, destruction and death in massive proportions. The Iranian expectation of the coming of the Messiah is an apparent fact. The Iranian president is on a holy mission, so he thinks.
We have Iran, and the belief of the hidden Imam. Who is said to be kept alive by God and is hiding like the sun on a cloudy day. The Iranian president has also called for the destruction of Israel so that a Muslim state can be built on that land. I have my reservations about fanatical – Islamic speak and propaganda. Anyone who calls for the destruction of Israel is not someone who I’d support or give any credence to. Speak like this is terrifying and just plain insensitive and fanatical. And we should be wary of anyone who calls for the destruction of Israel. The world should be paying attention to this as they are today.
The Shiite belief that the hidden Imam will return and all will follow him:
“When the hidden Imam comes, Christians and Jews will be told to follow him and if they do not there will be problems. Then Jesus will be asked to come down and mediate and force us all to convert.”
Do we need to fear Islam as a religion? No, I do not think so. Do we need to fear Islamic religious extremism, Yes of course we do. We need to consider where we fit in the dynamic religious universe. Where do we fit on the scale of religious belief? And what can we do to change the hearts of the disenfranchised and those who are fed up with the West’s incursion into/onto Muslim land?
This is where I state my case against the Iraq war. The Mission has not been accomplished and millions of people have been killed, displaced and affected by a Western nation that went to war based on flawed intelligence and wrong ideas. I have never supported the war. Yet I support many of the Muslim writers who have shown us what this war has done to their lives as well the lives of so many others. The arrogance of the United States has put them in this situation, and now they are paying the price for occupation. I can understand why the Muslim world is so at odds with the West. They brought this on themselves. And the world watches this war continue and genocide is occurring as we speak in many places, but especially in Iraq.
And the world does nothing!! Are we responsible stewards of the people of the earth? The longer this continues the more death will occur, until someone comes along and says “ENOUGH!”
There are Iraqi bloggers on my sidebar, go read them. I know the truth about the killing of innocents, the sectarian violence and the ethnic cleansing going on inside the war that rages still.
“There are populations of God Warriors all over the world who see the world through a religious prism and they believe that modern society is trampling on their beliefs.”
What can we do to stop this trend of violence and hatred? Like I said last night the three monotheistic religions of the world are warring with their own and each other, and there is plenty of land to go around. There is always a solution if “ENLIGHTENED” political leaders would rise up and come to the table and negotiate a peaceful coexistent settlement.
Fundamental Islam tells us there are no solutions – that there is no negotiating. They they will conquer the infidel and change the face of the earth, the Caliphate must be installed and the world must bow and fall under the authority of Islamic rule and Sharia Law.
The killing needs to stop – and stop today! Or the world is headed for total collapse and do we want that to happen? Where do we draw the line in the sand and limit Muslim encroachment on all that the West respects as tradition and dogma?
Canada the True North standing free welcomes all, but even in Montreal we have issues of convenient accommodation for different religions. Canada is a very religious country, Quebec is very French – Catholic [Christian] yet people of all faiths live within our borders. We will not back down from our sovereign status and we will not bow to religious extremism. I will not bow to religious extremism be that Islam, or Christianity…
Tomorrow night will prove to be very exciting, because I will be writing on my major, Christianity. So look forward to that… I am sharpening my pen!!!