Archive for June, 2008
Its maybe a little unfortunate that I should be writing this right now, at such a young age. Its come through reflection on some real-world situations I’ve faced, some discussions I’ve had, stuff I’ve read, in fact, from pretty nearly every single angle one might acquire the data with which to build up any kind of analytical picture. Its a tough area to go to, though, because I guess the blame for a community failing lies with all its members; even if its unevenly spread, no one is completely blameless. So here’s my own personal reflections…
There’s something quite disturbing about this story I read a while back: a man who has been told by the American’s that the crop he grows on what little land he has is now illegal, being forced to sell his 6 year old daughter into a future-marriage; the off-loading of a largely Western problem onto the poorest and least able to cope, moreover the almost deliberate targeting of the poorest and not the incredibly rich middle-men.
Its a trade that always confounds my sense of values, between freedom to choose (what we consume) and freedom from oppression in the West (for Heroin dealers are oppressive) and freedom for oppression by the West (specifically, its policies that condemn others to poverty). While there doesn’t seem a simple answer, and I certainly recognise that Heroin is a massively dangerous drug, I can’t help but feel that somehow, given the impossibility of growing anything else in Afghanistan, that such policies are completely stupid.
After a decade of underinvestment in which York has sunk in cycling league tables, with investment per capita below London, and cycling uptake only moving at a snail’s pace, we’re finally getting an injection of cash to get us pedaling again. So to celebrate, I took a ride through the center of town at about midday on Sunday. Erm, yeah, don’t think we’re meant to do that…
This article first began to form in my mind when I was reading a collection of 50 most-hated office-speak phrases, and found myself bewildered by how picky people were being. The flames were fanned somewhat as I sat reading an article on the French Economic Minister’s search for a new work ethic. The problem with writing this post, however, is that its not really a fire of passionate annoyance, or passionate approval, more a fire of confusion. (more…)
I posted the following status update to facebook: “is a bit worried. Apparently a colleague might have been in work with Glandular.” It was a sudden-horror response to someone’s comment in the office about a colleague who’s phoned in sick, who had apparently been working despite a doctor telling them to do otherwise. And then I just got on with the day, just not feeling quite so confident as before. (more…)
Well, there’s been allegations that 1000 people are still missing after the Tibetan uprising earlier this year, but thats not why I’ve written the above title, even if such a response seems quite reasonable for a country with so much contempt to indigenous culture. I’m also aware that with so much of our ‘stuff’ coming from China, it would be almost impossible to boycott the country (just checked computer keybord, oh dear!). No, the reason I want to boycott china is actually quite bizarre as boycotts go: not because they’ve done something, but because I have done something. (more…)
Apologies for another rant about Christians, and most specifically those in Britain (who are a pretty mixed bunch just by themselves). Think this might not be the last one this week. I’m just annoyed by the recurring theme I keep finding: non-Christians (perhaps more specifically atheists, who have no meta-narrative to work from) who seem to be examining the world way beneath the surface, and yet so many Christians, people who should be thinking in terms of an underlying narative, taking such surface-level approaches to political issues. (more…)
In crude terms, the companies that make the most money from the least input must be doing the most to extract ‘value’ from its workers, sub-contractors and from the environment. It must, in a sense, be externalising as much of the cost as possible, in order to be left with the most profits. That would make the most profitable companies into human rights and environmental abusers? Or would that just be too simplistic? Sadly, this simplistic theory of economic gains seems to hold true this year… (more…)
I know its unusual for me to post on Saturdays but I just wanted to check that everyone saw what happened to a coal train just 20 miles south of where I’m sat right now. A group of activists brought the 2000 ton train to a stand still and then started emptying it onto the tracks, setting up home for the night inside the train and generally making sure that the train is going nowhere. I’d been getting really demotivated lately, but this has just shattered the state of jadedness I’ve been in for several days. Go read all about it: BBC News, Indymedia, Pictures on Indymedia, TheCoalHole.org
Its amazing how a small group of people can go do something hugely audacious, and how it can really inspire people to get moving and take action. We don’t all have to do things that are as spectacular as this, but if just 10,000 people took action, we could actually stop a whole new power station from being built. Next stop: Climate Camp, Kingsnorth Powerstation, Kent, 3rd to 11th August. See you there… (and if you’re a Christian, bring lots of mugs!)
It was announced this week that archaeologists working in Rihab, Jordan, claim to have found wthe world’s oldest church known church to date. Reading the report on News.BBC, I was challenged by the thoughts I had about the life of that church, how it differs from today’s Church and today’s churches. What was it that made these people different from the people of today’s church? (more…)