Saturday, 29 September 2012

Our World - Progress or Pain?

The world becoming a better place? Really? Take a good look around you.

Mobile phones - We only need watch the news to see how this little gadget has provided us with so much footage of news events as they unfold around the world.

Computers have become a powerful tool in business, education and the home. So much so, that we ask ourselves how we ever managed without them.

Medicine - Mapping the human genome means that we can now tackle more hereditary diseases than ever before.
Massive improvements in cancer treatment have increased the chances of survival of this disease. We have had so many other advances in medicine it doesn't bear thinking about. 

Countries like China, India, Brazil and Russia that were once poor and had an under-educated population are now becoming richer - they can now contribute to the international community in terms of their scientific research and helping other countries out of poverty.

Thanks to a better global transport system, we now have increased access to places and products, which means our diets, communication and cultural awareness are richer and more interesting.  

So the world is becoming a better place... isn't it?

NO, it's getting worse.

Some of that crap we're eating is GM (Genetically Modified) 'frankenstein' foods, so I wouldn't be surprised if you opened up a coffin from today a thousand years from now and find the person perfectly preserved. 

Half of the world is obese whilst the other half starves to death. That's not good is it? 

Science? We are using our skills to develop more sophisticated weaponry to kill off our fellow human beings, is this what we call advancing? If we keep this up, soon there'll be nobody left! 

I'm surprised we can still breathe, the way we pollute the earth and destroy the environment and rain-forests. We are teetering on the brink of a huge catastrophe caused by our own abuse. I'm not surprised man wants to colonise the moon. After ruining the earth we're looking around for another planet to sabotage.

Thought we had advances in medicine, but AIDS is still ravaging whole societies in poorer countries, or is it that we only treat the richer countries with the good medicines? 

Mapping the human genome. Thought this was a good idea, but what about the risks of cloning? The potential for misuse of this knowledge opens up a whole can of worms.

So, I'm confused. Is the world a better place or not?

Is life really improving for people? Are we heading for utopia or catastrophe?
Are all these advances helping or hindering the human race?
What do you see in the society you live in?

Feel free to share your views and opinions.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Greed to Help Others

Give money to charity? What? Me?

Do I look like some sort of mug to you? Do I have 'muppet' or 'cash machine' tattooed on my forehead?

That guy sat on the street is probably only going to spend it on booze or junk anyway. And I don't work hard to subsidise someone else's habit. It's bad enough that the government does this already.

And what about Africa? Pull the other leg, it's got bells on! How do I know that the money gets beyond the pockets of the person I give it to, much less Africa. Probably a penny of every pound reaches there.

And anyway, don't those people need to learn to stand on their own two feet? So long as there's people to give them a handout they're never going to get off their backsides and take care of their business. It just might stop them having so many kids.


Your excuses are just a front for sheer greed. Look how much you've got? Food in the cupboard, a change of clothes and a roof over your head. Do you ever stop to think that the things you take for granted are luxuries to the majority of the world's population?

The reason why your country may be rich is because, historically, it has exploited other countries and robbed them of their natural resources. So why not give a little back?

What's a euro, pound or dollar to you? A couple of packets of biscuits, not even a can of beer. A sixth of a cinema ticket. But to someone else, that can be immunisation for their child against a deadly disease or goes towards a water pump to provide fresh clean water. Still clutching that dollar for dear life? 

How about that guy in rags you pass on your way to the station or supermarket? The one that stinks to high heaven. Alright he may be a faker, but what if he wasn't? What does your conscience tell you? Does it really say it's OK to pass him by, knowing you have some money to give, on the off-chance that he's not genuine?

Why can't we have a greed to help others?

These two voices exist inside my head. Please help me to decide which one to listen to, or better still, what do you do on a daily basis?

Have you ever been in an hour of need? Did people step up to help you or turn their backs?
Conversely, did you step up to help someone who then turned out to be a taker and faker?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this post. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Blaming the Victims

23 years ago Liverpool football fans attended a match at the Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield. The stadium had recently been fitted with a high metal fence between the fans and the pitch to prevent pitch invasions and hooliganism, which was rife at the time. The stadium eventually became full to capacity. Yet still police mistakenly ordered another large gate to be opened and pushed more people into the penned up stadium. 

The resulting crush caused the death of 96 fans (asphyxiated) as they had no way of getting out onto the pitch to escape. Over 700 more fans were injured. In the aftermath, the Liverpool fans were vilified by the press, particularly The Sun newspaper, and the victims blamed for the disaster.  

For 23 years the families of the dead did all they could to get justice for their loved ones. They refused to accept they were the ones to blame. On 12 September 2012, justice was served. An Independent Hillsborough Report Panel made it's conclusions public, and the contents were horrific. Some of the panel's findings stated:

- The police and ambulance service had made a 'strenous attempt' to cover up and hide what really happened on that fateful day
- 116 out of 164 statements were amended, changed and deleted
- Statements they thought were unfavourable or that criticised the police were removed. To put it mildly, the documents were doctored
- Blood alcohol readings were taken from the dead victims, including a 10 yr old boy, in an attempt to demonstrate that fans were drunk. When they could not find alcohol evidence against the victims they even ran a police record check to dig dirt and slur the victims' reputations
- The Hillsborough panel could not find any evidence that the fans didn't have tickets, were violent or highly intoxicated on that day, contradicting what the police had said
- Shockingly, 41 out of the 96 that died could possibly have been saved if the ambulance and/or police had done their jobs properly!
- The football stadium was also criticised for it's severe lack of health and safety
- No Liverpool fan was to be blamed for any of the disastrous events of that day

I don't have the space here to reel off the countless facts that this panel found, but there was a massive cover-up of the truth on that day. 

How could so many individual people from the emergency services we rely upon to protect us and save our lives get it so wrong?
They didn't just fail us, but for 23 years they covered up and twisted the whole blame to stigmatize the actual victims of a tragedy. UNBELIEVABLE. 

So my questions are:
Have you ever been falsely accused of something you didn't do, by family, friends or even an organization? 

We have no choice but to entrust our safety to those who have authority over us, but do you trust them to do the right thing?

Have you ever had to step forward and admit a serious mistake, one that could have resulted in repercussions for you or someone else?

Maybe you need to put something right today and tell the truth. 

I would love to hear your views, comments and opinions on this post.

Friday, 7 September 2012

9/11 - Where Were You?

This is the day in history that will be revered by some and hated by many for years to come. In one day, thousands of lives were taken for a cause that the vast majority of the victims had no dealings in, or could be associated with.

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I suddenly heard the news that a plane had smashed into one of the twin towers in America. I sat in disbelief trying to understand whether it was a deliberate terrorist attack, a suicidal attempt or an accident. When the second plane hit, there was no doubt in mind what was happening. From that point, there was chaos as I began to think about where my family and friends were in America.

My heart goes out to all those innocent people who lost their lives, their loved ones, colleagues and many more. My prayers are with those who were severly injured and to those who will yet lose their lives from illnesses they have developed because of this day. I applaud all the innocent firemen, policemen, medical teams etc. who risked their own lives to help others. Many of them paid the ultimate price for their heroism.

I chose this appropriate 3.5 min video by Allison Crowe, called 'Up to the Mountain', to mark this day for all those who have been affected.

Do you remember where you were and what you was doing on that fateful day?

With all the controversy surrounding whether it was a real terrorist attack or if it was done or allowed by the government, what do you now believe and have your views changed on this?

As a direct consequence of the attacks: the Taliban government has been ousted in Afghanistan, Saddam toppled and Bin Laden executed. Do you believe that America is safer now because of this?

I would love you to share your views/experiences of how 9/11 has affected or impacted on your life today. Feel free to express yourself.
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