DAKOTA PIPELINE

‘You were here long before any of us were here…You are special people” …. the words used by President Donald Trump while honouring Native American veterans of WW2.  The irony of standing before a portrait of President Andrew Jackson was noted by many. Known for his harsh treatment of Native Americans, Jackson signed The Indian Removal Act which resulted in the deaths of thousands of native people forced to relocate. However, since native peoples remain disenfranchised today which Presidents portrait would have been appropriate?

The ‘code talkers’ used their  languages including Navajo, Choctaw, and Seminole to transmit sensitive military plans that US enemies could not translate.  By his words President Trump acknowledged the pre-eminence of indigenous native peoples: History has shown that this does not extend to their land rights including the current Dakota Access Pipeline. Construction sites are technically just north of the Sioux tribe’s reservation,  the Sioux say the government took this land from them illegally in an 1868 treaty.  They also accuse the government of approving the current pipeline construction without consulting them, a breach of US law and argue that the project would contaminate drinking water and damage sacred burial sites. Continue reading

DIVIDE AND CONQUER – A STRATEGY

THE POLITICAL SPLIT NOW REPEATEDLY DEMONSTRATED IN ELECTION RESULTS , REFERENDUMS AND OPINION POLLS  IS A GLOBAL PHENOMENON, A FURTHER EXAMPLE OF THE DUALITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS  IN THE CURRENT TRANSITION TOWARDS UNITY OR CHAOS.

 A SPIRITUAL CHALLENGE:  When viewed in terms of consciousness, this manifests in  a lack of spiritual cohesiveness, marked by moral and ethical decline. Such markers in Time provide a wake up call,  a warning to humanity to return to observance of the governing cosmic law in order to avoid inevitable consequence. Cosmologists acknowledge  the geophysical division and fragmentation which takes place at the end of cosmic cycles, now manifesting as climate change.  Sociologists  and mental health care practitioners recognise the psychological trauma  and breakdown often associated with change and uncertainty which precedes any regenerative phase of renewal. Today political guru’s are confounded by the dynamic changes in which outcome cannot be predicted.

UNITY OR DIVISION:   The outcome of the current Israeli election is one more demonstration of division and fragmentation, a split in the national psyche.  With 95% of the vote counted, results show a tie, with the two major parties evenly split at 56 seats, the Likud Party led by Prime Minister Netanyahu is behind  by one seat.  Neither side has the 61 votes necessary to form a governing coalition in the 120-seat Knesset.

 

The UK Brexit vote on whether to leave the EU, split the nation and led to an unresolved constitutional crisis.

  •  In the UK 51.9% voted LEAVE and 48.1% REMAIN.
  • With the exception of Scotland and London the results of the remaining 11 regions eligible to vote illustrated an average split of 10%.
  • Northern Ireland voted  55.8%  NO  to 44.2% YES.
  • Wales voted 47.5% NO  to 52.5% YES.
  • In the Scottish referendum which debated Independence from Britain,  55.3% voted against independence with  44.7% voting in favour, the later Brexit crisis  influencing any potential second referendum.

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Heart centred?

In a time of much confusion, delusion and self deception, the constant claim by so many of being ‘heart centred’, while well meaning, sadly does not stand up to scrutiny. The global experience of the majority in the world today confirms a lack of love rather than an abundance. To be truly heart centred requires more than a statement or even an intention, we must engage energetically from the neural pathways within the heart. (See Medicine and Mysticism Meet:  http://www.livingmemoryresearch.net/blog/?p=6)

Love is linked to unselfish desire, pure motive, the ability to give and to receive. Emotional connection is a sensory response, an energetic pull with anticipation of reciprocation, borne of personal need. Our relationship to each other and to the world can be measured by the degree of separation between the demands we place on others and our ability to give without receiving, referred to as unconditional love. For most of us the resting place is somewhere in between. Continue reading

LINES IN THE SAND – Who created the Middle East?

Wars are driven by conquest and plunder. Resources are essential to the survival of empires and military might is essential to achieve access and occupation.

For almost four centuries until World War 1 most Arab countries were provinces of the Turkish Ottoman Empire and the Western part  of the Arab East was already under the rule of colonial France and England.  By 1915 amid the horrors of WW1 colonial powers began secretly staking their claims in the Middle East in the event that they won the war. As with the Balfour Agreement, conflicting promises were made by the British government to incompatible national groups concerning the same land areas. Britain had promised the Arabs an independent state in appreciation of their help in defeating the Turkish Ottoman Empire when Sharif Husayn a Hashemite Emir of Mecca had led an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks, in return he had been promised recognition as the head of an Arab Kingdom.

It was implied that this would include all of Mesopotamia, most of Syria and those parts of the peninsula of Arabia not already governed as British protectorates. This ignored an existing British alliance in central Arabia with Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, the Emir of Riyad, a leader of the militant Wahhabi Islamic movement who with British support ultimately became King Saud of Saudi Arabia, a controversial ally of the West today. Continue reading

BALFOUR DECLARATION – ‘Freedom is never gained by the oppression of others’

The Balfour Declaration has been referred to as made by a European power … about a non-European territory … in a flat disregard of both the presence and wishes of the native majority resident in that territory”.

As Israelis celebrate the centenary of the founding of the State of Israel, the world reflects upon the document which also resulted in the tragedy of the Arab Israeli conflict.  The Balfour Declaration grew out of British self interest during ever changing fortunes of WW1. Control over Palestine was of strategic Imperial significance in order to keep Egypt and the Suez Canal within Britain’s sphere of influence. In essence, the Balfour Declaration,  promised the powerful Zionist Jewish political movement in Britain a homeland for the Jewish people in return for global Jewish support of their goal. The British Foreign Secretary handed the letter  to Baron Rothschild, an international financier, banker and Zionist sympathiser who acted as intermediary for the Zionist movement.

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‘The Art of the Deal’ ?

The Torah counsels: “Do not taunt your neighbour with the blemish you yourself have’.  

A return to diplomatic language as opposed to President Trump and Kim Jong-Un trading schoolyard insults, with each leader calling the other ‘little rocket man’ or ‘ a mentally deranged dotard’ would do much to reassure the people of the world who watch the stalemate with increasing apprehension.

Negotiation is the true art of the deal. ‘Negotiation’ is defined as ‘To reach an agreement or compromise by discussion’ three words it might be said which seem conspicuously absent from President Trumps vocabulary. As the self proclaimed ultimate deal maker Donald Trumps business success can not be disputed. The billionaire tycoon has frequently stated that success depends upon ‘knowing when to walk away from the table’. This does not necessarily equate with negotiating skills, for an unassailable power position makes for a table which is tilted in favour of one party, at best, manipulation, at worst, thinly veiled bullying. While a ruthless approach to business competitors can prove successful in commerce, ‘cutting a deal’ to ones own advantage in the global political arena, only fuels frustration and resentment as history shows us.

Negotiation does not begin with an ultimatum: a final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations’. This can only ever result in non cooperation and inevitably escalation of conflict. There must be something on the table to the advantage of both parties. In true negotiation each party contributes something to encourage trust, the first step being a pause, an agreement by both sides to halt behaviour seen as inflammatory or aggressive. In the case of the proposed denuclearisation of the Asian peninsula it has been suggested  by some that as a first step North Korea might pause its nuclear programme and the US  defer its training exercises in the South China Seas.

The idea that there can be a military solution to the current situation only confirms how little has been learned from the past and perhaps more importantly how little regard there is for human life. At present we do not even have ‘a table’ the forum which would enable both parties to meet. With both leaders diametrically opposed this is their ultimate test since neither can win without compromise. A wrong choice by either could  result in the death of millions of people, potentially triggering a world wide conflagration. Kim Jong Un faced with the unassailable military might of the US fortified by nuclear options, demands the right for North Korea to become a nuclear power. Rightly or wrongly he perceives an abuse of power ie being bullied to the table to bring about the objective already decided as a ‘done deal’ by the US. This is an opportunity for President Trump to demonstrate that true power, ‘the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events’ is exemplified when it is not used as coercion.

“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.”      Mahatma Ghandi

While we may be some way from feeling love for Kim Jong-un, love in its purest form is based in compassion, we can only hope this extends to all people of all nations.

(Errattum: Earlier correction-name of  Kim Jon-un)

‘Gunpowder, Treason and Plot’

A glance over the medieval shoulder reveals religious intolerance and a capacity for atrocity equalling anything seen today. When Henry Vlll, the English king, separated from the Church of Rome in 1534 to form the Church of England, Protestantism was forced upon the population and those who dissented were made to pay fines, thrown into prison, tortured  or killed. Elizabeth 1st  succeeded Henry and the Spanish Armada set sail to restore ‘the true religion’ at the popes behest. The Armada failed and centuries of division and religious persecution of Catholics followed.

Catholics were seen as potential traitors and required to deny their allegiance to the pope.The Jesuit priesthood entered the country on behalf of the papacy and laws were tightened.  In 1585, theAct Against Jesuits, Seminary Priests and other suchlike Disobedient Persons made it High Treason for a priest to reside anywhere in England or for anyone to hide or assist a priest.Harsh laws meant fines, imprisonment or forfeiture of property could be imposed on those who brought Catholic artefacts into the country, heard mass or sent children abroad to schools or seminaries. The Catholic population became increasingly estranged.  Elizabeth died childless in 1567 and was succeeded by James V1, King of Scotland who became James 1 of England.  The two Protestant kingdoms  became the United Kingdom in 1603, further alienating the Catholic minority. Continue reading

CATALONIA – What happens when language, culture and tradition are suppressed?

 

 Barcelona, a favourite tourist destination for millions is Catalonia’s capital city. Catalonia, an autonomous community of Spain has now declared independence from Spain with Direct rule being imposed within hours. With images of recent police response to the Referendum still fresh we wait to see how Madrid will choose to impose or restore its authority. With the democratically elected Catalan government already dissolved and the chief of police sacked the potential consequences are dire.

Of 43% of Catalans who voted, 90% voted for Independence. Why, when they know the possible consequences… economic sanctions, alienation, with the EU, Nato, the US and numerous other countries refusing to acknowledge their voice. A deepening of the existing divisions within their own community is inevitable since many Catalans understandably wish to remain part of Spain. Perhaps it is because the struggle for self determination  is eternal, for some, unquenchable…it is the same spirit that drives patriots to defend their right to speak their own language, educate their children in their respective traditions, dance their own dances and sing their own songs….

Whether this vote leads to greater autonomy, civil unrest or inspires other such groups to follow suit, time will tell. Meanwhile a glance at their history does much to remind us of why so many might chose to vote in this way. As so often,  geography influences outcome. Catalonia is located between the regions which became France and Spain. As such it has been invaded, conquered, assimilated and at times ceded.

 Spain is a consolidation of former kingdoms, a legacy of a Roman, Muslim and Christian past. Islamic Spain (711 – 1492) was a multi cultural mix of Muslims, Christians and Jews. The conquest of the last Muslim kingdom tied Catalonia politically to the fate of the new Spanish kingdom, a unification of Aragon and Castile through the marriage of Catholic monarchs. The  kingdoms of Aragon and Castile came into being in the 11th century AD  and eventually united in the Union of Aragon and Castile in 1469.

Each kingdom retained their own distinctive rights, Catalan language and culture flourished in this period and a complex political system was established based in the concept of a pact between the estates of the realm and the king. Laws had to be approved in the General Court of Catalonia which was  one of the first parliamentary bodies of Europe that banned royal power since 1283. 

In 1516 the monarchies were formally united into a single Monarchy of Spain (“Kingdom of the Spains”) Each kingdom conserved its political institutions and maintained its own courts, laws, public administration, and separate coinage of money. Philip V, the first Bourbon king of Spain, invaded Aragon with his army in 1707, centralizing power and making the former Crown of Aragon territories into provinces. The traditional Catalan political institutions and rights were removed and the Catalan language was replaced by Castilian.

Following the Spanish Coup of 1923  the Basque region and Catalonia wanted independence this was refused. The Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939) was fought between the Nationalists and the Republicans, the Nationalists won, and Franco ruled Spain as a dictator for the next 36 years, until his death in 1975. Franco abolished Catalan  autonomy in 1938 and made every effort to suppress Catalan culture. He prohibited expressions of language, traditional dance and culture, and religious practice. Catalan names were prohibited and replaced by Castilian equivalents with street names changed. Religious services were held in Castilian, and Castilian was the only language permitted to be used in public. Schools were banned from teaching Catalan. Few books were published in Catalan . Images of popular Catalan culture like the traditional Catalan dance, were also banned. Popular symbols of Catalan nationalism, such as statues, portraits, the flag, were all removed from public view.

The modern independence movement began when the 2006 Statute of Autonomy which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia, was challenged in the Spanish High Court of Justice which ruled that some of the articles were unconstitutional, or were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against the decision quickly turned into demands for independence. With persistent demands, the Catalan Self Determination Referendum went ahead in 2014 with an 87%  YES vote of a 42% turnout.

 In a time of social and political upheaval  Catalonia has maintained peaceful protest. Is it timely to consider not only what has been gained but also what has been lost by progressive centralization of power. What is seen as the threat of fragmentation is perhaps in reality a yearning to restore identity and cohesion.

 

 

ROHINGYA ETHNIC CLEANSING – Who Benefits?

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 Myanmar (Burma) is located between India, China, Bangladesh and Thailand, its population is comprised of a distinct  ethnic mix of tribal peoples with 135 ethnic groups and ‘eight national races’.

The Rohingya people  are indigenous to Arakan, the old coastal country of Southeast Asia, now renamed Rakhine. In ancient times a  southern branch of the Silk Road connected India, Burma and China with Arakan  which became a key centre of maritime trade and cultural exchange for  Arab merchants. From the 8th century BC  Islamic conversion, intermarriage and settlement led to an  increased Muslim Arakan population. The modern day Rohingya believe they descended from  these early Muslim communities and ancient Sanskrit inscriptions in the region indicate that the founders of the first Arakanese states were Indian. As Muslims the Rohingya  are a minority religious group  in Myanmar where Buddhism is practiced by 88% of the population according to the latest government census. Minority groups dispute these figures. 

China is the original homeland of the Bamar  tribal people of the Dian Kingdom, annexed by China  in  109BCE.   The Bamar migrated from Central Asia and Tibet around the 9th century and settled in the region which is now northern Burma where they integrated with the native Pyu people. The Bamar people are primarily Buddhist and now comprise 69% of the total population of Myanmar. 

In 1784  the Bamar conquered Arakan, resulting in  some 35,000 Rohingya  fleeing  over a fifteen year period  into neighbouring  British Bengal, to seek protection. Thousands of men were executed by the Burmese military with many of the Arakan population deported to central Burma, leaving their homeland depopulated. The colonial policy of the British in India encouraged waves of Bengali migrants into the area of Arakan  to work as farm labourers, primarily due to the requirement for cheap labour to work in the paddy fields.

British commercial and strategic interest in Burma led to war in the mid-1820s. The  East India Company, an agent of British colonial power, extended its jurisdiction to Arakan, its armed forces seized the capital Rangoon, defeating the war-elephants and musketeers of the King of Ava. Arakan was annexed by the British in 1824 and administered as a colony by the East India Trading Company. Further wars led to Burmese defeat by the British Raj and the annexation of all of lower Burma in 1852. In 1885 following the British invasion of what was left of the Burmese kingdom the country’s ancient monarchy was abolished and its king exiled to India. Burma was then governed by the British Raj as a province of India, like the Punjab or Bengal, with little or no sensitivity to Burmese culture. As India moved towards independence, Rangoon became increasingly cosmopolitan with the Burmese becoming  an excluded minority. By the beginning of the 20th century, Indians were arriving in Burma at the rate of a quarter million per year, equivalent to the United Kingdom today taking 2 million people a year. By 1927, Rangoon exceeded New York City as the greatest immigration port in the world. Indian immigrants formed a majority of the population of the largest cities in Burma, fanning Burmese resentment, nationalism and religious hatred with riots specifically directed against the Indian Muslim community.

Colonial control was interrupted  by the Japanese invasion of Burma in 1942 when Arakan became prominent  in the conflict. The war resulted in a complete breakdown of civil governance in Burma  with  Buddhists instigating cruel measures against  Muslims. Allied forces were back in control by 1945 but the Burmese, already divided along ethnic and religious lines were impatient for Independence.The British were faced with an unexpected insurgency and thousands of Burmese nationalists fought and died in the guerilla warfare which followed before Burma became independent in 1948, by which time much of the country had been under British rule for nearly a hundred years. Arakan effectively became a colony of Burma.

Following a military coup in 1962  the military junta took power and promptly shut off the country from the outside world. Burma has only  emerged  from self-imposed isolation in recent years. The Rohingya have been systematically deprived of their political rights since that time. In 1982 New Citizenship law imposed by the military junta  excluded Rohingya from  the list of 135 national races, stripping them of citizenship.

In 1989 Burma was renamed Myanmar. Arakan State was renamed Rakhine State with identity cards excluding Rohingya. Formerly recognized as an indigenous ethnic nationality of Burma  with members of the group serving as representatives in the Burmese parliament and high-ranking government positions, the Rohingya are  now stateless, subjected to various forms of extortion and arbitrary taxation; land confiscation; forced eviction house destruction and financial restrictions on marriage. Rohingya  have been subjected to routine forced labour to work on military or government projects, arable land, has been confiscated by the military and given to Buddhist settlers.  In addition to political persecution in the last four years Rohingya Muslims have been  subjected  to escalating persecution by an extreme Buddhist  sect of monks. The UN describing Rohingya persecution as a crime against humanity.

Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace prize for her peaceful resistance to oppression, suffering 15 years house arrest before leading the National League for Democracy to a major win in the first open election of 2015.  She has to date failed to speak for the Rohingya people and recently requested at the UN that the name Rohingya should not be used.

The international focus on Myanmar’s religious/ethnic issues has overshadowed the  vast land grabs by the government.The past two decades have seen a massive worldwide rise of corporate acquisitions of land for mining, timber, agriculture and water generated by military-economic interests.  Myanmar’s natural resources include oil and gas, various minerals, precious stones and gems, timber and forest products, hydropower potential, etc. Of these, natural gas, rubies, jade, and timber logs are the most valuable and currently provide a substantial portion of national income. In 2012 land  laws were changed to open the country to foreign investors. Corporate acquisitions were favoured and  land allocations increased by  170% between 2010 and 2013. Recently the government allocated 1,268,077 hectares (3,100,000 acres) in the Rohingya area of Myanmar for corporate rural development.

In the  Myanmar Census of  March 2014 the Burmese government banned the word “Rohingya”. It was reported that the  Myanmar government had created a plan to expel the country’s persecuted  Muslim minority. Under the proposal, all Rohingya who refuse to identify themselves as “Bengalis” (a term used for illegal migrants from Bangladesh) and do not have documentation acceptable to the government would be detained in camps before being driven out of the country. In 2016 the  UN accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, estimating that a million Rohingya refugees will have left Myanmar for Bangladesh by the end of 2017.

Researchers from the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London suggest that the Myanmar government is in the final stages of an organised process of genocide against the Rohingya.

Is Puerto Rico American?

Recent polls showed that 40% of Americans are unaware that Puerto Ricans are by law natural born citizens of the United States

Puerto Rico[Spanish  for “Rich Port’ is an Unincorporated Territory  of the United States, located in the northeast Caribbean Sea. The maximum length of the main island from east to west is 180 km (110 mi), and the maximum width from north to south is 65 km (40 mi) It is larger than two smallest US States of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.  

Puerto Rico was originally populated by the  Taino Indians the indigenous people of the Caribbean, who originated in South America.. Christopher Columbus came ashore on November 19, 1493, carrying documentation from King Ferdinand of Spain and the Pope authorizing ‘any course of action necessary for the expansion of the Spanish Empire and the Christian faith’ and  claimed the island as a Spanish colony. Columbus renamed the island San Juan Bautista, in honour of St John the Baptist.The Spanish Crown offered free land as an incentive to those who wanted to populate the islands, on the condition that they swear their loyalty to the Spanish Crown with allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church.Despite decrees for the protection of the indigenous population, Taíno Indians were subjected to forced labour in the early years of colonization in addition to suffering extremely high fatalities from epidemics of European infectious  diseases from which they had no immunity. Continue reading

KOREA – Unstoppable Force meets Immovable Object

As the world watches and waits to see what strategy the American President will adopt in response to Kim Jung Il’s latest missile launch, we might pause to consider a 3rd century philosophical treatise which describes the challenge.,“A man was trying to sell a spear and a shield; asked how good his spear was, he said that his spear could pierce any shield. Then, when asked how good his shield was, he said that it could defend from all spear attacks. Then one person asked him what would happen if he were to take his spear to strike his shield; the seller could not answer.”        

The words of a Chinese general and military strategist come down to us from the 6th century: Sun Tzu 孫子 (c 6th century BCE) authored The Art of War, an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. His advice regarding military decision making:

                                               “First know your enemy”

Korea has suffered repeated invasion and occupation over the centuries, North Korea views American intentions as hostile and latest polls suggest that 94% of Americans view North Korea as a threat.. A glance at the history of the people  may assist us in gaining a better understanding of the ‘ paranoia’ which is often levelled at the country.

History: The Old kingdom was founded in northern Korea and Manchuria in 2333 BC. In 108BC The Han empire of China conquered the northern part of the Korean peninsula administering it for almost 400 years. South and central Korea were governed by the Gorveo Kingdom until its fall when the Korean peninsula became a united territory under the Josean dynasty which ruled over the region for more than 500 years, from 1392. In the subsequent colonial era wealthy and powerful nations extended control and influence over weaker nations using terms such as ‘protectorate’ and ‘sphere of influence’. Korea became a ‘protectorate’ of China with continuing conflict between China and Japan to gain power and influence over the peninsula.

1894 Korea was a ‘protectorate’ of China when Japan forced the Chinese to sign a humiliating peace treaty which ostensibly gave Korea ‘full and complete independence and autonomy’. In fact this was a ploy, enabling Japan to gain a foothold on the peninsula, providing access to a supply of rich raw materials.

1905 Korea was forced to sign a ‘protectorate’ treaty’ with Japan designed to open up Korean ports to Japanese trade. Japanese citizens were granted territorial rights and the Japanese forced the abdication of the Emperor of Korea, replacing him with his son as a puppet.1910 Japan annexed Korea exploiting the Korean people throughout the brutal occupation. 1911 Cultural erosion: An Imperial Decree forced Koreans to surrender their family names and adopt Japanese names, the Korean language was prohibited. 1932 Land Dispossession: Korean land owners, unable to provide the documentation to prove ownership lost their land to Japanese settlers. Dispossessed Koreans were forced to become tenants and made to pay over half their crops as rent, this resulted in many Korean women being forced into factories or prostitution to pay taxes.

1945 Korea was liberated from Japanese occupation when Russia invaded and occupied North Korea and American forces moved into the south. The country was temporarily administered by the joint trusteeship of Russia and the US as allies, the intention being to grant independence after 5 years. As a result of the subsequent Cold War between Russia and America administration became contentious and the country was split into two parts to be administered separately.

1948 The two regions were divided at the 38th parallel, each with its own government. Both claimed to be the legitimate government and neither accepted the border as permanent.

 Kim Il Sung became the leader of North Korea from the division of the country, North Korea became a workers state with close alliance to the Soviet Union. South Korea was aligned to the US. 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea with the support of Stalin, the objective being unification, this is referred to by North Korea as the ‘Fatherland Liberation War’. A UN force came to the aid of South Korea, 88% of the military being American. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign and China came to its defense with Russia providing ariel support. In China the war is called ‘The War to resist US aggression and aid Korea’.

1953 An Armistice ended the fighting but no peace treaty was ever signed, the two countries remain technically at war with the 38th parallel the boundary.1960s North Korea, supported by the USSR enjoyed a higher standard of living than South Korea, 1980s due to Japanese and American investment the economy of South Korea flourished. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in a loss of economic aid, adversely affecting the economy of North Korea. Since that time China has been North Korea’s only major ally.

2017 All attempts to impose economic sanctions to stop North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons have so far failed. North Korea insists that a nuclear defense system is essential in view of America’s perceived hostile stance, the 35,000 US personnel stationed in South Korea and the tens of thousands of American troops deployed in bases in Japan, Guam and the Philippines.

The most successful Commanders in history have been forced to choose between governing options.  Accommodate  – Negotiate – Withdraw – Attack

In the words of President Trump:  ‘All options are on the table’

His latest statement being:  ‘Talking is not the answer’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY IS GUAM AMERICAN

How did a tiny island measuring only 210 square miles , located 6,000 miles from California become America’s ‘permanent  Aircraft carrier’?

Location: Micronesia, Western pacific. History and Culture Archaeological evidence indicates Marianas Islands were one of the first places to be settled by seafaring peoples, over 4000 years ago. The islands appear to have been continuously occupied by people who shared the same culture and language that eventually became known as Chamorro. The last 400 years of Guam’s history has been marked by administrations of three different colonial powers: Spain, the United States and Japan.

1898 Spanish American War began when the US intervened in Cuba’s attempt to gain independence from Spanish colonial rule. Referred to by US Secretary of State John Hay as ‘a splendid little war’  it lasted for only 4 months, ending Spain’s colonial rule in the Americas and  bringing Cuba, Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico under American control. Along with the annexation of the Republic of Hawaii, the war made the United States an imperialist nation with Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico  ceded as unincorporated US Territories. As such the inhabitants are US citizens by birth but have no voting rights or representation in the US Congress.

When the American cruiser USS Charleston arrived off the shore of Guam on orders to capture the Spanish-controlled island as part of the planned invasion of the Philippines it fired 12 rounds. In response a Spanish officer rowed out to their ship to welcome them; believing this to be a salute. He was quickly taken prisoner and it became apparent that neither the 60 Spanish marines stationed on Guam nor the island’s civilians had any idea that war had broken out between Spain and America two months earlier. The Spanish surrendered, ceding Guam to America.

Referred to as ‘our permanent aircraft carrier’ by American commanders, Guam is considered a strategically important link between the U.S. and Asia, positioned 1,500 miles from the Philippines and 2,000 miles from North Korea . Today the island hosts the US military base and some 30,000 personnel and their families. The American base is both revered and reviled by citizens of Guam who fear that its presence makes them a target for any potential attack by North Korea in the current escalation of hostilities.

CORRELATION: Solar Eclipse and historical events

Cosmic Laws govern the Universe, one of which is the Law of Cause and Effect or Karma. This fundamental principal states that every action generates a reaction, a return of the energy in kind; we ‘reap what we sow.’ The energy returns to us in accordance with the Law of Cycles. Without an understanding of the divine principles we remain ignorant and so compound our errors. The Law applies equally at the personal and the collective level affecting individuals, communities and all nations, played out through repeated incarnation, the refinement of souls  through experience. We are all our brother’s keeper.

Karmic energy is neutral, The Law is exactreflecting past actions  both positively and negatively.  The American belief in ‘manifest destiny’  led to expansionism,  its magnificent achievements  built on a foundation of slavery and genocide. The American continent was opened up by early settlers whose wagon trains, railroads and ranches displaced the indigenous tribes. The effect was compounded by governmental policies which ultimately resulted in what has been described as  ethnic cleansing. The Oregon Trail crossed America and was used by the wagon trains of some 400,000 settlers, farmers, miners, ranchers, and business owners and their families. 

The eclipse began in Oregon. a region originally populated   by some 50,000 Native Americans until government legislation in 1850 forcibly removed  tribes and offered 2.5 million acres of their land, free to white settlers. The Oregon Trail was linked to the California Trail: Evidence of human occupation by native American tribes of California dates from at least 19,000 years ago. These aboriginal people had 500 distinct sub-tribes or groups, each consisting of 50 to 500 individual members. The California Gold Rush began on January 24th 1848 with the discovery of a gold nugget by James Marshall, who had been hired by a California land baron, John Sutter who was building an empire on 50,000 acres of Indian land near Sacramento. Sutter kidnapped native Americans and forced them to work for him. It was recorded that Sutter “keeps 600 to 800 Indians in a complete state of Slavery.” The discovery of gold brought 300,000 people to the area in two years. Of an estimated 50,000 native Americans living in the area at this time, only 16,000 were alive by 1990.

1846 Mexican-American War: America was victorious and Mexico ceded to the United States approximately 525,000 square miles (55% of its pre war territory).February 2nd 1848: The Treaty of Guadelope Hildago (coinciding with the discovery of gold in California) brought land under the control of America 

The land would eventually become the future states of Washington, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Oregon and Texas as well as portions of what would later become Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, and Montana. Native American land titles were not honoured. The native tribal population was reduced by 90% during the 19th century—from more than 200,000 to approximately 15,000 mostly due to disease.

Slavery played a major part in Oregon’s historyIn December 1844, Oregon prohibited slavery while simultaneously passing its Black Exclusion Law, which prohibited African Americans from entering the territory. Any African Americans in the region after the law was passed were forced to leave, those who did not comply were arrested and beaten. They received no less than twenty and no more than thirty-nine stripes across their bare back. If they still did not leave, this process could be repeated every six months.

The eclipse ended in Charleston Carolina. Charleston was founded in 1660 when King Charles ll gave the land (which became the Province of Carolina) to 8 of his loyal friends. The area was inhabited by the Cusabo Indians and the settlers declared war on them in 1671, forcing the Indians to cede large tracts of land and making them pay a humiliating symbolic payment of Tribute when the war ended.

Tobacco to Cotton: The early white settlers had created tobacco plantations in Virginia, Colonists tried to use Native Americans for labour but they were susceptible to European diseases and died in large numbers. The plantation owners then turned to enslaved Africans. In the 1660’s, the government of the colony of Virginia established the legal framework for perpetual servitude based on colour revising its laws in that decade to establish that black slaves could be kept enslaved  permanently, generation after generation.The invention of the cotton gin improved processing of raw material, increasing production and profits; this led to the transition from tobacco to cotton in the southern

States, reinforcing the regions dependence upon slave labour. Congress outlawed the African slave trade in 1808 but by 1860 the slave population had almost tripled to nearly 4 million with more than half living in the cotton producing states of the south. The American Civil War, fought over the abolition of slavery resulted in the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

Despite the progress made in Civil Rights, the residual karma of injustice is playing out today as civil unrest

 

THE AMERICAN ECLIPSE: GLOBAL CONSEQUENCE

 ‘From Sea to Shining Sea’  –  August 21st 2017

 Astronomical significance: The light of the sun is eclipsed by the moon as it passes over, casting a shadow upon the Earth.

Metaphysical significance: The sun represents Father/Spirit/Divine Masculine/External expression. The moon represents Mother/Earth/Divine Feminine/Introspection.

In metaphysical terms a total solar eclipse represents an Initiation experience requiring introspection, an opportunity for self examination, looking within. The light is temporarily eclipsed, revealing the true consciousness, individual perception and intention, whether at an individual or collective level.

The ‘eclipse parties’ as thousands watched the event are an example of the external rather than internal experience of the observers. This was not simply an event to be observed but one with major impact denoting a major shift.

 

Sacred Numerology Esoteric codes decipher the meaning of events through the resonance of numbers:.

Location and Timing:  This is the first solar eclipse to cross the entire continent of America in 99 years. 99 is a Master number, a soul message to extend effort at a point of closure. In simple terms this was a cosmic event directly affecting the American continent and its people. An initiatory experience where the collective consciousness is revealed.

The eclipse began at Oregon, the 33rd state, ending at South Carolina, at the 33rd parallel (33 is a Master number resonating with cosmic consciousness, wisdom and justice) denoting the degree of  spiritual attainment. The eclipse cast a 70 mile wide shadow across the whole American continent from coast to coast, linking the southern states from Carolina to the western states of California and Oregon. 7 resonates with collective consciousness and spiritual awakening. 10 is the number of evolutionary journeys. 70 is a sacred number relating to transitions, the culmination of a cycle.

A solar eclipse often signals major historical conflicts and shifts in power relations.

  • A solar eclipse that blackened the sun over the important Mediterranean seaport of Tyre just before Alexander the Great invaded Persia.
  • A solar eclipse passed over the Russian Army on the 21st of August in 1915, this was at the outbreak of World War I. That same solar eclipse also marked the day that saw the opening clashes on the Western Front.
  • The last time a solar eclipse passed over the US was in 1918, this was the year that saw the beginning of America’s post war rise to prominence.
  • 1948 A solar eclipse passed over the center of Korea with the division into North and South.  NASA map shows the path of the Korean War solar eclipse of May 9th 1948.  2018 would be a 70 year cycle.

LOVE, WAR AND FORGIVENESS

A recent conversation prompted this blog which does not usually carry my personal accounts. This exception is made in the hope that ‘we never forget’ and perhaps more importantly never judge, in the hope that those who still carry old wounds may allow them to heal.

 A friend, someone who served for twenty two years in the Royal Navy in many of the trouble spots around the world was recently shopping when the poppy he was wearing as a mark of respect drew the attention of two young men who enquired what it meant. Screen shot 2014-11-09 at 14.06.35Somewhat surprised he told them the story of the Flanders field  covered in wild poppies were so many had fallen and how this became the symbol of remembrance. They were impressed but asked ” Who was the war with?”  While the impact of war will understandably be lessened upon future generations we both found it shocking that so much has been forgotten so soon.

It got me to thinking of those who not only lost their lives or were wounded but also of  the generational effect on those whose lives were severely disrupted and inevitably changed forever….the lucky ones who went home.  The many who became the unnoticed  and uncounted casualties of war, young men, many still in their teens, plucked from their homes and sent overseas to fight. Today we are beginning to better understand the legacy of post traumatic stress resulting from mental conflict but what of the emotional wounds caused by upheaval; being uprooted from all that is familiar, the pain of separation from loved ones and the chaos and turmoil  experienced by those thrown together.

As a child I was often perplexed at seeing my mother weep uncontrollably on Remembrance Day, it was some years before I discovered that my own parents were among the  uncounted emotional casualties of the Second World War. My father, a Canadian, was a twenty three year old painter and decorator living in the small town of Hamilton Ontario stylized_maple_leafwhen, along with his brother he was drafted into the army  to fight in Europe. He found himself, living in an army barracks in the South of England awaiting the order to sail for France. On one occasion while on leave and with few options, he and his brother decided to explore a little and  boarded a train going North. With no idea of where they were, they decided to leave the destination to Fate and simply jump off the train when they felt impressed to do so. For no apparent reason they disembarked at a tiny insignificant station, Shaw in Lancashire; they would later say that neither had any idea what made them choose that spot. Wandering around lost, they stopped at a small Working Men’s Club to have a drink, finding the local people friendly they subsequently returned and here my father and mother met. From then on they spent every leave together until they married some two years later by which time she was just twenty one and pregnant.

As D Day loomed the Canadian troops stationed in England prepared to join the Allied troop movements in Europe; confined to barracks my father had no way to inform my mother who heard along with everyone else of the D  Day landings. She was  left pregnant and bereft and his ordeal began as his regiment fought their way through some of the worst battle grounds in France. At the end of the war he returned to his army base in England to await demobilisation. Reunited, she was shocked at  the change in him, he had lost most of his hair and was silent concerning his experiences. Like so many others they made plans for a new life together  and as his regiment returned home she prepared for the birth of her first child and emigration to Canada. I was born in January 1946 and by August with all documentation completed she finally sailed on The Queen Mary with hundreds of other war brides.  Landing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she began the train journey to Hamilton to meet her new family. She arrived to find that her husband had returned to his childhood sweetheart, an earlier relationship  fractured by the onset of war.  I have often tried to imagine the shock and the realisation that her dream was over. Left to pick up the pieces, she found a job, arranged childcare and began to save the fare to return home. Three years later she arrived back in Shaw where their story had begun. Ironically today, aged 91 she lives in Halifax Yorkshire….perhaps a closing of the circle as they say

I never knew my father and in childhood struggled to come to terms with what I saw as his rejection and abandonment. I now understand that it is impossible to judge and feel only compassion for not two but three young people caught up in a love story and events beyond their control.This story is not uncommon, pregnancy is a legacy of war with children left abandoned or disconnected from their natural fathers whether by circumstance or intention.. The Vietnam War it is said left a vietnam2_2900854blegacy of unknown numbers of Amerasians, thousands of fatherless children born to Vietnamese mothers as the soldiers returned home to American wives and sweethearts. This is a much more complex picture, the additional burden of being mixed race faced with prejudice and rejection by both Vietnamese and American cultures. Such children can only ever know one side of their family lineage, culture and history and may remain not only angry and bitter but lacking identity. Mothers and fathers often remain wracked with resentment or guilt. In either scenario forgiveness may be unattainable.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/vietnam/10806648/Former-America-GIs-on-Vietnam-mission-to-find-their-lost-children.html

I truly believe there is purpose to be found in all circumstances and today I am proud of my mixed heritage but even after more than sixty years the missingKen pieces remain as gaps to be filled. Sadly it is too late to be reunited with my father who passed away in 1997 without our ever meeting again. Amazingly he and my mother and their new partners met amicably on several occasions, a lesson in forgiveness. I now look forward to a planned visit to Canada to explore a cultural heritage so long denied. With only one photograph who knows who or what I may find!  (My father’s name was Kenneth Merlihan, he was stationed at Woking, Surrey England with the 34th Canadian Corps Troop Company – Canadian Army Overseas. I would love to hear from anyone who knew him)

PAEDOPHILIA – The Abuse of Power

As  the extent of sexual abuse and paedophile networks is increasingly revealed we are faced with the reality of what has been concealed by perpetrators and those who have protected them for decades. Generations of children  grown to adulthood yet scarred for life are now coming forward to tell their stories of what they were forced to endure. The weapon of the paedophile is secrecy, the victim unable to seek help, believes and with good reason that they will not be believed and so remains silent. Continue reading

What would Martin say?

How ironic that in the week when millions of Americans honoured the memory of the ‘I have a dream’ speech made by Dr Martin Luther King Jnr 50 years ago America stands poised to commence a bombing campaign described by the White House as punitive.

Dr King would surely find it reprehensible that civilians are now fleeing Damascus, not to escape the ongoing government brutality but  a strategic strike by America.  Their only escape to join the hundreds of thousands of displaced refugees already sheltering in the overcrowded camps of neighbouring countries.

As military voices once again drown out the voice of reason, experts debate risk factors and possible repercussions which include a retaliatory response against Israel, the strengthening of militant extremists and escalation to a regional conflict in the Middle East.

So what would Martin Luther King have counselled had we been blessed with his presence on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial this week? We can be fairly certain he would not condone a bombing campaign for whatever motive. We are fortunate that we have the legacy of his words, still ringing ‘from the mountain top’ but too rarely heard, a timely reminder of the hypocrisy of lip service.

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

“Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal”

 

  • Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
  •  A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
  •  Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity…..

It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation, and our earthly habitat would be transformed into an inferno that even the mind of Dante could not imagine.