Take me Higher - Aspiration not Austerity
6 hours ago
"An independent regulatory commission has found a charge of misconduct against Luis Suárez proven, and have issued a suspension for a period of eight matches as well as fining him £40,000, pending appeal. The decision is as follows:The full written adjudication is still to be released and so I felt it would be inappropriate to comment until I had read the reasons for the decision.
• Mr Suárez used insulting words towards Mr Evra during the match contrary to FA Rule E3(1);
• The insulting words used by Mr Suárez included a reference to Mr Evra's colour;
• Mr Suárez shall be warned as to his future conduct, be suspended for eight matches covering all first-team competitive matches and fined the sum of £40,000;”
"threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress which was racially aggravated in accordance with section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998".Again, I do not know the evidence that has led to this decision and until the trial takes place will not know the full facts about the case.
It seems incredible to us that a player of mixed heritage should be accused and found guilty in the way he has based on the evidence presented. We do not recognise the way in which Luis Suárez has been characterised. Nothing we have heard in the hearing has changed our view that Luis Suárez is innocent and we will provide Luis with whatever support he now needs to clear his name.The Liverpool manager has also issued statements about the verdict including the following on Twitter:
"Very disappointed with today's verdict. This is the time when [Luis Suarez] needs our full support. Let's not let him walk alone. KD,"Then yesterday evening before their match the Liverpool team warmed up wearing T-shirts with a picture of Suarez on them, including Suarez himself, and throughout the match the supporters chanted his name.
"John has made it clear he denies the charge and is determined to do all he can to prove his innocence. Chelsea FC has always been fully supportive of John in this matter and will continue to be so.”The Chelsea manager offered his views on the matter:
"For a player with John's experience, it won't be a problem. The only thing I know is that I will be fully supportive of John Terry, whatever the outcome of the situation."What I find so disappointing in both these cases is that the respective clubs seem determined to support their players whatever the outcome of the cases. This attitude is mirrored in the reactions of the supporters. The airwaves and internet have been awash with attempts to deny, explain, justify and excuse the behaviour of the two footballers. Guilty or innocent their players will be defended by every means at the disposal of the clubs with the full support of their fans.
What on earth is going on? How could you be so stupid? Did I not tell you that the best way to defeat the enemy is to stop talking about him and avoid drawing attention to him? Apathy and ignorance are far better weapons than any overt assault.
For a while the enemy’s agents were doing our work for us. Don’t you remember the successes of the last century? We didn’t need to do a thing, just sit back and watch as his supporters did their best to undermine his work. They were tripping over themselves to get into the media to debunk every aspect of belief.
But now, thanks to your incompetence, he’s back in the game. People can’t stop talking about him, even Prime Ministers are saying what a good thing he is. What possessed you? (O.K. I know what possesses you but that’s not the point). Thanks to your recruitment policy there are a few very vociferous people, destroying all our good work. Every time one of your agents opens his/her mouth, or puts fingers to keyboard, a whole new round of discussion and debate opens up. These ‘new atheists’ as they’ve become known, simply do the enemy’s work for him and I seriously suspect they are double agents so effective have they been in raising the enemy’s profile.
The enemy’s supporters have never been so motivated and engaged in the battle: demanding public debates; churning out books putting forward the argument for belief; speaking his name at every opportunity and never out of the media. There are intense discussions going on all over the place and that is not helpful to our ambitions. It’s true some of them overreact and a few make fools of themselves by their aggressive responses and I’d encourage you to play that for all it’s worth. Nevertheless, serious damage to our cause has been done.
As for that bus campaign! What made you think having his name on the side of the Number 23 to Tooting was a publicity coup for our side?
And encouraging our supporters to go to Carol Services to enjoy the singing but ignore the religious stuff, how was that ever going to work? Haven’t you read what’s in those carols? The only saving grace is that the enemy’s supporters are often too stupid to read and act on the words themselves.
I want the whole operation closed down before you wreck our mission for good.
Your seriously hacked off uncle,
With Wikileaks in the headlines
you could say
the timing was perfect.
Three Iraqi profs in clown-suits
claimed they had intel
on a need-to-know-basis.
No one used the word coup
but it was clear what they meant.
Said they’d scoured satellites
to find me. Someone’s head
will roll for that, I laughed.
Not even a flicker.
I cut them a deal:
new Jeeps, immunity,
a map of the minefields
in return for his name.
We shook, nothing in writing,
How they twigged I honestly
can’t say. They didn’t look
like hackers, then who does?
Special forces, probably.
They were good, not a trace.
If they ever do go public
I will be waiting.
One thing I’ve learned,
if you can’t give the order
it’s time to get out.
I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –
Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –
Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –
My Christmas favourite is Christmas itself, its lit streets and decorated homes; its food, songs and music. For me it holds no religious import, but only the most hardened cynics could turn their back on this annual celebration of happiness. Christmas is the world's one moment of licensed pleasure, when custom requires us to behave, however briefly, as sociable human beings. A shot of uncomplicated joy is surely a social boon.Jenkins continues:
Christmas carries little of the theological (or pagan) baggage of Easter. The myth of supernatural birth, common to many religions, focuses attention on children as gifted with unsullied virtue. It honours the sovereignty of childhood, yet of childhood in general, free of the pressures and strains that can come with the intimate rituals of family life, such as births, marriages and deaths.What Christmas story has Jenkins been reading? The Gospel according to Charles Dickens as he explains:
Most Christmas ritual relies, to an extraordinary extent, on Charles Dickens. To him the event mattered not for its biblical significance but for how society treated it, indeed, seemed to crave it. His novella A Christmas Carol depicted a Manichean triumph of good over evil, warmth over coldness, generosity of spirit over meanness.Now don’t get me wrong, I like A Christmas Carol. My son played Scrooge in his school’s production last week and great fun it was. However, Jenkins has completely missed the point and this is summed up by his conclusion:
Christmas breaks the harsh rhythm of life, offering an interlude when contact is re-established with neighbours, home and hearth. Hence the curious iconography of a "white Christmas", when reality is blotted out with snow and people are driven indoors to find warmth and reassurance round the fireside. I wouldn't be without it.‘Reality is blotted out’ says Jenkins. If we go back not to Dickens but to the Gospels this claim couldn’t be further from the truth about Christmas. God is not offering an escape route from reality, he is demanding full engagement with reality. The Word became Flesh is the great acclamation of the Church at this time of year. God in the person of his Son entered our world as a flesh and blood human being. He engaged with a world of teenage pregnancy, occupation, oppression, persecution, homelessness, asylum seeking and mass murder. We might want to skip over these bits of Christmas because they don’t fit with the sanitised version of the story which features in so many of our school and church nativity plays. Christmas IS about ‘the harsh rhythm of life’ not an ‘interlude’ from it.
‘I wouldn’t be without it.’
They say there are signs.
Not with her.
I’m no professor
but neither am I stupid.
I asked her who she’d been seeing.
She sat there murmuring ‘Angel’.
She went north a few days
- change’ll do you good.
The solicitors said to forget it.
‘Without proof…’ they smiled.
If anything she started to brighten:
‘They’ll be cousins, same age!’
(I can’t be sure,
but I think I saw him, too.)
We left it too late, of course.
The traffic was solid,
some pop idol on the hire car radio
We stopped at a Little Chef
on a B-road somewhere in the hills.
Crystal midnight it was,
good as daylight.
Then she grew wild-eyed.
Her bawling, a blunt saw,
cut through me.
It wasn’t like in the songs.
The Guardian's Reading the Riots reports left me with a sensation of enormous sadness. So much of what is recorded here reflects lives in which anger and depression are almost the default setting, thanks to of a range of frustrations and humiliations. Too many of these young people assume they are not going to have any ordinary, human, respectful relationships with adults – especially those in authority, the police above all. Too many inhabit a world in which the obsession with "good" clothes and accessories – against a backdrop of economic insecurity or simple privation – creates a feverish atmosphere where status falls and rises as suddenly and destructively as a currency market: good lives are lives where one's position within a fierce Darwinian hierarchy of style is temporarily secure. Too many feel they have nothing to lose because they are told practically from birth that they have no serious career opportunities.He continues:
But because many of these people are damaged – by unstable family settings, by education delivered in almost impossible conditions, by what is felt as constant suspicion and discrimination – their way of releasing tension is destructive and chaotic. There is no point in being sentimental: they make appallingly bad, selfish, short-term choices.The Archbishop is not excusing the actions of the rioters, he clearly condemns the choices made by those who took to the streets. However, ++Rowan goes on to question the values and priorities of a society in which these choices are made:
The question is why such choices seem natural or unavoidable to so many. We may well wince when some describe how the riots brought them a feeling of intense joy, liberation, power. But we have to ask what kind of life it is in which your emotional highs come from watching a shop torched or a policeman hit by a brick.
Nearly three years ago the Children's Society produced its Good Childhood report, a careful analysis of what young people thought constituted a nurturing environment to grow up in. Its conclusions were devastatingly simple. Young people need love. They need a dependable background for their lives, emotionally and socially; a background that helps them take certain things for granted so that they know they don't have to fight ceaselessly for recognition. We should be keeping a sharp eye on working practices that undermine this, and asking how law and society reinforce the right kinds of family stability by training in parenting skills as well as high quality out-of-school activity and care. We should be challenging an educational philosophy too absorbed in meeting targets to shape character. And we should look long and hard at the assumptions we breed into our children about acquisition and individual material profit.In other words we are an idolatrous society whose worship of the gods of consumerism and money making are reaping their own particular fruits. If that isn’t sin then I don’t know what is.
Demonising volatile and destructive young people doesn't help; criminalising them wholesale reinforces a lot of what produces the problem in the first place. Of course crime needs punishment, and limits of acceptable behaviour have to be set. The youth justice system has a good record in restorative justice that brings people up sharp against the human consequences of what they have done. We have the tools for something other than vindictive or exemplary penalties.
The big question Reading the Riots leaves us with is whether, in our current fretful state, with unavoidable austerity ahead, we have the energy to invest what's needed in family and neighbourhood and school to rescue those who think they have nothing to lose. We have to persuade them, simply, that we as government and civil society alike will put some intelligence and skill into giving them the stake they do not have. Without this, we shall face more outbreaks of futile anarchy, in which we shall all, young and old, be the losers.This is the Archbishop doing his job. Speaking prophetically to a nation that needs to wake up before we drift into a state of perpetual anarchy.
You had me 'till 1:28. The message you are spreading does not need to only apply to the religious. So don't market it only to the religious. I'll still probably go along with this, but that bit put a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
Interesting question: if I follow everything you say, except that part at 1:28, what do you think of me? Am I headed for hell?The words at 1:28 on the video are ‘worship fully’.
It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.As for the question asked by the commenter ‘Am I headed for hell?’. The answer is I don’t know; that’s between him/her and God. I do believe that until we enter into a relationship with God in which we are so overwhelmed by his love that our only response can be worship, then we are not experiencing the fullness of life that God longs to share with us.
Clarkson went on to shock viewers by saying trains should not stop for people who have committed suicide by throwing themselves onto the rails.Well it’s just Jezza being Jezza isn’t it and no doubt he and his mates Hammond and May will have a snigger about the whole incident next time they meet up at the license fee payers’ expense to do their boy racer shtick.
Frankly, I'd have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families. I mean, how dare they go on strike when they have these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living?Who knows, one day Jezza may find himself in an accident and in need of the people he quips about executing. I hope they don’t treat him as a joke.
ABSTAIN; BE FAITHFUL; use a CONDOM; or DIEA very powerful message spoken by a remarkable woman whose name is Abishag.