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AS I SEE IT… Stand up and be counted!

Frank Herbert once said –

“There is no real ending…. It’s just the place where you stop the story.

Of late, there have been more and more posts on social media, namely Facebook, relating to cruelty to animals, our environment and social justice. I guess the question is this.. Most of you just hit the “like” button because we really don’t give a shit and just want to keep the peace?

A generalisation you might say? Somehow I don’t think so! We tend to go with the flow… hit ‘like’ and hope that we won’t get another post like this… If we do, we tend to either hide it, block it or, if the person continues, we just ‘get rid of them, even unfriend them!! With the advent of social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc, more than ever before, the plight of human & animal cruelty, animal welfare, indigenous rights, the environment and a thousand other pressing issues that have been around for many many years are now being thrust in our faces on a daily basis.

Over the years, I have been involved in a number of causes… I have been an advocate for individual rights, animal cruelty and environmental issues. In my own way, I have been active, talking about these concerns in the public arena via Talk Radio. I have not stood out or up to be counted, just plodded along in my own little way. It would be fair to say that I somewhat lost interest. Like a lot of other people, I believed I was just banging my head against a brick wall!. I no longer had the energy to continue and the powers that be, decided that there was too much content around this and I needed to focus on topical issues on the radio. I conformed and like everyone else and became another puppet, doing as I was told! Most of what I was passionate about did not stop…the cruel treatment of animals continued, treatment of fellow human beings disgusted me.It got worse, racism increased, the corporates like Monsanto, drug companies like Pfizer became more and more powerful The combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500, 2002, totaled $35.9 billion – this was more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together that totaled – $33.7 billion –

It becomes a little scary when we think about it! Social Media has been around for a long time…Long before Al Gore claimed “he took the initiative in creating it”. In fact, the Internet – and its predecessors – were a focal point for social interactivity. Granted, computer networking was in its infancy, but it was a great forum for discussing mutual topics of interest, and perhaps even meeting or renewing acquaintances with other humans. In the 1970s, that process began in earnest.

Today, it is right in our face..There is nothing that is sacred. I am not going to dwell on the negativity that is thrust upon us on a daily, no, hourly basis.. I want to focus on some of the good that social media can do.. It lets us champion a cause, like the recent plight of the treatment of Bobby Calves in NZ. That created a storm and many many people took to social media slamming the organisation SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) This is New Zealand’s leading animal advocacy organisation. They were founded in 1932, so I think they might know a thing or two…The point here is, I have highlighted one example that made my blood boil.. It spurred be into action once again.. I must thank Ian Wishart for his brilliant piece screened on NZ television to raise public awareness of the plight of these hour old Bobby Calves. It was a distressing but accurate report which inspired a call to action not only by myself, but hundreds of others..I began some research into some other incidents and outcomes… Learned about ‘glued meat’ processed sausage, caged animals and loads more… Not that I was not already aware, but like many others had my head somewhat planted firmly in the sand..I’m not Vegan, not Vegetarian, but I have become aware, more aware of what is happening around me.. I look at the way whales, one of the most beautiful creatures on this planet, are being slaughtered, wildlife being killed for sport, forests destroyed… All of Mother Nature’s cures being driven more and more by corporate greed and profit. I recall the Mel Gibson movie “Apocalypto”about the Mayan kingdom in the height of its opulence and power and how the foundations of the empire began to crumble. Yes it was a movie, but they were a people that live in harmony with nature….until civilised man came along…The underlying point here is simple..Will you speak out? Stand up for the atrocities that are being carried out all around the world? Sure, I know we can’t right the world, but we can highlight through social media, the damage that is being done to the environment, the way animals are being hunted and killed by the rich, so they can get their rocks off.. The slaughter and treatment of the beautiful Minke whales. The treatment of our indigenous peoples around the globe and right here at home.. The homeless, destitute and those with depression and drug dependency…the list is long and most of us simply cant be bothered… Well, let my challenge to you in 2016 be to simply post a something that tugs at your heart…If everyone did so, just once…you know what? it might just make a little difference…So will you stand up and be counted ?

as Frank Herbert said….

“There is no real ending…. It’s just the place where you stop the story. ”


“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”11234967_10153613652326042_887079968181640918_n
– Theodore Roosevelt
Never forgotten these words…
Sadly there are too many that are unable to see their way through. We only need look at the events of the past week in the USA. Another senseless waste of lives. Will we really know the true reason? No! probably not.. once again we will therorise, all become experts and blame some other thing or find a reason to, in some way justify this shooting. That’s not the point of this comment..I do not want to dwell on the negative but the positive of being able to overcome this dark place… This illness that consumes our every living moment. If you tell me that you have never felt the pain of depression, I would find it hard to believe you. you see, we are really human and this is part of our very existence.
Depression is a common experience. I’m sure we have all felt
‘depressed’ about a dear friend snubbing us, being bullied,
a marriage that has soured. Fighting teenagers struggling to come to terms with their ways and friends.
The death of a loved one…the list is endless – sometimes we just feel ‘down’ for no reason at all. For each of us, there could be many
‘pressures’ that influence our lives. Most of the time,
it’s often unclear when the depression started,
much of the time its effect is gradual.I think that one of the important things is to recognise that nearly every one of us
can be stressed and depressed by certain events. Events of this past week that have triggered new found fears in many people.
I recall a couple of weeks back, the senseless killing at the
McDonalds Store in Helensvale on the Gold Coast.
A friend of mine, because of that incident following closely on the heels of the 9/11 anniversary, missed her flight to
Europe because of a ‘panic attack’Everyone is effected in different ways.Some are unable to get out of bed and simply face the day.
“R U OK” is a campaign that has been put into place to help.
Check this link..
Unfortunately most of us when asked will simply say “Yep, I’m fine thanks!”
The reality of this is that more often than not.. they are crying out from within. Their pain hidden.
One of the great healers,
believe it or not is “Music!”
How many people do you know that have found music to be the
soothing, healing influence in their lives?
Some even going to the point of saying they found music better than antidepressants..
I would agree. I look at my circle of friends and probably like you, do not give a thought as to their mental well being.
Most are successful, comfortable, in stable relationships and appear content…but are they?
The point here is, we dare not ask
because we are scared of offending.
Those truly close will confide, but do our children? Sometimes we just think they are ok.
More often than not, they are far from ok.
Take the time and ask them. It costs nothing. They are precious and need to know that they are ok.
It’s a scary thing not really knowing.
Social media has a lot to answer for. These days, it is far too easy to thrust something negative in ones face.
For one thing, we don’t know how that person is going to react.
I for one didn’t read the signs that were right under my nose..
I had a long standing friendship with a particular person.
I thought that I was being kind and caring
and offering to share a coffee etc…
What I did not see was the negativity this person oozed all over me,
dragging me to an uncomfortable and dark place.
Others saw it and saw the change in me…
They kept asking if everything was ok, of course I said yes!
I became very negative, lost part of my positiveness and started to fall into a depressed state.
Thankfully I have some real good friends and they saw a change,
but as I said, every time I was asked if I was ‘ok’ I responded with
“Of course I am ” then, one day a very dear friend pointed out how withdrawn and quiet I had become…
Not the usual happy laughing Brian they knew..
We had a bit of a conversation and the upshot…
I ditched this Mr negative!!
Never looked back. Yes, it was hard to let go, but time is a great healer…
Music too! It finally hit me “KA-BOOM” there I was full of negativity,
beginning to take on his negative personality..
Time to get off that train. I did and I haven’t looked back.
This is where it is important to listen to what friends are saying.
Loose the pride.There is NO SHAME in reaching out.
The funny thing here is this. When I did go under the train and loose my legs all those years ago,
I never for one moment was consumed by the “Black Dog”
It was all these years later and took just one negative person to bring me down,
or begin to..
Thankfully now, I am free of this and I am forever reminded of the words of Theodore Roosevelt..
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Yes…It really works!

AS I SEE IT: “The killing of Arlince”

“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”
said Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Justice on the Supreme Court in the United States.
arlince-2In Eastern Indonesia, in the western part of the island of New Guinea, the indigenous Papuans are Melanesians and according to Operation World, more than 90% of them are officially reckoned as Christian.  Papua has had a history of violent oppression by the Indonesian military (TNI), with demographic dilution through a government programme of massive transmigration of Javanese Muslims. Papuans, often Christian leaders, are frequently killed by the TNI, who are constantly trying to provoke retaliation that could be claimed to justify a full scale massacre against the ‘separatist threat’. The TNI terrorises Papuans from helicopters, shooting civilians, burning villages and churches, and forcing thousands to flee their homes and hide in the jungle where they die of starvation, illness or injury. The TNI’s allies, the pro-Indonesian militias and the Laskar Jihad (Islamic warriors), are armed ready for a major ethnic cleansing campaign. Papua, as part of Indonesia and the ‘dar al-Islam’ (land of Islam), is being ‘Indonesianised’ and Islamised. The Papuans are facing genocide while those with worldly power turn away. (source EA Foundation)
This brings me to the point I want to make…
Australia & New Zealand and their Pacific neighbours are turning a blind eye to the genocide that is being carried out. Indonesia, in my opinion a corrupt country..

The Australian Government, in my opinion is just playing lip service to the situation in West Papua .
Arlince Tabuni, was a 12 year old Melanesian West Papuan girl, daughter of a pastor enjoying life in her highlands village of Popume. Suddenly, at 5:30pm on a hot balmy afternoon, four fully armed Indonesian soldiers drive into the village with loaded guns. They briefly interrogate a member of her family and then demand the Pastor leaves the scene.
They then proceed towards Arlince’s house. Seeing the soldiers, Arlince tries to run away. The military fire 3 shots, she is hit in the neck and chest and dies…
The locals are outraged.. First off, the military deny this took place. After some time, they admitted they fired out of sheer frustration and panic!!
This satisfied the Indonesian Government, no investigation is held. Bribes had allegedly taken place.
This is just one of hundreds of examples..
The people of West Papua have regularly organise mass protests for self determination and independence and continue to appeal to the international community from speaking out through media to diplomatic pleas by exiled Papuans. This continues to fall on deaf ears..
Not only has the Indonesian government banned all foreign journalists and human rights groups from West Papua but the Indonesian military and police also systematically target any West Papuans campaigning for independence and brands them as “separatists” and “terrorists”.
We run around listening to the spin about ISIS and a lot of us become fearful…How often do we think of our neighbours, right next door ? My guess it we pay very little credence to what is happening and simply turn a ‘blind eye’
It’s time to open your eyes, read and look at what is happening.. Forget about sending troops to fight some bunch of ISIS scum.. Our governments need to focus on our neighbours!!
Even the raising of the West Papuan national flag was made illegal by Indonesia and anyone raising it in West Papua can, if they are lucky expect 15 years in an Indonesian jail cell.
Any unlucky West Papuans found supporting independence are simply killed. Indonesia sees Papuans as nothing more than inconvenient resistance in a land bursting with money to be made.
Here’s the thing, it’s reported that some of her killers might have been from Indonesia’s “anti terror special forces” also known as Kopassus or “Detachment 88?. These troops are funded and supplied by the Australian government… That’s right!! The Australian Government!! despite international calls to cease their support,  they are responsible for some of the worst crimes against humanity in West Papua.
When the soldiers came to interrogate Arlinces’ relative, they asked him “where are the hordes of OPM?”
Arlinces’ relative told them that there are none and that there is an Indonesian flag in the village (which is effectively mandatory in West Papua).
The soldiers paid no attention to the man and marched directly towards Arlinces’ house.
They stood at the bottom of the garden and saw the 12 year old girl who ran. They fired!! Three times… She was shot in the neck and died. They killed her. There was no excuse.. Arlince was 12.
This was no accident. There is no way the Indonesian military mistook a 12 year old girl in point blank range and directly in front of them for an armed and violent adult guerrilla fighter.
Just imagine for a moment if this happened right your street… A member of the Police shot and killed an innocent 12 year old girl because they believed she was part of a potential family, well known for its members supporting a local Indigenous independence movement? It would be world news in a heartbeat..Imagine the international outcry…
So.. you can act…you can stand up and be heard.. Most wont… Sadly you will just sit back and go…”oh yeah, here he goes again”
Yes!! I will make a stand..I will speak out and this is what I’m doing!!.. Now, join with me??
As Thurgood Marshall said.. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” He was part of significant civil rights decisions..
Will you be?

AS I SEE IT… This is how it is!

common_tables_logo_gold_123c__3__copy_pprfRam Dass once said
“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can’t see how it is.”
In the past months, there has been more and more discussion for the want of a better word, about the increasing scare mongering amongst fringe religious groups in regard to Sharia Law and Muslims in general. I’m no expert in this field, but have seen the damage these groups are causing within communities.. Citing Walid Shoebat as one example and a host of radical videos on You Tube another.. Goggling websites that are there for one purpose to scare you into believing everything they say is correct..
They are not!
Sharia Law is not going to take over the mainstream Governments in the Western World.. Normal citizens will not be forced to pray toward Mecca or (officially: Makkah al-Mukarramah;) Women will not be forced to wear the Berka. As a matter of interest,wearing the berka’, or niqab, or forehead veil by Muslim woman is not an obligation.. It is a matter of local traditions and cultures. In other words, it is found to be popular in some countries while not in others, according to a specific area and their tradition. As for the Traditional Islamic belief, it is to be favored only if a woman fears to be harmed or to cause harm for others if she is very beautiful, for example.
It doesn’t have a specific shape or form, every woman can have her own style, neither a specific fabric is recommended, even a soft transparent cloth is fine. In effect, the aim is to make face expressions not so apparent, but without hindering the woman’s ability to look, talk, and breathe.
When I was in the Middle East last year, I spent a good deal of time with some very beautiful people… I learned a great deal from the locals about their religion and culture.. I was also surprised to see a number of women in the hotel I was staying at, sharing their breakfast and discarding their veil.
Sadly we have been indoctrinated by these few misguided radical groups and they have managed, like most other cultist groups to install fear into many of us. It is sad, because once again in every situation it comes back to religion..
Here’s the thing, I do not support terrorism in any way manner shape or form, just as I do not support domestic violence, abuse or discrimination of any kind. Unfortunately, there will always be radical groups, ready to seize any opportunity then they pounce..
All they need is one person, yes, that’s right…one person to look at their website, listen to their message and boom…they are off.. You know the saying…”1 tells 1 tells 2 tells 4 tells 8″ etc. I’m pretty sure you get the idea!!
The biggest coupe for these radical miscreants has been Social Media…it’s like bees to a honey pot.. They have a new and powerful platform..Cell Phones, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc…
My dear friend Hassan will tell of a very different story.. He owns a small Kebab shop. His wife and their sons, who are studying at the local University, one to become a Doctor, the other, a Marine Biologist, work long hours to pay their way in this country…They fled from their war torn remains, fleeing the corruption and desolation that surrounded them..
Under the rule of the Ayatollah Khomeini, life was never to be the same..a nationwide referendum resulted in a massive vote in favor of the establishment of an Islamic Republic. Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed the next day, April 1, 1979, as the “first day of God’s government”. It took a number of attempts and much planning for Hassan to get his family out of their country..They did it with the help of friends and family and are now settled here.. The scars run deep and every day they are reminded of the pain of leaving loved ones behind..
Sadly, we have no concept of what their life has really been like.. Yes, we see what we see and read into it what we will, but at the end of the day we don’t see how it is..we have certain desires as how it ought to be and that is it..
The point is this..we are all so wrapped up within our comfort zones.. (cotton wool or what ever)and the minute there is a post or a media report about an attack or coupe we react.. Sad thing here is, every hour of every day there is some attack or gun fired somewhere on this mortal coil.. A child molested, a wife bashed,an Indigenous person berated, a child going hungry because dad, or mum spent the lunch money on the pokies or cigarettes. Another homeless person forced from their shelter because the Church does not like them sleeping in the foyer.. and so it goes…
Just stop for one moment and look at your surroundings.. You are probably reading this post in the warmth of your home, comfortable with a nice hot cup of tea or plate of food…relaxing and thinking about what tomorrow might bring..
You don’t spare a thought for those suffering and no doubt you will watch the news on television, read it on line or in tomorrows paper and you may or may not pass comment.. That’s fine…it’s your choice. But…think about this, my friend Hassan will once again be spat at, berated and cursed.. It continues on a daily basis..He does not react publicly, but inside, cries in pain.. He feels sadness for those that do these things to him and his family..Sad because they have no idea in reality just what they are doing They are not young kids, but mature adults… He does not call the police because he knows there is nothing they will do. These so called Christians, yes, they are Christians..spout forth sayings they have been parrot fed because they sadly believe what has been indoctrinated into them by these cultist groups. Sadly…
“As long as they have desires as to how it ought to be ….they will never see just how it is.”

Life without Limits #4 (The learning years.)

To be fair, life was not a bed of Roses.. Many things that were simply taken for granted by most people, became missions in their own right. For eg; a simple task, such as showering had to be planned… In fact the whole bathroom ablutions process had to be adapted.. I just needed to be able to work this out for myself my own way. Pride, yes, I guess there was pride. It was something I needed to to on my own…My wife was a nurse and it would not have bothered her in the slightest, but me, well I needed to be able to conquer it all alone. I did this and managed just fine in the little flat that we had.. Out and about was different. Remember, this was now 1974 and we had not yet embraced disability per se. It would be a few more years before equal rights and the rights of those with disabilities were recognised. I battled on..

Elton John was to appear at Western Springs Stadium on Feb 28th and  come hell or high water, I was going to be there.. I had no Idea how this was going to happen but it WAS going to happen. Ruth my wife was busy with her nursing career and as I was still at home, I had plenty of time to organise this. First call was to the promoter. Much easier to access in those days.. I explained that I had recently had an accident and had lost both my legs above the knee.. The young lady I spoke to was one of the promoters PA’s and from memory, it was through the Auckland City Council as they were administrators of the stadium. So… I explained the situation and she remembered my photo in the New Zealand Herald..(I was married in the day room of Ward 7, in the Auckland Hospital) The photo was spread all over the news. Well, to cut a long story short, she organised the transport to the stadium..An ambulance would pick us up, take us into the ground, front row, and collect us after the concert. Nothing short of magic. I had just proved that nothing was impossible…But I knew that already!

Throughout the following months, I learned a number of things… Don’t rely too heavily on others.. Learn patience, learn to be tolerant of another person’s view and above all retain ones pride and dignity at all times. It was a “Baptism of Fire” but I did it. It took a while as people just wanted to feel sorry for me and the last thing I wanted was their pity. Other friends were getting married and we were invited to a few weddings, but the oversight was venues that were up stairs and just not accessible. This meant that a number of these events were impossible to get to. It was a matter of just sucking it up! I continued on with the rehab process for a while, but pretty soon became frustrated with the whole charade and in my opinion, those involved were just going through the process.

It was sometime during one of these meetings that it was suggested to me that I should attend the Artificial Limb Centre and look at getting prosthetics. I agreed and thus began another journey…an uncharted one at that…It was to become another part of the humiliating rehabilitation process.

I’m not one that wanted to be ‘fussed over’, but when I arrived there initially, I was the centre of attention. The staff could not believe that some one who had lost their legs and both above the knee, could be attending “Rehab” to be assessed for artificial legs in this short time.. Well, here I was and I had to meet with the Dr in charge… Pipe smoking Mr Geoff Lamb. I liked him as he was straight to the point, no pussy-footing around. His main concern was being able to fit a prosthetic leg to the remainder of my right stump. They called it a “Hind Quarter” amputation and this type of procedure was a rarity back in those days. Still, I was up for the challenge, pigheadedness and all. Many people had concerns…First I would have to go through the stage of hardening my still very tender and healing stumps..

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