Monday, June 29, 2009

Thoughts on Iran

Today bloggers the world over are joining together to show solidarity with the Iranian people, the Iranian people who wanted change to come through the election and who were brave enough to stand up and declare their disgust when their voices were not heard.

I am not one for violence but I am definitely one who is very fond of the spoken and written word and for freedom of ideas and I am very alarmed when a people are silenced. I think though in this case the people are silencing themselves, they have to consider how far they are willing to go to get the freedom they want and the direction in which that freedom will take them.

I think that now they are consolidating and biding their time. I do not feel that this is at all like China where the young often seem to be quite okay with their lot on life ...or so it appears to me anyway. Modern China [not rural] China is mostly prosperous and there is great pride in the history and culture. Iran on the other hand has big problems...the revolution and previous tyranny under the Shah was not so very long ago and the intellectuals and the women especially seem to me to have more at stake than their more modern Chinese counterparts.

What occurred to me the most about this whole business is that with the new wave of communication technology I do not know if any cultures which allow....for want of a better word....their people to have free access to mobile phones etc....I do not see how they will be able to get away with this kind of thing in future. The crackdowns and violence I mean.

If the tyrannical acts can be tweeted out to the rest of the world as they happen so that the world can see these atrocities, what will these governments do? Will they ban mobile phones on the street and can they do that? Or in demonstrations? It is something to think about. Can a culture that is so modern in technology allow itself to go backward? Would the people allow that?

These are just some of my thoughts on this blogging action day and I am so pleased to have the freedom to be able to do this. My thoughts and prayers are with the opressed people of the world who are not so free to do so, especially our Iranian brothers and sisters who had a taste of what it meant to have a voice, or the possibility of a voice, and had that taken away from them.

Thanks to my son cjwriter for the above badge, it is available on flickr for anyone who would like to use it, he has also written a post for Bloggers Unite For a Free Iran.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Day For RIPs

Today we heard the news first that Farrah Fawcett had died and then later on Michael Jackson. The 2pm Sky News Australia had fifteen minutes of the thirty minute bulletin dedicated to their lives and ultimately their deaths.

What can anyone say about the deaths of two of the most iconic people of the latter part of the twentieth century? They both were a huge part of many people's lives. I was not a huge Michael Jackson fan, growing up in Australia we saw more of the Osmond family but I am well aware of the contribution to the music industry that Michael made.

I also saw his bizarre behaviour coming as a direct result of his unusual childhood. He said in an interview with Oprah that he never had birthdays as a child or friends. He was the brightest star of the young Jackson Five but at what cost to his psyche? His perfectly choreographed dance steps and songs must have taken hours of rehearsal each day...days that could have been spent being a little boy. What price fame talent and satisfaction in a perfect performance its own reward? Anyway, he is gone now leaving behind his children and his extended family and fans who thought of him as part of theirs.

Rest in peace Michael.

Farrah was a huge part of my twenties. I followed the fashion of the show Charlies Angels as did women the world over. Like Farrah and many other women of the seventies I went braless and proud of it! Not for us the constraints of our mothers and yes we were proud of the jiggle! The nipples bit was a bit pun intended but there were ways around that...avoiding tshirts in cold weather and Sophia Loren's nipple tape worked for some.

The way Farrah gave up her role on Charlies Angels showed her strength of character and her dedication to her craft. When I was an air hostess in the mid seventies one of my friends came into the transit lounge where I was on call for eight hours and said that she had Lee Majors on her flight. She went on to say that nobody noticed him because his wife was so incredible looking and so sweet. This was just before Charlies Angels started.

Farrah had a rare cancer, such an undignified cancer for such a private person. The investigations and treatments must have been humiliating although not as humiliating as when her medical records were stolen and sold to the press.... for the sum of $4,600. After that
in part as a result of Fawcett's experience, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law tougher penalties for institutions and individuals that violate patients' privacy. Farrah will have that as her legacy too.

Farrah I wonder if we will ever forget that smile? I know I won't and my heart goes out to your family and loved ones.

May you rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shame, Shame, Shame

On June 29th bloggers around the world will be joining together to speak out for Human Rights in Iran. Bloggers Unite for a free Iran has all the information you need. As the word gets harder to get out and speaking and meeting publicly becomes too expensive a commodity for the everyday Iranian, show them that we the citizens of the world care about more than the world's economic situation, or indeed about more than our own families. We are all part of the family of man and freedom of expression is not something that we can allow to be silenced. Speak out for those who can't, let the Iranian people know the rest of the world is not going to sit by and let this happen. We will not be silent.

Shame on them for what they did to the footballers who wore green arm bands of solidarity in the Seoul pre qualifier game recently

Shame on Iran for the death of Neda Agha Soltan by all accounts an innocent victim

Shame shame shame .... so many outrages there are too many to list

Remember the power of the people Ayatolla Khamenei, remember and beware.

My son who is a writer has written a great post about this.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Private Patient by PD James

Book review imported from

Originally published 26/12/08

This novel was read in my usual method of Boxing Day several chapters...snooze more..... eat .....snooze.....wake and check that the infernal cricket is still on everywhere in the house but our bedroom.......retreat to bedroom to read more.....snooze more ......surface for fruit and water more...and so it goes. Probably not the best way to read a book this brilliant but what can I say ...when I get one of her books for Christmas, or Ruth Rendell's, this is just part of my Christmas tradition.

Book review PDJames

This book seems to be leading us to assume that an end is in sight for fact how he can maintain a relationship with Emma when they rigidly keep his policework separate from their relationship is interesting and indeed possibly ultimately problematic. This novel was a masterpiece and although at first I thought the prose was a little dated or flowery at times I soon realised that was again part of the delicately plotted structure of the book. The beauty of her work is that right up to the end she keeps both reader and detectives in the dark about a lot of the motives and actions of the people involved. I also love the way she never judges anybody...she just tells it as it is in light of what is going on in Britain at the time socially along with all the changes in the Public Service.

This again is a five star book...long may she live if this is what she is writing at this great age.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Leave Kora Alone

Australian opinion has been divided for days now over the Sarah Hansen Young incident in Canberra on Thursday in which her daughter Kora age two was taken from her out of the Senate Chamber. Hansen Young made history as the youngest person ever elected to the senate and the youngest female member of parliament. Hansen Young was caught short while she was saying goodbye to her daughter before she flew back to Adelaide when the bells calling Senators to vote rang...she had four minutes to get to the Chamber.

Kora could be heard to scream through the solid doors of the Chamber although before the incident she had been fine. Governor General Quentin Bryce, who was at one time the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, found herself in a situation recently when a baby cried during a recent swearing in ceremony for new Ministers. She handled it much differently.

Channel Nine News presented the most incredibly biased report on Friday evening, including an interview with ex Sex Discrimination Commissioner who also ran the Federal Office for the Status of Women under John Howard Pru Goward, which was extraordinary in its viewpoint coming from someone who used to be a foremost fighter for women's rights in this country. She even went as far as to say on Channel Nine that Kora was the victim in all this, was traumatised by her mother's actions.

I wondered at Pru's words until I read the Age just now...I was not aware that Pru is now a Liberal Minister and even more bafflingly considering her comments the Shadow Minister for Women. I wonder if she will be another Peter Garrett and William Hayden....doing a back flip to suit the new situation they find themselves in. I do not know who I was more disgusted with Channel Nine for their biased reporting or Pru for her extraordinary viewpoint.

What do you think?

Friday, June 5, 2009

RIP Chris and Philip

Today’s passing of Dr Chris O’Brien aged 57 to cancer and also my own bowel surgeon Dr Philip Douglas whom I found out recently had passed away from cancer earlier this year, were both cases of good men who died too soon. Philip was only 53 and one of the most gentle, kind doctors I have ever met. By the time I met Philip Douglas I had experienced many painful operations and was impressed by his unwillingness to subject me to any more, rare in a surgeon. But he knew I had been brutalised by all the surgeries and he knew it would take many years to recover from them.

Both were champions for cancer care in Australia and indeed the world and both died well before their time. It is particularly hard when people with cancer lose their doctor to that disease, they must feel so disheartened. They will both leave a vast gulf in the lives of people who knew them. May they rest in peace and may their families draw comfort from all the suffering they helped assuage in their all too short lifetimes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Conversation With A Priest

Had a great conversation online today with an Anglican priest about the murder of Dr George Tiller. He had presented Biblical arguments for and against, very intelligent reading and discussion.

Even though I made the point that I do not believe that abortion is the ultimate sin, my thoughts were welcomed. What a change from the comments I made recently where I was savaged for trying to express myself on a blog recently.

Thanks David, your parishioners are very blessed to have you. Check him out, believers and non believers, for really intelligent conversation. He also contributes to Stand Firm which supports traditional Anglicanism in America.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Apathy Free Blog!

As I am approaching 200 posts on my quilting blog I have decided to go forward with a personal blog here which will contain all posts which are unrelated to my craft work. I have over time amassed quite a few posts on various topics which have touched me, about many different issues and look forward to continuing the connversation here.

I have been dissatisfied with the cliches on Wordpress and the apathy and viciousness of some of the bloggers there so am looking forward to interesting discussions here where people can feel free to speak from the heart and not be savaged for so doing.