Category Archives: Social affairs

Kazakhstan: strikes and riots rock the regime

Left wing communism

The movement of protest and revolt that has been affecting the country for a week, was triggered by the sudden decision of the authorities to double the price of gas and gasoline; as soon as this announcement protest demonstrations of workers and unemployed began to take place on Sunday morning, January 2, in the oil city of Janaozen, in the west of the country (Mangystau region) (1).

During the day the protest actions (rallies, sit-ins, etc.) spread to the nearby large port city of Aktau to demand the withdrawal of the increases – or the doubling of wages! The next day the protest continued to spread despite the deployment of the police and more and more companies stopped work; social networks broadcast scenes of fraternization between police and protesters. On January 4, although the prefect (the “akim”) and the minister of energy announced a reduction in the price of gas…

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Andrá Tutto Bene, Everything will be fine!

Throughout 2020 and 2021 people wondered how long their restrictions would take. In many countries doctors and nursers had to give more than their best to save lives. In the health area they were at war, daily fighting this war whose enemy is invisible.
For them, there is this message.

We keep praying for all those involved to help people to survive this crisis.

As citizens, we can all do our best to stay safe by keeping to the Corona measures. Let us not forget all those health workers and in respect of them stay protected at home stay.

Andrá Tutto Bene, Everything will be fine!

**

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Dear 2021,

Whichever way we turn, in 2021 we were able to experience another year that tried to undermine mankind.

In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!
― Mehmet Murat ildan

It was already an understatement to say that 2020 swept us off our feet, 2021 gave us a run for our money. (Perhaps even literally as well figuratively)

100 years ago another virus had after that terrible Great War tried to reduce the population by large numbers as if that horrible 4 years of war was not sufficient. It had brought down mankind to its knees by a microscopic being. And as if it has to come back every century, we too could feel what it is when a dangerous disease spreads around like mad.

But like the previous 2 years, we could find lightbulbs burning in the darkness.
Set against a backdrop of human loss and misery, many could continue their journey that started off a year before. Several people found new opportunities in this time of malaise. We could see changes in people’s lifestyles, and it was as if man now, at last, gave some rest to nature, having lesser cars driving around. In any case, the Corona period proved beneficial to the environment, with pollution rates decreasing drastically.

Set against a backdrop of human loss and misery was a journey of discovery and realisation that many were just learning to undertake. It brought about a tremendous change in people’s lifestyles, perspectives and proved beneficial to the environment, with pollution rates decreasing drastically. Adoption of minimalistic living practices became the norm in view of the virus’ indefinite tenure. As death tolls rose in a staggering manner, people dwelled in a constant state of apprehension of what the future would bring….. {Dear 2020}

For many, 2021 was a difficult ride, but we all have grown and gotten through it, hopefully learning lessons and making memories in the process. And as you say, we also think, that’s something to be grateful for.

Random Specific Thoughts

In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!
―Mehmet Murat ildan

Gosh, I’m almost certainly sure I’m going blind from all the screens. I keep wanting to say it is your fault. Is it?

I’m sorry – where are my manners?

Dear 2021,

I hope you’re well and the packing is going great. You have but mere minutes before you turn into yet another history chapter. Unlike your predecessor, you weren’t cruel or a fan of surprises but you were clever and cunning. This has been quite the rollercoaster of a year and well, to be honest – I’m not going to blame you for it. I was rather harsh towards 2020 now that I think about i,t and I feel terrible about it.

You see, as humans…

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Being on the road in my dreams or with a Tin Can Traveler

In 2009 I was placed in retirement and had to find an end to my artistic dreams and (to be honest) also to my dreams to become someone. In the previous years, like I still do, I had worked under several names.  There was the choreographer, the teacher and the writer, plus the one who had many dreams, not having the money but in those dreams going to many places.

Like some American blogwriter

I used to inspire my students by giving them what I considered to be the ten most important two letter words for having a dream life. {About Annie How It All Started #1}

that blogger had decided it was time she granted herself permission to take on the power of the words:

“If it is to be, it is up to me” in living my own dream life. {About Annie How It All Started #1}

Would that be not marvellous if we all could do that, just going our own way, free in the world.

Limited by my health and by finances, I just seem to keep it to dreams only. Luckily on the net, we may find people who are able to travel a lot and do not mind sharing those lovely experiences they might have while going from one place to another.

For Annie who lives in a home on wheels (the Tin Can Cottage), a Winnebago Mini Motorhome, her dream life is:

living in a motor home aka recreational vehicle (RV), working at jobs around the country, and experiencing a never-ending journey of adventure and discovery via the open road. It entailed selling my house and furniture, walking away from my career, and in short, learning a brand new way of life..

Would that not be the dream of many:

having and learning to have a brand new life?

I would say, even if Omicron wants to waltz with us, let us keep far away from it, and though we might then be a bit isolated, let us enjoy the beauties of nature. That nature which has so much to offer, but is also, like us, in danger of a terrible disease, the “greed of man”, the bodies who do not mind destroying their own planet. But when we and each other individual making his ow bit to safeguard that nature, for sure we must be able to get some candle burning, shedding some light onto the necessity to do something against global warming.

We do not have to sell a home, sell all our belongings like Annie did, but we perhaps could use some similar mindset as she has.

The most unsettling list was the one with all the things I wanted to keep. I was delirious with materialistic greed, thinking I could still harbor all the flotsam and jetsam from 40+ years of pack rat proclivity.

Mentally, I had attached the stuff to me as so many outer coats that now had to be peeled away one by one. The only way to do it was to adopt a spirit of philanthropy. I saw most of my possessions off to good homes; only keeping what I thought I needed or would be useful.

It took me most of the summer and multiple parings but my home finally took on a cavernous look. {About Annie How It All Started #1}

This Annie is now living in an RV and travelling the country is her dream life, which is lovely she can build up such a dream life. We can enjoy her travels with a 26′ Winnebago, Class C which has been her home since 2007.  It’s 25 feet long with one slide-out.  Her tow car is a Subaru Impreza Outback with manual drive.

 It’s also my “toy hauler”  and totes my 10 foot kayak on the roof and my bicycle, Big Blue inside with the back seat down. {RV Living / Work Camping}

For 2022 I would advise you to have great days full of inspiration

enjoying the day and the road, autumn colors, beyond blue skies. {Bald Eagle’s Message (#755)}

let us have our eyes on the plants and animals around us, and yes … let us be carried away by a Bald Eagle who takes off into the air, flying off into the beckoning blue skies.

Many happy and pleasant dreams for 2022

feeling transported to another realm; spirit time; a time to walk with those on the other side of the veil.

 

Like this Annie Tin Can Traveler writes:

There is magic in immersing oneself in a personal reality without and within. It super-charges the soul, brings forth creative forces and that forever feeling of joy.

When I open myself to it, that is when I find the most incredible gifts only imagined in my mind’s eye. {Imagine Hearts… (#786)}

Hearts from Cape Cod

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No respect for others without humility in one’s self


“There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self,”
~ Henri Frédéric Amiel, Swiss philosopher and poet

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Hungary’s unprecedented attack on LGBT & free press

Dear friends –

Earlier this year, my government rolled out an unprecedented attack on LGBT+ lives, like mine.

Hungary’s anti-LGBT+ legislation bans any content, from TV and movies to books or even flyers, that features queer characters and could be seen by minors.

The impact has been devastating. LGBT+ people like me are viewed not only as second-class citizens, but as people who should be ashamed, hidden away, silenced, and punished, just because of who we are.

But something positive also happened this year. And that’s YOU.

As soon as this hateful attack was launched, my organization, Budapest Pride, partnered with All Out on a global campaign urging the European Union to take action and require Hungary to change its course. So far, over 91,000 people have signed the petition.

But we can’t stop now. We’re gearing up for a huge continuation of this fight in 2022 when we will broaden our strategy against Hungary’s hateful laws.

 

Viki
Budapest Pride

STILL HERE, STILL FIGHTING BACK!

Imagine being thrown in jail, just for who you love. Or being tortured because people think you have a disease that needs “curing.” Every day, this is happening to LGBT+ people all over the world.

The good news is that together, we can stop it.

**

All Out is a global movement of ordinary people around the world coming together for a common cause: lifting up the dignity, freedom, and safety of LGBT+ people, Together, we are powerful.

All Out connects local to global and global to local. We place value on connecting hundreds of thousands of individual citizens to the frontline of the global struggle for LGBT+ rights. We enable strong ties of solidarity. We are accountable to our supporters for the time and money they invest. We are accountable to frontline activists to deliver campaigns transparently and based on their priorities.

A global backlash of bigotry is underway, attempting to reverse our human rights, erase our families and challenge our right to be who we want to be and love who we want to love.

All Out

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Seeing the glass half-empty or half-full

In these darker days, normally many people look at this world and their days in a groovy mood.

A non-Orthodox Jewish Young(-ish) Professional JYP, (aka “Judgy Young Pessimist”) who does like latkes (fried potato pancakes), and seems to enjoy parties featuring lots of people, food, dancing, and drinking which comes on his way with the Chanukah Parties.

But when he looks at the glasses, we have the impression he looks them from the wrong site of the picture. He writes:

It should come as no surprise that I, JYP, (aka “Judgy Young Pessimist”) see the glass as half-empty. {I Can’t Think of a Witty Title for This Post}

And that is what lots of people have done this last year. In this Corona-period they have taken on the coat of negativity.

Does it really matter if the glass is half-full or half-empty? Photo by Manki Kim on Unsplash

In the past year, several young people have taken on the mantle of the dark side of life. Many have lost positive thoughts towards the future. They see it all in such a gloomy light, while at the end of that dark tunnel there is a beautiful light in sight.

In these darker days let us decorate our homes with fine ornaments, colourful and luminous things, so that the darkness is somewhat hidden by our smiling light.

We may not forget that it really matters how we look at the glass in front of us.

In case we do not take it up to drink from the glass, someone else will do it. He or she might drink the contents and then we’ll see the glass completely empty.

He might think the glass will be left untouched, but in that instance, we shall have to doubt the nicety of the gathering, or perhaps the misjudgement of the host who hoped for more attendees than actually came. JYP would then see the beverage eventually attracting bugs and becoming gross. (What a waste.)

Were the invited people not in time because they were not sure to come by train or plane, or did they take so much time discussing what to wear, that they forgot the appointed time?

In any case, the glass still standing there might still be half full or half empty. When you look at it take it to be half full, and enjoy the rest of the evening sipping what is still leftover.

Don’t let Covid messages and lockdowns spoil your days, but make the most of these times of isolation and enjoy every moment you can.

Happy end of year celebrations!

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My perspective: Virtual v Physical church attendance

After several months having the churches being closed, people now allowed again to meet in small circles (with the Covid Safe Ticket or Pass) every individual should check for himself or herself and should examine for the family if it would already be safe to go to gatherings, be it for relaxation, Bible study or church service.

Going to “the grocery store, the restaurants, the beauty shop, the office, the classroom, the gym, and the doctor” is something totally different than going to a church, where people are sitting close together and normally also would sing and say prayers together in an enclosed space making it very easy for a virus to spread.

When people go to the supermarket, they are only limited by the amount of people allowed per square metre, and as such have to follow the red and green light indications or the stewards allowing only the right amount of people entering the wide space. To enter the shops only a regulated amount of people per square metre is allowed and often only two at a time, plus always with a mouth mask.

To go to a café, snackbar or restaurant a person has to have the Covid Safe Ticket or Pass and the same regulation is there for other places (as churches) and events.

For going to a gp or doctor one must make an appointment and maximum two people are allowed in the waiting room, which should be ventilated and normally is spacey enough to receive much more people than two.

For going to church there is in many cases no controlling system, though there should be someone at the door asking and checking your CST.

Worship and Bible class are not simply about our being fed spiritually and matters that can be done on our own or via online meetings. Such online meetings can never take in the place of an actual real-life meeting. But we must be fully aware of the present conditions and dangers for each other when coming together in real life.
For every follower of Christ and every lover of God the gathering between all members of the faith community should be very important and not negligible. But, and a great But, we should be fully aware of the situation.

We must consider one another to stimulate unto love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24), and that the best way to do that would be in connection with assembling together (Heb. 10:25), but this also can be done by going in conversation online by the present technical progress. There are Zoom, Jitsi a.o. to have interaction when meeting online.

That people would stay away from the assembly in present times does not mean that they would be less religious or would have abandoned their faith. It is essential to protect the own health as well as the health of others. This can mean that we still have to wait sometime before coming together in real-time and/or real life.

Our relationship with God and with His beloved son shall not be less or of less value. It is from the depth of our heart that the love for God should rise above all our present limitations.

 

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Preceding

Ideas about Religiosity

May we have doubts

Religious Resistance against vaccination

Covid-19 update | Covid Safe Ticket

New rules in Belgium to stop the spread of coronavirus

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Additional reading

  1. Christian in Christendom or in Christianity
  2. Daily thought for July the 8th and the Summer months
  3. Not created to be on our own
  4. No time yet to relax the CoViD-19 restriction measures
  5. Fourth wave of COVID-19 a pandemic of the unvaccinated
  6. According to Pew Most White Evangelicals Don’t Think COVID-19 is a Medical Crisis
  7. Did the first followers of Jesus have ‘church’
  8. Priorities for our Christadelphian community and for the spreading of Good News
  9. Worship

+++

Related

  1. Get Back to Church
  2. Is church attendance linked to higher rates of coronavirus?
  3. Enjoying Christian Fellowship
  4. Church attendance is often a distraction from biblical Christianity
  5. Normal Christian Doctrine Explained: Church Attendance
  6. Three good reasons to come back to church
  7. Millions skipped church during pandemic; will they return?
  8. No Family Is Too Busy for Church by Desiring God
  9. Why are people attending church less frequently?
  10. Why We’re Not Going Back to Church

OMT's Digest

This post is dedicated to all the virtual churchgoers like myself and those who are still unsure about whether it is best to worship virtually or physically in a church every Sunday. If this is the first time reading any of my blog posts and you want a straight answer, then please don’t proceed because this post is meant to get you thinking to find the answer within yourself.

Prior to COVID, I wouldn’t say I was a consistent church goer. If there was an attendance register, I am sure I would be called to ask why I get in late or why I have been absenting myself from church. COVID however resulted in a lot of churches going online because of physical safety restrictions so I guess I found it very convenient to wake up and have church right in the comfort of my living room.

Afterall, we learn…

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Freedom for whom?

 

East of Eden

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag on, one thing is emminently clear to politicians, scientisits, business leaders and the public at large: mass vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic, and thus the only way out of the cycle of restrictions that have been imposed on our lives. Most people can see this, and thus most people in Britain have already gotten vaccinated at this point. But of course, not every country is as fortunate to have vaccination rates as high as ours.

In Austria, which has among the lowest vaccination rates in Europe at 42%, has recently become the first country in Europe to make it mandatory for all eligible citizens to recieve the Covid vaccine. In the US, only about 59% of the population has been vaccinated, which sounds fine until you remember that a large and vocal part of the population resists the idea…

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Don’t Get Vaccinated, It’s Dangerous

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Preceding

Pan 1- Past Pandemics

Mountains of information, disinformation and breaking away

Vaccinations and anti-vaxers

Consequences of our digital environment

Facts: Why they matter and how to check them

Too Many People Are Dying Right Now 

++

Additional reading

  1. More care needed for older getting population
  2. Disinformation evolving threat
  3. Here is the truth or the lie
  4. Conspiracy theories in plenty-fold
  5. 💬 Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 
  6. Fact-Checking: Information Today
  7. Media Literacy
  8. Fourth wave of COVID-19 a pandemic of the unvaccinated

+++

Related

  1. Difficult Conversations – Open Letter to the Anti-Vaxxers
  2. Anti-Coders (#SegregationInAction)
  3. Anti-vaxxers are undermining our success at curbing virus
  4. Predictable Outcomes and Other Things
  5. Pro-COVID Republicans Help USA Stay Viral
  6. Pricing of choice
  7. Covid ‘protest’ straight from agitation playbook
  8. Former ‘The View’ Co-Host Jedediah Bila Returns For Virtual Debate Over Vaccines
  9. Subvert the dominant paradigm
  10. Orban: It’ll Be ‘Jab or Death’ for Anti-Vaxxers
  11. ABC Amplifies Anti-vaxxers
  12. Kelly, GOP leadership on the wrong side of good public health
  13. The fourth wave: how can Australia avoid another Covid outbreak as it reopens to the world? | Health | The Guardian
  14. COVID misinformation spreading about Aboriginal community lockdown
  15. Truly Cold
  16. My Body My Choice: Polarization and Outrage, But Who Is Pulling The Strings?
  17. Truly Stupid
  18. Trump stoked Covid in red states – but there are blue anti-vaxxers too | Robert Reich | The Guardian
  19. Freedom for whom?
  20. Dispatch from the slaughterhouse
  21. November 29, 2021 Set an Example
  22. An Amped Up Don Jr. Thinks Americans Should Be Rioting Against Vaccine Mandates
  23. Calling bluffs by Susan Grimsdell
  24. Red States, It’s Time to Get Vaccinated
  25. A Pandemic Worst Practices and Declaring War on Fauci Limerick 1.1
  26. Getting the needle!
  27. Vaccine: The Battle and the Lesson

Social Media@ NYUPraha

The COVID-19 pandemic. It has been almost two years since the death toll has started to surge millions of people around the world. With the uncertainty around the emergence of a new virus, the demand for information naturally increased. There was not only a rapid exchange of information that allowed citizens to make informed decisions, but also a widespread of disinformation and misinformation – about the virus, its origins, effective prevention and treatment measures, and the legitimacy of the vaccines – both intended and unintended to harm. In this shift from the public to the digital sphere were social media and its paramount role in creating an “infodemic.”

During the pandemic (and the infodemic), there has been government control over surveillance, censorship, and the free flow of information. In addition to this, the value of social media has been highlighted by political leaders, who have strategically…

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