Tag Archives: 2020

Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue

Probably we are looking at more than 150 victims of the heavy rain and flooding which took parts of Germany, Belgium and the South of the Netherlands. Authorities said late Thursday that about 1,300 people in Germany were still listed missing, but cautioned that the high figure could be due to duplication of data and difficulties reaching people because of disrupted roads and phone connections.

In Belgium, Pepinster, Theux, Chaudfontaine, Spa, Liège a.o. got enough water to forget draughts for months. Most of the drowned were found around Liege, where the rains hit hardest. Skies were largely overcast in eastern Belgium, with hopes rising that the worst of the calamity was over.

Please find this report about the flash floods this week which followed days of heavy rainfall, sweeping away cars and causing houses to collapse across the region.

“Some parts of Western Europe … received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days. What made it worse is that the soils were already saturated by previous rainfall,”

said Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization.

Those who keep saying Climate chance is an invention of revolutionaries and lefties, should have a better look of how our weather becomes unpredictable.

Extreme weather events are hitting Europe more frequently as climate change warms the continent, experts agree.

2020 was Europe’s hottest year since records began over 300 years ago, according to analysis of global weather stations by Berkeley Earth, and eight of the 10 hottest ever years have been in the past decade.

The continent’s average temperature is now roughly 2C warmer than it was at the start of the 20th century – an increase that has come with a growth in extreme weather.

For example, warmer air holds more water which, in turn, can lead to extreme downpours.

Please find to read and watch another video > Europe Floods: Death Toll Over 110 as Rescues Continue by Frank Jordans

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Necessity of free press for Hong Kong

We are convinced there always has to be free independent press. We find that freedom of expression, speech, press, is essential for a community.

Since more than a year that freedom of thought has been brought in danger by silencing critical writers. With regret we have seen the many difficulties which inhabitants of Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR) have to face.

The highly developed territory and ranks fourth on the UN Human Development Index, its pictures show us a city that has the largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world. Ranked 4th in the Global Financial Centres Index, one would think everything must go incredibly well in that city. But that is without regard to the overlooking and dominating power of the parliamentary communist apparatus.

What never should have happened, was presented by the agreement of the United Kingdom and China, Hong Kong being transferred to China on 1 July 1997, after 156 years of British rule. This instead of making Hong Kong an independent sovereign country.

Political debates after the transfer of sovereignty have centred around the region’s democratic development and the central government‘s adherence to the “one country, two systems” principle. After reversal of the last colonial era Legislative Council democratic reforms following the handover, the regional government unsuccessfully attempted to enact national security legislation pursuant to Article 23 of the Basic Law. {Wikipedia}

Before the British government handed over Hong Kong in 1997, China agreed to allow the region considerable political autonomy for fifty years under a framework known as “one country, two systems.” But probably they use another calendar than ours with very short years!  Soon they started to limit the inhabitants their movements and way of thinking.

From the central force in Beijing, everything was done to reduce the movements and influence of the Hongkongers. Beijing has cracked down on Hong Kong’s freedoms, stoking mass protests in the city and drawing international criticism.

In the wake of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement as a non-profit outlet funded by Hongkongers, the newspaper Hong Kong Free Press was launched in 2015. Hong Kong Free Press is a non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.

In 2020, we got to hear how Beijing passed a controversial national security law and came to see how dozens of pro-democracy activists and lawmakers were arrested. We could also see the inappropriate violence coming from the government, and violence provoking actions of the police force, dimming hopes that Hong Kong will ever become a full-fledged democracy.

On 15 October 2015 a video shot by a TVB film crew appeared to show seven police officers haul off a handcuffed protester from a freshly cleared Lung Wo Road to a dark corner in nearby Tamar Park, Admiralty. As the officers circled the protester, some allegedly took turns kicking and punching him while others stood over him, keeping watch. Despite an effort by the station to downplay the footage and remove it from subsequent broadcasts, the video quickly took Hong Kong by storm, stirring public outrage and catapulting the victim of the apparent attack, Civic Party activist Ken Tsang, to the status of an instant icon. The Occupy protests were violently crushed without mercy, and up to today we regularly get new shots of press people and protesters being arrested by the police. From some people apprehended by the police a few months ago, nothing is heard any more.

No wonder the public lost their trust in the local police after the many secret missions of the forces and the many police interrogations, certainly after the 2015 blockage of the Hong Kong Free Press website in China. Any websites or apps that undermine Party rule, or have the potential to, are typically blocked. This consists largely of western news media, social networks, and sites built on user-generated content. Other content deemed vulgar, pornographic, paranormal, obscene, or violent is also blocked. Some western websites, apps, and services are blocked in order to prevent competition with domestic, homegrown alternatives.

blocked in china hong kong free press
(Find which sites are blocked in China by the Chinese Communist Party’s technological and legislative efforts to regulate the internet: >  censorship watchdog websites greatfirewallofchina.org and blockedinchina.net.)

The easiest way to access censored websites in China is to use a VPN (Short for virtual private network) But because VPNs being not so cheap subscription services that encrypt internet traffic and route it through an intermediary server outside of China, this allows only a limited audience to use it to bypass the Great Firewall and freely access the web.

In 2020 Hong Kong Free Press has been shortlisted by the UK-based Index on Censorship for their annual Freedom of Expression Awards.

index censorship hong kong free press

Hong Kong pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily continued its operations and printed 500,000 copies of Friday’s paper after its headquarters were raided by the police on Thursday 17 June 2021, and five senior executives were arrested on suspicion of violating the national security law.

Apple Daily raid June 17, 2021

Dozens of Hong Kong police enter Apple Daily’s headquarters in Tseung Kwan O on June 17, 2021. Photo: Apple Daily.

It was the second time in 10 months that the newspaper, founded by Jimmy Lai, had been raided. Police said the warrant used on Thursday was issued under the security legislation, and gave them power to search for and seize journalistic material.

Lai, 73, who was arrested during the first raid last August, is serving 20 months in prison for protest-related offences and also faces charges under the Beijing-imposed security law, which provides for penalties of up to life imprisonment.

According to local media, those arrested included Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung and Chief Operating Officer Royston Chow, Apple Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law, Associate Publisher Chan Pui-man and Cheung Chi-wai, who manages the newspaper’s online news platform. All were arrested in the early hours at their homes.

Police said their operation was not targeting the press, adding the force “had no choice” but to enforce the law inside a media company.

 

Please find to read:

  1. Hong Kong justice chiefs accused of ‘shameless double standards’ for dropping charge against reporter from state-owned media outlet
  2. Two senior execs at Hong Kong’s Apple Daily formally charged with national security ‘conspiracy’
  3. ‘Very heartbreaking’: Hong Kong media reel as security law targets democracy paper’s reporting
  4. Hong Kong police raid Apple Daily office, editor-in-chief among 5 arrested under national security law over articles
  5. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily may halt publication this Sat, pending Fri board meeting
  6. ‘#Hong Kong is very beautiful’ hashtag trends online after Watsons Water bottles taken off shelves
  7. Taiwan pulls trade office staff over Hong Kong ultimatum
  8. Embattled democracy coalition cancels Hong Kong’s annual July 1 march; will discuss disbanding

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Related

  1. Two Hong Kong newspaper executives charged under security law: police
  2. HK democracy supporters snap up Apple Daily copies
  3. Apple Daily: Hong Kong police raid sparks rush on newspapers
  4. Hong Kong’s RTHK fires popular pro-democracy radio host Tsang Chi-ho
  5. Post-Work Life in Hong Kong
  6. Blockchain could boost fintech in HK, but city is lagging
  7. Hong Kong newspaper chiefs on trial for security charge
  8. Pro-democratic executive of Hong Kong Media appears before court
  9. This is the worst of times
  10. Hong Kong court denies bail to Apple Daily’s editor, publisher
  11. Sunday Morning: News From Zurich, London, Copenhagen & Hong Kong
  12. Hong Kong seeks integration with mainland China, says Carrie Lam
  13. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily paper to shut within days
  14. John Ross: from Trotskyism to power-worship
  15. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily may halt publication this Sat, pending Fri board meeting
  16. Hong Kong pro-democracy paper Apple Daily says to decide on closure on Friday
  17. UN rights chief eyes visit to China’s Xinjiang ‘this year’
  18. Hong Kong’s Biggest Pro-Democracy Newspaper Likely to Shut Down This Week After National Security Law Raid
  19. Hong Kong’s last pro-democracy newspaper may be forced to suspend operations after government crackdown

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A dangerous turning point – Earth facing the collapse of everything

Despite so much evidence to the contrary, “experts” deny there is any threat to the world’s ecology.
Study Disputes That Earth is in a ‘Climate Emergency’

Brietbart 07-Feb-21 by Delingpole

“There is no “climate emergency”, according to a study for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by independent scientist Dr Indur Goklany.
Dr Goklany concludes:

“While climate may have changed for the warmer:  Most extreme weather phenomena have not become extreme, more deadly, or more destructive.  Empirical evidence directly contradicts claims that increased carbon dioxide has reduced human wellbeing. In fact, human wellbeing has never been higher.

Whatever detrimental effects warming and higher carbon dioxide may have had on terrestrial species and ecosystems, they have been swamped by the contribution of fossil fuels to increased biological activity. This has halted, and turned around, reductions in habitat loss”.

The report would make hugely depressing reading for all environmental activists — even the Pope – if it was
infallibly accurate – which it is not!
Dr Goklany says there is little to scare us:

Yes, there will be more hot days, but fewer cold days. Oh? Where?

In the Arctic and the Antarctic of course – silly!

*There will be less tornados – #in Great Britain?
* There will be less floods, less frequent and smaller!
# Perhaps Goklany slept through last year, but there were half a dozen cyclones causing death by floods, drowning, landslides and inundation from January to December 2020 throughout the Southern Hemisphere!
*There will be less droughts and less wildfires.

# When does this begin? So far so bad in California and many parts of Australia. In October 1917 intense, deadly fires killed 41 people in Spain and Portugal, and in 2020 fires affected Sweden and Northern France as well as Italy and Spain where wildfires are not indigenous!

In 2020 for months, Siberia has been experiencing extreme heat due to a combination of persistent sunny weather and human-caused climate change. In addition to producing Arctic temperatures that cracked 100 degrees in June, the heat has fueled an enormous outbreak of wildfires, including fires on Siberia’s tundra……

Breitbart News Desk February 16, 2021:

The deep freeze that knocked out power in Texas spread across the country this week. The agency that manages power in fourteen states from Texas through Oklahoma and all the way up to North Dakota declared a state of emergency and ordered utilities to initiate rolling blackouts to cut electrical demand and stabilize the grid.
Meanwhile, a lot of fracking for oil has been brought to a halt by the freeze. Twenty percent of the U.S. oil production has gone offline, and some of the biggest refineries have been shuttered. The big problem is that the Texas oil kits are not set up for arctic weather. Up in North Dakota the extraction process is winterized, but that’s not the case farther south. Even something as simple as picking up oil in a truck to move to a refinery can become impossible when your roads are iced over, there are no snow ploughs or road salt, and no one has snow tires.
Crude oil production is down by more than four million barrels a day, twice what was reported a day earlier. Prior to the cold crisis, the U.S. was producing around 11 million barrels a day.
The Permian Basin, America’s largest oil field, has been hard hit. Production in the area that straddles western Texas and
New Mexico is down between 65 percent and 80 percent.

The melting Arctic has been watched closely by countries like China and Russia who are looking to take advantage of the increasingly available shipping lanes. But scientists have lamented the latest milestone, and are sounding the alarm about further environmental degradation due to increased shipping activity.

It is a very dangerous turning point

says Associate Professor Nengye Liu, an expert in international polar law at Macquarie University.

In Revelation 6:8-9 we can see that “Global Warming” is the result of the 4th Vial of God’s Wrath

   8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 9  And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

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‘Too late’:

David Attenborough warns Earth faces ‘total collapse’

Nick Whigham ·Assistant News Editor | Yahoo News| 24.2.20-21

The world’s most famous naturalist has issued a dire proclamation about the state of the planet, warning Earth is facing “the collapse of everything” if we continue on our current path.

94-year-old Sir David Attenborough warned overnight that climate change is the biggest security threat modern humans have ever faced while addressing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session on climate, saying it was “already too late” to stem the diabolical impacts of global warming.

   “There is no going back, no matter what we do now, it’s too late to avoid climate change and the poorest, the most vulnerable, those with the least security, are now certain to suffer,”

he said.

“And if the natural world can no longer support the most basic of our needs, then much of the rest of civilisation will quickly break down.”

Arthur Wright, Kallangur, Brisbane

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Related

  1. Global Climate Change. Overstated or Understated?
  2. Earth Is In Serious Trouble If We Don’t Make Major Changes. Period.
  3. Stop the depletion of the earth
  4. Earth had its coolest February since 2014
  5. Climate Change Responsibility
  6. The Triple Crisis: Coronavirus is increasingly linked to global warming and remaking the economy, call it a socialist trifecta
  7. Sea-level rise caused by climate change> LTE Under Consideration: Re: March 1 Article, “Was climate change to blame?”
  8. Scientists stunned to discover plants beneath mile-deep Greenland ice
  9. New Permian Methane Leakage Study Confirms What We Already Knew
  10. Routine Gas Flaring Is Wasteful, Polluting and Undermeasured
  11. Rare Lizard’s Habitat May Open Up
  12. “Arctic air freezes Permian shale fields”… Fake news?
  13. Texas Oil Giant ExxonMobil Sells Some North Sea Drilling, Exploration Sites Amid Muted Oil Prices
  14. Clean Fuel Opens Door for Sustainability
  15. The two gravest threats to humanity
  16. 60,000 Belgians take government to court over alleged climate inaction

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As West Bank Settlers Try to Take More Palestinian Land

Rabbi Arik Ascherman lets us know

As West Bank Settlers Try to Take More Palestinian Land

I am actually in a bit of pain. I have barely felt most of the blows I have received in recent days from settler youth sent by their elders to accompany cows and sheep on a rampage of theft in the fields of the Taibe junction we had planted with Bedouin shepherds. These are mere children trying to be tough. However, a week ago Tuesday one of them managed to hit me in the back with the stick he was brandishing. I am trying to avoid overuse of pain killers, except for the adrenalin every day when I return to keep the cows and sheep out of the fields.

In addition to the physical pain, there is the great sadness that adults are corrupting these children in this way. I have been oscillating between telling them that they are thieves, and we have nothing to talk about, and telling them that I pray they will find an uncorrupted corner of their souls that will inspire them to return to what God asks of them. Almost every day I ask them if they wish to act like the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, or like Amalek, summarizing the words of Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch I cited on my Times of Israel blog two weeks ago on the reading for the Shabbat before Purim, Deuteronomy 25: 17 – 19:

Don’t Forget:

Don’t forget a thing if the day will come when you will want to be like Amalek, and like Amalek you won’t want to remember your obligations or to know God, but will look for the opportunity in small or big matters to exploit your advantage to harm other human beings. Don’t forget this when the day will come, and you will want to rid yourself of your role and mission as the Jewish people that you accepted among humanity.

This week I have been suggesting to some of these troubled youth that we set up a “Reish Lakish club.” Reish Lakish was a thief who changed his ways and became a scholar frequently cited in the Talmud.

Last Thursday night, immediately after the reading of the Purim Megillah, we had an emergency meeting postponed from the previous night with a representative of the Taibe Municipality, a leading Palestinian activist, and legal counsel. As I will explain, the Book of Esther came to life for me.

For much of the past three years the struggle has primarily been that of Torat Tzedek and the Bedouin shepherds, with some support from the Municipality. Landowners have taken action when settlers tried to set up additional outposts on their lands. However, from the additional outpost Neriya Ben Pazi successfully set up on “State Land,” the settlers have taken their incursions, intimidation and theft of everything the shepherds plant for their flocks, to a new level. Our successes in 2019 to significantly cut down the level of theft were reversed in 2020 both because of this outpost, and because of incredibly heightened State support for settler aggression this past year. In 2020 settlers forced many Bedouin off the land, and now have begun to plow some of it themselves. Between fear of what the State can do to those who raise their heads, and tensions between the landowners and the Bedouin working and living on the lands, the landowners have been overly slow to take the steps necessary to save their lands.

Day after day, we have literally been holding them off. We stood guard as those shepherds who have not been totally intimidated planted. In areas where the fear was too great, we did the planting as well. We have been in constant conversation with the legal authorities, demanding that they do their job. Because last year’s losses have left family’s financially strapped, we helped secure financing for seed and tractors and contributed ourselves. Settlers have savagely responded by intensifying their attempts to ensure that their flocks eat everything that has been planted just as it is beginning to grow. They want the shepherds who dare to resist to believe that they will not benefit from even one stalk of the barley that was to feed their flocks from May through September. They call or “visit” the shepherds to warn them that they will pay a price for any connection with us. We call the security forces, who say they will do nothing until they see ownership papers, but have taken no action when owners have lodged complaints and even discouraged owners from doing so. They usually refuse to identify suspects, but last year froze a case by claiming that the perpetrators were not known. When there are enough of us, we can successfully keep the settler flocks out of the planted areas. I admit there have been days when I have broken the rules and been there alone, because I can’t bear to watch what happens otherwise. Expelling flocks alone is physically more challenging, and we are less likely to be attacked when the settlers know that we are filming them from several angles. I was alone when hit in the back on Tuesday.

Then, there have been the days I have just walked away and expelled flocks when the police have refused to do anything, and then had the audacity to order me not to do anything.

At the meeting, the lawyer explained the hard facts. With the settlers acting as if the land is theirs, and even plowing some of it, the next step will be to claim that it is theirs legally. They are already smirking and crowing that the Bedouin have fled, and won’t be coming back. On Friday, one of them scoffed at the idea that the ownership papers of “goyim” mean anything. At the meeting the Palestinian activist assured that many would support the Municipality and the owners and the Bedouin if they take the decisive legal and other steps that must now be taken.

For me the meeting was a Megillah moment. The most dramatic scene for me in Megillat Esther is the back and forth messages between Mordechai and Esther that transform her from a passive woman doing what she is told to a bold and brave leader:

Esther told Hathach to take back to Mordecai the following reply:

“All the king’s courtiers and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any person, man or woman, enters the king’s presence in the inner court without having been summoned, there is but one law for him—that he be put to death. Only if the king extends the golden scepter to him may he live. Now I have not been summoned to visit the king for the last thirty days.”

When Mordecai was told what Esther had said, Mordecai had this message delivered to Esther:

“Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being in the king’s palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for just such a crisis.”

Then Esther sent back this answer to Mordecai:

“Go, assemble all the Jews who live in Shushan, and fast in my behalf; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens will observe the same fast. Then I shall go to the king, though it is contrary to the law; and if I am to perish, I shall perish!”

So Mordecai went about [the city] and did just as Esther had commanded him. (Esther 4: 10 -17)

Like Mordechai, I as a privileged Israeli Jew can paternalistically instruct Palestinians or Israelis in need of public housing, or whoever, what to do. Or, there can be a magic moment when the oppressed become empowered to be partners in fighting for their rights and dignity. We may have reached such a moment on Thursday – a moment in which we all realized that there is a reason why we are here. I use the word “partners.” Mordechai speaks of the salvation that can come from another quarter if Esther does not act. We spoke of all the aid that would come from other quarters if the villagers do act.

Ken Yehi Ratzon May it be the Will of God, Who is never mentioned in the Book of Esther, but was present. Together –– the privileged, the oppressed and God –– in partnership for a better world.

B’Vrakha (In Blessing),

Arik

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2020 Talking Points – Stuck with polemics, histrionics, and ad hominem denunciation

Continually the world turns around and time goes on. But it will not go on for ever with man being able to bring bad things to others.
There shall come a time that with a roar and fire, believers and non-believers still alive shall come to see the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The Great Tribulation will come bringing great sufferings, but it shall bring us our waiting to an end, making our hope coming into fulfilment, Jesus, the Prince of Peace and the great Reconciler of humanity with the Creator, coming back to judge the living and the dead, to allow the righteous to enter the gates of God’s Kingdom to live there forever without pain or sorrows.

*

The retired High School teacher and an ordained Christian minister in Ontario, Canada, Vincent finds that

No one who has lived through and is old enough to remember it will forget 2020 – the “Plague Year” of a century. We tend to forget that there have been many plague years in human history, and many far worse both in absolute numbers of victims and in proportion. {2020-2021 and Hope}

He was not without hope as we ended 2020 and began 2021 and writes:

Even in dark times like 2020, and there have been many much darker in many ways over the centuries, the Creator has not departed. He remains anchored among us through the presence of a living Redeemer, a presence shared far and wide wherever those who know Him bring His light. {2020-2021 and Hope}

He is also aware that we might be coming closer to the prophesised days of the end.

It may prove true that we are quite close to or even in the last, Last Days and on the verge of the Great Tribulation. I am aware that quite a few believe that we are now seeing such signs, and they may be right. My generation thought this back in 1973. People thought it in World War 1, and in WW2 called Hitler the Antichrist.

World.V.You

Like many I know, I have been paying less attention to the swirling morass of the news these days. Most of it is glum and discouraging anyway, and, here in the “Great White North”, summer is all too brief to waste on keeping up with the latest blasts in the present mockery of “discussion and dialogue” in uber-confused Western culture. Besides, between true news (??) and the boundless volume of the less reliable variety, it is often hard to draw a firm line in the midst of all the spin and vehement opinion masquerading as considered point of view.

Everyone has a point of view, of course. But the problem is that it is now uncommon to find any serious attempt to talk about an issue. Most of what passes for commentary consists of dismissing the writer-commentator’s submission as mere strong bias or even some sort of incipient “Communism”…

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Some Hope for 2021

Karla Surguine cried when the clock struck twelve on January 1st, 2021. She writes:

It never crossed my mind that I would be emotional about the moment wretched 2020 would turn to history, but my heart was relieved to see a conglomerate of pain walk away. I am not a believer that a different day immediately improved things; we are still in the midst of everything 2020 brought for us. However, I know for sure that 2021 is the year of hope. We hope that things will get better from here. They will not be as normal as a year ago, but we expect this year to bring healing to our bodies, hearts, and pockets. {My Hope for 2021}

At the beginning of the year, we all have a lot of resolutions or plans we want to realise in the new year. On the 31st of December many are waiting and counting down, ready for a fresh start and a New Year. Every year we want to have certain things of the previous year to be put in a bin to forget very quickly. 2020 brought us something we shall not easily forget, though we would love to see it soon over.

It’s crystal clear that 2020 was not as promising as we expected it to be, that was a year filled with challenges and hopes for a better future that we so craved to come as soon as possible and now it’s finally here but how can we manage to leave that outdated/shadowy mindset behind in order to bring up a fresh one that can take us exactly where we wanted to go in the former year but couldn’t utterly achieve? {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

How many people do not spend their whole life stuck in situations where they wish to escape.  This last year was for many more a year we all want to leave behind. Though so quickly it shall not let us go loose. We must understand it is still going to be here for some while. So we shall have to be patient.

writes:

Last year was a hard/different year and even if we don’t see many changes in the beginning of 2021, we have to be positive and think that we learn some things in the hardest times, and that good times will come. The good thinks we learned should be remembered and applied in 2021 (and maybe for the rest of our life) but there are always more things that we can try to be better. {Our 2021 Resolutions…}

For many 2020 has shown the importance of finding bliss in the little things and of being able to be with our beloved ones, trying to stay save and uninfected. Many of us could find in 2020 so much more time for themselves, because they did not have to go to work or could not open their shop. The obligated time for oneself could enrich us. The time of isolation could also be for many a time for reflection. We clearly see the result of it, by having even people starting a new business in this crisis time. Others found now the time to work in the house, doing renovations, or working more in the garden; All the green fingers seemed to have come out of the soil.

2020 surprisingly was also a year many could find renewed energy to things that bring them pure happiness, learning that change is okay, and setting boundaries in order to be their best self. Many people their eyes opened how they were the other years taken by their job full of stress, more working instead of living.
2020 brought them down to earth to reconsider. It was really a year of reflection for many.

Marcella Marie confesses:

I often get so caught up in work, stress, + daily to-do’s that I forget to take a moment to look around me and appreciate everything that I have. This is something that 2020 has taught me to do, and I am so grateful. I hope to carry this mentality into the coming year, because it has shown me what is most important in life.{New Year, New Manifestations}

Ranjani writes:

With a deadly virus lurking in unexpected corners, it was critical for everyone to maintain a good physical health. But it did not suffice, did it? To sustain those prolonged durations of lockdown, distancing ourselves from our loved ones, isolations and taking responsibility of our dependents despite our precarious emotional states, achieving and maintaining a state of harmony of the body, mind and emotions had become inevitable. {Entering a new decade with old values!}

We can look negatively to those lockdowns, or we can be glad we still could make the best out of it and stay healthy. She continues:

we are a lot calmer than what we were a year before and have embraced the uncertainty, albeit gingerly. {Entering a new decade with old values!}

2020 was for many a year that showed reasons enough to be thankful.

There’s no such thing as not having anything to be grateful for, it might be the most modest thing we can possibly think of that it’s still going to count as something to be grateful for, so grab a pen and a piece of paper and go do some grateful thinking practice or just type it on your phone. Whatever you fancy! {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

Probably for most people things didn’t go the way they wanted them to go. All over the world, we got taken by the unexpected. However, one thing is for certain, all over the world, people are looking forward to some change.

A change in perspective holds the power to highly influence in your outcomes regardless of your setting point. So, perhaps adjusting the way we perceive things to be might not just give us the results that we want plus also helps us discern our dreams and hopes from a brighter perspective. {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

All people were taken out of their comfort zone. Most of us are not yet sure what perspective 2021 might bring. But we all hope we shall be able to put an end to this mighty coronavirus tickling our society for such a long time. For sure in 2021 we shall need another strategy than in 2020.

See, this is the moment when we are supposed to be courageous and driven enought in order to let go of the control and boredom and take over a whole innovative attitude on how to take actions that are just as reasonable and that can take you where you are intented to go. {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

Last few months we were allowed to go easy on ourselves and allowing us to have time for resting and even perhaps some time to go lazy (who knows?).

2020 was a rough year in which required so much of us to merely make it through to get to this point and so just for that we are deserving of the greatest amount of respect we could ever nurture for anyone…

So, please in the name of quality of life, the next time we find us beating ourselves up let’s remember that that inner, ugly and powerless voice has no inpact on our reality unless we grant it the strenght to. {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

One of the good things of 2020 was also that lots of people became more aware of the difficult position others are.

People, otherwise preoccupied with their mundane problems, turned crusaders in support of the less privileged and the needy. There are reports galore in the media of people donating their earnings to relief funds, supplying essentials, arranging transport services, serving food to frontline workers, volunteering along with health care professionals, working round the clock to bring relief to patients, supplying medicines and protective gears, sharing their resources and opening their heart, mind and arms to fellow humans, across the world. {Entering a new decade with old values!}

2021 shall not directly bring new days, but the hope might be here now that in lots of countries vaccinations have been started.

In our minds getting something done can be a huge elephant that we have to tackle when all we have to do is beat the potato sitting on us. What happens to our dreams? What happens to our environment? What about our friends? Do we just accept turning into a puddle of screens or a piece of that silver tape on our couch that will not budge? It’s not worth it. These mindless activities just cause emptiness and blend our free time away. Again, it’s not worth it. By shifting just a little bit we can move the potato off its position and gain some momentum. Potatoes aren’t particularly heavy. {The 10 Minutes that Will Change Your Life}

The time being we shall just have to make the best of the coming months. Therefore, take some good books with you and watch some nice films with your partner and your kids. Take some more time to play outdoors and to play some family games inside.

Deciding to pick up a book for a few minutes a day instead of my phone, will water me and make me very fruitful, enabling me to give to others. As a consequence, I hope to sleep better, try new things around my neighborhood, discover new interesting topics, learn a bit about art, and cook some new dishes. Reading will breathe newness and refreshment in me. {My Hope for 2021}

Choose for 2021 to

  • find happiness in the everyday
  • read more
  • set clear boundaries
  • continue to prioritize health + wellness
  • continue to grow
  • to make the best out of life

To end:

So often we try to work at ourselves to change ourselves. But is that always change for the good? More often we need to accept ourselves more and find a way to fit in this world of diversity. It is not bad to have plans for the future and to work at yourself, but always think very carefully about it and do not have too high expectations.

We don’t know what the new year has in store for us. But let’s pack some optimism and newfound values and lessons learnt last year in our benevolence bag and make headway with a big smile! {Entering a new decade with old values!}

Good luck.

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Find also to read

  1. In Coronatime thinking about death
  2. Today’s thought “A New Year” (January 01)
  3. The secular year coming to a close
  4. If you’re going to try, go all the way
  5. Good time to sort out your friends and contacts
  6. A new start when the lockdown comes to an end
  7. Do we need to learn to accept ourselves as we are?
  8. A living Word giving confidence
  9. We should use the Bible every day

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Related

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  11. Alive in the future – dead in the past

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Quotations or Citations, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Let’s change

 

THE SEMPILL THINGS

The worst year yet? A lot of people would say so: “I’m glad to leave 2020 behind”, or “F*ck you 2020”, or whatever the trending caption of the moment is. 2020 has been a difficult year, but without it we wouldn’t be where are now. It’s shaken up all of us. And sometimes we need a shake-up. 2020 changed be me for the better in many ways –some good things, some great things, and some painful things that I wish would have panned out in a different way. I haven’t even come to the pandemic thing yet.

I’m hopeful for 2021, just as hopeful as I was at the start of last year. 2020 delivered in many ways and I’m pushing for ’21 to do the same. The attitude of wishing last year to go to hell is beyond me; the shift from one day to another makes no difference……

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Where did we come from and who are we?

Having started a new year after one we probably all want to forget very quickly, we do hope soon to come out of the darkness.

At the beginning of all times there was also darkness and void. There was no form when everything came into being. In 2020 lots of things seemed to have lost form and meaning. Suddenly there seemed something wrong with the world. All over the globe people had become frightened by what one president smilingly called the Chinese disease. Many came to wonder:

What has gone wrong with the world? What can we do to fix it? How now shall we live?

2020 was a year that gave us enough time to think. Many were in isolation in their own home or were locked up in a care home. Lots of people suddenly got enough time for themselves and their own family. They got now some time to reflect on the response to the first and most foundational of these questions  –

where did we come from?

and

Where are we going to?

There are a limited number of answers at our disposal: We came about by chance (the naturalist contention), we don’t really exist (the Hindu response), or we were spoken into existence by God. Some believe mankind was placed here on earth by extraterrestrials.

For the Christian, the answer to

“Where did we come from and who are we?”

gives a foundation for thinking that no other answer gives. Because we were created, there is value in each person. There is meaning and purpose to every life. There is Someone above and outside our existence who stands over it as authority.

As human beings, all created in the image of God, somehow we all can carry something of God in us, even without knowing it or willing to know. Several people claim Jesus is God because there is written he was in the image of God. They forget that the first Adam was also created in God’s image like all the other human beings, but for sure they are not God, the same way as Jesus is not God.

Last month several Christians celebrated the birth of a man who changed the course of this world. They claim to be his followers though reject many of his words, his teachings and those values as a part of shaping our culture for the future. They look at a King, but forget that he came from the root of another king (King David).

Perhaps this world has gone “buzark” because people living in this materialist world have forgotten those important ethics and values. For centuries people were truthful to the teachings of Jesus, but they were always in the minority because their way of life was based on something not of this world that the world no longer recognizes.

After the darkness and isolation of the CoViD year there is some hope with the upcoming vaccines. Let us also hope more people would come to the realisation that we seriously have to do something to protect the animals and the nature around us. This so maniest coronavirus was a very serious one which had brought the economy and life to a standstill. It was a time to reflect and to think about the way we are treating mother nature.

With the opening of the “Newer Year” we do hope you and our other readers would find the way to make the best out of this life.

Stay healthy & All the best for 2021

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De ellendigste tendens van 2020

December 2019 bracht een eerste tijding van een soort virus dat in een marktplaats zou opgetreden zijn. Volgens China dat dit nieuws liefst niet kenbaar had gemaakt was dat vreemde nog ongekende virus dat in december 2019 in de stad Wuhan was uitgebroken, het coronavirus, van mens op mens overdraagbaar. De dokter die voor dat nieuwe dodelijke virus had gewaarschuwd was eerder wegens zijn slechte nieuwsvoering opgesloten in de gevangenis. Maar door de snelle verspreiding van het virus dat ook na het Chinese nieuwjaar buiten China werd gebracht, kon men de feiten niet meer stil houden. In Wuhan waar  zo’n elf miljoen mensen wonen werd de hoogste besmettingsgraad waargenomen in China en moesten de mensen zelfs 76 dagen lang in een harde lockdown, waarbij mensen helemaal niet naar buiten mochten. (Dus heel wat anders dan hier, waar meerderen steen en been kloegen.)

De nieuwsuitzending doorheen het jaar brachten ons allerlei corona weetjes. Uren radio en tévé geweld gingen aan dat coronavirus verloren. Soms leek het wel of er niets anders in de wereld gebeurde. Natuurlijk mocht Donald Trump op het palmares niet ontbreken. Met zijn bagatellisering van de “Chinese ziekte” en andere absurde uitlatingen mocht hij ook wel ons televisiescherm bijna dagelijks bezoedelen. Hierbij deed hij ons wel meermaals de ‘zure’ lach op anders ernstige gezichten brengen.

Naar het jaar 2020 dichter bij haar einde kwam doken wel wat meer positieve berichten op om die onverwachte pandemie klein te krijgen. Overall in de wereld waren dokters en verplegend personeel druk in de weer geweest om mensen er bovenop te helpen. Toch kwamen over geheel de wereld heel wat mensen te overlijden. 19.581 Belgen en 11.529 Nederlanders verloren het leven, wat niets lijkt te zijn tegenover de 346 000 doden die de Verenigde Staten moest optekenen, waarvan er honderd duizenden konden vermeden worden indien de president de nodige maatregelen had getroffen. In Nederland was de bevolking in 2019 nog gegroeid met 132.000 mensen, tot 17,4 miljoen inwoners, aldus het CBS. De sterkste groei sinds 1975, maar nu leek een uitdunningsslag begonnen te zijn.

Heel wat mensen in de rijkere landen vonden dat hun vrijheden werden beperkt en dat ze het oh zo moeilijk hadden dat ze het niet meer aan konden. Wat zij zeker niet zagen of niet in hun geest op riepen was datgene wat heel wat minder in het nieuws kwam maar daarom niet minder ernstig was.

De ellendigste tendens van 2020, waarvoor ook 2021 geen vaccin belooft, is namelijk die van vluchtelingenkampen en -stromen, en harde politieke dijken en dammen.2020 bracht geen einde aan de vluchtelingencrisis waarmee Europa al enkele jaren zit mee te kampen. Ook al mocht de pers er minder over gesproken hebben mochten wij dit afgelopen jaar  een recordaantal van bijna tachtig miljoen medemen-sen op de vlucht aantreffen. Ruim de helft van hen is ontheemd in eigen land, dertig miljoen hebben een erkende vluchtelingenstatus, ruim vier miljoen zijn in afwachting van hun asielaanvraag. Veruit de grootste massa’s vluchtelingen worden – geheel conform een populair politiek devies – ‘opgevangen in de regio’. In Turkije (uit Syrië), Colombia (uit Venezuela), Pakistan (uit Afghanistan) en Uganda (uit Zuid-Sudan, Congo en Somalië). Op een strookje als Libanon wonen naar schatting 1,5 miljoen vluchtelingen naast 4,5 miljoen Libanezen – en dan gebeurt juist dáár een ramp van nucleaire omvang, waarna de regering aftrad.

Erg genoeg waren er asielzoekers die ten einde raad hun tenten in brand staken, in de hoop beter onderdak te krijgen. Dit bracht hen echter in nog grotere ellende, onder de blote hemel in nachten die alsmaar kouder en natter werden. De komst van het coronavirus maakte de toestand nog nijpender, daar de gewone bevolking rond de kampen die mensen als een mogelijkedreiging begonnen te zien en hen afhield om verder hulp te bieden. De Verenigde Naties bleef vragen om extra noodhulp ter waarde van 500 mil-joen euro voor huisvesting, voedsel en gezondheidszorg. De extra belasting aftrek die door de Belgische regering werd beloofd voor giften aan goede doelen zal hopelijk toch ook iets extra hebben mogen bijdragen. De cijfers zijn hiervan nog niet gekend. Wel is geweten dat veel donoren toch nog aarzelden, want bij vorige acties bleek dikwijls het geld en goederen niet toe te komen waar het hoorde aan te komen. Omtrent Syrië was men ook bang dat het geld en de goederen in handen zou vallen van jihadistische strijdgroeperingen. Die bleven nog lange tijd doorvechten, omdat Idlib de laatste provincie was die nog niet in handen van Assad was en nog een goed toevluchtsoord leek.

De corona-epidemie beheerste zodanig het nieuws in 2020, en zeker in april, toen het virus zich wereldwijd uitbreidde en dagelijks duizenden levens eiste. Nieuws dat anders de voorpagina’s zou hebben bepaald, werd helemaal naar de marge geduwd. Waar dat sinds 2014 een burgeroorlog heerst, die aan meer dan 112.000 mensen het leven heeft gekost, kwam nog uitzonderlijk één Vlaamse reporter ons toch nog wat schrijnend nieuws brengen.

Over Jemen, bijvoorbeeld, wordt weinig meer vernomen. In het land, in het zuidwesten van het Arabische schiereiland, woedt de strijd vooral tussen de rege-ring en de Houthi-rebellen maar voort. Door bemoeienis van Saudi-Arabië, dat de soennitische regering steunt, en Iran, dat de Houthi’s steunt, bleef het conflict daar maar meer mensen verarmen en kampen met voedsel tekort maar ook met een tekort aan medische zorgen. Na vijf jaar oorlog is de helft van alle ziekenhuizen en klinieken verwoest. Er is gebrek aan voedsel, medicijnen en kleren. Miljoenen mensen dreigen te verhongeren.

Ook al mocht het positief lijken dat ISIS of Daesh zware tegenslagen had opgelopen in het Midden Oosten, konden zij ondertussen in Afrika nieuwe uitvalsbases oprichten. Dit deden zij door samenwerking met terroristengroeperingen als Al-Shabaab en Boko Haram. Aanslagen in Nigeria, Mozambique, Congo, Kenia en Somalië, kwamen eigenlijk onvoldoende aan bod in de Westerse media. Algerije en Ethiopië kwamen iets meer in de kijker doordat zuid Europa weer een toename van vluchtelingen te verwerken kreeg uit die streken.

Volgens de cijfers van de UNHCR zijn zestig miljoen vluchtelingen langdurig op de vlucht. De kans dat vluchtelingen naar hun land van herkomst terugkeren, neemt al jaren af. In de jaren negentig keerden nog anderhalf miljoen mensen terug, de laatste tien jaar is dat gedaald tot 385.000. Meer dan zestig miljoen vluchtelingen verblijven in landen of gebieden waar voedselschaarste en ondervoeding heersen, en waar de gevolgen van klimaat- en natuurrampen zich laten gelden. Een aanzienlijk deel van de tachtig miljoen vluchtelingen is nog kind: naar schatting zijn dat er tussen de 30 en 34 miljoen.

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#Omens&Symbols . . . Letting 2020 out

Let 2020 be carried away by strong winds bringing it out of our stratosphere.

New Year’s Eve…a blessing for all of us who await the light this night..whether that be the bright light of fireworks (televised only!), the still light of prayer, the inner light of hope, the new light of dawn… {Text https://www.facebook.com/1567391160191012/posts/2925267964403318/}

Purplerays

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