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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Libya Aftermath

Patrick Hayes, a reporter for the online magazine Spiked, tells RT that the inability of the NTC to control the situation in Libya was only to be expected. The NTC leadership was essentially chosen by the West and imposed on a situation of turmoil. Hayes make the point that the West, having trumpeted their Intervention as a success will try to ignore the mess as long as possible.

The Intervention far from preventing human rights abuses has resulted in a dramatic rise in human rights abuses that has now led to medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres withdrawing from Libya.

Libyan militias are holding 8,000 people in secret detention centres, while the interim government struggles to assert authority, the UN Security Council has heard.

UN officials said recent violence in Tripoli, Bani Walid and Benghazi highlighted the problem.

Meanwhile, the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has suspended some operations because its says its work was being “exploited”.

The humanitarian medical organisation said that at some detention centres in the north-western city of Misrata patients were being brought in for care between interrogation sessions.

Speaking to the BBC, Christopher Stokes from MSF described the situation as “completely unacceptable”.

Source: BBC News

The mainstream media are making an attempt to present the current situation as a ‘return to the barbarism of Gaddafi‘ without giving giving details of Gaddafi’s crimes.

Dan Glazebrook talking to RT tries to correct this perception by pointing out that Libya has had a relatively good human rights record in the five years preceding the intervention:

Sott.net has an article supporting Glazebrook’s contention with regard to human rights under Gaddafi, arguing that:

Before NATO and the U.S. started bombing Libya, the United Nations was preparing to bestow an award on Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and the Libyan Jamahiriya, for its achievements in the area of human rights. That’s right–the same man, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, that NATO and the United States have been telling us for months is a “brutal dictator,” was set to be given an award for his human rights record in Libya. How strange it is that the United Nations was set to bestow a human rights award on a “brutal dictator,” at the end of March.

Source: sott.net

I have not read the UN Document cited by sott.net but plan to do so.

Additional Notes:

Glazebrook refers to killing by the UK police in 2011. I googled a name he mentioned and found this Daily Mail article: http://bit.ly/AvWqsX

Portia Walker has written a number of articles on Libya. They present an informative account of the conflict though there seems to be a persistent anti-Gaddafi bias.

Year of the Dragon

On Sunday last Sandy came back from her three week holiday in Guyana and Barbados. Monday was the start of the Year of the Dragon. Tomorrow marks the last day of the Chinese New Year celebrations. We plan to go to Chinatown to celebrate the New Year.

So this is the end of the period of Resolving the Resolutions. No more looking back and forwards. Just forward.

Resolving my Resolutions

 

It’s late. Way past bedtime and way past the typical time for New Year Resolutions. But it’s finally time to ‘resolve my resolutions’ for 2012. I consider the period between the New Year and the Chinese New Year the time of ‘Resolving the Resolutions’.

I believe 2012 is a significant year that will be pivotal in one way or another.

My resolutions begin with the yamas and niyamas of yoga.

Yama and Niyama

Yama and Niyama are often called “the Ten Commandments of Yoga.” Each one of these Five Don’ts (Yama) and Five Do’s (Niyama) is a supporting, liberating Pillar of Yoga. Yama means self-restraint in the sense of self-mastery, or abstention, and consists of five elements. Niyama means observances, of which there are also five. Here is the complete list of these ten Pillars as given in Yoga Sutras 2:30,32:

1. Ahimsa: non-violence, non-injury, harmlessness

2. Satya: truthfulness, honesty

3. Asteya: non-stealing, honesty, non-misappropriativeness

4. Brahmacharya: sexual continence in thought, word and deed as well as control of all the senses

5. Aparigraha: non-possessiveness, non-greed, non-selfishness, non-acquisitiveness

6. Shaucha: purity, cleanliness

7. Santosha: contentment, peacefulness

8. Tapas: austerity, practical (i.e., result-producing) spiritual discipline

9. Swadhyaya: introspective self-study, spiritual study

10. Ishwarapranidhana: offering of one’s life to God

All of these deal with the innate powers of the human being-or rather with the abstinence and observance that will develop and release those powers to be used toward our spiritual perfection, to our self-realization and liberation.

These ten restraints (yama) and observances (niyama) are not optional for the aspiring yogi-or for the most advanced yogi, either. Shankara states quite forcefully that “following yama and niyama is the basic qualification to practice yoga.” Mere desire and aspiration for the goal of yoga is not enough, so he continues: “The qualification is not simply that one wants to practice yoga, for the sacred text says: ‘But he who has not first turned away from his wickedness, who is not tranquil and subdued, or whose mind is not at rest, he can never obtain the Self by knowledge.’ 4 And in the Atharva text: ‘It is in those who have tapas [strong discipline] and brahmacharya [chastity] that truth is established.’ 5 And in the Gita: ‘Firm in their vow of brahmacharya.’ 6 So yama and niyama are methods of yoga” in themselves and are not mere adjuncts or aids that can be optional.

But at the same time, the practice of yoga helps the aspiring yogi to follow the necessary ways of yama and niyama, so he should not be discouraged from taking up yoga right now, thinking that he should wait till he is “ready” or has “cleaned up his act” to practice yoga. No. He should determinedly embark on yama, niyama, and yoga simultaneously. Success will be his.

Source: http://www.atmajyoti.org/

The yamas and niyamas are not in themselves commandments or resolutions. They are conditions without which resolutions, especially spiritual resolutions cannot succeed.

Beyond studying and practicing the yamas and niyamas my resolves are:

Premises: Unconditional love for self and others.

Principles: Consciousness, Creativity and Compassion in all that I do.

Policy: The Four Agreements – Be Impeccable With Your Word – Don’t Take Anything Personally – Don’t Make Assumptions – Always Do Your Best.

Programme: To develop my business to the point where I am delivering an effective service and receiving an effective income that I can be satisfied with. To set aside time for new learning, specifically to read and speak French properly and to develop my skills as a web developer. To set aside specific and quality time for family. To set aside time for meditation and physical exercise.

Practice:

1. Set aside at least one hour each day for meditation and one hour for deliberate physical exercise.
2. Set aside at most one hour each day for entertainment, including games, not inconsistent with the yamas and niyamas and subject to having completed the meditation and physical exercise.
3. Deliberately commune with nature. Get out into a wood or park or do some gardening for at least one hour every week. This will count as physical exercise.
4. Set aside at least an hour a day for learning.
5. Develop a work plan for the year, use monthly, weekly, daily to-do lists and stick to the plan.
6. Friday and Sunday are family days. No Internet, no computer, no work.
7. Tuesday is a day of fasting between dawn and dusk. No food no Internet between those times.
8. Have an adventure once a week.
9. Thursday is ‘mind your business’ day. Focus on finance and filing.
10. Eat moderately no more than twice a day to attain a weight of 10 stone and 2 pounds by 4th May and maintain that weight for the rest of the year. There will be no giving up of cherry pies with custard; these will be consumed in a meditative way.

X-Files

I’m starting a category called ‘X-Files’. This fits into it. If there has not been alien contact why are respected establishment people like Paul Hellyer saying that there has been and that there is a cover up? There are three possibilities:

1. They are delusional
2. They are conveying disinformation for some covert purpose
3. They are telling the truth

I won’t dismiss any of these possibilities. Being passionate, eminent and intelligent do not guarantee the validity of one’s statements though these attributes suggest that a person is worth listening to. Hellyer cites alleged incidents where military planes have come apart when they flew too close to UFO but gives no documentary references.

What Hellyer says reminds me of the movie Thrive:

The full movie can be watched at Documentary Wire.

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