Monthly Archives: January 2015



On Sunday unprecedented numbers of people were not afraid to show their solidarity with those murdered in Paris last week.

A sea of humanity ebbed and flowed on streets and squares across France and in other European capitals, demonstrating their solidarity with the families of the victims and defending liberty, equality and fraternity against the forces of terrorism.

People of all races, colors and religions, with 40 world leaders heading up the march, came together in the hope that this could be a tragedy that pulls all the disparate forces of society together to find a way forward in a country with Europe’s highest populations of Muslims and Jews. It was a remarkable sight after the carnage on Parisian streets last week. And we can only pray that other radical sections of society won’t seek revenge for these acts of terror.

I was especially moved by the Muslim voices that came forward in the media coverage, condemning the terrorists. Above all, Malek Merabet, the brother of the slain Muslim policeman, Ahmed Merabet. They were false Muslims, he said, for Islam is a religion of peace and love. The terrorists were disaffected people using Islam as an excuse for their crimes.

As moving as the occasion was, my thoughts cannot help but stray to the thereafter. It’s well and necessary to employ anti-terror measures and intelligence to try and prevent such travesties, but even though the perpetrators were known by the authorities, it didn’t avert their evil deeds.

In my opinion, the only solution is not an easy one, nor is it a speedy one. Only people who have a stake in mainstream society will live and act in a way to maintain that status quo. The rub is: there are far too many dispossessed immigrants living in France. Until they are educated and/or trained to do work that allows them to respect themselves – and others – and become part of the system, they will be vulnerable to demigods and hate mongers who are themselves products of their disjointed world.

Of course, this message cannot only be directed at France. Great Britain, Germany, Italy and other countries beyond Europe have many of the same problems to a varying extent, whether resulting from their past colonial transgressions or from the present humanitarian catastrophes currently convulsing the Middle East, Ukraine and great swathes of Africa. There is a lot of homework to be done and a lot of money that needs spending, and the less that is applied to weapons, the better.

But how can I as an individual make any difference in this terrible malaise?

  • By using my vote to elect leaders who understand that politicians are not there for their own aggrandizement but to work hard on behalf of their constituencies – including those who genuinely need help, to solve problems rather than causing more.
  • By being hands-on in welcoming new refugees to my community in any form required. Language classes, help with bureaucracy, finding accommodations…

The list is goes on.

We are all Charlie.


Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Terror


To those few Islamists who think they can blast modern civilization back to the Dark Ages with Kalashnikovs, I’d like to send the message that without our modern values of freedom of speech, thought and religion, you would have been burned at the stake by a still existing (un)Holy Inquisition.

Why are you so determined to sabotage your fellow moderate Muslim brothers in their quest to live peacefully with people of other religions, races and belief systems?

The cartoonists and journalists at Charlie Hebdo (and at other satirical publications) are indispensable voices in our society. They are people who point out to us how foolish we as human beings can be; they make us re-think, they make us laugh at our follies. We need them now more than ever, and we always will. My heart goes out to the families and friends of these courageous men who were murdered yesterday.

Tolerance means respecting the philosophies of others at all times. Tolerance means the right to criticize and satirize at will. It means never forbidding free thought. It means promoting good relations between yourself and those of different persuasion – and respecting their right to have other opinions. Above all it means:



Filed under civil rights, human rights, Terror, Tribute

2015 – A New Blank Page

Another year of my life – and yours has just slipped away. A year in which I did much, but not nearly enough of what was on my maybe-unrealistic annual to-do list. But being of the self-flagellating persuasion, I just re-read my motivational post written exactly a year ago. No, the year did not fail me, nor I the year. But the overflow from last year’s projects and intentions will be more than sufficient to fill 2015. In this new year the emphasis will be a different one.
It will most definitely be on the writing. In fact, I’ve just been invited to join a secret society of writers, the sole purpose of which is motivational. Nothing like encouragement from other like-minded people to get you onto your backside in front of that computer (but, no, NOT on social media!!) to work at those stories brewing inside your being, to get them flowing from brain to arms to fingers tapping on keyboard. Thank you, new friends, for including me in this venture!
To other friends who find making plans and setting goals either futile or too daunting, I wish you a year that changes your mind. And maybe, in reality, those goals and plans do exist. You just aren’t opening your eyes.



Happy New Year to everyone out there in the blogosphere!

Last night we were invited to a party with old friends, good food, freely flowing inebriants and a fireworks display, solely for the purpose of celebrating the advent of the New Year. No doubt a great many of you did the same. And a great many of you (I won’t include myself since I was the designated driver) woke up at midday a bit worse for wear. Never mind. Who’s counting anyway?

Backtracking to 12:30 a.m, when the hubbub of cracking explosives, kissing and hugging, and the slurping of bubbly had subsided to a virtual quietude amongst the guests, I asked the fatal question:

Has everybody made their New Year’s resolutions?

And what exactly was on their lists?

The response was a deafening cacophony of denial. No one had bothered to make – or even think about – what they…

View original post 247 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Beginnings, Endings, Fiction and Other Truths, Seasonal Reflections