Conversation: New Zealand’s National Poet lays down the law on the TPPA

Source: Te Kahu Rolleston

Te Kahu Rolleston is Aotearoa’s (New Zealand) National Poetry Slam champion and has one hell of a penchant for weaving words with devastating effect.

Watch him lay down the law. The people’s law.

In the words of uncle Bob:

“Get up Stand up, Stand up For ya rights, Get up Stand up, Don’t give up the fight”

Mohsin Siddiqui

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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On Existence

I would like to invite you to watch this video about our universe. It is perhaps the best way to give us all some perspective of who we are and where do we see ourselves in the river of life.

The picture below is of the Laniakea Supercluster. The red dot denotes the Milky Way galaxy where our solar system with our Sun, Moon & Earth is.

 Earth, Solar System, Milky Way (Orion Arm), Local Group, Virgo Supercluster, Laniakea Supercluster, Universe
Earth, Solar System, Milky Way (Orion Arm), Local Group, Virgo Supercluster, Laniakea Supercluster, Universe

And, we have not even scratched the surface of our ‘known universe’ estimated to be 45 billion light years in radius from our Sun. Yes, 45 billion years to reach the estimated edge (of an ever expanding universe) at the speed of light.

If you watched the excellent discussion in the video above then you would have learned that this known universe of ours, is itself just a soap bubble in a sea of bubbles. Each bubble is a universe expanding and all bubbles are ever expanding from each other too.

Are you really so sure of everything?

We, human beings, are a spec of dust in the cosmos. We are fortunate to even be able to grasp some of this reality and yet we carry on our daily lives either in complete oblivion to this reality or in abject disregard of it.

There are 7 billion human beings in a potential landscape of existence of infinite life. Yet, some have convinced themselves that they “know the truth”. That their church, mosque, synagogue or favourite political party will show the way.

Are you really free or do you run circles in the prison of your mind?

Mohsin Siddiqui

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.

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Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder, by Andre Vltchek

Source: Counterpunch

Andre Vltchek at the Italian Parliament - 29 Jan 2016
Andre Vltchek at the Italian Parliament – 29 Jan 2016

(Speech given in Rome at the Italian Parliament on January 29, 2016)

***

Friends and Comrades, it is a great honor to be standing here – at the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament.

***

One year ago I was driving through the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, monitoring the situation in the refugee camps there. Winter was approaching and the mountains on the Lebanese–Syrian border were covered by snow. It was cold, very cold.

Some 20 minutes, after leaving Baalbek, I spotted an extremely humble makeshift refugee camp, growing literally from the road, in the middle of nowhere.

I stopped. Together with my interpreter, I walked inside and engaged several people in conversation.

The situation was desperate. Children were hungry and could not register for schools through the UNHCR or through the Lebanese government, which, by that time, had almost collapsed. Many electronic food cards that were issued to the migrants did not function. Work permits were not offered, and without proper paperwork, local social services could not be used. In brief: a total disaster.

I was told that in this area, some Syrian migrants had already been starving.

This was Bekaa Valley, a tough place to start with, and full of ancient traditions, clans, gangs and narcotic-business. Refugees were expected to keep their heads down, or else…

Before I left, two little girls, two sisters, approached me. Both had swollen bellies, suffering from malnutrition. Both were dressed in rugs. Both looked deprived.

But after spotting my cameras, they were mesmerized, smiling at me, showing tongues, laughing.

Their country was in ruins, their future uncertain.

But these were just two little girls in the middle of the mountains, two girls excited about each and every little detail of life. Such innocence! Such hope! People are people, and children are children, everywhere, even during wars.

Unfortunately, I have witnessed too many of them; too many wars. Too many barbarities performed by NATO, by the Empire, by the United States and Europe.

Continue reading Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder, by Andre Vltchek

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