Nice guys these Quakers

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Quaker_star

Yesterday I came across an article in a local online newspaper about how a group of Quakers are helping the LGBTQ community flee Uganda’s absurd and outrageous Anti-Homosexuality Act. What’s more, I got to learn a lot about the Quaker community, otherwise known as the Religious Society of Friends (didn’t know that either).

Like the Amish community, Quakers are fervently religious and believe very strongly in non-violence. However whereas The Amish are very conservative and don’t adapt to change, Quakers are pretty liberal and embrace modern technology. Another thing, Quakers don’t have priests or clergymen and eschew religious symbolism, and for that alone this atheist is warming up to them.

But here’s why I think they’re simply awesome: Quakers are involving themselves in a dangerous activity by helping people escape persecution. And they’ve done it before; many times.

Quakers denounced slavery as early as the 1670’s in Barbados. Later they would play a fundamental role in abolishing slavery in the United States. They were also involved in setting up the Underground Railroad in the USA which helped runaway slaves.

It was therefore fitting that the group based in Olympia, Washington, assisting people escape the bigotry and persecution as a result of the draconian law passed by the Ugandan government, decided to call themselves Friends New Underground Railroad (FNUR).

However not everyone likes what they’re doing; even right’s activists and NGO’s within the LGBTQ community have their reservations, but I think it’s just remarkable.

Meanwhile Ugandan activists, and right’s organizations like Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) who incidentally are critical of what FNUR are doing, are petitioning the courts to overturn the anti-gay law. I sincerely hope they’re succesful. The world does not need legislated hatred.

Lucky fish… er snake.

Neither fish nor snakes have anything to do with legendary rock outfit Uriah Heep. At least not that I know off. The title will make sense when you watch the video.

The band originated in 1967 as The Stalkers, which changed to Spice when David Byron joined (formerly David Garrick). Thank Odin, they didn’t keep these awful names. Imagine being remembered as the Spice Boys?

In a flash of brilliance, Uriah Heep was adopted after the famous Charles Dickens character in David Copperfield. And so rock history was made. Gypsy is from their first album Very ‘Eavy … Very ‘Umble, and what an awesome beginning that was…

I was only seventeen,
I fell in love with a gypsy queen.
She told me – hold on!

Her father was the leading man,
Said “You’re not welcome on our land.”
And then as a foe, he told me to go.

He took me to a little shack
And put a whip across my back
Then told her – leave me.

I was out for quite a time,
Came back with her on my mind.
Sweet little girl – she means all the world.

Though I want my gypsy queen,
Will she still be torn between
Her father and lover?

One day I will go to him
Strong enough to fight and win.
The kind of a man that he’ll understand

Marching to be Equal

Originally posted on Dining with Lesbians:

And so we went, together, holding hands. Marching for gay rights might sound ordinary to many of you but it’s very special to us, to me. My partner has never, I say never, joined a rally, march or demonstration of any sort. The closest she ever got was dropping me off two blocks away from the site I was going to hold IDAHOT at, and she was very shy about being seen even at that distance.

The rally itself was alright, about 1,000 people turned up.  I loved how one sign said “I am straight.  I support Gay Marriage” (too bad I couldn’t get it clearly on camera).  It was peaceful along the way and the police were nice, too (we had to ask for directions and were politely shown the way by a middle-aged policeman who showed no signs of negativity towards the gay rally).

On the way to…

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Wednesday again, and it’s mountain time

You drive west on 80 and it won’t take too long
‘Til the road starts climbing up to mountain time
There’s a girl I know there, she lives free and easy
And she shows me wonders and she takes my mind

And she’s wild as eagles
She’s as sweet as honeysuckle
Her life’s flowing like a mountain stream
And she takes me somewhere
And it’s good to be there
And she pulls me into her bright golden wing

Now I hate the city and I love the country
And I love that feeling on that mountain high
And that girl is waiting, but she won’t wait too long
So I drive all night to that clear blue sky

And she’s wild as eagles
She’s as sweet as honeysuckle
Her life’s flowing like a mountain stream
And she takes me somewhere
And it’s good to be there
And she pulls me into her bright golden wing

I can feel it in the wind blow
I can feel love flow
And I’ll be there when the morning comes, yeah

And she’s wild as eagles
She’s as sweet as honeysuckle
Her life’s flowing like a mountain stream
And she takes me somewhere
And it’s good to be there
And she pulls me into her bright golden wing

Bright golden wing

And she’s wild as eagles
She’s as sweet as honeysuckle
Her life’s flowing like a mountain stream
And she takes me somewhere
And it’s good to be there
And she pulls me into her bright golden wing

Bright golden wing

And it came to pass…

faith

It was to be expected when self-proclaimed prophet TB Joshua’s House of Cards came tumbling down, he would use all means possible to evade responsibility. In September last year when a guesthouse under construction on his Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) property collapsed killing over 100 people, he claimed that it was caused by a terror attack.

This week Coroner Oyetade Komolaf found that the church was culpable due to criminal negligence, and should be prosecuted.

TB Joshua off course rejected this finding, still hanging onto the ludicrous assertion that the incident was due to sabotage. But never mind Joshua’s refusal to accept liability. It is well within character for a charlatan to avoid accountability. It was to be expected. And so it came to pass.

But what about his followers and the family of those tragically killed in this titanic abuse of trust? Would they denounce him and call for his head?

Off course not! They are believers. And so it came to pass that they would rationalize this tragedy using every foul excuse in religious doctrine. Here are some of the more absurd:

One woman said the coroner’s ruling was “nonsense” concocted by “earthly experts” who know nothing about spiritual matters. The church could not be blamed for “work of the devil.” She went on to state that she does not believe in “scientific findings for spiritual matters”.

Another said the investigation was “devilish”. Yet another invoked the devil, accusing him/her/it for wanting to destroy his bishop.

The worst has to be the statement from a church spokesman who told AFP that it was “unfortunate” that the coroner ignored submissions that “having building approval is not [a] panacea for building collapse”. WTF? How insane is that?

Now that the coroner has made a finding, will TB Joshua actually be prosecuted?

That to my mind is unlikely. He is well-connected politically in Nigeria. It’s no secret how corrupt their politicians are. And he has been rather busy visiting family of the victims, palming off blood money and currying favor.

And it shall come to pass that justice will not be served.

Thank you Google

obedience

While visiting my cousins in Toronto back in 1995, they informed me that while they thought they had the best government in the world, they did not like the fact that their socialist democratic leaders had so much (collected) information on their citizens.

I remember thinking at the time that this was a good problem to have if your government was well, good. I actually did not see or experience anything during my lengthy stay there, which gave me any indication that the Canadian government was anything but good.

Fast forward 20 years, this is a kind of problem very few people in South Africa would like to have, considering that our current government is nowhere near good. In fact they’re leaning toward despotism. But I digress…

Google released their latest Transparency Report recently which shows that the South African government requested user data from them on 18 different occasions over a one and a half-year period, and they (Google) refused every single one. The requests also include the removal of content (presumably of a politically embarrassing or compromising nature) uploaded by users (citizens), from Google platforms.

Google 1, South African Government 0, Citizens WIN.

It’s extremely reassuring that Google upholds the values of freedom of speech, but whenever this government gets shown the finger, I find it personally satisfying.

So there you go, you prying kleptocratic fucks. I hope Google continues to give you what you deserve. Nothing!

Black Wednesday

Not that kinda black. Way better…

Hey… oooh…

Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me as her body once did.
All five horizons revolved around her soul as the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed has taken a turn

Ooh, and all I taught her was everything
Ooh, I know she gave me all that she wore

And now my bitter hands chafe beneath the clouds of what was everything.
Oh, the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything…

I take a walk outside, I’m surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear?
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin round my head, I’m spinning, oh,
I’m spinning, how quick the sun can drop away

And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass of what was everything
All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything…

All the love gone bad turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I’ll be… yeah…

Uh huh… uh huh… ooh…

I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life,
I know you’ll be a star in somebody else’s sky,
But why, why, why can’t it be, can’t it be mine?

Aah… uuh..

Too doo doo too, too doo doo

The Waterkloof Air Force Base Mystery

WAFB

There’s a strange military base just about north of Johannesburg where mass corrupters occasionally sneak in and mass murderers sneak out, and nobody in charge seems to know how they do it.

The spooks in government tell us that this base is a National Key Point (NKP). For those who don’t know, an NKP is an area designated as of strategic importance against sabotage, and is thus of great importance for security purposes. If nobody (in government) knows how corrupt cronies or heinous murderers sneak in and out, it is very troubling for ordinary citizens.

A couple of years ago, a politically connected family managed to sneak their extended family into the country through this military base. They all went to a wedding, attended by The President of South Africa and other high-ranking politicians. They later told us that none of them had any idea how some of the other guests had arrived in the country through the Air Force Base. It was a complete mystery they told us. Some low ranking officials were blamed, others were promoted to cushy jobs and the mystery was neatly left to lie under a massive carpet.

Just last week, a mass murderer, a guest of the same government, managed the same feat; this time in the opposite direction, even while a High Court was busy compelling him to stay and be arrested. Again, us citizens were told that it was a complete mystery how. The only difference this time, is that the same government is trying to convince a High Court judge, that he is as stupid as the government thinks the rest of its citizens are.

Will he be fooled? More importantly, will he be able to find government liable and enforce a judgement? Time will tell. It’s an outcome that has serious ramifications for a democracy that is currently under siege.

Meanwhile, the citizens wait with baited breath to see which low ranking officials will be blamed, and whom will be promoted to cushy jobs in other areas of government. We also wait to find out if the bigger mystery of why the majority of citizens continue to submissively accept complete and bullshit from the government.

“Point of order, honourable Parasite…”

What you’re watching is a session of our Parliament. Correction! Was our Parliament. It is no longer any such thing.

That hallowed institution ceased to exist when Jacob Zuma and his cronies usurped it. What it is now, is merely a deception to keep up appearances for the credulous masses that conspire to keep this rabble in power.

It never fails to at the same time, amuse and infuriate me when these leeches call each other honourable. I’d be pleasantly surprised if more than a handful of them actually looked up the word in a dictionary.

Notice how the sheep rise to applaud the Pres… er jackal when he takes up position to answer frustrate questions from the Opposition. How very diffident? And what about the Speaker? What a model of prejudice?

This my friends is a very devious form of apartheid. It is called ANC democracy.

Trippin’ in Vienna

We walked in the cold air
Freezing breath on a window pane
Lying and waiting
A man in the dark in a picture frame
So mystic and soulful
A voice reaching out in a piercing cry
It stays with you until

The feeling has gone only you and I
It means nothing to me
This means nothing to me
Oh, Vienna

The music is weaving
Haunting notes, pizzicato strings
The rhythm is calling
Alone in the night as the daylight brings
A cool empty silence
The warmth of your hand and a cold gray sky
It fades to the distance

The image has gone only you and I
It means nothing to me
This means nothing to me
Oh, Vienna

This means nothing to me
This means nothing to me
Oh, Vienna