Untraditional families

This has caused a lot of controversy recently because of the remarks by two gay fashion designers saying they are not personally in favor of gay adoption, but also making offensive remarks about IVF.

My own view, to clarify it, is that all families which for any reason do not include a parent of both genders would benefit if the children had regular access to a role model of the gender which was missing from their parenting. I know my childhood would have greatly benefitted in having a good role model of a father figure.

My father was absent, for the first 6 years because he was gambling, drinking and womanizing (not a good role model!), then because, not surprisingly, my parents separated and were later divorced. This meant I had little contact with adult men and was scared of them, so much so I cried all night when I had to go into a male teacher’s class for the first time at the age of 8. I didn’t know what a urinal was and so kept trying to go into the girls’ toilets at primary school, thinking the boys were urinating against the wall.

More seriously I underwent two very traumatic operations to bring on puberty when I was 13, and I wonder if these would have been necessary if I’d had a father figure to talk to. These operations were planned in secret as if something shameful, and the first one sprung on me the night before. As a result I had a reaction similar to any other sexual assault. I became gay immediately after these operations, despite having heterosexual fantasies beforehand.

The trouble was I couldn’t discuss these or the fact that I got stimulated with my mother or grandmother, and when my brother first experienced arousal I denied it had ever happened to me. This led to these operations being forced on me. I still do not know to this day how puberty in males is supposed to happen. Nobody has ever discussed it with me, and I’m 70 this week. Do the testes descend shortly after birth or between the ages of say 11 and 15? If the latter, the operations were probably unnecessary since they were planned when I was only 12!

These operations, and the way they were planned in secret, not only led me to subconsciously reject all heterosexual inclinations which was not a bad thing in itself as I much later found a wonderful same-sex life-partner. But they absolutely ruined my teenage years. I retreated into a shell and made no friends my own age. It was so bad other boys at my college sarcastically nicknamed me me ‘Sociable’.

I needed a father figure to discuss the feelings encountered during puberty and how it develops. If the operations were indeed necessary he could have explained it to me, instead of it being some nasty secret women didn’t wish to discuss.

So I feel all one-parent families (due to break-up of partnerships or bereavement of one parent) should be offered the option of a suitable role model of the missing gender in the parentage, and the same for same-sex couples with children.

As to IVF, this is a valuable medical/scientific development for those who for any reason cannot have children in the usual way. I guess this includes both gay and straight couples. Where, however, do you draw the line? Singles are barred from this treatment I understand, and presumably from adoption?

The world suffers from over-population. If couples, gay or straight, genuinely want children then adoption is perhaps a way which would not increase this over-population. This is not satisfactory for many who want their own children but are unable to have them without IVF. Just so long as people realize children are not a fashion accessory – if that is what they want maybe a pet would be better, but they too need to be in loving homes.

There also, obviously, has to be a limit on how many children one couple can have by this method. At the same time couples having children by the usual method should, in my view, be penalized financially if they have more than two. China has been much criticized for the ‘one-child’ policy, but what is the alternative? Children dying of malnutrition because there are too many to be fed properly?

As for me personally, like the gay fashion designers, I would never have even considered adopting children, nor would any of the gay couples I know or knew in the past. Obviously times are changing, but children were never part of the gay lifestyle I knew. When we visited my partner’s sisters with their large families, or they visited us, it seemed like heterosexual hell to us! But that is just a personal view. We have no right to deny adoption or IVF for other couples, though I would suggest the points above in this blog be considered seriously.

A Minority Within A Minority

This is the story of my life; always part of a minority within a minority. Sometimes because I’m something of a rebel, though it could be said I’m just an independent thinker who refuses to let others think for me. Sometimes because I’m just different; an individual who won’t follow the current herd.

In my early teenage as a churchgoer I stopped putting money in the collection because I knew about the vast properties the Church of England owned. Not only churches, cathedrals, archbishops’ palaces, etc. but many other properties which they let out. When my mother encouraged me to join the boy scout movement I objected to swearing allegiance to The Queen and the general militaristic paraphernalia, so soon left. As a jury member I chose to affirm, but felt refusing to swear an oath to the Queen would have disbarred me from jury service. On both cases I went with the minority opinion of the jury, naturally. One trial at the Middlesex Guildhall (now the Supreme Court) was stopped when a friend of the accused approached me outside the court and, finding this intimidating, I reported this to the judge.

As an early supporter and full-time worker for CND (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) in the early 1960s I didn’t follow the official line of only legal demonstrations, but also supported the Committee of 100 and its Direct Action protests and other actions which broke the law.  This came to a head on my first Aldermaston March in 1963 when I was confronted by my boss at CND Head Office, Peggy Duff, shouting thru a loud-hailer telling marchers to keep straight ahead to the lunch stop. I defied her by turning left with the anarchists and direct actionists to view and protest a top-secret nuclear bunker, known as an RSG or Regional Seat of Government in times of crisis/nuclear war. This was at Warren Row, and as I followed those protesting at this bunker I wondered if I still had a job the Tuesday after Easter, but nothing was said about my disobedience. Peggy Duff years later wrote in her autobiography ‘Left, Left, Left’ that it was a mistake to try to stop marchers visiting the Warren Row RSG just off the route of the Aldermaston March.

As a member of the Labour Party at various times I have always opposed the official line. As a member of the Young Communist League and later the Communist Party, I again joined other minority comrades in opposing the official line. This was brought to a head when I and some comrades attended a YCL Congress in Scarboro’.  Leading comrades in the YCL booed the fraternal Soviet delegate because of the recent invasion of Czechoslovakia; I and my hardline comrades gave him a standing ovation, as we did for the DPRK (North Korean) delegate who presented a statue of Kim Il-Sung to the embarrassed British YCL leadership. As a current member of Left Unity Party I find myself again opposing official policies in various areas, notably uncontrolled immigration and, for that matter, uncontrolled emigration. I still, for instance, believe the Berlin Wall was an absolute necessity to stop the flow of professionals from the GDR, the commuting between cheap subsidized flats in the East and high paid jobs in the West, and the emptying of subsidized goods from GDR shops by Westerners, though I am now against the minefields and shootings. I think financial measures could have controlled movement between both parts of Berlin along with the Wall.  Westerners should have been barred from buying subsidized goods in the GDR capital, and GDR citizens should have had to forfeit a huge deposit if they didn’t return to the GDR after visits to the West. These deposits could have been collected by public subscription, and used over and over again to fund visits to the West to visit family, etc. Commuting to work from East Berlin to West Berlin would have been made impossible by the formalities necessary to get a visa for each visit to the West.

As a rationalist who rejects all organized religion I belong to the minority, albeit growing one, of agnostics, atheists and freethinkers who accept the overwhelming evidence of the afterlife. As a gay man I detest all the current gay fashions in dress, hairstyles, music, etc. As a Teddy-boy/1950s rock”roll fan I am one of the very few ‘out’ gay men, so again in a minority within a minority.

My views have changed over the decades. I am no longer a Communist, but still call myself a Marxist Socialist.  I naturally now condemn Stalinism and the invasions of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, etc.  I now am agnostic rather than an atheist, but a firm believer (if that is the right term) in the afterlife because of the scientific evidence for it, which most mainstream scientists refuse to even study because it is taboo to do so. However my views change I always seem to end up in a minority. Take reincarnation – most who believe in it think the individual keeps coming back in different lives. I take a more complex view of it, again based on evidence, that the individual does not come back, though other aspects of his or her greater soul (for want of a better word) may incarnate and all life experiences are then shared.

As a Socialist I reject widescale nationalization apart from the transport network, utility companies and telecommunications service, postal service, etc. which all have national grids/networks best maintained by a central unified authority. I instead support other forms of public ownership for most industries and services; cooperatives and mutuals, and also individual publicly owned companies, all competing in a Socialist market place.

As a pacifist I reject all war and indiscriminate weapons and killing, but support the idea of a United Nations Security Force armed with weapons which target only those committing atrocities.

I was always good at English Language, a born writer, but I reject the restrictions on spelling which British opinion tries to inforce. I pick and choose from all recognized English spellings in USA and UK, and would be all in favor of more spelling reform without making present books unreadable.

It is difficult perhaps being someone who thinks things out for themselves. You are derided by many or ostracized in some of the minority groups you belong to. As a believer in many conspiracy theories, again based on the evidence, I am ridiculed by many.  But there are UFOS, they are visiting the Earth regularly, there is on-going contact with the U.S. and other governments, Diana Spencer was murdered, JFK was not shot by a single assassin, and 9/11 was not just a group of terrorists flying airliners into buildings.  The evidence for all of this can be disputed, but only if it has been thoroughly researched and alternative explanations proposed.

While I don’t claim to be right in all my views, and have been proved wrong in some in the past, I do believe thinking for oneself is the only way to learn and progress. It is positively dangerous to let others do your thinking for you. On the other hand, in dictatorial societies, it is perhaps best to keep you views to yourself, or at least offer constructive ideas through the official channels rather than come across as a dissident. For example, the woman heroine in the German film about the demise of the GDR ‘Goodbye Lenin’. She supported the ruling GDR coalition, loved the GDR, but through the official organizations proposed improvements to the system.

Christmas Truce, 1914

 

The unofficial Christmas Truce of 1914 when British and German soldiers disobeyed orders and came out of the trenches to exchange gifts and play football with each other, has now been commemorated officially with a memorial inaugurated by Prince William.

Sainsbury’s official Christmas TV advert for the 100th anniversary of this event was a re-enactment of this truce. It can be viewed on the YouTube link above. Whenever I watch this I sob uncontrollably. Not just tears of happiness because of the truce, but because I knew after it was over they were killing each other again. That should never have happened.

Once they disobeyed their officers and became friends, they should have remained friends and refused to kill each other. They had the guns, they far outnumbered their officers. It was Lenin who told soldiers in the First World War to turn their guns on their own officers. I’m a pacifist, but if necessary that is what should have happened to make the truce permanent. They would not necessarily even had to fire their guns. It is high time old men, officers and politicians learnt that to put guns in the hands of young men, barely out of childhood, and order them to kill each other is very, very foolhardy. Those young men greatly outnumber them, are stronger, and once armed are positively dangerous!

Wars will cease when men refuse to fight, and if that means a few dead officers then I won’t cry too many tears. I’d rather the politicians, generals, etc. fought it out among themselves, They might all kill each other off and leave the rest of us to live in peace.

If young men refused to fight, or once armed, turned their guns on their own officers, a new world order of peace could be imposed.

You’d still have fanatics and extremists like the various terrorist groups, but they are usually a reaction to some war or injustice and in the case of Al-Quaida and ISIS actually armed and trained by the military to fight a common enemy in the past (when the Jihadists went under a different name such as the Mohajeen). Such groups must be dealt with by a truly international armed security force under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly. Policing actions targeting those committing crimes and atrocities; never wars killing young men and civilians indiscriminately.

Immigration/Emigration

This is a very controversial subject, and those on the Left or considered liberals are not supposed to even discuss it except to say there should be unlimited immigration/emigration in and out of all countries. This is, in my view, an idealist concept which would be fine if we had a level playing field as in worldwide Socialism, but the fact is we don’t.

Within the European Union which I’m very much in favor of, there is free movement across national boundaries. However the problems occur because there is no level playing field, and this is because there is no federal structure and therefore no central EU control over prices, wages, etc. So many Poles were going abroad to work at one point there were not enough men left to run the fire stations in Poland, and women had to take over. Unlimited emigration and immigration causes not just problems for countries with high immigration, but also for those with too high emigration. The GDR (East Germany) knew this when from 1945-1961 there was an open border in Berlin and the FRG (West Germany) and West Berlin poached many of the GDR’s best professional people. All GDR citizens who got to West Berlin or West Germany were guaranteed West German citizenship, so the Berlin Wall and inner German border installations were an economic necessity, though the minefields and shootings were illegal and not justified. Financial measures could have controlled emigration (hefty deposits for GDR citizens visiting the West, refundable when they returned), and measures could easily have been brought in to stop West Germans and West Berliners stripping East German shops of subsidized foodstuffs meant for GDR citizens. Similarly, in Berlin itself, before the Wall went up Berliners were obtaining cheap, subsidized flats in East Berlin and high paid jobs in West Berlin, depriving the GDR authorities of taxes as well as the expertise of people trained and educated in the GDR.

In the UK at the moment there are many inner city areas where the local indigenous population has been swamped by immigration. Alien culture has taken over in some areas. State schools are over 90% ethnic, butchers’ shops are all Hal-al as are take-aways, even meat counters in some big supermarkets are Hal-al. Meanwhile the burkha is still tolerated in public, and who knows who could be hiding behind it? Shops have been robbed by men wearing the burkha, and it is an excellent disguise for terrorists. Along with a ban on public wearing of the burkha, there should be a ban on any other clothing which covers the face such as masks and balaclavas. What is the point of CCTV if faces cannot be identified?

Then there is Enoch Powell’s supposedly infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech when he warned of the consequences of unlimited immigration. It has come true. Every month it seems drug-related gang violence claims the mainly black teenage victims of gun and knife crime. If this isn’t ‘rivers of blood’ caused by an alien gang/drug culture, what is it? Of course it doesn’t help that police on the beat have largely been removed from our streets, and to see such a police presence is a very rare sight nowadays.

The bottom line is all countries have the right to control both immigration and emigration. The USA is one country, so there is unlimited movement between the states. The EU is not one country; it has no federal structure, so until it does and there is a level playing field in wages and prices unlimited movement between countries is not practicable. It is not good for countries swamped with immigrants, and it is not good for countries starved of workers because so many have gone abroad, which the GDR regarded as treachery. To leave your country unable to function properly because so many workers have fled abroad instead of staying to fight for better conditions at home is, if not treachery, at least irresponsible.

Socialists and liberals should be fighting for higher wages and better working conditions in countries in the underdeveloped world or where wages are low. Cooperatives should be encouraged in these countries so workers there can escape from the clutches of multinationals who exploit them for cheap labor.

Meanwhile, immigrants must learn to assimilate into the local culture. While retaining their own culture, they should respect the culture of the country they are living in, learn the language, etc. Hal-al and kosher outlets and abattoirs should be strictly limited. Schools should introduce ‘bussing’ as happened in America to insure a healthy mix of pupils – neither all-white schools nor all-black ones.

I speak as the son of mixed-race parentage. My father was Greek-Cypriot, and neither he nor his relatives bothered to assimilate into the country properly. Even after 50 or 60 years few of them speak proper English. My dad never learnt it properly, and the marriage break-up with my mother was caused by trying to import Greek-Cypriot chauvinist ideas into his British marriage. He said things like: ‘women and dogs remain in the house’. They had arranged marriages in those days in Cyprus, and he even tried to arrange one for me with a Greek-Cypriot girl cousin, but I was having none of it. This was because Greek-Cypriot culture does not accept the gay lifestyle and insists everyone should be married to someone of the opposite sex. My father told me how someone from his village, who was gay, was forced to marry a woman. My father himself came to England to escape an arranged marriage. We don’t want such culture imported into British society.

All immigrants should be required to speak English fluently within a few years of living here. They should also be required so respect the national culture. This means the burkha in public is not acceptable, nor are arranged marriages, or gang warfare. All these are alien to our culture. Hal-al and kosher meat should be available to Muslims and Jewish people, but should not be forced upon the indigenous population.

Unless these issues are addressed by Socialists and liberals, far-right groups like UKIP and the BNP will continue to gain ground. But it is not enough to just deal with the current problems caused by too many immigrants in certain areas; it is essential to create a federal structure for the EU so we have a level playing field, and to work for fair wages and better working conditions worldwide.

What is ridiculous?

Ricky Gervais quote

I have to agree with actor/comedian Ricky Gervais. He is an atheist who doesn’t believe in the afterlife. I am a rationalist who doesn’t believe in it either; I deduce it is a fact by studying the evidence for it. This is evidence which many scientists and rationalists will not even investigate as it would undermine their theories and drastically alter their paradigms. Many other scientists and rationalists, however, have investigated the evidence, and many who were skeptics at first became convinced. This is not belief, this is judgment based on empirical evidence, the true scientific method.

However I also find many beliefs utterly ridiculous, though respect the right of people to hold them. The idea that Islamic extremist suicide bombers will be greeted in Heaven with various numbers of virgins to have sex with for instance; the idea that we will rot in our graves (or our ashes will be spread all over the place) and yet we will be physically reconstituted when Gabriel blows the ‘Last Trump’. The idea that there is a God who is male and who created himself and everything out of nothing. The whole idea of the Holy Trinity, invented at the Council of Nicea. The idea that you can do whatever you like and receive absolution from your misdemeanors by the Last Rites performed by a priest, by confession, by taking Holy Communion due to JC’s apparent death on the Cross (or tree, if you follow the Jehovah’s Witnesses version). I also find it utterly ridiculous that rationalist scientists can believe that everything appeared out of nothing in a Big Bang, that complicated organs such as the eye in humans and animals came about by pure accident without any intelligent design, that millions of monkeys typing on millions of keyboards for millions of years would eventually produce the compete works of William Shakespeare.

The bottom line is not to believe anything until their is solid evidence to support it, and until then to keep an open mind about everything. I have revised my beliefs many times and continue to do so based on new research, new evidence and experimentation. The trouble is organized religion and orthodox mainstream science are both based on certain beliefs and theories, and it is regarded as heresy to challenge them even when the evidence strongly suggests these beliefs and theories are wrong.

Things, however, are rapidly changing. Many alternative theories to those put forward by mainstream orthodox science are emerging. The new buzzword for these theories, backed up by mathematics and hard evidence, is ‘post-materialism’. Quantum Physics could be included in this since it proves that the basic building blocks of matter, sub-atomic particles, are affected by being observed or measured. In fact more and more scientists are coming to the conclusion that Mind and Brain are separate, and that Consciousness is the ultimate reality; everything else (including all matter systems) being elaborate illusions or virtual realities.

I also know, by studying the evidence and hearing what people like ex-NASA scientist/astronaut Dr Ed Mitchell say, what Admiral Hillenkoeter (the CIA’s first ever Director), what Dr Allen J. Hynek (USAF’s UFO ‘Project Bluebook’ expert), USAF Major Donald E. Keyhoe, what a Lockheed engineer and a CIA operative said on their deathbeds recently, that UFOs are real and that there is on-going contact with aliens.

I also give credence to some conspiracy theories while rejecting others, again I base my views on the available evidence, motives, etc.

Some may well find these ideas ‘f***ing ridiculous’, that is their right. I will give them credence based on the available evidence, until it is proved otherwise.

MY MOTHER’S CENTENARY CELEBRATION – SEPTEMBER 6TH, 2014

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My mother celebrated her 100th birthday party on September 6th this year.  The family and friends came from all over the country, and two from Canada. It was a memorable day, which ended up in a local restaurant with most of the family round one table and others and friends on other tables, 34 in all. There were at least 70 guests at her birthday party.

 

Here is the video footage, done by Sandra Munoz of Keepsake Videos. If you want a video done, incorporating photos, of a special occasion contact Sandra at: Sandra@keepsakevideos.co.uk or browse their website at: www.keepsakevideos.co.uk.

 

Link to YouTube video of party and Dorothy’s 100 years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UupKTyrqWLk

 

Next March I celebrate my 70th birthday (in the local rock’n’roll pub, The Pavilion, Battersea).

 

 

Marriage and Partnerships

How do we define these? It is getting more complicated now that a marriage is no longer regarded as necessarily a life-long relationship between a man and a woman. In the UK we now also have gay marriages and civil partnerships. Some last for life, some don’t, some continue after death, mine does. It is a different sort of relationship of course, not a physical one, but it is said that true soul mates are bound together for eternity.

So what is a marriage or partnership all about? Young people often make the mistake of thinking it is all about sex. What a laugh, if you think that you’ve fallen at the first hurdle, and it is no wonder so many marriages and partnerships end in divorce. Sexual attraction is fleeting and we all lose our looks relatively quickly. Even if we don’t, is it natural to be monogamous all one’s life? Well many people are, but many aren’t, again look at the divorce rate, and the business drummed up by what are now called ‘escorts’ of both sexes, or more straightforwardly ‘sex workers’.

In the eyes of religion marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman for the procreation of children. So why are so many heterosexual couples starting families without bothering to get married? Probably partly because traditional weddings are so expensive, young couples have other priorities like finding a home, and once they have a family they can’t afford anything but a cheap registry office affair. Also the commitment for life is scary. I’ve know of couples who were together for years, then got married and separated within months.

Sexual attraction may be how young people get together initially, but if that is all the marriage or partnership is based on it is doomed to failure. The sexual aspect is usually the first to fade. However attractive your partner is, years of having sex with the same person surely gets boring, and once you’ve been together for many years and maybe have a family, well it’s almost incestual! That might seem an odd remark to make, but I’m speaking largely as an outsider as I’ve never had a life-long monogamous relationship; none of the gay couples I knew had such relationships, they all ‘played around’. The idea of some of the couples I knew having sex together was laughable!

I had a life-partner, we were together 21 years till he passed to Spirit in 1991. This was long before civil partnerships or gay marriages in UK so it was never formalized apart from an exchange of rings. Poles apart politically and culturally at first, somehow we clicked and grew closer together. We shared so many interests over the two decades or so we were together on Earth, traveling much of it, going to the theater, the cinema, holding parties. The sexual thing faded very quickly, and never really got off the ground. You could say we were sexually incompatible, but that did not really matter as we were soul mates. We went on demonstrations and got arrested together as our politics soon melded into a liberal Socialist pacifism. Had the partnership depended on sex to keep it going it wouldn’t have lasted probably even one year.

Now this is where gay men (I can’t speak for lesbians) in the past at least, differ from heterosexuals. We ‘played around’. That is to say, we were never monogamous. The question never arose. Nobody, in those days, expected us to be monogamous, why should they? They didn’t recognize our relationship – the council even gave us two bedrooms to emphasize the point! Two adults of the same sex had to have a two-bedroom apartment. There was no social obligation to be monogamous, rather the very opposite. Because homosexuality was totally illegal in my teens and very early 20s, the gay scene was so underground and secret I never even knew it existed, therefore I was a virgin until well into my 20s.

Because gay men were illegal, they had to meet furtively, anonymously in secret places. Except for the very rich and powerful, it was almost impossible for two gay men to live together. If you rented accommodation and the landlord found out you slept with men you would be evicted. Didn’t matter if it was one man for life or a different man every night, it was all totally illegal (lesbians, however, were never illegal, reportedly because Queen Victoria thought women would never get up to such nonsense!)

What is true, of course, is children need a stable family relationship. They also ideally need role models of both sexes. So this modern idea of gay couples adopting children, or one of the partners begetting them and then both partners raising them, immediately faces this problem – how to provide a role model of the opposite gender to the adoptive parents? The obvious thing is the biological father in the case of a lesbian couple, and the birth-mother in the case of a gay male couple. This does not mean a menage a trois, but it does mean, ideally, regular access to the biological father or birth-mother. That is my view anyway, and I speak as an offspring of a one-parent family and know how damaging the absence of a male role model can be.

So whether partners are monogamous or not, arrangements can be made to provide a stable background in which to raise families. These can be as varied as the imagination allows. I think of hippie free love communes, for instance, where children are bought up collectively. More likely it would involve the children living with the couple, and if the parents have sex with other poeple it is kept outside the family home.

However marriage and partnerships are not all about procreation. If it were the world would be even more over-populated than it is already. It is not even all about sex, and if every time a guy climaxed a baby resulted, we really would have population problems. So that one goes right out the window (not literally of course – into a condom!)

Marriage and partnerships are about soul mates and real love, and they need not even be confined to two people. I’ve not had personal experience of this, but it is possible to have three or more people in partnership, we’re back to the hippie free love commune image again! Usually, however, it is difficult enough to cope with one live-in partner, even if you play around with others casually. Partnership or marriage is hard work and involves give and take, compromises, adjustments of all sorts.  Two poeple can often work it out, with three or more it becomes very difficult if not impossible.

I think if people really are soul mates and love each other, then ideally it should be for life and even beyond. However we often make the wrong choice or something goes wrong, and couples break up. This has happened to me and to many others, including of course my own parents.

The crucial thing is to either have common interests or to work at developing them, and not to worry too much about sex. The sex thing is usually what destroys marriages and partnerships. Does it really matter if there are sexual relations outside the partnership if both partners are free to do this and take sensible precautions?

My partner used to be what is now called an escort and swore blind that prostitutes, of both sexes, saved many a marriage. Sex workers, if they are any good at their job, fulfil fantasies, and do things partners would often never do. This was certainly true of my relatonship. I could never, ever have fulfilled the fantasies my partner had, and he agreed it would be impossible for these fantasties to be fulfilled within a steady relationship. I was quite happy for him to pay someone to handcuff him, whip him or whatever else he was into; a dominant S&M master was something I could never be. At best it would have changed the whole nature of our relationship, but he agreed this scene worked best when taken outside the loving relationship.

We had a house rule – never to flaunt sexual partners in front of each other, to restrict such playtimes and, if we started to get emotionally involved with someone, to end it immediately. Sticking to these rules, it worked. Other couples must make their own rules. The Christian church does not have a monopoly on this.

Marriage and partnerships, in short, are what people want them to be. But it is important to formally register them so the other partner or partners have full rights to hospital visits and if one of the partners dies, as is bound to happen sooner or later. This is the very thing we were denied, and though it didn’t cause big problems because we had made Wills out and had a joint tenancy, it does mean I now have no official status as a widower. Nevertheless I am a widower and will say so on all official forms whether they like it or not! We loved and cared for eachother in sickness and in health for over 20 years, so what else could I be but widowed when he passed to Spirit, even though we do keep in touch and he lets me know he’s still looking out for me.

 

Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

All the conjecture over this tragic aircrash before the black box has been found and analyzed is just that, conjecture. While it is probable a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down, it is by no means clear who fired the missile, although the Western politicians and media have been very quick to accuse the pro-Russian opponents of the fascist Kiev government, and indirectly, Russia itself for not controlling them and supplying them with military equipment.

The whole tragic incident raises more questions: why were commercial airliners flying over a major conflict zone where military aircraft were being brought down regularly by surface-to-air missiles? If the plane was brought down by such a missile, what evidence is there it was fired by the pro-Russian opponents of the Kiev government? President Obama has said the missile was fired from rebel held areas; this is again pure conjecture. The plane came down in such an area, but the situation on the ground is fluid, with rebel forces in control one day and Kiev government forces in control the next. Nobody knows, if it was a missile, where exactly it was fired from.

Assuming it does turn out to have been a Russian-made missile, that in no way proves the pro-Russian rebels fired it. The Kiev government forces could easily have captured these missile launchers as they overrun rebel-held areas. Also, as a former Soviet Republic, Ukraine would no doubt have stocks of Russian-made military equipment itself.

We have to look for a motive of this heinous crime, if it wasn’t an accident. Who would want to fire a surface-to-air missile at a Malaysian Airlines flight? Certainly the pro-Russian rebels and Russia itself had no motive at all for such an act. On the other hand, the Kiev government, NATO and the USA had a very strong motive: that is, to make it look as if Russia and the pro-Russian rebels are to blame, and gain more EU support for stronger sanctions against Russia.

The whole stinking business of the fascist coup in Kiev, the civil war which followed, and now this tragic incident stinks of a CIA conspiracy to re-create the myth of the Russian ogre. This, no doubt, in order to boost defense spending and increase the profits of the arms industry.

Russia is NOT the enemy. After the fascist coup in Kiev Russian speakers in the Eastern provinces felt threatened with banning of their language and, ultimately, ethnic cleansing and/or genocide. Russia itself has been extremely reticent to get involved, apart from probably supplying military equipment to the rebels, and the incorporation of Crimea back into the Russian Federation after the local populace voted overwhelmingly for this, as did the Crimea legislature.

Crimea was always a member of the Russian Federation until Krushchov gave it to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a gesture in 1954. It was largely a cosmetic exercise as, of course, it remained in the Soviet Union. Also a large Soviet naval base was situated there, and remained there as a Russian naval base after the tragic break-up of the USSR just as there was the prospect of genuine democratic reforms under Gorbachov with his ‘perestroika’ and ‘glasnost’ policies. The hard-line Stalinist coup, though short-lived, in August 1991 put paid to that and Boris Yeltsin presided over the break-up of the Soviet Union. All the wars and troubles since, including the current Ukraine crisis, with many Russian-speakers the wrong side of the border, is a legacy of the break-up of the Soviet Union.

As to the fate of MH17 with such a tragic loss of life, we have to look at who stood to gain from such a horrible crime, if indeed it was deliberately shot down. Russia and the pro-Russian opponents of the Kiev government had absolutely no motive to do so. Kiev, NATO and the USA dirty operations department had every motive to do so, and blame it on Russia and the pro-Russian rebels. Who had the motive, are probably the ones responsible!

Rock’n’Roll Heaven?

What Roots Music fans like us want to know is, assuming there is an afterlife (you either believe, don’t believe, or like me you study the evidence and find it has been proven many times) do we get to hear our favorite singers and musicians playing our kind of music? I have read and heard many reports of the afterlife, but have to confess I have never heard of anyone reporting going to an Elvis Presley, Bill Haley or Gene Vincent concert, nor to a performance by any of the great Country stars like Hank Williams Sr. What I do read and hear about over and over again are the great Halls of Music where the works of the great classical composers can be heard and seen, in wonderful colors we can’t imagine on Earth. For instance, John Brown, the companion and medium to Queen Victoria (he connected her with Albert after he transited), speaking via the Direct Voice medium Leslie Flint told how a classical musical work about the evolution of humans might show this in full color as well as the audio experience. Brown and many others, famous and not famous, can be heard in the Leslie Flint archives easily Googled on the Internet.
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Of course there could be concerts by the artists we love, but there are so many levels of Spirit and so many different environments, because basically we create them with our own thoughts. We are attracted to those people who are on the same level, the same vibration as ourselves. So maybe there is indeed a Rock’n’Roll heaven, though I haven’t personally heard about it. I did hear about someone crossing over expecting Elvis Presley to greet her, and she had to report back that he didn’t, nor had she seen him. The thing is both here on Earth and once we cross over our main purpose is to evolve. So while some people are content on crossing over to live in houses much like the ones they lived in on Earth, or wished they could live in, such as a cottage in the country with a little garden, eventually they tire of such things and want to aspire to greater things. This does not mean big mansions – John Brown says he was surprised on crossing over to be allocated a ‘wee cottage’ when he had been used to living in huge palaces. He had to be brought down to size and learn to appreciate the simple things. But pottering around in a cottage garden for Eternity would soon become boring, the whole purpose is to learn, to experience new things, and to evolve.
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However the very good news for all of us rock’n’roll fans is that Spirits are able to visit any event and any time in human history. So we could make trips back to the 1950s and see all the shows by all the great performers – the Alan Freed spectaculars for instance, with Jerry Lee in his red drape suit. We could find out once and for all whether Jerry Lee did set fire to his piano to stop Chuck Berry following him on stage.
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The more adventurous might go back into ancient human history to see the pyramids being built and how it was achieved, or to find out exactly what Jesus did say and what happened to him – did he die on the Cross (or on a tree as the Jehovah’s Witnesses say)? Did he marry Mary Magdalene and go to France as other stories suggest? Did he go to India and teach? We could find the solution to all these mysteries. In fact I have read a channeled book by Jesus in which he says a lot of myths have grown up about him. I won’t offend Christians by exposing them here, except to say at the wedding feast he claims he never turned the water into wine, but simply sent one of his disciples to the local wine store to buy some more when it was running out!
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The descriptions I’ve read and heard about of the place where most of us end up on transition are of an environment where it is permanently light, but with no sun. There are magnificent Halls of Learning, of Music, etc. but also little cottages, and towns of some description. Also countryside, and animals (who also survive death). These descriptions come from those who have died communicating thru mediums, and many who have had Near Death Experiences have come to the borders of this place which, incidentally, is not ‘up there’ but co-existing in our own space. It is another dimension operating on a different vibrational frequency. Ask a Quantum Physicist to explain – it is perfectly possible for many alternative dimensions to exist in the same space operating on different wavelengths or vibrations.
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All complete nonsense or fact? Do the research and decide for yourselves. I’ve no objection to anyone dismissing the afterlife and mediumship as false if they’ve really investigated it thoroughly. This means studying more than one source and several reputed mediums, for there are of course bad ones and frauds, as in any profession.
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But as my recent article in Tales From The Woods stated many scientists, some very skeptical at first, have studied mediumship and the afterlife, and continue to do so, and have come to the conclusion it is a scientific fact. They are then ostracized by the conservative orthodox scientific community, because to admit this evidence is valid would consign all the scientific textbooks of the past 100 years or so to the scrapheap. However Quantum Physics is pretty much doing just that anyway when sub-atomic particles can be in more than one place simultaneously, and communicate with each other instantly, and revert to wave function when not being consciously observed.
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I rather hope there is a Rock’n’Roll Heaven, but perhaps it is just a place to visit occasionally like a Weekender. Imagine having to perform the same sort of songs over and over for Eternity! Even the performers would want to move on sometimes, but I like to think there would at least be opportunities to see our favorite artists perform new material we never heard or saw them do on Earth.
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However George, my life-partner, now partner-in-Spirit, says if there is a rock’n’roll heaven it’s hidden from him. He loved classical music, and it greeted him as he crossed over he told me. But he also loved much popular music, but he said he hasn’t heard or seen any of this performed as it is drowned out by the louder sound of the wonderful heavenly classical music. So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, or wait and not see (or hear!)

Ukraine civil war

The situation in the Ukraine has changed since the election last Sunday, May 25th. Before that the regime in Kiev was illegitimate; a fascist coup supported by NATO.

Putin of Russia has said he will respect the results of last Sunday’s election, but the Ukrainian army is moving ever eastwards to crush the rebellion of Russian speakers in those regions and the self-proclaimed independent republics. In the process many civilians are being killed as well as pro-Russian militia groups.

Putin seems to have little influence over these pro-Russian groups, and NATO/the USA has not tried to influence the new Ukrainian government to reverse some of the fascist measures which led to the rebellion in the east of the country.

Putin, Obama and the EU need to call for an immediate ceasefire from both sides, then call an international conference including all sides in the Ukrainian dispute.

The Russian language needs to be protected in the Eastern provinces of Ukraine, and the culture of those regions. Some sort of federal solution is probably required so Russian speakers in the East and the pro-Westerners in the West of the country can each have a great degree of autonomy over their affairs. Then the self-declared ‘peoples’ republics’ can be wound up. The rights, language and culture of all Ukrainian citizens must be preserved.

As to the Crimea, this is more complex as it was part of Russia till 1954, and contains a Russian naval base. Whether it ends up in Russia or Ukraine depends on the political solution to the East/West division in Ukraine, and the degree of autonomy granted to the various provinces.

This civil war, like those in other parts of the former Soviet Union and also in Yugoslavia, is a direct result of the collapse of those two Socialist federations. The de-stablization has continued for the past 23 years, with many ethnic groups dispersed across what are now international borders but which before were internal ones.

The main problem in Ukraine is going to be the new government’s desire for closer ties, and possible future membership, of the European Union and NATO’s objective of expanding into that country, with their rightwing government’s support. The latter will not be acceptable to peacelovers anywhere, and not to the Russian-speakers in the East. It will also alarm Russia itself, which has already seen many former Soviet republics and Socialist states taken over by NATO, and, in their eyes at least, theatening Russia itself.

NATO should have been disbanded along with the Warsaw Pact at the end of the Cold War. It certainly should not be expanding to the East, and an agreement was given to Gorbachev that this would not happen. As to the EU, it is unlikely Ukraine will be accepted any time soon as a member, and although Russia is partly a European country, it is even more unlikely that Russia would be accepted, it being so huge and mainly an Asian country.

Nevertheless Russia should not have been left out in the cold and an association with the EU should have been made possible. As its capital, Moscow, is in Europe it should perhaps be granted membership. Turkey has been considered, and its capital, Ankara, is not even in Europe. Greek Cyprus has been granted membership although the whole of the island is in Asia.

Alternatively special arrangements should be made for Ukraine so it can have ties with both the EU and the Russian Federation. The present anarchy of bloody civil war should not be allowed to continue.