Once again, following the “Peace in our time” success of Paris three years ago, “Climate Change” has been adopted as the theme for this year’s global bureaucratic Christmas party with Poland, of all places, the host.
Never mind the carbon footprint of the twenty thousand plus people who travelled from all over the globe to have a ‘conversation about climate change”. Never mind the irony that it was being held in the heartland of Europe’s largest coal-producing region. The important thing is who hosted the best party of the week?
Once again we are told that the high priests had a resoundingly successful conference as the chairman was able to announce at the Grand Galah dinner that sacrifices have been made and the gods of the climate have been appeased. A signed charter will save the planet from global warming. As if we had not heard that all before. The climate change deniers, including the most powerful people in the most industrialised countries, just ignore them; the hand wringers say it is far too little, far too late, we are all going to fry.
Here’s an interesting climate change footnote: we are currently deep in the depths of an ice age.
Yep, it’s a fact. There have been five known ice ages over the last 4.5 billion years that our planet has been in business and we are still deep in the fifth one. The study of the chemical structure of ancient polar ice cores, fossilised plant matter and lake and sea bed sediments has enabled scientists to accurately map the climatic changes over the eons.
And here is another really interesting climate fact: C02 levels have absolutely zero correlation with temperature. No idea how the alarmists managed to convince everyone that our C02 levels are causing our climate change, but the climate scientists own published research tracking the earth’s climate over hundreds of millions of years show conclusively that C02 change has no connection with temperature change.
As you can see, (click image to enlarge) the earth itself, and life on it, have survived both temperature and C02 levels significantly higher than anything we are currently experiencing. The temperature has only been as low as it is now at the coldest point of three of the previous four ice ages.
C02 levels at the beginning of the chart (600+ million years ago) were seriously high. They dropped and bounced around for two hundred million years before coming right down and then again the levels bounced around quite a bit for another 360 million years before settling and stabilising over the last two million years to the level we hominids know as normal.
The temperature also bounces around an awful lot but if, as the high priests of climate change claim, the temperature changes are in sync with the dance moves of Carbon Dioxide, it is very hard to identify exactly what dance they are doing.
At the start of the chart the planet is in the depths of an ice age while the C02 levels are at extremely high levels. The correlation between the two is non-existent. And while there are two apparently matching spike and falls, on one of them it is the temperature that leads and the C02 that follows and on both occasions the movements are millions of years apart, not the 200 years that today’s ’cause/effect’ scientists are claiming.
But look at 440 million years ago and see the temperature plummet to ice age levels while C02 levels spike. Then 320 million years ago the reverse happens C02 levels fall dramatically while the temperature soars to the hottest levels in earth’s record. Exactly the opposite of what today’s hand-wringers claim is proven fact.
Again have a look at the above chart at the line of 200 million years ago. There you see a big spike in C02 levels having no effect on temperature. 146 million years ago we see the anomaly of a massive temperature drop at the same time as a massive increase in C02 levels. Then as the C02 levels drop dramatically over subsequent millennia, the temperature begins to rise even more dramatically, quite against the theory that there is a correlation between the two. Then around 50 million years ago, between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, we see one of the most dramatic global warming periods in earth’s history at a time when C02 levels were falling significantly.
So I am not a ‘climate change denier’. The point I raise from the above chart is not whether there is climate change, but in fact why would we ever think that climate change, the warming and cooling of the planet and the raising and lowering of C02 levels, are anything other than normal natural processes that have continued throughout the eons.
The issue for us is that our ancestor, homo erectus, evolved about 2 million years and our sapiens species is only 200,000 years young; so an ice age with low C02 levels is the only climatic condition our species has ever known. So let’s not be barraged into accepting a doomsday panic and giving the ‘end of the world is nigh’ high priests a blank chequebook to fund global conferences for their ‘conversations’. Let us only consider what impact the current climate observations and speculations might practically have on the lifestyle of our ice age species.
When I say climate change, what do you think that means? The scientists work, of course, off average mean temperatures when they get into this global warming issue. You might be surprised to know (I was) that the global mean temperature today is about 14-15 degrees celsius. That, for reference, is the average mean temperature of Wellington, New Zealand or Milan, Italy. When they talk about the global warming over the past 30-40 years, they are talking about a rise of 1 degree celsius. Back in the Miocene epoch at the last major global warming spike, the global mean temperature was another 4-5 degrees celsius higher than today, or an average of around 20 degrees C (or the current mean temperature of Brisbane Australia, but much cooler than Montego Bay, Jamaica which now averages 27 C).
And there is the misleading result of talking about ‘averages.’ A region that has a summer average of 40 degrees followed by an autumn average of 15 degrees, a winter average of minus 10 degrees and Spring of 15 degrees actually has an annual average of 15 degrees which sounds pleasant enough but in reality has 3 months of blistering heatwaves and 3 months of sub zero conditions which is a dreadful climate. And while our climate scientists at Paris and Poland go on about the C02 emissions creating a greenhouse effect which warms the planet, the reality is quite different. We have regions experiencing exceptionally hot summers at the same time as they are experiencing record breaking cold temperatures in winter across Europe, Asia and the USA. What we are experiencing is not a gradual warming from C02 gas in the atmosphere like we are living in a glasshouse, but in fact the weather become more extreme at both ends of the temperature gauge. And those extremes are not explained by C02.
In fact if we look at the period of the last 10,000 years we can see temperatures rise and fall quite notably even within the ice age condition, while C02 levels remain very stable throughout. So over this whole period, within the reasonably modern era of homo sapiens, temperatures rose and fell with no change in the C02 levels.
It just puts a little perspective into the debate and perspective is what the current climate hand-wringers seem to be ignoring. Man has been through these climate changes before with C02 having no part to play. Life goes on in those climates. Yes we would probably want to improve our air conditioning systems and some of us may end up with a beachfront property where once we had a main road between us and the sea, but we can adapt.
Having emerged from the forests 200,000 years ago, we have built our great cities and civilisations because of the ‘sapiens’ gene. We have done so through notable periods of climate change with ice caps expanding and retracting, sea levels rising and falling. We have had the imagination to adapt to our ever-changing conditions and challenges to improve our experience of life on earth.
We now need to focus our energies on more intelligent and imaginative use of resources, recycling and re-engineering to meet the climate challenges that nature and our own activities present us today. Yes we need less air polluting sources of power than fossil fuels and less ground polluting sources than nuclear power. Yes we need to regenerate forests and natural habitats. Yes we need to prepare for higher seas and more extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.
Let’s get on with it and stop wasting time with King Canute conferences that just clog up the process with hand-wringing, progress-stalling bureaucracy. And stop blaming humans as though we created carbon dioxide. For whatever caused the high levels of C02 in the atmosphere in the eons before 1800 ad, we are reasonably sure it wasn’t humans and engines. And the evidence is pretty convincing that there is no direct correlation between C02 levels and temperature.
As a footnote, we are also becoming aware that the magnetic field is on the move with North / South preparing to switch places which is something they have done quite a few times before in Earth’s history. In recent years the magnetic north has been moving 55km a year. I wonder if that change in the electrical magnetic field that surrounds our planet is effecting our winds, storms and weather patterns? To a non-scientist it certainly seems a likely culprit, but that can’t be blamed on us humans and there is not a global conference opportunity in something we cannot explain so the hand wringers are just not interested in investigating that potential cause.
Here is a thought, when the first mother of our species was ‘created’, it was done so by the accumulation of trillions of atoms to form a ‘mass’ that is a human mammal with all the operational functions that we think of as making us distinctively human.
In order to understand how we humans came to be, first we have to understand exactly what ‘mass’ is and what is involved in the mechanics of forming it. I will start with our solar system, I could keep going out further but our own solar system is far enough to make a point. So we start with the biggest bit of mass in our solar system which is of course… you in the back row! yes you! daydreaming??? what is the biggest object of mass in the solar system? The sun? Yes of course it is the sun. Then we step down then to Jupiter the next biggest bit of mass, skip over a couple and make your way down to earth, and within earth we have rocks. And what is all this mass made up of? It is all molecules and they all work as a team to form a mass of something. And so it is with every lump of mass in the solar system, from rocks to planets to a sun, everything of mass has a molecular structure. For perspective, about 45 billion, billion molecules would make an object the size of a dice.
But what makes up molecules? Well that, of course, is our old friend the atom. The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus first theorised that all matter would continually be divisible until it gets down to a point where it could no longer be divisible and that point he called an atom. Atom literally means indivisible. It was the invention of the cathode ray tube in the 1890’s that enabled physicist, JJ Thomson, to ‘see’ the effect caused by an atom within the beam of light and in his experiments he identified the electron, the negatively charged cloud within the atom.
The cathode ray tube is what enabled the creation of television, which is the transfer of particles to enable us to see in one location what is happening in another location. It is interesting to note the 1926 prophesy of famous inventor Nikola Tesla:
“When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles, and the instruments through which we shall be able to do all of this, will fit in our vest pockets”.
Here he accurately predicted the cellphone but also identified that the earth is simply a huge brain that can enable communication between all the particles that make it up. In fact this same description can be applied to the whole universe.
The fact that all atoms are cloaked with the negative energy charge that we call an electron is the reason we cannot walk through a brick wall. Like forces repel each other as any kid playing with a magnet knows. So it is when your negatively charged atoms try to walk through the negatively charged atoms that are the brick wall. And if the wall has trillions more atoms bonded together than your body, because different chemical elements contain different numbers of protons, neutrons and electrons, then you are flat on your arse with a lump on your head.
Our own Ernest Rutherford worked out that there was more to an atom than just this negatively charged electron. And so with experiments he identified a nucleus within the atom. It wasn’t easy to spot because atoms are not big things. I am reliably informed that about a million of them standing one behind the other would bridge the width of a needle. And if we then imagine the atom as the size of a basketball, the nucleus would be the size of a marble inside it (about 1:1000).
Following on from that he eventually found the proton, the little positive charge housed within the nucleus. He named it ‘proton’ after the Greek word ‘protos’ meaning ‘first’.
Rutherford then discovered that he could disintegrate the nuclei of nitrogen atoms by firing particles from a radioactive source which, in turn, resulted in the release of fast protons. This was the first ever artificially-induced nuclear reaction, a breakthrough that would lead ultimately to nuclear power and the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. But while smashing atoms into each other may change the structure of the atom, he did not end up with two half-atoms split down the middle as the common language would imply. An atom does not die, it always was and always will be.
In 1932 an English physicist, James Chadwick, identified the neutron, the neutral particle within the nucleus and finally we had the trinity of energy that makes up the one atom; the positive, the neutral and the negative, like the red, green and black wires in the cord that turns on our light.
Moving onwards to us humans, as well as other animals and living plants, and we discover that after our atoms sort themselves out into the appropriate molecular structures (seven billion billion billion molecules make up a 70kg human; so I am probably a tad over 7 billion billion billion). Of this, almost 2/3 is hydrogen, 1/4 is oxygen, and about 1/10 is carbon. These three molecular structures add up to 99% of the total human. The molecules then co-operate to create cells, over 30 trillion of them in fact (although again I might be a tad over that).
So how do all these atoms, molecules and cells actually cohabit within a body in a way that does not create chaotic collisions everywhere? Communication. It is what makes the world go round. Just as humans walking down the street by intuitive cooperation and unspoken signals of communication do not continually bump into each other, so too quantrillions of atoms have a communication system that allows them to co-operate harmoniously and creatively avoiding bumping into each other; and they create more communication systems within the molecules and cells that they create.
Once all the required cells have produced a mammal such as Eve, a few of them form into a pea sized gland called the pineal and happily nestle between the two hemispheres of her brain. In fact this is the first gland to be created in the human body after initial conception. You may recall an earlier blog where I wrote about the cultural and religious significance we have historically given to this tiny, pine-shaped gland. I concluded that this little gland may in fact be our human router connecting our PC (brain) to the universal internet. Do we have a built in universal wi-fi? If so is it this wi-fi that connects us with all other groups of atoms also connected (other humans and mammals) by their pineal router and enables us to co-operate, avoid bumping into each other and live in harmony (unless our ambition or hunger overrides such harmony)?
When you ask a physicist to describe an atom he or she will tell you:
- It is invisible to the eye. We can only perceive its existence by its effect on things we can see.
- It is three elements in one.
- It is eternal. It had no beginning and has no end.
- It is all-powerful. It creates the universe and everything in it.
- It exists everywhere. There is nowhere that the atom is not present.
I was raised in Christian schools my entire school life. I know by heart the Christian theologian’s description of God. It is as above, word for word.
I saw on some facebook page a bit of a self indulgent reminiscence by one of my generation recalling the good old days when we had face-to-face friends not face-book friends; when we built go carts to race downhill against our mates rather than played X Box games against avatars. When someone else took photos of us if the occasion was significant and we kept those photo prints in a private album. There is nothing new in the older generation despairing for the younger generation; that has been going on since at least the time of Socrates, but the difference today is not so much attitudinal as it is technological. Today’s technology has had an influence on the behaviour of youth that Socrates could never imagine in his wildest philosophies.
The facebook post put the timing of this quantum shift in normality at the mid 1980’s. Those of us born before that time had real lives, but the post 80’s generation are now living a fake online life and they seem to be really struggling, emotionally, to adapt their natural human psyche to this self-created virtual world.
Computers in primitive form had been around well before the 1980’s but they were just big, cumbersome calculating machines. I tried, unsuccessfully, to learn to speak to one of these great machines when I did accounting at university in the early 1970’s. The computer then needed its own room, actually it was the size of a small room itself. It spake strange tongues of Portran and Fortran. It told me, numerically speaking, that it was in control of me, not the other way around. If what I put in did not compute, it spat it back out. Start again human.
But it was in the late 1970’s that Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started a business to bring these giant computing machines down to size and into our homes. They wanted computers to be fun for all. They named the company Apple. In his biography Steve Jobs said that it was just a serendipitous choice; that he was on a fruitarian diet at the time and had just returned from an apple farm and thought the fresh, fun name suited his company’s vibe. If so, the coincidence is uncanny. The apple has an established historical connection with a quantum leap in mankind’s knowledge of universal law when Isaac Newton said he had his ‘eureka’ moment about gravity when he watched an apple fall from a tree.
The apple also has a prehistorical connection with man’s quest for knowledge and even immortality.
In Norse mythology the goddess Idun was the keeper of the apples of the tree of knowledge and life and is known as the goddess of eternal youth.
In Greek mythology, the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, ruled the Garden of the Hesperides (nymphs) where there was an orchard in which trees bearing golden apples had the power to heal and renew.
The Hebrew mythology, which is the one most well known in the Judaeo-Christian world, is that Lucifer (the enlightened one) gave Eve, the mother of all mankind, an apple from the tree of knowledge in the garden of Eden. Yahweh was most displeased because mortal man was not ready for such knowledge and so was banished from the lush farmlands of Eden; sent back to the wild to forage like the beasts lest man also eats the apple from the tree of eternal life.
And yet still mankind flourished. According to Genesis 6, the sons of God mated with the daughters of man to create ‘great men’. However the next chapter of genesis describes a cataclysmic forty day flood over all the earth that might well have resulted in our species becoming extinct. Geological and climatic research has now shown us that the biblical and mythical global flood that killed most of humankind, at least in the northern hemisphere, did actually happen 13,000 years ago and the cause was a massive meteor strike on earth, just like the one that had caused the dinosaurs’ extinction 66 million years earlier.
At the time, planet earth was emerging from an ice age; but still the whole of Canada and countries across northern Europe were under an ice cap that would have been about two kilometres thick. And this is where the biggest chunks of the comet hit. The evidence it left behind is in the form of nano diamonds; beds of micro diamonds that were created from a massive explosion creating heat of over 2,200 degrees centigrade. By comparison, fire is 600 degrees C and volcanic molten larva is 700-1200 degrees C. The immediate impact was the instantaneous melting of large parts of the ice cap and an unimaginable tsunami that washed over much of the known world. The meteorological evidence shows that 13,000 years ago, just as earth was emerging naturally from an ice age, it was suddenly plunged back into a big chill referred to as the ‘Younger Dryas.’ This winter lasted 1200 years before the climate recovered again.
Archeological evidence of civilisation pre deluge is understandably a bit thin on the ground. Such a cataclysmic event would not leave much behind. But we do have writings from the middle east region; the authors of the Book of Genesis, the authors of Gilgamesh and those writings of a prophet called Zarathustra. The first two write of an ark in which the selected humans, plants and animals floated above the flood and survived to restart civilisation again. Zarathustra wrote of a prediction that a giant serpent would fly through the sky and that, in readiness for this event, underground, multi level caverns called Vara were built with sophisticated entranceways between the levels and artificial lighting. Such multi-level caverns have recently been excavated in Cabbadicia, southern Turkey. Only the highest quality human, plant and animal species were housed there and they were control- bred to maintain the population levels. When the long winter was over, they were sent out in boats to repopulate the world and to utilise, in secret, the technological knowledge that had been preserved.
But the knowledge that these great men, survivors of the great deluge, possessed must have been quite advanced. The meteor would have done a few circuits around the solar system before zooming in for the kill; so if we, or the gods, had prepared for it then then we must have had sophisticated astronomical knowledge. And as all myths record that there was indeed a plan to save the best of humanity, animal life and plants, so there must have been that astronomical knowledge to allow those plans to be made and executed. Soon human civilisation re-established itself to the level that we now have archeological evidence of sophisticated buildings and civilisations dating back 10,000 years in Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey. We know of sophisticated cities, such as Babel in Mesopotamia. Babel meant a place where many people gather to talk together. A place of debate and learning. Its modern meaning is voices talking over the top of each other in excited discussion. And it was here, in Babel, that the idea of building a tower with which they would endeavour to reach the heavens was conceived.
Was the tower of Babel a bricks and mortar tower as we assume? Or was it actually a rocket ship, which is also a tower, designed to reach the heavens. Interestingly the discovery of 5,000 year old clay tablets in southern Iraq, ancient Mesopotamia, showed an astronomical map of our solar system that included the outer planets of Uranus and Neptune which were not discovered by the post-flood modern man until the 18th and 19th centuries, after the invention of the telescope. It also shows the two largest dwarf planets of Pluto and Eris. Prior to the re-invention of the telescope only the planets visible to the naked eye were known to ancient sky watchers. As we know, Yahweh ‘confused’ the Babel, scattered the men who conceived it across the lands and the project to reach the heavens apparently never got off the ground.
But after the deluge we redeveloped our knowledge of agriculture, pottery, metallurgy, astronomy and technology. Mankind survived and flourished; the scattered regrouped, their babel no longer confused. And the two Steve’s have brought the Apple computer into our homes. Well they did not immediately arrive into our homes; in the 1970’s and 80’s they were still a geeky, impractical and expensive machine that most homes could happily live without. But while Wozniak was the brains behind the machine itself he would never have taken it beyond the techno geek market and as such would not have survived commercially. His Apple would have withered on the branch. Jobs was most certainly the man (the Satan, the enlightened one) responsible for giving the Apple to mankind. And in a very strategic move, he first took it into the classroom, actually donating the original Apple 1 to some schools just to whet the appetite. He was less interested in wasting the fruits of the Apple on the elders of humankind, he wanted to give it to the children. In 1978 he won a contract to supply 500 Apple II computers to schools in Minnesota. In 1983 he sold a computer package (including floppy disc) to over 9,000 schools in California at a cost per package then for what you would now get a decent I-Mac. The Macintosh (an actual variety of apple) was launched in 1984 and the flood gates started to open. One generation after the Apple from the tree of knowledge was fed to our children, we could no longer imagine education without computers. We could not imagine homes without computers, or people without smartphones.
My little grand daughter is two years old. Her innate demand for language, knowledge and technology led us to the conclusion that we had no option but to give her her own personal connection into the universal consciousness. Her very own Apple i-pad. She took to it like a duck to water. Her knowledge, understanding and communication skills have taken quantum leaps; she swipes through the icons as though she invented them.
So once again an apple from the tree of knowledge is the means by which knowledge and imagination is being spread throughout humanity. It is the means by which we have built our rocket propelled towers with which to explore the heavens. In history Babel was the place where many voices come to speak together. Could the modern day Babels be the headquarters of Google, Apple, NASA and Spacex? Or is 21st century Babel located in the cloud and refers to the inanity of Twitter? The fake lives of Instagram? The pretend friends of Facebook? Interestingly while the Bible’s Genesis tells us that is was man’s corruption and evil that cause the great flood, the pre-dated original Sumerian clay texts said it was the noise and unending chatter of humans that caused the Gods to bring the great flood.
The changes in our lifestyle are, in reality, just as dramatic as noted in the Facebook post that began this blog. The irony being that he used Facebook to express his concerns; he did not call around to voice his concerns to me in person over a cup of coffee.
If Steve Jobs was the 21st century Lucifer then let us hope that humanity is ready for such knowledge this time around and that we are not once again expelled from our Eden to forage like the beasts in the wild for trying to use the Apple to gain eternal life.
I feel I should be in the middle of this uproar about the pedophile Magnus Murray who stalked the parish and school of my childhood preying on the young and vulnerable, breaching the trust given without hesitation to any man who donned the robes of Roman Catholicism priesthood. Those accepted as having a direct connection with God, with the divine authority to forgive sins on Christ’s behalf. It went on around me while never touching me. I knew the priest Magnus Murray ( I refrain from now referring to him as ‘father Murray’). He was our family parish priest during my high school years and took the latin class that I was in. ‘Amo, amas, amat, I love, you love, he loves’; the chanting we did in class now has such a sinister sound. But instead of feeling part of the story, I feel oddly outside looking in at it all.
Magnus Murray never molested me, but I was vaguely aware of a bit of murmur about a creep factor in him and you might hear the odd snigger when he would get a bit touchy in class. Pedophilia back then seemed to have a weird sort of unspoken denial. I recall in the early 1970’s when I had returned from Australia and met up with an old schoolmate who also lived in our parish. He mentioned, with a bit of a knowing smirk, that Magnus Murray had been sent away from the parish to Mosgiel for getting up to a bit of you know, nudge nudge. It turns out that the schoolmate’s brother was one of Murray’s worst effected victims and has suffered dreadfully his whole life. So while I am personally unscarred, I am also obligated to now reflect on this for it happened around me, by and to people I knew and yet I was essentially oblivious to the evil and emotional damage that I walked amongst.
He is only one of many Roman Catholic priests and brothers guilty of pedophilia. Why so many sexual deviants would be in one institution is not, in hindsight, unexpected. I don’t know, and will not venture to speculate on, the cause of pedophilia in our wider community. But to examine why so many pedophiles have been found in Roman catholic religious orders, we need to examine the structure of the catholic church of Rome. Catholics of Europe and Ireland tended to have large families, as was encouraged by their church. These families were expected to offer one of their children to the service of the church. Understandably when giving up one of your children you might, as a parent, discount those who you consider good breeding stock to produce future generations to look after you in your old age. But if one child was a bit different, a bit of an odd character, the runt of the litter, or one who may have been traumatised themselves by a childhood experience, then it was very likely that would be the one you gift to the service of the church.
And so it came to pass. A collection of family rejects for one reason or another brought together in a celibate environment under strict authoritarian rule and denied any normality or freedom in their life. And while all the focus currently is on male pedophiles, the girls from the catholic girls’ school also have disturbing recollections of the behaviour of some of the nuns who taught them.
Whatever their personal aspirations in life may have been, these were denied to them. Whatever their talents may have been were left to wither, unless they related to functions within the church’s scope of business. Whatever their emotional troubles might be, they were hidden, or protected, by the institution they were adopted into. Church secrets that even the police were reluctant to challenge. After all, the priests had the ear of God and no one wanted to risk going to hell for getting offside with God’s own priests.
Not that I am excusing pedophilia. I am as far from that position as it is possible to be. No matter what shitty card life might deal you, there is absolutely no mitigation for pedophilia. My point is that the hierarchy of the Church of Rome is also directly guilty of tacitly allowing pedophiles to prey on the children of their congregations. Apart from Magnus Murray, who did not overly surprise me in hindsight, a number of other teachers at my school have since been accused of sexual assaults on pupils. I now recall a story a friend of my brother told me at Mike’s funeral. He recalled how Mike phoned him one Friday afternoon and invited him for a drink. With inhibitions suitably dulled Mike told him they were off to a school reunion, and so they went. At the door they were asked for their tickets and the doorkeeper was brushed aside as Mike stormed into the hall, raised a $50 note above his head and called out “$50 for the guy who points out brother x to me.” The $50 was claimed in a heartbeat and brother x, a former teacher of Mike’s, found himself cowering under the outrage and public judgement of a grown man that he had last seen when he was just a vulnerable little boy.
Mike told him exactly what he thought of him as a man and a human who had ruined his life. The teacher was left a gibbering mess as Mike and his friend turned and left the hall to pin-drop silence and the teacher had to face his reunion. I doubt anyone in the hall had any doubt of the legitimacy of Mike’s accusations. He need do no more. He had personally, eye to eye, reclaimed his self esteem. He had completely overcome his tormentor and they both knew it. One would sleep well that night, the other would not sleep well again.
Magnus Murray got a couple of years in jail after some of his victims decided to go the police to accuse him. His guilt became undeniable, he was duly exposed and eventually tried and convicted. Out of sight out of mind and when released was confined to the security of a catholic home for the old and bewildered. And the world moved on, justice done. All a bit of an anticlimax in the end that probably did not entirely satisfy the victims. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. He was undeniably guilty of planned, calculating and cruel actions against trusting and vulnerable children and had offended for many years despite being challenged, warned and given chances to reform.
I think in the court system there should be three categories of crime: minor, major and shameful. And pedophilia is firmly in the shameful category. And the shameful should not get to hide away from society, even in jail. For the breach of trust went beyond the actual victim to the whole of the society that trusted those wearing the robes of Christ’s representative. Shame needs to be on public display. In medieval times they put criminals in stocks on public display. I do not know why that practice was abandoned, but maybe they should bring them back for shameful crimes against humanity. Put pedophiles like Murray on public display, a placard hanging off their neck proclaiming their shameful act. Liberals will call it cruel and humiliating. And so it should be. Let victims of pedophiles see that the community supports them and shames their tormentors. I understand that my old school where Magnus Murray taught has removed any photos of him. Don’t do that. Put up a large photo of him in a public place and caption it ‘Pedophile’; write a condemnation of his actions. Lest we forget. Lest the evil rises from its slumber as soon as we relax our vigilance. One of the victims actually suggested this very idea to the school but was told that ‘was not in the spirit of Christian charity.’ I am speechless. If the Roman catholic church believe unrepentant pedophiles are worthy of our charitable thoughts, why on earth did they invent hell?
So, are you enraged about the evil of pedophiles? About the unfairness of the length of time it takes our justice system to discover the truth and eventually bring some sort of justice? About how difficult it can be to bring justice when it becomes a case of one person’s word against another’s? About the unfairness of the sentences that the guilty pedophiles are given relative to the effect that their crimes have had on their victims? Are you now sufficiently frustrated and determined to make this a better world where, in the interests of speeding up justice, the police and courts are allowed instant access to really know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? To effectively have full, constant access to everyone’s most intimate privacy?
That stopped you in your tracks didn’t it? So how do you stand on the digital intrusion of elected governments into the private lives of its citizens? Planting cameras, tapping phones and seizing computers to search hard drives for evidence of pedophilia activity. Are you comfortable with that? Since such planting, tapping and seizing requires sufficient evidence to gain a Court order to do so, most are possibly quite ok with that. You may not have been so compliant had you been asked that question ten years ago, but times change. If we have the technology to catch these criminals then we must use it; as long as there are controls in place to protect the innocent. But you also know that by the time it has reached the stage of acquiring sufficient evidence to authorise such planting, tapping and seizing, the offender has probably been engaged in this shameful activity for years. Irreparable damage to innocent children already done. It becomes too little too late, as the age and even intervening death of these pedophiles makes the bringing of justice too little, too late.
Actually the government can and does, even now, put cameras anywhere they want in public places, so what would you feel about the government bringing in a law that allowed them to constantly access all data going to all computers and phones in a 24/7 search for pedophile activity in order to prevent it rather than to solve it? Well Google are doing it anyway with their cookies and what nots, and we have nothing to hide, so if it stops pedophiles then……..maybe………
It would be a brave political party to try to sell that at election time, but lets imagine it did go through. The next stage, in a few short years, is that cyber pedophiles will be always finding ways to firewall cyber police (you do know I am bluffing my way through this cyber jargon don’t you). So all we have is two sets of online gamers doing in cyber space what cops and crims used to do on the street. Win some, lose some. But when you think about it, the brain is just a super computer hidden inside our heads and the cyber criminals have the same brain as all of us? So what if the government develop a way to scan our brain wirelessly just as they can scan a computer’s brain? Did I really say that out loud? Even for someone like me that is scarily no longer in the sci fi realm
So what about that? In, say, ten years time would we be sufficiently conditioned to buy into this idea of actually catching pedophiles while the intent is forming in their evil mind by scanning their brains as they walk through a shopping mall, or sit in a cafe? This will make the world predator free they will promise. Well, you think, if thats what it takes…..and we have the technology…… Really????? The ‘Thought Police’ then are no longer just a clever little exaggerated insult to politically correct pains in the arse? It is real? We are there?
As I write I know I should feel abhorrence about the concept that my every thought is being scanned and analysed by a super computer and that any red flag thoughts are being sent to some bureaucrat to assess and decide whether to send some men in black to pick me up for questioning and possible ‘re-education’. But the little idealist niggling inside is wondering if such openness is in fact the answer to world peace and happiness. A world of no secrets because secrets are the cloak of invisibility for evil. Without secrets the world will be truly beautiful, man. One world race of inter bred, coffee coloured, culturally homogenous people. One world government.
Oh no, am I really here? Or am I still in the middle of an acid trip from the seventies? But if we want a system comprising of police, lawyers, judges, psychiatrists and prison warders to deal with our pedophiles on our behalf then we are probably on the train ride to the state of thought police. The technology will be waiting at the station to meet us but it will be machines that asses the red flag and drones in black coming to collect us. The robots will rule the world. Wow, I think someone has been passing out bad red rope liquorice.
The alternative is to storm into a public gathering waving a $50 note in the air.
Einstein was once asked what it was like to be the smartest man on earth. He replied, “I don’t know, go and ask Nikola Tesla.”
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) just never sustained the level of public acknowledgement that Einstein has, and that was probably all down to hairstyle. In the world of marketing, Einstein just looks like a crazy genius. He is memorable. So much so that I don’t need to put up his image here, it is one of the most recognisable profiles in the modern world. That is why Doc Brown in the “Back to the future” movie series was made up as an Einstein lookalike. And Einstein developed a pithy little E=MC Squared catch-cry. Hardly anyone knew what he meant, but it sounded good and it became a byline for genius.
On the other hand, Tesla just looks like any ordinary, slightly dapper, man on the street in the late 19th/ early 20th century. Whereas Einstein developed theories about space and time, about gravity in the universe, Tesla harnessed the dynamics of vibrations in the atmosphere. Following the scientific experiments of the Scot, James Maxwell, and the German physicist Heinrich Hertz during which invisible waves were generated by electromagnetic interactions, Tesla was the man who could grasp these experiments and transfer the technology to highly advanced practical use. But while Tesla did not get the academic recognition of Einstein, he also did not get the commercial success of Guglielmo Marconi. Marconi was credited with the invention of the radio receiver/ transmitter in Italy in 1895 at only age 21 and was granted the patent for wireless technology for which he was awarded a Nobel prize and from which he continued his wealthy family’s fortunes. However Marconi’s patent was subsequently overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1943 (six months after Tesla’s death) when it was proven Tesla had invented a radio transmitter/ receiver prior to Marconi and presented it during a demonstration to the National Light Association two years earlier in 1893.
Tesla is also responsible for developing the laser beam and recognising the potential for this technology in developing particle beam weapons of such mass destruction that he believed their invention would end war through fear of mutual annihilation. In 1918 Tesla is reported to have directed a laser beam to the moon. His work on particle beam weapons can be traced all the way back to 1893 with his invention of a button lamp, which had all the components necessary to create a laser beam; and to his work with X Rays when, in 1896, Tesla was photographing X-rays over distances up to 40 feet. Tesla was also involved in experiments with shooting cathode rays at targets. The laser beam has had the most profound impact on our technology today, from precision medical equipment at the positive end to precision military equipment at the other end.
Tesla introduced the game-changing use of alternating current power supply into his inventions when the corporate world was still totally fixated on Edison’s direct current power supply. In 1930 he invented a motor with rotating magnetic fields, widely used in household appliances, power tools, disk drives, electric wristwatches industrial machines and compressors. Corporate and government interests were certainly not interested in an alternative to oil powered vehicles at that time.
Today, of course, the new technology of electric cars owes its development to Nikola Tesla. The Tesla motor company that has pioneered high performance electric cars, is named in his honour because they recognised that without Tesla’s vision and brilliance in creating the induction motor with alternating-current (AC) power transmission their car would not be possible. Tesla Inc also specialise in energy storage and solar panels.
Nikola Tesla died alone in his hotel room, in New York, in 1943, in debt. His limelight extinguished, his audience moved on. Despite his lack of academic fame and commercial fortune, Tesla is the man who had a vision of a future with intelligent cars, robotic human companions, the use of sensors and autonomous systems all came about because he understood, in a very practical way, the invisible vibrations in the universe. But, just as he recognised his ability to harness these vibrations to remotely control a boat on a lake or a beam of light into space, Tesla recognised that we humans are also being controlled by these same vibrations in the universe. “The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Wilful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea.”
In 1942, a year before his death, Tesla said “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” The flow of waves of energy at different levels of frequency and vibration have been shown to effect all nature, including humans, in a very practical way. The joyful birdsong at dawn is a high frequency sound, around 5,000 herts. It is a sound that awakens and energises nature for the coming day. Experiments have shown that plants showed a 700 percent increase in efficiency of absorbing nutrients when exposed to high frequency classical music. This frequency actually helps the little pores on the plant’s leaves called stomata to open up. So lots of birds with high frequency bird song mean lots of plants.
Compare the dawn birdsong at 5000 hz with the frog croak at night of 250-500 hz. With music in 120-125 hertz range you begin to hear the kick drums and bass guitar. These lower frequencies produce an energy-draining effect and they are actually felt as well as heard. The lowest frequency sound waves are called infrasound. They’re produced by machines such as motors, household appliances, air conditioning systems. Again studies have shown that these low frequency waves can cause symptoms such as nausea, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, vibration of internal organs and a feeling of oppression.
Solfeggio frequencies were sound frequencies used in Gregorian chants to alter the state of mind of those chanting. These are the six Solfeggio frequencies:
UT – 396 Hz – Liberating Guilt and Fear
RE – 417 Hz – Undoing Situations and Facilitating Change
MI – 528 Hz – Transformation and Miracles (This is the exact frequency used by genetic biochemists to repair broken DNA – the genetic blueprint upon which life is based!)
FA – 639 Hz – Connecting/Relationships
SOL – 741 Hz – Awakening Intuition
LA – 852 Hz – Returning to Spiritual Order
A 7th note has been added to the modern music scale in the form of a “TI,” as in the “DO, RE, MI, FA, SO, LA, TI” vocal scale. The whole music scale provides a balance of energy, raising and lowering it. Awakening and resting in a natural cycle. Over-exposure to one end or the other will have a significant impact on the human mood, energy and stress levels. Whether it is the constant high energy vibrations exposure to electronica dance parties when nature is saying it is sleep time or the constant low energy throb of machines during the day when you should be awake and alert, both upset the balance of nature. Note the changes in your physical and emotional state when you are, for example, exposed to long periods of a high pitched dentist’s drill or the thud of a jack hammer on road works or even the drone of an aircraft engine over a long flight. Harmony with nature requires that all nature, including humans, is in cyclical sync with the universal waves of raising and lowering energy levels in a wave pattern.
Homo Sapiens might have evolved as the most intelligent species on the planet, but when it comes to our sense of atmospheric vibration, we have our limitations:
Audio: Humans can hear sound at frequencies from as low as 20hz up to about 23,000 Hz. However many animals can also hear ultrasonic frequencies. Dogs hear sounds up to 45,000 Hz and cats up to about 64,000 Hz. But beyond 23,000 hz, humans may as well be deaf. If an alien civilisation is trying to contact us above 23,000 hz, they are wasting their time. The sound is actually there, in the atmosphere, but either our eardrum cannot detect such high vibrations, or the signals from there to the brain are simply discarded for our own safety. Or perhaps because such sounds are cosmically on a ‘need to know basis’ and are considered above humans’ pay grade. If there is contact by clairvoyants with the deceased then it would probably occur because they can sense vibrations below 20hz. In the 1930’s another unacknowledged (or ‘discredited’) scientist claimed he was selectively and successfully destroying cancer tumours in humans using only sound frequencies. His name was Royal Rife and, following in the footsteps of Tesla, he built a microscope so powerful that he could watch cells move and discovered that all cells have their own unique vibration frequency. By using a generator set at that same frequency he claimed he was able to selectively destroy pathogen and malignant cells. The Rife machine is still used today as an alternative treatment for various illnesses however it has never been adopted by mainstream medical practitioners.
Visual: We know that light vibrations that are below 430 Thz or exceed 770Thz simply do not transfer to our consciousness. Cells in the visual cortex appear to discard the information. So if the light vibration is outside our range, we may well ‘see’ it, but we don’t know we saw it. To our mind it was invisible. The phenomenon of the process of the eye transferring data to the consciousness could explain anything from magicians’ illusions to actually seeing ghosts that may drift in and out of our conscious spectrum. We are aware, particularly from reports from sectors like police, ambulance, nursing homes, of the effect of a full moon on human behaviour. The full moon sends strong light vibrations at a time when a natural pattern is for humans to sleep. This clearly is emotionally disruptive to humans, especially so to those who are particularly light vibration sensitive as no doubt sensitivity to light vibrations may vary from person to person. Having a light bulb on in a prison cell 24 hours a day is a recognised form of human torture.
Colour is no more nor less than vibration as the pure light is broken into particles. Red is in the 430-480 Thz (terahertz) vibration range. Orange 480-510, yellow is 510-540, green 540-580. Colour is, in fact, technically an illusion. Like the vocal scale, dark colours tend to be sombre and emotionally draining while bright colours are more energetic and enthusiastic. The Chinese will decorate a restaurant in red to stimulate appetite, a woman may dress in red to do likewise, although a different type of appetite. A business suit is generally in dark grey, unless you are a cheap car salesman when it might be green or light blue. A funeral is black, a wedding is white.
Pressure: Many animals and birds ‘feel’ the vibration of earthquakes well before they happen. Reports from earthquake analysis regularly contain reports of mass animal and bird evacuation in the hours or even days before an earthquake actually erupts. Humans do not have that level of sensitivity, or at least are not conscious of it. But sometimes people do sense that there is something there that their eyes just cannot see; perhaps our pressure sensors can feel it (a sensation that makes the skin crawl or hairs stand up on back of our neck), but the light vibration is outside our range of being conscious of seeing it. That may even occur with the moon, for it may not only be the light vibration that disturbs our mind. The moon does not travel in a perfect circle around the earth, it travels in an elliptical pattern. Throughout its cycle it can be anything from 364 thousand kilometres away from us to 405 thousand kilometres. The circuit of the moon is held in place by electro magnetic force of attraction. Or gravity. This electro magnetic force, or pressure vibration, then varies by up to 11%, compressing and expanding energy waves during the lunar cycle, or month. The pressure cycle does not directly coincide with the light cycle. This month, April 2018, the moon is furthest away from Earth (405,000 kms) during the last quarter, a week before the full moon and is closest to earth (364,000 kms) in the first quarter, the week before the new moon. The pattern in three months time, July, is that the moon is closest during the new moon 364,000 kms and furthest during the full moon (405,000 kms). But we would have to expect that pressure vibrations, while totally invisible, have an equally powerful effect on our minds and emotions.
Consider the difference on our mood and emotions between a brisk shower and a soothing bath. Between a tickle with a feather and a deep tissue massage. Those pressure variations are similar to the difference between hearing a lead guitar and a bass. Between wearing a black dress and a red. Its all vibrations.
No doubt there are times when over exposure to a particular vibration can upset the equilibrium and require a circuit breaker to reset the system, but fundamentally we do need to trust the system, trust the cosmos. There is a time to have our senses on high alert, to have our stress level peaking, when time appears to slow down for us and we can respond effectively to threats or opportunities. And there are times that we need to go into emotional hibernation. But either must be a temporary state. Sometimes we just get stuck in one vibrational phase or another and need a circuit breaker, a reset by sound, sight or pressure. That’s what music, sunsets, hot tubs and massages are all here for.
And if there are no vibrations? Good question, I am glad you asked. In my recent blog on Time, I speculated that time may simply be the electrical pulse transfer process from sensation to the consciousness via the pineal gland. This process shuts off sound above 23,000 hz, light above 770 Thz and pressure at whatever level makes it too late for us to escape before an earthquake strikes. I could further speculate that this transfer process correlates to the length of the vibrations of the sound, light or pressure wave. Without the vibration, the wave flatlines. Perhaps then our consciousness no longer has a concept of time. Everything just ‘is’.
I guess we will all find out…… in time. Meantime, just ride those good vibrations.
I was watching Winston Peters announcing from the London meeting of the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers that Britain was now keen to resurrect the glory of the British Empire by putting together a trade deal between we proud members of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Pub quiz night: name the 52 members, outside Britain, of the Commonwealth of Nations. Did you get to 10? If so I think you are well above average. Did you get Lesotho, Tuvalu, St Kitts & Nevis, Belize, Malawi, or Swaziland? This Commonwealth has 19 African members, 7 Asian, 13 Caribbean & American, 3 European and 11 from the South Pacific.
The total GDP of these 53 nations is $US11 trillion which sounds impressive until you note that China on its own has $US12 trillion GDP and the USA has nearly $US20 trillion GDP. But if there is anything ‘common’ about them it is certainly not ‘wealth’. The top 4 countries in the group (UK, India, Canada and Australia) account for 75% of the total group’s GDP. The top 11 (where New Zealand is #11) account for 95% of the whole group’s GDP. So 42 countries out of 53 (79%) bring in only 5% of the total group’s GDP. The Commonwealth includes the three poorest countries on the planet. In the same pub quiz, name them! Answer = Kirobati, Nauru and Tuvulu. Bet you didn’t know any of them.
This Commonwealth alliance that today has little practical reason for being, has also bugger all chance of ever being a trading bloc especially when you consider that Commonwealth members Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia already belong to TPP bloc; India and South Africa already belong to BRICS; Cyprus and Malta are in the EU and the African nations have their own trading blocs.
We, the Commonwealth of Nations, are the largely-abandoned urchins of the British Empire who were left to fend for ourselves after Lady Britannia decided to go back to her Eurochums’ social circuit after their two little W.W.s were all forgiven and forgotten. Yes we do meet up for family games every few years, and play a bit of cricket together which is jolly good fun, but thats as far as it goes. If we ever go to visit mother England we will stand and wait in the foreigners’ queue while the Germans are welcomed through lovers’ lane.
But now there are spats in the Euro love nest, mainly about Angela the Hun letting riffraff in through the back door (not intended as a euphemism, but with Germans who knows?). But Britain is committed to leaving the European Union and so, whatever eventually happens with Brexit negotiations, Britain will be short of a few quid for a while and that is likely to make the rabble a bit restless and looking to bring back the guillotines. And like many an absentee parent finding themselves hung over, short of a few quid and debt collectors knocking, she remembers the forgotten family and reminds them that we are still family. So last week the Queen called a meeting of all the heads of their global families, perfectly timed right after the fun of the family games in Australia and immediately before her grand birthday party to which they had all been invited. She told them that she thought that we, as the family of the British Empire, might like to setup some sort of a trade thingy between us and, since she was getting a bit wobbly on her pins, perhaps we should put Charles in charge of it all. Did she really mean all 53 members of the Commonwealth? That would be an enormously daunting prospect for a trade deal, particularly given the disparity in populations, locations, cultures and economies. The EU only has 28 members and our Trans Pacific Partnership has twelve members. Is Charles the man with the experience and charisma to pull together the biggest trading bloc on earth? Especially given that 79% of the members account for just 5% of the wealth.
But perhaps I am being cynical? Maybe its not all about the size of your GDP. One thing Charles would bring to the leadership of any trade alliance would be a focus on ecological sustainability. You have to admit he was all over this ecological crisis way back when we could still swim in our rivers and drink tap water. And he has approached the challenges in a far more practical way than all the attention-seekers floating around in little boats with banners. Since buying Highgrove, a 15-acre estate, in 1980, the Prince has personally overseen its transformation from pasture land to what is now regarded as one of the most important gardens in the UK. His rejection of chemical pesticides and promotion of species once considered weeds attracted criticism in the 1980s long before the boom in organic gardening. His estate even includes an innovative sewage treatment system, using only reed beds to cleanse waste water from the house. The reed-bed waste system is an artificial wetland that converts sewage back to clean water, while allowing the solid matter to be returned to the soil in the form of manure. He has even built a biogas plant in Dorset to supply gas from food waste to 56,000 homes.
Is the Prince of Wales now girthed, girded and ready to lead the CommonWealth, re-named as the CommonHealth of Nations, in a global eco-war reminiscent of the Crusades? Fifty three disparate nations united under the banner of King Charles the greenheart, re-inventing trade within the commonwealth with a war cry of ‘sustainability before profit’. Is this the Royal intent?
I would love to think so, but I am quite sure the tragic reality is that Britain really does think they can resurrect the old bones of their 19th century trade Empire, or at least the ten biggest of us, and have us committed to all buying British solely to help balance their books after Brexit. In the words of Daryll Kerrigan, Australia’s only philosopher, “tell ’em they’re dreamin’.”
“I’m off to Cuba on Saturday” said my old mate Chinny; “I’ll send you back a poster of your hero Che Guevara, since you are too feeble to actually come with me, see Cuba for yourself and get your own poster.”
Harsh words from someone who is supposed to be a mate. Doesn’t he realise I have a golf game on Monday morning? I can’t just take off halfway around the world on a whim. I have responsibilities, I have commitments. Anyway Chinny wanted to know why I wanted a poster of a murdering terrorist. So that started the whole debate between us as to when a murdering terrorist might actually be an heroic freedom fighter removing corruption and greed from the world by whatever means it takes.
The Che Guevara legend came to the fore during the third movie of my favourite ever trilogy, The Godfather. Michael Corleone was in Cuba with all his mafia gangsters, plus a collection of senior USA government and legitimate corporate representatives celebrating the 1959 New Year, as New Year’s Eve party guests of Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban military dictator.
Cuba was full of magnificent art deco hotels and casinos, flashy American cars and all the glam of the USA 1950’s. At least it was glamorous for the gangsters, the big businessmen, corrupt politicians and the American tourists; the peasants lived in poverty. But that was the night that the socialist revolutionary Fidel Castro and his second in command, Che Guevara, took over the government of Cuba. Che Guevara was not a Cuban. His name was not Che. Nor was he just an uneducated, peasant soldier who worked his way up the ranks of Castro’s revolutionary army.
Ernesto Guevara was born into a wealthy Argentinian family (Che is the Hispanic term for an Argentinian) and was of mixed Irish/ Spanish blood; some would say that bloodline made him born to be a revolutionary. He was studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aires when he decided (twice) to take time off from his studies to travel on a motor cycle up through northern Argentina, Peru and Chile. It started as an adventure but the abject poverty, disease and corruption he witnessed turned this adventure into a lifetime mission. He went back to Buenos Aires and finished his medical degree and then set off again through Latin America determined to make the world a better place. He was drawn to socialist organisations and soon became involved in assisting President Arbenz of Guatemala to introduce social reforms into that country.
Unfortunately Arbenz was overthrown, with CIA assistance, and the young Guevara went north to Mexico. In 1955 he married Hilda Accosta, an influential economist who introduced him to Cuban revolutionaries visiting Mexico. It was at this time he met Fidel Castro and he had found his great mission in life. From Mexico Guevara sailed to Cuba. While initially he brought his medical skills to the revolution, such was his political intellect and his unwavering military pragmatism, he soon became Castro’s second in charge. One of the twentieth century’s greatest revolutionary partnerships was born.
After the success of the Cuban revolution, Che undertook several important government roles in Cuba including agrarian reforms and establishing a nationwide literacy programme. He trained the military forces that repelled the USA’s disastrous invasion at the Bay of Pigs which internationally embarrassed the Americans. He is also reputed to have treated the 2,000 political prisoners without compassion. The death penalty was mandatory.
Immediately after the revolution Che married fellow Cuban revolutionary Aleida March and they had four children together. He became a global statesman, an honoured guest in Russia, China and Africa. But over the next few years he came to be at irreconcilable odds with Castro over Cuba’s economic policies. As a statesman he had become disillusioned with the Russian socialist model favoured by Castro and far more inclined towards the Chinese model. History would have to say, in retrospect, Guevara was right in his assessment. Cuba’s population/GDP ratio today is almost identical to Greece which is not a great achievement for the Castro rule. Relatively speaking, NZ has under half the population with over twice the GDP. On any social or economic scale, it appears that Cuba is worse off now than it was before Castro took over. Before Castro, Cuba spent 4% of its GDP on education, the same % as USA and higher than anywhere in Europe. Before Castro, Cuba had more doctors per 1,000 population than Great Britain. Ideals are all very well, but if you cant create the wealth, you can’t deliver the social programmes. Castro did change Cuba from being a country with a disproportionate distribution of wealth, but unfortunately converted it to a country of almost universal poverty.
So, disillusioned with Castro’s economic policies, Che Guevara resigned his government posts in 1965. He dropped out of sight for a while but then turned up in the Belgian Congo, supporting the revolution there that eventually renamed that country Zaire. From there he made his way to Bolivia where he took an active role in fighting alongside local revolutionaries. On 8 October 1967 Che and his small band of guerillas, were captured and executed by the Bolivian forces, supported by the USA military. They were buried in secret graves that were not disclosed for 28 years.
1997, his remains were repatriated from Bolivia to Cuba where they are housed, along with the 29 revolutionaries who died with him, in a huge mausoleum at Santa Clara. Fifty years after his death he remains a folklore legend.
Nelson Mandella was a contemporary revolutionary of Guevara. Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in South Africa. Like Guevara he was university educated. As a lawyer he became involved in anti-colonial politics joining the ANC in 1943, committed to the overthrow of apartheid. He was also a Marxist and a member of the South African Communist Party. In 1961, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant group “Umkhonto we Sizwe” and led a sabotage campaign against the government. He was arrested and imprisoned, not an unfamiliar experience, but this time it was for 27 years. He was released in 1990 after years of international protest and sanctions against South Africa’s apartheid policies. Through surviving, Mandella became the poster boy for the victory over apartheid. The first democratic elections in 1994, when black South Africans were given the vote, saw Mandella become President of South Africa. Although a marxist by history, Mandella maintained the established liberal economy in South Africa. The collapse of USSR communism in 1991 and the economic changes in communist China clearly influenced his economic direction. He died peacefully of old age in 2013. Mandella may be said to have been a revolutionary, but in reality he was a protester whose greatest achievement was surviving 27 years in prison until the political landscape changed. The difference between protester and revolutionary is the difference in lives between Mandella and Guevara. One buried in prison for 27 years, the other buried in an unmarked grave for 28 years. Now both have grand memorials to deliver messages to the world.
Bin Laden may have been the closest we have seen of a modern day Che Guevara. Bin Laden, born into a wealthy Saudi family, travelled to Afghanistan to join the guerilla fighters to drive out the Russian invaders. A noble cause. A brave and intelligent fighter. A leader of men. But Bin Laden crossed the line. Bin Laden targeted non-combatant civilians in his war against the West. He may have claimed justification in his actions by citing the indiscriminate drone attacks of the USA on Arab targets, but if he wanted to be respected as is Guevara, he had to hold the high moral ground. He needed to discipline himself and his followers to restrict his fight to the soldiers and the spies; to those who invaded Afghanistan and involved themselves in the affairs of another sovereign nation. He had to let the West be exposed as the side that was indiscriminately murdering civilians, if that is what was happening. Through undertaking revenge of the innocents against other innocents, Bin laden has caused the creation of the new, oppressive global ‘security’ industry. Bin Laden has single handedly given governments in the West the legitimacy to spy on its citizens, to arrest and torture suspects and disrupt our travel movements.
Undoubtedly that was his intent. Creating fear amongst the enemy soldiers is the role of a guerilla freedom fighter. Creating terror amongst the non-combatants is criminal terrorism. Guevara may well have killed his political enemies without mercy, but it was war and they were active participants in that war. And Guevara died in battle, fighting to the end, taking his socialist war to wherever in the world he believed it was needed. Bin Laden died while in hiding in a hovel from the Americans. Now, 50 years after his death, Che Guevara’s legend as a freedom fighter lives strong. What Bin Laden’s personal legacy will be in 44 years remains to be seen. But so far there is no grand memorial built to his memory.
The book writers and screen writers, the poets and the songwriters may disagree whether Che Guevara was executed as a terrorist criminal or martyred as a fighter for justice and humanity. I won’t enter the debate here but if, thirty years after your death, your body is repatriated and honoured with such a massive mausoleum, then history respects you and honours you for doing something important and meaningful with your life. I would love to have gone to Cuba with Chinny on Saturday, specifically to Santa Clara. If only I didn’t have that golf game booked in.
Footnote: True to his word, this poster arrived in the mail from Chinny.
Footnote #2: 8/8/2018: I got an email from Chinny last night asking if a postcard he had also sent me had arrived. I responded in the negative and, being over four months ago, I wasn’t holding out any hope now. Then today this postcard appeared in my letter box. Unbelievable. After 20 weeks it was arriving in my box at exactly the same time Chinny suddenly remembered that he had sent it. Probably just a weird coincidence, nothing to do with Che himself sending me a message, naah.