February 1, 2009

Mandela congratulates Obama

Posted in Environment, Friendship, Philosophy, Politics, South Africa, USA politics tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:23 pm by randallbutisingh

Nelson Mandela sends congrats to Obama
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) – Here is the text of former South African President Nelson Mandela’s congratulatory letter yesterday to Barack Obama:

“Dear Mister President:

We are greatly honoured to join the millions around the globe congratulating you on taking office as the president of the United States of America . We believe that we are witnessing something truly historic not only in the political annals of your great nation, the United States of America , but of the world.
Your election to this high office has inspired people as few other events in recent times have done. Amidst all of the human progress made over the last century the world in which we live remains one of great divisions, conflict, inequality, poverty and injustice.
Amongst many around the world a sense of hopelessness had set in as so many problems remain unresolved and seemingly incapable of being resolved. You, Mister President, have broght a new voice of hope that these problems can be addressed and that we can in fact change the world and make of it a better place.
We are in some ways reminded today of the excitement and enthusiasm in our own country at the time of our transition to democracy. People, not only in our country but around the world, were inspired to believe that through common human effort injustice can be overcome and that together a better life for all can be achieved.
Your presidency brings hope of new beginnings in the relations between nations, that the challenges we all face, be they economic, the environment, or in combating poverty or the search for peace, will be addressed with a new spirit of openness and accommodation.
There is a special excitement on our continent today, Mister President, in the knowledge that you have such strong personal ties with Africa . We share in that excitement and pride.
We are aware that the expectations of what your presidency will achieve are high and that the demands on you will be great. We therefore once more wish you and your family strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead.
You will always be in our affection as a young man who dared to dream and to pursue that dream. We wish you well.”
Sincerely,
Signed N R Mandela
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October 4, 2008

SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT

Posted in Economics, Environment, Thoughts tagged , , , , at 1:03 am by randallbutisingh

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

Save the environment

Would be presidential hopefuls are promising to drill for more oil in an already heavily laden Carbon dioxide polluted environment.  How are these people thinking?

You are even now seeing the damage that is caused by the greenhouse effect – global warming, climate change, acid rain, melting of ice in the polar regions, earthquakes, frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes, flooding as never experienced before, disappearance of some of our insect friends and a rise in pulmonary diseases and much more.

Snap out of it , you who are only for short time gain; think of your children and grandchildren.  Is this the legacy you want to leave them?

July 5, 2008

MAN – POWERFUL BUT FRAGILE

Posted in Economics, Environment, Philosophy, Politics, Thoughts tagged , , , , , , , , , at 3:44 am by randallbutisingh

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

MAN – POWERFUL BUT FRAGILE

“Man, as we know him, is a comparative late-comer in the history of the earth and the tenuous film of life which its surface has supported. In certain respects he is one of the most fragile of living creatures yet – in the manner of his explosive appearance on the scene, and the ways in which he has profoundly altered the environment, within which he developed, he is the most powerful organism to have emerged so far.”

— R. Buckminster Fuller, I Inventory of World Resources, Trends, and Needs; Document 1 1963

COMMENT:

Buckminster Fuller said in 1963, that Man has emerged as the most powerful evolutionary species on Earth.He wqas an optimist and he believed that Man could with the right choices, take control of his evolution. However, will this man-made evolutionary process continue unchecked? We live on “Spaceship Earth”, and we have a fragile existence that could collapse if the “systems” we have created fail. Globalization has positive aspects as it interconnects mankind worldwide. However its negative capabilities is complete failure if the systems fail, thus putting the whole world at risk.

Most of all the “economic progress” everyone craves has altered the natural environments in many ways.

The introduction of plastics and non-biodegradable products with all of their pollutants has created ecological and DNA damage as well as illnesses. Global warming effects are now being seen with floods and more violent storms as well as droughts and the loss of species. The warning is that if drastic measures are not taken that Earth’s ecological and physical balance will shift drastically causing worldwide famine and destruction.

Many are asking “ARE THESE THE END TIMES? There have been many writings in the Bible and other books that there will be a time when the world as we know it would end. The physical world will not end, but we as the most advanced entity in it may end. We may feel all-powerful and able to control our economies and the multiplicity of systems that make up the present integrated world. However, have we fully thought out what is really holding it all together? Also, what will happen if these systems fail or if there is ecological and economic collapse collapse?

Finally, who is in charge? Not the United Nations… they are toothless. Not the USA… they have not yet addressed global warming or shown any leadership in these perilous times. They are but a shell of a country living above its means, with a debilitating war. Do not look to Europe either. And China and India are dealing with their own massive internal problems with rising populations and depleted resources as they try to emulate the wasteful habits of the Western countries.

Bob Dylan said in one of his songs: “Something is happening here and I don’t know what it is. Do you Mr. Jones”. Many people feel uneasy that something is happening with “Spaceship Earth”, and that it is not good… they are looking for answers and for leadership that is non existent. Let us hope that our fears are unfounded although I doubt that they are.

–Cyril Bryan – cybryan@gmail.com

May 1, 2008

REDUCING POVERTY IN AFRICA

Posted in Economics, Education, Environment, Poetry, Religion, Thoughts tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:32 am by randallbutisingh

Thought for today:

REDUCING POVERTY IN AFRICA

This is my letter to Brian and Kristen Konkol, recently appointed as missionaries in South Africa. They are dedicated and committed individuals, who were missionaries in Guyana before moving to South Africa a few months ago. They are now settling in and have asked my advice on: “How to reduce Poverty in Africa”. Here is my reply dated April 21, 2008. Your comments and advice on this most important subject are welcome. Feel free to contact Brian and Kristen Konkol with your help and ideas at:

(bekonkol@yahoo.com

………………………………………………………………………………..

To: Brian and Kristen Konkol:

Before I attempt to give my opinion on “how to reduce Poverty in Africa”, I will attempt to define Poverty. In my opinion Poverty is a relative term. How? An individual may have very little, and it takes very little to sustain life. He may live in a one room shack with one or no shirt on his back, but he works honestly for the little that he has; he is always cheerful and will gladly share the little he has and his shack with a needy stranger. He is the personification of contentment; his conscience is clear, his sleep at night is sound and unbroken and he lives without fear. Would you call such an individual poor?

On the other hand a person may be laden with this world’s goods, like an overburdened camel, much more above his needs; But he is the personification of greed; he cannot have enough; he is discontented; always wants more and more, never shares what he has with the needy for concern that it will diminish him. This makes him grouchy, irritable, and cheerless. His sleep at nights is unsound and broken because of fear that someone may come and rob him of what he has. Would you call such an individual rich?

Now, how about reducing Poverty in Africa! Africa is a continent, beautiful and potentially rich, but it has been exploited by foreigners and recently, after independence by its own leaders. There were very few leaders, among them being Nelson Mandela, who did not succumb to the plague of corruption. Billions of the country’s wealth and foreign aid have been stashed away in foreign banks by corrupt politicians while those whom they have been supposed to serve go hungry.

This brings us to the question of education. If the populace is not adequately educated in order to understand the issues and the ability to confront injustice wherever it rears its ugly head, exploitation and corruption will continue to have a field day. Recently two benevolent Americans have been working in this field. They are Oprah Winfrey who is spending millions to educate over a hundred girls in South Africa to become leaders in the future and Bill Clinton who is spending millions to improve Agriculture in one of the countries in Africa.

It should also be noted that Poverty is an attitude in some of the countries. The men leave all the hard work to the women. When they do not hunt or fish, they gather in groups and idle away their time while the women work in the fields. Recently a group of women banded together in a community, and refused to slave for their idle husbands.

We need people who can educate, motivate and inspire these people, raising them from their present level, especially the women to one of respectability. Here is where you and Kirsten can fit in and I know that with the meager physical resources you have but the abundance of will, dedication and commitment, you will make things happen.

Africa does not need to be spoon fed. But while they are given the tools to progress, effort should be made meanwhile to eliminate hunger and disease. You cannot preach to a hungry man about God; you have to fill his belly first.

Remitting of debts will be of little help if attitudes do not change.

Love, joy and peace,

Randall

randallbutisingh@hotmail.com

October 25, 2007

TWO LOOMING CRISES

Posted in Education, Environment, Philosophy, Politics tagged , , at 7:21 pm by randallbutisingh

There are two looming crises which threaten to destroy civilisation and which needs to be given attention if we are to survive as human beings and if life is to continue on earth. If we continue to bury our heads as the proverbial ostrich in the sand, and ignore the writing on the wall, then we are preparing for imminent annihilation. I am referring here to the diminishing life-sustaining environment and the attacks by terrorists.

The environment should be given top priority. We are living in a small planet, a literal grain of sand in the immensity of the cosmos, the only planet discovered by scientists, so far, which supports life. If the source is cut from which all life comes, every animate being will cease to exist.

Nature , with its inexorable laws provide the environment to preserve and sustain life. Man is a component of Nature and needs , like the other components to work in harmony for survival. He is the only being that is endowed with a consciousness superior to other beings. He also has a free will and intuition to see beyond the comprehensible and realize his source of being.

Because of these endowments, man can create, invent and discover the unlimited potential of Nature and Spirit. He can use his talents for making the world a better place, or he, because of his greed, selfishness and lust for power unbalance Nature and create disharmony.

If the environment is not healthy, regardless of how good the economy and the standard of living for all, the quality of life is at stake. If millions of gallons of oil and billions of gallons of water are pumped out of the earth every day for manufacturing purposes, would not there be as a consequence?  more frequent earthquakes, landslides and other natural disasters? And if the emissions of carbon dioxide is continuously spewed into the atmosphere, would there not be pollution to this vital life support? If we continue to cut down our forests, the lungs of the earth, and dump harmful chemicals in our seas, rivers and lakes, endangering aquatic life and the food chain, no matter how good the economy, life is endangered.

These are only a few of the dangers I have mentioned. What about the widening ozone layer, the melting Arctic snow, acid rain and the danger of radiation. With the diminishing and deteriorating environment, what if the economy is booming?

Where there is no vision, the people perish. Where there is no wise leadership, the many must suffer because of the mistakes of the few.  But it is said: “The people get the government they deserve.’ and so long as the people are not properly educated and are stuffed with information which hinders their thinking and originality, their survival and that of the environment are at stake.

Coming events cast their shadows before them.  Humanity is at the brink of a precipice. Man has the capacity to reverse the trend, but will he heed the writing on the wall?

By: Randall Butisingh