Open Thread – Saturday, 01 January 2022

Posted in Open Forum | 401 Comments

The Year That Was [2021]

‘Tis the eve
Of the last day of the year.
Time to reminisce.

Events of the year, Fake noose, Scam-fear-demics,
Memes, Toons, Phrases, Words,
Wokery, Stupiderisms ………..

There’s plenty of fodder.


 

Posted in Humour | 14 Comments

The Street Library

Two streets down from where I live, a library opened up in the past year – a Street Library. It started with a little poster stuck on a wall, announcing its arrival.  And a few weeks later, a library had been installed.

A Street Library is a book sharing space in the form of a sturdy, waterproof box. It is set up by an individual or group, in a front yard or entrance to a property, and is made available to the public. The one is my area has been donated by a business.

The motto is simple: Take. Give. Share.

I get my reading fix by borrowing a stack of books from the public library. I haven’t borrowed from the Street Library as I would be dependent on finding a book I want to read when I check the box, and then getting desperate if there isn’t a suitable one. But I have seen different books sitting in there when I pass by, so it is being used. There is a variety there: fiction, non-fiction, history, paperbacks , hardcovers, English, non-English.

According to the Street Library:

When people take a book and leave a book, they create a cycle of generosity that allows them to share what they love with those around them.

This blog reminds me in some ways of the Street Library; a cyberspace version. Although Cat3 started out as a seamless transition from its predecessor, it went through some hurdles that derailed the site for a while. Having survived the obstacles, it has come through and now evolved into a different version, with some unique characteristics.

Like the Street Library, anyone who is interested can stop here to Take, Give and Share. It works because of the cycle of sharing – the giving and the taking. You can choose the comments you wish to scroll past, and the ones you want to stop and read. There are links that take you off the main course to read or watch or listen.  In turn, one can give back by responding to other comments, or posting information and links for others to read, learn or enjoy. A sharing process that benefits all.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!, Dr. Seuss

The Open Threads, as well as the threads related to posts, contain a range of comments that vary from the serious to the light-hearted, from the mood-downers to the mood-lifters. There are agreements and occasional disagreements. Debates and discussions. Opinions and verdicts. Rants and spurts of anger at the powers that be. Through it all, there is an underlying courtesy and respect to the site users. This is in keeping with the site policy where all are welcome. All, except d***heads.

Thank you, Adam, for setting up this blog and letting us have this free speech zone.

Thank you to all those who participate in the Take-Give-Share cycle in this Catallaxy Library.

 

Posted in Education, Life | 2 Comments

Adeste Fideles

 

 


*  Merry Christmas to you all  *


 

Posted in Faith | 6 Comments

Open Thread – Saturday, 25 December 2021

Posted in Open Forum | 297 Comments

The Week That Was [Friday, 24 December 2021]

It’s that time.
Come on in.


 

Posted in Friday Fred, Humour | 10 Comments

Open Thread – Saturday, 18 December 2021

Posted in Open Forum | 428 Comments

The Week That Was [Friday, 17 December 2021]

It’s that time.
Come on in.


 

Posted in Friday Fred, Humour | 10 Comments

A Small Act of Defiance

Real life accounts of people who have bravely stood up against injustice are inspiring. Whether it is from the past or from the present, I have found these narratives of interest as they put my own life’s experiences into perspective. I have hoped that some of the courage of these gutsy battlers will provide me with the grit needed to face my own struggles.

In the times that we are living in, stories of these courageous warriors take on a greater  importance. I have been focussing some of my posts here, on the people who provide assurances that it is possible to act against tyranny. Through their actions, wisdom, willpower and personal experiences they remind us not to lose hope; for all is not lost.

Here is one such story.

Armando Valladares is a former political prisoner who spent 22 years in Castro’s gulags for refusing to place a sign on his desk in support of Fidel. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison without due process. While in prison he became a “Plantado”—a prisoner who refuses to wear a common prison uniform. For refusing to sign a document admitting he was wrong and the Revolution was right, he was brutally tortured, spent 8 years in solitary confinement and underwent several hunger strikes which left him paralyzed for many years.  During this time, he wrote numerous poems which his wife smuggled out of Cuba and had published to critical acclaim. Valladares was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience.

In 1982 Valladares was released thanks to an international campaign on his behalf. Upon release, he wrote a New York Times bestselling memoir, Against All Hope, which was translated into 18 languages.

On May 12, 2016, the 21st Canterbury Medal Gala honored Armando Valladares, at New York City’s Pierre Hotel.

Excerpts from his acceptance speech at the award ceremony (emphasis added).

If I just said those three words [I’m with Fidel], I would have been released from prison.

My story is proof that a small act of defiance can mean everything for the friends of liberty. They did not keep me in jail for 22 years because my refusal to say three words meant nothing. In reality those three words meant everything.

I am here to tell you that every little act counts. No man or woman is too small or simple to be called to bear witness to the truth. I’m here to remind you that each of you possesses great wealth in the sacred domain of your conscience.

I warn you: Just as there is a very short distance between the US and Cuba, there is a very short distance between a democracy and a dictatorship where the government gets to decide what to do, how to think, and how to live. And sometimes your freedom is not taken away at gunpoint but instead it is done one piece of paper at a time, one seemingly meaningless rule at a time, one small silencing at a time. Never allow the government–or anyone else–to tell you what you can or cannot believe or what you can and cannot say or what your conscience tells you to have to do or not do.

Finally, I accept this award in the name of my wife.  It is really her that deserves it, not me. All of you have heard the story of Penelope, who waited 20 years for Ulysses. Martha is a real life Penelope. But she didn’t stay home knitting. She traveled all over the world campaigning for my release. She waited for me. She always hoped and trusted in God that we would both be reunited Against All Hope.

Posted in Faith, Freedom | 6 Comments

Open Thread – Saturday, 11 December 2021

Posted in Open Forum | 409 Comments