DAY 265: New year.

January 5th, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

WARNING: The author of this blog is, alas, beginning to run out of steam as his physical strength gives way in almost every direction. I”d better get some words through asap in order to have at least a semblance of having something to say. Every tinpot Pope or dictator has sent his or her people a new year message promising better times in 2019; and while I completely despise and disbelieve such promises, I’d better say something. Moreover, I think it would be a poor year if I didn’t say something to kick it off. I’m feeling so debilitated – I’ll perhaps spare you the gruesome details – that my poor brain is barely up to stringing a couple of sentences together. But who am I, I ask, in these desperately lost and miserable times, to say anything? I look around and what do I see which I could c0mmunicate? The same stories of increasing repression and persistent resistance. This, (below) the latest this morning, arrived from SOS Mediterranee. I read them all the time and they don’t change. Nor does the excruciating pain in my knees which distracts me from stringing a sensible sentence together, and which I’m told will be a as it were magically dispelled by a skilled surgeon in about a week’s time. It seems much too soon for me; I have to collect my thoughts, to make my will, and to see a) if there are any other bits of me which deserve priority in the stitching-up process, b) if I should not give priority to the problems of the world, and put my own on hold. O People, awaiting my new year’s message – what do I have to tell you? In the first place, don’t trust anyone who promises you a short-term solution for your ills. The masses who have fled the killing fields of Syria to end up in the swamps of Calais are likely to die in the cold unless you (we) make a move to end their suffering. And as for those whose, I keep repeating, are turned back by Salvini’s henchmen to drown in the Mediterranean, what hope do we hold out for them? A small ray of light comes from a few mayors of Italian towns who will defy their government; and elsewhere, our best hope seems to be in the people, the small and the local; the volunteers, the newly elected members of Congress, few as they are – Palestinian, Somali, Native American, miles from having the weight of numbers to face up to the rulers of their country, they still represent moral authority. I salute them, and the underground workers all over the world who are defending justice and peace. They know who they are. This new year, they represent a new hope.

Milton, who had no problems but blindness, found a sort of comfort in standing and waiting; will it serve me amid my sea of troubles?
“When I consider how my light is spent,
   Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
   And that one Talent which is death to hide
   Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
   My true account, lest he returning chide;
   “Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
   I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
   Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
   Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
   And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
   They also serve who only stand and wait.”

ROME – Italian migrant rescue ship Mediterranea set off from Malta Friday to bring relief to Sea Watch 3 which has been roaming the Mediterrean for 14 days with 32 migrants aboard.
Meanwhile Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris reiterated that the port of Naples was open to migrants despite a ban imposed by Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini.
He said he was determined to save the lives of “children who are dying at sea”.
Salvini said “I’m full of messages from Neapolitans who want de Magistris to deal with the problems of Naples, the rubbish in Naples, the traffic in Naples, jobs in Naples, public housing in Naples; if he wants to be a yachtsman and open the port let him do so, but the interior minister has competence over the port, as he does over all Italian ports”.
Salvini was backed by his ruling partner Luigi Di maio who said Italian mayors can’t open ports to migrants.
“There are mayors thinking of whether they should open or close ports,” said Di Maio, who is the other deputy premier as well as industry and labour minister. “I’d like to remind them that they have no authority by law and this shows that all these statements are part of a great opportunity to wage a little election campaign and ask citizens for some votes”.
The European Commission is continuing its “intense” contacts with member States disposed to finding a solution for two migrant rescue ships carrying a total of 49 migrants for almost two weeks, EC spokeswomen Mina Andreeva said Friday.
The Sea Watch has 32 migrants while Sea Eye has a further 17, making 49 in all.
Andreeva said the EC was trying to find countries willing to “find a solution on the rapid disembarkation of the people on board the Sea Watch 3 and the Sea Eye”.
On Thursday, she said, Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos urged member States to “help this joint effort to safely disembark those on board as soon as possible.
“A series of member States has voiced willingness towards this joint effort and to support Malta”, she said.


And, besides saving the drowning, the admirable MSF continues to bring new life into a cod unwelcoming world. I wish them all well – here are  the first.


Baby Mariam from Afghanistan

Ivory Coast

A new arrival in Cote D’Ivoire

A new arrival in Cote D’Ivoire

Thirty-four-year-old mother Gninguin welcomed her fifth child, a little boy, at 9:02 am in the morning on New Year’s Day.

The baby was born at Boniéré Urban Health Center in the Cote D’Ivoire and weighed 3.2 kgs.

Although she hasn’t yet given a name to the new arrival, Gninguin says her dream is simply that he “becomes a good person”.


Newborn Maria in Choloma, Honduras


And here to welcome them is John Coltrane playing Naima


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