Gay Marriage: Legislation in USA

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Gay Marriage legislation discussed

If you have a Facebook account, you cannot help but notice the vast amount of rainbow coloured profile pictures. On closer inspection, you realise that these conversions coincided with the passing of the long overdue legislation.

And while one states that it is long overdue, and is absolutely thrilled for those whose lives it touches directly, one cannot help but be reminded of all the places in our world that are far behind in terms of this revolution. Those countries that punish and shame those wanting to make their love formal and committed in the eyes of the law. Those countries that would kill and incarcerate these people.

Tolerance and equality is what our focus should be on, it seems. I realise that legislation is the end result, but surely this begins with tolerance, acceptance, love and equality for all? No matter the race, religion, political agenda?

I look forward to the day where these are what are celebrated and acclaimed. Without people being shamed, and having to fight for their basic rights. Love and be loved, accept and be accepted.

And to America – good on you for setting an example to those who need to catch up! Just in time for Independence Day!

Winter has arrived!

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Winter is Here and It’s Time to Slow Down

Winter only truly arrives when the first (proper) cold front hits the country, sending temperatures plummeting and people scurrying to the shops for extra sweaters. The time before that – usually until the last week of May – is mostly used as an excuse to get out all your winter clothes and bedding and trying to get used to getting up and getting home when it’s already dark. But there is a beauty in the firsts of the season — the first cold front, the first frost (the first snow if you live in a part of the country where it snows).

The beauty of winter is not in the cold — which is all we seem to focus on — but in the everyday things around us. The stark patterns of bare tree branches against the blue sky of the Highveld. The pristine shades of the evergreens that brighten gardens and peek through palisade fences. People taking more time to sit down and just have a cup of tea and get warm. Winter is a way to remind us that we’re allowed to live slower, simpler lives.

I remember as a child how much fun I thought slipping over frost covered dried grass was early in the morning. Barefoot, I should add. And I wonder why I developed almost an aversion to frost. Just like you’d play around in the rain when you’re young and then suddenly act as if you’re going to melt as soon as two drops hit you.

Getting back to enjoying the child-like wonder of the season is, perhaps, the best way to enjoy winter. Like reading a book under a pile of blankets or really enjoying the warmth of a cup of tea or hot chocolate and knowing that, with each day of icy winds and crisp skies, the days are getting longer.  Spring is coming.

Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archaeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on Twitter @CarinMarais.

FIFA’s hot potato

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FIFA: Bitter-Sweet of 2018 and 2022 Soccer World Cup Awards

In sport circles, the selection of a host for the next Olympic Games or a world cup in any of the major sports is such an exciting and glorious event. Sadly, due to the recent controversial uncovering of corruption within the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), a dark cloud is hanging over the 2018 and 2022 soccer world cup events, even the one held in South Africa in 2010. The 2018 event was awarded to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar.

Key Players:

FIFA officials: Eugenio Figueredo, Jack Warner, Julio Rocha, Rafael Esquivel, José Maria Marin, Costas Takkas, Nicolás Leoz and Eduardo Li were arrested and charged with bribery, corruption, money laundering and “criminal mismanagement” by Swiss officials in Zurich on 27 May, two days before FIFS’s 2015 presidential election. In total, 14 of whom current and former executives were to be questioned. This followed after a three year long FBI investigation. US attorney general, Loretta Lynch said at a news conference in New York: “They were expected to uphold the rules that keep soccer honest. Instead they corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and enrich themselves.”

Spokesperson Walter Gregoriou denied involvement of FIFA president Sepp Blatter in any of the investigations whatsoever. After his 40 years of involvement in FIFA and four terms as president, newly re-elected Swiss, Sepp Blatter resigned on Tuesday, 2 June 2015.

For the love of the … MONEY

The love of money is the root of all evil, as they say, not the money itself. This has been the downfall of many a good man. Just think about the late Hansie Cronje, former South African cricket captain. This sad day marked the end of a brilliant career and broke a wonderful man. Although many others in the international cricket world had done far worse, Hansie was the unfortunate one to have been made an example of. International cricket is especially the target of match fixing and corruption. This completely takes the fun out of watching a cricket world cup series and makes one question the slightest uncertainty.

But it isn’t always about the money, though. Competitiveness in sports unfortunately results in many athletes turning to anabolic steroids and other forbidden drugs in their quest for being the best. The recent FIFA corruption debacle isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last scandal in sport circles. It is so sad to see brilliant talented sportsmen and -women follow these paths of deception, destruction and shame.

What Easter is all about

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The Reason for Easter celebration

There are many contradictory beliefs regarding Easter and the celebration of it. Some say Easter is actually the European tradition of celebrating the coming of spring. From there the decoration of homes with flowers and cute little bunnies and painted chicken eggs. I must admit, that makes a whole lot more sense than bunnies and chocolate eggs to celebrate the death of Jesus on the cross and His victory over death by being resurrected.

Others are saying that Easter actually originated in ancient Babylonia 2,000 years before Christ. They were honoring the resurrection of their god, Tammuz, who was brought back from the underworld by his mother or wife, Ishtar. The festival was named her, as Ishtar was actually pronounced “Easter” in ancient Semitic dialects.  A pagan festival then. That means nothing to me as a Christian, because my Bible does not refer to it and we know that Jesus was the only God to be resurrected from death and is therefor the only true living God.

The truth is that we are celebrating Easter although I have never read the word Easter or any translation of or referral to it in the Bible. But whatever we call it, how wrong can it be for a Christ follower to remember His awful death on a cross to pay the price for my sins, when He was sinless. Why was that necessary? So that I could be put right with God the Father and have ongoing forgiveness.

Also in gratitude we celebrate victory over death and evil brought about by the resurrection of Jesus. There is an empty tomb to prove it. And because the tomb is empty, we have a promise from Him that after this life, we’ll have everlasting life in His courts. Yes, everlasting life as in for ever and ever and ever more. Perhaps the chocolate eggs we eat, represents this new life after this old body has passed away. I don’t know for sure.

Whatever, I wish you a blessed celebration of forgiveness and everlasting life!

Be sure that you have enough Insurance Cover. Call Budget Insurance right away for instant free quotes!

Ref.: http://rcg.org/books/

HEAT!

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Gauteng Heat

“Damn it is HOT!” How many times have you heard that this week? Driving through intersections in Johannesburg, I can’t help but notice people melting behind their cardboard signs. Although my heart bleeds for them, I found myself unable to wind down my window, to give that obligatory R2 contribution, for fear of melting myself. With this raging heat I see the water level of my pool rapidly subsiding and find myself wondering when this electricity shortage might be replaced by a sudden water shortage. Luckily a shortage of wine is not of concern.

I am really over this heat, my personal grooming bill has shot through the roof! I have this perpetual fear that my armpits are on constant overdrive. If you didn’t know what menopause felt like, then I guess this is it hey… Well luckily the person sitting next to me has to deal with the death permeating from my armpits and not me.

The heat is also on in other areas of this wonderful country of ours. Not only are tempers flaring over the State of the Nation Address but also about the growing national deficit. The poor man on the street might melt even more when the parliament members have cooled down and actually start focusing on running the country and collecting that deficit from the tax payer.

Warm as fire, we are all spending more on drinks than on food to cool down. There must be some sort of upside to this heat… I guess you can call my enormous refreshments-bill contributing to economic growth, even if it is just my local pub growing its wallet.

The dry winter season is upon us and we know that the winter will bring some form of cooling down. But for now enjoy the swimming pool while it is full or at least while you are able to cool down in it.

 

 

Author: William Carter

Bio: I have always been inspired by words. It tells a story of hope, dignity and shares our deepest fears and success – the signature of what who we are. General observations of life is what I share and passion and success is who I am!!

Links:

www.williamcarter.co.za

FB: The william carter page

Where does Valentine’s Day come from?

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Facts about Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day remains one of the most popular holidays and it is celebrated everywhere in the world. This is the day when everyone has the chance to reiterate to his or her loved one (or even an intended loved one!) that he or she is loved and cherished. But what are the origins of this happy and popular day?

There is no universal agreement regarding the origins of Valentine’s day. Some historians are of the opinion that it started off as a liturgical celebration for a number of early Christian saints that were named Valentine. The records are sketchy, however, to say the least.

The most popular account centres on Saint Valentine of Rome. He allegedly married Roman soldiers in secret prior to major battles. Of course, in those days Roman soldiers were not allowed to get married. Eventually, his secret acts landed him in jail. During his time in jail, he healed the daughter of his jailer, named Asterius, and fell helplessly in love with the girl. Just before he was executed, he wrote her a letter and signed off by saying “With love, from your Valentine.” And thus Valentine’s day was born.

To this day, Valentine’s day is formally celebrated by the Lutheran Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church as an official religious holiday. However, it is two different Valentines that are honoured. In the first instance it is Saint Valentine the Roman presbyter and this day is celebrated on 6 July. The Orthodox Church celebrates the life of Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna. This day is celebrated on 30 July.

Of course, most of the world now celebrates the day as a day of romance and love. Modern celebrations originated in the high middle ages when Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle of friends became known for embracing the spirit of romance. They presented their lovers with a key, which was a symbolic invitation to unlock the heart of the giver.

Facts about Insurance is that you should have decent cover.

It’s not too late to make New Year’s resolutions

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New Year’s resolutions can still be made

Deciding on a new resolution to follow in your life should not simply be based on a specific date and you don’t need to have all your resolutions and goals finalised on 1 January. New resolutions can follow any change in your life, or be started to create change in your life. And, since you don’t know what will happen to you during the year, you might just find yourself starting on a batch of new resolutions in April, June, November or even December.

Resolutions are returnable

Sometimes swapping one resolution for another may be just the thing to get you going in the right direction. While resolutions may be difficult to keep to – for instance, when you change your diet – they are often easier to keep if you give yourself a bit of slack. Rather than make a resolution to lose 15 kg, make a resolution to lose 2 kg a month. Or perhaps you made the resolution to do an extra course and you were not accepted. Use the time you have to do a course online while you wait to apply again next year. Perhaps you’ll even find some hidden talents or a course better suited to your needs!

Ignore the naysayers

If you thought your life was heading from A to B and you suddenly find yourself sitting unhappily at J, making a resolution to change your life is the best thing you can do. While turning your life around or even making large changes is difficult, don’t let it be made more difficult by lending your ears to those mocking you for trying to change. You also don’t have to tell everyone what your resolutions are. Confide in those closest to you and those who support you. While you should listen to advice, you shouldn’t listen to those who simply want to break you down and want to see you fail. And if you want to start on a blank page today, do so. Just because the calendar doesn’t say “1 January”, doesn’t mean you can’t start out on a new adventure right now.

Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archaeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.

Christmas….crackers,carols and other crazy customs!

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Christmas Customs

Christmas time is here again – Should we celebrate or cerebrate?

Surely nobody still imagines that the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ child who was born in Bethlehem (not in his home village because of some political shenanigans), occurred anywhere close to the 25th December. Christmas celebrations evolved from pagan festivals to do with the solstices. Of course it does not matter! It is the spirit of the festival that matters! But what was the meaning of the incarnation of this child, a birth that was heralded by no less than a new star in the heavens?

More than one child has thought that the Christ was a relentless Little Drummer Boy:  if shopping mall soundtracks are one’s reference, it is not surprising. “Pa-ram-pa-pa-pam!” (Whether Boney M’s disco rendition of Silent Night creates universal goodwill or a shopping frenzy is a moot point) Or that that funny guy in a red polyester suit and cotton wool beard comes from Bethlehem. (By the way, it is decidedly not all right for little children to be expected to sit on his lap!) Or that the veritable explosion of reindeer and fake snow is typical in the Holy Land. (Which, let’s face it, is in utter turmoil with violence and lack of religious tolerance ruling the day). Or that the Three Wise Men from the east looked rather disappointed at the ignominious setting. (They were, after all kings and scholars and now had to re-think all their previous insights)

Symbols

Let’s not get caught up in factual matters of chronology and geography. Let us remember what the Christ child symbolises:

Unconditional Love!

One can be forgiven for thinking He came in vain. Never has the world been less at peace as we approach the season of Goodwill and Universal Harmony.  Hostilities flourish whichever way one turns: Racial strife in the United States of America, brutality towards women from East to west and North to South, oppression in Hong Kong, wholesale murder justified on religious grounds from Africa to Iraq, conflict in Egypt and destruction in Aleppo. The international organisation Genocide Watch has placed South Africa at stage 6 of white genocide, and claim that a coordinated campaign to exterminate whites is afoot, as indicated by the cruelty of the farm attacks, and the ethnic identification of the target group and normalization of hatred as institutionalised by the leaders in power: At the ANC 100th anniversary President Zuma sang “Dubula iBhuni” – Shoot the Boer. His trade mark song, “Umchini Wam” advocates violence.

Unemployment and lack of service delivery means a Christmas without clean water – never mind a fancy roast and presents wrapped and beribboned.  According to Rape.co.za it is estimated that a woman born in South Africa has more chance of being raped that learning to read.

So much for Madiba’s dream of a non-racial/ non-discriminatory society! So much for our constitution!

And so much for the Christmas Spirit!

Being caught without Insurance cover will surely dampen your spirit!

Author: Suenel Bruwer Holloway

Author: Suenel Bruwer Holloway is a playwright, poet, speechwriter, translator, editor as well as guest writer. She specializes in satirical social commentary, the arts, education, book reviews and three course picnics. She comes from a long line of hat wearers.

Suenel is available for guest posts and can be contacted at the e-mail address provided.

Contact: florabundu@lando.co.za

Ref: www.sapeople.com/2011/03/28/south-african-rape-statistics/
www.irinnews.org/report/99039/a-look-behind-the-statistics-of-south-africa-s-rape-epidemic

Travel is a way of Education

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Discover your country and your continent!

To travel is to learn and to grow

Travelling has been described as one of the very best ways to gain a useful education, to learn, to live and to grow as a person. The planet offers so many opportunities: there are natural wonders to behold, historic sites to visit, precious art to appreciate and people to meet. There are new and interesting things to eat, flavours to savour, smells to explore and civilizations to admire. To be able to travel is to be given the chance to explore a very rich treasure chest of wonders, amazements and surprizes.

Many people forget that it is not always necessary to travel halfway across the world to discover new cultures, sights and experiences. Most people will be pleasantly surprized to learn just how much their own regions have to offer. South Africans are blessed with a country that is truly a world in one. Incomparable natural beauty, a magnificent variety of wildlife and indigenous flora, a multitude of fascinating cultures and a bewildering array of exciting activities and events all vie for the attention of those that want to explore their own country.

Travelling can be hazardous and tiring if not planned properly. It is always a good idea to make all basic arrangements, such as for accommodation, in advance. It saves time to conduct some research before travelling to an area. It is seldom possible to participate in every event and to experience every magic moment that any particular destination has on offer. It is definitely best to decide in advance what to do and see. In this way time can be saved and disappointment avoided. The internet is a rich source of information for travellers to any part of the country or other parts of the world.

It is certainly a privilege to be able to travel to different destinations. It is sad when one considers the fact that so many people in our beautiful country are not able to see the rest of it, not to even mention other parts of the world.

Whether you travel abroad or in your own region always be sure to be well insured.

Life Insurance as an Investment

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IS LIFE INSURANCE THE BEST INVESTMENT?

Taking out a life insurance policy might be the best investment you ever made, right? It will take good care of your family financially, should you untimely be taken from them. They will be able to live a good life and you will at least have that peace of mind. You did your duty as head of your family, or did you?

LOVE IS TIME AND TIME IS LOVE

There are more types of life insurance than just financially, like investing in the emotional wellbeing of your family. To a little child, your love as a parent is measured in time and attention. Some would argue that this is just as important an investment in their future, as any financial inheritance. They grow up as functional and well adapted individuals, who will one day be able to take care of themselves. It is also true with marriage, because love is lost when time is lost.

THE LIVING DEAD

What type of parent or spouse do YOU think you are? Many times the family might have quite a different, and sometimes shocking, answer. Life is undoubtedly hard these days, time is money and nobody can afford to lose the rat race. We have to work hard to provide for our loved ones and secure our children’s future. We sometimes find ourselves amongst the living dead, in the midst of a faceless crowd, desperately trying to survive. Unfortunately, you don’t only lose yourself after a while, but you might lose your family too by being too absent.

WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE

How would you like your loved ones to remember you one day? Would you really be missed, or would you be remembered as hardworking, but always tired, grumpy and absent? If your family would be asked, they surely would want you to live your life to the full! They want to see you happy, just as you want the same for them. Your life insurance policy will take care of them financially after you are gone. BE there for them while you are still alive. After all, the only thing they really want is YOU!

Author: Maritha Koortzen

marithak@webmail.co.za

The author currently writes to newspapers mainly on Health and Social Issues. She also talks at Ladies Events about Health and Wellness.

Feel free to contact her for any free lance writing.