Archive for the ‘New books’ Category

DRIVEN: THE GRAND PRIX CHAMPION (from To the End of the Rainbow)

June 19, 2011

sarainbow (fromflick.com)
CHAPTER ONE

DRIVEN: THE GRAND PRIX CHAMPION

Tags: Motor racing, Formula One, Grand Prix racing, Grand Prix champion(s), Grand Prix driver, books, books
by Craig Lock, ‘Endless Possibilities, Far and Great Horizons’.

THE GRAND PRIX DRIVER

“A lot of people go through life doing things badly. Racing’s important to men who do it well. When you’re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.”

– Steve McQueen in the film ‘Le Mans’ (1971)

It was one day in the year 1961, whilst driving home after the South African Grand Prix in East London, that the
young boy told his father that Jim Clark would one day be the champion driver of the world. The young boy was
in a bad mood, because the young Clark had beaten his hero, Stirling Moss. And for the next few years the
young South African boy followed the rising Scot star’s ascending career with great interest and pride. So that
the new shooting star eventually usurped the place of the now retired old hero, Moss after his near fatal accident
at Goodwood, UK…until it too was tragically extinguished in a minor race at Hockenheim, Germany in 1968.

And that night in the “early sixties”, the young boy lay on his bed and read the race program, over again and
again. Then he fell asleep and dreamt, peacefully, blissfully. Perhaps one day… one sunny day…

“If you can dream it, then you can DO it!”

**

EPILOGUE

THE GRAND PRIX CHAMPION

The Grand Prix driver crossed the finishing line beneath the colourful banner stretching across the width of the
oil and rubber smeared tarmac below to win the Monaco Grand Prix in the year that was 2009. Exhausted (both
mentally and physically) and saturated with sweat, the champion driver raised his arms, in celebration, glorious
triumph, knowing that he had driven his last.. and the best ever race in his long and illustrious career.
As the great champion of the world drove under the banner proclaiming ‘Sport for Peace’ and received the
chequered flag to the silent roars of the crowd, he also knew that a new chapter in his rather eventful life, yet
also his greatest challenge lay in the days ahead.

**

P.S: To dearest dad, see the dream never died!
**
QUESTION FOR THE READER

Does The Grand Prix champion crash… or retire (at the very “top of his game, the pinnacle of his chosen sport”)

“It is a celebration of a man s unique vision, a vision that reaches out and shines, touching with magic the drama
of life across all its limitless horizons.”
-anon

“Our talents are our gifts from God; but what we do with our talents are our gifts TO God.”

“Only when you ve been in the deepest valley can a person know what it’s like to stand on the highest peak.”
-inspiring words from “guess who”? It was Richard Nixon, former United States President

“Hold fast to your dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”

-American poet, Langston Hughes

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let s see how many people we can impact, encourage,
empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials…and so become ever more champions
of life”

written on 27th September in the year 2010

BOOK TWO: SOUTH AFRICA

originally written Jan 1995

from http://www.grandprixchampion.wordpress.com

“Life is God’s novel; so let Ultimate Source write it, as it unfolds…”

– me (as inspired by the words of Isaac Bashevis Singer)

MAKoriFIRST light

Picture: First Light Makorori, Gisborne in the scenic and tranquil little haven that is New Zealand (or Godzone, as it is often affectionately known) by Dawn Furmage
First Light Makorori, Gisborne by Dawn Furmage
(Credit: http://www.aa.co.nz)

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Jesus Meets Muhammad (Appendix II)

June 19, 2011

APPENDIX II
“MY CONVERSATIONS WITH JESUS”
SOME PERSONAL QUESTIONS FROM “THE WRITER” TO JESUS CHRIST

Jesus, Jesus Christ, “My Conversations with God”, questions
Today 25th December in the year 2010
Gisborne , New Zealand
The first city in the world to see the sun

JESUS MEETS MUHAMMAD (APPENDIX TWO)
“Äsk and it shall be given.
Seek and ye shall find.”
“Whatever ye ask in my name….”

Who was your favourite disciple:
I didn’t have favourites as you call it. They were all very special people in their own ways with their unique qualities. And they really took a giant leap of faith in giving yup their everyday lives to follow me.

Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute?
No, though that what is what some church leaders implied and that hurts me. But we must forgive slights, both real and imagined. I learnt much from Mary, a very very special and wonderful lady, who
had her faults, weaknesses, but most of all strengths, just like all of us?

Did you go to India to learn about Buddhism, because many of your teachings were similar to those of the Buddha?

Of course I didn’t go to India and Kashmir, as some people speculate. I never travelled far in my life, unlike you living in these easier times. Then I did meet some Buddhist traders in my travels around Palestine, but I got those teachings directly from the Father. Many of these teachings are similar to those from other ancient teachings, like those of the Buddha. Ones like charity, equality of all, human rights for all, pursuit of peace, forgiving, the healing power of forgiveness, loving one’s enemies, the great power of love, and so on.

What did you do in the “lost years” between ages 12 or 13 to 30?

I was doing my usual carpentry/stone making work with my father, Joseph? Also studying the Torah, meditating and praying, but also living a normal life as a young man. Even if YOU tried to write about your own life, you couldn’t write everything down. So much happens in a single day, you even soon forget “run-of-the mill things” quickly. As John said at the end of his Gospel: There are many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one. I suppose
that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.”
(John 21:25)

So you did many more miracles?

Of course, but only as a channel through God, the Father. I couldn’’t do them alone!

What about the Gnostic Gospels?

You mean the books by Phillip, Thomas, James, Judas, Andres and so on?
Yes, its unfortunate that they have been omitted from the New Testament as they add another perspective to me and my teachings. I don’t think that they would erode people’s faith in me, but add to it. Especially, “non-religious” people in these day would understand my teachings far easier than a lot of the “heavy stuff” written in the Bible. A lot of the writings in those Gospels is in line with modern psychological principles.

You mean studies of the human mind.

Yes. As Thomas, you know the doubting one, who wanted to first see my wounds, wrote down my words: “What you have within you will save you”…but I’ll add this “and it all comes through belief and God’s Infinite Spirit working in and through us.”

You sure are the greatest psychiatrist, who ever lived, Jesus
Did you marry as some religious scholars claim?

Of course not! Some are just trying to gather attention, publicity for their wild claims, but most are simply sincere, yet misguided.

So you never married Mary Magdalene?

That’s crazy, Ha ha. Yet she was a very special young lady and I was extremely fond of her… as a disciple…as a person.

Ask me anything and I’ll answer you

Thank you for this very special time together, Jesus. It’s been really enlightening and you have clarified
my questions so beautifully.

Well, it is all so really simple, the mystery of the Kingdom of God. Yet we are NOT meant to try to understand this world of Spirit. Till next time. I look forward to it too

I love you. And Happy birthday today.

About the submitter:
In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
He is currently “writing” ‘Jesus Meets Muhammad’. http://jesusmeetsmuhammad.wordpress.com/ and http://www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com
The submitter’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at http://www.wordpress.com
Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope of a better and brighter future.
These writings may be freely published
PPS
From the depth of the valleys, in the deserts of despair, there is hope… as there is the unquenchable oasis, the immense breadth and depth of the human spirit… always.”

“Lord
Give us forgiveness for the past, strength for today and hope for the future.”

Wang Keqin and China’s revolution in investigative journalism

June 3, 2010

Wang Keqin and China’s revolution in investigative journalism

Sourced from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/wang-keqin-china-investigative-journalism

Tags: Wang Keqin, China, heroes, journalists, brave journalists, Guardian, Tania Branigan

Print and be damned: reporters fame danger
Death threats from criminals and official wrath fail to silence zealous watchdog

http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/taniabraniganhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/taniabranigan
 Tania Branigan in Beijing
 guardian.co.uk, Sunday 23 May 2010 22.12 BST
 Article history
 Investigative reporter Wang Keqin at his office in Beijing. Photograph: Tania Branigan for the Guardian

To the usual journalistic armoury (famously, ratlike cunning, a plausible manner and a little literary ability), Wang Keqin has added an extra element: the small, red-smudged, battered metal tin that he carries to each interview.
Inside is a sponge soaked in scarlet ink. Like a detective, the 45-year-old reporter compiles witness statements. Then he secures fingerprints at the bottom to confirm agreement.
It is a mark of the thoroughness that has made him China’s best-known investigative journalist, breaking a string of stories that have earned him renown, but also death threats from criminals and wrath from officials.
“The other side is usually much stronger. You have to make the evidence iron-cast,” he said, tapping the tin.
That is not always enough. Last week his boss was removed as the editor of China Economic Times following Wang’s report linking mishandled vaccines to the deaths and serious illnesses of children in Shaanxi province. Bao Yuehang has been shunted to a minor sister company. Shaanxi officials have claimed the report was wrong; Wang has reportedly said they did not investigate properly, although he declined to comment when contacted by the Guardian.
It is the latest case to highlight the zeal of China’s watchdog journalists – and the challenges facing them.
Wang’s CV echoes the development China’s mainstream media: from life as a propagandist to a role as a watchdog – albeit one on a sturdy chain. He started his career as an official in western Gansu province in the mid-80s – “a very easy shortcut to wealth and status”, he observed, in an interview conducted before the vaccines controversy.
He recalled the propaganda stories he used to churn out – “like accountants working under the leadership of the Communist party with a red heart” – and how he cobbled together articles for local media for a bit of extra cash. But as residents sought him out with their problems, he found his conscience stirring. “They enthusiastically welcomed me into their homes, told me their stories and looked at me with high expectations. As a 20-year-old it was the first time I was paid so much attention and I felt a great responsibility. I had to tell their story.”
By 2001 he was “China’s most expensive reporter”: not a reference to his salary or lifestyle – he still works from a small, dingy room in his paper’s nondescript offices in outer Beijing – but to the mammoth price put on his head for exposing illegal dealings in local financial markets. Soon afterwards another report enraged local officials and cost him his job.
“I had problems with black society [gangs], and problems with red society [officials],” Wang said. “I heard there was a special investigation team, [with the target of] sending me to prison.”
Shunned by friends and former colleagues, he was saved by an extraordinary intervention. An internal report on his travails, written by an acquaintance at state news agency Xinhua, reached Zhu Rongji, then China’s premier, who stepped in to protect the journalist.
That was in what many Chinese journalists see as a golden age, when an increasingly gutsy press began to root out scandals and abuses. But in 2004, the authorities responded with tough restrictions on media organisations reporting from areas where they are not based. Though the restrictions are widely ignored, journalists say they have allowed officials to impede investigations and stamp down on the burgeoning of watchdog reporting.
Add Beijing’s drive to promote a “harmonious” image of China, and the increasing closeness of economic and political influence, and many are pessimistic. “Today, investigative reporting has become a ‘rare metal’; not only power but capital is oppressing it,” said Qian Gang, formerly managing editor of the progressive newspaper Southern Weekend and now at the University of Hong Kong’s China Media Project. Some argue that in recent years even state media have offered swifter, fuller coverage of breaking news and touched on more sensitive topics. But to David Bandurski, also of the project, that merely reflects the government’s strategy of actively guiding public thinking. “Control is moving behind the scenes,” he said. “In fact, there is less journalists can do than two or three years ago … On the face of it you can do these things, but practically you cannot.”
When the scandal of tainted baby milk broke in 2008, one frustrated editor blogged that his paper had known of the danger but been unable to expose it.
While Beijing sometimes encourages watchdog reporting, it still approved the cross-region rule, said Bandurski: “You can talk all you want about how local officials are the problem and central government wants to fight local corruption and be the good guy. Well, then send a very strong message.”
Yet within these constraints, determined journalists fight for – and find – the space to work. “What decides whether you can do something is not what the law or policy says, but a whole set of other circumstances – who are you connected to; what someone says at a certain time that gives you cover to go after a certain story,” said Bandurski.
Younger reporters have grown up with role models such as Wang. And in a commercialised media sphere, competitive pressures create a real incentive to break edgy stories.
Li Datong, ousted as editor of Freezing Point magazine in 2006, said the media are able to do more, “not because the government loosened its control, but because the society as a whole is becoming more mature.” When earthquakes rocked Sichuan two years ago, and Qinghai last month, many editors ignored orders not to send reporters.
The internet has also amplified the voice of the mainstream media. Many journalists use personal blogs to publish material censored from their reports.
But journalists know that misjudging the opaque and shifting boundaries can damage or end careers, or their publications. And there are new challenges. Zhou Ze, a journalist-turned-lawyer who is tallying physical attacks and other pressure on the media, said a major concern was officials’ changing tactics to tackle critics.
“In recent years bribery and blackmail accusations have increased,” he said. “When you say it’s defamation, people [ask] what was written in the story and whether it was true. If you say it’s bribery or blackmail, it paints the journalist in a very negative light – people assume they have lost their ethics and they won’t get public support.”
Readers have good cause for suspicion. Corruption is rife; salaries are low and payment to attend press conferences the norm. Bungs to ensure favourable coverage or bury negative stories are common and have produced “fake journalists”, who threaten to report industrial accidents unless paid off.
Wang condemns the blackmailers but fears the bigger problem is “fake news”: propaganda, political or commercial, in the guise of journalism.
In a country where citizens have few ways of holding those with power to account, tough and reliable reporting is all the more essential. Wang has covered topics from land seizures to dangerous mines and the spread of HIV through blood transfusions. Zhou fears fewer reporters will dare to tackle such issues, and that the public will pay the price. “If reporters’ rights cannot be protected, the rights of ordinary citizens cannot be,” he said.
Press under pressure
November 2009 Hu Shuli, the editor of influential business magazine Caijing, resigns over issues reportedly including its coverage of sensitive current affairs stories. She has since founded another publication, Caixin.
December 2009 The editor of Southern Weekend, one of China’s most influential newspapers, is demoted weeks after an exclusive interview with Barack Obama. The decision was said to be due to the anger of censors.
March 2010 Thirteen Chinese newspapers publish a rare joint editorial calling for reform and the eventual abolition of the household registration system. It was removed from websites and authorities reportedly issued stern warnings to the paper which initiated the project.
May 2010 Bao Yueyang, chief editor and publisher of China Economic Times, is demoted to a smaller sister company after defending reporter Wang Keqin’s report linking wrongly stored vaccines to child deaths and sickness. The article caused a stir when it appeared but was quickly played down by other media outlets on censors’ instructions.

Guardian News and Media

Sourced from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/wang-keqin-china-investigative-journalism

Shared by craig

“We are moving from an era of resistance, division, opression, turmoil and conflict… and starting a new era of hope, reconcilation and nation-building. I sincerely hope that the mere casting of a vote… will give hope to all South Africans.”
– the words of Nelson Mandela at South Africa’s first Democratic election on 27th April 1994 at Ohlange High School in Natal Province, where John Dube,  the founder of the African National Congress in 1912 was buried)

Former Archbishop of South Africa, Desmond Tutu once said: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India (1947)