Saturday, 17 December 2016


  Donald, me lad, I need a word or two with you.  I had thought that, while fighting Adolph and Benito, I had been sufficiently scared by experts, but you are well on the road to be even scarier, enhanced by human-made over-population, global warming, nuclear stockpiles, and Greed.
Now, Donald, you claim to know more than others, so need no advice.  But, I am stubborn enough to try.
I do get confused when your rhetoric and deeds are often at odds with each other and the lies you embrace exceed those you have accused Hillary of cherishing. So, Donald, where can I find some vestiges of Hope?   You will control a country of millions of praiseworthy humans, many of whom have contributed much to the betterment of the world.  But, why Donald, are so many millions claiming you are not their president and who pledge to obstruct your governing just as your Republicans denied the enactments of so many of Barack’s worthy reforms?
Is what you will rule really the democracy it claims to be?  Well-meaning politicians must spend more time raising funds for never-ending electioneering than governing, thus enriching the media with voter-insulting ads whose veracity and information leave much to be desired. 
And, Donald, there is the Electoral College designed in the late 1700s to keep the Uncouth like you far from the Oval Office.  Instead, it has welcomed in George W. in 2000 after Al won the popular endorsement by 544,000 votes and, just now, let you in when Hillary beat you by 2.8 million votes.
Donald, do be humble and grateful that Geography has been exceptionally kind to your country but regretful that it has been an aggressor-nation from Day 1.  Just ask all the Native Tribes, Canada, Mexico, Polynesia, the Caribbean, Colombia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, Palestine, Yemen, Indonesia, Formosa, the Philippines, Iran, the USSR, Pakistan, Libya, China, Russia, African Americans, and a few others.
Yes, Greed and the power structure, rather than the general population, has been responsible but you are a prime member of the One Percent Club as are those you choose for executive positions.
The support these interests give to aggressors like Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and a bevy of dictators does defile the Swamp that you are determined to drain.  As well, there has been skullduggery with Bashar and his varied rebels in Syria, yet he praises your hawkish rhetoric against Terrorists (anyone who disagrees).  Think, Donald, with your terrifying cabinet choices, you are introducing into the swamp even slimier creatures that are already increasing the fears that you are forcing not only on the World but on your own fellow-citizens.  
Now, Donald, just as you will face, your predecessors have inherited the faults of their predecessors. Some of whom have been guilty of robbing hundreds of thousands of their lives, health, family welfare, and have mis-spent their taxes.  Your go-it-alone and cavalier attitude towards force that includes nuclear weapons that, like the Global Warming which you dismiss, is quite frightening as it can guarantee our human extinction.  Ignoring scientists and those most familiar with the finality of nuclear  weapons and other threats to head up your energy department is an immense boost to Depression and the suicides it causes.
Why, Donald, are the Ku Klux Klan and the Alternative-Right (Alt-Right) rejoicing in your victory?
Could you join me in being filled with great unease when I see so many similarities between the Europe of the 1920s and 1930s and the USA of today?   Yes, differences are vast but similarities are ignored at our peril.  Prior to 1914, Germany was a leading nation in human rights.  The Versailles Treaty created such a deep economic collapse that strong men like Hitler and his entourage were welcomed by sufficiently-disillusioned voters to allow them the power that put large numbers of dissenters into concentration camps.  Even so, few Germans believed that Hitler would actually use the believed-invincible military superiority he had acquired.  After all he did create millions of jobs, built autobahns, and made Germans think they were again respected by the world.  We know little of the real shock and deep fear that did sweep across Germany when Poland was invaded and Germany became opposed by the unbeatable resources of the British Commonwealth, the French Empire, and the USSR, all later aided by the weight of the USA.  All of these opposing nations had to create large military forces but they had the land, populations, and resources to do so.  That Germany, after we made it a terribly-crippled nation with lost land, manpower, and resources, rebounded to be a powerhouse reveals human tenacity and resilience that shatters the worship of military power.
Today, the US has the greatest economic and military clout to force others to do its bidding and it is blessed with a secure base, if we overlook the divisions within.  But is has a small percentage of the world’s population, wealth, resources, and creativity.  It must tread carefully to maintain the dominance it has as it moves towards evolving this dominance into co-operation with more than just a few strong allies. 
Surely, you must worry, Daniel, about all those hate groups, armed militias, enormous homicide and incarceration statistics, all supported by a civilization-denying explosion of uncontrolled guns, that warn another US civil war is quite possible.  This on top of a criminally-large military-industrial complex whose main reason for being is the profits of world hegemony and whose enhancement you support including world-destroying nuclear weapons.
It also is with much unease that I see for-profit jails and schools welcome your presidency.  This, too, spreads a deep depression that there is no hope for humanity so why strive to live? 
And, coinciding with your victory, is the belief of school districts that they must arm their teachers,  so the nation can no longer be called civilized.  
And, Donald, it is not only our species at risk but also those species like raccoons, ants, and bacteria  who could accept the torch from our failing, dead, hands.
As if this is not enough to give you nightmares, there is that gnawing fact that millions are not blessed with the restraint that Barack, Michelle, and Hillary are showing in accepting their defeat and are determined to carry on the fight against you.
Donald, many of my Republican friends tell me to “give you a chance”.  I would be quite happy to do so - if you give me some reason to believe you have the best interests of our world and its species at heart and your actions reflect this.
Yes,  I agree it is hypocritical to complain that possible Russian interference increased your election votes.  Has  not the US has interfered in 81 world-wide elections and Russia 36?  But such interference demands voter intelligence  which is impaired by a shallow and less-than-honest media.
But we can fear the huge Exxon Mobil - Rosneft oil deal that I expect you will consummate when you lift the US sanctions on Russia for retaking Crimea and interfering in Ukraine, the original Russia.   Yes, Russia does belong in Europe.  But is not this deal too dangerous in creating a dominant fossil-fuel giant that could do enormous harm to our insufficient actions to curb global warming?  Rosneft is 60%-owned by the Russian government and 20% by British Petroleum.
And also there is your monetary interests in denying the Dakota pipeline water protectors their basic rights, so long abused by the likes of the Alt-Right.  
Finally, Donald, it is no secret that you crave monopolizing the limelight.
Well, you are now front and centre in the limelight.  You can relax as you bask in it, and actually do a little penance for all those you have cheated as you climbed the stairs.  You can now afford moderation, equality, empathy, and even respect for women.
In your quest to “Make America Great Again” you will be successful only it you prefer humanity-beneficial categories.
Gosh, Donald, that would make your limelight even brighter.
Make it so!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


        My list this year is long, but I have been a good boy.  Well, yes, I did yearn to be naughty, but my 97 years denied me the pleasure, so I am eligible.
But, Santa, I do worry about you.  Your splendid isolation up there at the North Pole will soon be open ocean forcing you to join the millions of migrants fleeing droughts, fires, floods, hunger, lack of shelter, persecution, and wars.  It is not the picture for which we all have strived.
Where can you go? 
Surveying the Polar regions I see the Russians have done the best job in making theirs habitable.  But your closest refuge is 817 kilometres away at Alert on the northeast coast of Ellesmere Island at 82:30 N in Nunavut, Canada.  Its airport, score of buildings, weather and communications equipment and its people may be somewhat like a metropolis to you but they are few and lonely and would welcome you.  The few military and environmental personnel are on one-year tours minus families.  I am sure they would help you make all those toys.  Scientists swell the population to 250 in the summer months.  You would still have isolation as the nearest other weather station is 480 km away and the nearest city, Iqaluit, 2,092 kilometres distant. 
        But, Santa, making and delivering toys is only a small part of what I need from you.  First, I must warn you not to be mislead if you flee to Alert, It is not typical. You have been isolated at the North Pole and, whereas you and your reindeer are to be commended for a job well done, allow me, who has spent many years in communities like Alert, to offer some advice.  Alert lacks even a hint of the masses of humanity, guns, greed, and ignorance that lurk out there.
Have you ever considered branching out to help those struggling in the fields of population control, finding a method of vaporizing guns, especially nuclear weapons, education including modifying mindsets to ostracize greed, expanding empathy and love to grow into a universal force, and engineering a benign energy source?
Sorry, Santa, I see I am presenting a task too monumental even for you.  You must forget your go-it-alone habit and open your arms to those anxious to help.  We could start with your reindeer who have been overworked and who have lacked an embracive sense of geography.  Do you not realize that, every Christmas eve, they miss most of the world’s children?
You do know how good deeds can expand from small beginnings.  You, as Nicholas the monk in Patara, Turkey, about 280 AD, became a bishop, well known for your generosity, so word of you was brought to the New World by Vikings, Dutch, and Germans to become the Santa Claus we love today.
But, really Santa, you are not unique but are joined by winter gift-givers from 67 countries around the world,  on top of the 14 who use you.  Do you ever think of joining forces and enlarging your scopes?
Just think, Santa, by joining like-minded groups you could compose an agenda that, of course, would be based on gifts to children but that could now include influencing young mindsets, schools, and behaviours. 
You do need to revamp religions to return them to being a solace and providing humane direction for humans in a cruel world.  Sadly, Religion has grown into one huge mess, In Christianity alone the original four versions have exploded to some 34,000 differing groups some of which go as far as condemning to hell’s fire those who do not adhere to their “right” version.  Islam can also be bad.  Offhand I can think of some 40 subdivisions, some commendable but then there are unsavoury extremes like Wahhabism that Saudi Arabia provides vast sums to promote by building numerous schools that mould and control young minds. 
Yes, it is an immense task including Agnosticism, Animism. Female Gods, all the way to Zoroastrianism. 
Santa, although you deserve to relax and rest on your magnificent laurels, we must ask you for even greater sacrifices.  Our environment and our species face extinction because too many humans know not what they do.  As the Jesuits claimed “Give us your children until they are seven years of age and we will have them for life.”
Over a few hundred years you have cemented your base.  The toys you make for children should tolerate no guns, no offensive weapons of any sort.  They would promote games and equipment that entailed co-operation and friendly interaction with others.
Santa, I do wish you a Merry Christmas  -   but I also ask you to leap into the Field of Education.

               Ye Olde Scribe                        

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


                       "And all the past is present." -    Robinson Jeffers

What a fascinating (and sorely needed) study!  It has something for everyone:  adventure, advice, amusement, answers, awe, drama, escape, fear, knowledge, warnings, wisdom, wonder, just to name a few.
With a promise that we may partially understand the present, as well as what, where, why, who, and how we are, History takes us back as far as we care to go.
As Astrophysics is part of History, we could start with the Big Bang some 13.2 billion years ago, and watch the unfolding of what could be just the present cycle.
As Chemistry is also part of History we could start earlier with the mother we may never know - that sun in whose nuclear furnace elements that make up our world and ourselves were forged.  We can share the exhilaration of escape and fantastic velocities as our mother sun became a giant super nova and spewed us out to form another sun and several planets, one of which became the home we love, yet abuse.
As Biology is part of History we can marvel at the beginnings of life on this planet some 3.5 billion years ago.  The proliferation and diversity of life that seemingly-simple cells created makes us ponder.  Was this all trial and error, or is there an intelligence in cells that prompts them to adapt to the environment?  The realization dawns that, if we are here now, some essence of our being must have survived for at least  3.5 billion years.  Each and every one of our ancestors had to survive in a world in which the vast majority of creatures born into it do not survive long enough to reproduce. And, in that last instance, we beat millions of other sperm to that one egg!  What winners we are! What survivors!  Having come this far, we cannot drop the ball now.
Because Anthropology is part of history we can follow our evolution, and how we became divided into thousands of different cultures, yet we remain one species.  To understand how we achieved this remarkable feat we must discover just how mobile and lustful we have been.  Endless migrations, endless wars, and sexual habits that continue to be quite unfair to the female of the species need to be assessed.
Because Religion is part of History we can study its evolution among humans from the Neanderthals, 150,000 years ago, with their invention of Animism and the belief that we are composed of two distinct parts:  mortal body and immortal soul, and that everything has a spirit that demands respect.  All other religions can trace their roots back to Animism which, of course, still survives with many tribes and, if we admit it, within ourselves.
We hear, from those who are loathe to expend the time and reflection necessary to learn from History, the lame excuse: Today's problems are so unique that we would be misled by studying a dead past."  Well, how dead is the past?
Artur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) wrote, However much the plays and the masks on the world’s stage may change, it is always the same actors who appear.  We sit together and talk and grow excited, and our eyes glitter and our voices grow shriller: just so did others sit and talk a thousand years ago: it was the same thing, and it was the same people: and so it will be a thousand years hence. The contrivance which prevents us from perceiving this is Time.”
Let us examine a few areas for our introduction.  These, and other areas, have been, and will be,
expanded in other blogs.
ABUSE OF RESOURCES:   So many examples of this will limit our introduction to just one: Mohenjo-daro and Harappa were two of the chief cities of the Indus Valley, Iraq, civilization (2500-1500 BC).  They were well planned with wide streets, sewers, flush toilets and indoor plumbing - and they enjoyed 200 weapons-and-war-free years.  As commerce and affluence increased they had to go further and further afield to get the trees to make the charcoal to fire their smelters. Eventually workmanship declined, lethargy grew, and the society, weakened from within, became the victim of ruthless, and more primitive, invaders.  
AFFLUENCE AND THE MILITARY:  Today's affluent youth disdain the rough life demanded by any efficient military service, and prefer to pay taxes to have less affluent people do the job for them. Nothing new here.  The Romans hired Germans and Huns; the Britons hired Saxons; and Asia Minor rulers hired Turks from Persia.  In each case the mercenaries eventually recognized the weakness in their employers, seized power, and moved in their own people.  Today, many in western states argue that it would be cheaper to pay an annual fee to the United States and let it support the military necessary to maintain world peace, just as the Royal Navy swept the seas of pirates and established the long, mostly beneficial, reign of Pax Britannica.  But the Royal Navy did this at the expense of British taxpayers who maintained parliamentary control.  Athens was a great and early democracy.  It was a friendly, proud, and open society, quick to defend its rights, but not prone to attack others.  In 477 B.C. about 160 nearby city states, to save the cost of independent forces, formed the Delian League in which each state would supply ships, arms, men, and/or money for a "common" fleet and army to be controlled by Athens.  Much later, the British lord and historian, John Acton (1834-1902) warned: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  It was so even with Athens.  It gradually began to use its overwhelming force to curtail, then to destroy, all opposition and Athenian despotism became so harsh and hated that Sparta was helped by former Athenian allies to destroy Athenian power in 404 B.C.   Today, is the US in danger of doing the same?   There are some 7.5 billion humans now living on earth  Since recorded time we have killed in wars and skirmishes an equal number with immense associated destruction and suffering.  Thankfully, today many advanced countries have cut back on military expenditures but the bill still comes to $1.7 trillion annually of which the US spends 37%, more than the next 8 nations combined. It is spending history’s largest amount chasing mainly phantom threats This can lead only to aggression and dominance in a terrifying nuclear age.  Are not many of the threats we face today better dealt with by a no-veto UN better financed, organized,  and staffed? 
CANCER:  Slowly and painfully modern science has learned that smoke causes cancer.  Back in 1273 Edward I in England banned the cooking of meat over open charcoal as the smoke caused illness and death.  He disdained the habit of smoking.  As illness and death was not immediate, when Edward died, the prohibition died to return 700 years later.
CRIME:  Why do some species of birds steal from each other?  Why do wolves respect the property of other wolves?  Why did friendly Polynesians see no crime in stealing from Europeans?  Why could the British trust fierce Gurkhas to guard British property?  Why does the richest nation, the United States, have the highest crime rate?  Annually, millions of crimes cost billions of dollars, not to mention lives.  Why did Britain, where crime had been so prevalent that pickpockets plied their trade at the public hangings of other pickpockets, become a model of civil tranquility?  We could learn from Jeremy Bentham who, in the 1820s, streamlined British laws, making them easy to understand. Trials became fair, swift, and short.  Standard punishments, commensurate with the crimes, were meted out.  Then Sir Robert Peel formed his "bobbies" the first civil police force.  They were trained to be friends of, and helpful to, the law-abiding.
City living and transference of loyalties from families, clans, and farms to the state has increased crime.  Too little or too much affluence also increased crime.  Off the eastern tip of Papua, Dobuans existed on poor, rocky outcroppings and led a miserable life of hate and theft while nearby Trobrians, who enjoyed low-lying and fertile lands, led a happy and crime-free life.  During the Great Depression, when many were starving, newspaper vending machines had open containers for customers to leave their two cents that each edition cost.  This money was seldom stolen.  In the 1980s millionaire stock manipulators defied the law to amass more millions.  Since World War II, millions of refugees, high unemployment, increasing gaps between the rich and poor, and the breakdown of the family have all led to an increase in crime, even in Britain where some police now carry guns.
INFLATION:  Nothing new here either.  The current decline of the purchasing power of our paper and metal currency is a tale that goes back at least as far as 900BC in China with copper and 700BC when King Pheidon of Argus minted silver coins and King Croesus of Lydia (560-546BC) of Lydia minted electrum (gold-silver mix) coins.  This convenient medium of exchange then spread to Greece, Persia, and India.   The early and continued debasement of coinage by replacing gold and silver with cheap metals led to inflation.  Our silver dollars suffered the same fate.  Paper currencies started in the Tang Dynasty, China, 618-907 with Europe following in the 1600s.  Collapses, with all the suffering that entails, ensued in the Holy Roman Empire 300s AD, Italy 1470, Spain 1600s, Bermuda 1616,  Netherlands 1686, South Seas Bubble 1719, French Louisiana 1716, Confederate States 1860, Germany 1919 - and many others.  Current dangers are debt-to-GDP ratios: Japan 230%, Greece 177, Lebanon 134, Italy 132, Jamaica 132, Portugal 130, Ireland 110, USA 102, France 96, UK 89, Canada 87, Germany 75, Brazil 59, Poland 48, China 41, Russia 18.

HISTORY, we can no longer afford to ignore you. Your guidance is essential.                          


Friday, 11 November 2016


    Because we are such slow learners and so forgetful. Throughout recorded history our Elite have used the less fortunate to cause billions of fellow less-fortunate humans to suffer and die to enhance Elite interests. Humans can take only so much of this before rebellion leads to results that benefit no one. Today, the stakes are much, much higher and fraught with dangers that could lead to the demise of our civilization. But, how much of the blame must be accepted by non-elites?
    How democratic is a society where the loser in an election gets the majority of the popular vote but concedes to the winner who tallies the most in something called an electoral college?
So, what dangers lurk in such a divided country? There are armed militia groups that numbered 149 but rose to 1,360 when Obama was elected and have since fallen to 1,096. They are lightly armed and are outnumbered 10-1 by the National Guard.
   But the US gun lobby ensures there are some 310 million individually-owned firearms in the country. From the assassination of President Kennedy in 1968 to 2015, 1,516,863 have been killed by firearms compared to 1,396,733 in all wars from The America Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan.  This distributes the blame.
    For background, we need consider only a few similarities from our more-recent upheavals: Wat Tyler in England in 1381, the French Revolution of 1791-96, WWI 1914-1919, and the current Brexit and US election.
    In 1381, after the sufferings of the 1340 Black Death and the 12-pence poll tax to pay for the war with France, plus the preachings of John Ball, the Bernie Sanders of the time, who sought the end of serfdom, unrest was simmering throughout Britain. The spark came when a tax collector raped Wat Tyler’s daughter in Kent. Wat led a rebellion that attacked London, killing the Lord Chancellor, the Lord High Treasurer, then spread to attacks on the University of Cambridge. Wat was killed in a skirmish with royal troops. King Richard II, only 14, bravely rode in to meet the Tyler insurgents, promising to be their saviour, but this ploy was used to provide time to muster 4,000 other serfs who quelled the rebellion, executed its leaders, while killing 1,500 rebels.  Democracy was postponed.
    Four words “Let them eat cake” express the ignorance of the Elite and are attributed to the wife of Louis XVI, Austrian Marie-Antoinette, who was the Hillary Clinton of the French Revolution and attacked by the Donald Trumps of the day. She never spoke these words. She supported charities and showed concern for the poor. But, she was a powerful and extravagant women resented by the male chauvinists. Resentment of the status quo, including the attempt to raise 300,000 men to fight Austria, led to a reign of terror that took over 40,000 lives including Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVI, several notable scientists, and other elites. Finally, the revolution turned on itself, sending leaders like Danton and Robespierre to the guillotine. The slogan “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” had to be postponed until after Napoleon left the stage.
    In the horrendous slaughter of the totally-unnecessary Great War (WWI), German troops, totally fed up with fighting the British in the mud of Belgium, initiated truces culminating in the Christmas 1914 emergence of unarmed German troops from their trenches thus encouraging the British to do the same. A football game, comraderie, exchange of gifts and uniform parts spread along the line until 100,000 men were involved. Subsequently other truces occurred on the Western front as well as the Eastern Front between Austrians and Russians. There was great hope by the men, condemned to fighting the war, that it could end, but the media back home largely ignored this peace attempt. The brass, as well as young Charles de Gaulle, considered it treason so ordered artillery barrages to forestall peace. The slaughter and bitterness escalated.
    Another WWI fact we need to remember: Only 4 nations emerged from WWI as creditor nations: the UK was owed the most, followed by the US, Canada, and Argentina. The UK and Canada argued debts had to be cancelled. Britain had prospered by forgiving debts after the Napoleonic wars. US Republicans shunned Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points and his League of Nations to bring Germany back into the family of Nations. They refused the coal the UK and France offered to pay off what they owed the US. US Republicans forced them to put the screws on Germany, no more guilty of starting the war than the others, stripping it of its assets in reparations which created a severe depression and the complete destruction of its currency thus paving the way for the rise of Hitler. It can be argued that Republicans should be blamed for WWII.
    The Elite considered Brexit to be so economically and politically unwise that it failed to address legitimate  grievances that Brussels had become too autocratic and bureaucratic thus harming national aspirations. It was  a shock to the world when the voters actually forced it into law that will harm everyone. Successful voters are now getting many thorns among their roses.
    All of these preambles fade into irrelevance when compared to today’s problems and possible repercussions of the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States which, at the moment, is the world’s top dog with the world’s largest military and history’s largest interference in other countries. Its frightening nuclear capability that could destroy our civilization many times over is promised even further enlargement, forcing others into trying to catch up even though economically disastrous. The bitterness of the recent election reveals the US is too large and too dangerous to allow this dominance to continue. Even so, over-population, greed, and human-created global warming can surpass the threat of nuclear exterminations.
    Putin and Netanyahu were among the first to express joy at the victory of Trump whose conciliatory post-election words offer a glimmer of compromise and empathy. A Vladimir-Benjamin-Donald love fest may be good for world peace but is it acceptable to Syrians, Palestinians, or to an Iran that we have harmed far more than it has ever harmed us?
    The stark reality of the Oval Office can be quite sobering but is it enough to soften Trump’s boasted claims of disdain for the environment, non-US peoples and interests, women, other Republicans, immigrants, truth, the supreme court, his own workers and investors, and so on?  His “Making America Great Again” includes giving the Military-Industrial complex all it wants is considerably more hawkish that what we consider Hillary to be. And, who pays for it when Trump promises massive tax cuts for the wealthy?  And who dictates US foreign policy when munition firms can make sinful profits?
    But, are we not all to blame for the malaise that now infects us? Stand on any street corner in any city. The endless stream of pollution-emitting vehicles implies widespread prosperity. Jump into these cars and you will choke on stress and anxiety as occupants struggle to cope with a lifestyle far removed from their lengthy tribal backgrounds. Few today know that, when European settlers were stealing the Americas, thousands of them chose to abandon European lifestyles and join tribal groups as friendlier and less stressful.
    And, we have to stop blaming others when the fault lies with us. Canada delayed, as long as it could, offered-independence from Britain because Ottawa politicians benefited as long as they could blame London when necessary but unpopular legislation had to be passed.
    Perhaps we have no other workable choice but to continue on as though nothing is amiss. After all, our  relatively-immortal atoms, 40 trillion bacterial and 30 trillion human cells according to 2016 research, have no choice as to when they enter or leave this planet. Yet, for the sake of what we call a conscience, is it not imperative that each of us takes the time to glean a fraction of the enormous Truths out there in order to share empathy with other living things?  We are all in the same leaky boat.
    We have given Donald Trump enormous responsibilities and he does need guidance from you and me. Hillary and Barrack are being quite helpful but sorely need your help and mine (and Bernie’s) to transform Donald into something we can be proud of. Our survival is at stake. So let us improve Rudyard Kipling’s advice: 

Take up the Human burden -
The savage wars of peace
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when you goal is nearest 
The end for others sought,
 Prevent sloth and human Folly
 Bringing all your hopes to nought.

Sunday, 23 October 2016


    This blog is contributed by my daughter, Barbara Jagoda, a retired school teacher living on her 44 acre ranch with her horses. Over the years she has  rescued 9 horses either from  auctions where the horse was bound for slaughter, sanctuaries, or from private facilities where horses were found to be emancipated and starving.  
    The Management and mismanagement of our American wild horses and burros has  concerned and disturbed me ever since the mid 1950’s when a girlfriend and I heard the story of Wild Horse Annie. On her way to work near Reno, Nevada, Annie noticed a  horse trailer leaving a trail of blood on the road, Being concerned, she followed the truck until it stopped at a slaughterhouse, and discovered to her horror a load  of terrified wild horses so crammed together that one of them had been trampled to death on the floor of the trailer. My girlfriend and I were appalled and instantly became followers and fans of Wild Horse Annie. 
    In today’s world of multiple problems and injustices, the issues surrounding wild horses may seem insignificant to some.  However, at the heart of this matter lies the basic principles of respect and responsibility that we as earth’s most intelligent life form should demonstrate and honor in preserving the multitude of amazing creatures and features that our planet so generously affords. 
    It has been argued that because wild horses and burros are not native to North America, they should not have the same rights and protections as native species. On the other hand, a large part of our western heritage and attractiveness is due to the aura surrounding these animals. Like the bison, wild horses and burros are considered American icons. 
    Since it’s inception in 1946, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) has been the overseer of our western lands and resources. Harry Truman actually created the BLM at that time by merging the General Land Office and the Grazing Service.  Wild horses were generally considered pests so they were legally hunted in any manner available including from four wheeled vehicles and from aircraft. When wild horse numbers decreased dramatically, public outcry accounted for a 1959 act called the Wild Horse Annie Act that forbade this practice. Annie and the public were not satisfied that this protected the wild horse enough, and in 1971 succeeded in getting the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burro Act passed which was  designed to manage, protect and control these herds. Legislation included in this act also gave BLM authority to remove excess wild horses from the range in order to sustain the health and productivity of public lands. To accomplish this, the BLM established an “AML”(Appropriate Management Level) for each state and management area. 
     Today the  BLM manages 247.3 million acres of which ranchers lease 155 million acres.  There are 31.6 million acres of  wild-horse-herd areas of which the BLM supervises 26.9 m. acres. In 1971 wild-horse-herd area was 53.8 m. acres and the BLM supervised 42.4 m. acres, so there has been a dramatic drop in wild horse herd acreage.  As of August, 2016, the wild horse and burro (wild h&b) population was estimated to be 67,027 animals. The AML was estimated by the BLM to be 26,715 wild h&b. These facts supported the BLM’s position of helicopter round-ups to remove excess wild horses and burros. Records show that in the 4 years  from 2012 until 2015, 18,107 wild h&b were removed by BLM round-ups.  As of August, 2016, the total number of wild h&b held in holding corrals, off-range pastures and Eco-sanctuaries was 45,661 animals. In 2015 alone, the cost for maintaining these wild h&b  was estimated to be $49,000,000.  Another estimate  shows that it costs $50,000. to hold each horse for the rest of it’s lifetime. This is all paid for by tax-payer dollars. 
    The BLM continually pushes for  more round-ups. They are pressured by their job description which is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Pressure also comes from ranchers who hold nearly 18,000 permits and leases for livestock grazing, from oil, gas, mining, and timber interests (there are 63,000 oil and gas wells on BLM public lands), by wind farms eager to capitalize on the new renewable energy push, by hunters wanting more land opened up to hunt, by groups and individuals clamoring for more land to hike, ski, 4 wheel, boat, and bike on, and the list goes on. 
      Just last month, the BLM advisory board passed an emergency resolution to euthanize  45,000 wild horses that were in BLM holding pens. This plan was  to be presented to Congress when  the Cloud Foundation and the AWHPC (American Wild Horse and Burro Campaign) caught wind of it and  filed a lawsuit to stop the BLM from proceeding with such an atrocity.
     In recent years, the work of the BLM has  become more transparent due to the diligent work of wild horse preservation groups. In the past, the BLM reigned supreme and many wild horse roundups showed little compassion for the welfare of the wild horse. In recent years, the BLM wild horse round-ups have been monitored, photographed, and reported to the public. Videos of round-ups taking place in the heat of summer months have shown dead foals and old or injured mares lying exhausted and left behind to die after miles and miles of relentless helicopter harassment and herding. Stallions and mares have been photographed severely injured trying to escape dangerous and/or crowded enclosures. Terrified horses have been shown with heads hanging and sides heaving and dripping with sweat. 
    This past January, the BLM proposed horrendous, barbaric sterilization experiments on captured wild mares at a BLM Wild Horse Corral Facility in Hines, Oregon. The experiment involved “ovariectomy via colpotomy”, an extremely dangerous surgical procedure in which a veterinarian makes an incision in a mare’s vagina, inserts his arm into the vaginal cavity, manually locates the ovaries and RIPS THEM OUT using an “eraseur”, a rod-like device with a chain on the end. The mare is then released to heal on her own in spite of 4-7 days of post-surgical care known to be required. Mares that do not die from the acute trauma of the procedure would most surely die from post surgery infection.  
      Because of the above events and much more, wild horse preservation groups have gained a lot of public support.  A recently planned round-up for this past October 18th of 500 horses from the Checkerboard in western Wyoming was stopped in it’s tracks when  AWHPC efforts resulted in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that  the BLM broke  2 federal laws when it rounded up horses from the Wyoming Checkerboard in 2014, which also made the 2016 round-up illegal. The Cloud Foundation and the AWHPC also filed successful lawsuits to halt the barbaric sterilization experiments reported above and the euthanizing of the 45,000 horses held in BLM holding pens discussed earlier in this blog.   
      Wild horses herds  left unchecked, can double their population every 4 years. There is only so much land and so much grass and water. The land must support other species also. The eventual crisis is clear and  inevitable: malnourished horses and eventually death by starvation or lack of water. How can a rapidly  increasing  wild horse population be humanely and wisely  monitored to stay in balance with the resources of the land?  BLM round-ups are far too cruel and result in captured horses penned up in holding pens which are completely foreign to these wild, free roaming, creatures. Also, the expense of maintaining these horses is  breaking budget limits. 
      One of the answers has been to offer wild horses up for adoption, but this too has it’s flaws. Only a small portion of horse lovers or possible adopters know how to deal with a wild horse. Also, in spite of regulations supposedly set in place to prevent adopted horses being sold for slaughter, in 2015 Tom Davis, a livestock dealer, bought 1,700 wild horses from the BLM and sold them for slaughter in Mexico. The worst of crimes against our federally protected wild horses had just occurred. Not only were these poor creatures slaughtered, but they endured horrific transportation ordeals into a country that has little respect for animals bound for slaughter. How many more tragedies like this occur that we never learn about?  
     Eco-sanctuaries intent upon offering a safe haven for wild horses have provided a home for some of the BLM horses. The Deerwood Wild Horse Sanctuary covering 4,700 acres of private ranch land west of Laramie is actually the first BLM certified sanctuary. This beautiful ranch supports a herd of 300 wild horses. The BLM, to it’s credit,  has actively  involved selected  ranchers with  providing large private-protected grazing areas for wild horses. Many ranchers are quite sympathetic to the plight of wild horses and this is publicized too little, I believe. 
    For various reasons, some Eco-sanctuaries have not been as successful.  Madeleine Pickens (Iraqi by birth and ex-wife of  Boone Pickens who was  a wild horse advocate himself and also owner of champion racehorse, Cigar) has invested millions of dollars and a great deal of time and effort, attempting to provide a protected haven for the surplus of wild horses that the BLM claims over-taxes the range and it’s holding pens. With the initial blessing of the BLM, Madeleine purchased 2 large ranches only to be told that they were not acceptable. She then purchased more ranch land and proceeded to implement all of the requirements the BLM laid out for her. She also built the very deluxe and popular tourist attraction, Mustang Monument, which offered beautiful,  furnished Teepees and wild horse safaris in an effort to help her herds become self sufficient and literally pay for their keep. It was a plan that would save tax-payers million of dollars and alleviate the BLM of many of it’s problems. However, the BLM  has thwarted her at every turn. They have  not allowed her to adopt a single wild horse from their lands or pens. The most terrible of  tragedies occurred this year when a  criminal trespass of her Spruce Mountain Ranch in Elko County, Nevada, saw a number of wild  horses Madeleine had rescued from slaughter houses die a slow and agonizing death from lack of water. Trespassers had cut her fences and turned off, or destroyed, all water sources.  
     The ISPMP (International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros) in South Dakota was founded in 1960  by Wild Horse Annie (Velma Johnston) and was home to 650 wild horses. It has just been charged with claims of 30 wild horses enduring unthinkable-tragic deaths from starvation.  Many more wild horses were found to be severely suffering from neglect.  What Wild Horse Annie had founded as a safe haven for wild horses became after her death an uncontrolled, free-breeding, operation that resulted in too many horses and not enough money to feed them. Sometimes even the best of intentions need monitoring.
     PZP (porcine zona pellucida) is a vaccine that  was developed to prevent pregnancy in mares for approximately one year. Although this seems like a viable option for  controlling wild horse populations, the problem  is that it is a vaccine.  How do you vaccinate a population that is wild  and roams over an extensive area?  More round-ups?  Although catch pens using grain or hay as bait have been suggested, how many mares could be caught up?  If this needs to be a yearly process, the magnitude of the operation and the  trauma to wild horse herds, the locating and catching enough wild horses, the man hours and expense required etc all seem too formidable.        
    There doesn’t‘ appear to be any easy fix. There is only so much land and so much grass and water. Cattle are allocated 5 times the public grazing lands compared to wild horses and ranchers pay a mere $1.69 per cow-calf unit per month.  Should ranchers deserve less land and/or pay more?    Predators are nature’s way of population control, but there aren’t any. Man has determined that. Why not bring wolves back and restrict hunting on cougars so at least a partial balance of nature could be re-instated? The BLM needs an overhaul, new blood with environmentally friendly ideas, and more transparency. They have meeting after meeting only to try the same approach over and over again. What they say in public doesn’t seem to match what they do in private. Why are they really opposed to Madeleine’s proposal and what involvement does the county and ranchers have in the BLM’s stance?  Would Madeleine’s  proposed sanctuary  just postpone the inevitable starvation problem if uncontrolled breeding is allowed? We definitely need more monitoring of Eco-sanctuaries etc to make sure Wild Horse Annie’s good intentions don’t go astray. 
      We have to continue to  explore new avenues  and options and discuss the pros and cons of each. We also need to be realistic. There are limitations. There is only so much land, only so many resources. (Does this sound like an issue we humans also face?)   Can we attain a balance and if so, how?  We need open minds.  Communication lines need to be encouraged and be respectful  among all  wild horse factions. No easy task to be sure.  But, perhaps in trying, we can be an example  of co-operation and positive direction, something that is much needed these days. 

Friday, 14 October 2016


    I really cannot blame you for skipping the U.S. presidential debates, but you left it for Amy Goodman to donate a few hours of her PBS “Democracy Now” program to allow Jill Stein of the Green party to air good views on vital issues that were overlooked by the moderators and debaters who connived to bar debating rights from smaller parties.  But, Truth, you have been goofing off far too much when we need you desperately.  And there is such a gnawing sense of urgency.  The future beckons with so much promise while threatening with so much danger.  You are forcing me to purchase the works of scores of honest dissidents, a few of whom I will list at the end of this blog.
The dangers, that have always been with us, seem to have become uncontrollable: over-population, global warming, water, war profiteers, prejudices, inequalities, gun proliferation, debt, penal systems, energy needs, mobility costs, environmental abuses, greed, widespread fraud, educational inadequacies - the list is endless.
The promises of human ingenuity are also endless, provided we use extreme care in choosing the paths we take as they can easily conceal unknown fatal traps.  Truth, is your absence due to the fact you can not breath as you are engulfed in a tsunamis of lies?
Today, we have new human gods among us capable not only of building robots in our human image but of imparting to their individual, human-made, brains all the data we have collected since the invention of writing, 5,200 years ago.  This could easily ensure our own extinction, as Stephen Hawking warns.  Do we have adequate knowledge and ability to build in safeguards?  Whatever gods, or forces, built us humans did an amazingly good, and an amazingly bad, job.  Are we humans any better at being gods?  We could be, but?
Since Homo sapiens evolved 200,000 years ago (ya) in Africa, spread to Asia 100,000 ya and Europe 60,000 ya, groups of humans have organized themselves into co-operative associations to survive in both beneficial and harsh environments.  This has allowed biological and cultural evolution not to be too much out of step.  Emerging from the hunting and gathering economy to sedentary farming is a mere 12,000 years old, so cultural changes have leaped well ahead of biological catch-ups.   The rapid growth of villages, towns, cities, nations, and alliances have resulted in an ever-growing parasitic human element that had been well contained in tribal associations where the survival of the group demanded the contributions and empathy of each member.  In the Americas, thousands of European settlers chose to flee their European cultures to be absorbed into tribes.  Our current generation suffers from an alarming increase in fraud among governments, businesses, and individuals.
We, in what we call the West, or Free World, are fortunate in that investigative reporting and dissidents are  allowed to exist and are relatively free of persecution.  But our complicated world does demand a fair knowledge of history and current world affairs in order to sort out what the truth is and who reveals, and protects, it best.   In spite of my 2,400 books and another hundred on my Kindle,  all dealing with science or world affairs, I consider myself still a novice, welcoming free discussions and realizing I would learn nothing if everyone agreed with me.  I get frequent Jehovah Witness callers and less-frequent Mormons.  I invite them in, read their literature, and seek discussions, offering some of my own literature, hoping to encourage thinking.  They are all pleasant people and some couples have made repeated visits, but only once did I get other than chapter and verse from the bibles they carried or contained on their i-pads.  One day a middle-aged woman arrived with her mother.  Well into their arguments I mentioned the larger, and more peaceful,  period of history when we had  female gods, explaining a few of them.  As they were leaving the mother said to her daughter, “I like this guy.”
I live in a pleasant area of Colorado Springs inhabited mainly by military, business, and government retirees, quite content with their generous pensions and no need to worry about the less fortunate.  During the lengthy run-up to the 2004 election, Republican signs dominated the area, so I installed two Obama signs on my large corner lot.  In the morning I learned just how generous Republicans are.  They gave me a free year’s supply of toilet paper.  All I had to do was unwind it all from the numerous trees that grace the yard.  I had to replace my uprooted Obama signs five times. Obama did win so, maybe, my persistence helped a little.  But my desire for informative, peaceful discussions took a beating.  I was frightened to discover that several of my likable neighbours do not believe in evolution or man-made global warming and have little in-depth knowledge of the outside world.  Today, they admit their dislike of Donald Trump but will vote for him anyway, thus risking 
endless wars and extinction.  This city has a large military presence, so when I stayed after reaching the then-compulsory retirement age of 49 from a rich and varied RCAF career to accept a teaching career, I believed I would have a wealth of discussions because many of my students had accompanied their parents on world-wide assignments.  While I did have many top-notch students who did elicit me donating much overtime work, I had far too many who benefited little from their overseas tours as they remained on base in US housing, learning nothing outside their U.S. school curriculum.   So, here are 52 of the many books that have helped me:
Allawi, Ali: “The Crisis of Islamic Civilization”, 2009, 304 pages.
Al Aswany, Alaa: “On the State of Egypt”, 2011, 192 pages.
Bacevitch, Andrew: “The Limits of Power - End of American Exceptionalism”, 2008, 209 pages.
Baldwin & Heartson: “Ukraine -ZBIG’s Grand Chess Board - How the West Was Checkmated”.
Black, William: The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, 2005, 329 pages.  
Blum, William: “America’s Deadliest Export - Democracy”, 2013, 284 pages.
Bobbit, Philip: “Terror and Consent - Wars for the 21st Century”, 2008, 674 pages
Carter, Jimmy: “Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid”, 2007, 264 pages, “We Can Have Peace in the Middle East”,     2009, 229 pages.  
Chatterjee, Pratap: “Haliburton’s Army”, 2009, 284 pages
Chomsky, Noam: “Hegemony or Survival?”, 2003, “The Essential Chomsky”, 2008, 515 pages,  “Gaza in     Crisis”, 2010“, “Profit Over People”, 2011, “Was  There an Alternative?”, 2011, 177 pages, “Western       Terrorism”, 2013, “Who Rules the World?”, 2016. 
Eland, Ivan: “The Empire Has No Clothes - US foreign policy”, 2008, 264 pages.
Erlich, Reese: “The Iran Agenda”, 2007, 222 pages.
Feinstein, Andrew: “Global arms trade”, 2011, 673 pages.  
Ferguson, Charles: “Predator Nation  - Corporate and Political Corruption”, 2012, 369 pages.
Franken, Al: “The Truth”, 2005, 336 pages.
Fry, Douglas: “Beyond War”, 2007, 331 pages.
Gerges, Fawaz: “Obama and the Middle East”, 2012, 291 pages.
Greenspan, Alan: “The Age of Turbulence”, 2007, 531 pages.
Harding, Luke: “The Snowden Files”, 2014,
Hiro, Dilip: “After Empire - Birth of a Multipolar World”, 2010, 348 pages.
Junger, Sebastian:   “Tribe” 2016, 168 pages.
Khalidi, Rashid: “Brokers of Deceit”, 2013
Klein,: Naomi, “Shock Doctrine”    “This Changes Everything”, 2014
Leamer, Laurence: “The Price of Justice - A True Story of Greed and Corruption”, 2013, 433 pages.
McQuaig, Linda: “It’s the Crude, Dude”,    “Holding the Bully’s Coat”, 2007, 296 pages 
Moore, Mike: “Twilight War - The Folly of US Space Dominance”, 2008,  390 pages. 
Nasrallah, “Sayyed Hassan: “Voice of Hezbollah”, 2007, 420 pages.
Nikiforuk, Andrew: “Tar Sands - Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent”, 2010, 249 pages.
Parsi, Trita: “Single Role of the Dice - Iran”, 2012.  284 pages.
Perry, Mark: “Talking to Terrorists”, 2010, 251 pages.
Petras, James: “The Power of Israel in the United States”, 2007, 191 pages.
Rashid, Ahmed: Taliban, 2001, 274 pages, “Descent into Chaos”, 2008, 484 pages.
Rosen, Nir: “The Triumph of the Martrys - Occupied Iraq”, 2006, 272 pages.
Rosenberg, Elliott, “But, Were They Good For The Jews?”, 1997, 309 pages.
Scahill, Jeremy: “Blackwater”, 2007, 550 pages, “Dirty Wars”, 2013, 673 pages.
Stone, Merlin: “When God was a Woman”,   1976, 265 pages.
Suskind, Ron: “The Way of the World”,  2008, 415 pages.
Suzuki, David: “Everything Under The Sun”, 2012, 282 pages.
Vidal, Gore: “Imperial America”, 2004, 181 pages.
Wiss, Ray: “A Line in the Sand - Canadians in Kandahar”, 2010, 401 pages.
Woodward, Bob: “Bush at War”, 2002, 377 pages.

Friday, 9 September 2016


    Is not racial purity a misused myth?  You and I share such an astounding mix that it keeps us one species that should abound with empathy for each other as we are all one.
    Me?  After a genealogical search lasting 60 years I find I am 3% Neanderthal, then with so many other genetic donations that the only true nationality I can call myself is “human”.
    Hold on!  Are there not many remote groups spared contact?  What about the Inuit in the remote Canadian Arctic?  Well, I did spend several years there, so know why so many Inuit are now travelling to Scotland to trace their genealogy.   The Hudson Bay Company hired a lot of Scots to man their trading posts throughout the Arctic.  These Scots were most generous in leaving genetic donations.  No different from other males throughout history, but theirs was seeking retreat from loneliness.  
    When armies and/or people move they live off the country.  Foraging details keep busy scouring  the countryside for livestock and stored foods. Many local families lose everything including their lives;  sometimes only a quota is demanded.  Women are raped as spoils of war.  Terrified villagers may offer  their women to placate the foreigners in the hope that they will move on quickly without inflicting more  damage.  In one way or another migrating groups leave a long and repeated trail of genetic donations. When invaders conquer an area they usually have laws against marrying conquered women, at least for the first generation or two.  There were few, if any, laws against using conquered women as slaves and concubines.  Recently, two world wars and numerous minor conflicts stirred our genetic mix much more.
    Wide-ranging Europeans and their settlers have contributed a major impact but so have others, like the Bantu who originated in Nigeria, then spread all over Africa south of the Sahara, impregnating as they went.  They bumped into those Semites fleeing the increasing sands of the Arabian peninsula and who were doing the same.  Both slaughter and gene mixing followed while the Bantu, now a new mix, flowed southward, still impregnating, but met the Dutch then the British so genes became even more mixed.
And, we cannot overlook the Indonesians who absorbed other islands; the Egyptians, Nubians, Ethiopians, and Sudanese in their numerous campaigns; mobile Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, and so many others.
So it was, and so it continues to expose with ridicule those who claim racial purity. racial superiority, or accept racial inferiority.  As the subject is too vast for a mere blog, let me concentrate on Europe: 
ANGLES, SAXONS, JUTES:   After the 5th century recall of Roman legions to defend Rome, the Britons(who were then a Celtic-Roman mix) had problems containing raids from the Scotti in Ireland and the Picts in Scotland.  A British prince recruited help from Germanic warriors who served well until they realized what a pleasant land this Britain was. Their successful revolt against their employer permitted a large influx of new peoples: the Jutes from north Denmark, the Angles from south Denmark, and the Saxons from NW Germany.  These  groups interbred with each other and with Britons.  As things were getting nicely mixed up, the Vikings invaded, occupying most of the British Isles. Then came the Normans in 1066.  Today, Jamaicans, Gurkhas, Pakistani, Ugandans, Syrians, and many more are introducing new genes.  So, what is a “Brit”?  
ARYANS:   Aryan is a sanskrit word meaning "noble".  It also applies to a family of Indo-European languages.  To the short and dark Dravidians of India, the Aryans were a tall, blonde people who had a Caspian Sea area origin.  Between 1500 and 1200 B.C. they swept into India, destroying the Indus Valley civilization.  Their songs (vedas) boast of warrior kings sweeping down on unsuspecting peoples and vanquishing them.   The Nazis built the myth of the Aryan being the stock of the pure German.  Applicants for elite Nazi units had to prove Aryan ancestry.  It is said that the only thing pure about 20th-century Aryans was the bull that Herr Goebels used to promote the idea.
CELTS:  The Celts were the descendants of the Kurgans, nomadic hunters and warriors who, about 2,400 BC, subdued a more civilized people north of the Black Sea and the Caucasus. They learned well from the conquered, and organized themselves to such an extent that in 2,000 B.C. they were able to sweep all the way to Spain and Britain.   They brought a common language to most of Europe.     The Kurgans who settled Bohemia became the Celts while those who remained in Russia became the Scythians.  Both groups retained the belief that they evolved from animals, and both used horses and 2-man war-chariots.  Greek geographers gave them the name "Keltoi" before 500 B.C.  About 400 BC, Celtic tribes (BORI, SENONES, INSUBRES, LINGONES) invaded Italy, sacking Rome in 390 BC, and raiding Sicily.  In 279 B.C. Celts sacked Delphi and other Greek cities.  From 278 to 230 BC they pillaged Asia Minor.  Romans rebounded and, from 192 to 58 BC took over Celtic Gaul (France).  In 58 BC Julius Caesar annexed all of it. In 1800 Napoleon regained  the borders assigned Gaul by Caesar).  About 100 BC, German Celtic tribes were forced west of the Rhine by Teutons who were Celts specialized in mixed farming and cattle raising.  Celts were tall, fair, muscular, hospitable, fond of feasting, drinking, and fighting.  Drinking cups were often made from the skulls of enemies. Women in battle were often more ferocious than men.  Their dislike of prolonged battles was a disadvantage against disciplined Romans.
The Celts were too vibrant, too individualistic, and too dominant to advance far beyond the tribal stage.  For instance, Celtic Ireland has never been united.  The ancient Celtic Britons who opposed the Romans were ferocious but poorly disciplined.   Both sexes often went into battle in the nude, using a blue dye, called woad, to create hideous designs, along with loud shouting, to terrify the enemy.  Much later, Oxford students wrote the poem, “Woad”, sung to the tune of “Men of Harlech”. (See Blog 113 of 01 Jan 2015).
DORIONS: Dorions inhabited the Danube basin prior to 1200 BC.  They were the uncivilized relatives of the ARCHAEANS who had moved into Greece around 1500 BC.  Dorians imported modern weapons from the Archaeans who were willing to sell their future for immediate profit. Dorions learned to use them well. 
Between 1200 and 1000 BC Danube weather turned colder and wetter, ruining crops, so migrations were vast.  Dorions swept into Italy and the Balkans.  Greek armies were weakened by the Trojan Wars, enabling the Dorions to so destroy the Greek civilization that even writing became a lost art.        The vast number of illegitimate children produced were not treated as equals so their mothers taught the old ways but it still took 300 years for the old Greek culture to emerge, this time stronger and led to the Homer age.
FRANKS: In the 200s Germanic tribal remnants formed the Franks east of the central Rhine.  They then broke into SALIANS, RIPUARIANS, and HESSIANS (CHATTI).   They allied with the ALAMANNI to colonize Belgium and France from 250 to 650, replacing Latin and Christianity with German and paganism.  In 481 CLOVIS inherited the Salian throne, and won control of all Franks by assassinating the other kings.  He re-established Christianity to please his wife. His Merovian dynasty followed; then the Carolingians under Charlemagne extended Frankish control over most Germans. 
GOTHS, VANDALS, CEPIDAE: These Germanic tribes migrated from Sweden to northern Germany about 100 BC, while CIMBRI and TEUTONIC Germans invaded southern Gaul and northern Italy to be defeated by Marius of Rome in 120 BC. In 98 AD the Roman historian, Tacitus, described in “Germania” Germanic people including: Chatti, Frisii (Frisians), Cherusci, Suebi (Schwaben), Semnones, Angles, Hermunduri, Marcomanni, Bastarnae, Goths, Cepidae, Vandals, Suiones, Sitones, and Langobardi (Lombardy).  Germans, within the Roman Empire, used the term “Germani, those outside “Diutisc” which became Deutsch.  The Saxons, Burgundians, and Franks became important after the time of Tacitus.  
GOTHS and HUNS: The Goths took over northern Germany and Poland from their fellow Scandinavians, the Vandals, about the time of Christ.  By 275 they had forced the Romans out of Dacia, to become the Romanian Goths - or VISIGOTHS - (gallant people).  The Goths who captured the Ukraine became the OSTROGOTHS (eastern people).  In turn the Goths were subdued and scattered by the HUNS, except for the Crimean Ostrogoths who retained their identity through the Middle Ages.  The Romans, unable to stop the hordes of uncouth Huns, sweeping in from east of the Volga River, tried to bribe them with up to 2,100 pounds of gold per year.  The Huns were primitive pastoral people, but excellent horsemen and archers.  Bribes made them wealthy, and they extended their sway to Burgundy.  They then revolted against Rome, took the Balkans, and Attila sacked Rome in 410.  The  Huns forced conquered men into military service, allowing a few to attain high rank.   In 451 revolts of conquered people weakened Attila, and his numerous sons quarrelled, dividing his empire and leaving the Huns no significant role in future history (the term "Hun" was used in two world wars as a derogatory term for Germans).  When the Romans and Huns had exhausted themselves, Theodoric the Ostrogoth, became King of Italy in 493.  Numerous battles and the persecution of Arian Christians caused Ostrogoth decline in Italy by 554.  Elsewhere the Visigoths had taken over large parts of France and Spain until defeated by Clovis In 507.   They retained southern Spain.  Quarrels between the Arian and Athanasian versions of Christianity and massacres by the victorious Aryans weakened the divided Visigoths who became easy prey for the MUSLIMS who invaded Spain in 711.
HELVETII: These Celts, who once inhabited a large area of central Europe, were confined to Switzerland by the Vandals in the first century BC.  “Helvetia” is still used on Swiss coins and stamps so as not to slight the French, Italians, Germans, and Romanesques who make up modern Swiss, Suisse, Svizzera, or Schweizerische.
MAGYARS: Mother Russia was the birthplace of yet another race - the Magyars who founded Hungary.   They were a group of tribes living between the Volga and the Urals and were related linguistically to the Finns and Turks.  In the 400's they were forced west, and set up a federation of the Ten Arrows ("On-Ogur" from which "Hungary" is derived) near the mouth of the Don River.              Living here for 400 years they adopted many new Turkish words into their Ugric language.  In the 800's they were again forced to move west, and conquered the Danube basin from the Huns and Avars.  Until 907 Magyars repeatedly invaded Italy, France, Germany, and the Balkans for booty, women, and slaves.  They were forced to settle down on the plains of Hungary by the German King Otto I who defeated them at Lechfeld  in 955.  They were still a barrier between Slavic Poles and Czechs and the Slavic Serbs and Croats.
MONGOLS: From 1218 to 1500, Mongols, excellent horsemen and archers, organized by Genghis Khan, starting with one small settlement, and followed by Kublai Khan and Tamerlane, carved out an empire in Asia and Europe surpassed in area only by the British Empire.  Communications were maintained by 200,000 horses and messengers who averaged 250 miles per day.  They cruelly exterminated people who would not join them.  They greatly influenced Russian culture and history.        They tried in 1271 and 1281, but failed, to invade Japan.  They forced the Chinese to wear pigtails as a sign of subservience.   The Great Khan had 500 wives and countless concubines stationed to serve him wherever he went from Karikorum in Mongolia to Vienna which was spared in 1242 by the death of the Khan and the race of the generals back to Karakorum to choose a successor.  In 1462 Ivan the Great ended Mongol domination in Moscow and began the long expansion of the Muscovite empire.
PICTS and SCOTTI: There were at least five waves of migration into Scotland and Ireland between 4000 and 500 B.C.  Vigorous raids on Roman Britain by the Picts of Scotland prompted the building of Hadrian's Wall.  In 138 Antonius Pius built a new wall further north between the Clyde and the Firth of Forth.  In 200 the Picts breached this and by 367 had broken through Hadrian's Wall.   After the departure of Roman legions, Angles fought the Picts and intermingled the two peoples.  About 550 the Scotti of Ireland migrated to Scotland bringing their name, their bagpipes (which had originated in Scythia), and their Christianity (that they owed to Saint Patrick, a Romanized Briton who had been captured in a raid, had been made a slave, had escaped to become a bishop, and had returned to convert the Scotti in Ireland).  After 300 years of turmoil in Scotland the Picts and Scotti merged.  In 597 fresh Irish monks joined Picts-Scotti monks in Northumbria, England, to greet Saint Augustine and 40 monks sent from Rome by Pope Gregory. They all set out to convert the Saxons and then to spread throughout northern Europe, creating a flowering of learning.
SARACENS: These Arabs raided longer but did less damage than the Vikings.  At the Battle of Tours in 732, Charles Martel (the Hammer) stopped the Saracen advance into France.   The Saracens, however, continued to plunder the coast of Italy and southern France from Carthage.    They conquered Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Crete.   They destroyed the monastery of Monte Cassino and, in 847, sacked Saint Peter's in Rome. It took the combined efforts of Byzantium, Pisa, Genoa, and Normandy to open, in the late eleventh century, the entire Mediterranean once more to Christian trade.
BALTS and SLAVS: About 2,500 B.C. the Balts and Slavs, of the same linguistic stock, migrated out of Asia into Europe.  Drifting apart they began to differentiate about 1,000 B.C., with the Balts moving towards the Baltic Sea.  The Slavic culture (Lusatian) grew along the Dneiper, Vistula, and Oder rivers. These areas saw incursions of Celts, Goths, Cepidae, Rugii, Vandals, and Burgundians. The Slavs were dominant for a while after the collapse of the Huns in 455, and formed the Czech and Moravian states which were soon run  over by AVARS, Franks, and Magyars.  The westernmost state was on the Elbe River. It fell victim to the German Drang nach Osten (March to the East) that started in the 1100's and persisted through Hitler to 1945.  Slavic states have included: Poland, Bulgaria, Servia (Serbia), Croatia, Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Slovakia, Russia, and Slovenia.
VANDALS:  These Swedes conquered northern Germany, but were forced south by other Swedes, those Goths, so they seized Silesia, and clashed with the Romans.  Some Vandals, captured by the Romans, were settled in Britain.  Pursued by the Huns, the Vandals ravaged Gaul, 406-409, tried to invade Britain, but found the Pyrenees easier than the English Channel, so for 20 years they occupied all but eastern Spain.
When Rome set out to reconquer Spain, Count Bonifacius tried to thwart this by inviting the Vandal King Gaiseric to join him against Rome.  Some 80,000 Vandals agreed and crossed to North Africa where they caused great devastation as they moved east through Roman Africa.  They then turned on Bonifacius, defeated him, and moved on to defeat a combined force from the western and eastern Roman Empires.  They signed a treaty of peace, but broke it when they decided to sack Carthage.       Flushed with victory, they invaded Sicily, then went on to sack Rome, systematically carting off works  of art and all pretty and/or important women.  Gaiseric defeated two major Roman attempts to overthrow him, and he died undefeated in 477.  In Spain the Vandals had been converted to Arian Christianity, so they persecuted Catholic Christians in Italy.  After 500 the Vandals grew less warlike and more tolerant.  In 533 a coup d'etat among the Vandals permitted the Roman emperor, Justinian, to defeat and enslave them. They played no further significant role in history.  They did leave us the verb "vandalize" to remind us of their legacy.
VIKINGS: From 810 to 1050 the far-roaming Vikings made great donations of Scandinavian genes to women in Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Russia, Poland, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, England, Iceland, France, Spain, and Turkey.  They delighted in looting, murdering, raping, and moving on. They slaughtered thousands In cold fury. They exterminated, or drove out, the Irish settlers in Iceland, making it their own stronghold to which they carried off the prettiest women among their captives.  They first raided Ireland in 795, then controlled it until 1103, naming it Eire. The Normans (Northmen) of Normandy, who conquered England in 1066, were descendants of the Vikings (Northmen) under Rollo who were given this land by the Carolingian King Charles the Simple in 911 in the vain hope that it would keep them from molesting the rest of France. 
Norse settlements in Greenland and Newfoundland did not survive for long, but it is possible that matings occurred with Inuit (Eskimos) and Beothuks.   The French settlers of the 17th century, who married Algonquin and Huron women in Canada, could have married women with Viking genes, thus reinforcing their own Viking genes.
The name "Russia" is derived from the Scandinavian "Rus" that was given to the area around Novgorod, northern Russia, in 862 by Vikings.

AMERICANS: In a blog concentrating on Europeans I should include America where the Spanish, Portugese, French, and British variants were all so guilty of cruelly destroying the “First Nations”.  But what is American?
Canadians can claim being the first “Americans” as the name was first recognized and used in Bristol, England, after the Newfoundland and eastern Canada voyage in 1497 by John Cabot, an Italian from Genoa in the service of Bristol’s wealthy merchant, Richard Amerike, chief owner of the Mathew, the ship Cabot used.  In gratitude to Amerike for presenting him with a pension from King Henry VII, Cabot named the new found lands “America”.  
In 1507 the name was applied to South America by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller while working in France.  He selected the feminized word after the Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512).   In any event the name, historically, applies to all of those two continents residing between the northern tips of Canada and Terra del Fuego in Chile and Argentina.
The people residing in one part of this, not liking the terms Gringo or Yankee, monopolized the name “America” as theirs alone, implying the others do not matter, a slight that still rankles, especially in Latin America.
Today, the genetic mix in the whole America deserves a blog unto itself.

This brief sampling should convince us that, while there are far too many of us for a small, fragile planet, our survival demands we outlaw wars, occupations, and oppression in order to co-operate on solving the numerous problems that challenge us and threaten our survival.


Thursday, 25 August 2016


     As far back as I can remember, and that now exceeds 90 years, citizens of what is known as the United States of America have been noted for bragging that they inhabit the greatest, most unique, country in the world.
     Could they be right?  What other country inflates what in sedate countries is about an 8-week task into a 208-week circus requiring exemplary courage to endure?  Theirs is a country that contains more than enough brilliant and capable individuals who can lead not only their own country but make it a leading light in a troubled world.  But, that is too easy.
     Instead they accept the challenge of not voting for the best candidates but voting against those they despise.  In the process they waste billions of dollars that are badly needed in repairing failing infrastructure, fighting Greed, Climate Change, Gun Lobbies, Inequalities, Health and Education Costs, an out-of-control Military-Industrial Complex, Nuclear Arsenals, and so on.
     Daily, individual computer screens are infected with at least eight requests for political donations that range from one to ten dollars.  Those naive enough to respond discover what they really want is a much larger donation on a monthly basis.
Why feed politicians, already bloated with corporate and foreign  fortunes, when numerous and much-worthier organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, Greenpeace, Concerned Scientists, and the like, put donations to much better use?
    But, pause a bit to explore what also belongs here:  the opposition-criticized Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Foundation established in 1997 by Bill.  Claims that donors receive deliberate kickbacks are unsubstantiated.  Overlooked are the improvements in agriculture, education, health, and finances of millions especially in Detroit, El Salvador, Haiti, Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania where 88% of funds raised go directly to aid, making praiseworthy improvements.
       Yet, all US politicians are kept quite busy, but not in governing.   It seems essential that they waste over half their time and effort with fund-raising to support a system obviously badly broken.  Far too many young, elected, hopefuls arrive in Washington, ready and capable to do good for their country and their world, only to find that the system has not evolved to permit that.  Their first duty is to raise about $18,000 daily for party funds. 
     Discouraged, too many settle for the enormous, and unfair, perks that go with the job.  The US public has about a 15% approval rating of Congress yet it keeps re-electing the same representatives. Inflexible party adherence or entrenched money? Some senators tell us it costs $100 million to win a seat.  Flooding voters with endless TV ads may work but it is insulting to voter intelligence. Results?  Since the Cold War, UN politicians have had an 85% success record in troubled areas while the US record is dismal.
     Dare we try to assess the current cycle?  The field that started out with a dozen candidates has dwindled to the two who command the least affection.
     Now, I still like Berni Sanders, Jill Stein, and Ajama Baraka whose foreign policies are worthy of a great nation.  Berni may still influence Hillary but Jill, Ajama, and their Green Party remain relatively unknown and unheeded.  This is a far greater pity than most realize.
     When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the world breathed such a sigh of relief that it rushed to present him with a Nobel Peace Prize.  At last, the US would lead, not dominate. Not succeeding in closing Guantanamo, not following Mikhail Gorbachev’s lead in eliminating nuclear weapons, but rather pledging $1 trillion to update the US inventory of such world-destroyers, and not taming, but supporting, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel have engendered great disappointment and soiled the US image abroad in spite of the Peace Corps, the Clinton Foundation, and other US philanthropists.
     Alas, inherited problems, corporate interests, and Republican opponents would not permit Obama-expected results.  While Obama has made impressive gains he falls far short of what the world expected and Hillary, as Secretary of State, has been forged by financial interests in the USA, and the World, as they do dominate.
     Yet, it is high time the US had a woman as head of state.  Hillary does possess the stamina, knowledge, and ability to be an effective president, but she is still a hawk, much less so than all of her Republican opponents, but, as her famous e-mails reveal, she and her associates partied when Saudi Arabia signed that Boeing contract for F15s that are now criminally murdering innocent people in impoverished Yemen.  This contract includes training, maintenance, and in-flight refueling, resulting in much blood on US hands and world disdain.  Meanwhile the Clinton Foundation gets bribes of $10 million from Saudi Arabia and almost a million from Boeing.  This is not statesmanship, nor are the billions of dollars donated annually to aggressors like Israel and Egypt.  Like the US, Israel has the ability to be a shining light in the Middle East and many of its citizens strive for this, but overall it has not learned from the holocaust.  Its treatment of Palestinians is criminal.  Its settlements are cruel and illegal; its formidable nuclear arsenal is secret and free of inspections thanks to US support.  The US-supported Egyptian military has no empathy for their much-needed dissidents. 
     Much of the world condemns the US for its support of such aggressors.  Obviously, the US puts power and money above human rights and self respect.
      So, is Donald Trump an answer?  He is outspoken and a hero to many who yearn for a change in their stagnant or deteriorating economic status.  He is more of a hawk than his hawkish party mates who keep trying, unsuccessfully, to push him aside.  With inherited wealth he went on a building spree that left contractors and workers who built his empire complaining they were short-changed.  He has faced over 3,000 lawsuits.
     He lacks the composure and depth of knowledge to trust as someone who could ignite the nuclear end of civilization.  Voting for him is a risk our already-endangered world cannot afford.  A Berni-influenced Hillary  is a safer choice.
     Advice?  The country is in a political mess of its own making but the wherewithal for resurrection exists.  Perhaps a better look at 3rd parties?  Jill and Jamana do deserve more attention and much more publicity.  So do many of the current politicians if they are released from their heavy and incentive-killing monetary chains.
     Jill and Jamana, in the very limited time provided them by the mainstream media, voice more human-rights values than do those from the other parties where only Berni is a true advocate.  The gridlock of a 2-party system needs to be unlocked.
     Elections should be time-and-money-limited, tax-supported, and free of paid lobbyists, domestic or foreign.  As a showman, Trump earned money for the media, so, gratefully, they give him the greatest publicity.  
     There is a slogan out there: "Make the USA great again.”  Yes, it is possible, but, first, the electoral policy must be reformed.