Tuesday, 30 June 2020


     Today we are heavily involved with accusations of racism and physical harm inflicted by members of forces employed to protect our community members, who also include bad actors.  So, let me add a few comments on human nature.
     In the early 1960s I was a major based at Air Defence Command (ADC) headquarters built on the SW side of the St. Hubert (Montreal suburb) airport.  One August I was sent to Bird, Manitoba to relieve for 2 weeks, the CO of the Mid-Canada Line station.  This electronic line was designed by McGill University to detect penetrating aircraft.  Arriving at the  railway station on the line leading to Churchill on Hudson Bay I was surprised by a pretty well-dressed Cree woman who, in welcoming passengers to Bird included the advice that she did not engage in sex.  She had good reason,  Too many white men sexually abuse native women.  Days later members of my new staff invited me to share a responsibility they had accepted.  Carrying axes and saws, we canoed across a river then hiked a mile through thick forest to the well-maintained shack of Prudence, a pretty Cree woman who had not been as prudent as her name implies.  She was raising a large family of well-dressed children fathered by passing hunters.  We then selected a few trees to cut up into logs for her woodpile.  With a good vocabulary she served us cups of tea before we left.
     In 1962 I was on a 13-month stint as Military Commander of the 500-mile-long stretch of the Cape Parry sector of the 3,000-mile-long Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line along the Arctic coast of Alaska, Canada and Greenland.  Our call sign was PIN so I was known as Pinhead with the rank of major.
     Pin was built in 1955-57 consisting of 5 radar sites: a main station at Cape Parry with 2 satellite sites to the west and 2 east.  There was a weekly flight from Winnipeg and an annual sealift.  I had a staff of 5 RCAF and 2 USAF officers.  The other 125 men were hired by Federal Electric Corporation (FEC) for 18-month tours of 54-hour work weeks after which they were flown to Winnipeg for 2 weeks paid holidays during which they could quit or reenlist. We also employed 6 Inuit men housing their families in 3 duplexes, the only family housing on base.  Other families moved up from Paulatuk building from surplus FEC lumber a new village 4 miles south of us.   
   In December 1962 Jim Stephens from Scotland found many items missing while taking inventory of his Hudson Bay store so he called in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Three days later they flew in a constable who started a search of all Inuit dwellings, discovering some of them in the shack built by a new family.  He arrested the husband, confining him to the room we had provided him in the long billets block.
   That evening we had a film flown in from Winnipeg.  As usual I drove my lone truck the 4 miles to the  village to squeeze in as many Inuit as possible.  The constable also brought his prisoner, walking him back to the billets after the show.  Mounting the steps to the veranda surrounding the housing block the prisoner was ahead of the constable.  On reaching the veranda he suddenly whirled, kicking the constable where it hurts the most, quickly disappearing into the night.  It was now my responsibility.  Calling to Bob Hornal, one of my officers, we found Jim Stephens to open his HBC store to borrow two shotguns.
     We assumed the fugitive would head for the village so we quickly loaded my village passengers asking them to notify all villagers and drove to the village from where, with only moonlight to guide us, Bob and I spread out to begin a long, very cold search towards our base.  It was -30F.
     Over 2 hours of this I heard a low moan ahead of us.  I called to Bob to cover me while I veered off in a large circle to come up on the moan from the rear, finding an exhausted, bleeding, and freezing man spread across a small mound of gravel.  I shouted for Bob and we carried him to the HBC store where we and Jim stripped, washed, and redressed him with new warm clothing from HBC shelves.  By this time the constable had recovered enough to take custody, this time handcuffing him, flying him to prison 3 days later. Of course the government provided accommodation and food for the family during his internment.                               
     In the spring the circuit judge arrived to set up a formal trial using the Catholic Church and all the pomp and circumstance the old school demands including the wearing of a white wig.  The verdict?  The prison time already served was sufficient so, on the promise that  he would never steal again, he was freed.
     He and his family became real assets to the community.
Racial biases can be created everywhere.  At Cape Parry the six Inuit we employed and housed in duplexes with indoor utilities kept them in excellent repair.  Those who moved up from Paulatuk to build a new village of shacks had no electricity or plumbing so all winter used the great outdoors as toilets leaving a summer litter and stench forcing them to flee to tents, leaving a large area to avoid.  This caused many newcomers from the south to adopt a lasting view that Inuit were an inferior species.
     The village Inuit maintained dogs that were kept chained in 5 teams always ready to haul sleds.  FEC did not want them free to roam around the station.  I was warned to avoid the teams as they were vicious. Being skeptical I found that they craved love.  I began having our kitchen staff save me their scraps of bone and flesh to take to the village, finding I could walk along the 5 lines of  chained dogs, giving each of the 25 dogs a share.  This became a routine.  When they saw, or smelled, my truck coming the dogs would begin a loud welcoming.  There were 5 young, unchained dogs, one of whom was my favourite, who would wander onto base.  I was highly annoyed when the FEC chief had them shot, so for several weeks I ate my meals at the Inuit table rather than with him. 
    Another handicap is that Inuit, actually highly talented and whom we called Eskimos (eaters of raw flesh) were slow to form genuine friendships.  Coming from a long heritage of solitary hunters whose children we took every September to June to fly to Catholic or Protestant boarding schools that used a southern curriculum.  On graduation they were returned to their original homes, remote from southern employment.
     A big help to me was Jessica Green, an 82-year-old woman from the village who soon recognized my attempts to befriend the natives.  She told me “While you are on the DEW Line, I will be your Mother.”  She had a small income selling to southern visitors items like ties, wallets, and dolls made from seal skins that were cured with human urine.  To increase sales I joined a few member of my RCAF/USAF staff who purchased from the Inuit seal skins for $5 each, then fly them to Winnipeg for commercial curing, selling them back to Inuit women.  We had frequent visiting groups of military brass, university professors, and business people to whom I gave briefings, always introducing Jessica and her seal-skin offerings.  One university official asked her why she did not speak more English instead of Eskimo.  She  replied “If I were an English woman I would.  I am an Eskimo woman.”   Jessica loved her corncob pipe, well blackened from long use.  My wife, Joan, mailed me six new ones for her.  She was walking along the Arctic coast when I took the first to her,  Delighted, she threw the one she was smoking well out into the ocean.
     Jessica took a keen interest in politics.  She kept reminding me of the approaching day for the federal election vote knowing I would be sent the box for the votes of all Cape Parry Canadians.  It had snowed heavily and I could get my truck only half way to the village.  I had to climb over several large drifts carrying the box to collect all the village votes.  The villagers thanked Jessica and me for not having to walk to the station and back in deep snow to vote. 
     I had a busy military work schedule but considered it far more important to cement good inter-racial ties.  At the other end of the age group was 5-year-old Renee Ruben.  I made a habit of filling my parka pockets with oranges on my visits to the village.  Seeing me coming she would rush out shouting “Squadron Leader George!”  Giving me a hug she would extract an orange from my pocket and we would stroll across the tundra each peeling and eating an orange.  She seldom spoke so I inferred she was mentally deficient, 
     Seeing a motor abandoned for the winter. I said “There is an outboard motor.”  She replied “That is a kicker.”  What a change!  Realizing there was something she could teach me she erupted into informative  talk which dominated our future walks as she was now an equal.  She cherished the red plaid dress my wife sent her.  In the spring I mentioned the kicker to Adam Ruben who advised he knew about it and would get it working as soon as sea ice had melted. It belonged to a schooner given to Father deHurtevant and was now beached in Paulatuk.  Adam was a most likable 16-year-old boy who had several scattered girlfriends.  Frequently he would catch a seal for his dog team and leave for a week or two to visit them all.
     I was there when he started on the engine.  Soon the ground was littered with nuts, bolts. and engine parts.  Amazed, I uttered “Adam, if you get all that mess working again I will give you $1”.  He kept cleaning, re-oiling, and re-assembling, finally trying a restart.  It roared into life!  Totally amazed I gave him $2 with which he bought cigars, smoking them as he walked around the village advertising his wealth.
     Village homes were all crowded so for months I knocked when visiting then they all asked me to just walk in as I was considered a member of the family.
     I also made many valued friends among FEC employees.  Brilliant Oscar Gravitis from Latvia was special.  He had just graduated from high school when the Soviets invaded, followed by Germans, then again by Soviets.  Thousands of Latvians, including Oscar’s relatives, were sacrificed when they were forced by both sides to join hands in long lines to walk across fields, exploding mines.  Oscar also was heavily shelled while driving munition trucks in active fighting areas.
     Post war Oscar was employed by the Canadian Army that was well pleased with his work.  When the time came to repatriate Europeans, Oscar had no desire to return to Soviet-ruled Latvia, so told the Canadians he was Dutch.  His many friends arranged for him to join the Dutch who were emigrating to Canada where he accepted a job as a lumberjack, then with a radio -TV store in Hamilton, Ontario.
     Seeing a newspaper FEC ad for bulldozer operators that paid more he went to Montreal where the hiring office was.  The manager advised the last opening had just been filled and that the only current vacancies were for radicians.  Oscar whooped:  “I apply.  Radician was my original trade!”  She replied:  “You must pass an exam  which we will be giving in 4 days time,  Oscar gleefully signed up for it.
     Having no idea what a radician was he remained in the office talking to other officials, slowly learning
that radicians operated and maintained the radar domes on the DEW Line.  He raced off to a book store, bought  several books to study in his motel, then did well on the exam, was hired, and sent to Cape Parry where he watched radicians on shift, asking numerous questions before being assigned to a shift.
     Amazingly soon Oscar was recognized as a leading radician and others from across the DEWLine would call him with problems.  I had many long walks across the tundra with him as he photographed wild flowers, building an impressive library of Arctic flora.  FEC moved him to their headquarters.
     Although I did two tours in Personnel work, including one in RCAF HQ in Ottawa, I encountered only one case of anti-Black bias when a station refused to accept a Black individual I had sent them to fill a vacancy in their Personnel office, causing me to change his posting.
     So, there was bias in the RCAF.  I also learned to avoid the use of “negro” which had become a derogatory term.  I was annoyed as I considered in my right to use such terms as Limey, Frog, Yank, Canuck Jerry, Fritz, Paddy as harmless polte terms.
     In 1963 we were to experience more when we were transferred to Colorado, USA, and lived in a motel for several weeks while house hunting.  There was a wide selection of well-kept housing areas and many attractions – an excellent location for a happy tour of duty, soon marred by two puzzling incidents.  In one pleasant housing area a well-liked Army general who was serving at Pearl Harbor in 1941 when it was bombed advised “We have a Home Owners Association that does not permit negro families to establish homes here.  While still in the motel one of our young daughters was walking alone on a nearby business street.  As she passed a parked pick-up truck with two teenage black boys sitting in the back, the boys stood up to spit on her.  Our new paradise has its flaws. Puzzled and scared with spit on her she ran back to the motel.  I then realized there were no Blacks in the NORAD HQ unit to which I was assigned.
    Now needing home care nurses, I have learned much from the excellent ones I have had.  All are dedicated Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) who have been wounded by patients who become confused and violent.  One Black couple, Latisha and Tony, served me well for months but were also US Army veterans so had priority for two better-paid Post Office jobs that opened up so they moved to Texas up to take them but still keep in touch.
     My current group is led by Michele who has suffered much body-wide pain including a recent knee replacement with a second due after she recovers from this one.
      Scarlett is one of the group.  When ten years of age her gang of white friends challenged her to steal from a store a packet of chewing gum.  She did so but was caught and turned over to the police.  Taking her to a quiet area he lectured her on proper behaviour, finally asking “Do you think you did an honest thing?”.  She expressed her remorse and was set free.  This is in sharp contrast to the frequent harsher treatment of non-whites.     
    In 2019 she was in a car with Eric, her brother-in-law, a black person, driving.  He had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting the car in front, stopped with hazard lights on.  Ten minutes later a young blonde woman left her car shouting foul words at them, stopping when she saw a black driver.  She raced back to her car.  Scarlett followed her to ask her to pull off the busy road, which she did into a gas station.  Scarlett heard her phone the police and her boyfriend, yelling to them that her life was in danger from a Black man. 
     They arrived at the same time and inspected both cars, finding only dust on both bumpers.  The policeman said there was no damage, so he was leaving, suggesting they do the same.  Scarlett said to the young woman you're in more danger with me than that gentle man.
     Stephanie, another nurse, had an enduring wound at age 6.  She and her 5-year-old niece were in a park with a 17 year-old white male baby sitter.  Two black boys, 13 and 12, refused to share swing sets with the girls prompting the baby sitter to race in and violently beat up the two boys causing the girls to erupt in tears.  He explained that as white girls they had priority over black boys.  The girls told their parents and that boy never babysat for them again but spent much of his life in jail for acts of violence.
     Her mother, born in Bowie, Texas, in 1943 recalls that Blacks were not allowed in her county after dark and often had to drive an extra 158 miles to avoid being caught there.  In 1953 her family moved to Wichita Falls.  A short time later the stigma was broken when a wealthy car dealer in Bowie hired two Black mechanics and housed them on his ranch well out in the country.  It was not until 1960 after segregation was abolished that her mother met her first Black person in high school.
     Stephanie has also worked at Lawton Correction Facility whose inmates included about 85 Comanche housed in racial isolation as they were claimed to be the worst of the inmates.  The administration maintained that this isolation was due to behavior-related issues, disregarding their policies on the way inmates are correctly handled.  Often they were restricted from normal daily routines and were not allowed to hold traditional ceremonies pertaining to their spiritual beliefs. They were forced into many unnecessary shake downs and tormented by many higher-ranking prison guards. The lower ranking prison guards that looked after them everyday would sometimes stand outside their cells and taunt them with their own culture making fun of them. This caused lots of frustration which led to many outburst of anger, that only helped the administration to further prove that they were a danger to themselves and others.
        Stephanie has also worked at Lawton Correction Facility whose inmates included about 85 Comanche housed in racial isolation as they were claimed to be the worst of the inmates.  Ofen they were denied normal daily routines and were not allowed to hold traditional ceremonies pertaining to their spiritual beliefs. They were forced into many unnecessary shake downs and tormented by many higher-ranking prison guards. The lower ranking prison guards that looked after them everyday would sometimes stand outside their cells and taunt them with their own culture making fun of them. This caused lots of frustration which led to many outburst of anger, that only helped the administration to further prove that they were a danger to themselves and others.
     Rick, another CNA who values helping others well ahead of money provides me with thought-provoking discussions, mainly in history, quantum physics, and plants,  He also has good data on alien visits and UFOs.  He claims that, in today’s society, we are used and controlled by money seekers like the Rothschild clan, the Illuminati, Free Masons, all successful politicians, lawyers, military personnel, pharmaceutical, firms, news media owners who have used misinformation to increase profits,  One example he uses is the billions spent to harm and outlaw the cheap and beneficial marijuana plant that can produce numerous items that the fossil fuel industry does at much higher costs and profits.  He also exposes conspiracy theories as actual fact like 9/11 being a home-grown crime.  Rick grew up frequently hearing the term ‘conspiracy theorist’, an occupation he thought ludicrous. But after 9/11 and the 9/11 truther movement began, he started uncovering for himself all the facts and evidence he could on alleged global conspiracies.  He assessed the penal system while enduring two jail sentences for possessing small quantities of marijuana made from home-grown plants. He is 51 now, still doing research on his own. He has discovered that most of the things considered conspiracy theories have already been proven as fact! He is looking forward to the near future when honest legitimate research is allowed to be broadcast on mainstream media.    A defining event in his life was growing up in a hostile environment as a result of the War on Drugs which he says is an extremely violent civil war, that has ripped apart the close binding fabric of the family unit. Pitting family members against each other in a Global Theater, aggravated by the corruption of Bankers, Government Officials, Communications Spy Systems, Corporate Criminals, Military Murderers, Judges, and Lawyers. are laughing all the way to the Bank to Worship their God of Money.
     Rick has gone through many traumatic experiences encompassing his whole being: body, mind and spirit.  He seeks wisdom and compassion to help create a new culture based on Love, Wisdom and Truth. Knowing that it is the Truth that will set us free!

Ye Olde Scribe

Friday, 10 April 2020


     Being over the age of 100 it seems likely that I am one of few active bloggers who has been alive during both the so-called Spanish Flu and the current coronavirus one. So permit me to offer some perspective.
     In spite of too many misfits of individuals, politicians, and businesses who seek profits from the hardships of others, we can be very proud of our Homo sapiens species, one of 1.3 million known and an estimated 8.3 million yet to be found and described, that have evolved on this tiny speck of matter, called a planet and hidden among trillions of galaxies created apparently out of nothing some 4.5 billion years ago with Life arriving 4.3 billion years ago and our species 200,000 years ago.  We were not capable of leaving a written record until 5,400 years ago.  Bones and artifacts are used to take us back much further, perhaps 40,000 years.  We have evolved a consciousness that urges us to find, or create, a purpose.  A consciousness that can remember and learn from past experiences.
     All species live briefly on this planet where they both co-operate with and prey on other species.  For survival, and for pleasure, our species has dominated the plant and animal kingdoms.  It is only 400 years with the invention of the microscope that we began to understand both our beneficial and fatal interactions with the immense invisible world.
     Today we are grateful to millions of humans who are risking, with thousands sacrificing, their lives to help others while we endure and try to limit the worldwide assault of the coronavirus that has evolved and multiplied rapidly to invade and confuse our immune systems with weapons so new that it may take us a year or more to develop a vaccine.  This implies an intelligence at a basic level so we are in a total war that could dwarf previous pandemics that we do need to review for guidance. 

    I was born in Canada in November 1919 during the 1918-1920 Spanish Flu Pandemic that claimed 55,000 Canadian lives out of a population of 8.5 million.  Estimates of the world toll range from 20 to 50 million deaths out of 500 million cases.  It is not known where it started but it was not in Spain.  It became a deadlier-than-war force late in the Great War of 1914-1918. Our censors downplayed the numerous deaths among Allied troops so neutral Spain with a free press was blamed.  It was called La Gripe.  Some blamed a new chemical weapon, invented and used by our enemies. Returning soldiers brought the lingering disease to North America.  I grew up among two uncles wounded in the trenches and scores of veterans with numerous ailments.  For months my parents scrubbed floors, walls, and furniture to protect me.
     Pandemics and humans have co-existed for all of recorded history.  Wikipedia describes 232.   A sample:                                                                                                                                                       
   430 BC:  The Plague of Athens:  It entered Athens through its port city of Piraeus during the Peloponnesian War, killing up to 100,000 people, resulting in a large-scale breakdown of law and order and religious beliefs.  Greeks had flooded into Athens causing over crowding that increased disease prompting the attacking superior Spartan army to retire.  Thucydides caught but survived the plague.  Pericles used his superior navy to save Athens, allowing it to recover in 15 years. 
     165-188 AD The Antonine Plague (Plague of Galen) killed up to 10 million.  It broke out during the Roman siege of Seleucia, spreading throughout Gaul then to the legions along the Rhine.  It could have been smallpox or measles.  A similar plague erupted in eastern China.
      249-262 AD:  The Plague of Cyprian, named for the Christian bishop of Carthage:  It killed a million people, and is thought to have been smallpox.  It caused severe food shortages, greatly weakening the Roman Empire.   
     541-542 AD:  The Plague of Justinian:  Killed 45% of the European and West Asian population.  It hit the Byzantine Empire especially Constantinople. 
     735-737 AD:  Japanese Smallpox Epidemic killed one third of the Japanese population. 
     1346-51; The Black Death (Great Bubonic Plague, or Pestilence) killed up to 200 million humans in Eurasia.  It entered Europe when Mongols catapulted infected bodies over the walls of Kaffa, Crimea (Caffa) in 1346  An Italian force killed 15,000 Tatars in retaking Caffa.  Merchant ships brought the plague to all of Europe carried by fleas on rats.  It also spread to China and India.
     1519-1580 saw 3 Mexican epidemics of smallpox and salmonella due to the Spanish occupation with its slave-like treatment of the natives, aggravated by periods of severe drought, killed up to 25 million.

     In the 1600s the 13 British colonies in America endured plagues including, bubonic, smallpox, typhus, and measles with death tolls up to 90% of local populations. Plagues also hit England, the Netherlands,  Malta, Austria, Vienna, Spain, Naples, China, and France.
      1720-22 Great Plague of Marseille, France, the last major attack of the Bubonic Plague in Western Europe killed 100,000 humans.  It took Marseille only two years to recover mainly because it had learned from the Plague of 1580  and built the infrastructure to combat plagues.
      2013-2016 Ebola:  In 21 months Ebola took 28,646 lives in 10 countries, 6 of them in western Africa.
     The rapid speed and range of returning plagues is quite impressive.  In 2019-2020 the dengue fever erupted to invade Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos,and Latin America, carried by multiplying mosquitoes using discarded plastic containers as breeding grounds.  There is a vaccine so only 2,500  deaths were reported.
          Viruses kill 15 million humans a year – twice as many as cancer.  If a person’s immune system does not immediately attack an invading pathogen it takes 4-9 days for the system to start working on antibodies.
     It is a war that demands constant scientific vigilance and the maintenance of world forces with a common purpose  that can be  quickly mobilized.   Could we use it to also lessen frictions among nations?

Ye Olde Scribe

Tuesday, 10 March 2020


     When two distinct cultures meet and occupy the same lands with one more technically advanced, there evolves a litany of friendships, co-operation, frictions, warfare, exploitation, genocide, death by introduced diseases, and, sometimes, eventual admissions of guilt and stumbling reforms.
     Estimates of human population of the Americas prior to 1492 and the arrival of Europeans vary from 8 to 112 million, declining to under 6 million by 1650. Today Canada, estimated to have had 200,000 in 1492, now has 1.7 million, 4.9% of its population of aboriginal descent (977,230 First Nations, 587,545 Metis, 65,025 Inuit). The USA has 6.79 million, 2.1% of its population. Mexico has 6,740.000, 5.2% of its population. Thousands of European settlers captured and adopted by native tribes and later rescued chose to return to tribal life which they preferred.
     Land ownership in Canada today: Federal government 41%, Provincial 48%, Private 11%. Parliament buildings sit on unceded Algonquin land. First Nations claim all rights to 36,000 sq km.
     Beneficial change is now stumbling towards positive reforms, and actually making some, so a review:
     The Two Row Wampum Treaty (also known as: The Guswenta, The Kaswentha, and The Tawagonshi): In 1613 in upper New York State, representatives of the Iroquois 5 Nations (Haudenosaunee) and the Dutch government tried to legislate peaceful and mutually-beneficial co-existence. Each was to go its own way without dominance from the other.
     New Netherland: was then founded in 1624 by the Dutch West India Company. In 1626 the Dutch governor bought from the Manhattans their island for $24. The Manhattans knew not what this meant as land ownership was unknown. The city of New Amsterdam grew as did the Dutch population to about 9,000 scattered throughout New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Conflict came in 1641 causing the deaths of 1,000. In 1664 a British naval squadron took New Amsterdam which became New York. British settlers followed and lived peacefully with the Dutch.
     The Iroquois lived along the Mohawk River and the southern shores of Lake Ontario. About 1600 the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas formed an Iroquois confederacy to end their civil wars. The Tuscaroras joined in 1722. Having sided with the British during the 1775-83 American Revolutionary War, many chose to flee to Canada thus enabling sparsely populated Canada to defeat numerous invasions, most during the War of 1812.
     Pontiac: With the 1758 Treaty of Easton British colonists made peace with the Shawnee and Lenape promising not to advance beyond the Allegheny Mountains. After the 1760 capture of Montreal and the 1763 Treaty of Paris that ended the 7 Years War war with Britain the victor, the British moved into French posts in the Ohio and Great Lakes areas with harsher policies dashing the hopes of Algonquins, Hurons, Senecas, Ojibwe, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Delawares, Wyandots, and Mingos. From among these Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, led an opposition that included the siege of Forts Detroit and Pitt, capturing 8 other forts, killing all defenders, and the Battle of Bloody Run in which 20 British soldiers were killed and 34 wounded. General Jeffrey Amherst offered 200 pounds to the person who would kill Pontiac, In 1776 a Peoria did , infuriating other tribes that bitterly attacked the Peoria almost wiping them out. The alliance fell apart. It had caused the deaths of 2,000 settlers and 400 soldiers. At the siege of Fort Pitt blankets infested with smallpox were left out for natives to take and die from.
     Tecumseh: Major General Sir Isaac Brock, from Guernsey, Channel Islands, placed Tecumseh, a Shawnee, born in 1768 in Ohio and named for a meteor that flashed across the skies at the time, in command of all Native forces. A great orator Tecumseh had toured most of the south and west, organizing tribes to oppose land grabs by settlers before entering Ontario to seek British and Canadian help.
     In August 1812, using clever deceptions Tecumseh’s and Brock’s forces convinced US General William Hull in command of Fort Detroit that his actually superior forces were heavily outnumbered so he surrendered, thus giving a tremendous boost to the hope that the US behemoth could be forced to leave. Other victories followed until . . . .
     On 05 October 1813, outnumbered 6 to 1 at the Battle of the Thames, Tecumseh-Brock forces faced General Richard Mentor Harrison’s invaders, 24 of whom, including Harrison (the US 9th vice president). took credit for killing Tecumseh, Brock was killed a week later.
     The December 1814 Treaty of Ghent, Belgium, ended the war. It left Iroquois lands south of Lake Ontario in US hands so the government in Canada compensated the Iroquois with land grants in Ontario.
     Named for Tecumseh there is a town of 23,229 people east of Windsor, Ontario.
     US Westward Expansion: The 1848 discovery of gold led to an inrush of new settlers who ignored treaties, stole native land, introduced cattle ranching, and slaughtered buffalo herds to starve indigenous people. Resistance was led by the likes of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.
     Crazy Horse, a Sioux of the Oglala band of the Lakotas who took part in several battles of the 1874-76 Black Hills War including with Sitting Bull in June 1876 Little Big Horn where George Armstrong Custer and over 200 of his men were killed. The Sioux lost 50 men.
      In 1948 sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski started a huge statue, 172m high, 195m long in a Custer county, South Dakota mountain of Crazy Horse on horseback. It is still a work in progress. When finished it will be the world’s second largest statue. Korczak died in 1982. His wife and family are continuing the task.
     Sitting Bull, 1831-1890, a Hunkpapa Lakota chief, whose people were starving from lack of buffalo, led a band into Canada in 1877 seeking sanctuary. They were met by two North West Mounted Police, saying they could stay as long as they obeyed the Queen’s laws. The Sioux called the country Grandmother’s Land after Queen Victoria. For 4 years they lived a peaceful life until their young warriors got bored so harassed local tribes, causing problems for the police who tried persuading them to return to the USA which Sitting Bull did in 1881 with 187 followers. He ended up in the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota where he was killed in 1890 by Sioux police while resisting arrest after the Ghost Dance uprising.
     Among European settlers, natives liked the French best as they did not bring their families with them and intermarried with native women.
      Britain became more acceptable when it announced it could no longer support the 11 regiments required to rotate to the colonies to protect advancing settlers, so all settlements west of the Appalachians would cease and the land left forever in native hands. This became a cause of the Revolution as people like Colonel George Washington had to desert Britain to keep control of his acquired acreage and Sam Adams with his financial interests in Dutch tea.
     Since the 1973 introduction of updated land claims procedures only 16 of 780 have been settled.
     Canadian Integration and Reconciliation: The Indian Act of 1857 was designed to assimilate all residents into one nation. Severe restrictions were placed on native cultures. The act was not repealed until 1951. Catholic and Anglican missionaries competed for converts from Animism. Our government for over a hundred years financed a program that collected children from scattered native communities to transport them, often by air, to resident schools teaching an Alberta curriculum, returning them each summer to their homes. As military commander of the 500-mile-long Cape Parry DEW Line site, I befriended many of these students in the summers of 1961-62. To me our good intentions had too many flaws. We could employ only a few graduates so we were producing bewildered people fit for neither world. I advised them to cherish their culture, not to allow us to steal their land, to use our education to get into our politics, and earn an equal role. Some did. (See my blog 176 of 23 Aug 2017 “My Inuit Friends”.) What I did not know was the fact that 2,800 of the 150,000 students died from physical and sexual abuse, and inadequate supervision revealed in 2015 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It is sad that so many of those involved were good people wanting to help others. For instance my good friend, Father DeHurtevant devoted his life to bring the Catholic faith to the Inuit. He was allowed only one one-month trip back to his beloved France every five years. Inuit complained to me that he did little to improve their economic status.
     During the Cold War, to strengthen its claim to the Arctic archipelago, Canada relocated Inuit from northern Quebec to Cornwallis and Ellesmere Islands (Resolute and Grise Fiord) where they faced starvation but were forced to stay. It took 40 years for an apology and paid compensation to be welcomed.
     There were, in the 2011 census 59,400 Inuit in Canada.
     On 01 April 1999, after two decades of intense friendly negotiations Nunavut (Our Land) was created out of the North West Territories. It is equal in area to the world’s 15th largest country but with a population in 2019 of only 38,780, 84% of which is Inuit. Greenland has about the same area with twice the population. Nunavut involves a massive cultural adaptation. From isolated mobile families surviving on hunting and fishing to sedentary occupations financed by incomes from often temporary mining and military interests living in communities of warm houses with TV and electronic games. Over 700 businesses, including Air Nunavut, based in Iqualuit, the capital, population 7,082, are owned by Inuit.
     In spite of amazing progress the unemployment and incarceration rates are higher than for the rest of Canadians. Sexual harassment of women is 7 times the national rate. The RCMP have created programs among males to combat this. The Nunavut suicide rate has been ten times the Canadian average. It has declined the past two years, perhaps helped by a concerned group setting up an annual hunting trip for young men. Commercial transportation is needed as wildlife has moved far from settlements.
     Diamonds and Aboriginals: A good example of the current attitude towards aboriginals is shown in diamonds. The first diamond mine, Ekati, opened in Canada in 1998. A half dozen followed, making Canada the world’s third largest producer. From negotiating land leases to recruiting, training, employment, housing, sports and entertainment facilities, transportation to wildlife areas for hunting trips, and accepting environmental responsibilities, Ekati has been quite beneficial to aboriginals, From 1999 to 2006 it spent $847 million with aboriginal businesses, 78% of total costs with northern and aboriginal businesses. Of its total work force of 800, plus 600 support contractors, 33% are aboriginal including 123 women.
     Climate Crisis vs Fossil Fuel Industries: First Nation groups are split between those benefiting financially and those protecting the environment. The federal government has the dilemma of negotiations.
     It has the responsibility of controlling the climate crisis, supporting green energy, meeting its 2016 Paris Climate Agreement goals, cushioning the economic loss of areas dependent on fossil fuel incomes, and respecting aboriginal rights.
     Wet'suwet'en vs Canadian Government Provincial governments and economic interests are pressuring Ottawa to enforce the end of a multi-week crippling blockade of road, rail, and shipping traffic that has been joined by sympathetic groups across the nation, creating disruptions, financial loss, and anger among thousands of citizens.
     There are 84,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada carrying fossil fuels (3.8 million km in USA). Early in 2019 Coastal GasLink Company began constructing a $6.6 billion pipeline to carry liquefied natural gas from northeast British Columbia to Kitimat on the coast where LNG Canada has started an $18 billion terminal. 190 of the 670 km route cross Wet’sutwet’en land. All 20 of the elected First Nations councils along the route have agreed but 7 of the 8 hereditary Wet’sutwet’en chiefs oppose it. Coastal Gas Link argues it will pay aboriginal tribes $115 million in dividends over 25 years, and spend $60 million in contracts with aboriginal companies. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rules out force in favour of dialogue made difficult by the refusal of the Wet’suwet’en to join talks until all RCMP federal police on their land are replaced by their own. The RCMP offer to do this. The elected matriarch criticizes the hereditary chiefs and outside interests for the blockade. The pipeline will actually help reduce global warming by transporting natural gas to China permitting it to reduce coal-fired plants as it is 55% less polluting than coal.
     Proposed pipelines cross lands claimed by 150 First Nations so opposition is formidable. On 24 February environmental concerns caused Teck Resources to pull out of its massive, largest yet, Frontier oil sands mine estimated to cost $20.6 billion to construct to export Alberta’s bitumen to world markets. It would emit 4.1 megatons of greenhouse gasses annually. Teck claims new techniques have reduced this by 289,000 since 2011 far from what is needed.
     Living in harmony with humanity and nature is a must in this fragile, unique, world. We all need to recognize and obey our responsibilities. Sufferings are inevitable but we can work to minimize them. What other choice do we have?

Ye Olde Scribe, George

Monday, 10 February 2020


     In today’s troubled and dangerous world we need to pause to appreciate and support widespread world co-operation. How gratifying to see so many research groups freely sharing their findings, implying humanity is one. Far too many for one blog, so let us start with Canada’s 37,610,646 people - 0.48% of the world total.
     Back in 1972 Canada and Russia faced off in the world’s hockey summit. Vladislav Tretyak, the famed Russian goalie who propelled his team to one goal shy of a tie and is now a member of the Duma, and is co-chair of the Canada-Russia Parliamentary Friendship Group. His partnerships in Canada and the USA are many and valuable.
      The largest Canadian science outlet, The Canadian Science Publishing, produces annually some 2,300 research articles in 24 journals distributed to 125 countries.
     In 2013 a study ranked Canada 4th after the USA, UK. and Germany in science research but a laggard in exploiting its achievements. Since 2016 the Canadian government has invested $10 billion in assisting science research, yet in 2018 it slipped to 7th place mainly by being outspent. The rise in university science students from the USA and Europe due to the anti-science stance of the Trump administration and Bexit will take years to make an impact. But, progress is well underway, yet still inadequate to defeat climate change:
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics: We do need to take notice and admire the amazing leap from embryo to a science research powerhouse in 20 years. Perimeter Institute (PI) was founded in 1999 in Waterloo, Ontario, with a $100 million grant by Mike Lazaridis, founder of Research in Motion that made the Blackberry wireless handheld devices. In 2005 the province of Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation initiated a $50 million commitment, then in 2008 Lazaridis added $50 million.
PI’s mission is to do pure physics research with few restraints in buildings designed by physicists for physicists. Research areas include: Condensed Matter, Cosmology, Mathematical Physics, Particle Physics, Quantum Fields, Strings, Quantum Foundations, Quantum Gravity, Quantum Information, and Strong Gravity.
Directors: The first director, Howard Burton, 1999-2007, initiated a popular monthly public lecture series, an international summer school, a teachers’ workshop, and numerous student and teacher seminars. After leaving PI he created Ideas Roadshow.
     To replace him, Lazaridis lured a high profile Cambridge professor, Neil Turok, director of their Centre for Theoretical Cosmology. In 2003 he founded The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences that has spread from South Africa to Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
Stephan Hawking and Turok were friends who worked together. Excited at the promise of PI, Hawking endorsed Turok’s move. He visited PI twice, was joyfully involved, and gave his name to a new building, The Stephen Hawking Centre. Hawking and Turok believed that the universe cries out for simple, principled explanations and that PI was the ideal setting to pursue answers.
Turok led PI to become a research powerhouse in physics with over 150 resident researchers and 1,000 visiting scholars. In June 2018 he was appointed to The Order of Canada. He resigned the directorship in February 2018 to concentrate on research at PI.
     A worldwide search for a successor chose Robert Myers, a Canadian already a PI researcher who was world renowned for his work on Black Holes, String Theory, and Quantum Entanglements. Myers argues it is vitally important that we do daring research into uncharted places., such as:
The PI Quantum Intelligence Lab (PIQuIL) (pronounced pickle) integrates academic and industry research while focusing on pure science. They use Artificial Intelligence to help design the next generation of quantum materials and computers.
Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) In 2007 astronomers found a faint pulse from a distant galaxy that emitted more energy in milliseconds as our Sun does in 80 years. The hunt for more Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) detected 25 in 10 years. The new Chime, located in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia with some 50 scientists from PI, the Universities of British Columbia, Toronto, and McGill, and the National Research Council became involved in 2017. Chime has 4 fixed half cylinder wide-angle telescopes that sweep the skies as the earth turns. They collect daily a million gigabytes of data, far too much to save to disk. Researcher Kevin Smith’s team developed algorithms that ran a hundred times faster than believed possible. The FRB search went from a crawl to a gallop that made the cover of Nature in 2019 with 13 FRB discoveries followed by another larger batch including 8 repeaters,
TRIUMF, a joint venture of 7 universities, is Canada’s national lab for nuclear and particle physics and related sciences. It is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Founded in 1968, it attained the world’s largest cyclotron in 1976 and included nuclear medical research. It has a staff of 500 with 1,000 annual international researchers.
Women: PI continues to advance the participation of women in advanced science. It invites annually some 30 women holding masters degrees to attend a month-long course exploring PI opportunities and offering supervised PhD courses. In March it hosts 200 high school girls to describe careers in science. It explains the difficulties and rewards, emphasizing that failures can be expected but are tools for learning and successes. In fact one of the women advising these students was a straight A student when she ventured into science, believing herself a failure when her efforts earned only Ds. Persevering, she is now a top scientist.
The International Summer School for Young Physicists (ISSYP) started in 2003 with 20 Canadian students, later adding 20 international ones. Field trips have included SNOLAB in Sudbury, Ontario.
The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, 2 km down in an arm of the working Creighton nickle mine is the world’s deepest science research lab. It’s staff of over 100 concentrates on neutrino and dark matter research. It is a 10-hour day for 8 hours of science research. First the ultra clean room must be checked for air quality, then workers take a 5-minute elevator ride down to the arm, to walk 1.5 km to the room, scrubbing mine dust from their clothing before showering and dressing in clean coveralls before entering the work room.
     A new $30 million dark matter research facility is planned in the next 2 years and a $150 million one in 4 years with the United States collaborating.
Marine Research: With long coastlines bordering the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific oceans, Canada provides data on a wide variety of oceanography research topics. In 2007 The University of Victoria initiated Ocean Networks Canada that runs the NEPTUNE and VENUS undersea projects as well as smaller offshore observatories at Cambridge Bay, Campbell River, Kitamaat, and Digby Island. NEPTUNE (Northeast Pacific Undersea Networked Experiment), based in Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, covers the small 250,000 sqkm Juan de Fuca tectonic plate that is plunging under the huge North Atlantic plate at 3 inches a year. VENUS (Victoria Experimental Network Undersea) is based at 3 locations along the Salish Sea (SW BC and NW Washington State). Over 850 km of seafloor cables send over 200 gigabytes of data daily from over 2,000 sensors. This is freely available to researchers.
The Institute of Ocean Services, Sydney, BC, is one of nine major research centres operated by Oceans and Fisheries Canada.
14 Canadian Arctic Research Stations (showing the startup year):
     Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS): Designed and built with Inuit participation has a modern 4,800 sqmetre main building in Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, 2019. Churchill Northern Studies, Churchill, Manitoba, 1976, Atmosphere Watch Observatory, Alert, NE Ellesemere Island. 1986, Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station, Devon Island, Nunavut, 2001, Igloolik Research Centre, Igloolik, Nunavut, 1975, Iqualuit Research Centre, Iqaluit, 1978, Kluane Lake Research, Kluane Lake, Yukon, 1961, McGill Arctic Research Station, Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, 1960, Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), Eureka, Nunavut, 1993, Resolute Nunavut Station, Resolute, Nunavut, 1947, Tundra Ecosystem Research Station, (TERS). Darling Lake, NWT, 1994, Ward Hunt Island Observatory Research, Ward Island, Nunavut, 1957, Western Arctic Research Centre, Inuvik, NWT, 1964, Whapmagoostui, Quebec, 1971,
And also a disgrace:
     Mould Bay, Prince Patrick Island, weather station in 1948 was one of a network of high Arctic weather stations built by Canada and the United States. The US ended its participation in 1972. It was abandoned in 1997 and the decision to close it came in 2002. $8 million was allocated to a clean up that met delays. By 2008 most of the clean-up money was missing. In 2017 the 2-storey building was assessed unrepairable.
But, then, we have Alert on the NE coast of Ellesmere Island:
     The world’s most northern inhabited community, closer to Moscow than Ottawa by 80 miles or 150 km. First settled in April 1950 as a weather station, the RCAF moved in to build a wireless station in 1957 to enjoy Russian broadcasts. In 1958 control was transferred to the Army. With the addition of RCN the name became in 1968 Canadian Forces Station Alert. After the 11 Sep 2001 attacks funding was increased and the RCAF resumed command. In 2008 maintenance was given to private contractors.
     The first woman arrived in 1980, the first female commanding officer was Major Cowan in 1996, the first female station warrant officer in 2017.
    The peak population was about 250. The 2016 census reported 62. Automation and budget cuts reduced human residents.
Universities: Worldwide, universities are great at sharing students, faculty, and data.
Canadian Universities: Of the world’s 1,250 research universities, Canada has 96 with 1.8 million students. Four rank in the top 100 and 9 in the top 300. Among the 36 nations of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada ranks first in the percentage of people holding university degrees. Canada actively encourages worldwide university students, both to study in Canada and to stay after graduation. In 2018, 10,950 did stay The Federal government has contributed $148 million over 5 years to help fund recruitment that provides 170,000 jobs. In 2018 there were 572,415 (8%) of the student total. 2019 welcomed 700,000.
     About 84% of foreign students select universities in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec while other provinces have earned strong adherents. For instance: In 2017 Dalhousie in Halifax, Nova Scotia had 3,000 from 115 countries, Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland with 4 satellite campuses ranks first in Canada for student satisfaction, attracting in 2019 3,200 students from over 90 countries who account for one third of its graduates.
Climate Change and Energy:
     Canada is blessed with reliable and diverse sources of energy: oil, natural gas, hydroelectricity, coal, nuclear (uranium), solar, wind, tidal and biomass. Canada is the world’s 5th largest energy producer and the 8th largest consumer. Frictions are present as areas like Alberta and Newfoundland who rely on fossil fuel profits have to contend with regulations imposed by environmentalists eager to speed climate remedies. Both sides are using science to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
     The Bank of Canada has inaugurated long-term studies on how to meet economic and environmental goals and stay within the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of limiting climate increases to the 1.5 - 2.0 Celsius range. World temperature has already increased 1 degree caused by greenhouse gases released mainly by the industrialized world with great harm to the non-industrial world.
     Canada has committed $2.65 billion for 2020-21 to help poorer nations fight it and has combined this with enhancing the role of women in agriculture, in reforestation, in designing and making cooking utensils that reduce greenhouse emissions, and in business ventures.
     Canada has benefited in that its growing season has increased 2 weeks and moved 80 miles north in 50 years, permitting agriculture to increase, but costs have so far outweighed benefits. For instance fossil fuels that were trucked in over ice roads over frozen permafrost to remote locations have to be flown in at great expense. Devastating fires, floods, soil erosion, refugee increases are all due to melting permafrost with its huge methane release. Land use must adapt quickly.
Wind Farms: Some 300 wind farms provide 6% of Canada’s energy. The first one was built in Alberta in 1993. Now every province has them. Only Nunavut and Northwest Territories do not. They require batteries to store power, kill over 300,000 birds annually, are noisy and to many unsightly. So, research is ongoing.
The Struggle:
     Life on this planet has always been a mix of heaven, hell, and purgatory with much of the latter two of our own making, mainly from those who worship the God of Greed. This time survival for all dictates co-operation. Make it so!

                                                                           Ye Olde Scribe, George

Saturday, 11 January 2020



Impeachment, Iran, and Aftermaths  

  Billions of us, led by concerned youth groups, continue to scream that time is running out to join the climate change and other actions vital to the survival of our life style, our species, and our unique and only world. Many of those who created the problems resist, are ignorant of, continue to worship the God of Greed, or kick remedies into the future that could easily fail us all. Too many have given up, ignore politics, and live only to enhance their few remaining days.
    A seemingly impossible hurdle is to uncover, understand, and eliminate the forces that are thought to control us that include: New Masons, Illuminati, Rothchilds, the banking system, highly profitable businesses, the Military-Industrial complex, and self-serving politicians.
    One of the politicians failing us commands a large impact. We do need to control Donald Trump and the millions who tolerate what others consider his selfishness. Recently his actions have run afoul of the US Constitution so opponents have succeeded in voting for impeachment using violations that can be effective even if not as serious as others he owns.
    By a vote of 230 to 197 the government of the USA impeached its president, 20 December 2019. Support for impeachment breaks sharply among party lines. Among Democrats, 85% approve of the House of Representative’s action, and only 12% disapprove. Approval among Republicans is only 16%, compared with 81% who disapprove. Among independents, 48% approve of the House passing articles of impeachment and 41% disapprove.
    After the House vote the impeachment fight will move — eventually — to the GOP-controlled Senate, where Republicans are confident they can stop the charges in their tracks. Public opinion on whether to actually remove Trump from office is 52% for and 42% against.
    The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, conducted Dec. 19-20, is the first national survey to measure public opinion on the impeachment vote. Prior to the vote, POLITICO/Morning Consult polls showed slightly greater support for impeaching Trump than other public polls.
    In December 2019 Trump paid $2 million divided among 8 charities to settle a New York State fine for misusing funds donated to his Donald J. Trump Foundation. He is accused of using Foundation funds to:
    Buy a 6-foot portrait of himself for $20,000, to funnel millions into his 2016 election campaign, to pay $250,000 to settle lawsuits against his for-profit businesses, and even to pay $7 for Donald junior’s Boy Scout dues.
    Trump followers shrugged all this off.
   Now we have a truly great Trump diversion! But is it not also a great setback for the USA and the world? Ignoring Congress and saner heads, Trump, on 03 January 2020, became a terrorist by ordering a drone strike on a motorcade near Bagdad airport that killed ten people including Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, 62, head of the elite Quds Force and the spearhead of Iran's spreading military influence in the Middle East. Also killed were Abu Mahdi al-Muhhandis, Iraq’s deputy commander of it’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF or PMU), a lifelong friend of Iran and critic of the USA, four senior Iranian officers, and four Iraqi officers.
    The U.S. strike followed a sharp increase in U.S.-Iranian hostilities in Iraq when pro-Iranian militia attacked the U.S. embassy after a deadly U.S. air raid on the Kataib Hezbollah militia, founded by Muhandis. that killed 25. They were demanding that US troops and diplomats leave Iraq.
    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Soleimani’s death would intensify Tehran’s resistance to the USA and Israel. Abuhamzeh, the Revolutionary Guards commander in Kerman province, mentioned a series of possible targets for reprisals including the Gulf waterway through which about a third of the world’s shipborne oil is exported to global markets. The Strait of Hormuz is a vital point for the West and a large number of American destroyers and warships cross there.
    Bill Bonner, chairman of Bonner & Partners, commented: “At the beginning of the 21st century America looked divine. Then, when George W. Bush launched his War on Terror in 2001, three thousand generations of dead humans must have all laughed at once.
    There was America – so rich, so sophisticated… making a damned fool of herself. The gods must have laughed too… and no one louder than Ares himself, the god of war.
    This was the kind of endless, expensive, and unwinnable wars that Ares knew well. It was the kind of war that was easy to get into… and hard to get out of. It was the kind of war that corrupted the military… and the government that supported it. It was the kind of war that could only be lost.
    And there she was, the USA stooping for the bait like every empire before it.”
    Selecting Ares is a good choice for today’s world. He is one of 12 Olympians, son of Zeus and Hera, well known as the lover of Aphrodite, goddess of love who was married to Hephaestus, god of craftsmanship.
    Diego Garcia, the largest of 60 small islands in the Chagos Archipelago, just south of the equator in the Indian Ocean, is yet another example of man’s disregard of the rights of weaker associations. Discovered and named “Thank God” by the Portuguese, then settled by the French in the 1790s it was taken by the British on winning the Napoleonic wars in 1815. From 1968 to 1973 the settlers were forcibly evacuated to lease land to the USA to build a joint US-UK military base. Ignoring a 2019 UN demand to remove colonial status and return the area to Mauritius, the US and UK announced intentions to retain the current agreement until at least 2036. On 6 Jan 2020 Trump ordered B-52 bombers to be stationed there, out of reach of Iranian missiles.
    Our world desperately needs this insanity to cease. We have done far more harm to Iran than it has done to us. I outlined this in Blog 132 of 04 August 2015 that also refers back to 3 earlier blogs (033,068, 073, June 2010, Feb 2012, April 2012). In 1935 Persia had the world change its name to Iran, the old Persian name for a country that can, for the most part, be proud of its history. It borders 15 countries and has no strategic depth so living in peace is vital.
   In September 1980 Iraq under Saddam Hussein bombed 10 Iranian airfields then invaded with 6 divisions on a 400-mile (644 km) front, capturing 15,000 square km by December. This led to 8 years of war and 500,000 casualties. Saddam’s goal was to thwart Iran’s Ruhollah Khomeini from exporting his islamic Shi’ite revolution to Iraq. Annexing oil-rich Khuzestan would overthrow Khomeini and enhance Saddam’s standing among Arabs. However, the majority of Iranian Arabs chose to fight alongside Iranian forces.
     The People’s Mujahedin of Iran sided with Iraq while the Iraqi KDP and PUK Kurdish militias sided with Iran. The USA, UK, USSR, France, and most Arab countries helped Iraq. Iraq used chemical weapons of mass destruction which Iran refused to do.
     The war had WWI features: trench warfare, barbed wire, and mass bayonet attacks. Iran enhanced the cult of the martyr. The war cost 500,000 casualties. It ended with a UN brokered cease fire in 1988. There were no reparations or border changes.
    Iran has endured the world’s most crippling sanctions, Harm to Iran goes back to WW1 and Churchill’s conversion of the Royal Navy from coal to oil followed by the development of Persian oil fields by UK and US companies who allowed Persia only a pittance of the profits thus creating a long series of political and economic upheavals.
     Iran has good reason to feel resentful and united in a desire to retaliate. It has now fired 22 missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US personnel thus violating Iraqi sovereignty as did the US strike. All missiles reached their targets in spite of US shields thus warning us of Iran’s ability to do great harm.
     Iran did warn of the attack so only concussion casualties needed medical help. This implies that Iran carefully and humanely chose targets so deserves high praise not sanctions. Yet it did make a terrible error, mistaking a Ukrainian Boeing passenger jet that had just taken off for a hostile drone, firing two missiles at it killing all 176 aboard including 57 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 7 Afghans, 10 Swedes, and 3 Britons. The Canadian-Iranian dead were all Iranians graduates or students of Canadian universities who had spent Christmas break in Iran.
     Trump has quickly increased the crippling sanctions, another huge mistake that will only divert Iranian groups that have been agitating for human rights denied by the current regime into neglecting their movements in order to embrace  national pride.
     It has been puzzling to see large Iranian protesting groups exhibiting solid and passionate anti-USA
fervour on the murder of Major-General Qassem Soleimani, then changing to criticizing their own government, calling for resignations, over shooting down the commercial jet.
     In a very troubled and dangerous world, we are fortunate in having millions, if not billions, of humans dedicated to salvation tactics but we still need strong leaders capable of unifying them and enforcing essential actions. It is essential that the United States, Israel, NATO, and EU realize they have the power to alleviate many of the woes that beset us. Many groups have already embarked on this unselfish crusade. Let us join, support, and unite them.
     We could benefit from a few victories for common sense and human empathy.

                                                                Ye Olde Scribe

Ye Olde Scribe


Surprisingly, there are no casualties. This implies that Iran carefully and humanely chose targets so deserves high praise not sanctions.
    Regretfully, the US acts as the bully on the block when it dictates with whom Iran may trade. Threatening sanctions on any country that dares to trade with Iran is an unacceptable and humiliating insult.
    Now, Iraq’s Shia leader, Moqtada al-Sadr, joins the chorus urging the US to depart and leave the Middle East to solve its own problems.
    In a very troubled and dangerous world, it is essential that the United States, Israel, NATO, and EU realize they have the power to alleviate many of the woes that beset us. Many groups have already embarked on this unselfish crusade. Let us join and support them.
   We now endure the terrible tragedy of an Iranian missile accidentally shooting down an Ukrainian Boeing killing all 176 aboard including 57 Canadians. Trump has quickly increased the crippling sanctions, another huge mistake that will only divert Iranian groups that have been agitating for human rights denied by the current regime into neglecting their movements in order to embrace national pride.
    We could benefit from a few victories for common sense and human empathy.
   What an amazing and pleasant surprise to see thousands of Iranians agitatiCustomizeng against their political leaders and calling for resignations over the shootdown of the Ukrainian jet.

             Ye Olde Scribe