On Tidying Up. Another Blog For Another Purpose.

Actions and Consequences

I recently joined a Writing Challenge which has been a rewarding experience on many levels. One of the topics which cropped up in responses / replies was avoiding falling into the trap of being ‘Preachy’ and spoiling a narrative; the possibility of your political or social views getting in the way of the plot and character development.

With this in mind it occurred to me it may be constructive to keep, this my original blog for the subjects associated with Writing and Whimsies, with the occasional side-swipe at WP and WORD. In consequence since I cannot keep my political mouth still to set up a quite separate blog for those subjects.

So in spite of WP, not because of it I do believe a suitable one has been constructed. Its spareness intentional.

My hope is not for this new blog to be an arena for my preferential views alone. Over recent years I have taken an interest in International Relations theories in particular the ‘Realist’ school, therefore there should be something of a detached analysis of how things are the way they are and also how they might go. The underlining theme will be the using of Historical Lessons and Examples.

Of course the site will be experimental and which direction it will go is something not to be predicted. Hopefully many subjects in a very broad arena will be covered. There will not be an aim to be inflammatory or suggest ‘this’ is the correct way. However it would be disingenuous to say these posts might not disturb, maybe challenge some conventional perceptions, on occasions sound bleak and others peculiarly optimistic, in a sardonic way.

The initial post will cover the first use of Nuclear Weaponry upon Japan. A subject redolent with opinions and beliefs. One which in its demonstration of Humanity’s ability to kill many, swiftly, caused a social shock wave which still resonates down the decades making it almost an article of faith that you cannot not have an opinion. I will not intend to justify, I will not intend to dismiss those who are still angered by its use. The intention will be to use this event as an illustration of one of Humanity’s Marches to a fearful outcome, mostly because of the near inevitability caused by a herding surround of circumstances.

The reader will be left to reach their own judgement.

A link:

A Question of Inevitability?

We Did Not Want To Be Here. And Yet We Are

War

A continuation of…

As Legions Before Us. We Will Be Tested

This not grandstanding; nor doomsaying; nor least of all a rallying call. We are moving past all of that. We are in the place where Reality is demanding our choices. This is how it is. You are being drawn to those choices, you will be asked to judge which paths.  For there are two human emotive tectonic plates grinding together and at some stage one will flip over the other, and there will be the quake. Those are National Domestic Pressures and The War  In Ukraine. Both remorseless, unavoidable, most of the elemental forces out of your control. Your reaction though will still be yours, along with tens of millions of others, each drop, each flake with its own weight and influence. Prepare yourself. And do not look for advice or guidance here I would not presume such arrogance.

The world is still dealing with a pandemic, the, medical, social and financial costs. Nations are facing domestic political upheavals in one form or another. The two closest to my heart being The Fracturing of Consensus in the USA and Brexit in my own UK. While now we have on the European Continent a full scale conventional conflict between two nations; The War that has been on hold since the Nuclear Sword of Damocles arrived. Both nations are locked in. One for survival, the other for a complex mix of motivations, some traditional, others recent. Both have invested great amounts of blood and treasure. One has massive resources, the other is in receipt of a steady stream of support. With each passing day, each shock of more death and misery. While in our own nations the domestic world goes on; at times you could be forgiven for briefly not thinking about Ukraine. But it will not go away.

War on the doorstep, be that literal, continental or geo-political in scope. War in one of its uglier industrial scales. No fast sweep of motorised columns; a hard version of commuter traffic, while folk stand gawping, some shaking fists, and then in a few days, it’s all over. ‘How shocking. I hope our government protests,’ you would have thought. Not this time, this was one militaries prepare for; well to begin with not so much The Russians. This was the grand demonstration to a horrified public what happens when the invaded supplied with latest weapons, trained for this happening, take a stand. The attacker very rarely gives out with a collective ‘Whoops’ and pulls back. Instead they revert using whatever they have in their locker, irrespective of the structural damage. While their troops on the ground, weary, low of morale, confused and angry take out their fear on the civilians. And there are the brutal mercenaries, bringing resonances of the WWII German SS police battalions .

Even so, after a while a certain adjustment can take place, what was in your mind, grabbing all of your attention, slips into the background. Back to the Domestic. Home news pushes to the fore, again. Ukraine: you’ve done all you can, you think; price rises, job security, polemical domestic politicians, they cannot be avoided.

However this war will not go away. The scenarios in which NATO is involved begin to take credible shape. Are you prepared for those? Are you ready to support such a step? Or would you judge it is best for all if the war is let to run down and Ukraine accept it has Fought the Good Fight, but must accept some compromise with Russia? Would you then hope the cost in men, material and economic damage would cause the downfall of the present Kremlin Court, then fences can be repaired, slowly and to salve our consciences money is poured into the surviving parts of the Ukraine. Money? Where from? Our own economies are suffering. National Debt is high. Some economists must be having sleepless nights, more so those in the various Financial Branches of governments. There again as we steer around the circle, NATO being involved would bring its own heavy costs. Unavoidable, pick one.

Whatever path is taken there will be prices to be paid. Militarily, Economically, Politically, Ethically even (Remember, every Ukrainian victory or defiant stance comes with a price in Russian blood, we also are now locked into that one way or another. Remember those days when you thought killing of anyone was reprehensible, but you still do. Except the World doesn’t allow you that detachment)

To re-visit. With the coming of Covid the world changed, though we got off lucky; a different strain could have brought an unmanageable death rate. But we are learning to live with it; just have to stop playing politics and silly conspiracy role-play games . A war in Europe involving Russia vs The West. Now that is no so easy to walk through; if it stopped tomorrow, all arms laid down the resonances would continue for at least the rest of the decade. How long before Russia and Russian stops being associated with brutality?

So far I have used the ‘?’ symbol six times. Could have been more. Strategies still developing in The West and Blindness to Consequences in the Kremlin. We are on a road in a fog, approaching something more than a crossroads.

You and I. We in our places. And we wonder or we resolve. If we take the latter  will we stay the course? (Seven ‘?’s and counting). When we look back all the other stances we took, seemed to have elements of simplicity. ‘We shouldn’t have gone there’; ‘We shouldn’t have got involved’ ‘We shouldn’t be doing this/that’. ‘We should be’; ‘We should be’…. Now, in these early months of 2022, ‘We should be doing…What?’ Your choice of Statement. (Eight ‘?’s and counting).

I did not bring in other issues, such as the catastrophic drought in the Horn of Africa, or the likely famine in Northern Africa due to the disruption of grain supplies from Ukraine & Russia, or…..

On reflection I was likely wrong to use the road, crossroads analogy.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say ‘Make your accommodations, or sketch out your own forecast so you may navigate through the storms ahead,’. Perhaps? (Nine ‘?’s and counting).

Today It Is Ukraine. Yesterday It Was Elsewhere. Tomorrow? This Never Rests.

Where do we begin? How do we explain?

24th February 2022. Another Date To Remember….So many events, actions and commentaries since the day Putin and his court decided to take the next step in their endeavours to bring The Ukraine back under Kremlin control. The avalanche into the medias has been such that I literally had to check the start date. It was as if Time measured in days had ceased to be a relevant method of recording, all that counted was The Narrative, every daily action is affected by The Narrative, even Sunrise and Sunset are but part of the backdrop. So many folk are asking ‘How could this happen?’ Understandable.

Under the lens of the seemingly disturbing and dispassionate study of International Relations’ Realism theories what is happening in the Ukraine is predictable, almost inexorable. However this is not the arena to be bandying terms such as ‘Anarchic World System’, ‘Biopolarity’ or ‘Interests’. Their uses are better suited to academic discussions of less vivid times and not against the scenes of raw death and suffering.

As with most events, cases and mindsets in Europe and East of the Dnieper into Russia to focus on How We Got Here is a long road. In terms of Ukraine one which requires a journeying back centuries. To Kievan Rus of the 9th Century (No Vlad you got that wrong about it not being a nation), its disintegration in the 11th to 12th centuries and the subsequent seven centuries of empires, nations and tribes fighting for territory until by the 19th Century it became part of the Russian Empire. There is a pause. Then with the intense industrial wars of the 20th Century the whole complexity of nations, peoples and beliefs starts again. For nothing is simple in Europe / Russia; arguably a portion of land which in terms of area and populations has been a place of more conflicts than any other part of the world. Heritages, folk memories, ethnicities ,injustices often correct, and always very selective run deep. No coincidence the arms industries and sciences settled then proliferated here. Blame America of the World’s ills? Blame its parents.

None of this excuses Putin and his court. They had enough recent lessons to know this would not be a swift walk in. Finland 1939. Ukraine Nationalist Insurrection 1944 to…1955?. Afghanistan 1979 to 1989; a toxic baton taken over by the West in 2001 to 2021. Chechnya (a running sore, still)  The USA / UK’s hubristic invasions of Iraq 2003 to 2011. To name the more prominent ones. And those were ones with military costs (aside from the minor fracas over the 1980 Olympics). Another big power, deluded by its apparent military might falls into another quagmire, an old, old story they never bother to read. They don’t get to walk away from this one though. This is happening in The First World.

And suddenly Western Europe is flexing financial, political, social, cultural and commercial muscles. China is concerned and arguably the USA is running to catch up. Where did that surge of anger and resolve come from? Two decades of teeth grinding frustration at the rise of suspect money? Two decades of seeing Russia is quite as capable of dishing out even more than The USA can in terms of military ‘solutions’. Maybe all those decades of The Cold War and what could happen if it turned warm and those echoes of two world wars came crashing back? Take your pick; mix and match? Though this is harder to fight against Putin. You can blow up a tank, it’s not so easy to destroy a series of expulsions from an international community; you can try to threaten to invade everybody, but you can’t be everywhere at once.

Not that this is of much comfort for those huddled in a cold basement somewhere in Ukraine, short of food, water and maybe important medicines; children crying, walls and floors shaking; the sounds of war getting nearer. Not much help when you have been on the road for days and are in a situation where you are grateful for the least of shelters and supplies which only go from day to day, uncertain of where you family are, not knowing what will be left to return to. War was ever like this. There will never be a clean, swift, surgical war. They tear, they grind, they are careless as they thrash around once the first plan and initial ideas burn up in the consuming destruction and counter destruction. What is happening in Ukraine is bad, it is unthinkable!… No. Think again. You know war did not stop with 1945, but was not just limited to those which made the nightly news. To a villager in some far away third world location to destruction visited by local security forces, militia or self-styled resistance groups, the horror and the suffering are the same. If you are distressed by one, then you should be equally distressed by them all. Selective outrage just does not cut it for the innocent. Ukraine is on TV, it is an example written in burning letters twenty stories high, laced with the choking tang that comes with the conflagration, the fuel of which you are advised not look to deeply at; your imagination will suit.

You should feel anguish. You should donate aid as best you can. You should shout against this invasion. You should also give some of your wrath to those who try and justify naked aggression or worse divert attention because it suits their own blinkered views. There are folk out there on all sides of the political divides who by default have blood on their hands because they could, but did not react or claimed reaction was wrong. A crime just as bad, in the dead or weeping eyes of the innocent. You see nothing is simple, we are fortunate this very visible one in Ukraine seems so. There are some in small shadowed corners of the world where the lines are blurred and twisted.

So we watch and we wait. But we don’t get to switch channels or turn to the sports entertainment or fashion pages so easily. This is First World ‘Business’. It demands and sucks in the attention of all. But remember, if we in the rest of the First World do get out, without a Covid-like spread, there will be a First World nation to repair, while across this Globe, the same miseries and sufferings will continue.

I Wish I Had Not Been Inspired To Write This

Since the mean-spirited, the fantasists, the intolerant and the selfish are not letting up this season it seemed like a reasonable idea to take a swipe at them…

These are a collection of thoughts which are available to be used as quotes, no copyright laws were invoked. As an alternative you may wish to shake your head sadly and say ‘Poor guy. How did he get that way?’; to this there is an easy answer….. I’ve been around for 70 years. …..

Anyway…..

Apparently only other people are gullible.

Conspiracy Theories are for folk who can’t cope with the concepts that Human Folly and Natural Planetary Activity are two of the biggest influences on Societies.  

It’s not Politics, it’s not Religion, it’s not Economics which are the problem. It’s People.

Two ways of avoiding responsibility, not caring about others and being selfish, would be either to going out to a pub and getting hammered, or embracing Libertarianism.

Simplifying a Tax System is process by which The Rich Keep it and the Poor pay for that.

The Market Economy is a great idea on paper. A Planned Centralised Economy is a great idea on paper. The trouble is The Paper doesn’t have a say in the running of either operation.

The Irregular Verb of Politics. I have firm, resolute beliefs. You have been misled. They have dangerous ideas.

Of course there will be a very special place in Hell for the very wicked. It’s next door to the larger room for the Apathetic.

Misogyny is the first resort of the male inadequate.

On encountering opinions described as ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ check which orifice they originated from.

The Enlightenment was fine but Intolerance, Greed and Cruelty are still around.

Who the heck would want to travel all that distance, using all those resources to reach this world? And why would they set up home in a chunk of American desert. OR if they are so clever in getting here how come they allowed themselves to be hijacked to a chunk of American Desert?

I might be impressed by Hunters if they went out barefooted, dressed in nothing but hide skins, armed only with pointed sticks or bows fashioned yesterday from branches and twine and were hungry. 

In this 14 (more of less) billion year old and maybe 60 billion light years in diameter Universe, can anyone take me to the vacant place and say ‘Look this is where Your God should be,’??…. Thought not.

Democracy is a process whereby you vote and hope you got it right. Then sometimes get to be disappointed. Then you vote again and hope a lot of people agree with you…

Elections are usually lost and the other folk benefit.

Not voting helps those you least want to be governing you.

There’s nothing wrong with being joyful and having a good time, just don’t try and shove it down my throat.

Denying Climate Change is assuming there are set of controls somewhere on the planet just like your central heating, air conditioning, lighting or plumbing.

Did Trump becoming a political item make you wonder if it was God’s way of saying ‘Yep. The Russian Orthodox Church were the ones who got the message right,’ ?

History is a wonderful teacher. It is also a remorseless shredder of romantically held views.

Intolerance, Bigotry and Ignorance are held in equal measure on The Right and The Left. The difference being, those on The Right tend to bawl out their views, whereas those on The Left tend to add a layer of self-righteousness.   

Whether Racism is a result of or will cause chronic inbreeding has yet to be clarified.

Claiming to know what your Rights are does not necessarily tie in with knowing what your Responsibilities are.

In the Western World one of the more unnecessary professions is that of the film critic whose affected opinions have done as much damage to the film industry as any censorship board.

9/11. Its Other Toxic Fall-out

World Trade Center Attacked

394261 14: A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Forward and Warning: This is a very long post. Nothing about the events of 20 years ago can be encapsulated in mere statements. These are strong views, strongly put. In particularly the last paragraphs. The views are strong because of what has happened to the nation I was once so fond of, and at times might even have emigrated to. I am angry with all those who have pulled her down. In this post I chose one culpable group.

Revisit and Response

We reach the 20th anniversary of the most effective terrorist attack on American Soil. Those of us of adult age or late childhood/teens can remember where we were and the subsequent hours as we drew in the shock and awe of the event. I remember the news seeping into the UK from 2.30 pm onwards; coming out of work at 5pm and noticing the streets of my small town almost empty as if everything had stopped and everyone was watching news feeds, making sure what they heard had actually taken place. A death toll in hundreds upon hundreds? Surely not. But there they were, images of planes crashing into two towers and one managing to strike the pentagon too. A classic surprise attack. Maybe not so much of a shock in the UK, we’d been suffering the smaller scale Irish Republican attacks for years and were aware how much death and damage home trained and resourced folk determined and directed could cause.

Then came the aftershock 400+ emergency services personnel were killed, and another aircraft had been brought down by the passengers’ sacrifices. Both losses enshrined as an heroic acts and maybe the deaths of the emergency personnel resonated deeper, they were rushing in as other rushed away.

There would be other ramifications, trauma through loss, injury or survivor guilt, health issues through the toxic fallout, innocent Muslims or anyone not of white skin attacked. And two large scale military operations taking more lives and with no victory parades at the end.

There is another though, not the first instance but arguably at one the most insidious, most ridiculous and still all pervasive, like a cancer corrupting the body social and politic, spreading its poisons and thus causing similar sicknesses. This being that the events of 9/11 were a conspiracy promulgated by a mix of government, commercial enterprises, Israel (of course- Jews y’see) and the CIA, FBI etc etc.

Now I am not going to wade through the morass of little details, twisted, fabricated, pounced with a morbid glee to suit this inane premise. This is not the place to explain to the most dogged of these folk yet again why they are incorrect. It is a task as pointless as explaining to an adolescent why they should keep their bedroom tidy without being told. There will be drama, excuses, accusations, and storming outs. And why should you have to suffer yet again that annoyance? In the USA you have suffered 4 years of Trump as alleged president you do not need more immaturity.

This is actually a series of direct challenges to these folk to their flawed thinking and in consequence their true motivation, which many of them may not be aware of.

First Assumption.

The US government was involved.

Hostility to the Bush administration was wide and understandable. After the 2000 presidential election’s sojourn through the legal tangles of electoral laws, a lot of folk who did not vote for the winner would feel aggrieved. Now the usual response would be to blame the administration for flaws in security which allowed this to happen. However thanks to the JFK Conspiracy Cottage Industry, Watergate(The one dirty trick which was caught out) and Oliver Stone’s ‘Big Sleep’ take on JFK’s death the ground work was already set for Conspiracy Addicts and Zealots Against Bush to burst into action. Of course there was something ‘fishy’. How could a bunch of men living in caves possibly carry out this act. Never mind that one attack had been semi-successful in 1993. They could not have done it. NO it had to be a government conspiracy, carried out by….

A bunch of White, Educated Americans. Only White Educated Americans could have possibly planned and been ruthless enough to have done this. This line of thinking runs racism in two directions. The first one being that only White folk do evil things as second nature, everyone else had extenuating circumstances; well apart from those in the Far East, because we all know about Fu Man Chu; right?. The second flow of racism is that it is quite impossible for not-white men living in caves to think up such complicated and sophisticated plots. Never mind the times they succeeded since the 1970s, never mind that in one region they beat back the USSR. According the Conspiracy Schools even if they were the trigger men, they were, all right up to the top manipulated by White Americans, because only Whites are this clever. Ironically the only other extremist conspiracy addicts who didn’t buy into this were Nazis, KKK and other like-minded folk, folk who had never even heard of Islam were suddenly experts. So there we are. Buy into Conspiracy by White Governments and you might as well sign up to the odious Jones of Info-Whores. (Of course I did leave out the last resort of all ignorant folk be they right, left, liberal etc, etc, Israel was involved (that’s the polite term for ‘Jews’ these days), which is kind of odd since there are any number of polluted, warped, bastardised versions of Fatwahs around saying its the duty of Muslims to kill Jews)

Second Assumption 

Because I read it in A Book or On Line.

There have always been armchair generals and followers of the Simplistic School of Politics who bandy about words and phrases they have picked up from somewhere which pushed their buttons, without having the faintest genuine idea as to what they are truly talking about. Every subject is replete with the hack authors and their willing followers. The ones I noticed are popular amongst the addict fellowship are for instance  ‘Psi-Op’; ‘False Flag’ ; if you happen to question their own practical experience in such matters they either get very tangential or tell you its obvious and you are either Sheep, Sheeple or a Shill; some of the more inventive will tell you they were told by someone they cannot name, which be fair is a bit of a cop-out, as unverifiable sources are easy to manufacture. For quite some time folk of this ilk have been desperately trying to show how clever, astute, and thus superior they are to the rest of us by ‘knowing something’. Sadly there is so much fiction peddled along these lines, it is understandable it sinks into the conscious, like in the old Westerns where the hero was only shot in the left shoulder and we all believed that was not a serious wound because he kept on shooting (even if he was left-handed). Amongst all this armchair-babble by folk ‘knowledgeable’ in this area there is only one ‘False Flag Psi-Op’ which is possible- That the security services of the USA  set up the Conspiracy Theory networks themselves to detract from any ideas incompetence or complacency played a role in the events of 9/11. This makes as much, in fact even more sense that the stuff swilling around.               

Third Assumption

The Shadowy Cabal 

This is from another set of the myths which are as old as communities, and is a left-over from the time certain folk of a community would hike off somewhere secret to do secret things. These evolved into secret societies, exclusive clubs, higher echelons of belief systems and so on. Naturally those not selected either because of class, lack of resources or not being of the right status would tend to get jealous and feel left out during hard-times; these being more common than good-times, from jealously you get hostility and folklore to support that. Some wishing to elevate themselves of their own status would endeavour to prove they knew about ‘what went on’ , so if you couldn’t be a member of the secret lot, you could least to a member of those who watched the secret lot.

Now it has to be said government tends to take on this veneer. There are decisions made in private, some with good cause (telling enemies of your defence and security plans is not a good idea) and others because it would have been bad politics to let the raw process made public (who knows what the Markets will think, for instance). And that is how it is. Where the system breaks down is when the word ‘Conspiracy’ gets into the accounts; things get overheated. Let’s examine this in the 9/11 spectrum.

So assume a secret cabal of government, financiers, favoured foreigners and throw in a few religious folk decided sending plans into targeted locations in the USA would suit their nefarious purposes. Now those folk will have to draw other folk in, because the thought of a clutch of late middle aged to elderly males doing all the arranging, meetings, placing explosives and falsifying signals etc themselves is pretty hard work and likely for several of them to have coronaries or strokes. Thus in the art of delegation they must bring in other folk who in turn would do the same thing. As this goes down the line the numbers grow exponentially and three figure numbers start to appear. As all these people are presumably not going to go back to hermit-like existences  after the event, they will have personal contacts and the numbers by degrees of separation expand to four figures. This is all very well if we are talking about  The Day The President experimented with transgenderism we can all keep that quiet, right? But any event that killed nearly 3,000 people? Do you honestly think that everyone involved in that is going to keep quiet? That the knowledge would not burrow into their minds and spirits and in the resulting corrosion of guilt or anger at not getting a good enough rewards, thus causing them to give the game away? Not just the one or two beloved by the Conspiracy folk, but whole swathes of them, enough to have every professional and genuine investigative journalist on the trail, every opposition politician asking questions? Do I have to mention Watergate?….Obviously I have to. Coupled to that, such small cabals given to such thoughts and evils are prey to paranoia and rivalries and are not known for United Fronts. No one is big enough not to be thrown under the bus if it suits the rest. The idea that this mythical cabal would cling loyally together does not work. French Revolution, USSR, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia to name but a few with bloody hands were never solid dependable fraternities, many were booted to the wall or knives of some sort were drawn. For this idea to hold water we are at best in Darren Brown, Hollywood or Comic Book territory, at worst the rancid racist works such as The Protocols of Zion.

Overview  Then.  

Whether folk like it or not the guerrilla or the terrorist moves in the shadows, seeking out the opportunities, the weaknesses, the possibilities. As an IRA member once said ‘One Lucky Day’. To survive they live in subterfuge, more aware than most their lives are conditional. Above all they are dedicated. Some may already consider themselves dead, waking to their successful end. You have seen enough examples since 2001, surely.

  It is of comfort for some to think all is controlled by ‘The Government’, the conspiracy addicts feel safer with believing there is ‘a plan’. They would prefer not to think their lives are conditional upon what as in the scheme of things are random events, be they natural or enacted by those who are not part of their society. It is far easier for an American 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist to believe the events of 9th September 2001 were enacted by a government than to hold to the concept that this day they could be shot down by a random gunman, struck by ice falling off of an aircraft wing, hit by lightening, killed in collision with a vehicle which had brake failure, in the wrong place when a tree blew over, or where there was a mud/rock slide, an elevator lift system failed and so on. They would rather have someone remote and unseen to blame. That takes the natural chaos out of Life.   

There Is More To It Than That 

If this was all there was to the 9/11  Conspiracy annoying as it would be I would not trouble to write a post of this length, in fact my comments would probably be limited to a reply to some other post. This is not the case. The principal reason to assail them with basic challenges and at such length is because of The Cause & Effect this particular grouping has had in society as such. John & Robert Kennedy’s assassination were world-wide events, but in the human perception; politicians and leaders get killed from time to time, you are shocked, you grieve and you move on; even if JFK’s death did spawn that cottage industry, nothing else changed. 9/11 by its scope and being seen live; did. To repeat we all know where we were and what we did. To claim that as being false at such length and depth  made The Conspiracy more viable than ever in the 20th/21st century. It settled into the American conscious not just on the Left or Liberal wings but on the Right too. The Right had dallied with this: McCarthy Era, Fluoride in Water, Lyrics in Rock Songs Played Backwards and always that National Government was essentially trying out to take your (ie White) freedoms away. But now it had a bedrock to work with. If 9/11 was a Conspiracy and gosh there was a lot of ‘evidence’, then who knows what else was going on??? The 9/11 Conspiracy had opened the door.  

Sandy Hook was bad enough, but for the parents to be accused of being actors and threatened.

QAnon which once could only have figured in the book by the masters of the satirical and fantastic such as Carl Hiaassen has now become a solid belief system for far, far too many.

The vile, poison of anti-Semitism and its literature of Hate is back and sits comfortably with other Conspiracy works.

A teenager concerned with environmental issues was subject to hideous abuse and accusations of being a front for….. Well apart from World Wide Socialism I could never make out what? The Thunberg-phobes are not renowned for their eloquence or ability to write more than five or six words; ten at tops, then a link to some spurious site

If these were not bad enough a creature of media indulgence with no experience of anything other than questionable property dealings and cult-like following on TV became president not by a popular vote but through a freak of the voting system. Because ‘apparently the whole system was rotten and filled with conspiracies’. This individual then proceeded to court the far-right and break his Oath of Office from day one. When we thought this could not be topped as the 2020 election results came in, what did the spoilt brat of privilege do? Why? He cried Fraud and Conspiracy, and later gathered a rabble to try and storm the Whitehouse. In early years his antics at the election would have damned him to obscurity and ridicule, but in this Age of Conspiracy? No. He had credence amongst the majority of the 70,000,000+ who had voted for him. Thus the toxicity of The Conspiracy nurtured by the 9/11 adherents to this Unholy Cult had its greatest triumph, the acceptable assault on the Democratic process.

The next words are going to seem very harsh indeed. They may even hurt some who have hung on this far while doubting my argument. But I make no apologies. No more than those who support Gun Control will cut any slack for those of the NRA who cling to The Right to Bear Lots of Arms. Gun Control will tell Gun Rights they also have blood on their hands for the random killings

Because if that style of accusation works in one case it works in another.

If you cling to the 9/11 Conspiracy, you are culpable of the spread of the Conspiracy in any form as an argument. In that case you carry some of the weight of Sandy Hook’s aftermath. You must bear a part played in the farce of the 2016 presidential election and the subsequent years. Your brothers and sisters in fantasy and ignorance attacked The Whitehouse and threatened and took lives on the 6th January 2021.

And people are dying of Covid through denial, let us not forget.

Nearly 3,000 people died on the 9th & 10th September 2001, many more lives were wrecked in the aftermath, more would die in Iraq and Afghanistan in the years ahead. In the USA I could not begin to count the death, injuries and intimidations caused by Hate Crime of one sort or another. To repeat you very nearly lost your seat of government and many elected officials on the 6th January 2021.

By your denial of the rational and the factual, by your RPG indulgence as some fearless seeker of The Truth (whatever that might be in the broad sweep of Humanity’s dealings down the ages), you insult those who died, those who suffered and those who worked to seek out the true villains. You do as much as Al-Qaeda could ever have hoped for.

A Lesson Left Unlearnt.

In Western folklore World War II started on 1st September 1939 with the German invasion of Poland. As far as the then British and French Empires were concerned it commenced on the 3rd September 1939 in response to the aforementioned invasion. From a Chinese / Japanese perspective this war started on the 7th June 1937, although military activity had been taking place since September 1931. Before this China had been riven by civil wars and warlords since arguably 1927 although scholars of the region would no doubt move that date back further. While Russia and Japan fought between 1938 to 1939 in a region of North-East China and the communist state of Mongolia. Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935 and there was a civil war in Spain between 1936 to 1939. Total casualties through military action, deliberate murder, sickness, famine and as in all wars error have been estimated between 70,000,000 to 85,000,000. Think on those last two figures. We can’t be certain what happened to 15,000,000 people. Imagine this ‘Oh. We’re not too sure what happened to most of the folk of New York and London, we found about a million of them though,’ (Bothe have populations in the 8,000,000 region)

Following on from the end of WWII on the 1st September 1945 would follow a series of civil wars, social turmoils and independence struggles which would give rise to more loss of life and misery. And these were the ones taking place between 1945 to 1950. Still in the echoes of WWII. No major victorious power was spared these nor those nations under its sway.

From there on each subsequent decade had its series of major conflicts and minor ones which might have made a fleeting glance somewhere in the record. Some involved large swathes of the populations; others a 1% to 5% of the local population. A child crying is a child crying, a woman raped is a woman raped, dead person is a dead person, whether the perpetrators were security forces, ‘resistance fighters’ or local opportunistic bandits  it’s all the same to the victims and their families.

Some folk would like to make this simple and blame one root cause, that is like trying to catch fog and put it in a bowl. You take aware one cause and we, Humanity will find another. If we did not put down our guns after the events ceasing in 1945 then we are the flaw in the system. Not one government, not one belief system, not one perceived injustice. It is us.

This of course is as old as our history. Each war or conflict  has its own sets of unfinished business. The problem now is whereas as before as long as our numbers were small, the world could indulge our follies. No longer. Our time is running out. The clock started ticking in 1930.   

It’s Not Religion That’s The Problem.

  There is one common flaw that us Humans all share, this being that we are all too willing to blame a system be it political, theistic, atheistic, cultural, social or whatever. We all assume that if ‘we’ got rid of ‘that’ (irrespective of the opinions of the followers / believers) things would be better because into the gap would flow rational thought, understanding and all those negatives would evaporate.

And we would all live happily ever after.

Cut to end music and credits.

This idea, nice though it would be and goodness knows I have subscribed to it so many times over the years (Far Left Socialist writing here). The hard and sad fact is take something away from Humanity which they have been misusing and they will find something else to misuse and pervert in a short space of time. Classic case being post Revolutionary Communist states and if die hard apologists persist I am wrong, then let’s talk about Pol Pot, shall we?

Another Human flaw being that if we do not like something then we will go looking for the worst case example of that ‘something’ to prove our point. Never mind that within the something there are numerous variations and differing opinions. As long as we can find that shocking example (and there usually are plenty) then we will be content or justifiably outraged depending on our mood.

So let’s look at religion. Firstly if I try and go blundering about discussing all religions I am bound to offend some of my fellow theists as I don’t know everything about every one of them, just enough to appreciate all have a common code of ethics which everyone is supposed to adhere to, but don’t. Therefore I will firstly narrow down to the three Abrahamic religions, as regards Islam and Judaism it is essential to be brief here too because not being a practitioner of either I have no right to go preaching about either, thus simple observations

  1. There are 1.9 billion Muslims. IF they were all fanatics intent on world domination and force-converting the rest of the world I think we might have noticed a few more invasions and ravening hordes. The notion that all Muslims are a threat is grotesque and just another excuse for other races to hide their racism. Tell an NRA member all gun owners are dangerous and potential mass killers and see what they feel about that parallel.
  2. NO the Jews are not all devious business and financial manipulators bent on world domination. If you had been persecuted for one thousand years by every other group and forced into certain occupations by corrupt or ignorant governing powers then you would develop a certain caution in your culture. So get your perspectives sorted there people. And I am also looking at other minority groups who have suffered persecution and thus should know better. And before we go any further Israel’s current administration is what happens when right-wing exclusivity takes hold, it is not the sole flaw of Jews, every nation around the world has that stain in some form…Ask their minorities.   

Thus I move onto home ground. Christianity, which itself has a fine history of folk who think they know better than God and so go around slaughtering other Christians to ensure that they, the group doing the slaughtering have a place in Heaven. After a while they decided that slaughtering was not beneficial to the economy, so they calmed do a bit, settled on persecution and eventually into simple suspicion and not letting ‘those folk’ have the better jobs, housing, etc. And before anyone tries to tell me that The Communists learnt that from Religion I have to say ‘You’re reaching folks’. There were times when Trade Wars..were…well wars. It’s the Human thing again. Get angry. Hit. Don’t think. Grab the loot    

When viewing the antics and the hypocrisies of those who wave a Bible about and tell you about a selected line out of the Testaments which suits their arguments, then it is only natural to despair. However this in itself is selective. Be honest you know you have gone there to disagree with them; the opposite side of the coin as the ‘true believers’. Barely regulated, unedited YouTube available to anyone….seriously, that’s not the way to judge the Big Picture.   

So here I am.(pre-covid). At Mass in a Catholic place of worship. The Mass begins. We come to the Homily…..and I don’t recall one calling on us to gather up our wrath or sharp implements assail non-catholics, march on places of government, or not render unto Caesar things which are Caesar’s. I do recall a lot about getting our ethical acts together and start thinking about our personal short-comings and how we should stop paying lip service to the English version literal of the Bible and look at the meaning.

And cut to New Testament Gospel According to Matthew Chapter 7. The whole chapter, not neat little bits. The whole instruction from Christ:

“Judge[a] not, that you be not judged. For with what [b]judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow Way

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 [c]Because narrow is the gate and [d]difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

You Will Know Them by Their Fruits

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Build on the Rock

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

 

Yes, that is the full instruction. That is how it should be. Anyone see anything there about killing anyone? Anything there about getting wealthy on religion? Anything there about starting wars? Persecuting minorities?   Have a look at verses 15-20…..AND that is what is going on in the Kingdoms of Humanity. Jesus warned about that, as had the Old Testament Prophets, and here we are still doing it while hiding behind fogs of words and firecrackers of sound-bites. And before we move on….consider verses 1-5…………Yes….all of us. Humanity in all its flawed stumbling ways.  

So across the politics. My neighbourhood: Socialism & Socialists. Many of them like to announce their credentials as against war, looking for justice, worrying about minorities, seeking equality. And yet I have witnessed packs turn on journalists who did not agree with their views (Free Speech?) with a MAGA like ferocity. They turned their back on the sufferings of millions in Syria because of some odd notions to do with American imperialism. They have indulged in the old European Sport of Anti-Semitism under the guise of being concerned about Palestinians and very cross with you when you ask why they are not equally concerned about other groups around the world. Pretended that Putin was not as bad as American Presidents…..until rumours started that Russians were funding the Conservative Party and Brexit……        

And we could go onto. Into the polite and not so polite manoeuvres in The Arts, Entertainments, of course the pestilences that crowd Social Media (Shaming, Trolling, Misogyny, Malice and so forth). And on and on.

In short don’t go looking for some convenient or fashionable reason to collect up the World’s ills and blame it all on that.

It’s in you and me. It lurks in all of us. The problem and the cure are the same Humanity.     

There’s Nothing New Here. Just Another Nation in Decline. (This time it is The UK in Brexit)

I am somewhat honoured that Keith of ( musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com  ) has asked me to write this, following a response to a question he raised on Jill’s ( jilldennison.com ) blog

I would warn you, there will be no quotes, statistics or links, these by their very nature are selective and can be turned around by oppositions, often getting side-lined in arguments over the character of the provider of the quotes, statistics or links. This is an essay, or if you like a polemic. This is based on the readings of the Histories of Humanity and all their various accompanying  follies and tragedies. This is about something very old, on this occasion making its appearance in Brexit Britain.

Although shadowed by the world-wide pandemic, this lesser event will still have its ramifications even if many of the world’s population can be forgiven for barely noticing it; after all, what will it matter to someone living in a nation a few time zones away and more concerned with their own day to day struggles? Some in the UK so wrapped up in their myths and dreams would have you believe the entire planet will shake as the UK rises from some European induced torpor calling on spirits of Churchill, Thatcher, Drake and Arthur (King) to inspire our current political and economic leadership to gather the people together in a glorious endeavour bringing in the proverbial New Golden Age. And this will be our True Finest Hour. If you examine the headlines in the right-wing tabloid press and the comments of their readerships or have the misfortune to run into them on FaceBook you will see I am somewhat understating the rhetoric.

Each nation or community which would be a nation or movement has its own baggage of legends, myths and massaged history mixed into a heady brew which offers in a far more glorious vision than it deserves. Never look too deeply into your people’s past unless you are of thick skin, detached or objective for you will not be comfy. Many in the UK in 2015 to 2016 feasted too deeply of the Empire, Victors in WWI & WWII mythos rich stew without reading the warnings on the various contents’ packets, and to keep their sacred beliefs firm still partake.   

And whenever a collection of folk take the step towards independence or dominance you can be certain there will be the taint of outright or implied discrimination, for the collection of folk will have convinced themselves that all ills, and the end of the none-existent “Good Old Days” are down to interlopers and non-believers. So never mind the economic and legalistic arguments surrounding Brexit, Race and Prejudices played a major part in many a voter’s decisions. One of the two truths folk do not like to mention. The other being on the Left that without Corbyn’s lukewarm unenthusiastic campaign or the section which believed the EU was an adjunct of the multi-nationals the Right might never have won the referendum and subsequent 2019 General Election. Struggles are not just won by one side’s courage or tactical superiority; they require a degree of failure within the opponents’ ranks.

So here in the second decade of the 21st century  The UK is positioned. A collection of islands without their own independent mercantile fleets or major ship building trades. Other types of industries which for many years have been owned by overseas groups and now without the mutual protection of the EU. Whereas there are a large number of small ventures making herculean efforts, these are now all vulnerable to the unpredictable and savage storms of international climates of trade and politics along with another layer of avoidable paperwork.  Meanwhile the UK places some of its faith in a leisure industry which waits for Covid to be supressed and hopefully the tourists to return. And forgetting the financial hub currently residing in London can in these cyber days be moved with relatively little effort. The balm to soothe these worries is that the UK can make new vibrant and fresh deals with other nations outside of the EU; however the problem is these ‘Other Nations’ looking to make deals are by their natures on the rise or with a very strong base whereas the UK has been in a steady decline of nationally based infrastructure, services and industries since WWII, thus these Isles are negotiating from the lesser position with the give and take going in the other direction. It is hard not to view us as the wilful self-absorbed member of the family who has blustered out of the home to seek life on their own believing their ‘smarts’, determination and cherished fantasy masquerading as a plan will see them through. This is the character who ends up on the streets, a battered minor hustling supplicant desperate that the next day will bring ‘the break’ while looked down upon by the major players.

There is another facet, that is the strength of the nation as displayed in its military prowess. In some this is simply the self-defence capacity; in some it is the ability to operate outside of the borders. Questions are being asked of that capacity, and at a time where there is an undercurrent in the USA of questions as to the future of NATO and Russia’s the inevitable historical draw to surround herself with client states. Examples of the never ending tides of human action and reaction in the political world, a dance as old as communities.

And herein lies the evidence lain bear by Histories. Nations and Empires rise and fall the names, locations and components change but the tectonic that is Human activity continues. Thus worn out by a century’s effort and the shedding of a role too heavy to bear do these Isles suffer their turn in this cycle. The sensible, rational long term approach would have been to hunker down, regroup and reform within the security and stability of a Union. This is not the Human way, we must believe in our legends and our folk myths, we must live them, we must be seen to be independent with all the angry deluded stance of the someone Lear-like living their past glories, denuded now of past abilities  observed by predators looking on to take away the last vestiges of independence, dress that someone in their own cloth and have them dance to their own tune, for their profit. Look into Histories and read the runes, observe that Rise and Fall over and over again.

There is a large swath of the population who have seen the message and are not turned by the populist press, the self-important financially secure commentators and their political relatives. Sadly these have divided themselves into fractious groups busy blaming each other for the 2019 General Election debacle which allowed a previously nationally indulged self-serving jester to become Prime Minister, now having to grow up, fast. While they are reduced to self-aggrandisement, anger and bitterness on Social Media. Whether there will be a steady movement by the national groups of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland away from England and into some connection with The EU remains to be seen. It could be that the old Islands’ story of  infighting and opportunist accommodations with whoever holds Westminster will be played out again and all will once more bow before The Centre; nothing new there, despite what the Nationalists would have you believe. There again delusion and desperation have their own tectonic and a fragmentation with a nominal centre could arise. A mini-version of the Holy Roman Empire, nodding to someone, a nominal head yet with each region going its own way. And of course the fate others have suffered so often; Client state, something which happens in so many ways often without folk noticing. Or battered and ragged knocking on Brussel’s door the prodigal state returns, only this time there will not be one loving father with a fatted calf; there will be a clutch of judgemental siblings. 

The permutations and variables beckon with a skeletal finger as we stumble out into the storm, eyes closed and muttering invocations from a false religion.

One last salutary note. By all mean shake your head sadly at these Isles’ ill-considered venture. However do not walk away feeling secure. At some stage these tectonics will reach you. Be sure you are prepared for the shock and have a plan to prevail. For we have still not evolved beyond those first communities of villages and small towns looking to survive or dominate.    

‘This May Not be The Beginning of The End, but it will be The End of the Beginning’

You’ve won back this precious flag

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you

But be ever vigilant.

The Intolerance and Bitterness never sleep

NB: The title of this post is a quote of Winston Churchill’s after the British & Commonwealth forces victory at El Alamein 23rd October to 4th November 1942