Category Archives: History

Ending Climate Change


It is time our big multinational companies looked after their long term interests and took action on the growing threat of Climate Change.

Yet there is a hidden, untalked of reason why this will never happen.

Ever since our caveman ancestors sent their men out to hunt and kill either dinner for the tribe or perceived enemies there have been leaders in human societies.

Those leaders became our Rulers; Pharaohs, Caesars, Kings, Khans and Emperors. The key to all of those positions is that they became hereditary. While not universal, primogeniture became the rule. Position and its associated wealth became concentrated into those ruling families.

As communications and travel improved, the Empires became larger and the available wealth became greater. Wealth accumulation changed from being the reward for exploiting and slaughtering the poor to being the reward for outright theft.

Wealth, in the past century, has changed from being property to being ‘money’. So our Rulers today are no longer generic ‘Kings’ but a few hidden people we occasionally hear about but very rarely see. The mythical 1% who are really a lot less than 1% of that 1%. The Multi-billionaires who own all the fruits of their serfs’ labour.

The key to leading the human race has always been a genetic thing. Leaders form a very special group within society. They are largely an intermarrying tribe within themselves and given sufficient time, they could well become a separate species. Even though there appear to be changes in our ruling families, many of those changes are to sons, and sometimes, daughters. Ruling appears to be an inheritable trait. It would be interesting to trace the genetics of the current Ruling families of Europe and Asia to see if they can indeed be traced back to the original rulers of Mesopotamia or proto-China.  And then to do the same with those exceptionally rich rulers who now live out of the sight of the normal human being.

Today we have mostly hidden, or hiding, ruling families whose ambition is that the family line continues. They are rarely spoken of in public because they are the ultimate owners of the Press and of the News we are allowed to know.  Our Rulers now like their privacy.

We also have a major climate problem which could well destroy our civilisation and many members of the human species. I have read that 147 people own the vast majority of the wealth of the world. They are our rulers. They are our owners. They know how to survive even if it will cost many of their serfs their dreams, livelihoods and lives.

What we know about Rulers is that they self-preserve. With their extreme wealth they are in the unique position to create safe places for themselves as well as those lucky serfs who are their favoured servants. The rest of us are not of any concern to those favoured few. What is their concern is having their lieutenants run the giant multinationals and conglomerates which we do see. And to make sure they are run in such a way as to benefit the ruling families.

Controlling climate change would be a cost to them. It doesn’t matter to them that millions, billions of fellow human beings will die because of this avoidable catastrophe. It never has. They have caused, created and fuelled major bloody conflicts throughout the millennia which have killed millions. This is just one more conflict and they have the resources to survive it!

Climate Change will not be stopped by those who can stop it. It isn’t a survival instinct or habit which has been bred into them.

Lovecraft on Republicans


Better known for his fearsome works of horror, Howard Phillips Lovecraft also wrote many letters to fellow authors.

Occasionally he would discuss politics.  He showed a prescience in that field which I hope he did not show in his other writings.

H. P. LOVECRAFT wrote, in a letter to C. L. Moore, August 1936;

As for the Republicans—how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.

Six years earlier on October 4, 1930, he had written, in a letter to Robert E. Howard, – – – ‘Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity.’

I have not found a reference to him combining the two thoughts.

Perhaps the rest of his work is a warning of what may happen if the Republicans and the Fundamentalists joined forces.

Is Donald Trump one of the Shoggoth?

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Shakespeare on Refugees


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The Lesson Our Leaders Never Learn


REVOLUTION AGAIN

Refugees and Vandals


Today I write about Vandals.

Not the ones who break windows and tag walls.

The original Vandals. The Germanic tribe who left Scandinavia around 200BC. Their name has been connected to Vendel, a province in Uppland, Sweden [1]

There is no agreed historical reason for them to have left although the adventurer/archaeologist Thor Heyerdhal had an interesting theory on the origins of today’s Scandanavians. Norwegian mythology tells that the Scandinavian god-king Odin moved with his people to Norway from a land called Aser, in order to avoid Roman occupation. A 13th-century historian’s description of Aser’s origination matches that of Azerbaijan: east of the Caucasus mountains and the Black Sea. [2] Other than a 300 year time difference, it is an interesting and ironic possibility. The Vandals moved on by a tribal army from Eastern Europe which was fleeing the Romans.

Click on this map to make it readable.

Click on this map to make it readable.

What is more certain is that those Vandals created much more of a stir across Europe than can be imagined.

Firstly they moved to the South and East, across the Danube into what had been the Roman Province of Dacia. [3] We now know much of that area as Romania with its wonderful Transylvanian mountains, forests and legends.

Here they found a settled group of tribes recovering from Roman rule but also being pressured in the North East by another famous group of travellers, the Goths, both Ostro and Visi. This conflict between the two groups occurred around the time of the Emperor Constantine. He granted the Vandals land in Pannonia, an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube over the territory of the present-day western Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, north-western Serbia, northern Slovenia, western Slovakia and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. [4]

Somewhat like the present-day Kurds who live in an area divided between southeastern Turkey, western Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria. [5]gallacia

Around 400CE the Vandals were pushed westwards again, this time by the Huns. Crossing the Rhine into Gaul along with other tribes in 406 and on December 31st, 409, the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia (from Baeticawhere the dispossessed Gaels sailed north to conquer Ireland) and Baetica (now mostly Andelusia) respectively. [1]

The Silingi branch of the Vandals had been accompanied by the Alans, Iranians who had fled the Goths who had invaded their homeland east of the Caspian Sea.

It is worth remembering that in all of these migrations, people were left behind. Invading refugee women married into local families and stayed. Invading refugee men married local women and became new rulers, farmers or artisans.

The migrations of the Alans during the 4th–5th centuries AD, from their homeland in the North Caucasus. Major settlement areas are shown in yellow, Alan civilian emigration in red, and military campaigns in yellow.

The migrations of the Alans during the 4th–5th centuries AD, from their homeland in the North Caucasus. Major settlement areas are shown in yellow, Alan civilian emigration in red, and military campaigns in yellow.

The Alans, together with the Silingi Vandals, chose to move further south across the Straits of Gibraltar into Northern Africa. From where they invaded what was to become known millenia later, as “The Soft Underbelly of Europe”. Their travels and destinations are shown here as well. [6]

Italicised Paranthetical Note

Something I have just noticed is that so many of these invaders cum refugees originated in Scandinavia. The Vandals, the Goths, the Huns, the Vikings. All around 2000 – 1500 years ago. I wonder if there was some sort of climate change which forced so many groups from their homes.

SKIPPING TEN OR FIFTEEN CENTURIES

FILLED WITH THE FALLOUT FROM THOSE TIMES

WE COME TO TODAY.

WHERE NOW YOU ASK, “So what has all that got to do with the price of eggs in China?”

NOTHING!

Except that those Vandals and the Alans and even the Goths were all refugees. Fleeing for their lives from the threat of death, the threat of invasion. The threat of dispossession. The Domino Theory of the 1960’s in a different part of the world not only happened in Europe but it continues today! The “Eurozone” is simply a way of sweeping history under the carpet to avoid yet another Eurowar.

So what has all this to do with today’s mass refugee movements from the Middle East and Africa?

Not a lot.

Unless you have some Irish ancestry in which case those ancestors were refugees from the Vandals.

Unless your ancestor were from Southern or Northern Spain, in which case they originated in Scandinavia or Iran and were refugees from the Romans and the Goths.

Unless you are of Italian or Greek descent. The mixture is unbelievable there but includes both the Vandals and the Alans. In fact the Vandals and the Alans arrived twice. Once from Northern Italy into the Po valley and secondly from Africa into Sicily, Sardinia, Malta and central Italy. Probably into Corsica as well. *hat tip to the ‘little Corporal‘*

Unless you are proud of your Viking forebears. Those Azerbaijani who fled Rome and moved to Scandinavia, in the process creating the refugee Vandals from their own refugeeship.

Unless you are a simple Anglo-Saxon whose ancestral tribe fled those pesky Franks who were on their way to Paris. Or a Norman who was merely a land-going Viking who had moved to France.

The lesson is that we are all descendants of refugees. We are proud of a host of different refugees we only know of as victors in their assorted battles. We conveniently ignore just why those battles were fought.

Just how poor would our civilisation be without the admixture of all those refugees?

Now we have another refugee crisis.

Our future depends on all the small and smaller nations* finding a way to humanely treat the current groups of fleeing humanity. For most of them are from the places our ancestors originated.

If we treat them humanely we will be enriched and en-nobled. If not, we will be reduced to the barbaric habits and attitudes which motivated our ancestors.

Our choice is to accommodate or to exterminate these people.

  • yes, I include Great Britain, Germany and France here.

The Burrup Desecration


ISIL and Colin Barnett

YES, there IS a connection.

Earlier this year we were horrified to learn that ISIL, in its barbarous rampage across parts of the Middle East had destroyed the ancient cities of Ninevah and Nimrud. They burnt the library at Mosul which contained 8,000 irreplaceable ancient manuscripts. The UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called the destructions in Mosul a violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199, and the destruction of Nimrud a war crime.

Now Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia, has decided that the Burrup Peninsula Rock Art should no longer be afforded the protection of being a Sacred Site. “Burrup Peninsula ‘deregistered’ as sacred site“. The first step in degrading and destroying this irreplaceable site of world-wide importance. All in the name of Industrial Development.  Once the thin edge of the wedge is allowed in, there will be gradual encroachment onto wider areas, destructive vandalism and many “Mia Culpas” from those who should be caring for this site. Yet a million mia culpas will not restore damaged art works to their pristine condition!

Colin Barnett is Australia’s ISIL!

What is “the Burrup”?

The “Burrup” is an ancient site, possibly six or eight times the age of Ninevah. A place where indigenous people recorded the world around them. It is still unknown whether this work was done as a religious duty, a record for future generations or simply for the joy of creating something as simple as ancient graffiti.

MurujugaKnown by the local indigenous peoples as “Murujuga” it is a petroglyph or rock engraving art gallery which dates back to before the last Ice Age. To a time when the living was relatively easy because there was time to spare from survival which was spent creating these labour-intensive works. To a time which included a period when the coastline was many kilometres to the West.

To comprehend how long ago that was, the Noongar peoples of South-West Australia have important oral tales of the Nyitting Times which means ‘cold,’ ‘cold time’ or ‘ancestral times.’ Noongar people know it as the Creation time. Tales dating back to the last Ice Age which ended some 13,000 years ago when there was good hunting on the land between the current coast and Rottnest Island.

The Australian Geographic reported in 2013, “One group of petroglyphs showing land-based animals, is thought to date from a time during the last ice age, when sepetroglyphsa levels were lower and the area was far inland. “

By measuring levels of Berylllium 10, a radioactive isotope that accumulates in the surfaces of rocks because of radiation from space and indicates how long they have been exposed to the elements, (results) support the idea that some of the rock art predates the last ice age, which occurred around 22,000 years ago, says Dr Ken Mulvaney, an archaeologist with Rio Tinto who produced the most recent age estimates based on the style of the art and weathering patterns.

The erosion “is such a slow process that the petroglyphs could remain visible for 60,000 years,” says Ken, who adds that neither he nor Brad (Professor Brad Pillans) think the rock art actually is that old.  Based on current evidence people only arrived in this part of Australia sometime between 35,000 and 42,000 years ago”, he says.

SAVING THE BURRUP

There have been a number of efforts to preserve the Burrup for posterity.

  •  2002; The National Trust of Australia (WA) and the Hon. Robin Chapple MLC nominated the Burrup Peninsula to the National Trust Endangered Places List
  •  2003; the World Monuments Fund added it to its list of Most Endangered Places-the first time an Australian place had been included.
  • 2004; the National Trust, the Native Title Claimants and Robert Bednarik, President of the International Federation of Rock Art Organisations, nominated the Dampier Archipelago to the National Heritage list, under the new Commonwealth heritage legislation.
  • 2007; Australian National Heritage listing. (in 2009, Jenny Gregory wrote
  • 2009 ;  This cultural landscape continues to be threatened by industrial development. Rock art on the eastern side of the archipelago, on the Burrup Peninsula, was relocated following the discovery of adjacent off-shore gas reserves so that a major gas plant could be constructed. Work has now begun on the construction of a second major gas plant nearby.) So much for National Heritage!
  • 2012; the 2012 Report by the Australian Heritage Council, reported that the The Dampier Peninsula meets UNESCO Outstanding Universal Values criteria for World Heritage listing.

 

This Burrup petroglyph may be one of the oldest carved faces in the world. (Credit: Ken Mulvaney)

This Burrup petroglyph may be one of the oldest carved faces in the world. (Credit: Ken Mulvaney)

 

TRUST GOVERNMENT PROTECTION?  

SURE CAN’T!

Claims have been made that since 1963, 24.4 percent of the rock art on Murujuga has been destroyed to make way for industrial development. (Robert G. Bednarik, Dampier Fact Sheet, October 2006)   The Western Australian government, responding to a question in parliament, has argued for a much lower figure, suggesting that approximately 4 percent of sites, representing approximately 7.2 percent of petroglyphs, have been destroyed since 1972. . Hon. John Ford, answer to question on notice, Western Australia Legislative Council Hansard, 16 August 2005.
A classic apples and oranges response.

Still, as the Western Australian government has noted, there is no complete inventory of rock art in the region,(WA Department of Industry and Resources, Burrup Peninsula, Frequently Asked Questions,) making assessments of current and future impacts on the site a challenging task.  (How convenient)   Even more interesting is the fact that none of the online references used in the above quote from Wikipedia is still online. Cue deserved conspiracy theory!

BURRUP’S FUTURE

Western Australia has a culture of tearing down its history. Whenever a city building is old enough, it is torn down and replaced with a modern concrete and glass monstrosity and pristine bushlands are cleared for industrial sites.

This does not bode well for a site which is in the way of short-term industrialisation.

There is no financial benefit to having those petroglyphs. Certainly not in a time of the dumbing down of Australia. Some may well be placed in museums around the country. the rest will be moved, rearranged, graffitied and any excess will be dumped,destroyed or reused as building fill!

On the East Coast we are seeing the ISIL-like destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

On the West Coast we will see the ISIL-like destruction of the Great Burrup Art Gallery.

 

 

Remembrance Day


A detail from the Australian War Memorial

Poppies are found there all year round

For the sacrifices were not just a one day thing.

Remembrance1

 

My much younger Dad in the second world war

In a jungle and sucking on a straw

While he couldn’t survive the peace,

He survived the war at least.

Wish I could have known you better.

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