Bloody Nature and the Goodness of God

Reading my SARX articles on St Francis and on the modern animal liberation movement, the journalist and history of animal rights author Jon Hochschartner asked me a question:

How do you reconcile the existence of God with animal suffering, specifically wild animal suffering not caused by humans?

This is my response:

Firstly, I must say that it’s a question that has never bothered me. I don’t think that’s because I’m callous to the suffering of wild animals that is not caused by human beings but rather that, because it’s part and parcel of Nature, it doesn’t seem to me to be a moral problem. I also don’t see either human suffering or animal suffering caused by humans to be a theological problem. Suffering caused by humans is certainly a moral problem but the first and fundamental gift to humanity, after existence itself, is free will. Therefore, the alternative to suffering is lack of autonomy. God, the Architect of the Universe, could of course have decided to create us as puppets without any free will but that wasn’t the plan.

Although it may not be originally a Christian idea, the Neoplatonic notion of the Pleroma, that I first encountered in Arthur O. Lovejoy’s The Great Chain of Being, tackles this problem head-on. Lovejoy’s answer is that, in Plotinus’ account of creation through the Demiurge, it is an expression of the Divine, according to the Divine Will, and must necessarily express all possibilities – otherwise creation would be lacking. This is because, in the ancient Greek sensibility, fullness is better than lack: it is more perfect for something to be actualised than not to be actualised. So then everything has to be. Aristotle sometimes uses this sensibility to argue for something necessarily in being rather than simply in potential – and it is this binary of being and potential, of fullness and lack, that is the basis for his theory of Forms.

The concept of pleroma does occur in the New Testament, especially in the letters of Saint Paul, who of course was a Greek scholar, as his learned discourse to the Athenians (which is often criticised by fundamentalist Christians) shows. Saint Paul doesn’t apply this concept to creation directly but he does apply it to both Christ and the Church, including to believers:

(I quote from the Jerusalem Bible)

COLOSSIANS

1:15 “He is the image of the unseen God and the first-born of all creation,

1:16 for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible, Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers – all things were created through him and for him.

1:17 Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity. Now the Church is his body, he is its head.

1:18 As he is the Beginning, he was first to be born from the dead, so that he should be first in every way;

1:19 because God wanted all perfection to be found in him

1:20 and all things to be reconciled through him and for him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross.”

1 CORINTHIANS 10:26 “for the earth and everything that is in it belong to the Lord.”

EPHESIANS

3:16 “Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong,

3:17 so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love,

3:18 you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth;

3:19 until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.”

I think also that we have to remember how artificial our ideas of animals are; how artificial our ideas of Nature are. We live in countries where “wilderness” is mostly created and often has been created by erasing the dwellings and habitats of former inhabitants, human or animal, or both. This has been extensively theorised by J. Baird Callicott, whose critique of wilderness is now less controversial than his proposed alternatives – some of which seem perilously close to UN elite neo-colonialism (see below). I do recommend the work of Lee Hall whose ideas about animal domestication I find very challenging, especially because I have a dog. Lee highlights how artificial animal domestication is, and as a vegan of years who spent decades as a vegetarian, I find this very challenging indeed because it opens my eyes to the fact that, when I go walks with my dog, he immediately wants to be with other dogs. And what he really wants to do is to form a pack and then go hunting and to mate and therefore to ensure the survival of the pack.

My brother-in-law is a dog trainer and I have benefited greatly from his advice, the core of which is that dogs think differently from human beings, and that they have a reason for their behaviour. It’s interesting to me the derision that canine behaviourists have for this idea, as basically they see dog training not as forming a bond with another rational animal but rather as “teaching your dog good manners”, as one put it to me in conversation.

Lee’s work challenges me to accept that the relationship I have, and that my family and my friends have, with my extremely cute tan terrier, Ben, is highly artificial and is, to a great extent, abusive. Ben was taken from his family, at least from his mother and siblings, at an early age. His tail was inexpertly docked in his first year, in his second he was castrated and by the time he got to me he could not live with other dogs because of his aggressive behaviour. Now, with my brother-in-law’s advice, he’s a calm and happy dog aged 11. He gets on well with other dogs and loves people. But his life is not natural and it’s full of frustrated impulses. Just this morning I stopped him from heading into a foxhole. He obviously found this confusing. It’s bad dog logic. Dogs and foxes have a mutual enmity, who am I to interfere? But the land all around, the habitat of this fox, has been devastated by recent tree felling and burning as well as house building some decades ago. There is also an almost continual presence of at least one dog and accompanying human. So to further tip the balance by letting Ben dig out and kill Reynard would be immoral. Ben is like a model prisoner who gets on extremely well with his gaolers and even likes them. Sometimes, when I’m so extremely busy, because I’m an unpaid carer with three part time jobs, he only gets out to the back garden and otherwise out for a short 15 minute walk. He accepts this. He has no choice.

So my point in this long ramble is that the problem of the suffering of wild animals is not a theological problem because the alternative is immoral. We svelte, urbanised, soft, humans have a twisted idea of morality, especially when it comes to animals, because we are so good at hiding from ourselves the abuse that we practise on animals in the name of a “kindness” which is actually selfishness. Nowhere is this more evident than in the services which are dedicated to animal welfare. I remember watching a video on social media of a dedicated (obsessive) animal shelter officer who managed to trap a female dog and her puppies who were living in a junkyard I think, feral, and bring them into the Pound. That, of course, was the end of the story. And it may have been for the female dog. The puppies, if they were lucky, would have been separated. If not, they would have been killed along with their mother. For “their own good”. That somewhat natural family could have been living, still, in the urban wilderness. Suffering no doubt but together and alive. However, the kind human being couldn’t stand seeing that and so she “rescued” them and probably killed at least some of them. It’s this same deadly kindness (allied with economy) that causes us to reject any possibility of the kind of palliative care we extend to our human kin, when one of our beloved domesticated animals is gravely ill. Instead we employ a euphemism for lethal injection, get weepy and expect sympathy. For our kindness.

We have to take responsibility for how sanitised our concept of Nature is. How we have artificially created wilderness by displacing indigenous people and the rural poor in order to make the wilderness a playground for the urban elite. How we have caused devastating ecological change in order to make the world into this playground. So we can’t be surprised about the “wrong kind of Green” that is happening right now under the marketing strategy “The Great Reset”, as detailed by journalist and activist Cory Morningstar, because the monetization of Nature is an old concept and we have all signed up to it already.

Most human interaction with Nature and with animals is now destructive and abusive. It is the height of moral hubris for us to then imagine that how animals interact with each other is morally wrong and constitutes a theological problem about the goodness of their Creator. We simply cannot imagine what Nature is because we see Nature, and animals living in Nature, through so many artificial lenses of our own construction. The best thing we can do for animals is to leave them alone. The second best thing we can do for them is to try to remedy in some way the destruction to their lives and their habitats which we have already wreaked on them. In both endeavours, we can look to God, because we are told (Matthew 5:23-24) that we cannot be in good relation with God when we are at odds with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, we cannot be in communion with God while we are at odds with our fellow creatures.

Rather than judge their Creator for the destruction and the pain that wild animals would cause each other, if they were living in a state of Nature, we should accept responsibility and seek remedy for the destruction and pain we have already caused them, because they are not.

Blue black head of a raven looking watchful against a black background

Thanks to George Hodan for releasing his image Raven into the Public Domain.

Why Won’t White Women Wake Up?

Basically because they don’t dare to.

Consider the stick that Prof. Kathleen Stock gets. She’s White, she’s English, she’s middle-aged and middle-class, she has an O.B.E., she is a former vice-president of the British Society of Aesthetics. She’s a tenured professor of Philosophy. Still, some mediocre male Art Hist. lecturer, who seems to have never got over Rome losing the empire, and publishes mostly his musings on Italian feminist Carla Lonzi, feels entitled to get his kicks in, on social media. He got so much kick back he’s locked his account and the American male instigator of the doxxing campaign “Anti TERF Sussex”, who called her “one of this wretched island’s most prominent transphobes, espousing a bastardised variation of radical feminism” (note how both these men think they’re experts on feminism) has been identified and similarly criticised/ hailed according to ideological position under the hashtag #ShameOnSussexUni.

Consider a wee White woman from a post-industrial town in Scotland’s rustbelt, with none of these other advantages, whose court case is both current and infamous. A brave, friendly and intelligent woman I similarly admire and one whom the Scottish legal system has basically dragged through a hedge backwards yet still manages to come out smiling, with a word of compassion for anyone going through a hard time. I won’t detail all the financial, emotional and reputational stress she’s dealing with, because they’re well-known.

White women who haven’t come out against the war on women don’t dare to because they don’t want the harassment that these women go through. Not only from men who, although they may be criticised, may also be violent. Julie Bindel, co-founder of Justice For Women, knows all about the level of violence, and violent threat, that women suffer. Yet she can’t even speak about this without being attacked. White women who are supporting other women are already being attacked on all sides. Including by other women. Of the 6 FT University of Sussex SU Officers, 4 are female (all have bio pronouns) and the SU are at least tacitly supporting the attack on a member of staff.

So what I’m asking is unfair. I know this. I know some of these women and their supporters. Some only through social media, some in person. I admire them greatly. I’m conscious that we don’t agree on everything and we don’t have to. I’m also, always, conscious that I’m male and when it comes to feminism I don’t get it because, not being female, I just can’t.

I’m asking White women who are already persecuted for standing up for women to wake up. Because if they don’t, I don’t think we’re going to stop the current technocratic takeover. Yes, I know that many people apparently saying the same thing are mad (Simon Peaks), bad (Donald Trump) and dangerous to know (Holocaust deniers). Firstly, I’m not saying what they are. Trust-The-Plan Peaks (no, I’m not linking to any of them) preaches passivity, trust in authority and a morally problematic saviour (Trump) and none of that helps. The third category isn’t worth comment. However, Peaks and Trump and their many followers do, confusedly, critique the current repression of civil liberties – conveniently forgetting all sorts of violations of them that Trump is apparently guilty of.

We can’t leave the liberation of the world to such men. It won’t happen. Trump is not only reportedly associated with financial shady dealings but has made many racist remarks. So these men are not listening to black people.

Why aren’t White women? Gender-critical or not, every feminist I know is anti-racist. Black people are being criticised, and patronised (as poor, stupid and too traumatised by history to think clearly) for resisting coercion by the military-medical-industrial complex that has maimed and killed members of their community for decades. Neither poor nor stupid, American Congress candidate Billy Prempeh subtitles his video address to White liberals “From slaves to human guinea pigs…” and explains: “Why the dark history of Black America justifies our vaccine hesitancy.”

White women need to realise that their relative power and moral authority is enabling rich White men to take over the world and shut down all forms of resistance. Female fascism succeeds in Scotland, New Zealand and in New South Wales just as much as in Germany and for the same reasons: it’s abusive. In contrast, callous clowns like Bojo (who just buried his mother after she died “suddenly”, no doubt after a Covid vaccination) may be admired by their braying supporters but get no sympathy. Female fascist leadership is more insidious, leveraging “caring” in order to strip citizens of our rights.

Another reason why White women don’t want to wake up is because they’re tired. Not as tired as Black women but still exhausted by the constant attacks from men and from their handmaids. The resistance to The Great Reset is multifarious and confusing. It can be difficult to differentiate, at first glance, the brusque dismissal of ecological concern by an elite White male American capitalist who has no problem with making money from fossil fuels (and reducing indigenous territory to tar sands) and the careful and sympathetic analysis of The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg by Canadian journalist Cory Morningstar, who is quite aware, from her own experience, of the vulnerability of young women.

As for Covid, this last and most successful attempt to further the agenda of a global social credit surveillance state benefiting only the elite, it is precisely women’s community leadership which has been co-opted for that cause. It is precisely why a search for “Black vaccine hesitancy” shows, overwhelmingly, images of Black women – and articles that fail to take their concerns seriously.

Men failing to listen to women is sexist. White people failing to listen to Black people is racist.

Billy Prempeh is a Black man with good reason to be wide awake. Whitney Webb is a White woman who understands Black “hesitancy” and doesn’t patronise them for it but, instead, bravely and responsibly publicises the wider context of the elite technocratic agenda.

In order for most of us to survive, in any condition but that of slaves, White women need to wake up. Now.

Woman’s eyes

Thanks to Karen Arnold for releasing her image Eyes of Woman into the Public Domain.

How to save piglets

It’s the feast of St Francis and you may know that about 150,000 UK pigs are under threat of being slaughtered, without the excuse of eating them, due to shortage of staff at abattoirs, due to Brexit. Of these, some are just piglets who face being shot in the head and thrown into a skip like rubbish. Agricultural doublespeak refers to this destruction of the barely-lived lives of the 5th most intelligent animal on our planet (humans, supposedly, being the first) as “animal welfare”.

Here’s how to save them.

1) Network by phone and social media until you have a local group of vegan and vegetarian households willing to either be Piglet Rescuers, Piglet Foster Families or Piglet Food & Finance Friends.

2) Piglet Rescuers need a vehicle (preferably a van) with plastic sheeting and straw or grass cuttings and/ or willing arms to hold scared or excited piglets with their backside/ back legs in plastic/ bin bags/ incontinence sheet nappies.

Bag of Boots 60cm x 60cm disposable bed pads.

They’ll need wellies (farms can be muddy) raincoats (so can piglets) and the pragmatic mindset that they can only take piglets, only as many as can be homed, and saving some is better than saving none. They also need to be polite to the farmer (who may think they’re fools) as well as the firm assurance that the number of piglets they pick up is the number that will be homed, as arranged.

2) Piglet Foster Families need a County Parish Holding (CPH) number, a fenced back garden with 6 square metres per pig, a cleared shed, heated in winter, with straw (a few rescued hens will help deal with troublesome insects but keep their nests out of reach of the growing pigs). Pigs like to root around (it’s comforting for them to do this and distressing when they can’t) and may root up the whole back garden but they can also be walked, especially to woodland, which they love, like dogs. This needs an Animal Plant & Health Agency herd mark but APHA need to be notified of pigkeeping, even as pets, within 30 days of arrival, in any case. Keeping two pigs of the same sex means they won’t be lonely or multiplying! Dogs and pigs don’t usually get along well but there’s mutual appreciation with cats.

3) Piglet Food & Finance Friends are essential to keep the pigs’ food in supply and help with vet bills. Although government websites tend to have dire warnings about domestic food waste, especially containing vegetable oils, they of course are hand in glove with agricultural food suppliers and, although there are somethings that must be avoided, pig sanctuaries do feed their animal friends with veggies and show this clearly on social media. They also know about bills and how to keep them down (because they have to) and need to work very hard to do that—so social media might be a good start to contact them for advice as you’re also advertising them and attracting donations. Whereas everyone can advertise, local piglet rescue networks could perhaps have one person who contacts the nearest sanctuary and passes on advice, to avoid inundating them with your anxieties about your piggy friends when they’ve got animals of their own.

DISCLAIMER—I love pigs but I have no experience or qualifications in caring for them. I’m passing on what I’ve been able to find out about government regulations and advice but I may have misunderstood or be missing a lot. Therefore this post is simply a call to action and the first step is to get informed. There are many great social media sites (such as the American Odd Man Inn on Facebook and Instagram and Pigs in the Wood in England on Facebook) but do be aware that regulations are different from state to state and country to country—including around the UK.

This is a naive attempt to rescue little lives that are currently under threat. I’m prioritising them because they’ve barely lived at all and because by the time they grow their Foster Families should be more experienced in looking after them and better prepared to care for big pigs. When I first turned vegetarian at the age of eight, I stuck a big poster of a pig on my bedroom wall. It said “To Know Me Is To Love Me!”

I still believe that. Let’s rescue piglets!

Cute pink piglet in a pen with straw bedding looking anxiously up at the camera.

Thanks to Petr Kratochvil for releasing his photo Piglet on Farm into the Public Domain.

Topsides and hull

My last post on Harmony described repairing this 1974 Mirror dinghy, again, and how I (eventually) overcame my despair at yet another repair! As a boating friend said, old wooden boats are lovely but they need a lot of maintenance and, when it’s done, that feels worth it!

The broken stern transom gunwale glued with epoxy, and the inner plywood boards dried, I got on with painting. Yes, I could’ve stripped it all back but my pragmatic solution (to get her afloat this year) was that, if the wire brush didn’t take it off, it was staying on! So, after sanding, it was undercoat (International yacht primer) first on the bare planks, then everywhere.

Then it was the topcoat, a deeper Marine blue than the original Navy, giving a vintage feel and (as I’d been misled by the red label) getting away from the red top style borrowed from the tabloid newspaper that sponsored the original. Evening came and (several) mornings came, and then I had to face turning the boat over and surveying the damage to the hull.

The keel paintwork was pretty beat up and there were a couple of dents in the woodwork. Some rotten wood too that would have to be scraped away. So I went to work with the steel brush and took off all the paint and rot that I could. Then I cleaned it up and covered it up again to dry out for some days. Boat repair takes time.

Reluctantly I realised I’d have to get out the epoxy again. So once more with the mask, gloves and goggles. Actually it took a few applications.

Then repainting. Now that the wood was nice and dry. The same Marine colour as the topsides. The same vintage look with just the nameplates showing lighter.

So now, repaired and repainted, the only thing left to do was to check the trailer. Well, I found good and bad news. But that’s a story for another day.

A Disabled Manifesto

Awkward and embarrassing, in we get,

Claiming access to services and goods,

Legally, without your hindrance, or let.

~

Thrawn* and used to solving problems, unmet,

We do not need your grudging care and shoulds,

Awkward and embarrassing, in we get.

~

Ignoring invitations, tête-à-têtes,

We enter, undiscussed, despite your moods,

Legally, without your hindrance, or let.

~

Unsurprised when, once again, you forget,

To mention our exemptions, as you should,

Awkward and embarrassing, in we get.

~

Entering sans muzzle, in spite of threat,

Refusing lanyard, star, triangle, hood,

Legally, without your hindrance, or let.

~

No handmaid, doctor, proctor, Pharma pet,

May act in bad faith where the law is good,

Awkward and embarrassing, in we get,

Legally, without your hindrance, or let.

~

(c) Alan McManus, Creative Commons licence: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives.

* “thrawn” (Scots) = stubborn, with connotations of strength of conviction under long suffering and a perverse unwillingness to desist in spite of the odds.

White graphic of wheelchair user on blue background

Thanks to Petr Kratochvil for releasing his image Disabled Sign into the Public Domain.

Heartbeats Under a Lone Star

The chances are that your stance on the recent Texas Heartbeat Law differs not at all from that of (at least) the majority of people you recognise as family, your close friends and your social media mutuals. Their stance, of course, is determined by their collective identity. Broadly, very broadly (because these terms are colliding and confused these days) Left or Right:

The Leftwing will believe this law that prohibits abortion (termination of pregnancy is a euphemism when the intent is always to kill, not remove) after the fetal heartbeat is discerned is the most insidious attack on female emancipation (they’d say women’s not female because that adjective, for reasons that no-one has yet explained, is now shunned by feminists) since the Epistles of St Paul. Well, okay, they won’t, because hardly any of them have ever read any of the Bible.

The Rightwing will believe that the Heartbeat law is the first step, long-awaited, towards making America great again (which apparently they feel it was, at some unspecified point) and one that drives back legions of devils (and/ or feminists) and protects women, children born and unborn, and is due, somehow, to the divine favour currently shining on one D. Trump who will yet reascend the Presidential throne—as long as they all Trust The Plan.

Both Left and Right are utterly convinced (and very self-congratulatory about it) that they, and they alone, really support the well-being of women. Ditto for children and this smug sensibility extends to the Left with the ethical sleight-of-hand that:

A) The products of abortion are no more than fetal tissue and the fact that foetus means baby in Latin is neither here nor there.

B) Abortion care includes what is being killed in the womb (or someway outside or even completely) as it’s selfish to bring unwanted children into this big bad world so it’s no more than kindness to kill them.

In my view (goodbye social media acquaintances) both sides are almost entirely hypocritical and don’t actually give a damn about the welfare of women and the idea that they actually care about life in or out of their womb is, if it weren’t so tragic in consequence, laughable.

Why do I say this? Is it just to stir up both sides so they’ll read my book on the subject? Well, they’re very welcome to but, as it was published some years ago and annual sales have risen to about the price of a posh fish supper (and I’m vegan) I don’t really see that as my major motivation.

It may be that, despite the above polemic, I see good women fighting each other over this and wasting so much valuable time and energy in a screaming match that in its modern form is at least a century old and doesn’t even attempt to be a debate. I was very careful when I wrote that book (and the many women on all sides that I reference are well worth reading) but I’m not convinced now that being careful accomplishes anything so here’s my thoughts:

The Left is hypocritical because if they actually cared about the welfare of women they wouldn’t ban any information (including personal testimony) on the often profound physical and mental stress caused by abortion that can last for decades.

The Right is similarly hypocritical because they make it so very difficult, socially and economically, for so many pregnant women to feel able to give birth—and to bring up a child with decency.

The Left concede more rights to lobsters than to babies that survive initial abortion attempts (a saline bath sounds very clinical but its purpose is to burn the skin off the screaming baby) and only refer to such situations by focusing on the distress caused to staffers! As for the findings of human pain studies in utero, they just don’t want to know.

The Right misrepresent the Biblical tradition (which is ambiguous on the moment of ensoulment) and typically promote an anti-maternal economics that ignores completely the prophetic tradition of hospitality to the stranger, care of the widow and the orphan, leaving the edges of the field for the poor to glean and forgiving debts in the year of Jubilee.

Both sides save face, reject all and any critique of their stance (selective abortion is racist, classist, ableist and sexist—and precisely those same prejudices, along with religious sectarianism and demonisation of other faiths, create a climate of snobbish rejection of pregnant women by communities intent on keeping up appearances and producing progeny of the right sort).

What’s the solution?

1) Realise that someone’s stance on abortion is likely to be coherent with their view of pregnancy (baby or blood clot) and reinforced by the collective ideological identity they value.

2) Accept that criticism of your own stance is possible—and that you may even learn from it. At least you might earn the right to be heard if you demonstrate an ability to listen rather than keep shouting THEM down.

3) Try to see your side from the other (and there aren’t just two sides on this) and acknowledge the possibility of your opponent being motivated by as benevolent an intent as yours.

4) Agree to disagree, if that finally is inevitable but ask yourself what part of the project of your interlocutor might overlap with your own.

5) Try to be honest with yourself about your real motivation regarding ostentatiously adhering to the ideological purity of your familial and social circle. Is that badge of honour more important to you than strategically collaborating with someone they despise—for the real well-being of women and children?

6) Ask yourself how much you and your cronies actually do, practically, to support women who want to give birth and bring up their children well. If you had access to the resources of the other side, how much more could you do? Would you be willing to work with them for that—knowing they’re still campaigning to change the law in a way you utterly oppose?

7) Consider the expression of ambiguity on this issue. How do you deal with it? Sweep it under the carpet or allow the uncertain voice of what “the woman who had been Jane Roe […] Norma McCorvey” called “the messy middle” to be heard?

Chrome stethoscope with yellow rubber cover looped over a red image of a heart

A Fairytale

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a very purple potato and an exceedingly twisted paperclip.

The potato was very vain and he wasn’t content to stay underground, like all the humble spuds. Instead, he threw his weight about and levered himself up through the soil until he managed to get a place in the sun. There he lazed, belly up in the back garden, and occasionally flopped over and lazed some more. As the sun grew warmer, the potato grew lazier until his flip-flops from lying on his frontside to lying on his backside got longer and longer apart…and his potato skin got more and more purple!

Meanwhile, upstairs in the office space at the front of the house, the paperclip was busy at the computer — tapping out a poison pen letter to herself. (She hadn’t always been a paperclip and had actually started out as a long straight crocodile clip. However she hadn’t liked just being in a box with all the other small stationary items as she felt herself destined for greater things. So she’d started to cry crocodile tears, to get attention, but all that had happened was that they’d rusted her snapping jaws…until they’d broken right off! All she’d been left with was her long steel stalk and, when she’d thought about how unjust her fate was, she’d started twisting sideways and had bent herself so much out of shape that she’d become a paperclip!)

Just as the exceedingly twisted paperclip finished the email to herself, and tapped “SEND”, a movement outside the window caught her eye. She twisted around and looked out.

There she saw a beautiful snow white songbird, with wings flecked with vivid green and purple. The paperclip saw how the songbird soared and swooped around the house and sang — and she envied and hated her. She had to find a way to bring that beautiful free bird down!

As she twisted herself off the desk and out of the door, along the landing and down the stairs, a plan started to form in her twisted steel brain. Twisting into the kitchen and out the back door (picking locks was very easy for a clip of her talents) she headed right up the garden path, ignoring all the lovely green and white and purple flowers around her, until she arrived at the potato patch.

The fat potato, presently sunning his big purple belly, was very surprised indeed to see a mangled item of office stationary twisting up the garden path. “Not In My Potato Patch!” he thought, starchly. He was even more surprised when she ignored him completely and instead bent back to peer up at the netting covering the strawberries in the wooden cold frame. “Well!” thought the purple potato, “what about ME?” And he flipped and flopped his big belly and his backside until he was balanced, precariously, on top of the wee wooden posts that made up the low fence around the vegetable patch. “She’ll have to see me NOW!”

But the exceedingly twisted paperclip had a plan and she was sticking to it. Twisting herself past the potato patch and up one side of the cold frame, she poked and twisted and tore…and pulled the netting right off the strawberries! Twisting back down the side, pulling the netting behind her, she paused when she got back to the potato patch.

A huge, discoloured, fleshy potato was lounging on top of the low wooden fence, obviously trying to pretend he was comfortable and that he wasn’t looking for attention! She eyed him for a moment and then stared down at the netting. A gleam came into her eye. She twisted round to glance up at the songbird, still flying freely and singing sweetly, then twisted right round again.

“Hello spud! Want to help me bring down that bird?”

The fat potato opened one eye, and then shut it. Not pleased at all at this blatant lack of respect for a potato in his position! However, suddenly he realised that she might go away and he’d get no attention at all — and that was the worst thing ever! So he tried to sit himself up, but potatoes of that age and size aren’t very flexible so all he succeeded in doing was to fall off his perch. Right on top of the paperclip!!!

“Je suis pomme de terre!” He said, in what he hoped was a passable French accent. Then added. “I will help with your scheme. That bird has been annoying me all morning! Flapping about and squawking! I hate attention seekers!” But the paperclip, deciding on action rather than talk, stabbed her steel point up into his abundant flesh, scuttled sideways to entangle his bulk in the netting then twisted as she had never twisted before and threw the purple potato up, up into the air towards the songbird, with the netting trailing behind like the tail of a comet!

The potato was horrified at the thought of being stabbed through the heart but, fortunately, he didn’t have one so it was only a flesh wound. Hurtling through the air he looked below to see if the flowers were looking up at him. But they weren’t. They were giving all their attention to the bees and the butterflies.

Then, the potato struck the side of the guttering, flopped over and rolled in, just as the netting flipped over the songbird, who had just alighted on the roof to sing from there.

Startled, the songbird suddenly found herself entangled, her wings pinned to her side and her feet caught in the netting! She let out a trill of terror…and all the green and white and purple flowers lifted up their pretty heads and saw her plight!

“Help me! Help me!” sang out the songbird. “This could happen to any of us! Flower fairies come to my aid!” The songbird was a great friend of the flower fairies, and she often sang songs for them while they danced in the sun or the dew or the moonlight.

The potato couldn’t understand the language of birds and flowers because he only understood selfishness and cruelty. Beauty and compassion were beyond his ken. So, while he was huffing and puffing and humpfing his great discoloured bulk along the gutter to try and see what was going on, he didn’t know that three great bands of flower fairies had risen up from the green and white and purple flowers to fly to the aid of their friend.

Suddenly he saw them all! The sky full of whirring wings and colour as the clever fairies, used to helping each other, lifted the netting right off the struggling songbird — and flew it back down to the cold frame. But then they saw that it wouldn’t stay in place as it had been ripped away from the little tacks that held it. One sharp-eyed fairy spotted the paperclip and joyfully caught it up in her agile hands, using it to lever up the tacks so that the netting could once again be stretched over the strawberries. There was only one place left where the net was too torn, so the fairy drove the point of the paperclip deep into the wood and that pinned down the netting safely.

Meanwhile, up on the roof, the fat potato was outraged that once again he wasn’t getting the attention he deserved! Rolling over in indignation, he almost went over the edge of the guttering and flopped sideways to save himself from falling off the roof! But, so intent on the beautiful songbird and her helpful friends, he didn’t see the downpipe beside him and fell right into it! Down and down and…right down into the drain below than washed down into the sewer!

The exceedingly twisted paperclip is still stuck in place, finally doing something useful, but what became of the fat vain purple potato no-one knows. (Or cares.)

However, the songbird is free to fly and to delight the flower fairies with her songs as they do her with their dancing. After all, they sport the same three colours — and they know that, with love and freedom and mutual aid, good fairy magic will always triumph over the evil plans of the envious…and beautiful songbirds will keep singing!

What’s Wrong with the Resistance?

I’ve just left a chat group on Telegram because I couldn’t stand it any longer. Like many, I don’t have much free time — and an unrelenting flood of repetitious, unevidenced, incoherent and hysterical posts about “the Cabal” does nothing to inform and persuade people to resist the developing technocracy and everything to reassure them that its resisters are all crazy.

Left-leaning friends (current and former) may be relieved to hear this. Typically unable to distinguish between pointing out the historical roots of Big Pharma in poison gas manufacturers, such as I.G. Farben, and denial of the Shoah, they’re unable to reason clearly because they confuse categories.

For example: if I say it’s a Tuesday and the calendar says it’s a Tuesday and Adolf Hilter says it’s Dienstag, does that make me (or the calendar) a Nazi?

A real example: Alison McDowell, excellent on the links and repercussions of the 4th Industrial Revolution, blocked me on Twitter when I pointed out her (obvious) ignorance of the Catholic Church. Among other instances was her oohing and ahhhing over a post about “Masonic crosses” which even the original poster eventually conceded were simply a variety of crosses illustrated in a Masonic book. (Still not got it? The category “Masonic” applied to the book, it could not be assumed to apply to every illustration of traditional Christianity referenced in those pages. Especially as Masonry isn’t Christian.)

In fairness, Alison is quite candid about the fact that she couldn’t tell a Maltese Cross from The Maltese Falcon. She just didn’t like me pointing it out. I point things out. It’s why I lose friends. And save lives. Also, her Da Vinci Code style amateur exploits in the wonderland of Roman Catholicism (as I say, she’s amazing on Geo-Political Economics) are small potatoes compared to the Frito-Lay-factory-short-of-a-fish-supper crazy going on online right now about “the Cabal”.

Let me try to summarise (no, I haven’t read it up in depth and I don’t intend to):

The Cabal is a sinister leftist right wing communist elitist Black Jewish Catholic Alien reptilian, em, cabal, of gay trans paedophile vampire vegans funded, em, by themselves, who came from Outer Space to this Flat Earth and tried to convince us it was spherical by founding The Catholic Church and Black Judaism to really worship Satan, who is, em, them, by means of The Pyramids, The Eiffel Tower and Big Ben. Oh, and, y’know, religion, Netflix, NASA, and stuff. Antarctica is a Circular Ice Wall beyond which (it is known because no-one can get there) there is All Sorts of Alien Tech. Like they can blow this shit right up! They govern us by means of Mind Control and drink kids’ blood. The Moon Landings were faked cos there’s no Outer Space. We’re not gonna believe what those Aliens say!

Source? All over the Internet. Apparent source? Every Tom, Dick and Harriet with a 2-dimensional account with 15 identical followers that opened sometime in 2020/21. And all those influenced by them, including some vulnerable people with shaky mental health.

There are also celebrity influencers and though David Icke of course springs to mind, he appears to be speaking (of the struggle between the limbic and mammalian brains and the frontal cortex) metaphorically and may be simply a rather dramatic New Ager who believes in Universal Consciousness and Higher Things. He also, very clearly and very sanely, preaches specific resistance to the ongoing violations of human rights and civil liberties.

My concern is both with the ones who don’t (such as trust-the-plan Simon Parkes) and the ones who urge people to take part in illegal actions that are as unlikely to succeed as they are likely to alienate the general public.

Because it is no secret (they state it openly) that intelligence services are targeting resistance groups in person and online. What better way to derail the train bound for freedom than to send its drivers conflicting signals, place as many obstacles on the track as possible and, easiest of all, convince the passengers not to get onboard but to stay, patiently, listening for further announcements in the waiting room…in the deferential and ever-deferred hope of a celebrity saviour.

If religious education were actually taught in schools and church history in universities (based on historical fact rather than endless emoting and opining over present-day imaginary identities) then more people might know that the blood-drinking hypothesis was a 1st C. Roman imperial slur against the newly-formed Christian community and one that was diverted from their spiritual descendants to be used against Jews in most centuries since, including this one.

I do not deny the depravity of some human beings but the lesson of the Holocaust is not that Germans are especially sadistic but that good people can be gradually coerced into evil fairly easily, until it becomes banal.

That’s what we need to resist. Anti-Semitism, recklessness, agents provocateurs, clashes of celebrity egos, ignorance and stupidity will only get in the way of the diffusion of sane, sympathetic, balanced and well-researched investigations such as that of Cory Morningstar on The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg. (Cory doesn’t deny the ecological problems of the planet but simply shows how big businesses is exploiting them, and young activists, in order to open new markets.) Or basically anything written by the amazing, and always responsible independent journalist Whitney Webb. (Whitney is always careful to state exactly what she can evidence and her analysis of political blackmail and international information technology is based on painstaking research.)

For resistance to be effective, the messages broadcast need to be sane, focussed and supportive of human rights and civil liberties. That means the administrator “owners” of groups and channels need to reduce repetition, weed out the crazies and ban prejudice. Otherwise all they will do is encourage either inaction or unsympathetic and possibly life-threatening confrontation with the authorities and the general public. What we need to be doing is appealing to hearts and minds. Warmly and wisely.

Thanks to Circe Denyer for releasing her image Halloween Whispering Clowns into the Public Domain.

The Good Life

Gardening, when you’re an fulltime unpaid carer with other paid work (3 PT jobs in my case), isn’t just a hobby, it’s much-needed therapy. When you’ve read the script of the current global technofascist takeover, so you’re not continually surprised at the plot of this panto, it’s also a survival skill. (Remember, in the fairly near future, if you found that funny.)

Last post (apart from the one on the strawberries) was in April. Since then, the red onions and garlic shot up and got ate up, and in the big green box (one of the raised beds) there was an unplanned crop, planted I think by my dog Ben, as the burrs stuck to his fur: cleavers, as they’re known in England; sticky willies, here in Scotland. In soups and stews they taste like fairly tough broccoli stems (very green) but, even if strained out at the end, they’re apparently excellent for lymphatic drainage. Not something to be sniffed at, in these days of food and pharmaceutical toxins!

In the same place, I finally worked out what the mystery plants were. About 50 sturdy seedlings with red stems and single serrated green leaves, I felt they looked familiar and guessed everything from beetroot to brambles. Wrong! They’re wee apple trees! A couple of rowans got in there too (planted by the birds, maybe from our trees out front, whereas the apple pips were in the compost). Well, they say in life you should write a book, plant a tree and have a baby, so two out of three so far (or rather 15 and 50) ain’t bad!

The chives delivered, like last year, and some potatoes (planted and unplanted) are growing well but the lettuce and carrots failed to sprout at all and the pak choi either got eaten up by the birds or bolted. Our avian friends also put paid to my hopes for the runner beans and sunflowers, transplanted en masse from the greenhouse. I’d hoped the abundant spread of buttercups (pretty but annoying) would shelter them but instead I think they just crowded them out of the soil.

However a big surprise are the pumpkin plants taking over the greenhouse with one fruit currently the size of a baby’s head! With the stems both running along the soil and raised up to run along shelves (to keep the fruit from hungry slugs) I’m not sure if we’re going to eat pumpkin pie come Hallowe’en – or if this triffid is going to eat us!

As for flowers, a lovely calendula is nodding gracefully over the potatoes and basil, one lupin is delighting the bees, nasturtiums are everywhere (including intwined with a bramble and in salads) and the gladioli have finally decided to shoot up, but so far no flowers.

I took advice and took the pots of geranium and begonia out of the greenhouse so, apart from the triffid, the only other flowers in there are the purple and yellow nicotinias (which I’m glad to say have survived their near-death Brexit customs experience and are thriving) and the wee white stars on the chilli pepper.

I also took advice on the roses which were straggling everywhere dangerously and had developed black spot on some leaves. They survived a fairly drastic prune a fortnight ago and seem better for it.

Last but not least, the rhubarb is holding its own (just) and the strawberries did get a bit parched in the heatwave but have bounced back with all the rain. Today, deciding to give the unconvincing strips of carrot seed another go, I made another raised bed, removed sticks and stones, added compost and sand, and broke up all the clumps so we’d have straight carrots not bendy ones! Then I tore up and sowed the strips, like last time, and planted the last of the onions sets around the edge, for good measure. I think they’re supposed to make good companions. Just looked it up. Yes! But compost isn’t recommended. Oh well, let’s see what happens!

(All photos copyright the author, may be reproduced, but not altered, with link to this post.)

Why Female Fascism Succeeds

Right wing American Republicans and Libertarians tend to describe the current global repression of human rights and civil liberties as “communism”. But the Right, as usual, are wrong. Meanwhile the Left, who never get it quite right, point the finger at capitalism or, more specifically “stakeholder capitalism” — supposedly a system where everyone in the economic ecosystem cooperatives. In a capitalist ecosystem. Right.

Wrong. The current repression isn’t either communist or capitalist and if we continue to waste our time playing party politics we’ll miss what The Great Reset is really all about: fascism. With a new, female, face. Which is why it succeeds.

(I’m glad you’re outraged. Keep feeling that.)

Fascism, in Europe, conjures up images of Hilter, Mussolini and Franco but, though the term is a Latin rebranding of an ancient Roman logo, the origin of the concept is classical Greek. Socrates was trying to solve the problem of tragedy: the inevitable conflict of opposing ethical duties (a paraphrase of Prof. Martha Nussbaum whose work I discuss in my doctoral thesis) and his solution was the reduction of messy humanity into tidy, commensurable, units. Plus eugenics.

Classical fascism is characterised by weeding out the weak, uniformity and subservience of the masses, propaganda, groupthink and, running it all from the top, the Übermensch.

The problem with all this is that, despite all the “we didn’t know that was happening” and “we were only following orders”, it’s pretty obvious that a repressive takeover is taking place – and it ain’t pretty. As things start to get really ugly, the resistance (eventually) gets its act together and overthrows the ruling elite. Until next time.

Step in the ladies. The “be kind” face of fascism. The Janus-face that opens doors. Because it convinces hearts and minds; it doesn’t just coerce bodies. It’s not enough to be female (Thatcher, despite occasional tears and prayers, was an old-school fascist of the male variety which is why she had to be made of iron) and men can be female fascists too, as long as they’re pretty and especially if they’re gay or in a bromance (like Trudeau and Macron). So bumbling Boris Johnson, despite relaxing the repression, is now universally hated but Nanny Nicola Sturgeon, despite maintaining it, is universally acclaimed. Almost.

It’s no coincidence that being a strait (we’re not bent, we’re broadminded) White man isn’t a good look for a fascist anymore but those of the female sex, or “gender”, and their obvious allies, are getting the love! Actually I’m probably being unfair to the late Baroness. Yes she instituted a national culture of greed, fear and selfishness, denied the concept of community, dealt a blow to unions of low-paid workers from which they’ve never recovered, persecuted homosexual teachers and orchestrated a colonial war in order to get re-elected…but all that really only established a modern baseline and I must say her dedicated female fascist followers have surpassed her!

Because the Thatcher Revolution didn’t include erasing the identity of women, denying them funded services, including safe space and fair trial, even and especially when traumatised; she attacked homosexuality as immoral and confused it with paedophilia but she didn’t attempt to destroy the former entirely while promoting the latter in its place. She may have cut services for the elderly but she didn’t instigate their systematic killing by opioids and lethal injection while they were corralled, terrified and isolated in care homes under illegal Do Not Resuscitate orders, cut off from the advocacy of their loved ones. Hospitals may have suffered under her regime but she didn’t bribe their staff to use invasive and unnecessary aggressive medical interventions in order to kill off people in their prime who went in with a cough and came out in a coffin.

Finally, despite misquoting the Prayer of St Francis, Baroness Thatcher didn’t pretend to be interested in ecology. She didn’t leverage the appeal of carefully edited footage of a well-intentioned young woman with autism (with very astute and well-connected parents and handlers) in order to forward the disaster capitalist agenda of elite unelected global governance under the guise of greenwashing.

The majority of adults neglecting the elderly and drugging them into submission and death are female. The majority of adults injecting children with experimental drugs are female. The majority of community leaders and teachers encouraging teenagers to risk their lives and fertility for the profits of the Pharmafia are female. The majority of adults killing healthy people in hospital by intubation and unnecessary chemotherapy are female. Even radical feminist women aware of the blatant homophobia and misogyny of most current liberal governments are utterly gung-ho about the Covid Cult and unwilling to emotionally disinvest from their fascist medical and technocratic agenda. Because (unlike us nasty men) they “care”.

Female fascism (of both sexes and a multitude of “genders”) is succeeding in killing by kindness because we are still conditioned by the same kind of thinking that famously led Queen Victoria not to outlaw lesbianism: women don’t do that sort of thing.

They do. They are. They’re meddling with kids. And they’re getting away with it.

When are you going to wake up?

Chic young White woman wears black V-neck top & black hat with lipstick-matching pink band covering eyes in front of black & white vertical stripes.

Thanks to Karen Arnold for releasing her image Woman Hat into the Public Domain.