A “backward regime” 2001. USA?

 The Taliban’s backwards regime was no match for the cruise missiles and B-52s of America's military colossus 
Taliban 2018
Thank you Bush & Blair et al -  Twenty years after the Americans and their NATO allies first arrived and raised such high hopes among many Afghans, they are now faced with the prospect of rearming and a return to the anarchy and civil war of the 1990s.

I will continue to bear witness.

I have always borne witness …

Priests and theologians have a right to offer their opinion, 
and even a ‘duty to be a warning,’ when people’s spiritual and
psychological well-being is in danger from someone
or something.

Indeed, if they aspire to follow the teaching of the
‘real Jesus’, they are under an obligation to do so.
If a priest or a preacher becomes upset, anxious and even 
angry about the immorality of his or her religion, they share
the fate to soldiers, for example, during the Viet Nam war, 
who felt impelled to speak out about the atrocities they had
witnessed. Many soldiers were sent to a psychiatrist who 
would be expected to help them be strong enough to return to
committing atrocities.
Similarly, people defend the behaviour of their ‘God’, even 
when that behaviour is evil and destructive! What’s more, 
they treat such behaviour as normal, and even ethically    
permissible. Some call this behaviour ‘Bible Study!”
I call such normality, a ‘malignant normality,’ a 
spiritual illness, that is deeply destructive, not only to an 
individual’s general well-being and spiritual health, but also to
his or her family and society as a whole. 

I have always borne witness to the fact that such behaviour 
is not normal. It is abnormal. (More about my stance, my 
rubicon of July 2011, to come) 

Sadly, many theologians and clerics have become 
complicit in maintaining this ‘malignant normality’ and its
psychopathic God. 
John Martin’s ‘Sodom & Gomorrah’ 1852

The original Zarathustra has a lot to answer for, although our media would be lost without their favourite god or idol.

The original Zarathustra (Century7/6BC)

1 Posited the distinction between Good and Evil
2 The meaning of the world as a Moral Event.
This war between good and evil first emerged as a separation/disjunction of an archaic deity called Ahura Mazda into Vohu and Angro.

So, we see a world consisting of: 1 An ethical opposition and 2 A metaphysical opposition, between contradictory principles of existence. 

And thus a makeshift regime(s) of Good and Evil becomes the reality and meaning of the world.

Such a regime is neither 1 An endless Heraclitean opposition, nor 2 An alchemical marriage. What we have instead is a war of attrition, an endless battle, a focus on winning or losing. 
Zarathustra or Zoroaster
Nietzsche has a different take on Zarathustra, creating his very antithesis: 'And thus they parted from one another, the old man and Zarathustra, laughing as two boys laugh. But when Zarathustra was alone, he spoke thus to his heart: "Could it be possible! This old saint has not heard in his forest that God is dead!"

‘Glows at me timidly’

Led to this poem by Trakl last night as we re-called Jac’s time with us

Aeon (Georg Trakl)

An animal face in the brown green
Glows at me timidly, the bushes gleam.
In the far distance an old fountain sings
With child voices. There I listen.

The wild jackdaws mock me
And all around the birches veil themselves.
I stand silent before a fire of tares
And softly images paint themselves.

On golden ground an ancient myth of love.
Over the hill the clouds spread their silence.
Over the ghostly pond-mirror
Fruit beckons, glowing and heavy. 
A toast to Jacques
Jacques about a month old
Trakl, as always, so many levels of meaning in his poems. Many an epic tale in themselves. 

Katla – we enjoyed the original Icelandic series on Netflix …

A different take on a folklore theme – intriguing story with a good cast and great setting. I like the apocalyptic setting, or is it post-apocalyptic! And – not over-playing the supernatural element. Music score – I thought, at first, it wouldn’t work, but it did. Full marks ‘Gwlad yr Ia.’
The cast includes Guðrún Ýr Eyfjörð, Íris Tanja Flygenring, Ingvar Sigurðsson, Þorsteinn Bachmann, Sólveig Arnarsdóttir, Guðrún Gísladóttir, Baltasar Breki and Björn Thors from Iceland and Aliette Opheim and Valter Skarsgård from Sweden among others. The series is created by the award winning director Baltasar Kormákur (Trapped, Everest) and produced by RVK Studios.
One year after the outbreak of a violent eruption of the subglacial volcano Katla, the peace and tranquility in the small town of Vík has been dramatically disturbed with the eruption still active.  The ice near the volcano has been melting, the area has been evacuated and only a few remaining people manage to provide the necessary community service in the village, which is now only accessible by crossing the Markarfljót river.  The grand area has turned out to be somewhat apocalyptic and Vík is declared a danger zone.      

Mysterious elements, that have been deeply frozen into the glacier from prehistoric times, start to emerge from the melting ice with consequences no one could ever have foreseen
Folklore: a changeling is a child believed to have been secretly substituted by fairies for the parents' real child in infancy.

Independent Journalism – our hope for the future. Pity that independent theologians are a rare breed!

Ditto the few theologians and Biblical scholars who are aware of the hidden agenda of the Biblical corpus. A veritable library of fake news but there's nothing fake about the dangerous ideology that crafted these stories and religious propaganda.  

Charlton Heston taking his tablets and breaking them on Mt Sinai. He was a real person but Moses, of course, was a literary invention

Some interesting viewing on Netflix

Enjoyed the story very much , not ‘too-over-the-top’ in terms of fantasy but for me Christian Convery (the deer boy) doesn’t have that special bit of magic or charisma to make it a great series. The big guy, Nonso, was excellent. And with better lead casting, the chemistry between him and the deer boy would have been really magical. As for the deer-boy antlers and their ‘movement’!!! Very weak.

And a brilliant, though, obviously harrowing in parts, Polish film. Excellent in every way, 2019 Legiony.

As a Polish militia battles for independence from Russian rule in the 1910s, a star-crossed romance puts loyalties to the test. Inspired by true events.

Director: Dariusz Gajewski and a great cast: Sebastian FabijańskiBartosz GelnerWiktoria WolańskaMirosław BakaJan FryczGrzegorz MałeckiAntoni PawlickiBorys Szyc

57 year old Dariusz Gajewski – a Polish director, producer and screenwriter

Been a very different 26 days. Jacques!

Jacques the jackdaw came into our lives on 27 May aged about 3 weeks – and therefore into our care. He is thriving and thus reminding us of the importance of the basics in life: food in our bellies and security … love and ‘being watchful’ … and, as with all babies and infants, cleaning up after poo and that’s a privilege also!
Animals see the unobstructed
world with their whole eyes.
But our eyes, turned back upon
themselves, encircle and
seek to snare the world,
setting traps for freedom.
The faces of the beasts
show what truly IS to us:
we who up-end the infant and
force its sight to fix upon
things and shapes, not the
freedom that they occupy,
that openess which lies so deep
within the faces of the animals ... 

A gentle reminder of words from a favourite series of poems by Rilke - his  Duino Elegies, this one from VIII -  translation  by Robert Hunter
Or, as Jacques Derrida would have it, on discovering he was being looked-at by a cat, rather than looking-at 'it'! ...  'The Animal Therefore That I Am' (2002).  
Jacques Derrida d. 2004 Paris
From 2009 Peter Sloterdijk's ‘Rules for the Human Zoo’, his ‘response’ to Heidegger's ‘Letter on Humanism’ (1977). In this account of the history of humanism as the ‘taming’ of men and the breeding of good citizens, Sloterdijk pauses briefly to discuss the ‘domestication of men’, their construction of houses, such that men became ‘not only sheltered by their language, but also tamed by their accommodations.’ He notes that: 'historians of culture have made it clear that with domesticity the relationship between men and animals changed. With the taming of men by their houses the age of pets began as well. Their attachment to houses is not only a question of civilizing, but also a matter of direction and upbringing.'

Cofio ‘Bendigeidfran’ Remembered 2009, our very special and blessed crow (Bran)

Remembering Bendigeidfran our gorgeous Crow from 2009 - our 4th Braque de Weimar is named after him - Bran, is Welsh crow or raven. Taliesin - our 3rd - meets Bran in the picture!
Bendigeidfran 2009
Bendigeidfran meets Taliesin – our 3rd Braque de Weimar
Bendigeidfran 2009The Blessed Crow and, believe me, he blessed our family in so many special ways. Diolch i ti Bran!


May 2021 A.D. 


In August 2018, Gay McDougall, a US representative at the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, said that the committee had received many credible reports that ONE MILLION ethnic (MUSLIM) Uyghurs in CHINA have been held in "re-education camps."

By now China has now built nearly 400 internment camps in Xinjiang region, with construction on dozens continuing over the last two years, even as Chinese authorities said their “re-education” system was winding down, an Australian think tank has found.

Many are near industrial parks; there have been widespread reports that inmates at some internment camps have been used as forced labour.
“Camps are also often co-located with factory complexes, which can suggest the nature of a facility and highlight the direct pipeline between arbitrary detention in Xinjiang and forced labour,” the report said.

Beijing insists there are NO HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES in the region. Chinese authorities initially denied the existence of internment camps, then later described them as vocational training and re-education programmes that aim to alleviate poverty and counter terrorism threats.

Palestine: in 2006 Hamas won the democratic elections in Gaza. Since 2007 ISRAEL – supported by EGYPT - started the blockade of Gaza by land, air and sea. 
TWO MILLION (about half of whom are under 18 years old), mostly MUSLIMS, with a minority of Christians, have therefore been suffering and dying long before the Israeli airstrikes began blowing up their homes and neighbourhoods. Dying from the lack of medicine, polluted water, the lack of electricity and the dilapidated infrastructure.

International human rights groups are now precise and decisive in their depiction of Israel’s racist regime, including Israel’s own human rights group, B’tselem. Why does the USA and UK governments not speak out against Israel’s system of racial discrimination and apartheid?    

Why does the Western - ‘Christian world’ – treat this tiny strip of land (25 miles long and on average 6 miles wide, with two thirds of the population of Wales living there) and its inhabitants, with such contempt? 

I have been to the ‘West Bank. I have experienced the arrogance of an Israeli ‘Settler’ and his Uzi submachine gun, in Israel ‘proper.’ A lasting memory on the sea of Galilee!
I’ve never been to Gaza. Let Chris Hedges (American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Presbyterian minister) sum it up:  I know the crimes of the occupation. I have witnessed the carnage: 

1 the food shortages caused by the Israeli blockade,
2 the stifling overcrowding,
3 the contaminated water,
4 the lack of health services,
5 the near-constant electrical outages
due to the Israeli targeting of power plants,
6 the crippling poverty,
7 the endemic unemployment,
8 the fear and the despair.

By the way, Israel does not ‘occupy’ Gaza – it only ‘CONTROLS’ it from the outside! 

China and Israel and their Muslims!

Can you tell me if there is a difference?