Q – What does it take to make you consider your group associations?

Q – What does it take to make you consider your group associations?

Whether on websites or real life, what kind of things do you look for when you consider if this group are safe to hang out with?

  • Political or religious views?
  • Group’s history?
  • How much $$ it costs?
  • who are the members?
  • Does the hierarchy allow criticism, dissention? Is the process clear and transparent?
  • Is there a positive purpose?
  • Have they actually ever achieved things? Or are they strictly ideas, dreams, rhetoric oriented?
  • If there are arrests of group members, esp the leaders, is it for civil disobedience (to change what’s negative about power?) or criminal activity unrelated to their protests?
  • How do they spend funds? Are their books open to view?
  • Does the group have a diverse base (lowest and highest members are inclusive)?
  • What access/influence would you have on the group’s leaders?
  • How would your boss/ school/religious group feel about this group being on your CV?

“History is Written by Victors.” (was it Churchill who said this, or not?) – re: Trucker rally in Canada

“History is Written by Victors.” (was it Churchill who said this, or not?) – re: Trucker rally in Canada

There is a real caveat when studying history. It’s important to remember how often in time empires have gone thru areas and how often extremists burn books. And to remember that entire groups of people have been wiped off the face of the earth, and with them their stories, languages and cultures.

Then we have the boards, funders and teachers who edit what is left. And nation/states that write laws that exclude the voices of the disenfranchised, extremists, and minorities. And white wash the language and artists’ list to represent their own view.

So are kids actually learning history?

Even though I had a pretty good HS (award winning school) in a democratic nation, it was a rural/ish school of predominantly WASPs with a few ‘others’. Our school pop was @ 1500 students. A very conservative area (I don’t mean the political party either).

So what did I learn? Mostly about North American, west Eurocentric, colonial views. I wasn’t taught about things like conflicts and their reasons in other parts of the world, not even really in east Europe. We were taught about the world wars, but not all of the victims of the Reich. Or how the west were so slow in helping people who were fleeing to safety. Or why they delayed.

Were they doing this to protect our innocent minds from the human horrors? Were they trying to white wash what our group had done so we would still feel good about ourselves/us? Have racial and national pride?

We also learned about the US civil war. We fought on the side of the British BTW. We learned that Canada took in British loyalists and runaway slaves from the US. And we learned we won. (Not that the US agrees with that….)

How is this relevant today? History is an underfunded field. Why should we care if they tell the whole story?

Because it still applies to today’s actions. It’s not just about learning the lessons so we don’t repeat them either. It’s about sensitivity when travelling in other countries, dealing with their people. It’s about coming into Canada this week as US citizens, carrying flags that represent the 13 colonies (Confederate flag, the Gadsden flag) and sounding off like we’re the ones who don’t get what our own country needs. It’s about holding the Canadian flag upside down. Rabble rousing in our political issues. During a pandemic. Threatening our sitting Prime Minister’s life. And saying it’s about your freedom. Well not in our country it’s not. March on your White House!

Do you have any clue how many ways or why this is offensive to us here in Canada? Yeah I think you skipped history class, cuzz even edited you should have been told Canada wasn’t on the side of the 13 colonies, or even the side of the USA as a country.

And BTW US is not America. It is from America.

God save the Queen.
O Canada.

We are your trading partner, allies, not your territory or occupied land. We are an independent nation, whatever your POTUS thinks. Behave like it or go back home.

The Monarchy of Europe Sprang from….. and were known for…. Historic need or should we abolish them?

The Monarchy of Europe Sprang from….. and were known for…. Historic need or should we abolish them?

But shouldn’t we know who they are first?

Or at least the critical players?

From Russia to Spain, from Greece to Scotland, the modern monarchy was largely due to these marriages, these bloodlines. They crossed the continent of Europe, marrying cousins to keep power in their hands. And what was the cost? Purity of that sort leads to hemophilia. (Victoria and her descendants).

  1. Johan Willem Friso (house-of-orange-nassau) (14 Aug 1687 – 14 July 1711)
    married Princess Luise of Hesse-Kassel (21 Jan 1796 – Apr 9 1765
  2. King George II Of England (house-of-Hanover) (10 Nov 1683 – 25 Oct 1760)
    married Princess Wilhelmine Of Brandenburg-Ansbach ( 1 Mar 1683 – 20 Nov 1737)
  3. Christian IX (house-of-Glücksburg) (Apr 8, 1818 – Jan 29 1906)
    married Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel, (Sept7, 1817 – Sept 29, 1898)
  4. (Alexandrina) Victoria; (house of Hanover) (24 May 1819 – 22 Jan 1901)
    married Albert 26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861

….. sources

unofficial royalty- relations
Christian IX

which monarchs were important to Christendom?


Many got involved in how the church hierarchy behaved, which pope was elected, and how, but some actually forwarded the cause of the church. Some royals became popes themselves.


They have their rings and crowns in the pie of most of the most horrible things that happened in Europe (religious and nation/states), and the world, and many people think they should be abolished,

They are good for pageantry, many today work tirelessly for charitable causes. And they are trying to rid the family of hemophilia by bringing in new bloodlines.

And they weren’t all bad, were they? Russia, England and France have tried revolutions and yet they’re still here…. Maybe we like our feudalism?

When is Irony a Good Thing? – Reclaiming Words

When is Irony a Good Thing? – Reclaiming Words

I’m sure you can come up with words that have been used historically to undermine and abuse different groups of people, so I won’t use the words.

As a woman, I often wonder about this type of word that has been used to harm us and keep us in our place/role. And wonder about the distinction if we say it in irony or one of the ‘real women’ say it along with their husbands or fathers who want to keep us in our place/role.

Then I wonder if we should be reclaiming these words in public places where those who use it in irony and those who don’t share the space.

  • Does that diminish the power of the word?
  • Does that reduce their abusive intent?
  • Does that increase/decrease our irony?
  • Does it help or harm us to do this where our intent can be mistaken by anyone passing by?

What do you think of this practice?

Karl’s Brand New Toy – (a story/ish)

Karl’s Brand New Toy

She was a black beauty. And Karl did the usual thing guys do. He named her. Black – Schwartz in German. And she hugged curves like she was made for them, so die Anmut made sense. Long name – Anmut Schwartz. Anmut Baby when he was trying to get her to behave, do a little extra. But sometimes he felt like the car had a personality .

Anmut was a nuisance. Like a bad behaved child really. Karl wasn’t so sure what the issue was though. He was pretty sure there was a spell on either the car or him. And had no idea what he should do about it. It’s not like he could afford to replace her. And he sure didn’t want to be responsible for someone else facing the challenges he faced with her.

Anmut Baby never took a direct route from where he began to where he wanted to go. If he tried to hold her to the trail, she belched and shrieked. But sometimes he had to do so if he needed to get to work on time.

If Karl was stubborn, the car would plough into a bank or a tree. Not hard enough to hurt him. But enough that he had to explain his crazy driving to a cop who always seemed nearby when this happened. Then he had to take a breathalizer and walk a line. Of course he was sober.

It was getting embarrassing.

If the car was mad at him and knew he had a date that night, she would save up her bad temper and shame him in front of the young lady. Making gurgling noises and farts like Karl had indigestion. It was pretty challenging sustaining passion and romance with that going on. There wasn’t going to be any lover’s lane visits for Karl and his date.

And Anmut Baby refused to take Karl outside the city limits. Just would not go outside them no matter how much he begged, or what the weather was. He had to take the train to visit his parents. Which cost him more than it should , considering the govt was trying to encourage people using public transportation.

Poor Karl didn’t know what to do. This wasn’t the car he’d dreamed of. At all.

Shells, Beads, Banking…. Before Money (a story/ish)

Shells, Beads, Banking…. Before Money (a story/ish)

Seda had always been the delicate child of her family. One who saw inward more than looking at the harsh realities of the world. So her family tended to shelter her from things like dealing with the animals or doing grunt work as much as they could.

She was often sent down to the green grocer to get their veg and fruit, even a few spices and herbs, if her mother didn’t have what she needed for a meal. She went back and forth a few times a day for those things.

It suited mama cuzz she didn’t have to interrupt her meal making. It suited Seda, cuzz she wasn’t housebound on a glorious day. And all she had had to do to get this job was prove she had a good memory and could add sums. Her older brother went with her the first few times to be sure she had things in hand. Then he let her do it. He had animals to tend to with their papa. And he didn’t much like the market. Too many people he didn’t want to talk to and carry out polite exchanges with.

But Seda was sunshine on legs. She loved to chatter when people let her. Or she was fine with her own thoughts if they didn’t. So most people liked her.

Some called her fanciful, some said she was a daydreamer. And she was. Though she did keep enough of a clear head to not get in danger and get her tasks done. And somehow, she was always dressed right for modesty and the weather.

But at the market…..

Seda wasn’t the 21st century little girl getting a few things for her mother. She was a trader coming to town on a caravan. Or in a giggling group of young ladies sent to dance for the town folk. And she would be brusk and business like in her transactions when there as the trader. Or giggle and tease as the dancing girl.

The shop keepers didn’t much mind. When they were busy they preferred the trader persona. When they had a few minutes, they asked Seda to dance for them.

Nobody at home knew this was going on. They were just happy to know she had gotten the things they needed. And made it back and forth safe. They didn’t ask for what had gone on at the shops.

On the few occasions Seda couldn’t go, her brother went. And he was quite pleased when the shop keepers asked after her and sent greetings. They often gave him a cookie and sent one back for Seda. So he never thought to ask why they cared. She was just a girl, getting goods for her family. Like so many others.

Years after, Seda had many fond memories of those shopping trips that she only had because she was a fanciful little girl. And so did the shop keepers.



Jenny ( a story/ish)


He would have liked to sit down, but there was no way he could continue to work if he did. And there was a rush order for his day’s lot. Yarn was needed to make some fancy lady’s dress. And he was the fastest spinner in the factory.

His legs, esp his knees and ankles hurt so badly. And his lower back was just killing him. Almost literally. He was on the edge of swooning and nauseous in his pain. And his fingers were throbbing. If it weren’t for the callouses, they’d be bleeding by now. But they couldn’t have blood on the yarn. Not when a lady’s fancy dress was at stake.

Somehow he kept to his feet, and the yarn kept passing thru his machine. Even though he was seeing the oddest things as he worked. He knew he lived in the year of his Lord 1860. Where time was slower. Where people knew their neighbours. ….

But in his mind, he saw huge cities, full of large concrete buildings. Fast vehicles he had never seen before racing by each other. Yet he still heard the factory whistles and saw workers carrying their lunch buckets and filing into work. And his eyes filled with tears, imagining his great grandchildren in that line. He had started this job to improve their lot in life. And it seemed like nothing would change.

He saw a party of fancy ladies waiting at the theatre for the doors to open and looked at the colours and styles of their clothes. Well, there may be more people, but their costumes were indelicate. His wife wouldn’t stand before him in so little. And he would be shamed to stand like that before her. He wasn’t sure if the world would need more or less fabric with that going on.

He saw the factories in many countries. And in some, the people running the machines were still children. And he looked over at his son, so sad and tired he was almost crying. And worried that nothing had improved in the world he was peeking into.

Finally the order was ready. So he took it to his boss for inspection. And was grateful that it passed his eye. He almost went home, but went back into the factory to help his son finish his day’s order.

Father and son went home and had their supper before falling into bed, exhausted. And father dreamed. Of a time before him when the biggest town had three public buildings in it. When people lived in farms and forts and knew nothing of the larger world. To his own time when they might live in a city, but they knew their neighbours and those they went to church with. To a day when the world had so many in it they were like ants in a colony. Scrambling for food and other daily needs. And still they worked in factories. Men, women and children. For the fancy people to have their parties.

All tied to his machine.

He woke in horror.

He didn’t like that future, but didn’t know what to do to change it. This is how the world would move on it seemed.

the origins

Some religions spread by neighbour, some by war and some by convenience or coercion

Some religions spread by neighbour, some by war and some by convenience or coercion

But underneath there is a commonality.

Why do people want/need faith?

  • They want to belong to a group. In a world of storms or animals who predate on humans who are alone when they’re hungry it’s easier to cope when you have people to help. And it’s also easier to find a mate and have children when you have a group to choose from and their support.
  • They want to explain the world, and having a creator god in charge makes it easier to deal with the things they don’t know.
  • Having a group is better when you’re poor. Whether by nation or faith group, poor people need someone to turn to when the floor falls out from under them. And faith groups are easier to get charity from than the nations are.

Why do people argue about religion/faith/spirituality when they agree on so many larger principles?

  • (love, peace, social justice, community, sharing goods and resources, the value of prayer, that there is a god(s), and we have a soul.)
  • (we should live a moral and fair life where we do no harm)
  • (they practice in temples, by saying prayers, feasting and fasting, have high holy days, and sages who guide their way)

Why are people as individuals willing to kill to spread their own POV, to impose it on others?

(and you can’t say they aren’t because they follow the priests and kings who ask for war in the name of power, slaves and land)
I don’t know. Hate? Xenophobia?

And here we are.

In a day when we know the history of the world, claim to be enlightened and value logic and science over all, why do people still think we have to spread faith by the sword? Well today by the missile and the gun.

And why are we willing to allow entire peoples to be wiped out to have our faith be supreme? Do we think that our god(s) are proud of us?

Deeper questions than which prayer service you’ll attend or if you’ll only go a couple times a year on high holidays. Or what your $$s are used for in your community and how much goes to the temple’s leaders for their feather-lined nests. But now and then, don’t you think they need to be asked?

especially this one – What do we allow our leaders to ask of us in the name of God?

…… resources

categories of religions

….. maps

several maps

….. time lapse maps

….. list of major religions/spiritual philosophies

The world’s 20 largest religions and their number of believers are:

  1. Christianity (2.1 billion)
    Most historians believe that Jesus was a real person who was born between 2 B.C. and 7 B.C. in Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem. Christianity began after his death.
  • The Crusades were a series of religious wars between Christians and Muslims started primarily to secure control of holy sites considered sacred by both groups. In all, eight major Crusade expeditions occurred between 1096 and 1291
  1. Islam (1.3 billion)
    Muhammad] was the founder of Islam and the proclaimer of the Qurʾān, Islam’s sacred scripture. He spent his entire life in what is now the country of Saudi Arabia, from his birth about 570 CE in Mecca to his death in 632 in Medina.
  1. Nonreligious (Secular/Agnostic/Atheist) (1.1 billion)
  2. Hinduism (900 million)
    Most scholars believe Hinduism started somewhere between 2300 B.C. and 1500 B.C. in the Indus Valley, near modern-day Pakistan. But many Hindus argue that their faith is timeless and has always existed.
  3. Chinese traditional religion (394 million)
    In China, religious beliefs are evident in the Yangshao Culture of the Yellow River Valley, which prospered between 5000-3000 BCE.
  4. Buddhism (376 million)
    founded by Siddhartha Gautama (“the Buddha”) more than 2,500 years ago in India.
  5. Primal-indigenous (300 million)
  6. African traditional and Diasporic (100 million)
  7. Sikhism (23 million)
    established by Guru Nanak (1469–1539) in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent
  8. Juche (19 million)
    the revised constitution of 1982 adopted ‘Juche’ as the official ruling ideology of North Korea. In 1974, ‘Juche’ was officially renamed ‘Kim Il-sung-ism’ (or simply ‘Kimism’), as “a new and unique system of revolutionary thought, theory, and methodology that reflects the needs arising from an era of self-reliance”
  9. Spiritism (15 million)
  10. Judaism (14 million)
    Abraham (flourished early 2nd millennium BCE)
  11. Bahai (7 million)
    founded from Islam in Iraq in the mid-19th century by Mīrzā Ḥosayn ʿAlī Nūrī, who is known as Bahāʾ Allāh (Arabic: “Glory of God”).
  12. Jainism (4.2 million)
    Jainism originated in the 7th–5th century bce in the Ganges basin of eastern India,
  13. Shinto (4 million)
    In the late 6th century AD the name Shinto was created for the native religion of Japan, originating in prehistoric times,
  14. Cao Dai (4 million)
    movement founded by Ngô Văn Chiêu in Vietnam in 1926. It mixes ideas from other religions.
  15. Zoroastrianism (2.6 million)
    founded in Persia in the 6th century BCE by the priest Zarathustra,
  16. Tenrikyo (2 million)
    Japan – founded in the late 1830’s by Nakayama Miki,
  17. Neo-Paganism (1 million)
  18. Unitarian-Universalism (800,000)
    list source
    more info

From the Top Down – How the United Nations is Addressing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights With Them

From the Top Down – How the United Nations is Addressing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights With Them

  • Especially when dealing with Indigenous Peoples, it’s important to engage with them to determine what is needed, by whom, and involving them in the process.
  • that there has to be recognition that not every group will have the same needs due to their cultural practices and history.
  1. some groups are herders/pastoralists
  2. some are hunters/gatherers
  3. some are farmers
  • Because of the long history of mistreatment at the hands of their nation/states and colonialism, to the point of extinction, this had to be a global effort to protect their rights, cultures, languages and indeed their lives.
  1. the history of missionary schools
  2. paternalism by the nation – refusing the peoples’ opportunities to advocate for themselves, To include them in the voices of authority – police, social workers, nurses, doctors, govt)
  3. land and human rights’ defenders arrested and ‘disappeared’
  4. the quest for self determination
  5. survival during the climate change – islands and coastal regions – storms and deterioration of the land

Which makes it clear that no one solution would fit all of the peoples and nations. And advocacy was/is critical. It took some convincing. And the peoples have been approaching the United Nations since 1923.

Are they making progress?

  • They are finally recognized
  • heard
  • included

Considering the beginning and who the most important nations are on the United Nations (mostly colonizing nations), it’s a start. But they knew from the beginning they had an uphill battle ahead.

….. UN bodies that have been working with Indigenous Peoples

UN – Human Rights Council
UN – Department of Economic and Social Affairs

European Colonialism 15th C to ……?

European Colonialism 15th C to ……?

Most people link Colonialism to England and it’s crown. And in many places in the world that would be true. But colonialism wasn’t created by England’s model.

Same as most people consider Catholicism to be the major ‘church’ behind the crown, It was for France, Spain and Portugal. But not for Russia, Germany or England.

We do have to give some consideration for individual countries speaking for their experience, but it wasn’t that of the entire world. And sometimes we have to remember the common story.

And that often splits empires going out to make war and take over the people and land in the name of their gods. To command the country as imperialists, which has happened thru all of history. They enslaved the people. Yes some were killed.

And what colonialism is. Stanford’s definition To populate the world as their own lands were filling up. To displace those peoples who were already there. To assimilate those who would be and annihilate the rest to make room for their own people.

And that is the frame by which the discovery of new lands and new peoples led to. Entire peoples being lost to time, many forgotten. Languages and cultures lost. New peoples created as the old and new had relations and children were born.

And the world was changed. For power, money, goods, resources…. but mostly for land.

maps of colonies

1500-2000 – Princeton univ map
1500s to the 1960s – vox map

the colonial empires of Europe

  • Portugal
    ‘The Portuguese Colonial Empire was one of the longest-lived empires in European History. Starting in the beginning of the “Age of Discovery”, with the conquest of Ceuta in 1415, it lasted until 1999, with the transfer of Macau to China’
  • Spain
    ‘During the 15th and 16th centuries, Spain led Europe as a global explorer and a colonial force expanding its power worldwide, beginning with Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas in 1492. From this time up until the early 19th century, this nation held colonies in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa.’
  • the Dutch Republic
    ‘The Dutch colonized many parts of the world — from America to Asia and Africa to South America; they also occupied many African countries for years. From the 17th century onwards, the Dutch started to colonize many parts of Africa, including Ivory Coast, Ghana, South Africa, Angola, Namibia and Senegal.’
  • France
    ‘France had two colonial empires. The first one during the XVIth-XVIIIth Centuries was built by large Royal Trading Companies (such as Compagnie des Indes Occidentales). This empire included most of Northern America, some of the richest Caribbean Islands and a large part of India.
    The second colonial empire, constructed in the late 19th Century, began in earnest after the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. This empire rivalled the British empire, and lasted until the 1960s. ‘
  • Kingdom of Prussia/mostly Germany
    ‘ During the early 1880s, Germany joined other European powers in the “Scramble for Africa.” ‘
  • Russia
    Mostly in Eurasia, but it did spread into North America; Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific Coast of North America as well.
  • and England
    ‘The British Empire began in its formative years in the sixteenth century and flourished and grew dramatically, lasting until the twentieth century.’