Monday, December 19, 2022


I have only a nodding familiarity with textual criticism of the Bible. One needs a strong familiarity with Hebrew to take part in the debates concerned. But there are some bits that are reasonably accessible to anyone and I find some of those to be a real lulu. The fact that both the widely-known account of creation (Genesis 1) and the usually-cited copy of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) are clumsy and late priestly interpolations is surely ironical. Details of that here. I personally like the version of the Commandments in Exodus 34 a lot better. I am definitely against seething a kid

But studying Bible difficulties can turn up some useful bits. There are a lot of "crazy bits" in the Bible that turn out to be not so crazy after all in the light of advances in archaeology and historical studies. The 1955 book Und die Bibel hat doch recht (later translated into English as The Bible as history) seems to have been the first to bring together a lot of reasonable explanations for those crazy bits. I believe it was even made into a film.

And one of the craziest bits is the story of Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, who lived for 969 years (Genesis 5:21–27). So how come? Such an age is way outside of what we know to be biologically possible.

The explanation is reasonably straightforward. The decimal system (base 10 numbering) was always common (due to our ten fingers) but has never been universal. Computer programmers are well aware that other systems are possible and can be useful. Binary is the best-known alternative but there is also hexadecimal and octal. I find octal to be particularly confusing -- because it looks so much like decimal.

And the number systems in ancient times were many and various. We still have some remnants of them among us. Talking in terms of dozens is still common and we measure time in base 60.

And the original document that became the Methuselah story is long lost. Originally, it may even have been transmitted orally. So what base numbers was the Methuselah author using? We cannot know. When it was included in the text that later became the Torah, the priestly compilers interpreted the numbers they saw there in terms of their own numbering system and that system is comprehensible to us today. Had the priests concerned been more sophisticated, they might have been suspicious that they were out by a factor of ten. That would have made Methuselah 96 years and some months old, which is much more believable and is probably right.

Friday, December 16, 2022

"Love" in the Bible

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."

That is the first verse of that famous Bible passage. It centers around one word - "agape" (ἀγάπη) in the original Greek. It is translated in the KJV (above) as "charity" but is more usually translated as "love". But it does not mean man/woman (sexual) love. Greek has another word for that

It is an odd word, used throughout the New Testament but not much used elsewhere. In Classical Greek it means something like "liking"

So why did the apostle Paul devote a whole chapter to it? It seems to be because Christ used it a lot. He used that word in his commandment to love your God and love your neighbour, for instance. So Paul is in fact clarifying its meaning and how it is incumbent on Christians. Verses 4-7 are in fact a definition of ἀγάπη

"Charity (ἀγάπη) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

So that is a pretty tough set of requirements. But Christians have always aspired to live up to them. And it is pretty clear that a person who did live up to it would be a pretty likable person. Nobody does live up to it of course but even an attempt at it would be good for the social relationships of the person involved. So it is undoubtedly an important element in the success of Christianity as a religion.

So do I aspire to love in that way? No. I am not that good and know it. I do however have considerable capacity for love. I am usually in love with Zoe, for instance. But that is not the love that the Holy apostle was talking about. His standards are far too high for me. I do try to live up to bits of it, however. I try to be kind, I don't envy and I hope I am not too egotistical.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The authorities knew the vaccine risks all along

At the bottom of my comments below is a link to one of the many accounts about the bad effects of Covid vaccinations. My comments below were in response to it. I wrote them for one of my political blogs and also posted them on Facebook but the comments do contain a substantial personal element so I think they have a place here too.

I had two vaccinations with the British Astra-Zeneca vaccine. I had them under duress. I needed them to be permitted to go to certain places. On both occasions I had zero noticeable effects from the vaccination and I have also not apparently had Covid. So I would appear to be a "success" of the program

I personally don't think I am. I have a very good immune system and I think that was what defeated the harms from both the vaccine and the virus. Everybody I know who had the vaccine reported side effects from their shot: Side effects akin to the flu. And they got Covid anyway. I occasionally get flu symptoms but they vanish within 24 hours.

But in any case, I have no personal reason to be critical of the Covid vaccination programs. I look on with horror at what others have suffered but I have no personal beef

So the major point that I want to make is that the official response to vaccination side-effects was WILDLY out of keeping with the normal official response to medication side-effects. When a drug appears to have only a few reports of serious side effects, it usually gets banned in short order.

A case in point is Vioxx -- a very good nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that had been used by millions with no problems. There were however a handful of very serious cases attributed to the drug and publicity about that put the manufacturer under great pressure, causing them to "voluntarily" withdraw the drug from the market. By vuoluntarily withdrawing it, they left the way open to re-marketing it if vindication of the drug emerged.

I was at the time critical of the furore surrounding Vioxx. If millions have used the drug with no ill-effects and only a handful of adverse cases have surfaced, how do we know that the adverse effects were due to the drug? Which body of evidence is persuasive about what the drug does: the millions who have used the drug beneficially or the handful who SAY that their illness was caused by the drug? Is it not by far most likely that the adverse cases were mere coincidence? Yet the drug was effectively banned on the basis of those possibly coincidental cases.

And that has long been typical: Only a few cases of adverse effects from a medication are usually sufficient to ban it. If aspirin had been subject to modern approval scrutiny, we would never have had it.

But with Covid vacines the pendulum swung WILDLY in the opposite direction. Far from bad side-effects getting maximum scrutiny, they were actually COVERED UP. Why?

I think it was the Chinese example that ruled the day. When stories emerged about the Chinese authorities actually welding people's doors shut to enforce quarantine, our Left-leaning elites salivated. They saw a golden opportunity to go Fascist. They saw a way of getting the sort of control over other people that they had previously only dreamed of. They NEEEDED the vaccines to be effective and problem-free in order to justify their dreamy descent into authoritarianism. In fact, as it is now clear, the vaccines were NEITHER effective nor safe. So they had to cover that up as long as they could.

As I said from the beginning, the only public health measures that might have been justified emerge from the fact that only a tiny number of deaths were among people aged under 65. So it would have been justifiable to give maximum support to the over 65s to enable them to isolate themselves voluntarily


Friday, November 18, 2022

Civilization goes back a LONG way in Europe

I am going to risk being labelled a white supremacist by my interest in pre-history. What I have found is that Europe seems to be where civilization as we know it first evolved. Egypt and Mesopotamia eat your hearts out!

I am talking about what archaeologists call the Vinca culture. It has left thousands of artifacts so it is in no way obscure. From what we have found of their artifacts, we can deduce quite a lot about them.

The big surprise is how old the objects are. They had been assumed to be more recent than the artifacts from Egypt and Mesopotamia but radiocarbon dating has thrown that into a cocked hat. Vinca predates Egypt by at least a thousand years.

The artifact that tells me most is the one below. It is clearly a type of chariot with very clearly defined and quite modern-looking wheels. It is drawn by birds so is symbolic. The chariot of the Gods is a familiar concept in antiquity (e.g. Psalm 68:17) and it looks like it was thought of in our most ancient European past. See below.

Does it mean that the wheel was invented in EUROPE? It seems likely. Below is another article about Vinca. The original includes images of many Vinca artifacts

There was once a mysterious European culture, which left a legacy in the form of valuable artifacts covered with an unknown, never successfully deciphered script. These artifacts have been excavated from sites in south-east Europe.

Ancient Vinca Culture

The culture that flourished from about 6000 BC to 3000 BC, was named Vinca-Tordos Culture of Yugoslavia and western Romania and derived its name from the village of Vinca located on the banks of the Danube river, only 14 km downstream from Belgrade.

A century ago, a great discovery was made at the Danube riverbank. Panta, an old man from Vinča accidentally found a strange clay figurine: This mysterious figurine was puzzling to him so he took it to the National Museum in Belgrade in order to find the explanation. The figurine was soon recognized as an artifact that dated back to the late Stone Age.

Since then, a number of archaeological excavations have revealed numerous cultural layers of a civilization and its largest Neolithic settlement in Europe, dating back more than 7,000 years BC.

The Vinca legacy includes among others, curious masks and the most informative costumed figurines depicting women in extremely modern clothes like narrow skirts, and sleeveless upper-body panels, complimented with hip belts, aprons, jewelry, shoes, caps, hairstyles, bracelets, necklaces, and medallions.

There have also been unearthed different kinds of tools and weapons and the remains of prehistoric houses with the furniture and many other objects created in the Vinca region or brought from remote areas.

Since the language of the Vinca still remains undeciphered, unearthed artifacts constitute the only source of knowledge about this culture. Vinca's living style reminds us of our own. They lived in houses that had very complex architectural layouts and several rooms.

The houses faced northeast-southwest and were separated by streets. Vinca people had stoves in their houses, preceding the Romans in using these devices. They used special holes only for rubbish, and had the same tradition as we have, to bury people in cemeteries.

The development of copper metallurgy is evident during the latter part of the Vinca culture's evolution.

Among unearthed artifacts, there have been found a large number of figurines made of clay and other artifacts depicting worshipped deities and women in miniskirts, short tops, wearing jewelry.

It is hard to believe that women that lived several millennia ago wore miniskirts, unless, the cult of Mother Goddess was very widespread and reached both the south-east parts of Europe and ancient India.

Similar, made of ceramic clay, figurines of Mother Goddess, were found in excavations in Mohenjo-Daro, located along the Indus River in ancient India (present-day Pakistan).

Was this kind of clothes popular 7,500 years ago?

The Vinca Culture - Europe's biggest prehistoric civilization - point to a metropolis with a great degree of sophistication and a taste for art and fashion.

Numerous figurines related to the Vinca Culture bear 'markings that clearly indicate clothing, bequeathing a wealth of costume detail. The Vinca culture in the Danube River basin, from the end of the sixth through the fifth millennia B.C., left the most informative costumed figurines.

These images bear deep incisions encrusted with white paste or red ocher emulating fringe, hip belts, aprons, narrow skirts, and sleeveless upper-body panels. The Vinca artisans sans also modeled a variety of shoes, caps, hairstyles, bracelets, necklaces, and medallions...

Figurines with clothing and ornaments appear either bare-breasted or fully clad. Several dress combinations recur persistently on bare-breasted images. Some wear only a hip belt or a hip belt supporting either an apron or an entire fringed skirt. Others wear a tight skirt and nothing else...'

An important question is: Is the legacy of the Vinca culture evidence of the ever known earliest manifestation of the Divine Power and well-evolved and widespread Mother Goddess worship cult?

Many terracotta figurines of the Mother Goddess were recovered in excavations at various archaeological sites of Indus Valley. Naturally, orthodox science proposes a classical explanation to this phenomenon and say that the proto Mother, the symbol of female fertility, is depicted on prehistoric figurines.

Mysterious Vinca Culture Is Among The Most Advanced Prehistoric Societies In Europe

On many of the artifacts excavated from sites in south-east Europe, there have been found the Vinca symbols. Here are common symbols used throughout the Vinca period:

image from

They probably represent the earliest form of writing ever found and predating ancient Egyptian and Sumerian writing by thousands of years.

Since the inscriptions are all short and appear on objects found in burial sites, and the language represented is not known, it is highly unlikely they will ever be deciphered.

In some way, Vinca's past is both forgotten and lost.


Monday, November 14, 2022

Old Europe

This must be the ultimate in political incorrectness: Radiocarbon dating shows that civilization first evolved in Europe, not Mesopotamia

There are lost civilisations, and then there are forgotten civilisations. From the 6th to the 3rd millennium BC, the so-called “Vinca culture” stretched for hundreds of miles along the river Danube, in what is now Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, with traces all around the Balkans, parts of Central Europe and Asia Minor, and even Western Europe.

Few, if any, have heard of this culture, though they have seen some of their artefacts. They are the infamous statues found in Sumer, where authors such as Zecharia Sitchin have labelled them as “extra-terrestrial”, seeing that the shapes of these beings can hardly be classified as typically human. So why was it that few have seen (or were aware of) their true origin? The person largely responsible for the isolation of the Vinca culture was the great authority on late prehistoric Europe, Vere Gordon Childe (1892-1957). He was a synthesiser of various archaeological discoveries and tried to create an all-encompassing framework, creating such terms as “Neolithic Revolution” and “Urban Revolution”. In his synthesis, he perceived the Vinca culture as an outlying cultural entity influenced by more “civilised” forces. His dogmatic stance and clout meant that the Vinca culture received only scant attention. Originally, interest in the signs found on pottery had created interest in some academic circles, but that now faded following Childe’s “papal bull”.

Interest was rekindled in the 1960s (following the death of Childe), largely due to a new discovery made in 1961 by Dr. N. Vlassa, while excavating the Transylvanian site of Tartaria, part of Vinca culture. Amongst various artefacts recovered were three clay tablets, which he had analysed with the then newly introduced radiocarbon dating methodology. The artefacts came back as ca. 4000 BC and were used by the new methodology’s detractors to argue that radio carbon-dating was obviously erroneous. How could it be “that” old? Traditionally, the Sumerian site of Uruk had been dated to 3500-3200 BC. Vlassa’s discovery was initially (before the carbon dating results) further confirmation that the “Vinca Culture” had strong parallels with Sumer. Everyone agreed that the Sumerians had influenced Vinca Culture (and the site of Tartaria), which had therefore been assigned a date of 2900-2600 BC (by the traditional, comparative methodology, which relied on archaeologists’ logic, rather than hard scientific evidence). Sinclair Hood suggested that Sumerian prospectors had been drawn by the gold-bearing deposits in the Transylvanian region, resulting in these off-shoot cultures.

Some of the Tartaria tablets above. Carbon 14 dating has revealed that they were created at least 6,500 years ago, so their symbols predate Sumerian cuniform, which was previously the oldest writing known. Such symbols have been found on pottery, figurines, spindles and other clay artifacts.

But if the carbon dating results were correct, then Tartaria was 4000 BC, which meant that the Vinca Culture was older than Sumer, or Sumer was at least a millennium older than what archaeologists had so far assumed. Either way, archaeology would be in a complete state of disarray and either some or all archaeologists would be wrong. Voila, the reason as to why radio carbon dating was attacked, rather than merely revising erroneous timelines and opinions. There is no debate about it: the artefacts from the Vinca culture and Sumer are very much alike. And it is just not some pottery and artefacts: they share a script that seems highly identical too. In fact, the little interest that had been shown in the Vinca culture before the 1960s all revolved around their script. Vlassa’s discovery only seemed to confirm this conclusion, as he too immediately stated that the writing had to be influenced by the Near East. Everyone, including Sinclair Hood and Adam Falkenstein, agreed that the two scripts were related and Hood also saw a link with Crete. Finally, the Hungarian scholar Janos Makkay stated that the “Mesopotamian origin [of the Tartaria pictographs] is beyond doubt.” It seemed done and dusted.

But when the Vinca Culture suddenly predated Sumer, this thesis could no longer be maintained (as it would break the archaeological framework, largely put in place by Childe and his peers), and thus, today, the status is that both scripts developed independently. Of course, we should wonder whether this is just another attempt to save reputations and whether in the following decades, the stance will finally be reversed, which would mean that the Vinca Culture is actually at the origin of the Sumerian civilisation… a suggestion we will return to shortly. But what is the Vinca Culture? In 1908, the largest prehistoric and most comprehensively excavated Neolithic settlement in Europe was discovered in the village of Vinca, just 14 km downstream from the Serbian capital Belgrade, on the shores of the Danube. The discovery was made by a team led by Miloje M. Vasic, the first schooled archaeologist in Serbia.

Vinca was excavated between 1918 and 1934 and was revealed as a civilisation in its own right: a forgotten civilisation, which Marija Gimbutas would later call “Old Europe”. Indeed, as early as the 6th millennium BC, three millennia before Dynastic Egypt, the Vinca culture was already a genuine civilisation. Yes, it was a civilisation: a typical town consisted of houses with complex architectural layouts and several rooms, built of wood that was covered in mud. The houses sat along streets, thus making Vinca the first urban settlement in Europe, but equally being older than the cities of Mesopotamia and Egypt. And the town of Vinca itself was just one of several metropolises, with others at Divostin, Potporanj, Selevac, Plocnik and Predionica. Maria Gimbutas concluded that “in the 5th and early 4th millennia BC, just before its demise in east-central Europe, Old Europeans had towns with a considerable concentration of population, temples several stories high, a sacred script, spacious houses of four or five rooms, professional ceramicists, weavers, copper and gold metallurgists, and other artisans producing a range of sophisticated goods. A flourishing network of trade routes existed that circulated items such as obsidian, shells, marble, copper, and salt over hundreds of kilometres.”

A Vinca jug, showing a clear mastery of ceramics

Everything about “Old Europe” is indeed older than anything else in Europe or the Near East.

In Sumer, the development of writing has been pinned down as a result from economical factors that required “record keeping”. For the Vinca Culture, the origin of the signs is accepted as having been derived from religious rather than material concerns. In short, the longest groups of signs are thus considered to be a kind of magical formulae. The Vinca Culture was also millennia ahead of the status quo on mining. At the time, mining was thought not to predate 4000 BC, though in recent years, examples of as far back as 70,000 years ago have been discovered. The copper mine at Rudna Glava, 140 km east of Belgrade, is at least 7000 years old and had vertical shafts going as deep as twenty metres and at the time of its discovery was again extremely controversial.

Further insights into “Old Europe” came about in November 2007, when it was announced that excavations at an ancient settlement in southern Serbia had revealed the presence of a furnace, used for melting metal. The furnace had tools in it: a copper chisel and a two-headed hammer and axe. Most importantly, several of the metal objects that were made here, were recovered from the site.

The excavation also uncovered a series of statues. Archaeologist Julka Kuzmanovic-Cvetkovic observed that “according to the figurines we found, young women were beautifully dressed, like today’s girls in short tops and mini skirts, and wore bracelets around their arms.”

Female goddess with a short skirt and a v-neck top. False eyelashes too?

A man in military uniform?

The unnamed tribe who lived between 5400 and 4700 BC in the 120-hectare site at what is now Plocnik knew about trade, handcrafts, art and metallurgy. The excavation also provided further insights into Old Europe: for example, near the settlement, a thermal well might be evidence of Europe’s oldest spa. Houses had stoves and there were special holes for trash, while the dead were buried in a tidy necropolis. People slept on woollen mats and fur, made clothes of wool, flax and leather, and kept animals. The community was also especially fond of children: artefacts that were recovered included toys such as animals and rattles of clay, and small, clumsily crafted pots apparently made by children at playtime.

It is but two examples that underline that Old Europe was a civilisation millennia ahead of its neighbours. And Old Europe is a forgotten culture, as Richard Rudgeley has argued: “Old Europe was the precursor of many later cultural developments and […] the ancestral civilisation, rather than being lost beneath the waves through some cataclysmic geological event, was lost beneath the waves of invading tribes from the east.” Indeed, Rudgeley argued that when confronted with the “sudden arrival” of civilisation in Sumer or elsewhere, we should not look towards extra-terrestrial civilisation, nor Atlantis, but instead to “Old Europe”, a civilisation which the world seems intent on disregarding… and we can only wonder why.

“Civilisation” in Sumer was defined as the cultivation of crops and domestication of animals, with humans living a largely sedentary life, mostly in village or towns, with a type of central authority. With that definition of civilisation, it is clear that it did not begin in Sumer, but in Old Europe. Old Europe was a Neolithic civilisation, living of agriculture and the breeding of domestic animals. The most frequent domestic animals were cattle, although smaller goats, sheep and pigs were also bred. They also cultivated the most fertile prehistoric grain species. There was even a merchant economy: a surplus of products led to the development of trade with neighbouring regions, which supplied salt, obsidian or ornamental shells.

In fact, they were not actually a “Neolithic civilisation” – they were even further ahead of the times: in the region of Eastern Serbia, at Bele Vode and (the already discussed) Rudna Glava, in crevices and natural caves, the settlers of Vinca came in contact with copper ore which they began fashioning with fire, initially only for ornamental objects (beads and bracelets). They were more “Bronze Age” than “Stone Age”… this at a time when the rest of Europe and the Near East was not even a “Stone Age civilisation”. One scholar, the already cited Marija Gimbutas, has highlighted the importance of Old Europe. So much so, that many consider her to have gone too far. She interpreted Old Europe as a civilisation of the Goddess, a concept which has taken on a life of its own in the modern New Age industry, extending far beyond anything Gimbutas herself could ever have imagined. Bernard Wailes stated how Gimbutas was “immensely knowledgeable but not very good in critical analysis… She amasses all the data and then leaps to conclusions without any intervening argument… Most of us tend to say, oh my God, here goes Marija again”. But everyone agrees that her groundwork is solid, and it is from that which we build.

Gimbutas dated the civilisation of Old Europe from 6500 to 3500-3200 BC. It was at that time that the area was overrun by invading Indo-Europeans. The local population could do two things: remain and be ruled by new masters, or migrate, in search of new lands. It appears that the people of Old Europe did both: some went in search of a haven to the south, on the shores of the Aegean Sea, and beyond. Harald Haarmann has identified them as being responsible for the rise of the so-called Cycladic culture, as well as Crete, where the new settlers arrived around 3200 BC.

For Gimbutas, the difference between Old Europe and Indo-Europe was more than just one people invading another. It was the difference between a goddess-centred and matriarchal and the Bronze Age Indo-European patriarchal cultural elements. According to her interpretations, Old Europe was peaceful, they honoured homosexuals and they espoused economic equality. The Indo-Europeans were warmongering males. And it’s that conclusion with which many have great difficulty, for nothing is ever as distinct as that. Today, artefacts of the Vinca culture grace the display cabinets of several museums, for they are magnificent ceramics – of an artistic and technological level which would not be equalled by other cultures for several millennia. It is believed that their writing originated out of sacred writing. Like Crete, they were a peaceful nation; Crete’s palaces had no defensive qualities.

The recovered artefacts of the Vinca culture equally show they had a profound spiritual life. The cult objects include figurines, sacrificial dishes, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic dishes. When we note that their number (over 1000 examples at Vinca alone) exceeds the total number of figurines discovered in the region of the Greek Aegean, we can only wonder why Old Europe is not better known today.

Life was represented on these objects as embodying the cycle of birth and death of Nature, along with the desire of man to get Nature’s sympathy or to mollify it in the interest of survival. Shrines were discovered in Transylvania with complex architectural designs, indicating the involvedness of the rituals which were conducted in them. It may not have been a matriarchal, Goddess worshipping civilisation, but it was definitely a complex and established religious framework. Though nothing suggests it was a Goddess cult.

The same mistake has been made in Malta, where for generations certain statues were interpreted as “Mother Goddess” statues, whereas alternative thinkers as Joseph Ellul pointed out that there was nothing specifically feminine about these statues; that they showed a deity, but that it could equally be male or female. Recently, Ellul’s point of view has become shared by other experts on Malta, such as Dr. Caroline Malone, who argued that the theory that the Maltese temples were erected as part of a goddess-worshipping culture is no longer valid. In her opinion, Maltese prehistoric society was a relatively stable, agricultural community, living on an intense and densely populated island, which celebrated cyclical cycles of life, rites of passage, transitions between different stages of life, from separation to reintegration, fertility, ancestors, all of this within a cosmological context… and very much like Old Europe. Around 3200 BC, the culture of Old Europe migrated, to the Aegean Sea and to Crete. Today, they are considered to be the origin of the Minoan civilisation, though it is a dimension that few Minoan scholars have included in their writing, instead largely opting to see Crete as yet another “stand alone” civilisation. Gimbutas stated that: “the civilisation that flourished in Old Europe between 6500 and 3500 BC and in Crete until 1450 BC enjoyed a long period of uninterrupted peaceful living.” Motifs such as the snake, intertwined with the bird goddess motif, the bee and the butterfly, with the distinctive motif of the double axe, are found both in Old Europe and Crete. But the best evidence is in the writing of Old Europe and the Linear A script of Crete, which are to all intents and purposes identical.

But it is equally clear that contacts between Sumer and Old Europe existed at the time of the Ubaid culture, in Eridu – the site which inspired Sitchin so greatly in his formulation of the Annunaki theory and his identification of these statues as “Nephilim”. The Ubaid culture is ca. 4500 BC and though we should perhaps not go as far as concluding that Sumer was a child of Old Europe, the two cultures obviously knew each other. Indeed, in recent years, Old European artefacts were even discovered in Southeastern France, suggesting that the civilisation of Old Europe travelled not merely to the East, but also to the West. Perhaps we should even consider them to be at the origin of the megalithic civilisation? But no-one, it seems, has dared to topple that stone yet.



I do not appear so far to have put online one of the more amusing episodes from my student days in the '60s. So:

The former British colony of Rhodesia was at that time a well-managed self-governing entity democratically run by the white minority of its population. It was effectively a very prosperous independent country but Britain retained some sort of suzerainty over it.

Britain's Labour Party government had however become concerned that the black majority mostly did not have a vote in the running of the country so various moves were afoot to unseat the white minority government. That became a major international cause for a while.

I saw in the Leftist outrage about Rhodesia at the time an opportunity for some fun. I joined with some other conservative students to found "The Australia-Rhodesia Society".

The student Leftists rolled up in force to our inaugural meeting and tried to disrupt it with shouting and leaping about. They ensured that no meeting was possible. Later they also managed to get us banned from using any further university facilities (rooms etc) for any subsequent meetings

And they claim to believe in free speech! They don't. I know. "By their fruits shall ye know them". Anyway we had our fun with them. We knew them for what they were. Stalin's remark that there was complete freedom of speech in Russia for anyone who agreed with him just about sums up what all Leftists aspire to.

The "Australia-Rhodesia Society" was of course never meant seriously. It was just a bait that the Leftists swallowed hook, line and sinker. It is rather frightening how easily Stalinism emerges. The fascism of student "anti-Fascists" has to be seen to be believed.

White rule over Rhodesia was eventually overturned. It is now "Zimbabwe"

Gradual progression to majority rule in Rhodesia was already well underway before any outside intervention but that did not comport with the Leftist need for instant gratification

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

More on prehistoric European civilization

As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun. And that applies to the development of civilization in S.E. Europe (mostly in the territory of modern Serbia). I wrote yesterday about the elaborate civilization known to archaeologists as Vinca. The degree of modernity in the Vinca culture can be rather startling and the time of its emergence is even more startling. It emerged BEFORE the civilizations of Egypt and Sumeria.

But Vinca did not arise out of nothing. As is usually the case, it evolved from something earlier. And it is an earlier culture I want to mention here: Lepenski Vir. It was obviously much more primitive than Vinca but its remains do entitle it to be called a civilization.

And it is VERY early, much earlier even than Vinca -- starting as early as 9500 BC. So once again we are entitled to say that civilization was a European invention, not an invention from the Middle East. The Middle East is where WRITING that we can decipher originated but the other features of civilization can be found first in "Old Europe"

As a scholarly study of European genetics concluded: "Our study shows that southeastern Europe consistently served as a genetic contact zone between different populations. This role likely contributed to the extraordinary series of cultural innovations that characterize the region"

A fish god sculpture from Lepenski Vir: Half human, half fish. Fishing was a major food source for the inhabitants. Their settlement was on the Danube in a spot good for fishing

There are various theories of where the populations concerned came from but there is little doubt that they were an admixture resulting from several population movements. The admixture was however powerful. Just as the Celts, the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Danes and the Normans fused to produce the very influentil current population of Britain, so the admixture in South Eastern Europe developed into something much more significant than the various genetic streams from which it originated. They started out as farmers but went on to something much more than that.

We know that when one group moves into an already-populated place, the old population is not normally wiped out. At it worst, all the men may be wiped out but the women will be retained to produce children, a highly desired "commodity" where lifespans are short.

And the most recent move into S.E. Europe was of the Slavs, a very successful population that now controls most of Eastern Europe. So one wonders whether the genetics of "Old Europe" have survived the Slavic hegemony. It seems possible but how much has survived? The study of S.E. Europe mentioned above gives a figure of 5% but that is S.E. Europe-wide. In the heartland of Old Europe" -- Serbia -- the percentage could be higher. Serbs do have claims to be descendants of the world's oldest civilization.

Wikipedia has a very extensive and thorough article on Lepinski Vir so I reproduce just its opening paragraphs:

Lepenski Vir located in Serbia, is an important archaeological site of the Mesolithic Iron Gates culture of the Balkans. The latest radiocarbon and AMS data suggests that the chronology of Lepenski Vir spans between 9500/7200–6000 BC. There is some disagreement about when the settlement and culture of Lepenski Vir began, but the latest data indicates that it was between 9500–7200 BC. The late Lepenski Vir (6300–6000 BC) architectural phase saw the development of unique trapezoidal buildings and monumental sculpture. The Lepenski Vir site consists of one large settlement with around ten satellite villages. Numerous piscine sculptures and peculiar architectural remains have been found at the site.

Archaeologist Dragoslav Srejovi?, who first explored the site, said that such large sculptures so early in human history, and the original architectural solutions, define Lepenski Vir as a specific and very early phase in the development of European prehistoric culture. The site was notable for its outstanding level of preservation and the overall exceptional quality of its artifacts. Because the settlement was permanent and planned, with an organized societal life, architect Hristivoje Pavlovi? labeled Lepenski Vir as "the first city in Europe".


Saturday, October 15, 2022

The Rise of Lonely, Single Men

The article below has been much reproduced and much commented on since it first appeared a few months ago so I thought I might say a few words about it.

For a start, I think it is accurate as far as it goes but it fails to get to the bottom of what is going on. The basic problem is that traditional sex roles have altered. And a large part of the blame for that goes back to the schools.

Education has become very feminized and that tends to be uncongenial to men. As a result they tend to drop out before women do. But educational qualifications are still the highroad to many good jobs. So women tend to have more prestigious jobs and, to some extent, better pay.

So men have lost the occupational, educational and financial advantage they once had. They have, in other words, lost a lot of what used to be attractive to women. And women are therefore less likely to take an interest in them. So women look for other things in a man. And a major one is compatible values. But values tend to be influenced by your sex. There are intrinsic differences between male and female values. So when values become of over-riding significance for women, their own female values will be part of that. They will hope for some sign of female values in a man.

But that is an uphill requirement. Men will often be poor at providing such a value match, which will be bad for both parties. Neither the men nor the women will be able to find that they want. Neither the men nor the women are to blame. It is an educational and economic imbalance that has driven them apart.

What is to be done? I am afraid all I have to offer is that great old British solution: Compromise. Women have to stop expecting the impossible from men and men have to learn more respect for female values. It will not be easy for either party but to the extent it happens, both men and women will be happier.

The sad thing about it all is that the more desirable people will do OK anyway. It is the less desirable men and women who will need to change in order to find partners. And for some that will be really uphill. A major factor in interpersonal attraction is appearance and the factors there can be of stark importance. Good-looking men and women will find one another and be happy in a union but others will not. And, to be blunt about it, fat women and short men will fail to attract. Those are not the only factors in appearance but they are a big part of it.

Fortunately, appearance can be supplemented in other ways. The classic is short men who drive big cars and who are dapper in dress. They tend to be amusing to other men but women are sometimes impressed.

A less obvious example of a compensatory characteristic is a high IQ. I benefited from that. I have only ever been average in looks but my high IQ has been very attractive to one class of women: High IQ women. Women LOATHE being partnered with a man who is dumber than they are. So my arrival in the life of a high IQ woman tends to be very welcome. And I am not blowing smoke in saying that. I married fine women 4 times and, although I am now in my 80th year, I have recently acquired a very bright new girlfriend. And life is not fair. High IQ women tend also to be better looking. Terman and Oden noted that way back in the 20s. And my girlfriend is unusually good-looking for her age (in the 70s).

But both looks and IQ cannot be changed by wishing it. So other factors will have to be attended to in partnering. And there are a few of those. A dominant but polite personality is attractive to many women, for instance. But best of all is simply listening. Both men and women vary greatly in what they are and what they want so listening to the other party, finding out what they value, and trying to provide that will always be a leading way to satisfactory relationships.

Younger and middle-aged men are the loneliest they’ve been in generations, and it’s probably going to get worse.

This is not my typical rosy view of relationships but a reality nonetheless. Over the last 30 years, men have become a larger portion of that growing group of long-term single people. And while you don’t actually need to be in a relationship to be happy, men typically are happier and healthier when partnered.

Here are three broad trends in the relationship landscape that suggest heterosexual men are in for a rough road ahead:

Dating Apps. Whether you’re just starting to date or you’re recently divorced and dating again, dating apps are a huge driver of new romantic connections in the United States. The only problem is that upwards of 62% of users are men and many women are overwhelmed by the number of options they have. Competition in online dating is fierce, and lucky in-person chance encounters with dreamy partners are rarer than ever.

Relationship Standards. With so many options, it’s not surprising that women are increasingly selective. I do a live TikTok show (@abetterloveproject) and speak with hundreds of audience members every week; I hear recurring dating themes from women between the ages of 25 and 45: They prefer men who are emotionally available, who are good communicators, and who share their values.

Skills Deficits. For men, this means a relationship skills gap that, if not addressed, will likely lead to fewer dating opportunities and longer periods of being single. There's less patience for poor communication skills today. The problem for men is that emotional connection is the lifeblood of healthy, long-term love and it requires all the skills that families still are not consistently teaching young boys.
While there’s probably no chance of stemming the rising tide of unintentional single men, there is some good news.

The algorithms are becoming increasingly more complex on dating apps and other online platforms. One result is that great matches are on the rise. One dating app, Hinge, found through beta trials that 90% of users rated their first date positively, with 72% indicating that they wanted a second date.

How can men reap the benefit of the algorithms? Level up your mental health game. That means getting into some individual therapy to address your skills gap. It means valuing your own internal world and respecting your ideas enough to communicate them effectively. It means seeing intimacy, romance, and emotional connection as worthy of your time and effort.

Ultimately, we have an opportunity to revolutionize romantic relationships and establish new, healthier norms starting with the first date. It’s likely that some of these romances will be transformative and healing, disrupting generational trauma and establishing a fresh culture of admiration and validation.

Men have a key role in this transformation but only if they go all-in. It’s going to take that kind of commitment to themselves, to their mental health, and to the kind of love they want to generate in the world. Will we step up?


Thursday, September 22, 2022

A 7,000-year-old structure near Prague is older than Stonehenge, Egyptian pyramids

This is more evidence for "Old Europe", the claim that civilization first emerged in Europe, not in Egypt or Mesopotamia. What we read below is clear evidence of a civilized community. Many people had to get together and co-operate to build the large structures described below. And they made and used pottery, which had marks on it which may have been a form of writing.

This record is reminiscent of the Vinca culture and is in the same general area. Vinca artifacts stretch North and East from modern Srbia -- and included parts of modern-day Bulgaria and Romania. And many of the Vinca artifacts also trace back about 7000 years -- confirmed by radiocarbon dating.

I have previously written at some length about the Vinca culture. The Vinca artifacts were more sophisticated than those described below. The Vinca people were farmers but did engage in copper smelting so were NOT "Neolithic". So the culture recorded below was most likely a precursor of Vinca.

The advantage that Egypt and Mesopotamia had was their desert climate, which helped preserve their artifacts. Europe is much wetter so artifacts there would quickly be destroyed by mould, insects etc. So it is only recently that we have come to know of "Old Europe".

All things considered, though, it would seem increasingly clear that civilization was invented in Europe, profoundlly "incorrect" though it may be these days to say so. It may make me a "white supremacist" in the Leftist demonology

Archaeologists digging near Prague have discovered the remains of a Stone Age structure that's older than Stonehenge and even the Egyptian pyramids: an enigmatic complex known as a roundel. Nearly 7,000 years ago during the late Neolithic, or New Stone Age, a local farming community may have gathered in this circular building, although its true purpose is unknown.

The excavated roundel is large — about 180 feet (55 meters) in diameter, or about as long as the Leaning Tower of Pisa is tall, Radio Prague International reported(opens in new tab). And while "it is too early to say anything about the people building this roundel," it's clear that they were part of the Stroked Pottery culture(opens in new tab), which flourished between 4900 B.C. and 4400 B.C., Jaroslav ?ídký, a spokesperson for the Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IAP) and an expert on the Czech Republic's roundels, told Live Science in an email.

Miroslav Kraus, director of the roundel excavation in the district of Vino? on behalf of the IAP, said that revealing the structure could give them a clue about the use of the building. Researchers first learned about the Vino? roundel's existence in the 1980s, when construction workers were laying gas and water pipelines, according to Radio Prague International(opens in new tab), but the current dig has revealed the structure's entirety for the first time. So far, his team has recovered pottery fragments, animal bones and stone tools in the ditch fill, according to ?ídký.

Carbon-dating organic remains from this roundel excavation could help the team pinpoint the date of the structure's construction and possibly link it with a Neolithic settlement discovered nearby.

The people who made Stroked Pottery ware are known for building other roundels in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, ?ídký said. Their sedentary farming villages — located at the intersection of contemporary Poland, eastern Germany and the northern Czech Republic — consisted of several longhouses, which were large, rectangular structures that held 20 to 30 people each. But the "knowledge of building of roundels crossed the borders of several archaeological cultures," ?ídký noted. "Different communities built roundels across central Europe."

Roundels were not well-known ancient features until a few decades ago, when aerial and drone photography became a key part of the archaeological tool kit. But now, archaeologists know that "roundels are the oldest evidence of architecture in the whole of Europe," ?ídký told Radio Prague International earlier this year.

Viewed from above, roundels consist of one or more wide, circular ditches with several gaps that functioned as entrances. The inner part of each roundel was likely lined with wooden poles, perhaps with mud plastering the gaps, according to Radio Prague International. Hundreds of these circular earthworks have been found throughout central Europe, but they all date to a span of just two or three centuries. While their popularity in the late Neolithic is clear, their function is still in question.

In 1991, the earliest known roundel was found in Germany, also corresponding to the Stroked Pottery culture. Called the Goseck Circle, it is 246 feet (75 m) in diameter and had a double wooden palisade and three entrances. Because two of the entrances correspond with sunrise and sunset during the winter and summer solstices, one interpretation of the Goseck Circle is that it functioned as an observatory or calendar of sorts, according to a 2012 study in the journal Archaeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association(opens in new tab).

?ídký preferred a more general interpretation of the Vino? structure, noting that "roundels probably combined several functions, the most important being socio-ritual," he told Live Science. It is likely that roundels were built for gatherings of a large number of people, perhaps to commemorate events important to them as a community, such as rites of passage, astronomical phenomena or economic exchange.

Given that the people who built roundels had only stone tools to work with, these roundels' sizes are quite impressive — most commonly, about 200 feet (60 m) in diameter, or half the length of a football field. But little is known about the people themselves, as very few burials have been found that could provide more information about their lives seven millennia ago.

After three centuries of popularity, roundels suddenly disappeared from the archaeological record around 4600 B.C. Archaeologists do not yet know why the roundels were abandoned. But considering over one-quarter of all roundels found to date are located in the Czech Republic, future research similar to the excavation at Vino? may eventually help solve the mystery of the roundels.

Monday, May 02, 2022

The mystery of the Greeks

We read in our history books that the ancient Greeks were largely the foundation of our civilization. Athens and Jerusalem were the twin fountainheads of how we think to this day. Athens provided the science and Jerusalem provided the ethics. As historian of the Greek world Sean Gabb puts it:

The first lecture in the course makes a case for the Greeks as the exceptional people of the Ancient World. They were not saints: they were at least as willing as anyone else to engage in aggressive wars, enslavement, and sometimes human sacrifice. At the same time, working without any strong outside inspiration, they provided at least the foundations for the science, mathematics, philosophy, art and secular literature of later peoples

So there is a mystery there. If the Greeks of today are exceptional for anything it is indolence. Where did their ancestors get their novel ideas from?

People so far have mainly been content to see ancient Greek genius as a sort of bolt from the blue. The ancient Greeks were amazingly modern and very inspiring and that is just the way it is. There is very little enquiry about how the ancient Greeks got to be that way. It seems unlikely that some sort of genetic accident produced the ancient Greeks so so there is no obvious line of enquiry into what produced them.

But I think at least a skeleton of an explanation for their emergence has opened up. And I think the key lies in what archaeologists call the Vinca culture. I think the Greeks did have precursors in wisdom and that the precursors were nearby in Europe, in what is now often called "old Europe".

Vinca is a well documented excavation site around the modern-day Serbian village of Vinca, which is in turn close to Belgrade, the capital of modern Serbia. And the culture that is revealed there was actually widespread in South central Europe. Vinca may well not have been its focus or original source, which is why the basic culture concerned is often more generally called "old Europe". There is a considerable range of sites in which similar artifacts to those at Vinca have been found, mostly northward from Greece.

We read:

As early as the 6th millennium BC, three millennia before Dynastic Egypt, the Vinca culture was already a fully fledged civilisation. A typical town consisted of houses with complex architectural layouts and several rooms, built of wood that was covered in mud. The houses sat along streets, thus making Vinca the first urban settlement in Europe, but being far older than the cities of Mesopotamia and Egypt. And the town of Vinca itself was just one of several metropolises, with others at Divostin, Potporanj, Selevac, Plocnik and Predionica.

Archaeologists concluded that in the 5th and early 4th millennia BC, just before its demise in east-central Europe, 'Old Europeans' had towns with a considerable concentration of population, temples several stories high, a sacred script, spacious houses of four or five rooms, professional ceramicists, weavers, copper and gold metallurgists, and other artisans producing a range of sophisticated goods. A flourishing network of trade routes existed that circulated items such as obsidian, shells, marble, copper, and salt over hundreds of kilometres.

The central issue in evaluating "Old Europe" is chronology. The source above places "Old Europe" as a very early phenomenon. It was for a time said to be much later but radiocarbon dating has pushed back its origins to a time at least as early as the Mesopotamian civilizations. It could even be earlier. Concerning the dating of some Vinca tablets found in Romania, we read:

Radiocarbon dating on the Tărtăria finds pushed the date of the tablets (and therefore of the whole Vinča culture) much further back, to as long ago as 5,500 BC, the time of the early Eridu phase of the Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia. This finding has reversed our concept of the origin of writing, and it is now believed that the Sumerians inherited a Vinca tradition of 'magical' or 'meaningful' scripture, probably following the collapse of the Vinca homeland c. 3,500 BC.

That the Vinca culture was long thought to be much later than the Mesopotamian civilizations explains why virtually nothing about it appears in our history books. Depending on your chronological conclusions, it is just a minor archaeological footnote or the very origin of civilization itself.

I am taking what I think is a middling position: that "Old Europe" existed in Serbia and places North of it over a long period, with knowledge from it first being revealed to history as what we now know as ancient Greece.

I am submitting that we know so little of "Old Europe" primarily because we have no stories from it, even though some of their writings do exist. There ARE writings that have been recovered from "Old Europe" sites but we have no key to interpreting them. The writings that we have from sites in "Old Europe" do in fact resemble rather strongly the famed Cretan "Linear A" writing but we have no key to that either.

So what I think happened is that it was the wisdom preserved from "Old Europe" that suddenly popped into view in ancient Greece -- and it popped into view when the Greeks started to use an alphabet, an alphabet that is an adaptation of the Hebrew/Phoenician alphabet, an alphabet that arrived in Greece by way of Phoenician traders. Phoenicia is of course only a short sailing journey from Greece and Phoenecians were for a very long time known as dedicated marine traders.

So it is to me rather wonderful that we do now appear to know something of what our most ancient European ancestors thought. It was Greek thought.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

A chronology for John Joseph Ray

My bio is rather unsystematic so I give hereunder the actual dates (in order) of some things in my life. Some dates are approximated

The beach at Etty Bay outside Innisfail where I experienced many school and church picnics during my childfhood

1943 Born in Innisfail hospital by the Johnstone river

1944 Baptised into the Presbyterian church

1947 Aged 4 with sister Jacqueline Margaret Ray

Her mother dressed Jackie is an impeccably feminine way

1953 Completed grade 4 at Innisfail State Rural School

1956 Enrolled at Sheridan st primary school in Cairns (part of the High School)

1957 Passed the "Scholarship" (Final primary school) exam with overall mark of 79.7% -- December

1959 Passed the Junior exam with As in English, German and geography

1960 Became a junior clerk at the Dept. of Public Works, Cairns -- 26 Feb.

1961 Resigned from the PWD -- 28 Nov

1962 Got a job as a shop assistant at Gearco in George St Brisbane

1963 Passed the Senior exam with As in English & German

1963 Became a communicant at Ann St church

1963 Met my first girlfriend -- Janet

1964 Enrolled in B.A. at U.Q. (part time initially)

1964 Joined Dept. of Customs & Excise -- 25 May

1964 13th Dec. Obtained a reference from Rev. Percy Pearson of the Ann St. church. The text of the reference is here

1966 Resigned from Customs -- 22 March

1966 Enlisted in the CMF in Bris. -- 6 May

1967 December. Wrote my first computer program in FORTRAN. Instructor Gail Sonnkila.

Gail and the computer we used

1968 Lived with Joyce Hooper at Rozelle

1968 Granted B.A.

Holding the selected works of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov

1968 Discharged from the Army as Sergeant in Sydney 31 August

1969 Met Nola Holland nee Boyle

1969 Rented a terrace house in Wentworth Pk. Rd., Glebe, in Sydney. Joined by John Henningham and Alfred Croucher

1969 Granted M.A. by Uni Syd. -- 23 Sept.

1969 Enrolled in Ph.D. at Macquarie Uni -- March

1970 Teaching at Cerdon college

1971 Became a lecturer in Sociology at Uni NSW

1973 Married Dawn Nola Baker, nee Jones -- 9 Feb

1974 Awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy by Macquarie Uni -- 16 May. My age 31

1974 My book "Conservatism as heresy" published

1975 Accepted as a member of the American Psychological association -- Jan. 30

1976 Decree nisi for marriage to Dawn -- 29 Apr.

1976 Marriage to Joyce Lipp (aka Joy Petrie) --15 May. My age 33

At Peregian beach on honeymoon with Joy. She had a remrkable waist for a lady in her 40s

1977 Sabbatical in Britain. Joined the British Conservative party in March. Visited Glyndebourne with Susan Brooks

1978 Did a survey in South Africa

1980. A brief clean shaven interlude -- with a lovely lady, 2nd wife Joy. I was aged 37

1983 Resigned from Uni NSW -- Feb

1983 Met Jenny Lucas 5 Mar. My age 39

1984 Joined the National party, Qld. -- 12 March

1985 Decree nisi for marriage to Joyce Lipp

1985 Bought a Jade Green Ford Laser for $7,000 from Jubilee Motors, Fivedock in Sydney -- 25 Feb.

1985 Married Jenny Lucas -- 30 Nov.

1987 Son Joseph born. My age 44

1990 I buy an Amiga computer

1992 Jenny left me. Moved to Deshon st.

1993 on 21st May I met Carol Averil Ward (nee Lowry) for a relationship that lasted 2 years, but with lots of ups and downs

1995 Decree nisi for marriage to Jenny -- 3 Apr.

1995 Met Kathryn Perry -- 3 September

1995 Married Kathryn Margaret Perry nee Dickinson -- 10 Nov. My age 52

1995 Bought a Daihatsu Charade

1996 First took out Jill Hillman-Marks, nee Tate -- 8 Feb. My age 53

1998 Son Joseph Baptised into RC church by Father Brady of the Little Kings

1998 Decree nisi for marriage to Kathryn Perry

2000 Met Geraldine Trivett. Details in para.rtf

2001 4th.Sept. Started relationship with Judith Burgess nee Middleton.

Judy at Etty Bay wearing my Panama

2001 Concurrent relationship with Judy Power nee Newman. Age 58

2004 Son Joe graduates from Senior at Clairvaux High School (November 20)

2004 Vacation in the Far North with Judy Burgess nee Midleton

2005 Broke up with Judy and met Met Anne Foss nee Rampton next day -- Sept. 1

2006 Acquired a 1963 Humber Super Snipe

2007 Son Joe graduates from UQ with B.Sc. my age 64

2008 My Toyota Echo stolen but recovered after a little while

2009 My sister Jack (Jacqueline Margaret Ray aka Ward) died of the family illness -- breast cancer

2010 Cataract surgery in one eye

2010 Joe goes to ANU on a Ph.D. mathematics scholarship

2011 September 16. I help Renee Eaves financially to prosecute a crooked cop. She wins.


2011 The Brisbane floods. I was only indirectly affected as I live on the side of a hill in a generally relevated asrea

2012 I acquire a 1997 Toyota Starlet for $1,000 from Anne

2012 Admitted to Wesley hospital with kidney stone. On operating table within hours. -- May 2.

2013. I turn 70

As I was

2013 (November) Saved by Vancomycin from nasty Staphylococcus Aureus infection on my face

2014 (early Nov) Joe moves back from ANU and lives with me. My age 71

2014 (November 27) We had the mother and father of a hailstorm with quite a lot of the hail being bigger than golfballs. We lost power after a few minutes. Kate was present.

2015 Joe's GF Kate moved in to our place (July)

2015 (Dec 1) Severe diverticulitis, Fixed with antibiotics

2016 (30/08) Breakup with Anne -- followed by a reunion 3 weeks later. My age 73

2017 (May 28) My mental twin Chris Brand passed away

2018 (November 25) Son Joe marries Kate. My age 75

Anne and I at the wedding

2019 (July) Diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. Inoperable but treatable.

2019 (August) Big cancer surgery to remove sub-maxillary SCC. Emily Perry operating. Post-operative debilitation.

2020 (Feb 1) Joe completes his move to his new house. My age 76

2020 (Mar 2) 2nd ENT procedure. Remove SCC invaded lymph gland in neck. Chris Perry operating.

2020 (late March) Anne acquires a new bloke but remains friendly towards me. My age 76

2020 May. Radiotherapy on my neck. Notable for resultant pain

As I was in August 2020

2021 Feb. 1st. I become part-owner of a Toyota Prado (Half-share with Anne)

2021 March. Anne has a mild stroke and I am disgnosed with advanced stomach cancer. Not a good month

2021 10th June. I begin immunotherapy for my stomach cancer

2021 August 22nd. My oncologist advises me that I am in complete remission from my stomach cancer. The immunotherapy cost me $19,000 but it worked. It took only 9 weeks to wipe out the cancer. The preparation I got was Keytruda.

2021 September 25. Anne as she was

2021 I meet Zora Hughey nee Mikhailovich on the last day of the year. We met over lunch at my favourite coffee lounge on New Year's Eve. She is an intellectual Serb and identifies strongly with Serbia. See her below

2022 March 2. The Brisbane floods. I live with Zora at my place for 4 days

Zora beside the flooded Brisbane river at Kangaroo Point

2022 March 18th. I break my ankle when I fell down my front steps

2022 -- 18 April. I fall off a stool in a cafe and crack a rib, leaving me in a lot of pain

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Clarifying the meaning of "Right-wing"

It does not always imply racial hostility

My son and I recently had a discussion about being "Right-wing". We agreed that I am. But in what sense?

I mentioned that Syngman Rhee was in his day notably called "so far Right he was almost out of sight". He was a South Korean politician who served as the first President of South Korea from 1948 to 1960. But there were no racial issues in his term in office so how was he Rightist?


Although they themselves -- from Karl Marx on -- are often antisemitic, Leftists today use the terms "Rightist", Right-wing", racist", white supremacist" for anyone they disagree with who has any group-denominated views. To the Left you can be a racist even if you express no views about any race. Opponents of vaccination mandates are, for instance, sometimes called racists even by mainstream voices of Leftism. See for instance here

So if Rightist implies racism, I am very clearly a Tory rather than a Rightist, as the term "Rightist" is commonly understood. By Tory I mean traditional conservatism as seen in the British Conservative party prior to WWII and as seen in the more traditional stream in the current U.S. Republican party. In line with that, I think the individual is much more important than any group that he/she belongs to. But, insofar as generalizations have some value, I think highly of both the Chinese and the Jews. And I have a very low opinion of Muslims and blacks.

That latter opinion will produce immediate howls of rage from Leftists, but, in their usual way, that is bereft of context.  Am I a racist if I approve of some minorities and disapprove of other minorities?  The Left in their simplistic way do not even consider that matter.  To them it is just another opportunity for abuse and attack. They act as if all thoughts about race are fundamentally evil. Though if you speak well of one of their favoured minorities that is fine, of course

I would say that I am only a racist insofar as I think that group identity can sometimes make a difference.  I don't think that the astronomical rate of violent crime among blacks is coincidence, for instance. It does NOT mean that I approve of bad treatment of someone solely on the basis of their race. I actually agree with the statement in the United Nations charter that says each case should be judged on its individual merits.  The conservative whom I have quoted most in my writings is in fact a black man -- Thomas Sowell

And that non-hostile view is a Tory position, not a specifically Rightist one.  There are indeed Rightists who wish to persecute all members of some race, usually Jews, but I am not one of them.

So let me allude to some famous Tories and their opinion of Jews.  In the 19th century, the British Conservative party (Tories) made a proud Jew their Prime minister -- Benjamin Disraeli.

And the British Prime Minister  who declared war on Hitler -- Neville Chamberlain -- had some antisemitic views.  So conservatives can have some views about a particular group -- in this case Jews -- without wishing them ill.  You can even promote their cause -- as the Conservative Party did in the 19th century and as Neville Chamberlain did in the 20th.


And the greatest Tory of all, Winston Churchill, voiced some very negative views of Muslims but pitied them rather than being hostile to them. See here

So my position on racial questions is in fact a Tory or conservative one, not a Rightist one.  Leftists will of course be uninterested in that distinction.  It does not give them enough opportunity for abuse

The great irony of course is that the old Soviet view of Hitler as a Rightist  is now generally accepted.  He was indeed to the Right of the Soviets in that he allowed more individual liberty than they did but that is not saying much. The truth of the matter is that Hitler called himself a socialist and had a broad range of socialist policies -- including comprehensive  party  control of industry.  His deeds have lasting relevance but they are relevant to Leftism, not conservatism. He is another example of the generalization that hostile racial obsessions are mostly Leftist, not conservative.

So the  grossly inaccurate view  of Hitler as "Rightist" has thoroughly muddied the waters.  People understand the meaning of the term "Rightist" to mean conservatism plus racial ideas.  But the  misattribution of Hitler causes people assume that all racial ideas must be hostile, including racial views  among conservatives.

As we have seen, however, this is wrong.  People with conservative views may see racial differences as significant without being at all hostile to the races they take an interest in. They may even favour and think well of some races.

I see myself as wishing no-one ill on account of their race and as having many conservative views.  I in fact usually describe myself as a libertarian conservative.

Another huge irony, however, is that  libertarian ideas are often described by the Left as "Right wing", when they are not.  They are thoroughly opposed to both traditional conservatism and racial awareness.  Conservatives who are sympathetic to libertarian ideas represent, in fact, a major stream in modern-day conservative thought.

The most loved and most influential conservative leader of the 20th century knew what conservatism was about, of course.  He said: "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism..... The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom"   And if Ronald Reagan did not know what  conservatism was  all about, who would?

Reagan also conveyed the patriotic, pro-Christian message that Trump later used to such strong effect. I align with both those orientations. I am pleased to be born a 5th generation Australian and even more pleased to be a product of the Anglosphere. And I was a strong Christian fundamentalist in my teens. Subsequent to that, however, I have been a thoughgoing atheist (in the Carnap manner) for the whole of my adult life. Nonetheless I still have the warmest memories of my Christian days and still try to live by Christian principles. And I find that whenever I do the Christian thing I get a reward, often very rapidly. And when I allow the Devil to dominate I stumble. And there is a Devil. Whether you conceive of him as a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, or as a fallen angel or the destructive side of human nature, there is clearly much evil in human life. Freud called it "Thanatos", the death instinct.

And I still go to church on some (rare) occasions

So I do have many traditional conservative views -- also including the view that the justice system often goes too easy on criminals, that homosexual "marriage" is a travesty and that traditional sex roles are largely inborn. I even practice "ladies first" and open car doors for women. And such attitudes in combination with some libertarian views make me seen as extremely Right-wing. I readily accept that ascription as long as it is understood that my thinking about other races is of a conservative or Tory kind -- i.e. not hostile towards any individual solely on account of his/her race.

For a more detailed accountof my views, see here