Cruel And Inhumane …

Contrary to what some Republicans say, these places are concentration camps by any sense of the word.

Filosofa's Word

aoc.jpg“This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis. And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as “the mass detention of civilians without trial.” And that’s exactly what this administration is doing.”

Those are the words of freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on June 18th.  I fully agree with her words.  She has been taken to task by republicans, and even by Yad Vashem, of the Holocaust research center.  I have read the arguments, pro and con, and I still agree with Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.  The conditions under which we are holding people, particularly children, against their will and for no legitimate reason, is…

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Just keep knocking

First, a humorous, exciting, and romantic tale told by Tallis Steelyard. Next, a book of humorous tales on offer by Jim Webster featuring Tallis Steelyard’s friend Benor Dorffingil. It’s followed by a good review.

writers co-op

 – by Jim Webster

Have you noticed how there are people who never get the attention they deserve? Obviously it can work both ways. I know one or two people who really ought to come to the attention of the hangman, or perhaps that of a philanthropic assassin wishing to square his account with society. But there are also perfectly decent people who get overlooked or even ignored, often from the paltriest of reasons.

Take Morn Willit. A young man, handsome enough, intelligent, courteous and kind. Not only that but he had prospects. There again, there were unfortunate disadvantages as well. Firstly he was painfully shy. So shy that his two sisters feared he’d never pluck up the courage to speak to an eligible young lady, never mind ask her out to dine with him. Secondly he walked with a pronounced limp, from the time when a Partannese mace had…

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Apparently revenge is worth wearing shoes for.

First, a hilarious and fast-moving tale with a warning to not treat some people harshly as told by Tallis Steelyard. Next, a book on offer by Jim Webster in which he tells of the exciting sport of sedan chair racing in Port Naain. A good review follows.

Tallis Steelyard

Apparently revenge is worth wearing shoes for

There are times when I confess that Mutt does worry me a little. I realise that given his background he is unlikely to be charming, sweet and innocent, (unless of course these three qualities are temporarily advantageous.) After all, I too lived most of my young life on the street and it is not a world that repays innocence. Still I have known elderly dowagers who were less cynical and vengeful than Mutt.

If you are unsure of what I mean, I shall merely recount the incident of the Finsal the balladeer. Provided you had a penchant for empty-headed and womanising lute players, Finsal was a fine fellow. People commented that he’d never done a day’s work in his life, but given the amount of time he would have to spend washing and combing his hair, that is to be expected. I had worked with him from time to time…

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Making tracks

First, Jim tells how farmers used leftover war tanks on the farm. Next, he has a book on offer about life on the farm using sheepdogs. A good review of the book follows.

Jim Webster

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Not long ago, on the anniversary of D-Day, somebody drew my attention to a photo of one of the beaches. A couple of people were discussing it. I was brought into the conversation because in the photo was an armoured tractor, landed to help pull stuff up the beach, or just to get it out of the way.

As an aside, the mate who brought the picture to my attention and sort of provoked this blog was Will Macmillan Jones. If you enjoy space opera, then you’ll probably enjoy his Space Scout series.

Now I was born not all that long after the Second World War. Not only that but I’ve lived all my life on farms and farmers are notorious at not throwing anything out. I remember we used to have a British Steel Helmet, of First World War vintage, which was used to keep nails and bolts…

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Parrot Portraits~

Gorgeous photos taken by Cindy Knoke at the Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Southern California.

Every couple of years I visit Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Southern California and play with the birds. Meet the Superb Parrot native to Australia. This is the only bird featured in this post that is not designated endangered or vulnerable in the wild.

Every time I visit, I leave wanting to adopt one of their birds, like this Eclectus Parrot, native to the Solomon Islands.

Free Flight was established by an avian veterinarian to rescue and rehabilitate pet parrots. They have several highly endangered Hyacinth Macaws which are the largest of the Macaw species.

Friendly and outgoing Yellow Naped Amazons live in Mexico and Central America.

Pretty in Pink Moluccan Cockatoos are native to Indonesia.

Free Flight birds live in an open aviary and interact readily with the people who come to visit them.

African Grey Parrots from the Congo are famous talkers. Despite myths to the contrary…

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Wensley Church

The highlights of Wensley Church

Walking the Old Ways

Wensley church is an historical gem, as I mentioned in my last blog. It’s worth travelling quite a distance to see. Here are some of the highlights. Holy Trinity church dates to at least the 12th century, though there may well have been a church on this site in Anglo-Saxon times.

Fortunately, the Victorian “restorers” more or less left the building alone, hence its rich treasures.DSCF1364

Firstly, here are some Anglo-Saxon grave-markers, now set in the interior wall of the church.

The wall paintings are very faint, but probably date to the early 14th century:


Here’s a wooden alms box and reliquary which probably came from Easby Abbey after the dissolution of Henry VIII:


The oak choir benches in the chancel date to 1527 and are the work of the Ripon Carvers, notice the ancient choristers graffiti. The carved creatures include a leopard, a greyhound, a dragon, a hare etc…

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Walking Leyburn Shawl

Walking Leyburn Shawl.

Walking the Old Ways

One of the finest paths in Yorkshire runs along the two-mile limestone terrace of Leyburn Shawl, which offers such fine views up through Wensleydale. We walked its length again this week, on a beautiful day in this very wet June, starting from the town of Leyburn.

VLUU L110, M110  / Samsung L110, M110 On Leyburn Shawl

Legend relates that Mary, Queen of Scots, escaping from captivity in Bolton Castle, dropped her shawl along the way, giving this long hillside its name. That’s not actually true. Shawl is almost certainly a corruption of an old English word meaning Settlement. Whatever its origins it is a stunning vantage point, and the flowers were quite wonderful as we followed the path through woodlands and outbreaks of limestone.

DSCF1357 Wensleydale

The views are truly magnificent and the path divine. The first part of the Shawl, nearest to Leyburn,  was laid out as a promenade, with seats and shelters in 1841. A gala…

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Extending the Lake District National Park

News concerning extending the Lake District National Park.

Walking the Old Ways

I’m supporting the Friends of the Lake District (FLD) bid to extend the southern boundary of the Lake District National Park. It’s good to see such ambitious plans proposed. In recent years some campaigners have been too timid regarding the extension of park boundaries and the creation of new National Parks. Good to see FLD taking a lead.

Here’s what FLD are saying:

Friends of the Lake District has submitted a formal request to extend the southern boundary of the Lake District National Park to Natural England (NE) for its consideration; Natural England is the government agency with the statutory powers to create a National Park or vary its boundary.

The extension proposed would incorporate an area of outstanding landscape in the south of Cumbria, its land and its estuaries, increasing the size of the Lake District by 155 km2 increasing its overall area by approximately 6%.

It incorporates…

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