Blog Posts

The annointed want my children

Jamie Oliver launched an assault on the Government Today, accusing them of muzzling many of the anti-obesity policies that were due to be adopted. It’s the usual nannying, hectoring stuff that we should expect from a celebrity on a crusade delivered in the straightforwardly earnest manner that Jamie Oliver uses. You can read more here or here. Or can just enjoy these edited highlights: “British parents don’t want to hear bad news all the time. People just want stuff to be fixed” “It’s the same old bull. And the same old bull hasn’t worked for 20 years. And it was done when they were all on holiday, in August. It just means ‘don’t care, don’t care, don’t care, get it under the radar.’ It’s a travesty,” “She’s completely let every child in Britain down, let parents down, everyone has been let down” “I wanted her to act not like a politician, but a parent.” and when told that Theresa May is not a parent “I didn’t know that.” The most glaringly obvious thing from this impassioned screed is that at no point is the parent’s responsibility toward their children mentioned. The agency of the parent to make decisions is completely ceded to the Government and food companies. No one can possibly think that sugary drinks and junk food are healthy what impact can he possibly have thought recommendations dealing with these things would have? If your kids are fat, it’s your fault. It’s that simple. This is an extraordinarily glaring example … read more....

Revenge, Revenge tomorrow for mourning today for revenge!

“Revenge, Revenge tomorrow for mourning today for revenge!”[1] Battles in the Scottish Highland The history of the Scottish Gael can be told as an arc of gradual cultural estrangement to the South followed by increasingly hostile and bitter conflicts aimed at resisting the domination of the Scottish Crown. In a strange quirk an ever decreasing number of clans pinned their fortunes to the then British House of Stuart which formed the cultural background for the last century or so before Culloden. Why the Clans of the West would follow the house of Stuart to destruction is a puzzle given the outright, genocidal hatred the Stuart crown had shown to the Gael. It must I suppose be remembered that the clans looked to their own fortunes rather than the national interest and that other enmities, religious or feud based (the Campbells were famously allied to both the anti-Stuart covenanters and Hanoverians) were uppermost in the minds of chieftains and senior clan retainers. Rarely did the Scottish Gael fight conventional forces before the mid 17th Century save in Ireland where Scottish Gaels fought alongside their Irish cousins. There are few descriptions of how Scottish Gaels fought by outsiders before this point though later accounts match very closely with what was said of combat in Ireland. Irish sources do not note any differences between Irish and Scottish forces excepting that “redshanks” were much harder to beat. It would seem safe to describe Scottish tactics as being the same or similar to those of … read more....

Women belong at home with the kids.

  Women belong at Home Lessons from a stay at home dad. My mum is from the second wave of feminists, she is one of the 7% of British women who identify as such, and has just retired from a successful career. She describes the years spent raising my Brother and I in rural, early eighties Scotland, with no money and married to my difficult Dad as the happiest time in her life. My wife’s Father raised her, her mum describes bawling her eyes out on her first day back at work. For the whole day. When it came to us my wife earned a great deal more, more certainly and with a defined career path so I stayed at home. She was miserable for nearly a week leading up to her first day back to work, and like her mother before her cried virtually non-stop. When I lived in Japan It was common to read in the international “Japan Times” OP-eds about getting women into the workforce, untapped potential etc., etc. Usually written by men or bitter old shrews with dried up ovaries. I honestly wondered where in the world they could be writing from Japanese housewives are the single happiest group of people I have ever met in my life. While her husband was off working 12 hours a day and getting crushed to death on the train, being forced to go out drinking with his boss after work and chain smoking his way into an a grave … read more....

Review: “Cuckservative” by Vox Day and John Red Eagle.

The Alt-Right is a recent  movement in western politics. The rise of the Social Justice Phenomenon and their takeover of the mainstream left, and the inability or refusal of the current political elite to address let alone being to deal with a febrile global situation has led to a resurgence of ideas that had for decades been lingering at the fringes. Lingering not because they were defeated, empirically wrong or quite quite mad, but because they challenge a set of assumptions without which the current political consensus cannot operate. The media’s monopoly on the dissemination of information and their complicity in maintaining a crumbling narrative has been smashed by the cunning and sophisticated use of the internet by alt-right writers. These writers are actually performing the function of the fourth estate and the present American election may be the first where a candidate’s campaign has been undermined by “citizen journalists”. It is a movement whose time has come, and which has the tools to change, possibly even save, a beleaguered Western culture. This book was recommended to me by one of the authors after I asked for clarification of his position on Free Trade, and can be seen perhaps as something of a primer on the main positions of the Alt-Right. The book is not a dense academic thesis and is aimed at the general reader, with a conversational tone throughout. Technical elements are clearly presented yet not simplified into error. The philosophical and historical underpinnings of some of the … read more....

Barkmann’s corner 2016

Barkmann’s corner 2016  27th July 1944 Unterscharfuhrer Ernst Barkmann of 2nd SS Das Reich, claims to have halted a U.S. armoured advance. His Panther 424 fought a single handed action against American armour (possibly 3rd Armored  though 4th Armored and 1st infantry were also in the area) destroying numerous vehicles before making his way through U.S. troops back to German lines. Barkmann received the Knight’s cross for this action.   During the heavy fighting around St Lo, Barkmann was cut off from his company by engine problems and allied fighter bomber attacks. On his way to rejoin them he was stopped by German infantry who informed him strong American armoured forces were closing in to encircle them. At least two of these men, Egon Corth and Werner Heinze, witnessed the tank engagement.  He sited his Panther tank under some oak trees at the foot of a long steep curving road and waited in Ambush. ….. From Achtung Panzer” :  When the American column approached, Ernst Barkmann opened fire, knocking out two leading tanks and then tanker truck.Two Shermans tried to go around burning wreckage that blocked the road and one of them was knocked out followed by the other one.In the response, Americans retreated and called up the tactical fighter support and Barkmann’s Panther was damaged and some of the crew members were wounded. Using the element of suprise two Shermans attacked “wounded” Panther but were also knocked out.Barkmann and his crew repaired their Panther and knocked out single Sherman while leaving.His driver … read more....

Physical culture in the Scottish Highlands.

“Their bodies were splendid, flexible, nimble, skillful, enduring, resistant and yet they had no other tutor in gymnastics but their lives in nature.” Georges Herbert. The Highlander may be characterised a short dexterous individual with reddish or dark hair and fair skin. Tacitus describes the Caledonians as “The red hair and large limbs of the inhabitants of Caledonia point clearly to a German origin” an origin perhaps confirmed by the BBC programme “blood of the Vikings” in its DNA testing of the British population. Jordanes wrote too that the Caledonians had red hair and “loose jointed bodies”(dexterous) the idea of nimble red heads has some pedigree. Highland prisoners from Culloden averaged at 5’4″ a figure confirmed by recruits joining the British army for the seven years war some 10 years later. With a range from 5’1″ to 5’10” the recruits were described as “healthy, young, and well built, but not tall. Highlanders seldom are”.These men would not be drawn from the upper ranks of the society and we may expect tacksmen etc to have been taller and indeed some of these men were true giants over 6′, The terrible climate and increased economic inequality in the highlands of the 17th-18th century surely stunted the growth of the highland people as it did across Europe. Male average height decreased by two inches from earlier periods so we may expect to see the heights of medieval highlanders being closer to an average of 5’6″. Documentation for women’s heights remains elusive but we … read more....

What the Hadza Eat.

There’s plenty a buzz in the blogging world of the Paleo diet about the use of carbohydrate heavy foods, to be honest I am more interested in the paleolithic than in the Paleo diet but I do think that regardless of it’s impact on health there is a fair bit of gumpf being written about carbohydrate foods in the actual paleolithic. Context being all important I think that the dreaded carbs have been as vilified as thoroughly as fats were in the eighties. I also think that in the US carbs and carbohydrate in the diet has had far more an impact. Rather obviously carbohydrates can’t be as awful as is often made out but I really want to get at the carbohydrate intake of actual hunter gatherers. Ice age Europeans could have consumed little carbohydrate as is evidenced by Isotopes and material finds . The greater intake of starch at the end of the paleolithic resulted in a far greater incidence of dental caries while the other health impacts could well have been the result of a decrease in species consumed (plant and animal). The extreme drop in health outcomes was greater in the Eastern Med and Levant unlike Western Europe perhaps reflecting a greater reliance in animal products in the West. Or indeed a less extreme stratification of society. In the South nearer the Equators the diversity of plant foods means that carbohydrate can make a far bigger proportion of calories. Wild tubers are ,needless to say far … read more....

N=1 Running and Walking

Recently   I  rare position of having some free time during the day. I am not a big fan of the persistence hunting hypothesis of human evolution but have long been keen to try out some of the “runs” outlined in the paper that dealt with the Kalahari Bushmen. This paper by Lindberg. I dislike persistence hunting as an idea for an evolutionary niche because, it is quite a poorly evidenced hypothesis, most of the anthropology deals with farming cultures (Tarahumara, Apache etc) and indeed very few modern hunter gatherers even run let alone run after animals. The hypothesis also speculates on hominid physiology (running Neanderthals?) providing narrative answers to many of the oddities of the human form. Yet it seems to be very popular even accepted as FACT by many which seems odd given that the idea has such a weak basis. I can smell the “shoe horn” too, running being one of the “approved” healthy activities of our culture despite what, all the evidence to the contrary? At its heart it appears to be a solution for what might not actually have been a problem i.e “how did we hunt or kill animals without claws or spears?” A question which assumes that early hominids despite being able to make blades couldn’t use spears, something modern apes have been observed doing. Or that teeth and claws are essential for hunting despite the successful hunting of other Primates, notably Chimps and Baboons. My insight as I pounded along was just how dumb … read more....

Review: The Way of Men and Becoming A Barbarian, by Jack Donovan.

You don’t accidentally find yourself here. There is no need to inform you about Jack Donovan or his take on things. For more on his style or writing you can go to his website and read selected pieces. You can also listen to his podcast at Start the World. This review is to help you choose between his two main works, “The Wayof Men” and “Becoming a Barbarian”. Jack Donovan is a perceptive and original thinker who writes in a terse, compact manner. He is one of those writers who writes down your own thoughts but expresses it far more eloquently. Though we probably wouldn’t have come up with arguments, so precise, persuasive and insightful. He has also taken a lot of the legwork out of the common cultural conversation about masculinity and dismantles the commonly expressed counter-arguments. As you can see from the negative reviews this rarely rises above the level of knee-jerk, name calling. On reflection you may well have come to these conclusions yourself but he has saved you years of reading, drum circles and YouTube commenting. This is strong stuff it’s like eating Roquefort or rare steaks. It’s uncompromising and brave. Far from an unreconstructed thug, Donovan has come out of the same educated, liberal culture as us all and finding it lacking, dissected it. Donovan is scornful of what modern western society has become, and runs over modernities sacred cows (then reverses over them). Conversations sparked by these books will be interesting indeed, and it … read more....

A Brief Note on Gaelic Diets

“We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be British”. – Winston Churchill  I was fortunate enough to find a copy of the wonderful “Nourishing Traditions” in a local charity shop. The book is a collection of traditional recipes from around the world conforming to the findings of visionary dentist Weston Price. Price included Hebredian Gaels as part of his tour of “primitive” peoples and the book had a number of interesting quotes about traditional Scots and Irish cooking. I would like to share some of these quotes and add a few comments of my own. Generally what goes for the Irish goes for the Scots, especially the highland Scots and vice versa. Oxford companion to Irish History (OIH) S.J. Connolly: Traditional Gaelic society supported a system of semi-nomadic pastoral farming because Ireland was climatically suited to the rearing of livestock. Meat of all types was eaten in large quantities. Milk in liquid solid and semisolid form was an important adjuvant and sour milk in varying degrees of viscosity was consumed. Especially popular were curds called ‘bonaclabbe’. Butter also formed an essential part of the daily diet. People ate fistfuls of rancid butter rolled in oats spread butter on oatcakes and even ate butter on its own. The importance of butter is indicated by the practice of burying stores for future consumption in cool. damp bogs……     The newcomers to 16th century Ireland brought with them not merely their farming methods and their money but … read more....

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