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Worth Watching ∞ O What A Lovely War!

We are killing off, slowly but surely, the best in the male population. The sons of Europe are being crucified on the barbed wire because you misguided masses are crying out for it…War cannot be won. No one can win a war!  

Given the current state of world affairs, now is a good time to post about this excellent film, and hope that its message makes sense to those who read this.  Please pass it on if you think it does.

Sir Richard Attenborough’s brilliant directorial debut, O What A Lovely War (1969) examines the events of  WWI, from its inception to end.  The film is based on the 1963 stage musical by Joan Littlewood, which used period songs to tell the story of the archetypal Smith family’s experiences through the war.  I think it would be impossible for anyone – mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife – to watch this movie and not have their view of war changed forever. 

The clip below features Vanessa Redgrave, who plays activist Sylvia Pankhurst, delivering a powerful anti-war speech to a very hostile crowd.  It is sadly ironic that the same speech would not be out of place in today’s protests.  As one of their placards reads “Civilization is bleeding to death!”: 

 
The churches sanctioning of the bloodbath is also raised, as the British troops gather in a ruined abbey for an interfaith service just before a major offensive. A priest tells the gathered masses of soldiers that each religion has endorsed the war by way of allowing soldiers to eat pork if Jewish, meat on Fridays if Catholic, and work through the sabbath if in service of the war for all religions. Even the Dalai Lama blessed the war effort. So, they are all good to go then – all whiter than the whitewash:

 

 
From the poignant last scene, the surviving Smith family members reflect on their loss. Keep in mind that the number of crosses shown (16,000) represents less than the number of deaths in a single battle:

 

 
When They Ask Us How Dangerous It Was
And when they asked us,
How dangerous it was.
Oh! We’ll never tell them,
No, we’ll never tell them.
We spent our pay in some cafe.
And fought wild women night and day,
T’was the cushiest job we ever had.

And when they asked us,
And they’re certainly going to ask us.
The reason why we didn’t win the
Croix de Guerre.
Oh! We’ll never tell them,
No! We’ll never tell them.
There was a front but damned if we knew where.

Freedom ∞ Hemp, the Perfect Plant

The species in question is the single living organism that holds the greatest promise for renewable/sustainable food, fuel, clothing and shelter accessible to the widest possible range of people.  Hemp is the most versatile and adaptable crop plant on earth…Why are politicians opposed to such a marvelous and valuable resource?  Hemphasis.net

Species threatening genetically modified foods; the poisoning of our skies and water; the artificially constructed control mechanisms of religion, media, world food shortages; pharmacratic profit-driven healthcare systems – all are unconscionable attacks on a generally peaceful and harmless population, tightly monitored by the the iron-fisted control the uber-rich have over almost all business and government policies. But the hemp issue gets my anger raging like nothing else.  This is because the purposeful derailment of the hemp industry, beginning in the 1930s, and continuing up to the present day, contains within its dark history the combined application of all of the above-named evils and more, to provide profit for the very, very few, and increased misery for the rest of mankind.
 

Hemp has been cultivated for millenia, providing many of the necessities of life – food and medicine, clothing and shelter.  It was an integral element of the settlement of North America, being used for everything from bartering to payment for taxes, and from textile and paper production to the canvas of pioneers’ covered wagons.  More than 70% of the rope, twine, and cording manufactured was made of hemp.  Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp farmers and very vocal proponents of the importance of hemp to their country’s prosperous development. 

In 1938, Popular Mechanics ran the article “New Billion Dollar Crop”, the first time the word billion was ever applied to any American agricultural crop.  Ironically, as the  Marihuana Tax Act of 1937  was just passed, effectively destroying the hemp industry, none of the predictions in that article came to pass.   The ban on growing hemp commercially was relaxed briefly for WWII, due to the disruption of supplies of hemp and jute needed for rope, webbing and canvas production, with the growing licences promptly revoked at war’s end. 

hemphasis.net

In 1999, North Dakota was the first state to pass legislation permitting hemp cultivation, yet it is still not legal to grow hemp there today as the law requires the federal American government to approve it.  Currently, the United States imports over 1.9 million pounds of hemp fiber, 450,000 pounds of hemp seeds, and 331 pounds of hempseed oil per year to meet its needs since American farmers are not permitted to grow it. 

Below is the video Hemp, What Are We Waiting For? combining a locally produced news report from KX News in North Dakota with further information on the amazing commercial potential of hemp.  
  

Some of the advantages, both for the farmer and the environment, of growing hemp, from everywherealways:

  • Less pollution- Cotton uses so many pesticides, due to all of it’s natural enemies. Hemp rarely needs a pesticide, because not much will bother its growth. This means hemp can help with the runoff pollution, toxins in water or soil, and contamination of wilderness areas and other crops.
  • Biodegradable- Hemp biodegrades faster than other crops. Hemp is known as a “low maintenance” crop. It doesn’t require much fertilizer and acts as its own mulch, meaning it grows very tall very fast and provides its own shade to keep weeds away, eliminating the need for herbicides.
  • Save Farmer’s Money- After harvest, the fields are left weed free, so no need to spray the fields down. Saving money on pesticides and other sprays help the farmers make more of a profit off of the crop.
  • No Erosion- Hemp has a deep root system which means no erosion and not only does it not deplete the soil of nutrients like many other crops, but it has the ability to clean contaminants from soil.
  • Less Deforestation- Hemp doesn’t need as much land to grow, because it grows tall (not wide) and has a higher yield than most crops.  Unlike wood, you don’t have to chop it down, harming forests and the creatures that live in it.

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Over 50,000 environmentally friendly products can be made from hemp!  150 years ago, people laughed when it was proposed that paper be made out of wood pulp.  All paper was made out of rags – hemp, linen and cotton.  Wood pulp is actually very low in cellulose, which is the basic material for paper making.  One acre of hemp equals 4 acres of wood paper production.  The following video is 64 minutes of hemp praise, mixed in with a little hemp history.  It is fascinating to watch people’s enthusiasim for the fabulous and surprising products they are creating out of every part of the hemp plant, things like building materials, fabrics, fuels, personal care products and more.   Hemp fibre is a cheaper and greener replacement for fibreglass and carbon fibre, strong and lightweight. Remember cellophane plastic – polyethylene plastic’s early cousin?  It’s biodegrable!!!  Why are we not using it?  Don’t let the length of the video put you off – this video is a must-watch.  It should be required viewing for all school children.  It is very ire rising.

 

 
Then the medical uses of hemp must be considered.  Hemp was the premier medicinal source in America for most of the 1800s.  It was the only treatment available for tetanus, and massive doses of hemp extractems or hashish were given over a 9 day period to save lives.

Smoking hemp dilates your arteries, lowers your body temperature, dilates your bronchials better than anything else, lowers your stress levels.  Hemp is an excellent treatment for asthma, and is also an excellent muscle relaxant.  We are going to investigate medical marijuana as a way of improving our daughter’s quality of life (she has severe cerebral palsy) because muscle spasticity is the number one problem we have to deal with in her care, as it impacts every concern – feeding, clothing, elimination, mental focus, etc..  At this time, we are importing hemp products (oil, protein powder, seeds) for health purposes from a US supplier who does the processing, although the hemp itself is grown in Canada.  How crazy is that?  Hemp seeds are rich in protein, and a source of all eight essential amino acids, containing an oil very high in poly-unsaturates.  Hemp has the highest percentage of protein (25%), by weight, of any plant-based source, except for soybeans.  But unlike soy products, the majority of hemp protein is readily digestible, being composed of two proteins (edestin and albumin) normally found in human blood plasma.  It has a perfect 3:1 balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids for optimum health.  

 
A terrific collection of quotable quotes about hemp:

 

To close, here is Jack Herer, the grandfather of hemp activists, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana, who spent 40+ years promoting greater awareness of this amazing plant, one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts to us.  Please join the fight to regain our right to this miracle plant.  Jackherer.com  is an excellent resource for following the latest pushes for reform, carrying on Jack’s legacy of activism.

 

Worth Watching ∞ The More The Merrier

And our eighteen children will be glad we said “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”

The More the Merrier (1943) - George Stevens

This is one of our all-time favourite movies, a classic from 1943,  starring the wonderful Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea, and directed by “women’s director” George Stevens.  The film was written for Arthur (her husband, Frank Ross, was one of the co-writers), providing her with a custom-crafted vehicle to showcase all her talents: her brilliant comic timing; her beautiful, expressive face;  her captivating, throaty voice; her lovely, youthful figure (at age 42) ; her inner energy, integrity, and intelligence which she was able to transmit to the characters she played. Her Best Actress nomination for this film (her only one) was one of 6 Academy Award nominations the film garnered (Charles Coburn won for Best Actor).  Joel McCrea plays opposite Arthur perfectly as a goofy, but charming clean-cut type.  His is so natural on the screen that you can’t help but love him.  Frank Capra called Jean Arthur his favourite actress.  Katherine Hepburn named Joel McCrea as one of the most under-rated actors ever.  Together, these 2 actors are enchanting.

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This comedy about the housing shortage of WWII opens with Coburn, playing Mr. Dingle, a retired millionaire, arriving 2 days early in Washington, D.C. for his meeting with the O.P.D., the war-time housing committee.  Forced to look for alternate accomodations, he finds Constance Milligan’s ad for a room to let, and persuades her to take him as a roommate on a trial basis.  Dingle then sub-lets half of his room to Sargeant Joe Carter (McCrea) who has just arrived in Washington to receive his orders for shipping  overseas.  Naturally, Constance is more than a little surprised to return home to find 2 gentlemen living in her previously lonely apartment. Her quiet, ordered life quickly unravels , while her fiance, the head of the O.P.D., is pulled into the confusion when they run into Dingle and Carter one night.  Pendergast, the fiance, is distracted by Mr. Dingle so that Constance and Joe can have one night of romance before he leaves town.  The stroll home from their evening out has to be one of the most sensuous scenes ever filmed, but the night ends badly, until Dingle comes to their rescue again, helping to bring the movie to a satisfactory conclusion for all.

I am particularly fond of this movie because it has such resonance with my own life. My husband and I are both romantics at heart, and although we did not meet during wartime, we made the decision to marry remarkably quickly (just over 4 weeks after meeting), followed by a houseful of children. It’s been quite the ride, but we are still enjoying it 28 years later!

Here is a teaser trailer to pique the interest of those who may be hesitant to watch a movie that isn’t in living colour or who have not yet encountered this great actress.  We love her! 

Worth Watching ∞ Pop and Me

 It’s the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented.  They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.   Andy Warhol

Movies have always been an important part of my life. I spent long hours as a child and youth watching movie re-runs on tv.  Later on,  movies (videos)  become a mainstay in my own family’s life.  As a growing young family, we struggled to get by on a single income.  We moved 14 times in our first 17 years of marriage, mostly due to job changes.  We didn’t eat out, or have our kids in sports, or music, or any school or community organisations.  These restrictions combined with our decision to homeschool our kids left us, in effect, an island unto ourselves.  This isolation was compounded even further after the birth of our twin daughter who is severely handicapped .  Our way of connecting with the world outside, both as a family and as a couple, was through movies. 

Now, as I re-examine the reality of our world, I see more and more of  the artificially constructed constraints we, the masses of our societies, have been, and still are, subjected to.  I understand the greater degree of domination that Hollywood, one of these constructs,  has exerted over us by creating and controlling these oppressive forces. 

As a traditional catholic family, we had always attempted to restrict our viewing to what seemed to be edifying or, at the very least, relatively innocuous, avoiding productions which were clearly meant to influence the audience in a negative manner (Porky’s, anyone?). Thanks to the work of bloggers like the Celtic Rebel, Lenon Honor, and Alex Robinson of Too Long in This Place, I now see much more programming embedded within movies which I previously would not have noticed.  This greater awareness has meant that I am no longer able to dissociate, or suspend disbelief, long enough to make it through most films.  So,  I watch very little now, and often it is just  for the purpose of studying a bad movie.   

And yet there are still times when the desire for release from daily routine arises.  Movies are so popular because they are the modern populist reflection of our age-old need of storytelling.  The drama is one of the greatest mediums of human expression.  When done well, it  projects and interprets our common humanity, and attempts to bring resolution to our tensions  and conflicts.  The movies that will be featured here will be those I feel are worth the investment of your time and more or less free of  degenerative social engineering programming.  I hope this will help those of you who are looking for some good viewing.  

Pop and Me (1999) is a documentary by Chris Roe which was filmed across 26 countries and 5 continents as he and his father retraced their family’s world journey of 18 years earlier.  

 Pop Richard Roe has hit his mid-life crisis with all the energy his personality can bring to it.  His career has ended, his marriage is over, his 3 sons are now grown men, and he feels a need to re-invent himself for the final 1/3 of his life.  He divests himself of all security, his home, his savings, to finance his brainchild, this 6 month adventure which is part escape, part re-invention tour, and part desperate grab at elusive past happiness.    

His wish was to have one of his sons accompany him, but as we only find out well into their travels, Chris was his third and therefore last choice.  Richard states outright while they are touring around Beijing that neither of them would have been in each other’s top 10 list of perspective travel companions.  I think he is being truthful, but Chris has a hard time admitting his more mercenary reasons for joining his father on his trip.  The film provides a great study in the uniqueness of our individual children as we meet Richard’s other 2 sons along the way, each with their distinct character traits.  Some personalilties mesh together well, and some require a little more effort to reach understanding.

Is the interaction between Chris and his dad authentic?  In these times of ours where faked reality is very often all we are ever presented with, I hestitate to make a definitive judgement, but I think it mostly is.  Pop Richard seems much more honest in revealing his true self.  The son has some ways to go learning how to grow beyond the large shadow his gregarious father casts.  As he states “everyone loves Pop”.  Even without the lead father and son team making much progress in their communication, the documentary is a fascinating study of father and son relationships in different cultures.  There are a lot of tears throughout, but the family members interviewed seem entirely genuine.  I agree with one reviewer who felt that the film provided a means for the honest expression of feelings which otherwise might have gone unsaid.  For homeschooling families, there is a great segment in Australia showing how children can really soar when freed from the restraints of institutional schooling.

A final point of interest is the interview with Julian Lennon where he discusses his relationship (or lack of) with his famous father.  It’s probably not what an avid Beatles fan wants to hear, but Julian’s words would make a great mantra for anyone trying to be a better parent:  “My goal in life as a person is to be the same person as the message I deliver.”.  Words to live by for us all really.

Following is the extended interview with Julian Lennon from the special features of the dvd. I hope this persuades you to go check out the rest of the movie!

Barbarian Lore ∞ History is written by the victors.

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.  Winston Churchill

Arrogance.

I am so tired of lies – lies, half-truths, untruths, hidden truths, deceit, false realities, false evidence, false witnesses, false reports, false teachings, false prophets, false prophecies, false religions, rabbit holes, disinfo, misinformation, cointelpro, subterfuge, fake ids, phony solutions, pretty stories, fabricated laws and manufactured moral codes.  Tired of Lies was actually one of the names I was considering for this blog.  After 29 years of believing I had found, and joined, God’s one holy and universal church, I am ready for some real truths to guide me through this life.  I am a mother who has the care of many young souls, who must now, along with my husband, discover what we ought to have been teaching our children about the true nature of our world and of our universe.  Trouble is, these answers seem pretty hard to come by.  It seems a lot of people have gone to a lot of trouble to make sure these truths stay well hidden.  Why that is I hope to discover further.  If there is anyone out there searching too, please join in.  The savings in time to have just one false teaching properly identified multiplies exponentially as they will often take down a few others as they fall.

This is what this Barbarian Lore is all about.  We have all heard these maxims which express real truths, but do we ever stop and examine their trickle-down effect on our education, and therefore, our worldview?  As Terry Jones puts it:

We’ve all been sold a false history of Rome that has twisted our entire understanding of our own history – glorifiying (and glossing over) a long era of ruthless imperial power, celebrating it for the benefit of Renaissance tyrants and more modern empires, and wildly distorting our view of the so-called “Middle Ages” and the peoples whom Rome crushed and who were then blamed for its fall.

Julius Caesar himself could have written Churchill’s words quoted above. He understood this precept very well. That is why he remained in Bibracte, writing the official version of his successes against the barbarian hordes, complete with the requisite moral justifications, and the tally of the dead (1 million Gauls) and the enslaved (another million), burying the evidence of any contradictory views.  We have only lately, 2000 years later, begun to view the lives of these conquered peoples not through the lens of the Roman victors.  It is so important for us to relearn history so we can spot the lies we are being sold as truth.

Thanks to Atlantean Times for letting me know about the paradigm shifting 4 part documentary series Terry Jones Barbarians  from 2006,   and special thanks to Terry Jones, of Monty Python fame, for making it. I do wonder how many people reading this will have heard of this series.  The 2 disc dvd set is selling for under $10, and the book which accompanies the series was selling for $2. That strikes me as odd, as both BBC and History Channel programmes usually sell at a premium.  Of course, the market sets the price. Does no one want to buy this set?  The History Channel has a bad reputation for creating its own versions of history, but I certainly found this particular documentary very convincing.

Reclaiming our lost history

Terry Jones does a terrific job of clearing out old propaganda, tracking down the very latest scholarship and uncovering the impressive cultural and technological achievements of the “Barbarians”- the Celts, Goths, Persians, and Vandals.  These were highly developed, intelligent societies,  more civilized than the Roman hordes who came, conquered, plundered and, more often than not, destroyed what they found.  Do yourselves and your family a favour and check this series out.  You can watch all 4 parts on YouTube if you can’t find the dvds.  The blogger linked below goes through the first show of the series, The Primitive Celts,  if you would like a quick look at what the documentary is like.  If you would like to have a look at what you can expect from the book (no matter how good a film or tv series is, the book is always better), there is an excellent concise review of it here.