In Remembrance…Since humans emerged from the primordial slime, man has waged war.


Since humans emerged from the primordial slime, man has waged war.

And I do say “man” Dearies, because with all of that male testosterone raging, women in general, have kept the home fires burning.

Like other members of the animal kingdom, man has lifted his leg and marked his territory, fighting and dying to protect it.

From Biblical battles, to the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens, to The Crusades,

Thermopylae                    Crusaders

The War of the Roses, The Hundred Years War, The Napoleonic Wars and the Battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo,The War of American Independence, The Civil War, The Anglo-Egyptian War,The Russian Revolution, The Boer War, WW1.

Battle_of_Waterloo_1815  civil-war-generals-and-statesman-with-names-war-is-hell-store

WW1 – The Great War, The War to End All Wars, sadly didn’t. WW2 and the Holocaust followed, the Korean War, The Cold War, Vietnam, Margaret Thatcher’s sort of Falklands War. Ethnic Cleansing became the euphemism for genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda. These are just a few of the many wars waged around the world.

Archduke Ferdinand  hitleer  rwanda

And then came 9/11, and the subsequent War on Terror. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan/India/Kashmir, Iran, Korea.

twin towers

The Berlin Wall may have come down and détente prevailed, but Vladmir Putin takes Russia’s failed war in Afghanistan and turns to reconsolidating the old Soviet Union, starting with Crimea and the Ukraine.

Hutus/Tutsi, Hindus/Muslims, Israelis/Palestinians, and on and on and on…

The latest global threat is seen as Al Qaeda and ISIS. The radical Islamic World is at war with those who are non-believers. And so, history keeps repeating itself from The Crusades and beyond.

The world’s rivers have run red with blood. Empires have risen and crumbled. Democracy continues to be won and lost.

Canadians are world renown as Peace Makers but we descend from and can be the fiercest of warriors. Canada has never failed to step up to the plate, albeit with quiet humility.

My Canadian grandfather fled the Russian pogroms to join the French Foreign Legion and eventually the British Army in WW1. He married then, and emigrated to Canada to start a new life. A short, wiry, stoic man, he raised 4 children and never talked about the horrors he experienced.

My father lied about his age and joined the Royal Canadian Navy. He served in North Atlantic convoys throughout WW2. His older brothers joined the Navy and the Air Force. While the Navy lads rarely discussed the War, my other uncle was a war artist for the Air Force. He accompanied Canadian troops as they helped liberate the Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald concentration camps. The horror of what he saw there, forever changed his life and influenced his art.

My father met my mother during a layover in Glasgow, when my Scottish grandfather came down to the docks to invite 3 sailors home for Saturday lunch. He regretted this generosity for the rest of his life. Dad returned to Glasgow after the war, and I was eventually born there. This is how War shapes lives.

On this Remembrance Day, I think about Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, standing ceremonial watch outside of the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa. Cpl. Cirillo served in the Argyll  and Sutherland Highland Regiment . He was gunned down as he stood safely at ease, after serving in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, the killing zone. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run over and killed near his barracks in Quebec earlier in the week. Both were murdered by acolytes of an ideology gaining ground among marginalized, disenfranchised youth.

Patrice Vincent  Nathan Cirillo

From pitched battles to trench warfare to guerrilla warfare to the current insurgencies and proxy battles of lone wolves and drone warfare…

And of course, War breeds spies, from ancient regimes to fictional Britain’s’ Cold War-weary George Smiley and America’s War on Terror, bipolar Carrie Mathison. Perhaps traitorous mole Bill Hayden said it best when explaining his betrayal to Smiley in John le Carre’s Tinker,Tailor, Soldier Spy: “We were bluffed, George. You, me, even Control. Those Circus talent spotters, all those years ago. They plucked us when we were golden with hope, told us we were on our way to the Holy Grail… freedom’s protectors!”

We have always commemorated War in stone and bronze and oil on canvas. My fondest wish is that we will also continue to fight for and commemorate Peace and Freedom, but at the same time remember the history that has brought us here.

The Wall Street Journal vs. Miss Myrtle

Well Dearies, even a potted plant can learn something every day…

Imagine my great surprise upon opening an email from Moderator at the Wall Street Journal.

Had been reading and enjoying on-line articles in the WSJ, and occasionally adding my comments along with those of others.

I tried to post a comment on the recent article about the newest gazillion dollar Ferrari, and a pop-up suggested that I contact .Here is the resulting conversation:

MM – Hello Dearies,

Just tried to post a comment, and the contact you info came up.
Please explain.
Many Thanks,
Miss Myrtle

WSJ – Dear Miss Myrtle,

Thank you for contacting The Wall Street Journal. Your current inability to comment is due to a suspected violation of ourreal-name policy. We believe that the use of real names encourages thoughtful dialogue and meaningful connections between real people. We believe the quality of conversations can deteriorate when real identities are not provided. Please be advised that WSJ requires the use of your full first and last names in order to participate in commenting. Please reply to this email with your full name and permission to change your name, and we will restore your participation status. If the name you are currently using IS your real name, we require proof via supporting documentation. Please scan a government-issued ID, email it back to this address, and we will restore your participation status.



MM – Dearies,

Thank you so much for responding to my inquiry.
I deeply believe that thoughtful and meaningful conversation between people, whatever their names, is indeed the sign of a great democracy. Richard Saunders, Mark Twain, Dear Abby, Alan Smithee, Stan Lee, and Dr.Seuss may agree with me. The  quality of the conversation with these great commentators never, as you so elegantly inferred ” deteriorated”.
Adhere to the principle that I would never join a club that would have me as a member.
With that in mind, would like to cancel my subscription to the WSJ.
By the way, is Moderator your real name?
Miss Myrtle

So Dearies, the folks at Mr. Murdoch’s WSJ have no sense of humour, let alone an understanding of the meaning of free speech. Is it just my understanding, or wasn’t the celebration of the 4th of July all about that very thing, in a broader perspective?

The quality of comments on WSJ articles is only slightly higher than those on CNN, which is a sad state of affairs. Nevertheless, these reflect freedom of speech as we know it.

My previously posted inflammatory comment on the WSJ started with Wishing All of my American friends a wonderful 4th of July, and listing the 10 Things I Like About America (from a Canadian perspective), as outlined in my prior blog post.

The Wall Street Journal may consider me just a potted plant, but Dearies, I resemble that remark!