Category Archives: History

This covers the history of many countries over centuries. My main interests are the British Isles, Russia and America.

Henry II


Henry II

King Henry II was born in England. This does not go without saying. His family had come from France not long before. His father was Count Geoffrey of Anjou and his mother was Queen Matilda. The surname of Geoffrey of Anjou was Plantagenet. Anjou is a county in France that Geoffrey ruled.

Henry II grew up in a time of great upheaval. There was a civil war called the Nineteen Long Winters. His mother Matilda battled her cousin Stephen. The conflict was concluded at the Treaty of Wallingford. It was agreed that Stephen could rule for the remainder of his life. Upon his death the crown would pass not to Stephen’s son Eustace but to Henry II. Some believed that Stephen would renege on the treaty. Even if he did not break it people said that when Stephen died his son Eustace would try to be king.

Within months of the treaty being signed Eustace died of natural causes. Shortly thereafter Stephen died. Henry II became king without opposition. It was 1154.

Henry II wed Eleanor of Aquitaine. This French noblewoman was 12 years older than her husband. She ruled Aquitaine which is southwest France. Henry II then controlled Aquitaine because a man had power over his husband. He therefore ruled England, Normandy, Aquitaine, Anjou and Wales.

The king had another stroke of luck. Nicholas Brakespeare was elected pope. He was and is the only Englishman to be pope. He took the name Adrian IV. Pope Adrian IV issued a papal bull entitled Laudabiliter. This stated that Henry II had the right to take control of Ireland and introduced Roman Catholicism. Ireland had been Christian since the 5th century AD. However, we practised our own form of Christianity and not the Catholic kind.

In 1169 there was a civil war on Ireland.  Ireland was not a united country back then. There were several kingdoms often at war against each other. MacMurrough King of Leinster fled to Wales. He enlisted the help of Strongbow to reclaim his throne. Strongbow was a Norman lord. He had the title the Earl of Pembroke. Strongbow went to Ireland and helped MacMurrough regain his throne. Strongbow wed MacMurrough’s daughter Aoife. A year later MacMurrough died. Strongbow then proclaimed himself to be the King of Leinster.



hubris and trump ========================


high office and hubris

hubris syndrome and acquired personality disorder – in brain magazine

prof jonathan Davidson and dr d owen

the psychiatrist magazine . 2011.

#power goes to his head


rhetoric by aristotle

hubris is a compulsion to demonstrate superiority

masks inner doubt . why impelled to reinforce one’s paramountcy?

to belittle others . it is a weakness

hubristai means insults

watch corionalus and its rings true


an occupational hazard for a leader

smooth talking flatterers

aggressive arrogance

no pm leaves downing street sane

intoxication of power

addicted to the limelight

a media ho

a loafer but a tireless self publicist

cheats at games like napoleon

causal link between conduct and office?

susceptible to temptations of power

lord acton4

indifference to truth

lack of humility

no need to acknowledge truth which is often beyond human agency to  control

fixation with reputation and retribution

potency is a heady substance

no sense of humour or irony. decency and detachment – insult dying mccain

not tethered to reality

slipped his moorings

overweening pride

snarling and insolent towards those who thwart him

trets reasonable questions as impudence

lost his marbles

aberrant behaviour

magical thinking

disdain for expoert opinion that he does not like

pride comes before a fall

whom the gods wish to destory

david e cooper on excessive self – belief. it really is about SELF.

split thinking

double think. he paid stormy and did not pay her.

the big lie. loss is profit. truth is a lie. fake news.

surrounded with smooth talking flatterers

massage his ego

democracy trammels power. restrain. vacillate, consider

medidatte and pause. no mistake can be too big

checks and balances

slow, indecisive and half measures

liberty requires hypervigi lance against the power hungry

usurp liberty in times of crisis.

fronto striatal and limbic stratial dopamingeric pathways in brain regulate impulsitivty and rigidity


lassitude by trump

seldom exultant.



diagnostic and statistical manual IV

antisocial personality disorder

histrionic personality disorder

narcissistic personality disorder – hubris syndrome probably the same . have many components in common


sign trump si hubristic

breaching godwin’s law


tendency to see world as a forum for his aggrandizement#a

all the world is s stage. glory boy

not expendiect or problem solving

judges actions by whether they make him look good

preoccupation with image and reputation

messianic. speak in extravagant praise about certain others as well as themselves


consider the nation and themselves to be inseparable.

l ‘etat c est moi

talking in the third person

unwarranted trust in their own decision making

pooh pooh unwelcome advice or bad news

shoot the messenger

want to believability. wishful thinking. mindless optimism

belief that they have special almost preternatural powers

given to undue self confidence beying what one would expect in an extrovert and exhibitionist

a sense that they cannot be scrutinised by lesser mortals even judges or legislatures – that the almighty or posterity will judge them

unwavering sureness that such a court would acquit them and even adulate them

history shall absolve me

the goddess who presides over the eternal court of history

notion that they are slected for some august destiny

things are written in the stars – preordained

beliefs in portents

today it seems to me providential.

no grip in reality.

becoming ever more detached from ordinary people or even unbiased advisors

insistence on access only to toadies, place hunters and groupies


inordinate exaltation is no more than his due

demand craven obeisance from others

impatience, volatility, imprudence

attention span of a may fly

indifference to particulars.

never asking to see files.


belief that their mission is correct. a frightening conviction in their own moral uprightness

moral imperative to achieve goals. machiavellian

no law or ethics will hold them back. mercilessness.

but they still apply such standards to others and demand they be bound by law and ethics

their belief in the moral supremacy of their cause precludes any need to consider feasibility, cost in blood or treasure, time scale or anything prosaic

refusal to face up to the possibility that even parts of it will go awry or that unforeseen circumstances may arise

incompetence. not doing homework

refusal to do anything tedious. cannot be fagged with anything petty or time consuming or painstaking


trump has no inquiring mind

no languages



nonchalance in the face of grave difficulties. it will all work itself out.

these traits were apparent by 18

total dearth of objectivity or probity

self pity. woe is me. surrounded by foes

many enemies – much glory

self love

relying on adrenalin


charismatic. cult of personality

me, I , mine, us, name,





red can me military in afghanistan

triumph – remember you are only a man


locked in dispute with press corps

Jonathan Pollard



In 1954 Jonathan Pollard was born in the United States. Mr Pollard is Jewish and his family identified very strongly with the worldwide Jewish community. Despite that his family was not fervently religious.

Pollard did well at school. He went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s. Thereafter he found gainful employment as a civilian intelligence analyst in the US Navy. Soon afterwards he wed. He was privy to all sorts of secret information. The United States and Israel had a very cordial relationship and shared intelligence. However, this did not extend to sharing everything. Mr. Pollard came across information that was potentially useful to the Israelis that was not passed on to them by the US Government.

At a party in New York in the early 1980s Pollard met an Israeli diplomat. He spoke to the diplomat about his job and his enthusiasm for helping Israel. The diplomat was suspicious of Pollard’s exuberance. Could he be a crackpot? Was he coat trailing? Was he trying to get the Israeli intelligence services to recruit him so the USA could then expose Israeli espionage in the country? Mossad looked into Pollard’s case. They soon arrived at the conclusion that he was genuine.

Handlers met Pollard frequently. He handed over information to his handlers. They were specific in requesting certain file numbers. Pollard was doing this because of his ardent Zionism. He found out about anti-Israeli plots in much of the Muslim world. The Israeli Government paid Pollard handsomely for what he was doing.

Jonathan Pollard approached the Pakistanis, Chinese and others offering to sell them secret information. They declined perhaps not trusting him. Why would an avowed Zionist assist Pakistan? Pakistan does not recognize Israel and is a sworn enemy of the country. Pakistan does not allow Israelis into the country.

Mr Pollard slipped up when he was seen accessing files that were beyond his remit. This aroused suspicion. He was  asked if he was willing to be questioned. Pollard agreed. During the interview He asked to make a phone call to his wife. As it was a voluntary interview the FBI agreed. He had the right to leave at any time. He made a phone call to his spouse. In it he slipped in the anodyne word ‘cactus’. This was a prearranged code word to indicate that he had been caught. His wife knew this innocuous word meant to remove evidence. She removed sacks of sensitive documents from the house. Later Mr Pollard was arrested. He and his wife were charged with espionage. The charges against Mrs Pollard were reduced to being an accessory after the fact.

Some Israeli diplomats fled the country within hours of Pollard’s arrest. Pollard agreed a plea bargain with prosecutors. He had to give them chapter and verse on all he had done. The intelligence services wished to assess the damage. They also believed there was another Zionist mole in US Naval Intelligence. How else had Mossad known which files to ask for? This person was known as Mr X. He has never been unmasked. Pollard was also required to refrain from speaking to the media.

At his trial Pollard was found guilty. The bench awarded him life imprisonment. He felt hard done by. However, he had given a media interview whilst awaiting trial and this was a material breach of his plea bargain. He contended that he pleaded guilty because his wife had medical treatment withheld from her until he pleaded guilty. His wife had the temerity to claim that medical treatment in prison was worse than in concentration camps. This was an outright lie and hideously offensive. It hugely trivializes the Holocaust. She was treated humanely and she exploited the Holocaust to gain sympathy. People are not worked to death in US prisons.

Mr Pollard renounced his US citizenship and became an Israeli which in a federal penitentiary. His wife was soon released.

It was put to Pollard that there was nothing anti-Jewish about his conviction. Some of the lawyers on the prosecution side were Jewish. He likened them to kapos in extermination camp. This extremely insulting and self-serving statement made light of the Holocaust. He was not going to be killed. These lawyers were upholding the judicial system and democracy.

If Pollard was so Zionist why did he accept payment for his work? Why did he offer to spy for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pollard said what he did was justified because his primary loyalty was to Israel. A Palestinian-American could advance the same argument. How about a Chinese-American or an Iranian-American. He was paid by the USA. The USA spent money and time amassing this secret information. Sources were lost to the USA as a result of his actions.

President CLinton almost released Pollard in the 1990s. Several intelligence chiefs lobbied very strongly against it and threatened to resign if Pollard were set at liberty.

Pollard became a cause celebre for Zionists. Netanyahu visited him in prison. In 2014 Pollard was set free. He moved to Israel.


  1. In which year was Pollard born?
  2. Which country was he born in?
  3. What is his faith?
  4. Which degrees did he obtain?
  5. Which branch of the armed services did he work for?
  6. Was he a sailor?
  7. Which country did he spy for?
  8. Which other countries did he offer to help?
  9. Was he paid?
  10. Was he married?
  11. Was he imprisoned?
  12. What was his sentence?
  13. What is his current status?
  14. Which president almost released him?
  15. Why did Clinton not let him out?
  16. Where does Pollard live?
  17. What did Pollard say about Jewish lawyers who prosecuted him?
  18. Was his wife sent to prison?
  19. What is your opinion of him?


Jewish population of the world==========================================


15 to 20 m

but what about non halachichally Jewsih people. up to 40 m.

matrilineal. mother’s mothers mother mothers. even if not part of the faith


be optimistic and inclusive.

every jewish person is a small victory against genocide.

what is no abortion? then Jewish population would have recovered from the holocaust long ago.

farewell McCain ================================================


88. born in panama

us navy. family in navy


shot down. POW. refused rlease. chritsin

republican politics. cold warrior

pro life

against big money but took it

tried for GOP nomination 2000. dirty tricks from bush

loayl to bush. for liberation of Iraq.

2008. candidate. backing from Lieberman. mixed up sunni and shia

knew little about economics

anti-racist. Bangladeshi daughter

loathed trump

brain cancer.






Azerbaijan is a country that can be regarded as being in Europe or in Asia. This country is in the Caucasus Mountains. It is beside the Caspian Sea. The climate is cool in winter and warm in summer. It is cold and snowy atop the mountains.

This country has neighbours – namely – Georgia, Russia, Armenia, Turkey and Iran. The Nakhchivan Exclave is an area of Azerbaijan which does not connect to most of Azerbaijan by land. Nakhchivan is separated from the rest of the country by Armenia. It is Nakhchivan that borders Turkey and not the main part of Azerbaijan that does.

There is oil below the ground. Where it seeps up it goes on fire. In ancient times some people here were Zoroastrians – as in they followed the faith preached by the Prophet Zarathustra. This country’s name means ”Land of Fire.”

The people of this country have mixed routes. Many centuries ago they were called Albanians but were in no wise connected to the country that is now called Albania. They were Christians in the Dark Ages. Then Islam came in the 8th century AD. They people converted en bloc. They practiced the Sunni version of the faith. They were part of the Islamic Empire. At time the land was ruled by Arabs. Later it became part of Iran.

The Turks passed through 900 years ago. The language of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani. This is the same as Old Turkish. Then the Mongols passed through.

When the Iranians came back in the 17th century they had most of the people change to Shia Islam. Later this country became part of the Ottoman Empire. Then Azerbaijan became independent again. By the 18th century the country had fallen apart into many different emirates.

In the late 18th century the Russians persuaded some Azerbaijani emirs to be their liege men. The Azerbaijani emirs often fought each other.

In the 1820s Russia and Iran signed a treaty. Azerbaijan was divided along a river. Two-thirds of the country went to Iran and the remainder became part of the Russian Empire. Tabriz, the historic capital, is in Iran.

Russian was introduced as the official language. Russians moved in especially when the railway was built. The Russians did not interfere with the Islamic faith. Most Azerbaijanis were highly traditional. They were traders and farmers. The land was famed for its carpets.

Oil was discovered at a fishing port called Baku. Baku became the capital. In the 1860s oil started to be pumped. The Nobel brothers from Sweden came here. They made a fortune. One of them was Alfred Nobel who started the Nobel Prize. Britishers and Frenchmen came too. There is still a street in Baku that bears Nobel’s name.

More Russians and Ukrainians moved into the country in the late 19th century. There were many Armenians too. These foreigners were concentrated in Baku.

Socialist and liberal ideas were spread. The oil workers often labored in terrible conditions. Some Azerbaijanis spoke of independence from the Russian Empire. However, the Tsar would not permit free expression or elections. Many Azerbaijanis felt little loyalty to Russia. They were not Russian, were not Christian and in some cases could not speak Russian. They believed their country to be occupied. Most of its wealth was expatriated.

There was much revolutionary activity. Joseph Stalin organized a bank robbery there to raise funds for the Bolsheviks (communists). An Armenian socialist named Stephan Shaumpanian was there – agitating for revolution.

In 1914 the First World War broke out. Some Azerbaijanis volunteered for the Russian Army. In 1917 there were two revolutions in Russia. The Russian Government’s authority in Azerbaijan was severely weakened.

In October 1917 the Communists seized power in St Petersburg which was then the Russian capital. The new Prime Minister was Lenin. He said that non-Russian countries were allowed to become independent.

On 28 May 1918 Azerbaijanis met in Ganja and proclaimed the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. The country was independent! However, Baku was still controlled by Russia. Half the population of the city was not Azerbaijani.

The Azerbaijani Army wanted to liberate Baku. In 1918 the Ottoman Empire formed the Army of Islam. This was an army for all Turkic Muslims whether Sunni or Shia. Muslims in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and so on were to unite. The Army of Islam came to Baku to try to wrest the city from the foreigners.

Baku was held by a bizarre alliance of Red Russians, White Russians, British, Indians, Armenians and Georgians. The Battle of Baku was fought in August and September 1918. The Army of Islam was beaten back at the Wolf’s Gate – the highest point in Baku. A British general named Dunster commanded Baku. He did not want his enemy to capture the Wolf’S Gate because then they could bombard Baku Harbour.

Dunster then decided to evacuate. He shipped his men out. There were 28 communist commissars in the city. Among them was an Armenian named Stepan Shaumpanian. He and his comrades sailed to Turkmenistan. There they were seized by White Russians and executed. They were later buried in Baku with great honour in the middle of the city.

The Azerbaijani nationalists took control of Baku in September 1918. The later sent a delegate to Paris to the peace conference. They secured recognition of their state. This was the first secular Muslim state in the world. President Wilson of the USA professed himself deeply impressed by the Azerbaijani representatives whom he met.

In 1920 Lenin changed his mind about Azerbaijani independence. He wanted oil. The Red Army invaded Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani Army was defeated. The country was then declared to be part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republic. This included Georgia and Azerbaijan. Baku was besieged at this time. A train of food to relieve the starving people was sent. It was intercepted at Volgagrad by Stalin who took all the food for his men.

In 1922 the country formed part of the Soviet Union. The General-Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan was a Russian named Sergei Kirov. The first few general-secretaries after him were also Russian. Only in 1936 did Azerbaijan become a union republic of the USSR.

The communists forced women to cast off the veil. Gender equality was enforced.. The secret police rooted out those suspected of wanting independence. They were labeled reactionaries, counter-revolutionaries, enemy agents, traitors, extremists and bourgeois nationalists. They were tortured and sent to slave labour camps. Many were executed.

Stalin moved other ethnicities into the country and he moved Azerbaijanis out. He gave Azerbaijani land to Georgia and Armenian land to Azerbaijan. Ganja was renamed Kirovabad after Kirov was assassinated in 1934.

In the Second World War many Azerbaijanis were conscripted into the Red Army. Some distinguished themselves by valorous deeds. The country’s oil was vital to the USSR.

After the Second World War oil production shifted to Kazakhstan. There was much development in Azerbaijan in the 1950s. Many apartment blocks were built.

In 1970 Heydar Aliyev was made General-Secretary of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan. He was effectively governor of the country.

In the 1970s there was an Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Soviet Government was very anxious in case it spread to Azerbaijan. It did not occur. In 1980 Aliyev became part of the Politburo and moved to Moscow.

In the late 1980s the government stopped sending people to prison for speaking their minds. The Azerbaijan Popular Front was formed. It campaigned for independence.

Fighting broke out between Azerbaijanis and Armenians. Dozens were killed.

On 20 January 1990 there confrontations between the Soviet Army and protestors. The army opened fire and over 100 people were killed. Aliyev resigned from the Politburo in protests. Many people left the Communist Party over the massacre.

In late 1991 the country declared independence. Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over Nagorno Karabakh. This is now a frozen conflict.

The 1990s was a time of great upheaval. In 1994 Aliyev became president. He signed a truce with Armenia. The country suffered hyperinflation. He managed to right the economy. The country returned to stability.

In 2003 it was clear that Heydar Aliyev was terminally ill. In October he resigned the presidency and handed over to his son Ilham. In December Heydar died. He is interred at Honour Cemetery in Baku.

Ilham Aliyev has been re-elected several times.

The capital is Baku.

The currency is the Manat. This is derived from the Russian word for coin.

This is a resolutely secular country. Headscarves are not allowed for schoolgirls – no exceptions.

AZAL is the national airline.

The flag is blue, red and green horizontal bars from top to bottom. There is a nine pointed white star and crescent moon on the middle bar.



  1. Which two continents could this country be said to be part of? Two marks.
  2.  This country is astride which mountain range?
  3. Which sea is this land beside?
  4. What is the capital city?
  5. What faith was the main one here before Islam?
  6. What is the main Muslim denomination here?
  7. Which three empires ruled this land?
  8. What was this country called that is also the name of another European country?
  9. Name the neighbours of Azerbaijan?
  10. What does Azerbaijan mean?
  11. Why might it have had that name?
  12. What is the name of the historic capital of Azerbaijan?
  13. Draw the flag. Five marks.
  14. What is the currency?
  15. What is the official language?
  16. What exclave is beside Turkey?
  17. What is the disputed area with Armenia?
  18. Who was the first secretary-general of the Azerbaijan CP?
  19. Who organized a bank robbery here before the First World War?
  20. Who was Shaumpanian? Three marks.
  21.  What happened at the Battle of Baku? Five marks.
  22. Who was the secretary-general of the Azerbaijan CP in the 1970s?
  23.  What is this country’s most important export?
  24. What is the name of the national airline?
  25. Which language is Azerbaijani most closely related to?
  26. Which country contains most of historic Azerbaijan?
  27. Who is the president of Azerbaijan?
  28. Which Swedish inventor lived in Baku?


should we welcome abortion in Ireland =================


can we rejoice?

people are not people

some people switch off compassion.

I know good people who have done this.

I knew an elderly German. uxorious, loving grandfather etc…. was in SS. Do not know what he did.

people are multidimensional

judge people. we all have the right to judge

be honest about why you have abortion

woman in 20s married , plenty of money, married so husband could buy expensive clothes and be in the golf club

baby does not have a choice

embryos do not look like humans

if you are a foetus be worried. I am being flippant.

get your rosaries off my ovaries

catholic Ireland is gone. holy Ireland is gone

we were  a virtual theocracy for 50 years

no hope of repeal of new law. it will be widened/