SOURCES CITED For Vǫluspá’s Gullveig, Heiðr and narrator: one, two or three?

It’s commminnng… As I write this, the last source I have in mind to cite for my upcoming blog-post on Gullveig & Co is  SKIÐARIMA, by Theo Homan, a copy of which is crossing the border from Illinois post-haste.  As is my wont for lengthy posts, I am publishing the list of sources separately.  I am confident that the last year’s intensive study and thought will pay off in a plausible and original model for the three elements in the poem I have named in the title.

Boyer, Régis.  ‘On the Composition of Vǫluspá,’ in Edda:  A Collection of Essays.  R.J. Glendinning, Haraldur Bessason, Editors.  University of Manitoba Press, 1985. Pages 117 – 133

Cleasby, Richard, Vigfússon, Guðbrandur (and supplement by Sir William A. Craigie).  An Icelandic-English Dictionary, Second Edition.  Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1957, reprinted 1962.

Dronke, Ursula (1).  Transl.  The Poetic Edda: Volume II Mythological Poems.  Oxford University Press, reprinted 2001.

Dronke, Ursula (2).  Translator. The Poetic Edda: Volume III Mythological Poems II.  Oxford University Press, 2011

Faulkes, Anthony (1).  Translator.  Snorri Sturluson:  Edda.  Everyman edition, pub. by J.M. Dent, London and Charles E. Tuttle, Vermont, paperback reissued, 1995.  ISBN-10: 0460876163; ISBN-13: 978-0460876162  (I’ve included the ISBN numbers for this source because it can be difficult to discern which of the ‘Edda’ editions has all three parts of Snorri’s work: Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál and Háttatal.  Very few editions in English of Snorri’s ‘Prose Edda’ include Háttatal.

Faulkes, Anthony (2). Snorri Sturluson’s Edda: Háttatal  2nd edition.  Anthony Faulkes, Editor.  Viking Society for Northern Research, London, 2007.

Flowers, Stephen.  (ed./trans.) The Rune-Poems, Vol I: Introduction, Texts, Translations and Glossary.  Rûna-Raven Press, 2002.

Formanna  Sögur [Legendary Sagas] Volume IX:  Sögur Hákonar Sverrissonar, Guttorms Sigurðarsonar,

Ínga Bárðarsonar and  Hákonar Hákonarsonar til falls Skúla hertoga.  Edited by F. Magnússon and C.C. Rafn.  Kaupmannahöfn, 1835.  Links to all free downloads of the Legendary Sagas may be found here:

Frankis, John.  ‘The Hild-story (Hjaðningavíg) as a saga-motif.’  Pre-print paper from The Fourth International Saga Conference, 1979.

Hallberg, Peter.  ‘Elements of Imagery’ in Edda:  A Collection of Essays.  R.J. Glendinning, Haraldur Bessason, Editors.  University of Manitoba Press, 1985.  Pages 47 – 85

Hollander, Lee M. (a) transl.  Heimskringla:  History of the Kings of Norway by Snorri Sturluson.  University of Texas Press, Austin, paperback, 2013.

Hollander, Lee M.  (b) transl.  The Poetic Edda, Second Edition, Revised.  University of Texas Press, Austin, paperback, 2011

Homan, Theo.  SKIÐARIMA. An Inquiry into the Written and Printed Texts, References and Commentaries. With an Edition and an English Translation.  Amsterdamer Publikationen zur Sprache und Literatur, 1975

Guðmundsdóttir, Aðalheiður.  ‘Saga Motifs on Gotland Picture Stones:  The Case of Hildr Högnadóttir,’ in Gotland’s Picture Stones:  Bearers of an Enigmatic Legacy.  Gotländskt Arkiv, (2012), Reprints from the Friends of the Historical Museum Association, Volume 84.

Heide, Eldar.  ‘Spinning seiðr’ in Old Norse religion in long-term perspectives.  Anders Andrén, Kristina Jennbertand Catharina Raudvere, Editors.  Nordic Academic Press, 2006.  Pages 164 – 170,%20Lund%20conf%20Heide.pdf

Kirby, W.F.  ‘The Vǫluspá:  the Sybil’s Lay in the Edda of Sæmund,’ in Saga-Book of the Viking Society for Northern Research, Volume VIII.  (1913 – 1914)

Krell, Sydney A.  ‘Exploring the Emotive versus the Scholarly:  an Investigation of the Kennings in Ragnarsdrápa and Øxarflokkr,’ Master Thesis in Nordic Viking and Medieval Culture, Universitet i Oslo, Fall 2013

Jakobsdóttir, Svava.  ‘”Gunnlǫð and the Precious Mead” (Hávamál),’ in The Poetic Edda:  Essays on Old Norse Mythology.  Paul Acker and Carolyne Larrington, Editors.  Routledge, 2002.  Pages 27 – 57

Liestøl, Knut.  The Origin of the Icelandic Family Sagas.  Transl. by A.G. Jayne.  Aschehoug & Co. 1930

Lindow, John.  Norse Mythology:  a Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals and Beliefs.  Oxford University Press paperback, 2002.

Lönnroth, Lars.  ‘The Riddles of the Rök-Stone: A Structural Approach (1977),’ in The Academy of Odin by Lars Lönnroth, p. 279 – 356.  University Press of Southern Denmark, 2011

Malone, Kemp.  ‘An Anglo-Latin Version of the Hjađningavíg,’ Speculum, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Jan., 1964), pp. 35-44, Stable URL:

McKinnell, John.  (1) ‘On Heiðr and Gullveig,’ in Saga Book Volume XXV.  Viking Society for Northern Research, University College, London, 1998 – 2001.  [Downloadable for free here:    ]

McKinnell, John.  (2)  Meeting the Other in Norse Myth and Legend.  D.S. Brewer, Cambridge, 2005.

McKinnell, John.  (3)  Essays on Eddic Poetry.  University of Toronto Press, 2014.

McKinnell, John.  (4)  ‘Heathenism in Vǫluspá:  A Preliminary Survey,’ in The Nordic Apocalypse:  Approaches to Vǫluspá and Nordic Days of Judgement.  Pages 93 – 110.  Brepols, Belgium, 2013.

McKinnell, John.  (5)  ‘Why Did Christians Continue to Find Pagan Myths Useful?’ in Reflections on Old Norse Myths. Studies in Viking and Medieval Scandinavia (VMSS 1)).  (P. Hermann, J. P. Schjødt, R. Tranum Kristensen, Editors.  Brepols, 2007.

McKinnell, John (6).  Both one and many : essays on change and variety in Late Norse Heathenism.  Il calamo (1994)

Mitchell, Stephen A.  Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages.  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

Ólason, Vésteinn, ‘Vǫluspá and Time,’ in The Nordic Apocalypse:  Approaches to Vǫluspá and Nordic Days of Judgment.  Terry Gunnell, Annette Lassen, Editors.  Brepols Publishers, Turnhout Belgium, 2013.  Pages 25 – 44

Pétursson, Pétur.  ‘Manifest and latent Biblical Themes in Vǫluspá,’ in in The Nordic Apocalypse:  Approaches to Vǫluspá and Nordic Days of Judgement.  Pages 185 – 201.  Brepols, Belgium, 2013.

Motz, Lotte.  ‘Gullveig’s Ordeal:  A New Interpretation’ in  Arkiv för nordisk filologi 108:80-92 [ Article is available for free as a downloadable PDF:  ]

Nordal, Sigurður.  ‘Three Essays on Völuspá,’ translated by B.S. Benedikz and J.S. McKinnell, in Saga –Book XVIII (1970 – 71), p. 79 – 135.

North, Richard.  Ed. and transl. ‘Heðinn’s Everlasting Battle’ in ‘Bragi’s Eulogy on Ragnarr,’ in Longman Anthology of Old English, Old Icelandic and Anglo-Norman Literatures.  Editors, Richard North, Joe Allard, Patricia Gillies.  Longman of Pearson Education Limited, 2011, p. 131 – 133

Quinn, Judy (1).  ‘Hildr Prepares a Bed for Most-Helmet Damagers…’ in Reflections on Old Norse Myths. Studies in Viking and Medieval Scandinavia (VMSS 1)) (P. Hermann, J. P. Schjødt, R. Tranum Kristensen, Editors.  Brepols, 2007.  Pages 95 – 118

Quinn, Judy (2).  ‘Sǫrla þáttr and the rewriting of the revivification myth,’ preprint paper from The Thirteenth International Saga Conference, Durham / York.  John McKinnell, David Ashurst and Donata Kick, Editors. (Durham: Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2006).

Rowe, Elizabeth Ashman.  ‘Sörla þáttr:  The Literary Adaptation of Myth and Legend,’ in Saga-Book Vol. XXVI. p. 38 – 66.  The Viking Society for Northern Research, 2002 available as a free download here:

Samplonius, Kees.  ‘The War of the Æsir and the Vanir:  A Note on Sources,’  in TijdSchrift voor Skandinavistiek vol. 22 (2001), nr. 1.

Saga Sverris konúngs

Sögur Noregs konúnga frá Magnúsi Berfætta til Magnúss Erlíngssonar

Strid, Jean Paul (with Olof Erikson, photos).  Text translated from Swedish into English by Lennart Strid.  Rune Stones.  Edition Erikson, Malmö, Sweden, 1991

Ström, Folke.  ‘Nīð, Ergi and Old Norse Moral Attitudes.’  The Dorothea Coke Memorial Lecture, delivered at University College in London, May 10, 1973.  Published for the College by the Viking Society for Northern Research, London.  [downloadable for free here:,%20ergi%20and%20Old%20Norse%20moral%20attitudes.pdf  ]

Tolley, Clive.  Shamanism in Norse Myth and Magic, Volumes I and II.   (FF Communications, vol. cxliv2, no 297)  Academia Scientiarum Fennica (2009)

Vigfússon, Gudbrand and Powell, F. York, editors and translators.  Corpus Poeticum Boreale, The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue, from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century, Vol. I Eddic Poetry and Vol.  II, Court Poetry.   Oxford at Clarendon, 1883


background by ; eye by ; bottle by ; wolf by ; raven courtesy of ; silhouette by 


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The Real Reason Sears Faces Extinction

UPDATE March 25, 2017:  Well, the Advertising Standards folks were a little bit slow, but eventually they got around to my complaint, and the outcome of their investigation was that last week Sears Canada and I reached a happy settlement of my complaint.   (Happy for me, anyway.)  It’ll probably still be awhile before I shop for clothes at Sears Kingsway, but I don’t have a problem with shopping at the Sears West Edmonton Mall location.  I’ve never had a problem there, and have always found the store staff there to be friendly and professional.


When I was growing up in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada back in the seventies, (point of disclosure:  I’m actually fifty-eight years old but I have few memories of shopping before that decade), the department stores were the cat’s meow for clothes, furniture and appliances.  Twice a year the Sears catalogue would be thumped down by our front door and we would eagerly scan it.  Going to the stores, Sears, Woodward’s, Eaton’s and the Bay, there would always be staff on hand to help you.  Contrast memories of days gone bye with my experience on Sunday, November 13, 2016, at the Sears in Kingsway Mall, Edmonton:  I stood in line at the cashier’s in women’s wear for fifteen minutes, only to be told that the Carroll Reed items I had were not in fact on sale, even though a huge sign on the rack said they were:

See that sign?  The writing under it says “all Carroll Reed wear,” which is the only outfit on that rack, in varying sizes.  When I demanded to speak to a manager, I was told he was “too busy to talk to me.”  A “floor manager” named Alisha arrived, and told me I “should have read the sign” because in very very tiny print, as it turns out, it says that the exception is any clothing where the price ends in .97 (cents).  But the only items on that rack were all priced with the same price, as they were all jackets and pants of the same leisure outfit.  Every item was priced $32.97, jackets and pants.  I complained a few days later online, and spoke to one Tyler in Sears Canada’s Toronto head office.  He told me he would write a report and I would hear back from the Edmonton district manager within a week. I heard nothing.  (I have since placed a complaint with Advertising Standards Canada:  )  This is not the first time I’ve had a problem with Sears.  A few months ago I set up an online account and ordered two different pairs of pants.  Both pairs came in the wrong size, and Sears Kingsway was surly when I returned them.  Contrast these experiences with Northern Reflections:  whom I order from at least half a dozen times a year, often multiple items, who never get an order wrong, ship promptly with tracking information, with clearly marked sales and signs and friendly, gracious clerks in their stores.  Not occasionally.  All the time.

Some heavy financial analysts are predicting a bad ending for Sears:

Sears CEO Eddie Lampert bewails the “unfairness” of the gloomy predictions:

But I’ve seen a lot of businesses come and go in my lifetime, and there’s one sure-fire way of dying in retail:  ignoring the customer.  Ignoring complaints.  Ignoring changes in customer buying patterns.  Ignoring them on the floor.  I’ve walked through Sears Kingsway and said hello with a friendly smile to floor people only to have them just give me a stony stare.

I worked as a cashier for almost a decade.

It’s all about how you treat people.  If you don’t understand that, or you’ve forgotten it, then the end is coming for you; you just don’t see it yet…

A structure in Galena, Illinois with old Sears signage.  photo by, creative attribution, share-alike license; dinosaur by



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The current state of affairs in Turkey

June 23, 2017 at 10:50 EDM:   I’ve only just now realized Why Tayyip Erdoğan and MIT head Hakan Fidan are doing this:  they’re hoping that Fethullah Gülen will crack under the pressure of knowing that all his adherents are being locked up, and that he will come back to Turkey voluntarily. So they can silence him forever with respect to what he knows about corruption in the Erdoğan government. I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to catch on to what the persecution is really all about. He must Never go back there until those people have lost their hold on power. He must only go back when and if they go on trial, and then, if he is able to, he must go back to testify about what he knows regarding corruption. Or maybe he can testify by video. He must understand that if he succumbs to the pressure to ‘end the persecution’ by going back there himself, then They Win. The only way is to go through the valley of tears, until the Turkish people understand that there will Never be peace or prosperity or justice in Turkey, with Tayyip Erdoğan and Hakan Fidan at the helm.

Here is more on the background to the persecutions in Turkey:  Tayyip Erdoğan and Fethullah Gülen used to be best pals – until the latter started instigated a corruption probe against the Erdoğan government and MIT head Hakan Fidan, the latter whom is being accused of being behind a rash of extra-judicial “kidnappings,” both in Turkey:  and internationally:  and there’s considerable evidence mounting of serious judicial interference:

June 21, 2017 at 21:55 EDM:  It is widely being reported today in Turkish news sources that the Deputy Chairman of the official Opposition Party (CHP) in Turkey, Bülent Tezcan, has somehow managed to get ahold of a secret letter from the secretary-general of the Turkish Presidency that amounts to written evidence of direct interference in the judiciary of Turkey by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in November of 2015.  The letter demands that the Ankara Public Prosecutor prosecute a Turkish newspaper, gercekgundem, for “insulting” the President, and “requests**” to be kept posted of developments in the “case.”  Here’s a summary of the story in English:  Here’s the best copy of the entire letter (in Turkish, naturally), that I could find online, I tried my hand at sharpening it but didn’t see any improvement; the original is legible but barely:  

along with the link to the post (in Turkish) with that picture:  a link with the video of Bülent Tezcan’s conference:  and another summary of the story in English:

**(arzu etmek, ‘wish,’ but stronger than ‘request,’ more like ‘the boss wishes you to do something’ kind of request).


June 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDM update:  In Turkey today there are the evil ones who have just been waiting for their chance to siphon off a little power to do evil in the name of Turkey; for instance, these two self-proclaimed “reporters” who are calling on Turks abroad to assassinate anyone they believe to be a follower of Fethullah Gülen’s and democratic process be damned:

And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is so possessed by evil that, even though he must know he should condemn and punish those two men, he can’t bring himself to do so, just as he sat and watched his men beat the crap out of peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C.  just as he’s sat by while 66,000 university students lose their schools:  and as journalists are persecuted:

(Here is the source story in Turkish:   )

and as a court system that has learned it had better do what he says or heads will roll works to commit a massive and illegal cash grab of business assets:  all in the name of protecting Turkey from ‘Gülenists,’ claimed by Erdoğan and Turkish Intelligence head Hakan Fidan to be “terrorists” who were behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey – and all this even though nothing, I repeat nothing, has been proven either in the coup attempt or in the labeling of Gülen’s followers as being “terrorists.”  The Turkish government is not even bothering to prove that the victims of its purges are Gülenists; just to be in possession of an odd little Google app called Bylock is enough to get locked up for decades, especially if one has assets that the state would like to get its hands on.  It’s taken many months for the United Nations to get one of its own judges released:  and all because he was found to have the google application installed on his phone; Justice Aydın Sefa Akay has repeatedly denied having any links whatsoever to the Gülenist movement.

Earlier this month, the Turkish Official Gazette issued a call for 130 of its citizens living abroad to return home to ‘face trial for being Gulenists’ or get their citizenship revoked.  Although it was easy to find reports of the list, it was with great difficulty that I found the names.  I searched the Turkish Gazette online repeatedly with no success.  However, I found a Turkish newspaper that took screenshots of the entire list:  and I have also saved the list, so if I notice this article has disappeared, then I will upload the screenshots of the list.


May 02, 2017 at 16:30 EDM update:  Word from the online Turkish newspaper Turkish Minute is that the Turkish government, (which essentially means Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as Turkey is already under a de facto one-man rule), is seeking to lift the immunity of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), as well as that of seven of his deputies:  I predict that lifting the immunity of eight members of the official Opposition including that of their leader, will prove to be the last straw for Turks.  I predict that such an egregious violation of democratic norms and law even in Turkey will open their eyes finally, to the inescapable conclusion that they have allowed a dictator to take over the government of Turkey.  I predict the result will be a revolution, and civil war, at the end of which, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will finally go on trial for treason.  Perhaps he will be the first to incur the death penalty he is so desperate to bring back to Turkey for his enemies, wh0 would seem to amount to about half of the people living there.  “Hope is the poor man’s bread.”  Turkish saying.

Pendu tarot charles6.jpg

‘hanged man’ Tarot card courtesy of wikipedia, which was banned in Turkey a couple of days ago, for ‘threatening national security, the public order, or the well-being of the public:


April 26, 2017 at 17:17 EDM update:  Today, Turkish judges Metin Özçelik and Mustafa Başer were sentenced to ten years in prison, for “abusing their judicial power” according to the court:

The European Association of Judges had previously released (in 2015) an “informative report” on the background to the arrest and detention of Metin Özçelik and Mustafa Başer, and that report, still available online here:  indicates that it was courageous efforts the judges had made to uphold justice and to do their jobs properly which landed them in trouble.  For the people who had been in pre-trial detention for months in contravention of Turkish law at that time and whom the judges had elected to release pending their trials, were not just ordinary people.  They were the police and prosecutors involved in the investigation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the question of possible corruption.  This video:

which has English subtitles available (just click on the ‘subtitles’ box on the lower right-hand side of the video), gives the essence of what the corruption question was all about:  had Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son Bilal conspired to stash away monies that had been unlawfully appropriated?  Certainly, from online news reports at that time, one can see how the Turkish First Family might have felt in need of some extra cash:

Turkey had already run afoul of European courts by ignoring a United Nations order to release United Nations war crimes tribunal Justice Aydın Sefa Akay:  who had been imprisoned, as many thousands of other people have in Turkey, for using a googleplay messaging application called Bylock.  Last month Turkey was referred to the UN Security Council for flouting the UN order to release Justice Akay:

As for that Bylock app, although this pro-Turkish government newspaper, Hurriyet, states in its headline on the subject that the owner of Bylock claims that using Bylock is ‘evidence’ of being a ‘Gulenist,’ that’s not in fact what the man actually says:  as the GlobePost was quick to point out:

Moreover, not only has Judge Akay denied that he is a ‘Gulenist,’*** but the intrepid Turkish newspaper ‘The Turkish Minute’ has also made the claim that back in October 2016, the Turkish Security Directorate ordered police throughout Turkey to “get confessions” of being ‘Gulenists’ or ‘terrorists,’ because evidence of using Bylock was not in itself evidence of a crime:

But the truth doesn’t matter, when one is desperate to hang onto power at any cost.

Turkish flag courtesy of ; Turkish Ottoman minaret ornament courtesy of



February 11, 2017 (EDM) at 23:33 update:  From the February 12 (European time) 2017 article:

““Lawyer and human rights activist Eren Keskin said a state of emergency (OHAL) has been used to cover up all violations in Turkey, saying she does “not remember any period in which torture was this much legitimized.”

….  “Şanlıurfa Bar Association board member Güldal Beyazağaç Tuncel, who spoke during the conference…

said: “Arrestees are waiting for months, and the indictments are not being issued. Due to restriction decisions on investigation files, they do not know why they’ve been arrested; therefore, their defense can’t be made effectively. As part of operations many jurists including lawyers have been taken into custody and arrested.”

Tuncel listed other problems: “Conditions in the detention centers are quite bad. People are being kept at sports centers. Two hundred people use one toilet, and there is no possibility of having a bath. Consulting with lawyers is restricted for the first five days. Additionally, they have started to ask lawyers for written consent from the families of detainees. The right to chose to a lawyer belongs to the detainee, not the family. The detainees are marched in the corridors of the courthouse with their hands cuffed behind their backs; they are being humiliated in this way…

Police discriminate between lawyers chosen by detainees and those assigned by the bar association. The lawyers who are chosen by the suspects are being discriminated against. Lawyers worry when accepting a case. They are worrying whether an investigation will be launched against them. Lawyers are no longer able to perform their duties independently and freely.””   Read the rest of the article here:

And from the February 12, 2017 article:

“Since the coup attempt, more than 125,000 people have been dismissed from state jobs, and more than 45,000 are in jail on terrorism charges, including military personnel and police officers, but also large numbers of journalists, academics and civil servants. Erdoğan has repeatedly vowed to “root out” the entire Gülen network and threatened to reinstate the death penalty and “let the people take revenge”. The president, who wants to turn Turkey’s parliamentary system into a presidential one via popular referendum, is using the coup attempt as an excuse to rid himself of all unwanted critics.

“Many people have been dismissed not because they misused their positions, but because of their opposition to the AKP and Erdoğan,” says Andrew Gardner, Turkey researcher for Amnesty International. “If the state wants to bring proceedings against people, they need to do so based on individualised proof. But what we are seeing are blanket accusations against which people are unable to appeal.””

Read the rest of the article here:



December 26, 2016 update:  I read a remarkable article from Dec. 23 today in the Huffington Post, on the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov (R.I.P) on Dec. 19:

The sheer self-centeredness and self-servingness of this article is captured perfectly in the last sentence of it: “Regardless of who wanted the ambassador’s death to be a message to whom ― and via whom ― the only loser in this power game looks like ordinary Turks and Turkey itself.” Really?? The only loser is Turkey?? What about the dead guy? And Russia’s loss of face? And, here’s a thought, Maybe, just maybe, he got killed because A. the cop who killed him really Was as angry as he appeared to be about Russian actions in Syria, and, B. because Nobody left outside of prisons in Turkey would Dare to question Why an unknown Turkish man with No official authority at that art gallery whatsoever was allowed to pace back and forth behind the Russian diplomat, and nobody would have Dared to check him for weapons, even though armoured vehicles had been parked outside of the Russian embassy for days in case of an attack; because Nobody in Turkey Dares to question or to Challenge anybody who Might be MIT or government related, and that’s why the Russian ambassador was successfully assassinated!


November 21, 2016 update:  I had an interesting exchange with an AKP party official yesterday and today on twitter.  You can read all about it here:


From a stunning article by Burhan Sönmez published yesterday, November 08, 2016:  ”

“…The government exercise a pernicious influence over Turkish broadcasters, meaning that people have turned their attention towards social media platforms and independent websites to get their news. As a result, the authorities regularly restrict and block internet access. The latest development was the arrest of Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, co-leaders of the pro-Kurdish party HDP, alongside some of their MPs, on Friday. It was a move which followed the arrest of Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı (co-mayors of the biggest Kurdish city, Diyarbakır) the previous week and is a clear sign that the government will target anyone who doesn’t support them. During both incidents, the internet was cut off and social media accounts were out of reach across the country.

Erdoğan recently extended the state of emergency and is using it to the advantage of the ruling party. The AKP now has “legal” permission to bypass parliament and rule by decree. For example, they recently removed the rights of universities to appoint their own rector in free elections. From now on, Erdoğan himself will appoint the head of each university.

While all of these things are happening in Turkey, most people are unaware of them due to media restrictions and bias. The majority of TV channels won’t cover certain stories or will broadcast them in a distorted way. On the other hand, these channels will live broadcast all of Erdoğan’s speeches, as was the case on 12 January this year when a suicide bomb attack killed 10 tourists in Istanbul. Erdoğan gave a speech on the same day and dedicated a mere 44 seconds to the tragedy without mentioning the attacker’s link to Isis. However, he spoke for exactly 10 minutes about Academics for Peace, a group of university teachers who signed a declaration demanding a peaceful solution to the Kurdish conflict.

Erdoğan accused them of sympathising with terrorists and of threatening Turkey’s national security. That’s how the information flows in the Turkish media and that’s why alternative ways of communication news, like free newspapers and social media platforms, are so important….”

I have quoted more than I usually do from media articles, in case the source of the article:  has also been blocked by elements in Turkey.  As of this writing, I don’t think my blog has been blocked in Turkey, so I offer this post as a public service to anyone in Turkey who might be able to access it.  The Guardian newspaper keeps up with events in Turkey quite well and is an excellent source of information.  Another good site is the Turkish Minute: which will post stories that would get a newspaper in Turkey shut down in a heartbeat, in the current climate of total suppression of dissent.

For those of us with ties and memories in Turkey, it’s awful to witness from afar the savaging of democratic freedoms that had formerly made Turkey stand out from any other Muslim country.  When I lived there in the nineties, I often said that Turkey was the only Muslim country I could have lived in.  Not any more.

I remember when Tayyip Erdoğan was campaigning in the last presidential election.  “Make me president and I will bring peace,”  he said.  In fact he has brought the exact opposite.

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“Why I’m voting for Trump:” a considered response.

May 12, 2017:  “”If you’ve seen [James Comey] under sworn testimony, he just doesn’t comment on things he’s not supposed to. He knows the ropes.”   Really??  Has the FBI forgotten so soon how James Comey skewed the last U.S. presidential election?   And, isn’t blabbing about investigations one of the prime reasons that the federal Office of the Attorney General  has just recommended that he be fired?  I think it’s clear the FBI is gunning for Donald Trump, and, while I think it ‘couldn’t happen to a better guy,’ I disapprove of their using lies and the short memories of the American citizens to do it.




February 23, 2017:  Stop the Presses!  Donald Trump makes a good point:  “China has total control over North Korea… and China should solve that problem.  And if they don’t solve that problem, we should make trade very difficult for China.”

Of course, one might say the same about the Republicans and Trump.


November 13, 2016:  This here article by Page Six: is a thoughtful assessment of some of the reasons where the Democrats failed in the U.S. presidential election, while blandly overlooking even more important reasons, such as the FBI Director’s last-minute and game-changing innuendo and the Democratic party chairman’s sabotage of Bernie Saunders’ campaign.   But I think nobody has yet elucidated the single most important reason for Donald Trumps success, and that is:  his hat trick of appearing to many angry Americans who felt they’d been lied to and ignored by government, that he was telling ‘truths’ for the first time in politics – despite the fact that a lie popped outta his mouth pretty much every time he opened it, and his own history shows he doesn’t give a rat’s tushy about the poor, the female half of the human race, immigrants, or human rights in general.

picture from :

However, I had an insight this morning into who is most likely to assassinate Donald Trump:  not ISIS; ISIS is perfectly happy with a Trump presidency, because he’s an awesome propaganda asset for them just by being there.  No, it will be one of his own supporters, when he doesn’t follow through on his craziest campaign promises, like the wall.  If he did start to look like a serious threat to national security, someone in the government would get him, but I’m thinking now he’s not going to do that.  So it will be a ‘supporter,’ someone who can get in close to him by telling him they voted for him, and it will be when some angry white guy with a gun finally realizes that Trump is not going to actually make good on his more outlandish campaign promises.  I do think it’s quite likely that someone will try to kill him at some point.  I’ve seen a lot of U.S. presidents come and go in my 58 years, and I’ve never seen one coming in with so much hate shadowing him, before he even gets into office.


October 12, 2016 update at 12:08 PM EDM:

Kitty Grimnirs

The real elephant in the room is the word ‘evil…’ People have called Donald Trump a lot of names lately, for his remarks on torture: ‘I like it a lot,” on women, ‘they’ll let you do anything if you’re a star, grab ’em by the pussy,’ on Mexico, ‘they’re deliberately sending rapists and murderers to the U.S.’ but nobody uses the word ‘evil.’ Consider this, the meanings of the Hebrew word ‘satan’ are ‘slanderer, adversary.’ Jesus called Satan ‘the father of lies… not holding to the truth for there is no truth in him.’ [John 8:44] Whatever religious or philosophical maps we adhere to, we must surely accept that without truth they are nothing, without truth We are nothing, and therefore, whosoever willfully attacks what is true as a matter of course and as a pattern of behavior may be said to be Inimical to ‘God’ in whatever form you understand ‘God’ to be. Donald Trump is evil. Let us call a spade a bloody spade…

Donald Trump’s “deeply unsettling and disturbing” comments make him a danger internationally, the UN’s human rights chief says.


Canada’s top news magazine, MacLean’s, has just published a set of interviews with “ordinary, perfectly rational” Americans who still intend to vote for Donald Trump:

One of the phrases most often applied to Trump by his supporters is “refreshingly honest.” Repeatedly battering Hillary Clinton over her use of a private server for government emails, he invited Russia to hack the rest of her email correspondence.  Later, he claimed his remarks had been taken out of context, when that failed, he claimed he was joking.  But there’s video of those remarks, which you can still see and judge for yourself if he looks to you like he was joking:  (I often use the British Guardian in references to news stories, or the Canadian CBC, because they’re still free to read, with no monthly limit as to how many articles you can read.)

Trump supporters just love that “Make America Great Again” slogan.  In the first Presidential debate, however, Donald Trump did not deny that he “was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis” or that he had said, back in 2006, “Gee, I hope it does collapse, because then I can go in and buy and make some money.”  Trump’s response in the debate?  “That’s called business, by the way.”

In that debate, he claimed that deregulation and cutting taxes for the rich were the keys to “bringing back jobs” to America.  One of the causes of the economic meltdown in the United States in 2007 – 2008 was the lax regulation over banks and savings and loans institutions:  a disaster presided over by Republicans.

As for his claim that his tax cut will be the “biggest since Ronald Reagan,”  that’s kind of a low standard, since “According to historian and domestic policy adviser Bruce Bartlett, Reagan’s tax increases over the course of his presidency took back half of [Reagan’s original] 1981 tax cut.”  Trump is beating the drum of Ronald Reagan’s “trickle down economics,”  “the belief that tax policies that benefit the wealthy will create a “trickle-down” effect to the poor.”  But, Reagan ended up taking back half the tax cut he’d promised, and the poor certainly didn’t benefit in the long run:  “Reagan’s economic regimen included freezing the minimum wage at $3.35 an hour, slashing federal assistance to local governments by 60%, cutting the budget for public housing and Section 8 rent subsidies in half, and eliminating the antipoverty Community Development Block Grant program.”

In newly released video from a court deposition, Donald Trump has evidently stated that his infamous claim that Mexico was “deliberately sending rapists into the United States” was a statement that had been “planned in advance,” and, that he “didn’t think the statement would hurt his brand.”  That’s your “refreshingly honest”??  Even many hard-core Republicans don’t think so anymore:

In fact, Donald Trump plays fast and loose with the truth all the time.  Don’t his supporters read the news?  Nobody’s hiding the truth from them.  When I read that Trump supporters believe that he’s a good guy who doesn’t really mean the crazy things he says, I’m reminded of victims of abuse who go back to their abuser, telling themselves, ‘he didn’t really mean it,’ ‘he does really love me.’  They actually have a lot more in common with ISIS supporters than they think:  ISIS supporters take one or two paragraphs from the Quran and ignore the rest, ignore all the parts about obeying the laws of the land, not killing people who aren’t trying to kill you, the part about Christians being closest to God, and how the people of the book (Christians), the Jews and the pagans who do good and try to lead righteous lives “shall get their reward from their Lord and they shall have no fear, nor shall they grieve.”  (Yeah, it’s all there in the Quran; I have five different translations in English, and I’ve read the Quran all the way through three times.)  But ISIS takes one or two chapters and creates a violent ideology based on that.  Similar to ISIS strategy, Trump supporters take one or two claims that their candidate has trumpeted over and over, and they just tune out the rest.  Nor are they as far away from violence as they think:  they’d be just fine with a President who would “shoot boats out of the water” for making rude gestures:  A promise I’d bet money ISIS terrorists would applaud if it was one of their own making it.   The only way you don’t see Donald Trump’s actions as major red flags is if you live in that terrifying place we all go to sometimes:

Frank Dillon – 1823-1909 – Sunset on the Nile 1855


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‘Sink your bottom down’ Robin Camp: what Does it take to remove a judge in Alberta?

I have on occasion written about Alberta Court of Appeals judgments I consider to have been really bad ones:  and  and the case of Justice Robin Camp is right up there with the worst of Alberta court judgments.

Oh, sure, there’s going to be a public inquiry, now, to see if he can keep his job.  A public inquiry in Canada usually means a wrist-slap, designed to satisfy the public that justice has been done even though usually it hasn’t.

Even more appalling than his comments in court to a complainant in a rape case:  repeatedly calling her the accused!  asking her why she didn’t ‘sink her bottom down in the sink to keep the defendant from penetrating her,’ asking her if she couldn’t keep her legs closed together,’ even more appalling than those outrageous remarks, is the fact that the sonofabitch was actually elevated to the Federal Court after the rape case (in which he, surprise, acquitted the defendant)!

How does a troglodyte like that not get immediately suspended from the bench for remarks like the ones he made to the unfortunate rape complainant?   How does he get promoted to a higher court after he makes those remarks?  Did they run out of recording tape in the clerk’s office, was there a problem with the issue of proving he made remarks no judge in Alberta should have ever made at any time in our history?

There will not be justice even if he gets removed; because he should have been removed the day after he made those statements.  That the justice system even thinks an inquiry is necessary to test the waters on the issue of his removal is an appalling indictment of the state of the courts in Alberta.  I’m ashamed of them.  Robin Camp wants to ‘apologize’ to keep his job now.  He says he’s had ‘sensitivity training.’  I will be furious and disgusted if the inquiry judges think that’s good enough reason to keep him on.


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China, where lawyers are martyred…

China, where lawyers are martyred:

Turkey, where a failed coup is being used to settle scores and silence dissent once and for all:

and Russia, where the hand of the government is never quite seen in the bad things that seem to keep happening to Kremlin critics:

are modern reminders that not everyone thinks democracy is something to be cherished; and we can see that some of those who don’t value the very core of individual freedom, which must be the right to speak freely, to criticize one’s political leaders, are right here in the West, gearing up to take control of the most powerful country in the world:

As my daughter quoted to me last night:  “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  Benjamin Franklin

‘Early Autumn,’ by Qian Xuan

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On the death of a (former) gangster: Sukh Deo

March 20, 2017:  I have been derelict in updating this post.  I actually did hear back late last year from both the Federal Minister of Justice and from the Public Safety Minister, with respect to that whole Pindi and Interpol thing, and here are their replies, copied here verbatim:

First, on November 18, 2016, I heard from the office of the Minister of Justice: “Reply to your correspondence addressed to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada   October 18, 2016 7:46 AM

Dear Mrs. Tunay:   On behalf of the Honourable Jody Wilson‑Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, I acknowledge receipt of your correspondence concerning Parminder Singh Deo. I regret the delay in responding.

I hope you will understand that, as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Minister Wilson‑Raybould cannot comment on a specific case or situation.

It may be helpful for you to know that, in Canada, Interpol is managed by the RCMP, which is an agency of Public Safety Canada and therefore falls under the purview of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Accordingly, I have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your correspondence to Minister Goodale for his information and consideration.

Thank you for writing.  Yours sincerely,  A/Manager  Ministerial Correspondence Unit

and then on November 22, 2016, I received this letter from the Minister of Public Safety:


But here is Why foreign gangsters flock to Canada, because it’s a freaking party for them here and nobody sends the bastards home:   Malkit Sidhu has been found guilty in Canada of conspiring to murder her own daughter Jasswinder and her daughter’s husband in India, because she didn’t approve of her daughter’s marriage.  Now Sidhu’s lawyer is arguing that the co-conspirators, Sidhu and her brother Surjit Badesha, are “elderly,” and India’s prisons are not very nice.  And it’s gone to the Supreme Court of Canada.  It’s been 14 years since the murders.  You know what, I don’t care about those murderers’ problems, and I bet most Canadians don’t either.  I can’t think of a more cold-blooded and unjustified killing than the killing of a daughter by her own mother for ‘honor.’


August 09, 2016 at 10:44 AM EDM:  Interest in this mini-post has remained surprisingly (to me, anyway)* strong, so, I’ve decided to add a little more info regarding Sukh Deo’s probable drug tie-in, namely, something called ‘the Wolf Pack,’ ending with an edifying lesson that, unfortunately, the late lamented Sukh evidently paid no mind to…

For starters, the Hindustan Times reported that Sukh’s real name is Sukhvir, and the Deo family is from the Punjab, where daddy ‘Pindi’ is wanted in connection with drugs, meth, apparently, and corruption involving politicians.  For more on that story:

Less than a week before Sukhvir bit the bullet, the Kamloops, B.C. Combined Forces Special Enforcement (aka drugs-and-organized-crime-cops) had gone public with their concerns that a coalition-gang I’d never heard of, the so-called ‘Wolf Pack,’ was “working to take control of the drug trade in Kamloops.”  There may be a significant connection to the murder of Sukh Deo, in my opinion, because the two events have a very tight connection in time, as well as a significant connection in space, since Deo was originally living in the Vancouver area.  For more on the drugs-and-organized-crime story:

And finally, a cop’s comments about Sukh Deo’s “Wolf Pack” and ‘wolf packs’ in general, made back in 2011:  “Wolf packs are not as tight as you think they are… There’s no loyalty among drug buddies.”

Duly noted.

*Since my interest in stories not personally connected to me in some fashion tends to be ephemeral.

Update June 13, 13:27 EDM:  I’ve just heard back from the author of that vancouver sun news blog, Kim Bolan, as to the whereabouts of Parminder Singh Deo and why he hasn’t been arrested yet.  She says:  “He lives in Metro Vancouver. So he’s not hiding, as he pointed out in a story I did about his charges last fall. India has to apply for his extradition, then there is a court hearing. That hasn’t happened yet. He told me he’s fighting it in India and will also fight in court here if India makes the extradition request.”  And you can read her comment, in reply to my own, on that article (see below).

Update June 13:  Here’s more on the background of the Sukh Deo assassination, which ties him to a gang called the Wolf Pack, as well as to the Hells Angels:  Meanwhile, I’ve emailed Canada’s Justice Minister The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould:  to ask if the father, Parminder Deo, has been arrested, and if not, why not.

Update (June 12):  According to global news, I was wrong and Parminder Singh Deo  did come to Canada to identify the body of his son:  which would raise the question of why has a man wanted by Interpol evidently not been arrested the instant he set foot in Canada?  and why would he have thought (evidently correctly) that he could come here without instantly getting arrested?  I’m not pleased.  And I still think Sukh Deo’s murder was connected to his uncle’s visit.  Oh maybe Uncle Sohan didn’t deliberately set up his nephew for a hit, but the visit and the death and the content of the visit are so closely tied in time that I warrant there’s every chance that information gleaned by someone as a result from that visit was used in the hit.  I don’t like it even when gangsters get gunned down.  I know some people think it doesn’t matter to the rest of us, but it does.  It says ‘f***k you, democracy’ and ‘f***k the law,’ from thugs who’d be the first to howl if they thought their rights to due process were being infringed on.  And I’m really unhappy that some thug from India has strolled into Canada apparently unaffected by the fact there’s an international warrant out for his arrest.


Former Vancouver gangster Sukh Deo was gunned down in Toronto yesterday afternoon; at least 14 bullets hit his car, in a move guaranteed to send a message:  But what was the message?

Well let’s see:  his brother, Harjit, also a member of the ‘Independent Soldiers’ gang:  is in prison for kidnapping and extortion: and his father, Parminder, has had an Interpol warrant out on him, for being an all-around bad apple, it seems:  since mid-September of last year:

Parminder Singh Deo

Oh, but according to the late lamented Sukh’s uncle Sohan in hometown Vancouver, Daddy Parminder is nonetheless rushing to the airport as I write this, to come to Toronto to see his boy:  Uncle Sohan, who had just visited the victim for “a few days” “in May,” and was at that time taken by the victim to where the latter’s “trucking businesses [sic] are,” “has no idea” why anyone would want to kill his nephew Sukh.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and interpret what has been published about Sukh Deo’s death:  He was killed because somebody thought he’d squealed on his own family.   This is how, in my estimation, the facts stack up as of today’s media reports:   Papa Parminder’s had an Interpol warrant out for him, for about eight months.  Uncle Sohan goes to visit the kid not even a month ago; now, the kid’s been killed.   And I think that Uncle Sohan and his brother Parminder both know that Parminder isn’t coming back to Canada to get arrested.

But appearances are everything, evidently, in that milieu.  Nobody has to really believe in them; they just have to be kept up.  So too, must the appearance of innocence be kept up, which is probably much more important than actually being innocent, in that kind of a family…

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