blogging ethics, Bre’er Rabbit, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, Flip Wilson, FSB, Greenpeace, Greenpeace Arctic 30, Hitler, Ides of March, KGB, Lindsey Graham, NATO, Peace, Peace through Strength, Peter Cottontail, Putin, Putin bombing Ukraine, Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian propaganda, Russian spying, social media ethics, Spying, Stasi, Trickster Rabbits, trickster tales, Trump, Ukraine, War, What you see is what you get, World War 3
“What is worse than doing evil, is being evil… It is worse for a liar to tell the truth than for a lover of truth to lie” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics, p.67). https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/193621-ethik
“After the failure of the 20 July Plot on Hitler’s life in 1944 and the discovery in September 1944 of secret Abwehr documents relating to the conspiracy, Bonhoeffer was accused of association with the conspirators…. On 4 April 1945, the diaries of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr, were discovered, and in a rage upon reading them, Hitler ordered that the Abwehr conspirators be destroyed. Bonhoeffer was led away just as he concluded his final Sunday service and asked an English prisoner, Payne Best, to remember him to Bishop George Bell of Chichester if he should ever reach his home: “This is the end—for me the beginning of life.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer
All of those, who wish to avoid World War III, need to take some pages from Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Trickster Rabbit stories, while bearing in mind Ecclesiastes “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” After Russia took Greenpeace activists hostage ca 2013, there were around 500 views per day from Russia – mostly government – who were snooping around this blog, apparently to see what we had to say. That’s when it became personal, and obvious, that, with lives in the balance, words matter. Realizing our responsibility, we called all of the Greenpeace prisoners brave, even though we wanted to call one who was whining, about the cold conditions in jail, a wuss (for example). There are other things that might have been written, but we chose not to write, as well. It wasn’t an appropriate time, for instance, to speculate about what would have happened if Greenpeace activists had climbed an American oil rig, rather than a Russian one. It was with bitter resentment against Putin, that we held our tongue. Those Greenpeace activists achieved a lot, however. They made us aware of Russia’s activities in the Arctic, which was their goal, as well as the extent to which Russia monitors blogs-social media, and the evil, which is Putin. Ultimately, probably due to massive outrage, Putin freed the Greenpeace activists.
Now that Putin has taken an entire country hostage, the stakes are much higher and the burden of responsibility, which falls upon bloggers and users of social media, is great. Up until this point, too many have failed in their responsibilities, opting, instead, to amplify the Kremlin Party line, and/or constantly repeating that they don’t want war, which is a) futile and b) increases the chance of an expansion of the war by showing weakness to an aggressive predator named Putin.
“Greenpeace activists remanded in custody in Russia” 2013: https://youtu.be/SWx3kFVlvn0
Putin evaluated the world’s reactions and the Greenpeace activists were freed. Mr. KGB-Stasi-FSB Putin is watching you now, through his online agents. And, as long as Putin thinks that he has so many hearts and minds in the palm of his hand, then he won’t stop short of WWIII. The Kremlin has people reading everything that you write. There are lives at stake and your words matter.
1984 was written about the Soviet Union. Putin served as a Soviet, and then Russian, spy for much of his life. He’s been ruling Russia for over 20 years now.
As it says in Ecclesiastes, to every thing there is a season. There’s a time and place for everything. Now isn’t the time to let it all hang out like Geraldine on the old Flip Wilson show who said “What you see is what you get”. Nor is it the time for applying the nursery rhyme “honesty is the very best policy, no matter what the consequences be.” Now is the time of a choice between “if you can’t say something good, don’t say nothing at all”, and playing trickster rabbit games. Now is the time to remember that it is better for a lover of truth to lie, than for a liar to tell the truth, as Bonhoeffer taught in “Ethics”, and by his life.
If you don’t want war, now’s not the time to say it. American opposition to WWI and WWII may have slowed entry into the war, but it didn’t stop it. Opposition to the War in Iraq didn’t stop it from starting. So, what’s the point in people saying that they don’t want to go to war, anyway? It just makes Americans and Europeans look like fair game prey to Putin. We remain totally convinced that if Americans and Europeans had proclaimed, as in one voice, that they would fight and die for the freedom of Ukraine, before Putin invaded, that no one would have had to fight and die at all. We aren’t talking about leaders, but about those writing on all forms of social media.
Surprisingly, many US Senators have been some of the only sane voices, that we’ve found. Instead, too many Americans have acted, and continue to act, the equivalent of “please Mr. Putin, leave us alone, we are sooo scared of going to war”. That simply attracts predatory behavior. Hitler took into consideration American and European aversion to war, as he rolled across Europe. He knew that he would meet no resistance. Putin has done the same. It’s much easier for Putin today.
So-called conservatives have spent more time criticizing US Senator Lindsey Graham, for speaking the truth, than they have spent criticizing Putin. Lindsey Graham hasn’t always been our favorite. However, from the Borders of England and Scotland to South Carolina, he knows how to deal with people like Putin, as does another Scotsman, named Trump. The Ides of March are soon but not yet: “Lindsey Graham @LindseyGrahamSC: Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country – and the world – a great service”. 9:35 PM DC/SC Mar 3, 2022.
“Russia would not have annexed one inch of Ukraine’s territory if I was in the White House… I stand as the only president of the 21st century that Russia did not invade any other country and neither did anyone else,” he said. “We had peace through strength because the world was calm because America was strong.” (Donald Trump, March 12, 2022, South Carolina: https://nypost.com/2022/03/12/trump-says-he-would-be-speaking-to-putin-to-avoid-wwiii/ )
If you choose to amplify Kremlin talking points, then you have blood on your hands – possibly your own. If you continue to prattle on about how you don’t want American or European boots on the ground, you are not stopping war, you are almost guaranteeing an expanded war. You are making America and Europe look like easy prey.
Predators, like Putin, react to fear by increasing aggression. If you don’t want to bluff then keep your mouth shut. Stop enabling evil. In particular, NATO is really only as strong as we choose to make it. NATO’s not bothering Russia. It’s Russia that is occupying a piece of territory stolen from Germany, which is Kaliningrad, and not even attached to Russia. By pretending Putin is legitimately afraid, you are supporting wars of aggression and opposing peace, whether you mean to or not. Regardless, now’s not the time to criticize NATO. It’s not the time to criticize defensive missiles, when Russia has placed nuclear capable offensive weapons in Kaliningrad, and Russia has more mini-nuclear weapons than anyone else. Not only did Russia invade and take parts of Ukraine in 2014, Russia placed nuclear capable weapons facing Ukraine in April of 2021. Any who wonder why Zelenskiy was anxious to join NATO has lost their mind. Russia is the aggressor. And, if you can’t see that, you will probably get what you deserve. It’s very brave – not – to protest NATO while NATO protects you. You don’t have to praise NATO, but if you criticize it at this particular point in time, you deserve neither peace nor freedom and you really need to go make your bed in Russia, which has more land than any other country, but is only 9th in population. Actually you need to go make your bed in Ukraine and see how much your lover-boy Putin has done for it. Many still have a perverted fetish with their lover-boy Putin, who promised to rape dead Ukrainian bodies.
The operator of this blog comes from a family who loves every sort of ball game. You don’t have to know much about ball to know some basic concepts of offense and defense and even bluffing which way to throw the ball. Speaking of war, maybe we should replace war with ballgames, like the Choctaw Indians…. someday.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 King James Version:
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.“
The following isn’t the Beatrix Potter stories. Rather, this is from spin-off American stories, which seems to use trickster elements from Br’er Rabbit. When Thornton Burgess wanted to tell his children stories, they would only except the name, Peter Cottontail, used by Beatrix Potter.
“THE ADVENTURES OF PETER COTTONTAIL
By Thornton W. Burgess
Author of “The Adventures of Reddy Fox” ”Old Mother West Wind,” etc.
With Illustrations by Harrison Cady
Boston Little, Brown, And Company 1917
PETER HAS ANOTHER GREAT LAUGH
IT was just sun-up as Reddy Fox started down the Lone Little Path to the Green Meadows. Reddy was late. He should be over at the Old Briar-patch by this time. He was afraid now that Peter Rabbit would not be there. When he came in sight of the Old Briar-patch, there sat Peter on the edge of it.
“Good morning, Peter Rabbit,” said Reddy Fox, in his politest manner. “I am sorry to have kept you waiting; it is all because I had a terrible fright last night.”
“Is that so? What was it?” asked Peter, ducking down behind a big bramble bush to hide his smile.
“Why, I went over to Farmer Brown’s garden to see if that new planting of young cabbage was all right, and there I met a terrible monster. It frightened me so that I did not dare to come out this morning until jolly, round Mr. Sun had begun to climb up in the sky, and so I am a little late. Are you ready, Peter Rabbit, to go up to the new planting of young cabbage with me?” asked Reddy, in his pleasantest manner.
Now, what do you think Peter Rabbit did? Why, Peter just began to laugh. He laughed and laughed and shouted! He lay down on his back and kicked his heels for very joy! But all the time he took care to keep behind a big, friendly bramble bush.
Reddy Fox stared at Peter Rabbit. He just didn’t know what to make of it. He began to think that Peter had gone crazy. He couldn’t see a thing to laugh at, yet here was Peter laughing fit to kill himself. Finally Peter stopped and sat up.
“Did—did—the monster catch you, Reddy Fox?” he asked, wiping his eyes.
“No,” replied Reddy, “it didn’t catch me, because I could run faster than it could, but it chased me all the way home.”
“In that case, I think I’ll not go up to the cabbage bed this morning, for you know I cannot run as fast as you can, Reddy, and the monster might catch me,” replied Peter, very gravely.
“Besides,” he added, “I have had my fill of tender young cabbage, and it was very nice indeed.”
“What!” shouted Reddy Fox.
“Yes,” continued Peter Rabbit, “I just couldn’t wait till morning, so I went up there early last night. I’m much obliged to you for telling me of it, Reddy Fox; I am indeed.”
For just a little minute an ugly look crept into Reddy’s face, for now he knew that once more Peter Rabbit had fooled him. But he kept his temper and managed to smile, as he said:
“Oh, don’t mention it, Peter Rabbit, don’t mention it. But tell me, didn’t you meet the monster?”
“No,” replied Peter Rabbit. And then, do what he would, he couldn’t keep sober another minute, but began to laugh just as he had before.
“What’s the joke, Peter Rabbit? Tell me so that I can laugh too,” begged Reddy Fox.
“Why,” said Peter Rabbit, when he could get his breath, “the joke is that the monster that frightened you so was the old straw hat of Farmer Brown’s boy, and I was underneath it. Ha, ha, ha! Ho, ho, ho!”
Then Reddy Fox knew just how badly Peter Rabbit had fooled him. With a snarl he sprang right over the bramble bush at Peter Rabbit, but Peter was watching and darted away along one of his own special little paths through the Old Briar-patch.
Reddy tried to follow, but the brambles tore his clothes and scratched his face and stuck in his feet. Finally he had to give it up. Tired and bleeding and angry, he tinned back home, and as he left the Old Briar-patch, he could still hear Peter Rabbit laughing.” https://www.gutenberg.org/files/46866/46866-h/46866-h.htm#link2H_4_0011
“Song of the South (1946) – Briar Patch” https://youtu.be/v9oWq9zIXTY
Another Trickster Rabbit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%27er_Rabbit
Our translation of Br’er Rabbit into non-dialectical English (original and link below):
“Then Br’er Rabbit spoke very humbly:
“I don’t care what you do with me, Br’er Fox”, says he, “so long as you don’t throw me into that briar patch, you can roast me, Br’er Fox”, says he, “but don’t fling me into that briar patch”, says he.
“It’s too much trouble to kindle a fire” says Br’er Fox, says he, “so I guess that I’ll have to hang you”, says he.
“Hang me just as high as you please, Br’er Fox”, says Br’er Rabbit, says he, “but for God’s sake don’t throw me into that briar patch”, says he.
“I don’t have any string”, says Br’er Fox, says he, “and now I guess that I’ll have to drown you”, says he.
“Drown me just as deep as you please, Br’er Fox, says Br’er Rabbit, says he, “but don’t throw me in that briar patch, says he.
“There’s no water nearby”, says Br’er Fox, says he, “and now I guess I’ll have to skin you”, says he.
“Skin me, Br’er Fox”, says Br’er Rabbit, says he, “snatch out my eyeballs, tear out my ears by the roots, and cut off my legs’, says he, “but please, Br’er Fox, don’t throw me in that briar patch”, says he.
Because Br’er Fox wanted to hurt Br’er Rabbit as badly as he can, so he caught him by the hind legs and he threw him right into the middle of the briar patch. There was considerable flutter where Br’er Rabbit landed in the bushes, and Br’er Fox hung around to see what was going to happen.
A little while later, he heard someone calling him, way up the hill and he saw Br’er Rabbit sitting crosslegged on a log combing tar pitch out of his hair with a chip of wood. Then Br’er Fox knew that he had been tricked badly. Br’er Rabbit was anxious to fling back some sass, so he hollered out: “Bred and born in the briar-patch, Br’er Fox – bred and born in the briar patch! And, with that he skipped away as lively as a cricket in embers”.
[NB: the tar pitch got into his fur earlier in the story.]
“Den Brer Rabbit talk mighty ’umble.
“‘I don’t keer w’at you do wid me, Brer Fox,’ sezee, ‘so you don’t fling me in dat brier-patch. Roas’ me, Brer Fox’ sezee, ‘but don’t fling me in dat brier-patch,’ sezee.
“‘Hit’s so much trouble fer ter kindle a fier,’ sez Brer Fox, sezee, ‘dat I speck I’ll hatter hang you,’ sezee.
“‘Hang me des ez high as you please, Brer Fox,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘but do fer de Lord’s sake don’t fling me in dat brier- patch,’ sezee.
“‘I ain’t got no string,’ sez Brer Fox, sezee, ‘en now I speck I’ll hatter drown you,’ sezee.
“‘Drown me des ez deep ez you please, Brer Fox,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘but do don’t fling me in dat brier-patch,’ sezee.
“‘Dey ain’t no water nigh,’ sez Brer Fox, sezee, ‘en now I speck I’ll hatter skin you,’ sezee.
“‘Skin me, Brer Fox,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘snatch out my eyeballs, t’ar out my years by de roots, en cut off my legs,’ sezee, ‘but do please, Brer Fox, don’t fling me in dat brier-patch,’ sezee.
“Co’se Brer Fox wanter hurt Brer Rabbit bad ez he kin, so he cotch ’im by de behime legs en slung ’im right in de middle er de brier-patch. Dar wuz a considerbul flutter whar Brer Rabbit struck de bushes, en Brer Fox sorter hang ’roun’ fer ter see w’at wuz gwineter happen.
Bimeby he hear somebody call ’im, en way up de hill he see Brer Rabbit settin’ crosslegged on a chinkapin log koamin’ de pitch outen his har wid a chip. Den Brer Fox know dat he bin swop off mighty bad. Brer Rabbit wuz bleedzed fer ter fling back some er his sass, en he holler out:
“‘Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox—bred en bawn in a brier-patch!’ en wid dat he skip out des ez lively ez a cricket in de embers.” https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Uncle_Remus:_His_Songs_and_His_Sayings/How_Mr._Rabbit_was_too_sharp_for_Mr._Fox
Kenny Rogers – “The Gambler” https://youtu.be/7hx4gdlfamo