The Little Sepia Photograph

Look at the scuffed little sepia photograph below. It depicts young white/European primary school children in Salina, Kansas, USA in 1895. The children seem to have an average age of about ten or eleven — some some are obviously much younger.

The photo was sent to me, along with an educational archive, by a friend who devotes her retirement years trying to help youngsters in prison achieve a rudimentary education so that they might be able to be useful members of society when they regain their freedom. I expect the photo and the accompanying text has ‘done the rounds’.

A high proportion of the children in the photo will have had ancestors from the British Isles. They certainly look very similar to photos of British schoolchildren in village schools in 1895. I’m sure you could Google-up such pictures. I bet they played the same kind of playground games handed down to them by their forebears over centuries (see books by Iona and Peter Opie, especially this one from Amazon.

Read Lark Rise to Candleford, available from Amazon through this link, which recounts the lives of English village folk (in rural Oxfordshire) in about the same period. The chapter devoted to the village school is especially revealing. Lark Rise and numerous archives of English school childrens’ work from that era provide an amazing (and shocking) contrast with what British children were expected to achieve — and did achieve — before they left school aged 14 (or younger!) with the scope of work produced by 17 year-old school leavers today — often ‘achieving’ A* GCSE grades!!

Have you ever read the well-written, fluent and moving letters home of teenage British lads from humble backgrounds sent from the trenches of the First World War? They knew history, the songs of their ancestors and poetry as well as having a good grasp of arithmetic, spelling and other practical skills.

Contrast their output with the monosyllabic pseudo-‘Afro’ grunts of teenagers today, who know nothing about anything, except how to play the latest computer games featuring explosions, car chases and mass murder.

But back to the 1890s in the USA: Could any of us have graduated from the 8th grade at the standard set in 1895?

The eighth-grade final exam below was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

All this should make us wonder: What are the ideas, the laws and the social changes which have caused British, American and other European nations and cultures to disintegrate? Why are we continuously called-upon to ‘celebrate’ that disintegration? What — or who — has implanted in our folk and kindred peoples a Death-Wish?

Martin Webster.

8th Grade Final Exam:
Salina, Kansas – 1895
GRAMMAR (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,’ ‘play,’ and ‘run’.
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the
practical use of the rules of grammar.

ARITHMETIC (Time, 1 hour 15 minutes)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet Long, and 3ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs, what is it worth at 50 cts/bushel, deducting 1,050lbs for tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent per annum.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. HISTORY (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus .
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States .
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas .
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

ORTHOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

GEOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)

1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco .
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Pussies Riot against Putin from London to Moscow

The following is reproduced with permission from the author, Israel Shamir:

Israel Shamir

I received a letter from the Arts Editor of the Morning Star asking for my permission to re-publish my popular essay on the Pussy Riot:

“Dear Mr Shamir,

“I’m the arts editor of the Morning Star newspaper (see and would like to reprint an edited version of your Pussy Riot article.

“Would you please grant permission? Unfortunately, we run on a shoestring so we’re unable to pay a fee but I hope you will agree as it will bring your challenging piece to a wider readership.

“I’d be grateful for a swift response as we have a possible slot free in next Saturday’s publication.

“With very best wishes

“Clifford Cocker, Arts editor, Morning Star newspaper”

I gave my permission immediately, and they published it – and took it down in a few hours under pressure of the Jewish Lobby.

The Lobby had a good reason to object. In this article, I wrote:

“For much milder anti-Jewish hate talk, European countries customarily sentence offenders to two-to-five years of prison for the first offence. The Russians applied hate crime laws to offenders against Christian faith, and this is probably a Russian novelty. The Russians proved that they care for Christ as much as the French care for Auschwitz, and this shocked the Europeans who apparently thought ‘hate laws’ may be applied only to protect Jews and gays. The Western governments call for more freedom for the anti-Christian Russians, while denying it for holocaust revisionists in their midst.”

Actually, the Jewish angle to the PR affair is more than that: though I did not find it necessary to mention in my article, the most outspoken PR supporters and enemies of the Church in Russia, such as Viktor Shenderovich, Igor Eidman, Marat Gelman, happen to be of Jewish origin. None of them is a practicing Jew, but they apparently inherited their hatred to the Church from their forefathers. All of them support Western imperialism, as well.

Surely, there are many non-Jews who hate the Church, and there are many descendants of Jews who came to Christ, but still the correlation can’t be denied. The British Jewish ‘tribal or kosher’ Marxists provide their support, for, in words of Gilad Atzmon ( :

“Jewish Marxism is very different from Marxism or socialism in general. While Marxism is a universal paradigm, Jewish Marxism is basically a crude utilisation of ‘Marxist-like’ terminology for the Jewish tribal cause.”

Atzmon could add they also support the Empire. Indeed they were on the watch; they applied pressure (  to the Morning Star, and the British Communists surrendered immediately.

They did not care that the attacks proceeded from Harry’s Place ( , the dirtiest Zionist leftist blog in Britain, wholeheartedly pro-imperialist, viciously anti-Muslim, positioned against Iran and Syria, violently anti-Russian, and surely anti-Shamir. Harry’s Place described me as:

“…..antisemite / Holocaust denier / Assange collaborator / Lukashenko enabler / all-around slimeball Israel Shamir”.

I think of using it as my signature in future..

They apologised to the readers in the following language:

“A NUMBER of you have raised concerns over the decision to reprint an article by Israel Shamir on the Russian band Pussy Riot that appeared in the weekend’s Morning Star.

“The paper would like to reassure readers that the piece was syndicated from Counterpunch in good faith without knowledge of the author’s background.

“We would like to reiterate the paper’s commitment to publishing writers who reflect and remain steadfastly committed to the values of anti-racism, anti-fascism, international solidarity and social justice that the paper has campaigned for ever since its establishment.

“It remains guided by those goals and will seek in future, wherever possible, to establish the full biography of writers before publishing their work.

“In the meantime the Morning Star would like to distance itself from the opinions of the author of the piece, which do not reflect our position or those of the wider movement.

“We apologise wholeheartedly for any distress caused.”

So many code-words to mask their weak knees. If they can’t stand up to a few Jewish Marxists, how can they stand up to real big capitalist enemies?

But I do not want to end on such a determinist note, condemning the Reds and condemning the Jews. Despite all correlations, people are free to think and to act. We have free will. Some of the strongest voices against the PR outrage were Reds and Jews, or rather Russian leftists,  some of Jewish origin and some not, all strongly anti-Zionist (they even translated and published Israel Shahak). Here are excepts from one of their texts, by Valentin Zorin. It explains well the position of the Russian anti-imperialist Left which should eventually influence the Western anti-imperialist Left and Right.

    Pussies Rioting against Independent Russia
by Valentin Zorin
(in Russian)

“…Not only their name (Pussy Riot) is in English. They talk as if they translate from English. They use language of an Americanised native who thinks and speaks the colonisers’ language. Russia is definitely not a colony of the Anglo-American Empire, at least it is not a colony yet, but already we have colonised natives in droves, for colonisation is not a single event but a lasting process…

“The PR belong to bourgeois radical left paradigm adapted for the colonised nations. Their roots are to be found in the early period of the Cold War, when the US decided to use leftist ideology to fight communism. Feminism, beatniks, sexual liberation, even civil rights movement were sponsored by American state agencies and by private interests. They developed gender studies, imported French post-structuralism of Foucault and Derrida, and eventually exported into colonised cultures.

“For what reason? Just guess, which soldier would fight better for Russia, one who believes in ‘God, King and Motherland’ or one who thinks that all these ideas (always excepting post-modernism and post-structuralism) are just deliberate illusions created by the authorities? Or make it easier: what would rather wear Russian marines under their battledress in face-to-face combat, a cross or a politically correct and gender-adjusted image?

“I know, after asking this question, I’ll be forever banned from entering the Kingdom of the Leftist Heaven. A French maître of post-something would sarcastically smirk, and ultra-conservatives would applaud, to my chagrin. But this question allows to divine the meaning of the PR affair, for the meaning is not in our hands, nor it is in hands of Putin, neither of the Church. The Imperial Masters of Discourse rule what is the meaning, while we can only understand it – or not. All Western newspapers made it clear: ‘Putin versus PR; Putin persecutes the PR, PR against Putin’. It was repeated by the colonial media in Russia, by practically everybody of importance excepting such dyed-in-the-wool fogies as yours truly.

“Who made the PR so successful and famous, who secured their place in history? Putin did. Putin is our alpha and omega. Please do not beat me! It is not my doing, it is them, the Pussies! They did not ask the Virgin to banish private property, dope traders, human traffickers, oligarchs, bankers, police, Sixth fleet, me or anything else. They asked her to remove a small unseemly guy named Putin from the Kremlin. Even if the Pussies were mistaken, the State Department, Madonna, Mme Clinton and Mme Merkel, the NY Times and the Guardian could not be wrong. They all know that behind Putin there is a force that sets limit to Imperial omnipotence and to the Masters’ monopoly on the meaning of things.

“Without Putin, i.e. without independent Russia blocking the road of the Western Empire to full spectrum dominance, nobody would notice the Pussies, or us, or even our biggest oligarchs. It is unpleasant to hear, but we would become a remote and irrelevant province of the Empire, fit for business or pleasure but of no political importance. We would become eating and TV-watching nothingness. A small garrison of imperial troopers would suffice to control us. But despite all Imperial efforts, Putin still sits in the Kremlin.

“What is the secret of his political longevity? Cruel repressions? But if so, where are the martyrs? The only possibly political prisoner is the oligarch Khodorkovsky. The second best, Udaltsov, never rated for more than 15 days of detention. So perhaps the secret is – the silent support of the masses that do not agree to sink in Nothingness?

“There are many reasons to be disgusted by the Church, as she consecrates capitalist violence. But if masses need it as “the heart of heartless world” in order to survive, let it be. It is good. And if masses silently support Putin, because there is no other force able to withstand the assault of the Empire and of Nothingness, let it be. It is good.”

And here a letter of an English reader reacting on the Morning Star decision:

From Elisha Traven:

“I don’t agree with everything you write as I’m not always sure where you are coming from. But writers like you need to be read over a period of time and not continually picked up and criticised. If you don’t like what the cook has prepared then don’t shout at him. There is no point. Just leave the restaurant and find a place where the food and wine and beer and clientele suit you. Let each writer be himself is my motto. There are some who could do with being shot but where would this all end?

“I was amazed to read in today’s Morning Star that an article by you which they had published on Saturday was not to their reader’s liking. They apologised to their readers and distanced themselves from the views you expressed. Apparently they had lifted the article from Counterpunch and had no idea who you were. Who do they think they’re kidding? They are either truly ignorant in regard to you which beggars belief. It is just not a creditable defence. This newspaper is heavily involved in the campaign for Palestinian rights. They would know the names of every single child in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank such is their knowledge of the situation out there.

“You know what I mean. I have read extremely detailed news articles published by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in their magazine. If I am reading such a magazine then so are they. We get continued reports from Palestine delivered to packed meetings here which are held all over the country. Organised by every tom, dick, and harry socialist party. They know you alright. They couldn’t fail to know you because of your strong support for the Palestinians. I’m not sure what is going on at the Morning Star. They don’t normally listen to their readers. They preach the gospel according to Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. You take it as it comes. Delivered to the readers from on high.

“I didn’t realise you were living in Moscow. I know what you are saying about the Russian press is true since I have read it over a period of time through various sources. Translated or already available in English. Like Moscow Times. They are running an orchestrated campaign against the Russian state. It is not like the so called liberal newspapers in Britain and America. They are connected up to the street protest gangs and were delighted when large numbers of people demonstrated last December and in March. Not only were the people being egged on to cause a breakdown of social order by well known Russian newspapers but radio stations such as Echo Moscow were part of that criminal conspiracy too. I call it a criminal conspiracy because that’s what it looks like to me. I found the article you wrote about the PR hooligan girls. The Morning Star has removed Saturday’s digital edition of the paper from its site altogether. Even though that breaks the subscription agreement which is that they allow you to read the Morning Star’s previous digital editions of the paper. I think this is every edition for the past two weeks or it might even be for a month. I agree with you about PR.

“Elijah Traven, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire.”

“PS George Galloway of the Respect Party is MP for Bradford West which is in south Yorkshire. He is well known for his strong support of the Palestinian people. I’m sure you know of him. I salute you, Israel Shamir, for your love of Russia and defence of their elected president. You are a true and loyal servant of social democracy and the rule of law.”

Media humbug on ‘Pussy Riot’

An insight into the campaign against Russia for refusing to join the American-Jewish hegemony

Martin Webster

Below is a posting from Israel Shamir, Editor of the ‘Shamireaders’ Yahoo Group. I do not agree with everything Shamir writes, but his output is always well worth reading.

Shamir is an Israeli Russian-Jew anti-Zionist campaigner who converted to Russian Orthodox Christianity a few years ago. The posting gives some excellent insights into the ‘Western’ (i.e. USA / Zionist-Jewish) assault on Russia in general and Vladimir Putin in particular.

While no human being is perfect, Putin is the greatest and perhaps the only major bastion against the effort being made by the American-Jewish “Behemoth” to impose a tyranny over the entire world.

Shamir’s article gives some very revealing insights. For example, did you know that the remnant of Communist Party of GB, grouped around the Morning Star daily newspaper, is sympathetic to the current American-Jewish assault on Russia and refuses to criticise the Neo-Cons who have pushed America into a sequence of wars in the Middle East designed to make the region safe for Israel?

Putin’s interventions at the Security Council of the United Nations have not only allowed the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad to mount an effective fight in a civil war instigated by American, French and other ‘Western’ intelligence agencies and their proxies (including Al-Qaeda!) but have also frustrated efforts to mount a formal foreign intervention ‘authorised’ by the UN, as was done in the case of Iraq.

If Syria falls to the motley of mainly non-Syrian Western-backed terrorists (including Bangla Deshis from London’s Tower Hamlets!) and becomes absorbed into the American-Jewish hegemony just as Libya has been, then a war on on Syria’s neighbour, Iran, is but a border-crossing away.

It is Putin’s interventions at the UN which have given some degree of protection to Iran in the face of a wholly hypocritical Israeli American campaign to stop Iran developing nuclear technology.

That campaign is being pursued in support of Israel’s determination to be the only country in the Middle East not only to possess nuclear technology but an arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles far bigger than that now possessed by Britain. Yet Israel still formally denies (when it can stifle its giggles) that it does not possess any nuclear weapons.

America now pays more to maintain Israel’s nuclear-equipped armed forces than Israel. (See this link).

It is when one appreciates this scenario that one realises why the American government, its sundry vassal states in Europe and the largely Jewish-controlled mass media are putting so much effort into backing each, every and any anti-Putin element in Russia.

The assault was led in the first instance by various Western ‘Non-Government Organisations’. NGOs are supposedly non-political bodies dedicated to furthering cultural and welfare objectives and promoting goodwill. But the propaganda poison Western NGOs disseminated and the agitation they encouraged and subsidised constituted such an outrageous political campaign that no self-respecting sovereign state would tolerate such subversion.

Putin’s Russia is self-respecting and jealous of its sovereignty and so the alien NGO cuckoos have been driven out, bag and baggage.

Closely associated with the efforts of the NGOs were the Russian-Jewish ‘Oligarchs’ who had made their billions by robbing Russia of its assets when the country was prostrate following the end of Communist rule, and who, when the Russian Bear stood up and began to growl, fled abroad (many to Israel) with their ill-gotten gains, which they used to fund “dissident” groups in Russia.

Among these “dissidents” may be found scum-of-the-earth hippy trash such as the all-female punk rock group Pussy Riot, who render their name in English, not in Russian.

The ‘Western’ media, not least the BBC, have been in over-drive trying to portray these vile women as “martyrs” and “heroines” and who now find themselves in jail for an “anti-Putin demonstration”. There was a typical example of this propaganda broadcast at 8.00pm last Monday, 1st October, by BBC Radio 4 in its Analysis series: “Putin, the Patriarch and Pussy Riot”.

This programme may be archived for a week or longer on the BBC web site. Go see. The presenter was Lucy Ash [Ash? Short for “Ashkenazi”?] The producer was Nick Sturdee. [Sturdee? That is the first time I have encountered that formulation as an British surname.]

What the Analysis programme and the rest of the West’s mainly Jewish-controlled media seeks to obscure is the fact that a gang of female hippy-trash took time off from participating in filmed group-sex antics to gate-crash a service at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour where they invaded the altar area and danced around chanting obscenities and abuse against Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. The enraged congregation summoned the police, who arrested the shrieking harpies.

Analysis sought to blame Putin himself for the offensive (blasphemous to Christians) “demonstration”. The Russian Orthodox Church was also awarded blame for being on good terms with the Russian government. The Patriarch of the Orthodox Church was smeared as being “corrupt”. He wore an expensive wrist watch. What if we applied that kind of test to senior clerics of the Church of England — or indeed leading rabbis of the UK’s United Synagogue or Beth Din?

Can we imagine what would have been the reaction of the media and the Establishment body politic if a group of anti-Jewish punks (if there be such hobgoblins) had burst into a synagogue during a High-Holy Day service and danced around the cabinet containing the Scrolls of the Law singing songs laced with obscenities and denuciations of Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people?

They would have been arrested and changed with offences contrary to the ‘Public Order Act as Amended by the Race Relations Act’, e.g.: “Racially and/or Religiously Aggravated Incitement to Hatred” or some such legal concoction. On conviction the perpetrators would find themselves with jail sentences of up to five years.

That is exactly what has happened to the Pussy Riot rabble. But to believe the Western media, you would think they had been on a peaceful if noisy demonstration when they were set-upon by state spooks and given lengthy jail terms simply for “criticising Putin”.

The only difference between my hypothetical case and the actual event in Russia is that the Pussy Riot victims were Christians and, to the ‘Western’ politically correct mind-set, white-gentile-Christians should not expect as much (or indeed any) protection from anti-‘Hate’ laws as minority ethnic groups, especially the Jews! After all, it was the Board of Deputies of British Jews who devised and promoted the first version of the Race Relations Act under the title of the ‘Group Libel Bill’ during the early 1950s. Are they not entitled to special privileges?

This example of the media’s power to mislead, disinform and inflict character assassinations brings to mind an anecdote related to me by the late A.K. Chesterton MC, who co-founded the National Front in 1967. In the early 1950s he was Literary Advisor to Lord Beaverbrook (Max Aitken), owner of the Beaverbrook Press, then the mightiest press empire in Britain, whose flagship was the Daily Express.

Chesterton was occasionally invited to Beaverbrook’s country mansion for weekend house parties. At these Chesterton lost no opportunity to lobby Beaverbrook about the machinations of “Jewish International Finance”. Beaverbrook was very well up on that subject and agreed with Chesterton that “the Money Power” was pursuing anti-British policies and was intent on dragooning all peoples and nations into a World Government.

After several such meetings Chesterton put it to Beaverbook: “It seems we agree on all the essentials. As you run the greatest newspaper organisation in the country, why do you not use your asset to expose to the world what Jewry is doing – and seeking to do?”

Beaverbrook looked back at Chesterton aghast, gripped his arm and said: “You just don’t know what you are asking! These people can tear the flesh from your bones ….. the flesh from your bones!”

We must be grateful that there is somebody in the world of High Politics who, as calmly and as skilfully as he can, is standing up to “These People”. That man is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

We should also be grateful for people like Israel Adam Shamir, who has been able to  shrug off “the weight of three thousand years”.

Martin Webster.