Season’s Greetings

Flowers

In some parts of the Christian Calendar, this year today 1st April is Easter Sunday, the day on which a number will celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Easter Time also has an association with Spring Time.

So many folk see the day as one for celebration and general greeting.

I would therefore take this opportunity to wish anyone on Word Press who visits this page Greetings and Best wishes for the times ahead.

We live in a time when messages of Intolerance and Hate can reach audiences all too easily. Let us live by the watchwords Compassion. Respect. Tolerance. Chide ourselves when we stray from them. Know the worth of your fellow Human Being by the amount of effort they put into those three words.

Here’s to you all.

Roger

 

 

 

 

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Mourn. Weep. By All Means Rage. But Do Not Hate.

Barcelona and Cambrlis. The brothers-in-hate of the Charlottesville murder struck.

Irrespective of race, gender, religion, age or social grouping. Striking down folk just out to enjoy and bustle, struck down. For what? A ceremony  from the altar of Hate, preached out of the same book which has been used for centuries by the deluded and the inadequate of every nation, every group, every culture. The toxicity we must all guard against, because it lurks, in the shadows, ready to embrace you, and me. The filthy brew will feed on our anger at the slaughter of innocents, it will whisper lies.

Oh they will try and justify themselves. They will take religious works and seek out of context selective passages. They will take a nations law and documentation and twist the meanings. They will ignore the truth of History and go scampering off to seek out some wretched collection of spoutings from some fool and in their desperation insist this is out it is. But what they cannot run from, is the fact they are taking lives, or condone the taking of lives. They are murderers  by deed or by consent.

I can take you down the nightmare passages and show you the twisted logic and the reasonings for the perversions which lead to these events. For these are not the acts of random lunatics. These have roots, deep into the soil of Humanity. But they are not justifications. Anyone who takes up violence against another solely because of race, creed, religion, social grouping or gender is wrong and a betrayer.

As always we sit on an edge where violence is ever present, where the urge to vent our anger upon an apparent representative of our target is all too tempting. Where in our secret, murky little corners we tip a wink to those who use the self-same methods against those we hate, and thus do we give way to the whisperings.

Mourn then for the victims in Spain, in Syria, in South Sudan, in Venezuela, in Yemen, in Israel & Palestine, in Mynamar, in The Philippines, The Congo, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Libya, Egypt, Ukraine to name but a few. Reach out to the vulnerable folk in our own communities who are victimised by craven cowardly groups. Rage against the victims of twisted beliefs in their own communities

Never give up to the fact that the vast majority of the population of this world are your brothers and sisters and that each and every child growing and learning is your responsibility.

Judge your fellow man or woman by their capacity for Compassion, Respect and Tolerance.

And if the anger is still uncontainable, then break up your household rubbish to fit into a bin, or smash up rocks to make a rockery, or chop up wood into something ornamental.  But not hate.

Light of Writing 1

4th July. It’s Yours By Right USA

Polyester-American-Flag-ER-2

4th July

 

The United States of America, North America, America, USA, and this is your national holiday and this will be the first one I can recollect in which some Americans experience unease or regret about celebrating for they are ashamed of the current circumstances in which they perceive their country is in. I am sorry for those folk that they must feel this way and it would be disingenuous not to say it is easy to understand why. To have the holder of the office of president who has no political experience, has a questionable reputation and seems to have scant regard for the population as a whole must be a bitter experience, particularly when as sometimes happens in democracies the winner was not the one with the majority of  votes cast.

I could continue, writing at length about the despicable and shameless displays of bigotry and hatred which weak-minded folk claim is their right to free speech, while conveniently ignoring the duty of an adult to behave responsibly and maintain the stability of a community. But why should a sully the name of this day of celebration?

Let us look at all The United States of America and not a warped minority.                              ;

Yours is a young nation. We have 1776 as an expedient year of your birth, but your forebears discontent and then anger must have been growing long before that; let’s say three hundred years in the making. In terms of many nations you have only just begun; say four hundred years ago as a start, large scale of immigrations and constantly in waves. People restless to escape strictures of their homelands, looking for space to start afresh. Not much in age in comparison to other nations. It could be argued that you are still in the process of settling down, still learning to gell, but of course that does not always happen. There are enough examples in the world; all fractured places, their prejudices and ignorance used by more powerful neighbours as means to dominate and exploit. Let that be a warning. History never sleeps.

There is a fondness in the world to list the evils of the USA as if every other nation has a spotless record. There are injustices, there are crimes, and many have been carried on under a diluted blaspheming of the phrases ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘constitutional right’. But the folk of the USA learnt all these tricks from their ancestors in the ‘old countries’. As reprehensible as they are they are not American inventions. And in the USA brave, noble and determined folk fought long and hard against these injustices to the extent that they are now viewed as abhorrent though like all things precious that won must be fought for, always lest the evil, the weak and the stupid corrode them.

To return to that ‘respectable prejudice’ so indulged in, say the UK ,to be scornful of Americans as indulgent, self-absorbed, somehow not as intelligent. What sheer ignorance these folk spout. Need I take the time to list American novelists, poets, composers, artists, humourists, actors, playwrights, scholars, humanitarians, scientists, musicians, innovators, philosophers, inventors and so forth? Well obviously, I would have to because these tiny people have never heard of them!

But let us consider two facets. Let us think of these times, these past few years. We consider the return of the hate and ignorance, of the bombast and the puerile, the venal and the scavengers. They have crawled over your nation before; but they have been pushed back into corners, they have been exposed and found wanting. Unable to stand before the power of the ordinary, the generous of heart and spirit, the courageous, the decent, even the foolhardy. Oh, these wretched folk have brought their ‘populous crowds’, but all their efforts withered beneath the light and the heat of the ordinary Americans and these lesser folk were obliged to slink back into their corners. America look at the those myriad of gifted folk who have come from your ranks, and what can these corrosive elements offer in response, but to stew into their own bitter concoctions?

So let me tell you about you friendliness, your generosity, your willingness to help, your enthusiasm, your thoughtfulness. All these aspects which I see daily on WP. Let me mention your constitution and your separation of powers, which at the end of the day will bend any group of malefactors to the joint will. You have stood up and fought before, you have brought them down. You in your many groups with your differing views have come together and breathed life back into a flagging system, the result may not have been perfect, may have been ragged around the edges but it worked.

You are still in the making though, your states, your communities are in constant change because of your youth, and your myriad cultures coming together. You have made much progress, despite those who would try and drag you into some past based on servility to wealth and privilege and false divisions based on colour or religion. There may well come a time when the pressures will be too great for a 300,000,000+; 5 time zone nation to hold. That is actually no disgrace, nations like land masses break and  re-form. You may end up separated from some small bitter little enclaves where folk pretend they are free while being owned by larger powers. But this I know; the true United States of America will hold strong, yes it may be slightly smaller; it happens. But as a people you can stand proud and hold fast to humanity.

So meet with your loved ones, your friends and your neighbours, celebrate those matters and concepts you hold common, share friendship, community and love. Make your 4th of July 2017 a time when you say ‘No more hate. No more division’. You are worth it.

Happy 4th July USA.

FINSBURY PARK MOSQUE

Those who have read this blog over the months will know I have an intolerance of Intolerance and I hate Hate with twin passions that simply mirror those of the perpetrators; my weakness, my demons, my battle.

Today when I read the news of the dreadful and evil event at the mosque in Finsbury my first emotion was rage and came instinct to pick a social media fight with anyone who did not condemn this vile act, then I visited the Finsbury Park mosque site and good sense took over, inspired by the many of carry out small deeds  of charity and love for and to anyone irrespective of race, belief system, politics, creed, gender social grouping and so forth.

I sent a message of support to the mosque.

I urge you to do the same. The Hate-Mongers will not win.

http://www.finsburyparkmosque.org/

 

Never, Ever Give Up. If it hurts, you have a soul.

Manchester 22 dead

Refuge Craft in the Mediterranean 1st reports 22 dead

School bus in Syria  30 dead.

Bus with Coptic Christians 25 dead

Oregan  2 heroes dead

Mississippi 8 dead

Manilla- Botched robbery in a Casino 36 dead

Kahbul 90 dead

London 6 dead

And this does not include the injured, the scars of the survivors, the grief of the relatives and friends; the terror ground into the witnesses.

And these are the ones which have recently made the main news, they do not include the ongoing victims of wars in to name but a few- Syria, Kashmir, South Sudan, Yemen, Philippines. Our the constant seeping away of your lives in the pointless urban gang wars ( 7 kids stabbed to death in London, this year, so far)

The shock  is numbed by the feeling of helplessness and the natural wish that it would all stop.

Let us at least hang onto our Humanity , our Respect, our Tolerance and our Compassion.

When you hear or read of such a tragedy, if you have a religion offer up a prayer for the victims, if you do not take a brief pause for silent reflection. All join together, mourn then strive in your own ways to ensure the weeds of Hate and Ignorance wither. Your ways may be small, but be persistent, and together you will be part of a mighty force.

Take care one and all

You will not prosper Evil

Light of Writing 2

Manchester: 22 dead. Maybe 60 injured. This was a concert which would have attracted children. The perpetrator had been consumed by Evil. Only Evil would make this calculation.

Evil which feeds on Hate. Hate which is the spawn of ignorance and intolerance.

All this toxicity thrives in the hot emotions of fury. Anyone who rages against the community this fool came from joins hands with their Brothers and Sisters in Hate; they are being consumed in the sewer. There is no room for this.

Think then on the dead innocents, but think also of those who turned up to offer lifts, help, food and drink, comfort; came from their beds, switched off their taxi metres did what they could to help folk in peril.

Then sit somewhere quiet, think, ponder or pray for the dead, injured their families and friends, for the communities who are now living in dread from the Brothers and Sisters in Hate who will be prowling looking to vomit their bile.

Resolve never to look at a person and because of their community, orientation, religion, politics or whatever and point the finger of judgement and emotion. Smile, hold open a door, if you don’t agree, shrug and say ‘I don’t see it that way,’ help.

We owe it to the thousands of dead, injured and damaged of these past tragic decades.

Friends, Brothers, Sisters, Neighbours. Hold strong. Compassion. Respect and Tolerance

By Your Deeds……

Presidents of the USA have a great deal written about them. If they did nothing, that would be naturally cause for volumes. If they managed to please everyone that would also be cause of much discussion and opinion. And the current president, well he’s a bit of an easy one isn’t he? All you need to do is to go on social media write ‘Trump’ followed by an emjoi, just sit back add the occasional different emjoi and your profile goes through the roof.

Now The US constitution does have written into its many words parts which limit the powers of a president and even the most experienced politician has to learn that all over again, so President Trump with an amateur’s background might have a lot of catching up to do.

But this is not a call-out for the more subtle and nuanced arts of politics; this is more basic, this matter is directly within the scope of not The President but Donald Trump the person.

This story relates to the tragedy at Sandy Hook and the unbelievable activities of the Conspiracy Creatures (folk I never gave ANY time to, now they have reached a Defcon 1 in my book).

I am not going to relate the activities in my own words because these will lapse into profanities, aspects which taken out of selective context could not read well, and a very long discourse on why an authoritarian state is a good idea; all of which would show a complete lack of balanced judgement and would eventually serve only to nullify my argument.

I give you the full horror

BBC Trending

Sandy Hook to Trump: ‘Help us stop conspiracy theorists’

Sign at entrance to Sandy Hook

It was one of the worst school shootings in American history, but some people insist that the Sandy Hook massacre never happened. They post YouTube videos and spread rumours online, and their false theories have been repeated by a media mogul conspiracy theorist who has been linked to Donald Trump. Now, after years of harassment, the families of the victims are fighting back online.

Lenny Pozner clicks on a YouTube video showing his street and the outside of his home. The camera zooms in on his balcony, and his address and a route to his door flash up on the screen.

There’s no narration on the video – but there doesn’t need to be. The message is clear: “We know where you live.”

Because of videos like this one – there are dozens on YouTube, and more appear ever day – Pozner doesn’t want to disclose the city where he now lives. He’s had death threats and has moved several times in recent years.

Lenny Pozner has been targeted because he’s fought back against trolls and conspiracy theorists who make sweeping and false allegations about the murder of his son.

“Noah was just a regular six-year-old child,” says Lenny. “I dropped him off that morning – it really was an ordinary day of getting the kids ready for school.

“Then an hour-and-a-half later it was just the worst nightmare. Worse than any nightmare I could have imagined.”

The nightmare began on 14 December 2012 when a young man named Adam Lanza killed his mother and then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School. In a matter of minutes, he shot dead 20 children and six adults, before taking his own life.

Map showing location of Sandy Hook Elementary School

Even in a country where mass shootings are common, Sandy Hook stood out. The pupils were so young, and there were so many of them. Hundreds were traumatised – and many still are – after witnessing the carnage and its aftermath.

And yet despite extensive investigations and a report which determined that Lanza acted alone, conspiracy theorists have constructed a fake alternate reality in which the whole thing was an elaborate hoax, staged by the government to try to introduce strict gun control laws.

They seize on small inconsistencies between initial news reports from the chaotic scene and the facts. The more extreme among them have targeted the families of Sandy Hook victims. There have been at least two arrests linked to the hoax theories. On Wednesday, a warrant was issued for a Florida woman who is accused of harassing Lenny Pozner.

“We’re a luckier family,” says Hannah D’Avino, whose sister Rachel was a behavioural therapist at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “I personally will get about like three death threats a year because we don’t speak up that much.”

On a sunny, late winter’s day in New England, Hannah sits in the stately Newtown Public Library, down the road from where her sister was murdered. She recalls her sister’s spirit, her profound positive influence on her life, and her work with autistic children.

Her voice is subdued, but quivers with quiet determination.

“My sister was murdered 11 days before Christmas and I consider myself lucky because I don’t have a stalker,” she tells me. “That’s the situation I’m in right now.”

Some of the conspiracy theorists are regular visitors to this small hamlet in suburban Connecticut. In addition to the death threats and harassment directed at Lenny, Hannah and others, they’ve made videos of the school and local area and ask questions of locals and family members, and have posted the footage on YouTube.

And their theories have been picked up one of America’s most popular conspiracy theorists, a man who has been linked with President Donald Trump.

The online storm has prompted Lenny to form a volunteer network to track and take down the conspiracy theory videos and websites.

And other Sandy Hook residents are pleading with President Trump, asking him to speak out and help stop the madness.



Picture of conspiracy theorist Wolfgang Halbig
Image caption Wolfgang Halbig is one of the chief conspiracy theorists who denies the massacre happened

Wolfgang Halbig lives in a big yellow house in a sunny, lavishly landscaped gated community in Florida. He’s a retired school administrator and safety advisor, and he says that when he first heard news of the Sandy Hook shootings, he was sitting in a chair in his living room, drinking coffee.

“My hairs stood up,” he says. “Because they’re not protected in the elementary schools.”

Halbig donated money to the Sandy Hook families. But he soon became both obsessed with the tragedy – and, somehow, convinced that it never happened.

“I think 14 Dec 2012 is an event that was in planning for a long, long time,” he tells me. “I think it probably took them two, two-and-a-half years to write the scripts for all the participants that were invited to participate in that exercise – or drill as I will call it.”

Halbig has since devoted years of his life to “exposing” what he thinks is a government plot. He started a website. He’s revealed personal information about the victims of his attacks, including names, addresses, legal documents and financial information. And he’s personally travelled to Sandy Hook a number of times.

“I call it an illusion. The biggest government illusion that’s ever been pulled off by [the US Department of] Homeland Security.”

In his office, ghoulish blown-up pictures of the crime scene mingle with pictures of his family and his days as an American football player. His so-called evidence consists of a string of tiny details, small anomalies which are for the most part easily explained by the inchoate nature of a horrific breaking news event.

“I’ll be honest with you,” he says, “if I’m wrong, I need to be institutionalised.”



Conspiracy theories are a perennial feature of American life. But now they can be picked up by extremists and spread virally through social media. And that process has been fuelled by America’s deeply partisan political environment.

Hundreds of videos online are pushing false Sandy Hook narratives. Collectively, they have millions of views. Falsehoods are repeated by Twitter accounts and on Facebook.

Still, the theories might have stayed quarantined in some of the darker corners of the internet, were they not picked up and amplified by one of America’s most popular conspiracy theorists.

Alex Jones of InfowarsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Alex Jones of Infowars

Alex Jones is a talk show host and the founder of the multimedia portal Infowars. Regular listeners and readers are used to his rants on everything from 9/11 to attacks across Europe. And on several broadcasts he embraced the Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists. Less than two years after the attacks, he welcomed Halbig on his programme and talked about an Infowars story headlined “FBI says no one killed at Sandy Hook“.

“Internet sleuths immediately took to the web to stitch together clues indicating the shooting could be a carefully-scripted false flag event, similar to the 9/11 terror attacks, the central tenet being that the event would be used to galvanize future support for gun control legislation,” the story stated.

He returned to the theme several months later on his radio show: “I’ve had the investigators on, the state police have gone public, you name it – the whole thing is a giant hoax. And the problem is, how do you deal with a total hoax? How do you even convince the public something’s a total hoax?”

Later he said: “Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured. I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there clearly but I thought they killed some real kids, and it just shows how bold they are, that they clearly used actors.”

The liberal think tank Media Matters for America has listed other instances of Jones accusing the parents of murdered children being actors or casting doubt on the Sandy Hook investigation. Matt Gertz of Media Matters says that online and on air, Jones has an audience of about 8 million.

“It’s kind of remarkable, but believing that Sandy Hook was a hoax is actually fairly small ball for an Alex Jones conspiracy,” Gertz says. “He thinks that a set of global elites are planning to murder 80% of the world populace and enslave the rest of them. He has claimed that the federal government has a weather machine that they use to target tornado strikes on unfriendly populaces.

“He is sort of the nexus for what’s really a distributed network of conspiracy theorists who are on Facebook or on Twitter or using sites like Reddit or 4Chan or 8Chan.”

Jones along with former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone and journalist Jonathan Alter at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OhioImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jones (left) along with former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone (centre) and journalist Jonathan Alter at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Jones, who did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, has also been linked to President Trump. In late 2015, Trump appeared on Jones’s radio programme. At the end of a half-hour interview, the candidate told the host: “I just want to finish by saying your reputation’s amazing. I will not let you down, you will be very very impressed I hope.

“And I think we’ll be speaking a lot… a year into office, you’ll be saying ‘Wow, I remember that interview, he said he was going to do it, and he did a great job.’ You’ll be very proud of our country.”

Former Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone regularly appears on Jones’s show, and reportedly was the person who introduced the presidential candidate and the talk show host.

Trump has retweeted Infowars reporters and stories (for example here and here) and stories of dubious provenance that first appeared on the site have regularly shown up in Trump speeches and tweets.

To take just one example: in November 2016, Trump tweeted: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

The message repeated an allegation with scant basis in fact – a story that had appeared on Infowars earlier that month.

Trump has not endorsed the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory, nor has he spoken about Jones’s claims that the massacre was a hoax. The White House did not respond to a number of requests for comment, including a series of questions about the relationship between the president and Jones.

Jones himself has tried to make the most of his connections to Trump. He claims the president called him shortly after winning the election and has spoken to him since, although the the New York Times reported that a Trump aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, “played down the frequency of their contact”.

“It is surreal to talk about issues here on air and then word-for-word hear Trump say it two days later,” Jones said on his radio show in August 2016. “It is amazing.”

Gertz, from Media Matters for America, says that there is evidence that Jones does talk with the president. But he cautions that both men have had a history of pushing conspiracy theories and presenting “alternative facts”.

“So trying to nail down for sure what their relationship is, based on the statements that they say about each other, is pretty dicey,” he says.

President TrumpImage copyright Getty Images

Less than two weeks after the 2016 presidential election, Jones posted a video which he declared was his “final statement” on Sandy Hook. In it, he claimed he had been unfairly treated by the media.

“I’ve always said I’m not sure what really happened, but there’s a lot of anomalies and there has been a cover-up of what did happen there,” he said.

“There is some evidence that people died there,” he said. “I don’t know what the truth is, all I know is the official story of Sandy Hook has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.”

He then played a montage of news clips and material from his Sandy Hook programmes over the years, including footage of Wolfgang Halbig. He did not include his “Sandy Hook is a synthetic, completely fake with actors” quote. In signing off, he took another swipe at parents of murdered children who spoke to the media in the aftermath of the attacks.

“If children were lost in Sandy Hook, my heart goes out to each and every one of those parents and the people who say they’re parents that I see on the news. The only problem is, I’ve seen a lot of soap operas, and I’ve seen actors before, and I know when I’m watching a movie and when I’m watching something real. Let’s look into Sandy Hook.”

Sticker:

In front of his computer screen in his undisclosed location, Lenny Pozner is taking on the conspiracy theorists. He flicks through a YouTube page and points out a new video.

“Look – this was just posted,” he says. “It’s a hoaxer type video – it’s insulting, it has images of people who were connected to the tragedy.”

The thumbnail picture has a photo of his son Noah’s tombstone. There’s text on the picture which reads: “empty grave”. In the video, there’s a picture of Lenny himself.

“Here’s a photo of me taken two days after my child was killed and I’m being called a liar fraud and terrorist,” he says. “That’s how they vilify people.”

Lenny used to be a casual Infowars listener – he liked to listen to conspiracy theories as entertainment. That’s how he initially found out that his son’s murder was being denied by the conspiracy theorists.

At first he tried to engage with them through a Facebook group. But soon the mood among the hard-core hoaxers hardened.

“The only people that would come into the groups were trolls,” he says. “They were just coming in for their own amusement… after that I decided that the most important thing would be to start taking down content that’s spreading this information,” he says.

Every day, Lenny scrolls though reams of conspiracy minded content, complaining to social networks and attempting to get videos and posts taken down using network rules about copyright, decency and harassment.

Outside shot of Sandy Hook Elementary SchoolImage copyright Getty Images

After four years of pain, compounded by the harassers and the conspiracy mongers, people in Sandy Hook are tired – and some of them are asking the president to step in.

I meet Eric Paradis, a local Democratic Party official, in a bar down the road from Sandy Hook. One of Paradis’s daughters was at Sandy Hook Elementary on the day of the shooting – she survived.

Although Alex Jones has not been involved in the harassment of the families, Paradis says the president could use his influence to push Jones and the conspiracy theorists to the fringes, and help stop the harassment of Sandy Hook victims.

“The town committee wanted to put a letter together asking the president to denounce these hoaxers and tell them look… these are real children who died,” he says.

His letter is still under consideration by local officials. It reads:

“[Jones] continues to spread hate and lies towards our town, towards the people and organizations who came to help us through those darkest days. Jones repeatedly tells his listeners and viewers that he has your ears and your respect. He brags about how you called him after your victory in November. Emboldened by your victory, he continues to hurt the memories of those lost, the ability of those left behind to heal.”

The letter goes on to ask Trump to “intervene and stop Jones and others hoaxers like him”. Paradis says he and other Democrats tried to avoid making the letter about Trump’s larger political agenda.

“I really do think he can help us put a stop to it, because he does have a unique position with these hoaxers,” he says. “If he can help us out then that’s fantastic and a Democrat [like me] would be very grateful if he could.”

Lenny Pozner continues to take action against the trolls. He’s filed a lawsuit against Halbig, alleging invasion of privacy. Halbig is fighting the suit, which is just getting underway, and says that if he loses, he’ll check himself into a mental institution.

Lenny turns back to his computer, where he spots more conspiracy theory videos. So will he ever stop trying to fight the hoaxers?

He takes a deep breath and a long pause.

“I don’t know,” he says. “I would like not to have to do this. I would like to just leave it alone and feel the memory of my child is sacred and other people are also treating it that way,” he says, “but as long as they’re not – I feel I need to defend that memory.”

Blog by Mike Wendling

 

I would ask you to consider the parents. If President Trump does not about this then by that lack of action alone he is not worthy of the title.

I would ask citizens  of the USA keep a very close watch on the activities of President Trump and let us know if he is mature and compassionate enough to distance himself from these creatures. And I would ask all WP folk to keep writing your own uplifting posts, share with the world and put an end to these creatures.