Collected Poetry

 

 

Collected Poetry

VOLUME SEVEN  

 

Original materials - Copyright © 2012 by Gary Bachlund    All international rights reserved

 

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers,

and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always." Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

 

Fortune smilesparaphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

Fortune smiles, but she also may
Delight us in her reluctant way .
She gives the gift of a summer's day,
With a swarm of mosquitoes and us as prey.

See:    Fortuna lächelt... 

 


 

2 = 1

"The Fatah party, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has made official what it has been saying more quietly and has adopted a new logo showing all of Israel as Palestine. The logo marks the 48th anniversary of the founding of Fatah by Yasser Arafat and includes a map with the PA flag and a map of Israel that appears to be a depiction of the black and white checkered kefiyah, a symbol of the violent intifada, and the slogan 'the state and victory.' PMW revealed that the official PA daily published the new official logo. For the past year, official PA documents have increasingly shown Palestine as covering all of Israel, but this is the first time the Fatah party has officially placed the map on its logo." In "Abbas Makes It Official: All of Israel is Palestine," by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, Israel National News, 30 December 2012.

The two-state solution
    Played by the quartet
    Was just pretty elocution,
Splayed and sold, and yet
The one-state solution
    Is the far more likely plan
    As Fatah's execution
Shows no Israel to ban.

Two has equaled one
    And Oslo was a game.
    The intervening years?
A sham with shills, a shame.
Let us watch all the hands
    Wringing loudly now;
    Applause now for those grands
And each shilly-shally bow.

 

Addendum:  "Israeli Jews are becoming more skeptical about a peace agreement with the Palestinians, with 83 percent saying a withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders and the division of Jerusalem would not end the conflict." In "Poll: Majority of Israeli Jews pessimistic about peace," by Ariel ben Solomon, The Jerusalem Post, 1 January 2013.

 

Addendum of the Holy Land for Jews:   "...Allah assigned Israel to the Jews until the Day of Judgement (Sura 5 Verse 21) [ 1 ] , and that Jews are the inheritors of Israel (Sura 26 Verse 59)  [ 2 ] . 'I say to those who distort...the Koran: from where did you bring the name Palestine, you liars, you accursed, when Allah has already named it 'The Holy Land' and bequeathed it to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment," argued Adwan. "There is no such thing as 'Palestine' in the Koran.'  [ 3 ]  Your demand for the Land of Israel is a falsehood and it constitutes an attack on the Koran, on the Jews and their land. Therefore you won’t succeed, and Allah will fail you and humiliate you, because Allah is the one who will protect them (i.e. the Jews),' warns Adwan. The sheikh had more harsh words for the 'Palestinians,' calling them 'the killers of children, the elderly and women' in using them as human shields in order to falsely accuse the Jews of targeting them. He reports having seen the same tactic used by 'Palestinians' against the Jordanian army in the 1970s.  [ 4 ]  'This is their habit and custom, their viciousness, their having hearts of stones towards their children, and their lying to public opinion, in order to get its support,' declared Adwan." In "'Allah Gave Israel to The Jews, There's No Palestine'," by Ari Yashar, Arutz Sheva, 6 February 2014.

 

Addendum of Palestinian Politics:  "A recent report from January, which the media has kept a tight lip on, has exposed the widespread human rights abuses of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The report, from the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), charges PA and Hamas for repeated cases of torture, oppression, assaults on freedom of expression and academic freedoms, as well as ignoring court orders." In "PA and Hamas Guilty of Rampant Human Rights Abuses," by Ari Yashar, Arutz Sheva, 14 February 2014.

 

Addendum of Palestinian Demographics:  "...the PLO has no representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two movements that together probably have the support of more than a third of the Palestinian public. Abu Mazen continues to convene the councils of the PLO, but it is hard to find people who take seriously their deliberations and decisions. The Israeli and Arab media report every utterance made by the leaders of Hamas, but pay much less attention to the pronouncements of PLO spokesmen. Similar observations could be made about the decline of the Fatah movement, the ruling party in the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. Fatah was weakened when some of its leaders, like Farouk Kaddoumi, objected to the Oslo Accords and refused to live under the Palestinian autonomy, the “state-in-the-making” that was established in the West Bank and Gaza. When he died in 2004, Arafat left behind a movement that was also dying and a leadership widely thought to be corrupt. At the head of the Fatah movement is the Central Committee, a group of eighteen people whose power resembles that of the Politburo in communist regimes. Only fourteen members were still alive, all over seventy, in August 2009, when a new committee was finally elected. Journalists in Ramallah estimate that, since 2000, about fifty thousand people have left the West Bank and Gaza. It is worth noting that despite the high birth rate among Palestinians, their number is shrinking in comparison to the great increase in the Israeli and Jordanian populations." In "One State/Two States: Rethinking Israel and Palestine," by Sanny Rubinstein, Dissent Magazine, Summer 2010.

 

Addendum of Hardline Views and only One State:  "This pattern is confirmed by other questions in the survey. For example, just one-third said that a two-state solution 'should be the end of the conflict.' Nearly two-thirds said 'resistance should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated.' And only a third said that 'it might be necessary to give up some of our claims so that our people and our children can have a better life.' Similarly, only a third said that a two-state solution would be their leadership's final goal. Instead, almost two-thirds said it would be 'part of a 'program of stages,' to liberate all of historic Palestine later.' This remarkable finding helps explain how a plurality or more of Palestinians can support President Mahmoud Abbas and reject a two-state solution at the same time." In "New Palestinian Poll Shows Hardline Views, But Some Pragmatism Too," by David Pollock, Washington Institute, 25 June 2014.

 

Addendum of the Palestinian Nabka:   "...the prospect of an independent state of should-be dhimmis struck Arab leaders as more than humiliating. It endangered all Islam. Thus Rahman Azzam Pasha, the head of the newly formed Arab League, spoke for his 'honor group' when he threatened that 'if the Zionists dare establish a state, the massacres we would unleash would dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler perpetrated.' As the Armenians had discovered a generation earlier, the mere suspicion of rebellion could engender massacres. The loss in 1948, therefore, constituted the most catastrophic possible outcome for this honor-group: Seven Arab armies, representing the honor of hundreds of thousands of Arabs (and Muslims), were defeated by less than a million Jews, the surviving remnant of the most devastating and efficient genocide in history. To fall to people so low on the scale that it is dishonorable even to fight them—nothing could be more devastating. And this humiliating event occurred on center stage of the new postwar global community, before whom the Arab league representatives had openly bragged about their upcoming slaughters. In the history of a global public, never has any single and so huge a group suffered so much dishonor and shame in the eyes of so great an audience." In "Why the Arab World Is Lost in an Emotional Nakba, and How We Keep It There," by Richard Landes, Tablet, 24 June 2014.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Hate:   "Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth Prime Minister, once said, 'We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.' Every time I heard this, I considered it hyperbole, demonstrating not the possibility that mothers could hate their neighbors more than love their own children, but to illustrate the immense animosity they felt against the Jews. But once again, the world is reminded that this is no hyperbole. It’s literal. The hate is deep and streams from generation to generation. They teach hate; they live hate; They pass it on to their progeny." In "A culture of hate means an obstacle for peace," by Lisa Daftari, FoxNews, 12 July 2014.

 

Addendum of Erasing Israel for "Local Preferences":   "...Israel is missing. There’s Syria. There’s Jordan. There’s Gaza. But no mention of Israel. The story was first reported by a Catholic publication, the Tablet. On Wednesday, HarperCollins was backtracking fast. 'HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas,' HarperCollins UK said on its Facebook page. 'This product has now been removed from sale in all territories and all remaining stock will be pulped. HarperCollins sincerely apologizes for this omission and for any offense it caused'." In "HarperCollins omits Israel from maps for Mideast schools, citing 'local preferences'," by Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 2 January 2015.   [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Jews Not Existing:   "The Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy has translated and uploaded video from a speech delivered by PLO Ambassador to Chile Nabil Jada'a, at the Conference for Peace in Palestine and Israel on May 15, in Santiago, Chile. Jada'a cited leftist Israeli Shlomo Sand to support his claim that the Jewish people does not exist, and also relied on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an antisemitic hoax from 1903, to describe a Jewish plan for global domination." In "PLO Official: We Don't Hate the Jews; They Just Don't Exist," Arutz Sheva, 8 July 2015.

 

Addendum of a One State Solution:    "Khamenei counts on what he sees as 'Israel fatigue.' The international community would start looking for what he calls 'a practical and logical mechanism' to end the old conflict. Khamenei’s 'practical and logical mechanism' excludes the two-state formula in any form. 'The solution is a one-state formula,' he declares. That state, to be called Palestine, would be under Muslim rule but would allow non-Muslims, including some Israeli Jews who could prove 'genuine roots' in the region to stay as 'protected minorities.' Under Khamenei’s scheme, Israel, plus the West Bank and Gaza, would revert to a United Nations mandate for a brief period during which a referendum is held to create the new state of Palestine." In "Iran publishes book on how to outwit US and destroy Israel," by Amir Taheri, NYPost, 1 August 2015.    [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of War by Individual Means:   "The murder of a young Israeli couple, Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henken, in a drive-by terrorist attack leaving behind four orphaned children, has been called 'senseless.' It is brutal, violent and barbaric—but hardly senseless. Terrorism always has been about killing innocents at random, seeking to instill fear because anyone can be a random target. If you are a terrorist, killing a couple in front of their children is what you do because the people you seek to terrorize can identify with the victims and see their own children in the faces of the surviving orphans." In "Terrorism Is Not Senseless — It Is Calculated Barbarism," by Abraham H. Miller, American Spectator, 20 October 2015.    [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of Another Muslim Statement on Israel:   "Addressing 'Jews who conquered the land of the Muslims' he warns that the 'real war has not started yet' adding that 'everything that happened in the past is child’s play compared to what will occur in the near future… There will not remain a single Jew in Jerusalem, nor throughout the entire land'." In "ISIS releases video in Hebrew with a 'message to the Jews'," by Lisa Daftari, Foreign Desk, 23 October 2015.

 

Addendum of What's Completely Missing:   "It was notable that while the Bethlehem-based Palestinian news agency Ma’an covered the parade extensively on its Arabic-language website, the story was completely missing from its English-language website, which is widely followed by the international press. Yet another example of the Palestinians sending out completely different messages in Arabic and English, just as the parade itself was further evidence that Israel has no Palestinian peace partner at the governmental level." In "Palestinian Children Wear Mock Suicide Belts in Bethlehem Parade," Israel Today, 14 January 2016.

 

Addendum from the River to the Sea:    "They screamed 'Free, free Palestine,' 'Viva, viva Palestina' and 'From the river to the sea Palestine will be free' and smashed a window." In "Pro-Palestinian protesters turn violent at London speech by former Shin Bet head," by Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, 20 January 2016.

 

Addendum of Non-inclusion Again:   "In an article published on National Public Radio's (NPR) website Monday, a map of the Middle East failed to include Israel, labeling Palestine in its place. The map was an illustration accompanying the article 'What Are You Afraid Of In 2016? Globetrotters Share Their Fears."' The article referenced travelers' fears of Islamic radicalization and extremism in the region." In "NPR illustrative photo wipes Israel off the map," Jerusalem Post, 25 January 2016.   [ 9 ]

 

Addendum of No Right to Buy Property in Judea and Samaria:   " 'Jews can buy homes anywhere in the world, in France, in Turkey and even in Iran,' said Shlomo Levinger a spokesman for some 20 Jewish families who want to move into the buildings. 'Just in Judea and Samaria there is a racist edict that prevents Jews from purchasing a home,' he said. 'We are demanding an end to this discriminatory practice,' he added." In "Settlers: Jews can buy a home in Iran, but not Hebron," by Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, 1 February 2016.

 

Addendum of a Guarantee:   "On a more mercenary note, the Palestinian Authority government generously compensates the families of 'shahids' as well as convicted terrorists with a guaranteed lifetime monthly income. Which Arab child or teen fed from birth on the cuddly characters championing the privilege to die for 'Felesteen' (Palestine) would not want to grow up to kill Israelis? Why would any adolescent with the normal hormonal shifts of the teen years not find solace in reaching eternal peace and family honor as a shahid (Islamic war martyr) after a fight with a parent, sibling or friend? Doesn’t suicide look a lot rosier and more romantic when you know you’ve guaranteed your parents a large lifetime income, and yourself a quick, relatively death in the process?" In "Two Arab Schoolgirls Indicted as Terrorists in Ramle," by Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, 11 February 2016.    [ 10 ]

 

Addendum of Infuriating Truth Telling:   "Sometimes, nothing is more infuriating than the truth. On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu infuriated the Obama administration when he told the truth about the nature of the internationally supported Palestinian demand that Israel must transfer control over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to the Palestinians Jew-free. In a video address posted to his Facebook page at around dawn Washington time, Netanyahu said, 'The Palestinian leadership... demands a Palestinians state with one precondition: No Jews. There’s a phrase for that. It’s called ‘ethnic cleansing.’ And this demand is outrageous'." In "Benjamin Netanyahu and the ‘otherwise enlightened’," by Caroline B. Glick, 12 September 2016.

  

 Addendum of Jew-Hate on California College Campuses:   "...protesters used bullhorns to drown out the mayor’s speech and yelled and chanted 'Intifada,' 'Get the [expletive] off our campus,' and 'From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,' while university administrators allowed the disruption to continue and instructed campus police to “stand down.” 'SFSU has not merely fostered and embraced anti-Jewish hostility — it has systematically supported these departments and student groups as they have doggedly organized their efforts to target, threaten, and intimidate Jewish students on campus and deprive them of their civil rights and their ability to feel safe and secure as they pursue their education,' the lawsuit said." In "Lawsuit alleges hostile environment for Jews on San Francisco State campus," by Roxanna Xia, Los Angeles Times, 19 June 2017.    [ 11 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   5:12 "And certainly Allah made a covenant with the children of Israel, and We raised up among them twelve chieftains; and Allah said: Surely I am with you; if you keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and believe in My apostles and assist them and offer to Allah a goodly gift, I will most certainly cover your evil deeds, and I will most certainly cause you to enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow, but whoever disbelieves from among you after that, he indeed shall lose the right way." (Salih)

 

[ 2 ]   5:21 "O my people! enter the holy land which Allah has prescribed for you and turn not on your backs for then you will turn back losers." (Salih) 

          Reading the verse without the preceding verse's context seems uninformative. But the text of the preceding verse is in part: "when Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds."

          For this context Muslim scholar Adwan advances an interesting point that the "land" was "prescribed" for "the children of Israel." Moreover, given the history of modern Lebanon and Jordan, today's Palestinians also of these lands. The remainder is a question of armed struggles for political rule, which of course always carries with it wealth accumulation for those who rule. It is no wonder therefore that so many have fought to rule. A short sketch of the PLO's bloody history of factional fighting in the footnotes below shows this war to rule has been with us . 

 

[ 3 ]    One finds modern assertions that "Palestine" is found in the Koran. One cited the following:  One finds assertions: "The word(s) "Palestine" appears 9 time(s) in 9 verse(s) in Quran in Mohsin Khan translation." The organization, Search Truth, cites the translation as follows: 5:21 "O my people! Enter the holy land (Palestine) which Allah has assigned to you and turn not back (in flight); for then you will be returned as losers." Khan, born in 1927, and this translation was sponsored by the Saudi government, according to Wikipedia and published in 1985.  To suggest that the English translation by an Afghani made published in 1985 is proof which is sought is extending scholarly argument into outright fabrication.

 

 An Imam's Conclusion

 

         Other Muslim scholars who predate the political name, "Palestine" currently in use are sometimes cited:  "...British-based imam Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hussaini, who asserts that early Muslim intellectuals recognized that Israel belonged to the Jews. 'You will find very clearly that the traditional commentators from the eighth and ninth century onwards have uniformly interpreted the Koran to say explicitly that Eretz Yisrael [Heb. The Land of Israel] has been given by God to the Jewish people as a perpetual convenant [sic]. There is no Islamic counterclaim to the Land anywhere in the traditional corpus of commentary'." In "The Qur'an: Israel Is Not for the Jews, Claims to the Holy Land," by Robert Spencer, Middle East, Fall 2009.

 

[ 4 ]   The citation of the PLO -- precursor to the Fatah Party and the PA -- in Jordan is noted.

         One reads:  "The term Black September (Arabic: أيلول الأسود‎; aylūl al-aswad) refers to the Jordanian Civil War that began in September 1970 and ended in July of 1971. The conflict was fought between the two major components of the Jordanian population, the Palestinians represented by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) under the leadership of Yasser Arafat and the native Jordanians represented by the Jordanian Armed Forces under the leadership of King Hussein. At its core the civil war sought to determine if Jordan would be ruled by the Palestine Liberation Organisation or the Hashemite Monarchy. The war resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, the vast majority Palestinian. Armed conflict ended with the expulsion of the PLO leadership and thousands of Palestinian fighters to Lebanon." In "Black September in Jordan," Wikipedia, accessed January 2014.

 

 Changing Names

 

         One observes that in this time, the PLO sought to rule the nation now called Jordan. Wikipedia states: "On 25 May 1946, the United Nations approved the end of the British Mandate and recognized Transjordan as an independent sovereign kingdom. The Parliament of Transjordan proclaimed King Abdullah as the first King. The name was changed from Transjordan to Jordan in 1948, though Jordan states the name is continuous from 1946 as 'Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan'." Thus the PLO sought to rule over Jordan, whatever the history of its political name may have been.

         Expelled from Jordan, the PLO sought refuge in other modern Muslim nations.  But this failed as well.

         "Even in normal times back in Beirut, the PLO was a difficult organization to keep under control, being composed of eight distinct resistance parties, each with its own armed elements. These parties and the PLO central structure were and are funded by a dozen rival Arab countries, and they encompass an array of conflicting ideologies, strategies, and personalities. The parties range from the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to the centrist Al-Fatah; the strategies run from militarism to diplomacy; and the personalities from the strident George Habbash of the PFLP to the moderate, soft-spoken Hani Hassan of Fatah." In "Far-flung PLO tries to pull itself together," by John Yemma, Christian Science Monitor, 29 October 1982.

         But of Lebanon and the civil war there:  "The role the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) - of which the DFLP is a part - played in the Lebanese Civil War is highly politicised. The accounts and reports of the events that happened are always incomplete, and often contradictory, depending on the personal interests and political affiliations of those recounting them. What remains indisputable, however, is that by the time the war ended in 1991, hundreds of thousands of people had been killed, the vast majority of them civilians. The PLO was an essential party to this tragedy." In "Did the PLO die in Lebanon?" by Spencer Osberg, Al Jazeera, 28 July 2009.

        One reads more of the PLO:  "Syria expelled Yasir Arafat today, one day after the guerrilla leader accused President Hafez al-Assad of orchestrating the anti-Arafat rebellion among Palestine Liberation Organization troops in Lebanon. A statement by the official Syrian press agency said, 'Because of Arafat's continued slanders against Syria and its sacrifices, and its positions of principle, he was informed today of Syria's desire for him not to continue coming to its territory.' The statement was issued several hours after Mr. Arafat was escorted to the Damascus airport by Syrian security officials in six cars and put aboard a regularly scheduled Air Tunisia flight for Tunis." In "Arafat Expelled after Saying Syria Aids P.L.O. Revolt," by Thomas Friedman, New York Times, 25 June 1983.

 

 False Histories and Damaged Foundations

 

        Additionally, one reads of the larger context of Muslim opinion:  "Those who ignorantly claim that progress can be attained through the enforcement of strict ideological purity should take heed of the past and resist the temptation towards religious chauvinism. The conflict which some claim exists today between Sunni and Shia Muslims is a product of very recent global events; blowback from the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the petro-dollar fuelled global rise of Wahhabi reactionaries. It is decidedly not the continuation of any '1,400 year war' between Sunnis and Shias but is driven instead by the very modern phenomena of identity politics. Factions on both sides have created false histories for their own political benefit and have manufactured symbols and rituals which draw upon ancient history but are in fact entirely modern creations." In "The myth of the 1,400 year Sunni-Shia war," by Murtaza Hussain, Al Jazeera, 9 July 2013.

        One finds a similar sentiment, in part:  "The world of Islam with more than 1500 million adherents spread over almost all the continents of the world is not in a very happy state. In fact, the religion is in a dire state. This state of affairs arises not because Islam is under attack externally from rival religions, although there is some discernible evidence supporting this notion, but mainly because it is perennially in the throes of intra-religious animosity which is now surfacing as a violent internecine conflict. This conflict is of late taking on such severe dimensions that the very foundation of the religion is in danger of being seriously shaken or even damaged. ...The sectarian conflicts in the Middle East may not all have their roots firmly embedded in the Shia-Sunni divide, but the major ones are definitely so. The decade long in-fighting and blood bath in Lebanon, the present sectarian killing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and so forth are all rooted in Shia-Sunni conflict. In Pakistan, Sunni Muslims instigated by religious zealots perpetrated bestial murders of Shias in the name of religion. Then there is the additional religious divide: the fundamentalist Sunni upholding Wahhabism and the moderate Sunni. The conflict in Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood purporting Wahhabism and the so-called secularists believing in moderate Sunni theology should be seen in that light. A similar situation is brewing up in Bangladesh almost imperceptibly. The Jamaat-e-Islam, Hifazat-e Islam and many other religious-political parties are following Wahhabi ideology almost obliviously through their ignorance. The internecine conflicts that are raging overtly all over the Islamic world and covertly in non-Islamic world are damaging the very foundation of Islam." In "Internecine conflict in Islam," Bangladesh Chronicle, 17 September 2013.

        Then, returning to the specific theme as background for this political rhyme, one sees continued factionalism and most clearly the intent to "occupy" present-day Israel via its political destruction in favor of a Muslim-majority government. But as one sees through the history of the many warring factions within the PLO and now that between Fatah and Hamas, the notion that even this would bring peace to the Middle East is specious. Why?

 

 Trading Blows

 

        One reads:  " 'But Hamas must edge away a little from the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas must also refrain from provoking the nervous Egyptian authorities these days. Even in Islamic jurisprudence 'necessities make certain prohibitions permissible'.' Al-Masri said he did not think that Fatah was in a position to reclaim Gaza by use of military force. 'Fatah is undergoing a period of political bankruptcy, as the moribund peace process with Israel is going nowhere,' he said. 'But Hamas' fears have increased, and so have Fatah's ambitions - especially in the aftermath of the coup in Cairo'." In "What reconciliation? Hamas, Fatah trade blows," by Khalid Amayreh, Al Jazeera, 14 September 2013.

          But the internecine theme is consistent and bloody:  "After months of factional street fighting in which hundreds of Palestinians were killed, Fatah struck a deal with Hamas to join a unity government as a junior partner. Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led government in June 2007 in the wake of some of the worst fighting that resulted in the Gaza Strip being seized by the Hamas armed forces in what the movement described as a 'liberation'." In "Palestinian rivals: Fatah & Hamas," BBC, 17 June 2007.

          The notion of Palestinian vocabulary defining Palestine as including all of what is now Israel as recognized by the United Nations in 1948 is understood by Israelis, if not the Western liberal press.

          One reads:  " 'The main problem for Israel is that what weighs on the Palestinians is not the conquest of 1967 but the ‘occupation’ of 1948. They do not accept the existence of the State of Israel even within the borders of the 1949 cease fire. It turns out that the slogan, ‘territories for peace,’ was an illusion. The fact that Jaffa, Tiberius and Safed are under Israeli control is more ‘oppressive’ to them than IDF roadblocks at the exits of Hebron and Nablus. The Palestinians have yet to internalize the fact that Israel will continue to exist as the nation state of the Jewish People. In any case,' Amidror says, it certainly not true that the Palestinian issue is the core of Middle East troubles. Just the opposite: it is a marginal issue. Ameliorating the Palestinian-Israeli dispute will somewhat help Israel build alliances with other Arab countries, but it won’t solve any of the major problems that beset the region." In "Perfect Storm: The Implications of Middle East Chaos" by Yaakov Amidror, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, 5 July 2015.

          Thus one sees unity in opposing Israel on the one hand, alongside internecine battles over decades in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia and now Gaza. Peace? Process? What reconciliation, asks Al Jazeera?

 

[ 5 ]   Landes noted: "So, alongside the nakba (catastrophe) that struck hundreds of thousands of the Arab inhabitants of the former British Mandate Palestine, we find yet another, much greater psychological catastrophe that struck the entire Arab world and especially its leaders: a humiliation so immense that Arab political culture and discourse could not absorb it. Initially, the refugees used the term nakba to reproach the Arab leaders who started and lost the war that so hurt them."

 

 Lest Any Doubts Linger

 

          Looking back at their 'catastrophe' as Palestinians understand the loss, one reads of the West's two-state policy lack of understanding as regards the UN's 1947 plan, as well as subsequent two-state proposals: "The pipe dream's single outstanding shortcoming was the palpable paucity of brotherly love. The Arabs contemptuously rebuffed the high-minded scheme and invaded newborn Israel. Two weeks pre-invasion, on May 1, 1948, Arab League secretary-general Abdul-Rahman Azzam Pasha declared: 'If the Zionists dare establish a state, the massacres we would unleash would dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler perpetrated.' Lest any doubt linger, Azzam reiterated his message the day seven Arab armies attacked: 'This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.' But things, alas, didn't turn out as per Azzam's bravado. Ever since, consequently, frustrated Arabs rage with bitterest indignation about being unfairly denied their state under the partition plan they deliberately foiled." In "Another Tack: Cluing Condi in," by Sarah Honig, Jerusalem Post, 8 September 2007.

 

 Losses at the Center

 

          Landes wrote in another article:   "...for every noble adversary there are inferiors, people without honour, without face, people disgraced. These people, who do not (or cannot) defend their honour, who must yield before the powerful presence of men of ‘respect’, will be spared violence by showing subservience, and in their very subservience, bear witness to their lack of honour, to their loss of face. Such people should be beneath aggression. In some cases it is dishonourable even to enter into conflict with them. Zionism represented a double challenge to this worldview. On the one hand, it was seen as a religious anomaly verging on blasphemy. During its first 1,300 years, Islam had only known the Jews as a subject people, subalterns in modern parlance, living in exile, forced to live by the laws and at the whim of foreign rulers and kings, Christian or Muslim. Although at times (for example, during the modernizing periods in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Iraq and Egypt) they rose to considerable prominence, at others (for example, late Ottoman Palestine), they were the lowest of the dhimmis. Unlike the Christians, for example, who increasingly benefited from the concerns of European patrons during the long twilight of the Turkish Caliphate, the Jews were the subaltern people with no protectors. To have Jews who took aggressive initiatives, who not only self-regulated within the framework of small and submissive communities, but had larger ambitions for self-rule and political autonomy, posed both a cultural and religious problem. From the religious point of view, Allah’s honour depends on the dominion of Islam. Dar al Islam cannot have independent political entities in its midst, a fortiori in its earliest and most sacred heartland. It is bad enough to lose ground at the edges of Dar al Islam – Spain, the Balkans, India. It is quite another to lose the centre. And even worse, it is especially humiliating to lose territory at the heart of Islam, not to a great and worthy foe (the Christian West, hundreds of millions of Hindus), but to a tiny people without honour." In "Saïd and Honor-Shame," by Richard Landes, Israel Affairs, Volume 13, Issue 4 October 2007.

          Given the demands for sharia ruling over Western nations in which Muslims are a significant minority, one may parallel these demands with the demand that Israel become Palestine and under Muslim rule. Such is the conflict in Indonesia in which a majority Muslim country had to cede to even harsher demands from so-called Islamists that sharia rule that province. The same holds true in other Muslim nations, wherein being Muslim in some ":moderate" and less-observant way does not lessen the conflicts. The Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighboring states are demanding Muslim rule as well, just as has been the case with Israel over many decades. The "humiliation so immense" for the Islamist is that conquest is not coming easily any longer, and the "catastrophe" is that making Islam dominant in all nations is not coming to be. Israel is but one target among many, one national power among many and one embarrassment among many.

 

[ 6 ]     Israel would be "missing" if the Palestinian parliament had its way. One reads:  "At a special meeting in Gaza on Thursday held on the occasion of Nakba Day, the Palestinian parliament stated that the entire 'land of Palestine' is an Islamic endowment, and the Jews have no right to even a single inch of it. Nakba Day is the day on which Arabs mourn what they view as the 'disaster' of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. It is marked on May 14, the day in 1948 on which Israel became a state. The parliament also stressed that the 'right of return' is a sacred collective and private right and cannot be given up, and added that the Palestinians will never agree to the settlement of the so-called 'Palestinian refugees' outside the territory of 'Palestine' nor will they ever agree to recognize Israel." In "PA Parliament: Jews Have No Right to Even 'One Inch' of Israel," by Dalit Halevi, Israel National News, 15 May 2015.

          Such a clear statement of intent cannot be "synthesized" with Israel to create the decades-old myth of the two-state solution.

 

[ 7 ]   It is clear. The one-state solution is the preferred method of Islam, as represented by many Islamic entities, from movements to governments. "A video posted on a website linked to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), titled 'Preparation of the complete destruction of Israel by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Islamic Revolution in Iran,' called for Israel’s 'erasure from the annals of history,' according to another report in The Times of Israel on Wednesday. The clip depicts an invasion of Jerusalem by an Islamic army that includes Hamas and Hezbollah among its ranks." In "Iranian Official: We 'Reject the Existence of Any Israeli on This Earth'," Tower, 21 August 2015.

 

 Parallels

 

          Of a recent statement by the current Israeli Prime Minister that a Mufti aligned with Hitler in the Nazi period, one reads further: "The mufti, according to the notes of Hitler’s translator, opened the meeting by thanking Hitler for his sympathy to the 'Arab and especially the Palestinian cause.' They were natural friends, he said, because they had the same enemies. The Palestinian Arabs, therefore, were 'prepared to cooperate with Germany with all their hearts and stood ready to participate in the war.' The Arabs, the mufti predicted, 'could be more useful as allies than might be apparent at first glance.' 'The objectives of my fight are clear,' the mufti’s diary quotes Hitler as saying. 'Primarily, I am fighting the Jews without respite, and this fight includes the fight against the so-called Jewish National Home in Palestine'." In "Netanyahu right to point out parallels between Nazis and Arab leaders," by Seth Lipsky, New York Post, 25 October 2015.

 

Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, in 1944 reviews the Bosnian SS troops.

 

 Promises of Heaven

 

          This is easily documented, for those who would look. One reads:  "The romantic notions that Himmler had about the Bosnian Muslims were probably significant in the division's genesis. He was personally fascinated by the Islamic faith and believed that Islam created fearless soldiers. He found their ferocity preferable to the gentility of Christians and believed their martial qualities should be further developed and put to use. He thought that Muslim men would make perfect SS soldiers as Islam "promises them Heaven if they fight and are killed in action." As for their ethnic background and SS requirements, it appears that Himmler accepted the theories advanced by both Croatian and German nationalists that the Croatian people, including the Muslims, were not ethnic Slavs but pure Aryans of either Gothic or Iranian descent." In "13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian)," Wikipedia, n. d.  A collar tab from the uniform is shown below.

 

Swastika and Sword

 

          How consistent over many decades and even before the establishment of the State of Israel, as validated by the United Nations, are Muslim statements aimed not only against Israel in this time, but against Jews. "We reject the existence of any Israeli on this earth" seems quite a clear statement.

          As the Post's article notes:  "The mufti and other Arab leaders hated the Jews before Israel. If Israel went away tomorrow, Muslim fundamentalists would still hate Jews. The left must shout down and discredit Netanyahu, because he’s highlighting the uncomfortable truth that, with respect to the Jews, the Arab ideology is the same as the Nazi one. And how can anyone defend that?"

 

Similarities Added to Parallels

 

          Finding other similarities, one reads:  "According various sources, ISIS recruiters are taking children into the ranks of ISIS on a monthly basis to replace the fighters that are being liquidated in anti-terrorist operations. These actions are reminiscent of the campaign that was launched by a crumbling Nazi Germany in 1944, when the Wehrmacht’s daily losses reached levels of 5,000 people. At that time German commanders began to actively conscript teenagers to form the so-called Hitler Youth. By the conscription of children, Hitler, as does the current ISIS leadership, hoped to prevent the collapse of his criminal state due to the lack of human resources. The actions of modern recruiters from ISIS resemble the actions of Nazi masterminds like Goebbels, Himmler and Axmann, who tried to paint violent and senseless bloodshed in heroic colors." In "ISIS and Hitlerjugend – Can You Spot a Difference?" by Martin Berger, New Eastern Outlook, 11 May 2016.

          When one identifies National Socialism by its own historically-documented statements, one finds a clear picture of a consistent member of the anti-capitalist left. See: Enemies of Capitalism as a visit to historical sources unpopular in the "modern" world. Consider also that the National Socialists pondered, We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party .

 

[ 8 ]   The notion of moral equivalence on the part of Western onlookers is noted: "The stabbings in Israel haven’t only exposed an ugly new Islamism in the Middle East. They have also exposed the moral disarray of those in the West who pose as progressive. The universalist, tolerant left that was sensitive to the scapegoating of Jews for the world’s problems is no more. And so it is left to Jews to defend Jews, bereft of left solidarity, the West merely shrugging its shoulders." In "According to the left, Israeli citizens deserve to be murdered," by Brendan O'Neill, Jewish News, 20 October 2015.

 

 Costs Should Exceed Benefits

 

          The Spectator article, cited above, noted:  "A society that does not respond strongly to violence inadvertently gives that violence legitimacy. Restraint is not a sophisticated and measured response but interpreted as a sign that the violence is justified. A society under siege faces a delicate balance between taking action and over-reacting. Terrorism creates this dilemma. To suggest that the uses of terrorism are senseless and mindless is to fail to comprehend that terrorism is a tool designed to achieve outcomes, and the taking of life is vital to achieving those outcomes. To stop terrorism, a society must make the costs of terrorism sharply exceed the benefits and be willing to suffer the condemnation in the international community that such a policy will engender."

 

[ 9 ]     It is worth noting how often supposed democrats "err" is failing to identify the only democracy in the Middle East, all the while these same people so readily identify monarchies and Islamic theocracies. The question then is whether such democrats are showing contempt for Israel or for democracy in the Middle East. At the minimum they are expressing poor judgment and an alarming lack of geographic literacy. American's National Public Radio should know better, but seems not to.

          This is the "Western" practice of demonizing Israel, such that even a Palestinian Muslim becomes a target for deviating from the "narrative."

 

 Shutting Down Other Voices

 

          One reads:  "Bassem Eid is the head of the Palestininian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), an organization and a former member of the far-left wing Israeli group B’Tselem. While Eid would appear to be an unlikely target for anti-Israel smear groups, BDS demonstrators nevertheless showed up to disrupt his lecture at the University of Chicago last week. The anti-Israel activists, incensed that Eid had leveled criticisms against Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for human rights violations, attempted to shout him down." In "Arab human rights activist 'terrified' by BDS death threats," by David Rosenberg, Arutz Sheva, 23 February 2016.

          Further:  "The first group to attack him was Students for Justice in Palestine. In leading the assault on Eid, SJP members interrupted him, threatened him and demonized him. 'You must never again speak about the Palestinians!,' some yelled in English at a man who has devoted his life to defending Palestinian rights. In the meantime, other SJP members reportedly threatened Eid in Arabic with physical violence." In "The lie of pro-Palestinian activism," by Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, 22 February 2016.

          The defense of the "narrative" is no step towards a solution to the so-called peace process. Glick notes:  "Eid explained that for 68 years, the Palestinians have blamed Israel for all their suffering. He insisted that the time has come for the Palestinians to take responsibility for their actions and stop shirking that responsibility by blaming Israel for their own crimes."

          As other Muslim voices notes above show differing views from the official Palestinian "narrative," one looks to the political background for this, for the Koran as also noted above mentions many things, but neither Jerusalem nor the Palestinians.

 

[ 10 ] Such generous payments to the families of 'shahids' by Palestinian authorities demonstrates their support. And yet the Palestinians have argued another stance in a US court.

          One reads:  "The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization on Tuesday urged a U.S. appeals court to toss a more than $655 million award won by a group of American families who accused them of supporting terrorist attacks in Israel. A lawyer for the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, the government and diplomatic representative of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, argued to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that the case should never have reached trial. A U.S. jury in 2015 found the defendants liable under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act in a case that could bolster efforts by Americans to use the law to hold foreign entities responsible in U.S. courts for overseas attacks." In "Palestinian Authority, PLO appeal U.S. terror support verdict," by Nate Raymond, Reuters, 12 April 2016.

          Complaining about technicalities in law does not change two points, first, that Palestinian entities support 'shahids' in attacks on Israelis, and 2) the same Palestinians are upset the consequences of this stance will cost them millions.

          A true peace with Israel would better the personal lives of many Palestinians as well as Israelis, while this low-level war is costing all sides, all in service to Fatah's dream of Israel's destruction.

 

[ 11 ]  "From the river to the sea" states in simple geography that modern Palestine is defined by these self-appointed pro-Palestine "activists" to include the entire nation of Israel. Therefore there can be no two-state solution as long as this is asserted, though there can be "activism" on American college campuses against Jews, rather like the anti-Jewish pogroms of Tsarist Russia and the short-lived reign of National Socialism in Europe during World War Two. 

 

See:    Islamophobia revisited - a thumbnail sketch of tolerance and inter-religious dialogues

 


 

Erotic vaudeville - paraphrase of poem by Alfred Lichtenstein

Night time in the middle of a street:
A landlord of a pub undresses.
An engineer appears deeply downbeat,
After straying from his wife's caresses.

After a like-minded rutting bastard
Ogles a dog of the queerest kind.
Notes an old man, wanking while plastered,
Too much will make you go blind.

Squatting in vomitus, green and thick,
Is a drunken syphilitic squatter .
A boxer shakes. A baby gets sick.
Stares an upper-crust, top-hatted rotter.

A young woman is killed by a car racing by.
A girl is thrashed by an toff.
Embittered is a man. But why?
Because though trying he just can't get off.

 

Envoi:   "At least my theory of technique, if I have one, is very far from original; nor is it complicated. I can express it in fifteen words, by quoting The Eternal Question And Immortal Answer of burlesk,viz. 'Would you hit a woman with a child?--No, I'd hit her with a brick.' Like the burlesk comedian, I am abnormally fond of that precision which creates movement." In Foreword to "Is 5," E. E. Cummings, 1926.

 

See:    Erotisches Variété 

 


 

National Eyes

"President Evo Morales nationalized the Bolivian electricity distribution subsidiaries of the Spanish energy company Iberdrola in a public ceremony Saturday. Morales issued a decree allowing the takeover of shares in Empresa de Electricidad de La Paz (Electropaz) and Empresa de Luz y Fuerza de Oruro (Elfeo), which supply energy in this Andean nation. Soldiers guarded the installations of the electricity distribution companies, marked with signs reading: 'Nationalized.' In the ceremony at Bolivia's government palace, Morales also announced the expropriation of an investment management company and a service provider belonging to the Spanish energy giant." In "Bolivia expropriates Spanish energy subsidiaries," Associated Press, 29 December 2012

National eyes
 Grow greedy now.
  Expropriate
   And then bid ciao.
    Stealing speaks
     Its very name
      When politics
       Declares this game.
        Who'll invest
         For losses great?
          Who'll avoid
           Expropriate?
            National eyes?
             See envy's glare.
              The next investor?
               You beware.
                Thievery stalks you,
                 Steals, not buys,
                  And justifies
                   In national eyes.

 

Envoi:    "State ownership! It leads only to absurd and monstrous conclusions; state ownership means state monopoly, concentrated in the hands of one party and its adherents, and that state brings only ruin and bankruptcy to all."  Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)

 

Addendum of Cuban Nationalization:  "From sugar bowl to empty cup: it is a sign of the times that Cuba is opening up sugar production to foreign investment for the first time since the industry was nationalised in 1959 as the communist-run country seeks to reverse a relentless decline in output. Cuba was once the world’s largest sugar exporter. But, according to a local expert, it 'has been reduced to rubble by poor state management, a lack of capital, sanctions, hurricanes and other factors'." In "Cuba worries as sugar industry dissolves," by Marc Frank, Financial Times, 18 May 2010.

 

Addendum of Venezuelan Nationalization I:  "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday he will nationalize the gold industry, including extraction and processing, and use its output to boost the country's international reserves. The move follows a dispute between his government and foreign miners who say the rules limiting the amount of gold that can be exported from the South American nation hurt their efforts to secure financing and create jobs. Toronto-listed Rusoro, owned by Russia's Agapov family, is the only large gold miner operating in Venezuela." In "Chavez to nationalize Venezuelan gold industry," Reuters, by Louise Egan, 17 August 2011.

 

 Addendum of Venezuelan Nationalization II:   "...not a promise has been kept. 'The people take very little part in managing the company; there used to be programs directly benefiting communities, but they no longer exist; the government had to inject money into these companies to make them sustainable; cement is sold at a greatly increased price, and the distribution mafia has become stronger,' he says. The same is true for other public sector companies like Lácteos Los Andes, Agropatria, Abastos Bicentenarios, Petrocasa, Envase Internacional, Cultivo Organopónico, Civetchi where, according to Polanco, workers are harassed and legalization of unions is not allowed as they are considered 'counter-revolutionary.' 'Under private hands, unions were recognized; you could go on a strike without being termed a ‘destabilizer.' The shift from the old to the new scheme centers in the criminalization of protest,' Chaparro says. Polanco and Chaparro urge President Maduro to listen to the workers, just as he did business people. They warn that workers complaints are building up, which could have a pressure cooker effect risking explosion, and no one wants that." In "Bureaucracy in Venezuela has failed to empower workers," by Yaneth Fernández, El Universal, 27 July 2013.

 

Addendum of Venezuelan Nationalization III:   "A Venezuelan state agency on Friday ordered the temporary takeover of a factory that produces toilet paper in what it called an effort to ensure consistent supplies after embarrassing shortages earlier this year. Critics of President Nicolas Maduro say the nagging shortages of products ranging from bathroom tissue to milk are a sign his socialist government's rigid price and currency controls are failing." In "Venezuela orders temporary takeover of toilet paper factory," Reuters, 21 September 2013.

 

Addendum of Venezuelan Nationalization IV:   "PDVSA justified the equipment’s expropriation, calling it essential to the South American nation’s development and welfare, according to a court order obtained by The Associated Press. Company workers were instructed to load the rigs, known as snubbing units and used to repair damaged casing, onto trucks to be deployed at 'critical wells' elsewhere, according to the document. 'It was like a thief breaking into your house, asking for the keys to the safe and then expecting you to help carry it away,' Jesus Centeno, local operations manager for Superior in the city of Anaco, said by phone. 'Their argument was that we were practically sabotaging national production'." In "Venezuela’s government seizes U.S.-owned oil rigs," Associated Press, 1 November 2013.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Venezuelan Nationalization IV:   "The expropriation of private firms in Venezuela first began over 10 years ago, and 230 food companies are now in the hands of the state. However, the private sector still produces 80 percent of the food sold through the state network. 'If all the expropriated industries were operating at full capacity, we would be able to provide the state network without having to reduce the supply to the private sector,' Baraybar said. ...Even though the national government controls the production, distribution, and sale of goods in Venezuela, President Maduro says the private sector's 'economic war' is to blame for the country’s crisis. The Venezuelan government has also instituted strict currency controls since 2003, leaving many firms without the US dollars necessary to pay for imports. Baraybar says production plants in the food industry are grinding to a halt over the government’s delay in assigning foreign-currency quotas. The sector’s debt with foreign suppliers has reached US$1.4 billion, he claims. Venezuela’s largest business union, Fedecámaras, says the country’s the private sector has become highly dysfunctional as a result of state intervention." In "Amid Shortages, Venezuela Forces All Food Distribution into State Hands," by Sabrina Martín, Pan Am Post, 23 July 2015.

 

  Addendum of Venezuelan Nationalization V:   "Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a sweeping crackdown Saturday under a new emergency decree, ordering the seizure of paralyzed factories, the arrest of their owners and military exercises to counter alleged foreign threats. The embattled leftist is struggling to contain a raging economic crisis that has led to food shortages, soaring prices, riots, looting and vigilante justice, pushing Venezuela to the brink of collapse." In "Maduro in crackdown under Venezuela emergency decree," by Valentina Oropeza, Agence France Presse, 15 May 2016.

 

 Addendum of Venezuelan Nationalization VI:   " General Motors has stopped doing business in Venezuela after authorities took control of a factory in what GM called an illegal judicial seizure of its assets. The plant was confiscated on Wednesday as anti-government protesters clashed with authorities in a country that is roiling in economic troubles such as food shortages and triple-digit inflation." In "GM halts operations in Venezuela after factory is seized," by FOX 5, 20 April 2017.

 

Addendum of Argentine Nationalization I:   "Less than a decade ago, Argentina was an exporter of oil and natural gas. Now the government has to spend billions of dollars to import fuel. This dramatic reversal of fortune is why Argentina, already a global financial rogue after its historic debt default, is willing to risk becoming even more of a pariah by seizing control of its leading oil company from Spanish hands, analysts say. President Cristina Fernandez infuriated Spain, its largest foreign investor, but elated many Argentines by expropriating Repsol YPF SA's majority stake in Argentina's formerly state-owned YPF energy company." In "Argentina YPF Nationalization: Energy Crisis Provoked Government Expropriation Of Repsol YPF," by Luis Andres Henao, Huffington Post, 22 April 2013.

 

Addendum Argentine Nationalization II:   "Moneyed Argentines are parking their cash in Miami to avoid 23 percent inflation and the threat of creeping government expropriation. Also, since Fernández’s landslide reelection in October, Argentina’s borrowing costs have overtaken Venezuela’s. On Monday, when Fernández made her YPF announcement, the cost to insure against an Argentine default staged the biggest jump in the world, according to data provider CMA." In "Argentina Tries the Chávez Way," by Robin Farzad, 17 April 2012.

 

Addendum Argentine Nationalization III:   " 'A year ago the government considered energy sovereignty to mean ‘Spanish, get out', whereas now it seems to mean 'Yankees, come in', says Daniel Montamat, a former energy secretary and former head of YPF (under opposition governments). YPF faces obstacles to attracting more collaborators. For one thing there is runaway inflation and a distorted exchange rate. More pressing is the government’s unfinished business with Repsol. Argentina has yet to compensate the company a peso for the $10.5 billion it claims it is owed. Last year, anticipating its deal with YPF, Repsol sued Chevron in Spain and the United States; on July 24th it sought an injunction to halt the deal. Keeping the lights on in Argentina is not getting any easier." In "Flogging a Dead Cow," The Economist, 27 July 2013.  [ 2 ]

 

See:    Shearing and Fleecing    and   Tell me that you'll take my cash 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   Venezuela is losing in the legal argument. One reads, "A World Bank arbitration tribunal on Thursday ordered Venezuela to pay Exxon Mobil Corp around $1.6 billion to compensate for the 2007 nationalization of its oil projects in the country." In "Venezuela Ordered To Pay Exxon $1.6B For Nationalization," by Corina Pons and Alexandra Ulmer, Reuters, 9 October 2014.

          The game of nationalization was justified by socialist theory, and has played out in various ways, all of them relatively short term in a historical perspective. Once the announcement is made by act and deed that investors' assets will be nationalized, a political synonym for theft, the next potential investor is warned and warned away. Oddly, the argument that companies were "sabotaging" oil production falls on it face, as Venezuela's oil production has continued to drop while under government ownership and control. Why? Expertise requires remuneration and investment requires return, not expropriation. It is a matter of investors simply walking away.  People walk away , after all.

 

 Undermining Revenue

 

          Among those walking away are energy investors and expertise. And so, one learns more:  "Local production of medium and light crude oils previously used as diluents has declined and the construction of new oil upgraders is lagging behind. Pdvsa has been purchasing naphtha at high prices on the open market, which hits the company's cash flow and undermines the main source of revenue for the government of Nicolás Maduro." In "Venezuela considers importing crude oil from Algeria," El Universal, 27 August 2014.

          Yet more information fills out the picture of ideology-based ineptitude:  "In 1999, when Chávez took office, PDVSA had 51,000 employees and produced 63 barrels of crude a day per employee. Fifteen years later, PDVSA had 140,000 employees, and produced 20 barrels of crude a day per employee, according to an Aug. 14 report by the France Press news agency. Venezuela’s net oil exports have plummeted from 3.1 million barrels a day in 1997 to 1.7 million barrels a day in 2013, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates." In "Venezuela: From oil power to oil importer," by Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald, 30 August 2014.

          The multiple addenda above spanning five years of nationalization by the Venezuelan government parallel an ever-weakening economy, such that the laboratory of the real world is proofing what Chavez had called 21st century socialism.

 

No Long-term Success Stories

 

          One notes in 2016 while socialism as a theme is being tossed about in the West, that socialism around the world continues its failing record. One reads in an editorial:  "Around the world, nations that have been foolish enough to adopt socialist policies either collapsed or are well on their way to doing so. Why, then, are so many in the U.S. enthralled with the idea? A quick look at the world’s countries in direst economic shape reveals that many, if not most, have one thing in common: They rely on top-down socialist control, rather than free markets, to run their economies. The former, history amply shows, are doomed to fail. There are no long-term socialist success stories. None." In "Socialism Is Dying Everywhere — Except The U.S." Investors Editorial, 13 May 2016.

          One finds the current socialist theorists at pains to term such as Chavez' 21st century socialism, Communist China's one party rule, Castro's almost six-decades old socialist revolution and more by some variant of the term "capitalism." That is to say, the endemic corruption and incompetence of top-down economic management of a national economy is never real socialism but rather just one of many systems which require so much Grease to operate.

          The common element missing in all the real world examples of socialism by any name is greater freedom from government, giving lie to the revolutionary rhetoric of "liberation."

          But such true liberation will always threaten Fat, fat government .
 

[ 2 ]  The bill comes due. "...ideology ultimately cannot achieve economic results: YPF production has not improved. Kicillof, the President’s favorite, promised a year ago in the Senate a production boom. In the first quarter of 2013, gas production fell by 3.5% and oil production by 2.7%. In 2012 gas had already fallen and oil had barely risen (aided by a long 2011 strike that provided good optics). Perhaps Kicillof will now attempt to blame Europe, as he does routinely to explain the stagflation in the wider economy. But excuses fall short. Unlike true democracies, authoritarian leaders can never admit mistakes, lest they show their fallibility. That is why in spite of the facts, new commercials are being broadcast explaining the victories of YPF and its nationalization. But a year after the epic, reality prevails. There was no plan whatsoever." In "For Argentina’s Nationalized Oil ;Industry': A Year of Nothing," by Pierpaolo Barbieri, Yahoo Finance, 18 April 2013.

 


 

At his mirror - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

At his mirror he poses that
He might arrange his this and that.
He twists and turns moustache and beard,
And by the glint of his rings is cheered,
Trying things out, only just to see
Him chuckle aloud with glorious glee,
Seeing himself through admiring eyes,
He knots his cravat with endearing sighs.
He throws himself a parting glance,
Giving his mirror once last chance,
And off he struts to promenade,
While wafting about is his pomade,
And yet he's annoyed like a little boy
For other folks' vanity does him so annoy.

See:    Er stellt sich vor sein Spiegelglas  

 


 

Four Christs of Ypsilanti

"Although we take little from it scientifically, the book remains a rare and eccentric journey into the madness of not three, but four men in an asylum. It is, in that sense, an unexpected tribute to human folly, and one that works best as a meditation on our own misplaced self-confidence. Whether scientist or psychiatric patient, we assume others are more likely to be biased or misled than we are, and we take for granted that our own beliefs are based on sound reasoning and observation. This may be the nearest we can get to revelation—the understanding that our most cherished beliefs could be wrong." In "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," by Vaughan Bell, Slate, 26 May 2010

 

Four Christs of Ypsilanti
Managed their little chats
And quarreled over who was right
And wrong in quarreling spats.
 

Three were patient in the ward
And one impatient just to see
How things would turn out scored
Over time and eventuality.
 
Human folly, it is said,
Needs padded walls of sorts,
But much of human folly
Plays at so many sports.
 
Beliefs which might be cherished
Might drive a person mad,
But everyone believes somehow
That their belief's not bad.
 
Someone else's, it is plain,
Makes all the problems, all the pain,
While every little Christ's campaign
Requires you believe in the main.

 

Such is every scribbled slate,

Each clinging clanging bell;

Tabula rasa's troubled fate

Overflows with words too well.
 
Psychological Christs, political Christs,
And Christs of all sorts and snares.
Three were studied in an asylum,
But we're legion in the world's affairs.

 

Be you critical of another's belief?

Of a belief that is not yours?

Anointed one, so critical,

Who abhors also adores.

 

Men all believe in something

That other men revile.

There comes a moment, comes your time,

Some will your belief defile.

 

Envoi:   Susan: "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—" / Death: MY POINT EXACTLY.”   Terry Pratchett, in Hogfather (1996)

 


 

Lying continues -  government flexing its sinews

"There is something particularly ugly in a democratic society when government officials lie — or in the case in point, tell half-truths. That’s a far cry from the heads-will-roll statement initially put out by the State Department presumably to give the rest of us the impression that actions have consequences and that there is a price to be paid for incompetence — especially a level of incompetence that resulted in the deaths of four brave Americans. Headed into term two, this administration continues its lying ways." In "The lying continues," by the Boston Herald Editorial Staff, Boston Herald, 28 December 2012.

Lying continues,
So is it writ;
Politics shows
Itself again shit.

Deal form the bottom
Of the well-marked deck,
Palm the ace,
And what the heck?

Tell half-truths.
Which half is true?
It's all a matter of
One's point-of-view.

Lying continues
Its same ugly ways,
As government fails,
Averting its gaze.

State your preference:
Half-truths? Or Lies?
State competence
Yet again stupefies.

 

Envoi:   "Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke."  Will Rogers (1879-1935)

 

Addendum of Not Reporting:    "But nowhere in the mainstream media did you hear that the U.S. economy lost more than 1.4 million jobs between December and January. It is amazing the things that you can find out when you actually take the time to look at the hard numbers instead of just listening to the media spin. Back in 2007, more than 146 million Americans were employed. Today, only 141.6 million Americans are employed even though our population has grown steadily since then. When the government and the media tell you that we are in a "recovery" and that unemployment is lower than it was a couple of years ago, I encourage you to dig deeper. The truth is that even the government's own numbers tell us that the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is employed continues to fall and that the U.S. economy is heading into a recession." In "Shocking Numbers That Show The Media Is Lying To You About Unemployment In America," posted by Michael, 1 February 2013

 

Addendum by the Government Numbers:   For 2007, total employees: 146,047 [Numbers in thousands] or 146,047,000 -- In "Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey," United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Last Modified Date: March 1, 2012. For January 2013, 141,614 [Numbers in thousands] or 141,614,000 -- In "Economic News Release - Table A-9. Selected employment indicators" (Not seasonally adjusted), " United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Last Modified Date: February 01, 2013. The numbers -- 4,433,000 less Americans employed in January 2013 as compared to 2007.

 

Addendum by the News:  "In the year following Obama's inauguration, the U.S. economy lost about 4.3 million jobs. But new figures released Thursday show 4.4 million jobs have been added back since then." In "Obama may be a job creator after all," by Annalyn Censky, CNN Money, 26 September 2012.

 

Academic Addendum:   "It is both disquieting and even embarrassing that scholars supposedly studying the same phenomenon could have such strong differences of opinion." James T. Richardson, Ph.D., J.D., University of Nevada professor of sociology, "The Psychology of Induction: A Review and Interpretation"; Cults and New Religious Movements (1989), Marc Galanter, ed., American Psychiatric Association

 

Academic Addendum:    "History can come in handy. If you were born yesterday, with no knowledge of the past, you might easily accept whatever the government tells you. But knowing a bit of history--while it would not absolutely prove the government was lying in a given instance--might make you skeptical, lead you to ask questions, make it more likely that you would find out the truth." Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times (2002)   [ 1 ]   [ 2 ]   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum:   "All governments lie and nothing they say should be believed." I. F. "Izzy" Stone (1907-1989)

 

Addendum from an Elder Journalist:   "The republic's in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple." In "Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the 'pathetic' American media," by Lisa O'Carroll, The Guardian UK, 27 September 2013.

 

Addendum of Misleading Statements:   "The SEC said It was the first time it has charged a municipality for making misleading statements outside of securities disclosure documents. Its investigation covered Harrisburg's budget, annual and mid-year financial statements, and a 'State of the City' address. Alongside the charges, the SEC issued a report saying that public officials may be liable under federal securities laws for public statements made in the secondary market for municipal securities. Last Monday, the SEC accused Victorville, California, of defrauding investors by, in part, giving them false information about the security of bonds used for an airport hangar project. In March, the SEC settled fraud charges with Illinois over allegations that the state repeatedly misled investors about its underfunded pensions." In "SEC charges Pennsylvania's capital city with fraud," Reuters, 6 May 2013.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Validating Disbelief:  "While the NSA is allowed to keep the metadata - the address or phone number and the duration, but not the content, of the communication - of Americans for up to five years, the court ruled that when it gathered up such large packets of information, they included actual emails between American citizens, it violated the Constitution's ban against unauthorized search and seizure. In the opinion by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court denouncing the practice, the judge wrote that the NSA had advised the court that 'the volume and nature of the information it had been collecting is fundamentally different than what the court had been led to believe,' and went on to say the court must consider 'whether targeting and minimization procedures comport with the 4th Amendment'." In "NSA collected thousands of US communications," by Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press, 21 August 2013.    [ 5 ]

  

 Addendum of Constructing a Lie:   "Judicial Watch sought documents related to the Benghazi attacks through the Freedom of Information Act and obtained them earlier this month. On Tuesday, it pointed to an email from Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, which discussed preparations for Rice's appearances on the shows. The email lists one goal as being 'to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.' It also emphasizes Obama's leadership and stresses his statesmanlike qualities. 'Now we know the Obama White House's chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good,' Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement on the group's website. ...Last year, the White House released reams of emails related to the controversy that showed the talking points for Rice went through a series of revisions that scrubbed them of references to terror warnings before the deadly attacks." In "Benghazi emails show White House image control: Judicial Watch," by Jeff Mason, Reuters, 29 April 2014.   [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Lying by Commission:   " 'I remember during one Roosevelt Room prep session before I appeared on the Sunday shows, I objected when Dan Pfeiffer wanted me to say Social Security didn’t contribute to the deficit,' Geithner wrote in his new memoir, 'Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises.' 'It wasn’t a main driver of our future deficits, but it did contribute. Pfeiffer said the line was a 'dog whistle' to the left, a phrase I had never heard before. He had to explain that the phrase was code to the Democratic base, signaling that we intended to protect Social Security'." In "Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner claims White House asked him to lie during TV interviews: book," by Adam Edelman, New York Daily News, 12 May 2014.

 

Addendum of Lying by Omission:   "Those who lived through the Carter Presidency will remember the misery index, “Calculated by adding together the unemployment rate and the annual inflation rate.” Suppose we calculated inflation now using the same methodology as in the 1980s? It would actually be 9 percent, compared to the official government number of 1 percent. One major difference is that energy and food prices are no longer included in inflation calculations. Convenient omission considering how gasoline prices have doubled over the past several years. Similarly, if unemployment was calculated using 1980s methodologies, it would be 23 percent, not the 6.3 percent rate reported this week. This would give us a misery index of 32, far eclipsing Jimmy Carter’s high of 20." In "Time to Resurrect the Misery Index," by Brian C Joondeph, American Thinker, 6 May 2014.

 

Addendum of CIA Lying to the US Senate:   " 'Nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn't do that.' That was CIA Director John Brennan's answer in March when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., charged the CIA with breaking into computers used by Senate investigators looking into CIA misconduct. It turns out that the CIA would do that — and, in fact, had done so. Brennan's reassurances were false, and CIA spooks had been hacking into the committee investigators' computers looking for documents they thought the investigators shouldn't have, violating a promise not to. So, first Brennan broke a promise. Then, he either lied, or showed that he doesn't control his own agency, which in many ways would be worse." In "Public servants acting as public masters," by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, USA Today, 3 August 2014.

 

Addendum of Now Proven Lying:   " 'Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency." Obama told this whopper to his assembled staff on his first day in office. He promised it to the press. Instead, his administration refuses to hand over documents and Obama refuses to answer questions. As liberal constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley assessed the presidency, 'Barack Obama is really the president Richard Nixon always wanted to be'." In "5 lies that have shaped the Obama presidency," by Jack Cashill, New York Post, 13 September 2014.

 

Addendum of the Big American Lie:    "Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America's middle class. I hear all the time that 'unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren't feeling it.' When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth -- the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real -- then we will quit wondering why Americans aren't 'feeling' something that doesn't remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class." In "The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment," by Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, 3 February 2015.

 

 Addendum of the Gift that Keeps On Giving:   "Political scientist and psychologist Renshon said politicians should be held up to a higher standard but over the decades, they and the government have been more deceitful and unwilling to tell the public something that could hurt them politically. When President Dwight Eisenhower misled the public about a spy plane captured by the Soviet Union, lying was the exception. By the time President Bill Clinton strained the meaning of the word 'is' testifying before a grand jury, it was more common. 'We've become kind of numb to it,' said Pamela Meyer, the Washington based author of the book 'Liespotting' and chief executive officer of the private firm Calibrate, which that trains people and companies about how to spot deception. 'In Washington, deception is the gift that keeps on giving'." In "We all lie, scientists say, but politicians even more so," by Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, 17 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of Intentionally Deceptive Justice:   "In a stunning rebuke to the Department of Justice Thursday, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered annual ethics classes for the DOJ attorneys who were 'intentionally deceptive' during the course of executive amnesty litigation. At issue was whether the DOJ intentionally misled the judge into believing that Obama's DACA amnesty program would be halted until he made a ruling on a lawsuit brought by 26 states." In "Federal Judge Orders 'Deceptive' DOJ Lawyers to Take Ethics Classes," by Debra Heine, PJ Media, 20 May 2016.

 

 Addendum of Unaccountability:    "You really can’t make this stuff up. Maybe there are times when the public does deserve what it gets with poor leadership. We have a political class here in the US, decades in the making, who after the worst terrorist attack in history thought that an investigation with no testimony under oath was just fine. This allowed witnesses to lie and withhold evidence which normally would have been felonies." In "Western countries hold themselves unaccountable," by Jim Dean, New Eastern Outlook, 15 October 2016.

 

 Addendum of Idiots Arguing for Lying by Government:   "Using taxpayer funds, government officials in Orange County have spent the last 16 years arguing the most absurd legal proposition in the entire nation: How could social workers have known it was wrong to lie, falsify records and hide exculpatory evidence in 2000 so that a judge would forcibly take two young daughters from their mother for six-and-a-half years? From the you-can't-make-up-this-crap file, county officials are paying Lynberg & Watkins, a private Southern California law firm specializing in defending cops in excessive force lawsuits, untold sums to claim the social workers couldn't have 'clearly' known that dishonesty wasn't acceptable in court and, as a back up, even if they did know, they should enjoy immunity for their misdeeds because they were government employees." In "Judges Reject Orange County's Claim that Social Workers Didn't Know Lying In Court Was Wrong," by R. Scott Moxley, Orange County Register, 6 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of Massive Fabrication:   "The far more dire implications, however, are for broader student loan market, because if the latest unfabricated data suggesting that loan delinquencies are rapidly rising toward 50% across most of America's colleges, then the US is facing a default problem of staggering proportions. Recall that back in December 2014, The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee forecast that in an aggressive scenario, as much as $3.3 trillion in student loans could be oustanding [sic] by 2024. Incidentally, that is the scenario that has captured the growth of student loans since it was presented." In "US Government Caught Massively Fabricating Student Loan Default Data," by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, 19 January 2017.

 

The comedy:   "Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx as Chicolini, in "Duck Soup" (1933) by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby.

  

See:   If it's serious, you lie   and also  Debt    and also a song setting of the rhyme, Si mundus vult decipi - (2008)  

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   "The biggest lie in politics today is that the debt can be tamed without hurting the middle class via tax hikes and entitlement cuts. Obama and his allies know better, or should, but there is no stomach in Washington for honesty." In "You May Be Right, Mr. President, But This Is Crazy," by Ron Fournier, National Journal, 20 February 2013.  See:  Pinocchio knows  - the passing years expose.

 

[ 2 ]    "A week after official figures showed a steep fall in euro-zone output in late 2012 the European Commission (EC) has added to the gloom by unveiling some gloomy forecasts for 2013. Three months ago the EC envisaged a modest recovery getting under way in the first half of this year. Now that is not expected until the second half of 2013." In "The ever-receding recovery," The Economist, 22 February 2013.

 

 Keeping Up Appearances

 

          As numbers are announced, some look into the meaning and methodology behind such announcements. Surprised, one might question:  "While the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) defends the integrity of its work and the periodic revisions it makes to its methodology, for some, this aim-high-then-mark-down trend is nothing short of a conspiracy. 'I think we have been getting overly optimistic [GDP] assessments from the government,' says Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, in the attached video. 'They want to make GDP appear bigger than it normally would be, and growth to appear bigger. So this is government propaganda.' To back up his claim, Schiff points to the fact that ever since the Great Recession in 2008, two-thirds of the BEA's preliminary estimates of GDP have been revised downward, while noting that 'the size of the downward revisions has also been 50% greater than the upward revisions. I don't think this is an accident'." In "GDP Data Is Unreliable, Government Propaganda: Peter Schiff," by Matt Nesto, Yahoo, 23 August 2013.

 

[ 3 ]    "...Argentina must show that it has rectified its false official statistics, including inflation and CPI numbers, or face censure. To put this in perspective, Argentina is the only leading world economy whose economic data have been repudiated by the IMF and Managing Director Christine Lagarde recently pledged to use the 'red card' against Argentina if Argentina failed to correct its numbers. Argentina's official inflation data has been grossly underreported since 2007. Officially, Argentina's inflation is in the single digits but it's an open secret that the numbers are completely fabricated." In "Argentina's Politics of intimidation," by Nancy Soderberg, UPI Outside View, 6 December 2012.

 

[ 4 ]     "How often misused words generate misleading thoughts." In "The Principles of Ethics," Vol. I (1897) Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)  Reflecting on those politicians above who "misled" investors according to the word use in the Reuters article, Spencer's observation is all the more profound. Politics is proving itself too often the antithesis of ethics, in which such words as lie, misleading, fraudulent and more cluster in and amongst politics, while ethics shuns them. One would do well then to conclude politics is all too often unethical. But to amplify the notion of the "misleading" as anti-social if political, we ponder, “Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 

          Certainly the "health" of the investors who were misled, as Reuters reporting on the SEC's actions, and in the parlance of Emerson, such misleading -- lying said in a more polite manner -- is fraudulent while utterly political.

 

[ 5 ]    Imagine that! The "the volume and nature of the information it had been collecting is fundamentally different than what the court had been led to believe" suggests a greater validity to the assertion that lying continues. 

 

 Official Forgetfulness

 

          Or is it "forgetting."  One reads the lawyerly game:   "Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper wasn't lying when he wrongly told Congress in 2013 that the government does not 'wittingly' collect information about millions of Americans, according to his top lawyer. He just forgot. 'This was not an untruth or a falsehood. This was just a mistake on his part,' Robert Litt, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said during a panel discussion hosted by the Advisory Committee on Transparency on Friday." In "Attorney: Spy chief had 'forgotten' about NSA program when he misled Congress," by Julian Hattem, The Hill, 8 May 2015.

          See the copious documentation for  Sir Veiled Lance  .

 

[ 6 ]   More on the construction of a narrative, be it outright lie or half-truth: "In addition a document showed Susan Rice was informed before her TV appearance: 'Responding to a question about whether it was an organized terror attack, Toria said that she couldn’t speak to the identity of the perpetrators but that it was clearly a complex attack.' Toria refers to Victoria Nuland, then State Department spokeswoman and now assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasia. She had been unfairly maligned in some quarters and falsely accused of participating in the illicit editing of the talking points. These documents exonerate her entirely, pointing the finger directly at the White House and the CIA. (It is noteworthy that in the days between the attack and Rice’s TV outing, Nuland never tied the video to the attack; Carney did, most clearly on Sept. 14.)" In "Benghazi scandal tied to White House," by Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, 29 April 2014.

 


 

It's populist

"In the wee hours of Dec. 10, the recently reelected Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, boarded his private jet for Havana to undergo a fourth round of surgery in his battle against cancer. Surrounded by his inner circle, the 58-year-old populist, donning a blue and white tracksuit, stood at the top of the stairs of his plane, embraced his closest advisers, then punched the air with his fist and shouted, '¡Hasta la vida siempre!' ('Onward into life always!')". In "Fidel Castro’s Last Stand," by A. L. Bardach, Newsweek, 17 December 2012

 

It's populist oh so populist
    To have one's private jet.
It's populist yea so populist
    To be treated -- yes, you bet --
And populist oh so populist
    To get the best of medical care --
     Better than most of the others'
                    Most miserable un-populist share.

It's populist oh so populist
    To be in the ruling elite.
It's populist truly so populist
    To never have to compete --
Yes, populist -- oh so populist --
    And lifted above the masses
    By elite, unequal treatment
                    Over the populist-impoverished masses.

It's populist, writes a populist,
    And misuses thereby the word.
It's populist -- whoa -- so populist
    As to make populism absurd.
Now populist is not populist
    As the meaning dilutes into naught
    As an elite excuses elitism
                    Though elites pretend populist thought.

It's populist deeply populist
    To have more than the underclass.
It's populist darkly populist
    To soar above a populist mass.
When populists act as popularly
    As popularly they don't,
    One may be assured they mean
                    As populists, they simply won't.

 

Envoi:    "The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them." Karl Marx (1818-1883)

 

Addendum of Robbery:  "In this framework poor countries are not poor because their policymakers or citizens are uninformed about what good policies or institutions are. They are poor because those who exercise political power choose to organize society in ways that robs the vast mass of people of opportunities or incentives." In "Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty," by James A Robinson (with Daron Acemoglu), CDE Conference 2012, Williams College, September 27, 2012

 

Addendum that Bad Government Matters too:   "Populism stalks many emerging countries: constitutions are being stretched. Overreliant on oil and gas, ruled by kleptocrats and equipped with a dangerously high self-regard, Russia ticks many boxes. But even Brazil has flirted with economic nationalism, while, in Turkey, the autocratic Recep Tayyip Erdogan is blending Evita with Islam. In too many parts of emerging Asia, including China and India, crony capitalism remains the order of the day. Inequality is feeding the same anger that produced the Peróns. The lesson from the parable of Argentina is that good government matters. Perhaps it has been learned. But the chances are that in 100 years’ time the world will look back at another Argentina—a country of the future that got stuck in the past." In "The parable of Argentina," The Economist, 15 February 2014.

 

Addendum of Populism Which Doesn't Care:   "In European politics, fighting youth unemployment is a flagship initiative. But it also constitutes populism, yet another case of the symptomatic therapy: On the one hand, European governments try to create jobs through large investment sums. They do not care which kinds of jobs are created – as long as they provide employment. On the other hand, they encourage migration towards the economically strong countries through their campaigns and subsidies. As a result, countries in the European periphery are weakened even further." In "Overqualified and Underpaid," by Daniel Tkatch, The European, 19 March 2014.

 

See:    The funniest thing  - a meditation on Emma Goldman

 


 

Eternity stretches out unending - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

Eternity stretches out unending,
Where logical thought can never go,
Heartfelt piety apprehending
What lies where, beyond time's flow.

Where we once were, where we are,
Clever words cannot essay.
Such a pondering strays too far:
Life dissolves into yesterday.

Do not long in vain for answers.
What once was, always is, will be.
You and other like romancers
Must perish on life's surging seas.

See:    Woher, wohin?  

 


 

Thinking is not encouraged

 

"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are." H. L. Mencken.

 

Thinking is not encouraged.
                    It gives rise to evil thoughts,
Like liberty, freedom and similar views
                    Which fashion juggernauts
As to topple tyrants aplenty
                    Who'd rage against such thought.
This was, is and will be to come
                    As for freedom have thinkers fought.

 

Envoi:   "The first duty of a man is to think for himself."  José Martí (1853-1895)

 

Addendum of Sin:    "The most unpardonable sin in society is independence of thought." Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

 

For more on the surprising Goldman, see:   The  funniest thing    - a meditation on Emma Goldman

 

Addendum of Responsibility:    "Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (1957)

 

Addendum of the Cattle:   "...the most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you now to know with which ear you'll listen." Ray Bradbury, "Fahrenheit 451: The temperature at which book-paper catches fire and burns" (1953).

 

Addendum of the Enemy:   "Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

 

See:   Lemmings 

 


 

The Singer - paraphrase of a Joachim Ringelnatz poem

Sitting to dine before he debuted
There sat, with a woman, the singer.
She marveled at the courses of food,
And thought he was such a humdinger.

The singer then trod up onto the stage,
Simply, with no need to boast.
The beer and meat salad he'd assuage
With cologne, or at least almost.

The singer sang his highest high C.
The applause rose up, well nigh raged.
The lady in the loge marked with a B
Rose also, racing out engaged.

The singer too rushed out the stage door,
Out into the snow-covered garden.
The lady followed, a bouquet and more
Ready enough, should something harden.

The singer raised high the hem of his coat
To stoop in that garden snow white.
Wind broke, booming like explosions afloat.
The lady had to wait in a most un-silent night.

They lingered too long in the damp wet snows,
Encouraging rheumatism's ache.
The singer of the high C's well knows
A mechanism must sometimes just break.

See:   Der Sänger  

 


 

End Game

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Robert A. Heinlein, in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"

 

That lunch? It wasn't free!
Now there's the agony
As truth replaces fiction.

When numbers come to call,
Blithe fantasies all fall,
Each was a sad addiction.

Pyramid schemes collapse;
Corruption just shot craps.
Full faith and credit meet restriction.

To all and by their need
Made stealing a righteous deed,
The often-proved prediction.

Losses climb debt's mount,
And most folks just lose count.
Free anything's a contradiction.

Lies mount up on wings.
The fat lady? She sings,
Her text in clear hard diction.

That lunch? It wasn't free!
Now there's the agony.
Mere truth replaces fiction.

 

Envoi:   "As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery. Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose. In the latter stages of the war all the belligerent governments practised, from necessity or incompetence, what a Bolshevist might have done from design. Even now, when the war is over, most of them continue out of weakness the same malpractices." In "The Economic Consequences of the Peace," John Maynard Keynes, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920

 

Addendum:   "The context of Keynes’s statement in The Economic Consequences of the Peace was the immediate danger of postwar hyperinflations in Europe. Keynes made the point clear in A Tract on Monetary Reform ([1923] 1971) when he concluded that both inflation and deflation 'are evils to be shunned.' Nevertheless, Keynes (p. 36) wrote, 'perhaps deflation is, if we rule out exaggerated inflations such as Germany, the worse; because it is worse, in an impoverished world, to provoke unemployment than to disappoint the rentier.' Modern mainstream economic practice agrees with Keynes on this point. To invoke Keynes’s quotation of Lenin on debauchment as applying to modern advanced economies, with their typically single-digit annual rates of inflation, is anachronistic, but in a few poorer economies—notably Zimbabwe, suffering a hyperinflation as of late 2008—the quotation continues to have 'currency'." In "Retrospectives: Who Said “Debauch the Currency”: Keynes or Lenin?" by Michael V. White and Kurt Schuler, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 23, Number 2, Spring 2009.

 

See:   Lessons Are  ,  and also  Excessive Demand 

 


 

How it happens

"Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness." George Washington, in "Circular to the States," (1783). Writings 26: 484--89, Chapter 7, "Union."

Who seeks arbitrary power? Who?
                    Anyone you know? Oh no, not you!
To whom then did old Georgie speak?
                    Perhaps to the tame, the meek and weak.
Liberty is frail and powerless before
                    Those who seek power, as stated, and more,
For this is how it happens, friend,
                    And how such stories too often end.
Who seeks arbitrary power? Who?
                    Someone whom you might believe in too?
The ruins of liberty are foundations of power
                    And, as freedoms are trampled, built every hour.
To whom then did old Georgie refer?
                    The question's not rhetorical. No answer defer.
He asks this of all of us, clear and plain,
                    That we might be watchful and free of its stain.
Who seeks arbitrary power? Who?
                    Anyone you know? Certainly not you!
But this is how it happens, friend,
                    And how such stories tragically end.


Envoi:  “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

 

Addendum:  "Off goes the head of the king, and tyranny gives way to freedom. The change seems abysmal. Then, bit by bit, the face of freedom hardens, and by and by it is the old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, and another. But under the play of all these opposites there is something fundamental and permanent — the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free." H.L. Mencken, "The American Credo: A Contribution Toward the Interpretation of the National Mind," 1920.

 

Addendum:   "You can't argue that Armageddon is on the way and that al-Qaida is on the run at the same time. No, I think it is this: secrecy corrupts. Absolute secrecy corrupts absolutely. You have been seduced by the idea that your authority rests in your secrets and your power to hold them. Every attack on that power, every questioning of it only makes you draw in tighter, receding into your vault with the key you think your office grants you. You are descending into a dark hole of your own digging. But you know better, don't you? In a democracy, secrecy is not the foundation of authority; that is the basis of dictatorships." In "As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama," by Jeff Jarvis, Guardian, 22 August 2013.  [ 1 ]   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum:   "Sales of Orwell's novel have risen by 6,000% since the Guardian revealed the allegations of former NSA sub-contractor Edward Snowden. In the dystopian novel, all citizens are constantly spied on by an inner elite party in the government. Banners reading 'Big Brother Is Watching You' cover the city and citizens are monitored by the Thought Police, who punish people for independent thinking. After Snowden leaked the top secret files relating to the Washington's highly confidential Prism programme, questions have been raised about the ethical implications of the surveillance." In "George Orwell’s 1984 Book Sales Soar 6,000% on Edward Snowden NSA Prism Data Leak," by Hannah Osborne, International Business Times, 11 June 2013.   [ 3 ]

 

See:   Foolish men were ruling  ,  and see a song setting of Charles McKay's America - (2009)   and also Abraham Lincoln's words in a song setting, We all declare for liberty - (2009) 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The US Constitution's 4th amendment reads as follows:  "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

 

 Prying Eyes

 

        Through investigative reporting annoying the current administration of the US one learns:  "The National Security Agency is storing the online metadata of millions of internet users for up to a year, regardless of whether or not they are persons of interest to the agency, top secret documents reveal. Metadata provides a record of almost anything a user does online, from browsing history – such as map searches and websites visited – to account details, email activity, and even some account passwords. This can be used to build a detailed picture of an individual's life. The Obama administration has repeatedly stated that the NSA keeps only the content of messages and communications of people it is intentionally targeting – but internal documents reveal the agency retains vast amounts of metadata." In "NSA stores metadata of millions of web users for up to a year, secret files show," by James Ball, Guardian UK, 30 September 2013.

        Wikipedia's article on the Supreme Court case notes:  "Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967), is a United States Supreme Court case discussing the nature of the 'right to privacy' and the legal definition of a 'search'. The Court’s ruling refined previous interpretations of the unreasonable search and seizure clause of the Fourth Amendment to count immaterial intrusion with technology as a search, overruling Olmstead v. United States and Goldman v. United States. Katz also extended Fourth Amendment protection to all areas where a person has a 'reasonable expectation of privacy'."

         Based on the simple notion of being secure from "unreasonable searches" and that there is an individual's "reasonable expectation of privacy," it seems rather obvious from this that the Obama administration has lied outright to the American citizenry as well as overstepped its Constitutional authority.

         This is what passes for "liberality" by today's ostensibly "liberal" government which is proving itself willing to fund and defend nationwide -- and indeed, worldwide -- "unreasonable searches." George Washington suggested this would be accomplished "on the ruins of liberty."  See:  Suspected of no crime  .

 

[ 2 ]    One finds the cast of characters -- the insiders -- does not change very much from Republican to Democrat administrations of late. The growth of secrecy means the diminution of freedom. Those who advocate for secrecy are interestingly from both "parties," when one ascribes to a notion that the parties are supposedly in political opposition.

 

 We're Exempt

 

          One reads the phrase "full of insiders" in the following:  "The members of the review group are Richard Clarke, the chief counterterrorism adviser on the National Security Council for Clinton who later worked for Republican President George W. Bush; Michael Morell, Obama’s former deputy CIA director; law professor Geoffrey Stone, who has raised money for Obama and spearheads a committee hoping to build Obama’s presidential library in Chicago; law professor Cass Sunstein, administrator of information and regulatory affairs for Obama; and Peter Swire, a former Office of Management and Budget privacy director for Clinton. 'At the end of the day, a task force led by Gen. Clapper full of insiders – and not directed to look at the extensive abuse – will never get at the bottom of the unconstitutional spying,' said Mark Jaycox, a policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group. The review group met with Obama in late August and with a dozen civil liberties and business groups in a pair of meetings in September. Some who attended said they raised concerns about the programs, but panel members – at least one was missing from each meeting – did not respond to them, saying in several instances they could not reveal information because it is classified. The panel’s meetings are closed anyway after Clapper exempted it from the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee Act, which would have required it to keep the public informed and hold open meetings, for 'reasons of national security,' according to a statement from the group sent from Clapper’s office. 'While we are exempt from the FACA, we are conducting this review as openly and transparently as possible,' the statement says." In "Obama spy panel is loaded with insiders, critics charge," by Anita Kumar, McClathcy, 1 October 2013.

          This is "how it happens." Especially when one is Suspected of no crime  .

 

[ 3 ]  Orwell saw clearly that such an "inner elite party" would uphold a "caste system." One reads: "Everywhere the world movement seems to be in the direction of centralised economies which can be made to 'work' in an economic sense but which are not democratically organised and which tend to establish a caste system. With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer. Already history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted, and the exact sciences are endangered as soon as military necessity ceases to keep people up to the mark." Quote of George Orwell, in "George Orwell’s Letter on Why He Wrote ‘1984’," Daily Beast, 12 August 2013.

          One sees this in the teetering public pensions systems at city, county state and federal levels, in which a small elite group reap the greatest "benefits." Further one sees this in the rapidly rising public debt at many levels which can only end in a middle and lower class caste system worked to supply the elite with growing wealth. And further still, one sees this in the rapid rise in the number of so-called super-rich who meet to discuss world problems each year, all the while the political and economic problems exacerbate. See  Moolah  for some examples, including a billionaire in the US president's cabinet in a time of "income inequality" rhetoric flowing from that office, as well as a veritable Who's Who of those who celebrate themselves at Davos and other "forums."  And think on Income Inequality  , to see that the "caste system" is indeed in place.

 

 The New Aristocracy

 

          Consider Orwell's words:  "The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government. As compared with their opposite numbers in past ages, they were less avaricious, less tempted by luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, above all, more conscious of what they were doing and more intent on crushing opposition. This last difference was cardinal. By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance.  ...Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time. "  In "1984," by George Orwell. 1949.

          For a further rhymed meditation and supporting sources on "how it happens," see:  Sir Veiled Lance  .

 


 

It's lovely to learn a new sterling phrase

"The leading demographic accounts of contemporary slavery project a global slave population of between 20 million and 30 million people. Most of these people are in sedentary forms of slavery, such as hereditary collateral-debt bondage. But about 20 percent have been unwittingly trafficked though the promise of opportunity by predators through varying combinations of deception and coercion, very mobile, very dynamic, leveraging communications and logistics in the same basic way modern businesses do generally." In "Slavery's Global Comeback," by J. J. Gould, The Atlantic, 19 December 2012

It's lovely to learn a new sterling phrase
Which informs so concisely in so many ways.
            "Hereditary collateral-debt bondage" tells
            A tale of debt passed on by the swells
                        To generations who could not agree to the deal
                        And yet will be ground under its debt-bondage wheel.

It's horrid to think language cuts to the quick
When so much of politics spews language too thick.
            One little phrase speaks volumes and more,
            And thereby informs and cuts to the core.
                        Debtors inheriting debt they've not made
                        Are collateral damage and slaves in that trade.

Trafficked by borrowing to prop up the state
Is proven hereby to slaves incubate.
            Tomorrow's bright children will stare at the dark
            Of debt, massive debt, as their greatest birthmark.
                        Deception, coercion, old promises lie
                        As the wreckage today hopes tomorrow will buy.

 

Envoi:   "A man in debt is so far a slave." Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

 

See:   In a moment of candor    and also a setting of James Weldon Johnson's To America - (2009) 

 


 

Do not be greatly unhappy - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

Do not be greatly unhappy
That the lovely times go by;
Cool yet dread-filled waves will draw us
Into the vortex' whirling eye;

Yes, sweet stirrings of the heart,
And love's highest and its best,
All within the heaven's movements
Must be given over to rest.

Let us love and sing and drink,
And whistle at the time which flees;
Even our faintest winking glances
Flicker through eternities.

See:   Seid mir nur nicht gar zu traurig   

 


 

The funniest thing - a meditation on Emma Goldman

"Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government.  [ 1 ]  Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations." Emma Goldman, in "Anarchism and Other Essays." (Third revised edition, New York: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1917)

The funniest thing
            That makes me laugh
Is the cheerleading loud
            On politics' behalf,
To shout one party's best
            To rule o'er the state
When all parties dine
            From the very same plate.

The funniest thing
            That makes me weep
Is the cheerleading bleat
            From the governments' sheep,
For shackles are forged
            By governments' rule,
And all of the cheering
            Cheers but for some fool.

The funniest thing
            That makes me smirk
Is the loyal party member
            Oh so busily at work
Tying tightening restraints
            To chain and oppress;
Instead of liberating,
            They think they progress.

The funniest thing
            That makes me sad
Are those in all parties
            Who think it not bad.
And yet shackles tighten,
            Restraints tax men's souls.
And belief in their government
            Is riddled with holes.

From shackles, from restraint,
            From dominion's firm rule,
The dream of sweet freedom
            Stirs oft ridicule.
Liberating freedom
            Is problematic at best
When those who would rule
            Would rule the oppressed.

Naive children that play
            At anarchism's font
Think tearing all down
            Will answer their wont.
But freedom is freedom
            Is freedom for all,
And such a plain thought
            Is a revolutionary squall.

The funniest thing
            Which threatens and dares
Is the notion of freedom
            From governing snares.
Liberate the mind;
            Liberate the man.
This struggle all alone
            Is the simplest plan.

It threatens the towers
            As foundations shake,
And powers all rage
            Against freedom's great quake.
Liberate the mind
            And shackles fall broke.
This is the dream hidden
            By politics' party smoke.

Party members oh so loyal
            Have a funniest ring,
Yet progressive shackles
            Are a slave master's thing.
Progressive restraints
            Are not progress at all;
When governments progress,
            It is freedoms which fall.

 

Envoi:    "We are willing to die for this country. For the mountains and the rivers, the land and the people, we are willing to die. But not for the generals or the admirals, or the businessmen, or the bankers, or the President, all who want to go to war. They are not our country. They don't give a damn about all the young men who will die in this war. What is patriotism? Is it love of your government? No. It is the love of our fellow men and women. It is the love of our country. And that love, that patriotism, may require you to oppose your government." From scene 15, Emma, an opera by Elaine Fine, 2006.

 

 Addendum of Government as Threat:   "Almost half of Americans, 49%, say the federal government poses "an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens,' similar to what was found in previous surveys conducted over the last five years. When this question was' first asked in 2003, less than a third of Americans held this attitude." In "Half in U.S. Continue to Say Gov't Is an Immediate Threat," by Frank Newport, Gallup, 21 September 2015.

 

Addendum of Opposing Concepts:   "It is certainly clear that wherever society exits there is no room for the state, but that wherever the state is it is like a thorn in society’s flesh, it does not permit it to form a people who can socially inhale and exhale, and instead divides them into classes and thereby prevents them from being a society. A centralized construct cannot at the same time be a federalist construct.  A system of management organized along authoritarian lines is a government, a bureaucracy, a commanding power, and this is the mark of the state; a community built upon equal rights and mutuality is, when considered within the bounds of their physical proximity, a people, when considered as a general form of human living, a society.  State and society are opposing concepts; the one excludes the other." Erich Kurt Mühsam, in "The Liberation of Society from the State. What is Communist Anarchism?" (Berlin-Britz, November 1932, Translated by CR Edmonston, 13 Sept 2008)

 

Addendum:  "It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus whatever it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power; there is never, nor can be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power." In "Our Enemy, The State," by Albert Jay Nock, Caxton Printers, 1950.

 

Addendum:   "If one reads, say, Wilhelm von Humboldt's critique of the state of 1792 [English language version: The Limits of State Action (Cambridge University Press, 1969)], a significant classic libertarian text that certainly inspired Mill, one finds that he doesn't speak at all of the need to resist private concentration of power, rather he speaks of the need to resist the encroachment of coercive state power". In "The Relevance of Anarcho-syndicalism, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Peter Jay." The Jay Interview, 25 July 1976.

 

Addendum of the Confusion:    "Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." Frédéric Bastiat, The Law, par. L. 102.

 

Addendum:   "When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons." Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947

 

Addendum:   "To the States, or any one of them, / or any city of the States, / resist much, obey little/ Resist much! Resist!
Once unquestioning obedience, / once fully enslaved, / no nation, state, city of this earth, / ever afterward resumes its liberty. / Resist! Resist!" Walt Whitman, in "Leaves of Grass"  
[ 2 ]

 

See:   Debt   and also a setting of Whitman's  To the States - (2004)    and the cautionary tale,  I'm gonna guide you to the promised land    - a story quite like others

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The notion of government and society as opposing forces is not new. From the supposed anarchistic Left of Goldman, Mühsam and Chomsky to the supposed political Right of the Libertarians and free market supporters, one finds the same conclusion.  Thus the iconic American poet, Whitman can thunder "resist!" He does not mean to resist a society of his peers, but a state which holds itself man's sole governor.

 

 Liberating Society from the State

 

          One reads from a recent publication,  "Just as the two basic and mutually exclusive interrelations between men are peaceful cooperation or coercive exploitation, production or predation, so the history of mankind, particularly its economic history, may be considered as a contest between these two principles. On the one hand, there is creative productivity, peaceful exchange and cooperation; on the other, coercive dictation and predation over those social relations. Albert Jay Nock happily termed these contesting forces: "social power" and "State power." Murray N. Rothbard, "Anatomy of the State," Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2009.

          Consider the views of Erich Kurt Mühsam, as found in the footnote to Gesang der Intellektuellen .

 

[ 2 ]    The pompous ego of Marx presumed to answer the great riddles of mankind -- of life and human society -- with "truth" which therefore could not be, in Whitman's words, resisted. "Communism... is the genuine resolution of the antagonism between man and nature and between man and man; it is the true resolution of the conflict between existence and essence, objectification and self-affirmation, freedom and necessity, individual and species. It is the riddle of history solved and knows itself as the solution." Karl Marx, in "Private Property and Communism" (1844)  That this egotistic display in writing is held as belief by many shows more that the riddles are not solved, but rather than Marx is held in almost religious devotion by his adherents. For this Whitman's words sound the clear warning:  "once fully enslaved, / no nation, state, city of this earth, / ever afterward resumes its liberty."

 


 

The pot cracks into shards - paraphrase of an Erich Kurt Mühsam poem

The pot cracks into shards
To be flung away like dung.
Little one, you must die,
E'en though you are so young.
Flowers must soon wither,
And the cow be slaughtered soon
That for today we're milking
In a pail that leaks festoon.
Stones themselves decay
In each country lane o'ergrown.
Tones and sounds but echo,
And light away has flown.
Worlds fall to pieces
Without a remnant's trace.
Deceit lives on forever
In disaster's scowling face.

 

See:    Kracht der Topf in Scherben,      and also  I'm gonna guide you to the promised land    - a story quite like others

 


 

Then it's obvious

"'If Europe today accounts for just over 7 per cent of the world's population, produces around 25 per cent of the global GDP and has to finance 50 per cent of global spending, then it's obvious that it will have to work very hard to maintain its prosperity and way of life,' Ms Merkel said in the interview. 'All of us have to stop spending more than we earn every year.' Although Ms Merkel stopped short of suggesting that a ceiling on social spending might be one yardstick for measuring competitiveness, she hinted as much in the light of soaring social spending in the face of an ageing population. Indeed, she said Germany is facing one of the greatest demographic challenges." In "Merkel warns on cost of welfare," by Quentin Peel, Financial Times, 16 December 2012

All of us must stop spending
                    more than we earn each year.
This is the holiday message,
                    bright with dullest cheer.
Sometimes something must be said,
                    in plain and thumping speech
When want-want-want sinks all in debt
                    in its over-reaching reach.
In the light of soaring spending
                    the darkness slow descends
For want-want-want is answered
                    by policies considering their ends.
Who just will not see this?
                    Those who refuse to see.
And who refuses the rising flood
                    called economic reality?
Then it's obvious, so she said,
                    and that is plain as day,
But such plain speaking is too hard
                    for the grasshoppers at play.


Envoi:    "We all know what to do, we just don't know how to get re-elected after we have done it." Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Junker (b. 1954)

 

See:    Europe 4 all? Yea! 

 


 

Liberal is conservative?

"Japan's conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) surged back to power in an election on Sunday just three years after a devastating defeat, giving ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a chance to push his hawkish security agenda and radical economic recipe. In "Conservatives sweep to power in faltering Japan," Reuters, 16 December 2012

Liberal is conservative, so Reuters writes this day.
Is conservative then liberal? Let's cheer these words at play.
One thing is another, friend, as words say this and that,
Turning cartwheels' somersaults -- each a wordy acrobat.

Conservative is a liberal, so Reuters rights in print,
Left to you to parse the game, wide-eyed with a little squint.
One thing is another, friend, as words mean very much
Like so-and-so, and blah-blah-blah, and, oh yes, such and such!

Words are politicians' friends, while numbers are their foe.
Why is this? It's simple, as base reality tends to show.
Words can mean most anything. They romp, they squeal, they say
Whatever it is they seem to mean, just numbers won't go away.

Radical economic agenda is a phrase Reuters has penned,
Which makes me chuckle quietly, as words all flex and bend.
Radicals sometimes are on the left, and now they're on the right,
As words shift meanings like the wind in a wordy blathered fight.

But economics is not words, which tally not too well.
One needs numbers, clear, concise, which most politics dispel,
For debt is debt is debt is debt, and massive debt's a curse
Which all the words from all the pens have usually made worse.

Liberal bleeds into conservative, conservatives named liberal,
And radical -- my favorite word absurd -- all just peripheral
To what we see in numbers red with red ink's crushing weight.
In the crisis of most governments, words and debt both accumulate.

What is radical then, one need ask, to seek a numbered fix
To the flood of impotent words which answer with but tricks?
Radical numbers seek repair, a rescue in the nick of time,
While radical words can only paper over numerical crime.

Liberal names conservative, a radical economic recipe.
Names and modifying words spelled the debtors' spending spree.
What more now will all the words do to fix the mess?
I wager not one single thing except avoid the numbers chess.

Games best won have shifting rules made from wordy words,
Which redefine and redeploy in wild, stampeding herds.
Games oft lost have hardened rules, unchanging in the wind,
Which a word can merely fumble, and clear meaning oft rescind.

 

Envoi: "Japan's government is to take the unprecedented step of buying factories and machinery directly with taxpayer funds, the latest in a series of radical steps to lift the country out of its deep slump."  In "Japan plans 'nationalisation' of factories to save industry," by Ambrose Evans–Pritchard, Telegraph UK, 1 January 2013.

 

Addendum:   "There are two kinds of liberalism. A liberalism which is always, subterraneously authoritative and paternalistic, on the side of one's good conscience. And then there is a liberalism which is more ethical than political; one would have to find another name for this. Something like a profound suspension of judgment." Roland Barthes (1915-1980)

 

See:    National Eyes    and also the language lesson,  Left is Right, as Right is Left 

 


 

We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party

"Socialism is an ancient Aryan, Germanic institution. Our German ancestors held certain lands in common. They cultivated the idea of the common weal. Marxism has no right to disguise itself as socialism. Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic. We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party. We chose to call ourselves the National Socialists. We are not internationalists. Our socialism is national." In an edited interview of Adolf Hitler by Viereck from 1923, republished in Liberty magazine in July 1932, and again in "'No room for the alien, no use for the wastrel'," by George Sylvester Viereck, The Guardian, UK, 17 September 2007.

 

What is liberal anyway, and what is in a name?

When history is forgotten, such naming is a game.

Define and redefine the words, claim and counterclaim.

Socialize the words again, and try then to reclaim

The honor which some say is due to the socialists' fine aim.

"Ready, aim, fire," did liberal socialists proclaim,

Who stated they were liberal, as a world burst into flame.

 

Addendum of Changing Names:   ""From 1912 onwards, the Bolshevik faction was officially a separate party, known as the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (bolshevik). The Bolsheviks seized power during the October Revolution in 1917 and, in 1918, changed their name to the (All-) Russian Communist Party. They banned the Mensheviks after the Kronstadt Uprising of 1921."   In "Russian Social Democratic Labour Party," Wikipedia article, n. d.    [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Fighting Capitalism:   "Capitalism as a whole will now be destroyed, the whole people will now be free. We are not fighting Jewish or Christian capitalism, we are fighting very capitalism: we are making the people completely free." Adolf Hitler, speech in Munich, 12 April 1922.

 

Corollary -- See Anti-capitalism struggles 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The seemingly modern party name -- Labor Party -- as its parallel -- Social Democrat -- when the names do not get wrapped into one  appear in the jargon of many nations. 

          The Wikipedia article is informative:  "The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Russian: Росси́йская социа́л-демократи́ческая рабо́чая па́ртия, РСДРП, Rossiyskaya sotsial-demokraticheskaya rabochaya partiya, RSDRP), also known as the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party or the Russian Social Democratic Party, was a revolutionary socialist political party formed in 1898 in Minsk to unite the various revolutionary organisations of the Russian Empire into one party. The RSDLP later split into Majority and Minority factions, with the Majority (in Russian: 'Bolshevik') faction eventually becoming the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Interdistrictites were also formed from this party."

 

 Oddly Alike

 

          How oddly alike are the concerns for political party terminology, when one reviews:  "...for the conception of life that is based on the folk idea it is necessary that an instrument be forged which can be used in fighting for this ideal, similar to the Marxist party organization which clears the way for internationalism. And this is the aim which the German National Socialist Labour Movement pursues." In "In "Mein Kampf," Adolf Hitler, translated by James Murphy, Hurst and Blackett, Ltd., 1939.

          Hitler speaks specifically to the issue of "clear and precise meaning" in "Mein Kampf."   One reads:  "Because of their precise and clear meaning, these ideas are suited to the purpose of uniting in a common front all those who are ready to accept them as principles. In other words: The German National Socialist Labour Party extracts the essential principles from the general conception of the world which is based on the folk idea. On these principles it establishes a political doctrine which takes into account the practical realities of the day, the nature of the times, the available human material and all its deficiencies. Through this political doctrine it is possible to bring great masses of the people into an organization which is constructed as rigidly as it could be."

          The "Social Democrat" parlance for a "Labour Party" which was relabeled the "Communist Party of the Soviet Union" quite mirrors the parlance of another "Socialist Labour Party" of the German sort. One may review Hitler's own words further, when considering the footnotes and addenda to a rhyme titled, True socialism, oh yes, he said  .

 


 

Grasshopper

"In practice, France’s welfare system is a failure, and there is an economic explanation for this. Welfareship does not create wealth; there are no incentives to create wealth. Despite its good intentions, welfareship has created a 'poverty trap.'" In "In France's Welfare State Status Quo, Are We Seeing America's Future?" by Sylvain Charat, Forbes, 7 December 2012.   [ 1 ]

It's not for me to do,
    the planting of the grain,
It's not for me to do,
    from milling I abstain.
It's not for me to do,
    for baking is a strain.
It's not for me to do,
    except demand bread and complain.

It's not for me to do,
    to grow and harvest fruit.
It's not for me to do,
    for that's not my pursuit.
It's not for me to do,
    to labor like a brute.
It's not for me to do,
    but you should. No dispute.

It's not for me to do;
    my hand's out for your bread.
It's not for me to do,
    not me, but you instead.
It's not for me to do,
    get that through your thick head.
It's not for me to do,
    but you must, as I've said.

It's not for me to do,
    but to wait for sustenance.
It's not for me to do,
    but to take what you advance.
It's not for me to do,
    but you must me finance.
It's not for me to do,
    but take from you, perchance.

It's not for me to do,
    except clench a fist and glare.
It's not for me to do,
    your profiting is unfair.
It's not for me to do,
    but caution you. Beware.
It's not for me to do,
    except demand you for me care.

It's not for me to do;
    I'm caught in your great trap.
It's not for me to do,
    so you must, working chap.
It's not for me to do,
    that is your handicap.
It's not for you to do
    but work. I'll play and nap.

 

 Envoi -- "When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for the days of necessity." Aesop's Fable

 

See:    You toil   - words of Abraham Lincoln

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   "Michel Sapin made the gaffe in a radio interview, which left French President Francois Hollande battling to undo the potential reputational damage. 'There is a state but it is a totally bankrupt state,' Mr Sapin said. 'That is why we had to put a deficit reduction plan in place, and nothing should make us turn away from that objective.'" In "France 'totally bankrupt', says Labour minister Michel Sapin," by Graham Ruddick, The Telegraph UK, 28 January 2013.

 


 

So it was - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

The teapot was so beautiful,
She'd loved it as herself.
Unfortunately her small mistake
Dropped it off the shelf.

What she felt of grief and pain
She'd remember long and hard.
She fitted the shards together and said,
This I held in high regard!

See:   So wars   

 


 

You Topia

"...to put the matter shortly, that a permanent possibility of selfishness arises from the mere fact of having a self, and not from any accidents of education or ill-treatment. And the weakness of all Utopias is this, that they take the greatest difficulty of man and assume it to be overcome, and then give an elaborate account of the overcoming of the smaller ones. They first assume that no man will want more than his share, and then are very ingenious in explaining whether his share will be delivered by motor-car or balloon." G. K. Chesterton, Heretics (1905).    [ 1 ]

In your You Topia you think
You'll get more than your fair share;
This blunted calculation proves
That You Topia is unfair.

But such is your You Topia
When you see yourself above
And wish to rule You Topia
With your velvet-fisted glove.

All the passionate speeches
About bettering this world
Are made by folks who'd take yet more
As You Topia's flag's unfurled.

Just how many caring folks
Care oh so much for You?
Peer behind the fragile scene
And note their hoard in view.

Organizing charity
Pays top dollar at the top,
And note that at the top
Is always a fairness cop.

You Topia has lots of cops
Who must have more than most,
In order to assure all is fair
As our betters have diagnosed.

In their You Topia they think
You'll believe in unequal shares;
This blunted calculation shows
That You Topians set their snares.

But such are all You Topias
As the leaders climb above
And with a firm fist rule the joint
With their velvet-fisted glove.

How much would you like to have?
More is an answer sure.
And so the dream of equal shares
Fades into a You Topian blur.

Eradicating poverty?
That's what You Topians preach,
While taking more than just fair shares
In their You Topian fisted reach.

Organizing charity
Pays top dollar at the top,
And note that at the top
There's always a You Topian cop.

 

This is why You Topia

Is a distant, distant dream,

Because all the very nicest folks

Lap up the richest cream.

 

Well, don't they really earn it?
That's the logic rare,

Which says it is such valued work

To assign each unequal share.

 

And for this they must have just more

For You Topian fairness calls,

As they get their "more" just rewards,

Another's fair share simply falls.

 

Yes, this is why You Topia

Is a decadent dark dream,

Because all the very nicest folks

Lap up the You Topian cream.

 

Envoi:    "What can oppose the decline of the west is not a resurrected culture but the utopia that is silently contained in the image of its decline." Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969)   [ 2 ]   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum:   "Utopianism substitutes glorious predictions and unachievable promises for knowledge, science, and reason, while laying claim to them all." Mark R. Levin, Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America (2012)

 

Addendum:   "Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache. They wanted to produce a perfect society by an endless continuation of something that had only been valuable because it was temporary. The wider course would be to say that there are certain lines along which humanity must move, the grand strategy is mapped out, but detailed prophecy is not our business. Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness." In "Why Socialists Don't Believe In Fun," George Orwell, as "Can Socialists Be Happy?" First published: Tribune, December 20, 1943.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum:   "One thousand years ago your heroic ancestors subjected the whole earth to the power of the United State. A still more glorious task is before you: the integration of the indefinite equation of the Cosmos by the use of the glass, electric, fire-breathing Integral. Your mission is to subjugate to the grateful yoke of reason the unknown beings who live on other planets, and who are perhaps still in the primitive state of freedom. If they will not understand that we are bringing them a mathematically faultless happiness, our duty will be to force them to be happy. But before we take up arms, we shall try the power of words." In "WE," by Eugene Zamiatan, translated from the Russian (1924) by Gregory Zilboorg, Dutton, 1952.

  

See:   Equality    and  Income Inequality  ,  also  No Place  - no space, no grace, no trace

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]      "The country we live in is a laboratory. We have one experiment after another. Unfortunately, it is not a laboratory where no one gets hurt: some lives are enhanced, others are ruined. We have to view our society with concern and passion, and see what we can learn from each of our experiments. When we get upset and angry about politics — whether it is conservative, liberal, or whatever — we tend to think in terms of right and wrong, not what we can learn." In "The Liberals' Mistake", by Charles Reich, in "The Center Magazine" (July-August 1987).

 

[ 2 ]     "When I made my theoretical model, I could not have guessed that people would try to realise it with Molotov cocktails." Adorno, cited in "The Dialectical Imagination : A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research" (1973) by M. Jay, p279.  Hence, Adorno's vision of the future was not simply short-sighted but tragically wrong, as have been so many "theoretical models." 

 

 Great Repositories

 

            When one's vision is grounded in a significant error in historical understanding, it can only be compounded, as one reads from another of the Frankfurt School, "The West is guilty of genocidal crimes against every civilization and culture it has encountered. American  and Western Civilization are the world’s greatest  repositories for racism, sexism, xenophobia, Anti-Semitism, Fascism, and Nazism. American society is oppressive, evil, and undeserving of loyalty." Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979)

            The "greatest repositories" are not as he so poorly saw, but rather the entire history of mankind, all civilizations to include the socialist-inspired "repositories" such as the murderous and failed civilizations of  Germany's  National Socialism  (True socialism, oh yes, he said  ), the withered and collapsed Soviet Socialism (see: Totalitarian  ) and perhaps the most murderous civilization in all of history, as represented by the Sino-socialism of Mao (for more on this most murderous history of the twentieth century, see: Death in peacetime  ). 

             Surveying only three systems of government in the 20th century, each proposing a utopian vision for society ills, gives lie to the assertion of an always-proposed utopian vision which gives way to totalitarian viciousness against those who would not participate as underlings. But such is the path of those who would take power. 

 

 Over-ripe Fruit

 

             As one reads of the socialists' vision for taking "power" politically, "They saw their role as making largely passive propaganda for socialism. Capitalism was immoral: it would eventually collapse under the weight of its own contradictions. Power would fall into the hands of the working class like an over-ripe fruit. This socialist transformation was preordained by History." In "The Socialism of John Maclean," WorkersLiberty.org, accessed February 2013.

             The point herein is that seeking power to rule -- while promising a utopia -- is factually and historically its antithesis. As is noted of such utopian idealism as expressed by the naive but lengthy blather of Adorno's opus, we see from a clearer source, "Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power." Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)  And it is indeed true that such theoretical thinkers as those of the Frankfurt School all "will to power."

       The phrase cannot stand alone without fully understanding that this "will to power" amounts to "power over other people, with or even without their agreement. (See:  I'm gonna guide you to the promised land  - a story quite like others.)

 

[ 3 ]     As counterpoint to the utopian -- and therefore totalitarian -- visions of the Marxists of varying sorts and post-modern cultural Marxists, author William Golding (1911-1993) observed,  "Utopias are presented for our inspection as a critique of the human state. If they are to be treated as anything but trivial exercises of the imagination. I suggest there is a simple test we can apply. We must forget the whole paraphernalia of social description, demonstration, expostulation, approbation, condemnation. We have to say to ourselves, How would I myself live in this proposed society? How long would it be before I went stark staring mad?"

           Given that a utopia requires submission to the collective and that no one has theoretically sketched a collective with which an individual may dissent without punishment, we also read, "If people would forget about utopia! When rationalism destroyed heaven and decided to set it up here on earth, that most terrible of all goals entered human ambition. It was clear there'd be no end to what people would be made to suffer for it." Nadine Gordimer (b.1923)

 

 Utopian Punishment

 

          My simple test in the vein of Golding's remark is colored by Gordimer's keen observation: Who can rule a utopia without making those who would not submit to its rule punished for their unwillingness to submit? This proves the truth of the etymology of the word, u-topia. As Merriam-Webster clarifies, the word is first found as "Utopia, imaginary and ideal country in Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More, from Greek ou not, no + topos place." The supposedly bright scholars of the Frankfurt School forward forgot -- or never learned -- that utopia is and has been since the 16th century "no place." It also proves -- as above -- that these scholars were not so much seeking a better world for all, as they were evidencing their "will to power," per the above.

            Let us then reflect on a recent view as additional reflection: "The search for Nirvana, like the search for Utopia or the end of history or the classless society, is ultimately a futile and dangerous one. It involves, if it does not necessitate, the sleep of reason. There is no escape from anxiety and struggle." Christopher Hitchens, in "Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays" (2004).

 

[ 4 ]     The emptiness of the populist-speaking socialist elite is that over time they prove themselves the same old masters over the masses which they have seduced with promises aplenty. Such government heads are easily corrupted, because the seemingly modern schemes of the utopians and socialists is plainly Old-fashioned .

 


 

Eden round, there went a great wall - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

Eden round, there went a great wall,
Highly high and of marble fine.
Killer Cain thought with shrewdest gall:
I'll enter in by way clandestine.

To this, his end, up then he stepped
On a brought-along ladder, like a clever rat.
Then roundabout the old Devil crept,
Upending Cain's ladder! O-o-o! Splat!

Our old Father Adam saw it all,
And said to Cain where he sprawled:
You rogue! You deserved your second fall;
Into paradise are all not always called.

See:   So nicht  

 


 

Suspected of no crime

"Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet  [ 1 ],  sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime. In "U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens," by Julia Angwin, Wall Street Journal, 12 December 2012

Suspected of no crime,
Some fascists overtime
Look to pry into guiltless lives
For their fascistic paradigm.

Of terror not suspected
Fascists have oft connected
Innocent ordinary little folks
With crimes quite unconnected.

Dragnets drag and net
The innocent, and yet
Fascists think this sensible,
As innocence is a guilt-tinged threat.

Suspected of no crimes,
Citizens in peaceful times
Are targets most political
As fascism pumps and primes.

 

Addendum: "For the second year in a row, President Obama has caved on his threat to veto this dangerous legislation, which severely restricts his ability to transfer or provide fair trials for the 166 men who remain imprisoned at Guantanamo. The 2013 NDAA extends restrictions that have been in place for nearly two years, during which zero prisoners have been certified for transfer oversees and zero have been transferred to the U.S. for prosecution. Once again, Obama has failed to lead on Guantanamo and surrendered closure issues to his political opponents in Congress. In one fell swoop, he has belied his recent lip-service about a continued commitment to closing Guantanamo."  The Center for Constitutional Rights, 3 January 2013

 

Addendum:  "Ron Wyden, the Democratic senator from Oregon and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, wrote an open letter to John Brennan, the frontrunner for the post of Director of the CIA, asking Brennan to provide Congress with the secret legal opinions defining the government’s capacity to pursue and kill US citizens suspected of involvement in terrorist activities. Members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by law have access to classified legal opinions – but, Wyden writes, the Obama administration has denied him access to the opinions governing targeted assassinations of American citizens." In "Obama administration hiding info on targeted killings of Americans," rt.com, 15 January 2013

 

Addendum:   "The Justice Department’s unfortunate decision leaves Americans with no clear understanding of when we will be subjected to tracking—possibly for months at a time—or whether the government will first get a warrant. This is yet another example of secret surveillance policies—like the Justice Department’s secret opinions about the Patriot Act’s Section 215—that simply should not exist in a democratic society." In "Justice Department Refuses to Release GPS Tracking Memos," by Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, 16 January 2013.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum:   "In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents. The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges. Obama mandated the program in an October 2011 executive order after Army Pfc. Bradley Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from a classified computer network and gave them to WikiLeaks, the anti-government secrecy group. The order covers virtually every federal department and agency, including the Peace Corps, the Department of Education and others not directly involved in national security." In "Linchpin for Obama’s plan to predict future leakers unproven, isn’t likely to work, experts say," by Jonathan S. Landay and Marisa Taylor, McClatchy Washington Bureau, 9 July 2013.

 

Addendum:   "The previously undisclosed rule change allows NSA operatives to hunt for individual Americans' communications using their name or other identifying information. Senator Ron Wyden told the Guardian that the law provides the NSA with a loophole potentially allowing 'warrantless searches for the phone calls or emails of law-abiding Americans'. The authority, approved in 2011, appears to contrast with repeated assurances from Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials to both Congress and the American public that the privacy of US citizens is protected from the NSA's dragnet surveillance programs." In "NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens' emails and phone calls," by James Ball and Spencer Ackerman, Guardian UK, 9 August 2013.   [ 3 ]

 

 Addendum:   "Thus, the government may obtain an FAA surveillance order without identifying the people (or even the group of people) to be surveilled; without specifying the facilities, places, premises, or property to be monitored; without specifying the particular communications to be collected; without obtaining individualized warrants based on criminal or foreign intelligence probable cause; and without making even a prior administrative determination that the acquisition relates to a particular foreign agent or foreign power. An FAA surveillance order is intended to be a kind of blank check, which once obtained will suffice to cover - without further judicial authorization - whatever surveillance the government may choose to initiate, within broadly drawn parameters, for a period of up to one year. Thus, the court may not know who, what, or where the government will actually tap, thereby undercutting any meaningful role for the court and violating the Fourth Amendment. A single FAA order may be used to justify the surveillance of communications implicating thousands or even millions of U.S. citizens and residents." In a letter from the ACLU to Judge William H. Webster, 6 August 2010, and included as "Exhibit 1" in "FINAL REPORT of the WILLIAM H. WEBSTER COMMISSION on The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Counterterrorism Intelligence, and the Events at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009."

 

Addendum:   "Newly disclosed U.S. government files provide an inside look at the Homeland Security Department's practice of seizing and searching electronic devices at the border without showing reasonable suspicion of a crime or getting a judge's approval." In "New details in how the feds take laptops at border," by Anne Flaherty, Associated Press, 10 September 2013.

 

Addendum:   "The program itself clearly exceeds the authority granted by Congress. Section 215 of the Patriot Act authorizes the government to obtain certain business records only if it can show that the information is “relevant” to an ongoing national security investigation. Though Congress clearly intended Section 215 authority to be directed at a particular individual, and related to a specific investigation, the government chooses to collect records of every phone call made in the United States. In practice, the relevance standard has lost all meaning." In "Reining In the Unauthorized American Surveillance State | Commentary," by John Conyers Jr., RollCall, 2 October 2013.

 

Addendum looking at the Bush-Obama Plans:   "While reporting on domestic surveillance under Bush, Salon obtained a detailed memo proposing such an inquiry, and spoke with several sources involved in recent discussions around it on Capitol Hill. The memo was written by a former senior member of the original Church Committee; the discussions have included aides to top House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers, and until now have not been disclosed publicly. Salon has also uncovered further indications of far-reaching and possibly illegal surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency inside the United States under President Bush. That includes the alleged use of a top-secret, sophisticated database system for monitoring people considered to be a threat to national security. It also includes signs of the NSA’s working closely with other U.S. government agencies to track financial transactions domestically as well as globally." In "Exposing Bush’s historic abuse of power," by Tim Shorrock, Salon, 23 July 2008.   [ 4 ]

 

See:    Sir Veiled Lance 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     "The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers." In "President Obama’s Dragnet," The Editorial Board, The New York Times, 6 June 2013.

 

Repudiating Principles

 

          The New York Times continues: "Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know whom Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where. This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance — with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power — fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy."

          The picture becomes clearer:  "The proposal would extend technical design mandates for 'wiretap readiness' to peer-to-peer communications tools. According to reports, companies that do not comply with a wiretap order, including those that cannot comply because they have configured their communication service in a secure manner and do not themselves have access to user communications, or do not have access to such communications in unencrypted form, would face escalating, potentially ruinous fines. The threat of such liability would effectively force re-engineering of communications services so they are wiretap ready." In "Leading Security Experts Say FBI Wiretapping Proposal Would Undermine Cybersecurity," by Joseph Lorenzo Hall, Center for Democracy and Technology, 17 May 2013.

 

 A Textbook Definition of Fascism

 

          Seeing these reports through the assistance of basic word definitions is cause for alarm.  Merriam-Webster's first definition of fascism includes these words: "severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition," while its second definition of fascism is this -- "a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control." One may well argue that such "overbroad surveillance powers" become evidence that this administration (and perhaps that before it as well) ever more seem to fulfill the textbook definition.

          A German periodical's editorial echoes this sentiment:  "What, exactly, is the purpose of the National Security Agency? Security, as its name might suggest? No matter in what system or to what purpose: A monitored human being is not a free human being. And every state that systematically contravenes human rights, even in the alleged service of security, is acting criminally." In "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism: Europe Must Protect Itself from America," by Jakob Augstein, Spiegel, 17 June 2013.

 

[ 2 ]     Nope -- "Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Clapper denied allegations by panel members the NSA conducted electronic surveillance of Americans on U.S. soil. 'Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?' committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper during the March 12 hearing. In response, Clapper replied quickly: 'No, sir'." In "Clapper denied NSA surveillance before Senate panel" by Carlo Muñoz, The Hill, 6 June 2013.

          Yup -- "...Clapper said national security required the NSA to collect all the Verizon subscriber data, even if not all the data would be analysed, and regardless of any evidence to link the phone records to crime, foreign espionage or terrorism. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that other telecoms received similar orders from the government for the subscriber data. 'The collection is broad in scope,' Clapper wrote, 'because more narrow collection would limit our ability to protect the nation from terrorist threats to the United States, as it may assist counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities'.' In "US intelligence chief denounces release of information," by Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, 7 June 2013.  Nope. Yup. Perhaps the US intelligence chief is really denouncing being proven to have said nope and then yup? 

 

 Sucking Data

 

          "Analysts at the National Security Agency can now secretly access real-time user data provided by as many as 50 American companies, ranging from credit rating agencies to internet service providers, two government officials familiar with the arrangements said." In "Sources: NSA sucks in data from 50 companies," by Marc Ambinder, The Week, 6 June 2013.

          Additionally it becomes clearer through closer examination:  "Ret. Adm. Dennis Blair, who served as President Obama’s DNI in 2009 and 2010, told NBC News that, in one instance in 2009, analysts entered a phone number into agency computers and 'put one digit wrong,' and mined a large volume of information about Americans with no connection to terror. The matter was reported to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose judges required that all the data be destroyed, he said." In "Officials: NSA mistakenly intercepted emails, phone calls of innocent Americans," by Michael Isikoff, NBCNews, 7 June 2013.

          One reads of the notion of surveillance states:  “…there are different kinds of surveillance states. You can have a democratic surveillance state which collects as little data as possible and tells you as much as possible about what it’s doing. Or you could have an authoritarian surveillance state which collects as much as possible and tells the public as little as possible. And we are kind of on the authoritarian side.” Paul Krugman, on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," ABCNews, 9 June 2013.

 

 Authoritarian

 

          This suggests to some the utter cynicism of the political class not only from the libertarian wing but also with the Left:  "They said that if you vote Romney you’ll get a return to George W Bush. Well, Romney may have lost in 2012 but people got Bush all the same – Obama has cheerfully continued and expanded the authoritarian policies of Dubya. That’s the opinion of Michael Hayden, the former director of the US National Security Agency, who says that the state is bigger and more furtive than it was when Bush was in charge. It’s the kind of Right-wing talking point that would’ve been dismissed as a Right-wing talking point a month ago. But, in the light of the Verizon scandal, it’s starting to sound like an objective, accurate assessment. Obama is Bush 2.0…" In "Edward Snowden has exposed both the ambition and the incompetence of Obama's security state," by Tim Stanley, Telegraph UK, 9 June 2013.

 

 An Executive Coup

 

          As to authoritarian rule being perceived in the "land of the free and the home of the brave," one reads this interesting opinion:  " 'In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material, and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago,' Ellsberg wrote in an op-ed published by the Guardian on Monday. 'Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an 'executive coup' against the U.S. constitution'." In "Ellsberg: Snowden’s NSA leak more important than my Pentagon Papers," by Dylan Stableford, Yahoo. 11 June 2013.

          World perception changes:  "It is not as if Internet users outside the United States did not know that their digital movements might be watched, said Patrick Conley, 47, a media historian who lives in Berlin. 'But you know it more exactly now,' he said. 'In foreign policy terms, it is a catastrophe.' That is particularly so in Germany, where state snooping was a dominant feature of the Nazi and Communist regimes." In "Reception for Obama Is More Sober Than in 2008," by Alison Smale, New York Times, 19 June 2013.

          And so one revisits the political statement of a federal government busily operating in huge secrecy operations while denying it:  "Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing." In "Transparency and Open Government," Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, by Barack Obama, The White House.

          Against this quote stands the news report:  "The U.S. government has demanded that major Internet companies divulge users' stored passwords, according to two industry sources familiar with these orders, which represent an escalation in surveillance techniques that has not previously been disclosed. If the government is able to determine a person's password, which is typically stored in encrypted form, the credential could be used to log in to an account to peruse confidential correspondence or even impersonate the user." In "Feds tell Web firms to turn over user account passwords," by Declan McCullagh, CNET, 25 July 2013.  Ergo by being "suspected of no crime," individuals in the private sector are deemed worthy targets of government seeking such information.

 

 Government Cover Ups

 

          The double standard is enormous, as the government seeks openness and cooperation from the private sector while it works to shield itself from the same. It should be noted that to suppress evidence is itself a crime. And yet one reads:  "Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges. The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don't know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence - information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses." In "U.S. directs agents to cover up program used to investigate Americans," by John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke, Reuters, 5 August 2013.

          " 'The president must acknowledge what a clear majority of Americans know: Our government has violated the law by collecting the communications of millions of innocent U.S. citizens,' said Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.), who wants the collection to end and has also criticized another major NSA surveillance program that targets communications of foreigners. The administration’s definitions defy 'any previous interpretation of the law,' said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. 'The way the government is interpreting relevance, anything and everything they say is relevant becomes relevant'." In "Obama administration asserts broad surveillance powers," by Ellen Nakashima and Robert Barnes, Washington Post, 9 August 2013.  Such behavior is, of course, a clear marker of the totalitarian side of human behavior.

 

[ 3 ]    One reads contradictory propositions, from assertions of an almost police state mentality on the part of "intelligence" which seems to easily ignore the rights of some citizens to the advocacy of the political class that such behavior is necessary to "protect" citizenry. But as information is revealed, the picture of denials from said supporters seems out of sorts with continuing revelations.  A recent Christian Science Monitor article was titled with a stinging question, "NSA may have spied on UN. Big deal, or business as usual?"

          Among the revelations regarding Americans, one reads: "The quantity of communications accessible through programs such as XKeyscore is staggeringly large. One NSA report from 2007 estimated that there were 850bn 'call events' collected and stored in the NSA databases, and close to 150bn internet records. Each day, the document says, 1-2bn records were added. William Binney, a former NSA mathematician, said last year that the agency had 'assembled on the order of 20tn transactions about US citizens with other US citizens', an estimate, he said, that 'only was involving phone calls and emails'. A 2010 Washington Post article reported that 'every day, collection systems at the [NSA] intercept and store 1.7bn emails, phone calls and other type of communications'." In "XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'," by Glenn Greenwald, Guardian UK, 31 July 2013.

          Among revelations, one also reads:  "President Obama promised that NSA surveillance activities were aimed exclusively at preventing terrorist attacks. But secret documents from the intelligence agency show that the Americans spy on Europe, the UN and other countries." In "Codename 'Apalachee': How America Spies on Europe and the UN," by Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark, Der Spiegel, 26 August 2013.

          Big deal, or business as usual? Probably both. Certainly to be surveilled for being "suspected of no crime" seems a big deal. Ergo this rhyme and its footnotes.

 

[ 4 ]   Salon's article notes:   "Through a former senior Justice Department official with more than 25 years of government experience, Salon has learned of a high-level former national security official who reportedly has firsthand knowledge of the U.S. government’s use of Main Core. The official worked as a senior intelligence analyst for a large domestic law enforcement agency inside the Bush White House. He would not agree to an interview. But according to the former Justice Department official, the former intelligence analyst told her that while stationed at the White House after the 9/11 attacks, one day he accidentally walked into a restricted room and came across a computer system that was logged on to what he recognized to be the Main Core database. When she mentioned the specific name of the top-secret system during their conversation, she recalled, 'he turned white as a sheet.' An article in Radar magazine in May, citing three unnamed former government officials, reported that '8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect' and, in the event of a national emergency, 'could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and even detention.' The alleged use of Main Core by the Bush administration for surveillance, if confirmed to be true, would indicate a much deeper level of secretive government intrusion into Americans’ lives than has been previously known. With respect to civil liberties, says the ACLU’s Steinhardt, it would be 'pretty frightening stuff'."

 

 Laws Falling Silent Again - circa 2014

 

          Adding to this picture, one learns:   "Justice Antonin Scalia predicts that the Supreme Court will eventually authorize another a wartime abuse of civil rights such as the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II. 'You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,' Scalia told the University of Hawaii law school while discussing Korematsu v. United States, the ruling in which the court gave its imprimatur to the internment camps. The local Associated Press report quotes Scalia as using a Latin phrase that means 'in times of war, the laws fall silent,' to explain why the court erred in that decision and will do so again." In "Justice Antonin Scalia says World War II-style internment camps could happen again," by Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 4 February 2014.

          It becomes likely that one government -- much like so many others -- will again abuse human rights for the sake of some version of martial law, and turn such abuse towards politically-motivated detention, as one has seen repeatedly in history. On this, both parties are silent in the media, while both parties have acted to move in this direction.  See:  How it happens  .

 Synthesizing a stance:   No synthesis is necessary. Free men across the years have already made this synthesis for all free men.

            Courtesy of over two centuries ago: "Empires are broken down when the profits of administration are so great, that ambition is satisfied with obtaining them, and he that aspires to greatness needs do nothing more than talk himself into importance. He has then all the power which danger and conquest used formerly to give; he can raise a family, and reward his followers." Samuel Johnson, in a Letter to John Taylor, 24 January 1784.

                Courtesy of the present moment:  "Anyone, right or left, who cares about individual rights has reason to be appalled." In "Massive secret surveillance betrays Americans: Our view," by the editorial board, USAToday, 6 June 2013.

 


 

Now how does that seem to a lender like you? - a run-around

"Greece has managed to buy back some of its debt, but did not succeed in reducing its total debt by as much as its backers had hoped. Holders of Greek debt agreed to sell 31.9bn euros of bonds back to the country at 33.8% of their face value, Greece's debt management agency said." In "Greece buyback puts debt at 34% of its value," BBC, 12 December 2012.

I'll borrow from you in some currency true,
And then pay back less, far less than you're due.
Now how does that seem to a lender like you?

I'll promise to pay but renege on my word.
But come now, don't think that this is absurd.
I simply say that as lender you erred.

I'll stiff you in measure by well over half,
And later perhaps we'll share a good laugh.
But for now what was yours is less. What a gaffe!

When all seems forgotten and over and past,
I'll come back again and sound so steadfast.
Now how will that seem to you, lender harassed?

I'll seek to borrow in some currency true,
And promise to pay  back as much as you're due.
Now how would that seem to a lender like you?

Round and around the circle this goes,
As one leads another by a ring in the nose.
Now how does that seem to a lender? Suppose...

I'll borrow from you in some currency true,
And then pay back less, far less than you're due.
Now how does that seem to a lender like you?

 

Envoi:  "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery."  Charles Dickens, in "David Copperfield"

 

 Addendum of Greek Capital Flowing Away:   "With uncertainty clouding the immediate outcome, cash is likely to keep pouring out of Greek banks over the next few days. About 70 percent of the outflows can be attributed to Greek corporate accounts. And most of that is rushing out of the country via electronic transfers to bank accounts elsewhere in the euro zone, Switzerland or the United Kingdom. But many Greek citizens—who account for about a third of the deposit outflow—seem to be taking their cash out of the bank and placing it in safe deposit boxes or even just taking it home and literally stashing it under their mattresses." In "Worried depositors rush to pull cash out of Greek banks," by Dody Tsiantar, CNBC, 19 February 2015.

 

Addendum of Creditors' Haircuts:   "Governments are getting adept at whipping up public anger against creditors to intimidate them. Syriza, the Greek ruling party, has perfected the art. People already hate bankers, and, in many parts of the world, Germans don't fare much better, so bashing them is politically popular. Those creditors who resist and go to court to chase the sovereign's property and funds to ensure repayment are condemned as vultures. The polite, reasonable thing to do is to make a deal and slink away with one's tail between one's legs. Greece's private creditors have already done that, accepting a more than 50 percent haircut on the bonds they owned." In "You Say Debt Relief, I Say Theft," by Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg, 20 February 2015.

 

Addendum of Hindsight:    "In hindsight, of course, we know that the investors should not have lent Greece anything at all, or, if they did, should have demanded something like 100 percent interest. But this is not a case of retrospective genius. At the time, investors had all the information they needed to make a smarter decision. Greece, then as now, was a small, poor, largely agrarian economy, with a spotty track record for adhering to globally recognized financial controls. Just three weeks earlier, a newly elected Greek prime minister revealed that the previous government had scrupulously hidden billions of dollars in debt from the rest of the world." In "Why Greece’s Lenders Need to Suffer," by Adam Davidson, New York Times, 28 July 2015.    [ 1 ]

 

Addendum as the EU Eyes Savings:   "The savings of the European Union's 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says. The EU is looking for ways to wean the 28-country bloc from its heavy reliance on bank financing and find other means of funding small companies, infrastructure projects and other investment." In "Exclusive: EU executive sees personal savings used to plug long-term financing gap,: by Huw Jones, Reuters London, 12 February 2014.     [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Insolvent US Pension Plans: "Ten U.S. states have public pension liabilities that are at least as big as their annual revenues, according to a Moody's Investors Service report released on Thursday that found the Illinois pension bill was equal to 241 percent of its revenues. Illinois is notorious for both its underfunded retirement system and the political battles over how to fix it. In March, the state settled Securities and Exchange Commission fraud charges for allegedly misrepresenting the depth of its pension problems. According to Moody's, Illinois has the largest net pension liability in the country, $133 billion, equal to $10,340 per person in the state. The liability is equal to 19.8 percent of the state's gross domestic product. "In "Public pension costs swamp revenues of 10 U.S. states -Moody's," Reuters, 27 June 2013.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Argentina Defaulting Again:   "Argentina has defaulted on its debt - for the second time in 13 years - after last-minute talks in New York with a group of bond-holders ended in failure. So-called 'vulture fund' investors were demanding a full pay-out of $1.3bn (£766m) on bonds they hold. Argentina has said it cannot afford to do so, and has accused them of using its debt problems to make a big profit." In "Argentina defaults for second time," BBC, 31 July 2014.     [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Continuing Argentinean Fault:   "Bank of New York Mellon Corp. said one of its Brazil-based investment funds wrote down more than half the value of its assets after recording losses on investments linked to Argentine government debt. The Brasil Sovereign II Fundo de Investimento de Divida Externa FIDEX took a loss of 197.9 million reais ($87.2 million) on Aug. 1 after booking a provision on credit-linked notes tied to Argentine bonds, according to a regulatory filing yesterday by BNY Mellon DTVM, the bank’s Brazilian fund manager. The fund has just one investor and the identity is not public information, according to securities regulators. Argentina last week failed to make a $539 million interest payment on its bonds, prompting Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings to declare the country in default for the second time since 2001. The country has about $29 billion of overseas foreign-currency notes outstanding, and the International Swaps & Derivatives Association ruled last week that the failure to pay interest will trigger $1 billion of credit-default swaps." In " Bank of New York-Managed Fund Loses 51% on Argentina Default," by Paula Sambo, Francisco Marcelino and Filipe Pacheco, Bloomberg, 5 August 2014.

 

Addendum of the Costs of Borrowing, the Chicago Way:   "Risky interest-rate swap deals have put the school system in a position in which investment banks could demand payments totaling more than $200 million on just two days’ notice because of the downgrade in the credit rating. CPS’ payment into the city teacher-pension fund totals $700 million this year — compared to $200 million during the 2012-13 school year. CPS officials hope lawmakers in Springfield will take steps to help them address the projected $1.1 billion budget shortfall in the next school year." In "CPS' financial straits cost taxpayers with sharply higher interest rates on bond sale," by Chris Fusco, Dan Mihalopoulos and Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, 22 April 2015.

 

Addendum of Puerto Rico:    "Peter Hayes, head of the Municipal Bonds Group at Black Rock, estimates Puerto Rico will have to cut its current debt nearly in half, to a more manageable $40 billion, as part of that financial restructuring. And he blogs that bondholders' recovery rates could range from '30 percent or less for subordinate, unsecured or appropriated debt to as high as 100 percent for bonds that are deemed by the courts as secured'." In "Can anything save Puerto Rico from default?" by Bruce Kennedy, CBS News, 30 July 2015.    [ 5 ]

 

See:    A clip job    - the way to legally rob

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   "In hindsight, of course, we know that the investors should not have lent Greece anything at all, or, if they did, should have demanded something like 100 percent interest." What a delightful assertion found in the "Grey Lady's" article about Greece, concluding that lenders should be stiffed for having even lent money to begin with or not charging usurious rates. 

          One recalls that the New York Times required a loan, of course.  The New York Times repaid that loan, coupled to "warrants" which tell the next chapter in a tale of the newspaper and its proprietors.

          "Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has become the largest shareholder of New York Times Co (NYT.N) after exercising warrants to double his stake in the publisher to 16.8 percent. Entities affiliated with Slim exercised the warrants he bought in 2009 when he loaned the company $250 million during the height of the financial crisis. New York Times, controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family through Class B shares, paid back the loan in 2011. Slim's total stake is valued at $341.4 million, based on the stock's Wednesday closing price of $12.28. He follows other billionaires who have put their faith in the media business." "In Carlos Slim becomes top New York Times shareholder," by Kshitiz Goliya, Reuters, 14 January 2015.

          With Slim and "other billionaires," one wonders about this giant of Western media and its oft-stated dedication to the politics of Income Inequality .

          In hindsight, Slim's loan was repaid. Without hindsight at the time, should he have "demanded something like 100 percent interest?"

 

 Scrupulously Hidden

 

          The NY Times article states clearly that the Greek government "...scrupulously hid[den] billions of dollars in debt from the rest of the world." How would billionaire investors in Western media feel if the companies in which they invest were to have hidden debt from examination? Therefore when thinking about debt, it is prudent to ask, "Now how does that seem to a lender like you?"

 

[ 2 ]  That government representatives and central and international bankers are eyeing "personal savings" suggests that every such entity is seeking cash from new sources -- liquidity where there is instead amassed debt created by these very same entities.

          One reads: "The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a 'capital levy' — a one-off tax on private wealth—as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability. The appeal is that such a tax, if it is implemented before avoidance is possible and there is a belief that it will never be repeated, does not distort behavior (and may be seen by some as fair). There have been illustrious supporters, including Pigou, Ricardo, Schumpeter, and—until he changed his mind—Keynes.

 

 Taxing Times

 

          "The conditions for success are strong, but also need to be weighed against the risks of the alternatives, which include repudiating public debt or inflating it away (these, in turn, are a particular form of wealth tax—on bondholders—that also falls on nonresidents). There is a surprisingly large amount of experience to draw on, as such levies were widely adopted in Europe after World War I and in Germany and Japan after World War II. Reviewed in Eichengreen (1990), this experience suggests that more notable than any loss of credibility was a simple failure to achieve debt reduction, largely because the delay in introduction gave space for extensive avoidance and capital flight—in turn spurring inflation. The tax rates needed to bring down public debt to pre-crisis levels, moreover, are sizable: reducing debt ratios to end-2007 levels would require (for a sample of 15 euro area countries) a tax rate of about 10 percent on households with positive net wealth." In "Taxing Times, Fiscal Monitor 2013," International monetary Fund, in the subsection: "Taxing Our Way out of—or into?—Trouble."

          What is clear is that a "capital levy" is double taxation, when one considers income and VAT taxes in Europe as levies. What remains after the first levies is indeed "capital" -- personal savings. To tax after having taxed on the same capital is unarguably double taxation, advocated by government fat cats.   See:  Fat, fat government  .

 

[ 3 ]  One example of pension liabilities -- more easily said, underfunding of promised returns -- is Chicago. The easy answer is "more debt," which can have only one long term conclusion -- insolvency, if not bankruptcy. The scale of the debt is enormous.

          One reads:   "Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration is making preparations to issue up to $900 million in bonds this year to lower some of its borrowing costs, push other debt off into the future at an overall higher cost, cover legal settlements and pay for construction, building maintenance and equipment. At the same time, the administration is making plans to double the city's short-term credit line to $1 billion, Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott told aldermen at a City Council Finance Committee meeting." In "Emanuel seeks to borrow $900 million," by Hal Dardick and Jason Grotto, Chicago Tribune, 3 February 2014.

          But the overall municipal debt burden is larger than this single instance of politics kicking the proverbial can.

 

 Mind-blowing Debt

 

          One also reads:   "Chicago owes almost $14 billion in outstanding general obligation bond debt, and the city’s pension funds owe $19.5 billion in unfunded obligations to police, firefighters and municipal employees. Combined, the Chicago Tribune reports the Second City owes more than $33 billion." In "Chicago’s mind-blowing $33 billion debt and pension obligations," by Reid Wilson, Washington Post, 18 November 2013.

          Extending the fiscal picture to a personal level:  " 'Chicago's fiscal squeeze is already threatening the city's ability to provide core services. CPS has laid off thousands of staff and closed nearly 50 schools, while the city's crime rate is among the highest in the nation.' It concludes, 'When taxpayers stop receiving the services they are paying for, they'll leave. Chicago has already lost nearly 200,000 people since the 2000 census'." In "Average Chicago household owes $83,000 for City Hall debt," by Greg Hinz, Crain's Chicago Business, 17 September 2013.

          But this is one instance among many, as the article above notes similar problems in ten states, not just one city.

         And so, when looking at the clear statement which reads "push off debt into the future at an overall higher cost,"  the question is simply mathematical. Someone sometime and somehow will pay. Lenders? Bondholders? People with savings? Taxpayers? Someone will pay for the excesses, because the IMF gives us the hint, by asking "taxing our way out of -- or into?" The answer is clear, and it is "into" trouble. Greater and greater trouble which politics seems unwilling and perhaps unable to solve.   See:  Who's gonna pull the welfare wagon  - a Western poem.

 

[ 4 ]   The new chosen term for people who want to be paid per the terms of a contract is "vulture." One notes that a vulture is a bird which feeds on carrion -- dead flesh. Another connotation of the word is one who "feeds" on the helpless. One might then conclude on the basis of chosen language that the current socialist government of Argentina is either "dead flesh," or "helpless."

         The BBC article quotes the Argentine president:  "President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has described as vultures the minority bond-holders - including Aurelius Capital Management and NML Capital. She accuses them of taking advantage of Argentina's debt problems to make large profits."

 

 Repaying Debt Is Extortion?

 

         One reads  from another report: "Argentine Finance Minister Axel Kicillof delivered the news to the world from Argentina's consulate in New York City. He had just finished a meeting in which he and a delegation from The Republic failed to satisfy the demands of a group of hedge fund creditors negotiating over $1.3 billion worth of debt owed to them for over a decade. 'The Argentine Republic has filed for a stay [on payment] with Judge Griesa... The Judge decided that if the vulture funds said there could be a stay there would be a stay,' said Kicillof. 'The vulture funds were not willing to grant the stay.' Without the stay and without payment, Argentina is in default." In "Argentina defaults," by Linette Lopez, Yahoo Finance, 30 July 2014.

         Again, the chosen vocabulary is "vulture." But the Argentine description goes farther, describing this indebted government as victim of a crime:  " 'This was a situation of extortion,' said Kicillof. 'We will not just sign anything that could lead to more external debt for Argentina... We will avoid it with all of our weapons.' The 'vulture funds' are investors known collectively as NML Capital and led by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. They would not take haircuts on debt dating back to Argentina's last default in 2001 like over 90% of their fellow bond holders. To Argentina that made them vultures, and you don't pay vultures. Instead you sue them all the way up to the Supreme Court and lose."

         Of the earlier default, one learns:  "In a 2001 interview, journalist Peter Katel identified three factors, converging at 'the worst possible time', to explain why the Argentine economy unraveled: 1) The fixed exchange rate between Argentine peso and the US dollar (created at the start of the 1990s by the Economy Minister at the time, Domingo Cavallo). 2) The large amounts of borrowing by former Argentine president, Carlos Menem. 3) An increase in debt due to reduced tax revenues." Wikipedia, "1998–2002 Argentine great depression," n. d.

 

 Defaults and Haircuts

 
         Many bond holders from that 2001 default took a "haircut" on the bonds they purchased in good faith from Argentina. How large a haircut? One reads:  "Argentina's latest default can trace its roots back to the country's decision to repudiate about $100 billion in debt during a deep economic crisis in 2001. After years of confrontation with creditors, investors exchanged almost 93% of their defaulted bonds for new securities in heavily discounted restructurings in 2005 and 2010 that gave them just 33 cents on the dollar." In "Argentina's Markets Pull Back After Debt Default," by Nicole Hong, Ken Parks and Matt Day, Wall Street Journal, 31 July 2014.

         That is a loss on a government-sold investment -- supposedly guaranteed by that government itself -- of 67 percent.

         From this one learns that the government reneged on its promise to pay lenders in 2001, and now again reneges on repaying bonds per the terms of existing contracts. This defines those who lend to governments by purchasing governments bonds "vultures" committing the crime of "extortion." This is the reality of political speech in which governments seek money from lenders, and then accuse the lenders of extortion for wanting payment in full.

         Partial payment -- that "haircut" -- is in plain language a loss for lenders. When a government accuses a lender or holder of a government bond expecting to be re-paid a "vulture," which is the vulture? And which is the extortionist? And which is the deadbeat?

         Now how does that seem to a lender like you? How did it seem to lenders before?

         There is a history to governments defaulting, and Argentina has such a history. One learns:   "Argentina's first bond, issued in 1824, was supposed to have a lifespan of 46 years. Less than four years later, the government defaulted. Resolving the ensuing stand-off with creditors took 29 years. Since then seven more defaults have followed, the most recent this week, when Argentina failed to make a payment on bonds issued as partial compensation to victims of the previous default, in 2001." In "Eighth time unlucky," Economist, 2 August 2014.

         In the same period, the 1820s-today, while Argentina has defaulted 8 times, Ecuador and Venezuela each defaulted 10 times, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Chile and Brazil 9 times, and Peru and Mexico 8 times, twenty-two of these sovereign debt defaults since 1980. [Source: Reinhart and Rogoff; Moody's]

         How might one view a borrower who does not repay? 

 

 Duplicitous and Arrogant

 

         "I co-chaired the Global Committee of Argentina Bondholders leading up to the country’s 2005 exchange of its bonds for better terms. I have been involved in more than 20 country debt restructurings and I had never before or since encountered representatives of a country who were more duplicitous, arrogant or who demonized the representatives on the other side of the table more. At the time, Argentina presented a unilateral offer that only 76% of the creditors accepted (only 63% of international investors accepted), despite our attempts to suggest a modification of their offer that would have been less expensive for the country in the long run and would have garnered over 90% of the bondholders to accept the offer. This was only the beginning of Argentina choosing to engage in antagonistic and self destructive behaviour rather than engage creditors in a negotiation." In "Who to blame for Argentina's disastrous default? Its lawyers, of course," Hans Humes, Guardian UK, 20 August 2014.

         Given that the recent term for a significant loss to any lender who holds a government bond is a "haircut," it becomes obvious that governments are trying to clip the wings of the so-called vultures by not repaying in full, proving that true extortion has been and remains the province of government itself.

         See A clip job   - the way to legally rob.

 

[ 5 ]  One notes the obvious as regards those holding debtors' notes. Less than a 100 percent repayment is a loss. What lender plans on losing even a portion of a principal loaned? When a "clip job" occurs, what lender will rush into similar circumstances in the future?

         Given that many small investors place capital in money market funds and various other "pooled" investment vehicles, a seemingly large fund can consist of many small investors, with principal at risk. When enough small investors find themselves on the receiving end of a clip job, it is assured that the whole will play out in political sea change. An unacceptable explanation will be We ran out . Now how does that seem to a lender like you?

 


 

A State of War

"Abdur Raheem Green, a Muslim convert and former public schoolboy, told students at University College London that a 'permanent state of war exists between the people of Islam and the people who opposed Islam.'" In "Terrorism works, preacher told students," by Duncan Gardham, Telegraph, UK, 6 June 2011

A state of war seems permanent
          Because we're told it is.
Shall we agree? Attacks' imminent?
          Let's have a little quiz?
Shall we defend against a foe?
          There are those who'd just say no.
Shall we turn to face to face them? Where?
          There are those who think it unfair.
Shall we make nice with the enemy?
          They've said this war exists.
Or shall we have a logic-ectomy
          As some blinded fool insists?
Terror works, so it's been said,
          By those who'd use its claws?
Shall we pretend that terror's bled
          Best with loud guffaws?
A permanent state, says a convert lad;
          So why should we not see
That his words have dark meaning sad,
          That we are his enemy.

 

Envoi:   Qui plume a, guerre a. Ce monde est un vaste temple dédié à la discorde.    [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of the Problem:   "In public discussion following my speech, faculty colleagues suggested that a definition of 'love' was needed. Here is what I tentatively propose should be included in that concept: benevolent feelings toward particular people; a desire that they flourish, that they achieve good things and are happy; empathy for their suffering; respect for their dignity, rights, and rational autonomy. With that concept in mind, consider again whether it is psycho-logically possible to love a true enemy, and if so, whether we are morally obligated to do so." In "Killing in the Name of God: The Problem of Holy War," by Dr. David L. Perry, in an Ethics at Noon presentation given at Santa Clara University on 25 September 2001.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of the Call:   "America is our first target, followed by United Kingdom, France and other crusader countries. As for the field target for the car-bomb, you have places flooded with individuals, e.g. sports events in which tens of thousands attend, election campaigns, festivals and other gathering. The important thing is that you target people and not buildings...." In "Al-Qaeda Calls for Car Bomb Attacks on American Cities, Targets Abroad," by Kerry Picket, Breitbart, 15 March 2014.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of States Against a Legal State of War:   "The head of the Saudi-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – a collection of six Gulf Arab states – released a statement Monday condemning the latest development in the journey of JASTA, a bill passed Friday by the House of Representatives that would allow families of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack victims to sue the Saudi Arabian government. The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, passed by the Senate in May and the House on Friday, was originally conceived amid speculation that some Saudi officials had connections to attackers who had a hand in the attacks of 2001, which took the lives of almost 3,000. If made into law, JASTA would allow Americans to sue foreign governments suspected of ties to terror attacks on US soil." In "Should Americans be able to sue other governments? Gulf states say no." By Jason Thomson, Christian Science Monitor, 12 September 2016.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   The famous quote of Voltaire:  "To hold a pen is to be at war. This world is one vast temple consecrated to discord."  In a letter to Marie-Louise Denis (22 May 1752).

 

[ 2 ]   Consider an oft-cited statement as perspective to Dr. Perry's "Ethics at Noon" question above:  "Those who know nothing about Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those people are witless. Islam says: 'Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!' Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by the infidel? Islam says: 'Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter them.' Islam says: 'Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword.' The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim." Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1902-1989)

 

[ 3 ]   Media for Al-Qaeda suggests continuing a war, all the while US politics attempts to minimize such.  One reads:  "...the president also tried to tuck al-Qaeda into the past tense, arguing that 'the core of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on the path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us. They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston. They've not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11'." In "Obama Refines War-on-Terror Rules," by Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics, 24 May 2013.

 

 Apparently You Can't

 

          A similar report on the same day says:  "In his speech, the president renewed his call to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and announced new guidelines to govern the use of targeted drone strikes on foreign soil. 'It's a redrawing of strategy on how we're going to confront terrorism,' Schieffer said. 'The president said yesterday -- the quote that everybody is picking up is that, 'This war, like all wars, must end,' but you just cannot declare 'this war is over.' It takes two to tango, as it were. The war will be over when the terrorists stop attacking us. And I think the government's going to have to be very careful that this is not misread by those on the other side,' Schieffer continued. 'This does not mean, as I understand it, that we're going to stop tracking down these terrorists or any of that kind of thing or confronting them when we find them. It means that, for one thing, we're going to bring this large force of people home from Afghanistan and use those resources in a different way. But there's going to be a lot of controversy about this. ... A lot of Republicans are going to say 'this is premature, this is not yet over,' and that it will be misunderstood'." In "Bob Schieffer on Obama's counterterrorism speech: You can't just declare war on terror over," by Amanda Cochran, CBS News, 24 May 2013.

          Apparently not. Consider the Poor and lonely wolf .

 


 

Armed peace - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

Quite by surprise on a little mount
A fox and hedgehog met.
"Stop," cried the fox, "you no-account!
It's the king's orders you forget.
Peace has now been long proclaimed,
And you should truly be ashamed,
To be armed with spines, even when tamed.
On behalf of His Royal Majesty, sir,
Disarm and drop them from your fur."
"Not so fast," the hedgehog said,
"Break your fangs; when broken, bled,
Then we'll debate just what you've said!"
Quickly he spiked against attack,
With sharpened spines did he react,
Confidently defying the world' caprice,
Armed, but a living hero of peace.

See:   Bewaffneter Friede   

 


 

Gee, how hard is that?

"Jihad is a term that has unfortunately been widely misrepresented by the actions of Muslim extremists first and foremost, and by attempts at public indoctrination coming from Islamophobes who claim that the minority extremists are right and the majority of Muslims are wrong," said Rehab, who is the executive director of the Chicago branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "The MyJihad campaign is about reclaiming Jihad from the Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists who ironically, but not surprisingly, see eye to eye on Jihad."  [ 1 ]   In "US Muslims to reclaim 'jihad' with ad campaign" AFP Chicago, 15 December 2012

Words have meaning, yes they do,
And meanings mean, through and through.
It's all the rage to define away
As if words mean only what you say.
Others use the very same words,
Defining something which undergirds
Exactly what you will not say.
Alas, the both now live today.
Misrepresentation, so it is said,
Is quite unfortunate, as when one's dead.
Minority extremists? Meaning what?
Definitions are neither closed nor shut.
You say what a word should really mean,
While killing remains a brutal scene.
Shall we say then, extreme jihad,
So as to modify the word? How odd.
Mein Kampf's Kampf was struggle too,
So struggle could be extreme? Yes, true.
Translations are such cumbersome things,
And meanings? Well, they fly with wings
Around the world, faster than truth.
Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.
Quote a struggle not thought extreme:
"Fight against Jews...." What means that theme?

Let us all explain away,

Until words all confuse the day.


Envoi:   "You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them." In "Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah," Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 6981.

 

Addendum: "'The threat is a terrorist state at the doorstep of France and Europe,' said French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian." In "Hundreds of French troops drive back Mali rebels," by Baba Ahmed and Jamey Keaten, AP, Mali, 12 January 2013.

 

See:    Islamophobia 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   "'We now face a spreading jihadist threat. We have driven a lot of the AQ [al-Qaida] operatives out of Afghanistan, Pakistan. We have killed a lot of them, including, of course, Bin Laden. But we have to recognise that this is a global movement,' she said." In "Clinton demands US takes lead to combat 'jihadist threat' in north Africa," By Chris McGreal, The Guardian UK, 23 January 2013.

 


 

Broke

"House Speaker John Boehner accused President Barack Obama on Tuesday of slow-walking negotiations to avoid the 'fiscal cliff,' and urged him to name specific cuts in government spending he would support as part of any compromise. 'Let’s be honest. We’re broke.'" In "Boehner: ‘Let’s Be Honest … We’re Broke’," CBS Washington, CBSDC/AP, 11 December 2012.

"Let's be honest, we're broke."
That's what the speaker spoke.
Which fires might one stoke?
Which ones are mirrors and smoke?
Which funny part's the joke?
Listen to politics invoke
Lies to further and deeper soak
The average Joe and his fellow folk.
One waits for one fell stroke
For another politician to croak:
"Let's be honest, we're broke."

Oh yes, he's said it, he did!
How's about that again, then, kid?
Oh my goodness, heaven forbid!
The scheme is one huge pyramid,
Not to mention the quo pro quid
Which was never reformed, never undid,
For that's how they grease the skid.
The mirrors are broke, the smoke acrid,
As politics has ever backslid.
"We're broke." How's that for a bid?
Oh yes, he's said it, he did!

 

Envoi: "Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers." Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971)

 

See:   Leadership Failure  , and also a song setting, Well, we are out of money now  - (2009) after public quotes of Barak Hussein Obama II   

 


 

The old fool - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

An artist midst his high wire walk
Turned old as passing years did him stalk;
Alighting one day from his scaffold high
Said he: now 'tis my time ne'er more to try,
But to only do upon reflection
That which does not upset digestion.

Then joked we all: "What once he'd been!
This master now seems all done in,
Too weak and stiff, he lacks the pep!"

"Ha!" he thinks. "I show those folks!"
The market closed, to quash such jokes
He tried his antics one more time,
High in the air, with a luck sublime
Until that single misstep.

With a crashing thud down he did fall
And broke his back, away to crawl.
"The old fool is now a shattered heap,"
Disparaged his fans; with nary a weep.

See:    Der alte Narr   

 


 

Passed on to you

"Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It’s a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Obama’s health care overhaul. The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers." In "Obamacare fee of $63 per person to begin in 2014," by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press, 10 December 2012.

Passed on to you?
Pissed on? So true.
        "Likely passed on to workers."
Unexpected expense?
Overhaul's pretense?
            Let's all recall those smirkers?
It was always a tax.
And yes, now relax.
            It's passed on to workers like you.
That's how it just works.
The detail just lurks.
            Passed on, as always. Boohoo.

 

Envoi:  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."  Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

 

See:    Johnny B Blue and Suzy Q  

 


 

Money makes the whirled go round

"I believe the US is facing a much more serious problem, one that has simply not been talked about at all: corruption. But this isn't the overt, "bartering of government favors in return for private kickbacks" corruption. Instead, this type of corruption has actually been legalized. And it is strangling both US competitiveness, and the ability for US firms to innovate. The corruption to which I am referring is the phenomenon of money in politics." In "How Corruption Is Strangling U.S. Innovation," by James Allworth, Harvard Business review, 7 December 2012.

Money makes the whirled go round,
Be it dollar, Euro, pound;
Money makes the whirled resound,
                                Corrupting legally.

Money makes the whirled go round,
Skewing, screwing to dumbfound;
Money snakes the whirled all round
                                And does it busily.

Money makes the whirled twirled round,
As subsidies, loans and grants abound
Wherever quid pro quos abound,
                                And deliver politically.

Money makes the whirled go round,
Public funds for each chowhound;
Money makes its whirlwind's sound,
                                Corrupting wastefully.

Money makes the whirled go round,
For politics knows its fertile ground
And harvests in each battleground,
                                Corruption's legal. See?

 

Envoi: "President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign has been fined $375,000 by the Federal Election Commission for reporting violations related to a set of donations received during the final days of the campaign. The fines are among the largest ever levied on a presidential campaign by the FEC and stem from a series of missing notices for nearly 1,200 contributions totaling nearly $1.9 million." In "Obama '08 Campaign Fined $375,000 by FEC," by Ken Thomas, Associated Press, 5 January 2013.

 

Addendum of Flying High:    "The World Health Organization routinely spends about $200 million a year on travel — far more than what it doles out to fight some of the biggest problems in public health including AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press. As the cash-strapped U.N. health agency pleads for more money to fund its responses to health crises worldwide, it has also been struggling to get its own travel costs under control. Despite introducing new rules to try to curb its expansive travel budget, senior officials have complained internally that U.N. staffers are breaking the rules by booking perks like business class airplane tickets and rooms in five-star hotels." In "AP Exclusive: Strapped UN health agency spends big on travel," by Maria Cheng, Associated Press, 21 May 2017.   [ 1 ]

 

Comparison:   $200 million a year on WHO travel  > $71 million on AIDS and hepatitis > $43 million a year on DWB travel

  

See:    The Modern, Super Rich  

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    A "cash-strapped" UN agency proves only to be cash-strapped when trying to gin up sympathy for greater funding. More on this "rich" bureaucratic style of spending for travel tells that "...the agency’s director-general Dr. Margaret Chan racked up a $370,000 travel bill in one year, and recently stayed in a $1,008-a-night hotel in Guinea, the AP reports. WHO is nevertheless asking for more moolah to fight disease — and taxpayers will be footing the bill." In "WHO spends more on travel costs than fighting AIDS," by Ruth Brown, New York Post, 21 May 2017.

          The Post article notes as comparison:   "...Doctors Without Borders forbids business-class travel and spends on $43 million a year despite having more than five times as many staffers, the outlet reports."

          One comes to understand that class of "public" official who manages to obtain and spend public funds on their own "public" persona and lifestyle. Another such can be learned of in a tale of the Hippogrizzly   -  a zoological fantasy.

          Whole classes of "public" figures manage to spend the public's money on such "travel," as may also be seen in the details about The Bureaucrat's Memo .

 


 

Do you think this dreary game - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

Do you think this dreary game
Will go always on and on?
Would you like to see my empathy
As earnest tears, not con?
Or perhaps you'd truly like to see
My dance to joy turned salty?
Previously you'd urged for that;
That proves your thinking's faulty.

See:   Denkst du   

 


 

Desack (roll eyes)

"I am always searching for new ways to de-sacralise the elitism that surrounds the art world..." Choreographer Robyn Orlin (b. 1955)

All ways surging,

    four gnu ways
Do desack (roll eyes)

    elites,
Witches' Y she is

    now won a

Fringe's legion

    done hers a word....
Every once

    revolving arts
In devolutions

    whirled
Shows just how

    munch correct nice
Is waving

    flags unfurled.
But gaining glory

    on hers
A warts as

    others pranced
Defines elite quite

    sack (roll eyes)
PR'd and

    choreo-danced.

Full bright she is

    outstanding

Oh levy a word

    commanding.

Such are cons'

    none drums

When on hers

    all won strums

Her happy

    little tune,

With elitely honors

    strewn.

All's great ends great

    So I says herein

But forty sack (roll eyes)?

    Subversion approved is in.

 

Envoi:  "South Africa's Robyn Orlin, one of the country's most respected choreographers, has received a high honour from the French government for her services to the arts over a distinguished 20-year career. French President Nikolas Sarkozy has bestowed on her the French National Order of Merit in the class of Knight (Chevalier)." Media Club South Africa, 4 March 2009.

 

Addendum of Mere Art without a Rich Moral Soil:   "Nothing sublimely artistic has ever arisen out of mere art, any more than anything essentially reasonable has ever arisen out of the pure reason. There must always be a rich moral soil for any great aesthetic growth. The principle of art for art's sake is a very good principle if it means that there is a vital distinction between the earth and the tree that has its roots in the earth; but it is a very bad principle if it means that the tree could grow just as well with its roots in the air. Every great literature has always been allegorical--allegorical of some view of the whole universe.. In "The Defendant," G. K. Chesterton, R. Brimley Johnson, London, 1901.

 

See:    anythingis  

 


 

Sir Veiled Lance

 

"The FBI records the emails of nearly all US citizens, including members of congress, according to NSA whistleblower William Binney. In an interview with RT, he warned that the government can use this information against anyone. Binney, one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in the history of the National Security Agency, resigned in 2001. He claimed he no longer wanted to be associated with alleged violations of the Constitution, such as how the FBI engages in widespread and pervasive surveillance through powerful devices called 'Naris.'" In "'Everyone in US under virtual surveillance' - NSA whistleblower," in rt.com, 4 December 2012.

Sir Veiled Lance was knighted
To serve the little kings,
And for this he invaded
All sorts of privileged things.
            Sir Veiled Lance poked, prodded
            In ways most would not see,
            And this was justified in law
            By the law's aristocracy.
Sir Veiled Lance saw Lady Liberty
As an inconvenient bitch,
And for this spurned the Lady
While serving in his niche.
            Sir Veiled Lance feared the light of day
            To work his hidden woes,
            But this served well the littlest kings;
            It was they who this dark knight chose.
The dark night descends hour by hour
As restraints are drawn away,
In ways which serve the twisted kings,
Silencing some who'd have their say.
            Such is power turned to abuse,
            And such is the point which cuts,
            And such is the dream of the brazen kings
            As each puffs and fumes and struts.
Sir Veiled Lance serves these kings right well
And pursues his duties dark,
While Lady Liberty lights the way
With one simple, human spark.
            Freedom bucks the bridled bit
            And the knight must tilt and sway
            As Liberty speaks revolution
            When kings must flee the day.

 

Envoi:  " 'Welcome to the shell game in place of open government,' said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a private research institute at George Washington University. 'Guess which shell the records are under. If you guess the right shell, we might show them to you. It's ridiculous.' McRaven's directive sent the only copies of the military's records about its daring raid to the CIA, which has special authority to prevent the release of "operational files" in ways that can't effectively be challenged in federal court." In "Secret move keeps bin Laden records in the shadows," by Richard Lardner, MyWayNews, 8 July 2013.

 

Addendum of a Complaint from Associated Press:   "For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press. The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn't find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy. It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law - but only when it was challenged." In "US sets new record for denying, censoring government files," by Ted Bridis, Associated Press, 18 March 2015.

 

Addendum:   "Nations are born in the hearts of poets, they prosper and die in the hands of politicians." Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938)

 

Addendum:  "Secrecy is an instrument of conspiracy; it ought not, therefore, to be the system of a regular government." In "On Publicity" from "The Works of Jeremy Bentham," Volume 2, part 2 (1839)

 

Addendum:  "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness." Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

 

Addendum:  "The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday sharply accused the CIA of violating federal law and undermining the constitutional principle of congressional oversight as she detailed publicly for the first time how the agency secretly removed documents from computers used by her panel to investigate a controversial interrogation program. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that the situation amounted to attempted intimidation of congressional investigators, adding: 'I am not taking it lightly.' She confirmed that an internal agency investigation of the action has been referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. And she said that the CIA appears to have violated the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as various federal laws and a presidential executive order that prevents the agency from conducting domestic searches and surveillance." In "Feinstein: CIA searched Intelligence Committee computers," by Ed O’Keefe and Adam Goldman, Washington Post, 11 March 2014.

 

Addendum:   "NSA whistleblower accuses Dianne Feinstein of double standards, pointing out her lack of concern about widespread surveillance of ordinary citizens." In "Snowden accuses Senate intelligence chair of hypocrisy over CIA disclosures, ," by Paul Lewis, Guardian UK, 11 March 2014.

 

 Addendum:   "Every thing secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity." Lord Acton in "Letter (23 January 1861), published in Lord Acton and his Circle (1906) by Abbot Francis Aidan Gasquet, Letter 24.

 

Addendum:    "The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security. The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “'Civil Liberties Impact Assessment' of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices 'within 120 days.' More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings." In "DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border," by David Kravets, Wired, 8 February 2013   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum:    "The U.S. government, led by the Pentagon and CIA, censored in the name of national security files that the public requested last year under the Freedom of Information Act more often than at any time since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new analysis by The Associated Press." In "US citing security to censor more public records," by Jack Gillum and Ted Bridis, 11 March 2013.  [ 2 ]

 

Addendum:    "The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters." In "EXCLUSIVE - U.S. to let spy agencies scour Americans' finances," by Emily Flitter and Stella Dawson and Mark Hosenball, Reuters, 13 March 2013.  [ 3 ]

 

Addendum:   "Where have all the liberals gone? President Obama, who as a Democratic senator accused the Bush administration of violating civil liberties in the name of security, now vigorously defends his own administration’s collection of Americans’ phone records and Internet activities. With some exceptions, progressive lawmakers and the liberal commentariat have been passive and acquiescent toward the secret spying programs, which would have infuriated the left had they been the work of a Republican administration. " In "The left turns compliant on violating civil liberties," by Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 14 June 2013.

 

Addendum:   "Spokesman Matthew Chandler told website: 'To ensure clarity, as part of ... routine compliance review, DHS will review the language contained in all materials to clearly and accurately convey the parameters and intention of the program'." In "Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don't want the government spying on you (and they include 'pork', 'cloud' and 'Mexico')" by Daniel Miller, Daily Mail UK, 26 May 2013.

 

Foreign Addendum:   "Government surveillance is an extremely sensitive topic in Germany, where memories of the dreaded Stasi secret police and its extensive network of informants are still fresh in the minds of many citizens. In a guest editorial for Spiegel Online on Tuesday, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said reports that the United States could access and track virtually all forms of Internet communication were 'deeply disconcerting" and potentially dangerous. The more a society monitors, controls and observes its citizens, the less free it is,' she said." In "Germans accuse U.S. of Stasi tactics before Obama visit," by Noah Barkin, Reuters, 11 June 2013.   [ 4 ]

 

Wire Tap Dance:   "There is no explanation of why the federal figures increased so much, and it is generally out of line with the number of wiretaps between 1997 and 2009, which averaged about 550 annually. There was also a large number of wiretaps in 2010, when 1,207 were secured. 'This is just one more piece of evidence demonstrating the need for a full, informed public debate about the scope, breadth, and pervasiveness of government surveillance in this country, Mark Rumold, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said in an e-mail. We have a secret surveillance program churning in the background, sweeping in everyone’s communications, and, at the same time, in the shadows (and frequently under seal), law enforcement is constantly expanding its use and reliance on surveillance in traditional criminal investigations'." In "Number of federal wiretaps rose 71 percent in 2012," by Peter Finn, Washington Post, 29 June 2013.

 

Consumer Protection Protectors' Addendum:   "Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained records from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) revealing that the agency has spent millions of dollars for the warrantless collection and analysis of Americans’ financial transactions. The documents also reveal that CFPB contractors may be required to share the information with 'additional government entities.' The records were obtained pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on April 24, 2013, following the April 23 Senate Banking Committee testimony of CFPB Director Richard Cordray." In "JW Obtains Records Detailing Obama Administration’s Warrantless Collection of Citizens’ Personal Financial Data," Judicial Watch Press Room, 27 June 2013.

 

The "Secret Body of Law" Addendum:   "In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say. The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions." In "In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.," by Eric Lichtblau, New York Times, 6 July 2013.

 

 

Reflection on political slogans, as per above:  "It wouldn't be the first case of website scrubbing after previous positions become inconvenient, but scrubbing a much-vaunted transparency agenda was bound to be noticed. All the content previously found on Change.gov has 'effectively disappeared'." In "Obama transparency promises disappear from transparency website," by Kristen Butler, United Press International, 26 July 2013.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum from a New York Times Editor:  "Well, I would slightly like to interpret the question as 'How secretive is this White House?' which I think is the most important question. I would say it is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering, and that includes — I spent 22 years of my career in Washington and covered presidents from President Reagan on up through now, and I was Washington bureau chief of the Times during George W. Bush's first term. I dealt directly with the Bush White House when they had concerns that stories we were about to run put the national security under threat. But, you know, they were not pursuing criminal leak investigations. The Obama administration has had seven criminal leak investigations. That is more than twice the number of any previous administration in our history. It's on a scale never seenbefore. This is the most secretive White House that, at least as a journalist, I have ever dealt with." In "Jill Abramson talks to John Seigenthaler," Al Jazeera, 21 January 2014.

 

Addendum of More of the Press Noticing:   "At some point, a compendium of condemnations against the Obama administration’s record of media transparency (actually, opacity) must be assembled. Notable quotations in this vein come from former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who said, 'It is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering'; New York Times reporter James Risen, who said, 'I think Obama hates the press'; and CBS News’s Bob Schieffer, who said, 'This administration exercises more control than George W. Bush’s did, and his before that.' USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page has added a sharper edge to this set of knives. Speaking Saturday at a White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) seminar, Page called the current White House not only '“more restrictive' but also 'more dangerous' to the press than any other in history, a clear reference to the Obama administration's leak investigations and its naming of Fox News’s James Rosen as a possible 'co-conspirator' in a violation of the Espionage Act." In "USA Today’s Susan Page: Obama administration most ‘dangerous’ to media in history," Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 27 October 2014.

 

Addendum of Secret Surveillance for Years: "The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material." In "Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011," by Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 8 September 2013.

 

Addendum of Government Bloat:   "...the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is already a national secret police agency, is hoping to get the exact same surveillance powers as the NSA. The DHS has been proactive in cracking down on the Internet in the past, moving against Bitcoins and seizing wrestling websites through their ICE force, which is itself meant to be an immigration enforcement faction. Giving the DHS and their hundreds of millions of bullets access to the private information of all Americans is the surest way imaginable to ensure that the abusive surveillance will directly lead to abusive police actions." In "DHS Wants Same Surveillance Powers as NSA," by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, 18 June 2013.    [ 6 ]

 

 Addendum of Shattering Trust:   "European leaders united in anger as they attended a summit overshadowed by reports of widespread U.S. spying on its allies — allegations German Chancellor Angela Merkel said had shattered trust in the Obama administration and undermined the crucial trans-Atlantic relationship. The latest revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency swept up more than 70 million phone records in France and may have tapped Merkel's own cellphone brought denunciations Thursday from the French and German governments." In "Merkel: US Spying Has Shattered Allies' Trust," by John-Thor Dahlburg and Geir Moulson, Associated Press, 24 October 2013.

 

Addendum of a Surveillance State now Collapsed:    "Perhaps the most horrifying aspect of life in East Germany was the surveillance state. Anyone you knew might be an informant to the secret police, the powerful Stasi, who maintained files on an estimated 6 million citizens and were known to pressure people to turn in neighbors, co-workers, and sometimes even friends and family members as traitors. Economists Helmut Rainer and Thomas Siedler used survey data to try to figure out whether living that way had left a psychological scar. They looked at the results of a Germany-wide survey that had been administered twice a year since 1980: According to their analysis, East Germans were much less trusting toward other people than their counterparts." In "The Berlin Wall’s great human experiment," by Leon Neyfakh, Boston Globe, 12 October 2014.

 

Addendum of the Growing Surveillance States of America:   "Unbeknown to most Americans, Obama's racial bean counters are furiously mining data on their health, home loans, credit cards, places of work, neighborhoods, even how their kids are disciplined in school — all to document 'inequalities' between minorities and whites. This Orwellian-style stockpile of statistics includes a vast and permanent network of discrimination databases, which Obama already is using to make 'disparate impact' cases against: banks that don’t make enough prime loans to minorities; schools that suspend too many blacks; cities that don’t offer enough Section 8 and other low-income housing for minorities; and employers who turn down African-Americans for jobs due to criminal backgrounds." In "Obama collecting personal data for a secret race database," by Paul Sperry, NYPost, 18 July 2015.   [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of Less and Less Transparency:   "Citizens, journalists, businesses and others made a record 714,231 requests for information. The U.S. spent a record $434 million trying to keep up. It also spent about $28 million on lawyers’ fees to keep records secret." In "Obama administration sets new record for withholding FOIA requests," by Ted Bridis, Associated Press (via NPR), 18 March 2015.
 

 Addendum of History:  "Obama has managed to put together the most intensive surveillance state in the history of the world. This is pretty frightening when you think about the implications. In the hands of the wrong president, it’s very dangerous what we’re doing." In "Toronto: Oliver Stone Unhappy with Obama and Says Surveillance "In the Hands of the Wrong President, It's Very Dangerous," by Staff, Hollywood Reporter, 10 September 2016.

 

 Addendum of Increasing Surveillance:   "The former director of the US National Security Agency has indicated that surveillance programs have 'expanded' under Barack Obama's time in office and said the spy agency has more powers now than when he was in command." In "US surveillance has 'expanded' under Obama, says Bush's NSA director," Paul Lewis, Spencer Ackerman and Nicholas Watt, Guardian UK, 9 June 2017.

 

 Addendum of the Obama Administration and a Very Serious Fourth Amendment Issue:    "The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an 'institutional lack of candor' and that the improper searches constituted a 'very serious Fourth Amendment issue,' according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017. The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans." In "Obama intel agency secretly conducted illegal searches on Americans for years," by John Solomon and Sara Carter, Circa, 23 May 2017.

 

 Addendum of Abuse:   " 'Americans should be alarmed that the NSA is vacuuming up their emails and phone calls without a warrant,' said Patrick Toomey, an ACLU staff attorney in New York who helped pursue the FOIA litigation. 'The NSA claims it has rules to protect our privacy, but it turns out those rules are weak, full of loopholes, and violated again and again'." In "Newly declassified memos detail extent of improper Obama-era NSA spying," by John Solomon, The Hill, 25 July 2017.

 

 

 

 Addendum of Consolidation and Arrogance:    "The report unveils how Pentagon Highlands Forum’s more or less taking over tech giants like Google to pursue mass surveillance. Furthermore, the report shows how the intelligence community has played a key role in secret efforts to manipulate the media and the public. The endless crisis and war we find ourselves in, is in large part because of the efforts of Google and the other technocratic institutions. In on section the author frames how the Obama administration really consolidated this 'Big Brother' control: 'Under Obama, the nexus of corporate, industry, and financial power represented by the interests that participate in the Pentagon Highlands Forum has consolidated itself to an unprecedented degree.' These people refer to themselves as 'the gatekeepers'. Their arrogance is only exceeded by their amoral agnosticism." In "We Told You So: Google Is NSA," by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook, 4 September 2017.

 

 Addendum the Half-Educated and Chaos:   "...it has something to do with their educational backgrounds. Take the Google co-founders. Sergey Brin studied mathematics and computer science. His partner, Larry Page, studied engineering and computer science. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard, where he was studying psychology and computer science, but seems to have been more interested in the latter. Now mathematics, engineering and computer science are wonderful disciplines – intellectually demanding and fulfilling. And they are economically vital for any advanced society. But mastering them teaches students very little about society or history – or indeed about human nature. As a consequence, the new masters of our universe are people who are essentially only half-educated. They have had no exposure to the humanities or the social sciences, the academic disciplines that aim to provide some understanding of how society works, of history and of the roles that beliefs, philosophies, laws, norms, religion and customs play in the evolution of human culture." In "How a half-educated tech elite delivered us into chaos," by John Naughton, Guardian UK, 19 November 2017.    [ 8 ]

 

See:    Suspected of no crime 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     The story continues, in which a supposedly politically 'liberal' administration is behaving under the same assumptions as a totalitarian regime. When "suspicion-less" and "acting on a hunch" become grounds for government actions, civil rights can be shown to have been eroded:

 

 Hunches Without Cause?

 

             "The ACLU, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and other groups have sued to stop the practice, saying that it violates First and Fourth amendment rights. They say allowing agents to act on a hunch encourages racial profiling. Some activists say they also worry that the FBI and other federal investigators are using laptop searches at the border to collect intelligence on terror and criminal suspects without judicial checks. Catherine Crump, the ACLU lawyer who first requested the report, said it is the first detailed explanation of why the government believes it doesn’t need a reason to open a laptop or storage device and download files for further review. She described as inadequate the government’s argument that imposing a legal threshold to perform such searches would lead to lawsuits." In "Dept. of Homeland Security: Laptops, Phones Can Be Searched Based on Hunches," CBS-DC, 5 June 2013.

            More:  "We all agreed that we needed legislation to make it harder for suspected terrorists to go undetected in this country. Americans everywhere wanted that. But soon after the PATRIOT Act passed, a few years before I ever arrived in the Senate, I began hearing concerns from people of every background and political leaning that this law didn't just provide law enforcement the powers it needed to keep us safe, but powers it didn't need to invade our privacy without cause or suspicion. Now, at times this issue has tended to degenerate into an 'either-or' type of debate. Either we protect our people from terror or we protect our most cherished principles. But that is a false choice. " In "Floor Statement of Senator Barack Obama on S.2271 - USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization," 16 February 2006.

 

 Openly Private and Privately Open

 

            Hypocrisy rears its head:  "...George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said the Obama administration will likely argue, as it has in the past, that the surveillance is protecting national security. 'It's distressing that until the Snowden disclosures, the administration insisted that any discussion of these surveillance programs would cause grave national security problems,' Turley said. 'What's fascinating is that after Snowden came forward, the administration didn't hesitate a second in discussing the surveillance in public realm'." In "Privacy groups led by EFF sue to stop NSA and FBI electronic surveillance," Associated Press via Guardian, 16 July 2013.

 

[ 2 ]      Yup, Surveillance -- Expanding this theme of surveillance, one learns further that the supposedly "liberal" or "progressive" stream of American politics is behaving in a decidedly illiberal manner. "The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing. The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19." In "NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans daily - revealed," by Glenn Greenwald, Guardian UK, 6 June 2013. 

             The political stance of this stream in American politics had previously decried the opposition stream of politics of acting in a totalitarian manner for doing the same thing.

 

 Compromise by Circumventing Law?

 

            One compares this to a candidate's stance, and finds great discrepancy between words and action. Candidate Obama called the Bush stance "illegal," but has broadened that stance.   " 'The President's illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over,' Senator Obama said in the statement. 'It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people'." In "Obama defends new FISA bill as 'compromise'," RawStory, 20 June 2008.

            Nope, No Surveillance -- "For one thing, under an Obama presidency, Americans will be able to leave behind the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and 'wiretaps without warrants,' he said. (He was referring to the lingering legal fallout over reports that the National Security Agency scooped up Americans' phone and Internet activities without court orders, ostensibly to monitor terrorist plots, in the years after the September 11 attacks.) It's hardly a new stance for Obama, who has made similar statements in previous campaign speeches, but mention of the issue in a stump speech, alongside more frequently discussed topics like Iraq and education, may give some clue to his priorities. In our own Technology Voters' Guide, when asked whether he supports shielding telecommunications and Internet companies from lawsuits accusing them of illegal spying, Obama gave us a one-word response: 'No'." In "Obama: No warrantless wiretaps if you elect me," by Anne Broache, CNET, 8 January 2008. 

             It becomes obvious that such a political stance by a supposedly liberal candidate was nothing but electioneering.

 

 Transparently a Lie

 

            This view was reiterated:  "Barack Obama promised to run the most transparent White House in history—disclosing donations, shunning lobbyists, and broadcasting important meetings on C-SPAN. Transition captain John Podesta reiterated the point Tuesday when he said Obama's would be 'the most open and transparent transition in history'." In "The TMI Presidency," by Christopher Beam, 12 November 2008.

            Yup, Surveillance -- Adding to a more complete picture, one learns that candidate Obama's "the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and 'wiretaps without warrants" is most assuredly not over.  "One thing from the memo that was released by the Justice Department was a brief assertion involving the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which dictates when the government can snoop on those deemed a threat to the nation. The statement read that 'unless Congress made a clear statement in FISA that it sought to restrict presidential authority to conduct warrantless searches in the national security area—which it has not—then the statute must be construed to avoid such a reading'." In "Obama Refuses to Release Bush’s Legal Excuse for Illegal Surveillance," by Jon Yoo, AllGov, 29 August 2011.

            Very Yup, Surveillance -- One opinion makes an accusation in the process which is worth noting:  "Those crazy American conspiracy theorists who live up trees with guns and drink their own pee don’t seem quite so crazy anymore. It turns out that a 'secret court order' has empowered the US government to collect the phone records of millions of users of Verizon, one of the most popular telephone providers – a massive domestic surveillance programme and a shocking intrusion into the lives of others." In "Verizon scandal: Barack Obama's national security state is now beyond democratic control," by Tim Stanley, The Telegraph UK, 6 June 2013.

             Very, very Yup, Executive Surveillance -- "Perhaps the White House can spread the responsibility. But the program was initiated and run by the executive branch." In "NSA Spying: An Obama Scandal?" by David Corn, Mother Jones, 6 June 2013.

            A Yup to make the Nope a Lie, Lots of Surveillance -- In a next day addition from Mother Jones:   "Government lawyers are trying to keep buried a classified court finding that a domestic spying program went too far. As news reports emerge about the massive phone records and internet surveillance programs—each of which began during the Bush administration and were carried out under congressional oversight and FISA court review—critics on the left and right have accused the government of going too far in sweeping up data, including information related to Americans not suspected of any wrongdoing. There's no telling if the 86-page FISA court opinion EFF seeks is directly related to either of these two programs, but EFF's pursuit of this document shows just how difficult it is—perhaps impossible—for the public to pry from the government information about domestic surveillance gone wrong." In "Justice Department Fights Release of Secret Court Opinion Finding Unconstitutional Surveillance," by David Corn, Mother Jones, 7 June 2013.

            The scope of this injustice increases with additional reporting:  "Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: 'Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple'." In "Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge," by Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras, 6 June 2013. And why surveillance of suspicion-free citizens? National security? There are other positions:

 

 Control on the Sly

 

            "The inventor of the World Wide Web said the internet is facing a 'major' threat from 'people who want to control it on the sly' through 'worrying laws' such as SOPA, the US anti-piracy act, and through the actions of internet giants. 'If you can control [the internet], if you can start tweaking what people say, or intercepting communications, it's very, very powerful...it's the sort of power that if you give it to a corrupt government, you give them the ability to stay in power forever'." In "Web inventor Berners-Lee warns forces are 'trying to take control'," by James Hurley, Telegraph UK, 8 June 2013.

            One can take heart that in an "open society," secret courts operate with seeming impunity:  "The Yahoo ruling, from 2008, shows the company argued that the order violated its users’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The court called that worry 'overblown'." In "Secret Court Ruling Put Tech Companies in Data Bind," by Claire Cain Miller, New York Times, 13 June 2013.

            A comparison of remarks follows: First, "It is transparent. That’s why we set up the FISA court...." In "President Obama Defends NSA Spying," BuzzFeed Politics, 17 June 2013.  Second, "Because of the sensitive nature of its business, the court is a 'secret court': its hearings are closed to the public, and, while records of the proceedings are kept, those records are also not available to the public." In "United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court," Wikipedia, accessed June 2013.  "Transparent," "secret" and "not available to the public."

            Those who argue this is Bush's doing alone while seeking to absolve Obama, and those who argue that this is Obama's doing but absolve Bush, and both groups who absolve Congress based on "security" arguments are playing various forms of partisan politics, and nothing more. Bentham's observation is worth revisiting:  "Secrecy is an instrument of conspiracy; it ought not, therefore, to be the system of a regular government." 

            What is assured is that the current administration is deeply involved and not transparent as claimed. One reads:  "The Guardian is publishing in full two documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the Fisa court), signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped 29 July 2009. They detail the procedures the NSA is required to follow to target 'non-US persons' under its foreign intelligence powers and what the agency does to minimize data collected on US citizens and residents in the course of that surveillance." In "The top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant," by Glenn Greenwald and James Ball, Guardian UK, 20 June 2013.

 

 Crow

 

            Some editorials speak out:  "Obama said that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court 'is transparent.' We don’t doubt that there are good reasons for secrecy at the court, but if you’re going to operate a mostly secret court, you also don’t get to crow about how 'transparent' it is. The president can’t have his cake and eat it, too. We rate his claim Pants on Fire." In "The Truth-O-Meter Says," Tampa Bay Times, 21 June 2013.

            Another op-ed concludes:  " 'The government can get virtually anything,' said Wyden, who as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is allowed to read many of the court’s classified rulings. 'Health, guns, credit cards — my reading is not what has been done, it’s what can be done'." In "For secretive surveillance court, rare scrutiny in wake of NSA leaks," by Peter Wallsten, Carol D. Leonnig and Alice Crites. Washington Post, 22 June 2013.

            An American President also commented on such a scandal as this from an earlier time:  "If tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." James Madison (1751-1836) 

 

 The Proetecing Tyrant Springs

 

            But the awareness of what makes for tyranny is millennia old:  "This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector." Plato (428 BC-348 BC).

            So is surveillance increasing?  One reads:  "The NSA began infecting computers in 2001 claims Kaspersky, ramping up their efforts in 2008 when President Barack Obama was elected." In "Russian researchers expose 'NSA's secret weapon': Outrage at program that enables America to spy on EVERY home computer in the world is uncovered," by Reuters Reporter and Chris Spargo, Daily Mail UK, 17 February 2015.

 

[ 3 ]       " 'If I know every single phone call you made, I’m able to determine every single person you talk to, I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. And the real question here is: What do they do with this information that they collect that does not have anything to do with al Qaeda? There’s a whole deal when you talk about this kind of stuff, where the — under the law they’re supposed to demonstrate that they’re getting rid of and not keeping any extraneous information that they pick up on wiretaps and/or pick up in sweeps like this. And the president’s saying–I think I wrote down — he said, `this is not mining or trolling.’ If it’s true that 200 million Americans’ phone calls were monitored, in terms of not listening to what they said but to whom they spoke and who spoke to them, I don’t know, the Congress should investigate this'." A quote of then-Senator Joe Biden in 2006, in "Biden in 2006: 'Don’t count me in' on trusting NSA phone call surveillance'," by Jeff Poor, Daily Caller, 11 June 2013.

             And as the revelations mount up, one finds journalists being investigated over "leaks" as over unfavorable investigative reporting, and a supposedly "secret" program fattened on federal funds which shows remarkable lack of judgment and perhaps even a redefinition of "secret" as something shared between a few thousand of your closest friends.

 

 Receiving Benefits

  

            One reads:  "Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said." In "U.S. Agencies Said to Swap Data With Thousands of Firms," by Michael Riley, Bloomberg News, 15 June 2013.

             How oddly fascist in this modern day to enlist "thousands" of private companies in "secret" operations, as happened in the wartime support of such governments as the Axis powers raised up for a time. Looking back through their own recent quotes, the current president and vice-president of the US spoke against surveillance as we are seeing now, while now being found to administer and defend it through their political governance.

             Yup is Nope. Why? Because the denial when the story first broke was simple lying by a government to its own people.

 

 Eavesdropping

 

            "The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed 'simply based on an analyst deciding that.' If the NSA wants 'to listen to the phone,' an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. 'I was rather startled,' said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee. Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls." In "NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants," by Declan McCullagh, CNET, 15 June 2013.

            Compare and contrast the twisting explanations and confessions of the federal government in the last months with this:  "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. 

             It becomes ever more clear that the current Justice Department of the United States government is now in violation of the nation's constitution.

            While the federal government asserts via the White House and NSA that there is no Constitutional violation, one learns others disagree:  "In the wake of the past week's revelations about the NSA's unprecedented mass surveillance of phone calls, today the ACLU filed a lawsuit charging that the program violates Americans' constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy. This lawsuit comes a day after we submitted a motion to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) seeking the release of secret court opinions on the Patriot Act's Section 215, which has been interpreted to authorize this warrantless and suspicionless collection of phone records." In "ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging NSA's Patriot Act Phone Surveillance," by Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project, 11 June 2013.

 

 Donations for Running Amok

 

            As the story is fleshed out, one finds an interesting political twist: "Six of the largest government contractors doing 'Top Secret' work for the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies have given more than $16 million to lawmakers since 2007, according to Maplight, a firm that tracks political donations." In "Surveillance contractors gave millions in campaign cash to congressional lawmakers," by Shaun Waterman, Washington Times, 21 June 2013. 

             Things to observe: a) national "top secret" work is contracted out to a number of supposedly private sector firms which then lobby government while receiving funds from the same government, b) these "congressional lawmakers" have never acknowledged a quid pro quo relationship, and yet there is a demonstrable "quid" and a demonstrable "quo," and c) government intelligence activities are now in large part privatized. As the Washington Post's Milbank asked in the article cited above, "Where have all the liberals gone?" 

             The answer might in part be seen in some doggerel entitled:  A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement  - "Where have all the critics gone, long time passing?"

            "This astounding level of surveillance that government officials first denied quickly became something they were eager to defend." In "National security run amok," Rand Paul, Washington Times, 9 August 2013.

 

[ 4 ]        "In short: any so-called credible DOJ/FBI leak investigation, by its very nature, would have to involve the Obama administration invasively using the very surveillance and data techniques it is attempting to hide in order to snoop on a few Democratic Senators and more media outlets, including one based overseas. Outside of Washington, D.C., the frustration that Wyden and Udall have felt has been exponentially magnified. Transparency supporters, whistleblowers, and investigative reporters, especially those writers who have aggressively pursued the connections between the corporate defense industry and federal and local authorities involved in domestic surveillance, have been viciously attacked by the Obama administration and its allies in the FBI and DOJ. Jacob Appplebaum, a transparency activist and computer savant, has been repeatedly harassed at American borders, having his laptop seized. Barrett Brown, another investigative journalist who has written for Vanity Fair, among others publications, exposed the connections between the private contracting firm HB Gary (a government contracting firm that, incidentally, proposed a plan to spy on and ruin the reputation of the Guardian’s Greenwald) and who is currently sitting in a Texas prison on trumped up FBI charges regarding his legitimate reportorial inquiry into the political collective known sometimes as Anonymous." In "Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans," by Michael Hastings, BuzzFeed, 7 June 2013.

 

 Soft Totalitarianism

 

            While cited above, the following is worth repeating here, an estimation of a European attitude about this scandal:  "What, exactly, is the purpose of the National Security Agency? Security, as its name might suggest? No matter in what system or to what purpose: A monitored human being is not a free human being. And every state that systematically contravenes human rights, even in the alleged service of security, is acting criminally." In "Obama's Soft Totalitarianism: Europe Must Protect Itself from America," by Jakob Augstein, Spiegel, 17 June 2013.

            Another perspective from a European leader is instructive:  "We had all become used to the totalitarian system and accepted it as an unchangeable fact and thus helped to perpetuate it. In other words, we are all — though naturally to differing extents — responsible for the operation of the totalitarian machinery. None of us is just its victim. We are all also its co-creators. … Those who rebelled against totalitarian rule and those who simply managed to remain themselves and think freely, were all persecuted. We should not forget any of those who paid for our present freedom in one way or another." Václav Havel, in his New Year's address, Prague, 1 January 1990. The conundrum for the current US administration is obvious, as it teeters between freedom and human rights on the one side, and basic violations of such freedoms and an ever-closer alliance with totalitarian behaviors on the other. The story has been repeated many times in history, totalitarianism has triumphed in the short term and freedom in the long run. One therefore may foresee the "legacy" of this United States administration is one which must explain, as Hastings wrote, "why Democrat love to spy on Americans?"

 

 Where Have All the Liberals Gone?

 

             The Washington Post's Dana Milbank has asked: Where have all the liberals gone? The answer is given by Václav Havel. They "helped to perpetuate it" as "co-creators."

            Additional scrutiny from the press clarifies:  "The debate over the U.S. government’s monitoring of digital communications suggests that Americans are willing to allow it as long as it is genuinely targeted at terrorists. What they fail to realize is that the surveillance systems are best suited for gathering information on law-abiding citizens.... At best, the recent revelations concerning Prism and telephone surveillance might deter potential recruits to terrorist causes from using the most visible parts of the Internet. Beyond that, the government’s efforts are much more dangerous to civil liberties than they are to al-Qaeda and other organizations like it. " In "U.S. Surveillance Is Not Aimed at Terrorists," by Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg, 24 June 2013.

            A Chinese press perspective parallels the concerns of European and American press:  "Of course, the NSA's program is a violation of Americans' constitutional rights, as former US vice-president Al Gore has said. Of course, it violates the 'privacy of US citizens', which the Western media have been focusing on so ardently. But it is also a blatant violation of the democratic rights and privacy of people (and enterprises) in others countries." In "Snowden has exposed the obvious," Op Rana, China Daily, 21 June 2013.

 

 How to Lose Friends

 

            Revelations of "Sir Veiled Lance" which serves "kings right well and pursues his duties dark" have changed the political landscape not only nationally but internationally as well. One reads of a parallel pursuit of the US administration:  "This infringement on the sovereignty of other nations has not gone down well abroad and has only served to reinforce the most negative stereotypes of America. To address this, the U.S. Treasury has been negotiating "Inter-Governmental Agreements" which promise reciprocity in return for compliance. But in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, U.S. Congressman Bill Posey—a member of the House Financial Services Committee from Florida—alleged that Treasury had exceeded its authority in promising reciprocal financial reporting to foreign nations. If Congressman Posey is wrong, U.S. banks will face enormous reporting requirements and costs. If he is right, the U.S. government will face enormous international embarrassment after having coaxed nations into signing IGAs." In "How to Lose Friends, Citizens and Influence," by Colleen Graffy, Wall Street Journal, 16 July 2013.

            Indeed, Dana Perino's question lingers: "Where have all the liberals gone?" An answer by the gadfly who began reporting the Snowden revelations has proposed an answer to Perino's query:

            "One of the worst myths Democratic partisans love to tell themselves - and everyone else - is that the GOP refuses to support President Obama no matter what he does. Like its close cousin - the massively deceitful inside-DC grievance that the two parties refuse to cooperate on anything - it's hard to overstate how false this Democratic myth is. When it comes to foreign policy, war, assassinations, drones, surveillance, secrecy, and civil liberties, President Obama's most stalwart, enthusiastic defenders are often found among the most radical precincts of the Republican Party." In "Democratic establishment unmasked: prime defenders of NSA bulk spying," by Glenn Greenwald, Guardian UK, 25 July 2013.

 

[ 5 ]      Among the administration's statements which were deleted was this as an "ethics agenda:"

            "Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process."

            "...expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government" now deleted. 

           A humorous insight into such inconsistency:  "Having, then, once introduced an element of inconsistency into his system, he was far too consistent not to be inconsistent consistently, and he lapsed ere long into an amiable indifferentism which to outward appearance differed but little from the indifferentism …" Samuel Butler (1835-1902)

           The deletion may well be translated via a verb substitution.  "Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government" becomes "Barack Obama will weaken whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government."

 

 Day-to-Day Intimidation

 

           The promised transparency was a lie. One reads:  "The AP's Washington chief of bureau, Sally Buzbee, said the Obama administration's efforts to control information extend even to agencies not directly involved in intelligence gathering. Some sources, she said, have reportedly been warned they could be fired for even talking to a reporter. 'Day-to-day intimidation of sources is also extremely chilling,' she said. Buzbee said she's frequently asked if the Obama administration, when it comes to transparency, is worse than the administration of President George W. Bush. 'Bush was not fantastic,' she said. She added, 'The (Obama) administration is significantly worse than previous administrations'." In "Journalists criticize White House for 'secrecy'," by Michael Tarm, Associated Press, 17 September 2014.

           AP further noted in repetition:  "Day-to-day intimidation of sources is chilling. AP’s transportation reporter’s sources say that if they are caught talking to her, they will be fired. Even if they just give her facts, about safety, for example. Government press officials say their orders are to squelch anything controversial or that makes the administration look bad." In "8 ways the Obama administration is blocking information," by Erin Madigan White, Associated Press Blog, 19 September 2014.

           In the words of the old adage, "it all depends on whose ox is being gored."   See: Leadership Failure - spoke a failed leader.

           A clear comment on such hypocrisy:  "Hypocrisy in anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised." Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910)

           But more than simply being hypocritical, one might well suggest that much of the administration's political rhetoric is something beyond merely hypocritical. Consider the statement: "He does not believe that does not live according to his belief." Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)  Looking back on politicians' words compared to actions, one finds Freud's observation rather correct.

 

[ 6 ]      "U.S. officials for nearly three years accessed data on thousands of domestic phone numbers they shouldn't have and then misrepresented their actions to a secret spy court to reauthorize the government's surveillance program, documents released Tuesday show. The government's explanation points to an enormous surveillance infrastructure with such incredible power that even the National Security Agency doesn't fully know how to properly use it: Officials told a judge in 2009 that the system is so large and complicated that 'there was no single person who had a complete technical understanding' of it. The documents, which the Obama administration was compelled to release as part of a lawsuit by a civil liberties group, show that National Security Agency analysts routinely exceeded their mission to track only phone numbers with reasonable connections to terrorism." In "Docs: Officials misused US surveillance program," by Paul Elias, Associated Press, 10 September 2013.

           It becomes well worth pondering -- How it happens  .

 

[ 7 ]     The notion that private businesses building databases -- such as Google with its massive revenue based on "directed" ad placement -- invades privacy is petty compared to the lust for information by government, it seems.

 

 Racial Mapping or Racist Mapping

 

           The article notes: "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing database, which the Department of Housing and Urban Development rolled out earlier this month to racially balance the nation, ZIP code by ZIP code. It will map every US neighborhood by four racial groups — white, Asian, black or African-American, and Hispanic/Latino — and publish 'geospatial data' pinpointing racial imbalances. The agency proposes using nonwhite populations of 50% or higher as the threshold for classifying segregated areas."

           One might consider the notion that Everything's about my colored skin  - (or sadly, Why racism works), which also explains The colors of man , and the passion for the men of government to be so very colored.

 

[ 8 ]      That surveillance is quite the parallel to invasions of privacy and more should be obvious.   The New York Times, as noted above, testifies to tyranny forming when it stated "a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans."

           The Guardian opinion article notes:  "We are now beginning to see the consequences of the dominance of this half-educated elite. As one perceptive observer Bob O'Donnell puts it, 'a liberal arts major familiar with works like Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, or even the work of ancient Greek historians, might have been able to recognise much sooner the potential for the 'tyranny of the majority' or other disconcerting sociological phenomena that are embedded into the very nature of today’s social media platforms. While seemingly democratic at a superficial level, a system in which the lack of structure means that all voices carry equal weight, and yet popularity, not experience or intelligence, actually drives influence, is clearly in need of more refinement and thought than it was first given'."

           In these last years the tech moguls have amassed fortunes, and applied this new wealth to seeing their political views advertised and financially funded. "All voices" demonstrably carry less than equal weight, and with social media used to mount mob-like suppression of opposing views, one finds the very real incarnation of new tyrannies forming, "thanks" to "disconcerting sociological phenomena that are embedded into the very nature" of both social media, surveillance for many purposes and that striking development, a gathering "secret body of law" to collect data on individuals for whatever purposes to which that data is put.

 


 

Perfecting society

"Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache. They wanted to produce a perfect society by an endless continuation of something that had only been valuable because it was temporary. The wider course would be to say that there are certain lines along which humanity must move, the grand strategy is mapped out, but detailed prophecy is not our business. Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness." In "Why Socialists Don't Believe In Fun," by George Orwell, Tribune, 20 December 1943.

Perfecting society
Requires your fist,
Such that those who disagree
Can be summarily dismissed.

Perfecting utopia
Requires a club
To force dulled submission,
And there's the rub.

Perfecting humanity
Means human beings must
Offer perfecting leaders
Their obedient trust.

Imagining perfection
Shows emptiness within,
For one man's perfection
Is another man's sin.

One man's fun
Is another man's crime,
And such disagreement
Is not settled with time.

Perfecting society
Makes submission just prime,
Such that those who disagree
Can be cured in quicklime.

 

Envoi:  "For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them." Thomas More, in "Utopia"

 

See:     You Topia   and also  I'm gonna guide you to the promised land  - a story quite like others, and a song setting of G. K. Chesterton's text,  The Horrible History of Jones - (2006) 

 


 

Sexy acrostic - just to turn a trick -

"I’ve always had the cliched fantasy of having sex in Main Stacks, so we wasted no time in heading there first. The trick to doing it in Stacks is to go at a time when there won’t be a lot of people studying at the same time and to pick a section of books that people won’t ever think to look up. Like the British Royal Academy archives. We decided that, out of the millions of books in the library, the shelves full of books on religion seemed like the best place to fuck. We moved the adjacent shelves to block our location so that we couldn’t be seen from the rows on either side. I liked having our shelves of choice close to each other so that the setting was nice and cozy." In "College sex: Berkeley edition, Sex on Tuesday" by Nadia Cho in "The Daily Californian," 2 December 2012.

Free sex isn't love, and
Unlike that which is paid,
Consensual screwing's but
Karmic fate delayed.
In between the library stacks
No big deal was made,
Grappling in a swinging trade.

Fuck is the lovelorn word
Elected by her, then written;
Maybe, oh just maybe,
It's likely she was smitten
Not with love but rutting
In opinion then typewritten.
So how should one understand
This rutting strutting kitten?

Fiat lux, or let there be light,
Utters the bright motto of Cal;
Consequently seen is this
Keen oh-so-Berkeley gal,
In between dark library stacks
Naughty as a femme fatale,
Graduating by degree au naturale.

 

Envoi:  Scratch most feminists and underneath there is a woman  [ 1 ]   [ 2 ]   who longs to be a sex object. -- Betty Rollin (b. 1936)  

 

Addendum:   "The advantages of natural folly in a beautiful girl have been already set forth by the capital pen of a sister author; and to her treatment of the subject I will only add, in justice to men, that though to the larger and more trifling part of the sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms, there is a portion of them too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire anything more in woman than ignorance." Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (written in 1798-1799).

 

Addendum of Seeming to Be Women:   "What are these / So wither'd and so wild in their attire, / That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth, / And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught / That man may question? You seem to understand me, / By each at once her chappy finger laying / Upon her skinny lips: you should be women, / And yet your beards forbid me to interpret / That you are so." From "The Tragedy of Macbeth" (1605), Act I, Scene 3, William Shakespeare (1564-1616).

 

Addendum:    "What man can pretend to know the riddle of a woman's mind?" Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, in "Don Quixote" (1605)

 

Addendum:   "And James Carville, Clinton's former adviser, made the comment: 'Drag a hundred dollars through a trailer park and there's no telling what you'll find.'" In "Watch Who You're Calling `Trailer Trash'," by Helene R. Lee, Chicago Tribune, 2 April 1997

 

Addendum:   "If you can't say 'Fuck,' you can't say, 'Fuck the government.'" Lenny Bruce (1925-1966)

 

Addendumber:   "Join us to laugh and learn about the "big O," the most popular topic sex educators Marshall Miller and Kate Weinberg teach about! Orgasm aficionados and beginners of all genders are welcome to come learn about everything from multiple orgasms to that mysterious G-spot. Kate and Marshall cover it all with lots of humor, plenty of honesty, and an underlying message of sexual health and women's empowerment." In "The Female Orgasm: A Program About Sexual Health and Women's Empowerment," University of Minnesota, Events Calendar, announced for 10 April 2013   [ 3 ]    [ 4 ]

 
Addendum-diddly-dum:   "Hardly. Been there, done you. Adequate, but unremarkable.” Jennifer Estep, in "Spider's Bite" (2010)   
[ 5 ]

 

Addendum Mooing:   "Have you ever heard the expression, 'Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?' It appears that some women on college campuses have become 'cows' as women sell themselves short, allowing casual sexual “hooking up” to dominate their relationships with male students. Some female students are demeaning their own value as males have sex them in what has been described as the 'mating market'." In "Sexual hooking up favors male students on college campuses," Examiner, 25 August 2013.

 

Addendum:   “All is summed up in the prayer which a young female human is said to have uttered recently: 'O God, make me a normal twentieth-century girl!' Thanks to our labors, this will mean increasingly: "Make me a minx, a moron, and a parasite'." C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, 1940.    [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Duke's Duchess of Porn:   "Tuition at Duke is about $60,000 a year. 'The financial aid that I was given to pay for my tuition was insufficient and just really an enormous financial burden on my family,' Miriam [ Weeks ] said last week. She has complained that she’s been harassed at Duke since her porn came to light. But that apparently hasn’t dulled her enthusiasm for the craft. 'She’s working today,' said her agent, John Steven. 'She seems to be still very much interested in pursing this'." In "Dad returns from Afghanistan to learn his kid is Duke porn star," by David K. Li, New York Post, 10 March 2014.   [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of the Sexy Campus Culture:   "As colleges continue to grapple with the increasingly public issue of campus sexual violence, California lawmakers are weighing how to address a 'rape culture' that some say has been overly tolerated by the state's public universities." In "California legislators look to change campus 'rape culture'," by Alexei Koseff, Sacramento Bee, 1 July 2014.

 

Addendum of the Unsexy Campus Culture:   "Sex and relationships are always tricky terrain for college students. Those arriving this year are finding schools awash in complaints and headlines about sexual assault and responding with programs aimed at changing campus culture that has been blamed for glorifying dorm-bed conquests, excusing rape and providing a safe haven for assailants. For many young men, it’s an added dimension in a campus scene that already appears daunting, said William Pollack, a Harvard Medical School psychologist." In " Hook-Up Culture at Harvard, Stanford Wanes Amid Assault Alarm," by John Lauerman and Jennifer Surane, Bloomberg, 20 August 2014.

 

Addendum of the Mattress Carrier:   "After joining a federal complaint in April over Columbia’s mishandling of rape cases and speaking out about the school’s failure to address her assault, Sulkowicz is now embarking on yet another effort — an artistic one — to make change on campus. For her senior thesis project, the visual arts major will perform what she is calling 'an endurance art piece,' in which she will carry around a standard twin-size dorm room mattress with her everywhere she goes, until her rapist is removed from school." In "College rape survivor will carry her mattress around campus until her rapist is expelled," by Jenny Kutner, Salon, 3 September 2014.     [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of Withholding and Demanding:  "Sexual violence. Examples of sexual violence include: discounting the partner's feelings regarding sex; criticizing the partner sexually; touching the partner sexually in inappropriate and uncomfortable ways; withholding sex and affection; always demanding sex; forcing partner to strip as a form of humiliation (maybe in front of children), to witness sexual acts, to participate in uncomfortable sex or sex after an episode of violence, to have sex with other people; and using objects and/or weapons to hurt during sex or threats to back up demands for sex." In "Abuse Hurts," Definitions, University of Michigan web page, accessed 2014.      [ 9 ]

 

Addendum of the Myth:   "Even when contraception is used, early sexual debut has been associated with negative consequences including multiple sexual partners, sexually transmitted infections (STI), increased likelihood of psychological injury (feelings of regret, depression, suicidal attempts), greater substance abuse, and lower academic achievement." In "Promoting the Myth of "Safe Sex'," Press Release, American College of Pediatricians, 29 September 2014.

 

Addendum of Sexy Statistics:   "Based on data from 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the eight most common sexually transmitted diseases are: chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B virus (HBV), genital herpes, HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis and trichomoniasis. About 50.5 million current infections are in men while 59.5 million are in women, for a total of 110 million Americans with STDs at any given time. Fifty percent of new infections occur in young people from ages 15-24 and gonorrhea is the most commonly reported STD in that age group." In "CDC: 110 Million Americans Have STDs At Any Given Time," CBS Atlanta, 6 October 2014.

 

 Addendum of University Library Sex:   "Oregon State University's main library just went viral, and not because of its state-of-the-art computer lab. A 19-year-old woman was cited Tuesday evening for allegedly using the university library at the campus in Corvallis, Oregon, as a backdrop to shoot an adult video last year. The woman was cited for public indecency and released, according to Steve Clark, Oregon State vice president of university relations. She is not a current student but attended the school for the 2014 fall term." In "Porn filmed in Oregon State University library," by Carolyn Sung and Joe Sutton, CNN, 30 January 2015.

 

Addendum of Sexy Exams:   "In one instance, according to the lawsuit, one of the defendants, Barbara Ball, made inappropriate comments to a student who was undergoing a probe. 'Defendant Ball's comments can only be described as bizarre during some of these forced probing sessions,' the lawsuit states. 'She allegedly approached one student ... during a probing session and stated (she) was 'sexy' and should be an 'escort girl' (prostitute).' The suit says Ball's behavior casts serious doubts upon her motivation for insisting upon the forced vaginal probing sessions." In "Florida college sued over forced vaginal exams, Federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Orlando against Valencia College, three instructors," by AnneClaire Stapleton and Pat St. Claire, CNN, 18 May 2015.

 

Addendum of a Sexy Rutgers Professor:   "During the trial, experts testified that the victim was legally incompetent, unable to communicate and thus unable to consent to sex. In addition, the evidence showed that facilitated communication has been discredited as a valid method of communications. At trial, Professor James Todd, a psychology professor at Eastern Michigan University, said facilitated communication had become 'the single most scientifically discredited intervention in all of developmental disabilities'.’" In "Rutgers Professor Raped Man With Cerebral Palsy In Her Office, Goes To Jail: Prosecutor," by Tom Davis, West Orange Patch, 16 January 2016.   [ 10 ]

  

  See:  Whoopi    and also Empowering feminism    just below

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]      "Woman. Before marriage, an 'agente provocateuse'; after marriage, a 'gendarme'." In "The Jazz Webster," a section in "A Book of Burlesques," H. L. Mencken, 1916. 

 

 It Roareth Now

 

              Another American humorist defines:  "WOMAN, n. An animal usually living in the vicinity of Man, and having a rudimentary susceptibility to domestication. It is credited by many of the elder zoologists with a certain vestigial docility acquired in a former state of seclusion, but naturalists of the postsusananthony period, having no knowledge of the seclusion, deny the virtue and declare that such as creation's dawn beheld, it roareth now. The species is the most widely distributed of all beasts of prey, infesting all habitable parts of the globe, from Greenland's spicy mountains to India's moral strand. The popular name (wolfman) is incorrect, for the creature is of the cat kind. The woman is lithe and graceful in its movement, especially the American variety (felis pugnans), is omnivorous and can be taught not to talk." Fictionally attributed to Balthasar Pober, one of many pseudonyms of Ambrose Bierce, in his "The Devil's Dictionary" (1911).

            And in modern literature in contradistinction to Nadia Cho's casual stance, "But when a woman decides to sleep with a man, there is no wall she will not scale, no fortress she will not destroy, no moral consideration she will not ignore at its very root: there is no God worth worrying about." Gabriel García Márquez, "Love in the Time of Cholera," (1985 in Spanish, 1988 in English).  Other views not in agreement below.

 

[ 2 ]      The power of sex in personal lives as in society is obvious, and without consensus. One reads:  "The notion that Playboy turns women into sex objects is ridiculous. Women are sex objects. If women weren't sex objects, there wouldn't be another generation. It's the attraction between the sexes that makes the world go 'round. That's why women wear lipstick and short skirts." In "Being Hugh Hefner: The Playboy founder dishes on his love for blonds, Viagra and morality," by Jacob E. Osterhout, New York Daily News, 1 August 2010. 

 

 Oh, Fuck

 

            In an opposite vein, one finds:  "In a patriarchal society, all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give meaningful consent." A quote in "Professing Feminism: Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women's Studies," by Daphne and Noretta Koertge Patai, New Republic/Basic, 1994. 

            Stepping away from the overt materialist and philosophical stances, one finds:  "The more sexual partners a woman has had, the more likely it is that she is depressed." Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker, "Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying," Oxford University Press, 2010. 

            Continuing the back-and-forth, one reads a pithy comment: "The feminist ideology that created the hookup culture might be the greatest gift ever to mankind. It's as if a cabal of evil genius men got together and conspired to convince young college girls to throw away their moral inhibitions and make themselves playthings for college boys." A comment by RustyPelican to an article, "Why Is There a Hookup Culture?" by Dennis Prager, RealClearPolitics, 30 April 2013.

            This comment is most amusing for it underscores Hefner's assertion by thanking feminism for being so sexually available. Ah, then both sides contribute to the culture of "empowerment?" Just from different perspectives, pretending outrage at the other. How interesting that a simple word, promiscuity, is left out of most of the discussions I have read.  And so the battles continue.

            Of late the Obama administration's Defense Department has busied itself with what some would call sexual justice and others would term prudery, as the US military concerns itself with such publications as Hugh Hefner has published for decades. One reads, " 'Contraband includes materials that are patently lewd, lascivious, obscene, or pornographic, as well as supremacist images, publications, or materials,' it says. Those items can include song lyrics, 'inappropriate cartoons,' picture with 'inappropriate comments,' and 'unprofessional' calendars or posters, according to a spreadsheet template provided to commanders to record their findings." In "Navy Will Inspect Its Bathrooms for ‘Degrading’ Images of Women," by Elizabeth Harrington, CNS, 18 June 2013.

            How amusing to think that Ms. Cho's article about "the best place to fuck" might be considered "contraband" in the context of the new military. Perhaps the above-mentioned University of Minnesota's Events Calendar could be deemed "patently lewd?"

 

[ 3 ]     The University of Minnesota and the University of California at Berkeley student programs are not the only examples. Here from a student committee at Washington University is their announcement: "Sex Week 2013: Friday / 1:00 – 3:30 pm: Free STI Screening DUC 233/234 / 7:00 – 9:00 pm: Sex Week 2013: (SHAC Presents) A Night With the Stars: Life, Love, and Sex in the Workplace Graham Chapel," in a Student Health Advisory Committee ("Connecting WashU students with SHS") announcement. 8 February 2013. And at Yale....

           "During a discussion Saturday afternoon with 'sexologist' Jill McDevitt, who conducts workshops on sexual topics at college campuses across the country, roughly 40 students had to reconsider their idea of 'normal' in sex when asked to take anonymous surveys that yielded surprising results. Students often do not realize the difference between normative — being in the middle of the bell curve for certain behaviors — and normal, which is a judgment call, McDevitt said, adding that what is common is not necessarily good just as what is deviant is not necessarily bad. On the survey, nine percent of attendees reported having accepted payment for sex in the past." In "Sex Weekend examines sexual culture," by Cynthia Hua, Yale Daily News, 4 March 2013. 

           Compare this "free love" support sponsored by campus student groups with the following feminist statement:  "I, personally, have taken the position that I will not appear with any man publicly, where it could possibly be interpreted that we were friends." Ti-Grace Atkinson, in "Amazon Odyssey," Links Books (1974).

           Taken together, the wholly disparate views above underscore the following:  "Richard Lichtman provides a sustained argument that Freud and Marx adhere to incompatible views of human nature, and Isaac Balbus similarly robs neo-Marxist liberationist movements, including feminist ones, of any clear picture of their oppressor." Nicholas Power in "The Freudian Left," article in "The Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Sex: From Plato to Paglia," Ed. By Alan Soble, Greenwood Press, 2005.

            Nadia Cho's "best place to fuck" cannot jive with the radical feminist's view of oppression, but rather seems a best fit with the quotes of Hefner and Rollin.

 

 Infectious Ideas

 

            But what is obvious from a purely factual perspective is reported:  "In 2008, there were an estimated 110 million prevalent STIs among women and men in the United States. Of these, more than 20% of infections (22.1 million) were among women and men aged 15 to 24 years. Approximately 19.7 million incident infections occurred in the United States in 2008; nearly 50% (9.8 million) were acquired by young women and men aged 15 to 24 years." In "Sexually Transmitted Infections Among US Women and Men: Prevalence and Incidence Estimates, 2008," Sexually Transmitted Diseases: March 2013 - Volume 40 - Issue 3. 

            The epidemic does not decline:  "The incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis is increasing, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An estimated 110 million Americans now are infected with a sexually transmitted disease." In "110 Million Americans Have an S.T.D." by Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, 29 September 2017.

            Disease is likely not part of Ms. Cho's "nice and cozy" and admittedly "clichéd fantasy." 

            Nor is the following:  "Despite strides in reducing cases of HIV infection in the United States in the past three decades, as many as 50,000 Americans become infected with the virus each year. The CDC estimates that almost 1.2 million people in the United States are infected with HIV, yet 20 percent to 25 percent of them do not know it." In "Task force calls for routine HIV testing for all adults," by Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters, 29 April 2013.

            In the ongoing changes of the biological world which relate wholly to human sexual ethics, one reads:   "Professor Cathy Ison, head of the National Reference Laboratory for Gonorrhoea which is part of Public Health England, told the Today programme: 'Hopefully by raising awareness we can at least buy some time and look at new ways in which we can prevent it from becoming untreatable. But there is a possibility that if we don't do something then it could become untreatable by 2015'." In "Gonorrhea 'could be untreatable by 2015'," BBC, 23 April 2013.

            In an oddly related story for the "safe sex" argument, one reads:  "An underground workshop producing fake brand-name condoms was busted after police found clues on an online marketplace. Police confiscated more than 2 million bogus condoms labeled Jissbon, Durex and Contex in the factory and its warehouse. While a knock-off prophylactic is priced at 1 yuan (16 cents), it costs less than 0.2 yuan to produce." In "Fake-condom factory busted in Fujian," by Sun Li and Hu Meidongin Fuzhou, China Daily, 15 May 2013.
 

[ 4 ]      ADULTERY. Democracy applied to love. In "A Book of Burlesques," H. L. Mencken, 1916. 

            With the euphemism about "women's empowerment," one wonders what power women now have to act ever more as sexual objects under the tutelage of academic excuse and permission. Another news item about academic enthusiasm for such "empowerment" among many shows what a lack of judgment brings to the social debate:   "But Schwyzer defended Navigating Pornography in an interview with The College Fix, calling the subject matter legitimate. '(The course) focuses on giving students tools to understand pornography as a historical and contemporary phenomenon,' Schwyzer told The College Fix. 'Students today live in a porn-saturated culture and very rarely get a chance to learn about it in a safe, non-judgmental, intellectually thoughtful way.'" by Jack Butler, The College Fix, 29 March 2013. 

 

 Which?

 

            So the question refers directly back to the dissonance between Hefner's "women are sex objects" and "women's empowerment" -- to appear as role models in pornography. The only remaining question for the range of societal views on this "sexy" subject is "which are you?"

            One finds a seemingly safe, non-judgmental, and perhaps intellectually thoughtful stance allows one to climb high.  "A DS agent was called off a case against US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman over claims that he solicited prostitutes, including minors. 'The agent began his investigation and had determined that the ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,' says the memo. 'The ambassador’s protective detail and the embassy’s surveillance detection team . . . were well aware of the behavior'." In "Hillary’s sorry state of affairs," By S. A. Miller and Geoff Earle, NYPost, 11 June 2013.  But then one might also read:  Hillarious   - with two l's, because misspelling can be fun.

 

[ 5 ]      LOVE. The delusion that one woman differs from another.  Also in "A Book of Burlesques," H. L. Mencken, 1916

 

[ 6 ]   Lewis wrote: "Remember, Wormwood, not to let your patient lose sight of how precious sex is. Let him think all must be orchestrated around that appetite: his looks, his mannerisms, his thoughts, his self-assessment -- these must be in the service of the most fleeting of appetites. And don't let him for a moment entertain its true intent. Our Father Below cares relatively little for the miserable creatures' gastronomical gluttonies since mileage is limited among those obsessed for fit bodies. The real pay off is isolation through sex. And can you think of a more fitting irony, dear Nephew, than to turn the very appetite of their unity and propagation into one of the most self-absorbed, unfruitful delights?"

 

[ 7 ]     "Belle Knox [Miriam Weeks], the Duke University freshman paying for college by doing porn, has upped the ante this week with a new blog post on XOJane.com espousing rough sex, and a spin around a stripper pole at a New York City skin joint. 'This is my first time dancing,' Knox told The Post before hitting the stage Tuesday night. 'I'm nervous, but I think it’ll be really empowering.' That 'empowerment' line is the same one she used in her new, graphic blog post written largely about her first porn video, which included submission, name calling, and slapping. 'I’ve been called a hypocrite and mocked for daring to talk about empowerment if I have also not kept adequately hidden away my enjoyment of rough and dirty, nasty and filthy, saliva-dripping and name-calling-filled sex,' she wrote. Knox struck a similar, if less graphic, chord when she stopped in the FOX411 studios Tuesday to talk to us, and said doing all sorts of porn is empowering, because that's who she is. She also called out those who criticize her, including 'anti-porn feminists' on the Duke campus." In "Duke porn star Belle Knox: Rough sex empowering, critics off base," Celebrity News, FOX, 19 March 2014.

 

 Inspiring Tail

 

            More of this celebrity:  "Belle Knox, who is paying her tuition at Duke University by working as a porn star, is inspiring New York co-eds to follow in her stilettos. Since word got out that the petite brunette will perform May 2 at the all-nude Show Palace in Queens, the club has been flooded with applications from would-be teen strippers. The club’s manager Mike Diaz told me, 'We are getting bombarded, five to 10 applicants a day. The Knox story is bringing them in.' Diaz said Baruch and Brooklyn Colleges are providing the best pole dancers." In "Belle Knox inspiring more NYC co-eds to be strippers," by Richard Johnson, New York Post, 11 April 2014.

            Yet more from this celebrity:  "Our society needs a paradigm shift as it relates to our sexual assault prevention efforts. How about we stop teaching women how to not be a victim and instead attack the culture that creates the perpetrators instead? I dream of a day when my daughter can walk down the street without the fear of being assaulted. And yes, I think that I should be able to wear whatever the hell I want without being labeled as a slut. This idea that men cannot control their impulses is archaic and offensive." In "Just Say No To Rape," by Belle Knox, Huffington Post, 29 April 2014.

            Shedding her pseudonym, she writes of Duke University, "To make matters worse, my income now makes me ineligible for the $13,000 in aid I was receiving. My bill for next year will be a staggering $62,000. And I will pay this all on my own; the financial aid office does not care that I am legally financially independent. They view it as my parent’s responsibility to foot the bill. But my porn work pays the exorbitant tab for one simple reason: Demand for porn actresses, especially extremely young ones like myself, far exceeds supply. How interesting that the same basic principle explains why my tuition bill is so high in the first place. Demand for education, kind of like demand for porn, is pretty inelastic." In "‘Duke Porn Star’: I Lost My Financial Aid," Miriam Weeks, Time, 16 June 2014.

 

 The Federal Spigot

 

            And so one learns the university education business is akin to the pornography business. As she notes, "Everyone is focused on my decision to perform in porn to pay my tuition. Let’s start paying attention to what got me here. Sky-high tuition bills result from a culture, from our President on down, telling every kid to go to college, regardless of their future plans or ability to graduate. And they result from schools being all-too-happy to raise prices to catch all the money flowing from the federal spigot."

            As to sky-high tuition bills and schools "catching all the money," one may learn the sordid details of such an academic culture when a certain Doctor Oppression comes to call  .  That a new porn star working to pay her tuition becomes a public celebrity published by Time Magazine about sky-high bills and raised is amusing, considering that some sex workers are finding prices falling....

            Of sex and possible oppression one may read in some major media today:  "Sex workers complain that they are earning less than in the past. But their incomes may not have fallen as steeply as the decline in prices would suggest. The shift towards advertising and coordinating the sale of sex online means that prostitutes rely less on intermediaries, such as brothels and agencies, pimps and madams. That means that they may be able to keep a greater proportion of their income. But selling sex online brings new demands. Clients contact sex workers via their websites, by e-mail, through Facebook and Twitter. Some websites allow prostitutes to tell clients whether they are currently available; but that means going online frequently to update their status. Such work is time-consuming, so some prostitutes may end up paying someone to do it for them. For sex workers as much as anyone, time really is money." In "Why the price of commercial sex is falling," by J. D., Economist, 11 August 2014.

 

 At the Altar of Eros

 

            The short story of the so-called Duke porn star begins to close with this additional information from a documentary interview:  "Miriam Weeks, we see in her heart-breaking interviews, is just a hurting 18-year-old girl being used by an industry that takes girls like her, exploits their insecurities, promises them empowerment, and then subjects them to abuse and degradation until they can’t handle it any more. Then the carnivorous recruiters simply go out looking for fresh flesh to feed the baying cannibalistic mob, burning with insatiable lust and shouting their demands for new girls, new girls to degrade and discard. A new day, a new human sacrifice at the altar of Eros." In "Porn is super-empowering: just ask the Duke University porn star," by Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews, 22 September 2014.

 

Detail from a "Slutwalk" sign at Oregon State University, 2015.

 

            A Daily Californian column writer muses about "the best place to fuck," and a porn star wonders for a moment and then writes of "empowerment." Is this where feminism thought it would lead? One may ponder the notion of a woman's education in the darkly humorous quip:  "That woman speaks eight languages and can't say no in any of them." Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

            For more on "empowerment" and "woman," see below.

 

[ 8 ]       Stories are not finished after a scene or two have been played out. One waits for "The End."

            This particular "sexy" university story continues to evolve. One reads now more of the characters by name:  "Mr. Nungesser, a German citizen, said the ensuing publicity has hurt his chances of remaining in the U.S., given that his job prospects have been hurt by the publicity surrounding the case. The students engaged in sexual activity in August 2012, but Mr. Nungesser says the encounter was consensual, while Ms. Sulkowicz says she was raped. A university tribunal ultimately found Mr. Nungesser not responsible, after which Ms. Sulkowicz launched her highly publicized protest." In "Male Columbia student sues school over 'mattress girl' case," by Valerie Richardson, Washington Times, 23 April 2015.

            The prosecutors of the City of New York did not indicted Nungesser, but now the courts in New York will be hearing the story anew, as civil litigation against Columbia University. "In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, Jean-Paul Nungesser said the school engaged in gender bias by allowing him to be subjected to a hostile and intimidating learning environment. The hostile environment was created, the lawsuit says, by the ongoing protest of fellow student Emma Sulkowicz, also known as the 'mattress girl'."

            Other "sexy" stories of rape come to different ends. One reads:   "Beale’s first victim, Mahad Cassim, served two years and nine months in jail, while she received £11,000 in criminal injuries compensation following the alleged rape. The court heard that she went on to make a string of false allegations that took up 6,400 hours of police time and cost at least £250,000. Most lies began 'impulsively' following drunken rows with girlfriends as she sought attention and to arouse jealousy." In "Lesbian fantasist invented 15 rapes and sexual assaults which saw man jailed to get sympathy from girlfriends, court hears," by Victoria Ward, Telegraph UK, 24 August 2017.

 

 Flaws and Outright Lies

 

            With the "mattress girl's" act constituting a thesis in visual arts, Columbia has made itself doubly liable for condoning the public act of 'accusation by art' by considering it 'academic.' A settlement out of court might end this tale, because the "mattress girl" did not end it when police decided not to prosecute and the university's own "tribunal" found no legal commission of rape.

            In an odd confluence of things "Columbia," it is the Journalism School which critiqued a false rape case as written in the magazine, Rolling Stone. That story -- the story of the media itself -- is instructive as a parallel to Nungesser's court suit. One reads: "The lawsuit comes a day after Rolling Stone editors retracted a Nov. 19 story 'A Rape on Campus,' that portrayed the chilling account of brutal sexual assault allegedly occurring in the Phi Kappa Psi house at U-Va. in 2012. A Columbia University report issued Sunday described significant lapses by the magazine’s staff while reporting the gang-rape allegations and the story’s writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and the publication’s managing editor, Will Dana, apologized for the deeply flawed account. But the fraternity noted that Erdely did not apologize directly to the Phi Psi chapter at U-Va." In "U-Va. fraternity announces lawsuit against Rolling Stone," by T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post, 6 April 2015.

            "....deeply flawed account" in some mouths becomes "outright lie" in others, as another parallel story informs:   "...her boyfriend made a suggestion that something more might have happened, and then the boyfriend told Sweetin's brother. Police say Sweetin said the story just got worse from there and she 'continued to go along with it because she did not know what else to do.' Sweetin was arrested for Filing a False Police Report, which is a Class D Felony." In "U of A Student Arrested for Lying About Sexual Assault," KNWA / Arkansas Matters, 20 April 2015.

 

 Art - Screwed One Way or the Other

 

            Given that false accusations are in fact crimes, one waits to see the Gordian knot of the "mattress girl" and her new celebrity status in New York's art circles unravel. Certainly, the Nungasser law suit comes to its conclusion, as will the fraternity's suit against Rolling Stone. Perhaps the answer lies in The Daily Californian's article about "the best place to fuck?"

            The law suit was settled in favor of Nungasser. One reads:   "The statement reaffirmed that Columbia’s investigation had found Nungesser not responsible and expressed regret that his time after the investigation was 'very difficult for him and not what Columbia would want any of its students to experience.' The statement also said the University will reform its gender-based misconduct policies to make sure all students, 'accuser and accused, including those like Paul who are found not responsible,' are treated with 'respect.' The University did not disclose the terms of the settlement." In "Columbia settles Nungesser's Title IX lawsuit," by Aaron Holmes, Columbia Spectator, 13 July 2017.

            But as to "the best place to fuck," the continuing story of the "mattress girl" becomes most strange. One reads:  "The former Columbia University student who lugged around a mattress in a stance against college rape has released a video of herself having violent sex in her newest art performance. Emma Sulkowicz, 22, is seen whimpering in pain and protest in the disturbing footage as an anonymous man slaps her, chokes her and rips off his condom before forcing her into having rough sex in a dorm room, according to reports." In "Columbia University anti-rape activist Emma Sulkowicz releases sex video as newest art piece," by Melissa Chan, New York Daily News, 5 June 2015.

 

 Self-described Victim of Rape Releases Violent Sex Video?

 

            And so the "sexy university stories conflate. The mattress girl releases her own "performance art" rape video, while the "empowered" Belle Knox of her porn video popularity becomes an advocate for "just say no to rape." Ms. Cho's "nice and cozy" fantasy becomes a porn star's short-lived career, which becomes a performance artist's "video of herself having violent sex." Ah, feminism takes odd twists, making one recall the lyric, "Perverse and foolish oft I strayed" from the hymn text of Henry Williams Baker (1821–1877). Unlike these modern feminists' and their "perverse" statements, affirmations and accusations, and most changeable stances, the old lyric suggests one way out of the dilemma, while none of the modern feminist tales seem to offer a clear exit from what perhaps the postmodern will claim has "No Exit."

            One might consider other sort of stories the popular media present, as regards mattresses. Among these is: "He said student loans come up 'every day in the interview process,' and he's seen more and more college students applying to work for him. So Hof said he'd start matching payments the prostitutes make toward their student loans over the next two months. He's already helped a few workers he employs pay down their debt." In "This pimp helps his prostitutes pay off student debt," by Jackie Wattles, CNN, 9 October 2015.

            Mattress girl was a media cause célèbre. There are many mattress girls, it turns out. Screwed one way or another. Many screwed themselves, sadly yet predictably.

 

 

 

            As issues surrounding the "rape culture" on college campuses swirl, one finds rape suggested after an election. One reads: "According to the man who photographed the sign, who goes by the handle 'Beck ‏@thereal_beck', the 'RAPE MELANIA'” sign was held aloft without any reaction by the estimated one-hundred-fifty Hillary Clinton supporters protesting the election of Trump." In "Hillary Supporter Holds 'Rape Melania' Sign at DC Protest in Front of Trump Hotel," by Kristinn Taylor, Gateway Pundit, 12 November 2016.

            Apparently rape is a relative phenomenon which is sometimes a part of opposition politics and therefore sometimes "without any reaction."

 

[ 9 ]  The notion that sexual violence may be defined for the purposes of academia standards by both "withholding sex and affection" on the one hand and "always demanding sex" is a remarkable demonstration of bureaucratic thinking. Both withholding and not being allowed to withhold sit side by side in such a statement, rather like the "damned if you do and damned if you don't."

            One might wonder how "College sex: Berkeley edition, Sex on Tuesday" fits with the statement from UM?

            One might wonder how a porn actress may call for a "paradigm shift" in attitudes, when bureaucrats may deem withholding sex as well as demanding sex are held as examples of "sexual violence."

            Sex on campus? Publish a student essay on "the best place to fuck?" Promote an academically-sponsored "Sex Week?" Promote a seminar about "The Female Orgasm?" Promote official concern over a "Hook-Up Culture" on campuses, while encouraging the former issues? Declare "demanding sex" and "withholding sex" both to be "sexual violence?"

            Thankfully, the UM system pays its leadership very well indeed. The UM Director of Athletics, David Brandon, gets a salary of $800,000, topping the President, Mary Sue Coleman, with her $603,357 salary, and the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Philip Hanlon, and his $509,292 salary. With so many 1 percenters atop the academic ladder, one might ask what other sorts of economic inequality "violence" are ongoing in an academic structure. But certainly one might expect that "withholding sex" and "demanding sex" should not define the boundaries of "sexual violence," for then terms become meaningless. Such is the case in bureaucracy, while the wealth showered upon such academics suggests they should know better. Perhaps some in the leadership failed to consult faculty in the UM Law School, which topped out its salary level at a mere $1,272,218.67 for LEO Intermittent Lecturer, Martin Jay Bienenstock. Such law talent perhaps should be consulted about what constitutes real sexual violence under law? Source: "University of Michigan, Salary Rate of Faculty and Staff, 14 December 2012, Report ID: mhr00575, of over 700 pages.)

            Or maybe one should just accept that demanding sex and withholding sex both constitute sexual violence. The tangled webs we weave....

 

 Oafish Hookups and Ill-Trained Grievances

 

            One opinion speaks to those "academic standard" for sex:  "Despite hysterical propaganda about our 'rape culture,' the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides. Colleges should stick to academics and stop their infantilizing supervision of students’ dating lives, an authoritarian intrusion that borders on violation of civil liberties. Real crimes should be reported to the police, not to haphazard and ill-trained campus grievance committees." In "The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend Evil," by Camille Paglia, Time, 29 September 2014.

 

[ 10 ] There is an odd confluence between "sexy" stories as one learns another Rutgers professor involved in similar facilitated communication work with a patient was similarly charged, and subsequently convicted. One reads: "When the judge explained that Anna had been convicted of two counts of a first-­degree felony and that further bail would be impossible, she collapsed onto the defense table in loud, convulsive sobs." In "The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield," by Daniel Engber, New York Times, 2015.

       That these stories relate directly to academia seems oddly curious, as one recalls Nadia Cho's writing in a university paper about "the best place to fuck." Apparently a professor's private office is not among these best places.

 


 

Empowering feminism - a parody on "I Am Woman" (first released 1971) by Helen Reddy and singer-songwriter Ray Burton.

"What we really need is a new and energized women's liberation movement that can fight for real changes in women's lives. We can start by rejecting the moralistic scapegoating that blames women for our personal choices and putting the focus instead on a society that has failed us." In "The single mother myth," Jen Roesch, Socialist Worker, 23 July 2012.

 

She is woman, hear her roar,
In numbers too large to ignore.
She's unmarried and she's flitting like a bee.
She can open her own shut door,
Carry packages and what's more
She can family without a husband, as we see.

We're told she is wise
But it's wisdom born of pain,
And not so much was really gain.
If she has to
She will do anything.
She's alone (groan)
And not invincible (she's vincibile)
Modern woman.

She is bearing singly
In her postmodernity,
More elusive now is some next final goal.
Fisc'lly stronger? It seems not,
Yet this is now her lot.
It's consistent with her most postmodern soul.

We're told she is wise
But it's wisdom born of pain,
And not so much was really gain.
If she has to
She will do anything.
She's alone (groan)
And not invincible (she's vincibile)
Modern woman.

She's so often marriage-less,
Which seems so modern, oh my, yes.
And she spreads her lovin' arms often alone.
She aborts her embryo
Thinking that's the way to go.
Seems the whole thing was just overblown.

We're told she is wise
But it's wisdom born of pain,
And not so much was really gain.
If she has to
She will do anything.
She's alone (groan)
And not invincible (she's vincibile)
Modern woman.

Oh, modern woman?
She's not invincible.
Society's wrong?

For some women,
Not so invincible.
Not so strong.
Whither, woman?

 

Envoi:   "Well, I don’t ever listen to my stuff once I’ve finished it, and I don’t really know what’s on it. I’m not saying it’s a bad record, I’m just saying I can’t remember it. When I listen to all my old stuff, I tend to be horrified." In "Linda Ronstadt: 'I don’t like any of my albums'," by Laura Barton, Guardian UK,. 28 September 2017.

 

Addendum of a Trend Away From Marriage:   "Fewer and fewer Americans are getting married, continuing a decades-long trend among nearly all education levels and ages that shows no signs of slowing down. In 2011, 4.2 million adults were newly married, about the same number as in 2010 and sharply lower than the 4.5 million newlyweds estimated in 2008, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which asked respondents whether they had been married, divorced or widowed in the previous 12 months. This decline in nuptials from 2008 to 2011 is consistent with a general trend away from marriage in the U.S. Barely half of adults (51 percent) were married in 2011, according to ACS data, compared with 72 percent in 1960. Cohabitation, single-person households and other adult living arrangements are increasingly replacing marriage." In "Study: Marriage Continues To Decrease Among Americans," CBS Washington, D. C., 24 November 2012.

 

 Addendum of Modern Liberalism:   "Modern liberalism suffers unresolved contradictions. It exalts individualism and freedom and, on its radical wing, condemns social orders as repressive. On the other hand, it expects government to provide materially for all, a feat manageable only by an expansion of authority and a swollen bureaucracy. In other words, liberalism defines government as tyrant father but demands it behave as nurturant mother. Feminism has inherited these contradictions. It sees every hierarchy as repressive, a social fiction; every negative about woman is a male lie designed to keep her in her place. Feminism has exceeded its proper mission of seeking political equality for women and has ended by rejecting contingency, that is, human limitation by nature or fate. Sexual freedom, sexual liberation. A modern delusion."   In "Sexual Personae, Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson," Camille Paglia, Yale University Press, 1990.

 

Addendum of an Exodus:   "All of this has profoundly negative implications – for the emotional and mental well-being of children; for America’s social fabric and 'civil society'; for social mobility and the gap in income inequality; and for dependency on government and costs to the state (family breakdown costs the taxpayers billions every year). The collapse of marriage in America, then, has enormous human and social ramifications." In "America’s Exodus from Marriage," by Peter Wehner, Commentary Magazine, 17 January 2013

 

Addendum of the More Likely:  "The study, released Dec. 20, also discovered that an American youth was 3.8 times more likely to become the victim of a serious violent crime if he or she lived in a home where the householder was unmarried than if he or she lived with married parents. In 2010, 7.4 out of every 1,000 youth living with married parents became the victims of a serious violent crime. At the same time, 27.8 out of every 1,000 living with an unmarried householder became the victims of a serious violent crime." In "DOJ: 95% Drop in Youth Victimized by Guns; 6x More Likely to be Victimized by Knife; Children of Unmarried 3.8x More Likely To Be Victims," by Terence P. Jeffrey, Cybercast News, 11 January 2013

 

Addendum of Differences:   "The battle of the sexes is alive and well. [ 1 ]  According to Pew Research Center, the share of women ages eighteen to thirty-four that say having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives rose nine percentage points since 1997 – from 28 percent to 37 percent. For men, the opposite occurred. The share voicing this opinion dropped, from 35 percent to 29 percent. Believe it or not, modern women want to get married. Trouble is, men don’t."  [ 2 ]   [ 3 ]   In "The war on men," by Suzanne Venker, FoxNews.com, 26 November 2012

 

Addendum of Empowering Modeling:  " 'As parents, it shatters our trust in the school system,' said Lora Luzier, parent of a SDMS seventh-grade boy who was not in the particular class but will be taught a similar curriculum. 'The letter that came home did not include any information about making male genitalia models out of clay.' Luzier said the girls in the class made life-size male genitalia with tinsel for hair and Easter eggs representing testicles. She said there must be some better way to teach the male anatomy including posters, text books or approved models. 'The fact that the girls had to make these, touch them, handle them and have them around in the classroom is unacceptable,' she said. 'They had to present them to the rest of the class. The little girls were embarrassed and humiliated.' Witherow explained the lesson was part of a health class and not a sex education class. Family Life and Human Development is taught in grades 5-11. In grades 5-8, the course includes between four and six class periods and each class is roughly 45 minutes. The class in question was comprised only of female students." In "Male Genitalia School Activity Causes Uproar; School Drops Modeling Activity," Ocean City Dispatch, 20 February 2014.

 

Addendum of a Least Happy Profile:   "...the unhappiest profile?: Female, 42 years old, Unmarried (and no children), Household income under $100,000, In a professional position (doctor, lawyer, etc.) In a press release, the company reported that its survey of 670 North American white-collar workers found men to be 'consistently happier than women'—both in and out of the office. The results also revealed that men are nearly twice as likely to report feeling balance in their work and personal lives." In "Meet the Least Happy People in America," by Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., Psychology Today, 17 September 2011.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Empowering Femininity into Androgyny and Revolt:   "Feminist socialism would universalize these so-called feminine characteristics so that they were no longer specifically 'feminine' at all but would characterize all culture, culminating in androgyny. Residual aggression would be channeled into 'the destruction of the ugly destructiveness of capitalism,' in Marcuse's rather neat phrase. 'Feminism is a revolt against decaying capitalism' and will ultimately have to develop its 'own morality'. In "Marcuse and Feminism Revisited," by Nina Power, Radical Philosophy Review, 16(1), 2013.

 

Addendum of an Important Feminist's Issue in the Press:   "...men can assume the right to be disgusting in a way that women can’t. It’s understood that male bodies are a part of what men are. Female bodies don’t have the same status. Even though, on a basic level, we know that they work in much the same way male bodies do – we shit, we piss, we perspire, we snore – we don’t really want to know this. A female body remains a thing to use, to own and to look at. It’s not something which does things suggestive of some real, human messiness inside." In "Why farting is a feminist issue," by Glosswitch (a pseudonym), New Statesman, 9 December 2014.

 

Addendum of a Pig:   "Another reason some refuse to consider moi a feminist is that I do not fit the popular image of a feminist." In "Miss Piggy: Why I Am a Feminist Pig," by Miss Piggy (The Muppets Studio), Time, 4 June 2015.

 

Addendum of the Pathetic Silent Piggies:   "The new pseudo-feminists are more concerned with racism than with sexism, and disproportionately focused on Western imperialism, colonialism and capitalism than on Islam’s long and ongoing history of imperialism, colonialism, anti-black racism, slavery, forced conversion and gender and religious apartheid. And why? They are terrified of being seen as 'politically incorrect' and then demonized and shunned for it. The Middle East and Western Africa are burning; Iran is raping female civilians and torturing political prisoners; the Pakistani Taliban is shooting young girls in the head for trying to get an education and disfiguring them with acid if their veils are askew — and yet, NOW passed no resolution opposing this. Twenty-first century feminists need to oppose misogynistic, totalitarian movements. They need to reassess the global threats to liberty, and rekindle our original passion for universal justice and freedom." In "As ISIS brutalizes women, a pathetic feminist silence," by Phyllis Chesler, New York Post, 7 June 2015.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Misogynist Tweets:  "Half the aggressive tweets using the words slut and whore analysed by social thinktank Demos came from women and girls, research indicates. The suggestion that women and girls as well as men are responsible for the use of misogynistic words in an abusive manner on Twitter came in research over a three-week period from the end of April." In "Half of misogynistic tweets sent by women, study finds," by Sandra Laville, Guardian UK, 26 May 2016.   

 

 Addendum from the Tragedy of Emancipation:   "The demand for equal rights in every vocation of life is just and fair; but, after all, the most vital right is the right to love and be loved. Indeed, if partial emancipation is to become a complete and true emancipation of woman, it will have to do away with the ridiculous notion that to be loved, to be sweetheart and mother, is synonymous with being slave or subordinate. It will have to do away with the absurd notion of the dualism of the sexes, or that man and woman represent two antagonistic worlds. Pettiness separates; breadth unites. Let us be broad and big. Let us not overlook vital things because of the bulk of trifles confronting us. A true conception of the relation of the sexes will not admit of conqueror and conquered; it knows of but one great thing: to give of one's self boundlessly, in order to find one's self richer, deeper, better. That alone can fill the emptiness, and transform the tragedy of woman's emancipation into joy, limitless joy." In "The Tragedy of Woman's Emancipation," in "Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition," Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911.

 

 Addendum of Missing Men and the Leftover Women:   "Prof Marcia Inhorn, Professor of Anthopolgy at Yale University, said professional women found themselves losing out in a game of 'musical chairs' because there were simply too few men of the same calibre to go around. 'There is a major gap - they are literally missing men. There are not enough college graduates for them. In simple terms, this is about an oversupply of educated women,' she said. 'In China they call them 'left over women'. It sounds cold and callous but in demographic terms this is about missing men and left over women'." In "Shortage of eligible men has left women taking desperate steps to preserve their fertility, experts say," by Laura Donnelly, Telegraph UK, 4 July 2017.   [ 6 ]

 

See -- Chased Away 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     "Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage they are giving evidence at a coroner's inquest." In "A Book of Burlesques," H. L. Mencken, 1916. 

 

   

 

[ 2 ]    "On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life  /  (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)  /  Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,  /  And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: 'The Wages of Sin is Death.'" An excerpt from the longer poem, "The Gods of the Copybook Headings," by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936).

 

 Totally Oversimplified

 

            As to men losing "reason and faith," an interesting reports tells a tale.  "New YouGov research reveals the scale of the generational shift in terms of how young people perceive their own masculinity, and to a lesser extent femininity. On a scale of 0-6, where 0 is completely masculine and 6 is completely feminine, only 2% of young men (aged 18-24) define themselves as totally masculine, compared to fully 56% of men over 65." In "Only 2% of young men feel completely masculine (compared to 56% of over 65s)," by Will Dahlgreen, YouGov, UK, 13 May 2016.

            Though the media above stated that "modern women want to get married," in a population where men do not see themselves as "completely masculine" the stated statistical reality affects marriage itself. Consider the modernity of Wedding Shredding -- bedding, treading, sledding.

 

[ 3 ]      "What the feminists want of me is something they haven't examined because it comes from religion. They want me to bear witness. What they would really like me to say is, 'Ha, sisters, I stand with you side by side in your struggle toward the golden dawn where all those beastly men are no more.' Do they really want people to make oversimplified statements about men and women? In fact, they do. I've come with great regret to this conclusion.'" Quote of Doris Lessing, in "Doris Lessing on Feminism, Communism and 'Space Fiction'," by Lesley Hazelton, New York Times, 25 July 1982.

 

 It's Hard

 

            And so as regards marriage as an institution and the "empowerment" promised by feminism, one reads:  "It's hard to overstate the breakdown of marriage and the rise of single-parent families. Consider out-of-wedlock births. In 1980, about 18 percent of births were to unmarried women; by 2009, the proportion was 41 percent. Among whites, the increase was from 11 percent to 36 percent; among African-Americans, from 56 percent to 72 percent; among Hispanics, from 37 percent (1990) to 53 percent. Or look at the share of children living with two parents. Since 1970, that's dropped from 82 percent to 63 percent. Among whites, the decline is from 87 percent to 73 percent; among African-Americans, from 57 percent to 31 percent; among Hispanics, from 78 percent to 57 percent." In "Family Meltdown," by Robert Samuelson, The Washington Post Writers Group, 15 April 2013. Family meltdown? As noted above in Mencken comic twist perhaps this era is indeed "at a coroner's inquest."

            A similar sentiment is made, from the perspective of the fiscal and social costs to the state as well as the society at large:   "Single mothers in their early 20s instantly become the have-nots, statistically, in income and education. For so many women to have so many children without a husband is a complete abdication of personal responsibility, which leads to a complete shunning of any civic responsibility. We are going broke. And if you think taxing higher-income earners more is the answer, you haven't done the math. The men who are party to these births are, of course, just as irresponsible, just as uncommitted to a civic responsibility to take care of their own." In " Single moms are making us broke." by Joe Soucheray, Pioneer Press, 4 May 2013.

 

 A Different Sort of Battle

 

            Yet in spite of the changing demographics in the West, one finds feminism fighting a different sort of battle:  "Our understanding of Islamism, according to what we have learned fighting against it, tells us that our criticism of it is valid and holds out much hope for the future. At the heart of Islamism lies the enslavement of women based on control over their sexuality. The hijab is at the same time both a symbol and a tool of this enslavement." In "Why topless protesters will hound Islamic leaders," by Inna Shevchenko, special to CNN, 22 April 2013.

            Of sex in another "empowering" context, one reads via translation:  "However, jihad comes first, for it is the pinnacle of Islam, and if the pinnacle of Islam can only be achieved through sodomy, then there is no wrong in it. For the overarching rule of [Islamic] jurisprudence asserts that 'necessity makes permissible the prohibited.' And if obligatory matters can only be achieved by performing the prohibited, then it becomes obligatory to perform the prohibited, and there is no greater duty than jihad. After he sodomizes you, you must ask Allah for forgiveness and praise him all the more. And know that Allah will reward the jihadis on the Day of Resurrection, according to their intentions—and your intention, Allah willing, is for the victory of Islam, and we ask that Allah accept it of you." Quote from a fatwa of Al-Khallaf, in "The 'Sex Jihad'," by Raymond Ibrahim, Human Events, 24 June 2013.

 

 Gordian Knot Knotted

 

            One sees the modern dilemma for the modern liberal mentality. If sex is ever permissible according to the rational of the individual "empowered" by such thinking, then what of all the uses which so-called empowered women, enslaved according to other views, travel to provide sexual favors to rebel fighters. Which is empowerment and which is enslavement? It comes down to words and postures and stances and more words and words and enlightened "feminist" words. Free to do what? Un-free to do what? Empowering feminism seems to have not untied this Gordian knot, while oddly it has undone many other societal ties.

            It seems that some feminists have spoken clearly against rationales for sex in every circumstance while others, less so:  " 'I am struggling to understand a world in which the only anti-capitalist organisation is Islam and it seems the only way we can have Islam is with Sharia law,' she said. 'If I have to watch African women, North Africa women, Arab women choosing an Islamic republic because it is the answer then I'm also going to have to watch those women negotiate the problems that will be presented when they adopt Islamic systems.' " In "Hay Kerala: [ Germaine ] Greer warns 'I think we are all in grave danger'," by Matthew Bayley, Telegraph UK, 19 November 2013.   See:   Islamophobia  .

 

[ 4 ]    One begins to see that "empowerment" might mean things not originally intended by the political caste.  One reads, "Single Americans make up more than half of the adult population for the first time since the government began compiling such statistics in 1976. Some 124.6 million Americans were single in August, 50.2 percent of those who were 16 years or older, according to data used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly job-market report. That percentage had been hovering just below 50 percent since about the beginning of 2013 before edging above it in July and August. In 1976, it was 37.4 percent and has been trending upward since." In "Is Everybody Single? More Than Half the U.S. Now, Up From 37% in '76," by Rich Miller, Bloomberg, 9 September 2014.

 

 How Clever

 

            One may then consider what "empowerment" meant as a political catch-all phrase of the moment, when the cultural trend as borne out by statistics shows that, in part, such empowerment also touches on being single. The famous slogans of feminists echo here, one superficially empowering albeit nonsensical.  "Dunn coined the famous catch phrase: 'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,' which was subsequently popularised by Gloria Steinem and became a popular slogan among feminists." In "Irina Dunn," Wikipedia, n. d. 

            How clever the political feminists have been, empowering women with metaphors of fish and bicycles such that decades later one reads in Psychology Today of the "unhappiest profile":  "Female, 42 years old, Unmarried (and no children), Household income under $100,000, In a professional position (doctor, lawyer, etc.)" Jen Roesch, of the Socialist Worker, argues of women that "society has failed us." It seems clear that political action has failed, while birthing that "unhappiest profile," unmarried, childless, yet financially middle class and professionally accomplished. What's missing then? More politics? More feminism? More bicycles?

            An echo of Steinem's silly but memorable statement, a comment on the news site opines:   "A woman may need a man like a fish needs a bicycle, but it appears that she wants him to have a job with a stable income." A comment posted by Will, Pasadena, CA.

            This to an article about marriage, economic class and culture failing the institution, as one reads:   "Changing culture is harder: Government marriage promotion programs haven't worked well, for example. Yet it’s clear from research that if relationships progressed more slowly, and childbirth came later, families would be more stable." In "How Did Marriage Become a Mark of Privilege?," Claire Cain Miller, New York Times, 25 September 2017.

            The observation based on many sources is that marriage is a word with great and little meaning, at the same time. This results in Wedding Shredding   -- bedding, treading, sledding.

 

[ 5 ]    One hears the absence of many Western feminist voices as regards issues in Islam worldwide, excepting to refrain from addressing issues which women in the Islamic world are addressing for themselves.

 

 Morality Police?

 

            One reads as an example:  "The hijab is becoming an increasingly contentious issue in Iran as women step up their campaign against it and other oppressive, gendered laws. In recent months, women have been filmed walking through Tehran with their hair uncovered and activists have urged Western tourists to violate laws by refusing to wear the hijab during their visits to the Islamic republic." In "Iranian women cut off their hair and dress as men to avoid morality police," by Heather Saul, Independent UK, 22 May 2016.

            The article has the courage to note that this "is a serious cultural war between two lifestyles." In an age throughout the West awash in cultural relativism, the notion that there is a cultural war becomes a stumbling block, as many Western feminists are themselves active in local politics all the while being silent about this real "cultural war," a phrase on which the cultural relativists of the West so often gag.

 

[ 6 ]     Government planning for society, including China's one child policy and sex selection coupled to abortion has resulted in consequences.  One reads:   "Besides, the shortage of marriageable age women has made it difficult for men to find a spouse, especially in poverty-stricken rural areas. The number of marriageable age men in China will be 24 million more than marriageable age women in 2020. And given the huge social pressure single men face in rural areas, they could become the catalyst to many problems, such as sex crimes and trafficking of women, which in turn could undermine social stability and harmony." In "Staying single not good for demographics," by Mu Guangzong, China Daily, 5 September 2017.

 


 

A drunken poet - paraphrase of a Gotthold Ephraim Lessing poem

A drunken poet emptied
His glass with hefty swig;
His companion warned him:
Hey! enough of that, you pig.
Almost toppling from his stool,
He said: That's incorrect!
Ah yes, one can drink too much,
But enough? That I expect.

See:    Du hast genug   

 


 

True socialism, oh yes, he said

  

"For the Nazi Party, the brownshirts -- who included the unemployed, the underemployed, apprentices and high-school students -- were 'political soldiers.' In Goebbel's view, their task was the 'conquest of the street.' In the melting pot of Berlin, these primarily young men were supposed to reconcile and embody two previously hostile worldviews: nationalism, which Goebbels believed had to be 'reshaped in a revolutionary way,' and a 'true socialism' free of Marxism." In "The Ruthless Rise of the Nazis in Berlin," by Uwe Klussmann, Der Spiegel, 29 November 2012

 

True socialism, oh yes, he said,
                        And today socialists should squirm,
For all the waters spilt o'er that dam
                        And blood spilled for this one term
Left the world to bleed and die
                        As millions of dead confirm;

Define it as you may and will;
                        In it there is a vicious germ
That grows into a murdering rot
                        As multiple histories all confirm.
National and yet socialist?
                        Reshaped? And brutal and firm.

But then, international socialist?
                        It collapsed being brought full-term.
True socialism, oh yes, each said;
                        All who forget now reaffirm
The same and ugly soldiers' stance
                        And the gnawing of that worm.

True socialism, oh yes, he said,
                        Yet true socialists don't squirm.
That they do not, but urge it again
                        Should clearly reaffirm
That such as he are with us still,
                        His cadre dreams long-term.

 

Envoi:   “The Convention promulgated this great axiom: 'The liberty of one citizen ends where the liberty of another citizen begins,' which comprises in two lines the entire law of human society.”
Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

 

 Addendum from the Source Himself:   "...a general conception of life can never be given an organic embodiment until it is precisely and definitely formulated. The function which dogma fulfils in religious belief is parallel to the function which party principles fulfill for a political party which is in the process of being built up. Therefore, for the conception of life that is based on the folk idea it is necessary that an instrument be forged which can be used in fighting for this ideal, similar to the Marxist party organization which clears the way for internationalism. And this is the aim which the German National Socialist Labour Movement pursues." In "Mein Kampf," Adolf Hitler, translated by James Murphy, Hurst and Blackett, Ltd., 1939.

 

Addendum of Sources:    "From the camp of bourgeois tradition, it takes national resolve, and from the materialism of the Marxist dogma living, creative Socialism. Volksgemeinschaft: that means a community of all productive labor, that means the oneness of all vital interests, that means overcoming bourgeois privatism and the unionized, mechanically organized masses, that means unconditionally equating the individual fate and the nation, the individual and the Volk. I know that liberal bourgeois concepts are highly developed in Germany, the bourgeois man rejects public life and has a deep-seated aversion toward what goes on in the streets. If he weakens in his resolve for any length of time, this public life, the street, will destroy the ideal of his four walls. In cases like this, attack is the best form of defense." Adolf Hitler, in an interview for the writer Hanns Johst on the concept of the ‘Bürger’ (bourgeoisie) published in the “Frankfurter Volksblatt ,“ 27 January 1934.    [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Aryan Intellectual Glories:  "For Socialism in itself is anything but an international creation. As a noble conception it has indeed grown up exclusively in Aryan hearts: it owes its intellectual glories only to Aryan brains." Adolf Hitler, in a Speech in Munich, 28 July 1922.    [ 2 ]

 

Detail from a Nazi political poster, circa 1940

 

Addendum from Another National Socialist:   "We are Socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, with its injustice in wages, with its immoral evaluation of individuals according to wealth and money instead of responsibility and achievement, and we are determined under all circumstances to abolish this system ! And with my inclination to practical action it seems obvious to me that we have to put a better, more just, more moral system in its place, one which, as it were, has arms and legs and better arms and legs than the present one!" In "Thoughts about the Tasks of the Future," by Gregor Strasser, 15 June 1926.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Setting One Record Straight:   "A 94-year-old former SS sergeant admitted in court Friday that he had served as an Auschwitz death camp guard, apologizing to Nazi Holocaust survivors looking on in a German courtroom that even though he was aware Jews were being gassed and their corpses burned, he did nothing to try to stop it. Reinhold Hanning told the Detmould state court that he had never spoken about his wartime service in Auschwitz from January 1942 to June 1944, even to his family, but wanted to use his trial as an opportunity to set the record straight." In "Former SS Auschwitz guard apologizes at trial," by David Risin, Associated Press, 29 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of a German Historian's Passing:   "Nolte, who died this week at the age of 93, suggested that Stalin's forced-labour camps and the killing of millions of peasants in the Soviet Union were forerunners of the Nazi crimes. One of the concerns that arose following Nolte’s hypothesis, was the potential threat of minimizing Nazi crimes. His thesis was mostly refuted by the historical community, and he was was heavily criticized by sociologist and philosopher Jürgen Habermas, who accused Nolte of trying to whitewash the past in a column for 'Die Zeit'. The controversy was not only intellectual but also thoroughly political. Right-wing intellectuals argued that a similar approach should be taken towards different totalitarian states, whereas left-wing intellectuals thought that the Nazi crimes could not be equated with the crimes of the Soviet communism." In "Controversial Berlin historian dies aged 93," TheLocal.de, 19 August 2016.   [ 4 ]

 

See:   I'll use my freedom   and also  The Truth 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    A portion of this quote is cited in a Wikipedia article on National Socialism, and also in other resources, among them "The Essential Hitler: Speeches and Commentary," by Max Domarus, Bolchazy-Carducci, 2007.

          "Creative Socialism" interpreted by Nationalism, as editors attempt to downplay the socialist themes in favor of the nationalist in order to obfuscate that National Socialism was and remains somehow the antithesis of international socialism, when in fact Victor Hugo's simple statement is the true antithesis of the Nazi Totalitarian , as well as the modern and most ardent yet antiquated political character of our moment in history, today's dear old Auntie Capital .

 

[ 2 ]   The notion that National Socialism was somehow not socialism is refuted within the texts of Hitler's many speeches, though one notes many contemporary historians fail to cite such remarks.

          From an anti-capitalist speech a speech in Schleiz, Southwest Thuringia, in 18 January 1927, one reads:  "We are National Socialists, that is to say what we understand by the word nation is not one class, nor one economic group; the nation is for us the collective term for all people who speak our language and possess our blood. We see no possibility for pride in the nation if there is a well-fed group of entrepreneurs and behind them the starving and exhausted working people of our nation."

 

 Teaching Socialism - A Must

 

          Later in an opening speech at the new Winterhilfswerk, Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, 5 October 1937, Hitler declared:   "... there is a difference between the theoretical knowledge of socialism and the practical life of socialism. People are not born socialists, but must first be taught how to become them."

          History serves when well documented to show that National Socialism was among the Enemies of Capitalism . Thus the well-used model of a "capitalist" right wing and "socialist" left wing of politics fails, if one clusters the anti-capitalists together, such that German National Socialism and Italian Fascism group together with various versions of Socialism worldwide as "anti-capitalist." Oddly the other feature by which these various systems cluster is their consistent opposition to freedom and eventually political dissent.

 

[ 3 ]   This quote by an ardent Nazi illustrates what the modern academic stance wishes to ignore, that National Socialists were indeed socialists, and dedicating to eradicating capitalism.

          One learns: "Strasser joined a revived NSDAP in 1925 and once again established himself as a powerful and dominant member, hugely increasing the party's membership and reputation in northern Germany. Personal and political conflicts with Adolf Hitler led to his death in 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives." Wikipedia article, "Gregor Strasser (1892-1934), n. d.

          That the totalitarian system he espoused turned on him is one example among many of totalitarian systems which purge the ranks of their own when threats to centralized power are perceived. Such was the case, for example, in the Baath Party of Iraq under Sadaam Huseein which purged from its own ranks to consolidate power. Similar examples may be seen in the histories of the Soviet Union and during the "cultural revolution" of Communist China.

 

[ 4 ]    The seeming distinction between right-wing and left-wing is a pretense, I argue. The obituary of  Nolte contrasts him with Habermas, as seemingly representative of right-wing and left-wing. Of Habermas one notes that while Ernt Nolte argued for the links between ideology and state-sponsored mass murder, Habermas who Wikipedia notes was "...associated with the Frankfurt School," and that this Frankfurt School sought to "fill in the perceived omissions of classical Marxism, they sought to draw answers from other schools of thought, hence using the insights of antipositivist sociology, psychoanalysis, existential philosophy, and other disciplines," one might learn that the article indentifies the need of the postmodern Left to disassociate Hitler and the Holocaust from Stalin and the Holomodor as well as Mao with the Cultural Revolution and Pol Pot with the slaughter in Cambodia.

 

 A Never-Correct Model

 

          The sheer magnitude of state-sponsored and ideologically-driven mass murder in all the above instances does not minimize Hitler's evil, but rather places it alongside other state mass murders. The seeming intellectual irritation towards Nolte is that he notes this, presenting a challenge to the advocates of greater state powers -- left, as right -- to explain why a gathering of ever broader state powers is somehow to be disassociated from government, left as right. Unlike the professional historians and based on Hitler's own words as the above, I suggest herein that the model of Left and Right was never correct, as one notes how often various intellectuals and the media manage to prove that Left is Right, as Right is Left .

          When a historian connects government and political ideology with state sponsored mass murder, there should be precious little controversy about it. Governments are the greatest perpetrators of mass murder, and such governments all cluster together under similar ideologies. What "perceived omissions of classical Marxism" correct this in the many decades of intellectual activities by those associated with the Frankfurt School?

          Another scholar has quoted Hitler himself:  "We are Socialists, enemies, mortal enemies of the present capitalist economic system...." Enough said.

 


 

Decline to comment

"Big Island Carbon LLC, which spent some $50 million to build a biomass plant to turn Hawaii-grown macadamia nut shells into granulated activated carbon, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company, which has not started commercial operations at the Kawaihae plant, has laid off all 25 employees, including CEO Rick Vidgen, who was let go on Oct. 9 along with Chief Operating Officer Fred Baker and Controller Gerald Gruber, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, where the bankruptcy was filed on Nov. 5. Vidgen declined to comment on the bankruptcy filing." In "Biomass producer Big Island Carbon files Chapter 7 bankruptcy," by Janis L. Magin, Managing Editor of Digital Content- Pacific Business News, 27 November 2012

Decline to comment;
No comment to be had.
Bankrupt but so green.
Now isn't that so sad?

The story is now oft reprised
And acted out again.
All and more is then foreseen.
The question is just when?

Of such things we are now told:
To comment, one declines.
Might I herein be too bold?
Such no comment brightly shines...

...out the same-old same-old mold.
Bankruptcy but maligns.
Truth foreseen, corruption told:
Ergo one comment declines.

 

Addendum of High-Paid Chaps with Low Income:   "Filings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware show Chief Executive Officer Rick Vidgen received $184,000 in salary and $21,228 in expenses for the 12-month period ending Oct. 30, while Chief Operating Officer Fred Baker received $240,000 in salary and $3,365 in expenses. A third executive, Controller Gerald Gruber, received $130,000.In comparison, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie makes $117,312 annually. Richard Rosenblum, president and CEO of Hawaii Electric Industries, the parent company of Hawaiian Electric Co. with a net worth of $1.7 billion, makes $602,000. Big Island Carbon had $15,353 in income in 2010, $38,845 in 2011 and $14,017 so far this year, according to court filings. Income came from shell sales, equipment rentals and interest." In "Big Island Carbon officers paid nearly $500K," by Nancy Cook Lauer, Hawaii Tribune Herald, 1 December 2014.

 

See:   Bankrupt green    and  So  - stupid,  and also  We won't ever be like them  - reality, ahem!

 


 

Guns for me

"A Cook County judge set bail at $25,000 for Donne Trotter, 62, on the felony charge. Trotter, who has called the incident an honest mistake, posted bond and was released shortly afterward. If convicted, Trotter could face a sentence ranging from probation to up to four years in prison, according to prosecutors. Trotter, a Chicago Democrat, is a gun control advocate who once voted "no" on a measure that would have allowed state residents to carry concealed weapons in 1995." In "Illinois lawmaker running for Congress out on bond after gun charge" by Renita D. Young, Reuters, 6 December 2012.

Guns for me, but not for thee,
That's our gun control.
Registered or maybe not?
That's a slick Chicago pol.

Strictest laws, so they say,
A gun safe zone to have,
Leaking like a hole-filled sieve
As words spread out their salve.

Let's all join the circus:
Gun control's the rage,
Let's organize a demo,
With rhetoric, thick and sage.

But when the push comes to pushing shove,
It seems the shoving folks
Think all their words and all their push
Are just their little jokes.

A Class 4 felony? An honest mistake,
Pled the jackass with donkey ears,
And all the other jackasses
Racing to allay political fears.

Guns for me, but not for thee,
That's gun control, we say.
Registered or maybe not?
That's part of the Chicago way.

 

Envoi:   "Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attributes the rise in homicides, in part, to the broader problem of illegal guns on the street." In "Chicago observes a grim milestone: the 500th murder of 2012," by Adam Edelman, New York Daily News, 29 December 2012.

 

Adden-dumb:   "One party official made a joking reference to State Sen. Donne Trotter's early December arrest at O’Hare International Airport for carrying an unregistered handgun. Trotter is one of the candidates who wants Jackson's old seat.," by Janell Ross, Huffington Post, Chicago, 21 December 2012.

 

Vice-Addendum:   " 'Kate, if you want to protect yourself, get a double barreled shotgun,' Biden responded. 'I promise you, as I told my wife, we live in an area that's wooded and somewhat secluded. I said, Jill, if there's ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out, put [up] that double barreled shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house.' The vice president said that by firing two shotgun blasts, anyone who might be trying to break in would be scared off. 'You don't need an AR-15,' he said. 'Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!' " In "Joe Biden Says No Need To Own Assault Weapons: 'Buy A Shotgun!' " by Jennifer Bendery, Huffington Post, 19 February 2013.

 

Addendum of Getting Firearms:   "The Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association fired back after the proposal, saying public safety is paramount and these proposed cuts will have a negative impact. John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, said, 'If the mayor's not going to provide security, then my recommendation, as an experienced law enforcement officer for nearly 40 years, is either buy yourself an attack dog, put bars on your windows and doors and get yourself some firearms because you're going to have to protect yourselves. We won't be able to'." In "Hundreds of police jobs at stake, in new Miami-Dade budget proposal," in "WSVN Channel 7 News," 8 July 2014.

 

Addendum of a Anti-Gun State Senator's Gun:   "Police searched a state senator's home Sunday after he was accused of firing a shotgun following a fight with his girlfriend. Sources told Local 4 state Sen. Virgil Smith, who represents the fourth district, fired several shots into the woman's car." In "DPD source says Mich. Sen. Virgil Smith fired shotgun shots after arguing with girlfriend," ClickOnDetroit, 10 May 2015.

 

Addendum of Guns for the Anti-violence Group:   "When officers eventually raided the office, they found guns, heroin, cocaine, and other items used in the manufacturing and sale of drugs, including cutting agents and scales, police said. Nine people were arrested at the site, including two Safe Streets employees, who Wen said have been terminated." In "East Baltimore anti-violence group work suspended after guns, drugs found in raid," by Kevin Rector and Justin Fenton, Baltimore Sun, 14 July 2015.

 

Addendum of More Permitted Guns:   "Between 2007 and 2014, murder rates fell from 5.6 to 4.2 deaths per 100,000 (according to preliminary estimates). This 25% drop coincided with a 156% increase in the number of adults with permits. A similar drop occurred in other violent crimes. The data have consistently shown that states with the biggest increases in permits also experienced the biggest reductions in murder rates. Dozens of academic papers have documented that allowing concealed carrying leads to a reduction in violent crime, and the Crime Prevention Research Center report shows that this pattern has continued over the last few years. Permit holders are extremely law-abiding — even more law-abiding than the police, who are rarely convicted of crimes. The latest data from Texas and Florida continue to show that permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at less than one-sixth the rate that police officers are." In "Americans now know: More guns = less crime," by John R. Lott Jr., Journal Sentinel, 27 July 2015.  [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of the Decrease in Gun Violence:   "In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 — a total of 11,208 firearm homicides. The number of victims of crimes involving guns that did not result in death (such as robberies) declined even more precipitously, from 725 per 100,000 people in 1993 to 175 in 2013." In "We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why." By Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post, 3 December 2015.

 

Addendum of a Grateful Gun Dealer:    "Adam McGuffy is a manager at Mister Guns in Plano and says President Obama has always been good for business. 'Obama is the best gun salesman since Samuel Colt. Every time he opens his mouth and tries to limit gun purchase, it has the complete opposite effect'." In "Gun Store Owner Expects Gun Sales To Shoot Up After Obama’s Speech," by Austin York, CBS News, 5 January 2016.

 

Addendum of Buying in Record Numbers:   "Women are buying handguns in record numbers -- especially weapons that are small enough to conceal." In "Women are reshaping the gun industry," by Aaron Smith, CNN, 2 February 2016.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Kennesaw:   "Sec. 34-21. - Heads of households to maintain firearms. (a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore. (b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony. (Ord. No. 2009-03, Exh. A, 2-16-09) In "Kennesaw, Georgia - Code of Ordinances," online, updated 23 September 2015.

 

 Addendum of Pink Pistols:   "Mike Smith, a firearms instructor in Colorado Springs, is one of many closely tracking the sudden surge in gays and lesbians buying weapons. 'I think right now because of what happened, people are looking for answers,' he said. 'You walk into a gun shop and you expect to see people, frankly, who look like me. I think we forget we’re a country of all people, not just people who fit that predetermined mold.' The Pink Pistols is a national gun club for gays and lesbians. It saw its membership soar from about 1,500 members on Saturday to 3,500 on Monday." In "Gun sales surge among gays, lesbians after Orlando shooting, by Keagan Harsha, Fox31 News, 14 June 2016.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Considering an Arming Citizenry:   "Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said today the U.S. and the rest of the democratic world is at a security crossroads in the wake of last month's deadly al-Shabab attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya – and suggested an answer could be in arming civilians. In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called 'soft targets' are hit: either create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves. 'Societies have to think about how they're going to approach the problem,' Noble said. 'One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you're going to have to pass through extraordinary security'." In "Exclusive: After Westgate, Interpol Chief Ponders 'Armed Citizenry'," by Josh Margolin, ABC News, 21 October 2013. 

 

 Addendum of Being More Likely to Protect than to Harm:   "A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 54 percent of blacks now see gun ownership as a good thing – more likely to protect than to harm – compared with 29 percent just two years ago. Predominantly black gun clubs and online forums report spikes in interest, especially from African-American women. Smith said black women made up 65 percent of his online group’s membership – from ordinary professional women seeking self-protection to dealers such as Francine James-Jones, owner of Bubbas Gun Sales in Georgia and one of the only – if not the only – African-American women to hold a U.S. federal firearm license." In "For black gun owners, bearing arms is a civil rights issue," by Hannah Allam, McClatchy, 15 July 2016.

 

 Addendum of Similar Likelihoods:   "The rate at which people were killed was virtually the same: 0.083 per million people in the EU versus 0.089 per million people in the U.S. But the injury rate in the EU was more than twice as high: 0.19 versus 0.087. If you compare the U.S. to individual countries in Europe over the same time period, the U.S. had the 11th highest fatality rate. Because of Anders Breivik’s 2011 attack at a summer camp, Norway had the top spot — 1.9 per million people per year. This rate was 21 times higher than that of the U.S. But other advanced countries such as France, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium and the Czech Republic also came in above the U.S." In "We adjust for population with murder rates. Why not for mass shootings?" by John R. Lott Jr., Los Angeles Times, 31 July 2016.

 

See: If Chicago were a war zone  , and for an oddly parallel story of another American politician, The anti-gun guy 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     There are political gaffes and political gaffes in all campaigns and all politicians' blather. But amusingly, some statements become ludicrous and illogical. One such is:  "It’s not sporting to use a semi-automatic weapon to go hunting, or frankly, self-defense." In "Dan Muroff: 'Guns in the street are easier to find than healthy produce'," by Max Martin, Aldia News, 11 February 2016.

          The notion that self-defense should somehow be "sporting" is inane. Self-defense is not a sport, and often can be in deadly earnestness. Given the above examples of anti-gun politicians with guns for themselves -- often justified as for "defense" -- doubly indicts such a stupid statement by a politician campaigning for office.

 

[ 2 ]     "For the women we spoke with every shot, every lesson, every time they reload, it's about being prepared. 'It's like having a fire extinguisher. I mean, you have one in your house don't you? You don't think you're going to have a fire, but you're ready in case you do. I don't think something's going to happen to me, but if it does, I'm prepared.' said Katherine." In "12 Investigates: More Women Carrying Guns," WWBT NBC12, 2013.

          From an independent blogger, one reads:  "The firearms homicide rate for Black females age 15-24, was five times the rate of white women in the same age group. With the rise in home invasions, black women are doing what they have to do to protect themselves. The Castle Doctrine is now Law in 21 states, making it legal to use lethal force to stop an intruder in your home. According to the US Census Bureau, 75% of women who killed a stranger in self-defense with a handgun were Black. The National Sporting Goods Association says the number of female gun consumers has increased 9% in a year. The National Shooting Sports Foundation attributes the boost to first-time female buyers, mainly concerned about protection." In "Black Women Buy Guns in Record Numbers," Black Girl Green World blog, 7 January 2012.

          Given the seemingly potent fluidity of political memes in this time, one might ask of this "Black Girl" blogger, is opposition to guns an opposition to black women "doing what they have to do to protect themselves?" Is the anti-gun opponent therefore misogynistic? Or racist?

 

 Harriet Tubman's Gun

 

          This blogger continued:  "The history of Black women arming themselves dates back to our earliest years in this country. Harriet Tubman even carried a gun for protection on the Underground Railroad. She also used her rifle to threaten runaway slaves who wanted to turn back, telling them, 'You’ll be free or die.' Black women activists (in the 1960′s and 1970′s) first 'used the gun as a bid for equal power within their often sexist movements, ' says Laura Browder, author of 'Her Best Shot: Women and Guns in America'."

          When anti-gun elite protect themselves with armed security personnel, and when some anti-gun politicians are proved to hold guns, and when a political gaffe can allege that "self-defense" should somehow be "sporting," the arguments weaken dramatically. One crowns the debate with a sitting Vice-President urging, "Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!"

          Cue the laugh track.

 

[ 3 ]   More from Pink Pistols in the aftermath of the Orlando mass murder at a gay club:  "Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols, an international GLBT self-defense organization, warns people not to jump immediately to the assailant’s guns as the object of blame, but to concentrate instead on Mateen’s violent acts. 'The Pink Pistols gives condolences to all family and friends of those killed and injured at Pulse,' began Patton. 'This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul. I say again, GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future'." In "Pink Pistols Saddened by Attack on Orlando Club," statement of Pink Pistols, 12 June 2016.

          Pink Pistols' slogan is "Pick On Someone Your Own Caliber."

 


 

Cash in

"The District said Monday that hundreds of city workers took nearly $2 million in fraudulent unemployment benefits, a scandal that roiled the D.C. government earlier this year and prompted widespread firings and criminal charges. Lisa Mallory, the director of the D.C. Department of Employment Services, told the D.C. Council that her agency had detected $1.9 million in overpayments to District workers who collected unemployment benefits while on the city's payroll. 'This probe continues to be ongoing,; said Mallory, who has credited access to a specialized database for the initial detection of the fraud." In "D.C. says more than 300 city workers involved in unemployment scandal," by Alan Blinder, Washington Times, 19 November 2012

Cash in.
    Trash in.
        Thrashin' the law.
Hundreds.
    Boneheads.
        Gosh. Gee. Pshaw.
Workers,
    Shirkers,
        There's a guffaw.
Wheeling,
    Dealing,
        Stealing? Who saw?
Scandal?
    Handle
        Fraud or withdraw.

 

Envoi:  "Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity."  Tacitus (56-117), in "Annals"

 

Addendum:    "We have a generation, many of whom are looking for a way to bleed the system to get their 'fair share.' We could call them the 'entitlement class.' But it goes beyond the welfare class to people with jobs and careers, looking for some way to 'cash in' in some way. There are many variations, but the common denominator is people looking for a way to get some kind of a free ride, in a manner in which they did not work for it or earn it. This reaches even to the tops of corporate America, with the recent bunch of corporate executives and CEOs that had a lapse of ethics and conscience and seem to have forgot such annoying things as laws, in the interest of their own personal fortunes." In "The Tytler Cycle" by John Eberhard. CommonSenseGovernment.com, 15 September 2003

 

Addendum:   "The government's case against Freeman centered on an alleged scheme in which he was accused of boosting his salary by illegally directing Local 6434 money to the affiliated organization he led, California United Homecare Workers. He was charged with similarly defrauding a union-funded nonprofit group devoted to building homes for low-wage workers. At the time, Freeman's annual compensation was about $200,000, making him one of the higher-paid union leaders in the nation. The tax counts he was convicted on involved his failure to report about $63,000 in income from 2006 and 2007. Prosecutors dropped another tax charge initially brought in the indictment." In "Former leader of major California union faces theft, tax charges," by Paul Pringle and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 1 August 2013

 

Follow-up to the addendum:   "Ex-SEIU local exec convicted of stealing from low-income members," by Paul Pringle and Hailey Branson-Potts, Los Angeles Times, 28 January 2013.

 

Addendum of Cashing In via Medical Embezzlement:   "In America the scale of medical embezzlement is extraordinary. According to Donald Berwick, the ex-boss of Medicare and Medicaid (the public health schemes for the old and poor), America lost between $82 billion and $272 billion in 2011 to medical fraud and abuse. The higher figure is 10% of medical spending and a whopping 1.7% of GDP—as if robbers had made off with the entire output of Tennessee or nearly twice the budget of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS)." In "That’s where the money is," Economist, 31 May 2014.

 

See:    Welfare Queen  , also  Free Money 

 


 

Almost democracy

"The 'almost democracy' of the Hebrew Bible is less about structures of government than about culture and “habits of the heart,” the laws, practices and institutions capable of sustaining the virtues necessary for individual responsibility and a sense of the common good. It is as if in their different ways prophets, priests and sages were saying: there is a limit to how much can be changed in the human condition by power alone. Don’t expect political structures to deliver freedom. That needs a long apprenticeship in liberty. There is more to society than politics, and more to freedom than power." In "How democratic were the children of Israel?" by Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, The JC.com, November 15, 2012

Majority rule means nothing,
        If not dictatorship as a club.
Therein lies the truth of it,
        The meaning and the nub.


Little-d democrats
        Play the democratic game,
But push comes to shoving shove,
        And it's someone else gets the blame.


Liberty, freedom,
        Old fashioned words,
Irritate damning democrats
        And upset their loyal herds.


Society has so often
        More politics than it needs,
More seeking democratic power
        And practicing their screeds.


Minority rights must surely
        Then be well preserved,
When again majorities fail
        And to tyranny are swerved.


Little-d democrats
        Are not left to be right,
As orthodox democracy
        Is a rancorous fight.


Liberty, freedom,
        Such new fangled themes,
Threaten little-d democrats
        And their power-filling schemes.

 

Envoi:  "You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists." Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989), in Tikkun (July-August 1989)

 

Addendum:    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

 

Addendum:  "Importantly, majority rule is not a fundamental principle of either democracy or fairness, nor is it required by any basic principle of democracy or fairness." In "Against Majoritarianism: Democratic Values and Institutional Design," by Stephen Macedo, Boston University Law Review, Vol. 90:1029

 

Addendum:    "Love work, loath mastery over others, and avoid intimacy with the government." In "Ethics of the Fathers" (Pirkei Avot) 1:10, and "Be careful with the government, for they befriend a person only for their own needs. They appear to be friends when it is beneficial to them, but they do not stand by a person at the time of his distress." In " Ethics of the Fathers" (Pirkei Avot) 2:3

 

Addendum:  "Resist much, obey little." Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (first published 1855)

 

See:    Democracy is stupid  ,  and   Dizzy Dent   and also a setting of Walt Whitman's text,  To the States - (2004) 

 


 

Quatrains for Jules

Life goes by and by and by
And always what is near too nigh
Is ever and a time like this,
Its hour drawn out from time's ticked kiss.

What were we are we will we be
Answers not in its fading, free
From what is once as never was
But always is as time's tick does.

Time goes by and by and by
And ever when we sore to fly --
To soar on wings of gossamer
That in these times do rise and stir...

To their end that they may spread
And carry us on the road ahead.
Who knew knows or can foresee?
Perhaps someone, but not me.

I prefer a knowing not,
A point to where I go, a spot
Where knowing will then come to be
As willingly I leave off me...

To that, the greater immensity,
When life goes between me and thee.
Life goes by and by and by,
Yet never answers, questioned why.

 

See:   A song setting of Julie Dalton Williamson's text -  No Ending - (2012) 

 


 

The message seems quite clear

"Again, the message they’re sending is quite clear– citizens, even in death, are dairy cows for the government to milk. Perhaps most shocking is increase in dividend tax rates, set to rise from 15% to as high as 43.4%. Individuals who start productive businesses are being heavily penalized. Individuals who save their money and put it to work investing in other people’s businesses are being heavily penalized. This says a lot about government values. Ironically, the new government of the People’s Republic of China has decided the REDUCE their tax on dividends. Years ago it was 20%, then dropped to 10% in 2005. Effective January 1st, though, the dividend tax rate in China will drop to a mere 5%." In "Tell Me Again... Which Of These Nations Is Communist?" by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, 20 November 2012

The donkeys and the elephants
Are playing at their game.
Let us now tax dividends
To a world-high rate! The aim?

To recover from that which seems unfair,
And gather some capital cash
From all the folks who've got some
To add to our capital stash.

These donkeys and these elephants
Pretend that freedom works,
As they confiscate to spend and spend
On donkeys' and elephants' perks.

Leaders lead, for so they tell,
And the message seems quite clear;
They help themselves to the high life
Off the sheep they fleece and shear.

When China taxes less than US,
An odd thing clarifies.
Blue donkeys and red elephants
All tax as their sole enterprise.

 

Addendum: "In Shanghai, the tax cut has helped reduce enterprises' tax burdens by 22.5 billion yuan (3.57 billion U.S.dollars) in the first 10 months of this year, while in Beijing, the new measure has cut tax revenue by 2.5 billion yuan in two months." In "Tax cut to benefit over 900,000 enterprises," Xinhuanet, China, 26 November 2012

  

See:  Donkey Skins and Elephant Hides 

 


 

2-by-4

"Years of overhaul efforts have done little to improve schools in Illinois, and a comprehensive and sustained program to change how children are educated in the state's public schools is needed, leaders of an education reform group said Tuesday. 'We're going to have to hit this with a 2-by-4,' said Robin Steans, executive director of Advance Illinois. According to a report released by the organization Tuesday, only one-third of Illinois students complete fourth grade proficient in reading; the same percentage of students is academically prepared at the start of high school; and fewer than one-third of students leave high school ready for college." In "Advance Illinois releases dismal report on education in Illinois," by Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Chicago Tribune, 14 November 2012

1-by-2?
No one knew?
2-by-3?
Don't you see?
3-by-4?
Dropouts soar.
4-by-5?
Sake's alive!
5-by-6?
Politics.
6-by-7?
Film at 11.
7-by-8?
Not played straight.
8-by-9?
By design?
9-by-ten?
Yet again.
2-by-4?
You'll need more.

 


 

Two and fro - not too much to know

By the wardrobe stands a can
That could hold none other than
A box within the can, I'd wager,
Explaining "What's in the box?"
And yet another question knocks:
Is it sung in minor or perhaps in major?

Leering out a long rectangle
"Two eyes" -- ah -- knows the angle.
I ask: But in those drawers is what?
What drawers, you ask? I answer,
The referent's advancer.
Wardrobe drawers are boxes shut.

One opens all with questions;
One shuts all with suggestions:
Alternatives go forth, then back.
Can a box be in a can?
Is a rectangled box more than
A frame to boundary a cul-de-sac?

One wonders, knowing not,
Because in art that's what we've got.
Questions point to questions' queries.
One goes here and one goes there,
And one might go quite anywhere.
Or so is this my simple theory.

By some wardrobe stands some can
That could hold none other than
Some box within the can, I'd gamble,
Nothing ventured, nothing gained,
And so nothing well explained:
Such questions for us all to unscramble!

 


 

Coexist

An Egyptian jihad leader, with self-professed links to the Taliban, called for the 'destruction of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids in Egypt,' drawing ties between the Egyptian relics and Buddha statues, local media reported this week. Murgan Salem al-Gohary, an Islamist leader twice-sentenced under former President Hosni Mubarak for advocating violence, called on Muslims to remove such 'idols.' " In "'Destroy the idols,' Egyptian jihadist calls for removal of Sphinx, Pyramids," in Al Arabiya. 12 November 2012.
 

Coexist, as sometimes said
By the blind as Western-bred,
Makes seven sweet melding icons speak
A happy word, just one, just meek.

The starred Crescent, an angry moon,
Is followed by the peace sign swoon,
Then hermaphrodite -- boy-E-girl;
After then David's X-starred pearl
And after Wiccan's pronoun, I,
Yin-yang's circle seems so Sly,
T types Christian? Really? Why?

Coexist, so clever, coy,
With clever symbols spells a toy,
Subsuming religions in one word,
As if the image were not absurd.

The angry Crescent, a starred moon,
Is on its march across the dune
To sand away the distant past
In order that only it will last.
Coexistence, some have said,
Is wise, we should be led.
But others would crush that idol dead.

Coexist is an idol dressed
As an icon of the dulled, dead West
In a game not all will play
Until other idols are ground to clay.

 

 Envoi:  "The Saudi Arabian Mutaween (Arabic: مطوعين), or Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (i.e., the religious police) prohibits the practice of any religion other than Islam." In "Christianity in Saudi Arabia," Wikipedia article.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Coexistence with Radical Islam:   " 'God has honored us in the Islamic State to remove all of these idols and statutes worshipped instead of Allah in the past days,' one militant says in the video. Another militant vows that 'whenever we seize a piece of land, we will remove signs of idolatry and spread monotheism." In "Video: Islamic State group destroys ancient ruins of Nimrud," by Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press, 12 April 2015.

 

Addendum of Non-existent Coexistence:   "The government of Indonesia's Aceh province has approved a new law obliging every citizen to follow the sharia Islamic legal code regardless of their religion. Councillor Abdulah Saleh told the Jakarta Post that the new behaviour law, or qanun jinayat, 'does indeed oblige everyone in Aceh to follow sharia without exception.' Saleh said that the qanun stipulated that all those found to have violated sharia would be tried under Islamic law regardless of their religion. Non-Muslim violators of Indonesia's national criminal code (KUHP) will be given the option to choose between a sharia court or a regular court - but both courts will adhere to islamic legislation." In "Indonesia: Aceh Province Enforces Sharia for non-Muslims," by Ludovica Iaccino, International Business Times, 7 February 2014.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Comparisons:   "There is not a single majority Christian nation today that executes or imprisons people for blasphemy or apostasy. Several leading majority-Muslim countries punish these offenses with death, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. The Aasia Bibi case is a frightening example of the precarious position of religious minorities under these laws. Bibi, a rural laborer, was asked to bring water to a group of other women with whom she was working in the fields. Some of the women refused to drink the water after it had been touched by an 'unclean' Christian. Bibi got into an argument with them and defended her faith -- and was reported for blaspheming against Mohammed." In "Islam and the Intolerance Problem," by Cathy Young, RealClearPolitics, 23 January 2011.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Intolerant Coexistence:  "Al Salman said, 'Since the 14th of February, 2011 the government of Bahrain has extensively practiced sectarian seclusion and sectarian blaspheme. [sic] These practices add on to its long lasting sectarian discrimination practices that have denied the majority of Bahrainis their rights based on their religious, ethnic and sectarian background. Sectarian Framing in Bahrain is a deliberate regime strategy rather than being a secretion of social tensions.' ... Anti-Shi’ism has spread throughout Bahrain in a limited time span due to the utilization of official media and governmentally financed media to broadcast the culture of sectarian intolerance, noting that Bahrain only has one independent newspaper." In "Religious intolerance in Bahrain," Ahlul Bayt News Agency, 17 June 2013.

 

Addendum of Saudi Tolerance:   "In Saudi Arabia there is no Church, Synagogue, Buddhist nor Hindu Temple is allowed. Wahhabism (pseudo Salafism) is NOT a religion of tolerance. Wahhabism provides the fundamental base for Jihadism which causes unending strife and misery. It is not Iran that should be bombed. In Iran there are still Jews living there and praying in their Synagogues. Muammar al-Gaddafi respected Christian and Jewish religions and their Churches, Synagogues in Libya but American, English, French, Saudi and Qatari financed terrorists destroyed Churches, Synagogues recently. Buddhist Temples including Bamiyan Buddha statues have survived in Islamic countries for centuries, but they could not survive under the Wahhabism. Washington and London are protecting Wahhabi extremists." In "Muslims wiped out complete civilisations," by Nalliah Thayabharan, LankWeb, 1 July 2014.

 

 Addendum of More Saudi Tolerance:   "Saudi authorities have swooped on a house in the eastern province city of Khafji, on the border with Kuwait, and arrested 27 people for using the premises as church last week. Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) also confiscated copies of the Bible and various musical instruments from the people during the raid." In "27 Christians in Saudi Arabia Arrested for Using House As a Church," Assyrian International News, 16 January 2015.

 

Addendum of Convert, Pay or Die Coexistence:   " 'We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,' the announcement said. A resident of Mosul said the statement, issued in the name of the Islamic State in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, had been distributed on Thursday and read out in mosques. It said Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which the group has now named Caliph Ibrahim, had set a Saturday deadline for Christians who did not want to stay and live under those terms to 'leave the borders of the Islamic Caliphate. After this date, there is nothing between us and them but the sword,' it said." In "Convert, pay tax, or die, Islamic State warns Christians," Reuters, 18 July 2014.   [ 4 ]  

 

Addendum of Coexistence by Arson: "Militants from the radical jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have set fire to a 1,800-year-old church in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul, a photo released Saturday shows. The burning of the church is the latest in a series of destruction of Christian property in Mosul, which was taken by the Islamist rebels last month, along with other swathes of Iraqi territory." In "ISIS burns 1,800-year-old church in Mosul," Al Arabiya News, 20 July 2014.

 

Addendum of Clothes on Their Backs Tolerance:   "Islamic militants have seized a monastery in northern Iraq, kicking out its Christian monks as well as Christian residents of Mosul. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) insurgents stormed the ancient Mar Benham monastery in the Christian town of Qaraqosh Sunday, near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which was overrun by ISIS on 10 June. Mar Benham is a 4th century monastery run by the Syriac Catholic church. A member of the Syriac clergy said the monks pleaded to be allowed to save some of the monastery’s relics but the ISIS fighters refused and ordered them to leave on foot with only the clothes on their back." In "ISIS militants ransack Catholic monastery in Iraq," Russia Today, 21 July 2014.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Coexistence seen from Lebanon:   "The bishop accused Muslims of centuries of violence against Christians, condemning the attacks on the Christians of Iraqi Mosul. '[They don’t] have the right to storm houses, steal and attack the honor of Christians,' Saliba said. 'Most Muslims do this, the Ottomans killed us and after that the ruling nation-states understood the circumstances but always gave advantage to the Muslims.' Saliba also said Muslim generations are raised on bad feelings against Christians, saying this applies to the majority of Muslims. 'Islam has never changed, and Muslims have been educated on the bad treatment of Christians,' he said." In "Syriac Orthodox bishop: Muslims enemies of Christ," The Daily Star, Lebanon, 30 July 2014.

 

Addendum of "Kill the Jews" Again:   "France's politicians and community leaders have criticised the 'intolerable' violence against Paris' Jewish community, after a pro-Palestinian rally led to the vandalizing and looting of Jewish businesses and the burning of cars. It is the third time in a week where pro-Palestinian activists have clashed with the city's Jewish residents. On Sunday, locals reported chats of 'Gas the Jews' and 'Kill the Jews', as rioters attacked businesses in the Sarcelles district, known as 'little Jerusalem'. Manuel Valls, France's prime minister said: 'What happened in Sarcelles is intolerable. An attack on a synagogue and on a kosher shop is simply anti-Semitism. Nothing in France can justify this violence'." In "France's Jews Flee As Rioters Burn Paris Shops, Attack Synagogue," by Jessica Elgot, Huffington Post UK, 22 July 2014.    [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Brutally Attacking a Coexistence Artist:    "...in Paris, this particular iteration of the popular inscription—here, created by the street artist Combo, who also pasted a life-size photo of himself next to it—didn't go down well with everybody. Le Monde reports that four young people asked the artist to remove it last weekend, and beat him up severely when he refused to do so. Combo ended up with a dislocated shoulder and many bruises. The attack is characteristic of the inter-religious tensions that plague France and have been exacerbated by the Charlie Hebdo tragedy.... Combo declined to discuss the identity of his assailants. 'It would only add fuel to the fire,' he told the French newspaper." In "Street Artist Combo Brutally Attacked for Pacifist Tag Post Charlie Hebdo," by Coline Milliard, artnetnews, 5 February 2015.

 

Addendum from an Chaldean Archbishop:   "Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home." In "Archbishop of Mosul: 'I have lost my Diocese to Islam - You in the West will also become the victims of Muslims'," by Archbishop Amel Nona, Chaldean Catholic Archeparch of Mosul, now exiled in Erbil, via Corriere della Sera, 14 August 2014.

 

Addendum of Iranian Tolerance:   "Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, who ran for office as a moderate a year ago, has since presided over a brutal crackdown on Iran's Christian community. Rouhani and the religious mullahs he answers to have been particularly concerned about the spread of Christianity and conversion into its Muslim population. 'There are a lot of people who are disgruntled with the government and many for comfort and peace in their lives are turning to Christianity,' Jason DeMars, founder of Present Truth Ministries, which sponsors Christian churches and outreach in the Middle East, told FoxNews.com. 'That’s a threat to the regime. The more people who turn from Islam, the fewer people they have on their side,' DeMars added." In "Pastor imprisoned in Iran faces death for 'spreading corruption on Earth'," by Lisa Daftari, FoxNews, 5 September 2014.

 

Addendum of Muslim Coexistence with Armenian Christians:   "The Islamic State (also known as ISIS) destroyed the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor, news agencies in the Middle East reported. The reports surfaced as Armenia was celebrating the 23rd anniversary of its independence on Sept. 21. Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian issued a statement condemning the destruction of the church, which housed the remains of victims of the Armenian Genocide, calling it a 'horrible barbarity'." In "ISIS Destroys Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor," Armenian Weekly, 21 September 2014.

 

Addendum of Muslim Coexistence in Nigeria:   "Ethnic Fulani gunmen shouting the jihadist chant 'Allahu Akbar' attacked three villages in Nigeria’s Plateau state this month, burning down a church building and killing at least 10 Christians, sources said. Heavily-armed Fulani Muslim extremists on Sept. 14 attacked the Bokkos area, shooting five members of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in their homes in Mbar and burning down 15 houses and an Assemblies of God church building, said the Rev. Manasseh Duwong of the COCIN congregation in Mbar. 'They were shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar [God is greater]’ and also saying, 'We must wipe out these infidel Christians today,' Duwong told Morning Star News in Mbar." In "Islamic Extremists Kill at Least 10 Christians in Plateau State, Nigeria," Morningstar News, 23 September 2014.

 

Addendum of Noticing Parallels:   "French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia made an urgent plea to Europe to defend non-Muslims in the Middle East, whom he likened to Holocaust victims. Speaking Sunday at the Grand Synagogue in Paris at a commemoration for Holocaust victims, Korsia cited the Yazidis’ plight in Iraq as an example of a minority group in need of protection. 'The situation of religious minorities all over the world and especially in the Middle East resonates, unfortunately, with our commemoration today,' Korsia was quoted as saying by the French news agency AFP. 'As our parents wore the yellow star, Christians are made to wear the scarlet letter of 'nun'.' The Hebrew letter nun is the same sound as the beginning of Nazareen, an Arabic term signifying people from Nazareth, or Christians. According to reports, Muslim men in areas of Iraq that are controlled by the ISIS jihadist group have ordered Christians to wear the 14th letter of the Arabic letter on their clothes to make them instantly recognizable." In "French chief rabbi: Non-Muslims in Middle East akin to Holocaust victims," JTA, 23 September 2014.

 

 Addendum of the Armenian Holocaust Attacked Again:   "In the most savage act of vandalism against Syria’s Christians, Islamists have blown up the great Armenian church in Deir el-Zour, built in dedication to the one and a half million Armenians slaughtered by the Turks during the 1915 genocide. All of the church archives, dating back to 1841 and containing thousands of documents on the Armenian holocaust, were burned to ashes, while the bones of hundreds of genocide victims, packed into the church’s crypt in memory of the mass killings 99 years ago, were thrown into the street beside the ruins."' In "Jabhat al-Nusra blows up Armenian church in Deir el-Zour: A savage blow that echoes through Armenian history," by Robert Fisk, Independent UK, 10 November 2014.

 

Addendum of Coexistence at Point Blank Range:   "The non-Somalis were ordered to read some verses of the holy Koran, and those who failed to read were ordered to lie down. One by one they were shot in the head at point blank range." In "Kenya bus killings claimed by Somali group al-Shabab," BBC, 22 November 2014.    [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of Coexistence with Communism:   "Estimates for the number of Christians in China range from the conservative official figure of 23 million to as many as 100 million by independent scholars, raising the possibility that Christians may rival in size the 85 million members of the ruling Communist Party. In August, Beijing rounded up Christian pastors and religious scholars in a national seminar with the edict that the Christian faith must be free of foreign influence but 'adapt to China,' a euphemism for obeying the Communist Party's rule." In "Crosses torn down from 400 churches in eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang," Associated Press, 25 December 2014.

 

Addendum of Acknowledgement:    "...every attack perpetrated by Islamic extremists is an attack against freedom of speech, whether they’re terrorising journalists and cartoonists at a satirical magazine in Paris or bystanders having a quiet coffee in Sydney. These callous cowards seek to silence dissenting voices by waging a war of terror against anyone who dares question their twisted, totalitarian worldview. The time for weasel words and treading on eggshells is over. We owe it to the growing number of victims to open our eyes and acknowledge the unmistakable reality that radical Islam and Western values cannot coexist peacefully." In "Radical Islam and western values cannot coexist peacefully," by Rita Panahi, Herald Sun (Australia), 9 January 2015.

 

Addendum of Sunni Tolerance:   "Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, who serves as the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, said the destruction of churches was absolutely necessary and is required by Islamic law, Arabic media reported. Abdullah, who is considered to be the highest official of religious law in the Sunni Muslim kingdom, also serves as the head of the Supreme Council of Ulema (Islamic scholars) and of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing of Fatwas." In "Saudi grand mufti calls for demolition of churches," Times of Israel, 18 March 2015.

 

Addendum of Asking Questions:   "When the gunmen arrived at his dormitory he could hear them opening doors and asking if the people who had hidden inside whether they were Muslims or Christians. 'If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot,' he said. 'With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die'." In "At least 15 dead as gunmen attack university in Kenya," by Tom Odula and Rodney Muhumuza, Associated Press, 2 April 2015.

 

Addendum of Coexistence at Sea:   "Muslims who were among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat this week threw 12 fellow passengers overboard -- killing them -- because the 12 were Christians, Italian police said Thursday. Italian authorities have arrested 15 people on suspicion of murdering the Christians at sea, police in Palermo, Sicily, said." In "Italian police: Muslim migrants threw Christians overboard," by Hada Messia, Livia Borghese and Jason Hanna, CNN, 16 April 2015.

 

Addendum of Bans for Cultural Reasons:   "Saudi Arabia banned the August issue of the National Geographic's Arabic edition, whose cover featured Francis standing in the Sistine Chapel, due to what the magazine said were 'cultural reasons'." In "Saudi Arabia Bans National Geographic Cover Featuring Pope Francis," by David Kenner, Foreign Policy, 8 September 2015.

 

Addendum of Coexisting in Aceh:    "Authorities in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province on Monday began tearing down several small Christian churches after hardline Muslims demanded their closure, citing a lack of building permits, and following religious violence. Tensions are high among the ethnically and religiously diverse population of Aceh Singkil, where last week a mob burned down a church, leaving one person dead and forcing thousands of Christians to flee the area." In "Indonesia's Aceh province tears down churches after religious violence," by Kanupriya Kapoor, Reuters, 19 October 2015.

 

Addendum of Coexistence in a Refugee Camp:   "There have been tensions in Slovenia between refugee groups, say police, who earlier this week broke up a fight between Syrian and Afghan men who smashed their camp beds to build make-shift weapons. 'I’m sorry to say this,' says a young Syrian university lecturer travelling with Mr Haj Ali. 'And I know it sounds racist, but on our journey we have all seen what the Afghans do.' She does not want to give her name or show her face, citing family in Syria, but says large groups of Afghan men are 'intimidating' Syrian families. In "Refugee crisis: Syrians and Iraqis clash with Afghans as ethnic tensions rise near Slovenian border," by Jamie Merrill, Independent UK, 30 October 2015.

 

Addendum of Coexistence with Hacking:   "A publisher of a slain online critic of religious militancy was hacked to death on Saturday in the Bangladesh capital, police said, hours after similar attacks on two secular writers and another publisher in the majority-Muslim country. Faysal Arefin published books by Avijit Roy, a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin who was killed by Islamists militants in the same way in February." In "Publisher of slain blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh," by Ruma Paul, Reuters, 31 October 2015.

 

Addendum of the Negotiable Coexistence Standard:    " 'I absolutely agree that it is okay for those on the left to critique, mock, deride Christianity, but Islam gets a free pass, which is so strange, because if you care about women’s rights, if you care about human rights, if you care about gay rights, then really Islam is much more problematic – sorry to paint Islam with a huge brush – and much more devastating,' he said. 'As an atheist – where on planet Earth is the death penalty meted out to atheists?' Zuckerman said. 'It’s only in, I think, 24 Muslim countries'." In "Atheist: Okay to Disparage Christians, But Islam Off-Limits Because of ‘Fear’," by Penny Starr, Cybercast News Service, 30 October 2015.

 

Addendum of Kuwaiti Coexistence with Jews:    "Kuwait hates Jews so much that its national airline has ditched a popular and lucrative New York-to-London flight rather than allow Israelis on its planes, authorities said Thursday. Kuwait Airways killed the flight to spite American officials, who threatened to pull the airline’s permit to fly to the United States if they continued discriminating against Israeli passengers. The airline says they cannot allow Israelis on the planes because the Middle Eastern kingdom prohibits it citizens from doing business with citizens of the Jewish state." In "Jew-hating airline cancels flight rather than allow Israeli passengers," by Danielle Furfaro, New York Post, 17 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Muslim Coexistence with Christians in Brunei:   "The tiny oil-rich nation has banned the public celebrating of Christmas, following concern that it will affect the faith of its Muslims. Any Muslims caught celebrating Christmas, and non-Muslims who are discovered organising celebrations, could face the lengthy prison sentence." In "The super-rich ruler who stones gays, now bans Christmas: Sultan of Brunei threatens Muslims who celebrate it with up to five years in prison while Christians must keep theirs secret," by Imogen Calderwood, Mail Online, 21 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Somali Coexistence:   "Director General of Somalia's Ministry of Religious Affairs, Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow, warned that security forces would break-up any gatherings held in the capital Mogadishu. He said: 'All events related to Christmas and New Year celebrations are contrary to Islamic culture, which could damage aqidah (faith) of the Muslim community. There should be no activity at all'." In "Islamic nation of Somalia follows Sultan of Brunei's example and bans Christmas celebrations because 'they are contrary to our culture'," by Simon Tomlinson, Mail Online, 23 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Islamic State Coexistence:    "As Christmas approaches, Islamic extremists have warned Christians in the city of Mosul that they will not be allowed to celebrate Christmas because 'they are heretics.' In Kirkuk, Muslim militants attacked two Christian graveyards, desecrating tombs." In "Islamic State warns Iraqi Christians not to celebrate Christmas," Catholic World News, 23 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Coexistence in Sweden:   "...passersby on a central street in Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, were greeted with chants in Arabic urging the killing of Jews. 'Death to the Jews,'and 'More stabbings,' the protesters screamed,' recalls Jehoshua Kaufman, head of communications for Malmö’s Jewish community. The protesters at the October pro-Palestinian rally were referring to the near-daily stabbings of Jews by Arab assailants over the past couple of months in Israel." In "Facing death chants and hate crimes, Sweden’s Jews live in a climate of fear," by Josefin Dolstein, Times of Israel, 22 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Ultra-orthodox Israeli Coexistence:   "Benzi Gopstein of Lehava wrote 'Christmas has no place in the Holy Land' on an ultra-Orthodox Jewish website earlier this week, according to the Daily Telegraph and other Israeli media outlets. Gopstein also called on Christians to be expelled from Israel." In "Extremist religious leader says there's no place for Christmas in Israel," FOX News, 23 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Coexistence with an Apocalypse:   "Christianity is facing 'elimination' in the Middle East at the hands of an Islamic State 'apocalypse', the Archbishop of Cantebury has warned. The Most Reverend Justin Welby used his Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral to say IS is 'igniting a trail of fear, violence, hatred and determined oppression'." In "Welby: Christians Face Middle East Elimination," Sky News, 25 December 2015.

 

Addendum of Shitty Christians:   "Eyewitnesses reported that a group of apparently Muslim children and young people on Christmas Eve stormed into the church and allegedly shouted 'shitty Christians'."   [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of the Brothers of Apes and Pigs:   " 'Today, however, our enemies have joined forces against our nation,' says Sheikh Ahmad Bin Anis. 'The Islamic nation is held hostage by the absolutely most despicable and base nation on the face of the Earth. The nation of Islam has become subordinate to others, while in the past, others were subordinate to it. The nation is ruled by others, while in the past, others were ruled by it'." In "Yemeni Cleric: Jews Are 'Most Despicable, Base, Vile, and Wretched ... The Brothers of Apes and Pigs'," by Michael W. Chapman, Cybercast News, 4 January 2016.   [ 9 ]

 

Addendum of No Safe Space at Kings College, London:   " 'Attendees inside felt the walls and windows shake as they were struggling to hear the talk, looking genuinely scared for their security,' he continued. 'Indeed they had reason to. It got violent as a few managed to push their way into the building, break a glass window and physically assault a friend of mine. This came along with a tirade of verbal abuse, inches from the faces of many Jewish students. It got to a stage where the police felt the need to call in around 15 police officers and two vans. Two female friends of mine cried from the fear and abuse, and I stood there staring at a poster on the door declaring Kings College London to be a ‘safe space,’ and thought – what a lie. The truth is, universities across the UK are not safe spaces (if you happen to be a Zionist Jew)'." In "Pro-Palestinian protesters turn violent at London speech by former Shin Bet head," by Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, 20 January 2016.

 

Addendum of Muslims Coexisting with Muslims:   "The brawl in the early hours of Sunday morning in the Leimen camp in Baden-Württemberg, Germany was triggered by inter-Islamic friction between different interpretations of the faith. Pakistani Muslims at the migrant centre had discovered that a group of Muslims from Afghanistan had been drinking alcohol and accused them of being 'bad Muslims' for doing so, reports the Stuttgarter Nachrichten." In "Migrant Riot At Asylum Centre After Pakistani Muslims Catch Afghan Muslims Getting Drunk," Oliver JJ Lane, Breitbart, 25 January 2016.   [ 10 ]

 

Addendum of Coexistence with a Hindu Priest:   "A top Hindu priest was decapitated by attackers in northern Bangladesh Sunday and two worshippers wounded, police said, in the latest assault targeting minorities in the Muslim-majority nation." In "Leading Hindu priest decapitated in Bangladesh," Agence France Presse, 21 February 2016.    [ 11 ]

 

Addendum of Coexistence in a Berlin Refugee Center:   " 'We read the Bible in out 12-bed room. Immediately the other Muslims in the room complained, because we are converts from Islam to Christianity," said one victim. "Suddenly 7 people confronted us and wanted to thrash us. We were afraid for our lives!'  Then 20 police and a team with dogs were called to make arrests. The leader of the asylum confirmed to the press: 'Yes, there is mobbing against Christians'."  In "Muslims drive Christians away from Berlin Asylum Accommodations." Junge  Freiheit, 24 February 2016.   [ 12 ]

  

 Addendum of a Catholic's View in Indonesia:  " 'The Indonesians want to replace the Christian religion with Islam,' said Sister Susan Connelly, the author of the commission’s report. 'There is clear evidence of ongoing violence, intimidation, and harassment by the Indonesian security forces,' added the commission’s executive officer, Peter Arndt." In "Report finds ‘slow-motion genocide’ in West Papua," Catholic Culture, 25 March 2016.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence in Belgian Mosques:   "Controversy has erupted in Belgium after it emerged that some Belgian mosques were refusing to join public prayers for non-Muslim victims of the recent terror attacks in the capital Brussels. A report by the United Arab Emirates TV station Al-Ghad Al-Arabi explained that the Council of Belgian Imams rejected the prayer initiative, saying that praying for the souls of non-Muslims runs counter to Islamic law (Sharia)." In "Belgian Imams refuse to pray for non-Muslims killed in Brussels," by Ari Soffer, Arutz Sheva, 29 March 2016.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence with Bible Translators:    "The four unidentified translators, who worked secretly for Wycliffe Associates, a Florida non-profit dedicated to bringing the gospel to hundreds of obscure languages, were killed by suspected Islamist militants at an undisclosed location, Wycliffe officials said in a statement. 'They shot and destroyed all the equipment in the office,' read the statement. 'The invaders burned all the books and other translation materials in the office'." In "Bible charity vows to continue translation work after murders of four employees," by Perry Chiaramonte, FOX News, 30 March 2016.

 

 Addendum of Teaching Intolerance:   "A new study of Pakistani public school textbooks, which reach over 41 million children, found that these textbooks negatively portray religious minorities and signal that these minorities are untrustworthy and inferior. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) sponsored this study, which was conducted by the Pakistan-based NGO Peace and Education Foundation (PEF), an organization dedicated to promoting peace and tolerance in Pakistan. 'Pakistan's public school textbooks contain deeply troubling content that portrays non-Muslim citizens as outsiders, unpatriotic, and inferior; are filled with errors; and present widely-disputed historical 'facts' as settled history,' said USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George. 'Missing from these textbooks are any references to the rights of religious minorities and their positive contributions to Pakistan’s development. These textbooks sadly reflect the alarming state today of religious freedom in Pakistan. A country’s education system, including its textbooks, should promote religious tolerance, not close the door to cooperation and coexistence'." In "Pakistan: Public School Textbooks Continue to Teach Intolerance," United States Commission on International Religious Freedom," 11 April 2016.

 

 Addendum of Acting on a Rumor:   "A 70-year-old Christian woman has been stripped naked, beaten and paraded through the streets by a mob of around 300 Muslim men in a village in southern Egypt. The mob also burned down seven homes belonging to Christian families, according to an unusually outspoken statement issued by the local Orthodox Coptic church, after rumours circulated in the village that a Christian man was having a relationship with a Muslim woman." In "Elderly Christian woman stripped naked and paraded through streets by mob," by Adam Withnall, Independent UK, 26 May 2016.

 

 Addendum of Today's Anti-Semitism in Germany:  "Most victims of anti-Semitic crime are wearing kippahs at the time of the attack, Tagesspiegel reports. In one such attack, in October 2015, four men of Middle Eastern appearance insulted and spat at an Israeli travelling on the city’s underground system." In "Jewish man beaten in Berlin for wearing kippah," TheLocal.de, 22 June 2016.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence with Hindus and Sikhs:   "According to Avtar Singh, chairman of the national council of Hindus and Sikhs, the community now numbers fewer than 220 families, compared with around 220,000 members before the collapse of the Kabul government in 1992. Once spread across the country, the community is now mainly concentrated in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Ghazni, and the capital Kabul. Although Afghanistan is almost entirely Muslim, its constitution, drawn up after U.S.-led forces drove out the Taliban government in 2001, theoretically guarantees the right of minority religions to worship freely. In "Afghanistan's dwindling Sikh, Hindu communities flee new abuses," by Hamid Shalizi, Reuters, 22 June 2016.

 

Addendum of Coexistence in Turkey:   "The attacks by Islamist mobs begun on Saturday evening, that is, the evening after the attempted coup had been averted. Attacks were reported at the Catholic Church of Santa Maria in Trabzon; a second attacks was reported on a Protestant Church in Malatya. In Trabzon a mob of 10 people attacked the Catholic Church, throwing stones drawn from the pavement. The mob also carried sledge hummers. Fortunately, neighbours had warned the priest of the expected attack. Father Andrea Santoro was killed by another mob in this Church in February 2006. In Malatya too, the mob attacked the Protestant Church with stones and hammers, trying to enter the building. Mobs also attacked neighbourhoods of the Alevi Muslim religious minority in Malatya." In "Pro-government mobs attack religious minorities in Turkey," New Europe Online, 19 July 2016.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray:  "An 86-year-old priest has been 'beheaded' by two ISIS knifemen who cut his throat after bursting into a French church and taking nuns and worshippers hostage before being shot dead by police." In "Elderly priest, 86, is 'beheaded' by two ISIS knifemen shouting 'Daesh' after they took nuns and worshippers hostage at French church: Police shoot both attackers dead then search for bombs," by Peter Allen and Julian Robinson, Mail Online, 26 July 2016.

 

 Addendum of Islam's Increasing Coexistence with Christianity:   "A number of cases of terrorist reprisals and actions against Christians in the Middle East increased by 300% in the past seven years, Konstantin Dolgov, Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, said. 'According to estimates of a variety of human rights organizations, a number of cases of terrorist reprisals and actions against Christians, including in the Middle East, increased by 300% in the past seven years,' he said during a roundtable meeting on Tuesday." In "Number of actions against Christians in Middle East increases fourfold in past 7 years - Russian Foreign Ministry representative," Interfax Religion, 23 August 2016.

 

Addendum of Baha'i Under Iranian Islam:   "In a 122-page report, the community said Rouhani's government has stepped-up its 'campaign to incite hatred against Baha'is' including by disseminating more than 20,000 pieces of anti-Baha'i propaganda in the Iranian media. Since Rouhani was inaugurated in August 2013, the report said at least 151 Baha'is have been arrested, and at least 388 incidents of economic discrimination have been documented ranging from threats and intimidation to shop closings. The report also said that under Rouhani, thousands of Baha'is have been blocked from attending universities and 28 followers have been expelled." In "Baha'i minority says Iran is trying to crush the religion," by Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press, 25 October 2016.

 

Addendum of Communism's Coexistence Practice:    "During 40 years of communist rule in Albania – which in 1967 declared itself the first completely atheist country in the world – praying, making the sign of the cross, wearing a crucifix around one’s neck, or any other evidence of being a believer in God were treated as crimes." In "In Albania, the Church honors martyrs of the communist era," by Mónica Zorita de la Morena, Catholic News Agency, 2 November 2016.

 

Addendum of Coexistence with Indonesia's Minorities:    "...Mr. Purnama’s religion and ethnicity make him a target for Islamists. In recent days anti-Chinese posters and graffiti have appeared in Jakarta, bringing back memories of 1998 riots in which hundreds of ethnic Chinese were killed. Radical groups called on their supporters to use last week’s protest to incite jihad across the country. That is a real danger, as attacks on Christians and other religious minorities have increased. Much of the blame lies with former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who endorsed fatwas of the Indonesian Ulema Council, a group of top clerics, against minorities. The Defenders Front was allowed to operate with impunity even though it was linked to the burning of churches and attacks on Ahmadiyya Muslims." In "Indonesia’s Minorities Under Threat," by Ben Kurkin, Wall Street Journal, 8 November 2016.   [ 13 ]

 

Addendum of Muslim Coexistence with Christian Converts:   "Security agents also raided the home of their pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and his wife Fatemeh Pasandideh and arrested them at the same time, but they were not detained. Iranian authorities later charged converts Mosibzadeh, Fadayee and Omidi for consuming alcohol during a communion service. It is not illegal for Christians to drink alcohol in Iran but under Islamic law, Muslims are forbidden from drinking and it is illegal for Muslims to convert. The trio’s conversion from Islam to Christianity is not recognised by Iranian authorities who subscribe to Sharia law." In "Christians sentenced to 80 lashes by Sharia court for drinking communion wine," by Kate Mansfield, Express UK, 16 November 2016.

  

  Addendum of Pure Hatred for Christians:     "A translator at German refugee camps has revealed Muslim migrants are showing 'pure hatred' toward Christians and want the country to be Islamised. The Arabic speaker worked in a number of asylum centres across the country and went undercover to discover migrants were preaching 'pure hatred' about non-Muslims and women were planning to have more children to 'destroy Christians'. She said the hostility is also visible at asylum homes, where Muslim children refuse to play with Christians." In "'They want us to be Islamised. They despise our country and our values': Translator at German refugee camp says Muslim migrants display 'pure hatred' of Christians," by Gareth Davies, Mail Online UK, 17 November 2016.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence with Applying for a Permit:   "Christians have applied for a permit to build a church but have not yet received permission. Samir Nashed, a Christian resident of El-Naghamish, told ICC: 'On Friday [at] noon, November 25, following the Muslim prayers, a great deal of fanatic Muslim young men, some of them were carrying gas canisters and rocks while others came armed with automatic rifles, clubs, machetes and knives, they attacked Copts and Coptic-owned houses. The attackers cut [off] the road so that the fire trucks could not enter the village; they also cut off the water and power supply to the village'." In "Islamist mob destroys Christian homes in Egypt," Catholic Herald, 1 December 2016.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence with Egyptian Coptic Christians:   "A bombing at Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral killed 25 people and wounded another 35 on Sunday, in one of the deadliest attacks carried out against the religious minority in recent memory. The attack came two days after a bomb elsewhere in Cairo killed six policemen, an assault claimed by a shadowy group that authorities say is linked to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Islamic militants have targeted Christians in the past, including a New Year's Day bombing at a church in Alexandria in 2011 that killed at least 21 people." In "Bombing at Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral kills 25, Explosive detonated on women's side of the cathedral," by Associated Press via CBC, 11 December 2016.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence between Ugandan Christians and Muslims:   "A pastor in eastern Uganda and eight other Christians are missing two weeks after a Muslim mob attacked a church prayer meeting, locked the congregation in, beat several members and raped 15 women, sources said. The approximately 90 Muslims broke into the evening prayer meeting of Katira Church of Uganda, in Katira village, Budaka District at about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 and beat them with clubs and sticks, area sources said. Previously Muslims had only thrown stones at the roof of the church building to disrupt church services of the 500-member congregation, villagers said." In "Pastor, Eight Others Missing in Uganda after Muslims Beat, Rape Congregation," Morning Star News, 29 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence in Istanbul:   "An Islamist gunman, who has confessed to the killing of 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day, told a court that he had aimed to kill Christians during his attack, Hurriyet newspaper said on Monday, citing testimony given this weekend. Abdulgadir Masharipov initially planned to attack the area around Taksim Square but switched to the upscale Reina nightclub due to the heightened security measures around the square, Hurriyet said, without saying how it had obtained the document." In "Suspected Istanbul nightclub attacker wanted to kill Christians - Hurriyet, citing court document," by Tuvan Gumrukcu, Reuters, 13 February 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence in Venezuela:   "Militant socialists stormed a Mass in Venezuela on Sunday, shouting slogans such as 'Satan in a cassock' and 'fascist!' Congregants told Reuters that about 20 people barged in to San Pedro Claver church in the '23 De Enero' community, shouting 'Chavez lives!' " In "Socialist militants storm Mass in Venezuela," Catholic Herald, 16 February 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence with Religious Bullying in Australian Schools:   "Teachers at a primary school in Sydney, Australia have been threatened with beheading and other violence from young Islamic students, prompting one of them to quit her job. Students as young as those in Year 5, according to the Daily Telegraph, are making the violent threats and pressuring others to read the Koran at Punchbowl Public School in Sydney. Documents given to the newspaper allege that three staff members have taken a leave of absence owing to stress, received counselling and been awarded compensation after bullying from Islamic students." In "Australian Teacher Quits After Islamic Students Threaten to Behead Her," by Lukas Mikelionis, HeatStreet, 17 March 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence with Genitally-Obsessed Do-Gooding Hobbyists:   "Fergus Butler-Gallie, an ordinand at Westcott House, fired a mighty broadside: 'I'd say that any affirmation that involves the personal smearing of a brother or sister in Christ is no affirmation at all and that, if anything, it makes the church look even more like a genitally-obsessed bunch of do-gooding hobbyists than ever before. The fact that the highest paid clergyman in the Church of England (Martyn Percy) can use the deanery of an Oxford college as a sniper's post to take down a convincing advocate for the very poorest in society (with a columnist for the Guardian feeding him his ammunition) will send one message and one message alone – we care more about our own sub-Freudian internal wranglings than we do about the care of God's people.' Future prospects for the unity of the church are grim." In "The Church of England has sent a clear message to its conservative churchgoers – you're not wanted," by Andrew Sabisky, International Business Times, UK, 13 March 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence in Indonesia:   " Muslim-majority Indonesia recognizes six religions, but militant Islamic groups frequently protest against the minority faiths and police often do not intervene. Members of minority religions that aren't recognized by the state face persistent discrimination. Ismail Ibrahim, a cleric and organizer of the protest, said they would not disperse until authorities cancel the church's construction permit. The church in the northern part of Bekasi has been the target of protests by hard-line Muslims since it obtained its permit in June 2015. Some claim the church's leaders used false identity cards to get the permit. In April last year a Muslim group sealed off the church, tore down its sign and demanded that the mayor cancel the permit." In "Indonesia police fire tear gas on Muslims protesting church," by Achmad Ibrahim and Ali Kotarumalos, Associated Press, 24 March 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence on Australia Transit:   "...30-year-old Greek Orthodox Christian, Mike, discovered too late the risks of wearing a large cross outside his clothing while travelling on the train from Campsie to Bankstown with his girlfriend. He says he was minding his own business talking on his mobile phone, when four young men of Middle Eastern appearance allegedly violently ripped the crucifix off his neck, and stomped on it while swearing 'F*** Jesus' and referring to 'Allah'. He says they punched him and kicked him in his face, back and shoulders during the attack which began about 3pm, just after the train left Belmore station. When his girlfriend tried to defend him, two Arabic-speaking women also allegedly hit and kicked her." In "We rush to condemn Islamophobia. What about anti-Christian attacks," by Miranda Devine, Daily Telegraph, 8 April 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence in India:    "Concern about religious intolerance has grown across India particularly since the May 2014 election of Narendra Modi as prime minister, which saw a spike in the number of attacks against Christians and Muslims. After Modi took office the country saw a sharp rise in attacks against people and property, most of them perpetrated by the radical Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, also referred to as the RSS, or the 'the Sangh'." In "India bishops slam 'brutal' disruption of Good Friday service," by Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency, 21 April 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence with "the Middle East Overwhelmingly Dominated by Islam":    "Like the Jews before them, Christians are fleeing the Middle East, emptying what was once one of the world’s most-diverse regions of its ancient religions. They’re being driven away not only by Islamic State, but by governments the U.S. counts as allies in the fight against extremism. ...The exodus leaves the Middle East overwhelmingly dominated by Islam, whose rival sects often clash, raising the prospect that radicalism in the region will deepen. Conflicts between Sunni and Shiite Muslims have erupted across the Middle East, squeezing out Christians in places such as Iraq and Syria and forcing them to carve out new lives abroad, in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere." In "Christians, in an Epochal Shift, Are Leaving the Middle East," by Maria Abi-Habib, Wall Street Journal, 12 May 2017.

 

 Addendum of Coexistence between Islam and Liberal Values:    "The statue is being removed to maintain peace, said its creator Mrinal Haque. Analysts say this is a sign of the rising tension between Islamic conservatism and liberal values in Bangladesh. Protesters have long asserted that the figure, which held the familiar sword and scales of justice in her hands, amounted to idolatry." In "Greek goddess statue removed in Bangladesh after Islamist outcry," BBC, 26 May 2017.

 

 Addendum of Reform Islam Coexisting with Erdoğan's Islam:   "The found of a new liberal mosque in Berlin, lawyer Seyran Ates, has received the bill for her reform work: after enormous political critcism from Turkey, where the religious group Diyant and the Erdoğan-loyal media acts against the Gülen movement, she receives daily death threats. She must have 24-our police protection."   [ 14 ]

 

Addendum of Saudi Muslims Coexisting with Qatar's Muslims:    "Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called Qatar's demands for an internationalization of the Muslim hajj pilgrimage a declaration of war against the kingdom, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Sunday, although it was unclear whether Qatar had actually made any such demand. 'Qatar's demands to internationalize the holy sites is aggressive and a declaration of war against the kingdom,' Adel al-Jubeir was quoted saying on Al Arabiya's website." In "Saudi Arabia says calls for internationalization of holy sites 'a declaration of war'," Reuters, 30 July 2017.

   

 Addendum of Islamic Coexistence with Mali Catholics:    "...attacks by Touareg separatists and Islamist insurgents have continued, delaying the return of displaced Malians from neighbouring Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. Rights groups have reported summary executions and the destruction of schools and forced recruitment of child soldiers. Mgr Dembele said armed men had smashed their way into a church at Dobara, 500 miles north of the capital Bamako, in late September, throwing out crosses, altar furnishings and a statue of Mary, which they burned outside. Assailants also drove Catholics out of a church at Bodwal, warning they would be killed if 'seen praying in the church,' he said." In "Mali Church leader voices alarm as Islamists attack parishes," by Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic Herald, 6 Oct 2017.

 

 Addendum of a Future Chance at Coexistence:   "...there is clearly also something strategically more significant going on. While many of the officials arrested over the weekend threaten Mohammed's power, they aren't the only ones that he has purged. In September Mohammed arrested some 30 senior Wahhabist clerics and intellectuals. And Saturday's arrest of the princes, cabinet ministers and business leaders was followed up by further arrests of senior Wahhabist clerics. At the same time, Mohammed has been promoting clerics who espouse tolerance for other religions, including Judaism and Christianity." In "Our world: Saudi purges and duty to act," by Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, 6 November 2017.

 

For more citations regarding Coexistence and Islam see:    Islamophobia 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     "Hundreds of men, women and children have been arrested and detained in Saudi Arabia since the Gulf Crisis in August 1990, most without charge or trial, solely for the peaceful expression of their religious beliefs. Scores have been subjected to torture, flogging or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment while in detention. In Saudi Arabia, where the vast majority of citizens are Sunni Muslims, both public and private non-Muslim religious worship is, in practice, banned. This ban is not limited to non-Muslims, however, as the public expression of Shi'a Muslim beliefs or the performance of their religious rites is strictly monitored and generally prohibited. In recent years a clear pattern of discrimination against religious minorities, particularly resident Christians and Saudi Arabian Shi'a Muslims, has emerged. Religious intolerance in the country appears to have become particularly acute after the Gulf Crisis of 1990-1991, as evidenced by a marked increase in the number of Christian worshippers being arrested and ill-treated solely for the peaceful expression of their religious beliefs." In "Saudi Arabia: Religious intolerance: The arrest, detention and torture of Christian worshippers and Shi'a Muslims," Amnesty International, September 1993, AI Index: MDE 23/06/93."

 

 In the Heartland, Uniquely Intolerant

 

         For another perspective:   "Religious intolerance is on the rise even in Kuwait, perhaps America's best friend in the Arab world. Until now Christians have worshipped freely in the Persian Gulf state. However, growing threats to religious minorities reflect public attitudes which could undermine the heretofore close U.S.-Kuwait relationship. Saudi Arabia long has promoted the worst forms of religious intolerance. Spiritual liberty simply doesn't exist. The country is essentially a totalitarian state. The government claims the right to decide the most fundamental questions involving every individual's conscience. The State Department's latest report on religious freedom observed: 'The laws and policies restrict religious freedom, and in practice, the government generally enforced these restrictions. Freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and is severely restricted in practice.' At best non-Sunni Muslims can hope to be left alone when they worship privately. The group Open Doors placed Saudi Arabia on its 'World Watch List,' noting simply that 'religious freedom does not exist in this heartland of Islam where citizens are only allowed to adhere to one religion.' Earlier this year the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom tagged the kingdom as a 'country of particular concern.' The Commission found that 'systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom continued despite improvements.' A decade after 9/11, 'the Saudi government has failed to implement a number of promised reforms related to promoting freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief. The Saudi government persists in banning all forms of public religious expression other than that of the government's own interpretation of one school of Sunni Islam.' Although Saudi Arabia is the most important Gulf State, it is uniquely intolerant." In "Religious Intolerance is on the Rise in Kuwait," by Doug Bandow, American Spectator, 31 April 2013.

         Saudi Arabia is at least consistent over time.  "Saudi authorities have swooped on a house in the eastern province city of Khafji, on the border with Kuwait, and arrested 27 people for using the premises as church last week. Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) also confiscated copies of the Bible and various musical instruments from the people during the raid." In "27 Christians in Saudi Arabia Arrested for Using House As a Church," Assyrian International News, 14 September 2014. 

 

 Deadly Renunciation

 

         Religious tolerance, Saudi style, is furthered by their courts.  "An Islamic court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to death for renouncing his Muslim faith, the English-language daily Saudi Gazette reported on Tuesday. The man, in his 20s, posted an online video ripping up a copy of Islam's holy book, the Koran, and hitting it with a shoe, the newspaper reported." In "Saudi Arabia court gives death penalty to man who renounced his Muslim faith," Reuters, 24 February 2015.

         So much for coexistence and religious tolerance. So in this year while apologists for Islam say that ISIS is not Islamic, and somehow demeans the adjective, "Islamic," one waits to hear from these same apologists state that the "Islamic court" is not Islamic, nor is beheading for insulting Islam, and renouncing it as a faith. One will likely wait a long time.

 

[ 2 ]     "Recent surveys indicate that Indonesian Muslims are increasingly intolerant of other religions, this according to a report published by the Jakarta-based Islamic National University (UIN). This has taken the form of non-acceptance by Muslims of non-Muslim teachers in public schools and opposition to new churches or non-Muslim places of worship. The survey, which compares data from 2001 to data from 2010, was conducted by the Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (PPIM), an independent research centre at the State Islamic University (UIN) in Jakarta, headed by executive director Jajat Burhanudin." In "Religious intolerance rising among Indonesian Muslims," by Mathias Hariyadi, AsiaNews, 5 October 2010.

 

[ 3 ]     As to the individual case:  "As well as the death penalty hanging over her, Asia Bibi now has a price on her head. A radical cleric has promised 500,000 Pakistani rupees (£3,700; $5,800) to anyone prepared to 'finish her'. He suggested that the Taliban might be happy to do it." In "Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi 'has price on her head'," by Orla Guerin, BBC, 7 December 2010.

 

 Persecution Today

 

           One notes of "coexistence" with such as Pakistan's cleric who can offer a bounty on a Christian, that "Nine of the 10 countries with the worst records for persecution of Christians have populations that are at least 50 percent Muslim, according to the assessment of persecution in the Open Doors USA's World Watch List (WWL) 2015 and population information published by the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency." In "9 of 10 Worst Countries for Persecution of Christians Have 50% or Greater Muslim Populations," by Lauretta Brown, Cybercast News, 8 January 2015.

 

 

 

           One may consider the official position of some Muslim nations the distinction that There's God and then there's Allah  .

           It may be noted that the longer list by Open Doors WWL also includes the Sino-Socialism of Communist China and its one party state, and the Stalinist North Korea.  Consider those who through a political state assert that god is dead  .

           Considered from the perspective of those advocating coexistence, it seems one may document two streams of world thought which wholeheartedly and forcefully disagree. One demands allegiance to one god and that god's language and culture-acquired laws, and the other demands allegiance to the state. So much for coexistence throughout much of the world in our time.

 

[ 4 ]     A fine example of coexistence, told by Reuters and validated by The Guardian:  ""Last weekend Isis gave the city's Christians a stark choice: convert to Islam, pay a  religious tax, or face death. 'They said there is no place for Christians in the Islamic state,' one distraught refugee said from the safety of Bashiqa, 16 miles from Mosul. 'Either you become Muslim or you leave.' Mosul's last 1,500 Christian families were reportedly robbed at Isis checkpoints as they fled." In "'They are savages,' say Christians forced to flee Mosul by Isis," by Fazel Hawramy, Guardian UK, 24 July 2014.

 

 Finishing Christianity

 

           "A priest hailing from what used to be Iraq’s largest Christian city has lamented the exodus of over 100,000 Christians from the city, many of whom are fleeing on foot with no food, money or water. 'Today the story of Christianity is finished in Iraq,' said a priest who identified himself as Fr. Nawar." In "Priest from Nineveh: 'Christianity is finished in Iraq'," by Elise Harris, Catholic News Agency, 8 August 2014.

           The intolerance is following the stream of Muslim migrants, as one reads:  "A Protestant minister from Berlin said Christian refugees had been threatened after they refused to take part in an Islamic prayer organized by other migrants." In "Non-Muslim refugees at mercy of other migrants, German group warns," Europe Online, 9 May 2016.

           One might inquire from the "coexistence" advocate how one may coexist without existence. The sentiment of the "coexist" graphic and bumper sticker is simply unable to meet the reality of extreme religious intolerance.

 

[ 5 ]   With as many instances of Muslim intolerance of other Muslims, of Christians and Jews, of secular peoples, one may well conclude that this kind of Islam is in fact at war with the world around it, seeking hegemony and utterly intolerant, in the modern parlance. This is among the reasons that the "Coexist" bumper sticker seen in the US is such a farce, spelling coexist beginning with the crescent moon.

 

 The Prohibiting Religion

 

           One reads:  "Saudi Arabia allows Christians to enter the country as foreign workers for temporary work, but does not allow them to practice their faith openly. Because of that Christians generally only worship in secret within private homes. Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are prohibited. These include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols, and others. The Saudi Arabian Mutaween (Arabic: مطوعين), or Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (i.e., the religious police) prohibits the practice of any religion other than Islam. Conversion of a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy, a crime punishable by death if the accused does not recant. The Government does not permit non-Muslim clergy to enter the country for the purpose of conducting religious services."  In "Christianity in Saudi Arabia," Wikipedia, n. d.

          The raging Muslim war in Iraq proves that the Wahhabi form of Sunni Islam is utterly intolerant of other views, and as such is a religious fascism. One reads: "Yazidi refugees who are stranded on Mount Sinjar said they have received calls from family members trapped behind enemy lines in villages now controlled by Islamic State jihadis. They have reportedly been handed a brutal ultimatum: convert to Islam – or die." In "Islamic State extremists deliver ultimatum to trapped Yazidis: 'Convert today - or die'," by Alastair Beach, Telegraph UK, 10 August 2014.

          Further one learns:  "Islamic State militants have killed at least 500 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority, burying some alive and taking hundreds of women as slaves, an Iraqi government minister told Reuters on Sunday. Human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani accused the Sunni Muslim insurgents - who have ordered the community they regard as "devil worshippers' to convert to Islam or die - of celebrating a 'a vicious atrocity' with cheers and weapons waved in the air." In "Islamic State kills at least 500 from Iraq's Yazidi minority," by Ahmed Rasheed, Reuters, 10 August 2014.

          How shall someone coexist with a religion which exercises a prohibition on "the practice of any religion other than Islam?" How shall someone coexist with a religious stance which demands "covert today - or die?"

 

[ 6 ]     One commentator observed that the Muslim protests during the Israel-Gaza conflict of August 2014 in Europe did not say "kill the Israelis," but clearly "kill the Jews" and "gas the Jews." The later reflects the gassing of Jews by the National Socialists during World War II. In that war, influential Muslims sided with Hitler.

          The textual ground for this comes from Islam itself, not either mainstream nor radical but historical. One reads as one example: "Chapter : The Last Hour would not come until a person would pass by a grave and wish that he should have been the occupant of that grave because of this calamity. Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews." In "Sahih Muslim Book 041, Hadith Number 6985."

 

 Natural Friends

 

           One reads of the then Grand Mufti of Jerusalem:  "During World War II he collaborated with both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy by making propagandistic radio broadcasts and by helping Germans recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS. On meeting Adolf Hitler he requested backing for Arab independence and support in opposing the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home. At war's end, he came under French protection, and then sought refuge in Cairo to avoid prosecution." In "Haj Amin al-Husseini," Wikipedia, n.d.

 

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Adolf Hitler

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1987-004-09A / Heinrich Hoffmann

 

           The Wiki article adds:  "When Husseini eventually met with Hitler and Ribbentrop in 1941, he assured Hitler that 'The Arabs were Germany's natural friends because they had the same enemies... namely the English, the Jews, and the Communists'."

 

 To Eliminate the Scourge

 

           This Muslim is quoted in that Wiki article:  "It is the duty of Muhammadans in general and Arabs in particular to … drive all Jews from Arab and Muhammadan countries….Germany is also struggling against the common foe who oppressed Arabs and Muhammadans in their different countries. It has very clearly recognized the Jews for what they are and resolved to find a definitive solution [endgültige Lösung] for the Jewish danger that will eliminate the scourge that Jews represent in the world."

           Given that this alliance with Hitler's National Socialists predates the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel, one also notes that Husseini tells that Jews were in fact living in "Arab and Muhammadan countries," giving lie to the latest political rhetoric from the PA that Jews did not live in the areas now known as Israel and Palestine.

           History tells of an even earlier flirtation by Germany with Muslims during World War I:  "Reserved primarily for Muslim prisoners, detainees lived in relative luxury and were given everything they needed to practise their faith. Spiritual texts were provided, Ramadan observed, a mosque erected – the first on German soil – and there were sermons by visiting spiritual leaders and academics. But Half Moon Camp was not some torchbearer for the more enlightened treatment of PoWs ushered in later by the Geneva Convention. It was, instead, the symbolic centre of a spectacularly unsuccessful pet project of Kaiser Wilhelm II: to turn Muslim soldiers fighting for Britain and France into jihadists loyal to Germany." In "Germany's grand First World War jihad experiment," by Florence Waters, Telegraph UK, 10 August 2014.

 

 Thinking About a History of War Crimes

 

           As to a public relations flap, one reads:  " 'We know the responsibility of the Nazis for the civilizational rupture of the Shoah,' Merkel told journalists at a joint press conference with Netanyahu in Berlin, adding that there was no reason for Germany to change its thinking about its history of war crimes." In "Palestinians not behind Holocaust: Merkel," TheLocal.de, 22 October 2015. The statement is correct, because the assertion of a state of Palestine is a mid-20th century phenomenon somewhat parallel to the establishment of the recognized state of Israel. The war crimes of the National Socialists resound to them and to a Third Reich which is now thankfully defeated and long gone.

 

 

Detail of photograph of Himmler greeting al-Husseini, circa 1943

 

           Recent documents inform. One reads of a telegram from Heinrich Himmler to al-Husseini:  " 'To the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini, 'The great National-Socialist movement of Great Germany has, from its inception, carried the flag of the struggle against world Jewry. For this reason, it has closely monitored the struggle of the freedom-loving Arabs – especially in Palestine – against the Jewish invaders. The common recognition of the enemy, and the joint struggle against it, are what form the solid foundation between Germany and the freedom-loving Muslims all over the world. The common recognition of the enemy, and the joint struggle against it, are what form the solid foundation between Germany and the freedom-loving Muslims all over the world. In this spirit, I am happy to wish you, on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, warm wishes for your continued struggle until the great victory.' SS commander in the entire Reich, Heinrich Himmler'." In "Document: SS Chief Wished Mufti in 1943 'Victory Against the Jewish Invaders'," by JNi.Media, 29 March 2017.

 

 

Detail from the telegram, as reproduced in the news article.

 

           Given the sentiment and the relationship between the mufti of Jerusalem and the SS commander "in the entire Reich," added to the details of al-Husseini's meeting with Hitler, Merkel's discounting of other than National Socialism as responsible for "the civilizational rupture of the Shoah" seems historically inaccurate and overtly political.

           Yet one reads of current "protests" which include calls to "gas the Jews" in this 21st century, all the while reports of Muslims gassing Muslims in Iraq and Syria have been documented and yet ignored by these same protests, this shows that this kind of Islam cannot "coexist" with Judaism, just as it is proving unwilling to coexist with other forms of Islam, as with Yazidi in Iraq, the Baha'i, Buddhists, Hindus, and Christians being expelled from their homes so many years after the World Wars.

           As to radical Islam in modern Germany, one learns that it "soars" as one reads:   "German federal prosecutors have opened up more than 900 terrorism-related cases so far this year, including 800 related to radical Islamists, according to a report published in the German language nespaper [ sic ] Welt am Sonntag on Sunday. The number of terrorism cases has jumped nearly four-fold compared to last year, when federal prosecutors opened about 250 proceedings. In 2013, there were about 80 terrorism cases in the courts." In "Germany terrorism prosecution cases soar: report," Deutsche Welle, 23 October 2017.

          Consider who one might coexist with The religion of peace .

 

[ 7 ]  One notes Somali Muslims are executing non-Muslims in Kenya, which borders Somali but is in fact a sovereign African nation of its own. This is demonstration that militant Islam is acting across borders, internationally without the excuses of Zionism by Israelis and such other rationales for war. Islam's militant side in confronting the historical challenge of facing coexistence with cultures which it can no longer conquer by brutal militancy, on the one hand, nor win by theological argument, given that its various sects are also at war with one another.

 

[ 8 ]  The original report is taken from a German news source reporting on this event in Mönchengladbach:   "Augenzeugen berichteten, dass eine Gruppe von offenbar muslimischen Kindern und Jugendlichen an Heiligabend in die Kirche gestürmt sei und angeblich "Scheiß-Christen" gerufen habe." In "Pfarrer sieht Anzeige gegen Kinder und Jugendliche als 'Signal'," by Aaron Clamann und Dieter Weber, Rheinische Post Online, 26 December 2015.

          In other German-language news from Switzerland, one finds an immigrant group lobbying to change the Swiss flag -- a characteristic white cross on a red background -- to another, because "The Swiss flag no more represents today's multicultural Switzerland," because it has a Christian background and "what is needed is a new symbol, with which one can identify, and not Christian."

 

 A Cross Offends

 

          The original reads:   "Das Schweizer Kreuz soll abgeschafft werden. Das fordert der Immigranten-Verein Second@s Plus. 'Die Schweizer Flagge entspricht der heutigen, multikulturellen Schweiz nicht mehr', sagt Vorstandsmitglied Ivica Petrusic. Das Kreuz habe einen christlichen Hintergrund. Die christliche Herkunft der Schweiz gelte es zwar zu respektieren, 'nur gilt es auch eine Trennung zwischen Religion und Staat zu machen', fordert Petrusic. 'Abgesehen davon haben wir heute eine grosse religiöse und kulturelle Vielfalt in der Schweiz.' Es brauche neue Symbole, mit denen sich auch alle identifizieren könnten, auch Nicht-Christen. " In "Immigranten-Verein fordert Abschaffung des Schweizer Kreuzes," Tages Anzeiger, 19 September 2011.

          Such is the nature of tolerance and coexistence between a nation and a politically active immigrant group. One wonders how the crescent moon which appears in many Muslim nations' flags and other symbols should fare such as Turkey, Pakistan, Libya, Malaysia and Mauritania, by this example?

          One wonders whether Saudi Arabia's flag with its Islamic creed, the shahada, inscribed over a sword should be changed because of religious content?

           What of the crosses which appear on the Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish and Icelandic flags? The Union Jack and St. George flags? Greece's? Dominican Republic? 

 

[ 9 ]      The report brings news not generally reported, thanks to video of the sheikh. The article notes:  "In a recent sermon posted on the Internet and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Sheikh Ahmad Bin Anis declares, 'Oh Muslims, oh servants of Allah, the nation of Islam ruled the world for a long time. This nation ruled the land in accordance with the shari'a'. The Islamic nation is invincible,' he says.  'In the days of yore, its slogan was: 'Convert to Islam, and you will be safe. Allah will reward you twice. Otherwise, pay the jizya poll tax in humiliation. Or else the sword will come down on the heads of those who resist this'.'" 

          One interesting feature of the modern age and technology racing forward is that such "sermons" are now more widely noticed, and the translations of such speeches allow for dissemination of this form of what is rightly hate speech.

 

 Taken Over by the Brothers of Apes and Pigs

 

          Filled with resentment of the wider world, this sheikh's view is clear, thanks to being captured on video.  " 'The nation of Islam has been taken over by its enemies,” he says. “It has been taken over by the Jews – the most despicable, base, vile, and wretched of all the creatures of Allah. Our nation has been taken over by the brothers of apes and pigs,' states the Muslim cleric."

          Consider the logic. In this new century, there are estimated to be 13 million Jews, while the estimate of Muslims worldwide is about 2 billion. That a population 150 times the size of Jews worldwide feels so powerless and "taken over by the Jews" suggest a truly weak "nation of Islam" or an enormously powerful 13 million Jews. What an odd and self-imaged victimhood for such a sheikh, dreaming of ruling "the world for a long time." The historical reality is that no single nation or religious group have ever ruled "the world."

          The reality of the "nation of Islam," in the parlance of Bin Anis, is that the "nation" is raging against itself. One reads:  "The Saudi foreign ministry said on Sunday that Iran’s reaction 'revealed its true face represented in support for terrorism'. A ministry statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency accused Tehran of 'blind sectarianism' and said that 'by its defence of terrorist acts' Iran is a 'partner in their crimes in the entire region'. Saudi foreign ministry spokesman Mansur al-Turki called Iran’s reaction 'irresponsible', and Riyadh summoned Tehran’s envoy in protest." In "Iran's leader warns Saudis of 'divine vengeance' over execution of Shia cleric," by Reuters and Agence-France Presse, 3 January 2016.

          As Bin Anis is recognized as a Yemeni cleric, one learns from a Wikipedia article on the nation that "Yemen is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and also participates in the nonaligned movement."  Given the absurd demographic and political claim that Jews "rule" over the "nation of Islam", one wonders whether Bin Anis is ruled by the Sunni and the Saudi monarchy, the Shia and the Iranian theocracy, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or a mere 13 million Jews worldwide, after all. Given so many religious and political entities ruling Muslims in the Arab world alone, Bin Anis' opinion becomes predictably anti-Semitic yet demographically absurd.

          But as the humorous Tom Lehrer (b. 1928) sang in his original lyrics for the song, "National Brotherhood Week" in the 1965 comedy album "That Was the Year That Was," this strophe capsules Bin Anis fifty years later:  "Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics, / And the Catholics hate the Protestants, / And the Hindus hate the Moslems, / And everybody hates the Jews."

 

[ 10 ]  For those interested, the original report in German reads:   "Der Grund für das Handgemenge in der Nacht zum Sonntag lag laut Polizei in unterschiedlichen riligiösen Ansichten über den Konsum von Alkohol. Dabei sollen Flüchtlinge aus Pakistan ihren afghanischen Mitbewohnern vorgeworfen haben, „schlechte Muslime“ zu sein, weil diese Alkohol getrunken hatten."In "Streit um Alkoholkonsum gipfelt in Massenschlägerei," Stuttgarter Nachrichten, 24 January 2016.

          One becomes ever more aware that even some Muslims would do well to be Islamophobic.

 

[ 11 ]  The question of coexistence between religious stances is not a generalized one, as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism have learned to manage this far more capably than the supremacist slant of Islam.

 

 What It Comes Down To

 

          One reads:  "Three different compilations of data thus yield the same conclusion: In the early 1900s Muslims were engaged in more intergroup violence than were non-muslims, and two-thirds to three-quarters of intercivilizational wars were between Muslims and non-Muslims. Islam's borders are bloody and so are its innards." In "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order," by Samuel P Huntington, Simon & Schuster, 1996.

          Critics of Huntington, such as Edward Said who replied with his "The Clash of Ignorance" (2001), complain that such "different compilations of data" are stereotypes, and stand in the way of finding peaceful coexistence with Muslim governments and religious authorities. What such critics blithely ignore is the outright ban on other religions as found in stark Muslim governments such as Saudi Arabia, which as cited above bans other religions as a matter of law.

          I agree with Said, that one should consider the notion of Islamophobia  , and so encourage a survey of news items over the last few years to glean more of an understanding of what Huntington asserts, that "Islam's borders are bloody and so are its innards." What it so often comes down to is the utterly basic question of "who should rule over whom?" This is true of all civilizations' powers, as it has been between individual groups of people in smaller contexts..

 

[ 12 ]  In the original German: " „Wir haben in unserem Zwölf-Bett-Zimmer die Bibel gelesen. Sofort haben uns die anderen Muslime im Raum beschimpft, weil wir vom Islam zum Christentum konvertiert sind“, sagte eines der Opfer. „Plötzlich standen siebzig Menschen vor uns, beschimpften uns und wollten uns verprügeln. Wir hatten Todesangst!“ Erst 20 Polizisten und eine Hundestaffel konnten den Angreifern Einhalt gebieten. Der Heimleiter bestätigte dem Blatt: „Ja, es gibt Mobbing gegen Christen.“ In "Moslems vertreiben Christen aus Berliner Asylunterkünften." Junge Freiheit, 24 February 2016.

 

 Harassers and the Harassed

 

          Other reports tell a similar, sad reality:  "...surveys of the 231 Christian migrants showed that 42 percent of them experienced insults, 37 percent claimed to have received physical injuries, and 32 percent even had death threats. The document is only 'the tip of the iceberg,' said Open Doors Germany head Markus Rode, adding there is 'fear and panic' among the non-Muslim newcomers, Deutsche Welle reports. According to AVC (Action on Behalf of Persecuted Christians and the Needy), who also took part in the survey, up to 40,000 Christian refugees and members of other religious minorities are being harassed for their religious beliefs in German centers, Bild reports." In "40,000 non-Muslim migrants harassed in German centers over their religion – activists," RT-TV-Novosti," 10 May 2016.

 

[ 13 ]  One notes that "minorities" in the article are ethnic Chinese, as well as Christian and Ahmadiyya Muslims, while the "defenders" supported by "top" Muslim clerics sanction "attacks." The picture of the Indonesian Ulema Council is clear, and essentially supremacist to the point of inciting repeated violence. Thus the happy graphic of the word "coexist" is proven naive at best, and not representative of the many news reports cited above, any more than was militantly atheist Communism in its day, which as seen below resulted so often in Death in Peacetime .

          Before coexistence can come, it must be wished for by all sides.

 

[ 14 ] In the original German news article:  "Die Gründerin einer neuen liberalen Moschee in Berlin, die Anwältin Seyran Ates, bekommt für ihr Reformwerk jetzt die Quittung: Nach hochpolitischer Kritik aus der Türkei, wo sie die Religionsbehörde Diyanet und die Erdogan- treuen Medien in die Nähe der Gülen- Bewegung rückten, erhält Ates nun täglich Morddrohungen. Sie musste daher mittlerweile unter 24- Stunden- Polizeischutz gestellt werden." In "D: Liberale Imamin braucht 24- h- Polizeischutz," Kronen Zeitung, 2 July 2017.

 


 

Death in Peacetime

"Mao Tse-Tung, who for decades held absolute power over the lives of one-quarter of the world's population, was responsible for well over 70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other twentieth-century leader." --Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, "Mao: The Unknown Story" (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005).


Death in peacetime ends not always
            with a peaceful, peacetime death,
As Sino-Socialism's victims prove
            with their millions' dying breath.
The professorial and the oh so cool,
            those edgy, trendy folk
Think Warhol's Mao's an icon,
            like a huge artistic joke.
Mao has hung on Christmas trees,
            on precinct workers' walls,
In posters and iconic things
            to line university halls.
When such Western stupidity
            is totaled, the sum is great,
A soft and cuddly version
            of murderous Maoist hate.
The Western Left love their icons
            and wear them like a charm,
Ignoring such brutality,
            much thuggery and harm.
But they would be offended
            when one would speak a truth;
The iconic Mister Western Mao
            is a lie told to our youth.
Death in peacetime ends not always
            with a peaceful, peacetime death,
As Sino-Socialism's victims prove
            with their millions' dying breath.

See:    Revising History 

 


 

I'm done with my complaining - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Müller poem

I'm done with my complaining
About how bad things get,
When with a heady, hefty wine
I can my whistle wet.

Awful news? Apocalypse?
Brother, let's have a drink!
To toss one down has greater worth
Than newsprint and the printers' ink.

Perhaps things round the world
And from day to miserable day
Get worse, more worse, most worse
As so many loudly say:

But there's relief in liquidity
Despite the fads and trends,
As has been true throughout the years
When spent with drink and friends.

What each passing year might bring
In public stings' breadth and length,
Is answered fruitfully by wine,
Ginning passion, courage, strength.

Let's pour out yet another round,
Open and empty, and open yet more.
Time flies by just the same,
And constant worry is such a bore!

For those who waste their pressured lives
Mired in misery's chains,
I recommend some vintage year
Such thinking to right rearrange.

 

Envoi:   "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

 

See:   Schlechte Zeiten, guter Wein   

 


 

Based upon their race

"The Florida State Board of Education passed a plan that sets goals for students in math and reading based upon their race. On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post." In "Florida Passes Plan For Racially-Based Academic Goals," CBS Tampa, 12 October 2012

Merit dies as scholarship
Lies gasping in ICU.
Equality has taken leave,
In this political curlicue.
            Grades are now just relative
            And goals change like the winds,
            As education withers now;
            Plain commonsense rescinds
The excuses which are trotted out
To make some colored skin
The same old lesser worth
Which the KKK said in sin.
            Slavery based on the hues of skin
            Was toppled long ago,
            But now the same conclusions
            Are held as apropos
Of enlightened academic thinking
About children, culture, race,
All the while their work
Keeps some lessers in their place.
            I'd hold to a different view,
            Expectations even raised,
            To see accomplishment be born
            And achievement highly praised.
But this is now what racists
Call racist in our day,
For it demands merit and
Then scholarship holds sway.
            The race which means the most
            Is not the Asian there,
            But in winning one's accomplishment
            All efforts are deemed fair.
Those who work and work yet more
Receive a just reward,
While those who act with sloth and less
Should probably be ignored.

 

See:    Everything's about my colored skin   - (or sadly, Why racism works)

 


 

We won't ever be like them - reality, ahem!

"Seven months after calling themselves the 'anti-Solyndra,' the Colorado-based solar panel manufacturer Abound Solar announced it was filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, arguing that cheap Chinese solar panels flooding the market caused their demise. 'With over $30 billion in reported government subsidies, Chinese panel makers were able to sell below cost and put Abound out of business before we were big enough to pose a real competitive threat to China’s rapidly growing market share,' according to the prepared congressional testimony by Craig Witsoe, former CEO of Abound." In "Sources, documents suggest government-subsidized Abound Solar was selling faulty product," by Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 2 October 2012

We would never be like them, and yet, in time we are.
Strike a pose, adopt a stance, keep reality afar?
But ticked time's mill stone grinds all fine,
And reality refuses to toe the illiquid line.

We won't ever be like them, that is, until we are.
Chapter seven liquidates this emptied repertoire.
Billions wasted on a dream, again and then again.
Such is the tale of subsidies and green lies told by men.

 

See:    Bankrupt green 

 


 

Sixteen trillion - the teetering pavilion

 "You load sixteen tons, what do you get? / Another day older and deeper in debt. / Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go, / I owe my soul to the company store." first recorded in 1946 by American country singer Merle Travis and released on his album 'Folk Songs of the Hills' in 1947.

You owe sixteen trillion, and what do you get?
Another year weaker and deeper in debt.
Prosperity ain't calling, the reason you know:
You owe your soul 'cause you wouldn't say "no."

The nation owes trillions, a growing threat.
The numbers explode; now don't you forget,
Prosperity can't call you, the numbers show:
You owe your soul 'cause you couldn't say "whoa."

You owe sixteen trillion, and that's your bad bet,
And so you ignore it, trying not to fret.
Prosperity can't help you by printing more dough:
You owe your soul for the money you blow.

 

You owe sixteen trillion, your grandkids' debt,
That's how you pretend you're clever, and yet....
Prosperity ain't coming to this fiasco:
They'll owe their souls  'cause you wouldn't say "no."

 

Envoi:   "And don't tell me debt is not a big deal. Debt will cut off your legs and laugh at you as you grovel in the dirt begging for mercy.  If you don't need it, don't get it. If you can't afford it, don't get it. If you're already in debt, get out quickly. If you think you'll never get out, you're right, you won't."  Osayi Osar-Emokpae, in "Impossible Is Stupid," CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011)

 

Synthesizing a Simple Stance:  This bit of doggerel was written in 2012, and is already wildly out-of-date. Such is the lunatic leadership of political leaders, who lead all into increasing debt.

 

Addendum of Skyrocketing Debt:   "19,012,827,698,417.93" on 29 January 2016, according to "The Daily History of the Debt Results," U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

 

See:    Debt 

 


 

Noah's Ark - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Müller poem

Our meals yet not our drink
Were brought from paradise.
What Adam once had wasted
When Eve's apple did entice
Was given back by heady wine
And merry songs that intertwine.

Once man's new earth was sunk
By the joys of eating crowned,
The flood would wash away man's sin
As creatures by it were drowned.
But dear old Noah did survive,
And did our grapes vines keep alive.

He fled with wife and family,
Sailing in an ark-shaped vat
Which floated o'er flooding waters,
And none got wet from that.
By this did wine for us live on
Till watery death became dry dawn.

And as the flood abated,
The great round house alit
So all could come ashore
And upon that mountain sit,
To greet anew with cheery hoots
And plant their vineyards' tender shoots.

That vat upon the mountain
Stands as monument this day;
Yet in Heidelberg on the Neckar
We see something like it, anyway.
So understand this then, a story fine,
How came our grapes along the Rhine.

If even one would err with bile
Our sacred wine so to revile,
He should sink in flooding waters
To wash away the smirk or smile.
So brethren, raise your glasses:
For wine and song all surpasses!

See:    Die Arche Noäh   

 


 

Not as bad as he is depicted

"I do not want to see the allies defeated. But I do not consider Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted. He is showing an ability that is amazing and seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed. Englishmen are showing the strength that Empire builders must have. I expect them to rise much higher than they seem to be doing." Mahatma Gandhi, in Letter to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, regarding the military situation between England and Germany (May 1940), quoted in Collected Works (1958), p. 70.

The problem with words is they hang around,
And then rise up with lingering sound
To remind that our saints are so easily fooled
As hindsight well shows to those so schooled.
                        Why, he wasn't as bad as he was depicted,
                        So said a man who wrongly predicted.

The problem with worship of all mortal men
Is even the best ones err, and then
Their errors compound into raging roars
Which teach us wise men too can be boors.
                        Why, he wasn't as bad as he was depicted,
                        So said some words history's contradicted.

Non-violence as a creed serves not well,
Sometimes paving a pathway straight to hell;
And wise pronouncements often pale
When in hindsight reality's truths prevail.
                    Yup, he wasn't as bad as he was depicted,
                    Excepting the millions of dead he'd inflicted.

 

Empire builders, now there's a phrase

Which bubbled in Gandhi's bubbling praise

With opinions sure footed, written and read

Which never conceived of so many dead.

                    But, he was in fact worse than he was depicted,
                    The mahatma was wrong, his vision constricted.

 

Envoi:    "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?" Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

 

Addendum:   "Relatively little was known in America about Hitler, and many leading newspapers predicted that the Nazis would not turn out to be as bad as some feared. An editorial in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin on Jan. 30 [1933] claimed that “there have been indications of moderation” on Hitler’s part. The editors of the Cleveland Press, on Jan. 31, asserted that the 'appointment of Hitler as German chancellor may not be such a threat to world peace as it appears at first blush.' Officials of the Roosevelt administration were quoted in the press as saying they 'had faith that Hitler would act with moderation compared to the extremist agitation [i]n his recent election campaigning... [They] based this belief on past events showing that so-called 'radical' groups usually moderated, once in power.'" In "How the press soft-pedaled Hitler," by Rafael Medoff, jns.org, posted 17 January 2013

  

See:    Conjugating Hitler 

 


 

Auntie Capital

"Nous sommes ici dans le dogme anti-capitaliste, l'anti-économique, le «brisage de rêve», la démotivation quasi-sadique, le "je-ne-sais-quoi-qui-donne-la nausée"..." In "Une loi de finances anti-start-up?" by Jean-David Chamboredon, La Tribune, 28 September 2012     [ 1 ]

Auntie Capital's in a snit
    And don't know what to do.
Auntie Capital is -- mmm -- fit
    To cook in Darwin's stew.
Auntie Capital's sucking dream
    Is ready, perched in view.
Auntie Capital's latest scheme,
    Does wrong 'gainst what works true.
Auntie Capital's latest thought
    Seeks more capital to be brought.
Then just what has belle France bought?
    A deadly cold is what she's caught.
Idea logs burst into fire,
    To burn with passion and expire.
Capital flees, we know that's true,
    As Auntie Capital applies her screw.
Dogma dogs old Auntie now,
    And soon she'll kill her own cash cow.

Auntie Capital can't live alone,

    She'll need her pigeons, when they've flown....

 

Envoi:  "Mais si les corbeaux, les vautours / Un de ces matins disparaissent / Le soleil brillera toujours."  ("But if these ravens, these vultures / disappeared one of these days / the sun will shine forever." From the socialist hymn, L'Internationale, 1871 text by Eugène Pottier (1816–1887).

 

Addendum of Green Anti-Capitalism:   "Environmentalists have declared that global warming can’t be stopped without ending the 'hegemonic capitalist system,' saying that cap-and-trade systems and conservation efforts are 'false solutions.' 'The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system,' reads the final draft of the Margarita Declaration, presented at a conference including about 130 environmental groups. 'To combat climate change it is necessary to change the system,' the declaration adds. Environmental activists met in the oil producing, socialist country of Venezuela as part of a United Nations-backed event to increase civil engagement in the lead up to a major climate conference." In "130 Environmental Groups Call For An End To Capitalism," by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 23 July 2014.   [ 2 ]

 

 

 

Addendum of an American Auntie:    "Moore and Glynn own nine properties in Michigan and New York, including a Manhattan condo that once was three apartments. CelebrityNetWorth.com pegs their wealth at $50 million. In legal pleadings, Moore blames his wife for the expansion of the 10,000-square-foot home on Torch Lake, which has a value of $2 million. He listed six media reports from 2011, which poked fun at the defender-of-the-poor for owning such a big house, as exhibits in the divorce case 'He criticizes capitalism, but capitalism made him rich,' said Gary Tracy, owner of Bellaire Bait and Tackle." In "Divorce case exposes bickering between Michael Moore, wife," by Francis X. Donnelly, Detroit News, 22 July 2014.    [ 3 ]

 

 Addendum of the New German Anti-Capitalists:   "Germany's G20 summit host city Hamburg braced for a potentially violent 'Welcome to Hell' protest Thursday by anti-capitalist activists as tensions rise in the lead-up to the power meeting. Ugly scenes unfolded Tuesday night as riot police used water cannon and pepper spray to clear an unauthorised protest camp, leaving five people injured and driving fears of more trouble ahead in the northern port city of Hamburg." In "G20 host Hamburg braces for 'Welcome to Hell' protest," by Frank Zeller, Agence France Presse, 6 July 2017.    [ 4 ]

 

Reference: Enemies of Capitalism  ,  just below

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]       Recent years have brought a reform of the Revolutionary Communist League:  "A new party aiming to appeal to disaffected French leftists of all political stripes was born Saturday.

 

 Anti-Capitalism -- New Again

 

            The New Anticapitalist Party, or NPA, is the latest incarnation of the Revolutionary Communist League, or LCR, which was dissolved to create the new party. NPA founder Olivier Besancenot has said the global economic crisis — and the conservative French government's response — has shown that the global capitalist system is not viable." In "New anticapitalist party born in France," in USAToday, 7 February 2009. 

            In only a few years the bickering began and worsened:  "In its first years, the NPA attracted whole new layers of activists from a wide variety of backgrounds: militant trade unionists, youth, greens, feminists, and even anarchists. Militants from smaller Trotskyist groups joined it, too. However, it failed to win them to a clear common strategic orientation for fighting capitalism; that is, to a coherent programme. Nor did it gain any agreement on the tactics necessary to bring down the Sarkozy government. And as we have noted, its electoral tactics were incoherent." In "France’s New Anticapitalist Party’s congress fails to solve its crisis," in Workers Power UK, 7 May 2013.

            Amusingly, one reads:  "In their minds, and contrary to what some politicians have assumed, the enemies are not the foreigners but employers and their main instrument: the State. Both of them pointed out the necessity to create links with the various fighting workers’ movements so as to make converge all the fights under a common perspective, the same political objective, which could eventually lead to a better organization of the society and a better distribution of wealth." In "France Anti-Capitalist Party Holds Gathering," by Anne-Sophie Raujol, La Jeune Politique, 25 October 2012.

 

 Out of Synch

 

            Now with avowed socialist Hollande atop French government, one sees Auntie Capital struggling -- because of capital being sought by the anti-capitalists. One reads:  "In a world where the best capitalists are card-carrying Chinese communists and even the Castro brothers are slowly liberalising Cuba, the episode exposed just how out of sync French politics are with what most of the world now thinks about the sources of economic growth." In "ArcelorMittal episode depicts France's anti-capitalist neurosis and its relationship with money," by Bennett Voyles, IndiaTimes, 9 December 2012.

            And so, the populace is unsettled:    "To express their discontent with Hollande’s policies, tens of thousands of leftists marched through Paris on Sunday. Police put the number of leftwing rally participants at 30,000, while the organizers claim the crowd was six times that figure. A major source of public anger is skyrocketing unemployment, the worst in years, with 3.2 million French now looking for work. And that’s just one of the factors which contributed to Hollande’s popularity plummet. The French are dissatisfied with the fact that the one who they hailed as a socialist hero could not deliver on many of his election promises." In "Hollande anniversary marked by protests and record popularity slump," RTNews, 6 May 2013. 

            What promises? To redistribute wealth by various policies to fund election promises, all the while denigrating the creation of wealth from which the Hollande programs planned to redistribute. One does not easily pay from an empty wallet.

            It is capital that fills wallets, as the Chinese communist leadership has managed rather well to fill theirs at the expense of a populace. For more on this, see:   Capital for Communists  - a story growing old,  and We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party 

            The basic problem for ideologues who seek to redistribute capital while speaking against capital is obvious. From whence comes capital, that one might be against it while seeking it? 

            And for this, one sees reaction from the 'dastardly' capitalists who have and are planning to exit France for its climbing taxation rates. It is therefore even more amusing to consider the rhetoric of anti-capitalism from an earlier historical perspective of other European anti-capitalists, as below.

 

 A Negative Approach

 

            And further, it is instructive to observe further from a news article:  "The weakness of their politics is that they have no united font policy towards the PS, and therefore no way of breaking French workers from reformism. And their approach to the NPA’s development is negative.

            Regarding its foundation as an abandonment of “Trotskyism”, they cannot see how to struggle for a revolutionary programme within it. While most of the NPA platforms agree on a turn outwards towards workers’ struggles, these are developing under a reformist PS-led government, where the union leaders, as usual, are holding back and sabotaging struggles to protect the government. In "France Anti-Capitalist Party Holds Gathering," by Anne-Sophie Raujol, La Jeune Politique, 25 Ocotber 2012. 

            If anti-capitalism were a positive and productive program, the most ardent anti-capitalist political movements should by now have demonstrated through their economic prosperity the greatest growth and productivity in history. Sadly for Auntie Capital, it seems that capital is still more productive than "anti-capital."

 

 Unlocking Possibilties

 

            This remains a delicious irony for dear old Auntie, which has yet to deal with -- as the original quote above clearly mentions -- "demotivation" of those producing the capital at the political attacks of the anti-capitalists who oddly seek capital. Might be that anti-capitalists require capital even more than capitalists? It seems so. One reads:

            "Capital unlocks possibilities by assigning resources to what has potential but is still unproven. It enables people to pursue solutions based on the case that can be made for the potential of those solutions, even when the people offering them are not the children of government ministers or the scions of old families. It is a powerful instrument used not only by private ventures, but also by governments, communities and not-for-profits striving to learn from private enterprise how to make sure the grants they make and the services they offer generate specific types of financial, social and environmental return. To be sure, this instrument is difficult to use well. Capital requires no small measure of skill and guidance to manage effectively, and when it is employed injudiciously the results are often ruinous." In "No, Capitalism Is Not Evil," by Alejandro Crawford, US News and World Report, 16 July 2013. 

            What one may well conclude is that anti-capitalists seek capital for their use using political means of confiscation while attempting to restrain others in a private sector from acquiring and using the very same capital that anti-capitalists seek. Thus anti-capitalism is merely the socialist leopard attempting to change its spots.

            As an example of misuse of capital by government being "ruinous," see:  Bankrupt green  .

 

[ 2 ]    The accusation is clear:   "El Colonialismo sigue operando. El cambio climático ocurre en un contexto histórico en el que un grupo de países basó su desarrollo en prácticas que generaron la crisis ambiental actual, incluyendo el Cambio Climático, mientras que otros sufren las peores consecuencias de esa crisis. Los países desarrollados, causantes del Cambio Climático, tratan de desviar el debate hacia soluciones tecnológicas o de mercado, evadiendo sus responsabilidades históricas."  In "Declaración de Margarita sobre Cambio Climático," Reunión Preparatoria para la PreCOP Social, 15-18 July 2014.

            "Colonialism continues to operate. Climate change occurs in a historical context in which a group of countries based on their development practices that led to the current environmental crisis, including climate change, while others suffer the worst consequences of this crisis. Developed countries, which cause climate change, try to divert the discussion towards technological solutions or market, evading their historical responsibilities."

 

 No Mention Is Made

 

            No mention is made of the 20th century tragedies of National Socialism, Soviet Socialism, Sino-Socialism, as well as the Pan-Arab Socialist parties, nor of the Baath Party of Iraq which set fire to its own oil fields, nor of China's growing use of coal and building of new coal-fired plants. Rather "colonialism" is the accusation without documentation, though which Western nations "continue" to operate by holding colonies is mentioned. Developed countries -- rich with capital, so the Declaration thinks -- cause climate change, and so bear "responsibility" to poorer countries, generally led by socialist parties and policies. This is the old Marxism warmed over for a new slice of rhetorical pie.

            The Declaration states:  "Las causas estructurales del cambio climático están ligadas al sistema hegemónico capitalista actual. Para combatir el cambio climático es necesario cambiar el sistema."  That is, "the structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system. To combat climate change is to change the system."

            Given that the Declaration was made while these environmental groups were meeting in Venezuela, an oil-producing nation which is in turmoil for its declining production and rising, rampant inflation due to socialist leadership, the irony is great. It comes to this - Auntie Capital wants capitalists to send her money because they are guilty historically of the crime of capitalism. Yet without capital being generated by capitalists, dear old Auntie Capital will get nothing.

            Old? Auntie Capital is old? Indeed, as one learns that the National Socialists were anti-capitalist eighty years ago (see below), while the Soviet Socialists constructed a now collapsed state from this old theme. And amusingly one learns that capital was very much admired by some socialist leaders. See:  Capital for Communists  - a story growing old.

            So what does the Declaración de Margarita sobre Cambio Climático want? Money, just as have socialists and communists throughout history. Anti-capitalists of the world, unite! Meet the new boss, same as the old.

 

[ 3 ]       The revelations in court provide a glimpse into capital acquired and a warning thereby:   "Don’t be hoodwinked by his casual demeanour and capitalism rants – Michael Moore’s millions make him one of the richest men in American media. Film-maker Moore, 60, made his name for anti-establishment politics with Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) and Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) – accruing a multi-million dollar fortune in the process." In "How anti-capitalist Michael Moore built a £30m fortune," by Kate Palmer, Telegraph UK, 25 July 2014.

 

[ 4 ]      The newest German anti-capitalists have forgotten or never been taught their own history of anti-capitalism, or the lesson below would have been in their minds as they re-enacted the old story.  Consider that circularity which is Left in an open book - it couldn't hurt to take a look.

 


 

Enemies of capitalism

 

"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions." Adolf Hitler, quoted in John Toland, "Adolf Hitler,"  p. 224, New York, Anchor Books, 1976.

A word, we're told, doesn't mean the same
                            When it various folks define.
Today's socialists say Hitler's game
                            Was fascist, as they whine,
But a word is a word is a word is a word
                            And that fiend toed the socialist line.


Modern socialists wiggle and squirm
                            To wrestle with this, yet malign
And as enemies of capitalism, they join hands
                            But with whom? I ask and opine,
With those who spoke the very same words,
                            Which stem from the roots of one socialist vine.

 

 

Envoi:   "Dr. Robert Ley, Nazi Labor Front leader, cribbed a few words from Karl Marx's and Friedrich Engels' Communist Manifesto, stole a sentence from Richard Wagner's opera Siegfried and  made a speech last week. Right in line with the Nazis' new face-Lefting, Dr. Ley cried: 'Workers of all lands, unite to smash the rule of English capitalism!' He also urged: 'You young, upward- striving nations of the earth, combine to annihilate the old English dragon, who blocks the treasures of the earth and withholds from you the riches of the world'." In "Germany: Socialist and Nationalist," Time Magazine, 26 February 1940.   [ 1 ]

 

 

 

Addendum of an avid 1920s Anti-capitalist:   "Capitalism has learned nothing from recent events and wants to learn nothing, because it places its own interests ahead of those of the other millions. Can one blame those millions for standing up for their own interests, and only for those interests? Can one blame them for striving to forge an international community whose purpose is the struggle against corrupt capitalism?" Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), in a letter to Anka Stalhern 1920.

 

Addendum of a Wagnerian Victim of Capitalism:   "rein GOLD. ein bühnenessay is a prose work by Elfriede Jelinek, the Austrian winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004, published in 2013 by Rowohlt Verlag. It is cast in dialogic form at the opening of which Brünnhilde diagnoses her father Wotan to be a victim of capitalism because he, too, has fallen into the trap of wanting to own a castle he cannot afford ('This happens in every second family.')."  Wikipedia, "rein Gold"    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of the Criticism of Capitalism:   "Criticism of capitalism ranges from expressing disagreement with the principles of capitalism in its entirety, to expressing disagreement with particular outcomes of capitalism. Among those wishing to replace capitalism with a different method of production and social organization, a distinction can be made between those believing that capitalism can only be overcome through revolution (e.g., revolutionary socialism) and those believing that structural change can come slowly through political reforms (e.g., social democracy). Some critics believe there are merits in capitalism, and wish to balance it with some form of social control, typically through government regulation (e.g., the social market movement)." In "Criticism of capitalism," Wikipedia.    [ 3 ]

 

Reference: "Auntie Capital," just above

 

Corollary -- See Anti-capitalism struggles 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]  As to the monopolization of private industry and private capital, one learns:  "Ley said in a speech in 1939: 'We National Socialists have monopolized all resources and all our energies during the past seven years so as to be able to be equipped for the supreme effort of battle'." In "Robert Ley," Wikipedia.

 

[ 2 ]    This tidbit is included here, for the confluence of Wagner alongside criticism of capitalism.

          Oddly critics of capitalism are seemingly found on the so-called political Right and political Left, if one accepts the view that National Socialism is Right, while Jelinek's communism is Left-wing.  When 'enemies of capitalism' are so defined as both of the right and left, it brings further into question the left-right model.

          Of Jelinek, one reads from Wikiepdia as source: "Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004."

          One reads:  "Her writing interrogates the relationship between sexual power and social structure, and marks her as a controversial figure in her homeland. She was a member of the Communist Party from 1974 to 1991, and she voiced her opposition to the far-right Freedom Party. On awarding Jelinek the Nobel Prize, the committee praised 'her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power'." In "Elfriede Jelinek," Poetry Foundation biography.

          But, "In 2005, Knut Ahnlund left the Swedish Academy in protest, describing Jelinek's work as 'whining, unenjoyable public pornography', as well as "a mass of text shovelled together without artistic structure". He said later that her selection for the prize "has not only done irreparable damage to all progressive forces, it has also confused the general view of literature as an art'."

          Aside from the public pros and cons, what is most interesting is the confluence of Wagner's imagery on the one hand and the utter dissonance between left and right on the other, suggesting that the left-right model is failing to explain the fascination the left and right share with some form of socialism, as with reading socialism into such as Wagner's opus.

          Given that Das Rheingold was premiered in 1869, only two decades after the publication of "Das Kapital," it is all the more odd that National Socialists like Ley and one-time Communist Party members like Jelinek find in Wagner the same opposition to capitalism. One is tempted to conclude that capitalism is neither left nor right, according to the polemical models of National Socialists and Communists. As for Wagner, he was supported by the rich elite of his day, not the proletariat.

 

[ 3 ]     The critics of capitalism propose anti-capitalism, which usually replaces concentrations of "aristocratic" capital held by the few breeding power with concentrations of "aristocratic" power breeding capital for the few. This is an irony to the focus on capital itself.

          One notes that a socialist elite manages to create an aristocracy and concentrations of wealth. For more on this see  Socialists love money  .

          One also notes that a communist elite manages to create an aristocracy and concentrations of wealth. For more on this interesting dichotomy, see:  Capital for Communists  - a story growing old.

          One further notes that many voices speaking to the issue of income inequality are hugely wealthy themselves. For this see the footnotes to  Income Inequality  .

          Most deliciously, one notes that the Nobel Prize Committee awards about $1,000,000.00 to prize winners, making it a distribution of wealth in comparison to most people around the world, whose yearly income is the equivalent of about $800.00.

          With significant capital -- wealth -- sought by anti-capitalists as by capitalists, and awarded by various wealth distribution mechanisms like the Nobel Committee, one finds "enemies of capitalism" are so often in search of capital and lots of it.

          One might recall, in good Wagnerian fashion, the last line of Götterdämmerung, as Hagen cries out, "Zurück vom Ring!"

          Keep away from the ring!

          Alas, all the critics of capital propose systems of political power which so easily become mechanisms to amass capital. It is ironic indeed. So many bourgeois critics of the bourgeoisie. So many "greedy" capitalists and so many more "greedy" anti-capitalists in the end seeking capital. Power breeds wealth as wealth breeds power. Zurück vom Ring?

          A better understanding of this line might be: Keep away from political power! Such a translation would be most unwelcome by those who seek power over others, power over capital being their proxy.

 


 

Rearrange the words - an exercise in grammar

Filthy rich businesses --
Poor dumb governments --
    That's what folks are wont to say.

But filthy rich governments
Tax poor dumb businesses;
    Rearrange the words, flipping this way

For debate about the size and scope
Of the fat cat governing class --
    Of a taxing bureaucracy holding sway.

Rearrange the words; consider --
Who profits most of all?
    Do not the governments underplay.

Work and eke a taxed profit?
Or tax all with but slight constraint?
    Governments win out straightaway.

One may ignore rich businesses,
Just turn on one's heel and walk away.
    Ignore governments and walk? Just try that today.

Filthy rich businesses?
Poor dumb governments?
    That's what we're told each day.

But filthy rich government
Heists a portion of profits all;
    Rearrange and see: with governments, we're all their prey.

 

See:    Up on the little guy 

 


 

Growth in debt - a non-sequitur

The first 42 presidents had driven the debt to $5 trillion, he said, but Bush "added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic," said candidate Obama. Under Obama, in just over three years, the debt has ballooned to $16 trillion. He spends and spends. But he sure looked cool talking to the pirate. Numbers don't cringe. Numbers don't have bromances with talk show hosts. Numbers don't make gaffes. And all that $16 trillion debt does is grow." In "Obama's pricey gaffe that's worth talking about," by John Kass, Chicago Tribune, 23 September 2012.

Growth in debt is shrinkage sure;
Spending now is the deadly lure.
Someone later will fix the mess,
But that is then in this political chess.
Kick the can and kick it again,
Make debtors of the next rank of men.
Generations will pay, so it is said,
But ever more likely, they'll be bled.
Growth in debt is shrinkage sure
Because growth in debt is a non-sequitur.

 

Envoi:  "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I, therefore, intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt." Barack Obama, in remarks to the Senate, 16 March 2006.

 

Addendum of Eight Years Later:  "Despite a national debt over $18 trillion, President Obama said Saturday the nation can afford the major spending increases he’ll put forward in his fiscal year 2016 budget, due out Monday. In his weekly address, Mr. Obama made the case that the federal government has the money to invest in infrastructure, education and other priorities because of shrinking deficits, though he also is calling for tax hikes on the wealthy to fund his desired $74 billion increase in spending. His budget also would undo the automatic cuts known as sequestration, paving the way for even higher spending down the road." In "Obama: 'We can afford’ $74B spending increase'," by Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, 31 January 2015.    [ 1 ]

 

See:  Leadership Failure  - spoke a failed leader

 

Addendum of the Continual Absence of a Plan:   "The key elements of the required policy package are well known: foremost among them is setting out—and implementing—a clear and credible plan to bring debt ratios down over the medium term. The continued absence of such plans in Japan and the United States remains a significant concern, particularly given the introduction of new short-term stimulus in Japan (even though temporary) and insufficient progress on measures to restore medium-term fiscal sustainability, including entitlement reform, in the United States." In "Fiscal Adjustment in an Uncertain World," IMF, April 2013.

 

See:    This Then That  - portrait of the Gordian Acrobat
 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   The article "annoyingly" refers back to earlier levels of federal debt:   "Deficits have indeed dropped considerably over the past several years, but the national debt continues to rise. It stood at $10.6 trillion when Mr. Obama came into office. It now is over $18 trillion."

          Comparing Obama's assertion from 2006 that "America has a debt problem"  when that debt amounted to under $9 billion dollars, rose to $10.6 trillion by 2008 and now stands at over $18 trillion dollars in a time when Obama negates his 2006 remark with "we can afford" statements suggests something quite simple. His own words do not add up. The 2006 "failure of leadership" measured at about $9 trillion dollars is now a doubled "failure of leadership."

 


 

Diogenes and the bad boys of Corinth, a Grecian story - paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem

Pensively lying in his barrel,
Diogenes philosophized not on his peril.
A bad boy of Corinth by him had passed
Who called to his chum to join him fast.
On that barrel these bad boys drummed;
At civility they their noses thumbed.
Diogenes peered out from where he lay,
And said: Hey! That's not very agápē!
The hoodied boy, reports disclose,
Ran quick to fetch a water hose.
Sprayed through a hole knocked in a stave,
Diogenes was drenched by this one knave.
Barely could Diogenes lie down again,
These two bad boys returned, and then...
The two began to push and spin
The barrel; Diogenes screamed within.
The barrel heavily turned and spun,
And to the boys it seemed fine fun.
Two nails sticking out here and there
Caught on their jackets. Ah, beware!
The boys were taught by physics' law,
As they screamed and flipped and saw...
The barrel rolling, flattening them,
Not ever part of their stratagem.
Those boys from Corinth, bad, unwashed,
Were predictably and fully squashed.
Philosophizing, Diogenes was not perplexed.
"Ah yes, one thing regularly leads to the next."

See:    Jaja! Das kommt von das!   

 


 

Robbery

"The only way to save America’s children is to lock up the baby boomers. We are robbing the next generation’s future." In "Boomers vs. Millennials: Who’s Really Getting Robbed?" by Michael Winerip, in the New York Times, 13 September 2012

Deficits are just robbery;
Public debt is basically theft.
Adding to the deficits
Shows sense has gone and left.

Government says roll it over,
Paying interest is so great;
Its one true self-interest
Is its own re-election's fate.

        Vote for me! I'll rob your kids, not you,
        And probably rob your grandkids too,

        But just consider your goodies I send
        And you'll come round in the end.

 

Envoi:   "Debt is the fatal disease of republics, the first thing and the mightiest to undermine governments and corrupt the people." Wendell Phillips (1811-1884)

 

Addendum:    "A pickpocket is obviously a champion of private enterprise. But it would perhaps be an exaggeration to say that a pickpocket is a champion of private property. The point about Capitalism and Commercialism, as conducted of late, is that they have really preached the extension of business rather than the preservation of belongings; and have at best tried to disguise the pickpocket with some of the virtues of the pirate." G. K. Chesterton, The Outline of Sanity (1927)

 

See:    Debt 

 


 

Offertory - an anthem of irony

"The National Atheist Party is canceling its secular convention due to a lack of funding. Troy Boyle, the party’s president, announced on its website won’t be holding NAPCON 2012 in Boston in October because it would bankrupt the group." In "National Atheist Party Cancels Convention Due To Lack Of Funding," CBS Connecticut, 30 August 2012

The choir sings, so pass the plate.
Oh no! No services? But wait!
The organ plays, collection time?
But no one comes to drop a dime.
Congregated? Well, they're not.
A patron ain't is what they got.
Pass their hat? It gathers squat.
Their party comes now to naught.
Near to bankruptcy's their thing?
Oh, my Lord! The angels sing....

 

Envoi:    "Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic uninterestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity (in the Harvard sense) of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?" John Updike (1932-2009)

 

Addendum:   "There were two factors in particular that were decisive. One was my growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe. The second was my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself—which is far more complex than the physical Universe—can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source. I believe that the origin of life and reproduction simply cannot be explained from a biological standpoint despite numerous efforts to do so. With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical. The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins' comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a 'lucky chance.' If that's the best argument you have, then the game is over. No, I did not hear a Voice. It was the evidence itself that led me to this conclusion." Quote of Anthony Flew, in "How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind," by Dr. Benjamin Wiker, To the Source, 30 October 2007.

 

Addendum:   "Irreligion. The principal one of the great faiths of the world."  Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

 

See:    No God is the god for me   - a musing on amusing atheists

 


 

Serve the Poor - observing the Poverty Barons

"The Department for International Development (DFID) paid almost £500million last year to consultants, mostly British, many of whom earn six, even seven-figure incomes, courtesy of the taxpayer. DFID also funds dozens of foreign consultancy firms. It is paying £6million to the University of Cape Town to investigate mental health issues in southern Africa and millions of pounds to US-based organisations, including the Clinton Foundation, the International Food Policy Research Institute and Family Health Inter-national. It is paying a Washington-based group, Search for Common Ground, £3.9million to 'support the electoral cycle in Sierra Leone'. Consultancy firms in India and Uganda are also receiving large sums." In "'Poverty barons' who make a fortune from taxpayer-funded aid budget, Britain's swelling overseas aid budget has created a new group of “poverty barons” paying themselves up to £2 million a year for their work helping the disadvantaged," by Andrew Gilligan, The Telegraph UK, 15 September 2012

 

Serve the poor,
Six figures rich.
Programs pay;
So where's the hitch?
Budgets bloat,
Teeter, pitch,
To and fro,
Bait and switch.
Serve the poor,
Scratch that itch.
Six-figure leaders
Fill each niche.

Philanthropy?
A lucrative plum.
Common ground?
Like a sieve, old chum.
Poverty?
Not for some
Who receive
Till kingdom come.
A Serve Yourself
Consortium
Pays itself
At maximum.

 

Envoi:  "Almost all War on Poverty programs shied away from serious empirical research, since they were mainly run by people with an ideological belief in the redemptive power of their own programs." In "What I Learned in the Poverty War, Work, not welfare, uplifts the poor," by Peter Cove, City Journal, Autumn 2012, vol. 22, no.4.

 

Addendum of Bonuses and Parties:    "But an audit released today found that among 20 community agencies hired by the state, several had misspent or failed to refund a total of $12.2 million from January 2010 to June 2011 —some by awarding themselves bonuses, throwing themselves a party at a country club, or hiring others to do the work and pocketing the proceeds." In "Audit: N.J. child welfare nonprofits misspent as much as $12.2M," by Susan K. Livio, NJ - New Jersey, 5 February 2013.

 

Addendum of an Ex-Congressman:    "After Joe Kennedy left Congress, he returned to run Citizens Energy. That job paid him $86,311 in 2010. But the bulk of his income comes from his for-profit companies — Citizens Enterprises Corp. and Citizens Investments Ltd. — which together paid him $807,390 in salary and benefits. Kennedy’s wife, Elizabeth, raked in $346,764 from the nonprofit, where she is marketing director, and from the for-profit companies." In "$lick Kennedy is oil broken up," by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, New York Post, 10 March 2013.

 

 Addendum of Overseers Living Large:   "Hundreds of people here rely on public housing for shelter, with the average income among Alexander County Housing Authority residents just $8,655 a year, the majority of them raising children and nearly half as single mothers. More than half of the county’s children live in poverty, and nearly a third are considered food insecure – meaning they don’t always know from where their next meal is coming. But some of those who were charged with overseeing the shelter upon which many of them rely, lived large, records show, traveling extensively to conferences in destination cities, drinking on the authority’s dime, shelling out hundreds of dollars for steak, salmon, shrimp cocktails, sorbet and other multi-course meals, sometimes paying nearly $100 per person at fine-dining establishments." In "Living large on the public dime," by Molly Parker, Southern, 20 September 2015.

 

Addendum of Global Barons:   "Aid officials wrote a cheque for nearly half a billion pounds to an international charity in a desperate effort to meet David Cameron’s spending target, it emerged last night. The extraordinary sum was rushed to the Swiss-based Global Fund with only days left to go to ensure the Government met its controversial pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid. It meant Britain ended up providing more than a fifth of the organisation’s total budget – twice the planned scale of donation, it was claimed last night. The Global Fund pays its 600 staff an average salary package of almost £130,000, and has also recently commissioned an expensive new lakeside headquarters in Geneva. The body was set up by the G8 to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria." In "Clintons' charities got £50million of British aid cash: UK government accused of trying to buy influence with US power family," by Daniel Martin and Gethin Chamberlain, Daily Mail, 25 July 2015.
 

Addendum of a Millionaire Welfare Manager:   "The fat cat boss of a company given vast amounts of taxpayers' money to house asylum seekers is on a salary of almost £1million a year, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. MPs have condemned James Vyvyan-Robinson, director of Clearspring Ready Homes Ltd, for profiteering from the plight of refugees after he awarded himself an astonishing near-fourfold pay rise. The company, which is paid by the Government to provide transportation and accommodation for asylum seekers, is currently under investigation by HMRC over its tax affairs." In "The man who became a millionaire out of migrants: The fat cat who gave himself a £760,000 pay rise to put refugees up in hotels... but his guests are moaning about the buffet and lack of puds," by Nick Craven and Peter Henn, Mail On Sunday, 7 February 2016.

 

 Addendum of the Federal Employee:   "According to its tax filings, the charity has received more than $29 million in donations from generous Americans from 2010 to 2014 for what it calls on its website 'aiding, supporting and benefiting America's veterans and their families.' But look a little closer on those same filings and you can see that nearly all of those donations have been cycled back to telemarketers, leaving less than 2 percent for actual veterans and veterans' charitable causes." In " 'Worst' charity for veterans run by VA employee," by David Fitzpatrick and Drew Griffin, CNN, 17 May 2016.     [ 1 ]

 

 Addendum of Consultants Raking It In:   "Revelations about the payouts came as it emerged that billions of pounds earmarked to help impoverished countries is being handed to wealthy consultants. Executives are earning six-figure salaries paid in public money to complete dubious projects and reports despite Government promises to prevent misuse of aid cash. Its insistence that payments to consultancy firms had all but stopped was rubbished as Whitehall documents revealed that the annual bill for private contractors had doubled to almost £1billion. Some consultants are raking in more than £1,000-a-day to provide advice and guidance on how the UK should spend money that is supposed to help poor communities throughout the world." In "Officials are unable to track £274m given in foreign aid to a controversial climate change organisation," by Martin Robinson, Mail Online, 12 December 2016.    [ 2 ]

 

See:     Income Inequality  and  Modern Times and Charity 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     "J. Thomas Burch, who is also a federal employee working as an attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Burch is deputy director in the VA's Office of General Counsel, where he pulled down $127,000 in salary in 2014. That's the same year he drew a salary of $65,000 as head of his 'zero-star' charity."

          The CNN report told of very large expenses for the charity's operators including a favorite classification, "other." That this government-approved charity operates under the jurisdiction of and by the approval given by the federal government itself suggests enormous Incompetence - from whence to thence. It is difficult not to conclude that this is government under the color of law fleecing its own citizens.

 

[ 2 ]     When the parallel streams of poverty and climate change wash together and fill the wallets of the wealthy, one might consider the enormous impact of green politics which are supposed to generate a Green Job , but rather develop "wealthy consultants" who happily "advise" government for "six-figure salaries," while declaring publicly that Naturally no one steals anything .

          "Poverty barons" seem to come in many party flavors and political colors.

 


 

One day

From chrysalis of day
Through chrysalis of night
We cannot remember,
And yet we take flight.

The flight we take
As each chrysalis breaks
Is a new dawn, awake,
Which memory forsakes.

Rage we against
The dying of the light?
The butterfly knows
When mere poets lose sight.

Out chrysalis one day
Into chrysalis one night,
We will not remember
Yet wings will take flight.

 

Envoi:  "Mortality has its compensations: one is that all evils are transitory, another that better times may come." George Santayana (1863-1952) in "Reason in Common Sense, volume one of "The Life of Reason; or the Phases of Human Progress (1905).

 


 

Blame

"Only human beings who are forced to hide something catastrophic are capable of erring so consistently and punishing so relentlessly any attempt at clarifying such errors." Wilhelm Reich, in "Ether, God and Devil/Cosmic Superimposition"

 

I'd like to blame the eraser
For mistakes my pencil made.
        I'd like to blame my pencil
        When my thinking was what strayed.
I'd like to blame that inkwell
When my pen had scratched its lie.
        I'd like to blame poor penmanship
        When content runs awry.
I'd like to blame the gritty truth
Which often knocks me down.
        But I'd never blame myself, not me,
        As I burnish bright my crown.
I'd like to blame the burning bush
For its bursting into flame.
        I'd like to blame most anyone
        As my operative counterclaim.
I'd like to spread the guilt around,
Yet lavish gilt on me.
        Blame is like a tide, a flood,
        And ne'er my calamity.
You bear the blame, I tell you true,
For I alone assign...
        ...the penalties which blame poor you --
        All those that I opine.
I'd like to blame the hand gun
For the shooter's innocence.
        I'd like to blame low taxes,
        Not my poor beneficence.
I'd like to blame and blame some more
Just so you'll understand
        That nothing I have ever done
        Is a fault from my own hand.
I'd like to blame another,
For so the game proceeds
        To point accusing fingers
        And fueling raging screeds.
I'd like to blame and then again
I'd like to blame yet more,
        For in my active blaming
        Your blaming I can ignore.

 

Envoi:   "We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who's right and who's wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don't like about our associates or our society. It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others."   Pema Chödrön (b. 1936)

 

See:    Oh it's always someone else's fault 

 


 

Thoughts

Thoughts are never secret;
They leach into the world,
Even if as puzzles,
Awaiting sense, unfurled.

Thoughts are thoughts becoming
Something as they're thought,
As connections or their eulogies
Comes thoughts' jumbled juggernaut.

Thoughts once secret, then they speak,
Or sing, or in symbols dance;
Thoughts reach out to others
In far more than happenstance.

Thoughts are ever secret,
Till comes the time they scream,
Or whisper, joking laugh,
Or take flight in a waking dream.

 


 

Unwise from the start - market forces and common sense dictate

"It is not often that a stroke of a pen can quickly undo the ravages of nature, but federal regulators now have an opportunity to do just that. Americans’ food budgets will be hit hard by the ongoing Midwestern drought, the worst since 1956. Food bills will rise and many farmers will go bust. An act of God, right? Well, the drought itself may be, but a human remedy for some of the fallout is at hand — if only the federal authorities would act. By suspending renewable-fuel standards that were unwise from the start, the Environmental Protection Agency could divert vast amounts of corn from inefficient ethanol production back into the food chain, where market forces and common sense dictate it should go." In "Corn for Food, Not Fuel," by Colin A. Carter and Henry I. Miller, The New York Times, 30 July 2012

Burn your food?
That harvest ripe?
Call it green
With wordy tripe;
Corn for food,
Not for fuel --
Rising costs
Are so cruel.
Now we learn,
Growing smart,
'Twas unwise
From the start.

Burn your wealth?
Lose it quick.
Say it's green
With verbal shtick.
Watch it come;
Watch it go --
Corn for fuel's
Afterglow.
Now we read,
Off each chart,
'Twas unwise
From the start.

 

Envoi:   "For urban residents, the US biofuel mandates—now sending 40 percent of the US corn crop into ethanol production—are pushing up the price of corn, a staple food in Guatemala. Rosenthal points to an Iowa State University study estimating that US biofuel policy added about 17 percent to global corn prices in 2011—bad news for people who rely on tortillas as a staple." In "What Does Biofuel Have to Do With the Price of Tortillas in Guatemala?" by Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, 9 January 2013

 

Addendum:   "As corn prices skyrocket and land is removed from food production to produce ethanol, some unintended consequences of fuel policies designed to cut carbon emissions are coming into focus." In "Are biofuels starving the world's poor?" Compiled by Eric Schulzke, Deseret News, 10 January 2013

 

See:    Creative Folklore 

 


 

Toil and labor praise I not! - paraphrase of a Gotthold Ephraim Lessing poem

Toil and labor praise I not!
Toil and labor's the worker's lot.
So, let the worker have his say:
Toil and labor? Or a lazy day?
Idleness is my delight;
It wearies not nor does incite.
Friend, let dust lie on your books.
Ignore them, nor more studied looks!
Tomorrow we ourselves are dust!
Laziness is right and just,
Except love's labors and wine's joy,
And laziness to well employ.

See:    Die Faulheit   

 


 

This then that - portrait of the Gordian Acrobat

"He took office at a time when the U.S. economy was on its worst slide in 75 years, but pushed policies using borrowed money that were more meant to preserve government jobs than broadly help the private sector where the great majority of Americans work, ensuring the jobs crisis continued. He railed against the heavy spending and big deficits of his predecessor, but blithely backed budgets that had triple the deficits ever seen in American history." In "Presidential busts: The worst of all: Barack Obama (2009-?)," an editorial in San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 July 2012

I said this but I did that.
            Fed the kitty yet killed the cat.
I said less but I spent all,
            as we soar into our fall.
I said yes but I meant no.
            Hey, it's politics. Don't you know?
I said no, while meaning yes.
            You're the ones supposed to guess.
I say more for little me,
            but not as an election plea.
Debt so bad is stimulus good,
            in our parties' neighborhood.
This then that is all the game,
            and ever always, you're to blame.

  Envoi:   "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."  John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

 

See:    Growth in debt  - a non-sequitur, and also  Cherished Cultural Myths   - to maintain power and influence

 

 


 

A comedian - paraphrase of a Joachim Ringelnatz poem

A comedian of ostensible renown
Went along a way of a road of a town.
Folks thereabouts would point, then exclaim,
"There goes Mister -- hmm -- What's-his-name!"
This ignominy stormed home, and took it out
By throttling his gal, Miss Knockabout.
Not play acting was he with his honey,
But serious: one must be earnest to be funny.

See:    Der Komiker   

 


 

Sticker shock

"General Motors Co sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt sedans in August — but that probably isn't a good thing for the automaker's bottom line. Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts." In "Insight: GM's Volt - The ugly math of low sales, high costs," by Bernie Woodall and Paul Lienert and Ben Klayman, Reuters, 10 September 2012

Re: Volt is this just
Sticker shock?
The price you pay
For GM schlock?

        The market is revolting.

Costs X to build?
Half X is lost
When sold today
To count the cost.

        The basic truth is jolting.

The numbers tell
The lying word;
Re: Volt, the car is
Green absurd.

        The buyers? They are bolting.

Taxpayers lose?
Well, that's a shock.
It seems the Volt's
Just business crock.

        The Volt is now revolting.

 

Envoi:    "Despite the promise of 'green' transportation - and despite billions of dollars in investment, most recently by Nissan Motor Co - EVs continue to be plagued by many of the problems that eventually scuttled electrics in the 1910s and more recently in the 1990s. Those include high cost, short driving range and lack of charging stations. The public's lack of appetite for battery-powered cars persuaded the Obama administration last week to back away from its aggressive goal to put 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015." In "Insight: Electric cars head toward another dead end," by Norihiko Shirouzu and Yoko Kubota and Paul Lienert, Reuters, Tokyo-Detroit, 5 February 2013

 

Addendum:  "There’s simply no denying that the administration’s electric-vehicle project was a mistake. But it’s worth asking precisely what kind of mistake (beyond eminently foreseeable and terribly expensive). As Bruce Springsteen once sang: 'Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true, or is it something worse?'" In "The electric car mistake," by Charles Lane, Washington Post, 12 February 2013  [ 1 ]

 

See:   A Losing Proposition    and also  Bankrupt green 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    As an amusing note, one comment to the Washington Post article observed, "electric vehicle = coal-powered vehicle," for the fact that recharging a battery requires an electrical source, and most in the United States are coal-fired plants, the remaining being nuclear and some hydroelectric.

         One group of environmentalists opposes coal, while another opposes nuclear, and yet another opposes new hydroelectric dams. taken together, one observes that a certain illogic fires the imaginations of environmental positions which call for electric vehicles without concerning themselves with where sufficient "electric" will come from in the future.

        Every religion seems structurally to demand its demons, and the secular stance of environmentalism in its many denominations has built one or more plentiful supplies of energy as their demons, while evangelizing for their chosen messiah. How human.

 


 

Response (of a drunken poet) - paraphrase of a Gotthold Ephraim Lessing poem

A drunken poet quickly drained
His glass, drawing this rebuff,
Being warned by his companion:
"Stop it! you've drunk enough."
Poised to topple out of his chair,
He cracked: "Clever, you're not!
One can always drink too much,
But enough can never be got."

See:    Antwort   

 


 

Fled from empty market shelves - a history lesson

 

 "It was the height of the Cold War, and the comrades believed that the conflict between socialism and capitalism would be decided in Germany. For that reason, they wanted to make sure that East Germany would economically outpace its West German rival. But Ulbricht's planned economy failed to gain momentum, and in 1960 alone, roughly 200,000 East Germans fled from empty supermarket shelves -- and the Stasi secret police -- to West Germany." In "Who Ordered the Construction of the Berlin Wall?" by Klaus Wiegrefe, Der Spiegel, 30 April 2009.

Fled from empty market shelves?
Let us consider then this ourselves
Those police state thug-like tactics
With a mind to which didactics
Turned men's thoughts to the political thing,
As to economics, as its poor sibling.

In the conflict, so a telling mirror tells,
And on which each opposing side dwells,
It was socialism against mean capital flight;
It seems that fleeing was a capital fight.
For this that wall must corral such foe
As dare to shop and spend their dough.

Lesson lost? Forgotten? Suppressed?
The story returns, and never in jest,
For socialists now say the wall was bad,
Yet it was socialism that acted the social cad.
Socialism withered, plucked from capital's vine,
While capital flew elsewhere, to grow quite fine.

Had socialism worked, those nice socialists
Would have been quite prosperous, not angry, not pissed.
Alas it was proved by those empty market shelves,
And will again as the mirror's story delves
Into who built the wall and who took flight
And who sought capital and who built the blight.

Fled from empty market shelves?
Let us conclude then this ourselves
That police state walls and brutal snares
Await the same when come their heirs
To lure our thoughts to their political thing,
To socialism and its empty shelf sting.

 

Envoi:  "Shortly after midnight on Aug. 13, 1961, East German troops began erecting a barbed-wire barrier to prevent skilled workers from fleeing to West Germany. The fence evolved into an imposing concrete wall that came to symbolize the Cold War." In "Half of Germans unaware of when Berlin Wall built: survey," by Helen Cahill, Reuters, 13 August 2014.

 

Addendum of Twins Separated at Birth:   "...when the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, it created what London School of Economics associate professor Daniel Sturm calls a 'perfect experiment.' While people in West Germany voted in free elections, read independent newspapers, and protested if they felt dissatisfied with their government, their Eastern counterparts lived inside a surveillance state ruled by a zealously doctrinaire communist party. Where 'Ossis'—an unofficial term for those who lived in East Germany—drove famously shoddy Trabant cars, wore drab clothing, and drank off-brand soda, their 'Wessi' counterparts enjoyed Pepsi and regularly saw BMWs in the street. The two halves of the country were like a pair of identical twins separated at birth and raised by two very different sets of parents." In "The Berlin Wall’s great human experiment," by Leon Neyfakh, Boston Globe, 12 October 2014.

 

Addendum of Echoes of the DDR Policies: "Business representatives responded that shortages were a result of the government's economic policies, including intimidation, price controls and rationing of foreign currency in a country that was heavily dependent on imports. There isn't a single example in the world of a country where controlling prices and threatening businesses has worked in solving shortages," said Luis Vicente León, a pollster and economist who advises leading private companies in Venezuela." In "Chávez will miss inauguration, say officials," by Benedict Mander, Financial Times, 8 January 2013.

 

Addendum from the 60s:   "The Castro government placed all goods and services under price control today. The decree regulates prices and profits in private and state enterprise. All of Cuba's industries and wholesale activities are state-operated. Prices will be set according to 'conditions of production or importation and the population's standard of living and will be fixed so that they aid the establishment of equilibrium between demand and supply,' the announcement said." In "Price Controls for Cuba," Miami News, 4 April 1963.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of US Price Controls:   "[ Following the Kennedy-Johnson administration in the United States, there was a massive effort to manage the marketplace, in part by controlling wages.] This initiative was not the handiwork of left-wing liberals but of the administration of Richard Nixon, a moderately conservative Republican who was a critic of government intervention in the economy." In "Nixon, Price Controls, and the Gold Standard," Excerpt from "The Commanding Heights" by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, 1997 ed., pp. 60-64., PBS.org.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum Warning on Price Controls:   "But we must also realize that everything has a price and that consumers eventually pick up the tab." In "Jimmy Carter, "Anti-Inflation Program." 24 October 1978..

 

Addendum as the Years Pass:   "Earlier today, Venezuela Oil Minister and Economy Vice President Rafael Ramirez announced on state television that the country just devalued the official Bolivar exchange rate again by another whopping 45%, for some." In "Venezuela Devalues Bolivar By Another 44% For Some, Still 600% Higher Than Black Market Due To 50% Inflation," by Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge, 22 January 2014.

 

 Addendum of Venezuelan Price Controls:   "Among his priorities, Maduro says, will be to cap profits for businesses at between 15% and 30% and to enforce price controls on an expanding number of goods. Some see this as a movement to a fully socialist model; other see political opportunism. In recent months, Maduro has blamed capitalism for speculation that is driving high rates of inflation and creating widespread shortages of staples. The so-called 'enabling law' that grants him decree powers could make it easier for him to set price controls, as he did recently to an electronics and appliance chain he accused of price gouging. The result was a run on the Daka chain of stores, as people mobbed to buy deeply discounted electronics in chaotic scenes that included some looting. 'Consumerism is not the path,' the President said Tuesday. 'We are re-establishing prices so that the people's economic rights are respected, not to consume without control'." In "Decree powers widen Venezuelan president's economic war," by Mariano Castillo and Osmary Hernandez, CNN, 20 November 2013.    [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Argentine Price Controls:   "Many economists blame Argentina's inflation woes on high government spending financed in part by money printing. The central bank's new president, Juan Carlos Fabrega, has pledged to slow the growth in the money supply this year. But that goal could prove challenging if deficits persist. The government swung from a primary surplus to a deficit of 2.6 billion pesos ($394 million) in the first 11 months of 2013. Mrs. Kirchner and her ministers have repeatedly ruled out lowering inflation by cutting government spending on the grounds that austerity measures would only hurt the economy. Instead, the administration has relied on price controls and cheap loans to businesses that expand their factories." In "Argentina Launches New Price-Control Accord," by Ken Parks, Wall Street Journal, 3 January 2014.

 

Addendum of the Old East Germany:   "It is a particularly ugly chapter in the history of communist East Germany (GDR). Political functionaries from the Communist Party, the SED, seized the property of collectors like Peter Garcke to sell their possessions. The more desperately the country needed hard Western currency, the more often officials targeted East German art aficionados. Numerous spies combed the country looking for possible treasures, such as Baroque furniture, paintings, porcelain and silver. Then, the GDR's most important procurer of hard currency, Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski, would hawk the confiscated wares to rich clients in the West via the state-owned company Kunst & Antiquitäten GmbH (Art & Antiques). SPIEGEL reported on the looting in the spring of 1991, not long after the collapse of East Germany, and a parliamentary investigative committee examined the systematic robbery perpetrated by the East Germany on its citizens.' In " East Germany's Blood Art: No Justice for Victims of Regime's Treasure Hunt," by Rainer Erices, Nicola Kuhrt and Peter Wensierski, Spiegel International, 24 July 2014.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of an Off the Cuff Confession:   "Yeltsin, then 58, 'roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,' wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, 'there would be a revolution'." In "When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Clear Lake," by Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, 7 April 2014.

 

See the quotes beneath the verse, Socialists love money   for a review of the East German Socialist leadership's perspective on capital.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   Prosperity did not come through price controls. One reads as an update decades later:   "...harsh reality has set in on the financial front, with the admission that Cuba can no longer afford the jobs for life and the price controls that have allowed it to maintain its near-total control of economic activity. In September last year, it was announced that one million Cuban public sector employees would be laid off, although the job cuts are now expected to take longer than initially planned." In "Cuba inches towards market socialism," by Robert Plummer, BBC News, 27 March 2011.

 

[ 2 ]    One notes subsequent US presidents, Ford and Carter, removed controls in favor of admonishments to restrain prices as was possible for the marketplace to do.  This is instructive, as one notes the left-right model of political jargon now erodes.

          See:   Left is Right, as Right is Left  .

 

[ 3 ]     The post-Chavez socialist government of Maduro calls opposition to his policies fascism, and yet one finds it flummoxed simple market forces.

          One reads:  "A government plan to combat Venezuela's food shortages by fingerprinting shoppers in grocery stores has sparked a backlash ranging from violent street protests to social media campaigns ridiculing the idea. Shoppers have for more than a year struggled to find basic goods including cooking oil, powdered milk and corn flour as well as detergent, shampoo and diapers." In "Venezuelans Don't Like The Idea Of Being Fingerprinted Just To Buy Groceries," by Alexandra Ulmer, Reuters, 29 August 2014.

 

 There Will Be Enough?

 

          One reviews the promise:  "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (French: De chacun selon ses facultés, à chacun selon ses besoins; German: Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen) is a slogan first used by Louis Blanc in 1851 (although an earlier version of the saying appeared in Étienne-Gabriel Morelly's The Code of Nature) and popularised by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. In the Marxist view, such an arrangement will be made possible by the abundance of goods and services that a developed communist society will produce; the idea is that, with the full development of socialism and unfettered productive forces, there will be enough to satisfy everyone's needs." In "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need," Wikipedia article, n.d.

          "Unfettered productive forces" has been repeatedly proven to be absent in socialist societies throughout the 20th and now 21st centuries, as the collapse of the USSR and its client state, the DDR, illustrate. Venezuela's socialist government may be contrasted with the news that "shoppers have for more than a year struggled to find basic goods...." As the socialist grip over Venezuela tightens, one may expect DDR-like images to emerge, such as the iconic image of the East German policeman escaping over the now-fallen Iron Curtain which fell over Eastern Europe, courtesy of Soviet Socialism.

 

 Don't Look Now

 

          As to such imagery, one learns the government tries to stop even the images from emerging.  One reads, "Social media is awash with striking images of #EmptyShelvesInVenezuela (#AnaquelesVaciosEnVenezuela) as the evaporation of basic human staples such as toilet paper has now been hyperinflated to total chaos at warehouses and supermarkets. As President Maduro decries the loss of $100 oil 'stability', vowing to return oil prices to their rightful places (and heads to China for help), lines reach for miles for milk and soap... and the people defy governmental bans on photographing empty market shelves... 'We couldn't find shampoo, so we washed our hair with soap. Now there's not even soap'." In " 'Now There's Not Even Soap' Maduro Heads To China To 'Save' Socialist Utopia Venezuela," by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, 4 January 2015.

          For this, the Maduro strategy may be summed up as Don't look now .

 

 Urging and Urgent

 

          The tale lengthens:  "Last Friday, dozens of people spent the night in the surroundings of the Andrés Bello square (north Caracas) to buy food in an outdoor market organized by the Venezuelan Ministry of Food. For taking home staples such as rice, pre-cooked corn flour, milk, oil, sugar, beef or chicken, people had to wait in line for at least twelve hours. Buyers had numbers written on their arms. With fear and anger, but with the need to buy food, they were waiting there since the day before. 'No matter if I am very fond of this government, this is not fair,' a consumer said waiting in a line, where she spent seventeen hours. Aware of the situation, Vice-President of Food Security and Sovereignty Carlos Osorio urged people to keep calm." In "Venezuelans stay the night outside stores for food," El Universal, 12 January 2015.

          One wonders if the Vice-President of Food Security and Sovereignty in the Venezuelan Ministry of Food must wait in the same line with the others. Based on the history lesson of the collapsed and very corrupt DDR, the answer is likely no.

 

 Blame with a Name

 

          While the Venezuelan Ministry of Food pontificates, some bishops are speaking out. One reads:  "In a refreshingly powerful and direct statement, Venezuela's bishops Monday blamed 'Marxist socialism' and 'communism' by name for the horrors and chaos gripping their country, according to a story in El Universal. The bishops said the long lines of people trying to buy food and other basic necessities and the constant rise in prices are the result of the government's decision to 'impose a political-economic system of socialist, Marxist or communist,' which is 'totalitarian and centralist' and "undermines the freedom and rights of individuals and associations.' The Venezuelan bishops specifically stated that the private sector was critical for the well being of the country. The document, read by Monsignor Diego Padron in Spanish, said the country needs 'a new entrepreneurial spirit with audacity and creativity'." In "Venezuela's Bishops Have A Message For Pope Francis on Communism," by Monica Showalter, Investors Business Daily, 12 January 2015.

          The Spanish version from El Universal reads:   "Las largas colas de personas tratando de comprar alimentos y otros artículos de primera necesidad y el alza constantes de los precios son para los obispos la consecuencia de la decisión del Gobierno de 'imponer un sistema político-económico de corte socialista, marxista o comunista', el cual es 'totalitario y centralista'y además 'atenta contra la libertad y los derechos de las personas y asociaciones'." In "Obispos achacan la crisis al "socialismo marxista" impuesto por el Gobierno," by Juan Francisco Alonso, El Universal, 12 January 2015.

          Thus one sees the opposition between the socialists (by any term) and freedom. One notes that this is not discussed as a dissonance between socialism and capitalism -- the argument as presented by socialists -- but between socialism and basic freedom, of which capital flow is one phenomenon among many.

          While socialists attack capitalism, one notes that socialists rule in nations wherein capital is fleeing, where market shelves go from almost empty to more empty, and where basic goods needed for survival become rare.

          One reads of the continuing saga of Venezuela in which image can no longer trump reality:  "Mr Chavez might be dead, but as one of Latin America’s most charismatic political performers, he is far from forgotten. His placid features still stare out from billboards in Caracas, while Venezuelan television still plays his rambling speeches denouncing America, capitalism and the West. He promised the people the riches of the revolution, and for a while he was able to deliver, thanks to his country being blessed with the world’s largest proven oil reserves. But now, as the people queue at the pharmacy and the supermarket for basic necessities like baby formula, flour, milk and toilet paper, the promises sound like empty boasts." In "Venezuela's 'socialist paradise' turns into a nightmare: medical shortages claim lives as oil price collapses," by Peter Foster, Telegraph UK, 3 February 2015.

          From the promise of an abundance of goods and services through the promise of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" one finds the basic disconnect. Reality intervenes. Human nature contravenes. And the top dogs and fat cats of Socialist and Communist and Fascist government become as accustomed to riches as any aristocrat or successful capitalist. For this observable truth, my conclusion is that the extension of the feudal society into a seemingly modern world is accomplished via socialist theory, placing the now-famous "proletariat" under the now equally famous "dictatorship." From the divine right of kings, mandarins, sultans, emperors and such to the socialist right of the dictatorship is no real progress at all. It is a extended stasis of the same old "boss."

          The small difference is that unlike the socialist, communist, fascist or aristocrat, a successful capitalist enters into a free exchange with a consumer, and this is the only principle and mechanism which has consistently delivered an "abundance of goods and services." The consumer struggling to find "basic goods" will indeed conclude it becomes wise to flee "from empty market shelves."

 

 

 

          The story of flight from government oppression continues over decades, as one reads:   "More than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to the South since a widespread famine hit the impoverished North in the late 1990s. Nearly all of them have traveled through China. But a handful of North Korean soldiers and civilians have defected by crossing the 2.5-mile-wide demilitarized zone, which is guarded by minefields, sentry posts and tall fences topped with barbed wire, some electrified." In "North Korean Soldier Shot by Own Troops as He Defects to the South," by Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times, 13 November 2017.

          Alas for the promise of So shall ism  .

 

[ 4 ]    A political state wanting money only need define its citizens as criminals and then seize their property.  Der Spiegel rightly looks back at this time, before the failure of East German socialism. Indeed socialists love money.

 

 Selling Off and Selling Out

 

          The article notes:  "Pulling the strings behind the scenes was Schalck-Golodkowski. He was a confidant of East German leader and Communist Party chief Erich Honecker and was responsible for the Commercial Coordination (KoKo) department at the Ministry of Foreign Trade. For a time he was arguably one of the most important officials in economically fragile East Germany. Schalck-Golodkowski, who has since retreated from public view and lives on Tegernsee lake in Bavaria, secured billions in loans from the West and ensured that both he and other members of the nomenclature had access to highly sought after luxury goods. By selling East Germans' art and cultural goods, he also guaranteed access to much-needed foreign currency for the SED. The worse the economic situation became in the East, the more important the company Kunst & Antiquitäten became."

          Said clearly, the worse the economic vitality of a socialist nation, the more important the state functions which squeeze remaining currency and assets, because government will survive even on the backs of its own citizenry. As the current German government notes, this was "systematic robbery." Nothing more and nothing less.

 

 Lessons in Trade

 

          Awareness of this plain fact grows. One reads:  "East Germany's economy was in free fall. Many skilled workers and intellectuals had fled and the Soviet Union was stripping the country of its resources. By 1964 the fiscal situation had become so dire that the authorities developed a scheme to sell political prisoners to West Germany. They called it haeftlingsfreikauf." In "East Germany's trade in human beings," by Gavin Haines, BBC News, 6 November 2014.

          Further, the BBC article notes:  "Prisoners were also traded for commodities such as coffee, copper and oil. However, neither side wanted the public to find out - the GDR because it didn't want to appear weak and West Germany because i