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 smiles -
paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem
Fortune smiles, but she also may
in her reluctant way .
She gives the gift of a summer's day,
With a swarm of
mosquitoes and us as prey.
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
All of Israel is Palestine," by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,
Israel National News, 30 December 2012.
Played by the quartet
Was just pretty elocution,
Splayed and sold, and yet
Is the far more likely
As Fatah's execution
Israel to ban.
Two has equaled one
And Oslo was a
The intervening years?
with shills, a shame.
Let us watch all the hands
Wringing loudly now;
Applause now for
And each shilly-shally bow.
"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)
, and that Jews are the inheritors of
Israel (Sura 26 Verse 59)
. '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.'
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.
'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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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 ]
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
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 ]
[ 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
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
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.
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
Expelled from Jordan, the PLO sought refuge in other
modern Muslim nations. But this failed as
"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
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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
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.
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
This is the "Western" practice of demonizing Israel,
such that even a Palestinian Muslim becomes a target
for deviating from the "narrative."
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
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
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
Islamophobia revisited -
a thumbnail sketch of tolerance and inter-religious
paraphrase of poem by Alfred Lichtenstein
Night time in the middle of a street:
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
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.
"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.
"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
Grow greedy now.
Its very name
Declares this game.
For losses great?
See envy's glare.
The next investor?
Thievery stalks you,
Steals, not buys,
In national eyes.
"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
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.
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.
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
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
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 ]
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.
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
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.
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 ]
Shearing and Fleecing
Tell me that you'll take my cash
[ 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
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
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.
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
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,
He chuckles 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 one last chance,
And off he struts to
While wafting about is his pomade,
he's annoyed like a little boy
For other folks' vanity does
him so annoy.
Er stellt sich vor sein Spiegelglas
"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
And quarreled over who was right
And wrong in
Three were patient in the ward
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
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
Makes all the problems, all the pain,
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,
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.
Susan: "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the
point—" / Death: MY POINT EXACTLY.” Terry Pratchett,
in Hogfather (1996)
- government flexing its sinews
"There is something particularly ugly in a
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.
So is it
Itself again shit.
Of the well-marked deck,
Palm the ace,
what the heck?
Which half is true?
It's all a matter of
Its same ugly ways,
As government fails,
Averting its gaze.
State your preference:
Yet again stupefies.
"Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians
seriously and the politicians as a joke." Will Rogers
Addendum of Not
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
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.
"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
"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)
"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.
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
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.
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.
Addendum of Lying by
" '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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
"Well, who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico
Marx as Chicolini, in "Duck Soup" (1933) by Bert Kalmar and
it's serious, you lie
and also a song setting of the rhyme,
Si mundus vult decipi - (2008)
[ 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.
- 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
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
[ 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
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
[ 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
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
See the copious
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.
"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
To be in the ruling elite.
It's populist truly so populist
have to compete --
Yes, populist -- oh so populist --
And lifted above the masses
Over the populist-impoverished masses.
writes a populist,
And misuses thereby the
It's populist -- whoa -- so populist
As to make populism absurd.
Now populist is not populist
As the meaning dilutes into naught
elite excuses elitism
Though elites pretend populist thought.
To have more than the
It's populist darkly populist
To soar above a populist mass.
When populists act as
As popularly they don't,
One may be assured they mean
As populists, they simply won't.
"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
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.
The funniest thing
a meditation on Emma Goldman
stretches out unending
- paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem
Eternity stretches out unending,
thought can never go,
Heartfelt piety apprehending
lies where, beyond time's flow.
Where we once were, where we are,
Clever words cannot
Such a pondering strays too far:
Do not long in vain for answers.
once was, always is, will be.
You and other like romancers
Must perish on life's surging seas.
"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
Which fashion juggernauts
As to topple tyrants aplenty
Who'd rage against such thought.
This was, is and will be to
As for freedom have thinkers fought.
"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
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
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"
Addendum of the
Enemy: "Blind belief in authority is the
greatest enemy of truth." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
The Singer -
paraphrase of a Joachim Ringelnatz poem
Sitting to dine before he debuted
with a woman, the singer.
She marveled at the courses of
And thought he was such a humdinger.
then trod up onto the stage,
Simply, with no need to boast.
The beer and meat salad he'd assuage
With cologne, or at
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.
lady followed, a bouquet and more
Ready enough, should
The singer raised high the hem of his
To stoop in that garden snow white.
booming like explosions afloat.
The lady had to wait in a
most un-silent night.
They lingered too long in the damp
Encouraging rheumatism's ache.
The singer of
the high C's well knows
A mechanism must sometimes just
"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
As truth replaces fiction.
When numbers come to
Blithe fantasies all fall,
Each was a sad addiction.
Pyramid schemes collapse;
Corruption just shot craps.
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
Lies mount up on wings.
The fat lady?
Her text in clear hard diction.
It wasn't free!
Now there's the agony.
Mere truth replaces
"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
"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 ( 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.
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
Perhaps to the tame, the meek and weak.
Liberty is frail and
Those who seek power, as stated, and more,
For this is how it
And how such stories too often end.
Who seeks arbitrary
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.
arbitrary power? Who?
Anyone you know? Certainly not you!
But this is how it
And how such stories tragically end.
“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)
"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.
"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 ]
"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 ]
Foolish men were ruling
and see a song setting of Charles McKay's
and also Abraham Lincoln's words in a song setting,
We all declare for liberty - (2009)
[ 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."
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
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
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.
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
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
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
to see that the "caste system" is indeed in place.
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
"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.
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.
"A man in debt is so far a slave." Ralph Waldo Emerson
In a moment of candor
and also a setting of James Weldon Johnson's
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'
Yes, sweet stirrings of the heart,
And love's highest
and its best,
All within the heaven's movements
Must be given over to
Let us love and sing and drink,
And whistle at the time
Even our faintest winking glances
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.
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
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.
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.
Are not progress at all;
When governments progress,
It is freedoms which fall.
"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.
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
"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)
"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.
"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
"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.
"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
"To the States, or any one of them, / or any city of the States,
/ resist much, obey little/ Resist much! Resist!
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"
and also a setting of Whitman's
To the States
and the cautionary tale,
I'm gonna guide you to the promised land
a story quite like others
[ 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.
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
The notion of being free may be found in seemingly
competing sides based on the fallacy which is the
failed notion of there being an identifiable
Left and Right
and yet "opposing" government policies is to have
and express notions of freedom. Howard Zinn opined,
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our
problem is civil obedience." This should
be seen as valid from any political perspective, and
especially when government attempts to enforce rigid
compliance with one political ideology. It is worth
remembering Albert Camus' assertion that the
"...only way to deal with an unfree world is to
become so absolutely free that your very existence
is an act of rebellion."
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."
cracks into shards
- paraphrase of an Erich Kurt Mühsam poem
The pot cracks into shards
To be flung away
Little one, you must die,
E'en though you are
Flowers must soon wither,
And the cow be
That for today we're milking
In a pail
that leaks festoon.
Stones themselves decay
country lane o'ergrown.
Tones and sounds but echo,
And light away has flown.
Worlds fall to pieces
Without a remnant's trace.
lives on forever
In disaster's scowling face.
der Topf in Scherben,
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
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
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.
"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)
Europe 4 all? Yea!
"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
is conservative, so Reuters writes this day.
then liberal? Let's cheer these words at play.
One thing is
another, friend, as words say this and that,
cartwheels' somersaults -- each a wordy acrobat.
Conservative is a liberal, so Reuters rights in print,
to you to parse the game, wide-eyed with a little squint.
thing is another, friend, as words mean very much
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,
makes me chuckle quietly, as words all flex and bend.
Radicals sometimes are on the left, and now they're on the
As words shift meanings like the wind in a wordy
But economics is not words, which tally
not too well.
One needs numbers, clear, concise, which most
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
And radical -- my favorite word absurd -- all just
To what we see in numbers red with red ink's
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
Liberal names conservative, a radical
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,
Games oft lost have hardened rules,
unchanging in the wind,
Which a word can merely fumble, and
clear meaning oft rescind.
"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.
"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)
and also the language lesson,
Left is Right, as Right is Left
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
Socialize the words again, and try then to
The honor which some say is due to the
socialists' fine aim.
"Ready, aim, fire," did liberal socialists
Who stated they were liberal, as a world burst
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,
[ 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.
[ 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."
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,
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
"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.
It's not for me to do,
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.
-- "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
- words of Abraham Lincoln
[ 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
Unfortunately her small mistake
Dropped it off the
What she felt of grief and pain
She'd remember long
She fitted the shards together and said,
held in high regard!
"...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
Topia is unfair.
But such is your You Topia
see yourself above
And wish to rule You Topia
All the passionate speeches
About bettering this world
Are made by folks who'd take yet more
As You Topia's flag's
Just how many caring folks
Care oh so much for You?
Peer behind the fragile scene
And note their hoard in view.
Pays top dollar at the top,
that at the top
Is always a fairness cop.
has lots of cops
Who must have more than most,
In order to
assure all is fair
As our betters have diagnosed.
their You Topia they think
You'll believe in unequal shares;
This blunted calculation shows
That You Topians set their
But such are all You Topias
As the leaders
And with a firm fist rule the joint
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.
That's what You Topians preach,
While taking more than just
In their You Topian fisted reach.
Pays top dollar at the top,
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?
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.
"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 ] [
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
"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 ]
"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.
no space, no grace, no trace
[ 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"
[ 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."
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
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, oh yes, he said
the withered and collapsed Soviet Socialism (see:
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.
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
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)
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
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
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
round, there went a great wall -
paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem
Eden round, there went a great wall,
high and of marble fine.
Killer Cain thought with shrewdest
I'll enter in by way clandestine.
To this, his
end, up then he stepped
On a brought-along ladder, like a
Then roundabout the old Devil crept,
Cain's ladder! O-o-o! Splat!
Our old Father Adam saw it
And said to Cain where he sprawled:
You rogue! You
deserved your second fall;
Into paradise are all not always
Suspected of no
"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.
terror not suspected
Fascists have oft connected
ordinary little folks
With crimes quite unconnected.
Dragnets drag and net
The innocent, and yet
As innocence is a guilt-tinged threat.
Suspected of no crimes,
Citizens in peaceful times
targets most political
As fascism pumps and primes.
"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
"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
"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 ]
"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.
"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 ]
"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."
"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.
"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
[ 4 ]
Sir Veiled Lance
[ 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.
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.
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
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
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
"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.
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
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.
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
" '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
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'."
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
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
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
does that seem to a lender like you? -
"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
I'll borrow from you in some currency true,
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
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,
I'll seek to borrow in some currency
And promise to pay back as much as you're due.
Now how would that seem to a lender like you?
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?
"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"
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.
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.
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.
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
[ 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 ]
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
[ 5 ]
A clip job
- the way to legally rob
[ 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
"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
In hindsight, Slim's loan was repaid. Without
hindsight at the time, should he have "demanded
something like 100 percent interest?"
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 ]
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.
"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
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
But the overall municipal debt burden is larger than
this single instance of politics kicking the
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
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
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
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."
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
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.
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
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
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
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?
"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
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
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
They've said this war exists.
Or shall we have a logic-ectomy
As some blinded fool insists?
Terror works, so it's been
By those who'd use its claws?
Shall we pretend that terror's
Best with loud guffaws?
A permanent state, says a convert
So why should we not see
That his words have dark meaning
That we are his enemy.
Qui plume a, guerre a. Ce monde est un vaste temple dédié à la
[ 1 ]
Addendum of the
"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
[ 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.
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
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
"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
"Break your fangs; when broken, bled,
we'll debate just what you've said!"
Quickly he spiked
With sharpened spines did he react,
Confidently defying the world' caprice,
Armed, but a living
hero of peace.
Gee, how hard is
"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
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
Alas, the both now live today.
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,
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
And meanings? Well, they fly with wings
world, faster than truth.
Eye for an eye and tooth for a
Quote a struggle not thought extreme:
against Jews...." What means that theme?
Let us all explain away,
Until words all confuse the day.
"You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them." In
"Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah," Sahih Muslim, Book 041,
"'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.
[ 1 ] "'We now
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
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
"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
"Let's be honest, we're broke."
the speaker spoke.
Which fires might one stoke?
are mirrors and smoke?
Which funny part's the joke?
to politics invoke
Lies to further and deeper soak
average Joe and his fellow folk.
One waits for one fell
For another politician to croak:
"Let's be honest,
Oh yes, he's said it, he did!
How's about that again,
Oh my goodness, heaven forbid!
The scheme is
one huge pyramid,
Not to mention the quo pro quid
was never reformed, never undid,
For that's how they grease
The mirrors are broke, the smoke acrid,
politics has ever backslid.
"We're broke." How's that for a
Oh yes, he's said it, he did!
are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even
when there are no rivers." Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971)
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
as passing years did him stalk;
Alighting one day from his
Said he: now 'tis my time ne'er more to try,
But to only do upon reflection
That which does not upset
Then joked we all: "What once he'd been!
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
And broke his back, away to crawl.
"The old fool
is now a shattered heap,"
Disparaged his fans; with nary a weep.
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."
Let's all recall those smirkers?
It was always a tax.
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.
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it
everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong
remedies." Groucho Marx (1890-1977)
Johnny B Blue and Suzy Q
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
Be it dollar, Euro, pound;
Money makes the whirled
Money makes the whirled go round,
Skewing, screwing to dumbfound;
Money snakes the whirled all
And does it busily.
Money makes the whirled twirled
As subsidies, loans and grants abound
pro quos abound,
And deliver politically.
Money makes the whirled go
Public funds for each chowhound;
Money makes its
Money makes the whirled go round,
For politics knows its fertile ground
And harvests in each
Corruption's legal. See?
"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
The Modern, Super Rich
[ 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
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
Bureaucrat's Memo .
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
Or perhaps you'd truly like to see
My dance to joy
Previously you'd urged for that;
proves your thinking's faulty.
Desack (roll eyes)
"I am always searching for new ways to
de-sacralise the elitism
that surrounds the art world..." Choreographer Robyn Orlin (b.
All ways surging,
four gnu ways
Witches' Y she is
now won a
done hers a word....
Shows just how
munch correct nice
A warts as
sack (roll eyes)
Full bright she is
Oh levy a word
Such are cons'
When on hers
all won strums
With elitely honors
All's great ends great
So I says herein
But forty sack (roll eyes)?
Subversion approved is in.
"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.
of Nothing in It: " 'What do you think of
Stanislas' tone-poem? Strong, modern, eh? The soul of rebellion
in the crowd—the clash, the revolt at the heart of the
machinery. It gives the bourgeois something to think of, oh,
yes!' 'Bah!' said a voice in Wimsey's ear, as the
cadaverous man turned away, 'it is nothing. Bourgeois music.
Programme music. Pretty!—You should hear Vrilovitch's 'Ecstasy
on the letter Z.' That is pure vibration with no antiquated
pattern in it. Stanislas—he thinks much of himself, but it is
old as the hills—you can sense the resolution at the back of all
his discords. Mere harmony in camouflage. Nothing in it'."
In "Strong Poison," by Dorothy Sayers, 1930.
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
Sir Veiled Lance was knighted
To serve the
And for this he invaded
All sorts of
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,
ways which serve the twisted kings,
Silencing some who'd have
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,
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.
" '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
"Nations are born in the hearts of poets, they prosper and
die in the hands of politicians." Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938)
"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
"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)
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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
[ 1 ]
"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
censor more public records," by Jack Gillum and Ted
Bridis, 11 March 2013.
[ 2 ]
"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 ]
"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.
"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.
"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
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.
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
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.
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
[ 6 ]
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ]
Suspected of no crime
[ 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:
"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.
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
[ 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
to use US data without a warrant," by Glenn
Greenwald and James Ball, Guardian UK, 20 June 2013.
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
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
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
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
[ 3 ]
" 'If I know every single phone call you made, I’m
able to determine every single person you talk to, I
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
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.
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.
"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
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
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,
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.
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
A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement
- "Where have all the critics gone, long time
"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
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.
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?"
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
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.
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
[ 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
whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who
expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in
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
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
In the words of the old adage,
"it all depends on whose ox is being
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.
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
[ 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
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.
"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
Requires your fist,
Such that those who disagree
Can be summarily dismissed.
Requires a club
To force dulled
And there's the rub.
Means human beings must
Offer perfecting leaders
For one man's perfection
Is another man's sin.
One man's fun
Is another man's crime,
Is not settled with time.
Makes submission just prime,
Such that those who
Can be cured in quicklime.
"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"
I'm gonna guide you to the promised land
a story quite like others, and a song setting of G. K.
The Horrible History of Jones
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.
the library stacks
No big deal was made,
Grappling in a
Fuck is the lovelorn word
Elected by her, then written;
Maybe, oh just maybe,
It's likely she was smitten
love but rutting
In opinion then typewritten.
should one understand
This rutting strutting kitten?
Fiat lux, or let there be light,
Utters the bright motto of
Consequently seen is this
Keen oh-so-Berkeley gal,
In between dark library stacks
Naughty as a femme fatale,
Graduating by degree au naturale.
Scratch most feminists and underneath there is a woman
[ 1 ]
[ 2 ]
who longs to be a sex object.
-- Betty Rollin (b. 1936)
"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
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).
"What man can pretend to know
the riddle of a woman's mind?" Miguel de Cervantes
Saavedra, in "Don Quixote" (1605)
"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
"If you can't say 'Fuck,' you can't say, 'Fuck the government.'"
Lenny Bruce (1925-1966)
"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
[ 3 ]
[ 4 ]
"Hardly. Been there, done you. Adequate, but unremarkable.”
Jennifer Estep, in "Spider's Bite" (2010)
[ 5 ]
"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
“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
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 ]
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
[ 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
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.
[ 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.
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
In an opposite vein, one finds: "In a
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
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
Questions: When is a degrading image a degrading
image? According to what standards? According to
whose standards? Was Nadia Cho's article in the
university newspaper degrading to women? Or
[ 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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:
- 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.
[ 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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
- 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.
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
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
[ 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
Or maybe one should just accept that demanding sex
and withholding sex both constitute sexual violence.
The tangled webs we weave....
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
[ 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.
But then again, presidential politics seems a fine
venue for accusations, as one reads:
"California lawyer Lisa Bloom's efforts included
offering to sell alleged victims' stories to TV
outlets in return for a commission for herself,
arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s
mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure
payment for another woman who ultimately declined to
come forward after being offered as much as
$750,000, the clients told The Hill. The women’s
accounts were chronicled in contemporaneous
contractual documents, emails and text messages
reviewed by The Hill, including an exchange of texts
between one woman and Bloom that suggested political
action committees supporting Hillary Clinton were
contacted during the effort." In "Exclusive:
Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump
accusers," by John Solomon and Alison Spann, The
Hill, 15 December 2017.
A little detail is informative: As to Bloom,
one reads further: "...she also
acknowledged a standard part of her contracts
required women to pay her commissions as high as 33
percent if she sold their stories to media outlets."
In a composite picture of accusations alongside
false accusations, all flavored by political stances
as well as law, as the above addenda and footnotes
suggest, the picture is a Gordian knot to many. An
attorney, for a time a supporter and defender of
accused Harvey Weinstein, seems to support several
opposing facets, sometimes on the side of a victim
and sometimes on the side of a perpetrator depending
on some as yet nebulous standard. Go figure, and at
"as high as 33 percent." Sexy.
As to Weinstein in the context of Cho's "the best
place to fuck," one reads: " 'If a
woman decides that she needs to have sex with a
Hollywood producer to advance her career and
actually does it and finds the whole thing
offensive, that's not rape,' he told The Times.
'You made a conscious decision that you're
willing to do something that is personally offensive
in order to advance your career,' he added." In
"Sex to boost film career is 'not rape': Weinstein
lawyer," by Agence France Presse, 3 March 2018.
- 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
She is woman, hear her roar,
In numbers too
large to ignore.
She's unmarried and she's flitting like a
She can open her own shut door,
Carry packages and
She can family without a husband, as we see.
We're told she is wise
But it's wisdom born of pain,
not so much was really gain.
If she has to
She will do
She's alone (groan)
And not invincible (she's
She is bearing singly
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.
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)
She's so often marriage-less,
seems so modern, oh my, yes.
And she spreads her lovin' arms
She aborts her embryo
Thinking that's the way
Seems the whole thing was just overblown.
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)
Oh, modern woman?
She's not invincible.
For some women,
Not so invincible.
Not so strong.
"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.
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
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."
[ 3 ]
In "The war on men," by Suzanne Venker, FoxNews.com, 26 November
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
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
[ 4 ]
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 ]
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
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.
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 ]
[ 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,
[ 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
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
-- 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
[ 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
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,
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
-- 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
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
His companion warned him:
Hey! enough of that, you
Almost toppling from his stool,
He said: That's
Ah yes, one can drink too much,
That I expect.
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
As millions of dead confirm;
Define it as you may and
In it there is a vicious germ
That grows into a murdering rot
As multiple histories all confirm.
National and yet
Reshaped? And brutal and firm.
But then, international
It collapsed being brought full-term.
True socialism, oh yes,
All who forget now reaffirm
The same and ugly soldiers'
And the gnawing of that worm.
True socialism, oh yes, he
Yet true socialists don't squirm.
That they do not, but urge
Should clearly reaffirm
That such as he are with us still,
His cadre dreams long-term.
“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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'll use my freedom
[ 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,
"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
as well as the modern and most ardent yet antiquated
political character of our moment in history,
today's dear old
[ 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."
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
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
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
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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.
but so green.
Now isn't that so sad?
The story is now oft reprised
And acted out again.
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
...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.
- stupid, and also
We won't ever be like them
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
Registered or maybe not?
That's a slick Chicago
Strictest laws, so they say,
A gun safe zone to have,
Leaking like a hole-filled sieve
As words spread out their
Let's all join the circus:
Gun control's the
Let's organize a demo,
With rhetoric, thick and
But when the push comes to pushing shove,
seems the shoving folks
Think all their words and all their
Are just their little jokes.
A Class 4 felony? An
Pled the jackass with donkey ears,
the other jackasses
Racing to allay political fears.
Guns for me, but not for thee,
That's gun control, we
Registered or maybe not?
That's part of the Chicago
"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
"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.
" '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
[ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
If Chicago were a war zone
and for an oddly parallel story of another American
The anti-gun guy
[ 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?
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
"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
Gosh. Gee. Pshaw.
There's a guffaw.
Stealing? Who saw?
Fraud or withdraw.
"Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in
audacity." Tacitus (56-117), in "Annals"
"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
"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
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
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.
"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.
Play the democratic game,
But push comes to shoving shove,
And it's someone else gets the blame.
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.
Are not left to be right,
As orthodox democracy
Is a rancorous fight.
Such new fangled themes,
Threaten little-d democrats
And their power-filling schemes.
"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)
"The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who
deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of
minorities." Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
"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
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
"Resist much, obey little." Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
(first published 1855)
Democracy is stupid
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
Answers not in its fading, free
From what is once as
But always is as time's tick does.
by and by and by
And ever when we sore to fly --
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
Who knew knows or can foresee?
Perhaps someone, but
I prefer a knowing not,
A point to where I go,
Where knowing will then come to be
As willingly I
leave off me...
To that, the greater immensity,
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 -
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
Are playing at their game.
Let us now tax
To a world-high rate! The aim?
To recover from that which seems unfair,
And gather some
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
On donkeys' and elephants' perks.
for so they tell,
And the message seems quite clear;
help themselves to the high life
Off the sheep they fleece
When China taxes less than US,
An odd thing clarifies.
Blue donkeys and red elephants
All tax as their sole
"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
Donkey Skins and Elephant Hides
"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
No one knew?
Don't you see?
Film at 11.
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
Is it sung in minor or perhaps in major?
Leering out a long rectangle
"Two eyes" -- ah -- knows
I ask: But in those drawers is what?
drawers, you ask? I answer,
The referent's advancer.
Wardrobe drawers are boxes shut.
One opens all with questions;
One shuts all with
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
One goes here and one goes there,
one might go quite anywhere.
Or so is this my simple theory.
By some wardrobe stands some can
That could hold none other
Some box within the can, I'd gamble,
ventured, nothing gained,
And so nothing well explained:
Such questions for us all to unscramble!
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
Makes seven sweet melding icons speak
happy word, just one, just meek.
The starred Crescent, an angry moon,
Is followed by the
peace sign swoon,
Then hermaphrodite -- boy-E-girl;
then David's X-starred pearl
And after Wiccan's pronoun, I,
Yin-yang's circle seems so Sly,
T types Christian? Really?
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
Is on its march across the dune
To sand away the
In order that only it will last.
some have said,
Is wise, we should be led.
would crush that idol dead.
Coexist is an idol dressed
As an icon of the dulled, dead West
In a game not all will
Until other idols are ground to clay.
"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.
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.
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.
"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.
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
"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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
of an American Imam's Sermon and Coexitence:
"During a sermon on 24 November, Elkasaby questioned the attack
on a Sufi mosque in Egypt's Sinai province in which suspected
Isis militants killed over 300 people. Elkasaby said it was
'ridiculous' that Isis carried out the attack: 'For the sake of
whose interests are Muslims being killed in Sinai and all over
the Islamic world?' he asked. 'This could have only been done by
the enemies of Islam, the Jews and their subordinates from among
the Muslim rulers,' the MEMRI translation shows Elkasaby saying
before adding: 'Oh Allah, count the oppressors one by one, and
kill them down to the very last one. Do not leave a single one
upon the earth!' " In "American Imam called Jews 'apes and
pigs' and blamed them for Isis attack," by James Tennent,
International Business Times, 15 December 2017.
For more citations regarding Coexistence and
[ 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
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.
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
[ 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.
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
[ 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
"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
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
[ 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
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
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,
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1987-004-09A /
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'."
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
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.
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
[ 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
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."
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
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
[ 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Death in peacetime ends not always
with a peaceful, peacetime death,
As Sino-Socialism's victims
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
with a peaceful, peacetime death,
As Sino-Socialism's victims
with their millions' dying breath.
with my complaining -
paraphrase of a Wilhelm Müller poem
I'm done with my complaining
About how bad
When with a heady, hefty wine
I can my whistle
Awful news? Apocalypse?
Brother, let's have a
To toss one down has greater worth
and the printers' ink.
Perhaps things round the world
And from day to miserable day
Get worse, more worse, most
As so many loudly say:
But there's relief in
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
Is answered fruitfully by wine,
passion, courage, strength.
Let's pour out yet another round,
Open and empty, and
open yet more.
Time flies by just the same,
worry is such a bore!
For those who waste their pressured lives
I recommend some vintage year
thinking to right rearrange.
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach
you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
Schlechte Zeiten, guter Wein
Based upon their
"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
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
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
children, culture, race,
All the while their work
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
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
Should probably be ignored.
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
We would never be like them, and yet, in
time we are.
Strike a pose, adopt a stance, keep reality
But ticked time's mill stone grinds all fine,
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.
- 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
You owe sixteen trillion, and what do you get?
Another year weaker and deeper in debt.
calling, the reason you know:
You owe your soul 'cause you
wouldn't say "no."
The nation owes trillions, a growing threat.
explode; now don't you forget,
Prosperity can't call you, the
You owe your soul 'cause you couldn't say
You owe sixteen trillion, and that's your bad
And so you ignore it, trying not to fret.
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....
ain't coming to this fiasco:
They'll owe their souls
'cause you wouldn't say "no."
"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
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
Noah's Ark -
paraphrase of a Wilhelm Müller poem
Our meals yet not our drink
Were brought from
What Adam once had wasted
When Eve's apple did
Was given back by heady wine
And merry songs that
Once man's new earth was sunk
By the joys
of eating crowned,
The flood would wash away man's sin
creatures by it were drowned.
But dear old Noah did survive,
And did our grapes vines keep alive.
He fled with wife
Sailing in an ark-shaped vat
o'er flooding waters,
And none got wet from that.
did wine for us live on
Till watery death became dry dawn.
And as the flood abated,
The great round house alit
could come ashore
And upon that mountain sit,
anew with cheery hoots
And plant their vineyards' tender
That vat upon the mountain
Stands as monument
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,
should sink in flooding waters
To wash away the smirk or
So brethren, raise your glasses:
For wine and song
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
And then rise up with lingering sound
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.
as a creed serves not well,
Sometimes paving a pathway
straight to hell;
And wise pronouncements often pale
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.
"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)
"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  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
"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
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
Seeks more capital to be brought.
Then just what has belle France bought?
deadly cold is what she's caught.
Idea logs burst into fire,
To burn with passion and expire.
Capital flees, we know
As Auntie Capital applies her
Dogma dogs old Auntie now,
soon she'll kill her own cash cow.
Auntie Capital can't live alone,
She'll need her pigeons, when
"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
[ 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 ]
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 ]
Enemies of Capitalism
[ 1 ]
Recent years have brought a reform of the
Revolutionary Communist League: "A new party
to appeal to disaffected French leftists of all political
stripes was born Saturday.
-- 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
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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:
[ 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
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
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
[ 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
Left in an open book
- it couldn't hurt to take a look.
"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
Was fascist, as they whine,
But a word is a word is a word is
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
Which stem from the roots of one socialist vine.
"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 ]
"Auntie Capital," just above
[ 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,"
[ 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
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
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 --
That's what folks are wont
But filthy rich governments
Tax poor dumb
Rearrange the words, flipping
For debate about the size and scope
fat cat governing class --
Of a taxing
bureaucracy holding sway.
Rearrange the words; consider
Who profits most of all?
Do not the
Work and eke a taxed profit?
Or tax all with but slight
Governments win out
One may ignore rich businesses,
turn on one's heel and walk away.
governments and walk? Just try that today.
Poor dumb governments?
That's what we're told each day.
But filthy rich
Heists a portion of profits all;
Rearrange and see: with governments, we're all their prey.
Up on the little guy
Growth in debt -
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
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
"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
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 ]
spoke a failed
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.
This Then That
- portrait of the Gordian Acrobat
[ 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
Diogenes and the bad boys of Corinth, a Grecian story
- paraphrase of a Wilhelm Busch poem
Pensively lying in his barrel,
philosophized not on his peril.
A bad boy of Corinth by him
Who called to his chum to join him fast.
that barrel these bad boys drummed;
At civility they their
Diogenes peered out from where he lay,
said: Hey! That's not very agápē!
The hoodied boy, reports
Ran quick to fetch a water hose.
a hole knocked in a stave,
Diogenes was drenched by this one
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.
nails sticking out here and there
Caught on their jackets.
The boys were taught by physics' law,
screamed and flipped and saw...
The barrel rolling,
Not ever part of their stratagem.
boys from Corinth, bad, unwashed,
Were predictably and fully
Philosophizing, Diogenes was not perplexed.
yes, one thing regularly leads to the next."
Jaja! Das kommt von das!
"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.
"Debt is the fatal disease of republics, the first thing
and the mightiest to undermine governments and corrupt the
people." Wendell Phillips (1811-1884)
"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)
Offertory - an anthem
"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
The choir sings, so pass the plate.
no! No services? But wait!
The organ plays, collection time?
But no one comes to drop a dime.
Congregated? Well, they're
A patron ain't is what they got.
Pass their hat? It
Their party comes now to naught.
bankruptcy's their thing?
Oh, my Lord! The angels sing....
"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)
"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.
"Irreligion. The principal one of the great faiths of the
world." Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)
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
Serve the poor,
Six figures rich.
So where's the hitch?
To and fro,
Bait and switch.
Serve the poor,
Scratch that itch.
Fill each niche.
A lucrative plum.
a sieve, old chum.
Not for some
Till kingdom come.
A Serve Yourself
"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
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.
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
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.
Modern Times and Charity
[ 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
from whence to thence. It is difficult not to conclude that this is
government under the color of law fleecing its own
[ 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
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.
From chrysalis of day
Through chrysalis of
We cannot remember,
And yet we take flight.
The flight we take
As each chrysalis breaks
Is a new dawn,
Which memory forsakes.
Rage we against
The dying of the light?
When mere poets lose sight.
Out chrysalis one day
Into chrysalis one night,
will not remember
Yet wings will take flight.
"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).
"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
I'd like to blame the eraser
For mistakes my
like to blame my pencil
When my thinking was what strayed.
I'd like to blame that
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
For its bursting into flame.
I'd like to blame most anyone
As my operative counterclaim.
I'd like to spread the guilt
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
the shooter's innocence.
I'd like to blame low taxes,
Not my poor beneficence.
I'd like to blame and blame some
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.
"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)
Oh it's always someone else's fault
Thoughts are never secret;
They leach into the
Even if as puzzles,
Awaiting sense, unfurled.
Thoughts are thoughts becoming
Something as they're thought,
As connections or their eulogies
Comes thoughts' jumbled
Thoughts once secret, then they speak,
sing, or in symbols dance;
Thoughts reach out to others
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?
Call it green
With wordy tripe;
Corn for food,
Not for fuel --
Are so cruel.
From the start.
Burn your wealth?
Lose it quick.
Say it's green
Watch it come;
Watch it go --
Now we read,
Off each chart,
From the start.
"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
"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
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:
and labor? Or a lazy day?
Idleness is my delight;
wearies not nor does incite.
Friend, let dust lie on your
Ignore them, nor more studied looks!
ourselves are dust!
Laziness is right and just,
love's labors and wine's joy,
And laziness to well employ.
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
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
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.
"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)
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
"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.
"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
The price you pay
For GM schlock?
market is revolting.
Costs X to build?
Half X is lost
When sold today
To count the cost.
basic truth is jolting.
The numbers tell
Re: Volt, the car is
buyers? They are bolting.
It seems the Volt's
Just business crock.
Volt is now revolting.
"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
"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 ]
A Losing Proposition
[ 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.
(of a drunken poet)
- paraphrase of a Gotthold Ephraim Lessing poem
A drunken poet quickly drained
drawing this rebuff,
Being warned by his companion:
"Stop it! you've drunk enough."
Poised to topple out of
He cracked: "Clever, you're not!
One can always drink too
But enough can never be got."
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
Those police state thug-like tactics
mind to which didactics
Turned men's thoughts to the
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
It seems that fleeing was a capital fight.
this that wall must corral such foe
As dare to shop and spend
Lesson lost? Forgotten? Suppressed?
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,
capital flew elsewhere, to grow quite fine.
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
Into who built the wall and who took flight
And who sought capital and who built the blight.
from empty market shelves?
Let us conclude then this
That police state walls and brutal snares
the same when come their heirs
To lure our thoughts to their
To socialism and its empty shelf sting.
"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
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
See the quotes beneath the verse,
Socialists love money
for a review of the East
German Socialist leadership's perspective on capital.
[ 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.
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.
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.
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
For this, the Maduro strategy may be summed up as
Don't look now
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Awareness of this plain fact grows. One reads:
"East Germany's economy was in free fall. Many