Collected Poetry

VOLUME THIRTEEN  

 

Original materials - Copyright © 2016-17  by Gary Bachlund    All international rights reserved

 

"I'll admit that writing doesn't always come, but I'm totally against walking around looking at the sky when you're experiencing a block, waiting for inspiration to strike you. Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov didn't like each other and agreed on very few things, but they were of one opinion on this: you had to write constantly. If you can't write a major work, write minor trifles. If you can't write at all, orchestrate something."

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

 

Minor trifles

Minor trifles delight as well
            as major feasts broad spread.
The grandest is not all there is;
            one kneads one's daily bread.

 
Give us daily bread this day
            bred from simplest things,
For this is how a life lives on
            and how that lifetime sings.


 

Left to their own devices

"Venezuela took its strongest step yet toward one-man rule under the leftist President Nicolás Maduro as his loyalists on the Supreme Court seized power from the National Assembly in a ruling late Wednesday night. The ruling effectively dissolved the elected legislature, which is led by Mr. Maduro’s opponents, and allows the court to write laws itself, experts said. The move caps a year in which the last vestiges of Venezuela’s democracy have been torn down, critics and regional leaders say, leaving what many now describe as not just an authoritarian regime, but an outright dictatorship." In "Venezuela Muzzles Legislature, Moving Closer to One-Man Rule," by Nicholas Casey and Patricia Torres, New York Times, 30 March 2017.

 

Left to their own devices, dictatorships arise.
One-man rule entices, demanding myriad lies.

Left to bold, based tactics, democracies deflate
As swirls Leftist didactics to dictatorships elate.

Left to the crudest antics, rule is Left to rule;
Complete the Left's semantics; read each wordy tool.

Right one is to now take note the Left leads in this way.
What's then the antidote? Swing right when leftists play?

Right and Left confusion spill words which fumble, fail,
Such speech is just illusion and power their wholly grail.

Left to their own devices is Right in teetering words,
For politics chops and dices what plain sense undergirds.

Left and Right mean little, ever less and less.
Left, like Right, is a brittle shard of emptiness.

Left to their own devices, dictatorships arise.
One-man rule entices, demanding myriad lies.

 

                    Each revolution eats its own, and is no a great grand mystery
                    As time and times again have shown to those willful who'd refuse to see.
                    Each trend follows that trend line which curves to spiral down,
                    Collapsing in deliriums' tremors as whole nations gasp and drown.

 

 

Addendum of the Socialist Government:   "Many people carried signs reading 'No to dictatorship!' and 'Capriles for President'. In the Caracas protest there was a moment of silence in memory of a young man shot dead on Thursday by police during demonstrations. ...Mr Maduro's socialist government have said that a US-backed business elite is responsible for Venezuela's economic downturn and that it is trying to organise a coup to impose right-wing rule." In "Venezuela opposition march over Henrique Capriles ban," BBC, 8 April 2017.    [ 1 ]

 

 

 Addendum of the Socialists' Strategy:     "Venezuela's move to bar two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles from public office for 15 years looked like an unusually brazen blow at the opposition but is just the logical extension of a strategy that has emerged as the last, best hope of President Nicolas Maduro's Socialists for maintaining power. A nearly identical maneuver was used ten years ago to halt the rise of former mayor Leopoldo Lopez, who in polls remains one of the most influential opposition leaders despite being jailed three years ago for his role in anti-government protests." In "Venezuela Socialists' election strategy? Block adversaries," by Brian Ellsworth, Reuters, 9 April 2017.    [ 2 ]

 

 

 

Addendum of Tightening the Leftist Grip on Power:   "Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the army into the streets as the volatile country braces for what his opponents vow will be the "mother of all protests" on Wednesday. Maduro, who has faced violent protests over recent moves to tighten his grip on power, ordered the military to defend the leftist "Bolivarian revolution" launched by his late mentor Hugo Chavez in 1999. 'From the first reveille (on Monday morning), from the first rooster crow, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces will be in the streets... saying, 'Long live the Bolivarian revolution,' ' Maduro said Sunday night in a televised address." In "Maduro orders Venezuela army into streets," Agence France Presse, 17 April 2017.

 

 

 

 Addendum of the Generals:   "...at least one person at the meeting, whose voice was not identified on the recording, raised objections to the idea of snipers. 'General, with all due respect, if we keep going with the issue of the snipers, all of us here will end up in jail,' protested one of the generals in attendance. He warned that snipers or expert marksmen should not be used because if anyone was able to photograph a sniper, the 'media war is going to kill us.' But Torrealba said he did not care about public perception and, while saying that he had no plans to use the snipers immediately and acknowledging that it would be unconstitutional, the general ordered those present to go ahead with preparations to use snipers. He said snipers would keep demonstrators off the streets." In "In secret recording, Venezuelan general pushes for snipers to control demonstrators, by Antonio Maria Delgado and Sonia Osorio, Miami Herald, 18 May 2017.

 

 

 

Addendum of the Dead Caused by Repression:    "Government moves — through the Supreme Justice Tribunal — to 'take the constitutional faculties from the National Assembly,' while at the “same time giving the president a series of super powers,” said Urosa Savino, have 'worsened' the political crisis in the last months. Despite a partial u-turn by the top court, the latest stream of protests has been non-stop since April 4th. The ranks span all social classes. The death toll numbers above 70 with the wounded in the thousands. 'The dead have been caused by the repression, created by state forces and civilian groups armed by the government acting to strengthen government repression, which is something criminal,' said Cardinal Urosa Savino. Poverty, unrest, impunity, corruption, and widespread shortages in food, electricity, medicine, and basic goods now define what had once been one of the richest countries in Latin America. Polls show that 80% of the population wants Maduro out through new presidential elections." In "Venezuela Bishops Give Pope 'Cruel' Realities - 'The dead have been caused by the repression' — Cardinal Urosa Savino," by Charlette Sosa, Latin American Herald Tribune, 12 June 2017.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The terminology long in use positing a verbal handle for political realities -- Left and Right -- fails. The New York Times notes specifically that current head of the Venezuelan nation is moving "toward one-man rule" and that this is "under the leftist" Maduro.

          Moreover, he employs the Left-Right model to justify his actions in which opposition to the Left is deemed 1) Right and 2) criminal, as one reads:  "...President Nicolás Maduro called the protesters 'terrorists and vandals.' 'We have them all identified. They're all identified. They will fall one by one and they will go straight to face justice,' Maduro said. The president said 30 people had been detained, but the Venezuelan human rights group Penal Forum reported Saturday there had been 115 detentions since Tuesday. Opposition lawmaker José Guerra, who participated in Saturday's protests, said the march was peacefully advancing on Francisco de Miranda Avenue, one of Caracas' main thoroughfares, when 'tear gas bombs started raining on us'." In "Violent clashes in Venezuela as thousands protest socialist government," by Rafael Romo, CNN, 9 April 2017.

          It becomes reasonable then to notice that the political jargon is -- crudely put -- bullshit.  This is all the more true when one observes that, under various forms of editorial-laced news reporting, Left is Right, as Right is Left .

          Yet political terms meaning little or intended to confuse the public abound. As an example, one may consider the historical lesson in which We might have called ourselves the Liberal Party .

          As to the Bolivarian revolution, this socialist revolution is nothing like the original. The CNN article notes utter mismanagement, as one reads further:  "Shortages of basic food products and medicines are commonplace. Inflation is expected to rise 1,660% this year and 2,880% in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund. Earlier in March, data from the country's central bank revealed Maduro's government is running out of cash. Venezuela has $10.5 billion in foreign reserves left. Given that the country owes $7.2 billion in outstanding debt payments, it means Venezuela will run out of cash at some point, depending on the fluctuation of oil prices. Almost all (96%) of Venezuela's exports are oil products."

          One sees, yet again as in history, that Sheer Ignorance which hides behind political jargon. One take on this is found in an editorial which asks:  "Why do reporters ignore the obvious? We'd surmise that it's largely because liberal journalists are infatuated with the idea of socialism. Here's how the AP lovingly described Chavez: 'a political outsider promising to upset the old order and funnel some of the country's enormous oil wealth to the poor. Poverty rates fell sharply during his administration, and many people continue to see him as a beloved Robin Hood figure who gave them houses, free health care, better education and a place at the table in government'."    In "What Caused Venezuela's Collapse Is No Mystery — Except To Economically Illiterate Journalists," Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 4 May 2017.

          That editorial noted:  "Today Venezuela is the third least free economy in the world, ahead of only Cuba and North Korea. As a direct result of those actions, Venezuela went from being on the wealthiest countries in South America — one rich in natural resources — to a country where people are literally fighting for scraps of food. Last year, Venezuela's economy shrank 18%. The unemployment rate is 25% and climbing. Inflation could reach 2,068% next year. Riots have become routine. As we have noted many times in this space, it is socialism, not oil prices or the weather or greedy businessmen or any other such factor that's to blame for Venezuela's economic crisis. This is what socialism produces. Always and everywhere. It is as close to an iron law of economics as there can be. Yet reporters continue to obfuscate, if not totally ignore, this economic reality when they try to explain to readers what is going on down there."

          Another complaint about mainstream media in the US is found:   "...out of the 50,000 total evening news stories on the three networks, just 25 covered Venezuela, and only seven mentioned 'socialism.' In addition, NBC Nightly News only broadcast 13 stories spanning 16 minutes and 54 seconds, ABC’s World News only covered 8 minutes and 34 seconds over seven stories, and CBS Evening News only offered 3 minutes and 11 seconds over five stories. 'The network evening news programs seem allergic to reporting on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela,' Ciandella told LifeZette in an email. 'Even worse, the few times they have managed to cover the widespread poverty, starvation and government oppression in that country, they somehow find ways to do that without mentioning the word ‘socialism'." In "Media Yawn at Venezuela’s Spiraling, Socialist Nightmare," by Kathryn Blackhurst, Polizette, 31 May 2017.

          And yet, as seen above the New York Times specifically that Venezuela moves "toward one-man rule under the leftist" while the BBC above labels Maduro's government as "socialist." That this is not clear enough to some is politics. That it is clear to the Venezuelan people protesting against Maduro in mass demonstrations is reality. Hunger trumps definitions in words, and the ideology which has led to "one-man rule" under a "leftist" is proven toxic.

          What is "going on down there" is what has gone on many times before from National Socialism to Soviet Socialism to Sino Socialism and beyond. Socialism has never proved benign, peaceful, incorruptible and a maker of prosperity. But its romance and promises lure the next generation of victims into the same predicament. Left to their own devices....

          ...one learns the basic lesson:  " 'The system is created so you can’t win,' said Alberto Cudemus, who heads the national association of pig farmers. 'The government thinks its survival is in communism, not in us, not with production. And that’s where they’re wrong'." In "Venezuela is starving," by Juan Forero, Wall Street Journal, 5 May 2017.

          That one cannot "win" under such a socialist system is proven untrue. Some do, as one reads:  " 'This form of socialism has produced some very powerful millionaires,' says Capriles. 'Most of them are government officials or people close to them -- and currently they are one of the main things holding up the government'." In "Rich Venezuelans eat sushi, guzzle cocktails amid chaos," by Carolos Reyes, Agence France Press, 19 June 2017.

          In a similar vein one can ponder Capital for Communists - a story growing old.

 

[ 2 ]     The silencing of a political opposition is a hallmark of the Totalitarian .  Other hallmarks include mass arrests and mass murder, given power enough to totalitarians.

          One lesson from history tells much:   "Mao launched the so-called Cultural Revolution (known in full as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution) in August 1966, at a meeting of the Plenum of the Central Committee. He shut down the nation’s schools, calling for a massive youth mobilization to take current party leaders to task for their embrace of bourgeois values and lack of revolutionary spirit. In the months that followed, the movement escalated quickly as the students formed paramilitary groups called the Red Guards and attacked and harassed members of China’s elderly and intellectual population. A personality cult quickly sprang up around Mao, similar to that which existed for Josef Stalin, with different factions of the movement claiming the true interpretation of Maoist thought. ...Some 1.5 million people were killed during the Cultural Revolution, and millions of others suffered imprisonment, seizure of property, torture or general humiliation. The Cultural Revolution’s short-term effects may have been felt mainly in China’s cities, but its long-term effects would impact the entire country for decades to come. Mao’s large-scale attack on the party and system he had created would eventually produce a result opposite to what he intended, leading many Chinese to lose faith in their government altogether." In "Cultural Revolution," History, A+E Networks, n. d.

          That current attempts to either rehabilitate or deny such historical lessons may be seen shows the human tendency for some towards supporting the totalitarian in grasping at what the New York Times article above clearly states would be "one-man rule."

          Where political jargon of Left and Right fails is that each "opposition" accuses the other of seeking such authoritarian rule. Given this, the jargon must be deemed as hugely flawed. In the case of Maduro, his accusation is that his political opposition is attempting a "coup," all the while Maduro's opposition -- now including the New York Times, BBC and CNN reports -- suggests his is the attempt at a "coup."
          One reads as example:  "The US state department spokesman Michael Fitzpatrick told reporters: 'We have deep concerns about the motivation for this constituent assembly which overrides the will of the Venezuelan people and further erodes Venezuelan democracy. What President Maduro is trying to do yet again is change the rules of the game.' Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes called the move a 'coup'. 'It's another step in breaking the democratic order, which contradicts the country's own constitution,' he said. In Venezuela itself, in the opposition-controlled National Assembly, lawmakers voted to reject the new body with many saying President Maduro was attempting to sideline the legislature and avoid new elections." In "Venezuela crisis: Opposition condemns Maduro move," BBC, 3 May 2017.

          So is the Left attempting a coup? Is the Right attempting a coup? Again, the jargon fails. Left and Right are pretenses at explanation, while greater freedom versus greater governmental control speak more clearly to frame the reality. The reality is that another dictator seeks to arise, as have previous dictators arisen.

          One reads:  "The Venezuelan Supreme Court may have amended part of its explosive decision to take over the opposition-led congress, but it still gives embattled leftist President Nicolas Maduro broad new powers over the OPEC nation's vast oil wealth. The reversal on Saturday came after political leaders worldwide and street protesters at home accused the pro-government court of effectively making Maduro a dictator." In "Venezuela's Maduro Wins Power Over Oil Despite Court Reversal," by Alexandra Ulmer. Reuters, 2 April 2017.

          As to vocabulary, it conflates into a clear message, irritating to those socialists and Communists who wish the terms would confuse as long they have. One reads:  " 'The Electoral Results must be respected,' she wrote in the post, which included a photo of herself next to one of her nephew. 'The Communist Dictatorship must go,' she concluded. In the wake of violent anti-government protests, Venezuela’s Socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, has suspended the country’s constitution, declared a state of emergency and delayed elections." In "Carolina Herrera blasts Venezuela 'dictatorship' after nephew’s death," by Isabel Vincent and Laura Italiano, Page Six, 13 May 2017.

          Socialism, as in National Socialism and Soviet Socialism and Cuban socialism and the so-called Bolivarian socialism links cleanly and clearly to Communism, as in the Communist Chinese and the Khmer Rouge and the Stalinist North Koreans, and more. While the "Right" seems so evasive in terms of definition except as a relative pejorative -- especially given the historical proof that the National Socialists of WWII Germany and the Italian Fascists of WWII Italy were also socialists by their own documented words, the "Left" as one reads above from the New York Times leads to "one-man rule" and authoritarianism.

          "Left to their own devices, dictatorships arise. / One-man rule entices, demanding myriad lies."  The lies are well serviced by political jargon which obscures meaning, while pretending towards being meaningful. If Left and Right both result in dictatorships, as opposing proponents of such verbal models assert, then the words mean nothing and serve no purpose.

          More precision in the discussion would be warranted, though the slogan-spewing enthusiasts would be annoyed that their beloved Left-Right shenanigans would be revealed as nothing but a wordy game of lies and the sowing of confusion. Rather than leave this at a sort of postmodern confusion over language itself, one would do well to conclude that gathering, growing government power feeds this "Left" -- even that "Right" by which some Leftists mean National Socialism. Government in all its largest and most powerful forms leads away from freedom.

          The only remaining question is to decide for one's self: which side are you on?

          The choices are simple: opt for the Totalitarian or avow that Freedom is freedom is freedom .


 

Tiny picture - rhymed paraphrase of Ilse Weber

"Helga depicted the reality in her drawings, and because the Germans forbade photographs, these drawings, which were recovered after the war along with her Terezín journal, have become an important testimony. She flicks through a book of them, pausing over an ink sketch of a man checking his blanket for bedbugs or 'blechy'. She says: 'I killed them by hand. They were small, but when they had eaten or drunk they bloated up – and what is most terrible, full of blood.' Her favourite drawing is of a funeral cart loaded with bread, and bearing the logo 'Welfare for the young'. She says: 'It was the only vehicle at Terezín. They wanted to decimate us psychologically too. Everything was carried on it – luggage, old people, dirty linen – except dead bodies.' As for those famous baskets of vegetables, which Helga and other children spent their days cultivating, she snorts: 'It was all for the Germans'.' In "Helga Weiss: an interview with a holocaust survivor," Nicholas Shakespeare, Telegraph UK, 19 February 2013.

 

The hearse of black-cracked lacquer
has served its many dead.
Four silvered columns heft
its ornamental roof overhead.

As dark, sepulchral friend --
it has carried its silent dead;
through ghetto lanes it carries now
its hundred loaves of hard-brown bread.

Snow softens white the silent earth,
wind sighing above this land,
as the wagon, drawn without horses --
no! -- children pull with tiny hand.

Each tugs the carriage traces
and plods in measured gait.
Sweat beads the children's brows and cheeks,
why is this heavy load their fate?

And childlike, earnest grimaces
in cheeks reddened with the cold
tell of their hardened labor for
meager blackened bread controlled.

The title to this picture?
With dark irony it black bleeds,
large is a sign fixed to the hearse:
"Welfare for the Young" it reads.

 

Welfare for the Young -- in the reality brought by the National Socialists

 

See:    Kleines Lied  (2017) 


 

I go I went

I go I went
    I bend and bent
        and time is now ticked by
            I am I was
                and this because
                    what's negotiable was I.
                        Thus was now is
                            for fool and whiz
                                are neither I deny
                                    for I am naught
                                        what I had ought
                                            as life goes on to die.


 

Post-truth

"After much discussion, debate, and research, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ The script was provided by a guest writer, the cultural commentator Neil Midgley." In "Word of the Year 2016 is..." by Oxford Dictionaries, 2016.

 

Roast truth
on a spit,
charred and
crisp and
hot.

Most truth?
Counterfeit,
offhand,
newsstand
fraught.

Post-truth,
they admit
it's planned,
fact-panned
rot.

Addendum of What's Left:   "...prominent representatives of the centre-left prepared the ground for the post-politics of 'post-truth'. The irony is that some of their closest relatives have been the first casualties of its further realisation. 'Post-truth' is the latest step in a logic long established in the history of ideas, and previously expressed in the cultural turn led by middle-class professionals. Instead of blaming populism for enacting what we set in motion, it would be better to acknowledge our own shameful part in it." In "The surprising origins of 'post-truth' – and how it was spawned by the liberal left," by Andrew Calcutt, The Conversation, 18 November 2016.

 

 Addendum of Fake News and Biased Sources:   " 'The No. 1 skill that kids are going to need in this 21st century is media literacy and the power of discernment,' said Stephen Balkam, founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute. 'What is real and what is not real? What is reputable and what is not reputable? And the willingness to go deep and not just read a headline.' For students, it’s apparently an uphill learning battle. They’re often taught in schools how to comprehend a written passage but less frequently how to judge the source of the information presented before them, Breakstone said. And because technology evolves quickly, the teaching materials about news literacy haven’t kept up." In "Students duped by fake news and biased sources, Stanford study finds," by Queenie Wong, Mercury News, 22 November 2016.

 

 Addendum of Amplification of Assertions and Suppression of Inconvenient Facts:   "Bader pointed out that most of the anti-minority 'hate crimes' and 'hate incidents' cited by SPLC do not legally constitute hate crimes, and many involve constitutionally protected speech. 'It is simply ridiculous that SPLC treats 'build the wall' as hate rhetoric,' he said. The center counted people mentioning 'build the wall' as 467 incidents of hate. 'Alas, these days the SPLC is mainly a fundraising machine,' said Gail Heriot, a US Commission on Civil Rights member who voted against Friday’s resolution. 'The more it can persuade its donors that hate groups have penetrated every nook and cranny of American society, the more money it can raise. Now it wants us to believe that the election has unleashed unprecedented waves of hatred and violence among schoolchildren. Let’s stop and take a deep breath before we assume that’s true. The SPLC has no credibility with anyone — on the left or the right — who is familiar with its methods.' While there no doubt are legitimate reports of hate crimes against minorities — and even one is too many — hyping such incidents recklessly fans the flames of anxiety among such communities. And suppressing reports of crimes against Trump supporters gives a one-sided and misleading view of post-election discord." In "Report buried Trump-related 'hate crimes' against white kids," by Paul Sperry, New Post Post, 5 December 2016.

 

 Addendum of Orwell's Premonition:   "Rolled all-into-one; the Google and media conglomerate initiatives, the EU parliamentary cadence against Russia, the NATO expansionism, this new EU propaganda arm, and the western world’s old order exercise a massive control. If George Orwell could imagine it, the elites have set it in place. Standing back, viewing the policies and rhetoric mimicked continually, we can see the real game behind. Power, the continuation of it, is the ultimate goal, and it would not surprise me to discover Google was a formulate entity of power all along. The urban legend that such Internet monopolies as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and the rest just 'happen' seems less likely day by day. The 'Fake Story' parroted from the White House to Whitehall and from the Bundeskanzlerin is a figment of the same imagination that said Google will 'Do no evil'. At least this is the view of a few millions. Me and scores of other dissenters are not 'faking', these corporate-government strategies, deals, and laws are dangerous. This is what the 'free press' was originally tasked with." In "The 'Godfather’s' Address to the EU: An 'Offer That Cannot Be Refused'," by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook, 6 December 2016.

 

 Addendum of a BBC Admission of False Reporting:   "Nearly six months later, the BBC’s editorial complaints unit has now concluded that the item was unfair. According to the unit, the BBC reporter 'did not give due weight to public statements by successive popes or the efforts made on the instructions of Pius XII to rescue Jews from Nazi persecution, and perpetuated a view which is at odds with the balance of evidence.' Pope Pius XII, who was the pontiff during World War II, has been accused of silent acquiescence to the Holocaust, most famously by a 1999 book, Hitler’s Pope, which sparked a major controversy among historians. Its author, John Cornwell, has since backed down on some of his claims." In "The BBC conceded it was false to describe the Church as being 'silent' in the face of Nazism," By Dan Hitchens, Catholic Herald, 9 December 2016.

 

 Addendum of the Press of Post-truth Meeting Plain Truth:   "To hear Obama wax poetic about ‘the politics of hope’ and ‘how ordinary Americans can steer change’ feels deeply perverse coming from a figure that has institutionalized a vast, unaccountable permanent warfare state. In the face of Obama’s global covert assassinate program, his numerous secret wars without congressional approval, a mass electronic surveillance capability unprecedented in history, the speeches reveal themselves as little more than banal platitudes and vapid sloganeering. As the sun sets on Obama’s presidency, to say the press has given him a pass is a grand understatement. Some outlets have occasionally run criticism of Obama’s drone policies or inconvenient relationship with Saudi Arabia. Other voices invert reality altogether, chastising Obama for his reluctance to militarily engage Syria, despite the US dropping over 12,000 bombs on the country in 2016 alone." In "Obama’s Achievement was Whitewashing Permanent Warfare with Eloquence," Nile Bowie, New Eastern Outlook, 17 January 2017.

 

 Addendum of Deceptions and Fake News:   "While the West poses as the premier champion of free speech, citizen participation, openness, and accountability, the New York Times article reveals an unfolding plan to utterly crush any narrative that deviates from Western media talking points, thus controlling citizen perception, not encouraging “participation,” and ensuring that the West alone determines what is 'opened' and held 'accountable.' No worse scenario can be referenced in human history or even among human fiction than plans to determine for the world through automatic algorithms and artificial intelligence almost in real time what is heard and read and what isn’t. It is even beyond the scope and scale of George Orwell’s cautionary dystopian '1984' novel. In a truly free society, an educated citizenry is capable of deciding for itself what is 'fake news' and what isn’t. Because of the rise of alternatives to the West’s monopoly over global information, many people are doing just that – determining that Western narratives are in fact deceptions. At no other point in modern history has the Western media faced as many alternatives, and as much skepticism on this scale, as well as an ebbing of trust domestically and abroad. It is no surprise then, to find the West resorting to outright censorship, even if it cushions mention of it with terms like 'fake news'." In "The West’s War on Free Speech," by Tony Cartalucci, New Eastern Outlook, 5 June 2017.

 

Consider some truths about The Truth - no doubt about it, and muse on the assertion that Thinking is not encouraged


 

Ollie Garx and Karly Marx

"The oligarchs of the Bay Area have a problem: They must square their progressive worldview with their enormous wealth. They certainly are not socialists in the traditional sense. They see their riches not as a result of class advantages, but rather as reflective of their meritocratic superiority. As former TechCrunch reporter Gregory Ferenstein has observed, they embrace massive inequality as both a given and a logical outcome of the new economy. The nerd estate is definitely not stupid, and like rulers everywhere, they worry about a revolt of the masses, and even the unionization of their companies. Their gambit is to expand the welfare state to keep the hoi polloi in line. Many, including Mark Zuckerberg, now favor an income stipend that could prevent mass homelessness and malnutrition." In "California’s descent to socialism," by Joel Kotkin, Orange County Register, 11 June 2017.

 

Ollie Garx and Karly Marx
Played well together, friends,
Until remarks by these Pay-triarchs
Were heard as to what portends
For tomorrows' arcs of these bay monarchs
Who well served their own rich ends.
                Billionaire Ollies with socialist views
                Make words mean nothing much
                Excepting that sought avenues
                Play Midas with a Karly touch.
Enormous wealth enormous health
Serves few but serves them well;
The hoi-polloi must not be allowed to toy
With rebelliousness' toppling spell.

                Billionaire Ollies with socialist words

                Sell opiate to the people,

                To keep them docile in this world

                As well-sheared herds of sheeple.

 

Addendum of Billionaire Opinions I:    "Gates, who is currently the richest man in America, is far from the first tech billionaire to speak out against capitalism. Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin Media Empire, famously said 'capitalism has lost its way' in the forward of his 2011 book, Screw Business As Usual. At the book’s press launch, Branson said, 'The short-term focus on profit has driven most businesses to forget about the important long-term role they have in taking care of people and the planet.' Billionaire investors Warren Buffet and George Soros have also criticized American capitalism, as has billionaire filmmaker George Lucas. But many call these moguls hypocritical — even if they start foundations or pledge much of their own wealth to charitable causes, they still made billions and now seek to devalue others who want to do the same, critics say. 'Not by accident did the expression 'limousine liberal' enter the American political lexicon years ago (in the late 1960s) as a pejorative term to ridicule the hypocrisy of left-wing anti-capitalists living the high life made possible by capitalism,' Richard M. Salsman wrote in Forbes, reacting to Buffet’s critique of capitalism." In "Bill Gates Bashes Capitalism — But He’s Not The First Tech Billionaire To Do It," by Betsy Isaacson, Huffington Post, 14 March 2013.

 

Addendum of Billionaire Opinions II:    "In a 2012 Pew Research survey, Democrats were far less inclined than Republicans to think well of the wealthy, to the point that only 8% thought they were more honest than the average American, and 65% thought they were more greedy. But Steyer has worked to craft an identity beyond hedge fund billionaire, with his work on climate change and income inequality. Will that be enough? Or will voters look at him and see just another rich guy?" In "Billionaire Tom Steyer is spending millions on behalf of Democrats. What will he get out of it?" by Cathleen Decker, Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2016,
 

Addendum of Billionaire Opinions III:   "Low-income Americans (43 percent) are twice as likely as higher-income Americans (22 percent) to view socialism positively, according to a Pew Research Center survey from 2011. And among 18-to-29-year olds, 49 percent had a positive view of socialism, while 47 percent had a positive view of capitalism. The acceptance of socialism among younger Americans suggests the presence of a generation gap." In "Bill Gates just endorsed socialism, sort of: A boost for Bernie Sanders?" by Husna Haq, Christian Science Monitor, 27 October 2015.

 

Addendum of Billionaire Opinions IV:    "Former U.S. Comptroller David Walker on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's call for the government to guarantee income for all." In "Zuckerberg’s universal income is socialism on steroids: Fmr. U.S. Comptroller," by MSN, 26 April 2017.

 

Addendum of the Old New Harmony:    "New Harmony provided equality for all its inhabitants, male and female. This manifestation of this equality was the responsibility of each citizen to contribute to the labor force of the community. In order to provide motivation for his workers in this system, Owen instituted a system of 'time money' and 'time stores'. New Harmony currency was worth the amount of time that a worker had labored, and could be exchanged for commodities worth the equivalent amount of labor. But although Owen provided New Harmony with everything he could imagine that it would need to succeed, it was missing the essential component that made other communities, like the Shakers, cohesive. Because Owen did not believe in God, their was no central covenant that committed the residents of New Harmony to their enterprise. Although they were united by their communal labor, and to the idea of utopian life, the very rational concepts upon which Owen had based the community were antithetical to communal life. Because they lacked the strong central belief which served to unite other utopian groups, the members of the community were lacking the commitment to carry out the mission that Owen envisioned. New Harmony dissolved in less than three years." In "Robert Owen and New Harmony," created by Kathleen M. Hogan, American Studies, University of Virginia, n. d.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Insulation from Consequences and Protection by Courtiers:    "Democratic New York City mayoral hopeful Mario Procaccino coined the term 'limousine liberal' to describe incumbent Mayor John Lindsay and his wealthy Manhattan backers during a heated 1969 campaign. It was a populist and producerist epithet, carrying an implicit accusation that the people it described were insulated from all negative consequences of their programs purported to benefit the poor, and that the costs and consequences of such programs would be borne in the main by working class or lower middle class people who were not so poor as to be beneficiaries themselves. In particular, Procaccino criticized Lindsay for favoring unemployed blacks over working-class white ethnics. One Procaccino campaign memo attacked 'rich super-assimilated people who live on Fifth Avenue and maintain some choice mansions outside the city and have no feeling for the small middle class shopkeeper, home owner, etc. They preach the politics of confrontation and condone violent upheaval in society because they are not touched by it and are protected by their courtiers'." In "Limousine liberal," Wikipedia article, n. d.    [ 2 ]

 

Consider the Glories of Oft-Attempted  So shall ism

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    Wealthy Robert Owen invested in his utopian dream, and of him and his dream is written:   "Owen’s naďve belief in the power of rational humanism was eventually denigrated by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels; but Engels once wrote of Owen that, in the early 18th century, all social movements and all real advance made in England in the interest of the working class were associated with Robert Owen’s name." In "New Harmony," America and the Utopian Dream, Yale University Library, n .d.

          The Yale University site identifies other American utopian attempts at societal organization, all of which failed. The list is informative, to explain the lure of consistently failing utopian dreams attempted in practice. 

          1638 - New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania German Colonies, Pennsylvania; 1694 - Society of the Woman in the Wilder, Germantown, Pennsylvania; 1732 - Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata, Pennsylvania; 1774 - Shakers, near Albany, New York; 1805 - Harmony, Harmony, Indiana; 1825 - Nashoba, Nashoba, Tennessee; 1825 - New Harmony, Harmony, Indiana; 1841 - Brook Farm, West Roxbury, Massachusetts; 1847 - Kingdom of St. James, Beaver Island, Michigan; 1848 - Oneida, Oneida, New York; 1849 - Icaria, Navoo, Illinois; 1875 - Fountain Grove, Santa Rosa, California; 1886 - Kaweah, Tulare County, California; 1894 - Roycroft, E. Aurora, New York; 1897 - Point Loma, San Diego, California; 1903 - Halcyon, Oceana, California; 1919 - Holy City, near Santa Cruz, California; 1919 - Peace Mission of Father Divine, Brooklyn, New York; 1965 - Drop City, Trinidad, Colorado; 1966 - Hog Farm, Taos, New Mexico; 1967 - Twin Oaks, Louisa, Virginia; 1968 - Family of Mystic Arts, Oregon; 1967 - The Diggers, California; and 1971- The Farm, Summerton, Tennessee.

 

[ 2 ]     Amusingly, the American political Left and Right square off as to what the notion of "limousine liberal" means. As above, "Democratic New York City mayoral hopeful Mario Procaccino coined the term 'limousine liberal' to describe incumbent Mayor John Lindsay and his wealthy Manhattan backers during a heated 1969 campaign."

          One finds an argument that the term is right-wing, as if Left and Right as a political model is not failing.  One reads:  "No political metaphor in recent American history—not even potent ones like silent majority—has enjoyed the longevity of limousine liberal. It remains part of the lingua franca of our political debates today. It has managed to mobilize an enduring politics of resentment directed against most of the major reforms of the last seventy-five years, everything from civil rights to women’s liberation, from urban renewal to the war on poverty, from gay rights to the welfare state, from affirmative action to environmental regulation. It remains at the heart of an aggrieved sense felt by millions that they have been passed over—their material needs ignored, their cultural preferences treated with contempt—by a cluster of elites that run the country." In "One of the Most Successful Right-Wing Myths of All Time: 'The Limousine Liberal'," by Steve Fraser, Basic Books, AlterNet, 9 May 2016.

          So Democrat-coined "limousine liberal" is a successful right-wing myth, for its seemingly "successful" use by some political factions. Yet the sentence highlighted above is telling.

           As the billionaires above who must be considered "elite" make their political pronouncements, one notes that within the pendulum of political power, these same are in fact "a cluster of elites that run the country." Drawing off the three card monte game of words and their continual redefinition, one finds "elite" applying to both sides of politics, such that assertions of right and left becomes silly. Oligarchs have a close relationship to government, and ultimately to Marx whose dreamed-of dictatorship of the proletariat was a step towards some sort of utopian vision.

          That so many of the billionaires as cited above are insulated from the consequences of their own political proposals and at the same time protected by their courtiers demonstrates the postmodern fact of The Privileges of Intellectuals for whom power over others is their utopian dream. Pity the poor others, who once again will be "helped" by these powerful men of wealth.


 

Fun ding - repeat the repetition

" 'We are doing our best in dialogue with the administration and Congress to make the U.S. understand that funding development aid, funding foreign policy in general, funding organizations like the U.N., is also in the interests of the American people,' Guterres told an event at New York University." In "U.N. chief warns if U.S. pulls back, others will fill leadership role," by Michelle Nichols, Reuters, 30 May 2017.

 

The fun ding         is a ding-dong battle
all about funding        like milking US cattle
ding-a-ling sings        of wished for chattel
tediously        rings this prattle
the fun dings        tell and thereby tattle

of evermore whing-ding        funding        funding        funding

 

Addendum of the Transitive and Intransitive Verb:    "to dwell on with tiresome repetition *keeps dinging it into him that the less he smokes the better — Samuel Butler *1902* ,   1 : to make a ringing sound : CLANG;  2 : to speak with tiresome reiteration.

 

Addendum of Replacement of Actors:   "Asked about a new world order sparked by the Trump administration’s actions, Guterres said: 'I believe that if the United States disengages in relation of many aspects of foreign policy and many of international relations, it will be unavoidable that other actors will occupy that space. And I don’t think this is good for the United States and I don’t think this is good for the world,' he said." In "UN chief: US will be replaced if it disengages from world," Associated Press, 20 June 2017.

 

Consider begging "with tiresome reiteration" for money from Sam? - the Debtor Man, and then consider the tasty treat hungry for more "fun ding" -- Globaloney - sung to the children's tune, "Baa, baa black sheep."


 

O dear those lips - a psalm for the future through a look to the past

O dear those lips
                    lied with each breath.
Sweet nothing slips
                    away in death.
O dear, each word
                    which dying mutes
Was loudly preyed
                    in loud disputes.
O dear, plain truth
                    survives such death.
Mute lies each now dumb
                    shibboleth.

                        Selah.

 

Addendum of a Strategy:   "Defeating toxic ideologies requires a multi-generational, multi-national, multi-faceted approach, and an intellectual leap of faith to revisit and re-tailor the traditional strategic levers of power that have been long hailed - somewhat Jominianly - as the principles that guide the application of strategy." In "The Battle for Minds. Defeating Toxic Ideologies in the 21st Century," by Colonel R. J. Boyd, United States War College, March 2013.   [ 1 ]

 

Toxic National Socialism and its Hitler Youth

 

 

Italian Fascism and its children

 

Toxic Soviet Socialism and its Young Pioneers

 

 

Toxic Sino-Socialism and its tragic Cultural Revolution

 

  

Islamic socialism and its training of children to be soldiers and martyrs  [ 2 ]

 

Africa's child soldiers as another representation of today's toxic ideologies

 

Child soldiers of Donetsk

 

Addendum of Untainted Truths:   "Science is to remain untainted by the fountains of subjective feelings. As much as possible, scientists need to be free to present their evidence without fear of offending others. Science is the offense—it cares not about your feelings." In "The Ethics of Science: Gagging Science in an Age of Creationism, Homosexuality, and Toxic Ideology," by Moses Y. Mikheyev, Existential Theory blog, 10 July 2015.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    Antoine-Henri Jomini (1779-1869) is referenced in Boyd's article cited above. One reads a most pertinent observation:  "War in its ensemble is NOT a science, but an art. Strategy, particularly, may indeed be regulated by fixed laws resembling those of the positive sciences, but this is not true of war viewed as a whole. Among other things, combats may be mentioned as often being quite independent of scientific combinations, and they may become essentially dramatic, personal qualities and inspirations and a thousand other things frequently being the controlling elements. The passions which agitate the masses that are brought into collision, the warlike qualities of these masses, the energy and talent of their commanders, the spirit, more or less martial, of nations and epochs, —in a word, every thing that can be called the poetry and metaphysics of war,—will have a permanent influence on its results." Mertsalov, A.N. "Jomini versus Clausewitz", pages 11–19 from Russia War, Peace and Diplomacy edited by Mark and Ljubica Erickson, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004.

 

[ 2 ]     Some socialist in this modern era disagree that Islam is akin to socialism, while others argue it is. What is without dispute is that the notion of a caliphate -- a maximum leader like other historical maximum leaders and Marx' dreamed of dictatorship of the proletariat --  is like unto those whose children from many lands, times and cultures are pictured above.

          As to notions of Islamic socialism, one reads of Egypt's Nasser:  "Egypt was captivated, and the Arab World watched closely as Nasser expanded on his brand of socialism. He believed that if the people had real equality they would feel more united and act as one entity. Saadedine Ibrahim, an Egyptian political activist, says: 'One of the very early phrases that Nasser coined was addressing the common man: 'Raise your head fellow brother, the end of colonialism has come.' And that is the kind of language, message that echoed very deeply with the average man, because it was a simple language and people who were downtrodden, people who were beaten, mistreated, felt worthless, began to gain that kind of confidence, spirit that they didn't have before.' Never before had an Arab leader achieved such popularity outside his own capital." In "Arab Unity: Nasser's Revolution," Al Jazeera, 20 June 2008.

          Additionally, one reads of Egypt's religious authorities:   "...the religious leaders of al-Azhar University went further, stressing that the aims of Islam and socialism were identical—the achievement of social justice, equality, freedom, and dignity, and the elimination of want. Al-Azhar served as an organ of state propaganda, and Nasser himself used mosque pulpits as a platform from which to proclaim his policies. After the Arab defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, when it seemed that Arab nationalism and socialism had failed, Nasser appealed more strongly than ever to Islamic values. Traditional Islamic themes and symbols were revived, and he made frequent references to Allāh in his speeches. By the time of his death he was trying to set Egypt on a different course, less socialist, more accommodating, in which religion would play a greater role." In "Nasser, Gamal Abdel," by Derek Hopwood, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, accessed 28 May 2017.

          To add to the mixing of the terms Islam and socialism, one reads:  "The Ba'ath Party, and indirectly the Syrian Regional Branch, was established on 7 April 1947 by Michel Aflaq (a Christian), Salah al-Din al-Bitar (a Sunni Muslim) and Zaki al-Arsuzi (an Alawite). According to the congress, the party was 'nationalist, populist, socialist, and revolutionary' and believed in the 'unity and freedom of the Arab nation within its homeland.' The party opposed the theory of class conflict, but supported the nationalisation of major industries, the unionisation of workers, land reform, and supported private inheritance and private property rights to some degree. The party merged with the Arab Socialist Party (ASP), led by Akram al-Hawrani, to establish the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party in Lebanon following Adib Shishakli's rise to power." In "Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Syria Region," Wikipedia article, n. d.

          And of the party of Yasser Arafat, one reads:  "Fatah has 'Member Party' status at the Socialist International and has 'Observer Party' status within the Party of European Socialists." In "Fatah," Wikipedia article, n. d.

          After the defeat of Germany's National Socialism -- see True socialism, oh yes, he said -- and Italian Fascism, the socialist of that era took pains to separate versions of socialism. Yet when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics collapsed -- additional pains were taken to separate that form of socialism from others. When the enormous numbers of deaths were estimated from the Sino-socialist rule in Communist China, again avid socialists began to pare away that form of socialism from another. With the documentation of Islamic socialism, again socialists in the West are challenged to explain why their form of socialism is not like yet another form of socialism.

          Yet, as with the images of children enrolled in various forms of ideological militarism shown above, similarities leer out through toxic ideology. The various forms of such a toxic ideology all come down to some version of the stern, enforced dictates of So shall ism versus simple freedom in a plurality allowing live-ane-let-live.

          It is the dictatorship of a state ideology over a people as the antithesis of individual freedom.


 

Follow the book - don't overlook

"Jihad (English pronunciation: /dʒɪˈhɑːd/; Arabic: جهاد‎‎ jihād [dʒɪˈhaːd]) is an Arabic word which literally means striving or struggling, especially with a praiseworthy aim. It can have many shades of meaning in an Islamic context, such as struggle against one's evil inclinations, or efforts toward the moral betterment of society. In classical Islamic law, the term refers to armed struggle against unbelievers, while modernist Islamic scholars generally equate military jihad with defensive warfare. In Sufi and pious circles, spiritual and moral jihad has been traditionally emphasized under the name of greater jihad. The term has gained additional attention in recent decades through its use by terrorist groups." In "Jihad," Wikipedia article, n. d.   [ 1 ]

 

London town is bloodied now,
            -- kill some more, kill some more --
            London town is bloodied now,
This "for Allah," shout.  
[ 2 ]

Follow the book and kill some more,
            -- kill some more, kill some more --
            Follow their book and kill some more,
Sharpened with just words.  
[ 3 ]

Follow the clues through centuries,
            -- kill some more, kill some more --
              Follow the clues through centuries,
Carved from one small book.

Tally the dead that this has claimed,
    -- kill some more, kill some more --
    Tally the dead that this has claimed,
Heed the words they say.

 

Addendum of a Changing Perspective:   "Mr Phillips said the survey showed 'the unacknowledged creation of a nation within the nation, with its own geography, its own values and its own very separate future.' He said: 'For a long time, I too thought that Europe’s Muslims would become like previous waves of migrants, gradually abandoning their ancestral ways, wearing their religious and cultural baggage lightly, and gradually blending into Britain’s diverse identity landscape.' He said that the integration of Muslims requires a more 'muscular approach to integration'." In " 'Astonishing' two in three British Muslims would NOT give police terror tip-offs," by Laura Mowat, Express UK, 11 April 2006.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Unsocial Media:    "The Prime Minister said introducing new rules for cyberspace would 'deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online' and that technology firms were not currently doing enough." In "Theresa May says the internet must now be regulated following London Bridge terror attack," by Jon Stone, Independent UK, 4 June 2017.   [ 5 ]

  

Addendum of a Sourced Citation to Heed the Words They Say:   "Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, 'I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.' Abu Huraira added: Allah’s Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Book #52, Hadith #220)

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   The notion of a word which has supposedly so many variants that they contradict one another shows the ideological use of such to demonstrate evasion as to meaning. While Wikipedia, edited by a number of volunteers, tries for accuracy, the opening definitions speak to jihad as both inner and outer, peaceful and militant, and now tinged by "its use by terrorist groups."

          Yet later in the Wiki article, one reads:  "The context of the Quran is elucidated by Hadith (the teachings, deeds and sayings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad). Of the 199 references to jihad in perhaps the most standard collection of hadith—Bukhari—all assume that jihad means warfare."

          Then this supposedly modern time includes:  "Based on the 20th century interpretations of Sayyid Qutb, Abdullah Azzam, Ruhollah Khomeini, Al-Qaeda and others, many if not all of those self-proclaimed jihad fighters believe defensive global jihad a personal obligation, that no caliph or Muslim head of state need declare. Killing yourself in the process of killing the enemy is an act of martyrdom and brings a special place in heaven, not hell; and the killing of Muslim bystanders, (never mind non-Muslims), should not impede acts of jihad. One analyst described the new interpretation of jihad, the 'willful targeting of civilians by a non-state actor through unconventional means'."

          And so in one article, "especially with a praiseworthy aim" seems the latest which many nations and much world media now easily define as terrorist. Additionally and with threat to the whole of Islam in the light of modernity, such acts of jihad are often described or defined away in the media as psychologically insane. The discussion roils and continues.

 

[ 2 ]    "One eyewitness spoke of the men shouting 'this is for Allah' as they stabbed indiscriminately. The death toll was unclear at first but later rose to six; the number of injured is over 30." In "'They shouted 'this is for Allah', as they stabbed indiscriminately' - How the London terror attack unfolded," by Robert Mendick, Telegraph UK, 4 June 2017.

          Similarly, "Witness Erick Siguenza told BBC News that one of the gang screamed 'This is for Allah' as he went on his stabbing rampage." In "8 MINUTES OF TERROR London Bridge attack – cops shoot three terrorists dead as six victims killed after extremists plough into revellers at 50mph before jumping out and stabbing people," by Mark Hodge and Neal Baker, Sun UK, 4 June 2017.

         Of this attack, one reads further:  "The bridge is in lock down and the area around it is closed with bus routes being diverted, as armed police and a bomb squad attend the scene and boats search the water. The attacks in the streets of London come just days after armed troops were pulled off the streets of Britain." In " 'Run, hide, tell': Metropolitan Police issue warning as officers launch hunt for attackers who went on a terror rampage in the streets of London," by Anthony Joseph and Ekin Karasin, Mail Online, 4 June 2017.

 

[ 3 ]   One reads:  "ISLAMIC State (ISIS) has called for attacks in Britain during the holy month of Ramadan, which starts tonight, after the Manchester bombing which killed 22 and maimed dozens more." In " 'Attack them in their homes' ISIS in twisted call for bloodshed during Ramadan," by Zoie O'Brien, Express UK, 26 May 2017.

         Fro those who argue that such as the above is not representative of Islam, then not only ISIS -- the Islamic State -- is not Islamic, but neither are others.

         As one reads:  "Northern Cameroon has in recent years suffered from the overflow of violence linked to Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist insurgents. Nigerian refugees have flooded across the border and local residents have been forced to flee their homes. Boko Haram launches frequent cross-border raids in its bid to carve out an Islamic caliphate. Its eight-year insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people in the Lake Chad region and, according to the latest U.N. refugee agency figures, displaced 2.7 million." In "Children strapped with explosives kill nine in north Cameroon," by Josiane Kouagheu, Reuters, 2 June 2017.

          So either violent jihad, an Islamic caliphate (or several) and "bloodshed during Ramadan" are Islamic or they are not? All the markers point to these as representative of Islam, especially as "guest" in non-Islamic lands which experience terror from Muslims.

 

[ 4 ]    The gathering of many reports together shows that the empty accusation of Islamophobia now may be easily directed at Muslim nations, Muslim populations and more.

          As to Phillips' conclusion that Islam in the United Kingdom is become "a nation within the nation, with its own geography, its own values and its own very separate future" and a number of jihadi attacks euphemized as "terror" by some to parse Islam away from these, one may foretell a time when a "nation without a nation" with its valuing of jihad and the asserted "very separate future," war between these civilizations must erupt and be settled as all wars have been settled -- with a losing side.

          "Follow the book" and "heed the words they say."  "This is for Allah."

          One reads that some Muslims in the UK are attacked by other Muslims over "stigmatizing Muslims." One reads: The former chief crown prosecutor and the country's most prominent Muslim lawyer has said British Islamic groups are undermining fight against terror by peddling 'myths' about the Prevent campaign. Nazir Afzal has claimed an 'industry', of Muslim groups was spreading misinformation about the Prevent strategy, according to The Times." In "British Islamic groups are undermining fight against terror by peddling 'myths' about Prevent campaign, says top Muslim lawyer," by Isobel Frodsham, Mail Online, 3 June 2017.

          Such a report and complaint by a "most prominent Muslim lawyer" reinforces Phillips' assertion that some significant portion of a population believing in Islam is the now "a nation within the nation, with its own geography, its own values and its own very separate future." And its own terrorism....

          A report about London after the last attack:  "The man, of African origin, had recently purchased the machetes, and made his way towards a largely Jewish neighborhood in the Golders Green area of London. Police apparently followed the man from the store where he purchased the machetes and detained him as he entered the neighborhood. Less than a month ago, a man brandishing a meat cleaver threatened Jewish residents of the Stamford Hill neighborhood and attempted to break into a kosher food store. After employees of the store locked the door, the man entered a second kosher grocery store shouting 'Where is the boss, I will kill him!' The man then chased after two Jewish boys, aged 14 and 8, shouting 'You Jews run away form here before I kill you,' JTA reported." In "Muslim carrying machetes nabbed in Jewish neighborhood," by David Rosenberg, Israel National News, 6 June 2017.

          It would appear that, as Islam splinters, some readers of the Koran are considering and practicing attacks on non-Muslims as in line with what they read. Follow the book. Heed the words they say. It is not some generic "terrorism" but terrorism rooted in an ideology incompatible with others.

          In contradistinction to multiple murderous knife attacks and attacks with bombs, one reads of a "hate crime" -- as it is being defined in news media as by politicians:  "TellMAMA, which monitors anti-Muslim attacks, said: 'We have received information that worshippers at the Omar Faruque mosque in Kirkwood Road, Cambridge, came out from prayers to find strips of ham on the windscreens of four vehicles'. ...'Clearly in the minds of perpetrators, they believe that pork products are an insult to Muslims'." In "Security stepped up at Cambridge mosques after early morning bacon hate crime," by Raymond Brown, Cambridge News, 9 June 2017.

          Thus one should conclude of the current climate of political correctness that:  "strips of ham" > murderous knife attacks and bombings of concerts involving multiple killings and serious injuries.

          As to the sentence in the article cited which reads "in the minds of perpetrators, they believe that pork products are an insult to Muslims," one may check Islamic sources.

          "He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful." In Qurʼan, Sura 2 (Al-Baqara), ayat 173," as found in Islamic dietary laws," Wikipedia article, n. d.  So it is or it isn't, and the journalistic lack of clarity shines brightly. Follow the book?

  

[ 5 ]    Based on the preponderance of evidence as read in the UK media reports, "extremists" were involved in the murders, as well as being characterized by reference to the same book. The Prime Minister has called this "a perversion of Islam."  And so another non-Muslim stands to define Islam? Not at all, for while May made her remarks, they did not include a definition of what Islam is, in her view.

          The report:   "...the London and Manchester attacks were connected in 'one important sense. They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism,' she said. 'It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth'." In "Theresa May says 'enough is enough' in wake of London Bridge terror attack as she confirms General Election will go ahead," by Jack Maidment, Telegraph UK, 4 June 2017.

          Therefore there is, in her view, the religion of Islam and "the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism" are not connected, all the while the "London and Manchester attacks were connected." At the center is a claim reported above about murder, "This is for Allah." So if the "evil ideology of Islamist extremism" is "connected" to Allah, the Koran and Hadiths, and seems to involve those who would not cooperate with the British government as regards terror -- a reported two-thirds -- then what is connected is the fact that May is not an authority for the Muslims in Britain, and cannot define their religion for them, nor parse it away from that "ideology" which is founded on Allah, and the Koran and Hadiths, and practices militant jihad.

  

Consider the postmodern assertion -- The religion of peace

 


 

The Barren and the Barrenness

"Societies are like individuals, too; some are energetic and outward-looking during periods of their life, while at other times, 'anomie' takes over. That’s when individuals and societies go through life depressed and fearful while trying to hide it with empty indulgences, whether it is drinking or shopping, which one American philosopher called 'joyless hedonism'. Until this value system changes, many “affluent” societies of today will become so depressed that they will commit demographic suicide." In "Baby dearth: why rich societies like Hong Kong are committing demographic suicide," by N. Balakrishnan, South China Morning Post, 20 May 2017.   [ 1 ]

 

Barren One and Barrenness Two would lord over others, and
Each Barren and each Barrenness would shrink each fatherland.

Barrenness Left with Barren Right would pompously declare
As Barrens and as Barrenesses they were most aware.

Barren Left and Barrenness Right were childless; this because
Saving the world for barrenness was how they'd earn applause.

Decades passed and these royal types grew old and bent and gray,
Like the motherlands they ruled, which simply bred away.

Fruitless grows the oldest trees and then the orchard's burned.
And this is how demographically the simplest truths are spurned.

 

Envoi:    "In a society riddled with mindless materialism, purposeless pressure, joyless hedonism, and devastating loneliness, Jews can restructure the family to oppose the shallow ethos of mass culture." In "In God's Mirror, Reflections and Essays" by Harold M. Schulweiss, Ktav Publishing House, 2003.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of the Asylum Which Must Be Opposed:    "... millions of us shuffle to meaningless jobs, or are commanded to search for them, in a collective act analogous to mass occupational therapy: thousands of Nurse Ratchets, in council offices, MP surgeries and Job Centres, massage our behaviour, preventing us from ever locating the mechanisms at the root of our suffering. Parallel to our being managed, we witness the expression of collective madness that is the joyless hedonism of Leicester Square on a Saturday night. Beneath a tissue-thin layer, we conceal an existential dread that for far too many erupts into a disruptive and harmful breakdown. The asylum is here, and we all live in it." In "Group Therapy," by Jack Dean, Occupied Times 29 March 2014.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Europe's Barrens and Barrenesses Sacrificing Children:    " 'Est regis tueri cives.' It is the king's duty to protect citizens. Or do we think that, to continue enjoy our lazy lifestyle, we must feed the Islamic Moloch, like the god of Carthage, which demanded the sacrifice of children in return for the preservation of the city? And another point: Is it possible that Europe's leaders have chosen to avoid fighting because they are all childless? German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, French President Emmanuel Macron, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the head of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, have one thing is common: they are all childless. They don't have the most powerful stake in the future of the country they lead. Having children and grandchildren influences the desire to ensure that they are given protection and the best chance to flourish in the future. Perhaps a childless leader is unable to see further into the future apart from his own life. In Israel it would be unthinkable." In "Europe chose to sacrifice its children to the Islamic Moloch," by Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, 23 May 2017.  [ 4 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     As to "each Barren and each Barrenness," the article notes:  "...in the European Union – where an entire continent seems to be marching like lemmings to demographic suicide – many leaders are childless and may therefore be less likely to promote child-friendly policies. Among the current European leaders without children are Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of European Commission."

 

 

          One may see these Barrens and Barrenesses at work, rather like their political forbearers, in You're Up - a historical study.

 

[ 2 ]      While Rabbi Schulweiss offers an alternative -- "to oppose" -- from and for the Conservative Jewish perspective, one finds a parallel in a Christian's critique of a supposedly "modern" culture.  

          "...modern humanism's determinist view of the world and human nature, its misguided educational and social ideals which jettisoned traditional values, its eccentric economic utopianism which took no account of the human sinfulness of both those who govern and those who are governed, its identification of love with lust and altruism with self-interest, and its hostility to religion have produced only a thin, unsustainable metaphysics and joyless hedonism -- a hedonism, along with its residual frustration, which is strikingly portrayed in Ecclesiastes chapter 2. This is a world view and life style buttresses by mores which are based upon self-gratification masquerading as morality. According to the humanists, human beings are behaviorally conditioned and determined creatures who should entertain no illusions about the ultimate meaning of life." In "Theological Sentences: Unveiling the Undeniable Impact of Sacrificial Obedience," by Samuel J. Mikolaski, Sava Communications, 2013.

          As to the biblical citation, one reads:   "Everything is wearisome, more than one can express; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, the ear not filled up with hearing. What has been is what will be, what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there something of which it is said, 'See, this is new'? It existed already in the ages before us."

          What has existed already in the ages before us is the urge to power, to rule and to become masters over others.

 

[ 3 ]      As to a nation led by a Barrenness oer the above comment by Balakrishnan, one reads of the modern dystopian utopia:   "...factories have closed, people travel by car instead of buses, use YouTube rather than the cinema. But these shifts alone fail to explain the speed of our social collapse. These structural changes have been accompanied by a life-denying ideology, which enforces and celebrates our social isolation. The war of every man against every man – competition and individualism, in other words – is the religion of our time, justified by a mythology of lone rangers, sole traders, self-starters, self-made men and women, going it alone. For the most social of creatures, who cannot prosper without love, there is no such thing as society, only heroic individualism. What counts is to win. The rest is collateral damage. British children no longer aspire to be train drivers or nurses – more than a fifth say they 'just want to be rich': wealth and fame are the sole ambitions of 40% of those surveyed. A government study in June revealed that Britain is the loneliness capital of Europe." In "The age of loneliness is killing us," by George Monbiot, Guardian UK, 14 October 2014.

          Postmodernism and its royals, contemporary politics and its Barrens and Barrennesses, and "the shallow ethos of a mass culture" as Schulweiss notes above, seek to rule, leading the gullible to being ever more barren, in an age when the "anomie" has led to that "life-denying ideology" in which the ever more expensive social state, pretending to care for its citizenry, makes the many dependent on the state and its few who then rule with an iron hand wrapped in a velvet glove, as opposed to the naked violence as one sees from the many example when such rulers are fully Left to their own devices .

 

[ 4 ]   An Italian journalist who writes twice weekly for Il Foglio also writes a column for Israeli news media and a commentator based in Hong Kong note the same fact about so many of Europe's ruling class, that they are barren.

          The Judeo-Christian tradition celebrates children, as one may see from the simple quote:  "Children too are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. The children born when one is young. are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. How blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them; he will not have to be embarrassed when contending with foes at the city gate." Psalm 127:3-5.

          The clarity of the narrative is also simple, when reading:  "Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, 'Give me children, or else I die'." Genesis 30:1.

          The Islamic tradition also flies in the face of the current crop of barren European leaders, as one reads a comment on a verse from the Koran:  "Undoubtedly the benefits of increasing the nation’s offspring are obvious to everyone who thinks about the matter. Hence nations who understand this matter have been keen to encourage their people to increase their numbers and also to make their enemies reduce their numbers by means of specious arguments and sometimes by using means that lead to infertility and having few children, by means of drugs, contaminated food stuffs that reduce fertility and so on. This is one of the means of war used against the Muslim ummah by its enemies." [al-A’raaf 7:86]

          Thus one sees demographic tides shifting across the world, with the "modern" arguments from some that population should be reduced for fear of a coming Apocalypse sometime , on the one hand, and The Privileges of Intellectuals , on the other. "Naturally" not all intellectuals may be allowed such privilege but only those approved within the constraints of power and politics.

          But cultures have seen children as the future, and indeed a demographic-proven future. As an example from another tradition, one reads:  "If the woman has the physical fitness and the meritorious luck to bear his children, the family was a fortunate one. Villagers always looked at sterility with a squinted eye, and its fault and the misfortune lay solely on the woman's part. As such, a childless woman often became culprit for her entire life." In "The Master's Daughter," by Swarnakanthi Rajapakse, Sarasavi Publishers, 2014.

          Adopting this vocabulary, one could opine that each "culprit" atop European governance in its barren demographic modernity is, in fact, in part and by example culpable for building up a quiver-empty governance unable to respond to "specious arguments and sometimes... [ the use of ]  means that lead to infertility and having few children, as an Islamic source has clearly stated.

          A modern writer notes:  "God is building a mighty army to vanquish the forces of darkness. These soldiers of the light are initially conceived and nurtured in the wombs of women. As such, an obvious strategy for the devil would be to sabotage the womb to cut down the size of this godly army." In "Hannah's Song," by Theresa Pecku-Laryea, Xulon Press, 2013.

          Given such a torrent of imagery, one only need wait for the outcome of which army "conceived and nurtured in the wombs of women" will "cut down" an opposing army, depleted and spent for having become barren. Islam has not forgotten this, as above, while the "modern" liberal -- seeming liberal but in fact losing ground as the demographic battle rages -- has.

          Fruitless grows the oldest trees and then the orchard's burned. / And this is how demographically the simplest truths are spurned.


 

White Noise

"It doesn’t take much at all for a white person to be considered good. As long as they avoid killing someone themselves, no one is going to demand anything else of them. Whites don’t need to do anything decent for anyone, especially not people outside of their own family, and yet, everyone will assume that they are good people. Even when whites do undeniably harmful things, American culture explains it away. This is why our society subjects impressive people of color to dehumanization that a white person who behaves despicably doesn’t encounter." In "Low Standards for Whites. That’s What’s Killing Us." by Koritha Mitchell, KorithaMitchhell.com, 10 July 2016.

Marx was white, oh yes he was,
And Lenin too was white.
Babeuf was white, and this because
Of French apartheid.

Lest one forget a little fact,
Engels was Caucasian light,
And helped white old Karl
To read, research and write.

Uncle Adolf and Old post-Tsar Joe
Were Hitler and Stalin bright,
Because they considered well
Their privilege was white?

Derrida and Foucault
Post-modernly were white
In their French enlightenment,
Philosophically so lite.

Hollande, Merkel and Trudeau
Today they're governing white.
Putin and Sweden's feminists
Play this hand of sleight?

Robert of the Senate Byrd
Was once KKK upright,
And Al Gore, the senior,
Was a segregationist's delight.

Clinton, Sanders, Durbin,
Pelosi and Schumer quite
Hold aloft white features
With Americanizing might.

Michael Moore is quite bright
And large among the lily white;
Meryl Streep acts brilliantly
As a very whitest knight.

Leftists, liberals, progressives too
Are sometimes so contrite,
Labeling white folks racist
With their racist peals of right.

One understands the pap
An English professor might
Write about such whiteness
In the glare of her small spotlight.

Post-presidential Barry
Showed half himself as quite
Black in public spectacle,
But his other half is white.

White as just condemnation
Is a trendy sort of rite
In the height of folly's fiddling
With whatever it is to be white.

One can judge the gamers' game
Which plays as erudite
Is aging to decrepitude
In its guttering candlelight.

Race, all race, and all the time
Is not all racial plight,
When race as social construct
Teeters as birthright.

White Lincoln toppled slavery
And schools opened through Ike the white,
And oh so many examples
Prove goodness can be white...

...and black and all the colors
With which one paints polite
That race runs now on empty
In the racists' racist fight.

 

Envoi Revisiting a Statement:  "It doesn’t take much at all for a white person to be considered good."

 

Portraits in Shades of White Noise  [ 1 ]

 

 Addendum of Moral Claims and Reparations:    "The moral claim persists because the brutality and stolen labor of slavery, and the grim years of Jim Crow segregation that followed, have left a legacy of lost wealth and opportunity. Such legacy continues to burden African-Americans today. A quarter of our nation’s African-Americans live in poverty. The tough part of making the case for reparations is not showing that past racial crimes burden the present. No fair-minded person denies this. The question is who should pay for them? The sad truth is that the harms of slavery and Jim Crow are greater than the wealth they created. Moreover, the primary beneficiaries of those systems are now gone. Payments will have to come from taxpayers, who have no culpability for those past crimes and little, if any, of the benefit. The case for repair would be based on the federal government’s traditional role of helping people in need, which has inspired social welfare programs like the New Deal, the Great Society and the 9/11 Victim Compensation fund. In those cases, there is no need to show culpability by the government to make a compelling case for doing something positive." In "Who Would Pay for Reparations, and Why?" by Alfred L. Brophy, New York Times, 9 June 2014.   [ 2 ]

 

 Addendum of Academia Working Against Whiteness:   "Paul Dionne, Inclusive Success Coordinator for Beloit College’s Office for Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness, gave a speech entitled, 'Working Against Whiteness' as part of a 'Love Made Public' lecture series. The lecture series started during the fall, but resumed this semester. To help define 'whiteness,' Dionne instructed the student attendees to chant 'imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy,' a phrase originating from feminist and self-avowed socialist bell hooks, who spells her name with all lowercase letters. 'Working against whiteness for me is interrogating myself and who I am and where I come from and all of my privileges,' said the school administrator, according to an audio file of the event obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation." In "University Admin: ‘Whiteness’ Goes Against Christianity," by Rob Shimshock, Daily Caller, 21 March 2017.   [ 3 ]

 

 Addendum of White Noise:   "In discrete time, white noise is a discrete signal whose samples are regarded as a sequence of serially uncorrelated random variables with zero mean and finite variance; a single realization of white noise is a random shock. Depending on the context, one may also require that the samples be independent and have identical probability distribution (in other words i.i.d. is the simplest representative of the white noise). In particular, if each sample has a normal distribution with zero mean, the signal is said to be Gaussian white noise." In "White Noise," Wikipedia article, n. d.    [ 4 ]

 

 Addendum of Non-White Noise Being Blackish:   "Rachel Dolezal, former president of the NAACP of Spokane, Washington, was 'outed' for being White and apparently lying. That aside, the question remains: can a person feel like or identify as another race in a way similar to taking on a new gender identity? Our Census Bureau seems to think that’s sufficient. The U.S. Census Bureau website states: 'The Census Bureau collects racial data in accordance with guidelines provided by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and these data are based on self-identification. The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically'." In "Being Blackish: Race and Self-Identification," Mirah Riben, Huffington Post, 23 June 2015.   [ 5 ]

 

 Addendum of White Mortality Rate Rising:    "In 2015, Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton made global headlines after documenting a shocking rise in the proportion of white non-Hispanic Americans dying in middle age. This year, as part of the Spring 2017 edition of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Professors Case and Deaton are following up on that research to further investigate the rise and its causes, examining midlife mortality rates of white non-Hispanics in the U.S. by geography, education, birth cohort, and more." In "Working class white Americans are now dying in middle age at faster rates than minority groups," by Alison Burke, Brookings.edu, 23 March 2017.   [ 6 ]

 

 Addendum of Becoming a Nation of Racist Scoundrels:   "Social media has become dominant in most of our lives, and what does social media do if not reduce everything to the personal? 'How does this affect me...here are my thoughts of the day…here are my feelings on that issue.' Social media is total absorption with self. That’s pretty much what a racial-identity-centered worldview is, too. There’s a reason that 90% of the stories that go viral on social media deal with race or other 'identity' issues. That’s what resonates with us now that the political has truly become personal. If racism is indeed the last refuge of scoundrels, we are certainly on the path to becoming a nation of them." In "Racism: The Last Refuge of Us All?" by David Cole, Taki's Magazine, 18 May 2017.

 

 Addendum of Manifest and Open Evidence of Racial Discrimination:   "A white professor at a predominantly black university in St. Louis was fired 'because of the color of her skin,' a state appeals court ruled Tuesday. A three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed a 2015 jury verdict that awarded nearly $5 million to Beverly Wilkins, a former professor at Harris-Stowe State University. 'Rarely have we seen such manifest and open evidence of racial discrimination,' the appeals court ruling said." In "$5M award upheld in white professor's discrimination case," Associated Press, 6 June 2017.

 

Consider the game of  White is black and the odd argument, complete with addenda and footnotes that  Everything's about my colored skin - (or sadly, Why racism works)

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     While the selection of "portraits in shades of white noise" is editorial, one can construct such a gallery to include other "whites" seen as opposing the ideological Left with its roots in socialist theory, such as America's Trump, Britain's May, France's Le Pen, Germany's Petry and more, based solely on the editorial attempt to identify by association. Ultimately, attempts to sully by racial accusation will fail, as one can find opposing voices in all group identities based on the so-called democratic virtues of race, religion, creed, gender and national origin.

          That a voice from academia in the United States asserts 1) racial identity as causality, 2) racial identity as value-laden, and 3) racial identity as, in some instances, dehumanizing is sadly amusing. It is a voice asserting Post-truth as above. For this, the editorial link from a white Marx through the white French post-modernists through to those who would apply deconstruction to much comes to its fumbling end game.

 

 Categories Change for Many Reasons

 

          As to fluidity of self-identification as regards race categorization, one reads:   "Previous research on people’s racial self-identification has found that they may change categories for many reasons, said demographer Sharon Lee of the University of Victoria in Canada, at the population conference. The question mode—whether people are asked in person, on a paper form, on the phone or online—makes a difference. Some people may change their category after they find out they had an ancestor of a different race, she said. Or they may decide there are benefits (such as priority in college admissions) to including themselves in a certain group. Some category-changers were children in 2000 whose race was filled in by their parents, but by 2010 were old enough to choose for themselves, which may account for some of the change. Children in some groups in 2000—for example, white and black—were especially likely to be recorded in a different category in 2010, Liebler said. (Although she did not mention President Barack Obama, he chose to check only 'black' on his 2010 census form, even though his mother was white and father black.)." In "Millions of Americans changed their racial or ethnic identity from one census to the next," by D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center, 5 May 2014.

          With a black father and white mother (as if race mattered as much as the politics demands), one reads of a similar case with a different end result. One reads:  "Rachael Malonson is biracial and said because of her skin tone, some people don’t recognize that. In fact, some of her critics have told her she’s not black enough. She said she entered this pageant to feel more empowered as a black woman, but after winning the competition she was met with some criticism she didn’t expect. 'Someone literally asked me are you black? Can you prove it to me?' Malonson said. 'I was like yes, my dad’s black and my mom’s white'." In "Miss Black University of Texas Criticized for ‘Not Being Black Enough’," Erin Jones, KHOU vua Black Christian News, 5 May 2017.

          What is the distinction between an ex-President with a black father and white mother and a University of Texas student with a black father and a white mother? Is one black enough and the other not black enough?

          When all is potentially fluid and all is social construction, then indeed race itself is proven social construction. That is the point. When skin color was a signal of human value in the proponents of slavery, then fluidly moved to the rationale for the advocates of Jim Crow laws and segregationists, and now to such arguments as found above, one finds all little more than racist assertion across a swath of history and across many nations and cultures.

          One should not forget, in the real struggle of mankind historically Modern Slavery exists. "Whiteness," whatever and however this might be defined from the time of the segregationist Democrats of the United States known once as Dixiecrats (two were high-ranking Democrats pictured above) until now, is not some single cause of slavery, a phenomenon found over thousands of years of human history.

 

 It Doesn't Take Much At All For a White Man To Be Considered Evil

 

          As to Mitchell's assertion that it "doesn’t take much at all for a white person to be considered good," it also doesn't take much at all for a white person to be considered evil. As one example of this alternative conclusion, one reads of a view to deny white men their "franchise."

           "This would also strike a blow against toxic white masculinity, one that is long needed. At the same time, a denial of the franchise to white men, could see a redistribution of global assets to their rightful owners. After all, white men have used the imposition of Western legal systems around the world to reinforce modern capitalism. A period of twenty years without white men in the world's parliaments and voting booths will allow legislation to be passed which could see the world's wealth far more equitably shared. The violence of white male wealth and income inequality will be a thing of the past." In "Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?" by Shelley Garland, Huffington Post, 13 April 2017.

           Redistribution of global assets to their rightful owners? The assertion is naive, as not even well-formulated Marxism, which suggests class based on economic position. If "global wealth" is in the hands of white men, then all white men are wealthy, a fallacious conclusion. Additionally this sort of socialist politics is underpinned by its very-white, European theorists. If skin color makes criminal guilt hereditary, then blatant racism is the underpinning of such an argument. Does a philosophy student have information enough to conclude who are "rightful owners," when ownership itself is a legal and not political position?

           The post seems to have been a hoax of sorts, and Huffington Post deleted the article after publishing it. The writer as identified seems to have been a false name, but the sentiment was allowed to stand for some time, suggesting a sympathetic resonance by editors. But for what? Elements of old-fashioned Marxism.

           Additionally these elements of old-fashioned Marxism are essentially racist. In one example from Canada, one reads of "white privilege training":  " 'If you took out the word ‘white’ and used any other race, it would be perceived as racist,' she said. 'It’s stereotyping in reverse.' I spoke with Ms. Walker after the program. Other parents in the school were also uncomfortable, she said, but were reluctant to speak up. As a dark-skinned person, she felt she could stick her neck out. 'A lot of people are afraid to say that this is racism,' she told me. 'But it is'." In "The original sin of white privilege," by Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail, 27 May 2017.

           Given notions of redistribution camouflaged with unscientific race theory assertions, what must one then do about academics earning much more than the median income in any locale, as seen when one's studies lead to Doctor Oppression comes to call ?

           What must one then do about Capital for Communists - a story growing old?

           And as to the province of rich, white men, one might do well to consider "post-reproductive wealthy white men" leading the charge that mankind is The Scourge of the Planet . 

           Among white males who some consider to be good and others consider to be evil, one might survey that form of white privilege which places socialism and the call for redistribution of wealth at the forefront of so many race-tinged arguments, as when reading of that fellow who accused another of being a Jewish nigger .

 

[ 2 ]    The complexity of arguments and multiplicity of views as regards reparations for American blacks is a Gordian knot, which perhaps suggests the ultimate solution.

          Another New Times opinion notes:  "If there were a real consensus on how to turn black America around, there could be some logic in heightening the effort with vast influxes of cash – and over the virulent objection of a good segment of the nation’s taxpayers. But we’re not at that point of consensus. Instead, while there is serious catharsis in this new reparations discussion, there is no practical goal beyond catharsis itself." In "No Consensus on Need or Possible Results of Reparations, by John McWhorter, New York Times, 14 January 2015.  One might view the call from Professor Mitchell above as part of a larger social catharsis.

           It is seen that  the "proliferation of black politicians in recent decades — which now includes a twice-elected black president — has done little to narrow racial gaps in employment, income, homeownership, academic achievement and other areas. Most groups in America and elsewhere who have risen economically have done so with little or no political influence, and groups that have enjoyed early political success have tended to rise more slowly." In "Why Obama’s presidency didn’t lead to black progress," by Jason Riley, New York Post, 17 June 2017.

 

 The Weakness of the Argument

 

          Another view is found:  "The weakness of the reparations argument is not that we shouldn't talk about racial classes, that African-Americans are not a racial class, or that it cannot be true that one class of people owes another class of people something. We already accept all of these propositions in many other contexts. The questions are whether reparations would actually do anything substantial to solve the problems they claim to solve, whether the costs they impose on those who would have to pay them are justifiable or reasonable, whether there is any conceivable political likelihood that they will ever happen, or whether the effort to obtain them will lead to undesirable side effects that outweigh whatever benefits they promise." In "Cutting through the nonsense," Economist, 27 May 2014.

          The coloring of the argument that "one class of people owes another class of people something" is Marxist, and can be traced further back to Gracchus Babeuf, an earlier French socialist pictured in the "white noise" portrait above. The complexity is that post-modern, deconstructionist academics see so many classes of people, oppressed by some power structure, that parsing out one class from another, much less answering the question of "who should pay" is that Gordian knot. And for the most part very white, in the sense that Mitchell uses the race-identifying term.

          Were the competing claims to involve capital punishment of incarceration for criminal guilt rather than claims for money, the arguments would become clearer. Like the class of kulaks among the peasants who were judged guilty in the beginnings of Bolshevik tyranny in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a failed state for economic reasons, history is replete with one "class" attacking another "class," with results worth historical understanding. But reparations as a hydra of arguments cannot deal with adjudicate criminal guilt, and suffices with arguments through civil penalties. But for whom?

 

 But for whom? From whom? To whom?

 

          As with so much of "class" oppression and "class" redress today, the conversation ends always for the adjudicated "oppressor" as "pay" and for the adjudicated member of an "oppressed class" as "pay me." It reduces down to money, specifically Free Money as one watches the phenomenon overtake so many avenues of modern life.

          The human phenomenon can be simplified as the many who would seek their "freebies" from others by any and arguments available. Consider Free bees - nature's tale.

          The argument from Brophy above notes:  "...the primary beneficiaries of those systems are now gone. Payments will have to come from taxpayers, who have no culpability for those past crimes and little, if any, of the benefit."

          Other "past crimes" which spawn a class worthy of reparations: American-Indian tribes, Japanese-Americans interred during WWII, the victims of the Viet Nam war, and all this is expected to be sorted out when some Doctor Oppression comes to call .

          Or not.

          Slavery was a historical fact of the early United States, as with many other nations. It continues today, and skin color has little to do with this fact. One reads of Africa today:  "... a modern-day slave trade – plied along routes once used by slaving caravans – that has engulfed tens of thousands of lives. The new slave traders operate with such impunity that, survivors say, some victims are being sold in public markets. Most, however, see their lives and liberty auctioned off in private. 'They took people and put them in the street, under a sign that said 'for sale',' said Shamsuddin Jibril, 27, from Cameroon, who twice saw men traded publicly in the streets of the central Libyan town of Sabha, once famous as the home of a young Gaddafi, but now known for violence and brutality. 'They tied their hands just like in the former slave trade, and they drove them here in the back of a Toyota Hilux. There were maybe five or seven of them'." In "Africa’s new slave trade: how migrants flee poverty to get sucked into a world of violent crime," by Emma Graham-Harrison, Guardian UK, 14 May 2017.

          Africa is not alone as a nexus, as one learns additionally from the Guardian:  "GSI estimates that 58% of those living in slavery are in five countries: India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan. The countries with the highest estimated prevalence of modern slavery as a proportion of their population are North Korea, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, India and Qatar. Research by the International Labour Organisation suggests that more than half of the victims are women and girls, mostly in domestic work and commercial sexual exploitation. Men and boys are most often exploited through work in agriculture, construction and mining. A quarter of the victims are thought to be under 18."

          Given the multiracial, multicultural slave trade of today, the focus on American whites today as somehow the most heinous perpetrators shows that a "race grievance industry" has matured into a respected academic enterprise in which a well-paid elite feathers their "income inequality" nest by rhetoric, ignoring the worldwide problem of centuries.

          As to these academics' racist elite place in American society, the footnote below and many of those which document Income Inequality tell a tale of competition for inclusion into the upper class by portrayal as champions of the lower class.

 

[ 3 ]     The quote is from a white male, for so does he seem to identify himself. Bell Hooks, who spells her name in lower case letters which I do not replicate herein, was referenced in the phrase to describe American society as an "imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy."  Given the last eight years of Obama serving as president, the "white supremacist" nation's voters have seemed to have another, less white supremacist view.

          That women are represented is high office suggests the "patriarchy" withers anyway. That the empire of the United States has not actually conquered and annexed more land suggests that "imperialist" better describes China's annexation of Tibet. As to the adjective "capitalist," those usually using the word as a pejorative root their thought in the very white and patriarchal lineage from Babeuf to Marx and Engels to Lenin and beyond. Might one conclude the political sympathies of those who rage against capitalism as socialist? Marxist? Revolutionary? An Inclusive Success Coordinator for Beloit College’s Office for Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness?

 

 In the Upper 20 Percent of Income and Still Oppressed While Being Guilty of Oppressing

 

          A simple search for Beloit College salary information within the public record yields this:  "Professor Salary, Average Effective Annual Salary: $104,062"  As a contrast, the median income in Wisconsin, $55,638 according to state records. Thus one learns that complaining about the "capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy" in a university pays about double the average citizen. Nice work if you can get it. Most can't, which justifies a conclusion that such university academics in the upper crust of society are more oppressors than oppressed. Given so many university academics are public employees, this simply shows the nature of Politics .

          Another report suggests a professorial salary at Beloit in 2015 was $103,608.  ("Beloit College: Faculty & Salaries," American School Search, n. d.) The average for all faculty was seen as approximately $84,000.  However one looks at such numbers against the average taxpayer in the state, the academic teaching that American society is an "imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy." 

          Given the last eight years of Obama serving as president, the "white supremacist" nation's voters have seem chosen a black patriarch over a white matriarch (Clinton ran against him in the primaries). So much for the chanted mantra of protest.

          As to other public access database information one finds this:  "Mitchell, Koritha, Associate Professor, English, Columbus campus, Annual base pay $99,000." (Cleveland.com public access database.)  As comparison, the median income in  Wisconsin is $51,075. Thus, the "society [ which ]subjects impressive people of color to dehumanization" is dehumanizing Professor Mitchell by paying her twice the income of the average Ohioan. Again, nice work of "dehumanization," if you can get it.

 

 Nice Work If You Can Get It -- and Most Cannot

 

          Bell Hooks, cited above, as author using a pen name opined that a "...shift that will undoubtedly emerge as the struggle to end sexual oppression progresses will be decreased obsession with sexuality...sexuality will no longer have the importance attributed to it in a society that uses sexuality for the express purposes of maintaining gender inequality, male domination, consumerism, and the sexual frustration and unhappiness that deflect attention away from the need to make a social revolution." In "Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center,". Cambridge, 2000. Bell Hooks was born Gloria Jean Watkins in 1952, and chose the pseudonym for publishing. An institute housed by Berea College promotes her work, with thirty-plus books, lectures and public appearances as well as gigs as visiting professor in other institutions.

          All in all, quite oppressed in a most bourgeois way.

          Only decades after the above quote was written, American campuses are torn by an overflowing and variable protest over sexual issues, including the wondrous deconstruction which now justifies fluidity in sexual orientation and gender identification, not to mention race. Hooks' "decreased obsession with sexuality" is as yet not shown to be true. Quite the opposite.

          Hooks' stated "need to make a social revolution," as with the many revolutions which Babeuf and the many white males who underpin such thinking urged, is awaiting such leadership as the academically exalted, postmodern Doctor Oppression comes to call .

 

 Taxation as Oppression?

 

          While the world awaits this next revolution, many academics are doing quite well, far more than the average Joe in any given locale. It is informative to note the taxpayer is never deemed to be among the approved oppressed classes as defined by our oppressed upper crust. And yet these publicly-promoted revolutionaries are well-paid (many in the upper five percent of all citizens) and surround themselves with like-minded revolutionaries, in meetings, seminars, institutes and press conferences to declare "oppression!"  From a safe distance....

          Babeuf would be scandalized that the nouveau academic bourgeoisie is so bourgeois. C'est vrai!

          Proven in the black and white of their press and publications and documented by annoying public records showing them so well off. Are "impressive people of color" in Mitchell's parlance oppressed while earning twice the median income for a state in which they live and work?

          Let one review that so many academic anti-capitalists rake in more than the median income of their locale.

          This is reason enough to be skeptical of their pretense. And yet, in time and under some specific circumstances, I Shall Believe the Socialist . But not these.

 

[ 4 ]    The rhyme reflecting on the racial chatter in academia in the moment is "White noise." White noise as a physical phenomenon is used in a variety of ways, even to the "capitalist exploitation" of it in manufacturing and selling at a profit white noise generators touted to aid in sleep.

          As to Gauss who is the namesake of Gaussian white noise, one reads:   "Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (/ɡaʊs/; German: Gauß, pronounced [ɡaʊs]; Latin: Carolus Fridericus Gauss) (30 April 1777 Braunschweig – 23 February 1855 Göttingen) was a German mathematician who contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, algebra, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, geodesy, geophysics, mechanics, electrostatics, astronomy, matrix theory, and optics." In "Carl Friedrich Gauss," Wikipedia article, n. d.

          As one considers this giant in so many scientific disciplines, one might do well to contrast such as he with the many postmodernist, deconstructionists and their "contributions" to any field other than socio-political roiling and "revolution." It turns out the most revolutionary of men -- a generic term -- are those who have advanced hard sciences, technology and engineering, for such revolutions have had a lasting effect on the world, while the socio-political revolutions' white noise has advanced and retreated like the shifting tides, in their many "serially uncorrelated random variables."

          One's revolution, it seems, is not another's, and all the causes gathered together create a white noise as one cancels another out, leaving continual background noise across society.

 

[ 5 ]     If a Huffington Post author can assert "being blackish," the question of verbiage and meaning leaps to the front.

          The tale of Dolezal is curious, given that "whiteness" and "being blackish" have been asserted in the public debate. One reads:  "Her new memoir, 'In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World,' details her journey from a poor white girl in Montana to what she refers to as a 'woke soul sista' working in Washington. Dolezal, who pretended to be a black woman for years before her parents outed her as white in 2015, writes that she realized early on in life that she needed to free her inner blackness, in the memoir obtained by the Daily Mail." In "Rachel Dolezal details her journey to becoming 'woke soul sista' in new memoir about race," by Minyvonne Burke, New York Daily News, 24 March 2017.

 

 Too Black? Too White? Social Constructs Collide With Celebrity

 

          In an academically-driven conversation about cultural appropriation, one could suggest that Dolezal appropriated her self-identification as black. But there are apparent degrees of what it means to be black, as one reads further of this tragic comedy:  "Her first marriage to an African American man was rough because Dolezal writes she was 'too black' for him. During a television interview in November 2015, Dolezal acknowledged being born to white parents, but also said she identifies as black." In "Rachel Dolezal: I was ‘too black’ for my husband," by Ashley May, MSN, 26 March 2017.

          "Too black" for an African American to tolerate is quite an assertion when considering racial identity and, now, racial self-identity.

          Apparently "too black" did not restrain from a magazine identifying as "white."  One reads:  "Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who made national headlines in 2015 after she pretended to be black, is back in the spotlight...." In "Rachel Dolezal Says She Was 'a Little Too Black' for Her African-American Ex-Husband," by Caitlin Keating, People, 28 March 2017.

          Another take finds the assertion stated outright, though the article's title disparages it.  "The 'unapologetically black' 39-year-old claimed she believes race is a social construct and that she stands by her 'trans-black' identity, in an interview on Saturday. She added: 'I haven't identified as African-American. I've identified as black. And black is a culture, a philosophy, a political and social view'." In " 'I believe that race is a social construct': Race-faker Rachel Dolezal compares her 'trans-black' identity to Caitlyn Jenner," by Cheyenne Roundtree and Kelly McLaughlin, Mail Online, 2 April 2017.

          The trans-racial politicking made it to South Africa, with predictable friction. One reads:  "Deriding Ms Dolezal's claim to 'racial fludity', she was told by a member of the mostly-black audience of students that , 'Only a white person could claim blackness and tour the world talking to blacks about blackness'." In "'Who let her in? She is either SICK or a fraud!' White race faker Rachel Dolezal causes outrage as she lectures black South Africans about her 'struggle' with being 'trans black'," by Jane Flanagan, Mail Online, 21 April 2017.

          The interconnectedness of all these themes brings one to the conclusion that there is no longer a valid taxonomy, when a "white woman" is "too black" for an African-American ex-husband. Does Dolezal as "white" participate in Mitchell's accusation of "Low Standards for Whites?" At the same time, if racial identity is fluid, does a "woke soul sista" avoid such standards?

          Does one then reject trans-racial self-identification? Accept it?

cIs "black is a culture, a philosophy, a political and social view?" Is race a "social construct? If so is white also "a culture, a philosophy, a political and social view" as distinct from black? What then is "white" that Kortha Mitchell assign is the view she does? Is Mitchell's identification as black a social construct?

          One seemingly minor article touching this kind of issue created a firestorm. One reads in conclusion:  "We should want academics to write about complicated, difficult, hot-button issues, including identity. Online pile-ons cannot, however righteous they feel, dictate journals’ publication policies and how they treat their authors and articles. It’s really disturbing to watch this sort of thing unfold in real time — there’s such a stark disconnect between what Tuvel wrote and what she is purported to have written. This whole episode should worry anybody who cares about academia’s ability to engage in difficult issues at a time when outrage can spread faster than ever before." In "This Is What a Modern-Day Witch Hunt Looks Like," by Jesse Singal, New York Magazine, 2 May 2017.

          Not all arguments can be reduced to Black and white .

          One may take note that in almost no case in the moment, is race defined clearly. As a concept employed in law in the United States, it has changed from era to era, and now there are inclusions for a variety of racial self-identifications in the census, but additionally assertion that race itself is fluid, as when someone "outed... as white" frees "her inner blackness." So what does the terminology mean? Almost everything and therefore almost nothing.

 

 Whiteness and Being Blackish?

 

          When someone who could identify as a member of one race identifies as another, a proven phenomenon according to those who assert social construction as a basis for identities, then racial fluidity crashes against racial -- I assert racist -- terminology itself. The goal is not to more closely define taxonomic words, but rather to muddy the waters with socio-political fireworks, most usually to support the end games of more invasive government and redistribution of wealth.

 

 Racial Fluidity and Changing Self-Identification

 

          As to further insight into race fluidity, one reads:  "Using anonymized data for 162 million Americans who responded to census surveys in 2000 and 2010, researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Census Bureau concluded that self-identified race and ethnicity are fluid concepts for millions of Americans. If the data set were nationally representative, researchers said, then the figure would translate to roughly 8% of Americans self-identifying differently over time. But such conclusions are difficult to draw: if a certain racial group, for example, responded less frequently to the 2010 Census than in 2000, that group would be underrepresented." In "10 Million Americans Switched Their Race or Ethnicity for the Census," by Jack Linshi, Time Magazine, 7 August 2014.

          Therefore among the "social constructs" deconstructing even the deconstruction of American society, one finds "switching" of race and ethnicity a reality. With "whiteness" and "blackish" being asserted, one waits for greater fluidity, with new races asserted much as new gender identities have been asserted.  See the addenda and footnotes to Hen Party - a eunuch's cluck, while considering what such rapid growth in "self-identification" classes.

 

 Change is Already the Constant

 

           The Time article notes further:  " 'If social science evidence is correct, people are constantly experiencing and negotiating their racial and ethnic identities in interactions with people and institutions, and in personal, local, national, and historical context,' the study said. 'Perhaps it is not surprising that people change responses and instead it is surprising that so many are consistent in their race and Hispanic origin reports to the Census Bureau'."
           Thus one response to various sorts of political arguments is simply to morph -- to self-identify away per the various, historically "white" arguments as those of Derrida and Foucault, deconstructing one's self into just another oppressed class, even should it be an oppressed class which seeks to oppress by accusations of "oppressor!"

          But as to racial authenticity allowing some authority to make public policies, one finds messy facts. As an example, "...the most recent statistics show that around 21 percent of white Americans have an admixture of black blood, and 17 percent of blacks have an admixture of white blood. This should surprise no one, since scarcely a week goes by without some tabloid headline about a white supremacist having black ancestors or Oprah being related to a Montana rancher. And, of course, the biggest hypocritical denial of them all emanated from the White House between 2009 and 2017, as a half-white, half-black president embraced the heritage of his absent father and denied the heritage of his loving mother, presumably in order to juggle his proud genes the way the Tennessee faux-Cherokees do." In "Then Again, Maybe I’m a Black Man," by Joe Bob Briggs, Taki's Magazine, 24 April 2017.

          And so Briggs makes the argument succinct:  "...the dirty secret of American politics: Race doesn’t exist!" That skin colors vary is a physical fact, but that skin color tells a tale of group identity is itself a social construct, applied over generations by varying groups of people and with various praise-filled or pejorative a priori assertions, all fallacious. It was and remains and argument of ranging from justifying enslavement to justifying heavy tax burdens, in all cases taking something from someone and assigning it to another.

           When shots of Gimme rise to fever pitch, deconstructing even class and therefore class guilt will become another incarnation of a long-standing human phenomenon, as People walk away .

 

[ 6 ]    While a Koritha Mitchell, black professor of English at Ohio State, writes a short essay titled "Low Standards for Whites. That’s What’s Killing Us," two white professors of economics from Princeton write a 60 page report titled "Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century," in which one learns in contradistinction to Mitchell's assertion that ""...mortality for middle-aged black people converged with mortality for middle-aged white people with low levels of education in the late 2000s (though the white population overall is still doing better than African Americans).

          Meanwhile, mortality rates among Hispanics continued to fall. These other racial groups aren’t necessarily doing any better economically than their white counterparts, which is part of the reason Case and Deaton don’t accept a simple income explanation for the death uptick. 'It is possible that it is not the last 20 years that matters, but rather that the long-run stagnation in wages and in incomes has bred a sense of hopelessness,' they write. 'But ... even if we go back to the late 1960s, the ethnic and racial patterns of median family incomes are similar for whites, blacks, and Hispanics, and so can provide no basis for their sharply different mortality outcomes after 1998.' Instead, the researchers think the fact that the overall life prospects for white middle-aged people without a BA have declined over time — they are doing worse than their parents on both a personal and professional level, and probably worse than they expected — is nudging mortality downward." In "Why Middle Class Whites Are Dying Faster (In 6 Painful Charts)," by Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, 26 March 2017.

 

 Competing Claims Suggest False Conclusions From Which To Profit

 

          Of the study,  "In 2015, Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton made global headlines after documenting a shocking rise in the proportion of white non-Hispanic Americans dying in middle age. This year, as part of the Spring 2017 edition of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Professors Case and Deaton are following up on that research to further investigate the rise and its causes, examining midlife mortality rates of white non-Hispanics in the U.S. by geography, education, birth cohort, and more." In "Working class white Americans are now dying in middle age at faster rates than minority groups," by Alison Burke, Brookings.edu, 23 March 2017.

          Thus one finds two distinctly opposite messages from academia. One in which "whiteness" according to a black is "killing us," while another specifically finds whites "dying in middle age at faster rates than minority groups."

          In both cases, academic intellectuals make statements each contradicting the other, while so many professors at universities are in fact doing very well financially. From Case and Deaton, one learns: "According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from 2015, the average household income of someone older than age 75 is $34,097 and their average expenses exceed that slightly, at $34,382. It is not an exaggeration, then, to say that even a modest reduction in retirement income makes the typical budget of a 75-year-old unsustainable — even when the average budget is far from luxurious at current levels."

          Moreover while well-paid academics wring their hands over racial, and therefore racist, arguments, one finds most Americans take little notice of this new version of a race industry, as was noted a century ago. One reads of real life, non-academic problems for the many of all races:   "Some 50 percent of people are woefully unprepared for a financial emergency, new research finds. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans (19 percent) have nothing set aside to cover an unexpected emergency, while nearly 1 in 3 Americans (31 percent) don’t have at least $500 set aside to cover an unexpected emergency expense, according to a survey released Tuesday by HomeServe USA, a home repair service. A separate survey released Monday by insurance company MetLife found that 49 percent of employees are 'concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being'." In "Half of US working families are living paycheck to paycheck," by Quentin Fottrell, Marketwatch, 5 April 2017.

          So while upper-income intellectuals, many in "liberal" academic institutions, are doing three times better than "someone older than age 75," as above, and better than most Americans, it seems all the racial comparisons assigning group guilt reduce down to nonsense as many in today's academic class justify their well-above-average incomes. This is often what is expected for many of those who enjoy so many of The Privileges of Intellectuals .


 

< /sarc >

Tongue in cheek,
  Smile and wink,
    Snide, deride
      What fools think.
Poke fine fun,
  Cutting bite;
    Cynically
      Mock to smite.
Satirize,
  Sharply sneer,
    Mocking just
      With jolly jeer.
Backhand with
  Taunt and grin.
     Caustic cut
      Without, within.


 

Veiled Threats - a commonality

" 'We do not want clothes covering the face in nurseries, schools and universities,' Minister of Education and Research Torbjorn Roe Isaksen said in a statement. 'These clothes prevent good communication, which is important for students to receive a good education,' he added." In "Norway to ban full-face Muslim veil in all schools," Agence France Presse, 12 June 2017.

 

Veiled threats are threatened
                                when unveiling veiled threats.
Identities masked and hidden
                                are unmasked, and this offsets
Those who would remain hidden
                                behind their veiled threats.
Let veiled threats be threatened.
                                Selah.

 

 

Addendum of  Turning Into a Hideously False Ideology:   "For Michael Behrle and many others like him, those are the battle lines in post-Cold War, multicultural America: on one side, fascists, and opposing them, the antifa. The word 'antifa' comes from Antifaschismus, the German term for anti-fascism. Dressed in their preferred street garb of black clothes, boots, balaclavas, and anti-Nazi patches are young people, almost all white, driven by an ideology as powerful and magnetic as communism. French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut has warned, 'I think that the lofty idea of ‘the war on racism’ is gradually turning into a hideously false ideology. And this anti-racism will be for the 21st century what communism was for the 20th century: a source of violence'." In "The Antifa Fad: Totalitarian Anti-Fascism," by Michael C. Tuggle, Taki Magazine, 24 March 2011.

 

 

Addendum of a Penal Code:   "...if someone wears a mask or disguise to avoid being detected by the police he or she could be charged with a criminal offense. Under California Penal Code Section 185 PC, it is unlawful to wear a mask or disguise in order to evade the police." In "California Penal Code Section 185 PC: Wearing Mask Or Disguise To Evade Police," Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers, n. d.

 

 

 Addendum of a Delicious Irony:     "In a twist of delicious irony, a law originally enacted to deal with the Ku Klux Klan led to the unmasking of several Antifa thugs on the streets of Auburn, Alabama, Tuesday." In "Antifa thugs unmasked – by laws originally passed against the KKK," by Nate Madden, Conservative Review, 20 April 2017.

 

 

 

 Addendum for the Women:    "Reports said the gunmen had entered parliament via a public entrance, dressed as women." In "Iran attacks: 'IS' hits parliament and Khomeini mausoleum," BBC, 7 June 2017.

 

 

Addendum of a Fine Law:   "Austria has passed a controversial law that fines women who wear Islamic dress covering the whole face, and takes away welfare benefits from immigrants who fail to learn the language. 'Those who are not prepared to accept Enlightenment values will have to leave our country and society,' reads the text of the law...." In "Austria Bans Islamic Dresses for Women, Mandates 12-Month Integration Course," by Lukas Mikelionis, Heat Street, 10 June 2017.


 

I might

I might look silly in what I chose,
                    but I'll wear it anyway.
I might sound really rather dumb
                    but still I'll have my say.
I might and then I just might not
                    do this, think that or then
When time is passed along with me,
                    still want to try again.
I might, when might makes me right,
                    opt to be quite impolite.
I might.


 

'07 and then 4

"Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama's first administration, he added. Soaring carbon emissions are already causing ice-cap melting and threaten to trigger global flooding, widespread species loss and major disruptions of weather patterns in the near future. 'We cannot afford to put off change any longer,' said Hansen. 'We have to get on a new path within this new administration. We have only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world. America must take the lead'." In "President 'has four years to save Earth'," by Robin McKie, Observer UK, 18 January 2009.

 

It was '07 and then 4
   on Armageddon's watch;
   and '17's now more -
   the blurb is now a blotch.
4 was all, so urgent, stark,
   when '09 heard its roar.
   '17 makes new its mark
   following millennia before.
Only 4 was cried aloud
   and more are now gone by,
   so the knowing Armageddon crowd
   must see its end comes nigh.
Nigh for what? Now there's the rub
   as saviors come to go;

   was the 4 perhaps a flub?
   Prevailing winds will show.


It was '07 and then 4
   in recalling numbering words,
   and numbers now pour
   like nightmare-crowing birds.
Only 4 years only now
   is past, is spent away;
   only 4 you must allow
   is now grown old and gray.
Only 4 in old '09
   is over; time has passed
   into '17, 8 past whine
   as time speeds by so fast.
Prophets come and prophets go
   as history will show;
   who will warm himself
   by a failed Armageddon's glow?

 

Envoi from More than Ten Years Ago:    “...ten years left to save the planet from a scorching.”

 

Addendum of a Point of No Return Past 2014:   "Karl Mallon, a scientist with Climate Risk and one of the key authors of the report, says 2014 has been calculated as the point at which there is no longer enough time to develop the industries that can deliver a low carbon economy. 'The point of no return,' he said." In "Five years to save world from climate change, says WWF," by Sarah Clarke, ABC Australia, 19 October 2009.

 

Addendum I of a Point of No Return Past 2016:    "...unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return, Gore said. He sees the situation as 'a true planetary emergency'." In "2006: Al Gore Does Sundance," by Jaclyn Schiff, CBS News/AP, 26 January 2006.

 

Addendum II of a Point of No Return Past 2016:  "But given Stern's verdict that preventing climate change will cost 1 per cent of global GDP - about Ł184 billion a year - and that it must be done in the next 10 to 15 years, the question is: where will the money come from? Green groups support people acting individually to do what they can. But the answers will not all come from everyone becoming an armchair environmentalist." In "Ten years to save the planet from mankind," by Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian UK, 29 October 2006.

 

Addendum of the Next Point of No Return in 2027:    "The planet, as we know it, has been given a deadline: 10 years. According to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, if humans don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically and maintain carbon sinks, like forests, then the results will be catastrophic for the climate." In "Scientists Say Only 10 Years Left to Save the Planet," by Cassie Kelly, EcoWatch, 13 April 2017.

 

 Addendum of an Odd Point of No Return and the Climate of Change:   "Since 2008, when Barack Obama first took office, Republicans have gained somewhere around 900 to 1,000 seats overall. There are a lot of reasons for this. But there's no way to spin some of these numbers in a way that doesn't speak to the awesome unpopularity of the blue party." In "The Democrats Need a New Message," by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 26 May 2017.

 

Consider:   Apocalypse sometime


 

The End

"When in Paradise Lost Milton’s Satan stood in the pit of hell and raged at heaven, he was merely a trifle miffed compared to how I felt that day. I felt totally alone, with the world receding from me in every direction and you could have used my anger to weld steel." In "Terry Pratchett: I'm slipping away a bit at a time... and all I can do is watch it happen," by Terry Pratchett, Mail Online, 7 October 2008.

 

The end is coming, all prophets say,
As heard for thousands of years;
The "end" placards serve each day
To gin up end days' fears.
            The end is near and is at hand,
            So grouses gray each signing guy;
            The end is oh so near and nigh,
            Not ever, no never a worldly lie.

The world recedes for everyone,
As happened, and happens and will;
Such is our biodegradable state,
Our unavoidable mortality bill,
            Due and payable, when and where
            The auditors come to call.
            Rage at heaven from the pit of hell?
            But what's the point, after all?

The end is coming, the prophets said,
Having said so, yea, for years.
The "end is coming" signs speak loud,
And yet nothing interferes.
            The end is coming. Ponder this
            And live well accordingly.
            Days diminish. Time ticks off.
            Words too fail, wordlessly.

 

We're all going to meet our ends,

Of this much we should be sure.

For some it's a sentence dour and grim

And for some its a loony lure.

            For some it's just what it is,

            For others it's just the same,

            For whatever it is comes to be,

            It's man's unavoidable aim.

 

   

 

Addendum of All Kinds of Ends:    "From catastrophic climate change to black holes and robot wars, here are 10 apocalyptic visions that could end the world as we know it… Global warming, Gamma ray burst, Pandemic, Robot ascension, Black hole, Global war, Magnetic reversal, Supervolcano, Alien invasion, Asteroid impact," In "Apocalypse now? Ten of the greatest threats that could wipe out all life on Earth," by Matt Roper, Mirror UK, 29 September 2015.     [ 1 ]

 

   

 

Addendum of Newer End Time:   "Since the development of the concept of deep time in the 18th century and the calculation of the estimated age of the Earth, scientific discourse about end times has centered on the ultimate fate of the universe. Theories have included the Big Rip, Big Crunch, Big Bounce, and Big Freeze (Heat Death)." In "End time," Wikipedia article, n. d.

 

      

 

 Addendum of a Familiar Pattern:   " 'There's a feedback loop of noise and bias to the downside within the professional investing/trading/media world. Every single time we have a downturn, people go to the narrative of the the worst-case scenario,' said Zachary Karabell, head of global strategy at Envestnet. 'It's a familiar pattern'." In "What happened to the world coming to an end?" by Jeff Cox, CNBC, 7 March 2016.

 

Addendum of Thinking in Narrative:  "As soon as we are old enough to want to understand what is happening around us, we begin to live in a world of stories. We think in narrative. We do it so automatically that we don't think we do it. And we have told ourselves stories vast enough to live in." In "The globe: the science of Discworld II," by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen, First Anchor Books, 2002 p. 340.  [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Riddles, not Solutions:   "The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man." G. K. Chesterton, "The Book of Job: An introduction," 1907.   [ 3 ]

 

Consider this:   I prefer a vital God 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   Amusingly, before listing "scary things," Roper noted:  "Doom-mongers predicted a massive asteroid would slam into Earth some time last week."  But one might have time to wait for an Apocalypse sometime .

          Today this urge is rooted in many kinds of soil, and especially in The Privileges of Intellectuals .

 

[ 2 ]    This assertion that "we think in narrative" may interpret Pratchett's end of life quote which we read above. Contemplating life  "slipping away a bit at a time..." with the very personal response "and all I can do is watch it happen," is to lose hold on a narrative which can bring hope rather than despair. Faith is tested, as the grip on a positive narrative fails. One response can be to hold fast to a narrative of comfort.

          Those narratives which assert a nihilistic "end" challenge at the minimum while bringing no "story vast enough to live in," even at the end of life.

          Pratchett with his co-authors write:  "Science alone is not The Answer. Science too has its myths. We have shown you some of them, or at least we believe to be some of them. The misuse of anthropic reasoning is a clear example, as in the case of carbon resonance, but argued with no thought for the fudge-factor of the red giant. The ideal of the scientific method is often not realized. Its usual statement is an oversimplication in any case, but the basic worldview captures the essence. Think critically about what you are told. Do not accept the word of authority unthinkingly. Science is not a belief system: no belief system instructs you to question the system itself. Science does."

          Given the use of capitalization in Pratchett's other work, "The Answer" becomes worth notice. What then is The Answer?

          Pratchett with his co-authors continue:  "The most dangerous myths and ideologies, today, are the ones that have not yet been destroyed by the rising ape. They strut their stuff on the world's stage, causing grief and havoc -- and the tragedy is that it's to no purpose. Most of it doesn't matter." Myths are stories, so failing to destroy a story deemed "dangerous" is assigned as the guilt of "the rising ape."

          The vocabulary dallies in storytelling itself, for theories are not facts. Nevertheless, the authors challenge:  "We need to invent the right stories. The ones we've got have brought us a long way. Plenty of creatures are intelligent, but only one tells stories. That's us, Pan narrans.

          The authors expand:  "The anthropologists got it wrong when they named our species Homo sapiens ('wise man'). In any case it's an arrogant and bigheaded thing to say, wisdom being one of our least evident features. In reality, we are Pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee."
           I don't agree with being a chimpanzee per se, but it's a question of words and storytelling after all. Much depends on the stories one tells one's self about one's self.

          As to storytelling and the invention of names, the generic names for man have multiplied -- like rabbits -- over the years. One reads of Homo absconditus, Homo adorans, Homo aestheticus, Homo amans, Homo animalis, Homo avarus, Homo combinans, Homo contaminatus, Homo creator, Homo degeneratus, Homo demens, Homo deus, Homo discens, Homo domesticus, Homo duplex, Homo economicus, Homo educandus, Homo ethicus, Homo excentricus, Homo faber, Homo ferox, Homo generosus, Homo geographicus, Homo grammaticus, Homo humanus, Homo imitans, Homo inermis, Homo ignorans, Homo investigans, Homo laborans, Homo logicus, Homo loquens, Homo loquax, Homo ludens, Homo mendax, Homo metaphysicus, Homo necans, Homo neophilus, Homo neophobus, Homo patiens, Homo pictor, Homo poetica, Homo religiosus, Homo ridens, Homo reciprocans, Homo sanguinis, Homo sciens, Homo sentimentalis, Homo socius, Homo sociologicus, Homo technologicus, and Homo viator. Mensch and Übermensch. Even chimpanzees are finding themselves dropped into the genus as Homo paniscus, Homo sylvestris, or Homo arboreus.

           So Pratchett, the storyteller who told stories about small gods, seems to have adopted a story late in life. One reads:  "he said: 'It is just possible that once you have got past all the gods that we have created with big beards and many human traits, just beyond all that, on the other side of physics, they just may be the ordered structure from which everything flows. That is both a kind of philosophy and totally useless - it doesn't take you anywhere. But it fills a hole'." In "Terry Pratchett hints he may have found God," by Rob Davies, Telegraph UK, 8 June 2008.

           A storytelling chimpanzee, in one parlance, fills "a hole." In what? In "the right stories," as one seems to have been absent and in its absence aggravated the reality of "the end."
           Pratchett observed:  "I'm certainly not a man of faith, but as I was rushing down the stairs one day... it was very strange. I suddenly knew that everything was okay, that what I was doing was right, and I didn't know why."

           Accepting not knowing why can be a comfort. Another high-profile atheist became a deist at "the end," seemingly infuriating those not at their ends.

           One reads of Antony Flew:  "In 2007 a book outlining his reasons for changing his position, "There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind" was written by Flew in collaboration with Roy Abraham Varghese. The book (and Flew's conversion itself) has been the subject of controversy, following an article in The New York Times Magazine alleging that Flew's intellect had declined, and that the book was primarily the work of Varghese; Flew himself specifically denied this, stating that the book represented his views, and he acknowledged that due to his age Varghese had done most of the actual work of writing the book." In "Antony Flew," Wikipedia article, n. d.

           A story among stories, we revisit these words: "we have told ourselves stories vast enough to live in." And "to die in." One may reflect, in Pratchett's words, "it fills a hole."

           It is worth considering.

           The end....

 

[ 3 ]    Chesterton offers further as to narratives, specifically.  One reads of fairy tales:  "Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon. Exactly what the fairy tale does is this: it accustoms him for a series of clear pictures to the idea that these limitless terrors had a limit, that these shapeless enemies have enemies in the knights of God, that there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear." G. K. Chesterton, "Tremendous Trifles," 1909.

           That the doomsayers will parade with "the end is near" signs and the overt atheists will parade too with mockery of those with "fairy tale" faith, the notion that "limitless terrors had a limit" is worth considering.

           "...there is something in the universe more mystical than darkness, and stronger than strong fear."

 


 

They - a tale of a gender non-conformist who murders a gender conformist

" Pablo Gomez Jr. was a University of California, Berkeley, senior majoring in Latino studies and a prominent campus activist when authorities say he stabbed to death a popular elementary-school teacher. Soon, the crime that police described as 'very brutal and unusual' in a city that reported just two homicides last year was sucked up into the debate over gender identity when it was reported that Gomez preferred to be called 'they' rather than 'he.' Even in famously liberal Berkeley, with its long history of protest, the uproar came as a surprise, overwhelming the online news site, www.berkeleyside.com, that first reported on Gomez's preference." In "Berkeley killing renews debate over gender pronouns," by Paul Elias, Associated Press, 26 March 2017.   [ 1 ]

 

Pablo Gomez, Jr. (right) with California's Governor Brown and billionaire environmentalist, Tom Steyer

 

They was a singular Pablo,
                                a cocky junior male,
Who raged over they's pronoun
                            proving well they's frail.
They roiled at all those others
                        who did not submit to say
They in they's approved manner
                    of they's holy grail that day.
They was a student, youth-bright,
                Berkeley-ish were they's smarts,
Declaring language forcefully forced,
            then applying killing arts.
They was brutal, so Berkeley's news
        in detail did tell and dwell,
Over they's they-ish pronoun;
    and thus they's path to hell?
They was meanly, murderously moved
    to liberally kill a liberal gal,
And in so doing they'd now proved
        They's murderously madly radical.
They's been caught, as stories tell,

            And this tale's star's a boy fatale,

Who was active in so many things

                Appearing awhile as rationale.

And so it goes and so it went.

                    Death lies there au naturale.

They's debate over pronoun gender

                         played they's part it all this madness.

They's debate over gendered pronouns

                            argues debate burns to excess.

This they's a singular Pablo;

                                debate and murder is this they's mess.

               

Addendum X Marks the Spot:   "Gomez Jr. is studying 'Chicanx/Latinx Studies' according to their Facebook page, and is a senior climate action fellow at Alliance for Climate Education. (The 'x' is a gender-neutral ending used to avoid a binary designation.) They were deeply involved in the campus activist community. One person told Berkeleyside she had seen Gomez Jr.’s 'advocacy work from afar and was always really impressed about it,' adding, 'a lot are still in shock right now and need time to really process everything cause it’s so conflicting to [t[their]character'." In "Suspect in custody after Berkeley homicide, stabbing," by Emilie Gauso, Berkeleyside, 7 January 2017.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of a Question Regarding the New and Deadly Grammar Rules:    Is "they" singular when referring to one individual?

 

One might consider a visit to the  Hen Party - a eunuch's cluck

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     One reads a blog post for some detail:  "Gomez began blogging at the site Tumblr.com in 2011, but archives for his blog show he has been inactive on Tumblr since March. In 2016, Gomez’s activism seemed to shift toward supporting 'Black Lives Matter.' In July, he posted a rant to Facebook about how 'infuriating” it is that people were 'not getting' what he called 'a legacy of anti-Blackness' in America, the causes of which he listed as 'colonialism,' 'cisheteropatriarchy,' 'capitalism' and 'imperialism,' among others." In "Berkeley Student Activist Pablo Gomez Charged With Homicide, Stabbing," posted in The Other McCain, 9 January 2017.

          One notes how related the topics of activism and "not getting" certain racially charged perspectives are found in and around academia, as above in White Noise .  That a murder suspect finds something "infuriating" is nothing new in the long and murderous history of man. Nor is it anything new in the history of murderous colors of political "action."

 

[ 2 ]   A stated purpose of Chicanx/Latinx Studies is to avoid a binary gender, and one supposes a binary gender pronoun, especially those which are proven to infuriate. Of the Berkeley "studies," one reads "The taskforce is charged with addressing campus climate issues including mapping, assessing, and providing recommendations, and giving strategies to campus administrators to address the various needs of the Chicanx and Latinx communities on the Berkeley campus, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, alumni, and staff. " In "Chicanx Latinx Taskforce," UC Berekely, n. d.

          Among the "needs" of those who find gender and pronoun activism appealing was Pablo. Apparently he also found murderous violence appealing, though the legal stance in the United States states that one is "innocent until proven guilty." This standard did not apply to the murdered female student.

 

 An Exercise in Noticing Binary Pronouns

 

          As to the "taskforce" which seeks by its "X" to avoid a binary gender is chaired by an English professor. One notes that the some speak of him with the very binary, male pronoun, most clearly not avoiding a binary gender. Of Genaro Padilla (Taskforce Chair), Professor and Chair of English, one reads: "He is the author of 'My History, Not Yours: The Formation of Mexican American Autobiography' (1993), editor of 'The Stories of Fray Angelico Chavez' (1987) and has co-edited numerous other books including 'The Recovery of the U.S. Hispanic Literary Tradition' (1993), 'Nuevomexicano Cultural Legacy: Forms, Agencies, and Discourse'(2004), and 'Power, Race and Gender in Academe: Strangers in the Tower' (2005). Some of his influential articles include 'The Literature of the Spanish Borderland,' 'The Catholic Church in Chicano Literature,' 'The Mexican Immigrant as *: The (de)Formation of Mexican Immigrant Life Story,' 'Myth and Comparative Cultural Nationalism: The Ideological Uses of Aztlan,' 'Anthony Quinn's Autobiography: The Original Sin,' 'The Recovery of 19th Century Chicano Autobiography,' “Imprisoned Narrative? Or Lies, Secrets and Silence in New Mexico Women's Autobiography.”" In "2006 Brock Prize Jurors," Brock International Prize in Education, n. d.

          The university website also uses the male binary pronoun. More on Padilla, "From 1995 to 2006 he served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, he then served for two years as Associate Dean in the College of Letters and Sciences and is now serving as Chairman of the Berkeley English Department." In "Professor Genaro Padilla," Berkeley Residential Life, n. d.

          A special note should be made that these "studies" in English is the arena in which new, non-binary pronouns is being fought. One notes with irony that "Every noun in Spanish is considered to have either masculine or feminine gender for grammatical purposes." In "Grammatical gender in Spanish," Wikipedia article, n. d.

 

 So Conflicting and So English Language Based

 

          Thus the Chicanx Latinx Taskforce to avoid a binary gender identification in English indentifies its chairman with an avoidable pronoun. One wonders whether this will "infuriate" those in the Chicanx Latinx Berkeley community whose demands are for genderless pronoun use. What might an activist who rages against the "cisheteropatriarchy" be driven to do? What did they do?

          One also notes that Pablo's upset with capitalism did not extend to Professor Padilla's "total pay" of $122,000 as of 2015, found in "State worker salary database," Sacramento Bee, n. d.  One may compare that to California's media per capita income of about $30,318, and its household income about twice that.  It is assured that when a Doctor Oppression comes to call , he, she or "they"  will expect a professorial salary commensurate with an activist stance against capitalism.

          Given Padilla's enthusiasm for discussions of "Power, Race and Gender in Academe," this English professor has his issues.

          For other English professors' issues, as mentioned see White Noise .

          As to the notion of not only Chicanx Latinx academia but also Chicano Latino academia, without regard to the gender game, as represented by an English professor, one could consider the relation to that brand of politics which would Use a kid for politics - political optics' tricks.


 

O so very

O so very
yes it was
I saw me
near that spot.
It's surely not
certainly
someone grasped
what I'd caught.
Yes and no less
constant, see,
was scrawled the
impish plot.
Look out the back
of one I,
blindly lost
who'd seen naught.
O so wary,
know it was;
life had seen
what was wrought.


 

Cardboard - depending on whose ox is being gored

 

The cardboard man seems caring
and carries on a stick
his cardboard waving messages
to lay them on quite thick;
amateur seems his protest
and passionate seems his shtick
but see his pain and hear him howl
and watch him hurl a brick
when disagreement disagrees
with whoever's in his clique,
when others will not stand with him,
but pass on by, oft double quick.

The cardboard gal seems caring
and waves her cardboard loud
with others who'd align with her
in her cardboard waving crowd;
amateur plays her protest
yet she is haughty, proud,

and often very, very loud
to vouch for what she's vowed,
but watch her rage and grouse
when others are not cowed
and disengage from cardboard rage

out her all-too-cardboard cloud.

Cardboard is but paper
in plies enough to make
it seems as if its strength
is such it will not break;
and yet it is but paper
and sometimes strength is fake,
for who waves their cardboard
would try to make earth shake
with changes with which not all agree
for brittle cardboard's sake,

for as one sees in all of this,

not all each protest undertake.

 

  

Addendum of the Agonist:   "For animals, display is any behaviour modified by evolution that is used to convey information. Animals display particular signs, which recipients can use to infer something about the mental and physical state of the first animal. To avoid the heavy cost of fighting, animals have evolved sophisticated rituals, which they use to bluff their opponents into backing down or fleeing. The cost-benefit model of display makes three assumptions: (1) type of display varies depending on the cost; (2) the risk of the display increases as the effectiveness of display increases; and (3) the value of resource being disputed over determines the choice of display used. Animals have evolved to use their physical attributes as a display of ability. If contests can be resolved with ritual display, fighting is not needed. Display can be used to dispute for mates, territory, and food through symbolic gestures instead of battles to the death. If an animal can display without fighting that he is more physically fit than his opponent, he will have gained more than he would have if he had fought and in the process possibly been injured." In "Agonistic behaviour," Wikipedia article, n. d.

  

 Addendum of Hovering Between Attempts to Forge an Identity:   "Every protest, every dissent, whether it's an individual academic paper, Founder's parking lot demonstration, in [ sic ] unabashedly an attempt to forge an identity in this particular age. That attempt at forging for many of us over the past four years has meant coming to terms with our humanness. Within the context of a society that we perceive - - now we can talk about reality, and I would like to talk about reality sometime, authentic reality, inauthentic reality, and what we have to accept of what we see -- but our perception of it is that it hovers often between the possibility of disaster and the potentiality for imaginatively responding to men's needs." In "Commencement Speech, Wellesley College," by Hillary Rodham, Wellesley College, 31 May 1969.

 

Addendum to a Flock:   "In order to be a perfect member of a flock of sheep, one has to be, foremost, a sheep." In "Essay to Leo Baeck (1953)," Albert Einstein, 1953.

 

Addendum of When Protest Is Wrong:    "Some protests are always vicious and never virtuous, such as violent protests against subjects that have not shown any violence or incitement to violence, or protests against legitimate democratic outcomes – one might not like particular outcomes, but in any political system somebody must be disappointed, so to turn that disappointment into a campaign against a legitimate democratic outcome is anti-democratic. In a free and fair democracy, the normative protests of our time are unnecessary, aimless, counter-productive diversions from more virtuous, old-fashioned forms of political engagement, such as researching the issues, deliberating, and developing an argument before writing to Congress. If that sounds burdensome, and protest sounds easier, you’ve realized one of the reasons for the decline in our political discourse. Protesting is the least constructive form of engagement: it reduces discourse to what can fit on a placard or into a chant, encourages in-group/out-group separation, prevents discourse between groups, and encourages self-evaluations based on noise and burden, rather than the quality of evidence or argument." In "When “PROTEST!” is wrong," by Bruce Newsome, Berkeley Blog/UC Berkeley, 2 February 2017.
 

For an political oddity of recent memory, consider A Modern Observation on The Anti-War Movement - "Where have all the critics gone, long time passing?"


 

Home with a Mask - (To the melody, "Home on the Range," a classic Western folk song)   [ 1 ]

  [ 2 ]

 

"...we are witnessing the emergence of a dangerous new norm for responding to speakers who challenge campus orthodoxy. Anyone offended by the speaker can put out a call on Facebook to bring together students and locals, including 'antifa' (antifascist) and black-bloc activists who explicitly endorse the use of violence against racists and fascists. Because of flagrant 'concept creep,' however, almost anyone who is politically right of center can be labeled a racist or a fascist, and the promiscuous use of such labels is now part of the standard operating procedure. The call to shut down Mac Donald’s talk asserted, without evidence, that her agenda is 'racist, anti-Black, capitalist, imperialist, [and] fascist.' As with accusations of witchcraft in earlier centuries, once such labels are attached to someone, few will dare to challenge their accuracy, lest they be accused of the same crimes." In "Intimidation Is the New Normal on Campus," by Jonathan Haidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, 26 April 2017.   [ 3 ]

 

Oh, we will rage crass using knuckles of brass,
Where each safe space is brittle as glass,
Where never is heard any unwanted word
As we dears and dear slogans harass.
 

Refrain:
    Home, home with a mask
    To riot as scholarly task,
    All contrary views are hated taboos,
    To submit is just all that we ask.

Oh, let us be tasked with our faces well masked
To build safe spaces ruled by the fist,
Where no one can spew any unwanted view,
Else we dears through our riots "resist."

 

Addendum of the Jackasses:   "Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it." Sam Rayburn, former speaker of the US House of Representatives (1882-1961).

 

 Addendum of the Fascism of the Illiberal Left:   "... this behavior must be portrayed as it truly is, as a shameful and pedestrian surrender to authoritarian political doctrine and mob mentality. Considering this, 'fascist' works fairly well as a label for members of the social justice mob. It drives home their authoritarian, ideologically-possessed mindset and tactics which can only be described as systematic brainwashing followed by witch hunts for any who would even think to diverge from the social justice orthodoxy. And for those who think I’m going a step too far and overreacting, watch the videos from Evergreen State, as well as the endless additional footage of ‘social justice warrior’ mobs and 'protests' of college speakers available on YouTube. Witness the actions of these people and how no one steps up to correct them. Watch as they hospitalize a female professor at Middlebury College and receive minimal consequences. Watch as they set University of California, Berkeley ablaze because of the presence of a dissenting political voice. Now, you can watch as they physically and verbally intimidate faculty and students at their own institution, terrorizing them for the heinous crime of being present while white." In "A Liberal’s Perspective: Evergreen College And The Fascism Of The Illiberal Left," by Matt Teitelbaum, Huffington Post, 3 June 2017.

 

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    " 'Home on the Range' is a classic western folk song, sometimes called the 'unofficial anthem' of the American West. The lyrics were originally written by Dr. Brewster M. Higley of Smith County, Kansas in a poem entitled "My Western Home" in 1872. In 1947, it became the state song of the U.S. state of Kansas. In 2010, members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time." In "Home on the range," Wikipedia article, n. d.

 

[ 2 ]    This banner was carried during the so-called Berkeley riots of 2017. This suggests the intellectual and scholarly naďveté of such students and their faculty and political advisors, for whom the actual meaning of the word 'war' is lost, as they expect to be able to physically intimidate others, but only up to a point long before the use of the weapons of war is actualized.

 

[ 3 ]     As to "intimidation as the new normal on campus," one reads a cogent observation:  "The only thing anyone is allowed to hear on campus is a slogan. Thinking is so 20th century (and early 20th century at that). The adults paid to be in charge have retreated to a safe place, where never is heard an encouraging word and the skies are cloudy all day. The First Amendment has been under the latest assault for months, and this week Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont and onetime chairman of the Democratic Party, finally said out loud what certain prominent Democrats have hinted at and alluded to, that free speech does not necessarily include extending it to anyone who disagrees with them. This poison spread, like so much of the toxic stuff polluting the body politic, from the campuses of the elite." In "Spooked by the power of words, words, words," by Wesley Pruden, Jewish World Review, 28 April 2017.

 

 

 

          One would do well to recall:  "It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races." Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar, in "The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson," by Mark Twain (1894). Difference of opinion also stirs free elections.

          Without public debate, there is no debate, but there is also no longer political disagreement as power to adjudicate truth, engage in philosophical discussions involving opposing views and make some speech illegal results in what so often has become Totalitarian .

          It was opined in the article above that "There must be zero tolerance for mob rule, intimidation of speakers, and intimidation of political minorities among students as well as faculty members."

          Or it's inverse becomes reality, that there must be complete tolerance for mob rule, intimidation of speakers, and intimidation of political minorities among students as well as faculty members.

 

 

          And suddenly, one finds mob rule and "dancing bears." Of another university in a mess, one reads:  "Watching the way George Bridges, the president of Evergreen, has handled this situation put me in mind of a line from Allan Bloom’s book '“The Closing of the American Mind.' Mr. Bloom was writing about administrators’ reaction to student radicals in the 1960s, but he might as well be writing about Evergreen: 'A few students discovered that pompous teachers who catechized them about academic freedom could, with a little shove, be made into dancing bears.' At a town hall meeting, Mr. Bridges described the protestors as 'courageous' and expressed his gratitude for 'this catalyst to expedite the work to which we are jointly committed.' Of course, there was also pablum about how 'free speech must be fostered and encouraged.' But if that’s what Mr. Bridges really believes, why isn’t he doing everything in his power to protect a professor who exercised it and condemn the mob that tried to stifle him? The Weinstein saga is just the latest installment in a series of similar instances of illiberalism on American campuses." In "When the Left Turns on Its Own," by Bari Weiss, New York Times, 1 June 2017.

          The images above are of mob rule and intimidation. They are the imagery of illiberalism. They are the new images of the postmodern American Left. One must then consider that exemplary and well documented process which occurs when Left to their own devices .


 

Not what we say

" 'I speak on my own behalf, I am worried about what I have done and what I should have done. If our actions were correct, we would not be in this situation today, but I believe all of us, all officials, past and present, should apologise to the people. This [apology] is even more necessary for those who wear the clerical cloth'. In the last years of his life, Ardebili seemed to have finally realised the harms done to religion itself by mixing it with politics. 'If this revolution is lost, as well as all the opportunities that will be lost for the people, the reputation and credibility of the Shia clergy will be lost too. Our actions and shortcomings have nothing to do with the enlightened religion of Islam and the school of Shia, but nevertheless that's not how people will make their judgements, if they see us do evil they will blame the religion itself'." In "When the Henchman Weeps – The Ayatollah who Apologised for his Role in the Revolution," by Potkin Azarmehr, Kayhan London, 23 November 2016.

 

It's not what we say
but what we do
that gives it all away.

It's not just the words
but dreadful acts
that conclusions undergirds.

It's not in the texts
but what lashes out
that tells and well connects.

It's not the verbose
but the murderous acts;
nothing else comes close.

It's not just the prose
but how we prance
as words into acts transpose.

 

It's not what we've said

but what we've done

which to this sad world has led.

 

Addendum of What's Looming:    "Horrifyingly, although home to only 5% of the world’s population, in 2014 the Arab world accounted for 45% of the world’s terrorism, 68% of its battle-related deaths, 47% of its internally displaced and 58% of its refugees. War not only kills and maims, but destroys vital infrastructure accelerating the disintegration. The Arab youth population (aged 15-29) numbers 105m and is growing fast, but unemployment, poverty and marginalisation are all growing faster. The youth unemployment rate, at 30%, stands at more than twice the world’s average of 14%. Almost half of young Arab women looking for jobs fail to find them (against a global average of 16%). Yet governance remains firmly the domain of an often hereditary elite." In "Another Arab awakening is looming, warns a UN report," Economist, 29 November 2016.

 

 Addendum of Another Islamic State Horror Is Done:   "Abdullah Al-Malla, a local media activist, has told the Kurdish news agency ARA News, that the girls were burnt alive after they refused to have sex with the fighters of the group. 'They were punished for refusing to have sex with Isis militants,' Al-Malla said." In "ISIS burns 19 Yazidi girls to death for refusing sex with group’s fighters," Khama Press, Afghan News Agency, 10 June 2017.

 

Consider the Ayatollah's apology in light of varying views in mere words on The religion of peace


 

Unicorns and jackasses

Rainbow'd beams flooding through
        My rosiest-colored glasses
        Allow one vision, pure and true,
Of unicorns passing gasses;
I know you shall see -- oh! -- too,
        You laddies and you lasses,
        My rainbow'd dreams in one green hue
To dye the willing masses.
All else is that blinded view
        Refusing god-greened classes
        Wherein bright courtiers breed and brew
Generations of jackasses.


 

Wall, fence, border, gate

Wall, fence, border, gate
Serve to separate;
Tear then down? Much will fail
At a rapid rate.
Wall, fence, border, gate,
Criticized of late,
Clearly all of these entail
Safety in some state.
Wall, fence, border, gate?
Consternation great
Quickly turns oh so stale
When failings correlate.
Wall, fence, border, gate?
Who'd have none of late?
Thieves will cheer and hail
As thefts accumulate.
Wall? Fence? Border? Gate?
Passwords? Locks checkmate?
Open all and much will fail,
As idiocies celebrate.
Wall, fence, border, gate?
All these, advocate,
As their builders' countervail
Protests to their fate.

   

 

Addendum of a Mexican Fence:   "Mexicans are calling for the border wall to keep out Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Hondurans fleeing violence in their own countries. They complain 'hordes' of immigrants pass through on their way to the United States -who are then simply deported back to Mexico rather than their home countries by the US. Central American migrants are left stuck in border cities with Mexican officials unable to afford to send them back to their own countries, according to an article by one of the largest newspapers in the border state of Tamaulipas, El Mańana, titled: 'Yes to the Border Wall … but in Mexico's South'." In "Now Mexico wants to build a border wall with Central America to keep out illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala," by Hannah Parry, Daily Mail, 15 September 2016.    [ 1 ]

 

 

 

Addendum of a Hungarian Fence:   "Hungary is planning to build a second fence on its southern border with Serbia to keep out any major new wave of refugees, Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced. A 500km barrier - a razor-wire fence - was built last year along Hungary's border with Serbia and Croatia after the country witnessed an increase of refugees moving up from the Balkans towards northern Europe." In "Hungary to build second border fence to stop refugees," Al Jazeera, 26 August 2016.    [ 2 ]

 

    

 

Addendum of Saudi Arabia's Great Wall:   "The border zone now includes five layers of fencing with watch towers, night-vision cameras and radar cameras. Riyadh also sent an extra 30,000 troops to the area. It is not the only fence with which Saudi Arabia has chosen to surround itself. Despite the difficulty of access to westerners, the country is relatively open to fellow Muslim nations, particularly during the Haj season when pilgrims from across the world come to Mecca and Medina." In "Revealed: Saudi Arabia's 'Great Wall' to keep out Isil," by Richard Spencer, Telegraph UK, 14 January 2015.

 

    

 

Addendum of Iran's Pakistani Fence:   "Iran's building, completing the fence on its border with Pakistan to keep out terrorists." In "Iran Completing Fence On Its Border With Pakistan To Keep Out Terrorists," IRNA, Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies, 13 March 2013.

 

 

 

Addendum for the Bulgarian Fence:  "...a tour of a high wire fence along the Bulgaria Turkey border by Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban and his Bulgarian counterpart, Boyko Borissov. 'The future of Europe is decided not in Brussels, but where we stand,' said Orban, reported Bulgarian media outlet novinite.com." In "Hard and virtual borders await migrants to EU," by Nikolaj Nielsen, EU Observer, 15 September 2016.  [ 3 ]

 

 

 

Addendum of the Kashmiri Line of Control:   "The Line of Control, a de-facto border between the two countries separating Kashmir, is one of the most heavily militarised frontiers in the world and the incident has sparked fears of a military escalation. The incident has come at a time when Indian-administered, Muslim-majority Kashmir is already in the midst of some of the worst unrest seen in years." In "Kashmir attack: What's behind the deadliest militant raid in years?" BBC, 19 September 2016.

 

 

 

Addendum of Turkey's Massive Wall:   "Turkey’s Housing Development Administration has begun construction of the remaining 700 kilometers of a massive wall designed to seal its 900-kilometer border with Syria. The first 200 kilometer-long length of the wall has already gone out to tender, and is to be built by the country’s Defense Ministry, together with the governors’ offices of the neighboring provinces. It is expected that the remaining section of the 'security wall' will be completed within the next five months, Housing Development Administration director Ergün Turan told the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News." In "Turkey Builds Huge Security Wall Along Its Syrian Border," by Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, 5 October 2016.

 

 Addendum of Turkey's Fence:   "Turkey, which has taken in almost 3 million Syrian refugees in recent years, has sealed off its borders in the wake of the spring 2016 refugee deal with the European Union. Syrians who seek to enter Turkey via airplane or ship from a third country, such as Lebanon or Jordan, require a visa, but officials only rarely issue them. And the overland route is blocked." In "The Death Strip at the Turkish-Syrian Border," by Riham Alkousaa and Maximilian Popp, Spiegel Online, 7 December 2016.

 

Addendum of Thailand and Malaysia Agreeing on a Border Wall:   "The leaders of Thailand and Malaysia agreed on Friday to boost security cooperation and consider building a border wall to combat transnational crime and smuggling, an idea that appears to be gaining popularity elsewhere in the world. People- trafficking and the smuggling of contraband, including drugs and petrol, have flourished along the Thai-Malay border for years until a crackdown by Thai officials on human traffickers caused some of the routes to shut down last year. Analysts say separatist insurgents operating in Thailand’s deep south use Malaysia as a base to launch and plan their attacks." In "Thailand and Malaysia discuss building border wall to enhance security and curb trafficking," South China Morning Post, 10 September 2016.

 

 Addendum of Israel's Security Fence:   "In Israel, the security fence has done an effective job of keeping Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists outside of Israeli communities, and the fence built to keep African illegal infiltrators from coming into Israel through the Sinai Desert does its job as well – and other countries are learning from Israel's success. The latest is Hungary which, although it does not have the problem of terrorists sneaking over the border to carry out terror attacks in Hungarian supermarkets and coffee shops, is building 13 foot (4 meter) high fence anyway – to keep job-seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Albania and other third world countries out." In "Good Enough for the EU: Hungary to Build Anti-Migrant 'Wall'," by Yaakov Levi, Arutz Sheva, 17 June 2015.

 

Addendum of the Theater of It:   " 'The one thing all these walls have in common is that their main function is theatre,' said Marcello Di Cintio, author of 'Walls: Travels Along the Barricades'. You can't dismiss that illusion, it's important to people, but they provide the sense of security, not real security.' The limits of their effectiveness are visible everywhere - not least, with the migrants and refugees sitting on top of the fence along the border with Morocco and the small Spanish enclave of Mellila, on the North African coast. Even the fearsome Berlin Wall with its trigger-happy sentries still leaked thousands of refugees even in its most forbidding years." In "World of walls: How 65 countries have erected fences on their borders – four times as many as when the Berlin Wall was toppled – as governments try to hold back the tide of migrants," by Simon Tomlinson, Mail Online, 21 August 2015.

 

 Addendum of the Gertrude Stein Definition:   "The First Amendment right to protest the government ends when you use a bolt cutter to breach a security fence and enter a restricted area, a federal judge told six people he found guilty Wednesday for their actions during a chaotic protest outside last summer’s Democratic National Convention in South Philadelphia. 'A fence is a fence is a fence,' Senior U.S. District Judge Michael J. Baylson told the six out-of-towners after finding each guilty of trespassing on restricted federal grounds, a misdemeanor. 'As a matter of common sense,' said the judge, 'when an adult sees a fence, it is clear that is a restriction'." In "6 DNC protesters found guilty in federal court," by Mensah M. Dean, Philly.com, 14 June 2017.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   While a defensible border between the United States and Mexico is deemed wrong in much election year debate, the calls in Mexico for a southern border fence between Mexico and Central America continue, making a reality there.

          One reads:  "Few politicians have made public speeches about such matters. But Deputy Foreign Minister Gerónimo Gutiérrez recently acknowledged that Mexico's immigration laws were 'tougher than those being contemplated by the United States,' where the authorities caught 1.5 million people illegally crossing the Mexican border last year. He spoke before a congressional panel to discuss 'Mexico in the Face of the Migratory Phenomenon'." In "Mexico Worries About Its Own Southern Border," by Ginger Thompson, New York Times, 18 June 2016.

          Additionally, one reads:  "According to the head of customs for Mexico’s tax administration, Raul Diaz, the Mexican border state of Chiapas is constructing a wall along the country’s southern border with Guatemala, along the river Suchiate which divides the countries. Diaz says the purpose of the wall is to prevent the passage of contraband, but admits, 'It could also prevent the free passage of illegal immigrants'." In "Mexico Building Fence… on Its Southern Border," Fox, 23 September 2010.

          As one moves from demarcated debate to a next debate, the imposition of double standards abound. This is particularly true for politicians, almost all of whom live behind defensible gates. There is much irony in this, is there not?

 

[ 2 ]   European Union apparatchiks complain of Hungary: " 'Anyone, like Hungary, who builds fences against war refugees or breaches press freedom and the independence of the justice system should be temporarily, or if needed forever, excluded from the EU'." In "EU should expel Hungary for mistreating migrants, Luxembourg minister says," by Madeline Chambers and Marton Dunai, Reuters, 13 September 2016.

          The reply was unequivocal:  "Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said his country had defended Europe throughout its history, and described his Luxembourg colleague as 'condescending, uppity, and frustrated'."

 

[ 3 ]  "Wall, fence, border, gate? serve sometimes opposing principles: to keep some in, and to keep some out. One reads of Bulgaria:  "Less than two decades after the painstaking removal of a massive border fence designed to keep people in, Bulgarian authorities are just as painstakingly building a new fence along the rugged Turkish border, this time to keep people out. Faced with a surge of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa — and the risk that they include jihadis intent on terrorist attacks — Europe is bolstering its defenses on many fronts, including this formerly Communist country, which little more than a quarter-century ago was more concerned with stanching the outbound flow of its own citizens to freedom. For the past 16 months, Bulgaria has been carrying out a plan that would sound familiar to anyone along the United States-Mexico frontier: more border officers, new surveillance equipment and the first 20-mile section of its border fence, which was finished in September." In "Bulgaria Puts Up a New Wall, but This One Keeps People Out," by Rick Lyman, New York Times, 5 April 2015.

 

 


 

Tan Drums

Kids parade their Tan Drums
                    As is the way of things
                    Which beat and burst and bust
When life delivers stings.

The Tan Drums' bleating oh so loud
                    Are of our Terrible Toos.
                    When not getting their own way,
They loudly scream the blues.

The Tan Drums seem so numerous
                    With amplifications' glare,
                    Hogging some cameras' tiny lens
With their Tan Drums angry blare.

Who will choose to die in the streets
                    As professional tests predict?
                    Violent protests most break out
As Tan Drums so depict.

Putsch your faith in Tan Drums' beat
                    Because they will it so.
                    This is today and every day
As was in time not long ago.


 

Plenty

There's plenty to see,
    so why not look?
        There's plenty to learn
            from an unread book.
                There's that to be gleaned
                    by hook and crook.
                        There's that next twist
                            in the ambling brook.
                            There's much surprise
                        after thought things shook.
                    There's tasty novelty
                from the cleverest cook.
            There's plenteousness
        which awaits your grasp
    if but your rigidity
you'd unclasp.


 

It's nuts to be a student

It's nuts to be a student
                    faced with debts' arrears,
And nuts to be a student
                    with pronoun errors as fears,
And nuts to be a student
                    when told that fiction's fact,
And nuts to be a student
                    when questioning's attacked,
And nuts to be a student
                    as anxiety floods the schools,
And nuts to be a student
                    with arbitrary, changing rules,
And nuts to be a student
                    where standards burn like flags,
And nuts to be a student,
                    when lectures are just nags,
And nuts to be a student
                    when sheepskins' prices rise,
And nuts to be a student
                    when so distant seems the prize.
                                        Therefore in the current milieu,
                                        What's to say? Just nuts to you?

 

 

Addendum of the Price:     "Through diplomas, increasingly inflated grades and the drumbeat of college self-promotion, these students had been told they had received a great education. The fact that the typical student spent three times as much time socializing and recreating in college as studying and going to class didn’t change that belief. Nor did unsteady employment outcomes and, for the large majority of those surveyed, continued financial dependence on their parents. Students who were interviewed in depth by Mr. Arum and Ms. Roksa put great stock in collegiate social experiences that often came at the expense of academic work, emphasizing the value of the personal relationships they built." In "The Economic Price of Colleges’ Failures," by Kevin Carey, New York Times, 2 September 2014.   [ 1 ]

 

 

 

 Addendum of Costing Too Much:   "College costs too much, both for students and for society as a whole. This year, according to the College Board, average published in-state tuition and fee plus room/board charges exceed $17,000 at four-year public institutions, a 6% increase from only one year earlier. In 2009, spending by Americans for post-secondary education totaled $461 billion, an amount 42% greater than in 2000, after accounting for inflation. This $461 billion is the equivalent of 3.3% of total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and an amount greater than the total GDP of countries such as Sweden, Norway and Portugal. The public is taking notice." In "Why does college cost so much?" by Richard Vedder and Matthew Denhart, CNN, 2 December 2011.   [ 2 ]

 

 

 

 Addendum of Collegiate-related Anxieties:   "Ohio State has seen a 43% jump in the past five years in the number of students being treated at the university’s counseling center. At the University of Central Florida in Orlando, the increase has been about 12% each year over the past decade. At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, demand for counseling-center services has increased by 36% in the last seven years. Nationwide, 17% of college students were diagnosed with or treated for anxiety problems during the past year, and 13.9% were diagnosed with or treated for depression, according to a spring 2016 survey of 95,761 students by the American College Health Association. That is up from 11.6% for anxiety and 10.7% for depression in the spring 2011 survey." In "Students Flood College Mental-Health Centers," by Andrea Petersen, Wall Street Journal, 10 October 2016.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Assessing Adult Literacy:   "Researchers administered the National Assessment of Adult Literacy to collect the data, which revealed that over 75% of 2- year college students and 50% of 4-year college students are incapable of completing everyday tasks. These tasks range from straightforward to complex, and fall into three categories: reading comprehension, critical thinking and analysis, and practical mathematics. Most participants easily carried out simple activities such as utilizing a map or consulting a nutrition label. The latter category –which includes calculating restaurant tips, utility bills, order totals, and supply costs – yielded more surprising results. About 20% of students in 4-year schools demonstrated only basic mathematical ability, while a steeper 30% of community college students could not progress past elementary arithmetic." In "Study Finds College Students Remarkably Incompetent," by Stefi Morisi, New Forum for Lawyers, 21 June 2012.

 

 Addendum of Administrators as a Fast-rising Cost to Students and Taxpayers:   "The disproportionate increase in the number of university staffers who neither teach nor conduct research has continued unabated in more recent years, and slowed only slightly since the start of the economic downturn, during which time colleges and universities have contended that a dearth of resources forced them to sharply raise tuition. In all, from 1987 until 2011-12—the most recent academic year for which comparable figures are available—universities and colleges collectively added 517,636 administrators and professional employees, or an average of 87 every working day, according to the analysis of federal figures, by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting in collaboration with the nonprofit, nonpartisan social-science research group the American Institutes for Research. 'There's just a mind-boggling amount of money per student that’s being spent on administration,' said Andrew Gillen, a senior researcher at the institutes. 'It raises a question of priorities'." In "New Analysis Shows Problematic Boom In Higher Ed Administrators,' by Jon Marcus, New England Center for Investigative Reporting via Huffington Post, 6 February 2014.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   The NYT article notes that the eventual workplace -- sometimes called the college of hard knocks -- will sort out what colleges and universities simply have not.

 

 A Fundamental Failure in the Higher Education Market

 

          One reads from that article:  "...within the large population of college graduates, those who were poorly taught are paying an economic price. Because they didn’t acquire vital critical thinking skills, they’re less likely to get a job and more likely to lose the jobs they get than students who received a good education. Yet those same students continue to believe they got a great education, even after two years of struggle. This suggests a fundamental failure in the higher education market — while employers can tell the difference between those who learned in college and those who were left academically adrift, the students themselves cannot."

          As one mulls over enormous tuition costs in reference to not "acquiring critical thinking skills," the obvious question is one of asking for what a student is paying, if not the acquisition of critical thinking skills. But one sees in the day how easy it has become for students to take their appointed place in line, at the Fa Queue  - there's no debating you

 

[ 2 ]   One should take notice of the details as "college costs too much" in order to better understand. Watching tuition rise dramatically and heeding the business wisdom that personnel costs are so often the largest cost, one may survey those academic elite who are being supported by "too much." Consider the remuneration details as Doctor Oppression comes to call .

          In addition to an overpaid academic elite, measured against media incomes in every state, uninformed students sign debt instruments without fully understanding the implications.

 

 Borrowing Trouble

 

          One reads:   "In their paper, titled 'Accounting for the Rise in College Tuition,'ť the two maintain that the combined effect of all policy and nonpolicy factors that they studied generate a $6,300 increase in yearly net tuition. Whereas average net tuition stood at $5,700 in 1987, today it is about $11,000, their study states." In "2 Econ Professors Cite Student Borrowing as Contributor to Rising Tuition," by Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 12 April 2016.

 

 Colleges Don't Teach Caveat Emptor

 

          Caveat emptor is not among subjects taught to the academic underclass -- most students.

          Until now, most students have been blissfully unaware, as one reads:  "The Collegiate Learning Assessment is just what it sounds like: a test that measures critical thinking, analytic reasoning, and communications skills in college students. Several years ago, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa reported that most students didn't improve much on this test after four years of college, and a full third didn't improve at all. Now they've written a follow-up, which concludes, unsurprisingly, that students with high CLA scores do better in the job market than students with low scores." In "Colleges Don't Teach Much, but College Students Don't Know It," by Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, 4 September 2014.

 

[ 3 ]  The leap in anxieties is logical, considering the rapid rise in tuition, swift proliferation of new and often seemingly arbitrary speech and behavior rules, mixed in with a lowering of job prospects upon graduation.

 

 Remarkable Incompetency

 

          Even retraining after college becomes a necessity for potential employers. One reads:  "NBC News reported that Fortune 500 companies shell out $3 billion annually to train employees in 'basic English.' Sending workers to 'remedial business writing classes' was common practice at Valor, a former telecommunications company that merged in 2006. Finney and Baldi view the recent study as a profound glimpse into the weaknesses of higher education. Both hope that data will inspire government and university officials to raise graduation requirements and make intellectual rigor the new standard." In "Study Finds College Students Remarkably Incompetent," by Stefi Morisi, New Forum for Lawyers, 21 June 2012.

          Conflating phrases above, "remarkably incompetent" graduates who "don't know" of their incompetence is the stuff of anxieties aplenty.

          Sadly, there are many options besides the pursuit of Degrees on the wall .  These are not taught in colleges and universities for the most part, and for the most obvious of reasons. The thought of competition shakes the modern, almost mythic foundation of modern American academia, its scions and sages -- money and lots of it for the few, with debt for the many.

          Today's students -- and graduates of the various levels of the educational system -- are being proven stupid, and perhaps intentionally so.   One reads:   "...the essence of our collective stupidity comes out: 'US research has shown that most young, digital-savvy school and college students have difficulties in identifying fake news.' What this means is, if you are not tethered to a smart-device, you are even more susceptible Putin puppets. The study referred to is from brilliant Stanford students who discovered “amazingly” that the same age group that cannot name the first president of the United States or find Canada on a map, also cannot figure the truth from fiction. The Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) released yet another useless report showing how lame American students are these days. Interestingly, one of the most liberal and most anti-Trump publications in the world, The Atlantic also blamed Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump on a lack of civics education. As far back as 2000 education reports revealed that 65 percent of college seniors surveyed failed to pass a high-school level American history test, while this recent National Association of Scholars (NAS) study revealed that college student knowledge of Western Civilization and the so-called 'Big Picture' has practically vanished. Vanished knowledge! And it takes Stanford studies to show young people cannot discern?" In "Get Ready for the World Truth Ministry and the Unimaginable," by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook, 14 June 2017.

          The scam is complete, for now. Over-paid academics teach unmarketable skill sets and "theory" of one kind or another, generally subsets of anti-capitalist political philosophy, all the while seeking ever larger salaries and perks for themselves in the hunt for money, postmodernist style. And the students dutifully learn that "the so-called 'Big Picture' has practically vanished."

          It's nuts to be that sort of student today, given that great books alone available in almost all libraries and online are a wealth of knowledge to those who would learn. For almost no expense except individual effort.


 

I saw

I saw that which was ugly;
            someone said to never judge.
I saw something meaningless;
            on meaning I would not budge.
I saw something beautiful,
            and was lectured for my sin.
I saw someone try to rule
            my thoughts which lay within.
I saw something moving
            behind scenes, darkened, grim;
I saw and I turned away
            on more than just a whim.
I saw something and I thought
            a judgment would be apt.
I saw and spoke of what I thought
            and thus my path was mapped.


 

One plus one equals cat

 

One plus one equals cat,
And if you're fine with that,
Cat plus hat sums up a pipe
As a scrawny sort of fat.
Two subtracts from up,
When splashed into its cup,
As two at three will snipe
When together they would sup.
Three will argue four;
Windows are shown the door.
Five will fife to earn its stripe
As drums the beating roar.
Sixes and sevens are at
When complexity falls flat,
Past eight counts nine who gripe
That ten is racket's bat.
Won plus one will lose
Ignoring history's muse.
One will wait until what's ripe
Pervades the evening's news.