Collected Poetry

VOLUME FIFTEEN  

 

Original materials - Copyright © 2019  by Gary Bachlund    All international rights reserved

"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." In "Letter From Birmingham City Jail," Martin Luther King Jr., 16 April 1963.

Who just says what?

Who just says what? And who just defines
Amorphous notions of hateful whines?
One man hates another man's speech,
And to silence one extends the reach
Of who can say what and who shall define
Uniformed speech, the tyrant's sign.
Uniform thought is thought controlled;
An incorrect thought receives a scold.
Who just says what? And who just defines
When a thuggish tyrant speech maligns?
The fists of power rise up to crush
Whomever they deem it right to shush.
Hate means what? In what legal sense?
What should it cost? What recompense
Must be paid by cash, limb, or life,
As each tyrant seeks to silence strife?
Who just says what? And who just defines
When tyranny freedom's speech maligns?

 

Envoi:   "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." Noam Chomsky.

 

Addendum of an Inquisition:   "...the Inquisition, guided by its founding in 1233 by the steely intellects of the Dominican order, had developed the techniques that would torment Catholic Europe and Latin America for centuries to come and, in the process, provide the model for latter- day totalitarian control of the individual conscience." In "The Perfect Heresy," by Stephen O'Shea, Profile Books, 2001.

 

Addendum of a Modern Inquisition:   "Large groups of citizens, loyal to the party and serving as informers and enforcers at the grassroots level, can be seen almost everywhere in China today. They are easily recognizable by the red armband they wear prominently. The so-called “red armbands,” mobilized masses and cadres for patrolling and inspecting, have become the instrument that the CCP uses to monitor the community, especially dissenters and religious believers. The appearance of these zealous citizens enforcing a moral and disciplinary code on their fellow citizens reminds many of past Chinese social movements, like the Fengqiao Experience or the Boxer Rebellion." by Lin Yijiang, Bitter Winter, 30 December 2018.   [ 1 ]

Addendum of Another Modern Inquisition:   "The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice enforces traditional Islamic morality by arresting or helping to secure the arrest of people who engage in conduct that violates Islamic principles and values. They are tasked with enforcing Sharia as defined in Saudi Arabia. In addition to having the power to arrest anyone engaged in homosexual acts, prostitution or fornication, they can also arrest unrelated males and females caught socializing and enforce Islamic dress-codes, eating habits (such as the prohibition from eating pork) and store closures during the prayer time. They prohibit the consumption or sale of alcoholic beverages and seize banned consumer products and media regarded contrary to Islamic morals. They also actively prevent the religious practices of other religions within Saudi Arabia." In "Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Saudi Arabia)," Wikipedia article, n. d.   [ 2 ]

Addendum of a Choking Inquisition:   "The Justice Department has committed to ending a controversial Obama-era program that discourages banks from doing business with a range of companies, from payday lenders to gun retailers." In "Justice Department to end Obama-era 'Operation Choke Point'," by Victoria Guida, Politico, 17 August 2017. [ 3 ]

Addendum of an Artistic Inquisition:   " 'Every artist whose work appears on Netflix should be outraged that the company has agreed to censor a comedy show because the thin-skinned royals in Saudi complained about it,' a spokesperson said. 'Netflix’s claim to support artistic freedom mean

 

s nothing if it bows to demands of government officials who believe in no freedom for their citizens – not artistic, not political, not comedic'." In "Outrage after Netflix pulls comedy show criticising Saudi Arabia," by Mattha Busby, Guardian UK, 1 January 2019.   [ 4 ]

Addendum of an Inquisition by Regulation:  "In short, Patreon is choosing to monitor the speech of any creators funded by its site and will apply its own standards to regulate that speech even though the speech isn’t being published or hosted at Patreon. It should go without saying that Patreon, as a private company, is free to do so. But in the video below, Peterson suggests the move to oust libertarian and right-leaning speakers is being driven by a left-wing group called Change the Terms." In "Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson leave Patreon over free speech concerns," by John Sexton, HotAir, 2 January 2019.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Dulling Inquisitions:   "...without a vibrant commitment to free and open inquiry, a university ceases to be a university." In "Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression," University of Chicago, n. d.   [ 6 ]

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   From the article: "Another historical precedent was the turn-of-the-century Boxer Rebellion. The Boxers (literally the 'Fists of Harmony and Justice') were a Chinese secret society that led the rebellion against colonialism and Christianity. Political commentator Wen Zhao sees a common thread: 'What the Boxers and the Fengqiao Experience have in common is that both are forms of mass violence manipulated by those in power to commit outrageous acts in the name of truth and glory'."

          That violence and the threat of violence would be "manipulated by those in power" is that common thread which binds inquisition to inquisition throughout history and across all cultures.

          In this specific Chinese Communist example:  "The social credit system is based on the government’s phrase 'once untrustworthy, always restricted', and is set to be tested further on the country’s train system from May 1, it was announced last week." In "China's 'social credit' system bans millions from travelling," by Jamie Fullerton, Telegraph UK, 24 March 2018.

          One may survey modern trends in the West in this regard:  Veiled Threats - a commonality.

 

[ 2 ]   Similarly, as organized by such thought, one reads:   "In the book Taliban by Ahmed Rashid, the ministry is referred to as the Department of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Maulvi Qalamuddin, the head of the ministry during the Taliban era, preferred the English translation Department of Religious Observances. The Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice of Afghanistan was in charge of implementing Islamic rules (Hanafi principles) as defined by the Taliban. Its religious police raided the streets arresting women not fully covered and people listening to music." In "Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Afghanistan)." Wikipedia article, n. d.

          And With regard to music ....

 

[ 3 ]   More on this "choke point":  "For those unfamiliar, Choke Point consisted of bureaucrats in several independent federal agencies taking it upon themselves to shut legal businesses – such as payday lenders and firearms dealers – out of the banking system. Given the nature of the U.S. regulatory framework, this operation was easy to pull off." In "Newly Unsealed Documents Show Top FDIC Officials Running Operation Choke Point," by Norbert Michel, Forbes, 6 November 2018.

 

[ 4 ]    One could consider the accusation, a relatively recent term, of Islamophobia .  That the Saudi government may exercise its political influence in another nation to push back at being ridiculed is evidence of a government and its being very Thin-skinned .

 

[ 5 ]    From the Change the Terms website, one reads:   "While a free and open internet creates immense social value, it can also be used to engage in hateful activities and to do so at a large scale. For example, white supremacist and other organizations inciting hate are using online platforms to organize, fund, recruit supporters for, and normalize racism, sexism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, homophobia and transphobia, among others. This chills the online speech of the targeted groups, curbs democratic participation, and threatens people’s safety and freedom in real life." In "Adopt the Terms," Change the Terms, accessed January 2019.

          Thus one becomes enmeshed in the discussion, what constitutes hate. An opposing view politically can easily be defined as hate, and thus this tactic becomes thuggish in short order. Who shall "adopt" whose "terms?" Depending on the severity of the inquisition, it becomes simply a matter of exercising raw power.

 

Some People Don't Believe

 

          From the article above, a seemingly compliant official at the company stated:  "We understand some people don’t believe in the concept of hate speech and don’t agree with Patreon removing creators on the grounds of violating our Community Guidelines for using hate speech. We have a different view. Patreon does not and will not condone hate speech in any of its forms."  Yet it has not defined what hate speech is.

          The article notes that this is mere and sheer politics:  "...the bottom line is that very well-funded left-wing groups are pushing to 'no-platform' hate. In practice, that looks a lot like going after anyone on the right who has a different opinion. Put another way, if the Southern Poverty Law Center is now in charge of defining hate speech online, you can bet a lot of people who aren’t remotely white supremacists are going to be swept up in the dragnet as well. In June the SPLC made a $3.3 million settlement with Maajid Nawaz over his inclusion in its 'Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.' Other groups targeted by the SPLC have said they are considering lawsuits as well."

          Such circles back to the above mentioned capitulation by Netflix to the Saudi government, as one of many contemporary examples of the application of power, even national borders.

          As to Patreon and their censoring of users, one reads:  " Podcast host Sam Harris objected to Patreon's approach and announced that he would be leaving the platform because of it. Shortly thereafter Patreon deleted the account of It's Going Down, a hardline left-wing news website, for doxing. Patreon CEO Jack Conte subsequently announced that he would be expanding the company's appeal process, regretting the initial wording of the letter which said '[we] will not consider an appeal'." In "Patreon," Wikipedia article, n. d.

 

[ 6 ]    The similarities to the various topics above cluster. In the University of Chicago protocol, one pledges with this:  "...the University is committed to the principle that it may not restrict debate or deliberation because the ideas put forth are thought to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the members of the University community to make those judgments for themselves. As a corollary to this commitment, members of the University community must also act in conformity with this principle. Although faculty, students and staff are free to criticize, contest and condemn the views expressed on campus, they may not obstruct, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe." In "Statement on Principles of Free Expression," University of Chicago, July 2012.

         Consider the truths being revealed within the same old strife appearing in this time as the dissonance between Free speech, hate speech and the rage of the hopefully fading Totalitarian .

 

Addressing and Blunting Totalitarian Urges

 

         The observation as above of "totalitarian control of the individual conscience" functions well as a sketch of many entities across history, and in this modern era. Such Committees for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice" as one finds in Islamic lands are akin to "Fists of Harmony and Justice" and "social credit systems and choke points strategies and de-platforming attempts as "Change the Terms" cited above espouses, all similar attempts towards the "totalitarian control of the individual conscience."

         Not restricting "debate or deliberation because the ideas put forth are thought to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed" allows ideas, theories, narratives, debates, research and clarity to sort themselves out in a free society not dedicated to "totalitarian control." This is the new revolution.

         Thus, Chomsky's assertion is pointed and clear:  "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

         Who just says what? And who just defines / When tyranny freedom's speech maligns?


 

¯\_(?)_/¯

I'll make reply quite readily.
A shrug's part of my medley.
¯\_(?)_/¯
I don't know much, that's for sure,
So I prefer to oft demure.
¯\_(?)_/¯
I'll confess, huh? not just guess.
Some might not, but I profess...
¯\_(?)_/¯

 

Addendum of ASCII:   "ASCII art is created using a fixed-width font (like on a traditional typewriter), because this is the only way to make it portable."

 

Addendum of a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :    "Shruggie, it turns out, actually has quite an impressively rich history. According to Kyle Chayka's incredibly detailed chronicle of 'The Life and Times of ¯\_( ツ )_/¯' over at The Awl, the little ASCII fellow has been around for quite a while; however, it was only after Kanye West's now-infamous interruption of Taylor Swift during the 2009 MTV VMAs that it gained widespread usage. Travis Porter tweeted out shruggie along with the phrase 'Kanye shrug' (now, of course, a meme in and of itself as well), which seems to have spurred its adoption across every form of electronic communication imaginable." In "How Do You Type Shruggie, aka The Shrug Emoticon? Here Are 5 Ways To Get The Little Guy Into Your Life," by Lucia Peters, Bustle, 18 July 2015.


 

Pronouns at play - so some people say

I'm
    Smarter than you.
    Game over. I've won.
    Thanks for the contest;
    Thanks for the fun.

You're
    Dumber than me.
    Game over. You've lost.
    I judge as jury
    You must be bossed.

He's
    Greater than you.
    You will believe
    By hook or by crook,
    Or must we deceive?

We're
    Sure to have peace
    As long as you heed
    The rules as we rule.
    You simply will heed.

You're
    Bound to submit
    To our perfect views
    And if you will not
    We'll tighten your screws.

They're
    Surely the best;
    And you will obey
    Or righteously they
    Will flay you this day.

Consider The Truth - no doubt about it


 

I'd like to fill the void that God once occupied - a reflection on secular modernity

"Nietzsche’s works express a fear that the decline of religion, the rise of atheism, and the abscense of a higher moral authority would plunge the world into chaos. The western world had depended on the rule of God for thousands of years -- it gave order to society and meaning to life. Without it, Nietzsche writes, society will move into an age of nihilism. Although Nietzsche may have been considered a nihilist by definition, he was critical of it and warned that accepting nihilism would be dangerous." In "God is Dead," Philosophy Index, n. d.

 

I'd like to fill the void that God once occupied,

            And so I seek for other gods and many have applied.
The god of genitalia is hard on opening wide,
            While the god of ego preens with all it finds inside.
The godly state salutes itself with flag and proper pomp,
            While the god of money counts its riches' ripened romp.
The god of ideology is well suited to its task,
            While the god of lordly pleasures oft must wear its mask.
I'd like to fill the void that is unsatisfied,
            And so many little gods line up, all to be glorified.

 

Addendum of Choosing the Accuser to Fill the Void:    "When tensions arise in a group (as they inevitably do), people commence to cast about for a scapegoat, for someone or some group to blame. Deeply attractive, even addictive, the scapegoating move rapidly attracts a crowd, which in short order becomes a mob. In their common hatred of the victim, the blamers feel an ersatz sense of togetherness. Filled with the excitement born of self-righteousness, the mob then endeavors to isolate and finally eliminate the scapegoat, convinced that this will restore order to their roiled society. At the risk of succumbing to the reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy, nowhere is the Girardian more evident than in the Germany of the 1930s. Hitler ingeniously exploited the scapegoating mechanism to bring his country together—obviously in a profoundly wicked way." In "The Internet and Satan’s Game," by Bishop Robert Barron, Words on Fire, 22 January 2019.

 

An alternative view to the Nihilist:  I prefer a vital God


 

Wonder Boy looks small and pale

"Elle relève d'une recherche quasi mystique, à l'image de la recherche du nombre d'or ou de la divine proportion dans la Grèce antique." In "Emmanuel Macron ou Jupiter 2.0 ?" by Harold Hauzy, 31 May 2017.

 

Wonder Boy looks small and pale
In the lashing light of day;
Great he was on the glistening screens;
That slogan-slick image fades away.
Reality is that glaring light
Which strips pretense's play.
After 'The End' life goes on;
Tomorrow still has its say.
Wonder Boy was a role with lines
But behind the script's scrawled fray
Hid the ordinary and average
Which spotlights don't display.
Reality's not a fine fan of tales
Which repeat, rerun, replay.
Wonder Boy looks small and frail
In the slashing light of day.

 

Envoi:   " 'C'est le roi. Il ne voit rien rien rien rien', enrage Philippe, 74 ans et chef de file d'un groupe de 'gilets jaunes' qui filtre régulièrement la circulation dans la région du Mans." In " 'Gilets jaunes': la 'haine' contre le 'roi' Macron, moteur de la colère," Agence France Presse/ Le Point, 5 December 2018.

 

Addendum of the Same Old Same Old:    "Research published last week by the Cevipof political institute at Sciences Po university found more than two thirds of the French people still had overwhelmingly negative views of politicians. When asked to sum up their feelings towards them, 37 percent said they felt 'distrust', 32 percent 'disgust', eight percent 'boredom' and four percent 'fear'." In "Same old elite? Macron's 'revolution' fails with fed up French," France 24/Agence France Presse, 18 January 2019.

 

Addendum with a Sting from the Left:   "Macron is a skinny little-trained seal in a circus where we cannot even see the ringmaster." In "Dear France: I Told You Le Pen Really Mattered," by Phil Butler, New Eastern Outlook, 31 January 2019.


 

Run around in circles

"There are stirrings of discussion these days in philosophical circles about the prospect of human extinction."   In "Would Human Extinction Be a Tragedy?" by Todd May, New York Times, 17 December 2018.   [ 1 ]

 

Run around in circles,
            And mull the end of days.
Man is sure to go extinct
            In oh so many ways.
Philosophic circles
            Circle round and round,
Prospecting for an ending
            On which one may propound.
Run around in circles,
            And mull the finish line,
Which extinguishes the circle
            And stirs discussion fine.
Philosophic circles
            Are circles without end
Until there comes some tragedy
            Which prospectors might defend.
If philosophy in the forest falls,
            And none will hear its fall,
Philosophic circles
            Will mean nothing much at all.
Run around in circles
            And word the tragedy
Before the end is truly nigh
            There's time for parody.

 

Addendum of So Many Options:    "In futures studies, human extinction is the hypothetical end of the human species. This may result from natural causes or it may be the result of human action. The likelihood of human extinction in future by wholly natural scenarios, such as a meteorite impact or large-scale volcanism, is generally considered to be extremely low. For anthropogenic extinction, many possible scenarios have been proposed: human global nuclear annihilation, biological warfare or the release of a pandemic-causing agent, dysgenics, overpopulation, ecological collapse, and climate change; in addition, emerging technologies could bring about new extinction scenarios, such as advanced artificial intelligence, biotechnology or self-replicating nanobots. The probability of anthropogenic human extinction within the next hundred years is the topic of an active debate." In "Human extinction," Wikipedia article, n. d.

 

Addendum of Choosing Nihilism:   "We’re the only species evolved enough to consciously go extinct for the good of all life, or which needs to. Success would be humanity’s crowning achievement. May we live long and die out." In "Success," The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, n. d. From their website, "When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth’s biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory, and all remaining creatures will be free to live, die, evolve (if they believe in evolution), and will perhaps pass away, as so many of Nature’s 'experiments' have done throughout the eons. It’s going to take all of us going."    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of 'It Could Be':   "Likening it to a dangerous weapon in the hands of a child, he [ Nick Bostrom ] says the advance of technology has overtaken our capacity to control the possible consequences. ...change is coming whether or not we're ready for it. 'There is a bottleneck in human history. The human condition is going to change. It could be that we end in a catastrophe or that we are transformed by taking much greater control over our biology. It's not science fiction, religious doctrine or a late-night conversation in the pub. There is no plausible moral case not to take it seriously'." In "How are humans going to become extinct?" by Sean Coughlan, BBC, 24 April 2013.   [ 3 ]

 

NOTES
 

[ 1 ]  One learns from the New York Times byline that "Todd May is a professor of philosophy at Clemson University and the author of, most recently, 'A Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability.' He is a philosophical adviser for the television show, 'The Good Place'." 

          As to the verbiage of "a fragile life" and "vulnerability," an anonymous student opines:  "Todd is a very bright philosopher but he thinks very highly of himself and doesn't really want to see you stretch your boundaries and contradict him." In the ULoop of Clemson University, n. d.

          May opines in the NYT article, "It is humanity that is committing a wrong, a wrong whose elimination would likely require the elimination of the species...."  It is an interesting notion to blame "humanity," but it is not an unusual notion, as one finds for those who see humanity as The Scourge of the Planet .

          And so continues the larger tale of predicting an Apocalypse sometime .

 

[ 2 ]     "We" is such a fine pronoun, as an individual purports to speak for a group, a movement, an entire nation or group of nations, race, or the greatest of all, mankind. One may take a lesson from those who so easily speak of "we," and to opine that "we" might well be demonstrably wrong. As an example:  Extremely Green  - wrong for more than forty years. Oddly, "we" seem not to be choosing nihilism as readily as some would like.

 

[ 3 ]   "It could be" is such a fine phrase for scientists, as is the longer sentence, "it could be we will get more funding."   One could and one may consider the use of such wiggle words as used so frequently in the public handwringing of various sorts on parade now as in the past:  Could and May - an up-to-date play.

          An editor's pick among the comments allowed by the BBC:   Scott0962 on 24 Apr 2013: "Whether humanity may go extinct or whether it even deserves to survive are questions for scientists, philosophers, theologians, and perhaps science fiction writers to debate--the rest of us are busy living."

          Before the end is truly nigh /  There's time for parody.  And there is time to be "busy living."

 


 

The Easy Button

"...they were men with well-defined and sound ideas on everything concerning exports, banking, the fruit or wine trade; men of proved ability in handling problems relating to insurance, the interpretation of ill-drawn contracts, and the like; of high qualifications and evident good intentions. That, in fact, was what struck one most, the excellence of their intentions. But as regards plague their competence was practically nil." "The Plague," Albert Camus, 1947 (Gallimard, French) trans. by Stuart Gilbert, 1948 (Hamish Hamilton, English).   [ 1 ]

 

Push the button;
That's the way.
Easy is but
One push away.
Flick that switch,
Come what may;
It's short and sweet,
But hell to pay.

 

Envoi:   "Sir, Hell is paved with good intentions." Samuel Johnson, 1775   [ 2 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     Camus' novella ends, observing "...he knew that the tale he had to tell could not be one of a final victory. It could be only the record of what had had to be done, and what assuredly would have to be done again in the never ending fight against terror and its relentless onslaughts, despite their personal afflictions, by all who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down to pestilences, strive their utmost to be healers."

 

[ 2 ]    A generation of politicians passes, as one reads "...communities experienced massive upheaval, and just as here in the U.S., there were race riots and community tensions. One man predicted it all, but was widely panned by the media and the political class for doing so. Enoch Powell was sure to be a Conservative Party leader if he had just kept his mouth shut, but as he said on April 20, 1968, to a small room of supporters in Birmingham, UK, 'All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal'." In " 'Enoch Was Right,' Raheem Kassam writes in his new book on a forgotten hero of our times," review by Ned Ryun, American Spectator, 27 April 2018.

 


 

 

Try to cite the sources,
    As 'experts say' speaks dumb.
        Name and clearly reference
            As the obvious rule of thumb.
                Assertions without sourcing,
                    Citations to be checked,
                        Is that old three card monte
Assuring disconnect.
Believe, an anonymous source says,
                        Because of -- well, you know --,
                    Is a shill game played by many
                Who dance their dazzling show.
            But 'they' tells nothing really,
        When 'they' have no named names,
    And without the names and faces
There's are cynical unsourced games.

 


 

 

"Three people have appeared in court in Zimbabwe, accused of stealing a suitcase containing $150,000 (£117,600) of cash from the country's ousted president, Robert Mugabe." In "Mugabe: Suitcase of cash stolen from ex-Zimbabwe leader," BBC, 10 January 2019.    [ 1 ]

 

Wouldn't you like a suitcase
Like the one a trio stole?
Politicians in most every place
Seem on quite a roll.

    Wouldn't you like a stash
    Like that which prime folk cache?
    Politicians in most every land
    Labor for their cash.

        Wouldn't you like a packet
        To lavishly lug about?
        Politicians in most every age
        Are rarely found without.

            Power seems to travel
            With pals that pay quite well,
            Even when their nation
            Fails in parallel.

 

Addendum of Suitcases Full of Cash:   "...'it was a huge surprise when we found the empty apartment and just the suitcases and boxes covered by a sheet,' Daniel Madruga, who coordinated the operation, told local television station Globo. Corruption has been an endemic problem in Brazil for centuries, but a massive investigation has unexplained piles of cash popping up around the country like never before. Believed to be the largest corruption case in modern history, the probe uncovered a complex scheme in which top business executives traded bribes for lucrative government contracts." In "Brazil’s top politicians are getting busted with literal suitcases full of cash," by Marina Lopes, Washington Post, 7 September 2017.

 

Addendum of a Money-Stuffed Suitcase:   "Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson, the star witness of the money-stuffed suitcase scandal which involves Argentine and Venezuelan officials, declared in a federal court in Miami that the plane in which he flew August 2007 to Buenos Aires was carrying a second suitcase with 4.2 million US dollars besides the 800.000 which were seized by Buenos Aires Customs." In "Suitcase scandal: where's the rest of the money?" Merco Press, 24 September 2008.

 

Addendum of Money-Bag Politics:   "The history of Nigerian politics is replete with money-bag politics. Although, there is hardly any country in the world where instances of bribery or political corruption are not present in their national politics, researches on Africa’s postcolonial history, have however shown that, in Africa, corruption is an institutionalized and a systemic practice affecting not only the postcolonial state itself, but also the majority of the citizenry. Using Nigeria, as a case study, this paper argues that since the 1964/1965 Western Region elections to the 2007 general elections, there has hardly been any election conducted in Nigeria without associated cases of corrupt practices such as vote buying, ballot snatching, election rigging, election violence, political and legislative lobbying etc." In "Money-Bag Politics, Rent-Seeking  [ 2 ]  And Flawed Elections In Nigeria: A Theoretical Statement," Derin Ologbenla, Waziri Babatunde Adisa, Journal of Public Administration and Governance, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2012). 

 

Addendum of Mexican Millions:    "Until Monday, the most prominent Mexican official accused of taking bribes was Genaro García Luna, the country’s former public security director. When Jesus Zambada testified in November, he told jurors that he had met twice with Mr. García Luna in a restaurant and both times gave him a briefcase stuffed with at least $3 million in cash." In " El Chapo Trial: Former Mexican President Peña Nieto Took $100 Million Bribe, Witness Says," by Alan Feuer, New York Times, 15 January 2019.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    Some details:  "Mr Mugabe, now 94, was forced out of office by Zimbabwe's military in 2017. Up to that point, he had been in power for 37 years, first as prime minister and later as president. Once famously claiming that a country could never go bankrupt, he was accused of enjoying a lavish lifestyle while presiding over Zimbabwe's economic collapse."

 

[ 2 ]   It should become obvious to all observers that the notion of rent-seeking by political avenues is endemic throughout government at every level around the world. By legal as well as illegal means, governors -- those who govern -- and legislators -- those who legislate -- feather their own nests first and foremost.

          One only need a cursory survey of Corruption in the United States, and, in the parlance of this little world of rhyme, Corruption has a middle name , to see that Politics itself is the mechanism which so easily corrupts, as the feeding frenzy on the part of "leaders" in the public arena has defrauded citizens in every land and every age.

 


 

Double down on failure

Double down on failure;
Why not fail twice?
Triple down! Why not?
Heed the worst advice.
Wager on a losing scheme;
Roll those pesky dice.
Dream that you cannot lose;
Then pay the loser's price.
Double down yet again,
For dreams smell oh so nice.
Fail and then fail again;
So goes it in a trice.

 

Addendum of Recent Support for a Failed State:    "...while many on the left are now keen to disavow any connection to the Venezuelan disaster, their earlier enthusiasm is on the record. Greg Grandin, writing in The Nation in 2013, offered a laudatory take on Chavez and suggested that Venezuela 'might be the most democratic country in the Western hemisphere.' (He also argued, oddly enough, that Chavez 'wasn’t authoritarian enough.') Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K.’s Labour Party, has also been a big Chavez fan, while Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz praised Venezuela’s economic policies in 2007 and declared that the risks of higher inflation were overrated." In "Venezuela Isn’t Just a Failed State. It’s a Failure of the Left," by Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg Quint, 20 February 2019.

 

Addendum of Not Wanting to Look like Failure:   " 'He didn’t like the things we were asking him about the lack of democracy in Venezuela, about torture, political prisoners, the humanitarian crisis that they were living,' he said. But the breaking point came, Ramos said, after he showed Maduro a video of people eating from a garbage truck. 'Immediately after, one of his ministers, Jorge Rodríguez, came to tell us that the interview was not authorized,' Ramos said." In "Maduro detained journalists after they showed him video of people eating garbage, Univision says," by Reis Thebault, Michael Brice-Saddler and Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, 26 February, 2019.

 

Consider when, in the New York Times parlance, what happens the the Left is  Left to their own devices

 


 

Martiniade - paraphrase of Joachim Ringelnatz

Who'd effervescent, festive evenings seek
Knows quite well, where off to sneak.
            Blow nose and dress up
            And ready pourboire.
            Mainz' thoroughfare's
            M a r t i n i   B a r.
There party the fine folk with drink all around;
Right and left toasts bright resound.
            With bubbly dress and drink,
            Oft rowdyish,
            Music the senses tease
            As one might wish.
The guests, oft well known, oft maybe not,
Are always an interesting lot.
            Who then at evening's end
            Cheers, waves his hat:
            'How fast does time fly by!
            How great was that!'

See:    Martiniade (2019) 

 



I used to read the New York Times
And do their crossword puzzle,
With Entemann's and Sundays' chimes
And coffee enough to guzzle.
            I used to read, front page to back,
            When windowed sunlight streamed,
            And lounge away some morning hours.
            I mused, and so daydreamed.

The corner vendor scratched a life
In that Amsterdam neighborhood;
Back then the Times was cheaper than
Today, and I understood...
            That time's a respecter of no man
            As tick tocks the ages by.
            I no longer read the New York Times
            And am quite another guy.

Subway tokens are keepsakes now,
And it's time for other folks.
Old memories are fleeting and
My errors age as jokes,
            My own, for I've learned to chuckle
            At how silly was I once,
            Though changed by time's meandering,
            I still can play the dunce.

 


 

No longer finding profits

"Their socialist governments have been in power since 1999, taking over the country at a time when Venezuela had huge inequality. But the socialist polices brought in which aimed to help the poor backfired. Take price controls, for example. They were introduced by President Chávez to make basic goods more affordable to the poor by capping the price of flour, cooking oil and toiletries. But this meant that the few Venezuelan businesses producing these items no longer found it profitable to make them." In "Venezuela crisis: How the political situation escalated," BBC, 24 January 2019.

No longer finding profits
                                    testifies to what's been found.
Socialist policies predictably
                                    ran the ship aground.
More goods for the poor
                                    means now the poor have less,
And that's the situation
                                    with socialism's economic guess.
No longer finding profits
                                    testifies that something's found.
Hyperinflation's inflating;
                                    again, socialism proves unsound.

 

Consider the historical demonstration of government control of economies when Left to their own devices

 


 

Heading down the same dark path

 

"While the world watches Venezuela's slow, cancerous death, Nicaragua is in full cardiac arrest. Since protests began on April 18, the government of President Daniel Ortega has been accused of using 'lethal force' and at least 146 people have died. Hundreds more are wounded or missing and the body of a U.S. citizen was found shot dead on June 2. Without international intervention, the collapse of my country could create a new cycle of war and destruction in this precarious region." In "Nicaragua Is Heading Down the Same Dark Path as Venezuela," by Margarita Herdocia, Time, 13 June 2018.    [ 1 ]

 

Heading down the same dark path,
Seeing near the coming wrath,
Those headstrong who lead that way
Are the same of whom advocates say
They're visionary seers of a coming world,
Of fealty's oaths and flags unfurled
Which lead again down that old dark path
Which leads to the same old aftermath.

 

Addendum of the Same Dark Path:   "In Nicaragua, armed supporters of President Daniel Ortega opened fire on a crowd of tens of thousands of anti-government protesters Wednesday, killing at least 11 people and wounding almost 80 others. Elsewhere in Nicaragua, another four were killed and scores more injured at demonstrations around the country—bringing the death toll in recent anti-Ortega protests to nearly 100." In "Nicaragua: 15 Killed as Tens of Thousands Demand President’s Ouster," Democracy Now, 1 June 2018.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Socialist State Repression:   " 'Heavily armed pro-government groups remain at large, accompanied by police forces, committing joint attacks against the civilian population,' said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International. 'The message sent by the highest ranking Nicaraguan authorities is that they are willing to do anything to silence the voices of those who demonstrate against this violent repression. This situation is extremely serious and deserves strong condemnation from the international community'." In "Nicaragua: State repression has reached deplorable levels," Amnesty International, 9 July 2018.

 

Addendum of El Presidente on the Same Dark Path:   "...Ortega has demonstrated one skill, it is that of survival. He and his wife have dominated Nicaraguan political life for so long and amassed so much power that his departure is not a foregone conclusion. It is up to the United States and other regional democracies to hold Ortega to account and to support the Nicaraguan people in their effort to hasten a return to democratic order in Nicaragua. Given Ortega’s long history of authoritarianism and lust for power, we should make sure that he truly seeks a negotiated solution to the country’s current crisis and is not simply looking for a respite. We are seeing what the hemisphere’s failure to confront oppressors has brought in Venezuela." In "Daniel Ortega’s familiar path of repression in Nicaragua," by Otto J. Reich, Washington Post, 24 May 2018.

 

Addendum of an Opposing View:   "Once inside Congress, Bolsonaro and his vice president, retired Gen. Hamilton Mourao, took the oath of office. Bolsonaro then read a short speech that included many of the far-right positions he staked out during the campaign. He promised to combat the 'ideology of gender' teaching in schools, 'respect our Judeo-Christian tradition' and 'prepare children for the job market, not political militancy'. 'I call on all congressmen to help me rescue Brazil from corruption, criminality and ideological submission,' he said, earning a congratulatory message from Trump." In "Bolsonaro says Brazil 'liberated from Socialism' at inaugural ceremony," France 24, 1 January 2019. [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of the Caring Liberal Establishment:   "The response from the left to all this? Ignore it, make excuses, or attack President Trump for interfering. In fact, the biggest Venezuela protest in Washington was the 'Hands Off' march this spring, in which protestors attacked Trump for attempting regime change in the country. And when the press does report on Venezuela, it almost always leaves out one key detail: The fact that the profound misery is the direct result of the country’s embrace of socialist policies starting with Chavez and continuing with his hand-picked successor, Maduro. In fact, 93% of the stories that aired on network news from February 2018 through February 2019 never mentioned 'socialism' or 'socialist,' according to a Media Research Center analysis. The indifference shown by the liberal establishment to what’s happening in Venezuela is disgusting, but it’s also incredibly revealing. Human suffering matters, it seems, only when it suits the left’s ideological agenda." In "Venezuela: A Humanitarian Crisis The Left Couldn’t Care Less About," Editorial Board, Issues and Insights, 17 June 2019.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    Herdocia writes further:   "Nicaragua has been quietly heading down this path for over a decade. Relative economic stability masked the slow accumulation of power by President Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. As democratic institutions were dismantled by El Comandante’s regime, their cronies grew in wealth and the stage was set for an enduring Ortega dictatorship."

 

The Democrat Socialists Demand Fealty

 

          The descriptive -- dictatorship -- tells much, as she reports:   "Nicaragua's Catholic bishops called the bloodshed an 'organized and systemic aggression'—but it has since worsened. The Mothers' Day massacre has been nationalized, and systematic kidnapping and torture has been added to the mix. Several employees and acquaintances have been brutally beaten by government thugs, while others have been abducted and tortured for refusing to pay fealty to the Sandinista party leadership."

          It should be clarified that the Sandinista Party is yet another socialist party, as have been the Cuban and Venezuelan "revolutions," with each adopting a different path to the same violence and economic collapse.

 

[ 2 ]     Verbiage is important, for from 1985 until now, Ortega has ruled Nicaragua as president, currently 34 years in power for a single individual. Democratic elections as run by the Sandinista Party notwithstanding, Democracy Now as an organization speaking to issues of democracy reports on the brutality of "armed supporters."  Thus "democracy" does not seem to accurately describe the behavior of the Ortega regime, while it is the term used to portray the hoped-for optics of the same.

 

Democratic Socialist Political Party

 

          One learns more of the verbiage:   "The Sandinista National Liberation Front (Spanish: Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, FSLN) is a democratic socialist political party in Nicaragua. ... Following the resignation of centrist members from this Junta, the FSLN took exclusive power in March 1981. They instituted a policy of mass literacy, devoted significant resources to health care, and promoted gender equality but came under international criticism for human rights abuses, mass execution and oppression of indigenous peoples."In "Sandinista National Liberation Front," Wikipedia, n. d.
          The promise of mass literacy was similar to Fidel Castro's, and yet one sees the end of a "same dark path" in Socialism's Last Hurrah - not democracy in any town. Looking behind the public optics at the outset of these various socialist revolutions, one reads of grand promises, and yet at the end game in such revolutions the outcome is corruption, violence and death enforced by fealty to a single party.

          Of course the next incarnations of democratic socialists will disavow the proven outcomes of previous democratic socialist parties.  Yet one may look to the similarities between past democratic socialist parties, and especially how difficult to say I Shall Believe the Socialist .

 

[ 3 ]    A path may be followed in opposite directions. For those traveling in one, the traveler in the opposing direction is "opposing."

          Thus, as one reads news and opinion from around the world, one often sees the editorial bias in reporting. But when one would "rescue Brazil from corruption, criminality and ideological submission" is deemed to be far right, then one must make reference to the failed Left and Right model, and choose a direction on a path.

 

Quo vadis?

 

          The path of the far-Left may be seen in the above reporting about Nicaragua's "democratic socialist political party," and as such traveling in an opposing direction can be described as "far-right" in political positions, but when compared to the Old-fashioned "corruption, criminality and ideological submission" as reported by France 24 as "far-right" political stances, one must then ask is being for a Left being also for such corruption, criminality and ideological submission?" It is a question worth consideration, when the Nicaraguan Left is reported to be of "authoritarianism and lust for power."

          How old fashioned yet widespread is that today?  Should governments' growing authoritarianism and lust for power over defenseless citizens be Left to their own devices .

 

 


 

Gecko Squashing

A father of some cats
 Asked you to kill a gecko
  With one swift stroke, or more,
   Earning points to echo
    Far beyond the squashing of that gecko.

A father to some felines
 Taught you to squash a lizard
  With all dispatch, most speedily;
   Be a lizard-killing wizard
   Who'd crush a fiery little lizard.

One swift stoke is better
 Than two or more, go-getter.
  That's now ancient law
   According to lore and letter
    Of a kitty-cats' tough task setter.

 

Envoi:  "Abu Huraira: He who kills a gecko with the first stroke..." The Book of Salutations and Greetings. Book 026, Number 5564.  [ 1 ]

 

Addendum from a Beginning:   "...the salamander, a mischief-doer." In "Beginning of Creation," Sahih al-Bukhari.

 

Addendum after an Addendum:   "...the salamander should be killed and said, 'It (i. e. the salamander) blew (the fire) on Abraham'." In "Prophets," Sahih al-Bukhari.

 

NOTE

 

[ 1 ]    The pseudonym foe the "narrator" refers to this:  "He was known by the kunyah [ honorific] Abu Hurayrah 'Father of a Kitten', in reference to his documented attachment to cats." In "Abu Hurairah," Wikipedia, n. d.

 


 

One can know when one has learned

Bad choices breed bad outcomes,
    As engineering tells.
Fresh follies fail foolishly;
    While science plain excels.
Asserting there is nothing bad
    Is to make the fatal choice.
Avowing that there are no sins
    Is to mute each still, small voice.
Tales begun tell outcomes
    And trajectories foretell their ends;
One can know when one has learned,
    When in learning then one bends.

 

Addendum of Foreboding:   "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." From "The Second Coming" William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

 

See:  Settings of William Butler Yeats' Three Magical Songs - (2005)  

 


Schisms  - they're about isms

"It's I am Right, and you're so Wrong,"
    Said Bishop Sheikh in a rant quite long.
"It's I've the Truth, while you've but Lies,"
    Said the Rabbi Lama in a Rightful guise.
"It's I know Best, while you know Worst,"
    Said each Politician who would be First
Above those Lesser who nothing know,
    Who are deemed Wrong, and Rightly so,
For Betters who know Worse, we see,
    Live each under some sworn Decree,
And even the Atheists' glowering glares
    Play joyously in the Game of Snares
Which sings with self-exalted Song,
    "It's I am Right, while you're so Wrong."
Rights declare other Rights as Wrong,
    Schismatically, and then erelong
The many Rights cannot agree
    As to which is Right in which Holy See,
While the Lesser, gentler, quiet Folks
    Chuckle at the jolly jokes - when
"It's I am Right," with aggressive Song,
    Proves other Rights must be truly Wrong.

This applies to both You and Me,

    For We're sure to disagree.

 

Consider:   I have a little -ism  - sung to the tune of "I Have a Little Dreidel," original lyrics by Samuel S. Grossman and music by S. E. Goldfarb.

 


 

State-inflicted maladies

"Six-year-old Antonella was diagnosed with throat cancer four years ago, and her mother brings her to Domingo Luciani Hospital in Caracas as often as she can for chemotherapy. Today, however, it´s Antonella´s mom who is being treated -- for malnutrition, a state-inflicted malady that is sweeping across oil-rich Venezuela. Struggling to feed herself and her child, she fainted when she walked into the hospital where Antonella is slowly dying." In "No gloves or dressings: Inside the last pediatric surgical ward in Venezuela´s capital," by Vasco Cotovio and Luis Graham-Yoolli, CNN, 13 February 2019.

Someone stated something,
                    Stated it in a phrase;
A state-inflicted malady
                    Is a fiery phrase, set ablaze.

Someone stated clearly -
                    A malady from the state,
Of the state and by the state -
                    And stated it quite straight.

Someone stated outright
                    The state-bred malady,
And that is without question
                    The age-old tragedy.

 

Addendum of Venezuelan State-inflicted Malady:   "In many countries, extreme malnutrition 'can be caused when there is war, a drought, some sort of catastrophe or an earthquake,' said Dr. Ingrid Soto de Sanabria, the chief of the hospital’s nutrition, growth and development department. 'But in our country it is directly related to the shortages and inflation.' The Venezuelan government has tried to cover up the extent of the crisis by enforcing a near-total blackout of health statistics, and by creating a culture in which doctors are often afraid to register cases and deaths that may be associated with the government’s failures." In "As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger," by Meridith Kohut and Isayen Herrera, New York Times, 17 December 2017.

 

Addendum of the USSR's State-inflicted Malady:   "In June of 1933, at the height of the Holodomor, 28,000 men, women and children in Ukraine were dying of starvation each day. The land that was known worldwide as the breadbasket of Europe was being ravaged by a man-made famine of unprecedented scale. Stalin and his followers were determined to teach Ukraine’s farmers “a lesson they would not forget” for resisting collectivization, which meant giving up their own land to work on government controlled farms. Moreover, the famine was meant to deal 'a crushing blow' to any aspirations for independence from the Soviet Union by the Ukrainians, 80 percent of whom worked the land." In "Holomodor: The famine-genocide of Ukraine, 1932-1933," holomodor.org.

 

Addendum of Communist China's State-inflicted Malady:   "In late 1959, Chinese officials in the provinces began to investigate wild rumors that people were eating one another. Most of the officials must have already known that Mao Zedong’s call for a 'Great Leap Forward,' a planned modernization meant to catapult the country into global economic leadership, had gone horribly wrong. In the vast countryside regions of China, and with an eye to pleasing their bureaucratic masters, Communist Party functionaries had been inflating estimates of the amounts of food that peasants were producing for transfer to the industrial zones or for export sales. They also concealed that these transfers left hungry—and often for dead—the very peasants who had done all the farming, from cultivation to harvest." In "Totalitarianism, Famine and Us, by Samuel Moyn, Nation, 7 November 2012.

 

Addendum of North Korea's State-inflicted Malady:   "The economic and political system itself was a major problem during the famine in North Korea. By relying too much on central power (Pyongyang) to make choices, the decision-making process was way too slow for the crisis. The soviet-style state farms too proved to be a huge obstacle as they weren't adapted to each local crisis and the tailored response that was needed. Allowing people to grow their own food in a reasonably sized back-garden would have been a lot more helpful. In reality, they did allow small scale agriculture in private gardens but tons of contradicting policies (expansion of state farms, intensive agriculture) were plenty enough to thwart this little but crucial change." In "Famine in North Korea: The Impact of Poor Decisions," Poverties, 2 December 2012.

 

Addendum of Bengal's State-inflicted Malady:   "The provincial government's policy failures began with denial that a famine existed. Humanitarian aid was ineffective through the worst months of the food crisis, and the government never formally declared a state of famine. It first attempted to influence the price of rice paddy (unmilled rice) through price controls. These measures created a black market and encouraged sellers to withhold stocks. Hyperinflation resulted from speculation and hoarding after controls were abandoned. Aid increased significantly when the Indian Army took control of aid in October 1943, but effective relief arrived only after a record rice harvest that December." In "Bengal famine of 1943," Wikipedia, n. d.

 

Addendum of Somalia's State-inflicted Malady:   "The crisis was caused by a severe drought, worsened by conflict between rival groups fighting for power. The number of deaths was higher than the estimated 220,000 people who died during the 1992 famine." In "Somalia famine 'killed 260,000 people'," BBC, 2 May 2013.

 

Addendum of South Sudan's State-inflicted Malady:   "The maxim is true that famine does not result from purely natural causes but is usually 'man-made.' Such a description, however, avoids any real accountability for those who have caused the crisis. South Sudan’s famine would be more accurately described as 'government-made'." In "South Sudan’s government-made famine," by George Clooney and John Prendergast, Washington Post, 9 March 2019.

 

Addendum of Governments Failing Their Own People:   "... political scientist Alex de Waal calls famine a political scandal, a 'catastrophic breakdown in government capacity or willingness to do what [is] known to be necessary to prevent famine.' When governments fail to prevent or end conflict, or help families prevent food shortages brought on by any reason, they fail their own people." In "What is famine, and how can we stop it?" by Chris Hufstader, Oxfam, 20 November 2018.

 


 

Manhattan dance party

Come on in, and go away.
We're all alike, but not today.
Welcome, friend, now get lost.
Progress backwards, while crisscrossed.
Try to tax in absentia;
Evidence a party's dementia.

Get the hell out, but wait, cry whoa!
You're a fine ally as enemies go.
Welcome, comrade, to the fight,
You against me, an unwelcoming sight.
Let's pry open a wallet which
Is somewhere else? Now that is rich!

Alienate friends, for that's the dance.
I'm just like you, except my stance.
Welcome, loser, mistaken fool,
For we've become the opposition's tool.
Try to balance unbalanced books
With dancing feet on tenterhooks.

 

 

Addendum of Progressive Mistakes:   "In an interview on 'The Brian Lehrer Show,' the mayor, in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to the Amazon pullout, called her gloating a mistake. 'I came up watching the mistakes of progressives of the past, unfortunately what happened in this city when it almost went to bankruptcy in the 1970s,' de Blasio said. 'I saw all the times progressives did not show people effective governance and all the times progressives made the kinds of mistakes that alienated working people'." In "Progressives de Blasio and Ocasio-Cortez at war of words over Amazon pullout," by Leonard Greene, NY Daily News, 15 February 2019.  [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Showing Off for the Cameras:   "No one was as vocal in trying to make the corporate giant go away as socialist superstar Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. She lambasted the company's 'creeping overreach.' And in a way, she was taking the same side we had. But we had been arguing on behalf of taxpayers all over New York state, who were being held hostage so that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, could show off for the cameras. Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, was arguing against the economic development of a region of Queens that abuts her congressional district. Along with fellow naysayers such as state Sen. Mike Gianaris, D-Queens, she attacked Amazon for bringing in too many jobs, potentially creating higher standards of living in the area and perhaps also inflating housing costs. It is odd indeed for the direct beneficiaries of corporate welfare to complain." In "Amazon calls the socialists' bluff," Staff, Washington Examiner, 15 February 2019.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of NY Democrats Against NY Democrats:   "...after Amazon walked away in an anti-Valentine to the city on Feb. 14, AOC bragged on Twitter that 'everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world.' Huh? A Siena poll this week showed that New York City residents approved of the deal by 56 to 33 percent. Fellow Democrats Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were pushing hard for the deal. Oh, and it need hardly be stated that Amazon is a company staffed by Democrats. Some 87 percent of its employee donations went to the Dems in the latest elections. As for 'richest man in the world,' Bezos started Amazon in his garage. He got rich building one of the most beloved companies on earth." In "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is destroying opportunity for fellow Democrats," by Kyle Smith, New York post, 16 February 2019.

 

Consider New York's Dancing Tine:   Hymn for Today

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   The term, progressive, is a slippery one.  Of it and of himself, the mayor of New York writes:  "I am a lifelong progressive who sees the problem of growing income and wealth inequality." In "Bill de Blasio: The Path Amazon Rejected," Bill de Blasio, New York Times, 17 February 2019.

         Growing income, as a word phrase, may be seen in Di Blasio's salary. One reads:   "Mayor de Blasio will get a fat 15 percent raise when his second term begins Monday – bumping his salary from $225,000 to $258,750 a year. The $33,750 boost is more than the annual salary of a full-time worker making the city’s roughly $13 minimum wage." In "De Blasio will get a pay raise when second term begins," by Anna Sanders, NY Post, 30 December 2017.

         One may well consider issues of Income Inequality . in which many liberals and progressives preach concerns of "the problem of growing income and wealth inequality" while participating in it. While de Blasio's "modest" $258,750 a year income is tiny compared to Bezos as head of Amazon, the New York Post correctly notices that de Blasio's salary is "more than the annual salary of a full-time worker" at the bottom end of New York's working class. So which is it? One sees that a politician usually enjoys "growing income and wealth inequality" through the practice of Politics , and often in a most progressive, even "lifelong" way.

 

[ 2 ]  Ah, complaints. One reads:  "...Amazon appeared unprepared for the level of vocal opposition in Queens, where the company's plans were slated near the district that elected Amazon critic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress. The deal with Amazon was largely negotiated by Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who famously joked about changing his name to "Amazon Cuomo" to win the second headquarters." In "Amazon Drops Plans For New York Headquarters," by Alina Selyukh, NPR, 14 February 2019.

         As complaints about Amazon's decision fly in parallel with complaints from progressives about progressives, one voice observed:  " 'I think everybody miscalculated here,' said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Amazon 'believed that they were doing New York such a big favor by bringing tech jobs and then all the ancillary jobs that they thought that the protests would not be as strong as they were,' Gordon said. And, instead of working out a deal, the opposition 'basically punched Amazon in the face in public,' he said."

         And everyone says "ouch."  "We're all alike, but not today."

         Because:  "Democrats are fighting mad -- at each other. For once, President Trump is not the prime target of their rage. Amazon’s decision to scrap plans for an HQ2 campus in New York sent the circular firing squad into action." In "Democrats are tearing themselves apart over Amazon," by Michael Goodwin, NY Post, 17 February 2019.

 


 

You'll tell me who you are

Tell me who it is you name
    to be your dearest friend;
You'll tell then who you are.
    That's your tale. The end.

 


 

To create and animate - rhymed paraphrase of a text by Goethe

Hans Adam was but a lump of clay
God molded into a man,
As if dropped out of a mother's womb
To be finished by His plan.

So Elohim puffed into his nose
With a spiritual sort of blast,
But there remained more to do
Once the sneezing was fully past.

Bones and limbs and head and yet
Hans Adam was not done;
It took until Noah and a rain of drops
To fill a tankard for such fun.

Breathing clay turned drinking man
Is God's gift of alcohol,
The same as ferments with lively yeast
Man's daily bread and all.

So, Hafiz, sing a noble song
That a drunkard might make merry,
And lead us into temptation's shrine
With much of our Creator's sherry!

See:     Erschaffen und beleben  (2019) 

 


 

Hedonism -- clarified

He done ism;
She done too.
They done ism,
Through and through.


Live for now,
Doctrine heir;
That's all there is,
And then? Nowhere.

 


 

If one traffics in rumors

If one traffics in rumors,
                        One is likely to get run down.
If one peddles a slew of lies,
                        Truth still will come to town.
If one relies on gossiping wags,
                        In innuendos one will drown.
If one would be a king of fools,
                        We're sure to see that crown.

 

Addendum of Traffic:   "The most-turned-to platform for news was, unsurprisingly, social media, with 45 percent of Americans saying they find news there daily. 'That a significant number of people polled say they rely on social media — daily and weekly — for their news, and in equally large numbers say they worry about accuracy of news they get from social media, reflects how brands such as Facebook have hurt the news consumption ecosystem, not just in siphoning off revenue but simultaneously helping erode trust with poorly designed and terribly managed platforms,' notes Raju Narisetti, a former News Corp. executive who is now a professor at Columbia University School of Journalism." In "Americans Think All Network News Channels Lean Liberal, Poll Finds," by Erik Hayden, Hollywood Reporter, 9 April 2019.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Growing Distrust:   " 'Before 2004, it was common for a majority of Americans to profess at least some trust in the mass media, but since then, less than half of Americans feel that way,' the spokesman said. 'Now, only about a third of the U.S. has any trust in the Fourth Estate, a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public'." In "Distrust of Media at Highest Level Ever," by Kenneth T. Walsh, US News and World Report, 15 September 2016.

 

Addendum of What's Unfair:   "Beyond the headlines, the news from the 28-country survey, the Edelman trust barometer, is not good. Of the respondents, 66% said the media is more concerned with attracting a big audience than reporting; 65% said they believed outlets sacrifice accuracy to be the first to break a story; and 59% said the media prioritised supporting an ideology over informing the public. The reflexive response of most media outlets – and their leaders – on hearing statistics like this is to go on to the defensive, to say the criticism is unfair or exaggerated, and to highlight the best bits of their reporting as a counter to the unflattering figures." In "Distrust of social media is dragging traditional journalism down," by James Ball, Guardian UK, 22 January 2018.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of a Realization:   "The polls were wrong. The pundits were wrong. The party insiders were wrong. The bookies were wrong. I was wrong. Even Burt the psychic croc was wrong." In "What the Bloody Hell Just Happened in Australia?" by Rachel Withers, Slate, 22 May 2019.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The Hollywood Reporter added:   "The poll confirms the disturbing but not surprising fact that our polarized public discourse has eroded trust in mainstream journalism. The most striking exception is local news," notes Andrew Heyward, formerly the president of CBS News and currently at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. He adds, "That's why it's so important to shore up the dismal economics of local print and digital journalism and reinvent local TV news for the next generation of news consumers."

 

[ 2 ]    That the Guardian tells of media outlets and their leaders crying "unfair," an earlier Guardian article reported the polling:  "Judged on hard metrics, confidence in UK media has fallen noticeably in recent years. According to communications agency Edelman’s 2017 Trust Barometer survey of 1,500 Britons, the number of people who said they trusted British news outlets at all fell from an already low 36% in 2015 to a mere 24% by the beginning of 2017. The 2017 Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute, published in June, found that just 41% of British people agreed that the news media did a good job in helping them distinguish fact from fiction. The figure for social media was even lower: 18%." In "Can you trust the mainstream media?" by Andrew Harrison, Guardian UK, 6 August 2017.

          It becomes an interesting question, as it has each cycle in the historical past. The 2017 article's end advised:  "The mainstream media's job is to remind the audiences of tomorrow of that fact. Trust isn’t given. It's earned. And if there's one basic truth that every storyteller understands, it’s that if you want to be believed, don’t tell – show."

          It is not a matter of a public being "unfair" to media, but of a media which has seemingly lost the trust of the public. "Trust isn't given. It's earned."

 


 

Judas goat

The steer follows the judas goat
While dreaming of green fields,
Into a steaming slaughterhouse
And the slaughter that it yields.
Such is the way of this world
Which lures with friendly bleat
The unsuspecting and the ripe
With planned and plain deceit.
The steer follows the judas goat,
Which tells: we might well steer clear
Of those alluring, luring goats
Which other than they appear.

 


 

Trendy Wendy covers up

"Rejecting the argument that visitors should wear the hijab out of 'respect for the culture of Iran', she said they were 'sending a message that men are more equal than women'. Ms Alinejad, the founder of the White Wednesdays movement which saw many women remove their headscarves in protest, said she was battling against a 'discriminatory law'. It will be difficult for Western women who wore hijab on Hijab Day, at the Women’s March, or in NZ to watch this and not feel shame." In "Iranian women's rights activist condemns Western feminists for wearing the hijab in 'solidarity', saying: 'Calling the compulsory headscarf my country's culture is INSULTING'," by Tim Stickings, Mail Online, 1 April 2019.

 

Trendy Wendy covers up
                In silly solidarity
With those who allow no choice in dress
According to men's muscularity.

Fretty Betty covers up
                To wear relative respect
For those who demand the cover up,
And prove each gal is circumspect.

Hairy Mary hides her hair
                For that may too entice
The ones who demand she cover it,
Else she must pay their price.

Natty Patty's so Germaine
                To sometimes cover much
And other times not to
In her wavering stance and such.

When in Rome, so it's said,
                And when the sword is raised,
And when sometimes is always,
For when the risk's appraised,

Then do Hades' ladies   [ 1 ]
                Don scarf and sack cloth's stuff,
But only sometimes, somewhere;
For some it's quite enough.

 

 

Addendum of Protests Against a Compulsory Hijab:   "Protests against the requirement that women cover their hair with the Islamic veil, or hijab, picked up pace earlier this week in Tehran and other cities. Witness accounts and social media videos indicate that more than two dozen women have doffed their scarves in public and waved them on sticks, like flags. Protests against the requirement that women cover their hair with the Islamic veil, or hijab, picked up pace earlier this week in Tehran and other cities. Witness accounts and social media videos indicate that more than two dozen women have doffed their scarves in public and waved them on sticks, like flags." In "Iran Arrests 29 Linked to Protests Against Compulsory Hijab," by Thomas Erdbrink and Richard Pérez-Peña, New York Times, 2 February 2018.

 

 

Addendum of a Compulsory Islamic Dress Code:   "Before the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979 (during the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran), the hijab was not compulsory, though some Iranian women during this period wore headscarfs or chador. After the 1979 Islamic revolution, the hijab gradually became compulsory. In 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini announced that women should observe Islamic dress code; His statement sparked demonstrations, which were met by government assurances that the statement was only a recommendation. Hijab was subsequently made mandatory in government and public offices in 1980, and in 1983 it became mandatory for all women." In "2017–19 Iranian protests against compulsory hjab," Wikipedia, n. d.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of a One-day Voluntary Hijab:    "February 1st, 2013, marked the first annual World Hijab Day (WHD) in recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty. The brainchild of this movement is a New York resident, Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting women (non-Hijabi Muslims/non-Muslims) to experience the hijab for one day." In "About Us," worldhijabday.com, n. d.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of a Deadly Non-voluntary Hijab:   "Aqsa 'Axa' Parvez (April 22, 1991 – December 10, 2007) was the victim of a murder in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. During the murder trial, Superior Court Justice Bruce Durno acknowledged the slaying as an honour killing, stating, that he found it 'profoundly disturbing that a 16-year-old could be murdered by a father and brother for the purpose of saving family pride, for saving them from what they perceived as family embarrassment'.' Aqsa's brother, Waqas, had strangled her when she chose to not wear a hijab." In Murder of Aqsa Parvez," Wikipedia, n. d.

 

Addendum of the Hijab in the Military:   "Valdovinos claims her hair was tied up under the hijab. The under-cap has an extra length of fabric inside, she explained, that she wraps around her bun to secure it before pulling the cap down. That's why her hair came loose when she removed it, she said. It was the first time since receiving her waiver that the soldier had ever been confronted about her hijab, she said. But not the first she felt targeted as a Muslim in the Army. In an Equal Opportunity complaint filed on March 7, she said, she described her first sergeant referring to her as 'the girl with the hood.' A culinary specialist, she said, she was recently reassigned from an on-post dining facility to her battalion's headquarters company after objecting to cooking pork products." In "A Muslim soldier says her command sergeant major forced her to remove her hijab," by Meghann Myers, Army Times, 12 March 2019.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of No Hijab in the Military:    " The fighters that ISIS fears the most wear lipstick, according to these troops. Some even let their long, braided hair fall out behind their hats. They are the female members of the Zeravani unit, a branch of the Kurdish peshmerga. The typically female attributes shouldn't detract from the fact that these women are prepared to defend their land from any invader, including ISIS." In "Women at War: Meet the Female Peshmerga Fighters Taking on ISIS," by Elizabeth McLaughlin, ABC News, 16 May 2016.   [ 5  ]

 

Addendum of Requiring the Veil:   "Covered from head to toe in black, she said she often admonishes other camp residents for failing to dress conservatively or for neglecting their prayers. In the Islamic State, 'they told us what was right and what was wrong. It was better,' she said. 'Here, people wear whatever they want'." In " True ISIS believers regroup inside refugee camp, terrorize the 'impious'," by Erin Cunningham, 19 April 2019.   [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Making Noise:   "...in some Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Malaysia, some of the laws said to be derived from Islam that are used against women are not from Islam at all. And outside of the law, people's own ways of thinking need to change. Some Muslims seem unable to live and embrace the rich diversity within the Muslim communities. Instead, Sunnis kill Shias and vice versa. Or Muslims from the Middle East think they're more authentic than Muslims from India and vice versa. This issue of authenticity makes it so that many Muslims feel unwelcome in their own Muslim communities. 'Maybe I'm too Americanised to be considered Muslim? If I don't cover, they'll say I'm not Muslim.' That needs to change." In "Muslim women make some noise," by V. M., Economist, 19 April 2013.     [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of Modern Turkish Women as Enemies:   "The headlines follow comments by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday, who accused women who participated in Friday’s International Women’s Day march in Istanbul of being disrespectful to Islam, labelling them enemies of the Islamic call to prayer and the Turkish flag." In "Turkish newspapers label Women’s Day marchers enemies," Ahval, 11 March 2019.   [ 8 ]

 

Addendum of Meeting Ethnocentrism in the Mosque:   "Every time I wrapped the hijab around my burgeoning curls, I felt that I was covering the gorgeous black self I had just discovered, and letting the ethnocentrism I had run up against so many times in the mosque win the upper hand. Eventually, I stopped wearing the hijab. I put my hair in dreadlocks and have never taken them out, and I show my blackness proudly to the world. Ultimately, uncovering led me to a deeper love of blackness than I'd previously known." In " 'I show my blackness proudly to the world'," by Jacinda Townsend, in a larger article, "What the hijab means to me," Al Jazeera, 29 November 2016.

 

Addendum of Asking God:   "The ones who are not covered, now I ask God in the next life to light the fires of hell with their hair!" In "" 'We Pray For The Caliphate To Return': ISIS Families Crowd Into Syrian Camps," by Jane Arraf, NPR, 19 April 2019.

 

Captured Islamic State women on trial in Iraq

 

Addendum of Coercion by the Taliban:   "She was wearing a burqa without mesh covering her face. 'Women in our area have no identity and they are considered incomplete without men. Sometimes men are not available and many women died in the remote areas as they were unable to reach hospital,' she said. The increase in the lashings of women comes as the group officially tries to appear more inclusive of women, recently announcing it was including dozens of women in their peace talks delegation." In "'I lost consciousness': woman whipped by the Taliban over burqa without veil," by Haroon Janjua, Guardian UK, 18 April 2019.

 

Addendum of Iranian Coercion:   "According to Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad she was set upon because her head was uncovered and she was dancing. The victim can be heard shrieking throughout the footage as men laugh in the background." In "Shocking moment Iranian woman is dragged across the street and beaten as crowd cheers - because she was dancing in public and did not wear a hijab," by Ross Ibbetson, Mail Online, 16 June 2019.

 

Addendum of Dehijabbing:    "Latheefa Koya, executive director of Lawyers for Liberty, said women in Malaysia should not be investigated for discussing their religious choices. 'It does not mean those who attended the forum would lose their faith,' she said. 'Let a woman think freely and choose whether they want to wear the hijab or not'." In "Malaysia investigates women who discussed their 'dehijabbing'," by Hannah Ellis-Petersen, Guardian UK, 18 April 2019.

 

Addendum of the Plot of the Enemy:   " 'The more women dress in an openly sexual way, the less we'll have social peace, while facing a higher crime rate,' Minoo Aslani, head of the women's branch of the paramilitary Basij group, told a rally last week. Another gathering was attended by several thousand women in chadors. One held up a sign reading, 'The voluntary hijab is a plot by the enemy.' Reformist lawmaker Parvaneh Salahshouri said coercion does not work. 'What we see is that the morality police have been a failure,' said Salahshouri, who wears a headscarf out of religious belief." In "Some Iranian women take off hijabs as hard-liners push back," by Karin Laub and Mohammad Nasiri, Associated Press, 15 July 2019.

 

Addendum of the Iranian Hard-line:    "Monireh Arabshahi, Yasamin Aryani, and Mojgan Keshavarz, three women who have been held in Iranian custody since April of this year for 'disrespecting compulsory hijab,' have been sentenced by the Iranian Revolutionary Court to prison terms of at least 16 years each for disobeying the country's Islamic dress code. The women were each given five years on charges of 'assembly and collusion to act against national security,' one year for circulating 'propaganda against the regime' and ten years for 'encouraging and preparing the grounds for corruption and prostitution.' In addition, Keshavarz received another seven-and-a-half years for 'insulting the sanctities' - a total of 55 years and six months." In "Iran gives three women 55 years in prison for defying Islamic dress code," by Zachary Keyser, Jerusalem Post, 4 August 2019.

 

Addendum of Western Arrogance and Naiveté:    " 'Western democracies are suffering from a toxic mix of arrogance and naiveté that makes them complacent,' said Mohammed, who highlighted this challenge only days after an eruption between Israel and the American Left over a proposed visit to the Jewish state by pro-BDS representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. 'They underestimate the power of Islam, they look at what Islamists have done in other countries and they arrogantly think: 'That won’t happen to us' – even though it is happening right under their noses.' At the heart of this naiveté is a disturbing alliance between Islam and the Left, she said, a toxic partnership that sees high-ranking officials embracing Muslim traditions with 'gestures' such as Hijab Day."   In "Ex-Muslim to ‘Post’: Trying to teach ‘naive West’ about true nature of Islam," by Hannah Gal, Jerusalem Post, 19 August 2019.    [ 9 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     "Narrated Usama: The Prophet said, "I stood at the gate of Paradise and saw that the majority of the people who entered it were the poor, while the wealthy were stopped at the gate (for the accounts). But the companions of the Fire were ordered to be taken to the Fire. Then I stood at the gate of the Fire and saw that the majority of those who entered it were women." Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 7, Book 62, Hadith 124.

          Apologia for this sentiment covers a range from Muhammad not meaning what he said, to a complete "solidarity" with it. Nonetheless, it is a statement by a man, narrated by another man, and recorded by yet another man, such that the feminists might want to consider what sort of "privilege" this might entail, viewed in an age of feminism.

 

Women as the Majority?

 

          But as to women, one reads more:   "Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, 'O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).' They asked, 'Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?' He replied, 'You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.' The women asked, 'O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?' He said, 'Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?' They replied in the affirmative. He said, 'This is the deficiency in her intelligence'." Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6, Hadith 301.

 

Most Are Fuel of Hell?

 

          Further, one reads:   "It was narrated that Jabir said: 'I attended the prayer with the Messenger of Allah (*) on the day of 'Eid. He started with the prayer before the Khutbah, with no Adhan and no Iqamah. When he finished the prayer, he stood leaning on Bilal, and he praised and glorified Allah (*) and exhorted the people, reminding them and urging them to obey Allah (*). Then he moved away and went to the women, and Bilal was with him. He commanded them to fear Allah (*) and exhorted them and reminded them. He praised and glorified Allah, then he urged them to obey Allah, then he said: 'Give charity, for most of you are the fuel of Hell.' A lowly woman with dark cheeks said: 'Why, O Messenger of Allah?' He said: 'You complain a great deal and are ungrateful to your husbands.' They started taking off their necklaces, earrings and rings, throwing them into Bilal's garment, giving them in charity." Sunan an-Nasa'i 1575, Vol. 2, Book 19, Hadith 1576.

          One might cite verbatim the Koran requirement for covering the Fuel of Hell:   "O Prophet, enjoin your wives and your daughters and the believing women, to draw a part of their outer coverings around them. It is likelier that they will be recognized and not molested." (33:59)

          Of this, one commentary reads:  "...the act of the woman who appears before the other then attractively itself shows what motivates her behavior. That is why the mischievous people cherish the same hopes from her as can be cherished from such a woman. The Quran tells the women: 'You cannot be chaste women and society women at one and the same time. If you want to live as modest, chaste women, you will have to give up the ways that are conducive to becoming society women only, and adopt the way of life that can be helpful in becoming chaste women'."

          And yet one reads of molestation of a veiled young woman who is murdered for reporting the molestation to police, with the burka a part of the story as perpetrators used it was masking.  "The case sparked mass protests in Bangladesh and shone a spotlight on the vulnerability of victims of sexual assault and harassment in the country. Ms Rafi filed a police complaint against Mr Doula in late March and he was arrested. On 6 April she attended the school to sit her final exams when she was allegedly lured to the roof of the school and set alight by a group of people wearing burkas, a one-piece veil that covers the face and body. They had planned to make it look like a suicide, police said, but Ms Rafi - who suffered burns to 80% of her body - was able to give a statement before she died on 10 April." In "Nusrat Jahan Rafi: 16 charged in Bangladesh for burning girl alive," BBC, 29 May 2019.

 

A Mission to 'Expose' Islam?

 

          But as to Islam and/versus feminism, one reads a single voice among many:   "...one cannot hide the 'controversial' ayat, hadith, turath, etc., from the masses indefinitely. People will find out primarily because atheists and liberal activists alike are on a mission to 'expose' Islam and are pushing these traditions into the spotlight. As the Muslim masses discover this information, they will feel deeply confused, deeply betrayed, and will leave Islam in droves. This process is already well underway. Simply peruse the prominent Muslim feminist social media outlets and the websites dedicated to Muslim women’s issues to see the rising antagonism and furor against orthodox Islam. Rather than give feminism carte blanche to wreak havoc on the umma, we must redouble our efforts to critique and deconstruct feminism on an intellectual and academic basis. Providing such critiques is beyond the scope of this brief essay but are forthcoming inshaAllah. In the end, dismantling feminism will afford Muslims with the intellectual and emotional room to properly understand gender and gender relations in Islam and to see how far superior in terms of justice and mercy it is to what feminism has to offer." In "The Grave Implications of 'Feminist Islam'," by Daniel Haqiqatjou, The Muslim Skeptic," 19 September 2017.

 

Exposing a Male Member?

 

          Deconstruct feminism? Expose Islam? As to issues of women and men, one might merely cite a sourced Islamic source:  "It was narrated from Abu Umamah that the Messenger of Allah (*) said: 'There is no one whom Allah will admit to Paradise but Allah will marry him to seventy-two wives, two from houris and seventy from his inheritance from the people of Hell, all of whom will have desirable front passages and he will have a male member that never becomes flaccid (i.e., soft and limp)'." In "Sunan Ibn Majah," Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4337.

          So covering up a woman aims to enforce chaste behavior, while the dream of devout men is to uncover "a male member that never becomes flaccid" to act in a "chaste" manner with seventy-two wives, seventy of them  "from the people of hell?"

          One wonders whether such citations, under the topic of the hijab in Islam should be viewed as supporting feminism or an exposure of Islam, as a supposed "Muslim Skeptic" suggests above. One might then inquire from such a tradition whether the "seventy from his inheritance from the people of Hell" would be women, in which case Hell would not be filled with a majority of women for being imported into "paradise" for the "male member that never becomes flaccid." Something here seems amiss, in terms of mere arithmetic.

 

Solidarity With Which Cause?  Man Date the Veil

 

          One finds as counterpoint to Haqiqatjou:   "In 2014, Iranian political journalist Masih Alinejad created a Facebook page asking women to share photos of themselves standing in public places with their hair completely exposed. In an interview with Radio National last year, Ms Alinejad said the My Stealthy Freedom page was one of the only avenues through which women could speak out. 'In Iran there are millions of women who are forced to wear hijab, but the only way they can say no to compulsory hijab is through social media,' she said. ...But in recent weeks, the campaign has changed tack, with men now posting photos of themselves wearing the hijab to show solidarity with the cause." In "#MenInHijab: Iranian men don headscarf to challenge strict veil law," by Alle McMahon and Megan Mackander, ABC Australia, 2 August 2016.

 

  

 

          Humorously then, Nazma Khan cited above gets her "hijab day," but now Muslim men will "experience" it too in "solidarity" with Muslim women, some of whom are forced to wear this garment as, in Khan's assertion" to assert "a life of modesty." 

          From another report:  "Her reasons for launching the Facebook project, 'Wearing Hijab in Solidarity with Women,' which kicked off on November 1, are similar. She says she started the project because 'many people deny that the hijab discriminates between women and men.' A statement posted on the group's Arabic-language Facebook page before the page was removed said that "Those who call on women to wear hijab should not attack men if they chose to wear the hijab" and calls on men to upload their photos. Such a move is almost guaranteed to stigmatize them in Egyptian society, which remains highly traditional. Violations against women are also hugely underreported in the country -- a report by Egypt's National Council for Women from 2003 found as many as 98 percent of rape and sexual assault cases are not reported to authorities." In "Egypt's 'Naked Blogger' Calls On Men To Wear Hijab," by Kristin Deasy, RFE/RL, 25 November 2011.

          Some seem to be heading towards that "gate of the Fire."  The majority of women? Feminists? Those who "will leave Islam in droves?" What of each Trendy Wendy in her one-day hijab?

          And yet asking to remove a veil can threaten a physician's career in the UK, as one reads:   " 'It is of utmost importance that the religious wishes of our patients are respected,' a spokesperson added. 'However, evidently there are some circumstances where removal of a niqab or burqa is necessary for medical assessment and treatment'." In "More than 60,000 sign petition to stop doctor getting sacked for asking Muslim patient to remove veil," by Josh Payne and Peter Stubley, Independent UK, 26 May 2019.

 

[ 2 ]     The article notes:   "Iran is the only country in the world that requires non-Muslim women to wear a headscarf. For example, in January 2018, a Chinese female musician was forcibly veiled in the middle of her concert performance."

 

A Majority Right to Choose?

 

          In a broad survey of the veil and generally in contradistinction to Iran's compulsory code, one reads:  "Muslims in many of the countries surveyed generally favor a woman’s right to choose whether to wear a veil in public. This view is especially prevalent in Southern and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Southeast Asia, including at least nine-in-ten Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina (92%), Kosovo (91%) and Turkey (90%). There is less agreement among Muslims in the Middle East-North Africa region and South Asia. While more than eight-in-ten Muslims in Tunisia (89%) and Morocco (85%) say women should have the right to choose whether they wear a veil, fewer than half in Egypt (46%), Jordan (45%), Iraq (45%) and Afghanistan (30%) say the same. Sub-Saharan Africa is the one region surveyed where most Muslims do not think women should have the right to decide if they wear a veil. The only country in the region where a majority supports a woman’s right to decide is Senegal (58%); by contrast, fewer than a third support giving women this right in Nigeria (30%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (29%). In "Women In Society," Pew Forum, 30 April 2013.

          Thus one sees a range of opinion, wherein modernity in dress differs from fundamentalist stances. It is a matter of compulsion versus freedom to choose.

 

All Main Legal Schools of Islam Mandate the Veil?

 

          In a footnote to the Pew Forum article, it is noted:   "The Quran states that a woman should dress modestly, but it does not specifically require that she wear a veil. See Quran 24:30-31. Informed by certain hadith, however, all main legal schools of Islam (madhhab) mandate that women should veil."

          Women should veil. Compulsion then by mandate? Where are the Western feminists on this issue, except mostly absent.

          One finds compulsion in an opposite direction as well:   "Azerbaijan's education ministry has banned schoolgirls from wearing headscarves to class, causing outrage among the more devout in this Muslim-majority country. On December 10, a day after Education Minister Misir Mardanov announced that headscarves must not be worn with school uniform, hundreds of parents and children staged a protest near the ministry." In "Azerbaijani Hijab Ban Controversy," by Aytan Farhadova, Institute for War and Peace Reporting," 17 December 2010.

          A related ban is found in Tunisia:   "Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has banned the wearing of the niqab, the full face veil, in public institutions for security reasons, an official source said on Friday." In "Tunisian PM bans face veils in public institutions after bombing," by Tarek Amara, Reuters, 5 July 2019.

          As to Iran's Ruhollah Khomeini, might one consider his view how a society as he envisioned it might Celebrate Diversity? .

 

[ 3 ]    One notes the assertion that the voluntary wearing of a hijab signifies that a woman "live a life of modesty."  This begs the question for all those who play along for one day and then remove the hijab. Are these women, like the fictional Trendy Wendy above who would participate in a one day event only, living a life of immodesty throughout the remainder of the year?

 

Suggestions for Other Forms of Solidarity

 

          Would a World Crucifix Day or World Yarmulke Day be observed by hijab-wearing Muslim woman? Perhaps a hijab-wearing Muslim woman might exchange the hijab for one day with a turban, to honor the Sikh traditions? Perhaps the world could celebrate in "solidarity" a "Nuns' Habit Day" to show a "life of modesty." These too could show that sought-for solidarity with others observing other religious dress codes.

          More to the point, might Hijab Day founder Khan wear a crucifix for a day in solidarity with Catholics? Or a yarmulke in solidarity with religious Jews?

          Why stop at religious articles of clothing? One could foment for a "World Kilt Day" or "World Jogging Outfit Day." So many items of clothing which could become objects for social action might be asserted.

 

What of Islamic Solidarity with Other Religions?

 

          What of Muslim show of solidarity with other religions?  One reads:  ... the proportion of Muslims who take part in interfaith meetings does not exceed one-in-five and is often about one-in-ten or less. Participation in interfaith gatherings is especially low in the Middle East and North Africa, ranging from 8% of Muslims in the Palestinian territories to 3% in Jordan. Even in Lebanon, where Christians make up nearly 40% of the population, just 6% of Muslims say they participate in interfaith classes or meetings with Christians." In " Interfaith Relations," Pew Forum, 30 April 2013.

 

The Uniform of the Collective Identity?

 

          More on Muslim women and the veil:   "First of all, the fact that they belong to Muslim identity and they follow God's rules and it's their faith. Secondly, I would say there are layers of this. It creates some kind of collective identity. It empowers them. Because many of them do it, there is a kind of uniform."

          The interview responses are tinged by Gole's accompanying photo, without a veil. She continues:  "When you take into consideration the Islamic veiling in the traditional world, for instance, it changes from one region to another, from one ethnicity to another, from one national background to another. It almost changes from region to region, the way women cover themselves. The fabric is different, the colors are different. Today, we can speak almost of a sort of uniform. Although it also shows many varieties, diversities within it, we can speak of a sort of modern Islamic veiling. The fabric is modern. There is a sort of overcoat -- it started like this at least -- with a head scarf. Now a kind of fashion consciousness also enters into this new mode of veiling. But it is very different from the traditional one -- different in the sense that there is a sort of homogenization which goes beyond the nations. It's transnational. The girls in Egypt, the ones in Turkey, and the ones in Iran are not that different. So there is this collective identity which is underlined, I would say, behind this new veiling."  Interview with Nilufer Gole, in a series, "Muslims," Frontline, PBS, n. d.

 

 

          What for an unveiled Nilüfer Gole, as pictured above, is this collective identity? What does a transnational "fashion" rooted in "the traditional world" signify, especially for those apologists who shun the veil themselves?

          While the justification for a one day event encouraging non-Muslim women to wear the hijab, in the words of its founder and supporters, is to counter prejudice, then one would do well to consider the much more complex problem as in the recently coined word, Islamophobia .

 

[ 4 ]    The odd humor to this tale of a hijab-wearing American soldier is that she has felt "targeted as a Muslim in the Army" and as a culinary specialist for all soldiers objected "to cooking pork products."  So the conflict arises as to which authority is greater. Should she wish to muster out of the military, this would answer her objections, while to remain in the military seems to require the military to bend to her "authority." But this does not speak for all Muslim women, of course, as one peruses the next footnote.

 

[ 5 ]    While an American soldier trained to work in kitchens complains about the way she is treated as regards her hijab, one finds Kurdish women soldiers engaged in the Syrian and Iraq war not wearing the hijab. Given that these soldiers have fought against the Islamic State, might one not assert that, like the American soldier above, they have "targeted as a Muslim" other Muslims? The irony is deep.

 

 

          One reads:   "... “when no one dared to enter Kirkuk, we forced IS out together with the male Peshmerga.” In contrast, however, “now we are being used for media coverage and nothing else. We demand gender equality, further rights, and the same attention to women Peshmerga than our male partners.” These women viewed their participation in the Peshmerga as a sign of broader social equality; the KRG now has an opportunity to build on the successes of female combat units against IS to create longstanding and positive social change. Having women in close-combat units can help lead to a more positive perception of women’s roles in other public positions. Moving forward, it is indispensable to afford women even greater roles than they assume now in order to demonstrate the benefits of women’s equal participation in institutions such as the Peshmerga forces." In " Peshmerga Female Fighters: From Frontline to Sideline," by Hanar Marouf, Washington Institute, 10 October 2018.

          And not a hijab to be seen. Contrasting this to Gole's assertion that the hijab affords Muslim women "some kind of collective identity..." and it "empowers them," the demonstrable testimony from Kurdish women suggests other forms of identity" function as well, and "empower" these courageous soldiers.

          One wonders if these Kurdish fighters, in Haqiqatjou's view as above, "wreak havoc" on Islam itself.  Time will tell.

 

[ 6 ]    This tale speaks the dissonance of the veil, free to be born and yet required, worn in solidarity and refused for military solidarity, and so on. The article reports:   "A German woman, who spoke on the condition she not be named, said she had traveled to the Middle East to live under the Islamic State, in part, because she used to be accosted in Germany for wearing the niqab, a black veil that covers the face. 'At the time, it was the right decision for me,' she said. 'But now, I don’t know,' she added, her voice trailing off before she decided not to speak further."

          At the end of the report:  "Away from the scuffle, 27-year-old Hanifa, who said she is from Russia’s Dagestan region, spotted a woman without a face veil. 'I don’t like this,' she said. 'Women should cover their faces'.

           Why should women cover their faces?  Among holy things according to Islam, one reads:   "Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them." Koran 4:34 - sūrat I-nisāa in Sahih International translation.

          The "holy" women of ISIS cover their faces. The Peshmerga do not, and the professor holding forth on a "collective identity" which she herself does not observe as best pictured above, the whole tale of the Islamic veil and Westernized appeals to wear it in solidarity, but with who? Muslim women who obligated to cover? Muslim women who refuse? Iranian men? Western sympathizers?  

 

[ 7 ]    Samina Ali, interviewed in the article above, notes:  "Just look at the veil. On the one hand, local and national governments in Europe have created laws to prevent Muslim women from wearing the veil based on some misguided sense of liberation. On the other hand, women are forced to cover by various Muslim governments, such as in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan under the Taliban, as well as parts of Somalia, Gaza and Chechnya."

          And Sri Lanka's  ""Sirisena said he was using emergency powers to ban any form of face covering in public. The restriction will take effect from Monday, his office said in a statement. 'The ban is to ensure national security... No one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult,' the statement said. It came days after local Islamic clerics urged Muslim women not to cover their faces amid fears of a backlash after the bombings carried out by jihadists affiliated to the Islamic State group." In "Sri Lanka bans 'face-covering' under emergency protocol one week after Easter Sunday blasts; Sirisena says move to 'ensure' national security," First Post, 29 April 2019.

          Forced not to.  Forced to.  Forced.

          Such force so easily becomes tragedy as one small tale among many tells:  "A four-year-old girl in a village near Bareilly was killed allegedly by her father for failing to cover her head while having food, Uttar Pradesh police have said." In "Father kills 4-year-old daughter for not covering her head," HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, 3 October 2015.

          And in a similar vein:  "Esra is an Egyptian #ExMuslim. Her mum fears going to hell because of her. Her brother beats her and her sister to keep them from doubting. She is afraid of never seeing her sister again." In "I told my devout family I am TAKING OFF MY HIJAB," YouuTube video, 14 January 2018.

 

Bound up with religion and race

 

          A British Muslim makes the connection:   " The activities of the Oxford sex ring are 'bound up with religion and race' because all the men - though of different nationalities - were Muslim and they 'deliberately targeted vulnerable white girls, whom they appeared to regard as 'easy meat', to use one of their revealing, racist phrases', Dr Hargey said. That attitude has been promoted by religious leaders, he believes. 'On one level, most imams in the UK are simply using their puritanical sermons to promote the wearing of the hijab and even the burka among their female adherents. But the dire result can be the brutish misogyny we see in the Oxford sex ring'." In " 'Imams promote grooming rings,' Muslim leader claims," by Hayley Dixon, Telegraph UK, 16 May 2013.
 

 

[ 8 ]  The article notes the women, without hijab for the most part, were "enemies" in the eyes of the Turkish government. Political "enemies" indeed when dissent against entrenched power shows itself.

 

 

          "Several thousand women converged for the 17th annual Women’s Day march in Istanbul on Friday, but were met with tear gas fired by the police who tried to disperse the crowd. Women who participated in the March responded to Erdoğan’s accusations on Twitter, saying they were chanting and whistling as part of the demonstration and did not target the call to prayer, which began during their protest."

          How alike is the picture from the Women's Day march in Turkey to the now historic protests in Iran, as the theocrats took over decades ago. No hijabs in evidence as a "collective identity" and precious little "solidarity" for these women? Theologically, one reads of woman: "This is the deficiency in her intelligence."

          One might reconsider Islamophobia revisited - a thumbnail sketch of tolerance and inter-religious dialogues.

 

[ 9 ]    It becomes clear.  " 'The hypocrisy of the Left is never more pronounced than when it comes to the topic of hijab,' said Mohammed. 'As women in the West demand for themselves the right to wear what they want – in fact to be topless if they so choose – those same women will celebrate hijab. They splash hijab on Barbie dolls, on [modeling] runways and on the cover of magazines,' said Mohammed. 'A tool of oppression – a garment that perpetuates rape culture – is celebrated by women who claim to be progressive. They want freedom for themselves, but are happy to support the subjugation of other women. If they actually truly cared, they would be celebrating the women in Iran that are being arrested for defying the compulsory hijab laws'."

          Let us celebrate the women seeking freedom from oppression.

               

 


 

When words are overused

When words are overused, -used, -used,
        We come to see they're  abused, -bused, -bused.
Words which have accused, -cused, -cused,
        When overused become bruised, bruised, bruised.
Such words when so infused, -fused, -fused,
        With overuse are defused, -fused, -fused,

Stagger as if boozed, boozed, boozed,
        And lose their punch, as refused, -fused, -fused.

 


 

Purple people

"In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence. As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the cognitive bias of illusory superiority results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, 'the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others'." In "Dunning–Kruger effect," Wikipedia, n. d.

 

                    Are there brilliant purple people
And stupid purple people too?
Or does purple say just one thing
To another-colored you?


                    Does purple say it's just great?
Or does purple carry stings?
Does purple tell of competence,
Or stupidity's incompetent things?


                    Purple privilege is accused?
Which colorists ask such guff?
Another-coloreds pretend abuse
Through the colorists' rhetorical bluff.


                    How does purple sit with you,
When you won't sit with it?
If you won't, then tell all why
Purples should give a shit?


                    How does purple seem so less
To another-colored's more?
How does purple answer
An another-colored boor?


                    If you're purple and arrogant
About your purpleness,
Or if arrogance is other-colored,
Which color should then confess?


                    Are there kindly purple people
And awful purple people too?
Which color should be battered
By a specific-colored you?

 


 

Black on black is hard to read - a companion piece to screed  [ 1 ]

"Have we heard Obama make a statement about this carnage or that most homicide victims are black and that their murderers are black? No, and we won't, because black-on-black crime, like black-on-white crime, does not fit the liberal narrative of the continuing problem of white racism." In "Media Dishonesty and Race Hustlers," by Walter Williams, RealClearPolitics, 11 April 2012.

 

Black on black is hard to read, and so is white on white.
For this, American hustlers need their whites against blacks to fight.
Black on black is just old news, not fit for the newsprint's grime.
The pages of some throwaway can well ignore such crime.

White on white? Passé while true, so why race towards that tale?
The sameness in that witches' brew will also grow too stale.
White on black? Well shout hurrah! Now there's a winning pitch.
But is such purposed political strife now turning ironically rich?

Is it that crime's mostly ignored, and victims? -- Well, you know --
Unless they feed the gaping maw as hustlers hype their show.
No, black on black just won't sell, as if it's all worn out;
While white on white is vanilla plain, no protest there nor shout.

Just wait for one quite perfect plot to gin and twist and rage,
As the old game trots out to play when it finds its perfect stage.
Black on black is hard to read, and so is white on white.
For this the hustlers always need their whites against blacks to fight.

Dishonesty is how it works, when hustle turns to jive,
And as the flames are sizzling hot, not all emerge alive.
Race to be the loudest, first with outrage, puffed and loud
To trot out to the waiting news -- the reporters' angling crowd.

It's there the odd and truly sad universal is said to be,
All the while the hustlers grin and do so, racially.
The show is old, the story weak, and race grows more unclear,
That one ignore the mixtures as more colors now appear.

 

Addendum of Partisanship:    "... after controlling for other factors, partisanship has a greater association with views about the country’s racial progress than demographic factors, though being young and more educated are also significant predictors, particularly among whites."   In "Race in America 2019," by Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Anna Brown and Kiana Cox, Pew Research Center, 9 April 2019.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of an Accusation of Being White:   "Webb then interrupts her to let her know he’s a black man, causing Martin to take a pause. 'You see, you went to white privilege; this is the falsehood in this,' Webb replies. 'You went immediately with an assumption. Your people, obviously, or you didn’t look.' Martin apologizes repeatedly for her false accusation, adding that 'her people' gave her the wrong information."  In "A CNN analyst called out a Fox News contributor for his white privilege. He’s black." by Michael Brice-Saddler, Washington Post, 15 January 2019.

 

Addendum of Neither Black Nor White:   "We often hear pleas for frank discussions about 'race in America.' Yet rarely are Asian Americans ever seriously considered in this supposed dialogue." In "Are Asian Americans disadvantaged by “white privilege”? by Arthur Sakamoto, Work In Progress, 26 May 2018.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum II of Neither Black Nor White:   "Yousuf Abdelfatah already knows the answer he'll give about his race on the 2020 census questionnaire will be wrong. He's an Arab American, but the only race options on the census are white, black, Asian and categories for American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander. Reluctantly, Abdelfatah will mark white." In " As census approaches, many Arab Americans feel left out," by Joseph Gedeon, Associated Press, 13 April 2019.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum III of Neither Black Nor White:   "Project RACE advocates for multiracial children, multiracial adults, and their families primarily through multiracial education and community awareness. We do not advocate for racial classifications, but are committed to the appropriate inclusion of multiracial people on any forms that require racial identification. We support policies that make a positive impact on people of multiracial heritage at local, state, and national levels.  In "Our Mission," Project Race, n. d.    [ 5 ]

 

Addendum IV of Neither Black Nor White:    "This evidence makes it clear that so-called 'diversity' is not in fact the true goal of these institutions, but rather a certain vein of diversity. In an attempt to increase the proportion of Hispanic and African-American students, colleges have perhaps unknowingly created a reverse bias for Asians, who still on average tend to be the wealthiest and most educated demographic despite these obstacles. Their ideal racial makeup would be one that mirrors the population of our country to a tee, but in striving towards this paragon, they have compromised fairness and equality." In "Affirmative action is a discriminatory institution," by Milan Bharadwaj, Cavlier Daily, 26 July 2019.

 

Addendum of White Kneegrows:    "Trinity College professor Johnny Eric Williams is capturing headlines once again for proposing 'whiteness is terrorism' on Twitter. The Hartford, Connecticut, sociology professor who called white people 'inhuman a-holes' who need to 'die' following a shooting attack on congressional Republicans now says 'whiteness is terrorism'."  In "Trinity College defends professor's 'whiteness is terrorism' message," by Douglas Ernst, Washington Times, 29 April 2019.   [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Admitted Race Baiting:   "The homeless white boy flaps down like a dirty migratory bird, makes himself a nest from garbage and sleeps on the sidewalk. A sign on his shopping cart asks for money—I never give. I should tho 'cause he makes me feel good. White people begging us for food feels like justice.  [ 7 ]  It feels like Afro-Futurism after America falls. It feels like a Black Nationalist wet dream. It has the feels I rarely feel, a hunger for historical vengeance satisfied so well I rub my belly." In "Seeing poor white people makes me happy," Nicholas Powers, RaceBaitR, 11 June 2019.

 

Addendum of What's Suspect:   "Racial and ethnic classifications of any sort are inherently suspect and call for the most exacting judicial scrutiny. While the goal of achieving a diverse student body is sufficiently compelling to justify consideration of race in admissions decisions under some circumstances, petitioner's special admissions program, which forecloses consideration to persons like respondent, is unnecessary to the achievement of this compelling goal and therefore invalid under the Equal Protection Clause. Pp. 287-320." In "University of California Regents v. Bakke (1978), No. 76-811," 28 June 1978.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     Williams, as a conservative political voice, has been discounted in the partisan game as an inauthentic voice, thereby dismissing him and others like him from that oft-requested "honest" discussion about race.

          The companion piece suggested to this rhyme and its addenda and footnotes? White Noise , and its salient addenda and footnotes.

 

[ 2 ]   The Pew research notes in support of the observation that "partisanship" is evident:  "Among whites, those who are more educated, as well as those who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, are particularly likely to see advantages to being white."  

 

Identity: More or Less

 

          Other interesting taxonomic assumptions are found in the Pew report:   "Blacks are more likely than Hispanics or Asians – and much more likely than whites – to say that their race is central to their identity. About three-quarters of black adults say being black is extremely (52%) or very (22%) important to how they think of themselves; 59% of Hispanics and 54% of Asians say being Hispanic or Asian, respectively, is at least very important to their overall identity, with about three-in-ten in each group saying it’s extremely important. In contrast, just 15% of whites say being white is very or extremely important to how they think of themselves; about two-thirds say it’s either only a little important (18%) or not important at all (47%)."

 

Distinctions

 

          This observation is most interesting, as the assumption that "Hispanic" is now a racial classification is taken for granted. One reads:  "It could be argued that the term Hispanic should apply to all Spanish-speaking cultures or countries, as the historical roots of the word specifically pertain to the Iberian region. It is difficult to label a nation or culture with one term, such as Hispanic, as the ethnicities, customs, traditions, and art forms (music, literature, dress, culture, cuisine, and others) vary greatly by country and region. The Spanish language and Spanish culture are the main distinctions." In "Hispanic," Wikipedia, n. d.

          Thus one finds race being conflated with "language" and "culture." Yet most American blacks -- thinking of one of many descriptors, African-American -- does not link to language nor a specific culture. Yet political "partisanship," as above now plays a part in seemingly racial distinctions.

          Thus the "honest" discussion about race and race relations in the United States seems at the minimum confused and, one can argue, dishonest if even allowed.

 

Honestly?

 

          One reads:  "President Bill Clinton called for a national conversation on race the year before Byrd, who was black, was murdered by three men, two of whom were white supremacists. And the same thing happened then that happened after Obama’s beer summit: nothing. National conversations on race, whether convened by political leaders or sparked by collective outrage, never last long. We say we want the conversation. But we just can’t handle it — especially in public." In "That honest conversation about race everyone wants? We can’t handle it," by Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post, 2 May 2014.

          A few years later, the same medium opined:   "...an honest conversation about race, if we could have it, would differentiate between the small, fringe groups of racists in this country and others who have no malice toward anyone but hold different points of view on various race-related issues. An honest conversation about race might help the left understand that many of the people they call racists are not that at all, even if they don’t prescribe to all the standard liberal solutions." In "An honest conversation about race is not allowed," by Gary Abernathy, Washington Post, 14 August 2017.

          So some think that conversation is something the "we" cannot handle, and some think that it "is not allowed." Odd, given the many voices saying such a conversation should be had. And then not. And then....

          Returning to the Pew research and its identification about political partisanship, one thinks on the Washington Post's observation:  "...everyone retreats to their corners, and the entrenched accusations continue and amplify, with no progress toward bridging the gulf that divides us."

           Which groups are "particularly likely to see advantages?" One may begin this footnote again, for it is both a circular game and partisan, in the end. There are some distinct problems however, as one continues to the below.  

 

[ 3 ]    While the black on white partisan-colored game plays out, Sakamoto observes:   "...my many years of experience working in this area of research lead me to believe that this meticulous study will be largely ignored. Most American sociologists will likely continue to favor 'political correctness' over statistical correctness in order to obsequiously gain favor with established elites in the field whose academic capital is heavily invested in the value of outdated theories such as 'white privilege.' The serious study of Asian Americans will likely continue to be marginalized even as so many sociologists ironically claim to be dedicated to promoting an inclusive and enlightened dialogue about 'race in America' sans Asian Americans. Unlike Don Quixote, however, tenured sociologists in the field of racial relations will also likely continue to receive attractive salaries, lifetime employment, and other professional rewards for engaging in their fantasies."

           One might consider the particularly American pastime:  Everything's about my colored skin  - (or sadly, Why racism works).

 

A Partisan Interest in Segregation?

 

           As to a rejection of what Sakamoto terms a fantasy and the Pew research indicates is partisan driven: one reads another similar opinion:  "...the ones who are preoccupied with judging people on the basis of their race, gender and ethnicity seem to be mostly the ones on the left. The ones who insist on separating the American people into distinct groups are liberal Democrats. The left has a vested interest in making sure our society stays segregated and does not assimilate into one united American culture." In "Let me tell you about 'White Privilege'," by Greg Crosby, Jewish World Review, 12 April 2019.

           If the Pew observations indicate by poll data that political stances drive, in part, an alleged "fantasy" or alleged reality of such distinct differences between different groups identified by skin color, then the "divide" remains, proven by the conversation which Capehart says "we can't handle" and Abernathy says "is not allowed," Such is the game of racial politics played by, in Williams' view as above, "Media Dishonesty and Race Hustlers."

           "...after controlling for other factors, partisanship has a greater association with views about the country’s racial progress than demographic factors...."

           The assertion is that a "...liberal narrative of the continuing problem of white racism" is partisan, Pew finds partisanship is the greater association." One then considers race via a partisan lens as follows:

           Assign differing values to skin colors, separate by those colors, and then fit the "chains" and assess the penalties for the identified class. Who did that? Who does that? Who will do that in the future?

 

[ 4 ]    This also underscores the Pew research, for that form of identity which does not involve specific racial characteristics, whatever and however such racial characteristics are described, is a wish to be identified with another identity other than the many already identified. This leads the way forward to many more "boxes," each separated from another more by partisanship, political or religious and perhaps both, while "race" no longer defines even race. Being self-identified as neither black nor white nor a number of other taxonomic terms becomes eventually problematic.

 

What Color Reflects? All Colors?

 

           The article notes:  "Does someone from Egypt, for example, check the African American box because their home country is in Africa? Would someone from Iraq be expected to mark that they are Asian? 'As an Egyptian, I considered marking 'African American' but I'm not black,' 24-year-old Nashville resident Dina El-Rifai said. "However, marking 'white' doesn't reflect who I am or the diversity I bring'."

           Mix this in with the postmodern assertions of fluidity in self-identity, and one has reached a moment in time wherein the words proliferate and dilute the seemingly "black and white" issue of race. Given that a language group like Hispanic is now counterpoint to a racial distinction of skin color, what next category will be supported by the politics of "black and white" thinking?

 

[ 5 ]     Mixed race? Which races?  One reads of the conundrum:   "Mixed-race individuals (from all ethnic backgrounds) make up roughly 2% of the total U.S. population. To give some context, full white Americans make up around 60% of the U.S. population, African Americans are roughly 12%, and Asian Americans around 6%. Being half Asian and half white myself, I am just one individual out of a fairly significant, but often overlooked minority racial group — the hapas, or those of mixed race." In "Hapas: The Overlooked Minority Racial Group," by Cameron Deptula, Honolulu Civil Beat, 4 April 2019.

 

Retreat to Racial Tribalism

 

           One notes the link to partisanship in the article:   "Unfortunately for hapas, and many individuals of other ethnic backgrounds, this new concept of 'race' isn’t necessarily inclusive of them. Despite both one's blood lineage and culture, people from full-blooded, binary ethnic groups are somehow allowed to revoke the rightful culture of others. Ultimately, this trend of bigoted racial judgment from both the left and the right and their subsequent primitive retreat to racial tribalism is used to suppress the voices of others, as was the case with my two 'progressive' peers. Rather than accept others for who they are along with celebrating the similarities and differences we all have, in today’s climate, people would rather exclude and silence."

           This insight is helpful. Those who advocate for "a" race often "would rather exclude and silence."  This is the raw stuff of much partisanship, and the article notes perceptively, "this trend of bigoted racial judgment from both the left and the right" also reflects on the Pew research, suggesting how political "race" has become in the hands of -- well -- the next crop of racists.

 

[ 6 ]     As part of the "honest discussion about race," allowed or not allowed depending on who says what, once can add "scholarship."  To flesh out the article excerpt above, one reads:   "...Williams said 'there are many socially defined black folks who have internalized whiteness — as a way and knowing and being in the world. They like others who believe themselves to be ‘white,’ act on these ideas in ways that create and sustain systemic white racism. Such whiteness internalization lead folks like Candace Owens, Barry and Michelle Obama to engage in actions and policy creations that are existential threats to humanity, particularly the racial oppressed. Thus my post denotes the urgency of exposing these individual as enemies of humanity’s well-being,' Williams said." In "Trinity College professor tweets 'whiteness is terrorism,' refers to Barack and Michelle Obama as 'white kneegrows'," by Neil Vigdor, Hartford Courant, 23 April 2019.

           "...hustlers grin and do so, racially."

 

[ 7 ]     About RaceBaitR, from the site one reads: "RaceBaitR is a platform created to explore the various ways race is expressed and defined with the goal of creating a world without racism and all of its intersecting oppressions. Some might call this race baiting. Okay."

           Okay?

           A "world without racism" predicated on expressing racist views is fallacious. The writer's "hunger for historical vengeance" may be applied by all groups against other groups, and the nightmare will be complete, brutal and deadly. And -- okay -- racist.

 

 


 

Mice like men

The mouse died in the mouse trap;
The cheese cost it its life.
Such are the ways of tasty lures
With which this world is rife.
Bait lies lightly as the trap is set;
It always seems a winning bet
Until the trip and loaded spring
Extract their price, which is everything.
The best laid plans of mice like men
Prove the worst, but then again....

We mice like men sniff and smile

At well laid lures which so beguile.

 

Addendum of Cheese in the Mousetraps:   "When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, - not anything - you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him." In "Revolt in 2100," Robert A. Heinlein, Spectrum Literary, 2013.

 


 

Pooped

"One of America's wealthiest cities has a huge problem with public poop. Between 2011 and 2018, San Francisco experienced a massive increase in reported incidents of human feces found on public streets. In 2011, just over 5,500 reports were logged by the San Francisco Department of Public Works; in 2018, the number increased to more than 28,000." In "People are pooping more than ever on the streets of San Francisco," by Ben Gilbert, SFGate, 18 April 2019.

 

    [ 1 ]

 

Gee, I'm pooped. It's tiring.
All the news, conspiring
To snicker while admiring
Government's Public Works.
Gee, they've scooped, perspiring,
As tourists go inquiring
Where to walk, desiring
To avoid such public works.

Gee, drawers drooped, aspiring
To poop amid backfiring;
That's the thing, inspiring
San Fran's public jerks.

 

Detail from the Seal of San Francisco:  "Gold in peace, iron in war."

 

Addendum of a Proposed Amendment to the San Francisco Seal:   "Oro en paz, fierro en guerra, y mierda en las calles"

 

Addendum of How the Public Works:   "San Francisco Public Works has a $72.5 million-a-year street cleaning budget — including spending $12 million a year on what essentially have become housekeeping services for homeless encampments. The costs include $2.8 million for a Hot Spots crew to wash down the camps and remove any biohazards, $2.3 million for street steam cleaners, $3.1 million for the Pit Stop portable toilets, plus the new $830,977-a-year Poop Patrol to actively hunt down and clean up human waste. (By the way, the poop patrolers earn $71,760 a year, which swells to $184,678 with mandated benefits.)" In "Street housekeeping keeps SF Mayor Breed — and everyone else — hopping," by Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 August 2018.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of an All-Time High:    "Last year, the number of reports spiked to an all-time high at 28,084. In first quarter 2019, the pace continued with 6,676 instances of human waste in the public way." In "Mapping San Francisco's Human Waste Challenge - 132,562  Cases Reported In The Public Way Since 2008," by Adam Andrzejewski, Forbes, 15 April 2019.

 

Addendum of Becoming Known for Shit:   "In California at least, one is struck by the contrast between the fastidious attention paid to the social duty of scooping up and disposing of dog feces, and the rather more paralyzed and guilty reaction to the plague of human feces. The former is treated as a moral imperative among the enlightened—and the thin plastic bags used as the means to this moral end have so far escaped the fate of plastic straws, well on their way to being outlawed as an environmental outrage. Even social-justice warriors don’t consider it their personal duty, however, to tidy up after their fellow human beings on the streets." In "California's Biggest Cities Confront a 'Defecation Crisis'," by Charles Kesler, Wall Street Journal, 16 August 2019.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    One notes the commendable courage of the city to fine poopers.... One reads with some amusement:  " 'I am sure that many of us have stepped into dog waste accidentally and found ourselves frustrated by the poopetrators,' Supervisor Tang said in a release. 'Even with existing laws on the books, I still hear complaints from residents that pet guardians are not being held responsible and the law is not being enforced.' The law — and yes, a San Francisco dog poop law does exist — is called the Scoop the Poop Act of 1978 and was introduced by none other than the late Harvey Milk." In " 'Poopetrator' Push Seeks to Wipe Away Dog Waste," by Joe Kukura, SF Weekly, 23 May 2017.

 

[ 2 ]    There is a precedent for the unwillingness of the political leadership of San Francisco to spend millions on a public works poop patrol. 

 

     

 

          Urine luck (pun intended), as one reads:   "Leaders of the San Francisco Police Officers Association weren’t immediately available for comment on the judges' statements. But when Chronicle columnists Matier & Ross first reported the destruction of the warrants on Nov. 14, Martin Halloran, head of the police union, told them that the court was 'sending a message that there is no accountability for what you have done, and the laws on the books can be violated with no repercussions. I don’t think it’s what the public wants.' Stewart said the judges have chosen the best alternative available and don’t plan to resume issuing warrants. Still, he said, 'people in the neighborhood have a right to be upset'." In "SF judge explains why 66,000 arrest warrants were discarded," by Bob Egelko, SF Gate, 7 December 2016.

          And so the logic is laid bare. 1) No accountability on the part of political leadership, and 2) people have a right to be upset.

          Walk a dog that poops in the street, and the politics assumes you can and will pay a fine in the hundreds of dollars. Poop in the street yourself and the politics assumes you cannot pay the fine -- in the "Shitty by the Bay."

          You have a right to be upset. So what.

          That's just the nature of Politics .  Shit.

 


 

Islam is identified - a litany for April, 2019

Islam is identified
Again and yet again.
If one should note the obvious,
Denial shrieks, but then
Islam is identified,
Again and yet again.

 

Islam is connected with
Words for all to read.
If one should note their meaning,
Denial shrieks, but then
Islam is connected with
Words for all to read.

 

Islam has its problem
With the world all around.
If one should read the papers,
Denial shrieks, but still
Islam has its problem
With the world all around.
Islam seems explosive
In thought, in word and deed.
If one should find connection,
Denial shrieks, but yet
Islam seems explosive
In thought, in word and deed.

 

 

Addendum of a Death Toll Rising in Sri Lanka:  "The government on Monday blamed National Thowheeth Jama’ath, a little-known radical Islamist organization, for the bombings. An official said the group, which had not carried out any serious attacks before, had help from 'an international network'." In "Sri Lanka Bombings Live Updates: Terrorist Group Is Identified, and Death Toll Rises," New York Times, 22 April 2019.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum from Nigeria:   "Fulani militants have waged attacks on Christian villages in recent weeks, continuing the jihadist campaign it began in 2009. Fulani Islamic militants have killed more than 120 Christians and burned dozens of homes in northern Nigeria in a series of attacks since the election season in February. Their violent agenda was recently spurred by Kaduna Gov. Nasir El-Rufai’s false claim that Adara Christians murdered over 100 Fulani, on the eve of Nigeria’s presidential election. His false statements encouraged Islamic militants and Fulani herdsmen to hammer Christian villages in the Kaduna, Benue and Borno state. The Nigerian Emergency Management Agency refuted his statement, proclaiming it as, 'a rumor to instigate violence'." In "Islamic Militants Increase Attacks on Nigerian Christians," International Christian Concern, 30 March
2019.  
[ 2 ]
 

Addendum from the Congo:   "The ADF is thought to have killed at least 700 civilians and more than 20 United Nations peacekeepers. The ADF was believed to be behind an attack that killed seven people on February 8, was blamed for killing 10 soldiers and civilians on January 9, and nine people in an attack on January 9, all in the Beni region of North Kivu." In "ISIS claims first attack in DR Congo, saying it killed soldiers near Uganda border," byJoanne Stocker, Defense Post, 18 April 2019.

 

Addendum from Syria:  " 'Of course there were beheadings — why should I lie?' says a Syrian woman. 'It's based on the Quran and the rules of God.' Asked about the Yazidi minority, which ISIS targeted with a campaign of genocide, the women shout: 'Devil worshippers!' Misconceptions about the ancient Yazidi religion have led to dozens of massacres over the centuries. When ISIS took over a third of Iraq in 2014, thousands of Yazidis were killed or captured as sex slaves. 'If they don't convert to Islam and they don't become Muslim like us and worship God, then they deserve it, an Iraqi woman says." In " 'We Pray For The Caliphate To Return': ISIS Families Crowd Into Syrian Camps," by Jane Arraf, NPR, 19 April 2019.

 

Addendum from Cameroon:   "Boko Haram fighters torched a village in Cameroon's troubled Far North Region overnight and killed 11 civilians in their sleep, security sources told AFP on Friday." In "11 sleeping civilians killed in Cameroon Boko Haram attack," Agence France Presse, 19 April 2019.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Accursed Paris:   "The cross was broken, a sign of good / And the building collapsed in a fiery blaze. / Oh accursed Paris, "rejoice" over tidings/ Of humiliation, burning, and poverty. / Let me not find a deceiver to lament them / Or one speechless with grief for the ancient monument. / By no means! We rejoice over anything that hurts them, / So beware, oh hypocrites, beware! / The land of Syria has not forgotten their crimes, nor has / Africa forgotten centuries of captivity. / How many mosques, have the cannons erased their traces / In our land, how many ruins of colonialism? / How much have our peoples been degraded in the name of the Church? / Behold, the rivers of blood flow! / We will return to water the paving stones of their nightclubs / With the blood of the unbelievers we shall meet. / France thought it would defeat our Lord, / But he who tries to defeat the Omnipotent one will be defeated." In " Jihadi Ideologue Celebrates Notre Dame Cathedral Fire, Threatens Jihad Against France," April 17, 2019 (Telegram.me/ Monotheism First and Always, April 17, 2019)

 

Addendum from Australia:   "...a 'flagrant' breach of a court order in relation to construction works to build a Muslim religious centre on their rural property in Colo. They and their business were convicted on 12 charges of contempt of court. A furious Mustapha Kara-Ali left the Court on Thursday saying: 'Our religion is prime, the cross belongs in the dustbin of history'."In "Mustapha and Diaa Kara-Ali charged with contempt of court for clearing land," by Benedict Brook, News.com.au, 19 April 2019.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum from Spain:   "The suspect’s name is Zouhair el Bouhdidi and he is a student at the University of Seville. According to police sources in Spain, the young man was preparing an imminent attack against the processions of Holy Week in Seville, one of the most important events of the Catholic calendar. According to the newspaper El Confidencial, el Bouhdidi has already confessed to the Moroccan police his plans to commit a 'large-scale massacre' in the Andalusian city. The Spanish secret services had reportedly been following him for several weeks." In "Police Stop Alleged Terrorist Plan to Attack Spain’s Holy Week," Itxu Diaz, Daily Beast, 17 April 2019.

 

Addendum from Italy:   "...chats also contained references to aspects of guerrilla warfare and sabotage, according to investigators, and explicit mentions of violence such as when Frittitta mentioned how he would like to use a knife he carried with him to slit throats. 'Martyrdom is the best way to die,' Ghafir is alleged to have said in the online chats and added, 'Allah will not deny us this possibility.' In other comments, he said, 'The law of Allah … does not apply except with the sword. And one must be cruel to the traitors, to the rebels. And all dead.' The case marks the latest successful arrest of Islamic radicals in Italy which has seen several major plots foiled in recent years including a Somali migrant who was arrested in December after planning to bomb the Vatican and other Italian churches." In "Italian Convert to Islam and Moroccan Migrant Arrested over Terror Plot," by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart, 20 April 2019.

 

Addendum from Iran:   "Ayatollah Nouri Hamadani ‎emphasized that according to the narrations, jihad was always ‎emphasized by the Prophet Muhammad and the Infallibles and added, 'God has given the ‎ummah dignity as a result of jihad. Every good thing has degrees and levels but one must ‎know that above all good is being martyred on the path of God.' ‎ Ayatollah Nouri Hamadani ‎stressed that jihad is the criterion for determining the true believer ‎from one who isn’t a true believer, 'Today, despite the fact that there is no other hard ‎battlefront, those who desire to be presence on the frontlines are real Muslims and those ‎who don’t desire to be present on the frontlines, they are hypocrites'.”" In "Iran’s authority due to sacrifices of great veterans, martyrs," AhlulBayt (a. s.) News Agency, 18 April 2019.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum from Pakistan of a Singular Crime:  "...a case should be registered against the man, Khalid Satti, under the kidnapping and rape clauses. He kidnapped the woman, a resident of Islamabad’s Iqbal Town, and forced her to convert from Christianity to Islam in order to marry her. She is the mother of three, the report noted. It also suggested action against the nikkah registrar, Muhammad Ali, and police officials such as the DSP, SHO and investigation officer of the police station in whose jurisdiction the crime occurred." In "Christian woman was kidnapped, forcibly converted and raped in Islamabad: investigators," Samaa Digital, 29 March 2019.   [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Addressing the Facts, not the Politics:   "Much to the chagrin of the majority Democrats who organized the hearing, one witness, Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein, refused to abide their willful blindness. Mr. Klein emphasized the disproportionate occurrence of hate crimes against Jews in America—a consistent phenomenon for over two decades based upon hard FBI data (1996–2017). Indeed, despite the Committee's hand-wringing about 'Islamophobia'—notwithstanding 53 jihadist attacks which have caused 158 deaths in the U.S., since the cataclysmic 9/11/2001 jihad carnage, and zero, remotely comparable depredations by Jews—hate crime rates targeting Jews, between 2015 and 2017, remained 2.2 to 3.1-fold higher, relative to the rates of hate crimes against Muslims. Mr. Klein’s greatest 'offense,' however, was to expose the moral perversity of focusing on 'Islamophobia,' or worse still equating it with Antisemitism, when Jews are being subjected to a global pandemic of Muslim Jew-hatred, which includes the attitudes of U.S. Muslims." In "Mort Klein Educates Congress On The Global Pandemic Of Muslim Jew-Hatred," Dr. Andrew Bostom, 11 April 2019.

 

Addendum of Identifying Islam Against Islam:    "Local media reports stated that the imam and worshippers were shot dead at a mosque in the Qiva district in al-Bayda, after they refused to stop their Eid prayers on Tuesday when ordered to do so by Houthi militiamen. Sanaa residents also reported that the Houthi-controlled Religious Endowments and Guidance offices instructed religious guides and militiamen to monitor other 'violating' mosques. Yemenis on Monday were deeply divided over when the first day of Eid would be, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset." In "Houthis kill imam, 9 worshippers for following Saudi Eid al-Fitr moon sighting," Al Arabiyah, 6 June 2019.

 

Addendum of Islamic Hatred and Anger:   "... a concept in Islam, literally 'loyalty and disavowal', which signifies loving and hating for the sake of Allah. Al-wala' wa-l-bara' is referred to as holding fast to all that is pleasing to God, and withdrawing from and opposing all that is displeasing to Allah, for the sake of Allah. This is for their calling towards something other than submission to Allah, whether on purpose or by nature of disbelief. Loving for the sake of Allah means to love Allah and to show loyalty to him by following his Shariah. It means to love all that is good and permissible in the Quran and Sunnah. This type of love requires one to defend Allah's deen and to preserve it. It is to love those who are obedient to Allah and to defend and assist them. Hating for the sake of Allah signifies showing anger towards those who oppose Allah, His messenger, His deen, and the believers. " In "Al Wala' Wal Bara'," Wikipedia, n d.

 

Addendum of Main Perpetrators:   "Manfred Gerstenfeld — a leading global authority on antisemitism and the author of Europe’s Crumbling Myths: The Post-Holocaust Origins of Today’s Antisemitism — told The Algemeiner on Friday, 'That France is the Western European country where the problems of antisemitism are greatest has been evident since the year 2000'. 'Most murders since then of Jews — all by Muslims — because of their being Jews have been in France,' Gerstenfeld continued. 'Currently the French authorities try to ignore or downplay the antisemitic character of the murder of Sarah Halimi, again by a Muslim'." In "Muslim Extremists Are Main Perpetrators of Antisemitic Violence in Western Europe, Major Norwegian Academic Study Concludes," by Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, 7 July 2019.   [ 7 ]

 

Addendum of Encouraging Terror Attacks:    "The recorded video released through the media wing of al-Qaeda shows an old and frail Ayman al-Zawahiri addressing his intended audience in Arabic. '(I am) of the view that the mujahideen (freedom fighters) in Kashmir – at this stage at least – should single-mindedly focus on inflicting unrelenting blows on the Indian Army and government, so as to bleed the Indian economy and make India suffer sustained losses in manpower and equipment', the English language daily The Times of India reported him as saying." In "Al-Qaeda Chief Tells Kashmiri Separatists to 'Bleed India Through Unrelenting Terror Attacks'," Sputnik News, 11 July 2019.

 

Addendum of Rape, Torture and Death:   "Christian and human rights groups reported over the last week that the 60-year-old Suzan Der Kirkour was found dead outside of her village, al-Yaqoubiyeh. According to the website of International Christian Concern (ICC), 'An autopsy revealed that Suzan was tortured and repeatedly raped over an estimated period of nine hours. She was then stoned to death'." In "Jihadists rape, stone Christian woman to death in Syria," by Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post, 17 July 2019.

 

Addendum from Canada:   "A 74-year-old Toronto man faces charges after allegedly yelling 'Heil Hitler' and accosting participants at a pro-Israel march." In "Toronto man accused of yelling anti-Semitic threats at Jewish event," Penticton Herald, British Columbia, 4 September 2019.   [ 8 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The NY Times notes:   "Ten days before the bombings, a top Sri Lankan police official warned the security services that a radical Islamist group was planning suicide attacks against churches, but no action was taken against the group.  ...Sri Lanka does not have much history of Islamist terrorism. The country is predominantly Buddhist, with significant Hindu, Muslim and Christian minorities."  A takeaway from this observation is that the other faiths seem to more effectively Coexist than does Islam.

 

Islamic is the Adjective, Islam is the Root

 

          "A radical Muslim terror group called National Thowheed Jamath was blamed Monday for the devastating suicide bombings that killed at least 290 and injured 500 in Sri Lanka. Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that seven suicide bombers from the domestic group were behind the coordinated attacks — but insisted overseas terrorists likely helped." In "Islamic terrorist group National Thowheed Jamath blamed for Sri Lanka bombings," by Lee Brown, NY Post, 22 April 2019.

          "The first reports of explosions came at about 08:45 local time with six blasts reported within a small space of time. Three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo's Kochchikade district were targeted during Easter services. Blasts also rocked the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in the country's capital." In "Sri Lanka attacks: 'International network' linked to bombings," BBC, 22 April 2019.

          A day later, the death toll rises.  "The coordinated bombings on Sunday, targeting churches and hotels in and around the Sri Lankan capital, killed more than 320 people." In "ISIS claims Sri Lanka bombings that official says were 'retaliation' for New Zealand attack," CBS News, 23 April 2019.

 

A Blessed Attack, So Some Said. Really?

 

          Other testimony:   " 'Those that carried out the attack that targeted members of the US-led coalition and Christians in Sri Lanka the day before yesterday are Islamic State group fighters,' IS propaganda agency Amaq said in a statement. The group gave the noms de guerre of seven people it claimed were behind the 'blessed attack' that targeted Christians during their 'blasphemous holiday'." In "Sri Lankan suicide bombers film themselves pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi before carrying out terror attack," by Tim Stickings and Dianne Apen-Sadler and George Martin, Mail Online, 23 April 2019.

          Note the Islamic accusation that an attack is "blessed" and a Christian holiday is "blasphemous." These are root words of a theology defined by violence, its adjectives speaking clearly of such belief. Islamic belief.

 

Some Muslims Say These Muslims Were Not Muslims

 

          Further some speculation:   " 'We believe one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and then later on did his postgraduate in Australia, before coming back to settle in Sri Lanka'." In "Was Sri Lanka suicide bomber radicalised in BRITAIN? Authorities reveal terrorist studied in UK and how the 'middle-class' jihadists were 'well-educated and financially independent'," by Ed Riley, Mail Online, 24 April 2019.

          A day later, some facts of Islamic consequence:   "After getting ejected from serving as imam of one mosque for his extremist views, Mr. Zaharan started a group in 2014 called National Thowheeth Jama’ath, which drew from the austere Wahhabi tradition that claims to follow the faith as practiced in the age of its founder, the Prophet Muhammad. Mr. Zaharan preached that the Sri Lankan national flag was a worthless piece of cloth, and that the country should be ruled by Shariah law — an unlikely outcome in a country where only about 10 percent of the population is Muslim." In "Sri Lankan Accused of Leading Attacks Preached Slaughter. Many Dismissed Him.," by Hannah Beech, New York Times, 25 April 2019.

 

Who and What Is Suspect?

 

          More details are found:   "Mohamed Ibrahim, was arrested as police investigate those behind the attacks, police said. Ibrahim, a wealthy spice trader and pillar of the business community, had six sons and three daughters. He was admired by many who knew him. 'He was famous in the area for helping the poor with food and money. It's unthinkable his children could have done that,' Fazla said, glancing affectionately at her two young daughters. 'Because of what they have done, all Muslims are treated as suspects.' Ilham Ibrahim, 31, openly expressed extremist ideologies and had been involved in meetings of National Thowheed Jamath, a local Islamist group suspected of involvement in planning the attacks, according to the source close to the family." In "Blood brothers: the wealthy family behind Sri Lanka's suicide attacks," by Joe Brock, Shihar Aneez, and Ranga Sirilal, Reuters, 24 April 2019.

          Thus, claims of income inequality and class warfare may be discounted. What remains to be considered? Islam as ideology, given especially that some Muslims speak against and some for such violence, supremacist stances, and all refer back to Islamic texts for sources.

 

Assurances of 'Probably' No Connection?

 

          And yet, other representatives of Islam spoke:   "The ambassadors of more than a dozen Muslim countries – among them Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Iran – called on the archbishop, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. 'We are very happy and thankful to the ambassadors of the Islamic countries for having coming here to express their solidarity with us,' Ranjith told local media after their meeting. He said the ambassadors had given their assurance that 'what has happened is not something political or religious; it is something that has been probably the result of some misguided people, and maybe there are other forces behind those misguided people, but they are not – no connection to Islam'." In "Sri Lanka Cardinal Says Muslim Envoys Assured Him Bombings Had ‘No Connection to Islam’," by Patrick Goodenough, Cybercast News, 25 April 2019.

          One could well consider then what Islam even means, given that there are so many schisms speaking that they represent Islam while other divisions of Islam do not speak with representative voice. Whatever the perspective, it is clear that the Muslims who killed so many in Sri Lanka acted, as reported above, against a "blasphemous holiday" with their "blessed attack."

 

Martyred in Allah's Cause?

 

          And yet the following is quite "Islamic:"   "Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, 'By Him in Whose Hands my life is! Were it not for some men amongst the believers who dislike to be left behind me and whom I cannot provide with means of conveyance, I would certainly never remain behind any Sariya' (army-unit) setting out in Allah's Cause. By Him in Whose Hands my life is! I would love to be martyred in Al1ah's Cause and then get resurrected and then get martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get martyred and then get resurrected again and then get martyred'." Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 52 Hadith 54.

          How shall one then parse the conflicting data? By believing "assurances" or believing deeds motivated by specific words from a specific source?

 

Compare and Contrast

 

          Contrasting words and deeds which may be said to be Islamic, one reads the counterpoint in this modern world:   "However, 'No matter what you have done to us, we love you, because we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,' Pastor Mahesan added. 'Jesus Christ on the Cross, he said: ‘Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.’ We also, who follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ, we say, for the Lord: ‘forgive these people'." In "Sri Lanka Pastor Forgives Bombers," Pakistan Christian Post, 29 April 2019.

          The contrast seems stark. So how does something "Islamic" and "extreme" become welcome in a land? One reads in the aftermath a Sri Lankan Buddhist politician's view:   "MP Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thero claims that three years ago intelligence officers had given the President a report regarding extremist group arming themselves and shootouts between these groups, but no action was taken out of fear of Muslim politicians. He made these comments during an event held today (10) for the launch of the Sri Lanka National Council’s five-point national plan to prevent the infiltration of Islamic State terrorism into the country." In "Fearing Muslim politicians, govt did not act on extremist groups - Rathana Thero," Ada Derana (Sri Lanka), 10 May 2019.

          The Islamic component to the murderous violence is being identified.  " Sri Lanka is moving to curtail Saudi Arabian influence, after some politicians and Buddhist monks blamed the spread of the kingdom’s ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Islam for planting the seeds of militancy that culminated in deadly Easter bomb attacks." In "Wahhabism confronted: Sri Lanka curbs Saudi influence after bombings," by Alexandra Ulmer and Omar Rajarathnam, Reuters, 5 July 2019.

 

Identifying Through Language

 

          Thus, language alone clusters words together in identifying the murderous terrorism of the Easter attacks. "Islamic" and "Muslim" appear alongside "radical" and names including "Mohamed" and "Ibrahim," stewed with "Wahhabi" and "Shariah."   Assurances by Islamic ambassadors do not answer this cluster of Islamic terms by which the various news sources cited, except to allege that somehow all this "Islamic" vocabulary isn't "Islamic?

 

[ 2 ]    The report continues:  "Fulani militants have waged coordinated attacks on Nigeria’s most persecuted states. On March 4th, the jihadist group killed 23 Christian villagers with guns and machetes, and slaughtered approximately 30 people days prior Kaduna state. On March 11th, Islamic hardliners killed 52 Christians and burned at least 100 homes in villages in the Maro district of the Kajuru Local Government Area in Kaduna state. According to Christian Solidarity worldwide (CSW), witnesses reported the Fulani attacked in three groups — one setting fire to homes, another shooting villagers, and another designated to chase down those who tried to flee."

          Similar tales are reported. One such:   "Christian charity Open Doors was informed that armed members of the terrorist organisation - that has pledged allegiance to IS - invaded the Christian community of Kuda near Madagali in Adamawa state, north east Nigeria on Monday. They then went door to door, killing as many as 25 people." In "Concern for Nigerian Christians: 'We are in danger; we have no one to fight for us'," by Eno Adeogun, Premier UK, 3 May 2019.

 

[ 3 ]   The "insurgency" of Islam's militants is often referred to in other terms, in attempts to parse Islam away from Islam, per the tenets of a postmodern West in which al cultures are somehow equal. But of Boko Haram, one reads further:   "UN refugee agency spokesman Babar Baloch told reporters in Geneva that recent fighting in Borno had forced more than 80,000 people to flee their homes. 'Nigerian refugees continue to arrive in very remote and impoverished communities in neighbouring countries', he added."   In "Boko Haram fear sees 30,000 flee Nigerian town: UN," Daily Nation, Kenya, 29 January 2019.

 

[ 4 ]   Therein one seems to find an overt supremacist mentality of some Muslims. Testimony from thoughts, words and deeds across the Islamic world speak to conquest through violence. Thus this small collection of news from various sources.

 

Buddhist Monuments - an Islamic Target?

 

          "In January this year authorities in Sri Lanka seized a huge cache of explosives at Wanathawilluwa. It was said that this belonged to a module of the ISIS, who were attempting major blasts at historic Buddhist monuments. An imam and a maulvi were also arrested in connection with the incident. On April 11, the police got an input that terrorists would target 11 Churches in the country. It warned that Catholics would be the target of the attack. Moreover the serial bombings that rocked Colombo bear the signature of the Islamic State. The nation has been under the radar of the Islamic State for nearly three years now." In "Sri Lanka has seen a spike in Jihadi activity since 2017," by Vicky Nanjappa, One India, 21 April 2019.

 

Christians - an Islamic Target?

 

          As to this supremacist mentality, rooted in Islamic theology specifically, one reads another April editorial view:   "We are living though one of the most serious phases of Christian persecution in history, and most people refuse to acknowledge it. During the past century, Christianity has been all but driven out of the Middle East, the place of its birth. This time last year I was in Damascus, visiting the Christian community there. On the front of the church that I went to on Sunday morning there was a huge mural depicting the horrors of the Armenian genocide. These Christians were originally refugees from Turkey, and had arrived there fleeing the most sustained and horrendous persecution. ...According to the widely respected Pew report, Christianity remains the world’s most persecuted religion. And the only reason for mentioning this so crassly in terms of league tables is simply that it serves to highlight the deafening silence of our response to it. From North Korea (OK, obviously) to China, and increasingly even in places such as India – all around the world Christians are subject to real and sustained violence for the profession of their faith, the one that we proclaim most insistently today." In "As the Sri Lanka attacks show, Christians worldwide face serious persecution," by Giles Fraser, Guardian UK, 21 April 2019.

          Days later:   "Gunmen have opened fire on a church in northern Burkina Faso, killing at least six people, officials say. The attackers reportedly arrived on seven motorbikes at the end of Sunday's service and killed the pastor, two of his sons and three other worshippers." In "Burkina Faso: Christians killed in attack on church," BBC, 29 April 2019.

         Further:   "Warda also claimed that many fear speaking out about the persecution of Christians because they do not want to be accused of Islamophobia. Share He accused Britain's Christian leaders of bowing to 'political correctness'. Warda added: 'Friends, we may be facing our end in the land of our ancestors. We acknowledge this. In our end, the entire world faces a moment of truth. 'Will a peaceful and innocent people be allowed to be persecuted and eliminated because of their faith? And, for the sake of not wanting to speak the truth to the persecutors, will the world be complicit in our elimination?' Bishop of Truro, the Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen, agreed with Warda, saying 'political correctness' has stopped people speaking out, and that it may also have something to do with 'a reluctance borne of post-colonial guilt'." In "Christians face EXTINCTION in Iraq after ISIS forced 125,000 to flee their homes, Archbishop warns," by Diane Apen-Sadler, MailOnline, 23 May 2019.

 

And the Islamic Lone Wolves Identified by their Allegiance?

 

         Additionally:   "Alam allegedly praised al-Qaeda and ISIS over the course of 10 months of clandestine meetings with an undercover officer. According to court papers, Alam said the September 11th attacks were 'a complete success.' The 22-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant from Queens zeroed in on attacking New York City. Aslam said he wanted to use 'suicide vests' or AR-15 rifles in an attack on Times Square. He and the undercover agent went on several reconnaissance runs there. Alam said a successful attack would make them 'legends'." In "Man accused of planning attack on Times Square allegedly praised ISIS," by Vladimir Duthioers, CBS News, 7 June 2019. 

         As a parallel one reads:   "On or about April 20, 2019, ALOWEMER sent the UCE a self-authored Arabic 'nasheed' entitled, 'The Longing for Martyrdom' that appeared to be addressed to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. An FBI linguist translated ALOWEMER's 'nasheed' as follows: The Longing for Martyrdom / The best news is when you call get ready for jihad. / Fight the enemy. O soldiers of Baghdadi. / I miss the people but do not know why. / I am waiting for paradise./ The love of martyrdom has inhabited my heart. / The land of jihad is what I wish for. / I wait for the taste of martyrdom. / I am focused on defeating the enemy. / Defeating the Shi'tes astounded me. / I long for the promise of Allah. / He promised me paradise. / He motivated me for martyrdom. / With worship he enlightened me. / O Baghdadi your soldiers are your swords in battle. / We are the letters of [ your name ] against your enemies. / I long for the land of the Caliphate. / I am expecting to raise the banner. / I will spill my blood for the victory of my religion." In "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. MUSTAFA MOUSAB ALOWEMER," Magistrate No. 19-1380, United States District Court, 18 June 2019.

         Consider the many instances of such an Islamic Poor and lonely wolf .

 

Break the Cross and Witness Against Them

 

          So among the aims of Islamic theology, one reads:   "Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (*) said, 'By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus,) the son of Mary will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (i.e. taxation taken from non Muslims). Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it, and a single prostration to Allah (in prayer) will be better than the whole world and whatever is in it.' Abu Huraira added 'If you wish, you can recite (this verse of the Holy Book): -- 'And there is none Of the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (i.e Jesus as an Apostle of Allah and a human being) Before his death. And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness Against them.' Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, Hadith 657.

 

[ 5 ]     For such from Muslim clerics, one reads as understandable opposition:   "Without violence of all types, Islam would undergo a slow death. Violence is in the fabric of this crooked ideology. Take away violence and you shut down the blood supply from the body of 'ISLAMS.' Islam is violent, not only against non-Muslims, but it is also violent against its own numerous sects and offshoots. Even within every sect and offshoot violence in the most savage ways is practiced. Just to name some examples: public lashing, cutting off hands for stealing even a morsel of bread, blinding convicts or hanging them, stoning so-called adulteresses, castrating sexual offenders and the hanging of homosexuals." In "Is Islam Inherently Violent?" by Amil Imani, Capitol Hill Outsider, 20 April 2019.

          "Is Islam Inherently Violent?" asks an article's title. The many citations above answer it is.

 

Islam is Inherently Violent?

 

          One might learn of other lands' experience, as this one attests:   "The Haouch Khemisti massacre took place before dawn on April 22, 1997 in the Algerian village of Haouch Mokhfi Khemisti (also spelled Boughelef Khemisti, Haouch Boughlef-Khemisti, Haouch Boukhelef-Khemisti, Haouch Boughfi el-Khemisti, Haouch Boughelaf, or Haouch Khmisti Bougara), some 25 km south of Algiers near Bougara. 93 villagers were killed in 3 hours, the bodies were found decapitated." In "Haouch Khemisti massacre," Wikipedia, n. d.

          In another tale:  "Officials say at least 30 people were killed and 40 injured in the attack. Video halls are common across northern Nigeria. They are usually rudimentary buildings where people pay a small fee to watch football matches or films. ....Boko Haram has targeted them on several occasions, saying they are un-Islamic." In "Nigeria: 'Children used' as suicide bombers in Borno attack," BBC, 18 June 2019.

 

Sunan an-Nasa'i 4061, Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4066, and 4067

 

          To exemplify a longer arch of history, beyond a snapshot above, Wikipedia handily notes the range of Algerian massacres throughout 1997, each  "in which over 50 people were killed:"   "Thalit massacre, 3–4 April; Haouch Khemisti massacre, 21 April; Daïat Labguer (M'sila) Massacre,16 June; Si-Zerrouk massacre, 27 July; Oued El-Had and Mezouara massacre, 3 August, Souhane massacre, 20–21 August; Beni-Ali massacre, 26 August; Rais massacre, 29 August; Beni-Messous massacre, 5–6 September; Guelb El-Kebir massacre, 19 September; Bentalha massacre, 22 September; Sid El-Antri massacre , 23–24 December," all in all a lot of massacres, one concludes.

 

"The followers of Muhammed will conquer America?"

 

          Another example among the many:   "...Sunni extremists carried out high-profile bombings of Iraqi Shi'ite sites during the worst of the country's sectarian violence after the U.S. invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. Baghdad's security improved significantly with the defeat of Islamic State in 2017 and bomb attacks of any kind in the city have been rare since then." In "Friday blast at Shi'ite mosque in Baghdad wounds several - police sources," Swiss Info, 22 June 2019.

          Thus per the graphic just above and as throughout centuries, "followers of Muhammed" attack even other "followers of Muhammed" as apostates.

          But is Islam inherently violent, one asks sarcastically?   One reads an Islamic source.  "Narrated by Abu Huraira. Allah 's Apostle said, 'I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' and whoever says, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah,' his life and property will be saved by me except for Islamic law, and his accounts will be with Allah, (either to punish him or to forgive him.)' " Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 196.

          From the parlance of modern political understanding, this is plainly supremacist, and an inverse of the softer slogan of Coexist .

 

Individual Instances, Gathered Together

 

          As a small example of the effect of the encouragement of violence within Islamic doctrine, one reads:   "Mark Steven Domingo, 26, a U.S. Army infantryman who recently converted to Islam, was taken into custody on Friday after undercover FBI operatives furnished him with what he thought were live bombs to be used in the attack, law enforcement officials said. Authorities said Domingo, who had no prior criminal record, came to their attention because of a series of violent extremist messages he posted in online chat rooms, one of which called for 'retribution' for the massacre of 50 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a gunman in March." In "U.S. Army veteran charged with plotting to bomb white nationalist rally," by Dan Whitcomb, Steve Gorman, Reuters, 29 April 2019.

          Another example in which Islamic vocabulary tells its tale:   "The informant suggested during one meeting that Sadiqullah and others — who were mad at someone they believed had cheated them in a business deal — meet with Shalash at a mosque on Armstrong Mill Road 'in order for Shalash to provide a 'fatwa' authorizing the killing.' A fatwa is an Islamic legal pronouncement issued by an expert in religious law, according to The Islamic Supreme Council of America. Sadiqullah and Shalash agreed with the informant, Jackson said in his sworn statement." In "Kentucky Islamic leader, 2 others charged in murder-for-hire plot over business deal, debt," by Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Examiner, 13 May 2019.

          Such singular events magnify into many events, as one sees in A European report:  "The greatest majority (1703 people, 91 %) were victims of "jihadi terror,' with about 20% from suicide bombings."  The original:    "La très grande majorité (1.703 personnes, 91,1%) ont été victimes du "terrorisme djihadiste", avec près de 20% d'attentats suicide." In "Publication d'un «livre blanc et noir du terrorisme en Europe»," Le Figaro, 3 March 2019.

          Britain makes the connection:  "The pull of this propaganda is startling: of the plots thwarted by police and MI5 and our Western allies in 2018, 80 per cent were conducted by people inspired by the ideology of IS but who had never actually been in contact with it in Syria or Iraq. We also know that, despite their losses, IS's remaining members are intent on directing terrorist attacks around the world, including on European soil. And this ambition is shared by al Qaeda, whose desire and capability to attack the West hasn’t diminished while IS has been in the spotlight." In "We at MI5 can't beat the terror threat alone — let's all work together," by Andrew Parker, Evening Standard UK, 3 May 2019.

 

For Allah?

 

          Also in the United States, one finds expression of violent Islam as well:   "Disturbing footage of Muslim kids saying they would sacrifice themselves and kill for the 'army of Allah' surfaced from an Islamic center in Philadelphia. The Muslim American Society (MAS) Islamic Center in Philadelphia posted the video to its Facebook page celebrating 'Ummah Day' in which young children wearing Palestinian scarves sang and read poetry about killing for Allah and the mosque in Jerusalem." In "Shocking video of children in Philadelphia Muslim Society: 'We will chop off their heads' for Allah," by Caleb Parke, Fox News, 4 May 2019.

          Assurances to the contrary, the number of incidences of Islamist violence and "jihadi terror" suggest clear connections between words and deeds. Vocabulary itself identifies, and therefore testifies alongside deeds.

          For this evidence which amasses over time, one finds the Sri Lankan government responding to "Islam:" as one reads:  "Sri Lanka has expelled over 600 foreign nationals, including around 200 Islamic clerics, since the Easter suicide bombings blamed on a local jihadi group, a minister told AFP Sunday. Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena said the clerics had entered the country legally, but amid a security crackdown after the attacks were found to have overstayed their visas, for which fines were imposed and they were expelled from the island." In "Sri Lanka expels 200 Islamic clerics after Easter attacks," Daily Mirror, 6 May 2019.

          Simple grammar. The adjective describes a certain ideology and therefore its adherents in an unequivocal manner. Islamic.

 

What is Islamic?

 

          Some say not. But one reads:   "Moderate Muslims do denounce violence that is committed in the name of Islam, very much so, but they deny that religion plays any role in that violence. The very first thing you will hear from the mouth of a moderate typically after an act of violence committed in the name of Islam is, please don't misunderstand, Islam has nothing to do with this. But that's not true, because those who are committing the violence cite Islam as their inspiration." In "Head to Head, Interview with Irshad Manji," Mehdi Hasan, Al Jazeera, 12 May 2016.

          Denying a religious component to many violent events also denies Mohammed, who "...reportedly 'had such a repugnance to the form of the cross that he broke everything brought into his house with its figure upon it,' wrote one historian (Sword and Scimitar, p. 10). Muhammad also claimed that at the end times, Jesus (the Muslim 'Isa') himself would make it a point to 'break the cross.' Modern-day Muslim clerics confirm this. When asked about Islam's ruling on whether any person — in this case, Christians — is permitted to wear or pray before the cross, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Tarifi, a Saudi expert on Islamic law, said, 'Under no circumstances is a human permitted to wear the cross,' nor 'is anyone permitted to pray to the cross.' Why? 'Because the prophet — peace and blessings on him — commanded the breaking of it [the cross].' Islamic history is a reflection of these sentiments." In "Islam's War on the Christian Cross," by Raymond Ibrahim, American Thinker, 7 June 2019.

 

Allah Describes non-Muslims as People of No Intelligence?

 

          The interviewer in the Al Jazera article above seemed to resist the statement by a reformer, but one reads of Hasan:   "During a sermon delivered in 2009, quoting a verse of the Quran, Hasan said to an audience: 'The kuffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Koran; they are described in the Koran as 'a people of no intelligence', Allah describes them as not of no morality, not as people of no belief – people of 'no intelligence' – because they're incapable of the intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God. In this respect, the Koran describes the atheists as 'cattle', as cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world." In "Mehdi Hasan," under "2009 Islamic Unity Society sermon," Wikipedia, n. d.

          One notes the confusion, as "God" is conceived in different ways by different people, and a reformer like Manji remains devout towards Allah, though far differently that Hasan who uses Islamic words like "kuffar" to polarize religious sentiments, speaking of "disbelievers." If "kuffar" is Islamic vocabulary, then so is violence as "jihad" explained "in the name of Islam." What is Islamic then? Some kinds of terror?

 

Allah on the Side of the National Socialists and Italian Fascists?

 

          One looks back into the mid-20th century for such "Islamic" examples:   "On Mar. 19, 1942, the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem spoke to the Arab world by Rome radio and said: 'If, God forbid, America and her allies are victorious in this war . . . then the world will become hell, God forbid. But Allah is too just and merciful to grant such murderous violators any victory.' After a long struggle and supreme sacrifices, the 'murderous violators' became victors. They entered Germany while the ex-Mufti was still there with the bags of gold he had received from Hitler. He escaped to Switzerland, was expelled from there back to Germany, was captured by the French army and placed under house arrest; then he escaped from France to Cairo on a false passport, and became the head of the Arab Higher Committee." In "Ex-Mufti, Criminal Ally," Observer, New York Post, 23 February 1948.

 

Islamic Terror According to Islam?

 

          Continuing with an Islamic source:   "Narrated by 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)." Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220.

          Continuing:  "Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina in the quarter of d. al-Harith, a woman of B. al-Najjar. Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah Huyayy b. Akhtab and Ka`b b. Asad their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the apostle they asked Ka`b what he thought would be done with them. He replied, 'Will you never understand? Don't you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death!' This went on until the apostle made an end of them." Ibn Ishaq, p 464.

 

Islam Violently Against Islam?

 

          From centuries later, one reads:   " 'This is the largest mass execution of Shiites in the kingdom’s history,' he said. Amnesty International also confirmed the majority of those executed were Shiite men. The rights group said they were convicted 'after sham trials' that relied on confessions extracted through torture." In "Saudi Arabia beheads 37 for terrorism crimes, most of them minority Shiites," CNBC, 24 April 2019.

          To underscore this violent reality, the CNBC article includes:   "The Interior Ministry said the body of one of the executed men -- Khaled bin Abdel Karim al-Tuwaijri -- was publicly pinned to a pole. The statement did not say in which city of Saudi Arabia the public display took place."

          A little litany in the month of April says yes, Islam from its inception was and remains inherently violent. "By Allah it is death."  The non-Islamic world may reflect on this, when the less informed in its midst lobby for their perspective about The religion of peace .

          And the picture becomes more complicated:   "Some Muslims mark the day with the practice of Tatbir, in which a sword or scourge is used to draw blood in remembrance of the innocent blood of Husayn. Many who take part in the practice believe it cleanses them of their sins. A popular saying among Shia Muslims has it that 'a single tear shed for Husayn washes away a hundred sins'. The ritual, which is sometimes carried out on children, is controversial within the Muslim world, with some research suggesting it can cause lasting psychological damage." In "SHOW OF FAITH Ashura festival sees children left covered in blood as devout Muslims use knives to slice their heads open," by Christy Cooney, Sun UK, 10 September 2019.

 

[ 6 ]    The article notes:   "It also suggested action against the nikkah registrar, Muhammad Ali, and police officials such as the DSP, SHO and investigation officer of the police station in whose jurisdiction the crime occurred."

          As to the Islamic term, one reads:  "This page references and quotes numerous scholarly and/or reliable sources that define or describe the Arabic term nikah (or the root n-k-h) as meaning 'sexual intercourse', or the contract of sexual intercourse, or marriage as a contract for sexual intercourse (for the payment received by the bride for nikah...." In "The Meaning of Nikah," WikiIslam, n. d.

 

Abduction, Rape and Marriage as Islamic?

 

          This addendum seems a singular incident. Yet one reads further:   "It starts with the abduction of these Hindu girls by Muslim men who are often married. They keep the girls in their custody, rape them and then force them to convert to Islam before marrying them. "There is not even one case in which anyone has willingly converted. These men, who are often already married, kidnap the girls, keep them in their custody, rape them, and through threats and intimidation make the girls say they converted willingly," according to Dr Vankwani, patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council. Forced conversions and underage marriages of girls are common in Tharparkar and Umerkot districts of Sindh where almost 50% of the population is Hindu. Such incidents, however, are rarely reported in the media." In "Muslim men abduct, rape, then marry Hindu girls from impoverished families in Sindh: Pak legislator Vankwani," by Omer Farooq Khan, Times of India, 16 April 2019.

 

Banning Forced Conversions is Anti-Islamic?

 

          And from two years earlier, one reads:  "Every year, Muslim men abduct and forcibly convert about 1,000 girls — mostly Hindus, but also Christians, according to the South Asia Partnership-Pakistan, a local human rights group. About 5,000 Pakistani Hindus leave every year for neighboring India — where 80% are Hindus — to escape religious persecution, according to the Pakistan Hindu Council. Legislation banning such conversions for those under age 18 was passed unanimously late last year by the legislature in the southern province of Sindh, where the Kohlis live, but it never went into effect. Hard-line Islamic groups objected to the measure, which called for up to five years in jail for those who force a conversion. They threatened protests, arguing the law was anti-Islamic and part of a conspiracy to make Pakistan a secular country." In "Pakistani Hindus lose daughters to forced Muslim marriages," by Naila Inayat, USA Today, 15 February 2017.

          Considering many such stories of abduction of non-Muslim women for "marriage," the problem for Islam worldwide is quite the same as the other issues mentioned above, wherein some Muslims allege Islamic texts mean one thing while other Muslims allege the texts mean something else, sometimes quite the opposite.

 

Citing Examples?

 

          Following the "blessed attacks" on Catholics in Sri Lanka, one reads an "Islamic" justification:   "In the video, after a cursory mention about the victims, Maulvi Munajit cites an example from the life of Muhammed to justify the terror attack. Maulvi is heard saying that the attack is a consequence of Muslims losing their patience. He cites the example of Mohammed who kept quiet for the first 13 years of Islam despite intense persecution from Quraysh people but then launched the battle of Badr. Maulvi also had said in the video that to build an Islamic state is just thing and the struggle has just commenced for that." In "SL Police Launch Operation To Arrest Islamic Cleric Munajit Who Released A Video Clip Justifying Easter Terror Attack," by Swarajya Staff 26 April 2019.

          From another corner of the world:  "...Salim said in his interrogation that his victims included men, women and children. Investigations were on to find out more about his crimes. A source said that Salim never repented for such serial murders of 250 like that and he claimed those as a grace of Almighty Allah that he could be able to decrease some numbers of Kaffirs (infidels) to establish India as an Islamic State." In "Muslim Taxi Driver admits to 250 murders of Non-Muslims around Meerut," by Jolly Sharma, HENB, 3 June 2019.

          Yet another selected from many examples:   "A security source said 19 bodies had been found and a search was underway for others. Hours before the attack, armed men had stopped three vehicles in Arbinda and set fire to them, killing one of the drivers, the source said. Arbinda has witnessed a spate of jihadist violence in recent months despite stepped-up security operations. In April, 62 people were killed in jihadist attacks and ensuing ethnic clashes, and four people travelling by car were ambushed and killed. Burkina Faso has suffered from increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to a number of jihadist groups, including the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara." In "Nineteen killed in Burkina Faso's volatile north," Ouagadougou, France 24, 10 June 2019.

          And:  "Kotey, who was raised in Ladbroke Grove, West London, claims he 'hit the streets with a vengeance' when he left school, apparently blaming his background for his conversion to extremism. During a chilling interview, Kotey claimed he had a new-found cynicism towards ISIS but said he was 'grateful' for his time in the group because it led to his union with a jihadi bride. The former petty crook also admitted physically tormenting western prisoners before his pal Jihadi John beheaded them." In " ‘ISIS Beatles’ terrorist demands family be allowed to live in UK - ‘I am British!’ by Chris Hughes, Express UK, 18 June 2019.

          Issues obviously arise. Are "hard-line Islamic groups" Islamic?  Are assurances from other Islamic nations equally "Islamic" yet opposite?  Who speaks for Islam, when Islam seems to speak against itself, through the opposing stances of Muslims? Whose clerics speak for Islam and which clerics are false according to other Muslims? And why? What are the foundations for these various "Islamic" groups if not "Islamic?"

          The Pakistani prime minister complains of the identification:   "Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday asserted that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. 'No one ever blamed Hinduism for Tamil Tigers' bombings or Japanese religion when they blew up themselves on US ships. So why Islam is branded so?' Khan said during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Makkah. He, however, asserted that 'the Muslim world has not been able to powerfully convince the world that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism,' adding that the OIC should clarify its 'propaganda' about Muslims." In "Hinduism not blamed for LTTE bombings, then why link Islam to terrorism: Imran Khan," ANI, Economic Times, 1 June 2019.

          Nothing to do with terrorism?  One might ask Shia Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as one reads:  "Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban and the Islamic State group, have repeatedly targeted Shia Hazara minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan." In "Afghanistan: Bomb rips through wedding in Kabul," BBC, 17 August 2019.

          The many sourced quotes above find many identifying murderous acts with Islam, with Koranic texs and with citations from the Sunnah and hadiths, as well as reference to various divisions within Islam itself.

 

Islam Is Identified

 

          Thus a rhyme -- as above -- may note that "Islam is identified, / has its problem with the world, / is connected with words for all to read, / and / seems explosive in thought, word and deed."

          One might then ponder what it portends for Islam either as a singular ideology or set of conflicting ideologies to Coexist with other religions and cultures.

          One reads an Islamic reformer's view:   "...one of the biggest misnomers ever to have come about in recent years. Islamophobia includes within it hatred of Muslims as a people and criticizing and scrutinizing Islam as a religion, which is the right of every free-thinking human being anywhere in the world." In "Maajid Nawaz Wants The Word 'Islamophobia' Scrapped, Here's Why," LBC, 31 May 2018.

 

Corruption in the Modern Day

 

          Then there is the modern case of an Islamic movement, corrupt enough to drive Muslims away:   " 'If Hamas gave up power, there would be no problems,' he said, calling Hamas 'a racist terrorist organization that is dangerous for the Palestinian people.' Yousef also expressed anger and revulsion at the behavior of senior Hamas members in Turkey, who live in luxury at the expense of the Palestinian people. 'Hamas senior officials live in fancy hotels and luxury buildings, their kids are in private schools. They're paid generously by Hamas, earning between $4,000 to $5,000 a month. They have security guards, swimming pools and country clubs. They eat in high-end restaurants, paying $200 for one course, while a family in Gaza lives on $100 a month'." In "Second 'son of Hamas' defects, exposes corruption," by Sara Rubenstein, Arutz Sheva, 5 July 2019.

 

Islam Is Being Scrutinized

 

          In that regard, Islam is identified in part in the UK, as one reads:   "NPCC chair Martin Hewitt said: 'We take all reports of hate crime very seriously and will investigate them thoroughly; however, we have some concerns about the proposed definition of ‘Islamophobia' made by the All-Party Parliamentary Group [APPG] on British Muslims. 'We are concerned that the definition is too broad as currently drafted, could cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be used to challenge legitimate free speech on the historical or theological actions of Islamic states. There is also a risk it could also undermine counterterrorism powers, which seek to tackle extremism or prevent terrorism'." In "Proposed Islamophobia definition 'would undermine counterterror operations and threaten free speech', police tell prime minister," by Lizzie Dearden, Independent UK, 16 May 2019.

          And one can ponder whether one or many, including individual Muslims and entire Muslim nations, are all essentially guilty of the ginned-up offence of Islamophobia .

          It would have been wholly rational -- no phobia which is an irrational fear -- for the Sri Lankan Catholics to have feared the "Islamic" National Thowheed Jamath, as one example among many. So many, and by them one may well argue that "Islam is identified."

          It is Islam which must sort itself out, not non-Islamic peoples and cultures, and not through slogans like Islamophobia. How Islam may do that is as yet unseen and not foreseen.

 

[ 7 ]   The Norwegian study cited observes: "Attitude surveys indicate that antisemitism is considerably more widespread among Muslims in Western Europe than among the general population, but they also suggest that adherence to Islam in itself does not explain all of the difference. Country of origin appears to play a major role, as does the level of religiosity—the more religious people are, the more antisemitic they are likely to be. One study found that anti-Jewish attitudes were most strongly associated with the respondents' general intolerance of out-groups." In "Antisemitic Violence in Europe, 2005-2015 Exposure and Perpetrators in France, UK, Germany, by Johannes Due Enstad, Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX), University of Oslo, June 2017.

 

A photographic reminder of the Mufti reviewing Nazi troops

 

          Paying attention to the distinctions, "the more religious" identifies those who observe the tenets as expressed above from Islamic texts, and then act on them to "perpetrate" violence of an anti-Semitic character, as the last century has proved in well-documented sources.

 

[ 8 ]    One reads further:   "On May 20, 2019, Ali Amirsalam was filmed shouting, 'Hitler, please come back and kill all the Jews – not 100%, but 90% of them' outside the 2019 Toronto Walk with Israel hosted by the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) in North York, Ont. B’nai Brith Canada filed a complaint with the Toronto Police Service shortly afterward. Amirsalam also made his own recording of his outburst and uploaded a video of it to Twitter, adding an antisemitic screed demanding that money be taken away from Jews and 'be given to the poorer children of G-d.' He also posted a video of an Israeli flag being burned, and called for 'No more Israel on the planet earth'." In "Toronto Man Charged after Threatening Walk with Israel Participants," B'nai Brith Canada, 3 September 2019.

          Given the imagery from the footnote above, with the Mufti of Jerusalem reviewing troops during World War II, the sentiment expressed by Amirsalam more than seventy years later identifies Islam's anti-Jewish stance.

 

 


 

Never judge a book? - how to act the schnook

I bought, oh the cover of the book,
Most likely for its outward look.
Appearance seemed to give it zing
But inside read a limping thing.

I bought the image of a thought,
Which haphazardly I'd caught.
Reality came to rip it away,
Its made-up smile dissolved that day.

I bought a box bright wrapped and sealed;
The contents something else revealed.
Judge never by appearance, friend,
But by how things both begin and end.

 


 

Wide privy ledge

If one sits on one's wide privy ledge,
                    To rest on one's laurels,
There a chance someone will allege
That position has started most quarrels.

That wide privy ledge is necessarily found
                    When such a ledge is needed;
Therapists, activists and lawyers too
Sit when their pressure's exceeded.

Let's wipe away what once was started
                    By squatting on that ledge,
And stand to deliver with noxious intent
A halo-polishing pledge.

Let's all think as our betters wish
                    While pondering upon an edge,
And evacuate as one so must,
Lingering on one's wide privy ledge.

 

Addendum of Blasting Toxic Culture:   "At the encouragement of my therapist, I hired a workplace discrimination attorney to assist me in negotiating an exit package. My lawyer was informed that CBS doesn’t give compensation to employees wishing to exit the company. After some back and forth, CBS offered me $20,000 and later $50,000. It isn’t clear if I would have been asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement, but I assumed so. After considering the offer at length, with encouragement from my husband I determined that my integrity and the power of my voice and experience were worth more than any dollar CBS was willing to part with." In " ‘CBS Has a White Problem’: Executive Blasts Toxic Culture at Network in Explosive Letter," by Whitney Davis, Variety, 23 April 2019.     [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Shutting Down White People:   "The DNC held a forum for candidates hoping to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee on Monday at George Washington University. One candidate, Sally Boynton Brown, the executive director of Idaho's Democratic Party, urged Democrats to provide 'training' to teach people to be 'sensitive' and 'how to shut their mouths if they are white.' 'My job is to shut other white people down when they want to interrupt, 'Brown said."   In "DNC Chair Candidate: My Job Is To Tell White People When To Shut Their Mouths," by Tim Hains, RealClearPolticis, 24 January 2017.

 

Addendum of Seeing the Unseen Problem:    "The biggest problem with white privilege is the invisibility it maintains to those who benefit from it most. The inability to recognize that many of the advantages whites hold are a direct result of the disadvantages of other people, contributes to the unwillingness of white people, even those who are not overtly racist, to recognize their part in maintaining and benefiting from white supremacy." In "What is white privilege?" Mount Holyoke College, n. d.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Counting a Generally Unseen Problem:    "According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, white men, who the Left argues are the most privileged group of all in America, commit seven out of every ten suicides in America — even though only three out of ten Americans are white males. Whatever reason one gives for the white suicide rate, it is indisputable that, at the very least, considerably more whites than blacks consider life not worth living. To argue that all these whites were oblivious to all the unique privileges they had is to stretch the definition of 'privilege' beyond credulity." In "The Fallacy of 'White Privilege',"  by Dennis Prager, National Review, 16 February 2016.  
 

Addendum of Privilege and Oppression:     "I wouldn’t say therapy, because psychology isn’t very good at taking in the sociological view. But it has to do with working on your inner history to understand that you were in systems, and that they are in you. It has to do with looking around yourself the way sociologists do and seeing the big patterns in the rest of society, while keeping a balance and really respecting your experience. Seeing the oppression of others is, of course, very important work. But so is seeing how the systems oppress oneself." Quote of Peggy McIntosh, in "The Origins of 'Privilege'," by Joshua Rothman, New Yorker, 12 May 2014.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Resentful White Liberal Saviors:   "Resentment of those seen as standing in the way of necessary social and cultural change may inspire a commitment to what political scientist Eric Kaufman calls 'multicultural millenarianism': the belief that the demise of a white majority will pave the way for a more racially progressive and just society. Perhaps this is why white support for increasing immigration coincides with more negative feelings toward whites. Whatever the case, such sentiment would have been hard to fathom 10-20 years ago. The digitalization of moral outrage that makes it possible today could, with the pace of innovation, make it even more potent in the years to come." In "America’s White Saviors," by Zach Goldberg, Tablet, 5 June 2019.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of One White Liberal Beaten by the System:    "This attack and the ensuing media circus are par for the course in 2019. In both my native United States and here in the United Kingdom, it always has been and still is open season on the bodies of (in no specific order) people of colour, indigenous people, transgender people, disabled people, queer people, poor people, women and migrants. I have evaded much of the violence and oppression imposed on so many others by our capitalist, white supremacist, patriarchal system because of the privileges I enjoy by dint of my race, health, education, and conventional gender presentation. That has nothing to do with the merit of my character." In "You saw me covered in blood on a bus. But do you get outraged about all homophobia?" by Chris, Guardian UK, 14 June 2019.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    Davis makes us privy to the "problem" which seems to have required the "encouragement of my therapist" and a "workplace discrimination attorney" is indentified as a "white privilege" problem, at least in the parlance of a Variety article, is amusing. Variety is currently owned by Penske Media Corporation (PMC), an American digital media, publishing, and information services company based in Los Angeles and New York City. PMC's Chairman and CEO since founding is Jay Penske. And white.

 

 

          "In October 2012, the PMC purchased Variety Inc., Variety.com, Variety Magazine, and all associated assets for a reported $25 million from Reed Elsevier," (Wikipedia) PMC also owns Rolling Stone, Robb Report, Deadline Hollywood, Fairchild Fashion Media, and a host of other companies and properties. Given the above assertion, published by a "white" media conglomerate, one learns how "white" Whitney Davis' former employer has been and remains to be. Apparently this is or will be a problem, as Ms. Davis and her workplace discrimination attorney make their accusation into a civil suite. Other civil suits are pending as well, and not only about race.

 

 

          And:  "In July 2018, an article by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker claimed that thirty 'current and former CBS employees described harassment, gender discrimination, or retaliation' at CBS and six women accused Les Moonves of harassment and intimidation. Following these allegations, it was reported on September 6, 2018 that CBS board members were negotiating Les Moonves's departure from the company." Les Moonves is white. Joseph R. Ianniello, replaced as acting CEO. Glenn Geller, admittedly gay, was a most recent chief, now followed by Kelly Kahl and Thom Sherman. They are also white. And men. See the problem?

 

 

          Among the problems is a comparative fact.  While Ms. Davis states in a white publication that her white employer offered a possible settlement of "$50,000," one might place that number alongside the per capita income for all of Los Angeles County -- $46,771. Somehow, all involved in this tale, from litigant, to plaintiff, to therapist, to attorney, and all the various management, seem more privileged than the average Los Angeles Joe. Or LA Jill.

          Perhaps the aggrieved is a victim of White Noise .  Perhaps those accused are perpetrators? Game on.

 

[ 2 ]    The small web page includes "This website was created by members of Professor Arlene Avakian's class The Social Construction of Whiteness and Women at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst."  Professor Avakian is white, and is likely more privileged in salary and pension benefits than most citizens of her state.  For a broader perspective on such "privilege," and particularly in the UMass system, one should consider the rhyme, addenda and sourced footnotes which tell the tale when Doctor Oppression comes to call .

          The postmodern game of assigning "privilege" to a group identity by some other group identity collapses upon itself in short order.

          As an example among many examples, one reads:  "But many transgender women of color, representing the T in the LGBTQ community, have seized the moment to air their grievances, such as suffering from higher levels of unemployment and homelessness as their cisgender gay and lesbian brethren. 'If pride month is the only time you talk about these issues, that's probably a sign you should look into just how privileged you are,' said Darya Shirvani, 19, a white Los Angeles college student." In "Tensions between trans women and gay men boil over at Stonewall anniversary," by Matthew Lavietes, Reuters, 30 June 2019.

          "Tensions" quite expectedly "boil over," as the competition for assigning privilege by one group identity towards and against another group identity with the goal of gaining status and some assumed "moral high ground" must inevitably make tensions rise. The use of a pejorative is enough for things to "boil over." Tick tock.

 

[ 3 ]     One reads of an originator as cited in the "The Origins of 'Privilege'," "...Peggy McIntosh was born into the very cream of America’s aristocratic elite, and has remained ensconced there ever since. Her ‘experiential’ list enumerating the ways in which she benefits from being born with white skin simply confuses racial privilege with the financial advantages she has always been fortunate enough to enjoy. Many of her points are demonstrably economic. One is left to wonder why, given her stated conviction that she has unfairly benefited from her skin color, there seems to be no record of her involvement in any charity or civil rights work. If she did take to the streets in support of some cause or other, she left no trace that I can see. Nor, as far as I can tell, has she spent any time teaching the underprivileged or working directly to better anyone’s condition but her own. Instead, she has contented herself with a generous six figure salary, and has not shown any particular eagerness to hand her position over to a more deserving person of color." In "Unpacking Peggy McIntosh’s Knapsack," Quillette, 29 August 2018.

 

 

          So a public intellectual critiques and is critiqued. One reads further:  "She has been criticized for concealing her considerable, personal class privilege and displacing it onto the collective category of race." In "Peggy McIntosh," Wikipedia, n .d.

 

 

          And further:  "...critics highlight the irony that college students who commonly invoke privilege theory do so from a place of privilege on behalf of groups who often do not endorse the privilege paradigm. Those invoking the privilege paradigm ignore the broad social privileges enjoyed in the developed world such as free expression, freedom of the press, freedom to peaceful assembly, rule of law, and individualism." In "Social privilege," Wikipedia, n .d.

 


          "In 2014, Princeton University first-year student Tal Fortgang authored "Checking My Privilege", a widely debated article in which he condemned classmates who told him to "check his privilege" for attributing his success in life to "some invisible patron saint of white maleness", and "for casting the equal protection clause, indeed the very idea of a meritocracy, as a myth". McIntosh afterwards told the New Yorker that Fortgang was resisting seeing himself systemically. She argued that everybody has a combination of unearned advantage and unearned disadvantage, and should aim to try to see themselves in the context of societal patterns of discrimination and oppression."

 

 

           But then:  "Let’s not start a white privilege contest — what would the prize be? — even if it’s one you may win." In "White Privilege Begets White Privilege," by Philip Gaines, New York Times, 25 August 2019.

           And then:  "Those who argue for the existence of black privilege, however, don't deny these grim numbers. They just don't blame racism for those racial disparities." In "It's time to talk about 'black privilege'," by John Blake, CNN, 31 March 2016.

           One notes the interesting nexus herein, in which white academic liberals birth, nurture a new "social construct" and then use it politically -- sociologically -- to batter non-academic white conservatives. Black liberals and conservatives take similar "sociological" sides, as American Asians join the "sociological" fray, as sociology itself becomes a battleground. 

 

Racial Disparities Means Racism?

 

           One reads, since Harvard University current president, Lawrence S. Bacow, is white and therefore must participate heavily in McIntosh's "white privilege" condemnation:   "Harvard is being sued by an organization, Students for Fair Admission, representing Asian-Americans accusing it of discrimination in admissions. According to news reports, an internal unpublished Harvard analysis in 2013 indicated that 43% of admissions would have been Asians if admission had been based strictly on academic considerations alone, things like high school performance and scores on the SAT examination. In fact, only about one-half that proportion of Asians were admitted. The data seem to suggest that Harvard has an Asian quota of about 20% of its students, less than one-half the proportion attending Cal Tech, a school that bases admission almost exclusively on academic criteria. As Asians become an increasing proportion of the American population, the Asian share of Harvard students remains almost unchanged. Harvard says it also looks at extracurricular, athletic and 'personal' characteristics and achievement, apparently implicitly concluding that Asians are deficient in these dimensions, especially athletics and 'personal' factors. The latter factor is an almost wholly subjective one, where the biases of admissions officers can dominate." In "Race And College Admissions: Harvard And Chicago," by Richard Vedder, Forbes, 30 July 2018.

 

Asians Score Lower Based on What?

 

           Further and quite like the bias against American Jews:  "...often, there was a thumb on the scale. Now that’s happening to Asians, as it has come out that Harvard consistently scored Asian applicants lower on the subjective 'personal rating.' These traits included 'positive personality,' likability, courage, kindness and being 'widely respected,' according to an analysis of six years of admission data filed Friday in federal court in Boston by Students for Fair Admissions, a group representing Asian-American students in a lawsuit against the university. In "Why is Harvard discriminating against Asian Americans? 'Diversity' is no excuse for racial bias," by Glenn Reynolds, USA Today, 18 June 2018.

           And as to white-led Harvard:  "The memo filed with the court said Harvard's own internal investigation in 2013 concluded that its admissions system was biased against Asian Americans. But instead of addressing the problem, 'Harvard killed the investigation and buried the reports.' There seems little doubt that Harvard is practicing conscious racial discrimination here. But why? The excuse seems to be 'diversity,' in the sense that if admissions were based solely on objective criteria, the school would be majority-Asian, which would change the 'character' of Harvard." In "Why is Harvard discriminating against Asian Americans? 'Diversity' is no excuse for racial bias," by Glenn Reynolds, USA Today, 18 June 2018.

 

Academic Support for Racial Segregation

 

           Additionally, it is noticed that universities participate in segregation. One reads:  "In his inaugural address in January 1963, Gov. George Wallace of Alabama thundered: 'Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.' About 'tomorrow,' Wallace was right. More than half a century later, racial segregation comes as easy as breathing to many American colleges and universities."   In "Segregation by Design on Campus: How racial separatism become the norm at elite universities," by Peter W. Wood and Dion J. Pierre, Wall Street Journal, 29 April 2019.

           The article takes note that:  "Today’s racial segregation, by contrast, consists of ethnic groups walling themselves off within institutions. In the past two years the National Association of Scholars surveyed 173 colleges and universities, public and private, in all 50 states. We found 46% of schools segregate student orientation programs, 43% segregate residential arrangements, and 72% segregate graduation ceremonies. Though these arrangements are ostensibly voluntary, students can’t easily opt out. The social pressure to conform is overwhelming." 

           And then, there's white privilege....

 

How long will such cosseted scholars linger on their wide privy ledge?

 

           One wonders whether McIntosh and her coterie will now respond with some academic study proving Asian privilege, requiring Asians to grovel to a newly minted social construct, courtesy of few sociology departments' scholars and theorists?

           Consider the impact on culture when Everything's about my colored skin  - (or sadly, Why racism works).

 

[ 4 ]     Goldberg observes:  "...white liberals recently became the only demographic group in America to display a pro-outgroup bias—meaning that among all the different groups surveyed white liberals were the only one that expressed a preference for other racial and ethnic communities above their own. As woke ideology has accelerated, a growing faction of white liberals have pulled away from the average opinions held by the rest of the coalition of Democratic voters—including minority groups in the party. The revolution in moral sentiment among this one segment of American voters has led to a cascade of consequences ranging from changes in the norms and attitudes expressed in media and popular culture, to the adoption of new political rhetoric and electoral strategies of the Democratic Party. Nor has this occurred in a vacuum on the left as the initiatives set in motion by white liberals have, in turn, provoked responses and countermeasures from conservatives and Republicans."

           The salient fact that such a "white" liberal stance "provoked responses and countermeasures" is to have been expected. This is the well known human phenomenon of pushing back, akin to the equal and opposite reaction of which physics teaches.

 

In a Fit of Unthinking Mimicry, the Alchemical Brew

 

           From a different, non-Western tradition, one reads:  "... the enemy of the reactionary mind is an alchemical brew served up in the name of progress — liberal politics, theologies of social emancipation, technocrats, trade agreements, multiculturalism. Why exactly these arouse anger and response is complicated, if not obscure. One answer that the writer Pankaj Mishra offers in his sweeping and provocative new book (Age of Anger) is that the collective rage we see world over is, in parts, a reaction against the architecture of Anglo-American modernity imposed by elites in a fit of unthinking mimicry. This has in turn created half-formed mentalities. Individuals who are neither conservative and grounded in tradition, nor prepared to live a life of “agitation, change, and danger” that modernity imposes. Lacking the tools that traditional societies offer its children, men in this half-modern world adopt identities as a way to be." In "An equal and opposite reaction," by Keerthik Sasidharan, The Hindu, 12 March 2017.

 

The Suffocating Vitality of White Noise

 

           Thus, the "new" liberal progressivism is not new. It is age-old and "complicated" if "obscure."  Sasidharan concludes:  "Men put on masks — masks originally designed by foreigners for their own festivals — to render their lives with a vitality that contrasts with the insignificance of their lives swept up in vast, impersonal events. The result, over time, is the desire to tear that suffocating mask away: to feel free, even if momentarily."

           To reject one's own in-group preferences for an out-group preference seems the current measure of the "white liberal," using the modern parlance, toxic in masculinity and resentful of privilege. Yet oddly, privilege within the "white liberal" academic community keeps many white liberals happily cosseted, well-paid and secure in their resentments. Professor Peggy McIntosh, as above, exemplifies this, atop "the very cream of America’s aristocratic elite." A seemingly self-loathing white liberal elite, adopting "masks" while bathed in privilege they so resent -- in others. Much sounds as White Noise .

 


 

Green growth

"From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25. An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States." In "Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds," by Samson Reiny, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Earth Science News Team, 26 April 2016.

 

Green growth, green growth, vegetated lands,
        Tells its tale which reprimands.
See, oh too, what's fertile, growing green;
        Clearly, greenery is plainly seen.
Green growth, green growth; vegetated lands
        Testify and data understands.

Consider the inverse of NASA's demonstrable scientific data:   The Hockey-Stick Man

Addendum of the Scary and Extreme:     "...there’s no solid connection between climate change and the major indicators of extreme weather, despite Trudeau’s claims to the contrary. The continual claim of such a link is misinformation employed for political and rhetorical purposes. Powerful people get away with it because so few people know what the numbers show. Many scientists who know better remain silent. And the few who push back against the propaganda, such as Roger Pielke Jr., find themselves on the receiving end of abuse and career-threatening attacks, even though they have all the science in their corner. Something has gotten scary and extreme, but it isn’t the weather." In "Ross McKitrick: This scientist proved climate change isn’t causing extreme weather — so politicians attacked," Financial Post, 7 June 2019.

 

Addendum of Upending Models:   "The National Park Service (NPS) quietly removed a visitor center sign saying the glaciers at Glacier National Park would disappear by 2020 due to climate change. As it turns out, higher-than-average snowfall in recent years upended computer model projections from the early 2000s that NPS based its claim glaciers ;will all be gone by the year 2020,; federal officials said." In "National Park Quietly Removed Warning That Glaciers ‘Will All Be Gone’ By 2020 After Years Of Heavy Snowfall," by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 7 June 2019.

 


Weasel Words

Weasel words might possibly be used,
And could perhaps be thereby confused
With words which refuse to weasel their way
Into some something that someone might say.

Weasel-y words maybe perchance
Make statements ambiguous, made askance
Which conceivably conceive some happy proof
Where there's oh so often a provable goof.

Weaseling words some commitments evade
Such that later those words can throw off shade,
Saying that weasels were wisely used to avoid
Surety, which these weasels never enjoyed.

Addendum:    "The expression first appeared in Stewart Chaplin's short story "Stained Glass Political Platform" (published in 1900 in The Century Magazine), in which weasel words were described as "words that suck the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel sucks the egg and leaves the shell". Theodore Roosevelt attributed the term to his friend William Sewall's older brother, Dave, claiming that he used the term in a private conversation in 1879. In another early usage, Theodore Roosevelt argued in 1916 that "one of our defects as a nation is a tendency to use ...'weasel words'; when one 'weasel word' is used ... after another there is nothing left"." In "Weasel word," Wikipedia, n. d.

Consider the dance of  Could and May   - an up-to-date play

 


 

To a T - fittingly

They
Baked a lie
And lost a bunch.
Their
Recipes
Served up this hunch.
Those
Fancy folk
In fancy gown,
They
Stood against
An average town.
Thus,
Shouting lies,
Spiced black and white,
Then
Stirred its price,
Sliced to spite.
That
Fresh baked rage
Served piping hot?
This
Sickened also,
And cost a lot.

 

Addendum of Lots of Bread:   "The jury found the College and Raimondo guilty of libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and improper interference in the business relationship between Gibson’s and Bon Appétit, Oberlin’s food management company." In "Jury Rules For Gibson’s, Assigns $44 Million in Damages," Anisa Curry Vietze, Oberlin Review, 14 June 2019.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Pleading the Victim:   "During the punitive damages phase, the College’s financial status was examined. Lead attorney for the Gibsons, Lee Plakas, called Oberlin a 'billion-dollar institution that can afford, in this case, 11 attorneys' during the trial. However, the College’s attorneys brought up Oberlin's worsening financial situation, which has caused significant institutional change recently. Attorney Matthew Nakon explained that the College has functioned on an unsustainable deficit for several years. Yesterday, before punitive damages were decided, Zidar explained to the jury that damages would 'impact people who have nothing to do' with the Gibson’s trial, including future students in need of scholarships and aid."  Also as above, in "Jury Rules For Gibson’s, Assigns $44 Million in Damages," Anisa Curry Vietze, Oberlin Review, 14 June 2019.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Oberlin's Accusation of Racism:    "Oberlin thought that it could defame Gibson’s as racist with impunity, that the hot-house rules of campus politics applied (i.e., anyone accused of racism is ipso facto guilty of racism) and that no one would question its superior righteousness and cultural power vis-à-vis a mere local business. In other words, Oberlin counted on its Woke Privilege to give it the latitude to discount reason, evidence and fair play." In " Woke apocalypse: the Oberlin College suit," by Rich Lowry, New York Post, 17 June 2019.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Smears and Enforcing Smears:   "In other internal communications included in the filing, Raimondo allegedly 'threatened to weaponize the student body' against a professor after he spoke out against the defamation and boycott of Gibsons, court documents said. According to court documents, Vice President for Communications Ben Jones sent a text message saying, '(Expletive) ROGER COPELAND.' '(Expletive) him,' Raimondo responded in a message. 'I’d say unleash the students if I wasn’t convinced this needs to be put behind us'." In "Documents reveal attempts to 'smear the brand' of Gibson's," by Scott Mahoney, Chronicle-Telegram, 19 April 2019.

 

Addendum of Offers and Admissions:   "In response to questions, Ambar said that the last, highest settlement amount the Gibsons had sought was between $15 million and $20 million while the college’s last offer was less than $5 million. 'Honestly, not because we believe this case should be valued at that level, but we thought in the interest of trying to resolve it that that was worth that level of offer,' she said." In "Oberlin College president defends institution regarding Gibson's lawsuit," by Keith Reynolds, Morning Journal, 24 June 2019.

 

Addendum of the Judgment:   On June 6, 2019, the parties stipulated and agreed that Oberlin College would be vicariously, jointly, and severally liable for any verdict or judgment rendered against Meredith Raimondo, regardless of whether a separate verdict or judgment was entered against Oberlin College." In "Court enters $25 million Judgment against Oberlin College in Gibson’s Bakery case," by William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection, 28 June 2019.

 

Addendum of Substantial Evidence:  "The jury was presented with substantial evidence that Oberlin College aided students in the dissemination of defamatory materials and ordered the suspension of a more than 100-year-old business relationship. In court, the college presented no evidence of racial profiling or discrimination by Gibson’s Bakery. Additionally, the students involved in the shoplifting incident confessed to their crimes and admitted the arrests were not racially motivated." In "Gibson’s Bakery Attorneys at TPM address misleading statements made by Oberlin College," Tzangas Plakas Mannos Ltd., 28 June 2019.

 

Addendum of Substantial Legal Fees:   "Following a six-week trial, jurors found that the college libeled and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the bakery's co-owner, David Gibson; the college and its vice president/dean of students Meredith Raimondo libeled and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on his father, Allyn W. Gibson; and that the college libeled Gibson's Bros. Inc. as well as intentionally interfered with its business relationships." In " Judge awards Gibson's attorneys $6.5 million in fees on top of damages," by Dave O'Brien, Chronicle-Telegram, 18 July 2019.

 

Addendum of Collegiate Hatred, Ill Will or a Spirit of Revenge:    "The jury heard substantial evidence about the various ways in which Oberlin College and Dean Raimondo acted with both libel actual malice and common law actual malice. The evidence presented below are the actual charts displayed to the jury during the punitive phase of trial. For reference, “EX.” refers to an exhibit presented to the jury during trial. There was evidence of Oberlin College’s and Dean Raimondo’s actions showing a state of mind characterized by hatred, ill will, or a spirit of revenge..." In "Gibson Bros., Inc., et al. v. Oberlin College, et al.," Tzangas Plakas Mannos Ltd., 2019.

 

Addendum of Poor, Poor Oberlin:   "Tuition for Oberlin College is $52,762 for the 2017/2018 academic year. This is 90% more expensive than the national average private non-profit four year college tuition of $27,755. Oberlin College is one of the 100 most expensive colleges in the America, coming in 16th on our Expensive 100 Ranking. The cost is 174% more expensive than the average Ohio tuition of $19,236 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 104th in Ohio amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the most expensive 4 year college in the state." In "Cost to Attend Oberlin College," CollegeCalc, circa 2018.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Advice to Oberlin:   "What can Oberlin do to reclaim its better self? That’s ultimately a question for the college’s trustees, faculty, alumni and students. But there is a common-sense answer that would probably seem obvious to most anyone in Lorain County or any of a thousand smaller communities around the country: Pay the court’s judgment, don’t fight it; apologize to the Gibson family and to the community and take steps to show you mean it; and then calmly think through all that has happened and do whatever is necessary to reaffirm the institution’s identity as a college, not a cause." In "Oberlin College’s Legacy and the Need to Have Enemies," by S. Frederick Starr, Wall Street Journal, 5 July 2019.   [ 5 ]

 

Addendum from a Victim of Inventing Victimhood:   "With their preoccupation with identity, privilege, and oppression, our institutions of higher education increasingly promote a paranoid climate of perpetual crisis. Is it surprising, then, that participants in this hothouse environment would respond to an incentive structure that rewards victimhood by manufacturing it?" In "Inventing Victimhood," by Andy Ngo, City Journal, 26 June 2019.   [ 6 ]

 

Consider the complex assertion that Everything's about my colored skin  - (or sadly, Why racism works)

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The spark for this tale of supposed racism, now recanted, was now confessed crimes.  The Oberlin Review notes in its coverage:   "The three students involved in the initial altercation took a plea deal in August 2017. In exchange for amended misdemeanor charges, they were compelled to plead guilty to shoplifting and read statements recanting allegations of racism against Allyn Gibson and the bakery." 

 

Academic Morality is Trendy

 

         And yet, from the New York Post article above, "As far as Oberlin is concerned, the arc of the moral universe bends toward whatever its students are protesting at any given moment. So the school pitched in. Its dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, formerly the special assistant to the president for diversity, equity and inclusion (of course), joined the protesters with a bullhorn. She helped distribute flyers condemning Gibson’s and calling for a boycott: “This is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.” Students made copies of the defamatory flyers in the music conservancy offices, where the school bought them pizza and beverages, and got credit for participating in the demonstrations."

         So, entering into a media frenzy, Oberlin employees and students furthered a proven lie by an elite entity against the so-called little guy. A jury of peers in this jury trial sided with the "little guy." One reads:  "Owen Rarric, another attorney representing the bakery, said the verdicts sent a powerful message to the rest of the outside world. 'I think part of what we did here today is answer the question as to, 'What are we going to tolerate in our society?' he said. 'We're hopeful that this is a sign that not only Oberlin College but in the future, powerful institutions will hesitate before trying to crush the little guy'." In "Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College: More than $11 million awarded," by Bruce Walton, Chronicle-Telegram, 7 June 2019.

 

Poster Child for Left-wing Incubators

 

         Oberlin graduates with conservative political views are found, as with this writer as she cites another:   "Oberlin alum Beth Kontrabecki Walters summed it well for me in her reflections on campus life and the Gibson's verdict: 'What was once considered a forward-thinking and prestigious institution has now become the poster child for intolerant, myopic crybabies. Oberlin should not appeal this decision. ... The multimillion-dollar reward to Gibson's is the public's way of sending a message; it's high time these insulated left-wing incubators put an end to the out-of-control politically correct culture. ... They made an example of Oberlin, and while I agree with the jury completely, as an alum, it is extremely embarrassing nonetheless'." In "Oberlin's Racial Hucksterism Comes Home to Roost," by Michelle Malkin, Townhall, 20 June 2019.

         Oberlin's appealing the jury verdict will extend the tale and the trauma.

 

[ 2 ]    The notion that a heavily-endowed private entity is threatened by losing a court case is amusing.  One reads:  "Oberlin had the 117th-largest endowment in the country in the 2016 fiscal year, according to the most recent study of endowments published by the National Association of College and University Business officers and the nonprofit asset management firm Commonfund. Oberlin’s endowment totaled $770.2 million, giving it an endowment value per student of more than $261,000. To many liberal arts college leaders, an endowment of that size would be a dream. But the endowment had dropped sharply in market value, by 7.5 percent year over year -- a significant issue for an investment that is intended to last into perpetuity."  In "Oberlin's Enrollment Headache Lingers," by Rick Seltzer, Inside Higher Ed, 12 December 2017.

 

Endowed, But to What Purpose?

 

         The drop in value is not a matter of the punitive court judgment against Oberlin. From earlier in this article: "A group of trustees tasked with examining Oberlin’s financial model recently found that the institution -- which includes both a college of arts and sciences and a prestigious conservatory -- relies too heavily on cash from gifts. It does not draw enough of its cash from charging students for tuition, room and board, according to a letter publicly posted in October by Chris Canavan, the chair of the Oberlin Board of Trustees."

         Yet fraud charges precede the court decision by years, as the endowment slowly withered apparently though investment issues:  "The $809 million fund slightly outperformed its peer group over the last two fiscal years, according to NACUBO-Commonfund data. In 2014, Oberlin gained a net 16.1% while similar-sized endowments earned an average 15.8%. The year prior, Oberlin topped its peers by 200 basis points with 12.2% growth. The future leadership of the endowment remains unclear." In "Oberlin Endowment Chair Resigns Following Fraud Charges," Chief Investment Officer, 14 July 2015.

         The investment losses seem to be of the same magnitude as the court judgment, such that Oberlin's behavior as an institution contributed to its self-inflicted problems.

 

[ 3 ]    Lowry reports   "David Gibson, an owner of the store, repeatedly asked Oberlin to make a statement that Gibson’s isn’t racist as a gesture toward reconciliation. The school arrogantly refused. It is now set to pay dearly, and justifiably, for its Woke Privilege."

 

Admitted Guilt, Academic Guilt

 

         An op-ed reads:   "On November 9, 2016—probably not coincidentally the day after Donald Trump was elected, throwing ultra-liberal schools like Oberlin into a ludicrously extended period of irrational fear and loathing— Jonathan Aladin, Endia Lawrence and Cecelia Whettstone were caught stealing bottles of wine. As they have been duly trained by our culture, the students played the race card, initially claiming the shop had racially profiled them, and that their only misdeed was presenting fake IDs. When that wasn’t working, the three admitted their guilt and also signed statements that the store was innocent of any race-related bias. It also appears that the students punched and kicked the shopkeeper. What a fine job ourinstitutions of higher learning are doing civilizing the rising generation! ... The day after the arrests, hundreds of students protested outside the bakery, and Oberlin’s student senate published a resolution saying Gibson’s had 'a history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment.' The Oberlin police conducted an investigation into the arrests and found 'a complete lack of evidence of racism.' Over a five-year period, the bakery had pursued charges against 40 shoplifters, and only six were African- American." In "Boy, Am I Glad Oberlin Rejected My Application, Or 'Bakers' Lives Matter'," by Jack Marshall, Ethics Alarms, 18 December 2017.

 

Superior Academic Righteousness and Cultural Power?

 

         And yet, ignoring crime and celebrating unfounded charges of racism was the choice for the college.  Lowry opines:  "Oberlin thought that it could defame Gibson’s as racist with impunity, that the hot-house rules of campus politics applied (i.e., anyone accused of racism is ipso facto guilty of racism) and that no one would question its superior righteousness and cultural power vis-à-vis a mere local business. In other words, Oberlin counted on its Woke Privilege to give it the latitude to discount reason, evidence and fair play." In " Woke apocalypse: the Oberlin College suit," by Rich Lowry, New York Post, 17 June 2019.

 

[ 4 ]     This tale has been one of the consequences when the postmodern universities' Doctor Oppression comes to call .  I has been "full of sound and fury," as Shakespeare penned, but informs through discovery, documents and testimony in a court of law, adjudged by a jury. Cries of racism are proven to have been lies of racism.

 

[ 5 ]    This opinion, published in the Wall Street Journal, is not impartial. Its author is "an American expert on Russian and Eurasian affairs, a musician, and a former college president, having served as President of Oberlin College for 11 years (1983-1994).  The rampant accusation of racism has dulled the accusation itself, and in this case was used publicly to wallpaper over simple theft and lying, and now has cost a college which acted as if a "cause" many millions in a court judgment against it.

 

An Example of a Massive Racism Hoax at Oberlin

 

          As to hoaxes at Oberlin, one reads details of one:   "In early 2013, for instance, the college canceled classes after a racism hoax in which fliers containing racial slurs and derogatory statements were pinned across campus; the fliers targeted several student minority groups, including African Americans, Jews and members of the LGBTQ community. A student who got caught with some of the fliers told authorities they were 'a joke,' according to a city police report." In " 'Ohio is infested with Zionism': College activists spark alarm over alleged anti-Semitic attacks," by Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, 26 January 2016.

 

Detail of a hoax at Oberlin

 

          From the Washington Post article:  "This flier, which was purportedly pinned to a bulletin board in Oberlin College student union during the 2013-14 academic year, was part of a massive racism hoax intended to evoke a reaction from the students. The photo has been cropped to omit a racial epithet. (Courtesy of David Brandt)"

          That students at a university, whether via this hoax above or the defaming of the Gibson Bakery and its owners, have been proven and judged to have lied and more cannot be papered over with such an explanation as "joke."  Or else, courtesy of students at Oberlin, one might conclude that "racial slurs and derogatory statement" are acceptable. Causing outrage in order to prove outrage seems the modern game in some partisans in academia.

 

[ 6 ]     As such, this event entwines with the greater theme of a modern Western world which seeks to remain free from the tyrannies of lies and violence. The hoax and resultant libelous actions at Oberlin are one example of what occurs, when one might Scratch a Leftist -- to the tune of "Plant a Radish," from the Fantasticks.

 


 

Crazy

There surely be some crazy folk

    strutting down the streets
And other sorts of crazy folk

        crowing they're elites.
Some sure sorts of crazy folk

            broadcast broad conceits,
While other sorts of crazy folk

                congress in their seats.
There surly be some crazy folks

                    quite corporate in their suites,
And another ilk of crazy folk

                        who practice crazed deceits.
Crazy is as crazy does,

                            and crazy oft repeats,
And crazier still, for the craziest

                                of crazy crowns competes.


 

Everything's about your colored skin - (or sadly, why these games begin)  [ 1 ]

Let's judge people by the color of their skin,
    Not by anything that's found within.
Skin's the thing, when you've skin in this game;
    That's how your racism escapes the blame
Of judging people by the thinnest of skin.
    Let's race to the end of the folly therein.

 

Addendum of Race and Races in Washington:   "Democrats who have called President Trump and his polices racists are now pointing fingers at each other on issues of race. Allegations of racial insensitivity are flying between the 2020 Democratic contenders, as well as between House Democrats, raising concerns that internecine squabbles over identity and race are tarnishing party leaders and distracting Democrats from their goal of ousting the president in 2020."   In "Racial politics roil Democratic Party," by Jonathan Easley The Hill, 12 July 2019.     [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Molotov Soundbites:   "Pelosi began the week throwing Molotov soundbites at President Donald Trump, including the allegation that what he really wants is 'to make America white again.' It was only the latest example of Democrats ramping up racial rhetoric for the 2020 elections. By week's end, it was Pelosi who was being labeled as a racist after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) accused her of 'explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.' Worse yet for Pelosi, it was Trump who came to her defense, chastising Ocasio-Cortez for disrespecting Pelosi and insisting that the Speaker is not a racist." In "Ocasio-Cortez's racism charge shows Pelosi at risk of being devoured by the revolution," by Jonathan Turley, The Hill, 13 July 2019.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Racial Charged Democrat Infighting:    "An all-out racially charged fight within the House Democratic Caucus escalated Saturday when an African American freshman lawmaker said the party doesn’t need 'any more black voices that don’t want to be a black voice'."     In "House Democrats’ racially charged infighting escalates," by Colby Itkowitz, David Weigel, and Mike DeBonis, Washington Post, 13 July 2019.    [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Moderate Democrats' Racist System:   "It [a response from Democrat leadership] came less than two weeks after Chakrabarti accused what he called 'The New Southern Democrats' of being 'hell-bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s.' He deleted the tweet 30 minutes later. He added, though, in a subsequent tweet, that moderate Democrats 'still enable a racist system'." In" Flame-throwing AOC chief of staff 'looking for fight' with Nancy Pelosi," by Dana Schuster and Isabel Vincent, New York Post, 13 July 2019.

 

Addendum from the Old Gray Lady:   "She [ Ocasio-Cortez ] slimed the speaker, who has spent her life fighting for the downtrodden and who was instrumental in getting the first African-American president elected and passing his agenda against all odds, as a sexist and a racist. A.O.C. should consider the possibility that people who disagree with her do not disagree with her color." In "Scaling Wokeback Mountain," by Maureen Dowd, New York Times, 13 July 2019.

 

Addendum of One's Calling:   "Stop talking about it. I'm going to stop calling you a white man. And I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You're not going to say, 'I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.' Hear what I'm saying?" Morgan Freeman to Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes tape replayed on Showbiz Tonight, 19 December 2005.    [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of a Tired, Old and Regrettably Effective Tactic:   "Just when you think our political culture can’t sink any lower, the race card gets tossed onto the table, as those who know how to play that game reach from the gutter to portray themselves as enlightened. It’s a tired old tactic, yet in the right hands it remains regrettably effective." In "Race cards? Deal me out," by Joe Fitzgerald, Boston Herald, 19 July 2019.   [ 6 ]

 

Addendum of Preparation to Defend Failure:  "The president’s remarks were immediately denounced as racist by Democrats and the usual frantic pundits, even though the tweets had no racial content. Trump responded that 'Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people'." In "The president is right about Baltimore. Are Democrats really prepared to defend failure?" by James S. Robbins, USA Today, 30 July 2019.

 

An additional musing in rhyme after Everything's about my colored skin  - (or sadly, Why racism works)

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     And begin anew.  "...when leftists have no other winning argument, they falsely accuse others of racism. Republicans cower at the charge and often give the leftists what they want. Black Americans who are octogenarians, or nearly so, need to explain what true racism is, not to correct white liberals but to inform young black people." In "Being a Racist Is Easy Today," by Walter E. Williams, Townhall, 31 July 2019.

 

[ 2 ]    The race insensitivity charge between Democrats is amusing. From the article one reads further:   "Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks ignited a long-simmering feud with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). CBC members, such as Clay, exploded in anger at Ocasio-Cortez for having 'used the race card' and accused progressives of seeking to oust black lawmakers by endorsing their primary challengers."

 

Racism -- a Weak Argument

 

          As to in-fighting, Democrat Congressman "Clay continued his broadside, saying the comment exposed how much Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., have to learn when it comes to being 'effective legislators. It’s going to take a process of maturing for those freshman members. They will have to learn to be effective legislators,' he said. 'It shows their lack of sensitivity to racism. To fall back on that (trope) is a weak argument. It has no place in a civil discussion'."  In "House Dem blasts 'juvenile' Ocasio-Cortez, chief of staff: 'Ignorance is beyond belief'," by Sam Dorman and Chad Pergam, Fox News, 12 July 2019.

 

Racism - an Argument Nonetheless

 

          Ironically for Congressman Clay's assertion that racism is a "weak argument" and "has no place in a civil discussion," he stated: "President Trump's vile, racist statements regarding refugees and immigrants from Africa, Haiti, El Salvador and other non-European countries confirms that his world-view and decision-making process is driven by intolerance, ignorance and blatant racism. His reprehensible comments have once again provided aid and comfort to white supremacists, demeaned his office, and weakened the United States in the eyes of the world. Congress must go on record to hold him accountable." In "Clay, Congressional Black Caucus Join Judiciary Democrats to Introduce Resolution to Censure Trump for Racist, Vile Comments," Press release of Congressman Clay, 18 January 2018.

          Racism is a weak argument? Sometimes not?

          Color me surprised....

 

[ 3 ]    Turley amusingly — even if not intended to be amusing — observed: "If Pelosi cannot devour the revolution, she could well be devoured by it. She’s no racist — but such distinctions mean little in this revolutionary moment."

          But as to Pelosi:  "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn't even trying to hide it anymore: She takes a dim view of the narrative that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York represents some sort of powerful future of the Democratic Party." In "Nancy Pelosi just won't stop trolling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez," by Chris Cillizza, CNN, 15 April 2019.  Is trolling racist?  Is racism trolling?

          Most political revolutions are not revolutions in the logical sense. Revolutions -- plural -- are intended by revolutionaries to only "revolve" to that moment when they acquire power -- usually wholly authoritarian -- and then revolve no further.  Consider this truth about revolutionary politics:  Revolution revolves but once - lèse majesté remains among its stunts.

 

[ 4 ]    The article details:  "Pressley said she didn’t want to discuss 'palace intrigue,' but also said she’s not interested in bringing 'a chair to an old table. This is the time to shake that table. We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice,' Pressley said, seemingly taking a stab at the Congressional Black Caucus, which is allied with Pelosi. 'We don’t need any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.' Pressley denied she was targeting those black leaders. Her spokeswoman, Lina Francis, said afterward that Pressley was trying to make the point that 'diversity at the table doesn’t matter if there’s not real diversity in policy'."

          The argument is blatant. Skin color is supposed to be parallel with certain political aims, and obviously against others. Skin color is supposed to be an identify. But as above Black on black is hard to read - a companion piece to screed.

 

Pejoratives for Perceptions

 

           When people of any color of skin disagree with Democrats such as these above, involved in "racially charged infighting" within their own party, such racist slogans erupt, i.e. "race traitor," and so forth.

          Wikipedia informs:  "Race traitor is a pejorative reference to a person who is perceived as supporting attitudes or positions thought to be against the supposed interests or well-being of that person's own race. For example, one or both parties to an interracial relationship may be characterized as 'race traitors'. As another example, a person who supports affirmative action or other policies that allegedly benefit races other than his/her own may be characterized as a 'race traitor'."

 

It's Rhetoric, Frankly

 

          Thus those asserting various skin colors define specific "attitudes or positions of thought" are the direct thought descendants of those who previously "perceived" some other set of "attributes or positions of thought."

          As counterpoint to the Democrats' "racially charged infighting, one reads:  "Although Democratic senators have called for more minorities, he said, they don’t always vote to confirm them. 'It's rhetoric, frankly,' Mr. Levey added." In "Democrats withhold support for minority judges nominated by Trump," by Alex Swoyer, Washington Times, 14 July 2019.

          Racism can be an two-edged sword, and now wielded by both sides of the political divide..

 

And then...

 

          The immediate dénouement of this story came quickly. One reads: "The House on Wednesday voted 332-95 to kill the first articles of impeachment brought forward under the new Democratic majority, showing off a deep divide among Democrats on whether to go forward with an effort to unseat President Trump. A majority of Democrats, along with the chamber's Republicans, voted to table the measure sponsored by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), while 95 Democrats voted in favor of it." In "House votes to kill impeachment effort against Trump," by Cristina Marcos, The Hill, 18 July 2019.

          Now the Democrats will have to decide who among them sided with an allegedly "racist" president, proving that a majority of Democrats as well as all Republicans are "racist."  When politics reduces down to name-calling, something suffers. But such is nature of Politics , racial infighting and all.

 

[ 5 ]    In response to the taped portion played on Showbiz Tonight, All Sharpton observed:  "I think the way to deal with racism may be to act on it and maybe to have honest discussions about it. I agree with him, we shouldn't be calling each other by race, but I think if we stick our head in the sand, we just expose our behinds to the world."

          "An all-out racially charged fight within the House Democratic Caucus," in the Washington Post's verbiage, tells that "calling each other by race," Sharpton's words just above, is the current game of the "revolution" which Turley says is occurring among Democrats.  "...we just expose our behinds to the world."

          Yup.

 

[ 6 ]      Effective, so it it said, and yet political cracks form. The opinion above stresses that charges of racism remain "regrettably effective."

 

When Good News Becomes Bad News?

 

          As one example:   "When asked about America’s current political climate, Johnson said 'The party in my opinion, for me personally, has moved too far to the left,' he told CNBC. Which is why he currently isn’t supporting any candidates. Johnson publicly supported Hilary Clinton candidacy in 2016 but has recently praised some of Trump’s policies. He gives Trump credit for America’s economy. 'It’s reaching populations that heretofore had very bad problems in terms of jobs and employments and the opportunities that come with employment … so African-American unemployment is at its lowest level,' Johnson said." In "Robert Johnson, BET Founder, Praises Trump and says Democrats have gone too far," by Tia Freels, Black News Alerts, 10 January 2019.

          When skin color becomes camouflage for a specific political stance as against another political stance, in order to obscure clarity about said political stances, then the reports of "racial infighting" which is being seen inside the Democrat Party is indicative of racism, essentially. And that racism is on the part of the "too far left" as Johnson above identifies are the real, underlying phenomenon, attempting to clothe itself  in the phrase, "of color."

          But as history reports without resort to racism, the political Left is rooted in people of color, and that color is white. Consider the "white privilege" graphic which illustrates a rhyme about White Noise .

 

Race Politics?

 

          While self-identified "people of color" speak in racial terms for the Democrats, it is affirmed in racial terms from the political Right:  "Race politics. It’s the lifeblood of the modern Democrat Party." In "Identity Politics Today: Black Faces Should Stop Speaking With White Liberal Talking Points," by Katrina Pierson, Townhall, 23 July 2019.

          In another editorial a day later, a black writer opined:  "As a result, the discussion is not about the merits of the socialism they are selling, about their big-government answers to health, housing, education and lifting up the poor, but about answering their charge that anyone who does not agree with them is a racist. Attacking the messenger, rather than discussing the message, is a well-established tactic of those whose aspiration is political power rather than seeking truth." In "Understanding Why 'The Squad' Screams 'Racism'," by Star Parker, Townhall, 24 July 2019.

          One need ask then of those affirming that skin color has evaluative merit. Is skin color a determinant of political opinion? If so, how so? If so, which political stance is the correct one based on skin color?

 

Blackground? A Liberal Notion?

 

          An entertainer's racism is offered:   " 'Look, there are African American men in this shot! How much did he pay them to be 'blackground'?' Midler, 73, tweeted to her 1.7 million followers. Her remark was instantly slammed as 'racist' and 'really sick.' 'Wow, Bette! That’s some racist crap right there. I guess an old, white woman like yourself gets to decide what and how black people should believe and vote,' @staceybeast tweeted, while @Sammurica wrote: 'People of different races are allowed to support whoever they want. Shocking, I know'." In "Bette Midler calls African American Trump supporters 'blackground,' is slammed as 'racist'," by Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY Entertainment, 25 July 2019.

          Reflecting on the political observation of Robert Johnson, as above, is "too far left" the authentic voice for all "people of color?" Are black conservatives and moderates then, who are not "too far left," not representative of the political information carried in skin color, according to those "too far left" who espouse race politics?

 

Many Black Voices, Mostly Independent and Conservative, and Not Too Far Left

 

          One reads:  "...more black Democratic voters continue to characterize their views as moderate than as liberal. This year, 40% of black Democrats call themselves moderate, 30% say they are conservative and 28% call themselves liberal." In "Democratic voters are increasingly likely to call their views liberal," by Samantha Smith, Pew Research Center, 7 September 2017.

 

Independent  /  Conservative  /  Liberal

40    >    30     >     28

 

      Pew notes:   "While most Americans continue to express at least some mix of liberal and conservative attitudes, the share who hold either uniformly liberal or uniformly conservative values is growing."   

         

Race Relations Improving Under a Racist?

 

          But as to public perceptions of race relations in the nation, one finds some interesting polling, suggesting that the "racial infighting" in the Democrat Party and the accusations that a sitting president is racist are not as politically powerful as imagined..

          One reads:  "More Southerners also said they think race relations in their states are improving. Twenty percent said they're getting better, compared to 14 percent in September. The number of people who said relations are getting worse dropped significantly, from 44 percent in September to 34 percent in the current poll. A plurality of respondents, 44 percent, said they're 'about the same'." In "NBC News poll of the South: Voters' support for Trump grows, residents see race relations improving," by Dareh Gregorian, NBC News, 20 July 2019.

          Similarly:  "We find that via most measures, white Americans’ expressed anti-Black and anti-Hispanic prejudice declined after the 2016 campaign and election, and we can rule out even small increases in the expression of prejudice. These results suggest the limits of racially charged rhetoric’s capacity to heighten prejudice among white Americans overall. They also indicate that prejudice can behave like an issue attitude: rather than being a fixed predisposition, prejudice can respond thermostatically to changing presidential rhetoric and policy positions." In "The Rise of Trump, the Fall of Prejudice? Tracking White Americans’ Racial Attitudes, 2008-2018, via a Panel Survey," by Daniel J. Hopkins and Samantha Washington, University of Pennsylvania Institutional Review Board, 17 April 2019.

 

A Favored Tactic Documented

 

          As to "...racism in itself. It’s utterly racist to claim white politicians can’t criticize black politicians simply because of skin colors. Still, those survey numbers explain much — namely, why every time a conservative criticizes the policies of the hard left, the progressive left, the little-more-than-socialist left, it’s always the favorite response of liberals to cry 'racism.' Tossing down the race card as a means of stifling dissenting views — it’s no longer just anecdotal, or a figment of imaginations, or conspiratorial and hallucinatory to suggest this is a favored tactic of many on the far left. Now we have the polling numbers to prove it." In "Racism alert: 32% Democrats say white pols can't criticize blacks," by Cheryl K. Chumley, Washington Times, 17 July 2019.

 

The Operative Rule in Politics These Days

 

          Another take:   "The operative rule in politics these days seems to be that any criticism of a non-white politician from anywhere to their right is, by definition, a racist attack. Nothing Trump said pertained in any way to Elijah Cummings’s skin color or ethnicity, only to his failure as a legislator and political leader to do anything to improve his district. The real question is: Is he right? In May, the New York Times Magazine ran a cover story called, 'The Tragedy of Baltimore.' The story details how, in the wake of the 2015 riots—or 'uprising' in the view of those who imagine the torching of a neighborhood CVS and the intentional sabotage of the firefighters’ equipment to be revolutionary actions—Baltimore went from bad to horrible: 'nothing less than a failure of order and governance the likes of which few American cities have seen in years'."  In "Trump is right about Baltimore — and the Democrats know it," by Seth Barron, New York Post, 28 July 2019.

          For more on this amusing moment in partisan politics and the charges of racism as regards Baltimore, a rhyme and sourced reports tells a tale -- and it is not about racism, but corrupt politics and its decades of "solutions" as practiced in Charm City. See: Out of control  - crime takes its toll.

 

Racist! Two and More Can Play at this Game

 

          An Associated Press article weighs in:   "...Trump argued, 'if racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership'." In "Stepping up feud, Trump assails Cummings as 'racist'," by Zeke Miller and Hope Yen, Associated Press, 28 July 2019.
          Amusingly, AP notes:   "Cummings’ district is about 55% black and includes a large portion of Baltimore. The city has struggled with violent crime, with more than 300 homicides for four years in a row. It has crumbling infrastructure and a police department under federal oversight."

          In addition:   "Baltimore authorities are cautioning residents amid a police shortage. On Tuesday, officials announced that the city is short approximately 500 officers. This comes a week after the department’s police commissioner released a plan aimed at reducing crime in the area. Officials say the plan can not be implemented as there are not enough officers to even respond to 9-1-1 calls." In "Baltimore officials caution residents amid a police shortage, need 500 additional officers," OAN Newsroom, 31 July 2019.

          This relates to racial politics serving poorly in serving the needy:  "The district recently came under fire by the president, who blamed Representative Elijah Cummings for the city’s living conditions. Many residents agreed with President Trump, and claimed Cummings doesn’t listen to their needs."

 

Being Taken for Granted for Decades

 

          After a second round of debates with Democrat candidates, a dissonance is heard:   " 'I think all politicians take black folks for granted,' he told a Yahoo News reporter at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, after the debate. 'They talk to black folks every four years, and that’s about it, and then do nothing about it. And both parties suck in that aspect, and that is not a Republican or Democratic thing, not a liberal or conservative thing. It’s an economic thing. Economic opportunity. And that’s what both parties’ been neglecting, especially the Democratic Party,' Barkley continued." In "Charles Barkley Says Black People Who Vote for Democratic Party Are 'Still Poor'," by Mimi Nguyen Ly, Epoch, 1 August 2019.

 

Maybe the National Race Hustle Isn't Such a Good Idea

 

           A sentiment:  "The shriekings of 'racism' aren’t helping much anymore. Few observers have missed the fact that the city of Baltimore has been run by an African American city hall (Mayor, Police Chief, District Attorney) for many years, with over a billion dollars in additional federal assistance. So, if political power is the answer, how's that working out? Add some extra shrieking about 'white privilege' to explain the situation? How does 'white privilege' explain the fact that 86 percent of kids in Baltimore primary schools can’t read and 89 percent can't do arithmetic to grade level? This, despite the fact that at $15,564 per pupil, Baltimore is fourth highest-spending per student of the 100 largest school districts in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Maybe becoming the party of a national race hustle isn’t such a good idea."  In "Race Hustle," James Howard Kunstler, blog, 2 August 2019.

           From earlier, one finds more of Baltimore's failing public education:   "As Project Baltimore continues to follow the path of the money, it becomes increasingly obvious that there are strong institutional incentives to keep Baltimore's clearly failing system in place. In a very real sense, the dysfunction in Baltimore's schools mirror a similar dysfunction in the city’s political establishment. In a city of fewer than 600,00 residents, with a rapidly declining school enrollment, literally thousands of individuals in the school system receive salaries in excess of $100,000 per year. Most of the recipients of this government largesse are not teachers but consultants, contractors, and administrators. The school system, it seems, has become a platform for political patronage, and rewarding allies of the city's political class. How else could the school system's budget be so saddled with bureaucracy and blight?" In "Baltimore's failing schools are a tragedy of criminal proportions," by Armstrong Williams, The Hill, 13 September 2017.

           Perhaps racial politics is not the solution to so many problems, whether played on one politician or another, one party or another. Perhaps a city which has "struggled with violent crime" needs an effective and lasting solution? Can politics deliver solutions? Decades of political leadership in Baltimore testify, "no."  Apparently.

 

Political Patronage, City, State and Federal?

 

           "Baltimore reportedly has 13,522 employees with a combined payroll that exceeds $821 million annually. The mayor’s office paid $7 million in 2018 for the salaries of 111 employees and $1 million for public relations fees, according to an investigation conducted by auditors at OpenTheBooks.com. Baltimore’s schools pay another 10,770 employees with a combined payroll of $619.3 million—$79.1 million spent outside the classroom, $11.4 million spent on psychologists, $16.4 million for social workers, $7.4 million for counselors, $2.7 million for bus drivers, and $41.2 million for principals and assistant principals, according to the watchdog group." In "US Taxpayers Foot $2 Billion Bill for 30,000 Public Employees in Baltimore," by Audrey Conklin, Daily Signal, 6 August 2019.

 

Democrat Racism Against Blacks

 

           "In a recent interview with the Courier Journal, Dawn Elliottt, a Louisville political talk radio host and attorney who is also black, slammed Cameron for his support for President Donald Trump and told Cameron to 'stop eating the 'Coon Flakes' the White House is serving.' This is disgusting, racist language to use against a good man who happens to be a black Republican. It’s really sad that in today’s world, if black men or women are Republicans, many blacks and liberals jump on them to suggest they are 'Uncle Toms.' That’s a real shame, because we live in a country where people of all colors have the right to join a political party that most aligns with their beliefs and values." In "Racist attack on Cameron beyond the pale, Editorial, Bowling Green Daily News, 15 August 2019.

           The assertion that blacks in the United cannot be racist conflicts with racial disparagement by blacks of blacks who are conservative.

 

This Is Not Complicated? Really?

 

          And then Democrat Party's realities sink in:  "Dear Democrats: This is not complicated! Just nominate a decent, sane person, one committed to reunifying the country and creating more good jobs, a person who can gain the support of the independents, moderate Republicans and suburban women who abandoned Donald Trump in the midterms and thus swung the House of Representatives to the Democrats and could do the same for the presidency. And that candidate can win!" In "Trump’s Going to Get Re-elected, Isn’t He?’ by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, 16 July 2019.

          Friedman's assertion that this "is not complicated," seems incorrect as Baltimore's many lingering problems demand solutions in place of meager political rhetoric. And as to BET's Johnson's assertion that the Democrat Party has "moved too far to the left," consider what occurs and has occurred many times when the political Left's adherents have been Left to their own devices .

         

Perhaps a Different Approach? A New Approach?

 

          An alternative is suggested, bad for entrenched political interests however. Of the current state of things:  "I’m not questioning people’s intent when they first put these policies in place, but after decades of experimenting, the outcomes have become evident. And they’re not good. People are suffering from the unintended consequences of the left’s misguided compassion. It’s about time that we ended the suffering and implemented an urban agenda that works. We have the ability to put in place policies that can achieve the eradication of poverty, job growth, positive educational outcomes, and strong families originally intended, but we can do it in proven ways that actually work. The good people who live in these communities deserve nothing less. Such an agenda must be based on the very building blocks of a civil society: family, faith, education, and community." In "I Know From Experience This Urban Agenda Would Lift Baltimore and Other Cities," by Kay Coles James, Daily Signal, 5 August 2019.

 

An Amusing Addition to the Story

 

          "Baltimore Police are investigating after the home of Rep. Elijah Cummings was broken into early Saturday morning. The burglary occurred around 3:40 a.m. at his Baltimore home in the 2000 block of Madison Avenue." In "Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore Home Burglarized, Police Say," CBS Baltimore, 1 August 2019.

          This is not complicated.

 

 


 

Chilling comments hot

"...the planet's 'carbon budget'—the amount of CO2 that can be released into the atmosphere without crossing the 2.0 Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) red line—would be used up within a couple of decades, perhaps sooner. 'There is a long way to go to decarbonise the world economy,' according to the commentary signed by former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, three top climate scientists, and two sustainability experts from the business sector. 'When it comes to climate, timing is everything,' they wrote." In "Four years to save the Earth: 2020 is the deadline to avert climate catastrophe, experts claim in chilling commentary," Agence France Presse via Daily Mail, 29 June 2017.

 

Chilling comments hot;
Blazing comments cold.
Yet another deadline dies,
Turns in time quite old.

The heat of her chilling comments
Burns chilled to embers now.
Those chilling words blazed hot
As such fiery words allow.
Time to stoke those ashes
To warm the chill somehow.
Timing is all, so she said,
With hot and cold knowhow.
Chilling comments heating up
For years, four years, and now?
The heat of her chilling comments
Burns chilled to embers now.

Chilling comments burn;
Blazing comments chill.
Yet another deadline ticks,
So who will pay the bill?
 

 

Addendum of Choosing Losers:   "Climate change creates winners and losers. Norway is among the winners; Nigeria among the losers. Those are the stark findings of a peer-reviewed paper by two Stanford University professors who have tried to quantify the impact of rising greenhouse gas emissions on global inequality. It was published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. What on Earth Is Going On?" In "Global Wealth Gap Would Be Smaller Today Without Climate Change, Study Finds," by Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 22 April 2019.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum from the Chief:   "...the biggest transformation that they have ever undertaken. The Industrial Revolution was also a transformation, but it wasn't a guided transformation from a centralized policy perspective. This is a centralized transformation that is taking place because governments have decided that they need to listen to science. So it's a very, very different transformation and one that is going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different." In "Global warming talks progress is 'slow but steady' – UN climate chief," by Elizabeth Kolbert, Guardian UK, 21 November 2012.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Doubts and a Chilling Real Motive:   "Have doubts? Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer: 'One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,' said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015. So what is the goal of environmental policy? 'We redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy,' said Edenhofer. For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn't really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said that 'the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated'." In "Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare," Investors, 29 March 2016.

 

Ask yourself:   Do you remember the good old days? 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    Of the New York Times coverage of an academic report one notes that the political topic of climate change intertwines with the political category of income inequality. Thus the various proposals from climate change activists involved the redistribution of wealth, through a global agency, from the "winners" to the "losers."

 

A Looming 2020

 

          After Doha 2012, and after the "chilling" warnings of a global agency's "climate chief" in 2017 forecasting a "four year" window, 2020 is but six months away as of this posting. Was the chilling warming inaccurate, based as a "climate chief" alleged on science?

          One reads:   "At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism. 'This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,' she said." In "U.N. Official Reveals Real Reason Behind Warming Scare," Investors, 10 February 2015.

 

Climate Change Is Global Economic Transformation?

 

          That editorial's assertion is mirrored from a UN statement:   "It must be understood that what is occurring here, not just in Doha, but in the whole climate change process is a complete transformation of the economic structure of the world. That does not happen overnight. It should happen much quicker than it is happening, but it cannot happen overnight." In "Doha update by UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres,' Press Briefing, Doha, Qatar, 3 December 2012.

          The stated goal from 2012:  "a complete transformation of the economic structure of the world" via the political side of "climate change."

          A reasonable question to the climate activist: is it the role of "transforming" the world's economic structure? By establishing world governance? This is most obviously to be done by and under The Privileges of Intellectuals .

 

[ 2 ]     The call for a "centralized transformation" is a call for world governance. It is alleged that "governments have decided," and yet that statement is untrue as of mid-year 2019. 

 

Forecast versus Forecast

 

          One climate authority writes in contradistinction to Figueres:   "Even optimistically assuming that promised emission cuts are maintained throughout the century, the impacts are generally small. The impact of the US Clean Power Plan (USCPP) is a reduction in temperature rise by 0.013°C by 2100. The full US promise for the COP21 climate conference in Paris, its so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) will reduce temperature rise by 0.031°C. The EU 20-20 policy has an impact of 0.026°C, the EU INDC 0.053°C, and China INDC 0.048°C. All climate policies by the US, China, the EU and the rest of the world, implemented from the early 2000s to 2030 and sustained through the century will likely reduce global temperature rise about 0.17°C in 2100. These impact estimates are robust to different calibrations of climate sensitivity, carbon cycling and different climate scenarios. Current climate policy promises will do little to stabilize the climate and their impact will be undetectable for many decades." In "Impact of Current Climate Proposals," by Bjorn Lomborg, Global Policy published by Durham University and John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 9 November 2015.

          From Figueres' 2012 Doha statement to her calculation that 2020 was the year by which global governance of the climate must be made to happen, one finds in 2019 that some governments and some climate science disagrees.

 

Chilling Coal Fires with Heated Rhetoric

 

          Then, with the benchmark of 2020 in mind, one reads that many coal-fired plants are being constructed in China, a signatory to the Figueres-sanctioned plan:   "According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), for the world to limit warming to below 1.75C above pre-industrial conditions, China would have to close all its power plants that don't have carbon capture and storage facilities within 30 years. 'Avoiding dangerous climate change requires essentially phasing out coal plants globally by 2045,' said Christine Shearer, lead author of the report. "China needs to begin planning for the aggressive retirement of its existing coal fleet, not building hundreds of new coal plants." In "China coal power building boom sparks climate warning," by Matt McGrath, BBC, 26 September 2018.

          Thirty years from the BBC's article date, 2018, is obviously the year 2048. But Figueres' warning about the necessary global deal gave a date of 2020. The simple numbers do not add up in so many ways. Mixing in an observation like Lomorg's above, the whole seems a political hot mess.

 

Non-binding Intentions to Clean Up?

 

          One opinion as regards the UN and China's participation in "green" politics seems apt.  One reads:  "The truth is China didn’t even have to promise to clean up its act; like the other eco-villains that signed onto the phony  Paris accord, they merely offered a non-binding intention to clean up — and in the distant future, at that. It’s another UN charade, a fictitious commitment to reform, called an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), by which each country sets out its energy plan for the next 13 years, up to 2030. But, as Christopher Booker observes in his July 15 column for the U.K.’s Telegraph, the INDC ploy is a typical UN sham." In "New Climate 'Hero' China Building Hundreds of New Coal Plants," by William F. Jasper, New American, 19 July 2017.

          Take heart. Harvard has created a plan to test a plan which will take time and money:  "Plans to test a technique that would cool the planet by blocking sunlight are one step closer to reality. Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has created an external advisory panel to examine the potential ethical, environmental and geopolitical impacts of this geoengineering project, which has been developed by the university’s researchers." In "Harvard creates advisory panel to oversee solar geoengineering project," by Jeff Tollefson, Nature, 30 July 2019.

          Odd. The researchers must have concluded that they had time to create a panel to "examine" the impact of a test, which seems a time-consuming set of steps in this time of only "eighteen months." Or "by 2020." Or something.

          The climate change "sky is falling" with an aim to redistribute the world's wealth might turn out to be a mere "climate change ploy" is aging rapidly. The attempt "to make the life of everyone on the planet very different" through "a complete transformation of the economic structure of the world" seems quite different than "heal the planet."  But the assertion has been made for decades now that man is The Scourge of the Planet .


 

We will speak for you - authoritarian, through and through

" 'According to the Communist ideology, ‘We are the people’s representatives’, so the party cannot accept people rising up against it and forcing it to back down,' said Joseph Cheng, retired political science professor at the City University of Hong Kong." In " 'They will definitely take revenge': how China could respond to the Hong Kong protests," by Verna Yu, Guardian UK, 25 June 2019.

We will speak for you and be your only voice,
    Such that you will not speak and have no other choice.
        We will represent your views, as by us you're led;
            You shall not waiver, the Party line has said.
                We will speak for you; to differ is a crime.
                    So you must not speak, such is the paradigm.

 


 

Scratch a Leftist -- to the tune of "Plant a Radish," from the Fantasticks

Antifa carrying the Communist Flag

 

"What is true is that an antifa mob beat up a journalist—one who is harshly critical of them, to be sure, but who posed no physical threat to them and was only there to document their activities—on a public street. This is indefensible, and yet there are tons of progressive-leaning people currently defending it, or at the very least rationalizing and making light of it. Antifa, of course, rejects the notion that violence should only be used in response to a physical threat. The group believes that the very existence of far-right people, groups, and ideas is a kind of provocation that justifies violence—against the far-right, and against their enablers." In "Antifa Mob Viciously Assaults Journalist Andy Ngo at Portland Rally," by Robby Soave, Reason, 29 June 2019. 

Scratch a Leftist, find a Fascist, never any doubt.
That's why all such politics reveals what it's about.

Catch a Leftist, find a Commie, maybe more than few.
That's why I hate that politics which come to pummel you.

It's dependable! We're expendable!
The best friend a thug has ever known!
When in power, things turn sour.
When socialism is nearly grown
One harvests what was sown.

Scratch a Leftist, find a Nazi, though Leftists disagree.
Leftists need confusion much more than clarity.

Catch a Leftist, find dictators who will gladly rule.
That's why smaller government is the better tool.

Scratch a Leftist, find a Fascist, never any doubt.
That's why all such politics reveals what it's about.

 

Addendum of Violent Attacks:  "It appears that journalist Andy Ngo wasn’t the only victim of an antifa assault at Saturday’s rally in Portland, Oregon. Two Oregon men — John Blum and Adam Kelly — were mobbed and pummeled by black-masked protesters in a horrific attack that left Mr. Blum bleeding profusely from wounds to his face and skull, as shown in video shared on social media by conservative pundit Michelle Malkin and others." In "Two more Oregon men left bloody after violent antifa attack at Portland protest," by Valerie Richardson, Washington Times, 1 July 2019.

 

Images of Protesters

 

 

  

 

   

Hammer and Sickle Imagery [ 1 ]

 

Consider what the Anitfa "Left" says of itself:    Left in an open book - it couldn't hurt to take a look

 

Addendum of White Anti-fascist Privilege:   "Antifa's goals are not those of most non-white Americans. Most non-white Americans don't want to destroy the systems of government, abolish the police, end capitalism, or cripple corporations. The group is absolutely trying to impose a style of anarchy that is steeped in (and almost unique to) whiteness. When cowards wear masks to engage in violence, we must remove the masks to see who we are actually dealing with—not the fairy tale of diversity version. When Andy Ngo, a minority gay man, is mercilessly beaten up by white activists, the fact that the activists are white is a big part of the story in today's landscape. Don't believe the progressive narrative: Antifa is mostly a bunch of privileged white dudes." In "Antifa Is Mostly Made Up Of Privileged White Dudes," by David Marcus, Federalist, 1 July 2019.   [ 2 ]

 

  

 

Then consider the documented testimony of a Socialist:  True socialism, oh yes, he said 

 

  

 

Then consider the documented testimony of a Fascist:   Everything within -- an original sin

 

Addendum from One of a Number of Beating Victims:   "... I was suddenly slammed on the back of my head with something hard. Dazed and still hearing faint chants of 'no hate,' I was then punched and kicked by perhaps a dozen masked people in black. At an Antifa event meant to resist 'fascist violence,' I—a gay journalist of color—was beaten so badly that I was hospitalized for a brain hemorrhage. Since last year, I have been targeted by Antifa and its allies for my critical coverage of their violent extremism. I’ve reported those incidents to the Portland Police Bureau [ see below ], and in some cases I’ve identified suspects, but there were no arrests. The mainstream media describe Antifa as 'antifascist,' but in fact it is a far-left paramilitary-style movement of anarchists and communists agitating for a revolution." In "A Leftist Mob Attacked Me in Portland," by Andy Ngo, Wall Street Journal, 2 July 2019.

 

White-skinned Antifa in Washington, DC, 2019

 

    

White privilege behind the masks?

 

Addendum from the Portland Police Association President:   "The reason the Police Bureau is experiencing catastrophic staffing shortages, drastically declining recruiting success, and the inability to retain officers is due to one core issue: the intense anti-police sentiment in our City that City Council seems to share. The result of that problem is that policing in Portland is hideously unattractive, discouraging good applicants from applying and prompting our officers t  o leave or retire as soon as they’re able." In "Recruitment And Retention: Our Crisis in the Portland Police Bureau," by Daryl Turner, Portland Police Association, Facebook post, 8 April 2019.

 

White skinned and masked

 

Addendum of a Murderer:   "Connor Betts, the Dayton, Ohio mass shooter, was a self-described 'leftist,' who wrote that he would happily vote for Democrat Elizabeth Warren, praised Satan, was upset about the 2016 presidential election results, and added, 'I want socialism, and i’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding'." In "Connor Betts: Twitter Posts on Being a Leftist, Guns," by Jessica McBride, Heavy, 5 August 2019.    [ 3 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]   While the supposed "anti-fascist" presents as associated with the now infamous hammer and sickle, data should also associated.  From Professor Rummel's oft-quoted, academic site filled with historical documentation and statistics, one finds that, in descending order, certain political ideologies of the 20th century yielded horrible truths.

 

Antifa with hammer and sickle flag in 2018

 

The German Antifascists with hammer and sickle in 1932

 

          Merriam-Webster: "an emblem consisting of a crossed hammer and sickle used especially as a symbol of Soviet Communism."

          In descending order of what Rummel terms "democide" or the murder of citizenry, the most murderous has been Communist China which killed an estimated 76,702,000, from  1949-87.

          Second to Communist China was the now failed U.S.S.R. with an estimated 61,911,000 from 1917-1987. A distant third was the National Socialists of Germany with an estimated 20,946,000 from 1933-1945.

 

Chinese Communism  >  Soviet Socialism  >  National Socialism

~ 77 million deaths  >  ~ 62 million deaths  >  ~ 21 million deaths

 

          Thus the "hammer and sickle" crushing the swastika in the antifa sign above is multivalent. One murderous ideology crushes another, but also both are murderous ideologies and the hammer and sickle represents the historically more murderous of the two.  Therefore this is no apologia for one by finding two others worse, but a linking of all three into one ugly and unified category.

          But, to use the fumbling words, Left and Right, as capable of capturing political murderousness, then again, from sheer numbers alone, the Left has been more murderous than the Right.  Given that the U.S.S.R. and Communist China together are considered Communist politically, the numbers then stack up as:

 

~ 77 million  and  ~ 62 million = ~ 139 million  >  ~21 million

 

          Murderousness can be counted, and counted on to explain. The imagery, therefore, of the hammer and sickle is a poor testimony to the pretence of civility, to peaceful society and to a better, more peaceful world. The number of deaths due to those political entities classed as Communist dwarf the "fascist," yet all are heinous.  All are murderous.

 

Communists Hiding Behind Masks and Masking Political Rhetoric

 

          Moreover, Italian Fascism which was allied with the National Socialists in Germany do not figure into even the "lesser murderers" category of Professor Rummel's statistical study of the 20th century. Thus the current anti-fascist, acting like fascists, dare not actually have a dialogue about their supposed "anti-fascist" stance, nor about their anti-racist stance when they attack those they identify as "race traitors" when conservatives, libertarians and centrists of other than white racial backgrounds stand against them.

          When fascists and anti-fascists both evidence violence, the distinction fails. It is mere word play, intent on portraying one revolutionary group seeking power as different from another revolutionary groups seeking power. The lesson of history can only be avoided by continuing the pretense in words.

          Amending the above numerical comparisons, the better conclusion would be that all three murderous ideologies have been arrayed -- democide -- against a citizenry. Therefore and quite obviously:

 

Chinese Communism  >  Soviet Socialism  >  National Socialism > Civility and Peace

~ 77 million deaths  >  ~ 62 million deaths  >  ~ 21 million deaths > as close to zero deaths as possible

 

          The link to Professor Rummel's aggregated stats is https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM  A cursory examination of this research places the modern "antifa" activist, "protesting" in masks and wielding weapons and hammer-and-sickle flags squarely among the most heinous of political ideologies of the 20th century.  History stands against them.

          The Right-Left model fails.  One may easily argue that Left is Right, as Right is Left  The muddling of terms and slogans too blithely obscured basic truths. Among them is that thought which suggests that individual freedom may be taken away by the state, as proven by millions of deaths. 

 

The Skeleton Inside the Closet of the Left (and Statist Right)

 

          One reads of  "...a skeleton that rattles especially loudly inside the closet of the left. It is eugenics, the belief that society's fate rested on its ability to breed more of the strong and fewer of the weak. So-called positive eugenics meant encouraging those of greater intellectual ability and 'moral worth' to have more children, while negative eugenics sought to urge, or even force, those deemed inferior to reproduce less often or not at all. The aim was to increase the overall quality of the national herd, multiplying the thoroughbreds and weeding out the runts." In "Eugenics: the skeleton that rattles loudest in the left's closet," by Jonathan Freedland, Guardian UK, 18 February 2012.

          Freedland muddies thought too, in the assertion that eugenics may be viewed as a positive term. But he correctly notes "Socialism's one-time interest in eugenics is dismissed as an accident of history. But the truth is far more unpalatable."  Both Soviet Socialism and National Socialism -- the supposed opposites, joined by both allegiance to state power and eugenic behaviors -- testify to that "one-time interest."

          Of "negative eugenics" he observes with historical accuracy, "Such thinking was not alien to the great Liberal titan and mastermind of the welfare state, William Beveridge, who argued that those with 'general defects' should be denied not only the vote, but 'civil freedom and fatherhood'. Indeed, a desire to limit the numbers of the inferior was written into modern notions of birth control from the start. That great pioneer of contraception, Marie Stopes – honoured with a postage stamp in 2008 – was a hardline eugenicist, determined that the 'hordes of defectives' be reduced in number, thereby placing less of a burden on 'the fit'. Stopes later disinherited her son because he had married a short-sighted woman, thereby risking a less-than-perfect grandchild. Yet what looks kooky or sinister in 2012 struck the prewar British left as solid and sensible."

          Therein lies a political reality. Posturing for state power over individuals resulted in and continues to lobby for various versions of "negative eugenics," in part to rationalize and better finance social welfare for some by "limiting the numbers" of others. And this is found, in part, in the modern Left and the vision of progress which generally must argue against the view that Freedom is freedom is freedom . The genealogy and an anti-freedom is traced.

         

Communism as Ideology is Genocidal

 

          Communism as ideology is convicted in the court of history again as another murderous thug is remembered:   "Nuon Chea, the chief ideologist and 'Brother Number Two' of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, whose brutal rule in the 1970s led to the deaths of some 2 million people, died on Sunday at the age of 93, a court spokesman said. A U.N.-backed court found Chea guilty of genocide and sentenced him to life in prison last year, almost four decades after the Maoist regime which oversaw Cambodia's 'Killing Fields' was overthrown." In "Cambodian Khmer Rouge's chief ideologist, 'Brother Number Two', dead at 93," by Prak Chan Thul, Reuters, 4 August 2019.

          The ideological infection is identified:  "Chea was among a small clique -- led by 'Brother Number One', Pol Pot -- of mostly French-educated communists who rose to lead a bloody revolution against a U.S.-backed government after their country was engulfed by the Vietnam War."

          That the current crop of youthful Communists in Europe and the states parades with symbols of and cheers for Communism, given the hard data a murderous century has tabulated, tells that these young thugs could easily become as genocidal as their predecessors.

 

It Doesn't Go Very Far

 

          That genocidal effect may be seen in the Holomodor under Soviet Socialism and its Sheer Ignorance , outright mass murder under the Khmer Rouge, or in slow motion through the death of an economy, as under Venezuelan socialism. One reads:  "In a country where salaries can pay as little as $4 a month, dollars are increasingly crucial. The average amount that a family receives in remittances has almost doubled to $110 per month in the past year, and total flows may reach $3 billion this year, according to Datanalisis. But that won’t get very far. The monthly price for a basket of goods needed to support a family of five was some $200 in June, according to the Caracas research group Cenda." In "Not Even Dollars Can Save Venezuelans From Inflation’s Wrath," by Alex Vasquez, Bloomberg, 5 August 2019.

          Today's avid socialists and Communists reject the murderous lessons of history. Such is the force of their ideological infection.

 

[ 2 ]    There is dark humor in the supposed racial component to this tale.  From an earlier Portland antifa event, one reads:  "...speaking of leftist violence, based off their mugshots, the 'faces of Antifa' really aren’t all that distinguishable from those 'faces of meth' anti-drug ads. Thanks to a protest Antifa held in Portland yesterday, we have seven fresh-off-the-press mugshots. These criminals came to a demonstration equipped with rocks, smoke bombs, and other projectiles." In "Seven Antifa Members Arrested for Fighting in Portland, Oregon," by Matt, Political Insider, 11 September 2017.

 

 

          In similar fashion, one finds publicly available mug shots in arrest records for other antifa "events."  Search engines provide "radical" additional support for the assertion above, wherein young thugs, mostly white, pretend to advance social change for the better by administering beatings to those they accuse of fascism, acting the fascist thereby.

 

[ 3 ]    For the modern era, a reasoned and sourced historical understanding is generally absent in these 'anti-fascists,' who cheer for socialism. Academic theorists divvy up distinctions, often to confuse plain truths.

          A mass murderer declares "I want socialism, and i’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding," and then murders. Said murderer was remembered:   "...they sometimes played trivia at a bar near the gas station, and Betts often knew the answers on questions about current events and pop culture. 'He was real smart,' Kern said. 'He knew all the answers'." In "Classmates: Ohio shooter kept a 'hit list' and a 'rape list'," by Michael Biesecker and Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press, 5 August 2019.

          Similarly, sometimes violent protestors carry the hammer and sickle of Communism, and pretend to economic enlightenment. But their predecessors may be understood.

 

Socialism is a Phase of Communism

 

          One "real smart" theorist and ideologue wrote:   "...the scientific distinction between socialism and communism is clear. What is usually called socialism was termed by Marx the 'first', or lower, phase of communist society. Insofar as the means of production becomes common property, the word 'communism' is also applicable here, providing we do not forget that this is not complete communism. The great significance of Marx's explanations is that here, too, he consistently applies materialist dialectics, the theory of development, and regards communism as something which develops out of capitalism. Instead of scholastically invented, 'concocted' definitions and fruitless disputes over words (What is socialism? What is communism?), Marx gives an analysis of what might be called the stages of the economic maturity of communism." In "The State and Revolution," Vladimir Lenin, 1917.

          Is the modern Leftist ideologue clear that he is a Bolshevist? A Leninist? If so, then reviewing the plain, sourced statistics of democide by socialists -- national as well as international -- requires the modern Leftist explain why emulating such ideologically driven murderousness is wished for. If not, then the modern Leftist need confront a century of millions of victims of such an ideology.

 

Lenin's Socialist Principle

 

          But one need be clear about this. Lenin as theorist explains:  "...in the first phase of communist society (usually called socialism) 'bourgeois law' is not abolished in its entirety, but only in part, only in proportion to the economic revolution so far attained, i.e., only in respect of the means of production. 'Bourgeois law' recognizes them as the private property of individuals. Socialism converts them into common property. To that extent--and to that extent alone--'bourgeois law' disappears. However, it persists as far as its other part is concerned; it persists in the capacity of regulator (determining factor) in the distribution of products and the allotment of labor among the members of society. The socialist principle, 'He who does not work shall not eat', is already realized; the other socialist principle, 'An equal amount of products for an equal amount of labor', is also already realized. But this is not yet communism, and it does not yet abolish 'bourgeois law', which gives unequal individuals, in return for unequal (really unequal) amounts of labor, equal amounts of products."

          Enforced equality through the state, and "he who does not work shall not eat." A utopian or dystopian vision? But murderous in every historical instance, including the lone gunman who feels so self-virtuous as to be willing and able kill "an idiot."

 

Pretty Tricky

 

          An opinion on the conservative side of the American political divide notes:   "Ever wonder why rich people seem the most hysterical on the subject? Ever notice that it's the highest-paid people on TV who are the most determined to convince you white supremacy is America's biggest problem? Why is that? Simple: Every minute you spend angry about race is a minute you're not thinking about class — which, of course, is the real divide in this country. Working-class people of all colors have a lot more in common with each other than they do with some overpaid MSNBC anchor. If you were allowed to think about that long enough, you might start to get unauthorized ideas about economics. That would be disruptive to a very lucrative status quo. So they whip you into a frenzy of racial fear so that it never enters your mind. It's a diversion. Everyone else hates each other. They get to keep their money. Pretty tricky." In "Take a Breath; America Is Still a Decent Country Filled With Decent People," by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel, Townhall, 9 August 2019.

          As with many other forms of political entities, an elite lives better by reason of being self-anointed as better. This is true of many flavors of politicians and their Politics .

          Power and wealth in many flavors and many guises pretends to care about the downtrodden. But a simple examination of Corruption and the ruse of Income Inequality tells a clear story of those who seek power and wealth through the public sphere, or use such power and wealth through the political arenas to further their gathering in -- for themselves. Pretty tricky, indeed.

          For this, such tricksters require anger stirred in the populace, blinding the eye and confusing the mind.

 

Synthesizing a Stance:   That the organization across the 20th century and now into the 21st proposes itself as "anti-fascist" obscures a basic fact of history, and that is its open association Communist parties in various nations.

 

The various forms of totalitarianism included in a more general term, socialism, in their many forms, Communism, Italian Fascism and National Socialism.  The pretense by some that socialism is other than Communism is given lie by the seminal 1848 "Communist Manifesto."   The historic battle, on the streets as in elections, is notes by Wikipedia thusly:  "With the Antifaschistische Aktion, the KPD [ German Communist Party ] not only wanted to create a cross-party collect ion movement dominated by KPD, but they also aimed specifically at the Reichstag election on 31 July 1932. The election campaign for the July election in 1932 is regarded as the most violent in German history. In particular between KPD and NSDAP supporters it came to massive clashes and even shootings."

 

Unlike the American Revolution, the ascension of the National Socialists for a short time in Germany until the Nazi's defeat in 1945, brought one party and its totalitarian view to power, driving underground another totalitarian political group. Thus seen, the violence was not between good and evil, objectively, but between one form of evil and another.  Wikipedia informs further:  "The first German movement to call itself Antifaschistische Aktion was proclaimed by the German Communist Party (KPD) in their newspaper Rote Fahne in 1932 and held its first rally in Berlin on 10 July 1932, then capital of the Weimar Republic. Its two-flag logo, designed by Association of Revolutionary Visual Artists members Max Keilson and Max Gebhard, remains a widely used symbol of militant anti-fascism."

 

Thus, one finds anti-fascism not only anti-National Socialist, but also Communist in its history and fundamental principles. It becomes necessary for the model held by them to support the failing Right-Left model. If that simplistic model were true, then both poles in the model propose opposing totalitarian visions of government control. If that simplistic model is false, then what remains is simply one group of totalitarians willing to employ violence looking to identify an enemy against which to act -- violently.

 

If one posits a model in which the more liberal and more conservative voices in a free society may engage in civil debate and undergo elections regularly, then another model emerges:

 

 

Political words are so often inexact, and often inexact with purpose, it seems that, given various models such as the "Big Five" personality traits and others, one can partition off those political stances which willingly, willfully adopt violence within an otherwise democratic society, as self-appointed enforcers acting outside of government and governance. When such enforcers become government, beware!

 

But this was true of the Nazi street thugs, as of the Bolshevik street thugs, as of the "student" groups of Sino-Communism's "great leap forward," and more. Given the current habit in the press to speak of "far" and "extreme" right-wing, and less often of a "far" or "extreme" left-wing, parsing "Leftism" away from the left-right model gives it its own niche. Leftism, as noted in the graphic above, could as easily take another name. "Rightism," an existing phrase as yet not in the more used political parlance. But the word, per se, is not as significant as the marker which separates it from other facets of society -- its willingness to be violent.

 

Today the violent acting outside of civility picture themselves as Left, in the same way that some news coverage speaks of a Left. Consider this through the rhyme, sourced addenda and footnotes.  Left to their own devices

 

For this reason, the rhyme above says "scratch a Leftist," because the modern Left has obscured its own terminology. Including all forms of totalitarianism in one place on a model -- as the one proposed above -- cuts away both the civil liberal and civil conservative and all in between, leaving merely Communists, National Socialists, Fascists and more able and willing to use violence for their political purposes, individual as corporate. Civil society need be wary of the Totalitarian , no matter what costume, insignia or flag is in evidence.

 

And so, today's antifa -- the supposed anti-fascist -- might be anti-fascist in verbiage but is demonstrably fascist in its violent behavior, so consistent with its historical precedents. And it waves the flag and ideals of Communism.


 
Two popes - slippery slopes?

White and white

Two popes together
                    are so purely dressed in white,
As a singular singularity
                    has wandered out of sight.
Three popes, if two are fine,
                    might even better be;
Think what three could do
                    in multiplicity.
Four popes, more popes,
                    perhaps a shepherd flock
To shepherd gaily, shepherd daily,
                    shepherd Peters' rock.
Tu es petrus, too, vos estis
                    in a Petri dish,
Are served up white together,
                    a theological wish.
Two popes pose together,
                    too two to be two, not one,
Because two popes are double
                    the unanimity of one.

Cardinal red kneels to papal white

 

Addendum Through the Doors of Mercy: "...the second person to walk through? Benedict XVI, dressed in the white cassock reserved for popes alone. Five years ago, no one could have imagined this surreal spectacle: a reigning Pope embracing a 'Pope Emeritus' inside St Peter’s. Now Catholics are getting used to the notion of a Pope Emeritus. Whether they are comfortable with it, or understand what it means, is less easy to say." In "Are there really two popes?" by Damian Thompson, Catholic Herald, 14 January, 2016.

 

Addendum of Two:   "...Francis also, for the umpteenth time, rejects the idea that there's any break between his papacy and Benedict's, arguing that both, as with the other recent papacies, ultimately pivot on the loving mercy of God, calling it 'the most urgent message of a Church reaching out, even to the peripheries, of a world marked by conflicts, injustices and disrespect for the human person.' 'The entire life of thought and works of Joseph Ratzinger has aimed at that end, and in the same direction, with the help of God, I’ll try to continue,'” he said. While that may not be enough to satisfy all the critics of the two-pope arrangement, one in charge and the other at prayer, it seems more or less like Francis' final verdict." In "Francis says the people have spoken: 'Two popes are just fine'," by John L. Allen Jr., Crux Now, 27 August 2016.

 

Addendum of One:   "At one point, Francis made his view on the matter clear: 'there is one single Pope' he said, 'and the other… maybe they will be like the bishops emeriti, I’m not saying many but possibly there could be two or three. They will be emeriti… They are emeriti'." In "Interview: Archbishop Gänswein on Benedict, The Two Popes, and Prophecy," by Maike Hickson, OnePeterFive, 28 June 2016.

 

Addendum of Two and the Paedophile Priests:   "...Benedict published a 6,000-word article in a German magazine. It made headlines by blaming the clerical abuse scandal on the moral relativism of the 1960s sexual revolution, and the 'homosexual cliques' that allowed this 'lawlessness' to infect seminaries. It is a line of argument that directly – and, conservative cardinals insist, pointedly – contradicts all Francis’s efforts (including a summit of world bishops in the Vatican in February) to tackle the damage done by paedophile priests by pointing the finger at a dominant culture within the church; a culture that encourages priests and bishops to operate as if they are above the moral guidelines they preach, and regard themselves as beyond the sanction of civil courts." In "One church, two popes: why Catholicism is in crisis this Easter," by Peter Stanford, Guardian UK, 20 April 2019.

 

Papal white with the hammer and sickle

 

Addendum of the Catholic Hammer and Sickle:   "In fact, although the Catholic Church officially teaches that private property is a natural right, this teaching also comes with the proviso that private property is always subordinate to the common good. So subordinate, says Pope Francis in a truly radical moment in 'Laudato Si’,' that 'The Christian tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute or inviolable, and has stressed the social purpose of all forms of private property.' Something like this is paralleled in 'The Communist Manifesto,' when Marx and Engels underscore that abolishing private property means abolishing not personal property, or the kinds of things an artisan or farmer might own, but the amassed property held by the rich, which divides human beings into antagonistic classes of people—in other words, the kind of private property that most of us do not have." In "The Catholic Case for Communism," by Dean Dettloff, American Magazine, 23 July 2019.   [ 1 ]

 

 

Addendum in Francis' Own Words:   "The Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended,' Francis said. The Argentinian Pontiff expanded on his criticism, saying, 'The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefiting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger nothing ever comes out for the poor. This was the only reference to a specific theory. I was not, I repeat, speaking from a technical point of view but according to the church’s social doctrine. This does not mean being a Marxist'." In "Pope Francis: I’m Not a Marxist," by Courtney Subramanian, Time Magazine, 15 December 2013.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Other Argentinean Views:    "...I asked every Catholic I met to explain that anomaly. I got some blunt and brutal answers. 'We all know he is a son of a bitch,' said a former prosecutor to me. 'We are ashamed of him. He represents our worst qualities.' His friend chipped in that Catholics consider Francis 'to be a fake, a make-believe pope,' not to mention, he added, an uncultured, ill-mannered flake. The former prosecutor oozed contempt for Francis: 'He knows nothing — not morals, not theology, not history. Nothing. Only power interests him.' The description of Pope Francis as a power-mad ideologue is very widespread, I am finding. I spoke at length with Antonio Caponnetto, who is the Argentine author of several books on Pope Francis. 'At seminary, his classmates called him 'Machiavelli',' he noted."   In "Why Pope Francis Hasn’t Visited Argentina, by George Neumayr, Spectator, 22 August 2019.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of Francis Referring to Benedict as Pope:   "In the context of Pope Francis' September 4 flight to Mozambique, the news websites of the German and Austrian Bishops' Conferences, Katholisch.de and Kathpress.at, both report that Pope Francis was also asked about Cardinal Müller and his recurrent interventions that now seem to have a 'critical view of the current pontificate.' Pope Francis is reported to have answered: 'He has good intentions, he is a good man. The Pope likes him. But he is like a child'." In "Pope Francis criticizes former doctrinal head Muller: he has ‘good intentions’ but is ‘like a child’," by Maike Hickson, LifeSiteNews, 5 September 2019.   [ 4 ]

 

Consider especially the sourced notes to the rhyme above:  Scratch a Leftist -- to the tune of "Plant a Radish," from the Fantasticks

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     The apologist for Communism  who penned this "Catholic Case for Communism" observes:   "It is true that Marx, Engels, Lenin and a number of other major communists were committed Enlightenment thinkers, atheists who sometimes assumed religion would fade away in the bright light of scientific reason, and at other times advocated propagandizing against it (though not, as Lenin argued, in a way that would divide the movement against capitalism, the actual opponent). That should not be so scandalous in itself. They are hardly alone as modern atheists, and their atheism is understandable, when Christianity has so often been a force allied to the ruling powers that exploit the poor. Catholics have found plenty of philosophical resources in non-Christian sources in the past; why not moderns?"

          Note that the writer about a Catholic Case for Communism slips in the assertion that of some, "their atheism is understandable."  Catholicism has something to learn in this stance?

 

Marx as a Committed Enlightenment Thinker?

 

          The rhetorical question is easily answered by observing, in Christian parlance of "by their fruits shall you know them" that Marx' thought included referring to Jews as "hucksters," and that "dictatorship of the proletariat" has resulted in hundreds of millions dead at the hands of socialist-inspired governments across the last century.

          So much for Christian doctrine and thought, for ecumenism and coexistence and perhaps rapprochement between Christian denominations and interfaith dialogue. Rather, Dettloff claims, "moderns" can and should learn from Communism.

          One wonders what Communism's case for Catholicism might be in the latest generation of Communist apologists. Ore more generally, what is Communism's case for Christianity? But the crucifix melded to the hammer and sickle in the hands of papal white is what exactly?

          Easy documentation on the murderous "fruits" of Communism is available for review, which rhetorical questions and "nuance" do not refute.  See also the assertion changed into a pertinent question:  Jesus was a socialist? .

 

[ 2 ]     The Canadian Communists' seeming enthusiasm to embrace Catholicism is odd, at the minimum. Shall one take from this embrace that Canadian Communists also embrace Catholic theology?  Or is their new-found enthusiasm evangelical in the sense that they imagine Catholicism has "learned" from Marx. Pope Francis states plainly, "The Marxist ideology is wrong." 

          It is amusing to watch the next generations of scholars twist themselves into logical and factual conundrums, without questioning or stating outright their underlying, inviolable propositions. For a Canadian Communist, his faith is rooted in Marx, and thus any "Christian Communist" critique is rooted first on Marx and secondarily on Christ, the second necessarily bending the ideological knee to the first, invalidating the second.  Why?  "The Marxist ideology is wrong."

 

Wrong

 

          This dissonance between the pope speaking for Catholicism and a Canadian Communist as a representative of that ideology is the Communist's apparent disregard for facts.  One reads from a Wiki article on "Marxist–Leninist atheism," the following:  "In the philosophy of Marxism, Marxist–Leninist atheism (also Marxist–Leninist scientific atheism) is the irreligious and anti-clerical element of Marxism–Leninism, the official state ideology of the Soviet Union. Based upon a dialectical-materialist understanding of humanity's place in Nature, Marxist–Leninist atheism proposes that religion is the opium of the people, meant to promote a person's passive acceptance of his and her poverty and exploitation as the normal way of human life on Earth in the hope of a spiritual reward after death; thus, Marxism–Leninism advocates atheism, rather than religious belief."

 

Evil Defined

 

          Another testimony for Communism from Communist China:   "Christian parents in China have shared how their schoolchildren are being taught that Christianity is an 'evil cult' and encouraged to 'hate God' as the officially atheist country continues to tighten its grip on religion. According to Chinese persecution watchdog Bitter Winter, since the Regulations on Religious Affairs legislation was implemented last year, schools around China have adopted 'unprecedented measures' to keep students away from Christianity. Schools in China are government-controlled, and therefore Communist in ideology." In "China: Schoolchildren taught to 'hate God,' Christianity an 'evil cult'," by Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post, 24 July 2019.

          Canadian Communists in this time would do well to contemplate the irony of Capital for Communists - a story growing old.

          Canadian Communists, in their critique of capital, would also do well to contemplate the example of some other Enemies of Capitalism .

          Two popes, or one with a pope emeritus, neither advocates Marxism, even as the avowed Marxists use icons like the hammer and sickle crucifix to spin the tale.

 

[ 3 ]    While "Marxism ideology is wrong," according to quotes above, what of simple moral relativism?  One finds some odd views.

 

Whatever One Conceives?

 

          One reads from an interview:   "ES: 'Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?' Francis: 'Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.' ES: 'Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that's one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.' Francis:  'And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place'." In "The Pope: how the Church will change," by Eugenio Scalfari, Arte E Cultura, Repubblica, 1 October 2013.

 

Competing Views of Good and Good. Evil and Evil

 

          The radical Muslim as represented by ISIS' brutality declares his view of "the good," and will assert, based on that -- and "own idea of good and evil" rooted in the Koran, sunna and the hadiths -- as verifying such a "good" and an opposing evil. Placing Francis' statement alongside the radical Muslim as represented by ISIS does not conclude "that would be enough to make the world a better place."  Perchance the Neumayr quote above then informs. 

          "The former prosecutor oozed contempt for Francis: 'He knows nothing — not morals, not theology, not history. Nothing. Only power interests him'."  For one who is interested in power as a good, fighting evil "as he conceives" it suggests another oddity alongside the claim of two popes or a "pope emeritus."

 

Francine Relativism?

 

          As examples of such "as he conceives them" good and evil, both sides in the Middle East conceive themselves are pursuing the good and fighting the opposing evil. In the same way, atheist-flavored Chinese Communism's handling of the Muslims in China can be both be said to be pursuing their good and fighting another's evil. In this way, the moral relativism of Francis seems a rather Jesus-flavored moral relativism, which Roman Catholics worldwide seem to be carving up sides, one somehow "good" and the opposing side "evil."

          Choose your poison. Or someone else's.

 

[ 4 ]    One notes that the reference is to the pope, when read from a German-language source.  "Wörtlich sagte Franziskus: 'Er hat gute Absichten, er ist ein guter Mann. Der Papst mag ihn. Aber er ist wie ein Kind'."

          A leader. The leader. A leader and an emeritus leader. Two leaders. It seems to depend on the day and the one speaking. Francis spoke of  "the pope" referring to Benedict.


Anthem of the Academic Left

This country, 'tis for thee,
Nothing but misery,
Nothing worthwhile.
Soon may this hated land
Fall to our guiding hand,
Transforming necessarily
By any means.

 

     

'Sizeable' Revolutionary Party protest in Chicago

 

Addendum of RevCom:   "The protesters are affiliated with the Revolutionary Communist Party (RevCom), which is a Maoist political party chaired by Bob Avakian. Avakian, who is known as 'Chairman Bob,' and once called Mao Zedong’s China 'wondrous,' is sometimes accused of running the party as a cult of personality. The party advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States. As students were handed fliers, the activists shouted 'America was never great!' and 'It’s time for a revolution!' Downey pulled out a large American flag from his backpack and began standing on it until he was approached by the UCPD." In "Communist Revolutionaries Stand on Flags at Quad Protest," by Jamie Ehrlich, Chiago Maroon, 6 Octber 2016.

 

Red, white and blue and Brown

 

Addendum of Universities in 2019:   "At Brown University, a group of students 'celebrated' Veterans Day by tearing up small American flags and tossing them in the garbage. Others carried off flags, or gave them a robust stomping. 'Someone was walking down the path and stomping on them one by one,' one eyewitness told The Washington Post. 'I went over and nicely asked, ‘Could you not do that? People just put them up'. I explained they were for Veterans Day. She said, 'I don’t care about that right now’ and walked off. Brown may have the highest-profile incident of flag disrespect, but it’s far from the only one." In "Students at Brown and other colleges desecrate flag to protest Trump," by Blake Neff, Daily Caller, 16 November 2016.

 

Standing on the lack of courage of his convictions

 

Addendum of the Weather Underground:   "... the complexity of Ayers: a man who once tried to overthrow his country’s government and now works for a state university; an opponent of the bourgeoisie who has been married for 20 years; a left-wing radical who loves a good cup of imperialist coffee. Maybe he’s always known how to choose his battles. Once one of his sons wanted to hear about how Ayers had been a draft card burner. 'Tell me again how you burned your credit card, Pop,' his son confusedly asked. 'I'm not that radical,' Ayers retorted." In "No Regrets," by Marcia Froelke Coburn, Chicago Magazine, 1 August 2001.

 

Consider the Background:  From Ivied Walls and Towers

 

  

 

Addendum of a Different Flag Protest:   "Pictures also show anti-LGBT activists stamping on the flag in the capital’s downtown." In "Rainbow flags BURNED in sick homophobic protest at LGBT Pride parade," Daily Star, 18 June 2017.

 

Standing on a rainbow LGBT flag in Kiev, suggesting protest tactics are shared, irrespective of approved consensus

 

 

Addendum of Flag Waving:   "China's leadership was reviled by the sight of a 33-foot 'Goddess of Democracy' sculpture modeled on America's Statue of Liberty that was erected using papier-mâché during the student-led demonstrations in Beijing's Tiananmen Square 30 years ago. The symbol led Beijing to suspect US intelligence involvement in those fatefully crushed protests. Similar claims were made when protests paralyzed parts of Hong Kong for 79 days in late 2014. Then Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying publicly stated he had information that proved foreign powers were behind the most protracted episode of civil disobedience in the city's history, though he never disclosed evidence substantiating the claim." In "Why Hong Kong protesters fly the American flag, It has nothing to do with a US-backed 'color revolution', as Beijing claims, and everything to do with rights, liberties and democracy," by Nile Bowie, Hong Kong, Asia Times, 30 July 2019.

 

Addendum of Some Dangers in Burning a Flag:   "A number of fundamentalists in Iran have burned American flags to protest the United States, but dissidents who oppose the ruling clerics have never been known to burn Iran's green and orange flag, which contains the name of God, or Allah. To do so would be blasphemy, the same charge leveled against Rushdie when he was sentenced to death by assassination for his novel 'Satanic Verses'." 'In "Some countries don't waver when it comes to flag laws," by Gayle Young, United Press International, 14 June 1990.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of More from the Academic Left:   "It's hard to wade through all the references to hxrstory and womxn and misogynoir and cisheteropatriarchy. We have no objection to a course that broadens students' thinking about race and gender and sexuality and history and power. But too often the proposed ethnic studies curriculum feels like an exercise in groupthink, designed to proselytize and inculcate more than to inform and open minds."    In "California's proposed new ethnic studies curriculum is jargon-filled and all-too-PC," by Staff, Los Angeles Times, 9 August 2019.   [ 2 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]  The article notes that "China also could deal harshly with flag burners under a law banning counter-revolutionary incitement, which carries a minimum of five years in prison for those deemed to be ringleaders."

 

Some Flags Are Holy? Others Profaned

 

         That some in the West find self-congratulatory virtue in standing on an American flag, it is not heroic in any sense as a measure of protest brought into action. Standing on an American flag signals usually one political stance in opposition to another, but is not illegal. Yet when favored flags for one side, are willingly desecrated by another, as always, two can play at that game. Desecrating a political or religious symbol can include standing on that LGBT rainbow flag in a Ukrainian protest, as above. To desecrate an American flag is amusing, as the protesters know full well there is no associated punishment. The Iranian flag in Iran? The Communist Chinese flag in China? That's different kettle of fish.

 

[ 2 ]   It is remarkable how transparent is the urge for the academic Left's "guiding hand" to use "any means" necessary to reach the ultimate goal of Marxist-informed power and control over society.

         "An exercise in groupthink" -- that Orwellian critique -- to "proselytize" is observed by a California newspaper editorial.

 

Anti-capitalism Dressed in Many Costumes

 

         One reads:   "With the emergence of intersectionality as a widely popular theory of current feminism, Marxist feminists include an analysis of other sources of oppression beyond class that increase exploitation in a capitalist system while also remaining critical of intersectionality theory for relying on bourgeois identity politics. The current organization Radical Women provides a clear example of successful incorporation of the goals of Marxist feminism without overlooking identities that are more susceptible to exploitation. They contend that elimination of the capitalist profit-driven economy will remove the motivation for sexism, racism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression." In Marxist feminism," Wikipedia, n. d.

         Thus the all-purpose answer to society's problems runs through the predictable course of Marxist thought, one size fitting all.

 

Honoring Connections with Other-than-persons via Mathematx

 

         Amusingly one finds academia sponsoring various intersectional views, including mathematics.  One reads as an example:  " 'The relationship between humans, mathematics, and the planet has been one steeped too long in domination and destruction,' Gutierrez notes in her presentation's description. 'I argue for a movement against objects, truths, and knowledge towards a way of being in the world that is guided by first principles — mathematx. This shift from thinking of mathematics as a noun to mathematx as a verb holds potential for honouring our connections with each other as human and other-than-human persons, for balancing problem solving with joy, and for maintaining critical bifocality at the local and global level'." "In "Education 'Equity' Professor Wants Mathematics To Honor 'Other-Than-Human Persons'," by Rob Shimshock, Tennessee Star, 15 August 2018.

 

Rehumanizing for Other-than-humans?

 

         Of the professor in education, one reads of her view that students "...need political knowledge. Her current research projects focus upon: developing in pre-service teachers the knowledge and disposition to teach powerful mathematics to urban students; the roles of uncertainty, tensions, and 'Nepantla' in teaching; and the political knowledge (and forms of creative insubordination) that mathematics teachers need to effectively "rehumanize" mathematics in an era of high-stakes education. She also builds upon Indigenous principles and has argued for a new form of mathematics where humans are no long centered. This form of mathematics is referred to as living mathematx." In "Gutierrez, Rochelle, Biography," Latina/Latino Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Education, n. d.

         This advocate of a new mathematics earned a BA in biology, and higher degrees all in education, not mathematics. According to the "Board of Trustees - University of Illinois: Gray Book," September 2018, she is "oppressed" with a salary of $115,037.99.  As a comparison, according the the St. Louis Fed, and median household income is about $45,240, less than half a professorial recompense.  For an additional comparison, one finds that "Of the 168,913 residents of Champaign County, Illinois who were born citizens of the United States, 33,513 (19.8%) had income levels below the poverty line within the past year." Via Welfare Info.  Poverty for a family of four was defined as $25,100.

         "Political knowledge" is in part a matter of comparisons between the oppressors and the oppressed, is it not? Such is the knowledge of relative incomes surrounding the university.

 

Teaching Resistance Strategies of Survival?

 

         Of Gutierrez' call for Napantla, one learns:  "Most often the term is referencing endangered peoples, cultures, and/or gender, who due to invasion/conquest/marginalization or forced acculturation, engage in resistance strategies of survival. In this sense, this larger, cultural space of Nepantla becomes a postmodern paradigm or consciousness rooted in the creation of a new middle. Anzaldua calls this La Nueva Mestizaje, the intent of which is to heal from the open wound of colonial occupation. Sometimes, it is a reference to living in the borderlands or crossroads, and the process of creating alternative spaces in which to live, function or create. In other words, it is the process of developing political, cultural or psychological consciousness as a means of survival." In "Nepantla Aesthetics," Chicanoart.org, n. d.

         "Nepantla can also describe individuals or groups who are today in conflict with a larger, perhaps more globally reaching culture or ideology. Nepantla has also been identified as a tool for political change." In "Nepantla," Wikipedia, n. d.

         As ever, "political change" is another meaningless phrase, without specifics. Change to what? To proselytize to what? To political knowledge? But which?

 

Nuevos conquistadores coloniales para Postmodernism?

 

         There is a deep irony here, for historically five "colonial" language groups overtook indigenous peoples in the Americas. These were English, French, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish. Thus the "education" of "mathematx" is conducted in English in university courses, and supported through reference to Latina/Latino Studies, as at Illinois. Both cultures and languages are in fact historically colonial, and the word from the Spanish now even in English, conquistador, refers to conquest. Thus, one may argue that the "movement against objects, truths, and knowledge" relies on colonial history, language and forms to argue against colonial history, language and forms for the sake of "a postmodern paradigm" to teach "political knowledge" of a very specific sort.

 

Against Truths and Knowledge is the New Truth in Academia?

 

         Postmodern? Post-Marxist, perhaps.  One reads:  "Post-Marxism is a trend in political philosophy and social theory which deconstructs Karl Marx's writings and Marxism proper, bypassing orthodox Marxism. The term post-Marxism first appeared in Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's theoretical work Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. It can be said that post-Marxism as a political theory was developed at the University of Essex by Laclau and Mouffe. Philosophically, post-Marxism counters derivationism and essentialism (for example, it does not see economy as a foundation of politics and the state as an instrument that functions unambiguously and autonomously on behalf of the interests of a given class)."   In "Post-Marxism," Wikipedia, n. d.

         Wiki notes:  "Post-Marxism dates from the late 1960s and several trends and events of that period influenced its development. The weakness of the Soviet Union paradigm became evident and Marxism faced a lack since the Second International. This happened concurrently with the occurrence internationally of the student riots of 1968, the rise of Maoist theory and the proliferation of commercial television which covered in its broadcasts the Vietnam War."

         Thus these various forms of socialism experience schism. One finds:  "Postmodernism teaches us to ignore the reality we live in, and, by masking itself in obscure and pretentious language, creates a wedge between intellectuals and the worlds masses of working people. Its a way of thinking that almost seems made to fit the political situation of our time. When looking at how we are taught to think in our modern (or is that postmodern?) late capitalist society, its [ sic ] important we consider just who’s interests our way of thinking serves." In "A Marxist critique of Postmodernism," by Byron Clark, Fightback.org, 25 August, 2008.

 

Liberation Through Control? Or Schisms Aplenty? But Always Anti-capitalist

 

         The article on intersectionality above notes that ""Marxist feminism is feminism focused on investigating and explaining the ways in which women are oppressed through systems of capitalism and private property. According to Marxist feminists, women's liberation can only be achieved through a radical restructuring of the current capitalist economy, in which, they contend, much of women's labor is uncompensated."

         Gather enough educators and policy makers together, and then Doctor Oppression comes to call .  Throughout this process the "betters" in the academic Left prove themselves capable of acquiring more than the median of a general population in salaries and pensions, perquisites, power and personal prestige, all the while muddling minds with such multiplying terminology as the Los Angeles Times article notes in its editorial.

         "...hxrstory and womxn and misogynoir and cisheteropatriarchy."   

         As this article is drawn from the Los Angeles Times in 2019, one may also reflect of the testimony of venal Politics building the predictable two-tiered society of "robber barons and the poor," which the Left has pretended to struggle against while working towards, as proven through the history of Marxist thought in action.  Consider the proof being seen in California and its Two teared society .

         It is unlikely there will come a time when I Shall Believe the Socialist .  The lures of power and wealth, prestige and perquisites is great.  Left, right and center.... Even for womxn.... Especially for public servants, Communists, Socialists, Democrats and Republicans, and certainly the cosseted and well-paid academic class.


 

Do you remember the good old days?

"Do you remember the good old days when we had '12 years to save the planet'? Now it seems, there's a growing consensus that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the global heating crisis, among other environmental challenges." In "Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months," by Matt McGrath, BBC, 24 July 2019.

 

Do you remember the good old days,
            Those chilly days of yore?
            Those happy days of visions
            Of catastrophic lore?
Do you remember those few short years,
            So many years ago?
            Those happy years now gone by,
            Lost in the ebb and flow?
Do you remember? Do you now?
            Shut windows of opportunity?
            Disasters dreamed and dreamed again
            And the dreamers' dreamed immunity?
Do you remember? Shame on you then.
            Chicken Little is ever young.
            Shrieks of crises, yes, but still
            The same old tune is sung.
Do you remember the good old days,
            Those days of saving grace?
            Looking back at what was preached
            Shows crises are but commonplace.

 

Addendum of the Good Old Days of 2019:   "...activists who argued that the singular threat posed by climate change set it apart from other issues denounced the DNC's decision. 'This is downright irresponsible. Climate change is an emergency, but Tom Perez isn’t acting like it,' said Sofie Karasek, a spokesperson with Sunrise Movement, a youth-led environmental group. 'We have just over ten years to completely transform our economy to avert catastrophe, but instead of being the adult in the room, Tom Perez is throwing procedural temper tantrums'." In "Democratic leadership again considers climate change debate -- and again says no," by Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, 24 August 2019.

 

Addendum of Remembering the Good Old Days of 2007:   "... the earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong." In "Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Al Gore, 10 December 2007.

 

Addendum of Remembering the Good Old Days of 1989:   "A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of 'eco-refugees,' threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control." In "U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked," by Peter James Spielmann, Associated Press, 30 June 1989.

 

Addendum of Remembering the Good Old Days of 1975:   "Many climatologists see these signs as evidence that a significant shift in climate is taking palce -- a shift that could be the forerunner of an Ice Age that which gripped much of the Northern Hemisphere before retreating 11,000 years ago. ...One statistic stands out: a study of temperatures around the globe shows the atmosphere has been growing cooler for 30 years. The total drop is less than one degree, but in terms of meteorology, that is significant." In "Significant Shift in Climate Seen," by Howard Benedict, Associated Press, 2 March 1975.

 

Addendum in Cold Agreement From 1975:    " 'The onset of this climatic decline could be several thousand years in the future,' it said, 'although there is a finite probability that a serious worldwide cooling could befall the earth within the next hundred years." In "Climate Changes Called Ominous," Harold M. Schmeck, New York Times, 19 January 1975.

 

Addendum of Remembering the Good Old Days of 1972:   "Prof. Hubert Lamb, director of climate research at the University of East Anglia, had a few comforting thoughts in an interview Sunday: 'The full impact of the new Ice Age will not be upon us for another 11,000 years and even then it will not be as severe as the last great glacial period. We are past the best of the interglacial period which happened between 7,00 and 3,000 years ago,' he continued. 'Ever since then we have been on a downhill float regarding temperature. There may be a few upward fluctuations from time to time but these are more than offset by the general downward trend." In "New Ice Age Slipping Over North," Associated Press, 11 September 1972.

 

Addendum of Remembering the Good Old Days of 1934:   "It was the hottest day in Cincinnati history, during the hottest week in Cincinnati history and that torrid record still stands 85 years later. The summer of 1934 was a hot one all around the United States, but the focus of the heat—as if a magnifying glass was aiming a blistering sunbeam at us—was the Ohio Valley around Cincinnati. A couple of days in June topped the 100-degree mark, but the real inferno started around July 18 when the mercury ran above 94 degrees. Next day, it was 98.6, setting a record for July 19."    In "Cincinnati Has Never Topped Records Set in the Heat Wave of 1934," by Greg Hand, Cincinnati Magazine, 23 July 2019.

 

Addendum of Remembering the Good Old Days of Centuries Ago and Decades Ahead:    " '[In the cycle between 2030 and around 2040] the two waves exactly mirror each other – peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the sun,' she said. 'Their interaction will be disruptive, or they will nearly cancel each other. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a 'Maunder minimum'.'  Maunder minimum, indicating low sunspot activity, was the name given to the period between 1645 and 1715, when Europe and North America experienced very cold winters." In "Earth heading for 'mini ice age' within 15 years," by Dan Hyde, Telegraph UK, 11 July 2015.

 

No, Really, It's too hot, and it's too cold  - a cabaret song in the Russian style


 

Prince La-di-dah and gazillionaires

"A host of A-list celebrities faced an angry backlash today after they travelled to a climate change conference in Italy in a fleet of supercars, expensive yachts and more than 100 private jets. Guests at the secretive Google Camp were accused of hypocrisy after they gathered this week to discuss the environment while leaving a considerable carbon footprint of their own. Prince Harry is understood to have given a passionate barefoot speech about saving the planet, although Buckingham Palace has refused to confirm his attendance or whether he too travelled by private jet." In "Backlash at barefoot Prince Harry and 'hypocrite Greenerati': Eco-warrior elite who turned up at secret climate change Google camp in 114 private jets, helicopters and mega yachts are mocked for leaving their own carbon footprint," by Tim Stickings and Dianne Apen-Sadler, Mail Online, 1 August 2019.   [ 1 ]

 

    Prince La-di-dah and gazillionaires, just a few,
Gathered themselves in secret to lecture little you.
    Lord Silver Screen and Old Moneybags too
Assembled to gaggle with a Goggle in that brew.
    Celebrity camp convened -- see, oh too! to spew,
They posed for photos picturing them, these oh-so well-to-do.
    High and mighty poobahs descended right on cue,
Congratulating at their mirrors, reflections of who's who.
    Greenerati's now the word; from this one may construe
The little people now have noticed hypocrisy's rendezvous.

 

Addendum of the Wokerati:    "The Gulfstreams, mega-yachts and gas-guzzling Maserati SUVs used to ferry the wokerati around the seaside Google Camp have been spewing out greenhouse gases at the rate of small nations. Former President Barack Obama, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, singer Katy Perry and Prince Harry are said to be among 300 guests invited by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to their luxurious annual shindig which has been dubbed 'Davos by the Sea.' Either they don’t believe climate change is the big problem they keep saying it is, or they just don't care enough about saving the planet to give up their perks." In "Google's celeb-obsessed search for climate change answers is a hypocritical joke," by Miranda Devine, New York Post, 31 July 2019.   [ 2 ]

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The article reports:  "BBC presenter Andrew Neil was among those to point out the irony, saying: 'Scores of celebrities and the rich have arrived in Sicily for a Google conference. They came in 114 private jets and a flotilla of super yachts. The conference is on global warming.' "

 

[ 2 ]    The "wokearti" and "greenerati," as reports now coin new words for the same old games of power and wealth dressed in the modern garb of green, need become more circumspect, or the public will observe too clearly that soon the world will be discussing real Moolah , at historical levels never before seen.

          The interplay between power and wealth -- now self-portrayed as an "eco-warrior elite" -- has been the character of governance and wannabe governance over centuries. Those with enormous power and wealth can even Bankrupt green , as they stealthily acquire Bankrupt riches - the data snitches.


 

Fools' Delight

"Hank Hanegraaf, The Bible Answer Man, and head of Christian Research Institutes said, 'When you begin to examine world religions such as Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, you will immediately recognize that they directly contradict one another. For example, Moses taught that there was only one God; Krishna believed in many gods; and Buddha was agnostic—a personal, prayer-answering God played no role in his worldview.' And the bottom line, Hanegraaf said, that majority of theologians do agree on about the various religions is....'Logically, they can all be wrong, but they can't all be right'."   In "Was AOC correct when she suggested all religions worship the same God? Experts weigh in," by Lauren Green, Fox News, 20 June 2019.

 

They can all be wrong
But cannot all be right,
And what's unseen
Remains well out of sight.

Illiterates preach
A oneness of God
Inclusive of opposites.
That's simply rather odd.

Murder for God?
Or God forbid?
The obvious answer
Remains well hid?

They can all be wrong
But cannot all be right.
Just believing they can
Is the fools' delight.

 

Addendum of Similar Voices of Difference:   "...a healthy corrective to a sloppy notion: Contrary to current sentimental wisdom, the world's religions do not have a common goal, are not all beautiful and true, do not all follow 'different paths up the same mountain.' The 'world’s religious rivals,' Prothero writes, '. . . diverge sharply on doctrine, ritual, mythology, experience, and law. . . . [I]t is comforting to pretend that the great religions make up one big, happy family. But this sentiment, however well-intentioned, is neither accurate nor ethically responsible'." In "A world of difference," by Alec Solomita, Boston Globe, 23 May 2010.

 

Addendum of an Intolerant Sentiment:   "Narrated Abu Huraira: The Verse:--'You (true Muslims) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind' means, the best of peoples for the people, as you bring them with chains on their necks till they embrace Islam." In "Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Prophetic Commentary on the Qur'an, Hadith 80."

 

One could consider:   Darwin's God  and one should ponder on the strange enthusiasm to Coexist

 

One should consider the Islamic Distinction that:   There's God and then there's Allah


 

Two teared society -- Californian propriety

 

"California may be an economic powerhouse with global impact, but it also has the nation’s highest poverty rate, as calculated by the Census Bureau using a method that takes into account the cost of living, with nearly a fifth of its residents poverty-stricken." In "Commentary: California’s two-tier society," by Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee, 2 August 2019.

 

Will you stand out in relief

                    against those with a mushy mind?
Will you find yourself well ahead

                    when the many are left behind?
Will you shed a tear or two

                    with government castes defined?
Will you be in the upper tier

                    as the lower caste's refined?
Will you? If you surely will,

                    then be pleased or at least resigned
To vote with the system's two tiered game

                    as over decades it's been designed.

 

Addendum of Tiers Foreseen:  "The possible emerging of a 2-tier economy with Asians and non-Hispanic whites competing for the high status positions while Hispanics and blacks struggle to get the low paying service jobs is described." In "Population change and California's future, " by L. F. Bouvier and P. Martin, Population Reference Bureau, Washington D. C. 1985.

 

Addendum of Public Pension Envy:    "... it can be considered the canary in the coal mine, signaling stresses on the system as a whole. Such payouts also tend to inspire 'pension envy' in private-sector workers who must depend on 401(k)s and Social Security for income in their golden years — and who are ultimately on the hook for ensuring that public retirees get paid if CalPERS investments don’t cover the costs. The average Social Security benefit is $17,532 this year. Most Americans will never make $100,000 a year in their prime working years, much less in retirement, according to the U.S. Census Bureau." In "Number of pensioned public retirees in California’s $100K Club skyrockets," by Teri Sforza, Orange County Register, 5 August 2019.

 

Addendum of Leading the Nation:   "It has both billions of dollars in Silicon Valley and rampant homelessness. Its efforts to eliminate poverty instead accentuates it, and its tax system inadvertently aids those who are already wealthy. With the middle class leaving in droves, California society represents a modern feudal system of robber barons and the poor." In "Middle class is disappearing in California as wealth gap grows," by Kristin Tate, The Hill, 24 October 2018.  [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of the Protection Racket:   "Protecting CalPERS, however, means getting more money from its client agencies, which could drive some of them into insolvency, as Hutchings said. Three California cities have gone bankrupt in recent years, in part because of their ever-increasing pension burdens, and payments have escalated sharply since then. So on one hand, CalPERS is doing what it has to do to remain financially solvent, but on the other hand its self-protective steps threaten local government solvency. That’s the crisis in a nutshell." In "California’s public pension crisis in a nutshell," by San Francisco Chronicle, 21 February 2018.   [ 2 ]
 

Addendum of Growing Costs to Cities:    "Last year McDougal’s pension was about $337,000 — nearly a third more than the federal maximum for public pensions. The excess portion comes out of his former employer’s annual budget instead of the state’s public retirement system. Taxes on the above-limits portions of the pensions cost cities and counties extra, consuming taxpayer money that could go toward street maintenance, parks, police or firefighters." In " More than 1,000 public pensions in California are so big they exceed IRS limits," by Wes Venteicher, Sacramento Bee, 6 August 2019.

 

Addendum of the State Against the State:    "The rat infestation, meanwhile, has found its way into conservative media where pundits are using it akin to a slapstick punchline for commentary on the state's liberal policies. But the rat infestation combined with a pesticide ban is no laughing matter to some experts, who say a disease outbreak similar to the one in Los Angeles could happen in downtown Sacramento if rats such as those infesting the CalEPA headquarters aren’t kept in check." In "As rats overrun California cities, state moves to ban powerful pest-killers," by Ryan Sabalow and Phillip Reese, Tribune, San Luis Obispo, 25 July 2019.

 

Addendum of Number One in Poverty:   "Overall, therefore, more than 35% of Californians, perhaps 15 million human beings, are living in severe economic distress — a number nearly identical to enrollment in Medi-Cal, the state’s health care program for the poor. The deepest roots of California’s two-tier society lie in the traumatic evolution of the state’s economy in the 1980s and 1990s from an industrial base to one rooted in services and technology, and the state’s concurrent absorption of millions of often undereducated immigrants." In "California still No. 1 in poverty," by Dan Walters, CAL Matters, 15 September 2019.

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The imagery of "a modern feudal system of robber barons and the poor" makes a sad picture of the two-tiered game of California Politics of late. 

          The article notes:   "From 2011 to 2016, California increased spending on administration at more than double that of teacher pay. Its public employee system disincentivizes government thrift and saddles taxpayers with debt that outstrips the national average. A private sector employee would have to save $2.6 million to receive the same retirement as a California Highway Patrol officer. On top of a burdensome state income tax, California has the highest sales tax in the country along with property tax rates that disproportionately punish the poor and lead to housing problems."

          That the direction of a small percentage of "public servants" is towards wealth for the few and little for the many speaks volumes.

 

Faulty Prescriptions

 

          The article aptly notes that "Traditional left wing prescriptions simply have not worked in the state, which an opinion column in the Los Angeles Times dubbed the 'poverty capital' of the United States. Housing vouchers increase the cost of living. The number of those with no health insurance in California fell by more than half after the state expanded Medicaid, yet poverty remains near historic highs. California spends the third most per capita on welfare programs, yet its economy continues to fail the poor and middle class."

          That image of the robber barons and the poor gains traction as the Orange County article cited above speaks to "taxpayers now on the hook for 26,000 government pensions over $100,000, a 13-fold increase from 2005."  The trend is up, for more of the few "over $100,000" in a state with one-fifth of its citizens in poverty, according to the Sacramento Bee article.

 

[ 2 ]    That the state "public pension" entity threatens "local government insolvency" is quite like a protection racket. "Ever increasing burdens" to fund a growing number of public employee retirees is unsustainable economically.

          The Chronicle observed:   "...the CalPERS board, dominated by public employee organizations and sympathetic politicians, has spurned such pleas. 'Our members have expressed frustration that you keep coming to them asking for more while at the same time not providing a lot of other options and assistance for them,' Dillon Gibbons of the California Special Districts Association told the board."

          The growing tension is not one between political parties now. It is between retirees' growing demands for funds on the one hand, and those who are supposed to pony up on the other hand.

 

The painful squeeze

 

          The Orange County Register article amplifies the San Francisco Chronicle in this:  "Former Democratic Assemblyman Joe Nation, now a professor at Stanford University’s Institute for Economic Policy Research, examined 14 public agencies and found that their average annual pension payments grew a stunning 400 percent from 2003 to 2018, while their operating expenditures grew only 46 percent. That’s a painful squeeze, and it’s far from over. Annual pension contributions will jump another 76 percent from 2018 to 2030, Nation found."

          In a state dominated by Democrat party politics, this "crisis in a nutshell" ever more seems the "two-tier society" mirrors "robber barons and the poor." Oddly, the highest political offices in the state still seem to side with the "robber barons." One might guess they will be or wish to be among them.

 

For an insight into how California politics has worked, consider:   Three Little Democrats


 

Fifteen minutes

That bleating, fleeting fame,
Merely minutes long,
Dominates dumb media
With a bleeding leading song.

    Look here, look there,
    Look everywhere!
    Hot instant notoriety
    For a moment you will share.

    Look at me, look and see,
    Look! I'm everywhere;
    Social media's empty lies
    Fast fading in the glare.

That bleating, fleeting fame
Is over in a flash;
Another same competing game
Wins the next fool's dash.

 

Addendum of Branding:   "...it could have been Pontus Hultén, a famous curator in Europe, who coined the phrase. There are other claimants, too, including painter Larry Rivers and photographer Nat Finkelstein. Finkelstien insisted that he made the remark in reply to a comment that Warhol made about everyone wanting to be famous, quipping, 'Yeah, for about 15 minutes, Andy.' As Gopnik explains to Marketplace, Warhol himself admitted to never saying it in 1980. But by then, the line was firmly his. And as Gopnik points out, it really didn't matter. By that point, Warhol, an artist who explored the concept of branding, was firmly a brand of his own, and the 15-minutes quote fit in with that story nicely. 'We've decided it's by Warhol, whether he likes it or not,' Gopnik told Marketplace. 'We've created and continue to create the Warhol brand for ourselves'." In "Andy Warhol Probably Never Said His Celebrated 'Fifteen Minutes of Fame' Line," by Rachel Nuwer, Smithsonian, 8 April 2014.

 

Addendum of Early Branding:   "Even before heading off to New York in the late 1940s with little more than a degree in pictorial design from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) to call his own, Andy Warhola set out to make a name for himself. Literally. After considering several variations—including A. Warhola, André Warhola, and even Andy Morningstar—he opted for the relatively unadorned moniker Andy Warhol." In "The Invention of Andy Warhol," by Barbara Klein, Carnegie Museums, Summer 2018.


 

An apple is like a cat

An apple is like a cat
When language plays the fool,
For precision such as that
Makes words a truncheon tool.

A stone is like the wind
When language fumbles so,
That categories tumble
From haughty vertigo.

All things are like all things
When language makes it thus,
And simple lovely speech
Equates to those who cuss.

Language is a long wage
Which pays hard dividends,
When confusion reigns supreme
And what's upright upends.


 

I believe - to what I cleave

"Because, like with diamond rings or designer clothes of old, upper-class people don a luxury belief to separate themselves from the lower class. These beliefs, in turn, produce real, tangible consequences for disadvantaged people, further widening the divide. Just as fashionable clothing will soon be outdated, so will today’s fashionable beliefs. In the future, expect the upper class to defame even more values — including ones they hold dear — in their quest to gain top-dog status." In " 'Luxury beliefs' are the latest status," by Rob Henderson, New York Post, 17 August 2019.

 

Credo in me

 

I believe in fashion,

    designed with me in mind.
I believe in chic,

    which the many will not find.
I believe I'm special

    as I myself remind.
I believe in status

    which proves me so refined.
I believe I'm better

    than the bulk of humankind.
I believe in la-di-dah,

    with which I am aligned.

I believe in privilege

    when cleverly redefined.

I believe in the upper class

    to which I am assigned.
I believe in wondrous me,

    and most can kiss my fine behind.


 

A little slight of hand

A little slight of hand
Is how the game is played,
And how the magic's done,
And how the sleight is made.

A little feigning act
Or two or three or more
Trots on the world's stage
As feign would be the score.

A little falsity
Is justified, one learns,
When waste and fraud must be hid
From the prying eye that yearns
        To tell a truth of lies
        Which strips away the guise,
        Revealing what shanghais
        A world's oft-blinded eyes.

 

Addendum of  Communist China's Sleight of Hand:   "Widespread waste and fraud associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative has been unearthed after the country’s state railway group was forced to admit this month that a significant amount of cargo containers shuttling between Chinese factories and European cities were empty. The admission by the state-run China Railway – the sole operator of the lines – followed an investigation by the Chinese Business Journal, a newspaper supervised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which found that in one extreme case only one of 41 containers on a particular train actually carried goods." In "China’s belt and road cargo to Europe under scrutiny as operator admits to moving empty containers," by Sidney Leng, South China Morning Post, 20 August 2019.

 

Addendum of a Murderer's Sleight of Hand:   "As a 'peace ambassador' for a Los Angeles nonprofit funded with public money, it was Wilfredo Vides' job to steer young people clear of gangs. For those who’d joined one, his role was to convince them to leave, as he had. Vides was one of 22 individuals arrested last month in a federal takedown of MS-13’s Fulton clique, a cell of the transnational gang that claims swaths of the San Fernando Valley as its turf and is accused of murdering and dismembering its enemies in the mountains above Los Angeles....  He showed up at Bible study every Thursday and volunteered at peacemaking soccer matches for members of MS-13, his tattoos betraying his own history with the notorious gang." In "Man Paid to Keep Children Out of Gangs Among Those Charged in Grisly MS-13 Killings in L.A. Area," Los Angeles Times via KTLA News, 20 August 2019.


 

Removing Zeroes

 

"Iran's president sent a bill to parliament Wednesday that would cut four zeroes from the value of the Islamic Republic's sanctions-battered currency, the rial, as tensions remain high between Tehran and Washington. By sending the bill to lawmakers, President Hassan Rouhani's government shows it is serious about an idea mulled for some time in Iran, where people discuss monetary transactions in both rials and —informally but more commonly — in tomans. A toman is worth 10 rials. If passed by parliament and approved by lawmakers, Iran's Central Bank would in effect devalue the rial and rename it as toman... name that has not been officially used since the 1930s." In "Iran moves to strike 4 zeroes from its battered currency," by Amir Vahdat, The State (South Carolina) 21 August 2019.

 

Don't remove the zeroes.
Remove the beard instead.
What's the worth of idiocy
When citizens are so bled?
Don't remove the zeroes.
Remove the government.
It's sure the top dogs howl
When booted from their tent.
Don't remove the zeroes.
Remove the foolishness.
There is more than one way
To fix the holy mess.

 

One might consider the appearance of an Iranian fat cat among those with lots of  Moolah

 

 


 

As to a peaceful Sunday

"For decades, Placido Domingo, one of the most celebrated and powerful men in opera, has tried to pressure women into sexual relationships by dangling jobs and then sometimes punishing the women professionally when they refused his advances, numerous accusers told The Associated Press." In "Multiple women say opera star Domingo sexually harassed them," by Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press, 13 August 2019.

 

As to a peaceful Sunday,
That morning star now fades;
In the glare of sunlight,
Hard truth hard serenades.
                    Of a peaceful Sunday,
                    Immense respect dilutes,
                    As a predatory tale
                    Immense respect refutes.
Great was a peaceful Sunday
Until the time had come
To sing the sordid stories
Of a poorly-conducted bum.

 

Addendum of a Slipped Disc:    "So where is the informed and balanced view? Let’s face some facts. Domingo is no hero. He has been pestering women for years. He has been vain, greedy and tiresome since his tenor voice faded. He keeps demanding baritone roles, while also conducting and directing operas for which he has no exceptional talent. In doing so he denies opportunities to others and clogs the channels of career development. He held on far too long at Washington National Opera and still clings to power at LA Opera. He has promoted members of his family. He mingles with corrupt sports officials and political dictators. He’s 78. Hanging on does not improve his image for posterity. It’s time for him to go with grace." In "Why no US writer speaks out for Domingo…" by Norman Lebrecht, Slipped Disc, 29 August 2019.

 


 

Choose violent upheaval? - from Stalin, a retrieval

"Here there stands out in bold relief the tremendous role of new social ideas, of new political institutions, of a new political power, whose mission it is to abolish by force the old relations of production. Out of the conflict between the new productive forces and the old relations of production, out of the new economic demands of society, there arise new social ideas; the new ideas organize and mobilize the masses; the masses become welded into a new political army, create a new revolutionary power, and make use of it to abolish by force the old system of relations of production, and to firmly establish the new system. The spontaneous process of development yields place to the conscious actions of men, peaceful development to violent upheaval, evolution to revolution." In "Dialectical and Historical Materialism," J. V. Stalin, 1938.

 

Choose violent upheaval?
It's worked so well before.
With but a bit of history,
One sees what's then in store.

Choose violent upheaval,
A murderous thug advised.
As millions went to slaughter,
Revolution realized.

Choose violent upheaval,
By any means you wish.
Peacefulness rejected,
In barrel shoot your fish.

Choose violent upheaval,
Thugs have always said.
It seems it's served them well
When an opposition's dead.

 

One might review the rhyme, addenda and footnotes for this most progressive stance:  Scratch a Leftist -- to the tune of "Plant a Radish," from the Fantasticks

 


 

Versus

You mustn't oppose nor undermine.
But you must toe our line.
You must think the way we think,
Not other thoughts opine.

You'll conclude what we conclude,
Or else you will be viewed
A pariah, in the midst of us,
Who must be well subdued.

You shan't go a different way
Than that which we so say,
And if you go without our lead
You must be judged astray.

Saddles and bits and righteous reins.
Collars and cuffs and clever chains.
By any means necessary to assure
The wellness of our well-fought gains.

You shan't hold a different view.
Or think things too askew.
Such is our great guidance
Applied to little you.

 


 

How it's pictured, how it's seen - images and what we mean

A failing model for today's political thought and action   [ 1 ]

How it's pictured, how it's seen,
    Structures which might contravene,
        How we see and understand
What we say and what we mean.

How it's painted, how it's viewed
    May upend what once was skewed.
        How we speak and what we say
Overthrows with clarity crude.

Simply, thoughts are simplified,
        Serving to capture the verified.
    Models, which were failing, false,
Wither, when reclassified.

How we picture, how we see
    Supports our thinking visually.
        Revolutions, when they freely revolve,
Link totalitarians truthfully.

 

Addendum of Another Re-visualization:   "...to visually express this argument, Nolan came up with a two-axis graph. One axis was for economic freedom and the other was for personal freedom, with the scale on each of the two axes ranging from zero (total state control) to 100% (no state control). 100% freedom in economics would mean an entirely free market (laissez-faire); 100% freedom in personal issues would mean no government control of private, personal life. By using the scale on each of the two axes, it was possible to graph the intersection of the amount of personal liberty and economic liberty a person, political organization, or political philosophy advocates. Therefore, instead of classifying all political opinion on a one-dimensional range from left to right, Nolan's chart allowed two-dimensional measurement: how much (or little) government control a person favored in personal and economic matters." In Nolan Chart," Wikipedia, n. d.   [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of Being Too Simplistic:   "Political scientists have frequently noted that a single left–right axis is too simplistic and insufficient for describing the existing variation in political beliefs and included other axes. Though the descriptive words at polar opposites may vary, the axes of popular biaxial spectra are usually split between economic issues (on a left–right dimension) and socio-cultural issues (on a authority–liberty dimension)." In "Political Spectrum," Wikipedia, n. d.

 

Consider the commands of any form of  So shall ism

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]    The so-called left-right model, an image intended to somehow capture political stances on a single spectrum, fails as time and history's lesson accumulate. Were one to cluster authoritarian political stances on one side of a political spectrum -- like to like in terms of control and murderousness -- the above model must be amended.

 

Left versus Right

 

          In amending the picture to place command-and-control governmental stances together, one finds one's self resorting to references to a political Left which demonstrates authoritarianism alongside economic collapse. One such use of the term, Left, may be reviewed through the rhyme, addenda and footnotes:  Left to their own devices .

          In this cavalcade of sourced material about Venezuelans' experience with that revolution which failed to continue to revolve, the term Left defined by the New York Times' coverage links Left, as a term, to Socialism, as well as to the miseries for many Venezuelans in this era.

          Yet, for many Right -- and therefore the heightened pejorative of "far-right' -- makes the association of National Socialism and Italian Fascism seem some kind of polar opposite to the Left. For those for whom "Right" means that authoritarian governance as recorded in the history of Nazi Germany and Mussolini's Italy, the "Left" seems an adequate response. For those, a modified picture is suggested , quite like the one directly above, and merely exchanging the words, Left and Right.

 

Inverted Right versus Left

 

          This allows authoritarian forms of government to still cluster together, the millions killed in Maoist China's Great Leap Forward, to the Holomodor and gulags of Soviet Socialism, to the murderous concentration camps of National Socialism. Yet, as simple words can be beloved of those who feel emotionally bound to them, one can reverse the imagery yet again, still retaining the clustering of authoritarian political regimes.

 

Left versus Right revisited

 

          This restructuring of the imagery is easily justified, when pondering what the Totalitarian teaches, by rhyme, sourced addenda and footnotes.

          Such lessons are also to be seen in the rhyme, sourced addenda and footnotes to Scratch a Leftist   - to the tune of "Plant a Radish," from the Fantasticks.  Using a different image, the rhyme could have been titled Scratch a Right-ist. Words can fail, when sometimes images function with simple clarity.        

          What remains for those who aspire to greater freedom is little except to exhort for such freedom for all. But what remains for the avid modern Socialist, National Socialist, Fascist and Communist is to explain their willingness to restrain freedom in favor of some greater common good.

          As Lenin has linked Socialism to Communism, therein one finds the stance of an abolition of private property rights, while the National Socialists and Italian Fascists seemed to have held for private property rights for some, but not for course for all. For this National Socialists and German Communists fought before onslaught of WWII, and loss of one authoritarian to another, justifying for some placing their violent opposition into the now failing Right-Left model.

          In contradistinction to these above, the side -- call it Left or Right, for the words fail -- which espouses greater freedom does so by assuring private property rights for all. And that political stance which demands lock-step political compliance from its members tramples on greater freedom for the many.

 

[ 2 ]    Dissatisfaction with imagery to capture political distinctions is found as the years pass. Unlike the bifurcation of the Nolan chart, the purpose of reconstituting the Right-Left model is, in part, to show its fallacies, by which and with which authoritarians hope to confuse with the singular aim -- to rule.

          Oddly, power corrupts, as has been observed. And so, with Venezuela in the modern day, one finds one-party government providing the world with such oddities as Capital for Communists - a story growing old. But as with all ideologues who have yet to attain power and command, they plan to do it "the right way."

 


 

Gendered chess - nevertheless

Can but can't?
Shall? Nope, shan't?
Hearken to
The complex cant.

Stewing mess --
Gendered chess.
Who'd confess
More or less?

 

Patriarch?

Matriarch?

Whence the spark,

Hierarch?

 

Gendered chess

Is checkered,

And written

All around.

 

It's a blow,

Don't you know?

Some will go.

Others? Whoa.

Will, but won't?
Do or don't?
Time will tell
Which will wont.

 

Addendum of Stewing in a Mess:   "While men stew in their mess, women are rising. They are taking back control of their lives and their bodies and they are questioning the foundation of the patriarchy — heterosexuality — that has kept them blindly subordinate for centuries. 'A feminist critique of compulsory heterosexual orientation for women is long overdue,' Adrienne Rich wrote in her 1980 feminist classic 'Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.' It looks like this critique has finally arrived in the mainstream." In "Miley Cyrus' split with Liam Hemsworth isn't just celebrity gossip — it's a blow to the patriarchy," by Marcie Bianco,, NBC News, 16 August 2019.   [ 1 ]

 

Addendum of Unwillingness:   "This unwillingness to settle for less than we think we deserve is joined by a lax attitude towards searching for potential mates. We’re busy dominating the world. We don’t have time to hang out at bars. While some of us explore online dating or take a more proactive approach, the majority of Millennial women have long assumed we would meet Prince Charming via friends, or through their own social circles. 'Why should we waste our precious time and energy unless we meet someone we really connect with and care about?' asks Baker. 'I think it's great that Millennial women are picky and don't feel as much pressure to be in monogamous relationships as did previous generations. I do think all Millennials, not just women, are used to the idea of being able to ‘curate’ experiences -- that's why so many people are into online dating, because you can pick and choose character traits -- and that makes people wary about settling down, especially when, in a city like New York, there are so many options'." Unfortunately these assumptions bump up against the growing inequality between the two genders. Millennial women have taken it for granted that they will pair up with equal partners. But increasingly, there aren’t enough of these men to go around." In "Why Are So Many Professional Millennial Women Unable To Find Dateable Men?" by Larissa Faw, Forbes, 5 December 2012.    [ 2 ]

 

Addendum of the Requirement:   Sexual reproduction typically requires the sexual interaction of two specialized organisms, called gametes, which contain half the number of chromosomes of normal cells and are created by meiosis, with typically a male fertilizing a female of the same species to create a fertilized zygote. This produces offspring organisms whose genetic characteristics are derived from those of the two parental organisms. In "Reproduction," Wikipedia, n. d.   [ 3 ]

 

Addendum of a Toxic Obsession:   "Our culture is so wrapped up in trying to blur the lines of sexuality, and women have become so obsessed with their warped concept of feminism, we seem dead-set on confusing, even hating, men for their masculinity. Equality doesn’t mean sameness. Yes, society should strive for equality between men and women, but no phrase, whether 'cisgender,' 'toxic masculinity,' or 'gender binary attack helicopter,' will ever change that men and women are not the same. Nor should it mean men shouldn’t be as proud to be masculine as women can to be feminine. Camille Paglia once said, 'Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect women and children. None of their pain or achievement is registered in feminist rhetoric, which portrays men as oppressive and callous exploiters'." "In "The ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Trend Blames Boys For Being Born Male," by Nicole Russell, Federalist,12 April 2017.   [ 4 ]

 

Addendum of Miss Matches:    "Racial and ethnic minorities, especially Black women, face serious shortages of potential marital partners, as do low socioeconomic status and high socioeconomic status unmarried women, both at the national and subnational levels. This study reveals large deficits in the supply of potential male spouses. One implication is that the unmarried may remain unmarried or marry less well-suited partners." In "Mismatches in the Marriage Market," by Daniel T. Lichter, Joseph P. Price and Jeffrey M. Swigert, Journal of Marriage and Family, 4 September 2019.    [ 5 ]

 

Addendum of Fragile, Vulnerable Men:    "...women know men to be vulnerable and fragile, they are often tempted to excuse them as 'just little boys' who need to over-compensate for their sense of inadequacy or 'womb-envy' with acts of spiteful misogyny. Female nurturing is presented as the solution to male violence - as though women haven't been doing that for centuries. Germaine Greer once commented that 'women have very little idea of how much men hate them'. For it is painful to confront the extent of men's hatred. But only when both men and women acknowledge its existence, its extent and its pervasiveness, can we act to end it." In "Why Men Hate Women," by Celia Kitzinger, New Internationalist, 5 October 1990.

 

Consider Some Women's Part in a  Sexy acrostic   -  just to turn a trick

 

NOTES

 

[ 1 ]     Marcie Bianco describes herself as "Writer, editor, cultural critic, and your favorite lesbian feminist." Her bio tells "an undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard (cum laude); a MSt in Women's Studies from the University of Oxford (Hertford College); and a MA and a PhD in English Literature from Rutgers University."
          One notes that the educational stance from which she writes is out of "government," "women's studies," and English literature. Her tale is one of many. One might assume, as a lesbian "dominating the world" in Faw's parlance, she is not seeking "Prince Charming." Hurray for the matriarchy, and one writer's perspective.

 

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

 

[ 2 ]    Larissa Faw states "As a full-time journalist with a business background, I write about millennial workplace trends, corporate renegades and pop culture." Elsewhere one reads, "Larissa Faw is a business journalist who contributes to Forbes and Mediapost, and writes a syndicated business column running in U.S. newspapers. She writes about Millennials, workplace trends and career mavericks...."

 

Critique Heterosexuality, But Wonder Where the Eligible Men Are?

 

          In Bianco's parlance, "questioning the foundation of the patriarchy - heterosexuality" might be contributing to Faw's stance, noting the problem for heterosexual women that "there aren’t enough of these men to go around." Another's writer's perspective, this one's captured in the phrase, "there aren’t enough of these men to go around". So, hurray for the matriarchy?

 

Consider Chased Away

 

[ 3 ]    "Will, but won't? / Do or don't? / Time will tell / Which will wont." 

          Should "your favorite lesbian feminist" seek to reproduce, she will seek "half the number of chromosomes of normal cells" via the male in order to complete "a fertilized zygote."  There is nothing about government, women's studies which rejects objective observations of basic biology, or English literature which can inform.

          Should a business journalist seek to reproduce, she too will seek "half the number of chromosomes of normal cells" via the male in order to complete "a fertilized zygote."  "Millennial workplace trends, corporate renegades and pop culture" will not contribute to this in the least.

 

Taking What For Granted?

 

          Both writers are products of sexual reproduction via "a male fertilizing a female of the same species to create a fertilized zygote."  Shall one think that this testifies to oppression by a patriarchy, that "foundation" of which is heterosexuality?   But "Millennial women have taken it for granted that they will pair up with equal partners. But increasingly, there aren’t enough of these men to go around."  Biologically there are enough zygotes to go around, call them potential patriarchs or matriarchs. The biology is understandable in spite of complaints thereto.          

          The postmodern polarization of sex into gender, gender into many genders, and heated argumentation leads us nicely to competing narratives and the fine expression, Fa Queue - there's no debating you.

 

[ 4 ]     Nicole Russell is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and mother of four. Her work has appeared be in The Atlantic, Politico, The New York Times, Parents, The American Spectator, National Review Online, and she is a Senior Contributor to The Federalist and The Washington Examiner.

          Nicole Russell has written, "we seem dead-set on confusing, even hating, men for their masculinity," and Larissa Faw has bemoaned the dearth of men who can be equal partners to women, with "there aren’t enough of these men to go around." Marcie Bianco questioned heterosexuality altogether, as the "foundation of the patriarchy," while Camille Pagila bemoaned feminists portraying men as "men as oppressive and callous exploiters."

          Lots of gametes represented there, each having been at one time a fertilized zygote, each evidencing "genetic characteristics [that] are derived from those of the two parental organisms," a female and a male of the same species.

 

[ 5 ]   Unmarried Miss Matches sometimes worries in the media about "deficits in the supply of potential male spouses.  Are "potential male spouses" necessary in this postmodern world?

 

Dunn's Spoof -- A Woman Needs a Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle

 

          One recalls:   "Gloria Steinem had this to say in a letter she wrote to Time magazine in autumn 2000: 'In your note on my new and happy marital partnership with David Bale, you credit me with the witticism 'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.' In fact, Irina Dunn, a distinguished Australian educator, journalist and politician, coined the phrase back in 1970 when she was a student at the University of Sydney. She paraphrased the philosopher who said, 'Man needs God like fish needs a bicycle.' Dunn deserves credit for creating such a popular and durable spoof of the old idea that women need men more than vice versa'."

          A spoof, popular and durable? Indeed, and with its effects on demographics and generational change. And so the intersectional synthesis between Bianco, Faw, Russell, and Paglia synthesizes nothing in particular except words and words and words, pulling in differing directions.

          Gendered chess seems to be coming to a stalemate. And the stale mate. "Time will tell...."

 

Say hello to Societal Norm - a formless form

 


 

Follow; chant in uni, son

Stay Woke Shuts Down Feminist Lecture

Follow; chant in uni, son.
    Lock step, that's the way its done.
        Shut it down; declare you've won.
            That's the way the problem's spun.

 

Addendum of the Problem:   "...that’s the problem, isn’t it? A noisy minority of campus activists who can’t seem to handle opposing viewpoints are breeding an unintellectual, mob-like environment where students must choose sides or face nasty social repercussions. I experienced this when I went to the College of William & Mary––writing libertarian op-eds got me threats, people refused to speak to me, people called me 'evil,' 'bitch,' 'racist,' and, yes, 'sexist' online. If you’re not on the side of the prevailing social justice narrative, you might as well leave campus altogether or have a miserable time of it. Might as well hunker down in your dorm room and wait for it to all be over." In "Mob-like law students call Christina Hoff Sommers a fascist, shout her down," by Liz Wolfe, Washington Examiner, 6 March 2018.