Monthly Archives: July 2009

Thaddeus Stevens, American Hero

I had never even heard of this guy, but a post over at the White nationalist site Occidental Dissent condemning him as one of the worst Americans of all time stirred my interest. I expected a fanatic. Not that I mind, after all, I’m a big fan of John Brown (even though he was a nut) and even Nat Turner (though he’s kind of gruesome). Desallines of Haiti, leader of the rebellion that killed almost all of the 25,000 Whites in Haiti, has always been one of my biggest heroes.

Over at Wikipedia’s Thaddeus Stevens page, there’s little if anything to dislike. He went beyond mere liberalism to all-out radicalism, championing the Underground Railroad and even running a waystation in Pennsylvania. He lived with a mixed-race (mulatto) female servant, and they may have had illegitimate children together.

Almost all graveyards were segregated back then, and he demanded to be buried in one of the only integrated graveyards around. His headstone even showcases this demand. He set up a university that was one of the first with an explicit non-discrimination clause, even for Muslims!

As the leader of the Radical Republicans, sure the Southerners hate him. Southerners need to get over it. You lost, we won.* It’s over. Time to move on. Not only did you get your asses kicked, but you weren’t even fighting for a legitimate cause. Southerners are just flat out nuts. They were nuts during the Civil War and they still are nuts to this day. They’re basically a bunch of fanatics. Fanatical mostly because they are still mad over losing the stupid war they started, and still angry at “the Nawth” for handing their great grandfather’s asses to them.

Towards the end of the war, Southern fanatics experimented with poison gas in an attempt to gas a room full of top US government officials. Experiments were carried out on cats in an enclosed glass case. With the war almost over, Southern fanatics still would not give up. There were many fanatical plots, including assassination plots, at the end of the war. I believe that all these nuts were caught. After the war, in a typical show of Yankee magnanimity, I believe all were released.

Southerners rant about General Sherman burning down Atlanta and other cities, but he was actually pretty civilized about it. History has not served Sherman well.

Typically he was surround a city and not let anyone out. Then his men would go door to door and try to clear out all the Southerners. Most able-bodied men would be gone, and there were just women, kids, old men, and maybe some Blacks. Union soldiers went house to house trying to evacuate the place. I’m not sure if they gave people a chance to gather up belongings.

A lot of Southerners knew what was up and insisted on going up in flames in their homes. Typically these clowns were dragged out of their homes kicking and screaming. There were a few deaths, but considering the scope of the scorched Earth operation, it is incredibly humane. I believe that only White homes were burned, and Negro homes were spared. I also believe that mansions of the slaveowners were targeted.

Anyway, Sherman’s campaign was sheer genius. There were hardly any deaths, but a lot of Southern property was up in flames. The opposite of a neutron bomb. Sherman was driven to this rage because the South, though beaten, would not say uncle. His March was the last straw.

Radical Republicanism has come in for a lot of criticism, but much of it is undeserved. The South deliberately tried to throw a monkey wrench in Reconstruction after the War and tried to bring back slavery in all but name only. Black rights were restricted in every possible way, necessitating the passage of the 13th15th Amendments, also despised by White nationalists. They hate the 14th Amendment most of all. What’s it about? Equal protection under the law. Horror of horrors.

In some ways, Reconstruction was idiotic. Blacks were put in charge of law enforcement, courts and local governments. They were well-meaning but often illiterate, had no education and were worse than incompetent. As a result, local government on most levels was a comedy of errors.

Freed Black slaves, illiterate and never having worked a day of paid labor in their lives, wandered the roads aimlessly. Many drifted back to the plantations where they had been enslaved and set up camp there. They weren’t exactly asking to be enslaved again, but it was almost something like that.

Slavery had been torn down, and nothing had been erected in its place. Within a few years, the KKK was a huge force raging across the South and sowing terror. This was a response of a beaten White South to its burned mansions, destroyed, crippled and wounded manhood, widowed womanhood, newly empowered and sometimes vengeful Blacks, the idiocy and incompetence of Black rule and Federal military occupation.

It was all too humiliating to Southerners raised on super-masculinity and the pride that grew from that. The North had little stomach for the long-term military occupation that Stevens rightly proposed and didn’t want to take on armed and outraged White Southerners. The War was over.

Andrew Johnson practically rescinded Reconstruction, pulled most US troops out, and basically threw in the towel on the South. The North had fought a bloody war with the South and had no stomach for more fighting. The Feds basically said the Hell with the South, we’re out of here, and went home.

After 1868, things got much worse for Blacks as the KKK ruled the South and Jim Crow began to be cemented, but the US government was tired of fighting Southern White men and adopted a see no evil, hear no evil attitude.

Nevertheless, Reconstruction was right and proper and did not go on for long enough. The South’s defiance of the terms of surrender after defeat was outrageous and violated the basic human rights of Blacks.

By 1868, Stevens was dead, and Reconstruction was headed out.

The name of Thaddeus Stevens, American hero, is one more US schoolkids ought to know.

Good summary on Stevens at the link.

*I had relatives who fought on both sides of the Civil War. Some owned slaves too. One relative freed his slaves in the 1830’s. Another relative nearly joined the KKK in the 1920’s until his wife heard about it and said, “No you won’t!” I’m supposedly related to Stonewall Jackson, great Confederate general. My anti-Southernism and pro-Yankeeism in terms of the Civil War is typical of Californians. I’ve never met a Californian who supported the Confederacy in the Civil War, and you will never see a Confederate flag in this state.

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Filed under American, Anti-Racism, Racism, Regional, South, USA, War, White Racism, Whites

Appalachian English

I’m not ready to split off English dialects into separate languages yet, as my previous forays into this area have pissed people off enough as it is. As a general rule, I can understand almost anyone speaking any dialect of US English. I lived in a tourist town near Yosemite National Park for many years, and we had tourists coming in from all over the country. Never once did I have a hard time understanding anyone, and I think I heard them all, the dialects that is.

In my previous piece on this subject, I suggested that African American Vernacular English (AAVE) or Ebonics, probably deserves to be called a separate language from US English. Many if not most US linguists who have an opinion seem to agree, but I think no one wants to touch it since the rightwingers not to mention the White nationalists would go stark raving berserk.

However, I recently spent a couple of hours with a couple of local Black women who were speaking AAVE. It might as well have been Greek. They could also switch on a dime over to a perfectly intelligible US English, so they were effectively bilingual. But damned if that wasn’t the nastiest and hardest to understand US English dialect I have ever heard firsthand.

I mentioned in the other piece that a guy came out to the mountains here in California recently from New York. He was a young Italian-American guy from Queens, New York. Queens is one of the holdouts for the hardest of hardcore New York English dialects. The guy spent three or four months here hardly being understood by a soul until he finally figured out how to speak California English and make himself understood.

There were a couple of clues that he was speaking a foreign language and not a US English dialect. First of all, he was unable to moderate or tone down his lect of make it more intelligible, even after months in the area. That’s a good sign that you’re dealing more than a mere dialect. Dialects are typically adjustable, separate languages much less so. Another sign was that even after 3-4 months of listening to him, a lot of the people he was talking to could not understand him any better than they could on Day One. This is also a good sign of a foreign language and not a dialect. With a US English dialect, usually we can adjust to it pretty quickly after hearing it a bit, and then we can get most to all of it.

Therefore, I would split off AAVE and hardcore New York English into separate languages, but I won’t do so in an official post as I have enough enemies as it is.

I would like to add one more extremely nasty US English dialect to the mix though. This is something like Appalachian English, though I am thinking in particular of that spoken in a couple of locales. I am not sure where they are doing the mountaintop removal mining in the hollows of West Virginia. But I recently heard a radio report on that, and while I could understand company spokespeople pretty well, once they started interviewing poor folks down in the “holllers”, I kept having to turn the radio up and I still wasn’t getting a lot of it.

I recently heard another radio report about a tribe called the Monacans in Virginia. I assumed they would be easy to understand like most Virginians, but this was one of the nastiest US English dialects I’ve ever heard. The Monacans live in Appalachian Virginia, north of Lynchburg near the town of Amherst and then northwest of Lynchburg near the Natural Bridge and the towns of Goshen, Lexington and Glasgow.  The terrain looks something like this. The Natural Bridge area is more forested.

The spokeswoman for the Monacans was an assimilated woman speaking an intelligible Southern or maybe Appalachian English. However, they also interviewed several tribe members, older women who lived in very rural areas and recalled how they used to practically live off the land down there. I was missing a lot of what they said, and it was one of the hardest-core English dialects I’ve ever heard. The tribe is said to be somewhat Black-White-Indian mixed, and for this reason, they have had a hard time getting recognized. I am not sure how their mixed nature plays into this dialect, or how many other folks around there talk the same way. I suspect that the real hardcore lect is with older people, rural people, and possibly females. Females often have the hardest core dialects since males have to work. In having to work, they often have to tone down their hardcore dialects or languages and either learn a majority tongue or speak a more assimilated dialect. Traditional women are just in the home and in a lot of parts of the world, they stay monolingual and don’t learn the majority language of the country.

I’m not sure how the rest of Appalachian English sounds, but at least the speech of some parts of Appalachian West Virginia (this area is in the Blue Ridge Mountains) and Virginia is incredibly hard to understand. The dialect spoken by the Monacans seems to be one of the Southern Appalachian dialects. These are the dialects that are said to resemble Shakespearean English. Though this is not Shakespearean English (this is an urban legend) these dialects to contain many Elizabethan English words from 1550-1600 which are no longer used in Modern English.

They also have strong influences from Scots and North Ireland Scots English, along with some influences from Welsh.

Wikipedia says that Appalachian English is one of hardest to understand English dialects spoken in America.

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Filed under American, English language, Language Learning, Linguistics, Regional, US, USA, Whites

New Traffic Record Immediately Broken On Robert Lindsay

The new record for third highest traffic day set on July 20 was quickly broken on July 27, just one week later. The July 20 record was 3,353 hits. Just one week later, that record was broken as 3,498 hits were recorded on July 27. Additionally, there were 177 visitors on the old site, where traffic has been growing since July 20, for a total of 3,675 hits.

Both records were set on Mondays. Mondays have traditionally been my highest days on both sites. I’m not sure how it is with other sites, but it seems like Mondays may be high traffic days for lots of sites. Traffic slows down on the weekends, and Sundays is typically the worst day of all. Friday is the slowest day during the week.

That’s because at least on my site, I think most folks still access the Internet from work! On my old site, traffic used to get high around 8 AM, often peak around 10 AM-2 PM, and then decline after 5 PM. Late at night and very early in the morning there was little traffic. Part of the problem is that most traffic to my site is from the US. If I were able to draw from around the world, those hourly trends might get a lot fuzzier.

It’s interesting that people still access the Net a lot from work, when one would think they would be working. And when they go home, the last thing they want to do is go on the Net. Same thing on weekends.

As the owner of a website, I’m much in favor of anything that gets low income, poor, working class and even Third World people on the Net. The Internet, even in the US, is still very heavily male and upper income. Traffic from the Third World tends to be the elites. So the Net ends up being a pretty rightwing place. As a Leftist, I would love it if my natural constituency had more access to the Net. Also as a linguist, it would be nice to see speakers of a lot of these lesser spoken languages get on the Net.

It would also be nice to hear the voices of ordinary folks in the Third World. It’s gets tiresome listening to a bunch of elitists all the time.

There are serious problems connecting the world. Much of the Third World still accesses the Net in Internet cafes, when they even have access to the Net. Wireless networks are dramatically needed. Cellphones have unbelievably been able to penetrate the Third World very well, and have ranged down below the mere elites towards more ordinary folks.

The price of a computer is still a big problem. In my apartment complex, I am one of the only folks on the Net, and this is an American city. A computer still costs $400-500, and that’s beyond the reach of most of my neighbors. On top of that, broadband is another $25-50 month.

In a lot of areas near me, we now have virtual monopolies on broadband. You have a choice between cable or DSL, and both are seriously overpriced. There’s also satellite, and that’s even more. Each seems to have a monopoly in its area, and no one seems to be competing on price. Instead it looks like non-competition agreements and price-fixing.

In the mountains where I type this, you can get your broadband from the cable monopoly, the phone monopoly or the satellite monopoly. Obviously, the customer gets screwed hard by all these monopolies, a monopolistic fact as simple as night following day.

I don’t know what to do about it. The problem is that the evil cable companies have laid a lot of their own lines. Since they own the lines, it’s going to be hard to force them to make others use them. You run into the problem of the phone monopolies, who typically put up the poles and run the underground phone lines.

Around here, the government does a shitty job of regulating the phone companies. The cable monopolies, as natural a monopoly as the phones, are an unregulated monopoly. If the phone, electric and gas natural monopolies are regulated, cable needs to be too.

For starters.

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Filed under Meta, Vanity

Is The Idiot Box Making Us Smarter?

A young commenter named Ger is going round and round with me on the Primitive People Have Primitive Languages and Other Nonsense post. This person thinks that primitive peoples are actually smarter than civilized ones and suggests that civilization actually makes you stupid. An analogy was made to domesticated dogs and cats getting stupider after they were civilized and made into pets.

Problem is that civilized peoples have IQ’s that tend to be much higher than primitive or 3rd World peoples. When 3rd World peoples move to the 1st World, their children gain around 5-15 IQ points in the first generation, suggesting that civilization is good for your brain.

The Flynn Effect has been ongoing at least since 1930, with the most noticeable effects in the First World. IQ’s have been rising at about 3 points per decade due to this effect, which seems to be largely one that postulates that higher levels of civilization actually make residents more intelligent, possibly an adaptation to deal with the increasing complexity of modern life.

Adding further evidence to the data is that more primitive or Third World peoples who move to First World societies tend to flounder, suffer heavy unemployment, use welfare a lot, drink, take drugs, engage in domestic violence, commit lots of crime and suffer lots of imprisonment and finally to suffer diseases and die young.This in spite of rising IQ.

This suggests that while primitive peoples are highly intelligent (one way to prove this is to look at the miracle of their insanely complex languages) they still have not evolved the “rocket scientist” intelligence necessary to flourish in the First World. Why didn’t they evolve sky-high IQ’s? They probably did not need them. If they needed to be rocket scientists, read Moby Dick and take advanced calculus, they would have evolved the super IQ’s to do it.

Anyway, Ger doesn’t believe any of this, and thinks the modern world is a gigantic Idiocracy Factory. A recent comment:

How is sitting in front of a TV eating fast food cognitively demanding?

Granted it doesn’t require any brains to eat the Big Mac, but there may be more to the TV than meets the eye.

Actually, people have been wondering what is driving the Flynn Effect and one theory that they have come up with is…the Boob Tube! Yes the Idiot Box is thought to be making people smarter.

My late father thought this theory was insane because he hated TV.

But you need to sit back and really think about what is going on with TV. Even US sitcoms are surprisingly intelligent these days. The dialog is witty and clever and operates on several different levels. Same with your standard drama shows. These also operate on several different levels at once and there is one level, like in the sitcoms, that is actually quite intellectual. You really have to be smart to get out of these shows everything that is put into them.

On sitcoms the jokes come right after the other and they are quite sophisticated. On dramas, things happen very quickly, plots are often extremely complex, etc.

On complex TV shows, in any given minute, many different things may be going on, sometimes all at once.

Many shows nowadays test our knowledge – see the knowledge game shows for instance.

Even cable news is cognitively demanding. The issues are complex, and the stories quickly move on one after the other. Very intelligent people are interviewed in succession, and they don’t really simplify the concepts they are dealing with a lot.

Even modern cartoons have a Hell of a lot going on with them. I can’t believe how sophisticated Adult Swim stuff is.

Bottom line is if you really want to get something out of TV, you need to be on the ball and paying attention, sometimes to multiple things all at once. This gets massively magnified by the modern tendency to channel surf.

The Flynn Effect is seeing its most explosive gains on visual analysis and visual reasoning. TV, along with cell phones, computers, VCR’s, remote controls, dials on automobiles, microwaves and many other things, even garage door openers, all require some kind of programming to make them work properly these days.

Of all of these, the TV must be considered one of the strongest drivers of all, if only due to its ubiquity.

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Filed under Culture, Flynn Effect, Intelligence, Social Problems, US

Check Out Galician

Galician is a language similar to Portuguese that is spoken in Spain by about 3.5 million speakers. Speakers are located in the far northwest of Spain in the region of Galicia. Galicia is one of four languages other than Castilian that are recognized by Spain. The other three are Basque, Catalan and Aranese (Occitan). Galician is having problems lately, as a lot of speakers in urban areas are not speaking it anymore, and much of the speaker base is located in rural areas.

Nevertheless, it is still widely spoken outside of large cities, even by young people. There have been some problems setting up Galician-medium schools, as the Spanish state doesn’t seem to want to pay for it. The state of Galicia has not done a very good job of preserving the language. For instance, most of the Galician TV stations are in Castillian.

Despite all of this, Galician is still doing pretty well and should be secure for the remainder of the 21st Century.

Galician is related to Portuguese, but Portuguese speakers are very ethnocentric and crazy about their language, and they have adopted the notion that all dialects of Portuguese can understand each other. This is not the case, as there are several languages under the Portuguese rubric, and even saying that Brazilian and European Portuguese are the same language is getting harder and harder of a case to make.

A group called “Reintegrationists” insists that Galician is a dialect of Portuguese, but this does not seem to be the case. For one thing, Portuguese and Galician are not really fully intelligible. So it looks like the best case is to split Galician off as a separate language closely related to Portuguese.

As long as we are talking about dialects, it really ought to be the other way around – Portuguese as a dialect of Galician. Galician is actually the original language of the area and it preserves the old form of Portuguese-Galician best of all. Portuguese is best seen as a Galician dialect that drifted further and further away from the original Galician language. Galicia has been a part of Spain for a good 600 years or so, and in this period, Galician and Portuguese have drifted further apart.

Galician is now properly seen as a language closely related to Portuguese that has been heavily influenced by Castillian. If you will, a language partway between Portuguese and Castillian. So if you speak Spanish, Galician should be more accessible to you than Portuguese. What is interesting is that Galician and Portuguese have drifted so far apart that Spanish speakers say that they understand Galician better than Portuguese speakers do. This is doubtless due to the heavy Spanish influence on Galician.

In recent times, the Castillian influence has only increased. A Galician group based in Spain has formed to oppose the influence of the Reintegrationists, who are proposing a common writing system for both Galician and Portuguese. The Galician purists propose a purified Galician written language that emphasizes Galician’s differences with Portuguese. They have their work cut out for them.

The video above is from Galician TV. On Galician TV a new form of Galician has emerged that is closer to Castillian than the form typically spoken on the Galician street. Many Castillian speakers say they can understand Galician TV pretty well, but even they have a hard time understanding street Galician. In the video, the female broadcaster in particular is speaking a heavily Castillianized form of Galician. The male broadcaster’s dialect is less so.

They are interviewing a man who represents the Reintegrationist group in Galicia. He is speaking a much more “street” form of Galician and was harder for me to understand. I understood the woman best of all, then the male broadcaster and last the man being interviewed. I understand Spanish pretty well.

If you understand Spanish, you should be able to understand some of the video above, but you probably won’t fully understand it.

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Filed under Europe, Galician, Linguistics, Portuguese, Regional, Spain, Spanish

Paper Adds Support to Aryan Invasion Theory

Note: Repost from the old blog.

The notion that an “Aryan Invasion” that occurred 3,500 years ago in India and subsequently shaped the physical and religious landscape of the country is a controversial one, but it is steeped in Indian socio-cultural politics. Though it is uncontroversial outside of India, a huge debate has heated up inside India.

On the one side are the Dalits and their allies. The Dalits claim that they were the original Indians and practiced some sort of a nice, Utopian religion. I don’t know if it was Goddess worship, but I guess it was something like that. The Dalits really hate Hinduism, because Hindus have decided that Dalits are born and doomed through life to be lower than whale shit, and that’s at the bottom of the ocean.

So the Dalits say that these Aryans (White folks) invaded down from the steppes to the north and west (possibly Tajikistan or around Iran) and conquered a large part of India. They brought with them Hinduism and caste. They made themselves the lighter Brahmin caste and made the darker folks lower castes, and the darkest of all were made into Dalits. So the Aryan invasion started the whole mess.

Hindu nationalists (Hindutvas) love their Hindu religion and feel that it can do no wrong, so they dislike this Aryan invasion theory. Their whole line is that there was no Aryan invasion. Hinduism was native to India and was not some wicked religion brought by evil lighter-skinned dudes. This theory is also very popular with Brahmins, almost all of whom support caste, no matter what they tell you.

White nationalists, some high caste Indian racialists and Afrocentrists all support the Aryan invasion theory. White nationalists feel that there are two races in India – light-skinned cool guy “Aryans” in the north who are smart and get everything done in India, to the extent that anything gets done there, and darker Dravidians, who are apparently inferior muds or something.

In reality, there are just Indians of varying shades. The ones towards the northwest to tend to be more European-looking and lighter, and the ones heading to the south and east from the northwest to tend to get darker and more Dravidian looking. However, there are plenty of dark-skinned North Indians with varying degrees of Dravidian features, and in the south, there are a lot of lighter folks with more European features.

The “Aryans” and “Dravidians” have gotten so mixed in over 3,500 years that these categories no longer make much sense, except to idiots. In which case, they are encouraged to continue using them.

High caste Indian racialists go along with this, and hang out in White nationalist fora trying to convince White nationalists that funny looking light-skinned Indians are really just White people too, albeit with patchouli oil and a taste for curry. White nationalists are dubious about admitting wogs into their midst of their White purity.

Afrocentrists like this theory because they moronically think that Dravidians are Black folks. Except that they are not. Actually, all Indians are pretty closely related and are very distant from Africans – they are no closer to Africans than anyone else on Earth. Any resemblance to Africans is just convergence, genetic drift or coincidence.

Well, India was populated by all these really cool Indian Black folks and then evil White dudes came in, brought an evil White Supremacist religion called Hinduism, and cruelly imposed it on the darkies.

In the midst of all of this swarming intellectual idiocy, it falls to the scientists to add some sense to the discussion.

This interesting paper (available on this blog here) adds to the evidence for an Aryan invasion.

They did find that higher-caste folks tended to be lighter than lower-caste Indians, but that was just a trend. There are light-skinned low-caste Indians in the northwest and many of the Brahmins of South India are quite dark.

They also found a trend for lighter skin and more European features and genes towards the northwest and darker skin, more indigenous features and more Asian genes and one moved to the south and east. The paper felt that they had evidence for a large introgression of European-looking peoples maybe 3000-4000 years ago, though things have gotten pretty mixed up since.

Other papers studying the genetics of India have concluded Indians have been evolving, more or less in situ without a lot of outside inputs, for 15-20,000 years (call it 17,000 years). The result has been this endlessly varying type we call the East Indian. And where did the Indian stock come from prior to 17,000 years ago?

The authors were not sure, but they felt that the seed for the stock that started to grow the modern Indian tree came from the Middle East 17,000 years ago.

India, along with North Africa, the Caucasus and the Middle East, is also one of main staging grounds for the evolution of Caucasians and proto-Caucasians from 39,000-52,000 years ago. In particular, there was a movement out of India to North Africa 30,000 years ago which probably helped to create the Berbers.

There are also other, lesser known influences on the people of India and Pakistan. The Mohajirs in Uttar Pradesh are heavily Persian and Arab. Former Pakistani President Musharaff is a Mohajir, so his background was mostly Arab and Iranian.

Mohajirs are the Muslims that fled India to Pakistan during the bloody partition in 1947. They have since suffered a lot of persecution in Pakistan and are not all that well-liked there. They have set up their own patronage system, along with patronage political parties, that benefit them and only them.

We see an interesting thing in the far western states of Haryana and Rajasthan. Possibly 50% of the population of Haryana and probably all of Rajasthan is related to Scythians from 1,500-2,000 yrs ago. The Scythians were probably the same as the Ossetians of today. Long ago, the Ossetians were known as the Alans, horse-riding nomads of the Central Asian steppes.

There are some theories that try to connect to the Alans to Japan, especially to the Caucasian-appearing Samurai caste, in an invasion centuries years ago. This rests on similarities between Alan names and legends and those of the Samurai. At present, the Alan-Japanese theory remains little more than a controversial hypothesis.

The Caucasian appearance of the Samurai class is probably due more to their Ainu roots than to any Alan invasion.

Even today, the Japanese ruling class looks different (some say, more Caucasian) than the rest of the Japanese, who are closer to the Yayoi, rice-farmers from Korea who invaded 2,300 years ago and conquered the island, displacing the Ainu. The Ainu, despite superficial Caucasian appearances, are actually anthropologically Australoids close to Aborigines. Genetically, they are Asians.

References

Bamshad M, Kivisild T, Watkins WS, Dixon ME, Ricker CE, Rao BB, Naidu JM, Prasad BV, Reddy PG, Rasanayagam A, Papiha SS, Villems R, Redd AJ, Hammer MF, Nguyen SV, Carroll ML, Batzer MA, Jorde LB, 2001. Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations. Genome Res 11: 994–1004. Download on this blog here.

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Filed under Africa, Ainu, Anthropology, Asia, Asian, Asians, Caucasus, East Indians, Evolution, Genetics, Hinduism, History, India, Japanese, Middle East, Modern, Nationalism, Near East, North Africa, Northeast Asians, Pakistan, Physical, Political Science, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, Regional, Religion, Reposts From The Old Site, Science, South Asia, South Asians, White Nationalism

Illegal Aliens Don’t Vote

I don’t particularly like illegal aliens in the aggregate, though I’m known to socialize with them and even buy them a taco if they are hungry, or a beer in the bar if they are thirsty.

Check out this stupid-ass article via the never-heard-of-before Cutting Edge News, which, it turns out, is a far Right and pro-Zionist neoconservative rag. That they get 1.4 million readers a month is frightening. On the other hand, we do get 90,000 readers a month right here on Robert Lindsay.

This article is really retarded. I have no doubt whatsoever that illegals register to vote, probably by giving the application to someone who can speak English to fill it out. They do this to get into the system in order to get their fake ID’s so they can work. But I doubt if many of them vote.

I live in a community that is completely overrun by illegals and their anchor baby horror-children. The illegals certainly do not vote, and the anchor babies usually don’t either as they are too busy smoking dope and gangbanging.

These illegals are not involved in their communities in any whatsoever. I would laugh if I heard of any significant number of them voting in an election. They’ve probably heard that voter fraud is a felony and I’m sure they’d like to avoid that. They are pretty paranoid people, believe it or not, and most of them want to avoid anything that’s going to get them in trouble legally or get them deported.

We are talking about a community that takes no interest whatsoever in politics, that can’t read, write or in general even speak English, and who lives on the margins. The idea that they would vote, or could even read a ballot, is comical.

Legal Hispanic aliens are another story. Most of them don’t speak English really well either, don’t read much English, probably can hardly write English at all, and are estranged from US society. I guess a few of them might vote, but I doubt it. They do speak English better than the illegals, but they have a lot of problems with the language and are most comfortable with Spanish.

These illegals avoid anything having to do with government in any way. After a traffic accident or if they get victimized by crime, they refuse to go to the cops. You will never see one near the government building. They are voting? GMAB.

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Filed under Reposts From The Old Site

Interesting Website

Note: Repost from the old blog.

Delphi.lv.

It looks like a big Latvian site. Took me a little while to figure this linguistic puzzle out.

Click here and you get the Latvian version of the page, and click here and you get the Russian version of the same page. What I found very interesting was the very large number of commenters on the Russian version of the Latvian page.

It’s well known that all of the Baltic states have been hostile to the Russian population (unfortunately seeded in the Baltics as settler-colonists in order to flood out the native Baltic peoples and water down Baltic nationalism) and the Russian language.

I believe that upon independence, Latvia was as much as 40% Russian and Russian first language speakers. No doubt it’s declined since then, but this dual webpage implies that Russian-speakers are still pretty common in Latvia, no?

Wikipedia to the rescue. Looks like Russophones and native Russians were 40% at independence and only down to 28% now. That’s a great big fat demographic that can’t be ignored by any major website. Interesting fact – in Latvia, 81% know Russian, and only 79% know Latvian!

Wow. No wonder Latvian nationalists are pissed. Obviously this goes back to the USSR when Russian was the national language of Latvia and a lot of native-Latvian speakers also speak Russian too. With 80% of the population speaking either Russian or Latvian, damn right you better make that website in both languages! The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says:

“The Russian language is robust in Latvia, as Russian-speakers are a majority or plurality in many cities, almost all Latvians speak Russian as well as Latvian and culture and media from Russia have a strong presence in Latvia. Indeed, the legacy of Soviet Russification policy was still evident in the results of the 2000 census in Latvia, which showed that knowledge of Russian is still more widespread than knowledge of Latvian in Latvia: 81% of all inhabitants know Russian, while only 79% know Latvian.”

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“The 39 Steps” by John Buchan

Note: Repost from the old blog.

I’m not much for spy novels, but this is supposed to be one of the greatest ones ever written . I read it long ago and recommend it strongly. Thriller! This is supposedly one of the first spy novels ever written, and it’s long been a classic. Plot has more twists and mysterious turns than a mountain road. You never quite know what’s going on.

Of course, that’s perfect for a Hitchcock movie, and Hitchcock adapted it in 1935, but I never saw the film. The author, John Buchan, was a fairly minor author, but this book was a smashing success, especially with Allied soldiers in the trenches.

The Scottish author later left for Canada where he become a famous politician, where he changed his name to Lord Tweedsmuir. He’s one of those classic British colonial swashbuckling wild guys, running around the globe for the crown doing all sorts of crazy and important stuff.

This is one of those books that was very successful and was repeatedly adopted as film, so most folks figure it’s shlock, but in my opinion, it’s actually great literature. Plot summary here. Watch out, it contains a spoiler.

This book is creepy! It’s set in the UK on the eve of World War 1, and there are German and British spies and British cops running around everywhere. There’s a notebook written in code, a dead spy, an assassination plot to start the war, and British and German war plans that each one wants.

Gives you shudders up and down your spine. It’s also a great book for paranoids, because the protagonist is always being followed by weird unknown characters everywhere he goes and he has to live by his wits like a criminal. He assaults strangers, forces them to change clothes and jobs with him and drive him places, to let him stay at their places.

He never knows who anyone really is, and people who seem like good guys turn out to be bad guys and vice versa. Check it out. It’s a really short book and you can probably get it free or even read it online. I read it after a recommendation by none other than Thomas Pynchon, who listed it as an influence. It definitely still makes a lot of peoples’ best books list.

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Primitive People Have Primitive Languages and Other Nonsense

Note: Repost from the old blog.

When you work in a field, you find that the vast majority of folks outside the field have totally false and yet often culturally popular views about the major questions we deal with in the field. I have a Masters in Linguistics, and in Linguistics, we have a few of those.

One is that linguists all speak more than one, or often many, languages. Not necessarily. I only speak English well. We just study languages; we don’t necessarily speak more than one of them, although most PhD linguists do speak more than one and often several or more languages.

Another is that primitive people speak primitive languages. It’s true that they often have only a few words for numbers and may only count up to two or so, but that’s because in their societies, they don’t need to know any numbers more than two. They have other deficits, like only a few colors, but maybe they don’t need to know many colors.

Here is an interesting article (Amren link only because this Yahoo link will soon go dead) about Aboriginal kids in Australia. The article is getting a lot of ridicule on some sites, but it’s actually straight up.

The question deals with a linguistic and cognitive science question: Do kids need to have words for numbers in order to have concepts for numbers? Turns out they do not. The aboriginal kids were able to count up to nine even though they did not have words for the numbers 3-9.

That’s actually fascinating from the point of view of those disciplines, but you would have to understand the import of the theory. How can someone have a concept for something if they have no word for it? It seems impossible? Yet they can. How does that work? Who knows?

This kind of work is important for Linguistics but mostly for Cognitive Science, and the two disciplines are seeing a lot of interaction these days. I’m also very happy to hear that the aboriginal languages Warlpiri (one of the most maddeningly complex and crazy languages on Earth) and Anindilyakwa (never heard of it) are doing great. If only some of our US Amerindian languages were doing so well.

If they’re going to function in Australian society though, do they not need to know some English? And I would think that these aboriginal languages need to borrow some terms for other numbers since they need them now in modern society.

There is a false claim out there by people like Richard Lynn that primitive people have primitive languages. That’s completely wrong. The most wild, crazy, complex and undecipherable languages out there that we almost still can’t figure out, are the more primitive types of languages spoken by more primitive, isolated and less civilized or at least modernized groups.

Once a group gets civilized or modernized, the structure of the language undergoes simplification, often massive simplification. The more civilized or modernized the language, the simpler and more dumbed-down the structure of the language is.

The reason is that in a modern society, everything is rush rush rush, and people want to get concepts and whatnot across in the simplest and quickest manner. Why? They are busy making money because time is money, and because when they are not making money, they are busy multitasking doing this or that.

In the more primitive or less modernized societies, humans are still actually quite intelligent, though they may not seem that way to us. We can tell how smart they are by looking at their languages. There is no way that a bunch of morons could have created such infuriatingly complex tongues. Forget it.

These people are bored. They don’t have much to do all day, so they use their wildly complex language to be creative and exercise their minds, playing games with language, figuring out the most complicated, difficult and arcane way of saying this or that, etc. That’s what one theory anyway.

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