Monthly Archives: February 2010

NPA Delivers Devastating Blow to the Philippines Military

The NPA has seen some huge successes in recent days. In Northern Luzon, the 5th ID of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) suffered some of their biggest losses in a long time when they waged a major offensive against the NPA in the Cordillera Region. The Cordillera is characterized by a high mountain range called the Cordillera Central. The region is about 110-200 miles north of Manila. I didn’t know that the NPA were so huge there, but apparently they are. People called Igorots live in this area.

The 5th ID offensive was directed at the Agustin Begnalen Command of the NPA, which is active in the area. Between January 27 to February 4, the 5th ID suffered 29 soldiers killed and 35 more wounded by the NPA. Those are some pretty devastating figures.

Apparently the NPA has now figured out how to use IED’s, possibly via the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Chechens in Chechnya or the Iraqi insurgents in Iraq. This technology has been perfected lately, especially by the Iraqis, which then moved to Chechnya and especially Afghanistan lately. It stands to reason that the same technological progress has now been perfected by NPA, as most to nearly all of the casualties were due to IED’s.

The AFP responded by accusing the NPA of using “landmines,” but they don’t use landmines. The NPA issued a press release stating that fact.

They also issued a press release, copied below, in which they actually mourned the dead and wounded enemy troops, who, said that NPA are just mostly poor peasants and urban poor just like the ranks of the NPA. That’s a pretty magnanimous act for an insurgent army, and I don’t think any Muslim insurgency would ever say such a thing.

Furthermore, it’s great PR as the insurgents really take the high road when they mourn the loss of cannon fodder of the state. In the same press release, they called on the troops of the 5thID to abandon their positions, seek out the nearest NPA unit and surrender to them, and the NPA would help to lead them out of the area. Excellent tactics.

Those of you on this site who oppose the NPA are asked what should be done in the catastrophe called the Philippines instead.

AFP Junior Officers and Rank and Files soldiers, defy your fake Commander-In- Chief

Simon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan, Spokesperson

February 6, 2010

We condole with the families of the 29 soldiers slain and 35 wounded in six clashes with the New People’s Army from January 27 to February 4, just as we would mourn had any of our Red fighters fallen. There will be more casualties if the ongoing massive military operations will not end. Ordinary soldiers are thrust into doomed operations while their generals are enriching themselves thru corruption and as protectors of the illegal drug trade.

Most, if not all, of the AFP casualties probably came from poor peasant and working class families just like the NPA fighters. The main difference is that the rank and file troops unleashed by the 5th ID serve the exploiting classes of big landlords, corrupt bureaucrats and their imperialist masters, while the NPA fights for the emancipation of the poor from the shackles of poverty, oppression and exploitation, and for the defense of land, life, livelihood and resources.

The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front thus calls on the rank and file soldiers as well as junior officers of the 5th ID to defy the orders of their superiors in this doomed military operation. The current military maneuvers have no purpose other than to prepare the region for the arrival of the US troops for the Balikatan joint exercise starting this month and provide security for the subsequent entry of large mining companies.

In particular, we call on the rank and file soldiers to defy orders from their immediate superiors who command them to conduct military operations against the NPA. They can file their leave of absence based on any alibi just so as not to participate in the operation.

They must not proceed to their target area but instead stay in safer grounds until the operation is terminated. They can pass vital information to or inform any unit of the NPA of their plans so that the Red fighters can advice them where to pass safely. We advise junior officers not to lead their men in areas where they will surely be ambushed.

We encourage them to join the underground Lt. Crispin Tagamolila Movement or resign and find better and more honorable jobs if they are not ready yet to join the revolutionary movement so that together we hasten the overthrow of this corrupt, anti-people and despicable reactionary regime and build a better tomorrow.

Finally, we call on Igorot military officers not to allow themselves to be used against the interest of their fellow national minorities. The transformation of the military as an “investment defense force” of large-scale mining companies that have appropriated 2/3 of the land area of the Cordillera is deplorable.

Equally detestable is the appropriation by soldiers of the 503rd Bde of a monthly tax of one sack of ore from every small scale mining tunnel in Lacub and Baay-Licuan, Abra. As sons of the mountains, we must all uphold the good aspects of indigenous tribal ways, and the sacredness of life and nature’s resources.

When the imperialist pillage of the Cordillera and the entire nation ends, then shall we enjoy the fruits of the mountains, forests, rivers and plains of this country. We will end our mourning and come out of our dap-ays to join in the feast of national liberation.

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Filed under Philippines, Regional

Land of the Blond, Home of the Blue

Here we have two maps, one for what I am going to call blond hair, though they are calling it light hair here. The other is for what I call blue eyes, but they are calling them light eyes here.

These are of course the Aryan Prize Jewels. What is funny is that the centers of Blondness and Blueness seem to be in some cases outside of the Land of Odin and Thor.

Blondism, with an epicenter around central Scandinavia.

For instance, the lower half of Finland, plus central Sweden and Norway, are Ground Zero for blonds. You can hardly spit in any direction around there without hitting a wolverine, a caribou, or some blond and blue hottie. If it wasn’t too cold to fuck, the place would be a sexual paradise!

What is interesting about this is that the your true Nazis always held that the Finns are “Asiatics,” and therefore not really White. What’s wrong with almond eyes and submissive, slender women, I’ll never know, but the Mighty Whiteys think this Chinky stuff is no good. Better a strong German woman who looks like she could shot put you across the room I guess. Sometimes Nazis are hard to figure.

Anyway, we see that Russia, in particular far northwestern Russia, is also a Hot Zone for major breakouts of blond and blue, especially for the blue eyes.

The epicenter for blue eyes seems to be a bit east of the blond breakout, around Estonia or just to the east in Russia.

In fact, the center for azure isises seems to be around Estonia or a bit east of there in the Ingrian region, a bit south and further east than the Almogordo of the blonds, noted above as central Scandinavia. Once again, the Nazi types insist that these centers of Aryanism are fatally contaminated with them dirty Asiatic genes.

I would say that these are markers of mutations. One, for blond hair, in central Scandinavia, around 9,000 years ago, and the other, for blue eyes, in Estonia around the same time.

Why they persisted is a mystery, as they add little Darwinian fitness. I assume that the blond and blue chicks were in hot demand by the fur-draped fellows up there. They all jumped on the blond and blue chicks, and the early Neolithic Marilyn Monroe types pumped out lots of babies. What’s surprising is that these evil bitches stealing all the good men were not all killed by their proto-Viking sisters.

Anyway, since gentlemen prefer blonds, the mutation spread, and nowadays we even have blond and blue Jews, though most of those come from bottles and contact lenses.

The maps are interesting. The general Scandinavian – Baltic region seems to be an epicenter, with the Finnic region predominating. Taking the median of the blond epicenter in central Sweden with the blue eyed epicenter around Novgorod in Russia just east of Estonia (Ingria), we get a blond-blue epicenter around Tampere, Finland in southern Finland about 150 miles north of Helsinki. Northwestern Russia has a lot of Finnic and general Scandinavian genes. After all, the St. Petersburg region and environs was ruled by Swedes for centuries.

We have a strange strip of blond along the forbidding Pomeranian coast of Poland, near the V-2 rocket test site. The outbreak of blonds in the Galicia region of Spain is interesting. These folks say they are Celts, and perhaps they are. Moving to France, we see another outbreak in Brittany, once again attributable to Celtic Bretons. In the UK, blondism trends to the East, but this was where the Danish influence and the Danelaw was greatest.

Heading down to Italy, we see that the Venetian speaking region in far northeast Italy is a blond outlier, not the general “Padania” of the northern separatists. Since this region was long under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, perhaps the answer can be found there. There is another blond outlier on the heel of the Italian boot in the Puglia-Salento region that is also unexplained. There are a lot of Greek and Albanian genes in this region, but how do we get blondism from that?

The blue eyed map also shows some interesting things. In Spain, there is an area of very dark eyes, but it is a little to the east of the Moorish area. There is an area of somewhat lighter eyes in North Africa on the border of Algeria and Morocco that is unexplained. A commenter says it was from Vandals. That region is in the area of the Middle Atlas Mountains and much of the Rif Range. There are a lot of the more pure Berbers in area – Riffians in the Rif and Chleuh in the Middle Atlas.

The Riffians in particular are very light – 36.8% of them have blond hair and blue or green eyes, higher than the % of light hair among Spaniards and Italians. Riffians have a moderate amount of Alpine and Nordic features for a Mediterranean race. Considering that Riffians are lighter than Spaniards or Italians, it seems insane that White Nationalists say that they are “non-Whites.” The Chleuh are also quite light, see pics.

Czechs have lighter eyes than Slovaks, and Turks have lighter eyes than most Italians, perhaps due to heavy Slav influence. The far south of Switzerland has darker eyes and hair than the Swiss to the north of them. This is the Italian, Lombard and Romansch speaking region of Switzerland.

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Filed under Anthropology, Europe, Europeans, Genetics, Geography, Maps, Regional, Russians, Whites

My Latest Cholesterol Reading = 156

Well, I must say, it’s never been that low in my life!

At one time it was over 200, and I was put on cholesterol-lowering medication called Zocor. I’ve had a great experience with this drug. My last reading was around 190 or so, but the 156 number just blew me away. I’m not sure what’s going on. I’m cooking for myself all the time, I rarely eat out, don’t eat any fast food, eat little if any junk food or sweets and in general I eat only one meal a day (dinner).

People who know me well keep insisting that I’m going to die since “I don’t eat,” but that’s more observational than factual. Anyway, the thinnest lab rats live the longest and caloric restriction of lab rats doubled life expectancy. Sort of the like the revenge of the Skinny Beach Guy in the Charles Atlas ads (bit of time-worn Americana here for you extra-North Americans).

My caloric intake is somewhere around 1,700 calories a day, or possibly a bit more or less. Consider that your average American consumes an incredible 3,800 calories a day.

I don’t exercize that much, but I rode 35 minutes on my exercize bike last night.

My diet is excellent. I’ve nearly cut out dairy. For my cereal, I use soy milk. I eat lots and lots of fiber, because I have diverticulosis, but fiber may lower cholesterol too. And when I’m doing great, I go on long fasts where I more or less consume nothing but fruit juice, vegetable juice, coffee and wine (the last two being necessary for life). People say I look 5-10 years younger than I am.

I doing all of this mostly for a shitty reason: I’m somewhat narcissistic, and like all narcissists, aging is tough. As the Buddhists say, when you bet on the body, you bet on a losing horse. All of us narcissist types are doubling down on that loser mare. She’s nobody’s pick, and all the tip sheets say avoid, but we keep plunking it all down anyway, results be damned. We know it’s nuts, but we can’t help ourselves. In our heart of hearts, we’re all 22 years old for the rest of our lives.

The even more shitty reason I do this is so I can get young chicks! LOL, I know, quit laughing. At my age, with each passing year, the young women look at you less and less. For us narcissists, this is quite a blow, especially those of us who won Player of the Year a few years straight when we were young.

Anyway, narcissistic delusions, to the extent that they foster health, are a good thing. There are people my age who look terrible and are near death. I know people who are falling, breaking bones, in wheelchairs or on canes, unable to work or do much of anything. Some are on oxygen tanks. About nine years ago, friends my age started dying. Some were really overweight, most were heavy drinkers or dopers, some were both, a few lived well and crapped out at the Dice Table of Life.

I’m 52, and 20% of men my age are already impotent (A 50 year old former girlfriend of mine told me it was 100%, but she wasn’t including me). Sure, there’s Viagra, but last I checked it was $10/pill.

With each new year, droop dick disease strikes more and more of my brothers. The best way to keep a stiff upper dick is a good diet, good weight, blood pressure and cholesterol control and even exercise. Overweight, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, inactivity are bad for your arteries, and your dick’s all about the arteries and the blood flow. Traffic jams or roadblocks on Dick Highway turn the essence of all of your manhood – the one root power – into a cartoon dog. Your hard drive fails, and the floppy drive takes over.

If there was ever a reason for guys to take up health in middle age, this is yet. Do it for your dick, guys!

Interesting discussion here. The anti-cholesterol folks point out that 35% of all heart attacks occur in those with cholesterol of 150-199. Sure, but 65% occur in those with cholesterol above 200. You’re a betting man; which horse you want to bet on? An even more fascinating anecdote is here: No one with cholesterol under 150 has ever suffered a fatal heart attack. Assuming it is true, is that not an amazing statistic?

Below 140, and Pritikin suggests you actually start regressing the cholesterol in your arteries. Getting down lower, things get touchier.

Low cholesterol is associated with violence, depression and suicide. An elevated death rate was due to the fact that many were getting into fatal fights in bars! Cholesterol coats the arteries, including those of your brain, and so provides an insulation layer. Low insulation in the arterial paths of your brain implies increased mental instability, possibly due to mood swings and depression. Presumably the more insulated passages are more protective of brain chemical stability, but I don’t know how.

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Filed under Health, Illness, Nutrition

The “Communism Ruins the Economy” Lie

It’s unfortunate that we even have to spend so much time refuting these lies, but as I’ve noted previously, under US capitalism, we essentially live in as propagandistic a state as the USSR. Sure, there’s stuff that violates the Elite – Ruling Class line, but you really have to dig around to get it, as you will never hear or see it in any large newspaper or major newsmagazine. You will also not hear it on 99% of the radio frequency. And you won’t hear it all on TV. Never! Not even one time.

So the capitalist Elite – Ruling Class has the propaganda thing pretty well locked down. They’ve got all of the large papers and newsmagazines, 99% of the radio dial and 100% of the TV channels. Even with cable and 600 channels, I still think they would have 100% of the frequency.

Sure, there are other places to find this stuff, but it’s outside the MSM, so it’s very hard to find. There are small magazines that are anti-US Ruling Class, but they have small circulations, are hard to find, and you often need to pay for a subscription, which hardly anyone will do. There is public radio, pretty progressive around here, but it’s only one station on the dial. There are no alternatives for TV and a daily newspaper.

The rare and hard to find anti-Ruling Class voices are similar to the underground press in the USSR. Back then, keep in mind that there were samizdat presses all through the East Bloc, but like a copy of The Nation, they were hard to come across most people hardly ever read one.

One of the lies that almost all of us, believe, including yours truly, a Leftist, is that Communism was an economic disaster. After all, why has the whole world abandoned it in favor of capitalism?

Like so many things that everyone believes to be true, this statement is, in a general way, false. Via Entitled To An Opinion, a link to the Less Wrong blog (great title by the way) which proves that actually, Communism was not an economic disaster at all. Nor was it a miracle. On the contrary, economic growth in the Communist Bloc during the period covered by the surveys was right around the global average, nothing special, nothing too bad. Just typical.

The problem with Eastern Europe was that they were comparing themselves to Western Europe. From 1945-1990, Western Europe grew at a rate faster than the global average, while Eastern Europe grew at the global average. It become apparent that Western Europe was beating the Communists, but only because the Communists could not excel in the same way that the West did. When one excels and another is average, the one who excels wins. But in no way can the East Bloc be said to an economic failure.

Looking specifically at West Germany and East Germany, it is hard to make the case that West Germany had a better economy. They started out better, and at the end, they were still better, but it was all due to boost at the starting line.

In 1950 West Germany to East Germany GDP per capita ratio was 2.04:1.00. In 1989 it was almost identical – 2.14:1.00. So 40 years of capitalism hardly widened the gap. It did widen it a tiny bit – by 10% over 40 years, but that’s not much to crow about.

The capitalists like to throw in North Korea, but North Korea appears to be an outlier even among Communist countries. Up until 1980, they had a bigger economy than South Korea. Then South Korea started beating them. After 1990, the price of oil went up 10X overnight. Imagine if that happened here in the US. Gas would go from $2.90/gallon to $29/gallon overnight. How would the US economy handle that? How would you handle that? Would you still be able to drive your car?

Anyway, that price shock was unaffordable, and North Korea just ran out of oil. Oil was needed to run the factories and the heavily mechanized agricultural economy, so the whole thing collapsed. Not only that, but the entire capitalist world would not lift one finger to help them, as the West has been embargoing North Korea from Day One.

In addition to Western Europe, East Asia was the big winner. They grew even faster than Western Europe. So the two prizes of the capitalist system, East Asia and Western Europe, have actually been performing abnormally well for decades now. Holding these champs up as representing world capitalism in praxis is most dishonest.

The big losers in economic growth over the period were all capitalist countries – India, Indonesia, Peru and most of Latin America, Argentina, Chile, the UK and New Zealand – going from poorest to richest. It’s interesting that we never think of these economies as being economic failures, but they have been.

One can argue that Communism failed not in terms of economic growth per se, which was quite average, but in terms of supplying good products for its citizens. Surely one should not have to wait in line 5 years to buy a refrigerator or 10 years to buy a car in an economy with decent economic growth. There were also long-term problems with housing – most Communist housing was small and cramped, and there were chronic housing shortages. There were also chronic shortages of many to most of the items one buys in a store, even foodstuffs, though in general folks had plenty to eat.

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Filed under Economics, Left, Marxism, Politics

There Were No Beginnings, There Will Be No Endings

“Science has found that nothing can disappear without a trace. Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation…” Werner Von Braun (Nichols 1962).

“This entire globe, this star, not being subject to death, and dissolution and annihilation being impossible anywhere in Nature, from time to time renews itself by changing and altering all its parts.” Giordano Bruno.

“It never starts it never stops it just goes it never zeroes.”  Robert Lindsay, 1979, from an unpublished work of fiction.

As you can see, the notion of beginnings and endings, of births and deaths, is illusory. As something may not come out of nothing (story of my life), yet something may not turn into nothing either. Nothingness may not birth any something, and something may not turn into nothing. It seems that this is occurring all the time, but this is mere illusion.

Instead births or beginnings are simply one form of energy and matter transforming into other, usually more salient one. Endings, deaths, dissolutions, are nothing of the sort. Something has merely transformed into something else, as we saw with beginnings.

Bruno, burned at the stake for heresy by the Inquisition in 1600 as a martyr to science, in part for upholding Copernican astronomy, was ahead of his time. The universe was infinite, as he put it, “many worlds.” All matter was made of atoms. Our world was not the center of the universe or of anything but that it only seems that way.

No position, not up or down or this way or that, is set, as all is relative to the positions of other entities. Life was probably not unique here, and had probably sprung up in many other places in the universe. Comets were the remains of stars, not messages from the Gods. In a sense, everything is connected to everything, prefiguring particle physics. Space was infinite (Bruno is almost the father of infinity) and if Space was infinite, than so must be Time.

And logically, if all of this is true, then Christianity is “wholly false.”

Although he did believe in God, it was a diminished God. This from a Dominican friar who spent most of his time in monasteries!

For the logical cul de sac in italics above, he burned with fire. 13 years later, Galileo barely saved his own skin from similar holy heat.

If space is infinite, then so must be time.

Here we look to the early Jewish Kabbalists, studying in the 1300s-1400s. After centuries of study, they determined that God was “endless bright White Light, extending as far as one can see in every direction.” Or infinitival White Light. Furthermore, God is “that which cannot be known.” Going beyond that, God was “that thought of which man may not even properly entertain.” In other words, God is beyond our mental grasp. He is the Inconceivable.

It is now the hour for a brief discussion about Time. I haven’t read Kant yet, and maybe I can’t, but we will dabble anyway.

First of all, the future simply does not exist. You are all aware of this, right? Quit shaking your heads. The. Future. Does. Not. Exist. Say it until you are blue in the face. What is fascinating about the future is that we all know it doesn’t exist, yet we spend all of our lives pretending that it does exist.

Tomorrow I will…In the future I will…Pretty soon I’m going to…I have an appointment on the…I will be graduating on the…I’ll meet you at the restaurant at two…I’m looking forward to the future.

For something that doesn’t exist, we sure spend a lot of time thinking and talking about it! Worst of all, we prepare for it!

Now we have hopefully established the nonexistence of the future. At some point, sure, the future will exist. For instance, it will probably be 11 PM here in 31 minutes, assuming the world does not blow up. But at exactly that moment 31 minutes from now that the future supposedly exists, it won’t even be the future anymore! It will be another present moment. Follow? Of course you do.

What follows after the end of the last paragraph is that the present does indeed exist. You’d be hard to find a philosopher to disagree with that statement. A poststructuralist might, but they disagree with everything. Ah, so the present exists! But the future does not? Surely not. So we are left with only half of time. Every present moment, plus all of the past.

The next thing we need to ask is if the past exists. This is a very important question. I always figured it did, but a friend told me recently that the past does not exist. It used to exist, but it doesn’t anymore! But of course. He must be correct, no? At one time the past existed, but now it no longer does. How does it exist?

In memories, movies, books, etc. Which are merely objects in the present that made recordings of the past when the past was happening. Now we have eliminated the other half of time, and all we have left are second hands slamming on the clock, beginning and ending so quickly, nearly simultaneously, that we can scarcely put our finger on any moment and call it NOW.

Which now brings us to a rather carpe diem moment, eh? To live logically, we should all act like 80 IQ ghetto types, living for each second and nothing before or after existing. Thank God we don’t all think like philosophers.

There is another view, which is also very present-centric. This one holds once again that the present moment is salient, but that the past and future both exist, but they only exist as part of the present and of each other.

In other words, what has brought us to this present moment? Think about it. The entirety of the weight of the past, tumbling onto our hour like a rock slide, has brought us here, to this most auspicious of bright moments. The past made the present, so it is here with us as the vehicle that brought us here and also as the sculptor which made the present moment what it is.

As the future will in part be determined by the present, and hence also the past, the future also exists in the present, as a potentiality. The past also exists in the future, as the past and present vehicles drive towards the future and create it. Whether or not the present or future exist in the past is more problematic, but perhaps they do, as the earlier seeds that grew the trees of today and tomorrow.

One notion, popularized by Time Theorist Guy Murchie, is that all of the past that has already happened and all of the future that will occur, is, at this moment, all simultaneously present in this, our present moment. The Eternal Now. That’s a bit hard to swallow, but I like the mouth feel.

And that will be it for now, as we are out of Time.

References

Bruno, Giordano. 1584. On Cause, Principle, and Unity (De la causa, principio, et Uno).

Murchie, Guy. 1961. Music of the Spheres: The Material Universe from Atom to Quasar, Simply Explained. Cambridge: Riverside Press.

Nichols, William, ed. 1962. The Third Book of Words to Live By (pp.119-120). New York: Simon and Schuster.

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Filed under Metaphysics, Philosophy, Religion

“Postcards From Dream Land,” by Alpha Unit

In I’m So Sick and Tired of This Shit, Robert talks about the infantilization of women – something radical feminists have brought about, either wittingly or otherwise. Street harassment of women has been one focus of this move to give women some kind of permanent protected status.

Like almost every other woman, I’ve been subjected to harassment by males in public places. It has been mainly verbal – no one’s ever put his hands on me. I can tell when someone is being friendly and “complimenting” me and when someone is really aggressively interfering with me. And the latter pisses me off.

It’s not so much that I’ve felt afraid in these situations (although I have a time or two); I’ve mainly been annoyed. And what made me angry was the sense that I had to placate this individual somehow to get past him and be on about my business. How you react to this harassment can make a difference in how swiftly you can get away from it.

In other words, if you say something like “Go to hell” or “Leave me alone,” you have committed the sin of deflating this male’s ego. Retaliation is sure to follow.

All of a sudden your great beauty and desirableness, those things that supposedly got his attention in the first place, fall away and you become the ugliest, most loathsome bitch that ever crossed his path.

I understand the impulse in some activists to do something about this. And in litigious America I can even see why some women have the idea of outlawing street harassment. There’s nothing new about the idea.

Ages ago, in 1993, law professor Cynthia Grant Bowman wrote an article for the Harvard Law Review called “Street Harassment and the Informal Ghettoization of Women.” According to Professor Bowman:

Typically, unacquainted persons passing on a public street, particularly in large cities, do not address one another, but instead perform an avoidance ritual…Staring at a stranger is a well-established cultural taboo.

She goes on to say that breaches of this “civil inattention” are reserved for people who are really unusual, those who are unusually similar to you in some way, or those who are in what she calls an “open” category – dogs and children, for example. Men seem to put women in this “open” category.

Unlike men, women passing through public areas are subject to “markers of passage” that imply either that women are acting out of role simply by their presence in public or that part of their role is in fact to be open to the public. These “markers” emphasize that women, unlike men, belong in the private sphere, the sphere of domestic rather than public responsibility. Ironically, men convey this message by intruding upon a woman’s privacy as she enters the public sphere.

Professor Bowman says that some women react with fear to street harassment because they don’t know if the stranger will turn out to be a rapist. She then asserts that women have good reason to see street harassment as a precursor to rape.

Furthermore, rapists often harass women on the street and violate their personal space in order to determine which women are likely to easy targets – a practice called “rape-testing.” Because potential rapists frequently select their victims by looking for women who appear vulnerable to assault, they may approach a potential victim and “test” her by a variety of means, including making lewd or insinuating remarks, to see if she can be intimidated.

Much of what immediately follows is an explanation of how uncomfortable and distressed women feel when they are subjected to this harassment.

Don’t women have recourse under current civil law? That is, can’t she sue for assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, or invasion of privacy? Each of these options is inadequate, due to issues of intent, First Amendment protections, and the idea that a “reasonable” person (or, “man,” actually) wouldn’t see the conduct as offensive enough to warrant the intrusion of the law.

Professor Bowman is optimistic, however.

Women have made substantial gains in the last few decades in the field of workplace harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence; similar pressure may create remedies for street harassment…it would be necessary to overturn longstanding statutory and case law to hold that the intent of the harasser is irrelevant to criminal assault.

Finally, we get to what I see as the centerpiece of this article – a proposed statute or ordinance to be enacted:

Street harassment. It shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $250, to engage in street harassment. Street harassment occurs when one or more unfamiliar men accost one or more women in a public place, on one or more occasions, and intrude or attempt to intrude upon the woman’s attention in a manner that is unwelcome to the woman, with language or action that is explicitly or implicitly sexual.

Such language includes, but is not limited to, references to male or female genitalia or to female body parts or to sexual activities, solicitation of sex, or reference by word or action to the target of the harassment as the object of sexual desire, or similar words that by their very utterance inflict injury or naturally tend to provoke violent resentment, even if the woman did not herself react with violence [emphasis mine].

The harasser’s intent, except his intent to say the words or engage in the conduct, is not an element of this offense.

With all due to respect to Professor Bowman and to all of the women who continue to endorse such a proposal, this is Dream Land.

Set aside for a moment the idea of legally prohibiting men from publicly expressing their lust for attractive women on the street. Such an ordinance wouldn’t even require that the targeted woman be offended by this behavior. That one sentence in this proposed law reveals the real intent of this proposal: to put a muzzle on men.

This is a truncheon to bring men into line and force them to behave civilly toward women. These women want to enjoy the benefits of moving about in public but they don’t want to deal with the reality of actually being in public, a reality which includes the probability of receiving unwanted attention or being subjected to unwanted speech.

As I’ve said, I don’t appreciate being harassed in public any more than other women do. But here’s what I think: men really only respect and fear other men. I’ve said this before, and I’m convinced of it. A woman often gets respect only insofar as men understand that she is under the protection of some man or group of men. In other words, they have to know that to mess with that woman is to mess with some man – a man they don’t want to cross.

This is ultimately the only real deterrent to this type of behavior – male protection. Women who assert their right to be out and about without male protection now circle back and demand male protection!

And yes, the demand for men to be civil and restrained toward women in public is a demand for their protection. It’s a demand for them to set aside their own instincts and even freedoms for the benefit and comfort of women. More importantly, it’s a recognition that it’s men who actually wield power in the public sphere.

Is everybody listening? It’s men who actually wield power in the public sphere. Don’t get mad at me about it. It’s the way the world has always been. Feminists know it, too.

And to all of you men who want to go on and on about how men have been “emasculated” and made subject to women’s demands, you need to ask yourselves: Who relinquished so much of their power and allowed themselves to be gelded?

References

Bowman, Cynthia Grant. 1993. Street Harassment and the Informal Ghettoization of Women. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Law Review Association.

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Filed under Alpha Unit, Culture, Feminism, Gender Studies, Guest Posts, Law, Sane Pro-Woman, Women

Americans = Idiots

I’ve done a few posts here on how we are a brainwashed nation. I really believe that we are about as brainwashed as your average North Korean. Maybe not as frightened, but probably about as brainwashed.

You really don’t need a totalitarian state to brainwash a populace.

Following Gramsci, all you need is Ruling Class control over the media. Check, done, long ago. Actually it has gotten much worse in the last 60 years. After WW 2, we had a large labor press in the US. It’s been decimated and for all intents and purposes no longer exists.

Next you need Ruling Class control over the political parties. Check, done that, especially since 1980 or so.

Combine the political system with the media and you end up with something called “culture,” once again following Gramsci. The Ruling Class, using its political-media monopoly, then takes over the culture. “Popular culture” the lived world of you and me, then in essence becomes Ruling Class Culture. Even the poor and the workers talk like millionaire oligarchs. If a computer’s a dumb as a rock and it only knows what it’s been taught, then so’s a human. We only know what we’ve been taught.

Exhibit A for how exquisitely this system works in praxis:

From a Gallup poll asking an admittedly loaded question, but nevertheless:

“Is Iran a critical threat to U.S. vital interests?” 61% yes

“Is Iran an important threat to U.S. vital interests?” 29% yes

I certainly hope there were more choices than that!

In other words, 90% of the US population are officially complete and utter dumbfucks.

Unless they’ve figured out that “US vital interests” means “US imperialism,” in which case, I would have answered yes myself.

What do these poor deluded fools think? Do they actually believe that Iran is going to lob a nuke at us and commit national suicide? They don’t even have a nuke, and they won’t sacrifice millions of Iranian lives even if they get one.

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Filed under American, Culture, Idiots, Modern, Political Science, US, US Politics

Why Franco Was As Big A Killer A Stalin

Here in the US, one never hears the end of the “Stalin the murderer” line. Stalin is simply equated with genocide. The more intrepid on the Far Right even say that Stalin killed more than Hitler, in doing so betraying exactly where their sympathies have lain along (with the Hitlerists).

What does one think when one thinks of Franco, the fascist dictator of Spain. Nothing much. Sure, he was a dictator, but he was a good guy. Anyway, the economy boomed under him. Sure, he was Hitler’s best buddy, but let’s not talk about that. Did he kill anyone? Who knows? Maybe a few?

We know or do not know these things here in the West because the Ruling Class political parties have embedded these memes into our brain. Stalin? Greatest Murderer of All Time. Franco? Huh? I don’t know what to think. Not too bad, maybe?

We will do the math below, but first of all, some background. Why was and is Franco the pal of the US media and political elite. Because he was one of them.

And how did he get started? From 1936-1939, there was a popular regime in power in Spain. They won a democratic election. As we mentioned in the previous post, the Ruling Class never tolerates this, and in this case, they started a war against the state. The state had almost no arms (1 gun for every three men) and Franco’s best friends Hitler and Mussolini rushed in to help him out.

Other than brave volunteers who flooded in from around the globe to help the beleaguered state, not one state in the “liberal to conservative” West would lift one finger to help the Republicans. As Churchill (hero of the West, as I was taught here in the US) a far rightwing British elitist, pointed out, there was fear in the “liberal to conservative” West that aims of the Spanish Republican state would “infect” the masses of the West. And what might be the symptoms of this infection, that is, what did the Republicans want?

1. They put in a land reform which was opposed by big landowners. In the 1930’s, land reform was apparently anathema in the “liberal to conservative” West.

2. They massively expanded public education, antagonizing the Catholic Church which controlled education. In the 1930’s, apparently a massive expansion of public education was regarded with terror in the “progressive West.”

3. They put in a public pension reform, antagonizing the bankers. In the 1930’s, the idea that people should be financially secure and able to survive in their retirement was opposed by the “civilized West,” even apparently Roosevelt, who just put in a Social Security program.

4. They removed many of the top military officers in the reactionary army. This reactionary army had been used the elite to consolidate Ruling Class rule in Spain. Reform of the Armed Forces, that is, making them democratic and not controlled by the Ruling Classes to use to repress the people or fight imperialist war on behalf of Capital, was regarded with terror in the “democratic West.”

5. They encouraged workers to join unions, antagonizing the employers. In the 1930’s, in the “democratic West,” the idea that workers should have democratic rights and equal bargaining power with the bosses in the workplace was clearly to be opposed.

Hitler and Mussolini, along with the Ruling Classes of the “democratic West,” opposed all of these popular measures, giving the lie to the notion that somehow Hitlerism or Mussolinism were “socialist” projects, as the Right is now trying to rewrite them. It also shows that the “democratic states” of the West were completely supportive of the aims of the German and Italian fascists, at least as far as Spain, and probably beyond.

Indeed, a few years hence, the West would turn against their erstwhile fascist allies in a war. But the fact that they were strong allies only a few years prior shows that the differences between the West and the fascists were not over Elite or Ruling Class rule in society. Both the “democratic West” and the fascist dictatorships believed in Elite or Ruling Class rule in society, and both were essentially controlled by conservatives to reactionaries.

It is interesting that “socialist” Roosevelt also lined up with his Hitlerist and Mussolinist buddies, but that’s the way it was back then. The fascists were good for business, and that’s all that mattered. And Roosevelt, while pursuing progressive initiatives at home, was utterly committed to a reactionary and imperialist foreign policy, as have all US “liberal” Presidents to one degree or another.

What’s little known is that after Franco won, he killed 514,266 people. I’ve lived in the West my whole life, and I just learned this today. And I’m a smart guy. Why did it take me 52 years to learn this? Because the US Political and Media Elite (the “free political system” and the “free press”) doesn’t want me to know that deadly little fact.

Indeed, Western support for the Francoists, even after the fact, is a dirty little secret, at least here in the US. There were 200,000 executions, 200,000 dead in prison camps, and 114,266 who simply disappeared. That’s over a 39 year period from 1939 to 1978. Franco died in 1975, but his regime continued for another three years until 1978.

From 1921-1953, under Lenin but mostly Stalin in the USSR, there were at least 2.5 million killed. There were 900,000 executions, 1.2 million died in prison camps, and 390,000 died in the population transfers out of the Ukraine during collectivization (the so-called Holodomor).

The figures do not include the natural famine that occurred in the Ukraine and elsewhere in the USSR in the early 1930’s (the so-called Holodomor) because those were not deliberate killings, hence the Holodomor, or deliberate famine, never occurred. It also does not include deaths during population transfers during WW2 when Chechens, Ingush and Crimean Tatars were transferred to Siberia for collaborating with the Nazi invaders, and possibly other deaths during the war, such at the massacre at Katyn Forest in Poland.

The sources are in the archives, and I don’t feel like digging them up, but they come from the unveiling of the secret KGB archives by Gorbachev in 1990. They made a note of everyone they killed, name, date, the whole works. Since then, there has been a huge argument about the archives in the history journals, with Robert Conquest, etc. taking the tens of millions killed side and J. Arch Getty, etc. taking the side of the archives. Sources should be online; one reference is below.

That’s 2.49 million dead over a 32 year period.

So we see that the length of rule was about the same for both leaders, 39 years in one and 32 years in another.

Stalin still killed more.

Demographics of Spain, 1900-2005.

But who killed a greater percentage of the population?

Look at the graphic above, the demographics of Spain. In 1936, the population of Spain was ~26 million. In 1978, the population was ~36 million. The average population during the period was 31 million.

Demographics of the USSR, 1900-1995.

Now look at this graphic, the demographics of the USSR. In 1921, the population was ~140 million. In 1953, the population was ~180 million. Average for the period was 160 million.

Let us now divide the number killed by the average population in each nation:

USSR: 2.5 million / 160 million = 1.56% of the population

Spain: 514, 266 / 31.75 million = 1.62% of the population

I suppose to be fair I should average out the final figure by numbers of years the regime was in power, but I don’t know how to do that. From the comments, James Schipper helpfully does the math:

In the case of Spain, 514,266/(1978 – 1936) = 12,244 per year.

In the case of the Soviet Union, we get 2,490,000/(1953 – 1921) = 77,812 per year.

Dividing the yearly figures by the average population, we get 12,244/31 = 395* for Spain, and 77,812/160 = 486* for the Soviet Union.

*I’m not even sure what that figure means. Let’s just call it a “genocide factor.” It’s the number of killed per year in the country divided by the average population in number of millions.

As we can see, Franco was nearly as big a killer as Stalin.

Think the “free press” in the US will ever tell you that?

Keep in mind that the whole time Franco was in power, he had no bigger ally than the USA. The US government supported him to the hilt during his entire reign, and afterward until 1978. Richard Nixon lauded him as a hero.

US liberals like my folks always said, “Well, that was because of the Cold War. We supported fascists in the Cold War.” Well, in 1989, the Cold War ended, and the US has continued to support fascists and murderous rightwing regimes just as strongly as we did during the Cold War. Was this really all about US-Soviet conflict, or was it about something else? Like US imperialism?

One argument is that many or possibly most of the executions occurred during the war years. True, but many executions, disappearances and sentences to labor camps occurred after 1939.

Many former supporters of the Republicans went into hiding and were still in hiding 30 years after the war. Even on his death bed, Franco was still signing death warrants. To this very day, over 30 years after the transition to democracy, fear still rules the country.

In Asturias, where many killings took place and mass graves litter the land, most people simply refuse to talk about the killings under the dictatorship. The terror is still there. The only possible reason that people are still frightened is that the former supporters and officials of the regime must still retain vast power in Spanish society. People are afraid of a recrudescence.

References

Getty, J. Arch, Rittersporn, Gabor T. and Zemskov, V. N. October 1993. Victims of the Soviet Penal System in the Prewar Years: A First Approach on the Basis of Archival Evidence. American Historical Review. [Getty, J. Arch, Rittersporn, Gabor T. and Zemskov, V. N. Les victimes de la repression pénale dans l’URSS d’avant-guerre. Revue des Etudes Slaves, 65:1, 199.]

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Filed under Europe, Fascism, History, Regional, Socialism, Spain, USSR, War, World War 2

Starve The Beast Game Plan, 2010

So much of what you read, hear and see in the MSM Lie Machine really needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The debt/deficit hysteria – what’s it all about anyway. The bottom line in the “centrist media” is that we need to start making massive cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security right now or experience Financial Armageddon 10 years down the road. So Obama is setting up a sickening “Gut the Entitlements” commission which thankfully will get nothing done due to Republican intransigence. None of this really makes much sense.

What’s behind all of this? Turns out that Republican Game Plan since Reagan has been “starve the beast.” This was reiterated by Reagan, Bush, Allan Greenspan (the economic hero of both political parties) and Irving Kristol. Since spending cuts would not be popular, the Game Plan was to push through massive tax cuts, which would be.

Starving the beast means depriving the government of spending. Faced with drying revenue inflows, spending cuts would be sold as necessity. That, or the Republicans would just run up wild deficits and explode the public debt while they were in office, with the obvious though unstated agenda of causing state financial ruin at a later day.

The entire MSM, across the board, from “liberal” to “centrist” to right, would be utterly silent while this financial time bomb was being set off. The tax cuts of Reagan and Bush were greeted with glorious accolades, while the wild deficits were blown off with statements like, “Deficits don’t matter.” Huge armies of columnists and think tank whores were enlisted in this “deficits don’t matter” lie. Just about every Republican asshole you met in real life, if they had an opinion at all, repeated the same insanity.

When a Republican was in, it was all “deficits don’t matter,” but as soon as Bill Clinton came in, everything changed. Once again, the entire “democratic” and “diverse” US MSM was bombarded with a torrent of propaganda about how we needed to “balance the budget,” control the “deficit” and then hopefully start “paying down the federal debt.”

Your average Republican dipshit on the street, if they had an opinion, was repeating the same stuff like a Goddamned Myna Bird. I’d tell them how a few years back they were all, “deficits don’t matter” and they’d either get pissed or act like I was speaking Swahili.

Turns out Bill Clinton was the most fiscally responsible US President in decades, but he got no credit for it. Instead, bizarrely, he was tarred as a “tax and spend” profligate.

Turns out Clinton left office with the US government massively in the black. That was only 2000, ten years ago. The Republicans were freaked, and they were in office. Suddenly there was a “debate” about what to do with “extra money.” Like save it for a rainy day? Hell no.

There was no debate. Once again, the entire “left to right” spectrum of the US media decided that, “It’s your money, so you need it back.” The entire surplus was immediately blown on dumbfuck tax cuts and within a year, the state was badly in the red again. About this, once again, there was silence from the MSN and cheers from the Republican on the street.

Soon Bush beat all previous Presidents in financial irresponsiibility, but there was not a pipsqueak to be heard about that from the “democratic and diverse” MSM media in the US, nor from the Republican on the street. I’d bring it up, and all I got was, “deficits don’t matter” again.

Does any of that make sense? Of course not. Why should deficits be irrelevant and government act like a drunken gambler on a bender with a credit card and when Republicans are in office, but then as soon as a Democrat comes in, it’s all financial responsibility again.

Well, now we have a new Democratic President, and the shit’s started all over again. Remember: as soon as a Democrat comes in, the entire MSM and the Corporate Ruling Class turn into deficit hawks, quick as a chameleon. Your average dumbass on the street, including “liberal Democrats” my late father (and he was a good, solid liberal Democrat too), fall for the con one more time.

Since Obama came in, it’s all debt and deficits and spending freezes, all the time. Furthermore, now the big boys, the Big Three, are on the block: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They could never cut those before, because they are too popular. But the entire US media, from “left to right” has been itching to destroy these programs for over 30 years.

Paul Krugman makes sense of all of it here. It was all just a sinister plot from Day One. And now the Republicans are doubling down: They are deliberately trying to provoke a financial catastrophe so that “emergency measures” will be needed to deal with the Big Three and slash the state to bits once and for all.

A few things are clear. Just as Marx said, you never really have democracy in capitalism. You have in effect a class dictatorship of the ruling class. We know it is a dictatorship because they will steal elections if need to, kill, jail and harass opponents, and if there is ever a threat to their rule, the result is typically either a military coup or a Contra insurgency. A true democracy would allow the Ruling Class state to be replaced by a popular one. Since generally this is not possible, you typically never have democracy under capitalism.

Part of the way that Ruling Class Rule is enforced is by capturing the entirety of private sector media. The Ruling Class then sets up fake “left,” “center” and “right” factions of the Ruling Class media which more or less all say the same thing, with a few variations. Bottom line is they are all part of a project to perpetuate Ruling Class Rule. In fact, all of these outfits, from “left to right” are all run by Ruling Class members themselves, who use the outlets to aggressively propagandize for their class interests.

The Ruling Class then sets up or infiltrates various political parties, once again, “from left to right,” but once again, all of these parties are simply factions of the Ruling Class. Members of society then align with the media outlets and parties somewhere along this spectrum. Some become “liberals,” some “centrists,” some “conservatives.” Most of them don’t realize that these positions are almost meaningless and they are all, liberals to conservatives, simply supporting one faction or the other of the Ruling Class and its mouthpieces.

So you don’t really have much in the way of political freedom under capitalism since all or certainly most of electorate is under the sway of one faction of the Ruling Class or other. Sure, you can form some little popular party, but with no money, you will probably never get elected.

So you don’t have much in the way of freedom of the press under capitalism. Sure, you can say whatever you want, but unless you have a zillion bucks, no one can hear you. You have freedom of the press for those who own one, and everyone else is effectively silenced.

You don’t even have much freedom of thought under capitalism, because due to the fact that the entire media and all of the parties are typically just factionized elements of the Ruling Class, the overwhelming majority of society is effectively brainwashed into becoming a “supporter” of one faction of the other of the Ruling Class.

Through clever use of media and political ideological monopoly (washed together into what Gramsci called “culture”), you have a society that, at the end of the day, is nearly as brainwashed as Maoist China’s. Yeah, you have freedom of thought, but almost everyone is too brainwashed to exercise it. There’s no need for gulags or bullets in the head, as there are few dissenters and their political power is zilch anyway, so they can be ignored.

If through some miracle, a popular regime is ever somehow elected through the fog of Ruling Class Propaganda and Politics (“culture”) there are always contras, military coups, imperialist sanctions and death squads to reverse the progress.

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Filed under Conservatism, Government, Republicans, US Politics

Capitalist Society as Land of Gypsies

English has many synonyms.

For instance, look at these words:

Capitalist
Businessman
Corporation
Shyster
Liar
Organized criminal
Gangster
Gang member
Organized crime gang
Mafia
Mafioso
Fraudster
Thief
Ripoff Artist
Con Artist
Sociopath

The fist thing you will notice is that some nouns represent one person and some represent more than one person. Leaving aside the differences between singular and plural nouns, what exactly are the differences between the above words. At first glance, they all appear to mean the same thing, except some cannot be inverted. For instance, corporation and and criminal are obvious synonyms, but it doesn’t work the other way, since many criminals are not incorporated businesses with state charters.

One could argue that there are shades of differences between the above. I would agree with that.

We have many proponents of capitalism in the comments section. Yet capitalism, as practiced everywhere on Earth, automatically turns into an orgy of White-collar crime at best, street crime at worst. There doesn’t seem to be any way around it. Wherever you have capitalists, you have Roman legions of shady businessmen and professional liars and thieves, stretching as far as the eye can see. Capitalist apologists, even if they agree with this, say that that is why the state is needed, to enforce anti-fraud laws.

Yet Gramsci, Marx and anyone with their eyes open can see that under capitalism, the business class and oligarchic rich tend to capture the state. The ruling class and the state are synonymous. The ruling class parasitizes the state and fills the state with its agents, so essentially the state is simply another faction of the ruling class. And the agenda of the capitalist class and the rich, everywhere on Earth, is to get rid of state law enforcement into “business crime.”

Yep, businesses want the freedom to be fraudsters and thieves, even if they are honest themselves. Have you noticed that the US Chamber of Commerce typically throws a 2 year old temper tantrum whenever states start prosecuting more businessmen for fraud? Why? Because the C of C, here, and presumably everywhere, wants fraud to be legal. I guess they think you can settle with the guy in court or something. Especially when he’s offshored most of his operations. Yeah right.

Have you noticed that the overwhelming majorities of both parties decry “regulation of the Internet?” So the Internet is unregulated. Therefore, it’s a sewer with more shady characters and crooks than your average teeming ghetto corner at noon. The reason that 80% of both parties won’t “regulate the Internet” is apparently because they like the fact that it’s The Wild West where criminals outnumber humans 2-1. That or they’ve been brainwashed.

Let’s examine this more closely. Do both parties really prosecute fraud equally? Typically, when a state has a Republican attorney general, fraud and white collar crime rates go through the roof. Same thing when a Republican administration comes in. The Bush and Reagan Administrations were synonymous with corruption. Yet when you get a liberal Democrat in, like here in California, he typically vows to go after white collar crime and fraud. Why should this be only the job of liberals?

The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the Republican Party thinks that fraud and White collar crime is a-ok. Apparently it’s all part of doing business. Which brings us back to the synonym test above.

Since fraud as thick as locust clouds seems to be automatically inherent in just about any possible capitalist society, what do you capitalist apologists in the comments section propose to be done about this? Are landslides of white collar crime that bury society the price one pays for living in a capitalist society? Inquiring minds want to know.

Exhibit A.

Sure, you argue that not all businesses are like this, but that’s a typical Internet business. “Internet business” and “scam” are more or less synonymous. And they are synonymous in large part because of the “don’t regulate the Internet” line pushed by both parties and the entire IT industry. So deregulation just means antelope herds of fraudsters galloping through your life. Can’t you guys see this? Capitalism and crime are in praxis one and the same.

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Filed under Capitalists, Corruption, Crime, Scum