Monthly Archives: August 2011

Threatened Languages of France

The French Constitution declares that French is the only language of France. Although France has declared some regional languages to be language of France, France is prevented from ratifying the EU Treaty on Minority Languages due to its Constitution.

A UNESCO report on endangered languages ​​shows that French is seriously threatening 26 languages ​​or dialects in France, including: Basque, Burgundian, Breton, Champenois, Corsican, Flemish, Franche-Comté, Moselle Franconian, Rhine Franconian, Francoprovençal (Arpitan), Gallo, Ligurian, Lorrain, Norman, Occitan (Auvergne, Gascony, Languedoc, Limousin, Provençal), Picard and Poitevin-Saintonge.

Of these, the following are langues d’oil, related to French: Picard, Gallo, Burgundian, Champenois, Franche-Comté, Lorrain, Norman,and Poitevin-Saintonge. These are actually separate languages or patois. They are not dialects of French. Many of them split from langue d’oil long ago. In general, they are quite incomprehensible to French speakers. Let’s look at them:

Burgundian is spoken in Burgundy around Dijon. It is not in good shape, but it still has a lot of speakers. Not intelligible with Standard French. It has about 2,000 native speakers.

Champenois is spoken in Champagne around Reims and in neighboring Belgium, where it is a regionally protected language. I don’t have much information on it, but it’s probably not in good shape. Not intelligible with Standard French.

Franche-Comté is still spoken in Franche-Comte around Besancon. It still has some elderly speakers, but it’s probably not in good shape. Not intelligible with Standard French. It has 3,700 speakers in Switzerland. Figures for France are not known.

Gallo is spoken in eastern Brittany around Rennes. It is still in reasonably good shape. Not intelligible with Standard French. 28,000 speakers. 200-400,000 with at least passive knowledge.

Lorrain is spoken in the northwest of France in the Lorrain region around the city of Nancy, the Vosges Mountains and even into Belgium. Not intelligible with Standard French.

Norman is spoken on the coat of Normandy around Le Havre and on the Channel Islands. This is actually several separate languages. It is not doing well, and is doing especially poorly on the Islands where the influence of English is very strong. Not intelligible with Standard French. Up to 243,000 speakers.

Picard has about 700,000 speakers in far northwest France around Calais, Lille and Dunkirk and in Belgium. It is probably actually two separate languages. Not intelligible with Standard French.

Poitevin-Saintongeais is spoken on the west-central coast of France and around Poitiers. Eleanor of Acquitaine was actually a Poitevin speaker. This is actually two separate languages. Saintongeais is still widely spoken. Poitevin is doing well and has 150-500,000 speakers.

There are actually other langues d’oil, but I won’t list them.

Basque is spoken by only about 10% of the population of the French Basque country. This area is a huge tourist destination, and that has really hurt the Basque language badly in France. Basque is in much better shape in Spain. French Basques are rather quiet and not particularly militant, but there was an armed group at one point. Mostly the French Basque country is used by ETA radicals from Spain as a hideout from the law.

Breton is the Gaelic language related to Welsh that is spoken in Brittany on the northwest edge of France. This language does have 200,000 speakers, but most of them are over age 50. There are also 500 schools or diwans teaching the language. Although this sounds promising and Breton is in better shape than the other languages listed here, there are a lot of worries about this language. For one thing, the French won’t allow it to be taught in French schools.

Corse is spoken on the island of Corsica by about 40% of the population. It is not in good shape. There is a large independence movement in Corsica with huge support. Corse is really just an ancient Tuscan Italian dialect from about ~1500. Speakers of Standard Italian, based on Florentine Tuscan, can understand Corse easily. 100,000 speakers, 1/3 of the island, but many of them are older. Some young people are learning it, but it starts too late – by high school. Instruction needs to start earlier.

Flemish is still spoken by about 20,000 speakers in the far northwest of France around Dunkirk. It is not in good shape at all.

Francoprovençal or Arpitan is an old language with 112,000 speakers that split away from the langue d’oil at about the time it was first becoming consolidated around 800-900. Arpitan split from Catalan-Occitan around 600. This language is also spoken in Italy and Switzerland. It is probably actually 10 or more languages, since there is poor communication among the dialects. It is spoken in the part of France near Switzerland, in the Savoy and around Lyon, Grenoble and St. Etienne to the west of Switzerland.

This language is doing very poorly in France but was still very widely spoken until the 1970’s and 1980’s. It probably resembles French more than any other language.

Ligurian is a Gallo-Romance language similar to a cross between French and Italian. It is mostly spoken around Genoa in Italy, but it is spoken in several dialects along the coast of southeastern France near the border with Italy in the Maritime Alps. Up to 2 million speakers total, but the language is still thought to be in poor shape because few young people are learning it.

Moselle Franconian is spoken in an area of the Alsace-Lorraine on the border with Germany. The variety spoken in France is called Lorraine Franconian and is not in good shape. This German language is not intelligible with Standard German. 78,000 speakers.

Occitan (Auvergnat, Gascon, Nissart, Mentonasque, Monegasque, Languedoc, Limousin, Cisalpine, Provençal dialects) is spoken in the south of France by up to 7 million people understand the language, and 1 million speak it as a first language. It is probably doing better than most of the languages listed in here, but it does not have a secure position.

This is the ancient language of the Troubadours and it is closely related to Catalan, having split from Catalan around 1000. Catalan-Occitan started to split away as a separate language around 800. Occitan itself split from langue d’oil in the 800’s. From 1000-1600, Catalan and Occitan evolved along similar lines.

It is quite unintelligible to French speakers. Sort of a cross between French and Spanish. The question of whether or not the dialects can understand each other and to what degree is a thorny one that does not have good answers. Nissart, Gascon, Limousin, Cisalpine and Languedocien are definitely separate languages.

Rhine Franconian is spoken in France in the same general region as Moselle Franconian, except a bit to the west. It is intelligible with Standard German or with Moselle Franconian. It is not doing very well.

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Filed under Basque, Europe, France, French, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Isolates, Italian, Italic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Linguistics, Occitan, Regional, Romance

Catalan TV

This is the first video I have uploaded that shows the Catalan language.

I could only make out a few words here and there, and I was helped by the visuals about what they were describing. If this was on the radio, I would have done a lot worse. Keep in mind I can understand Spanish pretty well. If you understand Spanish, you most definitely cannot understand Catalan very well! It is for sure a completely different language. Also note that there are many complaints that Catalan TV uses a heavily Castillianized version of Catalan. If this is what the Castillianized version sounds like, I’d hate to hear the pure Catalan.

If any of you speak French, it might be interesting to play this video and see if you can pick up any more of this language than I can coming from Spanish. The best way to listen to it is to not watch the video, just listen to it like it’s on the radio.

On the other hand, I heard a guy speaking a short video about Catalan in which he spoke very slowly and carefully, and I could actually figure out a good part of it.

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Filed under Catalan, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Linguistics, Romance, Spanish

Sweetened Popcorn

Just ate a whole bag of that stuff. Good Lord that was gross! I eat popcorn a lot, usually buttered or cheesed. I can handle that just fine. There’s salt in it, but an extraordinary amount. There’s not that much saturated fat as you might think.

But there was something horrid about that sweetened popcorn. Apparently it was sweetened with sugar. The bag had about 66 grams of real sugar in it. You probably should not eat more than 40 grams a day of that crap. The stuff grossed me out so much that I had to throw the last of it away.

Thing is, I don’t eat much sugar. I don’t even eat much in the way of desserts. I often just eat fresh fruit for dessert, if I have anything at all. I’ve been on an avoidance of sugar diet for quite some time now. I don’t put it in my coffee either, nor in my iced tea. At this point, sugar would just about wreck my coffee I’m afraid.

I do drink quite a bit of real fruit juice, hopefully with as little sugar added as possible. I’m not too worried about the fructose.

When you radically cut back on sugar, a funny thing happens. I almost felt like puking eating that bag of popcorn. If I tried to eat a fudge sundae, I might practically puke. I have a hard time eating fancy cakes and various get-togethers. A typical sugar-laden wedding cake type cake that’s served at many get-togethers nearly makes me vomit.

I really think this is your body’s natural reaction to sugar. The stuff is poison and it’s supposed to make you puke. But when you eat it all the time, you build up tolerance to it, and it doesn’t bother you anymore. Like a drug. Yeah. Sugar is a drug. Think about it.

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Filed under Health, Nutrition

Russia: Welcome to Capitalist Hell

Say what you will about the USSR, but they never had dirty bums on the streets begging money and sniffing glue. Of all things, street children. Good God, what a mess.

Whether it works or not, capitalism is definitely not morally ok. In a lot of ways, it’s just flat out evil.

Check out Lenin giving a speech at the end. I don’t believe I have ever seen him speak before. And at the very end before the video ends, guess who? Leon Trotsky.

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Eurasia, Regional, Russia

A Look at Some Spanish Dialects

One thing that is interesting once you learn to speak Spanish fairly well is that you can start to pick up the differences in various Spanish dialects. I am told that people who don’t know Spanish well can’t pick up the differences at all. Hearing a divergent Spanish dialect is a very strange experience. You hear Spanish words, but the accent is so off and weird that you think that they can’t possibly be speaking Spanish. A frequent mistake it to think that they are thinking some closely related Romance language like Catalan, French, Portuguese or Italian.

I’ve written about this before, but now that we have more Hispanics and even Mexican nationals reading the blog, maybe we can get some good feedback.

Mexican Spanish is fairly uniform at least around these parts. However, there are some differences.

Oaxacan Spanish: I have heard older Oaxacan Indians speaking a very strange and harsh form of Spanish. I assume it was some Oaxacan Indian Spanish.

Morelos Spanish: Spoken in the state of Morelos near just south of Mexico City. I heard a woman speaking this to her kid. She looked very White, and for some reason I thought she was Iranian. I listened to her for several minutes and I was sure she must have been speaking Farsi. However, she told me she was speaking Morelos Spanish. I looked it up on the Net and it is a distinctive dialect.

Jalisco Spanish: Spoken in the coastal state of Jalisco. This does seem different from the other varieties of Mexican Spanish. I heard a White looking guy speaking it in the store and I asked him what language he was speaking. He was speaking Jalisco Spanish. It had a very European sound to it – like Castillian or Catalan.

Veracruz Spanish: I was in a store and there was a guy on the phone speaking some strange language. There were Spanish words but the accent was insane. After a bit, I said, “No way are you speaking Spanish.” The guy practically fell over himself laughing and he said he was indeed. He looked sort of South Indian, so I thought he was speaking some Indian language like Hindi.

He said he spoke regular Spanish, but he came from the Caribbean coast of Mexico, and he was talking to someone from there, and he was speaking Mexican Caribbean Spanish. This is the most whacked version of Mexican Spanish I have ever heard.

Guatemalan Spanish: A neighbor speaks this. It’s Spanish all right, but it’s not Mexican Spanish at all. Has an odd but recognizable accent. And she speaks incredibly fast and slurs her words together in the worst way.

Salvadoran Spanish: Different from Mexican Spanish, but not dramatically so. It’s immediately identifiable as Spanish.

Puerto Rican Spanish: Caribbean Spanish in general is just nuts. I heard a group of mixed race folks speaking it at a store. I listened for a while, very confused. Then I walked over to them and asked if they were speaking Portuguese, because that was what it sounded like. They said they were speaking Puerto Rican Spanish. The mixed race group had not a trace of racism, and among them were some of the most dignified looking Blacks or mulattoes I have ever seen. A quiet dignity you rarely see in US Blacks.

Colombian Spanish: One of the strangest Spanishes of them all. I knew an upper class Colombian woman from the Zona Rosa in the north of Bogota. She spent about half her time in Spain. She had the sexiest, most breathiest Spanish I have ever heard, almost like a super sexy French accent. It was also very European sounding. It had a very Castillian and almost French flavor to it. I heard her sister talk too, and she talked exactly the same way.

She used to write me emails, and I couldn’t make heads or toes of the Spanish because it was so full of figures of speech, slangs and colloquialisms. Running it through a translator was useless. For all intents and purposes, she wasn’t even writing in Spanish.

I was at a store and a group of Colombians was in line, all young adults. I heard Spanish words, but the accent was so whacked that I thought it had to be something else. I approached them and asked if they were speaking Italian, because that is what it sounded like. They laughed and said they were speaking Colombian Spanish.

Once again, this was a very sensual language. The 30-something beauty talking to me seemed like she was openly flirting with me, but finally I thought that was just how she talked. They were all talking like they were either heading to an orgy or just got back from one, but once again, I think that was the way they talked all the time. These people live in their bodies, fully sensual, and the language pumps right out of their emotional heart. The words seem to sway and move with their bodies. One sexy language!

I recently heard another woman speaking Colombian Spanish, this time from the Caribbean coast. A fruity, delightful language with words that sway in the sun on the golden sands. A sound as juicy as papayas, mangoes and bananas. You want to reach out and grab the words as they fly through the air and take a bite of them.

Peruvian Spanish: I knew some Peruvian women and used to talk to them a lot. The Spanish is not too crazy accentwise, but it has a ton of slangs in it. They didn’t really speak English, so they couldn’t explain what the slangs meant. One thing was that they spoke very, very fast! I kept telling them to slow down, but they could not seem to slow it down no matter how many times you asked. Peruvian has only one speed – very fast.

Chilean Spanish: Sounds very Castillian, but it’s immediately recognizable as Spanish. One problem is the mountain of slang in this dialect. I don’t think there is any Spanish that has as much slang as Chilean. It’s literally chock full of all kinds of weird slangs. They are also the pickiest Spanish speakers I have ever met. Almost like the French, almost correcting your Spanish. Most Spanish speakers are very gracious, but Chileans want you to speak it right!

Argentine Spanish: This is one weird Spanish. You hear it spoken and you hear Spanish words, but the people speaking it look like Europeans and the accent sounds Italian! Or sometimes it sounds like some other European language – Catalan, French or Castillian. This is one insanely whacked out Spanish!

Catalonian Spanish: I heard a group speaking this, and I thought no way is that Spanish. I asked them what they were speaking, and they said Spanish. They said they were from Catalonia. Their Spanish sounded like Catalan! It didn’t sound like Spanish at all. This was one of the bizarrest Spanishes I have ever heard.

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Filed under Americas, Argentina, Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Dialectology, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Italic, Italo-Celtic-Tocharian, Language Families, Latin America, Linguistics, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Regional, Romance, Sociolinguistics, South America, Spanish

Meet Grady Warren, Tea Partier, Wild Racist

Here.

This guy is a fairly prominent Tea Partier. His writings and videos are regularly linked on Sarah Palin’s website with no disclaimers. He’s the voice of the Sarah Palin crowd.

He’s running for President.

His platform:

  • deport all illegal aliens within 3 years
  • deport all Muslims from the US, including American citizens
  • send Black people to re-education camps (WTF)
  • deny the vote to all non-Whites and liberals
  • bring liberals to justice (whatever that means)

These clowns have been around on the Far Right forever. Now the Tea Party has given them a great big megaphone. This guy just says out loud what most Tea Partiers only say when they are behind closed doors and think no else is listening. He’s George Wallace 2011. Blast from the past, Twilight Zone style, Rod Serling, 1960:

The far right cannot discount the fact that sitting it their parlor is the Ku Klux Klan, the American Nazi Party, every racist group in the United States and not a few of some Fascist orders that have scrambled their way up from the sewers to a position of new respectability.

See, they haven’t changed at all. Here it is, 50 years later, and there’s as strong as ever.

Make sure to check out this guy’s videos while you are at it. Nasty piece of work.

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Filed under Conservatism, Political Science, Politics, Racism, US Politics, White Racism

Jesse Jackson Says the Tea Party Would Have Opposed Integration Too

Well of course they would have. Any Black person associating themselves with this political movement needs to have their head examined. The article quotes a professor who says that the Right’s obsession with hating the federal government and reducing the size and power of government all goes back to the race question. Specifically, the Black Question. In other words, when people talk about small government, limited government and reducing the size and scope of the government, this all about the niggers. It’s code for “fuck the niggers.”

The obsession with limited government, reducing the power of the federal government, etc. goes back to the earliest days of our republic, and the questions regarding where and whether slavery would be legal and where and whether it would be allowed to expand. The small government folks were pro-slavery.

They feared that the Feds were out to outlaw slavery or at least restrict its expansion. As it turned out, their fears were correct. After the War, the same fears rose up again in the South over the Federal government’s Reconstruction efforts. This led to the state’s rights movement.

The state’s rights movement went on for another century. Opposition to the evil Feds and demands for a limited federal government rose up again in the Civil Rights era. The tyrannical feds were forcing integration on Americans who did not want it.

Similar lines of thinking continue today in opposition to social spending and taxation (taking hard earned White dollars and giving them to worthless, lazy, nigger criminals), affirmative action (The Feds forcing anti-White discrimination on Whites), hatred of government workers (public employees are mostly lazy niggers), etc.

This has all coalesced with the Tea Party’s rise alongside the election of Barack Obama. The tyrannical nigger-loving federal government had finally been actually taken over by the niggers themselves! A socialist nigger dictatorship out to destroy America and disenfranchise Whites.

That’s why these Tea Party rallies are full of redneck Whites armed to the teeth threatening to “take back America.” Take it back from whom? From the niggers, silly! Even the health care debate was all about race. Many commenters said that Obamacare was taking White money and using it to pay for health care for poor, lazy niggers.

I have long said that most US politics is really about race. That’s an exaggeration, but once you start looking at US politics though that racialized lens, so many things that previously made no sense start to become oh so crystal clear.

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Filed under Blacks, Civil Rights, Conservatism, Democrats, Europeans, Government, History, Modern, Obama, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Racism, US, US Politics, Whites

The US Government Just Printed $15.2 Trillion in New Money

In my previous post on this subject, I noted that the US government just printed $15.2 trillion in new money. It used that money to bail out the insolvent banks and financial firms. Specifically, it used that money to buy up $15.2 trillion worth of crap mortgage securities that were on their books. So it bought $15.2 trillion worth of worthless garbage. How did the government come up with $15.2 trillion to bail out the banksters? It simply printed the money, that’s what it did!

Now, in my previous post, I asked why printing $15.2 trillion did not cause inflation, recession, messed up balance of payments, etc. It didn’t cause any of these things. None of my commenters even answered the damn question. All they did was tell me that printing money causes inflation, recession and bad balance of payments. Did they answer why it didn’t in this case? Nope. So I’m going to keep on asking you guys the question. Ok?

Why didn’t it cause any of these things? Is it because we traded the money for $15.2 trillion in assets, and therefore did not really increase the money supply? If we printed $15.2 trillion more, and instead used it to pay off the national debt, something which I may well advocate, why would this cause inflation, recession and bad balance of payments if the previous printing round did not?

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Filed under Economics, Government

The Stupid Party

The Republican Party has been anti-science for a long time now, since Reagan in 1980 at least. Part of the problem is due to capitalism. Capitalists simply reject science when it gets in the way their profits. That’s why the state always has to run science research. Science is too important to let smarmy capitalist liars get their mitts all over it. Science run by capitalists, when it was done at all, would come up with exactly those findings that the capitalists running the science would want to come up with.

Note I said when it was done at all. Much basic science simply would not be run by the private sector. The private sector would only fund science that they thought they could make a buck off of, or else they would fund fraudulent science designed to protect their profits from regulators.

The Republican Party has been getting more anti-science since 1980. In fact, recent studies have shown that watching Fox News actually makes you stupid, in a dose response fashion. The more Fox News you watch, the stupider you get. That’s because Fox News lies to you about the truth all the time. There are many truths that Fox News will not admit because they are ideologically bad for the Right. And there are many lies that it continues to peddle because those lies are good for the Right.

Fortunately, the Left in the US, or what’s left of it, doesn’t have the same problem.

New information has just come out that proves that a majority of Republican voters, at least in Iowa, may well be retarded. Of Iowa Republicans:

79% do not believe in global warming.

65% do not believe in evolution.

Rick Perry has chimed in. He doesn’t believe in evolution either, but he believes in fucking beautiful young men, in quantities even. Rick Perry doesn’t believe in global warming either, but he believes in fucking scores of hot young hookers, stripper and call girls, often while doing lines of cocaine.

Perry has a particularly bizarre theory about global warming. He says that there is a gigantic conspiracy on the part of tens of thousands of climate scientists all over the world to cook the books and make up this fake scientific theory. Why are they all lying like this? For the money, he says. To keep the dollars rolling into their projects. Amazing, and not one scientist has blown the whistle about this.

Never mind that 97.5% of climate scientists believe in anthropogenic global warming. Never mind that even mainstream scientific groups are sounding ever shriller warnings lately about this looming crisis. Never mind that in the past few years the debate in climate circles has not been on whether global warming exists, but on whether or not we are underestimating it. The worried consensus is that we may well be.

Mitt Romney has chimed in idiotically, saying that he is not sure if the planet is warming or if humans are to blame. Way to have it both ways, Mittens.

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Filed under Capitalism, Capitalists, Economics, Environmentalism, Global Warming, Politics, Republicans, Science, Scum, US Politics

A Few More Comments About Black Diners

In reference to the Black Diners post which caused so much controversy, there were a couple of things that I forgot to mention about in that post.

The post discussed very fat Black ladies who ordered multiple servings of the buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks. Four servings each, to be exact.

Now, in my culture, I am not sure if this is some kind of violation, but it seems that they are ordering multiple servings for a single person. Plus, they are already fat.

I go out to eat with overweight people on a pretty regular basis. Some of them are even obese. They don’t necessarily order the healthiest stuff on the menu, but that’s marginally ok in my culture. In fact, I’ve been told to not make comments about the high fat menu choices of my obese eating partners. But one thing you cannot do is order multiple servings for a single person. If you are fat or obese, you just order a regular dish like everyone else. You don’t order multiple servings.

The reasoning is simple. If a fat person orders multiple servings, they are calling attention to themselves in the worst way. You’re already fat, and that’s obvious to everyone, and really, that’s bad enough. Now you’re saying, “I’m not only fat, but I’m also a pig!” It’s really gross. A fat person obviously got that way by a certain eating style, but you don’t put it on display in a restaurant. In a restaurant, a fat person eats just like everyone else. They don’t order half the kitchen freezer and wolf it all down.

Now, if you’re fat and you like to pig out, in my culture, you do it in the privacy of your own home. If you like to buy whole cartons of ice cream and eat the whole damn thing in one serving because you’re a fat pig, fine, just close the door when you do it. You don’t do that when you eat out.

The post also mentioned Blacks running around to various different tables to go sit and eat with their friends. They often took their food with them. I think this might be a serious problem for the server. It’s important to know who ordered what at what table. For all of that to make sense, people have to stay seated at the same table they initially sat down at, and they can’t move around or especially move their food around. I would imagine that moving to different tables and especially bringing your food with you screws up the server’s billing job bigtime.

I think that a lot of Blacks still have the old White attitude about food. In old White culture, pigging out on the best and most fattening food was “living large.” A rich man was a fat man. A poor man was typically a skinny man, because he didn’t earn enough to eat well. Women sought out fat, rich men. Rich man deliberately got fat because this meant that you were making so much money you could eat like a horse. Obesity was a sign of wealth and privilege.

Now, modern White culture has gotten away from this. The richer you are, the skinnier you are. The legions of the poor could never fight a war, because they’re too fat to form an army. Go to Walmart and see how fat the American poor of all races are. Fattening food is cheap. Healthy food is expensive. Only the upscale groups bother to exercise, and exercise is not typical in American society. You need to go to a gym, have a home gym, ride an exercise bike, something like that. The poor don’t exercise at all, except to get off the coach and grab another beer.

I think Blacks are still living in that old White culture. To Blacks, food is the good life. Eating out is living large. In particular, pigging out on the most fattening food is not shameful, instead, it’s living it up, the high life. So this may be what is behind those fat Black ladies ordering multiple servings of fattening food.

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Filed under Blacks, Culture, Europeans, Race/Ethnicity, Whites