Category Archives: Japan

Answers to the Citrus Questions

Noneofmany writes:

Actually, no one can really tell for certain which ancestral plants are responsible any given cultivar we know today except for very recent ones.

There are several American citrus plants like for instance clementine that started showing up in Texas and the panhandle in the last century whose origin is still debated.

That said the mandarin orange is likely the only really wild citrus fruit we eat today that hasn’t been totally altered beyond recognition. Although I do see Pomelo-flavored stuff here and there.

Citron and papeda are the other two ancestral species.

All oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines are essentially a cross between a mandarin orange (wild) and a pomelo, except many of them were perfected via cross-breeding back along there own lines.

Lemons and limes are the other side of the family. You can tell there ancestry lies with the citron and papeda.

That said I’m not even really sure anyone knows when or exactly where the the first lemons/limes were bred, as this event significantly predates the genesis of oranges and has virtually no known documentation or verbal history associated with it. Most likely it happened in Southeast Asia.

It bears mentioning that kumquats are not considered to be in the same family as other citrus. In fact many botanists deny that they are actually a citrus and say they are just a tiny family of plants that are very closely related. They were not made edible through hybridization – just selective breeding. Nevertheless they have now been crossed with mandarins. Wild types can still be found with edible berries. They’re not very tasty though as there mostly seed and pulp.

All citrus plants, like so many other plants used by man, are from a fairly primitive lineage of flowering plants like roses and magnolias.

These answers are superb!

In general, most of the fruits listed above like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines and mandarins come from an area where Northeastern India, Myanmar and Yunnan, China all come together. To some extent Southeast Asia in general is also listed. In one case, Assam, India is listed as an origin. For a few of the fruits, other places like the Indian Ghats, Japan and Vietnam are also listed. But as you can see, they all come from that part of the world. This was discovered via genetic testing. So these fruits were created via hybrid breeding in that part of the world a long time ago. I know that human-created oranges are known from Southern China for thousands of years.

The commenter is correct. All citrus derives from mandarins, pomelos, citrons and papadas.

The other commenter is correct that one of the two main lime varieties is the Key Lime. But that is not where it comes from. The Florida Keys are simply one of the late places where it was cultivated, where it gained fame in particular for Key Lime Pie, which I like myself. The Key Lime ended up there after creation in the aforementioned part of East Asia. From there it went via the Middle East -> Sicily -> Sardinia -> Spain -> the West Indies -> Florida Keys.

Mandarin oranges are the only one of the above that is actually a native plant, correct.

  • However, we still do not know which one – grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, tangerine – is a very recent breed. I will tell you that it goes back only to the 1700’s. And we would also like to know where it first showed up.
  • Although a commenter mentioned one of the two main lime varieties – Key Lime – we still do not know what the other main lime variety is. Any guesses? I think this is actually the most popular lime variety in the stores and is seen much more often than the Key Lime.

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Filed under Agricutlure, Asia, China, Florida, India, Japan, NE Asia, Regional, SE Asia, South, South Asia, USA, Vietnam

Mass Murder Attack on Disabled People in Japan!

A 26 year old man, Satoshi Uematsu, who used to work at a disabled facility called Tsukui-Yamamuri-en in the city of Sagamihara, Japan went back to his former workplace in the early morning hours armed with a knife and began attacking the physically and mentally disabled people in the center. When it was all over, he had murdered 19 people and wounded another 25. The dead ranged in age from 18 to 70.

He harbored the typical Japanese feeling of contempt, fear and shame towards to he disabled taken to an extreme. In February, he had hand-delivered letters to the offices of several Parliamentarians in which he threatened to kill hundreds of disabled people for the sake of Japan and urged legal changes that would enable disabled people who were unable to live at home and be active in society to be euthanized if their relatives agreed to it. He was hospitalized in a mental hospital for observation but was released after two weeks when it was determined that he was not a danger.

Japanese society is characterized by among other things an extreme form of ethnocentrism which White Nationalists actually praise and an attitude of contempt, fear and shame towards disabled people, who are virtually regarded as non-human.

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Filed under Asia, Crime, Culture, Japan, NE Asia, Regional

“Western Moral Decline or Capitalist Decadence?,” by John Kovas

This is a good piece. You can find it at Kofas’ website, or I got it off of Academia.edu. Looking at his website, it appears that the rest of his stuff is pretty good too. I need to read this guy more.

I actually think he is onto something here, and you need to be hip to this argument because the Right is always trotting out this “moral decline” argument that I think needs to be countered.

Western Moral Decline or Capitalist Decadence?

by John Kofas

Historically, during periods of economic contraction, the intelligentsia, politicians, business, academic, community and church leaders invariably try to steer the debate away from what has gone wrong with the political economy to the subject of values.

This was certainly the case during the 19th century when the depressions of the 1840’s, 1870’s and 1890’s took place. Well-meaning individuals as well as opportunistic propagandists questioned society’s values, despite the fact that structural causes in the political economy accounted for the economic contraction and social ills.

A somewhat similar situation existed during the Great Depression of the 1930’s when novelists, philosophers, politicians and others decried the values of the 1920’s. There are similarities between those historical periods and the economic contraction and diminishing of the Western middle class that started during the Reagan-Thatcher era and continues to the present.

The universal topic of values served its purpose when the Industrial Revolution was causing socioeconomic problems, and it serves its purpose today when Western Civilization is captive to banks and corporate capital that are concentrating capital while weakening the social fabric and democratic institutions.

The very elites suggesting to the masses redirection toward reexamination of values are the same ones that:

1. do not practice the values that they preach;

2. are responsible for the widening socioeconomic gap and sociopolitical instability that ensues;

3. benefit by deflecting the focus of the masses from the essential problem in the systemic flaws of the political economy to values.

Naturally, there is the salient question of the vast differences in value systems between societies and individuals; differences between religious and secular values within a pluralistic society, or the differences/nuances of values within a community whether it is predominantly religious or secular.

That scholars, politicians, businesspeople, priests, and the laity have been concerned about western civilization’s decline is a story as old as Oswald Spengler who wrote about the topic after the German Empire lost the First World War, and Europe as the world’s global power center began to give ground to the US and USSR.

But are the values of Bismarck and his generation of imperialist politicians and business titans the ones that Spengler’s generation lamented against the background of the Bolshevik Revolution and its global impact? Is it the Western values of imperialism, nationalism and militarism that led to global war in 1914 that were lost along with the decline of Western Europe?

Spengler focused on Western decadence, but the question is one of the underlying assumptions of what constituted decadence and what constituted ascendancy, the degree to which humane and communitarian principles rested behind assumptions. Was it dreadful that imperialist Europe of the old elites began to decline as a result of militarist confrontation, or was it tragic that millions of people died, injured, displaced, impoverished as a result? If one values power, then one laments the decline of Europe’s power. But what if the value system is human-centered, instead of power-based?

When the Great Depression erupted to cripple societies across most of the planet, why was there a sharp turn to a discussion of values, whether by US President Roosevelt who favored a quasi-communitarian orientation that mirrored the New Deal or ultra-nationalist one that Hitler advocated who was interested in ethnic cleansing as a means of restoring the purity of the mythological Aryan race as Alfred Rosenberg conceived it and the NAZI party practiced it.

In a very strange way, the NAZI regime’s populist ethnic collectivist approach intended to achieve the same goal as that of FDR and for that matter Josef Stalin who advocated superimposed collectivism.

The Third Reich manufactured a value system that a large percentage of Germans and Austrians, accepted and lived under with the hope that it would propel them to greatness as the NAZI party defined the concept. Why did millions of people accept an utterly barbaric and inhumane and racist value system under Hitler, and why did they not retain humane principles based on the wider philosophical framework of the Enlightenment that revolutionized European culture in the 18th century?

Is it merely a question of brainwashing – no matter how good German propaganda was – or one that a large segment of the population actually embraced values because they perceived benefits accruing to them – everything from keeping their jobs to feeling great that the ruling party told them they were ‘superior’ to other races.

From the end of World War II that marked the end of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and militarist-imperial Japan until the end of the Vietnam War, Western and non-Western (Communist regime) societies operated on broader values – in theory and certainly not in practice – of communitarian principles as part of an ideological mix.

Certainly in Western societies, led by the US, the value system of individualism, business progress, consumerism, commercialism of culture, and hedonism were prevalent, but the existence of the welfare state entailed tangible evidence that communitarian values mattered. The beginning of the breakdown of that value system comes when the US and the West in general begin to gradually eliminate the communitarian aspect in the societal mix because it interferes with finance capitalism and the neoliberal model of capital accumulation.

More than political trends, material conditions influence evolving value systems, something that is evident in the consumerist values (to which we must add hedonist and atomistic) of much of the world in the last fifty years. After all, values too are class-based. The relative decline of compassion for humanity, and a rise of alienation which many try to cure by going to therapy and with legal and illegal drugs, has been sharply on the increase in the last half century to the degree that we now have a Western culture of therapism thriving.

Ethical ambiguity naturally translates into ambiguity of values, thus reflecting cultural relativism. In a recent public opinion poll, the vast majority of the people in Finland agreed that if their close friend committed murder, they would notify the authorities. In the same poll, the vast majority of Greeks agreed they would not turn in their friend. Not surprisingly, Greek elites, including academics, praised the virtue of honoring friendship, while the people of Finland stressed the virtue of social conscience.

What accounts for the absence of convergence in the values of the two societies? History, tradition, religion, culture, etc., and what does this example teach us about the values of ambiguity? How could any human being with an once of moral fiber not report a case of murder? How could someone betray their friend, even in case of murder?

Beyond values of ambiguity, there is a much clearer case regarding basic values that are time-tested and transcend time and place.

1. Lying is clearly immoral. Not the kind of lying involving little lies that cause no harm but big lies that bring about great harm to a great many people. Yet, lying is at the core of both business and politics, but it is passed on as public relations. Lying to an entire nation about the reason for going to war is acceptable because it is a matter of national security. Lying to consumers about a product is acceptable because it is in the name of peddling a product or service.

2. Stealing is clearly immoral. I was hardly surprised to read stories about people across southern Europe actually stealing food because of the current hard times. However, stealing in the framework of institutionalized ‘appropriation’ of government subsidies to make banks stronger, is morally acceptable. Yet this is a process that forces people to steal food. Are we back in the era of Victor Hugo’s Jean Val Jean?

3. Killing is clearly immoral. However, mass killings of collateral damage victims in time of war is just fine. Why do human beings categorically reject the individual who kills her husband that abuses her but accept mass killings in wars? What does this tell us about our values and how they are molded?

How does a politician, a journalist, an academic, or much less a leading businessperson tell the masses to reexamine their values against the background of austerity economics that benefit those preaching reexamination of values?

For more than half a century, the same elites now preaching reexamination of values were advocating consumerism, commercialization of culture, hedonism, and atomistic proclivities, all in the name of an open society when in reality the only interest was the thriving of the market economy.

Having conditioned citizens as consumers steeped in that frame of mind and value system, how do elites now try to tell them that embracing everything from nature to God, everything from family values to community values, filter down, and even if it did, what exactly does that do for the high structural unemployment and underemployment, low wage structure, lack of opportunities for college graduates, and lack of job security?

When Ronald Reagan was beginning to dismantle the welfare state and strengthen the corporate welfare state, his administration, various think tanks, journalists, academics, clergy and business leaders began to speak of values, namely ‘family values’.

One odd thing about many of the people advocating ‘family values’ is that they themselves were not practicing them. Another odd thing was that these values advocates were interested in pushing society in the direction of conformity to the changing status quo, so value discussion was one tool they used.

Of course, there was a contradiction between ‘family values’ rhetoric and policies – government and business – that were contributing to undermining the family by forcing both parents to work, in some cases at second jobs to make ends meet.

At the same time, reorientation to values discussion did not mean that workers must stop shopping, given that the population remained under the spell of increasingly intrusive advertising that helped shape consumerist and atomistic values. Are we witnessing a Western moral decline or merely a decline of the capitalist system and its apologists trying desperately to distract the masses by shifting the focus to values?

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Negative Rates, Plunging Yields and a “Fix” for the Economy, by Mike Whitney

Very interesting article by Mike Whitney, an acquaintance of mine. I do not understand economics very well, but some of you may understand it better than I do. Anyway, I think the diagnosis, etiology and treatment are correct.

Negative Rates, Plunging Yields and a “Fix” for the Economy

By Mike Whitney
Global Research, June 17, 2016
CounterPunch

On Tuesday, the 10-year German bund slipped into the bizarro-world of negative rates where lenders actually pay the government to borrow their money. Aside from turning capitalism on its head, negative rates illustrate the muddled thinking of central bankers who continue to believe they can spur growth by reducing the cost of cash. Regrettably, the evidence suggests otherwise.

At present, there is more than $10 trillion of government sovereign debt with negative rates,  but no sign of a credit expansion anywhere. Also, global GDP has slowed to a crawl indicating that negative rates are not having any meaningful impact on growth. So if negative rates are really as great as central bankers seem to think, it certainly doesn’t show up in the data.  Here’s how the editors of the Wall Street Journal summed it up:

“Negative interest rates reflect a lack of confidence in options for private investment. They also discourage savings that can be invested in profitable ventures. A negative 10-year bond is less a sign of monetary wizardry than of economic policy failure.”

(“Money for Nothing,” Wall Street Journal)

Bingo. Negative rates merely underscore the fact that policymakers are clueless when it comes to fixing the economy. They’re a sign of desperation.

In the last two weeks, long-term bond yields have been falling at a record pace. The looming prospect of a “Brexit”  (that the UK will vote to leave the EU in an upcoming June 23 referendum) has investors piling into risk-free government debt like mad. The downward pressure on  yields has pushed the price of US Treasuries and German bund through the roof while signs of stress have lifted the “fear gauge” (VIX)  back into the red zone. Here’s brief recap from Bloomberg:

Today’s bond market is defying just about every comparison known to man.

Never before have traders paid so much to own trillions of dollars in debt and gotten so little in return. Jack Malvey, one of the most-respected figures in the bond market, went back as far as 1871 and couldn’t find a time when global yields were even close to today’s lows. Bill Gross went even further, tweeting that they’re now the lowest in “500 years of recorded history.”

Lackluster global growth, negative interest rates and extraordinary buying from central banks have all kept government debt in demand, even as yields on more than $8 trillion of the bonds dip below zero.”….

The odds of the U.S. entering a recession over the next year is now the highest since the current expansion began seven years ago, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development also warned this month the global economy is slipping into a self-fulfilling “low-growth trap.” What’s more, Britain’s vote on whether to leave the European Union this month has been a major source of market jitters.”

“Most Expensive Bond Market in History Has Come Unhinged. Or Not,” Bloomberg

There are a number of factors effecting bond yields:

Fear, that a Brexit could lead to more market turbulence and perhaps another financial crisis.

Pessimism, that the outlook for growth will stay dim for the foreseeable future keeping the demand for credit weak..

And lack of confidence, that policymakers will be able to reach their target inflation rate of 2 percent as long as wages and personal consumption remain flat.

All of these have fueled the flight to safety that has put pressure on yields. But the primary cause of the droopy yields is central bank meddling,  particularly QE, which has dramatically distorted prices by reducing the supply of UST’s by more than $2.5 trillion in the US alone. David Stockman gives a good rundown of what’s really going on in an incendiary post titled Bubble News From The Nosebleed Section.  Here’s a clip:

…One of the enduring myths of Bubble Finance is that bond yields have plunged to the zero bound and below because of “lowflation” and  slumping global growth. Supposedly, the market is “pricing-in” the specter of deflation. No it isn’t. Their insuperable arrogance to the contrary notwithstanding, the central banks have not abolished the law of supply and demand.

What they have done instead is jam their big fat thumbs on the market’s pricing equation, thereby adding massive girth to the demand side of the ledger by sheer dint of running their printing pressers white hot. Indeed, what got “priced-in” to the great global bond bubble is $19 trillion worth of central bank bond purchases since the mid-1990s that were funded with cash conjured from thin air.”

Bubble News from the Nosebleed Section,” David Stockman’s Contra Corner

Central banks have never intervened in the operation of the markets to the extent they have in the last seven years. The amount of liquidity they’ve poured into the system has so thoroughly distorted prices that its no longer possible to make reasonable judgments based on past performance or outdated models. It’s a brave new world, and even the Fed is uncertain of how to proceed.

Take for example the Fed’s stated goal of “normalizing” rates. Think about what that means. It is a tacit admission that the that the Fed’s seven-year intervention has screwed things up so badly that it will take a monumental effort to restore the markets to their original condition. Needless to say, whenever Yellen mentions “normalization,” stocks fall off a cliff as traders wisely figure the Fed is thinking about raising rates. Here’s Bloomberg again:

Last year, inflation in developed economies slowed to 0.4 percent and is forecast to reach just 1 percent in 2016 — half the 2 percent rate most major central banks target, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

So what Bloomberg and the other elitist media would like us to believe is that these highly-educated economists and financial gurus at the central banks still can’t figure out how to generate simple inflation. Is that what we’re supposed to believe?

Nonsense.

If Obama rehired the 500,000 public sector employees who got their pink slips during the recession, then we’d have positive inflation in no-time-flat. But the bigwigs don’t want that. They don’t want full employment or higher wages or workers to a bigger share in the gains in production. What they want, is a permanently-hobbled economy that barely grows at 2 percent, so they can continue to borrow cheaply in the bond market and use the proceeds to buy back their own shares or issue dividends with the money they just stole from Mom and Pop investors. That’s what they really want.

And that’s why Krugman and Summers and the other Ivy League toadies concocted their wacko “Secular Stagnation” theory. It’s an attempt to create an economic justification for continuing the same policies into perpetuity.

So what can be done? Is there a way to turn this train around and put the economy back on the road to recovery?

Sure. While the political issues are pretty thorny, the economic ones are fairly straightforward. What’s needed is more bigger deficits, more fiscal stimulus and more government spending. That’s the ticket. Here’s a clip from an article in VOX that sums it up perfectly:

But if the exact cause of the bond boom is a little unclear, the right course of action is really pretty obvious: If the international financial community wants to lend money this cheaply, governments should borrow money and put it to good use. Ideally that would mean spending it on infrastructure projects that are large, expensive, and useful — the kind of thing that will pay dividends for decades to come but that under ordinary times you might shy away from taking on…

The opportunity to borrow this cheaply (probably) won’t last forever, and countries that boost their deficits will (probably) have to reverse course, but while it lasts everyone could be enjoying a better life instead of pointless austerity.

Financial markets are begging the US, Europe, and Japan to run bigger deficits,” VOX.

That’s great advice, and there’s no reason not to follow up on it. The author is right, these rates aren’t going to last forever. We might as well put them to good use by putting people back to work, raising wages,  shoring up the defunct welfare system, rebuilding dilapidated bridges and roads, expanding green energy programs, increasing funding for education,  health care, retirement etc. These are all programs that get money circulating through the system fast. They boost growth, raise living standards, and build a better society.

Fixing the economy is the easy part. It’s the politics that are tough.

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Veddoids In Modern and Ancient Asia: A Predominant Type?

Pepperoncini writes:

I think when you say Australoid, you mean Veddoid, and Vedda people are distinct and different from Dravidians, including Tamils. Tamils have a range of phenotypes. Tamil-speaking groups can range from very dark with low nose bridge and broad noses to dark, normal nose bridge and average nasal index.

Whatever the Tamils may appear to be, when we put Tamil skulls on a graph, they plot with the Senoi, Negritos, Andaman Islanders, Papuans and similar groups.

The Senoi are an Australoid group that are best seen as Veddoids transplanted to Southern China and then to Thailand 5,000 YBP. From 5-15,000 YBP, Veddoid types may have been widespread throughout Asia. The pre-Jomon in Thailand 16,000 YBP have skulls that plot closely with the Jomonese later in Japan at 13,000 YBP. If you compare photos of modern day Ainu people with Veddoids from India, it is clear that the Ainu are a depigmented group of Northern Veddoids.

There are also traces of Veddoid types in the Philippines long ago where reports of oddly Caucasoid-looking people appear in the anthropological record. They may have been part of the group that moved from Thailand to southern Japan between 13-16,000 YBP because the Philippines would be along this route.

So also would be Australia.

And indeed, the first modern Aborigines appear in the form of a group called Murrayans that arrived between 15-20,000 YBP. The best guess is that the Murrayans were the same group of Veddoids that were present in Thailand at this time and the migration may have part of the same Thailand-Japan migration that the pre-Jomonese undertook.

This is probably not the only Veddoid migration to Australia. Between 10-15,000 YBP, a group called the Carpinterians arrived, apparently from Southern India. Consider that all people in India are termed “Australoid” before 8,000 YBP when the Australoid-Caucasoid transition begins possibly with the arrival of the first actual Dravidians, probably Elamites from western Iran. These pre-8,000 YBP Australoids in India then could probably best be called Veddoids.

Australoid types were present long before in India in India and Southeast Asia as skulls from India and Thailand 25,000 YBP are said to resemble Aborigines. Their relationship to the Australoid Veddoid group that shows up at least 16,000 YBP is not known.

The modern Aborigines are a mix between Carpinterians and Murrayans that arrived 13-17,000 YBP in the subcontinent and subsequently interbred.

Before that, some very different and even more archaic people lived in Australia.

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The Australoid Connection Between India and Australia

There were originally Australoids in Australia of course, but no one knows what they looked like. The may have looked like Negritos. The first Whites to Australia had stories about Aborigines waging wars of extermination on very small and very dark people whose description looks a lot like Negritos. The original Aborigines may have looked like either Negritos, Papuans or Melanesians. Papuans have an Australoid line going back a long ways. The Melanesian line goes back 40,000 YBP and is incredibly diverse.

Most modern Aborigines are a mixture of Murrayans who came out of Thailand ~17,000 YBP and went to Australia, the Philippines and eventually to Japan 13,000 YBP. This was a Veddoid type group that eventually became the Ainu in Japan. Yet another group was known as Carpinterians. They came from India 13,000 YBP. Some of the more primitive looking tribals or even possibly Tamils may be related to this group, as they do look something like modern Aborigines.

The modern day Aborigines are a mixture between Carpinterians and Murrayans.

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Changing Definitions of “Communism” in Our Era

Repost from the old site:

As a member of the Left, I am used to purges and being told that, in general, I am not leftwing enough. I’ve been purged from quite a few leftwing groups for insufficient political correctness or not being leftwing enough.

I was made to feel quite unwelcome at a Green Party meeting for daring to suggest that being invaded by millions of immigrants might be bad for US workers and the environment. I was given the cold shoulder by Greens for daring to suggest that their gleeful plot to defeat every Democrat running for office in 2000 was both offensive and stupid.

I was thrown out of the local cell of the CPUSA for “not being a Communist” and “supporting capitalism”.

Never mind that the noun “Communist” doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning anymore. The Communists in China are supporting capitalism in spades, in the very worst varieties of it yet, and still call themselves Communists. The Communists in Vietnam have introduced a lot of capitalism to their system.

Salvador Allende was a Communist who ruled Chile under a completely democratic system.

The Sandinistas had one of the most democratic systems in Latin America in the midst of an armed rebellion against the state.

Imagine if armed terrorists were running around the US, killing 1.8 million Americans over a 10-yr period, and being supported by the US’ worst enemies, say North Korea and Iran.

They have invaded farms and lined up the farmers and their families and farmworkers and tortured all of them to death. They specialize in raiding schools and hospitals where they murder teachers in front of their students and murder doctors, nurses and patients after lining them up against the wall. This is what America was supporting in the Contras.

Imagine that in the face of this provocation, a large US newspaper, a wildly rabid and yellow journalist sheet of the type we do not see anymore, regularly cheered the terrorists on with screaming boldface headlines, and every day urged the killing of the President, all members of Congress and everyone working for the US government. Do you think the FBI would shut down that paper or what?

This is what the Sandinistas had to put up with, and they didn’t even put the traitors in jail. They merely censored some of the more outrageous articles. Far from being a dictatorship, the Sandinistas were one of the most democratic states that ever existed.

Euro-Communists have run very European state governments for decades and have been present in Parliament and Cabinet level positions. Euro-style Communists have been running Indian state governments for decades also and have been present in the Parliaments of Japan and Nepal in large numbers.

In Europe, India, Nepal and Japan, the Euro-Comm types have all supported as much democracy as anyone else in their states supported, and they have all supported high levels of capitalism.

In the most recent issue of the CPUSA’s theoretical journal, the CPUSA fully supported the economic project of the Chinese Communist Party, and stated, “the transition from capitalism to socialism may be more on the order of decades than years”. Regarding democracy, the CPUSA said, “It seems probable that there can be no true socialism without complete democracy”.

Since 1979 and surely since 1989, there has been a Hell of a lot of rethinking going on in the Communist movements of the world. The dictatorship of the proletariat, democratic centralism, bans on private party – all of that is up for grabs. Many Communists nowadays support full democracy and a mixed economy.

There are now many religious Communists, especially Liberation Theology Catholics in Latin America and the Philippines. There have always been Muslim and Christian Communists in the Arab World. Cuba now allows Christians into the party. There are organizations of Christian Marxists in Cuba holding meetings and publishing documents.

Camilo Torres, a Catholic priest, led an armed guerrilla movement in Colombia in 1965. Another Catholic priest, an American, led an armed guerrilla movement in Honduras in 1983. There are Catholic priests who are very active in the Maoist NPA guerrillas in the Philippines. There were even Catholic priests, nuns and lay workers who supported the Shining Path in Peru, to the point of helping them carry out military operations.

If all this news violates your cherished ideas about what it means to be a Communist, you need to quit reading this blog right now and go somewhere where your lower intelligence can be better accommodated – such as this website.

Marx and Lenin were not Gods. Communism is a scientific movement. Marx and Lenin, being materialist beings (humans), were surely capable of error about many things. The Communist Manifesto is not a religious text. If you run your life by a cookbook, dogmatically define words only with a Webster’s, think definitions are as hard as rocks and pigeonhole people in various pegs on a pegboard, you are just flat-out on the wrong blog.

There are plenty on the Right who think that anyone who does not fit the Websters definition of Communist must be a liar or an idiot. There are plenty on the Left who think that anyone who does not fit their definition of a Communist is a “revisionist” or a “fake Communist”.

Npwadays, who is a Communist? To tell the truth, anyone who says he is! What is the definition of Communism? It’s in flux, and it means all sorts of things depending on all of the competing versions of the philosophy out there.

In the Linguistics branch called Semantics, we learned that the dictionary does not necessarily give you the correct or complete definition of a word. A word means whatever people who are using it say it means – it’s that simple. Communism means whatever Communists say it means, in all of their competing visions.

If you can’t your head around that, like I said, maybe you came to the wrong blog – go here instead. If this post stimulates your thinking, that’s the general idea. If you agree with most of the above, bookmark me.

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Where Did the Jomonese People Come from?

1gmakn

This East Timorese man looks more Aboriginal, or better yet, Papuan.

 

2dke141

A pseudo-Caucasoid or Ryukuyan type in East Timor.

 

3Atimor_t640

An Ainuid! What is this hairy Ainu man doing in East Timor?

Maricon Power writes:

Robert Lindsay, I do agree on many of your point. The only thing I don’t agree is that Jomons (ancestors of Ainu ) were descendants of the Jomonese Thailand in 16,000 YPB. You’re right that they descended from Southeast Asia but most likely that location is in southern Southeast Asia, maybe Timor.

”According to Hanihara, modern Japanese lineages began with Jomon people who moved into the Japanese archipelago during Paleolithic times from their homeland in southeast Asia.”

Ryukyuan

This map goes along with Maricon Power’s comment above. That pseudo-Caucasoid is, believe it or not a Ryukuyan Ainuid type.

 

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Another pseudo-Caucasoid Ainuid type from East Timor. He’s even wearing a White man’s cowboy hat!

 

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Yet another pseudo-Caucasoid. That man simply looks like a White man, period. Amazing.

Asien Ost Timor Timor-Leste Maubisse Bergregion Minderheiten

An Ainu man in East Timor! Get a load of that getup, including the most amazing feather hast I have ever seen.

Hello, a study was done using many different Asian skulls. When plotted on a graph with all of the other skulls, Jomonese 13,000 was a perfect match for Thailand 16,000 (Proto-Thai). “Proto-Jomonese” types were probably widespread through SE Asia at the time. The types in Easts Timor and in Thailand are probably the same people.

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Everyone who thinks that Australoids are all ugly needs to reconsider that view now. Look at this fellow. He’s an Australoid, sure. And he’s also quite exotic looking. But he’s incredibly handsome, at least to my eyes. Anyone agree?

 

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Another Ainuid-looking fellow. Actually he looks more Aboriginal to me, but Ainu types also look Aboriginal.

 

timor-leste-PIC-4-man-in-costume-

There he is! An Ainu in East Timor. Does that garb resemble traditional Ainu clothing? I wonder.

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Some Notes on the Ainu

Maricon Power writes:

Robert Lindsay, why do pure Ainu have lighter skinned than Japanese? Are Ainu Northern Australoids (cold adapted Australoids?) or are they pigmented? I’ve seen pigmented Tamils and Veddas that look almost European; even the Australian aborigines would.

Look at this map of glacier cover in Japan at the height of the last glaciation about 20,000 years ago.

It shows the Hokkaido (Ainu land) living in a climate different from every other Asian countries.

800px-Japan_glaciation

Glaciation in Japan at the height of the last Ice Age 20,000 YBP.

The Ainu are indeed cold adapted Australoids, and they are actually Vedda types. A comparison of Veddoids and Ainu will show that they match perfectly.

The map of Ainu land is not correct. 20,000 YBP there were no Ainu in Japan. The ancestors of the Ainu are the Jomon. Jomonese skulls line up perfectly with skulls from Thailand 16,000 YBP. The Jomonese show up in Japan 13,000 YBP. So the Jomon left Thailand sometime between 16,000 and 13,000 YBP and made their way eventually up to Japan. When they first arrived in Japan, the Jomonese ranged over the entire country. They were not in Hokkaido alone.

They only ended up in Hokkaido when the Yayoi came from Korea to Japan 2,300 YBP and slowly conquered their way up the island, defeating and displacing the Ainu along the way. The Ainu were eventually pushed up to Hokkaido where the Japanese no longer pursued them much. Hokkaido is where they were found when modern anthropology discovered them in the modern area, but they have not always been located only there.

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TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

I plan on posting a number of articles abut this catastrophic TPP agreement that sadly looks like it is going to become law. I can’t even begin to tell you how horrific this trade agreement is. In a nutshell, it does away with all governments and makes it so corporations rule the world. Any government that passes any law that limits current or future profits of a corporation could be sued on the grounds that that law was a “trade barrier.” The corporation can sue in a kangaroo court made up of corporate types for damages,and the corporation will always win and the governments will always lose.

Government have had to pay out many millions of dollars to corporations for passing laws that limited their profits under NAFTA. And yes, all laws dealing global warming can also be challenged by this Frankenstein of a bill.

As you can see, it encourages the murder of labor leaders, union members and organizers because killing union members would not be a violation of the Labor Section of the agreement. The parts of the TPP dealing with labor and the environment are written in boilerplate and are entirely voluntary, while the sections that allow corporations to rule our lives in written in very strict legalese.

It’s worse than a catastrophe. It’s an out and out nightmare, and it’s the end of representative government as we know it. All governments will become irrelevant, and in their places, we will all be ruled by corporations. In other words, multinational corporations will become our de facto governments. It is stunning how crazy that is.

All the Republicans are for it.

Of course the Democratic Party is down with this agreement all the way. Obama is pushing it like crazy. There was a brief uprising a few months ago when it looked like the bill might not get through the Congress because so many Democrats were against it. This was followed by maniacal lobbying on the part of corporate lobbyists and an all-out propaganda blitz by the US media, 100% of which (note that we have a “free” press) supported the bill.

The “liberal” New York Times came out very strongly in favor of it and said that Obama’s legacy would ride on whether he could get this bill through or not. In other words, according to the “liberal” New York Times, if Obama could not get the bill through, then that would mean that his Presidency was a failure. So the Times threatened Obama with complete humiliation and damage to his mark in history if he could not get the TPP through.

Note that the entire “liberal” media came out in favor of this monstrosity. Note that “liberal” Obama came out in favor of it. I know some Democratic Party stalwarts who seem to support this nightmare bill. They think that people who oppose it are “extremist nuts.”

These people support anything that Obama does. If Obama is for it, then they support it. He can push the most reactionary stuff you could imagine, and these stalwarts will never oppose Obama or any other Democrat for one second. We really need to get away from this insane partisanship, as it is irrational.

To these folks, everything Republicans do its bad and everything Democrats do is good. Unfortunately, once you take that POV, Democrats are free to act as rightwing as they want to, and their moronic stalwarts will support everything they do because it’s treason to oppose a Democrat.

I will be posting more abuo9t this awful and insane trade agreement in the coming days, but this will be good for a starter.

TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

by Eric Zeusse, from Global Research

U.S. President Barack Obama’s capstone to his Presidency, his proposed megalithic international ‘trade’ treaties, are finally coming into their home-stretch, with the Pacific deal finally being made public on Thursday November 5th.

The final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) proposed treaty would leave each signatory nation liable to be sued by any international corporation that objects to any new regulation, or increase in regulation, regarding climate change, otherwise known as global warming. In no terminology is that phenomenon even so much as just mentioned in the “Environment” chapter.

Regarding labor issues, including slavery, the “Labour” chapter of the TPP contains merely platitudes. (Obama allowed Malaysia into the compact despite its notoriously poor record of non-enforcement of its ban on slavery, because he wants the U.S. to control the Strait of Malacca in order to impede China’s economic and military expansion; it’s part of Obama’s anti-China policy. Almost everything that he does has different motives than the ones his rhetoric claims.)

Throughout, the treaty would place international corporations in ever-increasing control over all regulations regarding workers’ rights, the environment, product safety, and consumer protection. But the environmental and labor sections are particularly blatant insults to the public — a craven homage to the top stockholders in international corporations. The World’s Richest 80 people own the same amount of wealth as the world’s bottom 50%; and Obama represents those and other super-rich and their friends and servants in the lobbying and other associated industries. But he also represents the even richer people who aren’t even on that list, such as King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the world’s richest person. It’s people such as that who will be the real beneficiaries of Obama’s ‘trade’ treaties. The public will be harmed, enormously, wherever these treaties become law.

The full meaning of the terms that are set forth in the TPP agreement won’t be publicly known for at least four years, but the explicit terms that were made public on November 5th, and that will be presented to the 12 participating nations for signing, are entirely consistent with what had been expected on the basis of Wikileaks and other earlier published information.

The 12 participating nations are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. Three countries were excluded by U.S. President Obama, because the U.S. doesn’t yet control them and they are instead viewed as being not allied with the main axis of U.S. international power: U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel. Those three outright-excluded countries are Russia, China, and India. (India, of course, has hostile relations with Pakistan, which is Sunni and therefore part of the Saudi-Qatar-Turkey portion of the U.S. international core, basically the Sunni portion of the core. By contrast, Russia and China have been determinedly independent of the U.S., and are therefore treated by President Obama as being hostile nations: he wants instead to isolate them, to choke off their access to markets, as much as possible. This same motivation also factored largely in his coup to take control of Ukraine, through which Russia’s gas passes on its way into the EU, the world’s largest gas-market.)

6 nations that Obama had invited into the TPP were ultimately unwilling to accept Obama’s terms and so were excluded when the final text was published: Colombia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia.

The phrases “global warming” and “climate change” don’t appear anywhere in the entire TPP document, nor does “climate” nor “warming” — it’s an area that’s entirely left to international corporations in each one of the separate participating nations to assault as much as they wish in order to gain competitive advantage against all of the other corporations that operate in the given nation: i.e., something for each corporation to sacrifice in order to be able to lower the given company’s costs. That raises its profit-margin. This also means that if any international corporation claims to be subjected in any participating nation, to global-warming regulation or enforcement which poses a barrier or impediment to that corporation’s profits, then that corporation may sue that given nation, and fines might be assessed against that nation (i.e., against its taxpayers) for such regulation or enforcement. National publics are no longer sovereign.

The “Labour” chapter is a string of platitudes, such as, “Article 19.7: Corporate Social Responsibility: Each Party shall endeavor to encourage enterprises to voluntarily adopt corporate social responsibility initiatives on labor issues that have been endorsed or supported by that Party.”

President Obama’s Trade Representative, his longtime personal friend Michael Froman, organized and largely wrote Obama’s proposed trade treaties: TPP for the Pacific, and TTIP and TISA for the Atlantic. Froman told the AFL-CIO and U.S. Senators that when countries such as Colombia systematically murder labor-union organizers, it’s no violation of workers’ rights — nothing that’s of any concern to the U.S. regarding this country’s international trade policies or the enforcement of them. On 22 April 2015, Huffington Post, one of the few U.S. news media to report honestly on these treaties, bannered AFL-CIO’s Trumka: USTR Told Us Murder Isn’t a Violation, and Michael McAuliff reported that, “Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader scoffed at such claims Tuesday, revealing that [Obama] administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts.”

In other words: This is, and will be, the low level of the playing-field that U.S. workers will be competing against in TPP etc., just as it is already, in the far-smaller existing NAFTA (which Hillary Clinton had helped to pass in Congress during the early 1990s). (Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, all campaigned for the Presidency by attacking Republicans for pushing such ‘trade’ deals. Their actions when they gain power, contradict their words. America and virtually the entire world has become rule of a suckered public, by perhaps as many as a thousand psychopathic aristocrats who own the international corporations and ‘news’ media, and who regularly do business with each other though they wall themselves off from the public.

Typically, at their level, it makes no real difference which country their passport is from.) “Trumka said that even after the Obama administration crafted an agreement to tighten labor protections four years ago, some 105 labor organizers have been killed, and more than 1,300 have been threatened with death.” The Obama Administration is ignoring the tightened regulations that it itself had managed to get nominally implemented on paper. “Pressed for details about Trumka’s assertion that murder doesn’t count as a violation of labor rules, Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff, told HuffPost that USTR officials said in at least two meetings where she was present that killing and brutalizing organizers would not be considered interfering with labor rights under the terms of the trade measures.”

Furthermore: “’We documented five or six murders of Guatemalan trade unionists that the government had failed to effectively investigate or prosecute,’ Lee said. ‘The USTR told us that the murders of trade unionists or violence against trade unionists was not a violation of the labor chapter.’”

That U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman, is the same person Obama has negotiating with foreign governments, and with international corporations, both Obama’s TPP, and his TTIP & TISA.

The most important chapter in the TPP treaty is “Dispute Settlement,” which sets forth the means by which corporations will sue countries for alleged violations of their stockholders ‘rights’ to extract profits from operations of those corporations in the signatory countries. The underlying assumption here is that the rights of international stockholders take precedence over the rights (even over the sovereignty rights) of the citizens of any participating country.

Instead of these suits being judged according to any nation’s laws, they are allowed to be addressed only by means of private arbitration “Panels.” The Dispute Settlement chapter contains “Article 28.9: Composition of Panels.” Section #1 there is simply: “The panel shall comprise three members.” Each of the two Parties will appoint a member; one for the suing corporation, and the other for the sued nation; and both of those members will then jointly select a third member “from the roster established pursuant to Article 28.10.3”; and this third member will automatically “serve as chair.”

Article 28.10.3 says that anyone who possesses “expertise or experience in law, international trade, other matters covered by this Agreement, or the resolution of disputes arising under international trade agreements” may be selected for the roster, so long as the individual meets vague criteria such as that they “be independent of, and not be affiliated with or take instructions from, any Party.” No penalty is laid out for anyone on the roster who lies about any of that. Basically, anyone may become a person on the roster, even non-lawyers may, and even corrupt individuals may, especially because there are no penalties for anyone on the roster, none at all is stated.

Then, “Article 28.19,” section 8: “If a monetary assessment is to be paid to the complaining Party, then it shall be paid in U.S. currency, or in an equivalent amount of the currency of the responding Party or in another currency agreed to by the disputing Parties.”

There is no appeals-process. If a nation gets fined and yet believes that something was wrong with the panel’s decision, there is no recourse. No matter how much a particular decision might happen to have been arrived at in contradiction of that nation’s laws and courts and legal precedents, the panels’ decisions aren’t appealable in any national legal system. Whatever precedents might become established from these panels’ subsequent record of decisions will constitute no part of any nation’s legal system, but instead create an entirely new forming body of case-law in an evolving international government which consists of international corporations and their panelists, and of whatever other panelists are acceptable to those corporate panelists. Voters have no representation, they’re merely sued. Stockholders have representation, they do the suing, of the various nations’ taxpayers, for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders.

The roster of authorized panelists available to be chosen by any corporation’s panelists in conjunction with by any nation’s panelists, is customarily composed of individuals who move back and forth between government and private-sector roles, through a “revolving door,” so that on both ends of that, the ultimate control is with the owners of the controlling blocs of stock in various international corporations. This is the newly evolving world government. It will not block any nation from legislating protections of workers, or of consumers, or of the environment; it will simply hold a power to extract from any participating nation’s taxpayers fines for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders in international corporations. Citizens will increasingly be held under the axe, and the top stockholders in international corporations will be holding it. This isn’t the type of world government that was anticipated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, the founders of the U.N., and by the other early (pre-1954) proponents of world government. But, since 1954, the plans for this anti-democratic form of emerging world government were laid; and, now, those plans are the ones that are being placed into effect.

Thus, on 26 October 2015, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, the international legal expert Alfred de Zayas, headlined, UN Expert Calls for Abolition of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Arbitrations. That’s the system, otherwise called “ISDS,” which already exists in a few much smaller international-trade treaties, and which is now being introduced on the largest scale ever in TPP and in Obama’s other proposed treaties. The U.N. press release, calling for its “abolition” or explicit outlawing, said:

In his fourth report to the UN General Assembly, Mr. de Zayas focuses on the adverse human rights impacts of free trade and investment agreements and calls for the abolition of Investor-State dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) that accompanies most of these agreements.

“Over the past twenty-five years bilateral international treaties and free trade agreements with investor-state-dispute-settlement have adversely impacted the international order and undermined fundamental principles of the UN, State sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law. It prompts moral vertigo in the unbiased observer,” he noted.

Far from contributing to human rights and development, ISDS has compromised the State’s regulatory functions and resulted in growing inequality among States and within them,” the expert stated.

Earlier, on 5 May 2015, I headlined, “UN Lawyer Calls TTP & TTIP ‘A Dystopian future in Which Corporations and not Democratically Elected Governments Call the Shots’.” I close now by repeating the opening of that report:

The Obama-proposed international-trade deals, if passed into law, will lead to “a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots,” says Alfred De Zayas, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.

These two mammoth trade-pacts, one (TTIP) for Atlantic nations, and the other (TTP) for Pacific nations excluding China (since Obama is against China), would transfer regulations of corporations to corporations themselves, and away from democratically elected governments. Regulation of working conditions and of the environment, as well as of product-safety including toxic foods and poisonous air and other consumer issues, would be placed into the hands of panels whose members will be appointed by large international corporations. Their decisions will remove the power of democratically elected governments to control these things. “Red tape” that’s imposed by elected national governments would be eliminated — replaced by the international mega-corporate version.

De Zayas was quoted in Britain’s Guardian on May 4th as saying also that, “The bottom line is that these agreements must be revised, modified or terminated,”because they would vastly harm publics everywhere, even though they would enormously benefit the top executives of corporations by giving them control as a sort of corporate-imposed world government, answerable to the people who control those corporations.

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