Pepe Sojourner always goes the road less traveled.
Don’t accept statements at face value by anyone, not even (or especially not) the Government.
Go see for yourself, then write what you see to those back home.
The shrimp whose back gets broken in a fight between whales
Truth is elusive, but it’s good thing we have math.
Illusions die hard, especially when shattered by cruise missiles.
“America is as much Jewish as Vatican is Catholic.”
When the French conquered Syria, they used the standard technique of colonialists, embracing and elevating the Alawite minority into positions of cooperation with the French occupation, as they had used Jews in Morocco and Algeria, or as England had used a variety of minorities in India. This accelerated tensions between them and the Sunni majority, and set the stage for the French-trained Syrian army to be filled with Alawites in leadership positions who would support the dictatorship that consolidated power under the regime of Bashar's father Hafaz al-Assad.
Edward L. Bernays, "The Engineering of Consent", 1947
The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process, the freedom to persuade and suggest.
he coined the term "Public Relations" instead of negative implication used by the Nazi’s ‘propaganda’.
The public's democratic judgment was "not to be relied upon" and he feared that "they [the American public] could very easily vote for the wrong man or want the wrong thing, so that they had to be guided from above". This "guidance" was interpreted by Anne, his daughter, to mean that her father believed in a sort of "enlightened despotism" ideology. This thinking was heavily shared and influenced by Walter Lippmann, one of the most prominent American political columnists at the time.
"If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits." He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the 'engineering of consent'
Bernays was the inventor of Press Release. One of the most famous campaigns of Bernays was the women's cigarette campaign in 1920s. It was Bernays who helped industry overcome one of the biggest social taboos of the time: women smoking in public (Stuart Ewen, Hunter College). Bernays staged the 1929 Easter Day Parade, showing debutantes holding cigarettes. Bernays created this event as news, which, of course, it wasn’t. Bernays convinced industries that the news, not advertising, was the best medium to carry their message to an unsuspecting public.
One of Bernays' favorite techniques for manipulating public opinion was the indirect use of "third party authorities" to plead his clients' causes. "If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway", he said. In order to promote sales of bacon, for example, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendation that people eat heavy breakfasts. He sent the results of the survey to 5,000 physicians, along with publicity touting bacon and eggs as a heavy breakfast.
United Fruit Company. Guatemala, Banana Republic, Cigarette and Women’s freedom, The Century of the Self,
“We must shift America from a needs- to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. Man's desires must overshadow his needs." (Paul Mazer, a Wall Street banker working for Lehman Brothers in the 1930s)
Shut up and do as you’re told. We’re America, and we can invade anyone we want to for any reason we want. We’re good, and we go to war because we’re good. So stop whining and do what we want.
Devil is always in the details... And Wall Street lobbyists always have such details tucked away in their briefcases to put in the hands of their favored congressmen and dedicated senators. And in this case they have the President, Man Friday, who has taken their advice as to whom to appoint as his cabinet to act as factotums, Girl Friday, handyman, to capture the government on their behalf and create “socialism for the rich.”
When the United Kingdom once condemned Mugabe's authoritarian policies and alleged racist attitudes as being comparable to those of German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, Mugabe responded with an extremely controversial remark, mocking the UK's claims by saying about himself and his policies that "I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective, justice for his own people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people, and their right to their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold."
As John Pilger noted two years ago: “The clever young man who recently made it to the White House is a very fine hypnotist, partly because it is indeed exciting to see an African American at the pinnacle of power in the land of slavery.
However, this is the 21st century, and race together with gender and even class can be very seductive tools of propaganda.
For what is so often overlooked and what matters, I believe, above all, is the class one serve.
George W. Bush’s inner circle from the State Department to the Supreme Court was perhaps the most multiracial in presidential history. It was PC par excellence….It was also the most reactionary.”
Oriana Fallaci went to her grave knowing too damn well that her Italy was no longer the same Italy into which she was born. Berlusconi continues Fallaci's bitter and losing war. Italy may insist on pasta being it national cuisine, but its North African labour immigrants may not like the idea and insist on their Tahini and Shawarma, and there is very little that Berlusconi can do about the matter.
Christianity and Judaism are monotheistic religions; they, too, want the whole world in their own image. Of course! Doesn't Christianity want the world in its own image? The current Pope Benedict was the head of the Office of Doctrine under the previous Pope, and he was relentlessly against liberation theology, which is, as you know, nothing other than the Christianity of the poor people. And from the Seat of the Vatican, he dictated a particular interpretation of Christianity. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as revealed religions, as religions based on sacred books, all want the whole world in their own image – this is their identity, to which all alterities must – they so wish – yield.
If in Europe, you have a – not secular but – cosmopolitan context, it is not out of the goodness of the heart of Christianity, but it is because the social context that has created an organic environment – particularly during the era of Enlightenment – forced Christianity to accommodate non-religious sentiments. The same holds true for Judaism, and a fortiori for Islam.
A fortiori: adverb. For a still stronger reason; all the more
For similar but more convincing reasons if Britain cannot afford a space programme, then, a fortiori, neither can India
All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets" – Voltaire
The comfort of the rich rests upon an abundance of the poor.
Socialize the Costs, Privatize the Gains, which is the essential capitalist definition of nationalization.
Legend has it that one evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee replied, "The one you feed."
On Unconditional Love (Ubasute-yama, Obasute or Oyasute)
There is an old Japanese folktale known as Ubasuteyama. It is a sad story of poor village folk forced to take their parents up into the mountains and abandon them there in accordance with village regulations at a time of famine.
A son carrying his mother on his back trudged through hills and valleys until he was deep in the mountain, far away from all human habitation. At the moment of parting the mother asked her son if he thought he could return home safely without becoming lost.
"It'll soon be dark," she told him. "All the time you've been carrying me here, I have been catching twigs in my outstretched hands and dropping them one after another so that they could act as signposts on your way home. If you are not sure which way to go when you come to a crossing of the ways, choose the path on which you find a broken twig. Get home safely!" So saying she bid him farewell, bowing with her palms together. Left alone in the mountain, of course, the old mother had no means of returning home over fields and hills.
Even in such a difficult situation and faced with her own death, the mother looks after her son rather than herself. The mother hasn't abandoned her son, even if he has abandoned her. What deep love that is! Such true parental feeling! This is none other than the love and compassion of the Buddha. There is a poem about it:
In the depths of the mountains,
Who was it for the aged mother snapped
One twig after another?
Heedless of herself
She did so
For the sake of her son
It is said that when he came to Japan Einstein was much moved by this story
Rakers and Mosk Crawlers or Café Crawlers ( Demographic Unit) : a walking camera, NYPD’s deep ties with CIA
mapping the city’s human terrain
“addressed different perils in a different time.”
U.S. District Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. agreed, saying the old guidelines “addressed different perils in a different time.” He scrapped the old rules and replaced them with more lenient ones. It was a turning point for the NYPD
One of the enduring questions of the past decade is whether being safe requires giving up some liberty and privacy. The focus of that debate has primarily been federal programs like wiretapping and indefinite detention. The question has received less attention in New York, where residents do not know for sure what, if anything, they have given up.
At the CIA, one of the biggest obstacles has always been that U.S. intelligence officials are overwhelmingly white, their mannerisms clearly American. The NYPD didn’t have that problem, thanks to its diverse pool of officers.
Using census data, the department matched undercover officers to ethnic communities and instructed them to blend in, the officials said. Pakistani-American officers infiltrated Pakistani neighborhoods, Palestinians focused on Palestinian neighborhoods. They hung out in hookah bars and cafes, quietly observing the community around them.
The unit, which has been undisclosed until now, became known inside the department as the Demographic Unit, former police officials said.
“It’s not a question of profiling. It’s a question of going where the problem could arise,” said Mordecai Dzikansky, a retired NYPD intelligence officer who said he was aware of the Demographic Unit. “And thank God we have the capability. We have the language capability and the ethnic officers. That’s our hidden weapon.”
The officers did not work out of headquarters, officials said. Instead, they passed their intelligence to police handlers who knew their identities.
Cohen said he wanted the squad to “rake the coals, looking for hot spots,” former officials recalled. The undercover officers soon became known inside the department as rakers.
A hot spot might be a beauty supply store selling chemicals used for making bombs. Or it might be a hawala, a broker that transfers money around the world with little documentation. Undercover officers might visit an Internet cafe and look at the browsing history on a computer, a former police official involved in the program said. If it revealed visits to radical websites, the cafe might be deemed a hot spot.
Ethnic bookstores, too, were on the list. If a raker noticed a customer looking at radical literature, he might chat up the store owner and see what he could learn. The bookstore, or even the customer, might get further scrutiny. If a restaurant patron applauds a news report about the death of U.S. troops, the patron or the restaurant could be labeled a hot spot.
The NYPD has been mentioned as a model for policing in the post-9/11 era. But it’s a model that seems custom-made for New York. No other city has the Big Apple’s combination of a low crime rate, a $4.5 billion police budget and a diverse 34,000-person police force. Certainly no other police department has such deep CIA ties.
In politics, as the saying goes, when you are explaining, you are losing. And that makes anything as complex or as messy as healthcare reform a very hard sell.
Mr. Gore was talking sense and Mr. Bush nonsense—but Mr. Bush won the debate.
An ersatz Santa Claus cadges coins on the corner of street.
Please instruct your men to keep me au courant regarding news about Mr. Stanley
We are being drowned in a sea of helplessness.
La Pasionaria, Dolores Ibarruri
Better to die free than live like a slave. It is stupidity of this very sort which led to the defeat of your faith in this peninsula.
It is better to die on one’s feet than to live on one’s knee (crawling on your knee):
It is rather to be the widow of a hero than the wife of a coward:
It is rather to kill one hundred innocents than to let a guilty person go:
Ximens de Cisneros had always believed that the heathen could only be eliminated as a force if their culture was completely erased. This meant the systemic destruction of all their books
They wanted to occupy minds, to pierce hearts, to remold souls.
They will soon forbid us our language. Arabic will be banned on pain of death. They will not let us wear our clothes. There is talk that they will destroy every public bath (hammam) in the country. They will prohibit our music, our wedding feasts, and our religion.
All this and more will fall on our heads in a few years’ time.
By the time they have finished with us, they will not have left us any eyes to weep or tongues to scream.
Gestures and grand words have been the curse of our religion, from the very beginning.
Anger had given way to sorrow and resignation.
We have to learn from the Jews how to live in conditions of great hardship.
Instead of looking to the future, we, Muslims, have always turned to the past.
Would you convert to Christianity, Musa, just in order to live?
After seventy years, I am tired of living.
When death comes stumbling my way, like a night-blind camel, I will not move aside. Better to die in complete possession of my senses than be trampled on when my mind has already ceased to exist. And what holds true for an individual applies equally to a community…
What is good for the liver is often bad for the spleen.
Have not Jews done so throughout the land in order to retain their positions? Why should we not imitate them? Let them tighten the screws as much as they like.
The paper ye may burn,
But what the paper holds ye cannot burn;
‘Tis safe within my breast.
Where I remove, it goes with me;
Alights when I alight,
And in my tomb will lie.
In vino veritas: in wine there is truth. In came wine, Out went a secret.
In aqua sanitas: in water there is health.
Ne plus ultra: 1. The highest point, as of excellence or achievement; the ultimate.
2. The most profound degree, as of a condition or quality.
“North Korea and evangelical empires have the same principal of leadership: nepotism to the nth degree. You may not get the call, but you inherit the mailing list.”
The true faith recognized no hierarchy.
All were considered equal before God in the place of worship.
I write with a “passionate partiality” to appropriate an expression from Susan Sontag.
I am a passionate and committed atheist, and Gospels were ‘late’ documents.
My definition of religion is any systematic belief system that is organized and attempts to exert influence on the general society
Zoroastrianism predates Christianity and Islam…it influenced those faiths and cross-fertilized Judaism as well, with its doctrines of one god, a dualistic universe of good and evil and a final day of judgment, dominated an area stretched from what is now Rome and Greece to India and Russia. At present, it’s global population of 190,000, from 40-50 million. 11,000 in US, 6,000 in Canada, 5,000 in UK, 2700 in Australia, 2200 in Persian Gulf.
Accidental birth of Judaism’s bastard child in the shape of Christianity.
Faith “in” Christ and Faith “of” Christ.
To be a Christian is to aspire to have the faith of Christ. This is an action religion, not an abracadabra religion.
Slavery: Leviticus 25: 44-46 Ephesians 6:5 1 Timothy 6:1 Titus 2:9-10
Homosexuality: Leviticus 20:13 / 20:11 (Ham)
Church caters to what people want. It is more a vendor of goods and services than a community of the Kingdom of God.
For the South Koreans (the Oppressors), what is worthwhile is to have more—always more—even at the cost of the oppressed having less or having nothing.
For them, to be is to have and to be the class of “the haves”.
Sikhism blends Hinduism and Islam: Mughal Empire.
Epiphany (manifestation, striking appearance): is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something.
In general terms, the phrase religious epiphany is used when a person realizes their faith or when they are convinced that an event or happening was really caused by a deity or being of their faith.
Buddhism ( Siddhartha Gautama): is not about being special. It is about being ordinary and it is not about the continual exudation of bliss. It is walking a normal human life with normal human beings doing normal human things.
Path to enlightenment lays along the Middle Way.
Siddhartha did not expound a dogma.
Renunciant: renounced the world, embracing poverty and celibacy, living on the edge.
Two major branches of Buddhism are recognized: Theravada (The School of the Elders) and Mahayana (The Great Vehicle).
The foundation of Buddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the teaching) and the Sangha (the community).
Although Taego Order sustains historical orders and preserves original teachings handed down from the Buddha, a key concern is to adapt the changing times and to stay current with that which connects to the people.
With perfect balance of avant-garde and deep respect for the tradition, we maintain the core of teachings, unspoiled, while making the esoteric philosophies of Zen relevant and accessible in today’s world.
There is no Allah but Allah and Mohammed is his Prophet.
There is only one Allah and he is Allah and Mohammed is His Prophet.
Our preachers are stumbling, Christians have gone astray, and Jews are bewildered.
Humanity is composed of but two schools.
Enlightened knaves or religious fools.
All religions are a dark labyrinth and a human construct. Men are religious through force of habit. They never pause to ask whether what they believe is true. Divine revelation is deeply ingrained in our mind.
After all, it was the ancients who invented fables and called them a religion. Musa, Isa, and our own Prophet Mohammed were great leaders of their people in times of trouble. More than that I do not believe.
They nail their God to a piece of wood and call it father, mother and son, drowning their followers in a sea of falsehood.
They have subjected and annihilated us through the force of their oppression.
For me, you are like a dog sniffing around in the blood of a carcass and eating filth, but lifting its leg when it urinates lest the liquid soil its body.
History is full of young fools getting drunk on religion and rushing to do battle with the infidel. Far easier to drink poison underneath a tree by the river and die peacefully.
Horus: a virgin birth, a fisher of men with 12 disciples
Jesus: Iusa, Iusu
Jewish and Christian religions do indeed owe most of its origins to Egyptian roots; entire body of Christian doctrine is simply a revamped and mutilated Egyptianism. The Gospel narratives of Jesus’ death and resurrection was in fact a bastardizing reworking of the sufferings of Dionysus and other similar Gods.
The Gospel narratives of Jesus’ death and resurrection were in fact a bastardizing reworking of the sufferings of Dionysus and other similar Gods.
The big difference between the Jesus legacy and other mythological traditions like that of the Egyptian God “Horus” was that devotees of other religions never viewed their divinities as historical figures or their sacred stories as actual facts like Christians did.
If Bible is historically accurate, it is only accidentally so.
Reporting was not of the slightest interest to its writers.
What they wrote became a source of vision, not doctrine.
Someone says Englishman had the Bible and Africans had land when Englishman entered the land of Africa, but as soon as Africans begin to have Bible, Englishman begin to have land, all of Africa.
In Seoul, how many churches are there? Thousands? Or ten thousands?
Now more than 80 percent of the commercial buildings in Seoul are held by the foreign companies via stock market manipulation.
That is, Christians have been the advance warriors of Rome, British and now US imperialism.
Flavius Josephus (c37-100): a governor of Galilee prior to the war of 70AD
History of the Jewish War (70AD) / The Antiquities of the Jews (90AD)
Testimonium Flavianum: in 127 words, a truncated version of the golden passage, Josephus confirmed everything! That’s a miracle. Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertulian, before the 4th century, makes no single reference to Josephus’ wondrous words in all defense against pagan hostility.
The third century Christian father Origen said Josephus was not believing in Jesus as Christ. The passage is out of context and a later interpolation. There were no tribes of Christians during Jesus time. Christianity did not get off the ground until the 2nd century.
It’s only in the last third of the 1st century AD that Christ followers emerged as a separate faction from mainstream Judaism. The label “Christian” itself only appears with the 2 century Acts—with the story that the term begin in Antioch (11:26)
Cornelius Tacitus (55-117 AD)
A sura from the al-Koran:
Say: “O Unbelievers,
I worship not that which ye worship,
And ye worship not that which I worship,
Neither will I worship that which ye worship,
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
You have your religion and I have my religion.”
A fierce argument raged between the Needle and the Sieve;
Said the Needle: “You seem a mass of holes – how ever do you live?”
Replied the Sieve with a crafty smile: “That colored thread I see is not an ornament but passes through your head!”
If the Church were to treat sodomy as an unforgivable sin, every priest in Spain would go to hell.
They set our culture on fire.
The cannibalism in their ritual repels me. It goes very deep. Remember the shock of the Saracens when the Crusaders began to roast prisoners alive and eat their flesh. It makes me ill to even think of it, but it flows from their faith.
In September 2004, Hamid Dabashi sharply criticized Israel in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram, writing that:
What they call "Israel" is no mere military state. A subsumed militarism, a systemic mendacity with an ingrained violence constitutional to the very fusion of its fabric, has penetrated the deepest corners of what these people have to call their "soul."... Half a century of systematic maiming and murdering of another people has left its deep marks on the faces of these people, the way they talk, the way they walk, the way they handle objects, the way they greet each other, the way they look at the world. There is an endemic prevarication to this machinery, a vulgarity of character that is bone-deep and structural to the skeletal vertebrae of its culture
A Land without the People for a People without the land.
• Sabra –Oleh --- Aliyah A Jew immigration to Israel for Zionistic, religious or other reasons under the Law of Return.
• Olim(plural)—Oleh (male)—Olah (female)
One of the greatest challenges of Egypt’s revolution is to replace that order, which has ruled Egypt for 60 years, knit together by patronage, greased by bribes, enforced by a ubiquitous security force answering only to itself and guided by the principle that the ruling party knows best
“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”
-- Che Guevara
Like perfect storms, several factors have to simultaneously and collectively come together for popular uprisings or protests, even massive ones, to turn into a revolution. That is why only a few of them have been successful in world history.
A revolution is, by definition, a successful struggle embraced by the masses that radically alters the existing political, economic, and social order.
Hamid Karzai: on his perceived image as an impotent leader in thrall to the US Administration, he said he was willing to shoulder insults in return for US assistance: “Me, a Puppet? My God. If we were called puppets or I am called a puppet because we are grateful to America, then let that be my nickname.”
Zalmay Khalizard: an inveterate factionalist and a master of intrigue.
Asif Ali Zardari : Pakistani equivalent of Karzai
Arabs: 350 million
Muslims: 1.5 billion
Revenge is the integral part of honor.
Obama made clear that Pakistan’s sovereignty was subservient to US interests, saying that he would attack with or without the approval of the Pakistani Government.
Pashtunwali: the unwritten Pashtun Code that regulates social order and interactions with foreigners
Death is better than life when life cannot be lived with honor.
Race is largely a western construct invented in the wake of Darwinianism.
Today, Jews rule the world by proxy…they get others to fight and die for them: Mahatir Mohammad 10/17/03. the topic has been discussed argumentum ad nauseam.
Our news media motto: all the news that supports Israel’s wars and defames Islam is fit to print.
Most of Western coverage of Israeli-Palestinian conflict is shaped by Jewish and Israeli journalists and Palestinian voices are almost entirely excluded.
Palestine (other nations) democracies sound good on paper and in principle, but are risky business in practice.
Practicing the reverse of A.J. Liebling's dictum that the duty of journalism is "to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,"
Elie Wiesel: he would not shed a tear if he heard that Ahmadinejad was assassinated, and calling him a pathological danger to world peace. He averred that Iran’s President intends to destroy Israel and bring disaster to the entire world. Wiesel also seized the occasion to blast the Goldstone Report as a crime against the Jewish people.
Iran’s deterrent strategy in an effort to prevent an attack which is not a remote contingency
We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie.
A priori : formal
Accepted without being thought about or questioned, as the existence of God is a priori for most people with a religious faith. In a court of law, a priori assumptions about guilt or innocence can be dangerous. The press assumed a priori that Oswald was a killer, but Oswald was a fall guy, “just a patsy” in his own words.
You jump on their women whenever you get the chance. I am told that you have a taste for deflowering the village virgins.
The first love may not be the best, but it is usually the deepest.
I have never entered a wench against her will.
What use are wide open legs, if the mind remains closed?
When the spirits are low the cock does not crow!
You chatter away like a crow on heat.
Why should a drowning man be worried by rain? He clasped his father’s hand and held on to it, much as a drowning person grasps anything that is afloat.
The war had to end sooner or later with the final victory of one side and the definitive defeat of the other.
If we used our iron fists to deal with Christianity the way you treat us now, this situation might never have arisen.
I appreciate your bluntness.
Bad news always travels fast.
Two little waterfalls poured down his cheeks and sought refuge in his beard. That whoever is born must die.
It is much harder to make new friends than to keep old enemies.
How can you bear this solitude day by day? Solitude has its own pleasures.
When they bowed their heads before Mecca the other end of their bodies began to emit a foul-smelling wind? That would not be appreciated by those directly in the line of fire.
Soldier derives from Solidus, the Roman coin---soldier being one who fought for money.
You can bomb the world to piece but you can’t bomb it into peace.
There is only one way to win a war in Lebanon-and that is to avoid it.
Washington Consensus: inevitable result of economic enslavement of world.
Washington’s project to reshape the Middle East in its own and Israel’s image.
The only lesson we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.
He talks of victory as ignorant of the past as he is of the future.
US military bases in 2005: 737. Largest and medium-sized bases 38
Britain in 1898: naval bases and army garrisons: 38
Rome in 117 AD: major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispanic to Armenia: 37
Grover Cleveland (1884-88 & 1892-1896) Democrat: the great turning point of American foreign policy came in the early 1890s, during the second Cleveland Administration. It was then that US turned sharply and permanently form a foreign policy of peace and non-intervention to an aggressive program of economic and political expansion abroad.
At the heart of the new policy were America’s leading bankers, eager to use the country’s growing economic strength to subsidize and force-feed export markets and investment outlets that they would finance as well as guarantee Third World government bonds.
Major focus of aggressive expansion in the 1890s was Latin America, and principal enemy to be dislodged was Great Britain, which had dominated the foreign investments in that vast region.
US were at a hair’s breath from actual war with Great Britain over a territorial dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana.
James Madison put it, "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. . . Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
Aristotle: democracy is the political stage immediately following aristocracy and immediately preceding oligarchy.
Decline and Fall of Roman Empire
The General obviously doesn’t have Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on the bedside table.
Gibbon wrote flatly that the introduction of foreigners “into Roman armies became every day more universal, more necessary, and more fatal, Rome was captive before she was taken.”
The last time we heard rumblings about the dangers of ethnic or confessional diversity in the US military was during the Vietnam War, particularly after World Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali announced in the spring of 1967 that he was refusing to be drafted.
In words that echoed round the world Ali said, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong...they never called me a nigger. You want me to do what the white man says and go fight a war against some people I don’t know nothing about—get some freedom for some other people when my own people can’t get theirs.”
At that time, Ali gave the US Government this wallop on the chin; 12.1 percent of enlisted men in the US Army were black.
There were innumerable reports of refusal to obey orders, acts of sabotage, assaults on officers and kindred acts of mutiny through the military, white and black.
Eleanor Roosevelt: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, and today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present
“The past is never dead, it’s not even past” William Faulkner
When you are a hammer, everything around you looks like a nail. (US vs. world)
SCO: Shanghei Cooperative Organization. China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.
CSTO: Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.
The mainstream media are busy preparing us for an Iranian War.
Media’s morbid obsession with celebrity death and tragedy.
Habeas Corpus is the right to seek relief from illegal detention and a bedrock legal principle.
What life has taught me
I would like to share with
Those who want to learn…
Until the philosophy which hold one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war, me say war
That until there are no longer first class
And second class citizens of any nation
Until the colour of a man’s skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes
Me say war
That until the basic human rights are equally
Guaranteed to all, without regard to race
Dis a war
That until that day
The dream of lasting peace, world citizenship
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion
To be pursued, but never attained
Now everywhere is war, war
And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes
that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique,
South Africa sub-human bondage
Have been toppled, utterly destroyed
Well, everywhere is war, me say war
– Bob Marley
General Park Chung Hee
Institute for Research on Collaborationist activities
“I have the mindset and spirit befitting a Japanese subject and am willing to give my life for Emperor.” Gen. Park CH made a pledge of allegiance written in blood to the Japanese army in 1939 when the Koreans were in colonial thrall of the Japanese Empire
the principle of Juche : a blend of autarky, self-reliance, Korean traditionalism and socialism.
Ban kimono August 28 2009
Mona Juul, Norway’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nation wrote in his memo that Ban Ki-moon, the former South Korean foreign minister, suffered from "lack of charisma" and had displayed weak, ineffective and counterproductive leadership
Sheeple: portmanteau (carry, cover or coat) large traveling bag or suitcase. sheep and people
Sheepdogs: police, military
follow the asshole in front of you
spork= spoon and fork, blaxploitation= black exploitation, brunch= breakfast and lunch, guesstimate= guess and estimate. Smog= smoke and fog.
Two meanings packed up into one word. It is used to denote persons who acquiesce to authority, and thus undermines their own human individuality. As a collective, people believe whatever they are told, esp it was told so by authority figure, without process it to be sure that an accurate representation of the real world around them. The term is generally used in a political or religious sense and derided for their perceived blind conformity.
Nation of sheeple: we, the Sheeple,
American sheeple remain acquiescent. To describe people who act in direct reaction to saturation advertising, going out and buying the “must-have” fashions and fads of the moment.
Oh yes, I am a sheeple,
Oh so I am proud to be.
1. Confused, rambling, or incoherent discourse; nonsense. Flapdoodle.
2. A complicated, petty set of procedures
3. Any long complicated procedure
4. A set of incoherent or pointless statements; garbled nonsense
Rigmarole of grannies, nonsense.
Tartuffe: a hypocrite, especially one who affects religious piety. An unctuous, smarmy and oleaginous court composer who is consumed with envy and self-loathing.
“Physically desegregated and spiritually segregated, where elbows are together and heart apart. Social togetherness and spiritual apartness.” Martin Luther King.
Negro mentality: let the cop win the masculinity contest. Every brotha has played that game as well: you don’t look the popo in the eye, you do say “Sir” a lot and maybe you won’t get locked up. Then you go home and stew in the stuff that gives a Negro man low life expectancy in America.
Empty drum resonates the loudest.
The past is never dead. It’s not even past. William Faulker
Zero Sum Game:
A situation in which one participant gains result only from another participant’s equivalent losses. The net change in total wealth among participants is zero: wealth is just shuffled from one to another and gambling is also an example.
Torture, after all, is a venerable American tradition, if not quite as homespun as apple pie or lynching. It is as old as our imperial aspirations.
A hopeful story about an elusive “light in the tunnel”.As someone put it, “Hope is not a strategy.” Hope is nothing but a slogan.
But there’s no light in the tunnel: it is dark as pitch as far as the eye can see. There is no sign of a turnaround or a “bottom” in housing at all. The real estate market is freefalling. And it looks like it’s got a long way to go. So why are the media still peddling the same “rose-colored” claptrap that put the country in this pickle to begin with?” L-shaped, U-shaped, or V-shaped economy.
Glass-Steagall Act (1933) : repealed at 1999,go-go years of Reaganesque and market fundamentalism.
How Monica Lewinsky Saved Social Security
In his famous tract "What is History?" E.H. Carr debated the influence on history exercised by Cleopatra's nose. Future historians of Social Security will be able to intersperse their explanation of the intricacies of COLAS, bend points and IPEs with at least a paragraph on the political and intellectual consequences of Monica's beguiling smile (1998).
She saved the day
Hoity-toity elites in Wall Street and captious pedant.
May I remind the Nobel laureates who have signed this appeal of one of Jean-Paul Sartre’s main reasons for voluntarily declining the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964: “It is no the same thing if I sign Jean-Paul Sartre or if I sign Jean-Paul Sartre, Nobel Prize Winner. A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution, even if it takes place in the most honorable form.” Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, under its flag he has gathered the signatures of 43 Nobel laureates in support of the resistance inside Iran.
We can only hope (against hope?) that President Barack Obama, the latest Nobel Peace Laureate, will turn out to merit the honor conferred on him prematurely (which in the spirit of Sartre he might have considered refusing). America’s Imperial President could help rehabilitate the letter and spirit of Alfred Nobel’s wish that the yearly prize reward “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
Housing crisis in USA
1. all mortgages: 47 million loans
2. Negative equity: 11.2 million loans (24% of all mortgages)
3. Free and clear (No mortgage): 24 million homes.
4. All Home equity: $16.5 trillion - $6 trillion equity has been wiped out = $10 trillion. (no mortgaged $5.3 trillion+ mortgaged $1.2 trillion= $6 trillion)
Zeitgeist is "the spirit of the times" or "the spirit of the age."  Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and/or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.
The term zeitgeist is from German Zeit- 'time' (cognate with English tide and "time") and Geist- 'spirit' (cognate with English ghost, without being really translatable into English - this is why the German term is used).
Eureka Effect : (Greek heureka, “I have found”) is any sudden unexpected discovery, or the sudden realization of the solution to a problem, resulting in a eureka moment (the moment of unexpected discovery). The eureka effect is also known as the aha
phenomenon, and it is similar to an epiphany.
Eureka effect is named after the myth that the Greek polymath Archmedes, having discovered how to measure the volume of an irregular object, leaped out of a public bath, and ran home naked shouting “eureka”.
Schadenfreude (a portmanteau) is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This German word is used as a loan word in English. (China is looking at the US default with a degree of Schadenfreude)
Morose delectation (delectacio morosa in Latin): the habit of dwelling wih enjoyment on evel thought or gloat over an enemy’s misfortune.
Buddhistic concept of Mudita : sympathetic joy, happinessin another’s good fortune.
Murdenfreude/Spitzenfreude/ Jew York Times: neologism and variants
Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. It is especially associated with the attempt to merge and analogize several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, and thus assert an underlying unity.
One can contrast Christian syncretism with contextualization and enculturation, the practice of making Christianity relevant to a culture.
Contextualization does not address the doctrine but affects a change in the style or expression of worship.
The Latter Day Saint Movement (or the Unification Church) can be framed as a syncretic outgrowth of mainline Christianity.
Moral syncretism: morality independent of religion
A cornerstone of moral syncretism is that religion can not be morality’s only arbiter.
Dalai Lama said: compassion and affection are human values that are independent of religion.
The Dalai Lama, for example, has said that compassion and affection are human values that are independent of religion: "We need these human values. I call these secular ethics, secular beliefs. There’s no relationship with any particular religion. Even without religion, even as nonbelievers, we have the capacity to promote these things."
Ethical behavior would come from altruistic motivation, not from fear of punishment or promise of reward after death
Culture is the collection of symbols with which humans relate to their environment and through which they explain and recreate that relation.
Identity is a manifestation of culture, one that results in the selective and distinctive internalization of certain elements and traits by social subjects.
Syncretism can be contrasted with contextualization, the practice of making Christianity relevant to a culture
Cultural syncretism: as a process of acculturation, or mixing of different cultures.
In general terms, it basically refers to the process by which Europe and particularly Spain and Portugal, blended with the so-called New Continent.
Syncretism is also common in literature, music, the representational arts and other expressions of culture. (Compare the concept of eclecticism.) There also exist syncretic politics, although in political classification the term has a somewhat different meaning.
Syncretism in Ancient Greece
Syncretism was an essential feature of Greek paganism. Hellenistic culture in the age that followed Alexander the Great was itself syncretic, essentially a blend of Persian, Anatolian, Egyptian (and eventually Etruscan-Roman) elements within a Hellenic overall formula. The Egyptian god Amun developed as the Hellenized Zeus Ammon after Alexander the Great went into the desert to seek out Amun's oracle at Siwa.
These identifications derive from the Hellenic habit of identifying gods of disparate mythologies with their own. When the proto-Greeks whose language would evolve into Greek first arrived in the Aegean and mainland Greece early in the 2nd millennium BC, they found localized nymphs and divinities already connected with every important feature of the landscape: mountain, grove, cave and spring all had their locally-venerated deity. The countless epithets of the Olympian gods reflect this syncretic character. "Zeus Molossos", as worshiped only at Dodona, is "the god identical to Zeus as worshipped by the Molossians at Dodona." Much apparently arbitrary and trivial mythic fabling is the result of later mythographers' attempts to explain these obscure epithets.
Syncretism in Rome
The Romans, identifying themselves as common heirs to a very similar civilization, identified Greek deities with similar figures in the Etruscan-Roman tradition, though cult practices were not usually copied. Syncretic gods of the Hellenistic period found also wide favor in Rome: Serapis, Isis, Mithras are syncretic deities. Cybele, as she was worshiped in Rome, was essentially a syncretic goddess. The Greek god Dionysus was imported into Rome as Bacchus, and the Anatolian Sabazios was converted to the Roman Sabazius.
The correspondences varied: Jupiter is perhaps a better match for Zeus than say the rural huntress Diana is for the feared Artemis. Ares is not quite Mars. The Anatolian goddess Cybele was physically imported to Rome from her Anatolian cult center Pessinos in the original aniconic archaic stone idol; she was identified in Rome as Magna Mater and was given a matronly, iconic image that had been developed in Hellenistic Pergamum.
Likewise, when the Romans encountered Celts and Teutons, they mingled these Northern gods with their own, creating Apollo Sucellos (Apollo the Good Smiter) and Mars Thingsus (Mars of the war-assembly), among many others. In the Germania, the Roman historian Tacitus speaks of Teutonic worshippers of Hercules and Mercury; most modern scholars conclude that Hercules was likely Thor, and Mercury was Odin.
Syncretism in Christianity
Nascent Christianity appears to have incorporated many European Pagan cultural elements, "baptizing" or "Christianizing" them to conform with Christian belief and principles, at least partially through discarding theologically and morally incompatible elements. One example of this is the strong reliance of St. Augustine on pagan Greek Plato and St. Thomas Aquinas's many quotations of "The Philosopher", Aristotle. Many scholars agree to this syncretism in principle, though any specific example is likely to be labeled "controversial". Open Theists (a subset of Protestant Evangelicals) assert that Christianity by the 3rd and 4th centuries had incorporated Greek Philosophy into its understanding of God.
"Syncretism" was not on the table when Christianity split into East and West rites during the Great Schism. It was invoked however with the rifts of the Protestant Reformation, with Desiderius Erasmus's readings of Plutarch. In 1615 David Pareus of Heidelberg urged Christians to a "pious syncretism" in opposing Antichrist, but few 17th century Protestants discussed the compromises that might affect a reconciliation with the Catholic Church: the Lutheran Georgius Calisen "Calixtus" (1586-1656) was ridiculed by Calovius (1612-1685) for his "syncretism."TBONE
The modern celebrations of Christmas (originating from Pagan Yule holidays) and Halloween are examples of relatively late Christian syncretism. Roman Catholicism in Central and South America has also integrated a number of elements derived from indigenous cultures in those areas.
Syncretism can be contrasted with contextualization, the practice of making Christianity relevant to a culture.
Syncretism in Islam
The Druzes integrated elements of Ismaili Islam with Gnosticism and Platonism. Their practice of disguising themselves as followers of the dominant religion makes difficult to ascertain what is believed and what simulated. Several of the Jewish Messiah claimants like Jacob Frank and the donmeh ended mixing Cabalistic Judaism with Christianism and Islam. Sikhism blends Hinduism and Islam and was notably supported by the Mughal emperor Akbar, who wanted to consolidate the diverse religious communities in his empire. The Bahá'ís follow a prophet whom they consider a successor to Muhammad, and recognize Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Zoroaster amongst others as former prophets. Some have therefore considered it a syncretic faith. However, Bahá'ís themselves and most scholars reject this definition, because Bahá'ís recognize the supremacy of Bahá'u'lláh's revelation in our time over previous ones (as much as Muhammad himself had done), and Bahá'ís have their own Sacred Writings and laws that supersede all others.
Modern syncretic religions
Unitarian Universalism is an example of a modern syncretic religion; it traces its roots to Universalist and Unitarian Christian congregations while at the same time freely incorporating elements from other religious and non-religious traditions.
Examples of strongly syncretist Romantic and modern movements include mysticism, occultism, theosophy, astrology, and the New Age movement, and in the arts the eclectic aspects of post modernism. The Rastafarian movement is also syncretic, derived from a blend of Judaic ideology and a more secular one of emancipation. Ref. Wikipedia
Frantz Fanon's relatively short life yielded two potent and influential statements of anti-colonial revolutionary thought, Black Skin, White Masks (1952) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961), works which have made Fanon a prominent contributor to postcolonial studies.
Fanon was born in 1925, to a middle-class family in the French colony of Martinique. He left Martinique in 1943, when he volunteered to fight with the Free French in World War II, and he remained in France after the war to study medicine and psychiatry on scholarship in Lyon. Here he began writing political essays and plays, and he married a Frenchwoman, Jose Duble. Before he left France, Fanon had already published his first analysis of the effects of racism and colonization, Black Skin, White Masks (BSWM), originally titled "An Essay for the Disalienation of Blacks," in part based on his lectures and experiences in Lyon.
BSWM is part manifesto, part analysis; it both presents Fanon's personal experience as a black intellectual in a whitened world and elaborates the ways in which the colonizer/colonized relationship is normalized as psychology. Because of his schooling and cultural background, the young Fanon conceived of himself as French, and the disorientation he felt after his initial encounter with French racism decisively shaped his psychological theories about culture. Fanon inflects his medical and psychological practice with the understanding that racism generates harmful psychological constructs that both blind the black man to his subjection to a universalized white norm and alienate his consciousness. A racist culture prohibits psychological health in the black man.
For Fanon, being colonized by a language has larger implications for one's consciousness: "To speak . . . means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization" (17-18). Speaking French means that one accepts, or is coerced into accepting, the collective consciousness of the French, which identifies blackness with evil and sin. In an attempt to escape the association of blackness with evil, the black man dons a white mask, or thinks of himself as a universal subject equally participating in a society that advocates an equality supposedly abstracted from personal appearance. Cultural values are internalized, or "epidermalized" into consciousness, creating a fundamental disjuncture between the black man's consciousness and his body. Under these conditions, the black man is necessarily alienated from himself.
Fanon insists, however, that the category "white" depends for its stability on its negation, "black." Neither exists without the other, and both come into being at the moment of imperial conquest. Thus, Fanon locates the historical point at which certain psychological formations became possible, and he provides an important analysis of how historically-bound cultural systems, such as the Orientalist discourse Edward Said describes, can perpetuate themselves as psychology.
Brown Skin, White Masks
By Hamid Dabashi
According to Dabashi, in Fanon’s time the world was divided into West and East, North and South, and between the white colonizers and the color-coded colonized.
In current time, the world is no longer divided around any axis of West-East or South-North.
The more advanced form of colonization, neocolonial globalization, has made the world geographically amorphous.
However, the oppressed people still get invaded, occupied, expelled and at the same time they fight back, subvert, and organize.
Fanon wrote his book right before joining the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN). Hamid Dabashi has written his book in NY City. It is no longer necessary to be in Algeria to understand subjugation and oppression.
Dabashi has sought to expose the ideological foregrounding of the American imperial project, and its extended European shadow, by analyzing the nature and function of comprador intellectuals that he calls native informers.
He has reconsidered and vastly expanded on the ideas of exilic intellectuals by Ed Said, house and field Negro by Malcolm X; colonized people’s mentality toward white supremacists by Fanon; comprador intellectuals by Kwame Anthony Appiah; the native informant by Adam Shatz; and so on.
Dabashi gives Fouad Ajami as one example of a comprador intellectual who lives in the US,: “The comprador intellectual is a byproduct of colonialism, not a character trait of any given culture...the defining function of the comprador intellectuals is to shore up that relation of commerce to power. Birthplace, nationality, religion, creed, and color are irrelevant. Capital will use whatever and whoever is convenient for each particular time, place, and situation.”
The native informers that Dabashi discusses are comprador intellectuals, who have emigrated to the US and mostly speak English with an accent.
The accent is suppose to authenticate and exoticize them and make their (mis)information about their home country believable for US audience.
The job of native informers is to assure their US audiences that the US invasions and occupations are moral and thus to distract citizens from the inevitable backlash.
The US mass media introduces native informers as representatives of people whose resistance culture they mock. According to Dabashi, “With the services they are eager to provide, the native informers present a paradoxically positive aspect, for they become caricatures of themselves by caricaturing the cultures they represent or misrepresent.”
The native informers wear white masks to hide their brown or black colors (fictive white man presiding in their mind).
The racial delusion that the white man is the center of the world, and the rest of humanity his periphery, has made it possible for native informers to exist and profit.