Saturday, November 11, 2017

Helping the Starving Plutocracy

Paul Krugman has written some very illuminating posts recently on how useless the Republican proposed tax cuts would be for stimulating the general economy.  In one of them he compared the usefulness of the cut-cut-cuts to tax cuts for Martians.

Going still further in denouncing our largess for Plutocrats and austerity for everyone else is the even more illuminating George H. Blackford (Economist at Large) who has created a great website debunking the Plutocrat Economics that have become standard Republican arguments since 1980.



Thursday, November 2, 2017

The "Sexual Harassment" Circus Rolls On and On

Yesterday NPR featured Gretchen Carlson.  She said nothing except that she had fear.  But what was she afraid of?  What happened?  According to the EEOC, "Sexual Harrasment" could be as little as somebody asking her for a date, saying a "dirty" word, or making a disparaging comment about women in general several times.

Wikipedia says more.  Gretchen Carlson alleged that she was fired for refusing sexual advances from Roger Ailes.  And for that, she got a $20 million settlement.

People can be fired for just about anything.  Most people live in fear of that all the time.  How do we know that she wasn't going to be fired anyway, but Ailes thought if she could do this, she'd be worth keeping.  That seems most likely to be the case--if she was a super duper money maker for FOX, Ailes wouldn't dare to upset her.

If Roger Ailes wants to hire, promote, or retain staffers who provide him sex, what's wrong with that?   He probably needed it, wasn't getting it any other way, and I see no problem with letting him buy it--if he can pay enough to get someone to do it voluntarily--and likely that was happening some of the time--so there must have been some willing to do it for the high incomes that TV personalities make, just not Carlson.

IMO, laws prohibiting sex for hire are oppression.  And they permit people who have been going along with the program for awhile (like O'Reilly's sidekick who stayed with his show more than a decade) to turn around later and litigate for millions.

And laws like the ones against Sexual Harrasment are an even worse form of oppression.  Now on top of every other possible reason for being fired, we could be fired for asking for dates or saying dirty words, and face criminal charges too.

Sexual Harassment became a crime in 1970 under our former czar J Edgar Hoover--a closeted gay prude psychopath who ran the country for decades and couldn't care less if heterosexuals were able to get dates.  Defined so broadly, it could be selectively applied to anyone Hoover wanted to destroy.  Say, perhaps, if they were going to make leftist movies or weren't following the demanded Imperialist/Zionist script on TV.

Meanwhile, companies fearing big lawsuits may well institute zero tolerance bans on asking for dates and saying dirty words.  Such bans might also be selectively enforced, giving the top boss the liberties to push the envelope, whereas others quiver in fear at the thought they might accidentally slip up, even though the law itself pretends not to be directed at occasional remarks.

The effect of media circuses is going to produce a wave of such zero tolerance bans, in fact the media and endless arbiters of good behavior--mostly female--are specifically calling for that.

And then where are lonely guys supposed to go?  Bars?  Church?  Neither provides a particularly good opportunity to get to know other people.   Bars are oriented to selling drinks, so they crank up the music so loud you can't even talk to anyone else.  Church does the same thing by giving few opportunities to put a word in except through participation in endless additional activities...which themselves are structured to make it difficult...so you have to keep going and going to get the rare moment to say something.

Work is really the optimal place in many ways to find compatible others, as people spend more time there than anywhere else except alone at home in front of a TV.  And this is especially true for workaholics who spend nearly all their waking hours at work.

It's no wonder heterosexuality is broken in the USA and western countries generally, except among the extremely religious (and from what I hear, it's not necessarily any easier there...except when the leaders decide to put people together...which only serves the needs of those running the place and not the average seat warmer).

It's no wonder that lonely horny guys bring piles of shotguns up to high floors to shoot the lucky few who have managed to get dates.  This may be especially true if they are trying to change their life by forswearing masturbation and pornography, as cutting those things out may create unresolved sexual tension and sleeplessness.

In the end, this serves the needs of scandal exploiting media too, by creating more interest in their product.

Now this is not to say that Roger Ailes is any kind of hero.  For almost two decades he was responsible for promoting war and the economic destruction of the middle class, helping in the destruction of millions of lives and livelihoods.  It's for that he deserved the greatest condemnation as an evil force.  This so-called Sexual Harassment thing is a big nothing.

On the other hand, Harvey Weinstein is a hero.  He struggled against Eisner and others at Disney to get Fahrenheit 9/11 produced, and it is a great antiwar movie, and one of the most popular documentaries of all time.  And that was only one of dozens of great and thought provoking movies he produced.  He also made stars of many fine actors and directors and helped employ thousands of people.

Producing movies is a tough business, and one can imagine endless struggles over every detail.  One can imagine big egos everywhere, but in the end, the producer has the last word.  So there are going to be endless people who think it didn't go down the right way--a lot of hurt feelings if not ruffled feathers.

But where are the dead bodies?  Where is the blood and injury?  Where are the lost homes and careers?  At most, nothing he ever did created more than offense or hurt feelings.  Meahwhile he was minting stars and making great movies.  So it's no wonder that nobody reported anything to the police.  It isn't because there's some kind of great Hollywood conspiracy.  It's because all that he is accused of now was really no big deal then, or now, except that when the Media whips up a new character assassination, people are sucked in, put a different spin on everything, and begin to remember things differently.  At the time people were "crying" all the way to the bank to cash their million dollar checks, just as Gretchen Carlson was and is now.

Now maybe if you were some kind of super sensitive woman you'd think twice of working for Harvey Weinstein now that the story has been unfolded.  But if you are some kind of super sensitive woman you should probably consider a very different kind of career than being a movie star or TV personality.  That doesn't seem to be applicable among any of the current accusers, especially the most interesting ones.  They seem to be the type who could handle and/or destroy any kind of man, just as they are doing now.

Certainly in the cast selection for every movie there are more people who don't get the role than those who do.  But in many of the current allegations of how people were propositioned in some way by Harvey, many people got the parts anyway.  If so, perhaps what he was really looking for was someone who could turn him down with enough class.  And what better test of how well someone would submit to his authority as producer could there be than someone who showed him a good time in bed?

In the case of one lady who didn't really think she was going to make it in movies anyway, after allegedly turning Harvey down she made a career for herself as professor of sexual "objectification" which is nothing more than a slur against men, and something I find very offensive.  But nice work if you can get it.

Where is the concern about Harvey himself, losing his career, his reputation, his social standing, and his wife, if not freedom itself?

While war criminals and similar mass murderers and destroyers and their enablers remain at the top of our society, given endless prizes and honorariums and bonuses, anybody who can be accused of being sexually forward under certain circumstances is destroyed, at the whim of the war crime enabling media, likely for political purposes not to mention selling papers.  Where is the justice in that???

And meanwhile, the actually destructive exploitation that occurs in in the workplace and elsewhere isn't counted at all--because it doesn't involve sex and wouldn't make the headlines in the endlessly exploitative and yet extremely blinkered media.

And hetersexual relationships become only for the deeply religious, who are assigned partners by their religious elders, who take the risks upon themselves only when total loyalty has been proven.

Orwellian Sexual McCarthyism

Yes doesn't mean Yes Anymore


In the new discourse of Sexual Sensitivity inspired by Second Wave Feminism, Yes doesn't mean Yes anymore.   This doublespeak is clearly at play in one current allegation of harassment, if not all of them.

(*Some hold that Feminism is merely trying to establish equal rights for women.  Of course, equal rights are good.  Even an inclusive form of equal rights which deals with the fact that women uniquely might carry Fetal life--over which full equality necessitates the unique right of women to choose when they wish to carry--since men aren't burdened with that unique set of personal costs at all.   But the simple pursuit of fully considered equal rights for all could more accurately be described as Universalism, which is the term I'm going to use hereafter, and reserve the term Feminism for the various formulations of Female Supremacy advanced by Second Wave Feminism, and some other waves, it's hard to keep track after Second Wave, depending on who was counting.)

If there is any differential of Power, Age, Size, Ugliness, etc., involved, nowadays even an explicit affirmation of consent isn't good enough.  It's not clear where this slippery slope ends.  Is it simply impossible for anyone to engage in any kind of sex related discussion, display, or interaction if there is any difference of any kind?  Same sex sex would seem to be the only kind possible then, is that where this is going?  Would having a lawyer review the acquiescence with the alleged less powerful person beforehand be good enough?

In most areas of life, and especially anything having to do with sex, it's hard, hard, hard to even get explicit consent beforehand.  As Grace Hopper (a Hero of mine) once famously said, "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission."

I know a lot about this from personal experience, as Feminism became Big right at the time I entered something like dating age.  I was able to get just two date-like experiences while I was in high school.  I dared not even touch my date during the first, and during the second--at a theme park--I saw others holding hands, and so I ventured ahead to hold my date's hand without asking permission, and it was fine (as it has been on many other occasions).

But it was not fine on my third date.  I had really been looking forwards to this date, as it was the girl I had a crush on for the entire Freshman year.  We'd spent much time next to each other at the common dinner tables.  I sat there because the seat was nearly always open, and it was my group of friends also.  I thought I sort of knew her, but she was hard to reach otherwise.  Finally, after helping her get her stuff in her car for the first summer vacation, we had a Hug*, which was one of my first, and it felt uniquely comforting.  So then I asked if we could have a date over the summer, and she assented.

(*This was not preauthorized, except perhaps by mutual moves towards it.)

But as we got to our first destination and were walking up the hill, and I reached out to hold her hand.  I had thought by that time that the worst that could happen was that she would say No, but probably wouldn't.

I got more than I bargained for.  I got a three minute scold.  I felt really cut down, but struggled to carry on as if nothing had happened.  The date seemed to end nicely at her mother's house, with her mother eagerly showing me some of the household artwork.  And I promised to call back.  But I just couldn't.

Before the summer was over she sent a nice letter about her trip to England.  And so we found ourselves talking together several times at the beginning of the next year.  And yet there was still hardly a chance for me to get a word in edgewise, and as a mere 18 year old I had not become a very good listener.  And not very good at figuring out what I wanted to say either.  And so I finally gave up trying to talk about me, my feelings, and my wishes, which seemed not to be of importance anyway.  And then I gave up on the idea of ever going anywhere with this young lady also.

About then, a new girl arrived on the my scene, and she was not like that at all.  We met on a Friday and in a whirlwind of togetherness we were in bed together doing sexual stuff--my first ever--by Saturday night.  I had all the sexual experience I had in College and for years after in the year that followed, then it all ended, and I graduated as a very lonely guy.

For several following decades I couldn't figure out what kind of moves were the right ones.  Generally I took a very conservative approach.  I went out on individual dates with women that seemed to go fine, but with no attempt on my part to touch in any way.  After all, I presumed by then, touching isn't really authorized on the first date.  The best thing is to ask permission.  But it made me feel gutless, and each experience had a certain hollow quality.

Around that time, I saw a British sitcom with two guys.  One seemed to take initiatives--touching hands, hugging, kissing--without asking permission.  And this guy seemed like the winner.  The other spinelessly wouldn't do anything without asking my permission.  And he became the loser who didn't get anything.  My older sister watched the movie along with me and she never said a bad word about it.  After it was over, I asked my sister if asking permission isn't the right way to do these things?  And she said no, that's silly, it would nearly always get in the way.

By then I was in my late 20's.  I started taking more initiative, and started having longer and deeper relationships as well.

But just as with my 3rd date, it didn't always go well.  After nearly a decade I got another bad scolding from a lady I had been with many times dancing--and she sent me home.  I called back and give numerous apologies and promises.  That relationship--which was my one and only "dancing" relationship and very important to me as a guy who loves to dance--then continued for awhile and we had some very good times traveling and dancing for several months (but...no touching...and we did touchless dancing).

Then, on a second date with another lady I was crazy about, I tried merely to touch her hand in the theater, as I had done for years with an earlier girlfriend.  She ran out of the theater screaming and dismissed my attempts to apologize.  I attended her only until her brother could pick her up.

That was one of my last attempts for at least another 10 years.  By this time, I didn't even try to push the envelope any more.  No touching, until it's clearly OK.  It took a particularly assertive woman--who just grabbed my hand--and it wasn't even a date merely a chance encounter--to get me going again.

In my current antiquity, I think I would always just take the chance.  If they scold, whatever, it's OK, but I wouldn't go out of my way to call back again.  Though many times I have called back after the scolding too.

But I wonder how it's going to be for young culturally aware youth in the future, after the current regime gives way to an even more Orwellian one.


Rape isn't necessarily Rape

A similar doublespeak has arisen around other sexual allegations such as Rape.

In the case of Julian Assange, for example, the alleged Rape simply allegedly involved him not following the correct sexually protective protocol.

The allegation is this: Julian offered to use a condom he had obtained.  The Swedish woman told him she did not want him to use any condom.  Julian went ahead and did as she had asked...no condom.

But Swedish law requires the condom ALWAYS to be used in such encounters, even if the woman says No.

Now you might think an allegation like this would be laughed out of court.  And, in fact, the charges were dismissed by the first court.  But reinstated on repeal, where higher powers might have considerable influence.

To anyone actually reading beyond the highly charged (but increasingly meaningless) term of Rape, this looks to be sting operation which was designed to catch Assange and send him to the USA, just as he has always claimed.

Leaving aside Assange's accusers, who were almost certainly agents or well managed assets themselves, endless sympathy is aroused for the alleged victims worldwide merely by the use of the word Rape, not to mention all the other now very generously defined Sex crimes, including Sexual Assault.  Assault doesn't necessarily even involve touching, only the threat or suggesting of touching.
In principle, something as simple as a male thrusting his hips into space could be considered sexual assault.  Or of course masturbation.  These do not seem like crimes to me.  If something is interesting, you can watch, if something is repulsive, you can turn the other way.

Women are endlessly used as useful idiots in the crushing of leftist leaders of all kinds by throwing around these loaded words.

There are some similarities in one of the most famous rape allegations of all time, involving the leftist producer Roman Polanski.  Everything Polanski did had full prior consent of the alleged victim.  He had the Yes which he thought meant Yes.  No one disputed this, the issue at hand was that the young lady was beneath the age of consent.

The original judge allowed Polanski to plead guilty to the charge I have just described, and since he was not considered a danger to society or likely to try to have sex with a minor again, he was slated to be released at the end of a few months of treatment.  However the treatment didn't go well, Polanski alleged he was being sexually abused.  And then he got word that a superior judge was going to vacate his plea bargain.  Rather than face the possibility of continuing sex abuse in incarceration for years, Polanski fled the country.

This episode also looks very much like a sting operation which was targeted at Polanski because of his genius at creating evocative movies like Chinatown which show the potential of corruption below the surface of things.

Even if judicial double dealing had not been involved, I find the very notion of an Age of Consent in a sexually capable person--as Polanski's subject clearly was--to be a religious concept which has no place in universal criminal law.  In earlier times, and in some societies still, women are married at very young ages.  Not allowing young men and women to make such decisions for themselves--is religious tyranny.  We must keep the young locked up for two decades to be sure they get the full religious indoctrination.

Interestingly, with enough work, a young person can get themselves emancipated from their parents at a quite young age.  One of Weinstein's chief accusers got herself emancipated from her parents at 15, and then spent years on her own hanging around with punk rockers before becoming a star in horror movies.

So if someone can do that, why can't they also agree to having sex with a genteel movie director who might be able to make them a star?  I can imagine many girls would have loved to have the chance, at least prior to the endless smearing of Polanski that has occurred ever since.  He has always seemed like nothing less than a perfect gentleman to me, as well as a genius and someone who escaped a Nazi death camp in Poland.

And, whose beautiful pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the gang of Charles Manson, in part of an earlier deep state operation.

Those murders were actually conspiracy going all the way back to J Edgar Hoover, who was in full control of Cointelpro at the time.  Manson got his start with LSD in the infamous MK Ultra program, who goal was to develop mind control methods to create manchurian murderers.  Cointelpro was the companion FBI program which had connections with MK Ultra.

Hoover wanted Sharon Tate murdered because she had witnessed the Robert Kennedy assassination in Los Angeles a few months beforehand, and she knew the story involving the hapless Sirhan Sirhan was a load of crap.  Something else had actually gone down, and she was sharing the evidence with her closest friends--on the very night of the infamous murders.  As well as the murders going down, various key bits of evidence Tate possessed disappeared that night.

Hoover also didn't like to see leftists like Polanski and Tate having the power to do their own thing in Hollywood, in open defiance of the regular CIA/FBI controls.  So he had multiple motives to set up the murder.

Hoover himself had been deeply involved in the murders of JFK, Martin Luther King, and RFK.  He had a lot to hide, but did an exceptionally good job of covering his trail.  Manson didn't get his drugs from the well known purveyor Bear.  He had a super special ratline that went all the way back to J Edgar Hoover, and also came with special instructions.

Seeing the BS trial run by Bugliosi, Polanksi may not have understood the full extent of what happened, but he knew the LAPD and their associates could not be trusted with anything...which was the idea that finally got made into the movie Chinatown (which is my personal favorite movie of all time).

Surprise, surprise, we were not to see a JFK assassination movie until Oliver Stone took a crack at it, decades after the Tate murders.  And no RFK conspiracy movie now, or likely ever.

So, if two of the more high profile allegations of Rape of all time are just crap, and part of deep state operations, what can we expect in the even more sexually Sensitive society of today, where the deep state has simultaneously been busy creating another new Russian McCarthyism?

Not only does the drama distract from the real news, it empowers elite Feminist opinion makers to ever more thoroughly destroy middle class heterosexuality.  Which might itself have function in creating a lot more mercenaries to take part in domestic and international mass murder operations to come.

To prevent this endless slippery slope toward armageddon, sexual and otherwise, I'd try to make all crimes described universally, also recognizing that heterosexually generally requires males to be initators*, so permits some discretion, basically action until noncompliant resistance, or the third No.

So, there can be a crime for Harassment, but not Sexual Harassment, because the latter is a loaded term which prioritizes penalizing sexual words and potentially pro sexual activities.  All forms of harassment should be seen as equal, judged on the basis of objective harms or threats of harms.

Likewise with Assault.  And I'd say assault must involve deliberately painful touching or the threat of same, or worse.  Battery should only be when assault causes physical injury.

Rape should be that when sexual penetration is at least started, and then only when the third No is disregarded, or overwheming force, or the threat of overwheming force, is applied.

(*This, and similar rights to buy pornography, are the needed counterpoint to women having the right to choose to carry a fetus or not.  Women have fetus, men have penis.  I've talked to women who make more hardcore pornography than I'd ever like, and they say they are not abused through their work, that's just the claim of antisex prudes and manipulators.  I'm fine with the production of pornography being regulated so as not to include harassment, assault, battery, or worse.)

Clarence Thomas

Whatever his meritoriousness at being selected by GHW Bush to be on the Supreme Court, (Bush needed a conservative black to replace the famous black liberal Justice...and preferably one with no paper trail as that had led to the disapproval of an earlier attempted appointment...so who better than Thomas with one year on the bench)  being a terrible sex harrasser does not seem to be one of his faults.

Most of what was described by Anita Hill was partly Thomas clumsily trying to get a date, and then even more clumsily denouncing female homosexuality (using the metaphor of 'sex between humans and barnyard animals' to describe female on female penetration).  Him raising these points may have some offensive, but hardly seem meritorious to sue for criminal or civil sanctions.

Even after having been 'harrassed' and deciding to leave Washington DC (who would want to live there in the first place) Anita was fine with having Thomas drive her to the airport, then and on a later visit.

Leaving the government anyway, she could have had her day in court had she wanted to.  But she even said at her government hearing, it was not about getting at Thomas personally then or now, it was merely that she did not believe him to be Supreme Court Justice material.


Roy Moore

Alleged to have made a date with a 14 year old girl, and then on that date, pushed if not forced her hand to genitals.  Also alleged to have secretly dated other teenage girls (though above the Alabama Age of Consent which is 16) which he has not denied, while himself being a 28 year old District Attorney.

It does test the social libertarian idea that there is no need for an Age of Consent.

Frankly, however, I don't consider the assault aspect of this (so long as there is no injury, etc)  as important as another crime.  In fact probably better NOT to make too much of the assault aspect, to turn it into a phobia for the youngster, who probably already got the lesson.  And a little bit of forward pressure, among consenting adults, may be a good thing.

The real crime is Breach of Trust.

Parents should be able to trust people in a variety of public (and similar private) capacities with their children.  Including law enforcement, detention (a big area of crime by many reports), other government services, education, clergy, and health care providers.

They may not need to axiomatically trust the punk rockers on the other side of the tracks regardless of what they say ("but mam, we're certified, licensed and bonded...you can trust us to make your daughter a rock star...").

But they should be able to trust that nice deputy District Attorney.  In fact, they may have no other choice.

People in such capacities should not be fraternizing with minors at all.  That is part of the deal to get such work.  I suspect this is already universally spelled out in relevant employment contracts.

This might even not need to be a crime as such.  Simply cause for suspension, transfer, termination of employment, disqualification, or  not being elected to anything again, depending on risk and occurrences.  And likewise for higher ups who ignore such things.

Parody


Within the Redskin, ZS distribution center of Amalgamated Superbomb, in the Chieftan Superior's office:

"Yes, I'm sorry Mr. Foobar about the death of your wife.  But you know, if we spent $1,000 on a fence around the reactor core, we wouldn't be able to compete with the Vietnamese."

"But, how am I going to put food on the table now?"

"I saw that 12 year old son of yours at the last mandatory company picnic.  He looks a bit spindly, but he could probably handle the 120 pound loads that your wife used to.  Or at least work up to it, after just a few strains and gashes."

"I'll send him right over now.  He doesn't need to be in school anymore, that's just communist propaganda."

TV blaring, "Today, just minutes before the President of Foobaria was assasinated, a wedding and funeral march of 200 people was obliterated by an accidental explosion of a depleted uranium cluster bomb with a defective trigger made by Amalgamated..."

Chieftan Superior slamming the phone.

"Pighead, how many times have I told you we don't watch that pinko Cat News.  Switch it over to Dog News."

"But, I thought you might want to hear this, your highness.  This looks like it's going to be good for business."

"You got me there, Shithead.  But enough's enough.  Change it now.  Those long words give me a headache."

A few seconds later, over in the Accounting offices, where the temperature is 39 degrees with 5 percent humidity, but everyone must still follow the summertime dress code--it is after all 120 degrees outside.

"You know, Ms Faithful, that you must reach at least Level 3 if you expect to keep your job in this department.  We're having a Zwarkwon study group this weekend from 8am to midnight on Saturday and Sunday.  After that, you'd be sure to understand the Way of the Illuminated Fetus.  At least enough to get to Level 3 and carve a Z into your own forehead.  And then you'd be able to participate in our daily body part gift exchange.  That's how people get ahead around here.  Or at least keep from being kicked behind."

"I was going to drive my son to College.  He starts his first year at 1am on Monday morning with the mass drilling.  But I'm sure he can hitch a ride.  He probably won't hear a bad word.  That sort of thing just doesn't happen anymore.  Someone might shoot him, but that would actually save us a lot of money."

Meanwhile, back in the Chieftan Superior's office.

"P...., we don't use that word around here, tell me what actually happened?"

"Well, that's what Mrs. Foobar said, just after I slipped on an oil spot and knocked her into the reactor."

"We will have to settle this one.  Do you think $15 million will be enough to keep Ms Righteous quiet about hearing that word.  We don't want anyone getting the idea there might be Sexual Harrasment here!"

"She's asking for $16 million."

"OK, get her $32 million, I think we'll be able to get that from the Pension Fund.  There won't be anyone living to retirement age here anyway."














Thursday, October 26, 2017

RT has Chris Hedges!

RT has the following top shelf hosts, each one better than ANYONE on US mainstream media:

Chris Hedges
Ed Shultz
Thom Hartmann
Larry King
Mike Papantonio

I discovered this reading the comments on this article, also very worth reading, about how the New York Times has been trying to smear RT, when it is RT that has the story right, and the Times just ignores the actual story, just shouting "Russia!" like they have for decades.

I can still watch any of the above by going to YouTube and searching.  For example:

Chris Hedges RT

Hopefully there will not be the kind of censorship the Times wants any time soon.


Yves Smith points out that RT has the following guests (among many others):

Erin Brockovich
Stephen Hawking
Harrison Ford
Robert Kennedy, Jr
Michele Obama
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Dick Cheney
Oprah Winfrey
John Krakauer
Dan Rather
Malcolm Gladwell
Yves Smith

And it's not merely the Corporatist/Militarist/Plutocratist/Zionist New York Times that has been bashing them, but also a Soros supported think tank called European Values.

In fact they published a list of 2327 major political figures who have appeared on RT, including

Bernie Sanders
Jill Stein
Ralph Nader
Ron Paul
Jeremy Corbyn
Steve Keen
Michael Hudson
Julian Assange
Noam Chomsky
Steve Wozniak

And of course, the war mongering think tank funded by Soros is declaring them all as 'useful idiots' undermining Western Democracy.

Democracy?  I hope somebody gets to try it some time.

It looks to me that RT is definitely the channel to watch!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"Anti-Semitism"

[As with the essay that was drafted shortly afterwards, on an ostensibly very different topic but which shares some interesting connections, this is a currently a work in progress which needs major editing.  It may take quite awhile to finish.  I find it peculiarly difficult to work on, so progress is slow.  So I apologize in advance.  However, I find I must do this editing on an already public document because otherwise I wouldn't be able to get myself to write it at all, and I feel the topic is extremely important, both by itself, and together with the following essay.]

Zionists in Europe, the UK, and the USA are pushing for laws that define anti-semitism as including criticism of the State of Israel and the Israel Lobby, and punish people for those kinds of political speech.  This is worse than merely outrageous.  It is Orwellian.

In the USA, a schoolteacher in Kansas has lost her teaching contract because she is a member of the Mennonite church, which has officially endorsed BDS, a boycott of goods from Israel and/or the Palestinian territories illegally occupied by Israel.  She is currently being defended by the ACLU.  In Texas, flood repair contractors must sign a form declaring that they are not participating in BDS in order to receive state relief funds.  This is quite ironic for a country which claims to be "free" and whose founding was partly motivated by the desire to escape from forced trade.

In the UK, this has resulted in the expulsion of a Jewish mathematics and philosophy professor, Moshe Machover, from the UK Labour Party.  Ironically the specific reason for his dismissal was that he had written an article titled "Anti-Zionism does not equal Anti-Semitism" for a publication of the Labour Party Marxists group.  Machover himself was born and raised in Israel.

Anti-Zionism was the mainstream position of nearly all Jews before the holocaust, as well as being the Orthodox view according to the Jewish Torah and Talmud and all of the oral and written Jewish tradition as affirmed by all rabbis.  There are many different Jewish groups which continue to hold that view to this day.  One group which is very visible and active is Neturei Karta.  I am proud and happy to be able to contribute to them (as a fellow of good will primarily).  It warmed my heart to get a nice blessing from one of their Orthodox rabbis.  They demonstrate frequently in their Orthodox suits (they are Orthodox, and they do not like being described as Ultra Orthodox--as they often are--but nobody doubts they are Jews) carrying signs saying things such as:


Authentic Rabbis have always opposed Zionism and the State of "Israel"

Zionism and Judaism are Extreme Opposites

Peaceful Dismantling of the Zionist State Is the REAL SOLUTION

Zionists Have No Right to Rule Over ANY PART of the HOLY LAND

Judaism rejects the Zionist state and condemns its CRIMINAL SIEGE & OCCUPATION


 Neturei Karta descibes their history as follows:
The group was founded in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1938, splitting off from Agudas Yisroel. Agudas Yisroel was established in 1912 for the purpose of fighting Zionism. Gradually lured by money and honor they sold out to the "Golden-Calf" (see Exodus, XXXII) of Zionism. Those who wanted to maintain their faith and continue the struggle against Zionism, dissociated themselves from Agudas Yisroel and associated parties.
Counting the people in their communities and synagogues (they specifically list 4 synagogues and say there are others) Neturei Karta say they number about 5000.  But also that Jews who think and believe just like them number in the hundreds of thousands.

This is not at all hard to believe seeing the demonstrations by anti-Zionist Jews in Britain and Israel itself, with 60,000 anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews gathered in huge stadiums within Israel, as shown by an umbrella organization of anti-Zionist Jews, IVJ, who may have better pictures of  mass demonstrations of 20,000 or more anti-Zionist Jews which are happening in places like New York State every year if not every month.   Of course you don't see these things in the Zionist US Media.

It might have been IVJ who organized a workshop I attended at the US Social Forum in 2007 which was riveting and made fundamental changes in my thinking.  Since then, I'm sure the ideas of anti-Zionism have only spread further among Jews and others.

Here's another website, and one of their videos shows 20,000 Anti-Zionist Othrodox Jews at a New York State stadium in 2017.  A rabbi interviewed says they have speakers and guest representing Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews from Canada, Europe, South Africa, and around the world.  What has recently galvanized  Orthodox Jews is that the Israeli government has decided that Orthodox Jews are required to serve in the IDF like all other Jews in Israel, and dragging Orthodox Jews out of their homes in the middle of the night (they show the pictures), beating themup and hauling them to prison for refusing the draft.  Not just draftees are hauled away...family members are dragged away first for standing in the way (I've seen one picture of an old lady being dragged away).  But the draftees who refuse are not just dragged away and put in jail for a few days...they are given prison sentences.

Orthodox Jews like this say they should not be forced to fight for a state that should not exist according to the Torah.  They do not recognize the State of Israel and they say it is NOT a Jewish state, but a Zionist state, and Zionism is the extreme opposite of Judaism.  They say they were living in Palestine (and around the world) for hundreds of years in peace with their Palestinian neighbors until the Zionist terrorists took control and started killing both them and the Palestinians who stood in their way.

The more I look the more events like this I find.  I'm convinced there are indeed hundreds of thousands of Anti-Zionist Jews, if not more.  And they are not just sitting at home, they appear to be out there organizing and demonstrating far more than most.  And they do not submit to Zionist authorities, they resist them all they can.  Anti-Zionist Orthodox are

Here is a 90 minute lecture by Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro contrasting Judaism with Zionism.  The aim of Zionism, he explains, was to destroy Torah Judaism--a religion of peace, celebration, and tolerant coexistence--and replace it with a militaristic identity-based nationalism.  Hertzl did not invent Zionism. Zionism had been invented centuries beforehand by Christians.  What Hertzl did was to popularize Zionism among Jews, in total opposition opposition to what rabbis of the time were saying.  (Zionism did not win over many Jews or Rabbis until the Holocaust.)  Rabbi Shapiro argues well that Zionism did not originate as a reaction to anti-semitism, nor is it the correct response to anti-semitism, nor is it a wise approach to providing Jews safe haven.  He argues that Zionism was openly understood by its founders to make Jews more like the very people they feared most.  Jewish Zionism was seen by its founders as a plan to cure Judaism and its tendency to make Jews physically weak and scholarly rather than muscular and prideful.  Ultimately the result of Zionism is to increase anti-semitism around the world (every time Israel engages in some brutal act, anti-semitism rises everywhere) and make Jews everywhere less safe, as well as Israel being about the least safe place for Jews to be in the first place.  I think Rabbi Shapiro's presentations are well worth watching and wonderful with a few caveats that aren't relevant to this essay but which I'll address later.

Here's a wonderful debate between Rabbi Shapiro and Gilad Atzmon.  Atzmon lived in Israel as a Jew and became so disgusted with the entire operation that he came to the USA and renounced his Judaism.  He makes the point (to which Rabbi Shapiro silently concurs) that "we agree that Zionism itself is anti-semitism."

So, are all these Jewish Anti-Zionists "anti-semitic" ?  Seeing all this, it does appear to be the other way around.

Now this all may seem nutty and inconsequential now.  Anti-Zionists are only a small (but growing) fraction of Jews.  Clearly Zionism has the much greater footprint among those commonly accepted as Jews.  This is not likely to change soon.  Nor does Israel seem to be crumbling under pressure from its neighbors* or "enemies," instead it is raising and reinforcing the Citadel further all the time--and some Zionists have even been talking about a Greater Land of Israel extending not merely to the Jordan but to the Euphrates.  While some neighbors used to be among Israel's enemies--as evidenced by the wars of 1967 and 1973--since then Israel and its imperial partner the USA have cultivated client-state relationships with Israel's neighbors, including Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.  Others such have been damaged or weakened by US/Israeli covert and overt aggression for decades and are in no position now to challenge Israel for the forseeable future...not to mention the USA.

But I look at the big picture and the long view.  I believe that by 2300, or even 2100, it will not seem so nutty.  Many things are virtually certain to change by then:

1) The abandonment if not collapse of the Empire of the USA.

2) At least 3 degrees of Global Heating, if not 6.  This might sound small, but in fact the effects are huge and dramatic.  (See the book "Six Degrees.")  Even with the fraction of a degree we are seeing so far...the effects are starting to look fairly dramatic.

The Southern Levant is virtually certain to be even more like a desert than it is now.  This will be a test of who the real desert semites are.  And a test of who can live in peace with their neighbors without the use of force.  I believe that people who are more largely European or Asian won't like it in the southern Levant any more.  The people who really are the desert people will still find the Southern Levant to be their place, even more uniquely.  This may include a few Jews.  I forsee return to the racial distribution of about 1900, if not 1800.

Meanwhile, the best course of action is not to depend on militarism now and in the future to maintain security, but on the good will of one's neighbors, from across the street to the other side of the world. Empires rise and fall.

The best that Zionist Jews (as well as others) can hope for, in the long run, is the peaceful dismantlement of the Zionist state, and the quick restoration of the good will of most others through re-committing themselves to the well being of others, the true lesson of Judaism (as well as Christianity and most other religions, and true leftist atheism).  The sooner this is started, the better.

In these regards, I see the true Jewish tradition, as upheld by the Neturei Karta,  as being quite prophetic.  Remarkably so.  Though I do take issue with the categorical imperative to "Be Fruitful and Multiply."  That can't hold up in the long run, though it may have some further use in the not so distant future.  I also wouldn't condemn the Enlightenment completely, but it's clear already it was full of thorns as well as rose-- and followers of the Enlightenment need to take care never to think in only self-interested terms.


*****

Machover spelled out the historical facts that Hertzl himself thought anti-semitic regimes would be allies in the Zionist cause, and for this reason Zionists of the time welcomed the early Nazi policies including the Nuremburg laws of 1935, before the Nazis switched to a policy of extermination.

After WWII, the worst atrocities of the Nazis became the ultimate justification for Zionism, as an eternal get-out-of-jail-free-and-label-others-as-the-monsters card through which the newly US owned and operated world could ignore the forcible expulsion of other peoples (also mostly semitic) from the newly claimed State of Israel.  This has continued without significant change, and is now in its deep stage having clearly become Genocide itself.  While on-the-street Israelis are openly calling for the Final Solution for Palestinians--nothing new, ever since Golda Meier defined the Palestinians into non-existence or long before and I've heard similar sentiments from Zionists ever since 1967, and recently the West Bank having been annexed complete by official political statements now (of the sort "we are never going to allow...")--and where for a long the original people have had no right to property, privacy or life, and Gaza getting a periodic Mowing the Lawn killing tens of thousands and terrorizing all--while always being a prison from which no travel or exchange is possible except what little is allowed by the Israeli gatekeepers and their police state allies.  The is not merely "Apartheid"--the Blacks in South Aftrica were not being systematically driven from the country they were doing the work.  In Israel--there is no alternative to no alternative for "Palestinians"--the people who occupied the country and to whom it had been promised before it was taken from them by force in the late 1940's.

Palestinians suffer mightily while their country has been demolished to make way for rich whiter people seeking refuge from previous enemies who are now legally and traditionally bound not to be anti-semitic--threatening to be to the point of criticizing any of their actions.  The US and the UK are both excellent places for Jews, who are the single richest ethnic group in the USA--a fact rarely mentioned.   Meanwhile, wars and destructions intended to shore up Imperial control of the Middle East (for Empire and Israel, or Israel and Empire, or something like that) have been enormously destructive and costly and unending.  This does not look like something that goes on well forever.  It is a matter of Imperial Patience, or perhaps Imperial Succession.  I will go on saying that at best Zionism was a big mistake, Diaspora was and remains the better choice for most Jews, the ultimately safer choice, as well as being the most ethical choice without extreme devotion to Palestinian rights or sovereignty (which is now legally prohibited by that "Democratic" but also "Jewish" state of Israel---you could be denied entry or immediately deported for calling for BDS).

To add to the deep ironies, the most prominent arbiter of the new anti-semitic thought crimes is Johnathan Freedland, a senior columnist at the Guardian and the Jewish Chronicle, who is himself a winner of the Orwell Award.  (I had to look it up, and was disappointed to find that the Orwell Award was not some kind of sarcastic anti-Award.  Or maybe it is, and they're simply not upfront about it.  Freedland won apparently for a series of articles on different topics, which look a bit edgy, but also try to mix left and conservative memes for a kind of bogus centrism.  In an oped about Thatcher's passing, he contrasted his left center feeling that Thatcher should merely not be specially blessed to the "idiots" who wrote "the bitch is dead."  Count me with the latter.)  I learned long ago not to completely trust the Guardian.  They seem to have a particular thing against real leftism--as somewhat represented by Corbyn whom the Guardian is always smearing with one hatchet job or another--and instead pushing for neoliberalism and identity politics and Zionism.  Yes, perhaps the Guardian is not quite as bad as the New York Times, but with those same tendencies take further, and with the Times being in addition the one of the best examples of a pro-War propaganda machines in history, with the latest red scare about "Russians manipulating our Elections!" being as bogus and counter contextual as previous examples going back to at least the bombing of the US Maine, and designed deliberately to promote militaristic and Zionistic ends.  The whole "Russians!" thing is daily debunked by the ultimate investigative reporter Robert Parry at Consortium News, to this day.  Every knows which foreign government more far more than any other manipulates the US government,:Israel and it's lobbyists mostly, and massively.  It's likely they have a very outsized effect on elections also, from their millions in contributions and dedicated mobilization.  Meanwhile the NYTimes hyperventilates about how alledgedly a few Russians bought Puppy ads for some reason costing a few thousand dollars cash in all, having no likely impact, but potentially making a pretext for war if detected, something chessmaster Putin would be certain to never do.

Well despite this Orwellian counter reaction by some people in high places in the media and politics, the main action, as Machover says, is the international world of people pulling away from a knee jerk lock step alignment with the hawkish needs of Zionists.  This is especially notable with those under 30, even among Jews, perhaps especially among Jews.  (Somehow never my somewhat more elderly friends.  Not in 60 years of associating with mostly jews from my Southern California semi elite background, has one of my own Jewish friends been or become anti-Zionist.  But I see Jewish anti-Zionists to be the majorities of young jews in radical conferences.  Before WWII, the majority of jews and most Rabbis was anti-Zionist, there was a long Talmudic tradition of opposing a new State of Israeli until certain conditions were met.)  Many Orthodox Jews today refuse to accept the legitimacy of Israel and say the best solution is for it to be peacefully dismantled.

But meanwhile, UK courts finally cleared for release and undercover investigation by Al Jazeera into the Israeli Lobby and it's influence in the UK.  Among the findings were how Zionists in the Labour Party did actually try to undermine Corbyn.  The judge decided against the claims that criticism of Israel or the Israeli lobby would constitute anti-semitism.

Hopefully we will see the results of a similar documentary made undercover within the US Israeli Lobby, the existence of which was subsequently made known.

The most authoritative account of the way the Israeli Lobby and its Zionist friends have manipulated US foreign policy to their own ends is a book by two highly respected and prominent Jewish scholars, Mearsheimer and Walt, in their book aptly titled, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.

But I admire the straightforwardness of one commenter who quotes this from another website (from a prolific Jewish scholar in the USA):

Israeli power over the making and implementing of US Middle East policy has led to the US invasions of Iraq, Syria and Libya; the current economic boycott and blockade of Iran; the breakup of Sudan; and the bombing of Somalia.
We could quibble that it's not just Israel and it's armies of lobbyists and friends including officials and people in "think tanks".  There are cold war imperialists who might not care at all for Israel itself except as a projection point for US power...for which all of the above might also make sense.  I see as an even confluence of forces, Zionist and Imperialist, with each person and organization having some combination.  However, the Zionist part is a major part, and why should Zionists be running US Foreign Policy ???  See all the harmful things it has gotten us into.  And now, war with the most successful independent country in the middle east, Iran???

The basic problem with Zionism is not Judaism.  Judaism is a fine religion, and Jews are fine people.  The problem is ethnic nationalism.  Ethnic nationalism is toxic wherever it arises.  It rots the mind and soul.

Once ethnic nationalism sets in, and there are "others" to move outside the perimeter of social welfare, serious ethical and moral problems begin to arise.

Judaism itself teaches the importance of treating "the other" better than family.  That is the true lesson of Sodom.  It was for disrespecting the laws of hospitality that Sodom was consumed by fire and brimstone.

Historical Justice, Zionists, and BDS


A Zionist is someone for whom the creation of a "Jewish State" is the most important historical imperative, ahead of such concerns as peace, justice, and freedom.  Jews are not necessarily Zionists nor are Zionists necessarily Jews.  Zionists like to say that "Israel has a right to exist."

As Noam Chomsky says, the concept that any state has a "Right to Exist" itself did not exist until Zionists invented it to silence their critics.  Noam Chomsky is a Jew who lived in Israel early in his life.  He actually does believe that there should be an Israel, but he is not a Zionist.  He believes that there should be an Israel which respects international laws and universal principles, and co-exists with an adjacent Palestinian state along the internationally agreed borders.  Norman Finkelstein believes that also.  I agree with them that if this option were actually attainable, it probably ought to be agreed to, as the best deal that might be imagined in a century or so.

But many Jews and other people, including most BDS supporters and "leadership", believe that this is not possible anymore, if it ever was, and so what is actually needed is a single state within the combined borders of Israel and Palestine which has fully equal rights for Palestinians and Jews, including the right of all Palestinians to return and live with fully equal rights in their homeland.  This is much closer to what seems like justice.  It is sometimes claim that Zionists would fight this to the bitter end, perhaps the last person standing, as it represents the end of the dream of a Jewish racist supremacist state.

I don't see how it is necessary to agree completely.  The BDS tactics are available to anyone, regardless of whether they agree with the ultimate aim of BDS "leadership."  In fact it's not exactly clear that BDS has a centralized leadership as such.  There does not appear to be a "BDS Organization" one can actually join.  The BDS website looks for sympathetic organizations close to where you live.  BDS is primarily just a tactic, and the tactic really just involves Boycott and Divestment now, to achieve peace and greater justice than we have now, nothing else in particular, since everything else is subject to negotiation by representatives of the actual parties involved.

The Creation of Israel was a Historic Injustice

I've seen a great video of Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews protesting Israel on Balfour Day in London.  There seemed to be hundreds of Orthodox Jews in the protest.  They were only one set of many protestors totaling tens of thousands.

The Orthodox Rabbi speaking soft-pedaled the guilt of the British for the Balfour Declaration, saying that the British did not intend to create a Jewish State, rather only to allow a limited number of Jews to settle.  It was the Zionists who defied the British to make the Zionist State.

There is much truth to this.  The Balfour Declaration says nothing about a Jewish State, only a Jewish Homeland.  A clause in the Declaration purported that no Palestinian rights would be abridged.  However, the Declaration was actually a letter to Lord Rothschild, a key Zionist, who of course was interested in a Jewish State, and Balfour had no standing to even allow for a Jewish Homeland, which itself was an abridgement of the rights of the occupants of Palestine to self determination.

Misterioso at Mondoweiss wrote an excellent summary in a discussion of other groups at the Balfour Day protest in London.  He spells out the injustice of the Declaration itself, as well as the Partition Plan decades later.  However this summary also makes clear that Britain many times thereafter made it clear that they had no intention of allowing for a Jewish state:

Britain’s illegal (i.e, in violation of the well established legal maxim, “nemo dat quod non habet” – nobody can give what he does not possess) Balfour Declaration laid the foundation for the eventual dispossession and expulsion of Palestine’s indigenous Arab Muslim and Christian inhabitants. To quote Chaim Weizmann, “the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was built on air.” 
The King-Crane Commission made it clear where it stood regarding the Zionist’s historical claim to Palestine: “…the initial claim, often submitted by Zionist representatives, that they have a `right’ to Palestine, based on an occupation of two thousand years ago, can hardly be seriously considered.” (“The American King-Crane Commission of Inquiry, 1919” quoted in From Haven to Conquest, p. 217, edited by Harvard Professor Walid Khalidi) Or as Lord Sydenham stated before the British House of Lords on 21 June 1922: “If we are going to admit claims on conquest thousands of years ago, the whole world will have to be turned upside down.” (Hansard) 
The Balfour Declaration was also opposed by Gertrude Bell, one of the era’s greatest Arabists, a colleague of T.E. Lawrence and a member of British intelligence in Cairo. Realizing what it could lead to, she wrote the British cabinet of PM Lloyd George advising it that “an independent Jewish Palestine” was impractical because “[Palestine]…is not Jewish; ” the native population would not “accept Jewish authority…. Jerusalem is equally sacred to three faiths and should not be put under the exclusive control of any one….” (Sanders, The High Walls of Jerusalem, p. 585) 
By incorporating the Balfour Declaration the 1922 League of Nations British Class A mandate for Palestine did facilitate Jewish immigration to “secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home,” but it did not call for the creation of a sovereign Jewish state or homeland in Palestine or any form of partition. This was made very clear in the Churchill Memorandum (1 July 1922) regarding the British Mandate: “[T]he status of all citizens of Palestine in the eyes of the law shall be Palestinian, and it has never been intended that they, or any section of them, should possess any other juridical status.”
Furthermore, regarding the British Mandate, as approved by the Council of the League of Nations, the British government declared: “His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.” (Command Paper, 1922) 
In May 1939, the British government issued the MacDonald White Paper, which in accordance with the Mandate, ruled out any possibility of a Jewish state, and declared Great Britain “could not have intended Palestine should be converted into a Jewish state against the will of the Arab population of the country.” It called for a Palestinian state in which Jews and Arabs would govern jointly based on a constitution to be drafted by their representatives and those of Britain. The constitution would safeguard the “Jewish National Home” in Palestine and if good relations developed between Jews and Arabs, the country would be granted independence in ten years. Land sales to Jews were to be restricted and the annual level of Jewish immigration was to be limited to 15,000 for five years, following which, Palestinian Arab acquiescence would be required.  
Re the Partition Plan:
Palestinians rejected the Partition Plan (UNGA Res. 181, Nov. 29/47) for entirely justified reasons based on international law. While Jews made up just 31% of the population (90% of foreign origin, only 30% had become citizens, thousands were illegal immigrants) and privately owned only between 6% and 7% of the land, the Partition Plan (recommendatory only, no legal foundation, contrary to the British Class A Mandate and the Atlantic Charter, never adopted by the UNSC) outrageously recommended they receive 56% of Palestine (including its most fertile areas) in which Palestinians made up 45% of the population. (10% of Palestine’s Jewish population consisted of native Palestinian/Arab Jews who were anti-Zionist.)
48% of the total land area of mandated Palestine was privately owned (‘mulk khaas’) by Palestinian Arabs. As noted above, total Jewish privately owned land was only between 6% and 7%. About 45% of the total land area was state owned, i.e., by citizens of Palestine, and it was comprised of Communal Property (‘mashaa’), Endowment Property, (‘waqf’), and Government Property, (‘miri’.) (The British Mandate kept an extensive land registry and the UN used the registry during its early deliberations. It has in its archives 453,000 records of individual Palestinian owners defined by name, location & area.) 
Although Palestinian Arab citizens made up at least 69% of the population and to repeat, privately owned 48% of the land, the Partition Plan recommended they receive only 42% as a state. (The 2% of Palestine comprised of Jerusalem and Bethlehem was to be placed under international control, a corpus separatum.)
Land ownership by Sub-district in all of mandated Palestine, 1947:
Acre: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, 3% Jewish owned, 10% state owned; Safed: 68% Palestinian Arab owned, 18% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Haifa: 42% Palestinian Arab owned, 35% Jewish owned, 23% state owned; Nazareth: 52% Palestinian Arab owned, 28% Jewish owned, 20% state owned; Tiberias: 51% Palestinian Arab owned, 38% Jewish owned, 11% state owned; Jenin: 84% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 16% state owned; Beisan: 44% Palestinian Arab owned, 34% Jewish owned, 22% state owned; Tulkarm: 78% Palestinan Arab owned; 17% Jewish owned, 5% state owned; Nablus: 87% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 13% state owned; Jaffa: 47% Palestinian Arab owned, 39% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Ramleh: 77% Palestinian Arab owned, 14% Jewish owned, 9% state owned; Ramallah: 99% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, less than 1% state owned; Jerusalem (West and East): 84% Palestinian Arab owned, 2% Jewish owned, 14% state owned; Gaza: 75% Palestinian Arab owned, 4% Jewish owned, 21% state owned; Hebron: 96% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 4% state owned; Bersheeba (Negev): 15% Palestinian Arab owned, less than 1% Jewish owned, 85% state owned. (Village Statistics, Jerusalem: Palestine Government, 1945; subsequently published as United Nations Map no. 94b, August, 1950)
Population of and land ownership in West and East Jerusalem in 1947: The total population of West Jerusalem (the New City) and East Jerusalem (the Old City) and their environs was about 200,000 with a slight Arab majority. (Professor Walid Khalidi, Harvard, “Plan Dalet,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Autumn, 1988, p. 17)
The total land area of West Jerusalem (the New City) in 1947 was 19,331 dunams (about 4,833 acres) of which 40 per cent was owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians, 26.12 per cent by Jews and 13.86 per cent by others, including Christian communities. Government and municipal land made up 2.90 per cent and roads and railways 17.12 per cent. 
East Jerusalem (the Old City) consisted of 800 dunams (about 240 acres) of which five dunams (just over one acre) were Jewish owned and the remaining 795 dunams were owned by Palestinian Muslims and Christians. (“Assessing Palestinian Property in the City,” by Dalia Habash and Terry Rempel, Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the War, edited by Salim Tamari, The Institute of Jerusalem Studies, 1999, map, pp. 184-85) 
In short, Palestinians were entirely justified and in full accordance with international law when they rejected the Partition Plan.
Rubbing salt into the wound, the United States quashed a proposal based on international law put forth by Arab delegates at the UN that a referendum be conducted in Palestine to determine the wishes of the majority regarding the Partition Plan. The United States also thwarted their request to have the matter referred to the International Court of Justice.
Racism, Apartheid, and Genocide Have No Right to Exist

Certainly it can be said that Genocide or Apartheid have no right to exist, and when they arise, it is the moral responsibility of all to stop them as quickly as possible.

All people may be racist to one degree or another--it can't be prevented.  If people say racist things that offend others, that is not good, but it should not be illegal, as it is more important that people have freedom of speech.  Institutions, however, should not operate in a Racist way, to the largest degree that it can be prevented.  Even if it can never be fully stopped, it would be silly to think that Racism has a right to exist.

Jews are the Very Nicest People


At least in my experience, Jews have been the very nicest people.

All of my best friends for the first 36 years of my life were Jews and many still are (I've simply lost touch with all the others).

Starting from age 7, friendly and outgoing Jewish boys I met in school (in Los Angeles) brought me into their lives, homes, and even synagogues.  All of them were very smart (though not always the smartest), but more than that, hip, and fun to be with.

I was raised in a Christian church, but none of the people I associated with in church or Sunday School became my best friends.  I'm not sure why, but I never developed the same feeling of closeness with them.

I had Passover with one of my Jewish friend's families many times, and they even took me on vacations.  They brought me to meet still more Jewish friends.  I attended one friend's Bar Mitzvah.  I attended two Jewish weddings, one where I was something like 'Best Man.'

Many times, I've had this strange feeling, I wanted to be a Jew also.  Only 5 years ago, I started looking into what it might take to convert to Judaism.  Of course it is not easy, so I dropped the thought, though it made me cry.  And seriously, I think I've found my place as a leftist athiest, that's what suits my way of thinking.  I feel heartened by the fact that one of my personal heroes, Richard Stallman, considers himself an Atheist and not a Jew.

My brother in law is Jewish and he is an Atheist also.

I always wanted to have a Jewish girlfriend.  That never went very far, though I know many very fine Jewish ladies.  My girlfriend of 9 years so far is at least 1/4 Jewish.  Perhaps that was part of why I was attracted to her.

I have no known Jewish ancestry, but I've wondered ever since some mean anti-semitic kid in Junior High School called me "Jew."  I told him I was not insulted, I would think it very fine to be a Jew like all my friends, but he was mistaken.  He said he wasn't mistaken--just look at that nose.

I do not have the biggest Jewish nose, if that's what it is, but in truth it doesn't look exactly like the mixed Scandinavian ancestry I'm supposed to have either.   Ever since then I've thought I must have some Jewish ancestry, though nobody knows when or where going back several generations.  Given how related all the people in the world are, it's probably just a matter of how many generations you have to go back to find a Jewish ancestor.

While Jews are the very nicest people, I've learned not to discuss Palestine.  It doesn't take long for every Jew I've known personally o go off the rails of a reasonable universalism it has usually seemed to me, and into a heated argument.  This has saddened me.

Before I go further, I'll also say that all my favorite writers, movie directors, and professors are Jewish also (and also mostly athiests).  Woody Allen is my very favorite movie producer and director.

I think one particular Jew, Noam Chomsky, is the very smartest person I've ever heard or read.  And of course one could go on with a list including Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and many others who are (or were) also among the very most intelligent people ever.

While this is not true of all Jews...as I have shown many are anti-Zionist or non-Zionist...it has often seemed to me that  for all their intelligence Jews often lack critical thinking in a few key areas, including Israel.  Often they can have the very best critical thinking in most areas...and then lose all ability to think critically it one or two areas.  But this is probably true of most people, including me, it's just hard for each one of us to see our own blind spots.

I do not want bad things to happen to Jews.  I am fine with Jews living in the southern Levant, if that's where they choose to live, though it seems ridiculous to me.

But I can see no ethical alternative to allowing all the Palestinians to return to their homeland.  I think Jews and others were sold a very rotten deal with Zionism, which was dreamed up and promoted by just a few Jews, and then 'realized' by early Zionist terrorists.  It's fallen into the blind spots of many Jews not to see how rotten this deal was, and how it's probably just not going to work out as they have dreamed.  And that is very sad.

And Terrible for the Palestinians who have lost their homeland in a historic Catastrophe caused by  Jews blinded by the false dream of nationalism, which the Jews' own ancient writers sternly warned against, allied with powerful Imperialists.

I would like to see the Jewish Zionists mend their ways and get back to sort of fully ethical Judiasm that is my dream.  And I would like to see my own country get out of the business of Empire.

Empire and Zionism are the two faces on the same rotten coin which has brought catastrophe and terror not just to the middle east but the entire world.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Hero

Hugh Hefner was a hero not just in one way, cleaning up and legitimizing visual aids for men, to help them cope with modern atomized life (which was already there...).  But in very many ways, and to very many people.  The list of good people whose careers he boosted or even made possible is endless.

Often there is a grain of truth in what critics say.  But in this case, his critics are not just partly wrong, they are completely wrong.

He did not invent objectification, nor apply it more than other capitalists (much less, actually, as far as I have seen).  Objectification is the fundamental nature of capitalism.  Some sell their bodies, others their minds, still others their souls.  I would say the body is the least of these.  Some of his worst critics sold their souls long ago.

He set such a high standard in his personal relations, business dealings, girlfriend dealings, employee dealings, that even such a perfectly fair minded person like me would be hard pressed to do as well.

These things are not easy to do well...he carried on for 91 years.

Sure, he had lots of girlfriends, and a few had some bad times (though that seems relatively rare), likewise with employees, customers.  Overall, almost everyone who has actually dealt with him praises him.  And I think it's fine if he has lots of girlfriends, and does his thing, so long as never forcing himself...and that is never claimed.  Only psychological pressure.   Being a follower or a friend always comes with this kind of pressure...and either it works for you or it doesn't.

I and many others have long seen him as an Icon.  He earned that.

He opened up Jazz to new audiences, and many liberal writers and ideas as well.  I think that's wonderful.  Perhaps indeed that is a large part of why I am what I am, though I would seem to be farther lefter.  Well, see, he made me possible, by making liberalism cool and respectable, that made it possible for me to go a bit further.

It was for THAT reason, his left liberal influence on the youth, that Hefner's philosophical ambitions were trashed by the interventions of supposedly fellow liberal Gloria Steinem, who had been an asset of the CIA spying on leftist groups, and might well have been working for the CIA while an undercover bunny spying on Hefner's first club.

It is true Steinem has promoted the "equality" of women meaning that women should be able to "rise" to the same occupations of men, and of course that kind of equality is a good thing.  But her focus has primarily been on the top, eliminating the "glass ceiling" that kept women out of the CEO's office.  But what the world needs is not more heartless CEO's who happen to be women, it needs a structure in heartless CEO's can't exist.  The goal should be a world in which all occupations provide security, respect, and fufillment.  Equality, not merely the hollow "equal opportunity."

And so, even from the beginning, Steinem was not a left liberal, she was a neoliberal, and the very prototype of Bill and Hillary Clinton.  The neoliberal plan from the very beginning was to destroy the real left whose concern is social justice for working people, and replace it with weak tea identity politics that just gets enough people charged up to win a few elections.  So her liberalism is fake, her leftism is fake, and even her feminism is fake...and it has been the source of much social destruction.  Phony left feminists essentially destroyed the left in this country by creating division, with tract upon tract of influential nonsense misandry whose effect has barely diminished to this day.

Leftism will only work through unity, and the kind of unity that comes from within, from positive social and sexual relationships.  Meanwhile, the right was immune, and was not affected.  That was the plan all along, I believe.  None of these phony left feminists (the 2nd wave antiporn ones) are what they claimed to be.  Sexual prudes have always been tools of the Empire.  The fake accusations against Julian Assange a good example of the timeless pattern of how the forces of empire use widespread prudity to crush dissent.  The real scandal is always the Empire itself.

The result of Steinem's intervention has been that instead of a President Hefner or his disciple ending all wars*, including the War on Drugs and the War on Sex, we got Presidents Reagan, GWB, and Trump, who have ratcheted them all up in the name of Empire.

(*Hefner gave a platform to war critical journalists such as Seymour Hirsch--who exposed the Mai Lai Massacre.)

A large part of Steinem's work ever since has been the extreme form of antipornography, even to the depiction of women in any form, including the very clean Playboy Magazine, the antithesis of the "smut" which it replaced.  In the extreme form of antiporn, the mere principle that women's pictures might be printed is "exploitation."  Another antiporn feminist pushed for national laws to make magazines like Playboy legally liable for any crime.  This didn't resist court challenges in the USA, but was pushed into law in Sweden, which has led me to believe I would not be comfortable staying there for any length of time.  Porn reduces crime by reducing stress, much as smoking marijuana does.  Hefner was an early promoter of drug reform too.  His influence may even be a part of the long term decline of violent crime between 1960 and 2000.  One famous psychopath claimed that pornography drove him to crime.  But should we believe him?  It seems to me more that violent crime comes from lack of pornography and drugs.  It's hard to pull another trigger when you're using those.

Sometimes it is claimed that magazines such as Playboy create "body image issues."  But there's nothing super special about Playboy centerfolds, other than the same youth and beauty you can find in any college classroom.  The Playboy centerfold may be the prettiest girl in the classroom, but is not from another planet.  When Hefner said he chose the girl next door, that was not far from the truth, though obviously he chose the prettiest or nicest girls he could find.  The basic point of such "visual aids" is to pretend for a minute--or as long as it takes--that the prettiest girl in the classroom is interested in you.  And most of them will not be--everyone knows that.  But perhaps tomorrow, there may be one who is.  So don't give up.  Girls have always been hard to please, that's how heterosex works.  Meanwhile, a piece of paper can help you get some relief tonight, and become a part of a larger and more interesting world.

There is a lot of exaggeration about these sorts of things, such as the girls being super busty.  But that was rarely the case in Playboy.  The girls are pretty and perhaps thinner than average, and that's all.  Only the December centerfolds, up to about 1973 or so, were a bit bustier than average.  After then, Playboy toned down that aspect.  So much so, that I myself didn't subscribe to Playboy for very long, but looked for 'speciality' magazines where the women were bustier, if not as knock out pretty.

The famous "bunny suits" were/are sufficiently padded so any woman would be special wearing it.  It's just make believe, and everybody knows that.  But make believe is often needed just to keep on rolling down the road of modern life.

The take of antiporn feminists is anti-sex, anti-freedom, anti-human, unconstitutional, etc.  And yet, it goes on.  Antiporns on the fake left and the right.  Most of them are antiabortion too.  They provide only more restrictions, not solutions.  In fact, the problem gets worse, by design, so that poor people suffer more.

I have met women in the Porn industry, who always insist they are the real feminists, and I believe they are correct.  Nowadays many porn stars run their own businesses.

So as it turns out, including even the great antiporn pseudo feminist Gloria Steinem, Hefner's critics are all a bunch of prudes and theocrats.

Often heroes have weaknesses.  It is quite hard to find one with Hefner.  I can only guess that he didn't challenge Steinem and the fake left more than he did was that it was clearly not going to be good for business.  Dissing people rarely is.  He didn't put up the fight that might have done so.  If he could have done that, he would have been our savior, not merely a hero.  He retired from grand philosophical and political ambitions, and focused on his core mission: having fun and living well and living up to the quite demanding image of male pro sexual goodness he had created for himself and others.  And so, we never had a complete revolution, sexual or otherwise.  Just a small opening.

Meanwhile, because of the pernicious influence of the Empire's reaction to Hefnerism (the alignment of sexual freedom and leftism) by 2nd wave "antiporn" feminist memes (largely penned by Dworkin and Mackinnon, though backed by Steinem), only conservatives who never bought into those memes, and especially Christian conservatives, are allowed to be pro heterosexual very much anymore, and I'm not sure they are either except they have a lot more kids, and meanwhile virtually all of my similarly aged leftist male friends have none, and most haven't had girlfriends in a long time either.

Speaking of Mackinnon, similar ideas (and her name) was invoked at this threat at NakedCapitalism just this week.

I replied thusly (slightly edited):

It is a denigration of men to say that pornography or masturbation are any kind of substitute for real sexual relationships, or establish priors that would necessarily be required in those relationships.
Men are people, they have minds, can tell the difference between pictures and people, and most of them are concerned what other people feel about them (except psychopaths), and are interested in having real friends and perhaps families and children too.
Masturbation merely releases sexual tension, which means it might be a substitute for prostitutes or other forms of very casual sex, the very kinds of things that conservatives and theocrats claim to deplore.
Organizations that prohibit masturbation and abortion ought to be well aware that these policies are going to increase the number of unplanned babies. Do they really deplore that?

The Empire always wins.  Until it loses.

Hefner did his part better than anyone else, and probably as well as anyone could, the rest is up to us.

RIP, Hef.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Algorithmic Trading should be minimized with Financial Transactions Tax

 http://www.npr.org/2017/05/23/529730657/data-driven-traders-begin-to-dominate-financial-markets

This is typical NPR whitewash.

They don't give many details, I don't think he mentions the most famous Quant meltdown of all, LTCM, it was the biggest bailout-thing of any kind in history at the time, only to be outdone later.  It was a famous hedge fund based on the math from the "economics nobel" award winning formula by Scholes et al in the 1970's for figuring out the average math for commodities, therefore a fair way to price them.  So LTCM was based on the idea that if you just raise billions and borrow hundreds of billions more, and bet against all the commodity price levels that don't meet the math, and ride the average profits.  All the big money, smart people, and big banks believed it, or so they said.

Problem is, in all forms of gambling, there's always one more number, and when that comes up...  In this case, it was the post-Soviet meltdown of Russia, caused by the western backed (if not created) Yeltsin regime.  But all the big banks and everybody had bought into LTCM, so it had to be slowly "unwound" over months to prevent the entire economy from tanking.  A scraped profit for a few had put the entire economy at risk (and risk is a very big cost).

To the extent we even allow trading in stocks, bonds, and commodities, those trades should be taxed to discourage clever ways of "gaming" them which creates only zero sum gains at best, if not public losses in the aggregate.

The so called transaction tax.  That's the chief tool to crack down on excessive trading and re-trading, because small percentages add up when you are doing trillions of trades to gouge a profit.

Right now we leavy heavy and unfair 8% tax on "sales" of ordinary commodities, like clothes.  But we refuse to levy any tax whatsoever on trades of stocks and commodities.  In the 1920's, there was a 0.02% tax on stock trades, but today there is none in the US.  There used to be such a tax in London, I'm having some trouble verifying that right now.  It turns out one major reason for Brexit was to dodge the proposed EU transaction tax, which would be 0.1% on stocks and bonds, and 0.01% on commodities.  If London had such a tax, and I believe they did at some time, it was somewhat smaller than that.  So you can see now why all the money people wanted to leave the EU.  I did not know this until right now.

We should tax stock trades and clothing exchanges the same, and everywhere in the country.  0.1% seems like a good rate to me.

Anyway I believe most tax revenue should come from taxes on large wealth and income flows, and not as much on sales and trading--which weigh down the economy at greater expense to the poor.  But 0.1% seems ok.

A financial transactions tax was promoted by Sanders and Warren, but is certain never to get passed and signed by the current representatives.  We could only test our democracy by replacing anyone not like Sanders and Warren, then would our representatives still follow the will of the banks?  I would hope not, not that I know for sure.  But we certainly cannot expect anything until we do replace all the representatives not like Sanders and Warren.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Smoldering Laptop

An anonymous federal investigator has backed up the claim that Seth Rich, the DNC staffer slain last year, had sent over 40,000 emails and 17,000 attachments to Gavin MacFadyen, an American journalist and director  of Wikileaks in London.

The DNC has never released materials to the FBI, preferring to hire a private investigator associated with the anti-Russian think tank The Atlantic Council, who claimed that they had been hacked by Russia.

Update!  This story has now been fully discredited, the most believable discrediting (not the Washington Post for sure) is Snopes.com.

But this is not Perry Mason.  They don't talk about the laptop at all.  They talk about Wheeler's walking back his own claim.  That is what it is ALL about.

Well it's easy to see someone might be putting the finger (or $$$$) on Wheeler not to say anything more.  Discrediting the messenger does not discredit, necessarily the message.  Where Snopes says "False" the correct answer is "We Don't Know."  I'll accept that.  Wheeler is not a fully credible witness, having now reversed himself.  But that is hardly proof at all that his original remarks were fabrications, and he clearly has been someone involved in investigating the case.





Thursday, May 4, 2017

Shorter Hillary Clinton: I confess, I confess that Wikileaks did it

6 months after the election, while the Trump+GOP juggernaut is a clear and present danger and we should be watching and responding to each and every one of THEIR actions, Hillary Clinton wants to tell us she is now taking full responsibility for losing the election...she is taking full responsibility by blaming Wikileaks.

And her co-travelers on MSNBC are still echoing in every way, including editorializing by the imitable Brian Williams (who I see now was suspended a while ago for false reporting about the War On Iraq--and it looks to me  now that he shouldn't even be allowed on TV).

I'm spending a week with my sister who (gasp) loves to watch MSNBC.  On Tuesday night I was all set to declare that Rachel Maddow isn't nearly as bad as I thought.  I was listening from another room, but it seemed that it wasn't Wikigate 24/7 anymore.  Rachel was actually detailing contemporaneous actions by Trump.  I was going to post that Rachel might now be worth watching.

But no more.  After listening to the Blame Wikileaks chorus of Brian Williams et all, I've decided that I will not watch MSNBC any more ever until they can get past this.

And I've decided to start making monthly contributions to Wikileaks, who IMO has been doing a great service from it's inception, including showing how the monsterously corrupt DNC was crushing the Sanders campaign.  By the way this isn't hard to do, and you don't have to use Bitcoin or anything like that.  You can contribute to Wikileaks through sister organizations in the USA and the EU using Paypal or any credit card.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Liberal Hawkishness on Russia and Iran

This is one of the best critiques of Maddow I've seen, going deep into the details.

I could not stand to watch Maddow any more than listen to Rush Limbaugh.  Within seconds, they both give me a peculiar pain I can't bear.   I don't watch much TV, except for Democracy Now!  Most commercial TV I also can't stand.  I could watch The Simpsons, and Frontline has been one of my favorite things--except I loathed their hatchet job on Putin, and I hardly ever get around to watching it.  Bill Moyers another of my favorites, and likewise.  But that's about it.  I had long given up on The McGlaughlin Group, and gave up on Buckley in the 80's.  Star Trek was always good when I was unemployed.



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sea Level Rise

The National Academy of Sciences assessment from 2015.

A key point is that sea level rise doesn't stop when and if we stop emitting excess CO2 and Methane.

CO2 remains in the atmosphere for Millenia, and will continue heating as long as that, and continue causing sea level rise.

To summarize NAS, if we continue emitting excess CO2 until 2100 we will have set into motion an eventual rise (they don't attempt to predict when) of 9.9 meters.  Within the USA that would affect over 20 million people and 21 major cities.

I suspect that last sentence is a BIG understatement, I also think the 9.9 meters is very conservative if it intends to the high water mark after several millennia--I think that level will appear within a few hundred years--2300 would be my guess--with even more to come in the further future.

This PNAS analysis from 2015 was also written before we became aware of the huge Methane spike from fracking.