Climbing Language Trees

Prefacing Remarks مرحبا

Hello

Using AI to learn Arabic

Learning language is a gentle art that opens entire universes in return for mere study, it is a means for breaking barriers that lead to separation, misunderstanding, and the brutality of endless war. Mistranslation is inevitable because translations are always approximations; however, deliberate contortion for the sake of a hidden (or open) agenda befouls all sides. Propaganda deliberately twists words to serve political purposes, it engenders mistrust in exchange for self-serving advantage.

Any religious institution that seeks to subdue others by force serves a dark hegemony loosely cloaked in words of false love. Ascribing innate evil to the very existence of a faith’s traditions and customs is false witness of a most devious kind. But uniting that evil with political motivations to sanctify wanton bloodletting of innocents has become the tone of our times. Islamophobia is one such creation, white supremacism is another. Both are forces of systemic hate.

Climbing Language Walls

Complex sets of cases and genders convey the presence of various parts of speech — a tool set not available in uninflected languages such as English. The Saxons who conquered the British Isles brought complex grammar paradigms with them. Then the Vikings arrived. The tool set got tossed in short order — they selected the Gordian solution, cutting that knot asunder and degendering each thing, place, and person while they were at it, thus reducing and replacing each nuance with something we now know as “the.” The resulting language revision led to an enforcement of meaning through word order.

The German language is a major tree branch derived from Proto-Indo-European (PIE). Learning of it’s very existence required reverse engineering, a backward-looking process. The commonalities of scripting systems point to a common geography of origin near present-day Ukraine.

There remain a few isolated non PIE languages in Europe, such as Basque, Hungarian, and Finish but they are few in number anfluence outside their circle of speakers is tiny in scope.

I had not realized it at the time, but the inflections I memorized in high school Latin classes offered me some insight into the nature of inflected grammar. They are a tool that works to eliminate ambiguity. Prepositions of relative position do just such a thing, as the case may be. Accusative, ablative, dative…

Of course, language trees can range in character as much as a boab differs from an oak. Farsi does resemble Arabic but is actually a fellow piece of PIE — the Persians adopted Arabic script, but without the root system that is a characteristic of Arabic language. Farsi may look like Arabic but it is really quite different — a false friend for language learners. For example, “das Gift” is German for “poison”. It appears as an apple in Snow White (Schneewittchen), one offered as a “gift” perhaps.

Arabic is the largest language in Afro-Asiatic, a disparate set of languages that extends from the northwest coast of Africa through Palestine and covering much of southwest Asia. Climbing a different tree as you look at your home tree is what I call a lot of fun.

I liken this experience to extending a tin can from one tree to the other and conversing with a fellow traveler who is climbing onto a branch of PIE. YouTube offers many opportunities for the language learner. For example, you can find someone who also learned German as their second language. The ability to communicate across two very different frames of reference, without the crutch of English. Large fun.

I have found that most Arabic-language learners study it for military and/or fossil-fuel purposes. In both of these cases the object is geopolitical hegemony that continues to shorten the time available to address the catastrophe that is climate nakba (the Arabic word for catastrophe).

Thanks for reading.

Whitewashed History in the Land of the Freebie and the Home of the Slave

White descendants with white-European roots have been victimizing descendants of black Africa since 1619 — that’s 400 years and counting. The enslaved did not immigrate to the western hemisphere, nor did they emigrate from Africa. They were unceremoniously stolen, trafficked from diverse and disparate cultures, and trafficked into the slave trade. They were stuffed into cargo holds. If they survived their ocean transport they were sold as human resources — auctioned for their market value in a patriotically capitalist system to service the whims of a white-supremacist system. White supremacy is a system of nested partners in crime. The system merely asks its participants to refrain from questioning the unseemly exploitation that greases the machinery of “free” enterprise. Simply look the other way, assume that your complicity is self-delusion, judge it as one of those serenity prayer things that you cannot change.

White privilege goes viral by George Schwartz

American descendants of slaves (ADOS) learn the same fabricated history as Americans who are not descendants of slaves, the same rote-memorizable pack of lies that forgive all the white criminal Presidents from Washington to W, merely interrupted from 2009 to 2017. Conservative pundits still assign Mr. Obama the honor of “worst President in history.” Racist-apologists recoil at the very idea of a black man in a white house. Trump’s pissing-rights in a Moscow hotel room represent one such reaction.

What happens when your brand of organized religion includes practically no black congregants? I grew up in such an institution and I tune in to their sizable media outlets as a listener with an opposing-viewpoint. An institution that proclaims its message “universal” — while compartmentalizing every conceivable viewpoint as adhering to a “natural law” — loses credibility at every point of departure.

Here is a black memory from a Catholic in Louisiana:

Kids played a game called “black baby,” which involved throwing a ball or doll in the air and trying to catch it. I didn’t interact with African-American Catholics because there were two Catholic churches in town. St. Joseph was the white church. Our Mother of Mercy was the black church. To this day, the Diocese of Lafayette has more racially segregated churches than any other diocese in the United States. I am told that my grandfather went to confession toward the end of his life and said, “I can’t help it, Father. I hate N—s.” He knew racism was a sin. He knew he was racist. I think we all knew we were.

https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2016/07/27/white-catholics-have-talk-about-race-and-admit-their-racism

American descendants of European ancestry benefit richly and exceedingly from the system of white supremacy, a system that runs through US history like a red thread — I’m calling it a bloodied chain.

Classroom history texts must first be approved by a Texas committee that whitewashes each text used in all fifty States of its union. Ask anyone educated in an American school — from baby-boomer to millennial — you’ll find that we all learned the same sound bites.

Trump created the Birther Movement to soothe the stomachs of those who benefited most from the white-supremacist system so rudely interrupted from 2009 to 2017. Racism was strong enough to assure a racist triumph of the will on November 8, 2016.

A few bullet points:

  •  The choir does not need a new echo chamber.
  • The powerful are not lacking a societal voice.
  • The majority are not tyrannized by the minority.
  • Whiteous white supremacists are not victims of black supremacists, reverse-racists, or the Breitbart fantasy of civilization-destroying antifa who terrorize proud boys in an inconceivably anti-non-violent atmosphere that is poisoned by libtards and snowflakes. 
  • Society does not only stand on the shoulders of giants, but also on the racist greed of the insatiably privileged. 

Thanks for reading.

Black-Identity Extremists and Animal-Rights Activists

Those least able to defend themselves are the most exploited, while the most protected and most propertied count themselves among the most victimized. Western Civilization is a testament to white greed, to white power, and to white presumption.

Property is Theft.

The 5 Largest U.S. Landowners Own More Land Than All of Black America Combined

Mediterranean Avenue is the only property owned by people who are not White — and Whites can’t wait to gentrify it too.

The bureau labeled “black identity extremists” and animal rights activists as top terrorist threats.
The FBI defines black identity extremists as people who “use force or violence in violation of criminal law in response to perceived racism and injustice in American society.”

“Animal rights/environmental extremists” and “anti-authority extremists” were also deemed top existential threats.

The Root: Black News, Opinions, Politics and Culture.

I recommend visiting Kreb Talk for more on such incidents.

The FBI sorts “terrorists” by certain key criteria. Forty percent of the terrorists documented by the FBI are white, yet they are classified as lesser concern for investigation than blacks.

Trump is racist at the molecular level. His every word unequivocally screams it. How many manifestos does it take for that mere fact to sink in? Or am I toeing the line of political correctness by decrying full-throated hate speech?

Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 Federal crime, employed since Nixon for speedily incarcerating Blacks, enforced to incarcerate political resistance on the war, climate catastrophes, unilateral US-declared regime changes in countries such as Venezuela that have large fossil-fuel reserves.

I suppose I’m just an anti-racist, animal rights activist/anarchist, climate-catastrophe adherent, anti-authority extremist. Unapologetically even.

Close all concentration camps — including the concentration camps (“meat”-processing facilities) that kill sentient beings by the trillion and threaten an extinction event in the process. An extinction event that would take no prisoners.

Thanks for reading.

“AND SOME, I ASSUME, ARE GOOD PEOPLE.”

Source

You can be racist to the marrow and yet declare that each of your bones is bigotry free.

Racism gets results. Racism garners votes. Racism even improves approval ratings.

Trump’s approval with Republicans rose by 5 points in a poll taken after his racist tweets

Reverse racism is as prevalent as Marxist Fascism. Literally.

Nice People — a short post I published on July 16, 2015, exactly one month into the Trump Era, the original essay of the same name was written by Bertrand Russell in 1931.

I have never seen so many nice people as I am seeing today. Racism finds comfort in White niceness, traditions, heritage, genealogy, histories. Any complicity with this nation’s wanton acts of evil gets glossed over with thick coatings of wash. Is genocide a sad but necessary concomitant of destiny? The price of progress, culture, and civilizations forged by the European? “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs” has convinced many an apologist of genocide , including Walter Duranty, Pulitzer Prize winner and fervid Stalin apologist.

History is taught to bow to the founding fathers: to the White men who conquered the Lands to serve the greater cause of manifest (if you are White) destiny. Destiny led to the genocide of Indigenous Peoples by the million, eliminating tribes by the hundreds, and destroying wild animals by the billion.

Remember why we really remember the Alamo — to nationalize Mexican land to the Rio Grande and up the Pacific sand, but to keep the cool-sounding Spanish town names.

The proper study of mankind is (White?)man, according to essayist Alexander Pope (1799), a self-referential congratulatory assumption by an author who just happens to be a White man. White men define Western Civilization to represent millenia of advances, that you have the White man to thank for all discoveries, inventions, science, technology, art, literature — including the plunder and pillage that happened along the way. The history books of the 1950’s credited a single Black, George Washington Carver, with the invention of peanut butter. End of story. Never was Eli Whitney and his cotton gin ever forgotten. History classes are always propaganda mills. Reverse racism is spirit-deadening stuff.

Erasing racism requires nothing short of recompense, retribution, and reparation. How much stolen principal and long-term interest has accrued in the coffers of the descendants of White Europeans who eviscerated the lives of Blacks stolen from the very birthplace of mankind.

My ancestors arrived from Catholic Europe. They left a worse place for a better place, but not in the holds of slave ships. Does that matter? Yes. Enormously. “Send the back” rewards the liar and the echo chamber resounds with the latest racist soundbite. The number of Black voices in the U.S. Catholic presence is miniscule in size, and you’ll never hear any programming that addresses the “inexplicable” absence of Black congregants. EWTN raged at Obama, the worst POTUS conceivable. With a plurality of 5 Catholics on SCOTUS, their affection for Trump is more than palpable.

Black citizens were lynched by the thousand in this country — hate can be very self-righteous. Lynchings were a public spectacle that drew large crowds. Newspapers would announce their commencement for the convenience and edification of their readers. Did you know that the majority of the curious attendees were White? Does it matter that the majority of attendees were White, that there just may have been a few reverse racists in those public gatherings at the town square? Of course, it is impossible to rule that out statistically.

Nice, respectable, hardworking, decent Americans who enjoyed law and order, voted for judges who were tough on crime. The nastiest criminals get away with it while remaining “pillars of society.”

The police could not (or would not) protect the victims from the mob. This is still the case. Racism defends the guilty while destroying their victims and making their victims serve the time.

White-Supremacist identity politics is jealous, sensitive-to-criticism, it is a privileged brand of entitlement. White Supremacy is a never expiring card that has its privileges. In short, it is a wild card, a Trump card — THE race card.
White-Supremacist identity politics wages endless war to fuel the most profitable economy on the planet: Munitions. A bullet expended, or a bomb exploded, or a drone destroyed triggers a purchase order for replacement. “The Defense Department” is an ugly misnomer, another piece of propaganda in the wall.


K-12 is Whitewashed propaganda served up as patriotism, disinfected of any facts that do not fit the White narrative, delivered in soundbites approved by a Texas textbook-approval mill and taught in all 50 states in the same bland white-bread way. No one wants to be lied to, to be confronted with opposing views that question the narrative.

Blacks have access to fewer-and-fewer decent schools, yet are blamed for being undereducated. Always.

Blacks get sent to prison early and often, incarcerated for minor infractions or trumped-up infractions, or for existing while Black. Kalief Browder was not the exception to that rule. Private prisons operate under the principle: one prisoner, one unit of profit.

Black youngsters such as The Central Park Five fear the police for profoundly good reasons. Trump is the poster boy for racists wannabes from coast to coast. A vaunted and respected voice that speaks not a word of decency.

Thanks for reading.

Arabic Accordance

Where Africa Meets Asia

Arabic words illustrated to match their literal meaning, by Mahmoud Tammam

Should Americans, as part of their school curriculum, learn Arabic numerals?

“Civic Science” a Pittsburgh-based research firm, put that question to some 3,200 Americans recently in a poll seemingly about mathematics, but the outcome was a measure of students’ attitudes toward the Arab world. Some 56 percent of the respondents said, “No.” Fifteen percent had no opinion.

Mustafa Akyol

In the ancient days(the years between 1971 and 1973), I was an exchange student at Justus Liebig University, a small (80,000) town north of Frankfurt. German was the lingua Alamannia spoken by fellow students from Iran to Japan. Learning an unfamiliar language breaks barriers in unexpected and humbling ways.

German and English are close lingual relatives. They share familial bonds with Proto-Indo-European (PIE). Persian, although it hardly looks the part, is a branch of the PIE tree. Persian borrowed Arabic script, but its grammar and vocabulary roots place it among most European languages.

A wall between two once and future German-speaking occupied lands had been erected, enforced, and thought eternal ten-years earlier. Politik: Real. Of course, English has long become the international language. But languages offer a way out, an outlet, an escape. I often go to YouTube in order to learn Arabic from people who also learned German as their second language — people like me, people like you.

Visit a local mosque (masjid). I’ve visited ours dozens of times and have always left with hope in my soul. Don’t allow a propagandist, an ideologue, a demagogue, a polemicist… to monger your mind.

  • Arabic is a beautiful artful language.
  • It’s not from the Protoindo-European family.
  • It is a friendly language.
  • has an intensely intuitive grammar.
  • is the language of the Qur’an.
  • Arabic is a fun language.

Thanks for reading.

Below, a draft I wrote in German to organize my thoughts. FWIW.

In den alten Zeiten (zwischen 1971 und 1973) war ich Austauschstudent an der Justus Liebig Universität. Deutsch als eine zweite Sprache musste ich ohne Computer und ohne Internet lernen.

Natürlich ist Englisch schon lange die internationale Sprache geworden. Aber Sprachen bieten einen Ausweg, einen Auslass, einen Escape. Oft gehe ich zum YouTube, um Arabisch zu lernen. Jede Menge von Videos stehen zur Verfügung. Da finde ich Lehrer und Lehrerinnen in Deutschland, die, wie ich Deutsch als ‘ne zweite Sprache zu lernen. Leute wie ich, Leute wie du. Eine kleine Clue: sie sind keine Monsters.

Resultat: Arabisch finde ich eine ganz logische dritte Sprache. Na klar! Fabelhaft.

Arabisch:

  • ist eine wunderschön kunsthafte Sprache.
  • stammt nich aus der protoindoeuropäischen Familie.
  • ist eine freundliche Sprache.
  • bietet eine Einleitung zu Islam an.
  • hat eine intensiv intuitive Grammatik.
  • ist die Sprache der Qur’an.
  • العربية ممتعة. — Arabisch macht Spass.

Arabisch lerne ich um Verständnis und Mitgefühl erreichen zu können. Auf der anderen Seite, Propaganda ist Verfälschung. Übersetzungen sollten nie verschmiert werden. Arabisch lerne ich um die Wahrheit zu erkennen. Übersetzungen können grosse Lügen werden, giftige Lügen. Sprachen sollten Verständnis bauen — Propaganda zerstört die Wahrheit mit Absicht.

Who’s Afraid of Arabic Numerals?

Reel bad Arabs

Arabic.Mike

There Is No Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Nota Bene: Criticism of Israel does not constitute antisemitism.

Matti Friedman argues that “There Is No Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” — from the perspective of a Canadian-Israeli, a soldier-poet, an apologist for Israeli rightwing family values: a kindred spirit for those who think of Palestinians in terms of cardboard cutouts, and a considered belief that they are a waste of cardboard. He works words with great economy, clarity and imagination — a Western writer living in a Middle-Eastern geography . Mr. Friedman is currently residing in Palestine’s capital city: Al Quds.

…a kindred spirit for those who think of Palestinians in terms of cardboard cutouts…

A Palestinian demonstrator from the West Bank village of Deir Jarir, northeast of Ramallah, waves his national flag as he sits on a pile of rocks during clashes with Israeli soldiers following a march against construction on Palestinian land by members of the Jewish settlement of Ofra on April 26, 2013. Photo by Issam Rimawi/FLASH90

Friedman’s opinion piece “There Is No Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” is a study guide on how to look through both sides of a pair of binoculars in order to begin understanding that non-conflict. The article uses fifteen paragraphs to house fifteen straw men. I had intended to critique each, but have discovered that it might take a multi-part series to adequately address them, so here are the first couple straw men.

Matti Friedman (@MattiFriedman), a contributing opinion writer, is the author of “The Aleppo Codex,” “Pumpkinflowers” and the forthcoming “Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel.”

JERUSALEM — If you are reading this, you’ve most likely seen much about “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” in the pages of this newspaper and of every other important newspaper in the West. That phrase contains a few important assumptions. That the conflict is between two actors, Israelis and Palestinians. That it could be resolved by those two actors, and particularly by the stronger side, Israel. That it’s taking place in the corner of the Middle East under Israeli rule.

They brought house keys along, planning to unlock their doors upon their return home.

West (orientalists): Palestine is in the Middle-East, it was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1918. The League of Nations — a short-lived and long defunct Western (orientalist) attempt at world order — The League unilaterally granted the British a legal instrument termed “Mandate for Palestine.”  They colonized Palestine until May 1948, when 700,000 unarmed Palestinians were forcibly removed from their homes, their neighborhoods, their ancestral homeland with only what they could cart or carry. They brought house keys along, planning to unlock their doors upon their return home — a right, ironically enough, guaranteed in that same catastrophic year by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 1948.

Not surprisingly, Palestinians lived in greatest number along the Mediterranean Coast.

Particularly by the stronger side: The only armed forces — unless you consider rusty Ottoman-era weapons, unreliable and inaccurate mortars, and rocks from the rubble of demolished homes to be forces rather than farces — has always been the occupier.

Let me be clear: there is no “both sides.” There is a terrorist org that endangers civilians, and there is a state that protects them. Soon, the world will stare reality in the face and finally condemnation.

— Ambassador Danny Danon

https://twitter.com/dannydanon/status/1070796719066136577

Let me be clearer: Hamas has no army, no navy, no air force, no tanks, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no armored vehicles, no missiles, no bombs, no nothing but rocks and a few crude unguided rockets which land with a thud. From the bottom of my heart, shut the fuck up.

Abeer Khatib

https://twitter.com/abierkhatib/status/1070824222648352771

Corner of the Middle East: a feint that reminds me of Goebbel’s Ministry of Propaganda — Lebensraum defined in terms of population density, where British “living space” included Canada and Australia.

Under Israeli rule: Not surprisingly, Palestinians lived in greatest number along the Mediterranean Coast. See Mahmoud Darwish’s famous poem “Unfortunately, It was Paradise.” Palestine is comparable to Southern California in terms of climate and real estate value. Displaced refugees were driven into Gaza, and the West Bank of the Jordan River. Ironically, again, the number of “settlers” in the West Bank is now greater than the 700,000 granted diaspora in 1948. That corner of the Middle East.

Let me be clearer: Hamas has no army, no navy, no air force, no tanks, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no armored vehicles, no missiles, no bombs, no nothing but rocks and a few crude unguided rockets which land with a thud. From the bottom of my heart, shut the fuck up.

Presented this way, the conflict has become an energizing issue on the international left and the subject of fascination of many governments, including the Trump administration, which has been working on a “deal of the century” to solve it. The previous administration’s secretary of state, John Kerry, committed so much time to Israeli-Palestinian peace that for a while he seemed to be here each weekend. If only the perfect wording and map could be found, according to this thinking, if only both sides could be given the right dose of carrots and sticks, peace could ensue.

To someone here in Israel, all of this is harder and harder to understand. There isn’t an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think, and this perception gap is worth spelling out. It has nothing to do with being right-wing or left-wing in the American sense. To borrow a term from the world of photography, the problem is one of zoom. Simply put, outsiders are zoomed in, and people here in Israel are zoomed out. Understanding this will make events here easier to grasp.

International Left: A political leaning so distasteful in Israel that the Left is nearly extinct. Netanyahu, a perfect storm of a politician, remarks that his opponent Benny Gantz “leans to the left.”

Deal of the Century: Trump is a fellow White Supremacist, “subject of fascination of many governments…” Trump’s interests do not include any measurable intellectual curiosity. Trump is just another convenient tool — Obama was considerably too melanin-rich, but he delivered the 3.8 billion in funding to allow the largest per-capita military prowess to eke along, to scrape a respectable secure “defense” that now includes the ethnical-cleansing maiming marvel: butterfly bullets.

John Kerry: He knows what war is, he knows who Trump is, he successfully completed the difficult negotiations with Iran — a country without nuclear weapons. Israel gets to have it both ways: nuclear weapons? Yes, No, Maybe, Meh. “Hey, what’s happening over there?” No, it’s what’s happening here, we’re picking your plump wallet. 

Perfect Wording : Who is your new friend there? I hear he comes from a good Saud family (the only country in the world run by a single family.

… a political leaning so distasteful in Israel that the Left is nearly extinct.

I include myself among those who sense that a long, deep and deadly conflict has extended into the longest and most threatening conflict in at least the last several centuries. I was eight-months old in May 14, 1948, but have only been paying close attention to the conflict/non-conflict since the mid 1960s.

The population of Palestine/Israel has reached parity, there are as many Palestinians as Israelis within the same geography. Israel has managed to eliminate any remote semblance of a two-state solution with a divide and occupy strategy:

  • Maintaining an apartheid wall
  • “Withdrawing” from the Gaza Testing Range and Petri dish
  • “Settling” the West Bank
  • An 800 state solution (to paraphrase Mordechai Kedar)
  • Demolishing homes, occupying homes, uprooting ancient olive trees, terrorizing children of any age…
  • Tracking and imprisoning children over the age of 11.
  • Using overwhelmingly overwhelming force and security equipment possessing advanced technological capabilities, such as those butterfly bullets.

Fencing commuter highways along the length of both shoulders, thereby fracturing Palestinian populations into an 80-state solution

Recommended reading on the topic by someone who knows Palestine inside-out:

A Short History of Collective Punishment by Stanley Cohen

Nota Bene Too: The phrase “security for the Jews” has been consecrated as an exclusive synonym for “the lessons of the Holocaust.” It is what allows Israel to systematically discriminate against its Arab citizens. For 40 years, “security” has been justifying control of the West Bank and Gaza and of subjects who have been dispossessed of their rights living alongside Jewish residents, Israeli citizens laden with privileges. — Amira Hass

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/amira-hass-the-holocaust-as-political-asset/

As always, opposing viewpoints are welcome on this blog. Please try to limit your comments to 500 words.

Thanks for reading.


Forked Tongues

It’s always a good day to learn something you did not know before, but it’s a better day when you learn things that confound your complacency and introduce you to post-Santa compassion.

There is a soundbite for every event taught in American classrooms — 90% of history curricula are either grossly twisted, are outright sanctified falsehoods, or are events not complimentary to sensitive Whiteous feelings: the eighth deadly sin.

Genocide on American soil is slathered over with sugary white icing before it can meet publishing standards established in Texas. Before Columbus, Indigenous Americans were a tapestry of tribes. Should they be thankful for Western Evilization?

Blacks lived in the tapestry that was Africa before the Europeans arrived. Should they be thankful for being saved by the generous very nice plantation system that offered better? Better Lives Through Slavery?

Somehow most White genealogies trace back to families that were very very nice to their slaves. Who the hell ever learns about the Black Stock Market of Greenwood, OK that was burned to cinders in 1921? What of their American dream?

“According to eye-witness accounts, the scope of the attack was equal to warfare: homeowners shot dead in their front yards, planes dropping turpentine bombs onto buildings, a machine gun firing bullets on a neighborhood church. It was a living nightmare, and for many decades Tulsa treated it as such, a dark apparition of the mind that might fade from memory so long as it was repressed.”


Fox News doesn’t have to be your only source for faux news, you can turn the channel, change the dial, read a “newspaper of record” and mislearn about current regime changes in the process. Perhaps you watch, perhaps you hear, perhaps you think you know about what happens in Venezuela. Here is something by Greg Palast that inspired me, something I promised to post: In Venezuela, White Supremacy is a Key Driver of the Coup.


Additional unnerving, disturbing, real-time coverage is available at Shelby Courtland dot com. Truth can be unsettling sometimes.

…”The New York Times, NPR and other mainstream outlets in the US reported on marches against the Chavez government, describing the tens of thousands of Venezuelans calling for Chavez’s removal. The light-skinned protesters were overwhelmingly wealthy — and they wanted you to know it. Many of the women marched in high heels, the men peacocking in business suits, proudly displayed in the uniforms of their privileged class. The Chavistas wore patriotic yellow, blue and red T-shirts, sneakers, jeans.”

Most people do not even participate in their own lives, life happens in an autonomic way — if you prefer that the cranium function as autonomically as breathing, it will do so. Existing-While-Black, Existing-While-Palestinian, Existing-While-LGBQT+, Existing-While-Living InMyNeighborhood? Cognitive dissonance happens. I think myself a cognitive dissonancer because I am a lightning rod for the cognitively dissonanced. You must learn to expect such when you speak for the most exploited among us, and I even include all sentient animal beings among the most exploited. Factory farms really are death camps. It’s always a good day to eschew blood-laden “resources” — for all parties involved, both the muncher and the munched.

Avoiding television frees up the time to think independently, in my opinion. The tube/screen has always been a popular passive way to address boredom, a popular alternative to thinking, a stress-reducing mechanism. Propagandists, marketers and people like DJT know how to direct their messages to target audiences by any means possible, such as eye-scanning apps that detect minute movements in a supermarket, process the scanned data at the checkout, and follow you home. Technology is very good. Technology is very bad.

Thanks for reading.

The One Branch(es) of Government

The Confederate Corporations of America announced additional wealth-management relief measures in its evolving mission statement. Most of the changes replace misleading names through the Confederate Truth in Governizing Act.

The misleading term “Partial Government Shutdown” becomes “The Parting-out of Government Share Act.” Funds previously misdirected to wasteful departments and agencies now funnel up into wealth-management relief services.

Public Service Announcement:

The Earth was doing just fine before environmentalists decided to take things in their own hands to bury a car, hug a tree, eat miso soup… If you worry about global warming, act locally to raise money through bake sales, lemonade stands or garage sales. We all have to die from something, so stop worrying.

SNAP miscreants may now be served directly at the supermarket. Participants of the new redemption program will find comfortable picnic tables behind the markets. The marginally-edible product otherwise destroyed becomes available for miscreants, and supermarkets get a boost to their profit margin — a win/win situation for everyone. Two more wins: the picnic tables are near the waste-storage units and may be used by lower-level miscreants after hours. Resource units who previously collected a paycheck at an eliminated agency may now apply for food-distribution facilitator positions.

Changes at the Top

The Decisionator Branch of Government becomes the one and only Branch, heading all governing arms and phalli.

This is the actual opinion of this author, who is decidedly not a fan of Number 45. I shudder to think that it might be taken literally.

The Legitimating Department transcribes tweets tapped by the Decisionator, now recognized as “The Intent to Govern.” Citizenship rights are allocated according to the principle “one dollar, one vote.”

The Originalist Court interprets tweet laws to ensure that they serve the intent of the Whiteous framers of the Constitution and The Natural Law: citizenship by dint of property and wealth.

The First Amendment is repealed so that the Second Amendment can become The First, perhaps the only. The scales of Lady Justice are money wasters. The officer on the beat knows how to color between the lines. Questionable police actions are no longer officially disdained.

News Tidbits

Cheese Corp recognizes a new CEO at Foxconn. Welcome, Scott Walker!

Hollywood Corp has announced its new license-plate slogan: In Gaud We Trust.

Did you know that there are currently Thirteen Corporations in America? Yes, one for each star on the New Confederate Flag.

Thanks for reading.

Mistranslation as False Witness

Western Civilization celebrates roots that extend to the Eastern Mediterranean, a body of water once surrounded by the Roman Empire. When that empire imploded, the power vacuum filled the remnant structure with fresh blood. One such pulsing corpus was Christianity — one authored by a former Roman citizen: Saul before his metamorphosis. There is no compelling historical evidence to suggest that Peter coauthored with Paul in Rome. I agree with Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby: The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity for the argument that Peter had traveled to the east as far as Baghdad, but he had never ventured west of Palestine. The Roman Catholic Church relies upon an apostolic rock, but she freely admits that its reality anchors on Tradition and the Magisterium — historical facts notwithstanding.

The Eastern Mediterranean coastline describes the shortest path between Africa and Eurasia. An incomparable piece of real estate, not what I would call a swamp, though some have: Unfortunately, It Was Paradise. Palestine is sacred soil for the three monotheistic faiths that declare solemn roots at that Eastern confluence, that Holy Land, that stomping grounds of patriarch Ibrahim. Although Ishmael was Ibrahim’s eldest son, he was also the “illegitimate” son of a slave girl known by Ishmael’s father. Isaac was the “legitimate” son of non-enslaved Sara. Islam recognizes Ishmael as the elder son of Ibrahim.

You can read about it in a Qur’an near you. In fact, you may find any number of interpretations freely available online. However, I recommend that you consider an interpretation carefully. My personal copy is a translation by Abdel Haleem: The Qur’an.

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I attended an interfaith program that included a local well respected and knowledgeable Imam. A seething attendee slammed his personal copy of “The Holy Koran” onto the table. His question: “Do you know what this book says?” The Imam responded: “It depends upon the translation.” Would you accept a Bible translation that recounts the poisoning of the loaves, the tainting of the wine?

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Radical Google® Searches
  1. “Radical Christian Terrorism” (About 9,310 results (0.66 seconds) )
  2. “Radical Islamic Terrorism” (About 231,000 results (0.43 seconds)
  3. “Radical Judaic Terrorism” (About 21 results (0.39 seconds)

 

Native Americans, African Americans, and Palestinians share something that Northern Europeans do not: a skin too red, too black or too olive (a characteristic of humans from the sun-rich climate.

That’s an unforgivable crime if racism is your touchstone. Why are Biblical personalities depicted with impossibly Northern European features, such as blue eyes, fair skin, an athletic countenance? Who were the original authors of the Torah, the Bible, the Qur’an? Is that a loaded question? They were Semitic peoples who spoke Semitic languages.

 

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Computer-generated depiction by BBC of the historic Jesus. Click image for details. 

 

 

Why does Islam honor Ishmael? What did he do to deserve exile? The Judeo-Christian tradition honors Isaac. What’s up with that? I’ll check that out and get back to you, I have to get to the dirty dishes first, they’re over there in the sink.

Nota bene: The wilder the spurious translation of the Qur’an, the wider is it circulated, the ever endless is it immortalized by false witnesses.

Making stuff up to stoke an agenda is dishonest. It weakens your credibility. Just saying.

 

 Thanks for reading.

 

Calling Culling Killing

Living a vegan lifestyle is its own reward: it is personally satisfying, it improves your personal health and stamina, it rights the injustice of generational theft and recognizes the inalienable right of all sentient beings to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Being outnumbered 33 to 1 doesn’t erase that simple fact of life and death.

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Yes the very word “vegan” often elicits quite a reaction from non-vegans — sometimes a shudder, sometimes a groan, sometimes a laugh.

…and y’all make the rest of us sick because we were created to eat meat and to have dominion over the appetizing entrees on the land, in the sea and in the air. That includes hunting, butchering and fashion. All fair game. 

I consider myself a citizen of an Earth without boundaries, a planet where one-citizen one-vote includes all sentient beings — those yet wild and free and those imprisoned without charge in slaughter houses.

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I’ve just finished reading an article by Dr. Will Tuttle. It appeared in a helpful and useful resource —  one written with earthy sustainability as a goal: One Green Planet. There you may enjoy a bunch of greenish suggestions for halting the crime of generational theft

How can spiritual teachers be meat eaters? Well, most people searching for spiritual insight are not yet vegan, but that long arc leading from here to full rights for the 75 billion units served per annum? It’s way out there: way, way — but gets closer with each non-meat bite.

From experience I know that you may have to hit proverbial rock-bottom before turning the train-wreck of your existence around. The clear and present threat to vegans as well as non-vegans is not found in the news. Most news organizations are either corporately owned or corporately sponsored, advertising is their lifeblood.  An endless flow of 40′ containers course their way on the open sea. When you buy cheap eye-candy manufactured of plastic, your purchase triggers an order to a factory. What’s the harm of that?

  1. you are most likely sanctioning human trafficking.
  2. you are contributing to further global warming
  3. you are consuming the limited amount of biomass of a past extinction event.
  4. the eye-candy goes to a landfill, but it eventually ends up in the oceans to maim, kill and pollute: from phytoplankton to the formerly land-based whales. Whales are highly intelligent fellow mammals who fared better in the ocean because their legs didn’t evolve very well.
  5. Old plastics don’t die, and they don’t just fade away —they go on to kill the creatures downstream who were around before “civilization” arrived to kill all not already marked for cull. Culling is killing.

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Generational Theft. It’s as unreported and as stark as the deaths of 75 billion sentient beings each year. Leave the grand kids to fend for themselves.

The futures market is a place to earn a return on livestock before they become deadstock. Pork belly futures go up and down, but the pigs heading to market only go down — they asked for it by dint of yumminess. Don’t forget the little piggy that had roast beef, the little piggy that had none (or tofu, it’s the same thing isn’t it?).

Dr. Tuttle asks a direct question on a puzzling state of affairs. The incredible made credible, the inexplicable explicated.

“Why Are Few Spiritual Teachers Vegan?”

“While it’s relatively easy to bemoan and blame corrupt politicians, greedy bankers, and sociopathic decision makers in the military-industrial complex for our woes, the obvious and undeniable fact is that these leaders and power brokers are, inevitably, an accurate mirror of the consciousness of we the people. Attempting to improve the quality of our leaders without improving the quality of ourselves is an exercise in futility.”

The vast majority of physicians eat meat, but that circumstance is changing rapidly as more homo sapiens arrive at the epiphany that convinces former meat-eaters to eschew body-parts, to realize that we’re on the way to a day when homo sapiens refrain from wiping out entire ecosystems at a time. Ecosystems have died out in five previous extinction events, creating your own such event is not something to brag about. So, what do each of those events hold in common? Carbon dioxide induced glass house effect. Sustainable lifestyles not tied to fossil fuels do not fuel the greenhouse effect.

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In closing, let’s see what the doctor ordered. I found the following in WebMD, the largest pile in the waiting room.

But if your vegetarian co-worker is noshing greasy veggie burgers and fries every day for lunch, is he likely to be healthier than you, who always orders the grilled salmon? Definitely not!” —  WebMD

The WebMD article does not mention that the salmon is culled from an increasingly threatened ecosystem. It probably did not want to end up on the patient’s or physician’s plate in the first place.

Thanks for reading.