Shaming people in a politically correct age.

In his book on public shaming, Jon Ronson tells the tale of Justine, who was tweeting acerbic jokes to her 170 followers. She joked about the bad breath of the German man on the plane from NY. She joked about Heathrow, and finally, she tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding, I’m white!”
She got on the 11 hour flight to South Africa. When the plane landed, she turned on her phone. There was a text from someone she hadn’t spoken to since high school “I’m so sorry to see what’s happening.”
She looked at it, baffled.
“And then my phone started to explode.”
As she sat on the runway at Cape Town Airport, a second text popped up: “You need to call me immediately.” It was from her best friend, Hannah. “You’re the number one worldwide trend on Twitter right now.”

Twitter members were saying she was a disgusting racist. The company she worked for tweeted “This is an outrageous, offensive comment. Employee in question currently unreachable on an intl flight.”..

Justine says that she obviously did not mean that whites don’t get AIDS. She said it was a reflexive comment on ‘white privilege’ – “on our tendency to naively imagine ourselves immune from life’s horrors”.

But in hotels she was booked at in South Africa, employees were threatening to go on strike.

She was fired from the job she loved. “Everybody else was very happy about that”

This story is interesting from several points of view. There are other people in the book who also made an ill-advised joke, including a woman whose idea of a joke was posing next to signs and making satirical poses. Unfortunately, she made a very disrespectful pose next to a sign that said to show respect at the Arlington National Cemetery where soldiers are buried.

An understandable tsunami of invective came through the internet in response to  that poor woman. The belief behind the invective was that she was making fun of men who fought and often died for the U.S.A. In my view this woman was just making a dumb joke, and veterans did not cross her mind – she had just found another sign to add to her collection.

Interestingly, another woman was mercilessly punished on the social media for getting two men in trouble who had made a tasteless computer joke that had sexual innuendo in it. In that case, people thought the joke was – a joke.

Another interesting aspect is showed by Jon in his chapter on the town of Kennebunk in Maine. There was an exercise studio in town, on a quaint downtown street, that provided more than fitness training. The owner, Alexis Wright, was running a one-woman brothel with up to 150 clients. She was also secretly videotaping them.
The York paper started publishing the names of clients – sixty-eight men and one woman. One man was a pastor at the Church of the Nazarene.
The pastor consented to be interviewed. He had expected hell to break loose after the scandal broke, but “it went away.” Jon asks “There was no shaming at all?” “None” replied the pastor. In fact, he added, my “relationship with my three daughters has never been stronger. My youngest one noted, “It’s like getting to know you all over again.”

So contrast these situations. Bad jokes can get you into a horrendous situation of public shaming, but in contrast, if you have sex with a whore – nobody cares.

Jon also tells the tale of Jonah Lehrer, a writer who embellished his stories with untruths, and who paid a big price when a sharp Irish-American journalist ferreted that out.

Puritans

Puritans

In Puritan times, says Jon, the clients at Kennebunk would have been considered more guilty than Jonah. Jonah, “guilty of lying or publishing false news,” would have been “fined, placed the stocks for a period not exceeding four hours, or publicly whipped with not more than forty stripes,” according to Delaware laws. Whereas Max and Andrew (two clients of Alexis), having “defiled the marriage bed,” would have been publicly whipped, imprisoned with hard labor for at least a year, and on second offense, imprisoned for life.

This bring to mind Bill Clinton, our former president. After his many sex-scandals he went on to receive huge sums for speaking engagements. I find this odd.

Some other countries look at us as decadent and leverage this in propaganda. “They [the Russians] are writing things about us and our defense forces that are not from this world,” says the senior [Finland] official, such as the yarn that the Finnish government removes children from ethnic-Russian Finnish families for adoption by gay couples in the U.S.” And there are Americans too who see our country as decadent – given that we have a country where 40 percent of children are born out-of-wedlock, and colleges where the hook-up culture is too common, and so forth.

I was the target of a huge public shaming. A compromising movie of me spread across campuses, and to my home town.

My behavior was downright weird, and people had trouble classifying it. Was it “gay” behavior? Was it “Jewish” behavior? Was it just “swinish” behavior?
I regretted the behavior, and having it exposed would have been good for me, if the person who secretly filmed it had shown me the film afterwards, and said “This is you. See yourself in the mirror? Imagine if this film were seen by your friends – or enemies – or just anybody. Now learn something!”
That would have worked just fine.  It would have been a dose of cold water on an overheated brain.
But of course public shamings are not calibrated, and the movie spread – and spread – and spread.
Since I was on the receiving end, I witnessed the most incredible sadistic behavior from the shamers, behavior that they would hide from most people.

I said to myself – “Look – suppose you were marooned on a desert island with a supply of food and of books, far away from human contact. Would you agonize forever about dancing in a perverted way in front of a mirror? There is nothing you can do about it. Learn from it, don’t do it again, and now read a book or go for a swim.”

I also thought that what happened was odd if looked at from a purely rational viewpoint. If we feel like despising someone, we might notice that people get murdered every hour in the U.S. Furthermore, more Americans visit porn sites than Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter combined. The number one searched-for term is “teen,” leading to a huge demand of young women for films. I have an article in the sources that talks about this truly disgusting situation.
I have had way more attention lavished on me than on some anonymous murderer in some city.

There are over 50,000 slaves in the U.S. and a huge number in the globe.  I’d bet that the people who called me “faggot”, “Hebe”, and so forth have not spent nearly as much hostility on the slave-holders of these people.

Many of the people who dislike me vote for leftist candidates who when they get into office, spend public money as if it is infinite, which is why almost all the countries of the West are in debt, in the case of the U.S., over 17 trillion dollars, and going up.  Isn’t there something despicable about that?

The world situation is not good either. A Jihadist country that has rallies with chants of “Death To America” is about to go nuclear. Another Jihadist movement called ISIL is conquering territory, crucifying people alive, burning people alive, sawing off the heads of live people, and giving Christian women as sex-slaves to their members (not just Christian women, also Yezidis etc).  ISIL also plans to come for us. Worse yet, we have other enemies – who already have nukes, and are more powerful than the Jihadists.

From what I see, we have our own home-grown totalitarians in the U.S. Some of them have decided, in one of their words, that I “must be kept down.”. I have been told that I “will be annihilated”, and that I “will end up in a hospital.”
The movie by itself cannot explain all this, but the movie combined with some other factors – a very humiliated woman who I did not intend to humiliate, racist remarks on my part, people who regarded me as very handsome and treated me as such, in front of others who had seen the movie and felt this was “sick”, seems to have made a cocktail that exploded. (The last sentence is speculation).

I’ve been shamed, and I eventually became the target of real criminals. We live in a sea that does contain sharks, and its best not to bleed when you are swimming among the sharks.  Sharks are not very introspective, and neither are criminals.

This country, and the West in general, had better get its act together – and part of that is seeing the real world, not living in a bubble where we pick convenient villains and ignore the real ones.

Sources:
So you’ve been publicly shamed – by Jon Ronson – Riverhead Books – 2015
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-cold-wars-arctic-front-1433872323 (on Finland)
http://townhall.com/columnists/christinerousselle/2015/06/04/review-hot-girls-wanted-a-devastating-look-at-the-amateur-porn-industry-n2007876

The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today
by Kevin Bales, Ron Soodalter

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Bad guys who love Obama

When Obama was elected, defeating John McCain, a war hero, some of the wrong people were ecstatic.
These included:

Tom Hayden

Tom Hayden

1. Tom Hayden: After his early life establishing SDS, meeting with the Vietcong, wishing “Good fortune!” and “Victory!” to North Vietnamese colonels who killed American soldiers, and vigorously protesting the American system, Hayden went into politics, professional activism, and education. Like Mark Rudd, like Bill Ayers, like Bernardine Dohrn, like Michael Klonsky, Hayden came to view a quick “revolution” of the system as too daunting, if not impossible. He has become much more patient, instead advocating a “progressive” evolution of slower, measured change. Hayden saw in Obama a long-awaited vehicle for “economic democracy,” an instrument to channel an equal distribution of wealth—“economic justice,” or “redistributive change,” as Obama himself once put it. …

2. Michael Klonsky: Klonsky was described by fellow radical Mark Rudd as a Stalinist, too far to the Left even for Rudd and company. Klonsky had been raised a radical. In the 1960s he walked in lockstep with his far-left parents. Eventually, Klonsky, like Mao Tse-tung, bolted from the USSR and Stalin, but not from Communism. Klonsky became head of the New Communist Movement in the United States. He found CPUSA too reactionary for his tastes. The former SDS national secretary followed the Maoist path all the way to Red China, [until it disappointed him by freemarket reforms].

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda

3. Jane Fonda: The endorsement of Fonda, Vietcong cover girl [she posed with a Vietcong anti-aircraft gun that was used to shoot at American planes], prompted Los Angeles Times blogger Andrew Malcolm to opine, “There goes his [Obama’s] crossover vote.” (Of course it didn’t matter, Obama was elected)

It should be noted that Obama ran for president as a centrist, not as National Journal’s most liberal member of the Senate. It worked. As Mark Rudd (another radical) put it, Obama “didn’t blow it.”

But that raises a question. Is Obama a centrist? Is he as leftist as Mark Rudd, Tom Hayden, and the rest? Is he honest in the way he portrays himself?

Lets go back to the radicals.

Klonsky went home to get a Ph.D. in education (University of South Florida) and began looking to the American classroom as the best platform for Marxist dogma. He landed in Chicago—on the same faculty as Bill Ayers. Like Ayers, Klonsky became a professor in the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Education. Klonsky and Ayers have been described as joint “pioneers in small school development.” These “small school” projects were funded to the tune of almost $2 million in grants from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, where Barack Obama was chairman of the board [and from other foundations].

Also:

in switching his goal from revolution to evolution, Tom Hayden embraced not only politics but also higher education. Like many of his SDS brethren, he now teaches college students… Education is now the common refuge of the ’60s radical Left, which searches always for a new generation of disciples. 

Bill Ayers

Bill Ayers

I remember when Barack’s association with people like Bill Ayers was brought up during the election. It was minimized by outlets such as the New York Times.   But Ayers is still quite radical. This is evident in his own account of his work for Venezuela’s Miranda International Center. Ayers has sat on the board of this Venezuelan government think tank,which…. is, in the words of Investor’s Business Daily, “focused on bringing Cuba-style education to Venezuelan school children.” He made at least four pilgrimages to Venezuela during the time that he and Obama served together on the Woods Fund and Annenberg Challenge.

Obama’s career in politics was launched in the living room of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, both members of the sixties “Weathermen”, an outfit that was unabashedly Communist, and very nasty – to the point of trying to blow up soldiers and their dates at a dance.

The Times is not unbiased itself.  Paul Kengor found the following item about its current editor: Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr. in a 1999 book by Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones, The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times:
Pinch was asked by his father, Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger Sr., a simple question: “If a young American soldier comes upon a young North Vietnamese soldier, which one do you want to see get shot?” Pinch responded without hesitation, saying this was “the dumbest question I ever heard in my life.” He answered: “I would want to see the American get shot. It’s the other guy’s country.”

When Obama won the situation was more ironic than people realize.  Paul Kengor writes:

The symbolism was too extraordinary for words—a powerful reminder that Cold War battles were still very much with us. Obama ascended the platform after a gracious John McCain, a Vietnam veteran whom the comrades had once grouped into a category of “fascist pigs,” conceded the election. The revolutionaries once proudly wore rings hammered out of the downed aircraft of McCain’s imprisoned band of brothers, who were suffering unspeakable hell in places like the Hanoi Hilton. McCain’s own aircraft had been shot down; one of the radicals may well have worn debris from his plane. The defeated Republican represented what they had always fought against.

Wow.

It’s interesting how perception governs us.

John McCain

John McCain

McCain is old, and doesn’t look very strong, which is not surprising, given his sojourn in a Vietcong prison. He is soft-spoken. He does not inspire crowds the way Obama does. When asked whether McCain or Obama would make a better “James Bond” (the daredevil spy character) former James Bond actor Daniel Craig said this. “Obama would be the better Bond because — if he’s true to his word — he’d be willing to quite literally look the enemy in the eye and go toe to toe with them. McCain, because of his long service and experience, would probably be a better M,” he adds, mentioning Bond’s boss, played by Dame Judi Dench. “There is, come to think of it, a kind of Judi Dench quality to McCain.”

Columnist Mark Steyn responded to this sarcastically:

Oh, great. John McCain has survived plane crashes, just like Roger Moore in Octopussy. He has escaped death in shipboard infernos, just like Sean Connery in Thunderball. He has endured torture day after day, month after month, without end, just like Pierce Brosnan in the title sequence of Die Another Day. He has done everything 007 has done except get lowered into a shark tank and (as far as we know) bed Britt Ekland and Jill St. John. And yet Daniel Craig gives him the desk job.

Now of course none of the above means that Obama is as radical as the Weathermen. And some people who were radical in their youth do moderate when they get older.  And just because you might have some bad guys rooting for you to get elected, does not make you a reflection of them.

But we know that these radicals did some very bad things, or tried to, and still identify with systems of government that have killed many innocent people for having the wrong beliefs. We also know that Obama spent much time with Frank Marshall Davis, who was a member of the CPUSA, that he associated with Bill Ayers, and according to John Drew, who was a Marxist student at Occidental College when Obama was there, Obama was a Marxist at the time.  It is one thing to be associated with people who want radical social change, it is quite another to be associated with people who want to see your country defeated.  Is the inner Obama more like Bill Ayers – or like Franklin Roosevelt?  There is a world of difference.

Sources:
Mark Steyn in: https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/333483/bond-bankruptcy

Kengor, Paul (2014-04-08). Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century (Intercollegiate Studies Institute.)

Meeting Young Obama – by John Drew in American Thinker:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/meeting_young_obama.html#ixzz3d84qM1yT

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On not believing evil motivations

Recently a former Speaker of the House (and Republican) was exposed as having molested a teenage boy in his past as a teacher.  I found interesting the following remark by the sister of that boy.  “I [the sister] asked him, ‘Stevie, when was your first same-sex experience?’ He just looked at me and said that it was with Dennis Hastert,” Burdge told ABC. “And I just, I know I was stunned, I said, ‘Why didn’t you ever tell me, Stevie? He was your teacher. Why didn’t you ever tell anybody?’ He just looked at me and said, ‘Who is ever going to believe me in this town? Who is ever going to believe me.'”

Stephen Reinboldt

Stephen Reinboldt

Steve died of AIDS years later, and his sister says of Hastert: “He damaged Steve, I think, more than any of us will ever know.”

Given that there was such a gap between the real Dennis Hastert, and the public persona of Hastert, the disbelief that Steve expected might make sense.  But it would have been wrong to not believe him.

And this raises the question: How many events do we not believe in, because we don’t understand human motivations, and what can go wrong in a human mind such as Hastert’s?

Here is another example.  A young woman in the UK told the police for fourteen years that she was the victim of Pakistani sex rings.  She told them this while it was happening.  They did not believe her.  One reason she mentions is that one policeman described her as a known ‘prostitute’.  It did not occur to him that she was a sex-slave, not a prostitute.  You can be a sex-slave and still walk outside, to all appearances free, because the mafia that enslaves you and terrorizes you has all your practical escape routes shut off.  Especially if you are just 16 years old and poor.

Deborah Lipstadt (after a legal victory)

Deborah Lipstadt (after a legal victory)”

While Jews were being slaughtered in WW-II, skepticism reigned in many quarters in the U.S.  A book on that period by Deborah Lipstadt says that tales from refugees were dismissed as hysteria, and systematic genocide was minimized as not being a systematic campaign of elimination at all.  Even after the war, one soldier found that when he reported to his parents in the US what he had seen, they told him he didn’t know what he was talking about. (There were other reasons for the West’s inaction too).

The book “Dupes” by Paul Kengor tells of liberals who kept defending Communists in the Stalin period.  I suppose that if you are a liberal who believes in income-equality, redistribution, a big government and the rights of the exploited workers, you will assume that Communists, who say similar things, are just like you, perhaps a bit more extreme.  And that would be wrong.  The CPUSA was taking orders from the Kremlin.  Their primary allegiance was not with the Western countries at all.  Perhaps this was hard to believe.

My own history is also illustrative.  I engaged in regrettable behavior at one point, it was caught on film, and the film spread – first over campus, then to the wider society.  Many people have either seen it, or heard of it.  So how did I find out?  Did a copy of the film land in my mailbox?

No.  There were two reactions I ran into.  Avoidance, and hostility.  Some men and women hurled insults in a hit-and-run fashion..  They made remarks to me, and to each other.  I was threatened with annihilation.  I was told I would end up in a hospital.  It was very, very interesting, if I took a detached view of it.

And then it got positively fascinating.  My apartment was entered.  I was drugged.  And what type of drug was used?  It was a “sex-drive-drug”.  At the time, there were no such drugs known, though a few years later one was discovered.   This drug was very, very powerful.  It did not conquer me, it did not pitch me back into the slime.  But that was because I was more decent, and stronger, than my attackers knew.

So now, I was in a paradoxical situation.  Here I had been held up as the ultimate in disgustingness (and a proof of anti-Semitic beliefs), for ten years, and all of a sudden, I was in the position of trying to alert the American public about a threat to them of a quite disgusting nature.

But I had a problem.  The reactions to me were often hit-and-run insults (such as a van zooming by me on a lonely road and a young man shouting “You are so Gay!”) or a man about to exit the train I was in who uttered emphatically and disgustedly “Swine!”, or one young Yale coed telling another “it was terrible what they did to him – but he was so disgusting!” before both clanged the gate to their Yale dorm in my face. And there was deliberate avoidance too by people who were not nasty, but understandably wanted no part of me. So how could I ever collect any evidence that any of this far-fetched tale was true? (None of these insulters wanted to sit down with me and tell me what was going on, or have a debate on what exactly I was guilty of. Also, despite the epithets, my problem was not that I was gay, I was just a mixture of things – a slob with a inexplicable desire to act weirdly, and a person with a history of very low will power, and a nauseating worship of blondes.)

And what proof did I have?  I had subjective “experiences”.  In other words, it could be solid evidence to me, but to anyone else, less than nothing.   Here I was, trying to convince acquaintances that “big things can happen to little people” (namely me), that I was a target not of one, but two conspiracies (if you consider the movie a conspiracy, which in a way it was, because it was kept under wraps).  I was trying to convince people that a technology existed of which they were unaware of, but which some set of really despicable people were very aware of.

And it gets worse.  I believe this “mafia” can spray you with a drug that will put you in a daze.  While you are out of consciousness, they can copy your keys, and eventually get into your house, and then its over, folks.  I believe they have a whole research program into these types of drugs, not only because I’ve been on the receiving end of some of them, but because of the possibilities they open up.

Now there are two explanations here.  The first is that I’m crazy.  This is the easiest conclusion to reach.  In that case the action to take is simple.  I should see a psychiatrist, take an appropriate medication, and perhaps the local police should be monitoring the crazy person (me) in their precinct.

The other possibility is that I’m accurate, and that in fact my story is probably just the tip of an iceberg, and that there is a large and menacing network of the resentful and the criminal who know about this technology and use it, despite the cluelessness of everybody else.

My story does have implications for how we see reality.  When should we accept subjective experience – and when should we reject it?   Slogans such as “remarkable conclusions require remarkable evidence” and “Always believe the simplest explanation” are lacking somehow.  To me, I do have remarkable evidence.  And given that evidence, my conclusions are the simplest explanation.  But to someone else, neither is true.

Motivations of bad people explain much of what we see around us. History shows that the organized malevolent few can control the disorganized majority. Unfortunately we are not good at all in understanding those motivations.

Sources:

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20150605/news/150609295/

Lipstadt, Deborah E. (1986). Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust

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Are bicycles evil? How the bicycle tire killed ten million Africans

I had no idea that over 10 million black men, women, and children died for the bicycle, until a friend referred me to the book “The Vertigo Years” and pointed me to the chapter on it.

John Dunlop, inventor of the air-filled tire

John Dunlop, inventor of the air-filled tire

The chapter tells with an inspiring story about capitalism – about an Irish veterinarian, Doctor John Dunlop of Belfast who devised air-filled rubber tubes for his son’s tricycle. He marketed these tires and found that the demand was so great that in 1890 he ceased to cure sick horses. He sold his rights to the pneumatic tyres to a company he formed with the president of the Irish Cyclists’ Association. Fitted with miraculously shock-absorbent rubber tires, bicycles became a symbol for the young generation, and for speed, freedom, and physical fitness. The worldwide demand for rubber boomed.

King Leopold II of the Belgians understood this was a historic opportunity. He had recently acquired a chunk of Africa as big as Europe – ranging from rain forests to snow-capped peaks, with a river that drained an area larger than India. The Congo also had caoutchouc vines, which could be made into rubber. Leopold did not trade with the natives, instead he implemented a regime of systematic terror. Belgians governed a mercenary army of Africans divided into garrisons each having about 2 white officers commanding several dozen black soldiers. The soldiers would hold workers families hostage, while

King Leopold

King Leopold

the workers harvested rubber. Any opposition (or even just a failure to meet a quota) was punished by villages being burned and the villagers murdered. The whites in charge worried that the black soldiers might use their guns to go hunting instead of enforcing, so they ordered the soldiers to bring back proof that they had killed villagers. This proof was the cut-off-hands of the villagers. Soldiers who wanted to get more money, would cut off the hands of the living, as well as the dead.

In his Belgian palace, King Leopold became rich beyond his wildest dreams.

The main hero of this story was Edward Dene Morel, an English shipping clerk, who found that outgoing cargoes to the Congo were overwhelmingly of arms and ammunition. He found no evidence of trading with those who produced the rubber. He also noticed that the official statistics reported only a fraction of the profits made. Morel said that “Forced labour of a terrible and continuous kind could alone explain such unheard-of profits..”

The hero: Edouard Morel

The hero: Edouard Morel

Before Morel’s sharp deductions, there was an expose by the black American journalist George Washington Williams, and also a book by Mary Kingsley titled “Travels in Africa”. However Morel , a small mustachioed man with no steady income, and no influential friends, became the champion of the brutally exploited people of the Congo, and the most persistent and stinging antagonist of Leopold. Morel would give lectures to crammed lecture halls, and newspapers throughout Europe and the U.S. would print revelations about the horrors in the Congo.

Leopold’s control ended when international outrage compelled the Belgian state to take control of the colony in 1908. Estimates for the number of people killed range between two and 15 million, easily putting Leopold in the top ten of history’s mass murderers. When he died in 1909 the king’s funeral cortege was booed.

There are several interesting aspects of this story. First, Leopold had pledged, when he received the Congo, that it would be studied and Christianized. He posed as a humanitarian. He even created a huge museum devoted to the cultures of central Africa. Yet “Vertigo Years” says ten million Congolese natives perished under Leopold’s rule, either murdered outright, or maimed and left to starve.

Where did the money go? It financed enlargements of the royal castle, and an extensive park with architectural follies, a promenade in a seaside town, a golf course, and a monumental triumphal arch.

It is also interesting that Leopold’s mercenary army was about 19,000 men, but was able to kill those ten million people. It obviously doesn’t take that many evil-doers to control a huge population.

As far as the other colonialists – like the French and Germans, they were sometimes just as bad as the Belgians. For instance, “Thousands of refugees who had fled across the Congo River to escape Leopold’s regime eventually fled back to escape the French [in Congo-Brazzaville]. The population loss in the rubber-rich equatorial rainforest owned by France is estimated, just as in Leopold’s Congo, at roughly 50%.”

A few more reflections on this: I came across a leftist blog post on this (see sources), which ends with this statement: “And since it isn’t talked about, what capitalism did to Africa, all the privileges that rich white people gained from the Congolese genocide, remain hidden. The victims of imperialism are made, like they usually are, invisible.”

I would disagree with the idea that “Capitalism” is the real culprit. It depends how you define “Capitalism”. I prefer the term “free enterprise”. Note the word “free” in “free enterprise”. The theory, at least, is that you freely exchange something of value (your labor, your knowhow, your time) for some other good (perhaps mediated by money) that is supplied by your employer or customers. You are free to leave at any time, to go into another line of work, etc. Slavery is not capitalism. It does exist in Capitalist societies – from India to Britain to the United States. But so does other types of crime. There are rules to free enterprise, just as there are rules to a basketball game. You can win a basketball game by putting a mild poison in the opposition’s Gatorade, but that is a crime.

Finally, it may be that forced labor was the ONLY way to make a fortune out of rubber at that time.  For instance, we read that: “Congolese workers were sent out into the jungle to slash down vines and layer their bodies with rubber latex. Later they would scrape it off their skin – often taking flesh and hair with it. The work was labour-intensive and injurious to health; the only economical way to collect it was via the forced mobilisation of Congolese society.” However, that still doesn’t make slavery the same as free enterprise, or make an argument for Socialism.

My father and mother took a trip with me (I was 5 years old) through sub-Saharan Africa in the early 60’s. They stayed for a while in Rhodesia, at the time a British colony. It did not have apartheid, and it did have successful white-owned farms, with black workers, who received a salary, and were free to leave. It was not ideal, certainly, but compared with today’s Zimbabwe, it was far better for all the inhabitants who were later handed over to the very radical Robert Mugabe, whose first act was to kill off a rival tribe, and who eventually imported Chinese to run the farms from which he had driven off the whites. And the very bitter truth about the Congo is that the deadliest war in modern African history took place there in the 1990’s, killing millions.

The story does show that an unrestricted profit motive, like any motive without barriers and boundaries, can cause horrors, and that racism, though unfortunately thrown around as an epithet to stop political conversations in this country, can lead to people being treated as a means to an end, where the end justifies the means. It also shows that altruistic rhetoric of bringing Christianity and civilization to Africa can obscure a much uglier reality.

The Beauty of the Congo

The Beauty of the Congo

Sources:

The Vertigo Years by Philippe Blom (2008)

http://www.historytoday.com/tim-stanley/belgiums-heart-darkness http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/35/181.html http://www.walkingbutterfly.com/2010/12/22/when-you-kill-ten-million-africans-you-arent-called-hitler/ (a leftist opinion) https://books.google.com/books?id=vYo-DO4tr-gC&pg=PA123&lpg=PA123&dq=king+leopold%27s+mercenary+army%5C&source=bl&ots=LQuSk872bE&sig=Vs9Im2XZGc6TWhNG3BpIQID9im0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hCxyVbSRMMvRtQX1kICAAg&ved=0CFUQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=king%20leopold’s%20mercenary%20army%5C&f=false

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The coming Russian/Chinese Tsunami, and the next unipolar world

We are often told that Vladimir Putin wants to reconstitute the borders of the old Soviet Union, and that China’s leader Xi Jinping wants to dominate the East China sea. But what if both leaders want to make war on the U.S. mainland itself? Would there we be a way to know?

And if Putin and Jinping did want to make war, aren’t their wishes irrelevant given that we have nuclear weapons?

Putin - not so bad?

Putin – not so bad?

“Physicians for Civil Defense” writes: “For prevention it [The U.S.] has depended on the concept of nuclear deterrence. This depends on the enemy being rational, concerned about its own survival and identifiable….”

Now assuming that Putin and Xi Jinping fit these criteria, would they not dismiss the idea, if it crossed their mind, of attacking the U.S.?

After all, a first strike on American nuclear weapons would have to be very effective, and a missile defense would have to hit almost all the incoming US warheads.  Plus the U.S. has submarines. So why worry?

First of all, we have to notice that despite our nuclear weapons, we have been at war, or people who ally with us have been at war. Think Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. We did not use nuclear weapons in these conflicts for several reasons. And as for China, as one Chinese official pointed out, would we want to lose Los Angeles in order to protect Taiwan?

We could not effectively take out Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons by a surprise attack. But the converse might be true because the U.S. nuclear arsenal is now no bigger than it was under President Harry Truman (the first president to use the just-invented atomic bomb). That is because Obama has reduced it from 3000 to 1500, giving the Russians numerical superiority. Obama wants to reduce our nuclear arsenal still further, to 1000 warheads. He has even asked the Defense Department to explore reducing it to 300 warheads.
(He has also reduced U.S. army strength to 1940-level numbers, and slashed the Navy to the size it was in 1917).

Colonel General Leonid Ivashov is quoted in Pravda as saying that the U.S. has “not upgraded one single ballistic missile, and they do not build new ones either.” He then bragged of Russia’s nuclear advantage.

And what is Russia doing on its end of the nuclear see-saw? They have recently come out with new giant ballistic missile submarines, new long-range nuclear cruise missiles and are working on a quieter submarine that will also have nuclear-capable missiles.

Suppose we tried to find all those Russian missiles and target them. (China, which has a defensive treaty with Russia, has tripled its warheads during Obama’s tenure, but let us stay simple).

Consider:
1. Russia has a 400-square mile underground complex in the Ural mountains, as well as dozens of smaller complexes in other places.
2. China claims to have 3,000 miles of military underground tunnels, and our government confirms this. Tunnels can be packed with missiles, assuming that is the purpose, and U.S. ships could not defend against an overwhelming salvo that could be launched.
3. Russia is reviving trains that move intercontinental ballistic missiles around, which makes it harder for Americans to target them.

Russia protects its cities too: in 2012, Russian TV reported that 5,000 new bomb shelters were completed in Moscow. Infrastructure and weapons are also protected, for instance Russia’s Yamantau Mountain is thought to harbor underground nuclear missile and warhead factories. Yamantau is one of several super-hardened underground sites which may, indeed, give Russia a virtually unassailable military-industrial base in the event of global war.

But surely much of Russia’s population would be above ground? Well for those who did not make it to a shelter, there is the S-400 defense system, which can shoot down ballistic missiles hundreds of miles away.

During the cold war, anti-war types told us that in the event of a nuclear war “The living would envy the dead”, but Marshal Sokolovskii’s classic work, Soviet Military Strategy, says that “Society itself must be ready to “stand up” under a “massive nuclear assault by the enemy, with minimum losses,”

A skeptic might say, that was Soviet policy. The Soviet Union is over. It could not be the policy of the new Russia, could it?

And there is the followup question. Even if the Russians could defeat us, would they want to?

Jeff Nyquist, who has a website about such questions, says this:

I asked what was motivating the Russian leaders.
My Ukrainian associate replied, “When I would argue with Dugin’s followers on the Internet in 1998, they would barrage me with emails that said, ‘Nuclear death to America.’ In those days they were a tiny unimportant sect. Now they are the most influential ideologists in Russia.”

Aleksandr Dugin

Aleksandr Dugin

After reading this, I (the blogger) looked up Aleksandr Dugin.  This man has said he hopes for: a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary and consistent, fascist fascism” in Russia. This sounds totally incomprehensible to most of us – isn’t Fascism a discredited ideology? Even conservatives who speak at American universities are called by their opponents “fascists”. Who could possibly still believe in Fascism?

Russia has embarked on a large anti-American propaganda campaign: Globally, “Russia Today” claims an audience of some 600 million. The Kremlin’s latest propaganda effort—dubbed “Sputnik”—has opened at least 29 new media offices across Central and Western Europe, and is even setting up shop in Latin America. In Russia, meanwhile, anti-American and anti-NATO propaganda follows a pre-war pattern of “preparing the public’s mind” for war. The Americans are blamed for the fighting in Donbas (Ukraine). America is blamed for attempting to destroy Russia. The propaganda works: “His boat [Putin’s] has been lifted by the rising tide of insane hatred for America and Ukraine sweeping Russia.” (see sources – American Thinker link).

But why?

Nyquist says this:

The lust for power was, after all, the romance of the mass murderers of history. It was the romance of the Persian kings and of Alexander the Great. It was the romance of Julius Caesar and most of those who succeeded him. Oh yes, history is a dismaying subject, filled with evil deeds done for the sake of power.

The Epoch Times, which is run in New York by Falun Gong – a movement that was getting very popular in China and was then crushed– got hold of the following speech that was given in 2005:
In that speech, the Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian said this

In Chinese history,” noted Chi, “in the replacement of dynasties, the ruthless have always won and the benevolent have always failed.” He further stated, “It is indeed brutal to kill one or two hundred million Americans. But that is the only path that will secure a Chinese century, a century in which the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] leads the world. We, as revolutionary humanitarians, do not want deaths. But if history confronts us with a choice between deaths of Chinese and those of Americans, we’d have to pick the latter, as, for us, it is more important to safeguard the lives of the Chinese people and the life of our Party.

So that seems to be a “it is them or us” argument.

Of course bellicose talk is cheap, but we know that Russian bombers regularly conduct missile strike drills close to U.S. defense installations in California, Alaska, and Guam.
And ABC News broke the story that hackers connected to the Russian government are suspected of inserting malware in computers that control American power plants and water treatment systems.
Says Nyquist:

This malware is capable of crippling U.S. utilities. Such a monstrous act of sabotage would not only be an act of war, it would be a monstrous crime; for the victims would be average people, targeted merely for their nationality. Why would the Russian government do such a thing?

I (the blogger) think the Russians would not be suicidal or crazy to attack us, if they so desired.  NATO Gen. Frederick Hodges recently said in a Wall Street Journal Interview: “I believe the Russians are mobilizing right now for a war that they think is going to happen in five or six years.”  If he is correct, who is the war supposed to be with?

Why don’t we have a missile defense remotely comparable to the Russian S400?
Consider: A microphone that was supposed to be off but luckily was not picked up this conversation between Obama and President Medvedev.
Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him (Vladimir Putin) to give me space…This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

This is the kind of president we have. Putin even called him comrade.

The Wall Street Journal recently showed an image of a billboard that has been erected in Crimea, which Russia invaded a short time ago. The billboard had a portrait of Stalin. Stalin was responsible for tens of millions of deaths. So why do the Russians, who are hopefully both post-Communist and also anti-Nazi, put up a billboard honoring a man who allied with the Nazis and then invaded Poland, and who was responsible for so much suffering? Just to intimidate some Crimeans?

Personally, I look around me at the generation of young people, and many live in a bubble. For instance, Christina Hoff Summers, a conservative who argues with leftist feminists. says this: “I have never stopped going to campuses, and I’ve been going to law schools. But I have rarely faced protests. I used to face vigorous debate, and the young women would come ready to argue–and that was fine, that’s what I was there for. But this [the hostility] is different, and it only started happening this year.” In her last appearances on campus, law enforcement had to be present.
Former leftists like David Horowitz (now a conservative) also need bodyguards when they speak on campuses. College policies such as Speech codes and trigger warnings are supposed to protect sensitive students from hateful or disturbing points of view. If these students get distraught from being exposed to opinions they disagree with, will they cope with facing much greater threats?
I have a relative in Israel who admits she lives in a bubble. By choice she does not read the Israeli media, so she doesn’t spend much time thinking of the coming ISIS empire on Israel’s borders, the inevitable Iranian nuclear breakout, and the remarkable divisions in Israeli society itself. So her life is pleasant.  But at least she knows she is in a bubble. In our case, in the USA, the Tsunami is approaching. We are oblivious.

Sources:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/feminist-enemy-number-one_952624.html# (on Christina Hoff Sommers)
http://www.wsj.com/articles/countering-putins-information-weapons-of-war-1429052323 (by Ed Royce)
Civil Defense Perspectives – March 2015 – Physicians for Civil Defense
Doctors For Disaster Preparedness Newsletter – March 2015
Oliver North’s Freedom Alliance – various mailings that arrived in my mailbox
http://jrnyquist.com/war-preparations-and-secret-structures.html
The Aleksandr Dugan quote is from his 1997 article “Fascism – Borderless and Red”.
http://jrnyquist.com/the-dark-side-of-the-moon.html
http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/5-8-8/31055.html
http://abcnews.go.com/US/trojan-horse-bug-lurking-vital-us-computers-2011/story?id=26737476
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/05/whats_behind_putins_86_approval_rating.html

Some additional notes:
a) The book Dupes (by Paul Kengor) has a quote by Stalin on why a war between Nazi Germany and the West would be a good thing – it would help spread “world revolution”. If and when a conflict started, he said, it would be “indispensable to prolong the war as long as possible.” So he allied his country with Nazi Germany, and both invaded Poland.
b) Nuclear weapons are indeed fearsome, but Physicians for Civil Defense claims that with some minimal precautions (which we are not taking), millions of people could be saved, as long as they were a sufficient distance from Ground Zero.

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Creating hell for other people – and loving it.

The urge to dominate and exert power over vulnerable people has come up a few times in the years I’ve been posting to this “evil” blog, and it deserves a post to itself, because there are common patterns.
Let’s start with the remarkable spectacle of thousands of British girls who became victims of Pakistani sex rings and proceed to some other examples.
First this is the list of commonalities I find with this scandal in the UK and other examples I’ve come across:
1. The villains go out of their way to snare an innocent victim by being friendly.
2. They create a total world of terror for that victim
3. Sex is often involved
4. The victim is to be made wretched and ashamed
5. The perpetrator gains a sense of power

For those of you who don’t know what happened in the United Kingdom, thousands of young girls were tortured, and raped, and gang raped, by immigrant Muslim men. One victim who spoke up says this:

…I have a very fuzzy memory of the very beginning. My childhood friend remembers me being picked up from a primary school by an older man and being given ketamine, coming home completely out of it, with lots of new underwear, so it began earlier than I remember. [The man eventually raped her]… The minute he left, I ran a hot bath and just lay on the floor crying while I waited for it to fill. I felt so ashamed and dirty. Everything changed that day. I didn’t come out of my room unless I had to. I barely ate. I hated myself. It wasn’t long until he was back in touch, demanding that I see his friends. The majority were Pakistani Muslim men. If I objected, he threatened to show my parents the photos of me [he had said he was taking photos for a modeling agency]. I was terrified of them finding out, so I did as I was told. When the pictures didn’t bother me anymore, and I objected, I would get beatings instead. My ribs were kicked in several times, leaving massive bruises. I was hit with a chain. I was gang raped. I became very compliant, because saying no always led to much worse. The lives of my family were threatened by Jason and his friends: they said my house would be burned down while we slept, or people would come with baseball bats. I didn’t want my family hurt, so I just did everything I was told.

Another girl  (not the one in the post), enslaved in the UK

Another girl (not the one in the post), enslaved in the UK

I (the blogger) might think that these men are just frustrated because they can’t get sex, but they were married men. I did once come across a quote by a Swedish Muslim about rape of Swedish girls, saying the Muslim women were more intelligent and basically superior, but these men treat their Muslim wives badly and disrespectfully too as seen by the following continuation of the quote by the girl:

I have seen some horrendous things, heard some disgusting things when they talked amongst each other about the evil things they do to their wives. The men often spoke in groups about the horrific things they did to their wives and other women. I had to sit and listen. I was made to talk to their wives on the phone while they raped me, on many occasions. They found it funny, the men.

The threats:

 I have had a knife held to my throat while I was raped and told by my rapist that he could kill me then put me under the floorboards of his home and no one would know because he was going to Pakistan in a week. I was 16 or 17 years old. I have had a drill held to my knee while I was sat in a lounge room with around 6 other men, who all laughed and talked in their own language. All of these men were Pakistani Muslims. This all happened while they were waiting for their turn to rape the girl in the other room.

The feeling of being disgusting:

…None of the men used protection, so I caught multiple STIs several times. I wasn’t allowed to use protection. I felt disgusting, so dirty. Each time I was taken off with these men, sometimes this would happen two or three times a day. Whenever they wanted me, I had to go, whatever time of day it was. I missed a lot of school because of this. It didn’t matter if I was crying while they raped me, they would laugh and do it anyway.

More on the effort to make the victim feel disgusting and wretched:

…I’ve been peed on, spat on, slapped, kicked, punched, called a white whore.

This British girl could have spent the rest of her life as an unwilling bride in Pakistan but:

“Luckily for me, I didn’t have a passport.

What is this girl’s explanation of the men’s behavior?

These men find it ok to rape non-Muslim girls. It’s in their culture. It’s a brutal cult and needs to be stopped.

This woman still lives in fear, in the country that stood up to Hitler, and whose soldiers were so effective in Iraq, because:

I still see these men today, they still recognise me, I have moved several times but it’s ineffective. They are all still free. The English “justice” system is crap. … What kind of country, what kind of civilization, allows this to happen to its young girls? What deep sickness has overtaken Britain, that the authorities will not act to protect girls in this situation?

Interestingly, she wasn’t believed by the police or by medical professionals:

….I have records dating back about 14 years of me trying to get help, telling medical professionals. And them not believing me.

For a non-Islamic example of the common thread, let us jump across the Atlantic, to the U.S.A., where a housewife named Sandra Bearden drove  south of the border, to a poor Mexican family, and offered to hire their little girl to do housework.

… So she [Mrs. Bearden] drove to a town in Mexico where she was introduced to Maria and her parents. Maria was only twelve. She had very little schooling and dreamed of getting an education-a dream that her parents encouraged but could do nothing to achieve. Over coffee in their small kitchen, Bearden offered Maria a job, as well as the chance to attend school, learn English, and taste the rich life of “el Norte”. The fact that Sandra herself was Mexican born helped Maria’s parents feel they could trust her, and they gave their permission. Sandra smuggled Maria across the border in her expensive car and drove her to her home in Laredo.

On arrival, Maria was dragged into hell. Sandra Bearden used violence and terror to squeeze work and obedience from the child. From early morning till midafternoon, Maria cooked, cleaned, scrubbed, and polished. If Maria dozed off from exhaustion, Sandra would blast pepper spray into Maria’s eyes. A broom was broken over the girl’s back and a few days later, a bottle against her head.

There is more on this in another blog post of mine (about slavery in America today), but one horrifying fact is that:

“it is hard to imagine, but Maria was one of the lucky slaves. In America, most slaves spend four to five years in bondage; Maria was a slave for just seven months. They say “We all ask: ‘How could someone so abuse a child–to stake her in the sun, feed her excrement, beat her bloody?’ Yet Sandra Bearden’s treatment of Maria is not unusual.

Then there is the case of Lisa Steinberg.

Lisa Steinberg

Lisa Steinberg

Joel Steinberg was an attorney, who married a woman, Hedda Nussbaum, who worshipped him.  He beat this woman, and controlled her to the point of making this gentle writer of children’s books into an accomplice, if only by inaction. Then he (or both he and Hedda, I’m not sure) decided to adopt a baby. Joel brutalized this child, and Hedda later testified there was also sexual abuse. And together, over a period of six years, they oversaw the sad, anguished life of a little girl who never had a chance against the brutality, neglect and ultimate destruction by these two people (but see the note below this post).
Lisa finally died when Joel punched her too hard.  He punched Lisa because Lisa had been “looking at him.”

Joel Steinberg had persuaded the biological single mother of this child to give her up for a better life.  It is possible that he wanted the child precisely to indulge his desire for total power and control.

Then there was the case of Michelle Knight.

Michelle Knight - a high price to pay for a puppy.

Michelle Knight – a high price to pay for a puppy.

Michelle Knight was offered a car ride by a nice man named Ariel Castro. As she knew one of his daughters, Knight accepted the lift. She then agreed to enter Castro’s Cleveland home, when he promised to give her a puppy for her son.
She would not emerge from that house for another 11 years.

As a result of the sexual abuse Knight suffered during her time as a prisoner, she reportedly became pregnant five times, but miscarried each time after being starved and beaten by Castro. Two other young women, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, were later abducted by Castro; Knight was forced to deliver the child Berry gave birth to while in captivity. Castro also taunted Knight about the fact that DeJesus and Berry had family members desperate to find them, while no one was looking for her.

She was rescued when Berry managed to get to the front door and scream for help, getting the attention of a neighbor who managed to force the door (accounts differ here).

Perhaps if Ms. Berry had not gotten to that door, those women would have been held for another ten years.

It is amazing to think how just one man, a bus driver who owns a house, can create so much evil.

Now as for my claim that this about a desire in the minds of these twisted evil types for “power” – it may seem that this is not the case – that the desire is for sex. It may seem also that the perpetrators don’t particularly dislike their victims, they just take any juicy victim that comes along.

But an article on ordinary school-yard bullying says this:
“It provides these kids with a sense of power,” said Catherine Bradshaw, a developmental psychologist who studies bullying at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. “It’s a way of pulling your core group closer and putting someone else out of it.”

“The simple reason is it shows that they have power over others,” agreed Marlene Snyder, Development Director for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in the United States, based in Clemson, S.C.

Snyder emphasized that the definition of bullying is important: … “A person who bullies intentionally picks out someone who they know is weaker than themselves so that they can intimidate, harass or humiliate them to do their bidding. It is a misuse of their power. This behavior is usually repeated and of course this power differential is there.”

It seems to me that this element is present in the above examples.

WatershipDownAs a child I read a fantasy book, Watership Down which is a saga about rabbits. Here is one quote:

“Animals don’t behave like men,’ he said. ‘If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill they kill. But they don’t sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures’ lives and hurting them…”
— Richard Adams, Watership Down

Sources:

See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/05/pamela-geller-exclusive-the-uks-rape-jihad-a-survivors-tale.html/#sthash.LijGjRNj.dpuf (Pamela Geller is controversial, especially after the Mohammad cartoon contest she sponsored, but obviously the young woman who tells her story in the blog contacted Geller because she saw her as a person who faces evil head-on).

https://understandingevil.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/the-slave-next-door-two-stories-of-slaves-and-power-in-the-u-s/

https://understandingevil.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/how-children-see-evil/
http://www.biography.com/people/michelle-knight-21399719#rescue-and-after

Note: Watership Down was rejected six times before it was accepted by Rex Collings. The one-man London publisher Collings wrote to an associate, “I’ve just taken on a novel about rabbits, one of them with extra-sensory perception. Do you think I’m mad?”

Hedda Nussbaum was the most physically battered woman that her interviewers had ever seen.  She wrote a book about her 12 years as a battered wife, and one reviewer on Amazon says:

For those who gave this book a negative review – rather, for those who gave the AUTHOR a negative review – I must strongly disagree. Apparently those reviewers have been fortunate enough never to have been in a domestic violence relationship. I have, and I can understand and sympathize with Hedda Nussbaum. Abusive men are persistent and often clever. They trap the woman into a hopeless situation. Because she loves the man, she believes his lies that she is at fault; so she tries to do better. But she can’t because the abuser will continue to find fault with her; and, like Joel Steinberg, will even invent faults if there are no real ones to use as weapons.
To me this is a very honest book, showing the author’s deep love for her children and her pain upon losing them. Some reviewers called Ms. Nussbaum a liar. I believe the opposite. She admits to her shortcomings as well as to both using and selling drugs. Some reviewers called Ms. Nussbaum a murderer. It is very clear that she is NOT a murderer. She, like her daughter, was a helpless victim of an evil man. He brainwashed her and deluded her into being a mere automaton.
One of the lessons to learn from this book is that a woman can escape the control of such a man. Unfortunately, in this case a child had to die before that occurred. But once out, Ms. Nussbaum took control of her life, decided to help other abused women and pursued that end religiously. I congratulate Ms. Nussbaum on an excellent book that was a personal inspiration to me to better my own life.

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When is tolerance a virtue?

A white blue collar type was sitting next to a young black boy on a fence and they were talking, when I annoyingly rode my bike right on the sidewalk in front of them.  The man snarled at me. “Hebe!” he said. (This happened a few miles away from my home.) It reminded me of a verse from comedian Tom Lehrer from a song he called National Brotherhood Week:

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,

And the Catholics hate the Protestants,

And the Hindus hate the Muslims,

And everybody hates the Jews

Now it is true that I should have walked my bike, rather than ridden it on that block, and I myself had made derogatory statements about blacks in the past – so who was I to complain? Its a stretch, but perhaps the man heard of my bigotry on the grapevine, and was being protective of his friend.

So this raises some questions about tolerance. When is it a virtue?

Lately more than one newspaper columnist has hailed Bruce Jenner, a famous athlete who had himself physically changed into a woman, as a hero.

Fifty years ago, he would have been considered crazy, or worse.

Many Americans now believe “gay marriage” is just another civil rights issue, and the march of progress means that it should be the law of the land. 50 years ago, this would have been thought insane.

We are told we should be tolerant of diversity – mainly diversity of racial background, religious belief, and gender-orientation.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that and Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” So religious diversity was respected from the beginning of the union of the states. Women did not have the vote, at that point, and much of the black population was enslaved. But the idea that all men were created equal was also enshrined in the founding documents, and that idea triumphed eventually.

But principles can be taken to an absurd point where they result in the opposite of what they supposedly support.

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller

Americans Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were banned from Britain. Both are critics of Islam, and Ms. Geller complains that “In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead.” Obviously the British government was worried about an Islamic backlash. Recently Pamela had a contest in Texas where different cartoonists competed to draw pictures of Mohammad. Two Muslims from Phoenix, Arizona decided to attack the event with guns, but were shot by police before they could shed blood. Now the very bloody army “Islamic State”, which has slaughtered its way through much of what was Syria and Iraq, says that they will send  all their “lions” to kill Pamela Geller.

It is interesting to look at her speech at the event. She starts off by saying that when you are afraid to say something, you are losing the right of free speech.

After the attack some news outlets blamed her for running a “hate group” and being provocative.

You (the reader) can judge for yourself whether her group is a hategroup – see her website “pamelageller.com”.

I have seen Muslims marching chanting “Jews to the gas!” and that unequivocally is “hate speech” since they want a group of people dead because of their race. Pamela Geller does not advocate killing Muslims. She says she is against Jihad, and against Sharia.

It is interesting that the right to free speech in the US is getting chipped away from two sides – one side says that insulting or hurting the feelings of a group has to be off limits, and another side insists that money should not influence politics, so even books that might support a party or candidate should be banned in certain circumstances.

According to a biographer of Voltaire, a French writer and philosopher who died in 1778, his attitude could be summed up as: ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’

Now THAT is tolerance.

Americans are tolerant of clearly bad behavior by their favored politicians, for instance:

“Americans are looking at embattled Hillary Clinton more favorably — and consider her a stronger leader — than they did earlier in the year, despite troubling questions about her ethics, a New York Times/CBS News poll has shown.”

Her ethics, as a new book Clinton Cash shows, are very, very questionable – she and her husband have made huge amounts (upwards of half a million dollars for a speech) from people or countries that by coincidence get favorable legislation or government largesse shortly afterwards.

And yet Americans who agree with her politics are willing to close their eyes to her ethics and “lack of transparency.”

Should they tolerate those dubious ethics?

I don’t feel all that tolerant to those fellow Americans. I don’t feel tolerant to people who march in lockstep with amoral leaders, just because those leaders utter some platitudes that resonate with them.  I also don’t feel all that tolerant for those fellow Americans who dismiss this book (Clinton Cash) as propaganda.

What about tolerance to political opinions? A Rochester Institute of Technology professor is accusing those who don’t believe in global warming of being criminally negligent, saying they should be imprisoned. The idea is that they spread disinformation that has terrible consequences, and therefore should be punished.

A pro-Nazi play in 1933 had a character say this:

THIEMANN: … And the last thing I’ll stand for is ideas to get the better of me! I know that rubbish from ’18 …, fraternity, equality, …, freedom …, beauty and dignity! You gotta use the right bait to hook ’em. And then, you’re right in the middle of a parley and they say: Hands up! You’re disarmed…, you republican voting swine!—No, let ’em keep their good distance with their whole ideological kettle of fish … I shoot with live ammunition! When I hear the word culture …, I release the safety on my Browning!”

This guy doesn’t sound tolerant. In fact he sees tolerance as an attempt to disarm the people.

David Horowitz traveled to Ohio State University, to argue against the ‘campus war against Israel”. He says this:

“However, my words fell on deaf ears, as they had all evening. Not only the comments but the cheers for the pro-Hamas speakers made this abundantly clear. These were thoroughly indoctrinated young Americans, committed to a genocidal cause.”

Molly Norris

Molly Norris

In 2010, a Seattle-based cartoonist, Molly Norris, offhandedly suggested to her Facebook followers that they participate in a “Draw Mohammad Day.” Based on her initiative which went viral over the web, a fatwa was issued against her. She received so many death threats, the FBI recommended that she “go ghost.” She was forced to leave her job, her family, her friends, simply because the FBI couldn’t or wouldn’t protect her inside the US borders.

My guess is that Pamela Geller should “go ghost” too, because we really aren’t that safe, even thousands away from the Jihad battlefields. Islamic State has a long reach, as does Hezbollah, as does any hitman from any country in the world.

Generally, we all believe we are right about the issues we care the most about, but some of us believe in tolerating free speech on those issues, and some of us do not.

People can be a inconsistent mixture of tolerances and intolerances. A feminist who complains about women being shut out of men’s clubs can also insist on the right of a woman to spend her grown life in a shapeless sack that covers most of her body except for her eyes (see sources). Based on some experiences of mine I see the inconsistent mixture of attitudes also present in organized crime. You would think Mafias would tolerate human weakness. After all, criminals run gambling rings, prostitution rings, drug selling rings and smuggling rings.

And yet certain victims will bring out the lethal disciplinarian in criminals. I have read of criminal bosses being intolerant of subordinates who are “bad earners”.

They can be intolerant of extortion targets who can’t cough up enough money.

Criminals are not Jihadophobes, unlike Ms. Geller. A veteran U.S. counter-terrorism expert tells us that Hezbollah has infiltrated the Southwest United States by joining forces with Mexican drug cartels that have long operated in the region.

So surely criminals are very “tolerant”?

It depends. I have run into criminals who regarded me with disgust. Even criminals can despise others, and I was one of the despised. It is not a good situation to be in.  It is also ironic.

Sources:

https://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/mexican-cartels-help-hezbollah-infiltrate-u-s/

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/survey-presidential-candidates-Hillary-Clinton/2015/05/05/id/642809/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/20/us/politics/new-book-clinton-cash-questions-foreign-donations-to-foundation.html?_r=0

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/03/18/college-professor-says-climate-change-deniers-should-be-jailed-for-criminal-negligence-107012#ixzz3ZPF4J0rv

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanns_Johst

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/david-horowitz/the-pro-terrorist-front-groups-on-american-campuses/

http://larrykelley.com/free-molly-norris-foundation/

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-myth-of-campaign-finance-reform

https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2015/05/burka-brief/

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