Guys: Will Your High IQ Get You Women?

Please…you’ve got to be kidding me.

tulio writes in the comments section:

Some women do appreciate high intelligence. That’s why my favorite type of woman is the “sexy professor” type. Brains + beauty.

I learned long ago that this is one of the lies of females, or rather, their self-deceptions. Women often say, “I love a smart guy!”

Bullshit! No they don’t.

As someone with a high IQ, I can vouch for this. My high IQ never once got me laid. I don’t think it ever even got me a Goddamned date. What good is it? I don’t know. I like it, but it sure never got me any chicks. Back in the days when I did great with women, my one secret was hiding my brains. I on purposely acted like a dumb surfer-stoner idiot. My brothers used to take me to task on that. “You’re acting stupid on purpose! And you’re not! You’re smart! It’s fake! Quit acting stupid.” Oh for Chrissake, man. I was only trying to get some chicks. The dumber I acted, the more chicks I got. Real simple equation.

Young women will openly admit that they want a hulking caveman with a club, a rough and stupid type. It’s sexy. That’s what turns them on. Even high-IQ young women are like this. They often marry big dumb macho guys, and spend years of unhappiness. Finally when they are 40 and their sex drive goes down or their they gain some sense, they marry some brainy nerd for his money. And they are a lot happier.

Once they start getting a bit older, women start saying that smart guys are a turn-on. Yet another female self-deception. It’s a lie. I don’t believe it!

I had one girlfriend who claimed to like my brains, but it was obvious that it didn’t turn her on. She acted like my brains were some weird mystical object in a museum that you can’t understand. Is it weird? Yeah. Is it cool? Sort of, except you can’t understand it. Does it make you horny? Yeah right.

We had an open relationship (my specialty) so there was no such thing as cheating, but she loved to do it anyway, and rub it in my face at that. Being a decadent postmodern degenerate, I really didn’t care. She’d tell me I had go home. She was off for the weekend. Ok, no problem babe.

“I have a date!” she’d scream.

“Good for you,” I was stoned and didn’t care anyway.

She hadn’t gotten my attention yet, or pissed me off, her object.

“With a Black guy! I’m going to be gone all weekend!”

“Great, have fun,” I said, and I meant it. I should have asked her to take pics and show them to me. I was getting a lot out of this nonstop sex relationship. So she wants to take a vacation, hey, go for it, babe.

The more she couldn’t get a reaction out of me, the more pissed she got. I was a mystery, no ordinary man. I didn’t care if she cheated on me, just leave big megahelpings for me when you get back, honey.

Now, it’s obvious this chick did not get off on my brains. Here she was cuckolding me for some hulking Black brute with a double digit IQ and a monster dick.

Chicks dig brainy guys. Yeah right!

I would like to make some amendments to this rant. There are some women who like brains.

Asian chicks! Yo! Especially Chinese women. I’m convinced that the Chinese have been selecting for brains for a long time now. I did a lot of reading on China for a recent piece on the language. There were some interesting anecdotes.

One said that in a village in South China, there was a young man, the smartest guy in the whole village. All of the young women, especially the most beautiful, were lined up for him. They all wanted him. Why? He was the brainiest of them all! This suggests to me that maybe Chinese society has been selecting for brains. The women see the brainiest guys as the sexiest, or at least the best marriage potential. The best women compete for the brainiest guys. What’s the end result? 107 Chinese IQ! Good thinking, Chinese!

There was another anecdote. In central China, in a small village, they had a creative writing class. It was mostly full of women, as such classes always are. But there were a few guys. There was one guy, strong and silent, kept to himself, the best writer in the whole class! All the single Chinese women in the class wanted this guy! The best writer of them all!

Grab him, before someone else does. They hung around his office making fake excuses for being there and asking dumb questions. There was almost a line outside his door. He was also kind of macho for a Chinese guy, so that helps. But the main thing was, his writing kicked ass on everyone else’s. One Chinese woman snapped him up and was the envy of the rest.

I’ve also noticed this in Japanese and Thai women, but both of those cultures are heavily Sinicized.

Another exception: Jewish women! It’s true, Jewish chicks love brains. Being sexy and handsome are added attractions, but brains are definitely not a turnoff. I think it’s actually a sexual turn-on for Jewish women.

Once again, we have evidence for cultural evolution in selection for brains. In the traditional Jewish ghetto, the most beautiful young women were more or less auctioned off to the smartest young men. Say the rabbi had some daughters, really beautiful women. The hottest women in the village would hold out for the brainiest guy of them all.

The rabbi would virtually hold contests in Talmudic scholarship to see which boy was smartest, who would then be given the hot rabbi’s daughter babe in marriage. The smartest guys got the hottest chicks in the ghetto. This went on for centuries, and now you have Jews with average 113 IQ’s. Pretty smart cultural evolution there.

Hispanic/Iberian women. Not this pitiful excuse for an Hispanic culture here in the US, I mean the real deal in Latin America. Down there, especially in Peru, Brazil and Argentina, a scholar is a good thing to be. It’s widely accepted in society. There’s no such thing as scholarly nerds, since scholars conform to the same macho norms as everyone else. I’m not sure why, but hot young Latin American women like a brainy guy. Maybe he has good earning potential and is a good catch, maybe because scholars are highly valued in these Iberianized societies.

I also think that Iberian women have the same values. Spanish and Portuguese women seem to respect a smart guy. There’s a long tradition of valuing a scholar in these places. Iberian scholars were often macho, studly guys, highly respected by society, and they could get hot women.

French women. I suspect that French chicks like intellectuals more than your average European woman, but I’m not sure. Many French chicks are quite intellectual themselves, even ordinary working class women who you would never expect. It’s a very intellectual culture.

Cultures where the women do not value brains – this one is going to be hard. I would suggest right off the bat, the rest of Europe.

German women. Forget it. Even very smart German women want a caveman type, the dumber the better. Why this is, I have no idea.

Turkish women. I don’t think so. This is an extremely macho society, and the females conform strongly to macho norms. This is what they expect in a man.

Black women. Forget it. Of all women, Black women love the most masculine men of all – Black men! A lot of Black women think White guys period are wimpy, so you can imagine what they think of White intellectuals. It must be two thumbs down. This has got to be true for any Black society.

Some societies I am not sure about.

Russian women. No idea, but I suspect that they may respect intellectuals. Even ordinary IQ Russian women read Dostoevsky, listen to Tchaikovsky, etc. Intellectuals in Russia are not seen as effete. They are hardass, macho Russian dudes. They can get good women.

Arab women. I think Arab women are great (Check em out, guys!) but I’m not sure how they feel about intellectuals. Intellectuals are highly valued in Arab society, and they are macho, tough, Arab guys who conform to hypermasculine Arab values. They are well-respected by Arab society too – there’s nothing effete about working with your brain here in the land of dates and Crescents.

East Indian women. A commenter says they like smart guys, especially the middle class and up ones. I don’t know, because I have little experience with these women. We have a lot of Punjabis in my town though, and it’s striking how much they seem to respect education and an educated guy. It’s very highly valued. Further, many of them are either formally educated or if not, self-educated. Problem around here is that East Indian women are totally unavailable. They only go for Indian guys.

But anyway, in general, no! Your stratospheric IQ will not get you women, not in the US. It’s actually the opposite.

War Against the People and the Historic Lalgarh Movement

From the website of the Democratic Students Union of India, we have War Against the People and the Historic Lalgarh Movement by Amit Bhattacharyya. This is an excellent article in so many ways. I urge all of my progressive minded readers to check it out.

One thing he makes clear is the utter uselessless of the “Left intellectuals” in India, especially in West Bengal. They argue against the Maoist People’s War, advocating instead some Gandhian passive resistance or peaceful struggle thing. The problem with those arguing this line (this is also being argued in the Palestinian case) is that these resisting peoples have been using peaceful struggle for years, typically decades. What’s it gotten them? Jack diddley-squat! That’s at best. At worst, even peaceful struggle has met with violence at the hands of the state.

Furthermore, the Maoists and only the Maoists have been able to actually make dramatic and material improvements in the lives of the Adivasis, something that all the decades of peaceful protest and various Indian governments, including the fake Communists in the West Bengal government, have utterly failed to achieve.

I’m actually not a Maoist, though everyone thinks I am. I’m just a socialist.

But in India, everything over than the project of the Maoists has utterly failed. Who is there left to support? Show me a party other than the Maoists who has a project for dramatically bettering the lives of the 80% of poor Indians, and I’m with you. It’s not there, so I’m with the Maoists.

Another thing the article makes clear is the utter failure of the fake Communist sellouts of the CPI-M, in power for 20 years in West Bengal state. They have done nothing for the people and have become the worst sort of corrupted and frankly reactionary oppressors. With Communists like that, who needs enemies? Just because it calls itself Communist or socialist doesn’t mean it’s on the side of the people or even that it’s progressive. Important point.

War Against the People and the Historic Lalgarh Movement

Amit Bhattacharyya

The Indian ruling classes and the central government they have set up to serve them have very recently declared one of the most unjust and brutal wars against the people which is quite unprecedented in the history of our country. Such a massive mobilization of armed forces, paramilitary forces, police forces and air forces totaling around 1 lakh personnel, along with US-Israel military assistance of various types only highlights the magnitude of the war.

They have identified the Maoists as the ‘greatest threat to the internal security of the country since independence’ i.e, the security of the Indian ruling classes. The entire forested region in central and eastern India have been divided into seven Operating Areas, which wants to ‘clear’ within the next five years of all resistance, including that by the Maoists and other Naxalite organizations. A massive amount of money to the tune of Rs.7300 crore has already been earmarked for meeting the cost of this war.

Needless to state, this war against the people is being waged in the interests of foreign capital and domestic big comprador capital. Hundreds of MoU’s have been signed between imperialists and domestic sharks and the central and state governments that would further intensify the process of plunder and loot of our vast natural resources and bring more displacement and add to the misery and ruin in the lives of the impoverished people of our country.

Lalgarh, nay, the Jangal Mahal region, is a region that, as the central home minister Mr.P. Chidambaram declared, would be treated as a laboratory to undertake experiments in dealing with this ‘greatest internal threat’ and then to utilize that experience for crushing resistance in such states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa. We propose to deal with the great Lalgarh movement that has already found its rightful place in the history of just struggles of our country.

The ongoing struggle in Lalgarh, nay, Jangal Mahal has already completed one year in early November 2009. This struggle is totally different from any other recent movement in our country. If Singur faced the initial experience of defeat, Nandigram could take pride in having tasted victory in course of a long bloody battle against the anti-people ‘left-front’ government and terror perpetrated by the hermads backed by the ruling CPI(M).

The struggles waged in both Singur and Nandigram were directed against the land-grab movement resorted to by domestic big comprador capital and foreign imperialist capital. In both Singur and Nandigram, the parliamentary parties played some role, although in the case of the latter, the Maoist party that rejects the parliamentary path did play some role. In the case of the Lalgarh movement, on the other hand, parliamentary parties were actually rejected by the people and the Maoist party played a major role.

In one sense, the Lalgarh movement began in a different context. It started as a response against the brutality perpetrated by the police on 5 November 2008. It was, at the same time, a fight against age-old deprivation and humiliation and for the assertion of dignity and the rights of the people.

However, if one takes into account the land mine attack on the WB chief minister on 2 November 2008–the day the corporate house of the Jindals inaugurated the Shalboni steel plant (it was a SEZ), then that event possibly acted a catalyst that started a snow-balling process. In that sense, it started as a response to the land-grab movement also, like those in both Singur and Nandigram.

The Lalgarh movement can be divided into Five phases:

A) From 5 November 2008 to the day the dates for parliamentary elections were announced.

B) From that day to 16 May when results were declared throughout the country.

C) From 17 May2009 to 17 June just one day before ‘Operation Lalgarh’ was started.

D) From 18 June 2009 when the joint forces started moving into Lalgarh to 26 October when decisions were taken by the PCAPA to form the people’s militia.

E) From the formation of the ‘Sidhu-Kanu Gana Militia’ on 27 October till date. The day coincided with halting the Rajdhani Express by the members of the PCAPA demanding the release of Chhatradhar Mahato, release of political prisoners and the withdrawal of joint forces.

Each of these phases has its distinctive features. If one studies the movement, one will be able to see that it was not just a movement against land grab or just for the assertion of the rights of the adivasis or against age-old humiliation suffered by the tribal people; it was more than that.

And that broader aspect gradually unfolded itself as movement rolled on. One of those major aspects of the movement is their advocacy of a pro-people new model of development—a model that definitely shows the imprint of the Maoist party. This aspect of the movement hardly received any attention from the urban intellectuals. Let us take up that neglected, but very important aspect first.

New Model of Development

The model of development the Indian ruling classes and their political representatives have adopted ever since they came to power in 1947 was the policy of dependence on foreign capital and technology, which actually means the selling out of our country’s economy, water, land and vast natural resources to foreign imperialist capital and domestic comprador big capital for rapacious plunder and loot.

It was the Naxalbari movement and the CPI(M-L) led by Charu Mazumdar that first raised the demand for radical land reforms, opposition to and the confiscation imperialist capital, and at the same time formulated the blueprint for alternative model of development. That programme could not be implemented by the Communist revolutionaries of the first phase of struggle for reasons into which we would not enter at present.

At a later period, the Maoists put into practice an alternative development programme in the Dandakaranya area covering mineral-rich states like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The main elements of this programme are the rejection of foreign capital and technology, self-reliance, equitable distribution of resources and property among the people, distribution of land to the tiller, all-round development in the countryside based on people’s initiative and voluntary labour and the weeding out of foreign influence and control over our economy, society, culture and politics.

As in Dandakaranya, such attempts are being made even at the rudimentary level in the Jangal Mahal area of West Bengal. This is evident from the following newspaper report captioned ‘Welcome to India’s Newest Secret State’ by Snigdhendu Bhattacharya:

Here across a 1,000 sq.km area bordering Orissa in West Medinipur district, the Maoists over the last 8 months have quietly unleashed new weapons in their battle against the Indian state: drinking water, irrigation, roads and health centres…carefully shielded from the public eye, the Hindustan Times found India’s second ‘liberated zone’, a Maoist-run state where development for more than 2 lakh people is unfolding at a pace not seen in 30 years of ‘left front’ rule.

Apart from taking over the organs of the state and most notably the executive and the judiciary, the Maoists here have built at least 50 km of gravel paths, dug tube-wells and tanks, rebuilt irrigation canals and are running health centres, with the help of local villagers”(HT, 10 June 2009).

Another daily reported under the caption, Lalgarh Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (Maoist) Rise and Rot of a Rebel ‘State’ that the People’s Committee-Maoists began the following schemes: Jobs for landless – work in development projects in lieu of Rs.60-80 per day; building kutcha roads, culverts and water reservoirs and digging deep tube-wells; bringing medical teams from Kolkata; lending money to repair and build cheap houses (The Telegraph 24 June 2009).

The first attempts were made by the PCAPA soon after it was born. It set up village committees each of which consisted of 5 men and 5 women, where decisions were taken on the basis of mutual discussion. That was followed by the formation of women’s wings and youth wings of the committee. These were democratic bodies some of which bear the imprint of the old adivasi society and some, particularly the women’s wing, is new and signified the true empowerment of women.

In June 2009, before the deployment of the joint forces for ‘Operation Lalgarh’ a team comprising seven students belonging to the Democratic Students’ Union, JNU, New Delhi and two journalists visited Lalgarh and adjoining areas for an on-the-spot investigation. That report throws some light, even if at a rudimentary level, on the development programme initiated by the people.

Since then, many new steps were taken in this direction, as is reported by different sources. However, because of the existing situation and the imposition of Section 144 against entry into the region, joint fact-finding missions could not be undertaken, despite attempts from several quarters. So this report is the last published on the region. Let us state some of the features.

A) Agriculture and Land distribution: Anyone going to Jangal Mahal would be able to realize that the much trumpeted ‘land reform’ programme of the ‘left-front’ government does not have any presence there. In areas where trees have been cut to introduce land reforms, nothing has been done and vast tracts have been allowed to be converted into waste lands. Although the WB government through an act of 2004 vowed to distribute these lands among the landless adivasis, nothing has as yet been done.

On the contrary, the WB government and the CPI(M) that rules it had decided to hand over thousands of acres of those lands for the setting up of a SEZ to the corporate house of the Jindals whom they are committed to serve as its most trusted lackeys against the interests of the people. Faced with such government apathy and deprivation, it was quite natural for the people of Jangal Mahal to organize under the banner of the PCAPA to initiate true land reform programme.

The Committee initiated a programme to ensure full rights of the adivasis over forest land to the landless with adequate facilities for irrigation. Opposing the government policy of welcoming multinational seed companies the PCAPA opted to build seed cooperatives through the promotion of organic fertilizers prepared with either forest ash or cow-dung.

Another important step is land distribution. The village committee decided to ensure 1 bigha of land for the landless and 15 kathas for peasants with less land and no land for those having 5 bighas or more. The JNU team visited Banshberia village and were witness to a land distribution meeting. However, one problem was that land was not in an arable condition due to the senseless plantation of eucalyptus trees by the state government as part of its ‘social forestry’ project that was promoted by the World Bank.

The plantation of such eucalyptus trees was aimed at drying up the land so as to facilitate future extraction of mineral resources from the region. It is a nefarious anti-people conspiracy deliberately hatched by corporate foreign capital and domestic capital with the backing of both the central and state governments. In order to undo the damage to the soil, the people decided to grow fruits and vegetables there for at least two seasons before it becomes fit hopefully for paddy cultivation again.

Side by side, it was also decided that the lands of ‘new landlords’ such as those of the CPI(M) leaders like Anuj Pandey, Bimal Pandey or Dalim Pandey—the rural bosses-rogues-cum-moneylenders who had amassed millions by expropriating the wealth and land of the peasants as also by swindling money from governmental projects would be confiscated and distributed among the real owners.

B) Irrigation: In the dry Jangal Mahal belt, where rainfall is scanty, special attention is needed. However, one cannot see anything of the sort. The government has built a huge canal that runs from Mayurbhanj in Jharkhand to Midnapur town so as to provide water to the field when the rainy season was over.

However, because of faulty construction, the huge canal remains dry throughout the year and the pipes that open to the fields remain completely choked. The Committee, in response to this governmental maldevelopment, started building small check dams and lock gates that would store the water during monsoons and preserve water flowing down from natural streams. Such a check dam was in the process of construction at Bohardanga village when the DSU team visited the place.

C) Construction of Roads: If one goes to the Lalgarh villages , one will be struck by the absence of roads worth its name. During the monsoon the roads are muddy and water-logged and virtually impossible to walk on. Transferring patients, pregnant women or dead bodies become difficult tasks. The villagers of Adharmari complain that the transportation facilities are pathetic and during monsoon, the village gets totally cut off from the world outside. The same is true for many other villages as well. The Committee took up this issue and constructed roads with red-stone chips which locally available at a cheap price.

The construction was done through voluntary labour, as in the Dandakaranya region. It is an example of participatory development where human resources are mobilized for developmental work for the people. During the Yenan phase (1937-45) of the Chinese revolution, this principle of Mao Tse-tung was applied in many regions and helped in unleashing the creativity of the masses. In villages such as Korengapara, Shaldanga, Bahardanga, Papuria, Darigera etc, it was the villagers themselves who took part.

This was unlike the earlier government projects where helplessly witnessed from a distance their development funds being siphoned off by the corrupt CPI(M) party members and government officials. According to Chhatradhar Mahato, the spokesperson of the PCAPA, unlike the state which builds 1 km of road spending Rs.15,000, the Committee could build 20 kms spending only Rs.47,000.

D) Water, Shelter and Health facilities: A dry and arid region that Jangal Mahal is, it is difficult to get drinking and irrigation water. The Committee took initiative to set up mini tube-wells and install submergible pumps. The people also gave voluntary labour to facilitate irrigation. The Committee also took steps to ensure that government projects like the Indira Avaash Yojana reached those who needed it most. There was hardly any medical facility in the whole zone.

The Committee took the initiative to set up health centres at Kantapahari, Belpahari and Chakadoba. It was a people’s health centre with an ambulance van and a team doctors from Kolkata. Nearly 1,500 persons visited the centres everyday for treatment. These health centres are now under the occupation of the joint forces and converted into paramilitary camps.

E) Education, Culture and Social Awareness: In the charter of demands placed by the Adivasi Moolbasi Janasadharaner Committee and published from Purulia, the adivasi people demanded promotion and spread of the Santhali and Kurmali languages and alchiki script. In fact, a large number of indigenous languages have gone into oblivion due to the domination of one or two languages. Quite naturally demands have been raised for the recognition of the Santhali language.

This year (2009),  February 21st – observed as the ‘Language Day’ in both West Bengal and Bangladesh – was observed as a Black Day. It was an expression of protest against the cultural domination of the Bengali language. In fact, as has been reported in the press, as a result of globalization and the domination of one language over another, thousands of indigenous languages had already gone into oblivion and many more are awaiting the same fate all over the world. These developments take place before our very eyes, but we hardly pay any attention to them.

In fact, the Lalgarh struggle has put forward the demand for the restoration of the nearly extinct languages of the people. The reality is that in areas where people’s struggles are very strong, the possibility of the regeneration of local languages is a reality, and the local artists, writers and singers make their marks in respective fields of activity. In this way do extinct languages appear again. Dandakaranya has had the same experience.

Traditional weapons comprise an integral part of the adivasi culture. Thus if any restrictions are imposed on the display of such weapons by the government, the adivasi people would treat it as an infringement on their traditional culture. On June 5, 2009, the Kolkata police put a restriction on the display of such weapons at proposed rally to be organized jointly by the CAVOW – an all-India women’s organization and the women’s wing of the PCAPA.

The women’s wing has also initiated campaigns against consumption of liquor, superstition, pornography and domestic violence. The Matangini Mahila Samiti (MMS) has earlier taken steps in this direction in Nandigram.

F) People’s Court: The system of justice that prevails in our country is, needless to say, meant to serve the ruling classes. In Lalgarh, the people set up their own court—the People’s Court. Here decisions are taken by the people and punishment, if any, is meted out. There was much criticism from some quarters (civil rights activists and others) against such a system of justice.

G) Fight against Environmental Pollution: Environmental pollution caused by three sponge-iron factories came under from the Committee. These three factories had been causing immense pollution in the area for the last 15 years. There was a mammoth gathering of more than 12,000 people on June 7, 2009 at Lodhashuli village near Kharagpur where decisions for the boycott of the factories was taken.

It is clear that the Committee had integrated local day-to-day issues with the broad struggle against state repression. Needless to say, this would not have been possible without the active participation of the Maoists. This has been an entirely new experience in the history of West Bengal. It did not happen in the first phase of the Naxalbari struggle. Without the active participation of the broad masses of Jangal Mahal, this alternative model of development at Maoist initiative, could not be implemented.

Intellectual Reaction to the Maoist presence and the role of the Maoists

It is crystal clear that the intellectual response to the Lalgarh struggle is basically different from what we had seen during the Singur and Nandigram struggles. Here, they did not stand up to state repression in the way many people expected them to do. On the contrary, they have become very critical of what have been going on in the region. Those who came forward at the early stage later retracted and kept mum.

Meanwhile, the tide was blowing for a ‘change’; the total isolation of the CPI(M) got reflected in the elections, and one section among the intellectuals found it more attractive to keep closer to the prospective winner – the TMC – in the approaching elections and receive bouquets and cushy jobs as biddwajjans (learned personalities).

However, as later events have shown, some of them did not have either the wisdom or the minimum courage to stand up to state repression and constant intimidation coming from the corridors of power. In the face of such timid response from this section of intellectuals, the present writer feels the absence of late Samar Sen much.

In fact, artists and writers who visited Lalgarh and met Chhatradhar Mahato after the beginning of ‘Operation Lalgarh’ seemed to have been particularly concerned with extracting a statement from Chhatradhar Mahato condemning Maoist violence and also openly distancing the PCAPA from them, as only then would they be in a position to mediate between the state and the PCAPA.

One well-known prize-winning writer informed us through an article published in a Bengali daily Bartaman that the destruction of Anuj Pandey’s palatial building was the outcome of a secret understanding between the CPM and the Maoists, as that would fetch a massive amount of money for the CPM boss from the insurance company.

In this way, she exposed her appalling poverty of thinking; at the same time, she also sought to tarnish the heroic struggle of Jangal Mahal and humiliate the people fighting for their dignity and for justice. One can only pity such intellectuals. What is important for our purpose now is that the response of this section of the urban literati depends on the part played and influence exercised by the Maoists in the Lalgarh struggle.

Main points of Criticism

First, the people of Jangal Mahal had been continuing their movement quite well. It is the Maoists who entered the scene from outside and made a total mess of everything and misguided and derailed the movement. It is their violent activities that brought joint forces into the scene.

The result is that the people are now being sandwiched between state terror and gun-toting Maoists or ‘non-state’ actors, as civil rights organizations such as the APDR are fond of describing it. The most bitter attack, however, came from the two Delhi-based historians – Sumit Sarkar and Tanika Sarkar. In a journal, they wrote an article in the most malicious manner, some portions of which are as follows:

Maoists have done incalculable harm to the movement. Their activities and intentions are shrouded in mystery, their secret terror operations express total indifference to human lives, their arms deals lead them…into shady financial transactions with rich and corrupt power brokers…They come into an already strong and open mass movement, they engage in a killing spree discrediting the movement, and then they leave after giving the state authorities a splendid excuse for crushing it” (Economic & Political Weekly, June 27-July 10, 2009).

Second, it is the Maoists who have derailed the movement towards a violent and undemocratic path. These are the main points of attack, although there are other minor points. For the time being, we will concentrate on these points.

Maoist Presence

Chhatradhar Mahato has stated that the People’s Committee consists of different political forces, the Maoists included. The Maoists have mass base. They are in their place as we are in ours. The Maoist leader, Kishenji made a press statement that they had been working in Lalgarh from the 1990s. In fact, from the historical point of view, the MCC had been active in the region from the 1980s and the CPI(M-L) People’s War in places such as Belpahari, Garbeta, Shalboni, Lalgarh, Banshpahari, Ramgarh, Sarenga etc from the mid-1990s.

The issues over which they fought were as follows: against corruption in the panchayets; to ensure proper distribution of grants coming through government projects such as forest preservation samiti which rightfully belong to the adivasis; against the felling of trees useful to the people; for raising the price of kendu leaves etc.

People in the urban areas can still remember the extent of police repression in the zone from 2001-02. Behula Kalindi and Sulochana Kalindi of Belpahari were forced to undress by the raiding police party to enable the police forces ascertain their sex. When Jaleswar Soren was not found in his house, his ten-month pregnant wife, Sulekha Soren was taken away and sent to Midnapur central jail which the government calls ‘correctional home’ on charges of waging war against the state.

Pyalaram Mahato, an 87-year old man who was even unable to walk alone as his jail-mates would testify, was charged with the ‘offence’ of being a People’s War squad member. A woman named Meena Sardar of Belpahari was so traumatized by what the raiding police party did to herself, her mother and her house that she lost her mental balance; when she was released on bail after spending months in jail, she became totally mad, stayed at her home with her mother by becoming a ‘liability’, and ultimately died in that state without any treatment.

One can distinctly remember also how Prof. Kaushik Ganguly was arrested and beaten up at police lock-up, how Abhijit Sinha, a government official, was haunted by the fear of being arrested and tortured by the police and how he died near railway lines under mysterious circumstances in 2002.

The Jhinka jungle that has become news during ‘Operation Lalgarh’ for being a Maoist hideout, is the area where the body of the People’s War activist, Ashim Das Kanchan was found with marks of wound on all parts of the body some years back. It was, according to the findings of civil rights bodies, a case of fake encounter killing. Many village houses were destroyed, ravaged and looted by the police and paramilitary forces.

People were beaten brutally as if such acts of torture were the birthrights of the state forces, property was looted, kerosene oil was dropped into wells which were the only source of drinking water for the villagers, grain was mixed up with cooked rice, house deeds, documents, ration cards and other things were simply taken away never to be returned.

Civil rights bodies such as APDR had published many fact-finding reports of such despicable acts done by the WB police forces. However bitter it might sound, the fact is that a large section of city intellectuals paid no attention to these things at that time and were only too concerned with receiving patronage from the West Bengal government.

The reality is that the Maoists did not fall from the sky, nor did they come from a different planet; their social root lies in the soil of Jangal Mahal, however disturbing it might sound to the (a-)historians and sections of those ‘learned personalities’. The list of proclaimed Maoist ‘offenders’ that the police forces have furnished will show that with the sole exception of Kishenj who hails from Andhra Pradesh, all others are sons and daughters of the soil—either adivasi or non-adivasi.

Some of them are Sasadhar Mahato, Jagori Baske, Karan Hembrom, Bimal Mandi, Jyotsna, Tarit Pal, Sudip Chongdar and Sumitra Sardar. (HT, Kolkata Plus 26 June 2009).

According to reports, all of them did political work in the region at one time or other. Thus the statement that the Maoists are external to the movement, that they have just entered the scene all on a sudden and taken control of it, does not have any factual basis at all.

As to the ‘sandwich’ theory circulated by sections of the intellectuals and the media, it can be said that the advocates of this theory hereby have actually been portraying the masses in a way that they are devoid of any thinking of their own, that they are like unthinking, unfeeling robots who can only follow, but cannot lead.

In this way, these urban intellectuals, themselves keeping a safe distance from the actual field of battle, pose as being possessed of all earthly knowledge and from whom the ‘ignorant’ adivasis must learn the art of how to conduct the movement. The sooner these ‘learned’ fellows come to their senses the better.

Peaceful ‘democratic’ movement and armed ‘undemocratic’ movement

The Lalgarh movement has given rise to debates that are old in states such as Andhra Pradesh, but new in states such as West Bengal. Such issues had come up time and again from within human rights organizations and ‘civil society’ whenever armed resistance developed or revolutionary armed struggles gained in strength.

The issue has been hotly debated earlier within the APCLC (Andhra Pradesh), PUCL, PUDR, APDR, BMC(WB) and very recently within Lalgarh Aandolan Samhati Mancha (Lalgarh Movement Solidarity forum) or Lalgarh Mancha (Lalgarh Forum). According to some intellectuals, the ‘peaceful and democratic’ movement of the adivasi masses of Lalgarh was derailed by the Maoists and it took a violent turn as a result.

The view that comes up is that democratic struggle should be peaceful, and when it takes a violent turn and the people get armed, then it loses its democratic character. To them, ‘democracy’ is identified with order and peace, and if there is disorder and violence, then it becomes un-democratic. Needless to say, such ideas have been very carefully and successfully planted by the state propaganda machinery through media and other means and well-known historians as also intellectuals have become victims of such campaigns.

History, however, proves otherwise. It is not the people but the state which is armed to the teeth, and it is the state again which uses all conceivable methods of violence to keep people under subjugation. Peace-loving people are thereby forced by the state to raise the banner of armed resistance, as the real perpetrators of violence leave behind for them no option other than that. History is replete with many such examples.

The great slave revolt under Spartacus against the might of Rome in 73BC that shook the slave empire to its foundations was not at all a peaceful affair; on the contrary, it was armed and violent in nature. Was it undemocratic in character? The great peasant rebellion in Germany under Thomas Munzer in the 1520’s was clearly armed and violent. Was it also undemocratic? The great Taiping peasant rebellion in mid-19th century China (1851-64) also was one of the greatest peasant revolts and very much an armed affair. Was it undemocratic?

The history of British India is also full of examples of armed anti-colonial struggles such as the Great Revolt of 1857 or those by Bhagat Singh, Surya Sen, Bagha Jatin, V.G. Pingle and many others. Many revolutionaries courted martyrdom with the aim of making our country free from colonial subjugation. Could those movements be branded as ‘undemocratic’? The reality is that all these struggles represented the genuine interests and aspirations of the Indian people and were just and democratic in character.

In the class society of today, class contradictions, conflicts and sometimes, class wars are inevitable. The ruling classes had always exploited the majority of people, killed and maimed them, perpetrated terror and, in this way, extracted the sole right, the legitimacy to perpetrate terror against the people whom they pretend to serve. Names such as the ‘Greyhound’, ‘Cobra’, ‘Scorpion’, ‘Jaguar’ and many other state-trained police-butchers only betray the violent character of the Indian state.

Whenever, in response, the oppressed people themselves take up arms, break that state monopoly over the means of violence and ‘legitimacy’ enjoyed by the state to control masses, the ruling classes raise the bogey of law and order and utilize that legitimacy to drown people’s movement in pools of blood. If anybody calls that resistance struggle ‘terrorism’, then that ‘terrorism’ definitely is of a different character.

That reminds one of Mark Twain, the American writer. At the centenary year of the French Revolution in 1889, he wrote a novel entitled A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The Jacobin period or the period of Danton and Robespierre during the French Revolution has been branded by many as the ‘Reign of Terror’. While criticizing such a view, Mark Twain wrote:

“There were two ‘Reigns of Terror’, if we would but remember and consider it: the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other had lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death upon ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the ‘horrors’ of the minor Terror, the momentary terror, so to speak; whereas, what is horror of swift death by the axe compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty and heartbreak?

What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror which we have all been diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over, but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror—that unspeakably bitter and awful Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves”.

Mark Twain was not a revolutionary; however, his inquisitiveness and sensitivity helped him arrive at a truth. In the late 1920s, Mao Tse-tung talked about terror of two types, while he analyzed the Hunan peasant uprising. One was white terror or counter-revolutionary terror; and the other was red terror or revolutionary terror. He wrote:

“A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an act of insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another. A rural revolution is a revolution by which the peasantry overthrows the power of the feudal landlord class.

Without using the greatest force, the peasants cannot possibly overthrow the deep-rooted authority of the landlords which has lasted for hundreds of years. The rural areas needed a mighty revolutionary upsurge, for it alone can rouse the people in their millions to become a powerful force”.

These facts are not unknown to the writers, historians and others who ruminate about their craft and actually keep a safe distance from the field of battle; however, whenever it comes to connecting them with the present situation, they fail to seek truth from facts, their logical mind ceases to respond, their sense of history suddenly loses its steam, and they betray their utter inability to grasp the essence of that historic struggle.

It has become obvious that the Lalgarh struggle has posed a serious problem to the civil rights movement, democrats and sections of the urban intellectuals. When the masses were attacked and tortured, when they protested through processions, meetings, petitions and other ‘democratic’ methods as permissible by the government, and did not raise the banner of armed resistance, the city-bred intellectuals stood by their side and raised their voice.

There was no problem in Singur and Nandigram; in the case of the latter, despite the presence of armed resistance, as the mainstream TMC party was also active there. But the Lalgarh story was entirely different. Here the urban literati are confronted with the emergence of the resisting warrior masses and in their presence, are at a loss what to do, what position to take. This is an entirely new situation, unlike any in West Bengal for many years.

This entirely new situation has placed them in a dilemma, and they are yet to cope with and digest it and then take a position on it. That is why we find sections of the APDR, APCLC, PUDR, editors of some little magazines and others condemning both state and ‘non-state’ violence in their statements, articles and public speeches. The transformation of the ‘repressed masses’ into ‘warrior masses’ have reduced them to such a pitiable condition!

On 16 September 2009, one English daily organized a thought-provoking discussion in Kolkata with the caption ‘Surely the Maoist is not one of us’. Most of the speakers sought the genesis of the Maoist emergence in the ‘failure of the system to deliver’.

Let us quote a few lines from the report:

“When a landlord takes away a villager’s wife, keeps her in his house to sexually abuse her and orders the husband to go away when he pleads with him for returning his wife to him and his two children, what is he supposed to do? Mouth platitudes about non-violence and peace? ‘Or take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them?’

In one such case a youth in Andhra Pradesh went straight into the jungle, organized a group of about 25,000 people, killed the landlord and ended by being Maoists”. This is part of the speech delivered by Prof. Hargopal from Andhra Pradesh, which only corroborates the view that it is the oppressive state that breeds armed resistance (The Statesman 17 September 2009).

There is one important point on which we believe most of the people will be in agreement, the Maoists included. This is related to the death of civilians, of medical staff, government officials on polling duty in the Jangal Mahal region over the last few months or common innocent civilians. As to the deaths due to mine blasts of the medical staff and polling officials in the Belpahari area of West Medinipur some months ago, the Maoists have tendered apology time and again as those civilians were mistaken as security forces.

One may note here in passing that Kshudiram Bose, the revolutionary from Bengal, made a similar mistake when he killed the Kennedy couple, instead of the notorious magistrate, Kingsford back in the 1910’s and was hanged by the British rulers. These acts – even though done unknowingly – were rightly criticized by cross-sections of the people. In the recent period, another such act took place, this time in Jharkhand. One intelligence official, Francis Induwar was beheaded by the Maoists.

That raised a hue and cry among the central home department and media in varied magnitude. While the Maoists later, as reported in the press, made self-criticism for adopting such a method of exterminating an enemy. However, this particular act needs a bit more consideration.

First, the first two instances were clear cases of mistaken identity, but the third one was not. It is related to the method of killing, and not the killing as such. The region in which he was killed is a tribal belt, and sharp weapons such as axes, knives etc are used by the tribals as their traditional weapons.

Let us simply cast aside for the time being the veil of ‘civilization’ from our person and for a time keep in mind the hard reality that in the name of this very ‘civilization’ as created by capitalism and its clients in countries like India, the ruling classes had over the decades only perfected the methods of torture on people, prisoners and all dissident voices not only in Vietnam, Afganistan or Iraq, but also in Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and other states that would put to shame even some of the most brutal characters in history.

While most of us will, in all likelihood, disapprove of the adoption of such a method of beheading for killing a ‘foe’, one can legitimately ask the ruling elite, sections of the media and the security forces whom they train up for committing unheard-of-barbarity on their own people whether they – the perpetrators of violence – themselves have the moral right to raise such moral questions at all.

Second, this part of criticism appears to me to be quite amusing and self-contradictory. As has been pointed out before, sections of the urban literati and some civil rights activists have expressed their disapproval in the taking up of arms (meaning firearms) even for self-defence by the adivasis of Jangal Mahal. The urban literati would rather accept their wielding of traditional weapons, but not the firearms. If that is the case, then what is the harm in beheading a person as in that case traditional weapons rather than firearms were used.

Let us now pass on to another aspect. The major section of the ‘civil society’ of West Bengal has learnt to accept state-sponsored violence as natural and somewhat legitimate, in the sense that it can be taken for granted. To them, therefore, the perpetration of state terror against the people of Lalgarh is the legitimate application of legitimate violence (we include in it arrests, interrogation, long period of incarceration, not to speak of torture in police and jail custody); they had never questioned or challenged the legitimacy of that state-sponsored violence.

What they are concerned about is that there should be no excess and the casualties should be less. They talk only about legality, about laws being trampled down, but hardly talk about justice. They do not question the system; they only tell the government to abide by rules and not to deviate from them. To them, governments are elected and thus have broad support of the people, and that these do not have any class character of their own.

But when the Lalgarh masses dared to take up arms in response to that state-sponsored violence and used the same weapon against the state machinery and the CPM hermads to pay the oppressors back in their own coin, and renounced the ‘democratic and peaceful’ path as looked at by that section of the ‘civil society’, then that resistance struggle which is legitimate and just from the people’s point of view, came to be considered impermissible under the law and would merit criticism and even condemnation from their side.

To some people, there is hardly any difference between state-sponsored violence and ‘non-state’ violence and both are condemnable; in the eyes of some APDR people, 90% condemnation is to be reserved for the former and 10% for the latter. The same is the attitude of some of the editors of Bengali little magazines/periodicals such as Aneek—as is evident in signature campaigns–which quite religiously devotes some pages in its issues to the condemnation of the ‘non-state’ ‘senseless’ violence committed by the Maoists or the resisting warrior masses of Lalgarh.

The pertinent question here is: could the violence committed by the state against the people and that done by the people against the state agents be the same? Would they also denounce—even if not in the same breadth–the ‘violent’ struggles as championed by Bhagat Singh, Surya Sen or the peasant rebels in Telengana? Would they condemn the heroic armed resistance and national liberation struggles of the people of Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq?

Every year, the Indian state is spending millions on the modernization of its forces whose main purpose is to subdue and crush people’s movements, while lakhs of people are dying every year out of malnutrition and hunger. Have they ever challenged the legitimacy of the state to rule? Have they ever demanded large-scale demobilization of armed forces and paramilitary forces and the diversion of that massive amount of money to the cause of people’s real development?

Struggles can be of different types—just and unjust. If they make no distinction between just struggles and unjust struggles, between the violence perpetrated by the state forces and hermads/salwa judum goons on the one hand and the violence committed by the armed people, on the other, then they would have also to denounce the long tradition of people’s heroic armed resistance down the ages both in our country as also outside.

The struggle in Jangal Mahal is not a spontaneous movement; it has been a politically conscious movement, as its process of unfolding made it clear. By now, it is obvious that the Maoists have been playing a major part in it. The urban literati should not grudge it, because who is to lead and guide the movement, what form that movement would take is to be decided by the sons of the soil themselves, and not by those who keep a safe distance from it.

The movement is coming out with new features, new methods of struggle at regular intervals—participation by the broadest masses, ingenuity, alternative model of development, formation of people’s militia (‘Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia’ drawing its name and inspiration from the past, from the names of two Santhal leaders of the mid-19th Santhal rebellion in colonial India), women coming into leadership and probably also taking part in policy-making—all these and many other things have made the movement stand apart from others that preceded it.

The direction that it is taking drives home the fact that some concrete political ideology, a fair amount of knowledge about military strategy and tactics and seasoned political brains stand behind it as guiding spirits. Without the active role of the Maoists, the movement would not have taken such a shape. This constitutes its main strength. At the same time, the presence of the Maoists and the resisting warrior masses is also the reason why sections of the urban literati keep aloof from it.

It appears that had the adivasi people kept aside firearms (AK-47s, landmines etc) and took up their traditional weapons (bows and arrows, axes etc) to stand up to the combined assault of the CRPF, the COBRA’s, Straco, the BSF, the EFR, the Greyhounds, the American satellites, the state intelligence, the army, the Air force and of course, the CPM hermads and in that totally unequal war inevitably lost the battle, these intellectuals would have derived silent pleasure (or if not so, would have been stimulated to take the field), and like during Nandigram, would have given the call for a big procession(silent, of course!) with candles and with giant banners again demanding ‘Hang Butcher Buddhadev’ (or Butcher Chidambaran also?), and would have again derived much pleasure by seeing their own faces in newspapers and TV channels.

Lalgarh would thus have turned into a second Nandigram. It would have been defeated. And like the peasant rebellions in China, which were utilized by ruling classes throughout ages to initiate dynastic changes due to the absence of new productive forces and correct political ideology, the Lalgarh struggle would also have been utilized, as Singur and Nandigram struggles have been utilized recently for election battles, to initiate ‘change’ in the way sections of the urban literati, not to speak of the parliamentary political parties, envision it.

Whether one likes it or not, the struggle of Lalgarh has moved in a different direction. This constitutes its strength. For those who long for a society where human values would triumph over the lust for profits, the Lalgarh struggle holds the promise of hope for the future.

Today, the Lalgarh struggle is not confined within the borders of Jangal Mahal region. It has extended far beyond, providing inspiration to people of other states; it has also been accepted as the new symbol of defiance and resistance by the democratic and freedom-loving people in other countries of the world. Movements in solidarity with the Lalgarh struggle have already developed in the urban areas of West Bengal as also in other states; solidarity gatherings, meetings and conventions have also been taking place in foreign countries such as UK, Greece etc.

The central government has joined hands with the American intelligence and state governments and initiated the ‘Operation Greenhunt’ against the people of our country—in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and other states in the name of combating the Maoist movement.

The central home minister, P. Chidambaram did not mince words when he said that they were treating the Lalgarh operation as laboratory for experimentation and that his policy would be one of ‘zero tolerance’ towards the Maoists. It is a clear threat to the people; it means state-sponsored genocide and brutality to be perpetrated against the people.

They are doing it because they have already pledged (through MOU’s etc) to hand over vast stretches of our country full of natural resources to the hands of domestic and foreign big capital for rapacious plunder and loot and those who are resisting this plunder—Maoists and others–have been singled out for attack and extermination in the name of ‘development’.

The people of Lalgarh have stood up against this with their heads held high. Today or tomorrow, all the intellectuals, human rights activists, teachers, artists, writers and other democratic people would have to take some stand. Should they allow our country’s natural resources to be sold out to corporate capital by the central and state governments which would bring more ruin to our country, or should they stand up as true patriots to oppose it?

Over the last decade and more, there had been much military collaboration, besides collaboration of other types, between the American and Israeli governments, on the one hand, and the Indian government, on the other. The American FBI has opened its office in the capital, if not also in other Indian cities, many years back and joint military exercises between the American and Indian armed forces have been taking place regularly in Mizoram and other areas. American and Israeli military officials are keeping regular contacts with their Indian counterparts.

And if armed resistance of the Indian people and Communist revolutionary movements develop further despite the massive armed mobilization by the central and state governments for the ‘Operation Green-hunt’—and I am not talking only of Maoist insurgency—then, as it appears now, a time will not be long in coming when the people of India would have to confront American soldiers on the Indian soil.

Confronted with such an eventuality, how would the civil rights activists, intellectuals, editors of little magazines and other sections of urban literati react? How would they respond when they would see people of their own country, their brothers and sisters dying, falling down but rising up again and putting up armed resistance against the foreign aggressors like that in Indochina in the wake of the American imperialist aggression?

Would they condemn that people’s armed struggle then also, as some of them are doing today, on the ground that that struggle smacked of violence? Would they behave and act like patriots, or would they act like unthinking robots and still keep on murmuring that the aggressors also have their right to life?

In 1932, one year after the Japanese aggression in China, Soong Ching Ling, the wife of Sun Yat-sen and one of the leading personalities of the China League, a civil rights body, wrote an article on the duties of the League. China at that time was torn by civil war between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang and was controlled by a number of imperialist powers in one way or the other.

In that article, she dealt mainly with the plight of the political prisoners in China (the overwhelming majority of whom were the Communists), voicing demands for their unconditional release. When confronted with the question whether the China League supported the revolution (meaning Communist revolution), Soong Ching Ling made it clear that the League stood for the ultimate victory of the people and the assertion of their rights, and that victory could be attained only through revolution.

Urban literati and civil rights activists in India may find the essay quite illuminating. Let us now come back to India. Many of us living in India still do not know who to look forward to for guidance and leadership; but what many of us do feel is that how we live today is far removed from how we ought to live, that the present system has already outlived its utility, has been failing to deliver and that some fundamental change is necessary in the interests of the majority of the people. Is Lalgarh showing the way?

It is high time that we should raise our collective voice against this unjust war waged by the central and state governments against our own people, and also demand large-scale demobilization of armed forces and paramilitary forces and the diversion of that massive amount of money from the nefarious goal of committing genocide on our people to the task of creating a new society fit for human living.

Does a Higher IQ Make You Superior?

There’s a debate raging in the comments section about race and IQ. I’m staying out of it, but if you’re familiar with this blog, you know very well how I stand on this issue. In some ways, I feel that the less said about it the better, although it’s true I do talk about it a lot on here. That’s because I’m trying to fashion some sort of a progressive response that’s fair to all ethnic groups out of the very un-PC facts on the ground. I’m more interested in raising IQ on this blog. That’s why you see all these posts on the Flynn Effect. Anyway, enough about me.

In the debate, Tulio makes an interesting observation:

Many people feel that if you say one group is collectively less intelligent than another, that is akin to saying that group is “inferior”. After thinking about it though, I’m not sure why someone being of less intelligence makes them inferior. No matter how smart you are, there is always someone smarter. Do you feel that you are inferior or less human than that person? I don’t. Do White Gentiles walk around with an inferiority complex to Jews? Or feel that they are inferior? I’ve never seen it.

Why does being smarter make someone superior per se? We don’t think that on an individual level, so why on a racial level? It just means they’re better at abstract reasoning on average. It doesn’t say whether you have common sense, whether you’re a nice person, a hard worker, a loyal friend, sociable, obey the law or gazillion other qualities we judge people on. Doesn’t say anything about them having superior humanity.

Tulio makes an excellent point. In ordinary society, the one I live in, no one cares about brains. I just went to the drug store to fill a prescription. There were mostly Hispanics in there, and I know some of them. A few poor Whites too. One thing I can tell you for sure: Not one of those people in that store gives two shits about IQ! Or even intelligence, really.

As someone with a genius IQ (over 140), I can tell you, it’s not so great.

You know how many people in Meatspace think my stratospheric IQ is cool? Just about zero!  It doesn’t benefit me in life. One more thing. You know how many chicks in Meatspace think that Chicago Tower of an IQ is cool? Just about zero! It’s been this way my whole life. No one cares if you’re a brain. Definitely, no one has ever thought that that made me a superior person! I did, sure, but who cares what I think? What matters is society. Society does not treat us brains like we are superior! If anything, it’s the opposite.

So in the real world Meatspace of ordinary humans, no one gives two shits about IQ or even intelligence really. Although I have done extremely well with women in my life, nevertheless, all my life, females have been abandoning and scorning us brains in favor of blockhead dumbass hulking caveman, thug and jock types. I don’t chicks don’t even want to screw brainy guys unless they have something else going like Game or Looks! They want to screw double digit IQ caveman with a club types.

So what good is a high IQ? Sometimes I wonder. But in general, society does not treat a higher IQ group, not to mention individual, as superior to a lower IQ group or individual, assuming the low IQ folks are not so dumb that it’s obvious that something is wrong.

In Meatspace, if you bring up IQ, you get resentful stares and attempts to change the conversation. Please don’t think this is something that happens to me a lot. I don’t do this very often because I know how people think. I do bring up my IQ in Meatspace sometimes, but 90% of the time it goes ok because I know how to say it without making people mad. What’s the secret? False modesty.

However, I do bring it up on the Web, but not very often either because I know how people think. But I have brought it up a few times on this site. And why not? This is an IQ blog after all where we talk about IQ as one of our main subjects of interest. But I can’t bring this up at all on the Web. I get slammed all the time for discussing my own numbers on here.  Now I don’t think discussing your own achievements is bragging – bragging is more in how you do it. What is interesting though is that I have “bragged” about quite a few other things on here, and no one cared, or I got nothing but praise. But IQ? Nope.

It’s funny a guy can go on and on about his achievements with women, in business, in sports and in building up his bank account, and the chicks will shower him with propositions and flirtations like confetti at a parade. But dare mention those two upper case letters denoting intelligence quotient, and most females will start screaming at you and calling you a braggart.

They’re lying, but women always lie. Thing is, women don’t care about braggarts; if anything, they like them. The biggest braggarts get the most and best women. It’s just that to women, they only give you pussy points for bragging about certain things, like the size of your damned wallet! The size of your IQ has no importance to a female in terms of their libido (in fact, it probably cools them down), so they raise a hissy fit if you bring it up.

Even around a bunch of White people, IQ even in general, leaving your own numbers aside, is not a popular subject. People start squirming in their chairs and trying to change the subject. Why? Because as far as IQ goes, even most Whites don’t have a very high one! So they resent the whole conversation. Even Whites with IQ’s around 115-120 or so or resent it, because they’re insecure, and they think that’s too low.

If you tell Whites that Blacks have lower IQ’s than Whites, most have never heard of it. Some are intrigued.

“Really?”, they ask, eyes twinkling with intrigue.

“Yep, it’s true.”

Then they sort of chuckle and say, “Well, that figures,” or “I always thought so.”

But then they move back into the “Yeah, but IQ means nothing” thing.

If you tell Hispanics, at first of course they don’t understand the whole subject (What do you expect?), then they mildly disagree.

“No way, it’s not true.” But they’re not agitated, just dismissive.

Then you convince them that it’s true.

Then they say, “Yeah well, so what? Who cares?”

The White nationalists and cognitive elite types have a dream. If they keep pounding away at this race-IQ thingie, at some point the evidence will become so overwhelming that Joe Sixpack White Guy will put down his beer, say, “Niggers ain’t got no brains!”, vote to rescind the Civil Rights and Fair Housing Acts, affirmative action, and all anti-discrimination laws, then I guess shave his head, and what? Move to Idaho?

Forget it! Your average White person is not that smart and resents the whole IQ subject and debate for that very reason. This issue will never resonate with average White people.

The charming folks hoping to spark the Great White Revolution would do better to focus on Black crime, an issue that resonates much better with average Whites.

“The Kindness of Gentlemen,” by Alpha Unit

It was early 1933. Mahatma Gandhi was in prison, fasting. Beer was made legal in the United States, eight months before the final repeal of Prohibition. Diego Rivera began a controversial mural at Rockefeller Center that included a portrait of Lenin.

And in April, Elizabeth Bacon Custer died at the ripe old age of 90.

It had been her life’s mission to redeem the reputation of her husband, who had died in battle in 1876. The memory of George Armstrong Custer was not to be tarnished by the events at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

“Libbie” Custer had actually followed her husband on his military assignments. Biographers of Custer speak of how devoted they were to each other, although their relationship began under difficulty. Libbie’s father had not been that impressed with Custer; he didn’t come from a good enough family.

It was his military successes that brought her father around. After being commissioned a second lieutenant, he took part in the First Battle of Bull Run (or, First Battle of Manassas, for the Southerners). He moved up the ranks of the Army throughout his early Civil War campaigns, and after becoming brevet General (a temporary rank) Libbie Bacon’s father relented and approved of their marriage.

Toward the war’s end, Custer distinguished himself with two separate defeats of Confederate armies led by Lt. General Jubal Early. He pursued Robert E. Lee to Appomattox Court House, and was present when the Confederacy surrendered.

This was the high point of Custer’s military career. He went on to serve with distinction in the so-called Indian Wars – until June of 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in Montana Territory.

What happened during this battle, and why, has been studied and debated for over a hundred years. It was a defeat of the U.S. Army by Indian tribes. That was shocking enough for a lot of people. Custer’s 7th Cavalry was devastated. Custer – along with some of his male relatives – was dead.

But Libbie Custer was a part of the reason for some of the reticence about setting the record straight about the Battle of the Little Bighorn. She became her husband’s staunchest defender, becoming an author and lecturer to preserve his legacy as a great military man.

And the men who knew better let her do it.

There was plenty of information that would have shed much-needed light on the events of June 1876, much of it damning of Custer. But because she was a grieving and determined widow, men who had been there kept it to themselves. They let her go out and promulgate the image of her husband as a great military hero defending his position “to the last man.”

All along they indulged her, the way men tend to do with women. You might say they were men of their time – gentlemen who never would have publicly criticized the widow of an Army officer. But whether they were gentlemen or not, what they did took guts. And they resolved that as long as she was alive, they would remain silent.

The thing is, she outlived them. Just like a woman.

References

Elliott, Michael A. 2008. Custerology: The Enduring Legacy of the Indian Wars and George Armstrong Custer. University of Chicago Press.

Black Response to “We Don’t Respect You”

I really enjoyed this response to We Don’t Respect You from a very pro-Black Black man who calls himself Black Thought. It’s sounds Afrocentric to me, but he says he’s not an Afrocentrist. There is an Afrocentrist who regularly comes to the comments section too.

However, I do respect some of these Afrocentrist types as long as they are polite to us.  There is something shameful about a Black person, or any person, who does not respect their own race or kind. It seems like such a basic, primal instinct. Respect your family, respect your tribe, respect your people, respect your race.

Since your race is part of you, if you don’t even respect your own race, how is it you respect yourself? The Afrocentrists at least stick up for their own kind. As everyone should. Everyone should stick up for their own. As an ethnocentric White man, I lament the fact that Whites can’t respect ourselves anymore. But what I want for myself, I want for others too. I want Blacks to wake up in the morning and say, “Thank GOD for making me Black!” I want everyone else to do the same, Hell, even the Aborigines.

His response, followed by mine, is over at his blog.

I can’t overemphasize the importance of this lack of respect because so much seem to flow right out of that. If we could ameliorate Whites’ lack of respect for Blacks, race relations would be so much better, no? Since so much flows out of it, I’d love to see a major Black political leader bring this up, if they could politically get away with it.

What if Barack said, “You know, White people just don’t respect Blacks. That’s all there is to it. This is the crux of the problem.”? Now, politically, he could not do that, but let’s suppose for a minute he could.

Could you imagine that all over Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and rightwing radio? What would White people say? Would they deny it? Some would, sure. Would they admit it? Now that would be interesting! Surely there would be some Whites calling in to the stations and telling it like it is, “Hell no! Hell NO we don’t respect them!” Then the firestorm debate would be off. I’d love to see a fascinating conversation like that engulf this nation for a week or two, or however long the public’s attention span is these days.

Adolf Hitler, Standup Comic

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjD9v9H2UrU]

Boy, that Adolf guy could really keep them rolling in the aisles, huh? That one joke right there was practically a LOLercaust!

However, this clip also shows that Hitler’s comic skills were somewhat lacking. I mean, he mentioned Roosevelt and no wheelchair joke. Mein wacky Führer, you disappoint me. How could you pass that up?

And why no jokes about the Jews? Speaking of Jews, it’s well known that Krauts have no damned sense of humor. And Jews start cracking jokes when they’re still in the womb. Those kicks Jewish mothers have to endure are due to their fetuses collapsing in the uterus in spasms of humor. I’ve always wondered about those Hitler had a Jewish grandparent rumors, and this clip shows it must have been true.

Funny as a crutch, Rich!

This wasn’t really one of Adolf’s loopier lines. The Fuhrer could really be a card sometimes. “Heil honey, I’m home!” jokingly tossed off to Eva as he jackbooted through the front door, will be warmly remembered around the globe for many years to come.

Anyway, so these two Nazis and a rabbi walk into a bar…

Oh, forget it. This post has already gone too far.

Female Rule Violates the Laws of Nature

In the provocatively titled The Cunts Versus the Men post, perceptive commenter Tyciol writes:

Maybe a better word than feminism would be ‘equalism’ or something?

Like, it’s relative to position. Women were certainly downtrodden in the past and lacking rights, so equalism would be feminist in that case.

But in the reverse scenario, if men could not vote and related things then equalism would have a masculinist agenda.

Suffrage and stuff to me has never been about focusing on women’s rights, but simply equality since they are also people and also have opinions which should be counted. Similarly, right to choice (abortion) to me is not about favouring women, but rather that people should not be forced to carry parasitic feti for months if they don’t wish to.

I’m pro-choice, and I’m all for equality for women in all of the sane ways. But I wonder if equality ever works. We offered women equality, and instead they took their equality and ran past the 50 yard line heading for our goalposts to try to dominate us and rule us. I guess it’s natural. Neither sex is going to be happy with mere equality. If you give women equality, they’re always going to use that step stool to try to install Female Rule. And I guess we asshole guys will always try to install Male Rule.

Sigh.

Nevertheless, equality is surely something to support. Better than equality: how about this? Rights. Not necessarily equality, but rights. No matter what we think of them, females have basic rights, and in most ways, they have the same basic rights as we do. So do gays, Blacks, lots of folks. It’s not a matter of liking. You don’t have like Black people; a lot of White people don’t. And a lot of straights are not too fond of gays. But how can we deny that gays and surely Blacks have a set of basic rights that any human does?

I have nothing against Female Rule in principle, assuming they were capable. But I don’t think they are. And I don’t want to live under Female Rule. The chicks will dig it (I guess! Or maybe they won’t?!), but it will suck for the guys. We already have a Matriarchy with the Politically Correct crowd, and honestly, it sucks.

Male Rule sort of sucks for women, but they seem to be happy, and the men surely are happy. Female Rule violates Nature* and seems to make both sexes increasingly miserable.

I don’t think that females ought to be allowed to install their Female Paradigm in society. Think about it. Is there any society that ever let the women rule? I can’t think of one. Why is that? Surely it must have been tried in the past. Not all human males are patriarchal shits, and a lot of us are lazy. Surely there were times in the past when the lazy guys said, “We give up. You do it. You rule. Go for it.” I assume it was tried in many cases in the past, and the result was the same as it is now: Chaos. In which case, the sane people realized that either you have Male Rule or you have Chaos.

Allowing the Male Paradigm to rule society works, and most societies work that way, but it also often violates women’s rights and keeps them down. But in a lot of these societies, like Hispanic ones and many other traditional societies, women seem to like living under Male Rule. You go to these places, and as long as Male Rule isn’t too evil, everyone seems happy. It’s like they know they are Living In Nature.

I don’t hear a lot of complaints from the Hispanic females around here about the Male Rule they live under. Women get to be feminine, men get to be masculine, and everyone is happy. I don’t think Hispanic women want to rule. They want some relative equality, at least in terms of earning power, and around here they are granted that. Hispanic women can make quite a bit of money, and some do here. But they’re still quite feminine.

OTOH, White women seem to have so much greater freedom than Hispanic women, but they seem to be so much more miserable! It’s like the more freedom you give women, the less happy they are, and the more they complain about Male Rule.

Even when the women are in charge, increasingly the case nowadays, the women keep complaining about the Patriarchy. As Female Rule deepens, the women get angrier and angrier (paradoxically as they get more and more rights and power!) and become more and more masculine. This upsets Nature, and Nature doesn’t tolerate defiance. She demands balance, just like in the forests and jungles.

As the women get increasingly masculine, the males will have to become increasingly feminine to compensate and create the Balance of Nature. As women become increasingly masculine, they get more and more unhappy, because it violates women’s own nature. On some level, the female organism knows that acting masculine is fucked up, and this throws the organism into disarray.

Of course, as males become increasingly feminine, they get more and more miserable too, because femininity violates man’s own nature. So you end up with Northern California White People, where even the straight people act like queers and dykes.

It follows from this scenario that you would see increasing situational and opportunistic homosexuality in both sexes. As males feminize, they engage in increasing amounts of homosexuality. As females masculinize, they also engage in increasing amounts of homosexuality.

As Female Rule deepens, women will increasingly reject persistent marriage and raise fatherless men. Once again, a violation of Nature. Nature demands that both males and females have fathers. Nature punishes those who defy her. She punishes fatherless males by turning them into criminals who lash out at the World As Surrogate For Missing Father. She punishes fatherless females by turning them into sluts, trying to screw their way to Daddy’s Missing Love.

Both criminals and sluts are often unhappy, probably because most men are not supposed to be criminals and most women are not supposed to be sluts. Both criminals and sluts frequently lead at least difficult and often tragic lives.

Women can have power, but only if they either don’t upset Male Rule or at least only try to be equal.

*I am applying Nature in the sense of Natural Law, especially the Catholic or philosophical sense. When I say something violates Nature, I mean it violates Natural Law – that is, it’s unnatural in terms of mankind’s evolution.

Of course violations of Natural Law occur, but as they violate our evolutionary imperative encoded in our genes, there will be ill effects, since humans are not meant to violate Natural Law. Violations of Natural Law will have consequences.

Feminine men and masculine women are miserable. Female Rule (matriarchy) violates Natural Law and results in chaos and even unhappiness for females, since even females dislike Matriarchy deep down inside because it’s unnatural. Fatherless families violate Natural Law and result in criminal boys and slut daughters, both miserable.

When I say something violates Natural Law, I mean it violates our evolutionary imperatives coded in our genes. The result will be unhappiness and pathology as our natural and genetic imperatives are violated, thwarted and twisted.

Mutual Intelligibility As a Scientific Concept For Dividing Language from Dialect

I have suggested previously that intelligibility testing is the best, and really the only, way to scientifically attempt to divide languages from dialects.

Dividing based on intelligibility is a more scientific concept to the dialect/language concept than the sociolinguistic or political concepts currently used that have resulted in chaos surrounding the language/dialect question.

The resulting chaos has caused linguists to throw up their hands. Many now take the weird and soft science position that there is no way to tell a language from a dialect. This means that English and Mandarin may well be dialects of one language or California English and Massachusetts English are possibly separate languages. Make sense?

Focusing merely on intelligibility and nothing else turns the language/dialect question from its current senselessness towards a more solidly scientific basis.

There are other ways to distinguish language from dialect, but these just make things messier.

One way is structural divergence. Structural divergence is fairly well correlated with intelligibility, but not completely. Some divergent lects are quite intelligible, for instance, Turkish and Gaguaz. If you split structurally divergent yet intelligible languages, you run into the strange situation where speakers of two completely different languages can understand each other perfectly.

Dividing languages on sociological or, worse, political grounds is almost thoroughly anti-scientific. You run into odd cases, such as with Galician and Mirandese, where people of two intelligible lects wish to insist that they speak different languages in order to cynically acquire state funds and recognition, or because they dislike the other group, or maybe live in a different country than the other group.

You also run into odd cases like various unintelligible Mayan languages of Guatemala who insist that they all speak dialects of one language because this is the way they have always referred to these lects, or in order to preserve the unity of the language. In this case, you run into the bizarre case of speakers of two different dialects of a single language who can’t understand each other at all. If they can’t understand each other, who says they are speaking the same language?

Political reasons are much worse. States typically deny that minority languages spoken within their borders are languages in order to preserve the unity of the state and ward off fears of separatism and ethnic conflict. That linguists acquiesce to such blatantly fascist demands with a shrug of the shoulders is disturbing. States such as Sweden have recently engaged in gross manipulation of the ISO code process in order to deny language rights to minority tongues. It is disturbing that SIL caved in to the demands of the Swedish state so easily.

All in all, intelligibility is really the only way to go, and avoids all of these other anti-scientific minefields. A recent paper in Computational Linguistics by Harold Hammarström points out that intelligibility testing works, is valid and reliable and can consistently separate languages from dialects. The unscientific notion, now dogma in Linguistics, that there is no scientific way to determine mutual intelligibility of different lects, belongs in the trash can.

The typical position of Linguistics nowadays is to bash Ethnologue and SIL for excessive splitting of dialects into languages. In general, this perception is incorrect. As a recent review by the same man, Harold Hammarström, shows, Ethnologue generally splits dialects from languages in an accurate fashion, and it excessively lumps as often as it excessively splits. In fact, Ethnologue’s dialect/language distinction lines up very well with the specialist linguistic literature.

So if Ethnologue are mad splitters, so are the specialist authors themselves. The attacks on SIL and Ethnologue are poorly informed and typical of excessive emotionalism and fanaticism that has overtaken Linguistics recently and threatens to make it into yet another joke soft science social science. It is interesting that the same wild-eyed screamers who oppose lumping in genetic classification (opposition to say, Penutian and Altaic) are the same snarks who sneer that Ethnologue excessively splits.

The one thing that they have in common is the typical soft science dodge that we can’t prove much of anything about anything. We can’t prove what’s a language and what’s a dialect, so leave it alone. We can’t prove any more language families due to time depth or the weather or whatever, so let’s stop making any more families until we sit down, relax for 20-30 years over cups of coffee and get this stuff all sorted out.

The other main attack on Ethnologue is bizarre. It’s based on the fact that Ethnologue is run by Christian missionaries who translate the Bible into many languages. There are many atheists, usually very leftwing atheists, in the academic field of Linguistics, and it’s clear that their sneering contempt for SIL is based on the fact that they are unapologetically religious.

The bizarre insinuation is also made that since they Bible-translating missionaires, they could not possibly be competent linguists. How strange. Why can’t one be a Bible-translating missionary and a linguist at the same time? And other than that this is an obvious ad hominem attack, what’s so bad about being religious anyway? This sort of condemnation reminds one of the former USSR. Surely being a religious believer should not disqualify one from being a competent linguist!

Another strange and ultra-leftwing attack on SIL is that they somehow are CIA spies of some sort. I’m not competent to respond to that attack.

However, some Indian organizations in Latin America have protested the organization and tried, sometimes successfully, to get them banned from their nations, usually on grounds of trying to convert Indians to Christianity. Somehow the fact that SIL was banned from various backwards, dysfunctional banana republics for “trying to convert the Indians” is evidence that they can’t possibly do competent Linguistics.

How bizarre. Competent scholars are regularly banned from silly nations for sorts of strange political reasons that have nothing to do with scholarship. Once again, linguists appear to be siding with fascist-like states and opposing scholars.

Harold Hammarström, a man working in computational linguistics, which I would hope is about as scientific as our field gets, offers some hope to steer our field back to a more scientific path and reclaim some territory from the soft science mush-heads.

References

Hammarström, H. 2005. Review of the Ethnologue, 15th Ed., Raymond J. Gordon (ed.), SIL International, Dallas, 2005. LINGUIST LIST 16.2637 12 Sept 2005.Hammarström, H. 2008. Counting Languages in Dialect Continua Using the Criterion of Mutual Intelligibility. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics 15:1, pp. 36-45.

Yet Another Scandinavian Intelligibility Study

We’ve reviewed several of these studies before, and this subject seems to send a lot of Scandinavians up the wall for some reason. Especially Swedes are quite insistent that Swedish and Norwegian are a single language. They get pretty furious when people say that they can’t completely understand each other. A new study I found adds some weight to that notion. Here are the results of a study of Scandinavian students on an intelligibility test of other Scandinavian languages:

                  Swedish  Norwegian Danish
Norwegians        89                 75
Swedes                     83        24
Finnish Swedes             75        14
Danes             53       57

As you can see, Norwegian and Swedish are almost dialects of a single language. In this test, Swedish-Norwegian intelligibility was 86%. That’s not quite dialects of a single language, but it’s very close. It’s better to say that they are extremely closely related languages. If we include Finnish Swedes, the results go down somewhat, but most Swedes don’t live in Finland.

Norwegian-Danish intelligibility was lower, but still high, at 66%. That’s higher than Spanish and Portuguese. Norwegians can understand a lot more Danish than the other way around, but the Danes can’t seem to understand their neighbors very well.

Swedish-Danish intelligibility was lowest of all at 39%. It’s safe to say that these two don’t understand each other well at all. The Swedes and especially the Finnish Swedes can hardly understand Danish people at all.

Here are the results of a study of “Dutch” students on an intelligibility test of other “Dutch” languages:

                         Dutch  Frisian  Afrikaans
Dutch                           55       62
Frisians                                 67
South Africans           44     25

The intelligibility of Dutch and Afrikaans is much exaggerated. Swedish and Norwegian are much closer. Combined intelligibility of Dutch and Afrikaans is only 53%. That’s about the same as Spanish and Portuguese, not so good. In particular, Afrikaans speakers seem to have a hard time understanding the Dutch.

The intelligibility of Frisian and Dutch is also much exaggerated. Here, Dutch understood 55% of Frisian, about the same as Spanish and Portuguese. Frisians were not tested on Dutch since they all understand Dutch.

References

Gooskens, Charlotte. 2007. The Contribution of Linguistic Factors to the Intelligibility of Closely Related Languages. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 28:6, 445-467.

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Obama, US Imperialism, and the US Colony of Haiti

In the comments thread on Alpha Unit’s latest piece, finally Lafayette Sennacherib hits it on the head and cuts through the crap:

I’ve read a lot of criticisms of both the Red Cross and especially Doctors Without Borders re ‘impartiality’. I can’t link to anything offhand, but I wouldn’t assume they’re saints; all these NGOs are heavily compromised by US govt funding.

As to what seems to be criticisms here of the reaction of the Haitians. The criticisms seem to be based uncritically on the media presentation, which reminds me of the coverage of New Orleans post Katrina – ‘black gangs looting etc’.

I, ME PERSONALLY, knew there was a desperate shortage of water in Haiti within 12 hours. How long do you think it was before US intelligence knew that?

Greg Pallast points out that FEMA has had EVERYTHING ready in Florida since Katrina – bottled water, medical supplies etc – all ready to go practically at a moment’’s notice ; they could easily (well, with some effort anyway) have organised drops of bottled water all over the country withing 12 hours. All those that needed water desperately are dead now, within the first 48 hours.

More than a week later we’re just hearing on the MSM that “aid is beginning to get through to limited areas.” We still don’t hear about bottled water being dropped by helicopter.

Instead we hear about the US takeover of the airport, planes carrying aid being turned away, tens of millions of dollars being spent to send aircraft carriers and destroyers, and ten thousand troops on the way.

We get the excuse that they can’t send out the heavy digging equipment because of ’security concerns’ i.e. they’re demonising the Haitians as violent animals like they did to New Orleans, as an excuse to let them die, to cull the population in preparation for a US invasion, to have a solid base to fuck up Cuba and Venezuela and fuck up all those coloured people who thought they were going to have schools and health-care and all that.

The history of what the US has done to Haiti over the years is readily available for those who care to check it out – this ‘aid effort’ is the coup de grace.

I have to say the blatant racist gloating in some of the comments here is particularly nauseating, and just downright cowardly. Kicking people while they’re down is not very attractive, but hey that’s the way our culture is going. Maybe I’m old fashioned.

Good show, LS, good show! I really appreciate LS’ comment. He really hit it on the head regarding how Haiti is nothing more than a particularly disgusting and despicable colony of US imperialism. ATM, Haiti is a US, French, Canadian and even UN (!!!) colony, all apparently for to serve the ulterior motives of imperialism and multinational corporations.

Aristide was the best hope that Haiti ever had, and the US overthrew him because he dared to raise the minimum wage! When the gangsters supported by the US, France, Canada and the UN (!!!!) took over, the first thing they did was to rescind all of Aristide’s progressive programs. They then destroyed (!!!) all of the health clinics and schools that he had built. Threat of a good example and all of that.

LS makes completely clear here that Obama is just another US imperialist President. I’m not sure he’s much better than Bush in the foreign policy area. He’s negotiated with Colombia to allow 8 (!!) new military bases in Venezuela (mostly to threaten Venezuela and to a lesser extent Bolivia and Ecuador, he supported the coup in Honduras and probably gave the go-ahead for it, and he’s continuing Bush Administration ultra-imperialism WRT to Haiti.

As far as imperialism goes, Obama is just a Black man in White face. US Blacks generally oppose US imperialism, but Obama is as establishment as they come.

WRT to the endless racist arguments of “Haiti as an example of what niggers* do naturally,” fine, but let’s take a look at something. The racists say that Haiti is “the only all-Black state in the Americas.”

Fair enough, but deceptive. For really, most of the Caribbean, excepting mulatto Cuba and Dominican Republic is Black as the night. The whole region is Black, top to bottom, east to west. Yet the region more or less functions, or at least we don’t see the Haitian style clusterfuck. Black IQ’s are generally the same throughout the region. So, without the particular nightmare of Haiti’s history, including US and French imperialism in spades, Haiti would have probably ended up like any other Caribbean nation.

The racists go on and on about how wonderful the Dominican Republic is, and how much the DR’s hate Haitians (They even enslave them, just like we used to!). Look, DR people are mulattos, with an emphasis on the Black. Does a little bit of White really change and civilize Blacks all that much? According to the racists here, yes. Yet these are the same racists who apply one-drop rule to any White with a taint of Black poison in him.

The racists don’t make sense. Either adding White to Blacks is the greatest thing since sliced bread, or it’s hopeless as they’re already nigger-tainted as it is.

Tulio hits on the head in the comments section. Haiti is a particularly clusterfucked place and race doesn’t have a lot to do with it, otherwise every other Caribbean island would be just as nigger-fucked as Haiti.

Borg points out that Haitians tend to act pretty good once they get here. Indeed they do (Not that I argue bringing lots of them over here!). I would gather that in one generation, they even gain 15 IQ points just from living in the US. We don’t have a tremendous amount of problems with Haitians in the US. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are much more of an issue. The reason may be screening. Haitians are rigorously screened, and only the best are allowed in. Puerto Ricans are completely unscreened, and DR folks mostly came here as illegals.

The racists are going on and on about how lazy the Haitians are. I don’t want to go into an examination of Black “shiftlessness,” but that’s one thing that Haitians can’t be accused of. In Haiti, the line is clear. You don’t work, you don’t eat. Often, even if you do work, you don’t eat. The social programs that we know of here in the US are nonexistent in Haiti.

One of the reasons, the US, France, Canada and the UN overthrew Aristide was because he initiated a free lunch program for the poor of Haiti. Threat of a good example! Haitians work their asses off, all day, every day, if they have a job. Even if they don’t have a job, survival is a fulltime job in Haiti. As we might expect, Americans note that Haitian immigrants have a strong work ethic. In fact, Haitians in the US are scathing in their attitudes towards US Blacks, whom they regard as disgusting layabouts.

I’m not trying to defend the bad behavior of so many Haitians, but there’s a lot more going on in Haiti than just TNB**

*Used sardonically.
**Typical Negro behavior, sardonic phrase synonymous with “ghetto.”

"On The Ground in Haiti," by Alpha Unit

New Alpha Unit on the Haiti catastrophe. I like Doctors Without Borders. A great organization.
Fractures. Burns. Open wounds. Amputations. These are some of the injuries and surgical necessities being dealt with in Haiti by Doctors Without Borders. They are reporting that they are now treating gunshot wounds. Understandably, violence has been on the increase in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck on January 12.
Not only has Doctors Without Borders set up hospitals in Port-au-Prince, they have paid special attention to western Haiti, location of the quake’s epicenter, where the devastation has resulted in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. People are sleeping in the streets. So far there is very little help for them.
It’s all over the news that Doctors Without Borders, which already had a presence in Haiti, has had difficulty landing some of their cargo planes carrying surgical equipment and surgical teams. Apparently there is great confusion in giving planes the necessary clearance. According to Benoit Leduc, operations manager for Haiti, there isn’t a “smooth liaison” in decision making between the United States military and the United Nations.
Doctors Without Borders has been in the middle of humanitarian crises like this one since its founding in 1971. A group of French doctors created it after the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970. The southeastern region of Nigeria had broken off to form the independent nation of Biafra.
France had been the only major country to support Biafra (France wasn’t exactly neutral in all this; it had its own interests in the conflict.) Some French doctors had volunteered with the Red Cross to work in hospitals in the region. But the volunteers found themselves under attack by the Nigerian army, and also saw abuses against civilians.
A principle dear to the Red Cross was neutrality. It did not allow itself to take sides in any hostilities or inject itself into religious, political, or ideological disputes. These doctors wanted to focus solely on the needs of victims, without being beholden to appearances of “not taking sides.”
The group, in fact, does not take sides. But as they learned long ago, unfortunately, humanitarian groups have been attacked if ruling powers perceived them to be doing so.
Of course, Haiti is a different story. The enemy here seems to be the chaos following the devastation of last week’s earthquake. Life-saving endeavors proceed in spite of it.

“On The Ground in Haiti,” by Alpha Unit

New Alpha Unit on the Haiti catastrophe. I like Doctors Without Borders. A great organization.

Fractures. Burns. Open wounds. Amputations. These are some of the injuries and surgical necessities being dealt with in Haiti by Doctors Without Borders. They are reporting that they are now treating gunshot wounds. Understandably, violence has been on the increase in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck on January 12.

Not only has Doctors Without Borders set up hospitals in Port-au-Prince, they have paid special attention to western Haiti, location of the quake’s epicenter, where the devastation has resulted in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. People are sleeping in the streets. So far there is very little help for them.

It’s all over the news that Doctors Without Borders, which already had a presence in Haiti, has had difficulty landing some of their cargo planes carrying surgical equipment and surgical teams. Apparently there is great confusion in giving planes the necessary clearance. According to Benoit Leduc, operations manager for Haiti, there isn’t a “smooth liaison” in decision making between the United States military and the United Nations.

Doctors Without Borders has been in the middle of humanitarian crises like this one since its founding in 1971. A group of French doctors created it after the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970. The southeastern region of Nigeria had broken off to form the independent nation of Biafra.

France had been the only major country to support Biafra (France wasn’t exactly neutral in all this; it had its own interests in the conflict.) Some French doctors had volunteered with the Red Cross to work in hospitals in the region. But the volunteers found themselves under attack by the Nigerian army, and also saw abuses against civilians.

A principle dear to the Red Cross was neutrality. It did not allow itself to take sides in any hostilities or inject itself into religious, political, or ideological disputes. These doctors wanted to focus solely on the needs of victims, without being beholden to appearances of “not taking sides.”

The group, in fact, does not take sides. But as they learned long ago, unfortunately, humanitarian groups have been attacked if ruling powers perceived them to be doing so.

Of course, Haiti is a different story. The enemy here seems to be the chaos following the devastation of last week’s earthquake. Life-saving endeavors proceed in spite of it.

A Reclassification of the Dutch Language

Warning! This post is quite long – it runs to 126 pages. Frequently updated – last updated May 24, 2015.

Where the Dutch language begins and where it ends is an important question. Ethnologue splits Low Franconian-Low Saxon (whatever that is) into 15 languages – Flemish, Dutch, Zeelandic, Afrikaans, Achterhoeks, Drents, Gronings, Plautdietsch, Sallands, Low Saxon, Stellingwerfs, Twents, Veluws, Westphalian and East Frisian Low Saxon. Instead of the confusing Low Franconian-Low Saxon, we will henceforth refer to the same as “Macro-Dutch.”

This treatment will lump together many of the Dutch Low Saxon lects as Dutch, put East Frisian Low Saxon into Dutch, put Westphalian and German Low Saxon into German, move Limburgish out of German to Dutch where it belongs, and create a dozen new Macro-Dutch languages.

An important question is the position of Frisian languages in all of this. Currently Ethnologue has them in Anglo-Frisian. Gooskens 2004 makes a good case that Frisian is better analyzed as Macro-Dutch than Anglo-Frisian based on Levenshtein distance. She is probably correct, but I am going to leave Frisian outside of Dutch until I can analyze it better.

Anyway, genetically, Frisian is a part of an Anglo-Frisian family (Gooskens 2004). However, Frisian has drifted far away from English due to massive influence from Dutch such that it now is closer to Dutch than the Scandinavian languages are to each other (Gooskens 2004). It depends on if you wish to analyze Frisian based on its genetic history or on which language it is closest to.

One thing that ought to be dispensed with immediately is the notion that German, Dutch, Flemish and Afrikaans are intelligible with each other. The truth is that Hochdeutsch speakers can at worst barely understand a word of any of them and at best have only limited intelligibility.

Neither is German intelligible to Dutch speakers, even after 3-4 years of studying German. This even holds for Low German, which is often held to be intelligible with Dutch. It’s not, even after 3-4 years of study and even to speakers of Dutch-German border lects in the Netherlands that are presumably closer to Low German than the rest of Dutch. After 3-4 years of German, Dutch speakers have only 55% intelligibility of Low German, and the ones on the border have only 59% intelligibility of Low German (Gooskens in publication).

Nor are Frisian and Dutch mutually intelligible, another common claim. They have combined intelligibility of 61% (Gooskens 2005). Neither are Afrikaans and Dutch mutually intelligible. Combined intelligibility of the two languages is 55%, the same as Spanish and Portuguese (Gooskens 2005).

The Dutch either have a nationalist complex or are possible simply ignorant or indifferent on the question of what constitutes “Dutch.” They take a very conservative, nationalist view of the language question. To the Dutch, every language spoken in the Netherlands and some spoken outside of it is Dutch. Brabantian, Flemish, Veluws, Afrikaans, Limburgish, Bergish, Guelderish, Kleverlandish and Dutch Low Saxon are often all considered to be dialects of Dutch.

To be fair to the Dutch, I’m making a similar claim here, but instead of calling all of the above dialects of Dutch, I will call them separate languages under an umbrella called Macro-Dutch which subsumes them all.

The Dutch do recognize Limburgs and Low Saxon as minority languages.

Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Sweden do not recognize the languages under the umbrellas of Macro-Spanish, Macro-German, Macro-Italian, Macro-French and Macro-Swedish umbrella.

Spain does not recognize Asturian, Aragonese or Extremaduran. France does not recognize the many langues d’oil. Italian does not recognize Piedmontese, Ligurian, Lombard, Venetian, Emigliano, Romano, Neapolitan or Sicilian. Sweden does not recognize Scanian, Gutnish, Jamska or Dalecarlian. Germany does not recognize Bavarian, Swabian, High Franconian, Low German, Westphalian, Upper Saxon, Ripuarian or Pfaelzisch.

Probably the reasons that these languages are not recognized is due to the national consolidationist efforts behind a standard language and the fears of splintering the standard into substandard forms and the separatism that may ensue. So the Dutch are simply following in standard European modernist tradition.

This has resulted in problems and violations of language rights for speakers of other Low Franconian lects. For instance, Zeelandic is definitely a separate language, not a dialect of Dutch. Zeelandic speakers petitioned to have their language recognized as a minority language nine years ago, but the Dutch government has refused to grant this request.

The truth may disturb many Dutch speakers. For Dutch is not just the 15 languages confusingly listed in Ethnologue; it is actually 30 separate languages, which I will attempt to demonstrate below.

Method: Various “Dutch” and “Low Franconian” lects were analyzed on the basis of mutual intelligibility with Standard Dutch to see if they warranted treatment as separate languages. A rough guide was >90% intelligibility = Dutch dialect and <90% intelligibility = separate “Macro-Dutch” language. There are reasons for choosing 90% as a metric. Below 90%, and it gets difficult to discuss complex or technical subjects. Also, 90% seems to be where Ethnologue splits dialects from languages these days, and they are in charge of giving out ISO codes.

Other lects in Ethnologue’s treatment were analyzed to determine whether they belonged in “Macro-German” or “Macro-Dutch.” Westphalian and German Low Saxon were moved to Macro-German; the rest were moved to Macro-Dutch.

Anecdotal reports and scientific studies were reviewed, and native speaker informants were interviewed. Where intelligibility estimates are controversial, scientific intelligibility studies could always settle the matter. The creole was not counted.

Results: Ethnologue’s Low Franconian-Low Saxon was expanded from 15 into 32 languages based on mutual intelligibility. Below, separate languages are in bold, while dialects are in italics. Dutch, like Arabic, Italian, German, Chinese and so many others, is a macrolanguage.

Discussion: This work is merely a working hypothesis intended to be discussed and criticized by scholars and interested parties. I would be interested in criticism on a peer review basis. Criticism must be both constructive and friendly, otherwise it will be summarily rejected. This is very much a work in progress.

Fig. 1 List of the major dialects and languages of the Low Countries. 1. South Hollands 2. Kennemerlands 3. Waterlands/Waterländisch 4. Zaans 5. West Frisian dialect – North Hollands 6. Utrechts-Alblasserwaards 7. Zeelandic 8. Westhoeks 9. West Flemish and Zeelandic Flanders Flemish 10. Transitional dialect between West and East Flemish 11. East Flemish 12. Transitional dialect between East Flemish and Brabantian 13. South Gelders 14. North Brabantian and North Limburgish 15. Brabantian 16. Transitional dialect between Brabantian and Limburgish 17. Limburgish 18. Veluws 19. Gelders-Overijssels 20. Twents-Graafschaps 21. Twents 22. Stellingswerfs 23. South Drents 24. Middle Drents 25. Kollumerlands 26. Gronings and North Drents 27. Frisian 28. Bildts, Stadsfries, Midlands, Amelands. Click to enlarge.

Dutch Creoles

In recent years, there were five Dutch creoles spoken in Indonesia, Guyana and the US Virgin Islands. It appears that four of the five are extinct, and one is barely alive.

Berbice Creole Dutch is barely alive, spoken in Guyana by only four speakers. There are another 15 with limited competence. It is spoken in the Berbice River region of the country. About 1/3 of the words and most of the morphology is from the Nigerian Bantu language Izon, a language with 1 million speakers. The rest of the lexicon is mostly from Dutch. 10% of the words are borrowings from Guyanese Creole English and Arawak, an Indian language still spoken in Guyana.

Click to enlarge. Extremely detailed map lists all of the major lects of Holland and Belgium, including Low Franconian, Low German, Middle German, West Frisian and langues d'oil.
Click to enlarge. Extremely detailed map lists all of the major lects of Holland and Belgium, including Low Franconian, Low German, Middle German, West Frisian and langues d’oil.

Low Franconian Languages and Dialects

Standard Dutch, Algemeen Nederlands or AN (henceforth, AN) is a major world language spoken by all 15 million residents of the Netherlands and an additional 7 million speakers elsewhere. Although one might suspect that Dutch goes all the way back to the oldest Old Franconian, actually, the lects closest to Old Franconian are French Flemish, West Flemish and Zeeland Flemish. Dutch proper seems to have broken off sooner.

Dutch has many dialects, but they are all more or less intelligible. There are two forms of Dutch in general – Hollandic and Brabantian. Both are part of AN. Modern Belgian Dutch is much more Brabantian than Hollandic.

There is also Brabantian Netherlands Dutch, a dialect of Netherlands Dutch, and Brabantian Belgian Dutch, a dialect of Belgian Dutch or Vlaams (Grondelaers 2009).

Surinamese Dutch is a Dutch dialect, easily intelligible with AN, that is spoken in Suriname. It has 280,000 speakers, or 60% of the population. It is the official language of Suriname.

Netherlands Dutch is the Dutch dialect spoken in the Netherlands, differentiating with Belgian Dutch. It is widely understood throughout the country, especially the Standard Dutch variety of this dialect that has been popularized in the Netherlands since the 1960’s.

Netherlands Brabantian Dutch is a Dutch dialect spoken in North Brabant Province in the Netherlands (Grondelaers 2009). It is easily intelligible with AN. This dialect has about 2.45 million speakers.

Belgian Brabantian Dutch is the same thing as the Verkavelingsvlaams described below. It is spoken in North Brabant Province and in Antwerp Province by about 3.4 million speakers. It is being replaced by French in Brussels, but it is still widely spoken elsewhere.

Stadsfries is a mixed dialect spoken in certain urban areas of Friesland such as the towns of Leeuwarden, Dokkum, Bolsward, Sneek, Stavoren, Harlingen and Franeker. Originally Frisian speakers, they gave up Frisian for Dutch about 500 years ago. The vocabulary is mostly Dutch with Frisian pronunciation. AN speakers can understand this dialect pretty easily. Lately it is seriously declining and has low prestige, hence it is becoming a sociolect spoken mostly by low-income people in the cities.

Snekers is a Stadsfries dialect spoken in the Friesland city of Sneker. It traces back to 1600 or so when locals abandoned West Frisian for Hollandic speech as an elite gesture, since Hollandic was not spoken much outside of the Holland Provinces. By 1800, the rest of the city had modeled their elitist behavior after the rich and the whole city spoke Snekers. It continued to be a highly valued speech until 1900. People kept speaking it a lot until WW2.

The disdain towards Frisian, seen as peasant speech, continues in many Snekers speakers to this day. In the 20th Century, many rural people moved to the city, and many foreigners moved there too. Snekers became a speech used only by Sneker natives among themselves. They spoke Dutch or sometimes Frisian to newcomers. Nowadays, Snekers is dying. The youth have taken it up, but they speak a watered down version that is probably intelligible to AN speakers.

Hollandic Dutch is the other large dialect of Dutch besides Brabantian. Hollandic is spoken in the provinces of North Holland and South Holland by about 6 million speakers. This dialect is intelligible with AN. Hollandic Dutch is the variety that is closest to AN. It is divided into two lects, North Hollandic Dutch and South Hollandic Dutch.

IJmuidens is a dialect spoken in by the lower classes in IJmuiden, the third largest port in the Netherlands, in North Holland. The dialect is probably readily intelligible with AN.

Haarlems is the dialect spoken in Haarlem in North Holland, especially by the lower classes. It does not differ much from Amsterdams or AN. This area has long had the reputation for being the place where the purest Dutch is spoken, although this is no longer true anymore. Nowadays, the purest Dutch is spoken in places like Dronten on the Dutch polders in the IJsselmeer.

Nijmeegs is a very interesting dialect spoken in the city of Nijmegen in eastern Gelderland. Although strictly speaking it should be a South Gulderish dialect, it has heavy Hollandic features such that it may well be intelligible to AN speakers. Until the late 1800’s, residents of the city were speaking a typical South Gulderish dialect. However, in the late 1800’s, the upper class of the city began speaking a Randstad dialect similar to Amsterdams and Haags.

The lower classes quickly began speaking the same dialect, and the traditional dialect of the city disappeared, as it was poorly valued anyway. Nijmeegs still has some East Brabantian, Limburgish and Achterhoeks features, but it also lacks many characteristic Limburgish and Brabantian features of surrounding dialects.

Amsterdams is the dialect of the city of Amsterdam, spoken by the lower classes in the city. It is still spoken in the city, especially in certain neighborhoods. Although it is located in North Hollands, Amsterdams is more of a South Hollands dialect. A book published in 1874 found an astounding 19 different dialects spoken in the city.

Although it is still spoken, Amsterdams is associated with lower-classes, street toughs, etc, such that many Amsterdammers try to unlearn the dialect in order to improve their career chances. Amsterdams has many Yiddish words due to the fact that a large Jewish community has traditionally lived there. Amsterdams is intelligible with AN.

Haags is a South Hollandic dialect spoken by the lower classes in The Hague. It is easily intelligible with AN. The dialect is dying out and undergoing serious leveling, but since the 1980’s there has been a movement to bring back the dialect, and more residents of the city are speaking it, often with intentionally exaggerated features. Its syntax is similar to AN and is quite different from the nearby Rotterdams and Leids dialects.

Gouds is a South Hollandic dialect spoken in the city of Gouda, 20 miles northeast of Rotterdam. In many ways it is similar to AN. With mass immigration and compulsory education in AN, the real Gouds is hardly heard anymore.

Rotterdams is the South Hollandic dialect spoken in the city of Rotterdam. It differs little from AN. This is because the standard for Hollandic dialects, dating back to 1600, was the Rotterdams dialect. Its influence spread throughout the region, first to the upper classes and then to the lower classes as they imitated the speech of the rich.

The Rotterdams dialect does have many unique features, mostly due the waves of immigrants who have come to the city, each bringing their own language which added to the Rotterdams dialect. In the 1800’s, there was a large influence from Brabantian and Zeelandic speakers. In the 1900’s, the influences have become more varied, as speakers of Arabic and the  Papiamento or Surinamese creoles added their words to the mix. It is still heard throughout the Rotterdam region and in the cities of Spijkenisse, Hellevoetsluis and Capelle aan den IJssel to the east and southwest.

Bildts is a mixed Frisian-Dutch lect spoken in the Het Bildt, a polder region in Friesland northwest of Leeuwarden that dates back to the 1500’s. Many immigrants came from the South Holland area to this part of Friesland to help create the polders. Their South Hollandic lects mixed with the Frisian spoken by the local farm workers to create this interesting mixed dialect.

Intelligibility between Bildts and AN is not known, but in a dialect map published in 1974 showed Bildts the furthest of all from AN (Berns 1991). On the basis of that study, Bildts may indeed be a separate language, but better intelligibility data would be nice.

Midslands is a North Hollandic dialect, similar to Stadsfries, that is still spoken in on Terschelling Island off the coast of Friesland in the village of Midsland. It has Hollandic and Frisian influences. Intelligibility data is lacking.

Amelands is a another dialect like Midslands and Stadsfries. It has mostly Hollandic vocabulary with Frisian grammar. There are four villages on the island, each with their own dialect. Nevertheless, all dialects are intelligible with each other.

The dialect developed in the 1700’s when Hollandic migrants moved to the island, probably for trade, and the locals gave up their Frisian speech for Hollandic. The process was not complete, and Amelands was the result. It is still very widely used. 85% of youth continue to speak Amelands. Intelligibility with AN is not known.

Westfries is a highly divergent dialect of Dutch spoken in West Friesland that is not to be confused with the West Frisian language. It is dying out and is only spoken by about 8% of the population. There are many subdialects, often one for every village or town they often differ considerably.

There is some confusion about the difference between this Dutch dialect and the West Frisian language proper. It has heavy Frisian influence. A better way to describe it might be to say that it is a mixed language of Dutch and West Frisian, almost a “creole.” It could also be described as Dutch with a heavy Frisian substrate.

Westfries was apparently a Frisian language for centuries until it died out about 200 years ago. It appears to have transformed from a full Frisian language to a form of Dutch. The strong variety is still used in cabaret performances.

Another way to look at it is that Westfries is one of the last of the more pure Hollandic dialects. Most of the rest of Hollandic has undergone serious leveling such that most of the peculiar features, such as the Frisian substrate that characterized all Hollandic, have washed out. AN speakers reportedly have a hard time understanding Westfries, and it is about as distant from AN as Zeelandic. There appears to be more than one language inside Westfries, since it’s not uncommon for speakers of varying Westfries lects to not understand each other.

Westfries consists of two parts. One, the Westfries language, which consists of Island Westfries. And two, Land Westfries, which is part of the North Hollandic language.

Island Westfries or Eland Westfries is a major split in Westfries. This is spoken on the islands and former islands of Texel, Vlieland and Wieringen and on land in the city of Enkhuizen. Island Westfries has poor intelligibility with the more common Land Westfries due to its archaic character, hence it may be a separate language.

Wierings is an Island Westfries dialect spoken on the former island of Wieringen. It is very close to Tess, the dialect of Texel Island. Wierings is rapidly disappearing and is only spoken by the older generation. Younger people speak a weak Wierings which looks more like Land Westfries. There is a navy base on Wieringen, so many non-islanders have come to live there.

Tessels is an Island Westfries dialect spoken on the island of Texel in North Holland that is so different from the rest of Island Westfries that it must be a separate language. It is still widely spoken, especially in the rural areas, but it is not much spoken in the larger cities. There are different varieties of Tessels spoken in the towns of Oudeschild, De Cocksdorp, Den Hoorn and Oosterend. The dialects differ greatly, and speakers from different towns do not necessarily understand each other fully, hence intelligibility is somewhat marginal among the dialects.

North Hollandic is a language spoken in North Holland Province. It consists of the Land Westfries, Zaans and Waterlands dialects. The situation is confusing, as there is also North Hollandic Dutch, a dialect of AN.

Land Westfries is a dialect of North Hollandic Dutch, a major split in the Westfries language. This variety is less conservative and has been influenced more by Dutch. The more archaic varieties of Island Westfries have poor intelligibility with Land Westfries, hence it may be a separate language.

Kennemerlands is a North Hollandic Dutch lect spoken in Kennermerland around the cities of Haarlem and Beverwijk. It arose in the Middle Ages due to contact between Frisian speaking fishermen and speakers of North Hollandic Dutch. Towards the north, it looks more like Westfries and the Zaans dialect. It is best analyzed as a transitional dialect between North Hollandic and Westfries. It is unintelligible to AN speakers, and is apparently a separate language.

Durkers or Egmonds is a strange dialect, often analyzed as either Westfries or Kennemerlands, spoken on Egmond aan Zee in the north of North Hollands Province. In this treatment, we will analyze it as Kennemerlands. It is not intelligible with AN (Anonymous January 2010)

Zaans-Waterlands is a North Hollandic lect spoken in North Holland Province. It is composed of two dialects, Zaans and Waterlands.

Zaans is an archaic North Hollandic dialect spoken in the Zaan, an old settled and industrial area between Amsterdam and Haarlem. It is spoken in the city of Zandam and in the towns of Wormerveer, Krommenie and Zaandijk. It apparently arose out of Westfries. Zaans has difficult intelligibility with AN.

Waterlands is a Zaans-Waterlands dialect that is spoken between the Zaan and the IJsselmeer, the inland sea in the Netherlands. This dialect is very archaic, though it is similar to Zaan and Westfries. It has difficult intelligibility with AN.

Volendams is a Waterlands dialect that is extremely divergent. It is unintelligible with AN, and even other Waterlands speakers have a hard time understanding it, so it is probably a separate language.

The city of Volendam was isolated for centuries, and this gave rise to its strange language. This isolation, combined with immigration of speakers of other odd dialects from fishing villages around the Zuiderzee, helped shape Volendams. Volendams received huge immigration in 1859 following the evacuation of the former Zuiderzee island of Schokland due to fierce storms. The Schokland residents spoke a strange dialect called Schokkers which was basically a Low Saxon dialect similar to Urkers.

Markens is a very unusual Waterlands dialect that is spoken on the former island of Marken. It also received large input from the fleeing residents of Schokland. Markens is one of the most unusual dialects in the Netherlands and has been the object of many studies. It has difficult intelligibility with AN, but intelligibility with the rest of Waterlands is not known.

Markens appears to have a heavy base of Frisian or even Old Frisian. It appears to be undergoing dialect leveling under the pressure of the mass media and immigration, and young people typically do not speak pure Markens.

Goois is a North Hollandic dialect spoken in Het Gooi, a region in the far southeast of North Hollands. Cities in this region include Naarden, Bussum, Huizon, Blaricum, Laren and Hilversum. Opinions on this dialect are varied. One view is it is a Dutch-Low Saxon transition dialect, mostly in the far east of Blaricum, Laren and Hilversum. That would be transitional to West Veluws. This view sees the rest of the area as Hollandic. There is also influence from the Utrechts dialects. The dialect is still alive, especially in the three eastern cities discussed above.

South Hollandic is a lect spoken in South Hollandic Province. A similar situation is going on here as with Brabantian and North Hollandic. As there is Brabantian Dutch and North Hollandic Dutch and Brabantian and North Hollandic languages, so there is South Hollandic Dutch and the South Hollandic language. The South Hollandic language is mostly gone now, as dialect leveling has moved most of the dialects to South Hollandic Dutch. However, it remains alive in the form of the Strandhollands and East IJsselmonds dialects.

Aalsmeers is a dialect spoken in the city of Aalsmeer in southern North Holland near the border with South Holland. Traditionally, it was a Strandhollands dialect, but it has lost most of its Strandhollands features and is probably not a part of that group anymore. It has a similar genesis with the Strandhollands language, in that it was formed by immigrants from the Frisian-speaking north moving down to the area long ago.

However, due to geographical isolation (they were cut off on three sides by marshes or lakes and only accessible via a sliver of land) they were cut off from the rest of Strandhollands and the convergent evolution with it ended. There was also a group of Mennonites who came down from Friesland and settled in the area.

Immigrants probably kept speaking Frisian here longer than in other places. In general, this dialect is best seen as transitional between North and South Hollandic. The original Aalsmeers dialect is nearly extinct. Intelligibility data with AN is not known.

Strandhollands is a very conservative dialect of the Hollandic language spoken in the fishing villages in the area of Sheveningen and Katwijik aan Zee in the Holland Provinces. Intelligibility in general is marginal at best and hardly possible at worst between this lect and AN (Anonymous January 2010), hence it is a separate language.

This is a very archaic South Hollandic language that has preserved many old features, while the rest of South Hollandic behind the dunes has trended towards Hollandic Dutch. Strandhollands retains many features of Medieval Dutch. It is interesting that the standard dialect of The Hague is close nearby.

It emerged about 400 years ago and its provenance is obscure. Probably fishermen from elsewhere on the coast, such as Friesland and and the Zuiderzee moved into the area to take up fishing. The language has a strong Frisian substrate. Probably the isolation of the villages helped to keep the lect different from surrounding evolving lects.

The Strandhollands dialects become more intelligible with AN, in general, as one moves to the south. The least comprehensible ones are generally in North Holland Province. Intelligibility data between this and the rest of South Hollandic, especially East IJsselmonds, is needed.

Wijk aan Zee is a Strandhollands dialect spoken in the fishing village of Wijk aan Zee that has poor intelligibility with AN (Anonymous January 2010). The town is located west of Beverwijk.

Zandvoort is a Strandhollands dialect that is hardly comprehensible to AN speakers (Anonymous January 2010). It is spoken in Zandvoort on the coast west of Haarlem.

Noordwijks is a Strandhollands dialect spoken in the fishing village of Noordwijks an Zee in South Holland Province. Intelligibility with AN is somewhat marginal (Anonymous January 2010). Noordwijks is probably the easiest Strandhollands lect for AN speakers to understand.

Katwijks is a Strandhollands lect spoken in the fishing village of Katwijks an Zee in South Holland Province. It is based on an archaic version of Leids, the dialect of the city of Leiden. Katwijks, like Zandvoort and Wijk aan Zee to the north, is barely comprehensible to AN speakers (Anonymous January 2010).

Schevenings is a Strandhollands dialect spoken in the fishing village of Scheveningen in South Holland Province. It has marginal intelligibility with AN (Anonymous January 2010). This dialect is said to be based an archaic version of Haags, the dialect of The Hague.

Zoetermeers is a very divergent South Hollandic dialect spoken in the city of Zoetermeer 10 miles east of the Hague. This was always an isolated farming village, so it was not effected much by the trends effecting the Haags dialect a short while away. In the 1960’s, the population grew from 10,000 to 120,000 as immigrants flooded into the Hague region. Hence, only a few locals speak the dialect anymore.

Westhoeks is spoken in the Westhoek in northwest North Brabant. It’s a Hollandic dialect spoken in Brabant. No one is sure why. They are Protestants, and this may have something to do with it, but it’s more likely a case similar to Bildts, where many Hollandic speaking immigrants moved to the area after the polders were created in the 1600’s and afterward. Intelligibility with the rest of South Hollandic is not known.

Westhoeks is divergent enough from the rest of South Hollandic to be given its own category in many analyses. It has some influence from Dordts, the old dialect of Dordrect not far to the north.

Fijnaarts is a Westhoeks dialect spoken in the village of Fijnaart in North Brabant.

Dordts is a South Hollandic dialect spoken in the city of Dordrect that is intelligible with the rest of South Hollandic. It has heavy Zeelandic and Brabantian influences. In the 20th Century, it underwent dialect leveling under the influence of the much less divergent Rotterdams dialect in Rotterdam. The strongest Dordts is now heard in the center of the city.

IJsselmonds is a South Hollandic lect spoken south of Rotterdam on the old island of IJsselmond, now reclaimed from the sea. The former island can now be seen via satellite as #9 on this map. In general, it is south of Rotterdam between the Niewe Maas and the Spijkenisse Rivers. The region is now heavily industrial, particularly gone over to shipbuilding. The lect is quite a bit different from both AN and Rotterdams. It has two main variants, West and East IJsselmonds.

West IJsselmonds has come under severe Rotterdams influence and can hardly be heard in its pure form anymore. It is only barely alive in the town of Pernis.

East IJsselmonds is extremely divergent from AN and Rotterdams and cannot be understood outside the region. It has mostly undergone dialect leveling and in general is rarely heard. The youth speak a watered down version that is intelligible with AN. Only in the city of Hedrik-Ido-Ambrecht can the true lect be heard on an everyday basis. Given that it’s unintelligible outside the region, it may be a separate language. Intelligibility data between this and the rest of South Hollandic, especially Strandhollands, is needed.

Ambachts is the last remaining holdout of the East IJsselmonds language. This is a deeply conservative dialect, the most conservative of the language, such that the lect of one village may differ greatly from the next. It has striking influences from the Umbrechts-Alblasserwards dialect group to the east.

Baorendrechts is a deeply conservative East IJsselmonds dialect that is spoken in the city of Barendrecht. It has been mostly superseded by AN these days.

Bulessers is another deeply conservative East IJsselmonds dialect spoken in the city of Bolnes. It is almost extinct, under heavy pressure from AN.

Zwindrechts is an East IJsselmonds dialect spoken in Zwijndrecht. It has undergone serious dialect leveling due to the effects of industrialization but can still be heard, mostly in farmers. It has some Dordts influence.

Rekkarkeks is a South Hollandic lect spoken in the city of Ridderkerk, halfway between Rotterdam and Dordrect. This is a very unusual lect that is very different from AN. Hence is has poor to marginal intelligibility with AN, and thus, it may well be a separate language.

It is located just to the east of the East IJsselmonds language, hence its unusualness is probably due to its East IJsselmonds features. It is barely alive and has only a few speakers left. A diluted version is still quite alive. Intelligibility data with the East IJsselmonds language is urgently needed.

Hoekschewaards is a South Hollandic dialect spoken on a former island southwest of Dordrecht, between the Spijkenisse River and the Haringvliet Channel. The city of Numansdorp is located in this region. This dialect has strong IJsselmonds and Albasserwards tendencies. These are much stronger than the Dordts influences. It has three divisions, West Hoekschewaards, East Hoekschewaards and Gravendeel. It is still very much alive, though it is coming under heavy influence from Rotterdams and AN.

West Albasserwards is spoken in the Western part of the Albasserwards, east of Rotterdam about halfway to the Utrecht border. The dialect is dying out in many areas, and there is little interest in preserving it. However, in many of the rural areas, a strong dialect is still alive.

In the eastern part of the Albasserwards, the dialect is like that of Utrecht, but in the west it is quite Hollandic, although it has some Utrecht influences. The dialect differs even from village to village. It is spoken in cities such as Sliedrecht and Papendrecht. The Papendrecht dialect is almost gone due to heavy immigration.

Slierechs is the very divergent West Albasserwards dialect spoken in the city of Sliedrecht. People here have taken more interest in their dialect than elsewhere in the region, and there are regular CD’s and books issued on it.

Utrechts-Alblasserwaards is a dialect group of Hollandic dialects spoken in Utrecht Province, far southeast South Hollands and a small part of Gelderland. To the south there are dialects heading into Brabantian and to the east, there are more dialects heading into South Gulderish. The dialect has low prestige, and there is little interest in it, even among speakers. Nevertheless, it is still learned by children, and there are 330,000 speakers of this dialect.

Utrechts is spoken by the lower classes of the city of Utrecht, capital of Utrecht Province. Nowadays it is spoken more in the rural areas around the city than in the city itself, but even in the city, it is still spoken in certain districts. There is a lot of immigration into the city and emigration out of it, so the dialect is dying.

Vijfheerenlands is an Utrechts-Alblasserwaards dialect spoken in the Vijfheerenland region in the southeast of South Holland. This area includes the cities of Vianen, Meerkerk, Leerdam and Lexmond.

Eemlands is a confusing set of dialects spoken in the eastern part of Utrecht and has strong Veluws influence. Some say that they are Utrechts-Alblasserwaards dialects, and others say that they are West Veluws. The best analysis is that they are transitional between the two varieties, in other words, that they are Low Franconian-Low Saxon transitional dialects. They are spoken in Soest, Amersfoort and Bunschoten. Amersfoort and Bunschoten tend to be considered more West Veluws, and Soest tends to be seen as more Utrechts. With the exception of Bunschoten, these dialects are highly endangered.

Geldersevalleis is a set of dialects spoken in the Gelders Valley, 2/3 of which is in Gelderland and 1/3 of which is in Utrechts. The towns of Ede, Wageningen and Veenendaal are located in this region. These dialects are very hard to characterize, as they have West Veluws, Utrechts and South Guelderish tendencies. They are seriously declining and becoming more Hollandized.

West Veluws is a strange dialect usually collated with Dutch Low Saxon, but which is in fact a Low Franconian dialect. Practically speaking it is best seen as transitional between Low Franconian and Low Saxon. For the most part it is intelligible with AN, but as one moves to the north and east of the West Veluws area, West Veluws gets harder for AN speakers to understand. This dialect has heavy Dutch influence. In most places, this is a dying dialect, and it is not spoken much by young people anymore.

Even the forms of West Veluws still spoken in the home are coming under increasing AN influence. It is spoken in Amersfoort, Spackenburg, Bunschoten, Nijkerk, Barneveld, Putten, Voorthuizen, Ermelo, Elspeet, Uddel, Leuvenum, Harderwijk, Hierden, Nunspeet, Lunteren, Otterlo and Huenderlo. In Nijkerk, Amersfoort, Spackenburg and Bunschoten in the west of the West Veluws region, the dialect is nearly dead.

Brabantian is actually a separate language. It is distinct from Netherlands Brabantian Dutch, which is merely a dialect of Dutch (Grondelaers 2009). The real hardcore Brabantian is dying out, but it is highly divergent, and Dutch speakers say it is incomprehensible. Intelligibility is far lower than for Zeelandic. However, Verkavelingsvlaams speakers can understand Brabantian pretty well, since Verkavelingsvlaams is very Brabantian.

Brabantian is dying out in the Netherlands, but it is still spoken in Tilburg and in the rural areas of Nord Brabant. There is quite a bit of confusion about what is the pure Brabantian and what is Brabantian Dutch, but the key is intelligibility. Brabantian Dutch is easily comprehensible to an AN speaker, and the real Brabantian is not at all. Other than South Brabantian, which is a separate language, all of the Brabantian dialects are mutually intelligible.

North Central Brabantian is a dialect of Brabantian that is spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium in a strip that runs along the border around the towns of Ravels, Tilburg, Loon op Zant, Waalwijik, Vlifjmen, Huesderf and Drunen.

Tilburgs is a hard North Central Brabantian dialect that is still widely spoken in the city of Tilburg in the southern part of the Netherlands. It is intelligible with the rest of Brabantian (Anonymous January 2010).

East Brabantian is spoken in the eastern part of North Brabant. It is one of the main Brabantian divisions. The various divisions of East Brabantian include Kempenlands, North Meierjis, Peellands, Geldrops and Heeze en Lendes.

It includes the towns of Eindhoven, Veldhoven, Vught, Boxtel, Oirshchot, Best, Acht, Middelbeers, Eersel, Waalre, Mierlo, Luijksgestel, Bergelijk, Aalst, Heeze, Leende, Son, Helmond, Berjeijk, Schijndel, Lieshout, Beek, Gemert, Aarle-Rixtel, Aasten, Someren, Liessel, Duerne, Bakel, Mill, Veghel, Volkel, Uden, Nistelrode, Heesch, Zeeland, Boekel, Sint Michielsgestel in the Netherlands and Arendonk and Lommel in Belgium. East Brabantian is intelligible with the rest of Brabantian (Anonymous January 2010).

Northern Kempens is a hard East Brabantian dialect spoken in an area on the border of Belgium and the Netherlands in eastern Antwerp and western Limburg Provinces in Belgium and north into the Netherlands. Major cities and towns in the region include Turnhout, Arendonk, Eersel, Oirshchot, Hilvarenbeek, Retie, Oisterwijk, Boxtel, and Eindhoven. It is an area of poor soil with many marshes, bogs and forests. Lately, it is primarily a tourist region. Northern Kempens is intelligible with the rest of Brabantian (Anonymous January 2010).

Arendonk is a very specific, apparently highly diverse and possibly archaic Northern Kempens Brabantian dialect spoken near Turnhout close to the Dutch border. It is said to be unintelligible outside of the nearby area. Hence, it may well be a separate language.

Northwest Brabantian is a Brabantian dialect spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is spoken in Breda and the surrounding region to south into Belgium.

Cities in which it is spoken include Breda, Baarle-Hertog, Oosterhout, Steenbergben, Made, Raamsdonksveer, Roosendaal, Putte, Geertruidenberg Hoogstraten, Brecht, Moerdjik, Oudenbosch, Bergen Op Zoom, Huijbergen, Rijsbergen and Woesndrecht in the Netherlands and Woostwezel, Meer, Ekeren, Merksom, Kapellen, Lillo, Stabroek, Meerle and Rijkevorsel in Belgium.

This dialect was created from the Eighty Years War. After the war, this Brabantian-speaking region was essentially depopulated, and afterward, a large movement of immigration from the Antwerp region occurred, spreading the tendencies of the Antwerps dialect. Northwest Brabantian consists of three major dialects, Antwerps, Baronies and Markiezaats. Antwerps is spoken in Antwerp and north to the Netherlands border. Baronies is spoken in the area around Breda and Markiezaats is spoken in the west over by Zeeland.

Bredaas is a Northwest Brabantian dialect spoken in the city of Breda that is dying out. It is mostly spoken in certain areas and with the older generation. It tends to re-emerge around Carnival time though.

Markiezaats is spoken in the west of North Brabant around the cities of Bergen op Zoom and Steenbergen. It extends over to the Drimmelen region to the northeast and generally includes everything west of Breda.

Antwerps is a hard Brabantian dialect spoken in Antwerp, Belgium. It is intelligible with all the rest of Brabantian (Anonymous January 2010). This dialect is widely disliked in Belgium because it is neither Flemish nor a Dutch dialect, and hence is poorly understood.

It is often heard in the Belgian media, but it is rarely subtitled, and this is the cause of the frustration with non-Antwerps speakers. East Flemish speakers say that they cannot understand it. This language is spoken in Antwerp. In a study, 51% of East Flemish speakers said that they wanted subtitles when listening to Antwerps speakers on TV (De Houwer 2008). Antwerps was regularly heard on TV until recently.

This dialect is one of the most influential in terms of inputs towards the creation of Verkavelingsvlaams. Verkavelingsvlaams at the moment is heavily based on the Antwerps dialect. There is some uncertainty regarding the intelligibility of Antwerps with surrounding lects. Students who recently went to school in Antwerps say that they could not understand students who came from villages in the Antwerps area. It is not known what lects the villagers were speaking.

Wase is the name for a group of Brabantian dialects spoken in the Waseland in the far northeast of East Flanders. The capital of this region is the city of St. Niklaas. The area was originally wide fields bounded by willow trees. It flooded and was drained a few times. Many turnips are grown here.

Maaslands is a dialect of Brabantian that is spoken in a narrow strip in North Brabant south of the Maas River. It is spoken in the towns of Empel, Maren, Lith, Herpen, Oijen, Megen, Ravenstein, Oss and Grave, all of them along the Maas River.

Bosch is a Maaslands dialect spoken in Hertogenbosch, a large city a bit south of the Maas River in North Brabant. The dialect is still pretty well alive, but its use varies throughout the city, with some areas speaking a lot of Bosch and other areas in which it is rarely heard. Due to immigration and the fact that it has become a commuter town, the dialect has been declining for some time now.

Nederbetuws is a confusing dialect, usually included in South Guelderish, spoken in the Lower Betuws in Gelderland. It actually has heavy Brabantian features. The dialects of the river cities of Tiel and Culemborg are quite different. It is spoken in the towns of Tiel, Culemborg, Buren, Geldermalsen, Wadenoijen, Ophemert, Waardenburg, Herwijnen and Gorinchem. This is mostly a rural area, with a lot of livestock, fruit orchards, vegetables and greenhouses.

South Brabantian is a very divergent lect within Brabantian that is very hard for other Brabantian speakers, even those from nearby Antwerp Province, to understand (Anonymous January 2010). Therefore, it may well be a separate language. It is spoken in Brabant Province in Belgium and around the capital of Brussels. This area has retained the most extreme and archaic Brabantian features. It is under heavy pressure from Verkavelingsvlaams, especially in the cities and less so in the countryside.

The least intelligible variety seems to be spoken from Brussels west to the East Flanders border, especially in the rural areas and near the southern and western borders.

Brussels in the name for a group of South Brabantian lects that were traditionally spoken in Brussels, and still are by a small number of old people. In the past 200 years though, the language of the capital shifted to French. The remaining Brabantian speakers shifted to some form of Dutch, and many today speak some Dutch standard, usually VRT. At any rate, the original Brussels South Brabantian lects are now almost extinct, spoken only by the older generation, most of whom are also bilingual in French.

Traditionally, Brussels lects were very diverse and were not intelligible with Antwerps Brabantian or Leuvens South Brabantian from about 1650 on. Increasing French influence after the Eighty Years War which ended in 1648 resulted in a closing off of Brussels to most outside influence and increasing French influence on the Brussels lects. It was still the most widely used language in Brussels until the French occupation around 1800.

It then began to decline as more residents started speaking French. In part this was an urban elitist effect, as the local rural areas all spoke Brabantian dialects, and the city became increasingly French speaking, especially the upper class. To sum up, to speak French meant you sounded like an aristocrat and to speak Brabantian meant you were talking like a farmer.

During the 1800’s there was a big debate in Brussels about which form of Dutch to make the official language – some common Flemish form or something more like Netherlands Dutch? People could not make up their minds, and this gave people one more reason to just speak French instead.

Brussels is almost extinct, and only some older Brusseliers speak it. Apparently no one else, including almost everyone in Brussels, can understand them. As Brussels is barely understood even in the city, clearly it must not be understood outside the city either. Hence, Brussels may be a separate language. But intelligibility data with the rest of South Brabantian would be nice to have.

Marols is a divergent Brussels dialect traditionally spoken in the colorful Marollen district, traditionally a poorer, rundown working class area, that was recently full of drug dealers and bums, but is now undergoing gentrification. Marols is a strange mixture of Spanish, Yiddish, Walloon and Brabantian. The Yiddish and Spanish is from many Spanish Republicans and Polish Jews moving to this district just before WW2. Marols is rarely heard these days, and intelligibility with the rest of Brussels is not known.

Liekert is a South Brabantian dialect spoken in Liedekerke, Belgium in Brabant Province on the border with East Flanders. It is unintelligible with the rest of even Flemish Brabantian, including Antwerps.

Leuvens or Leives is a South Brabantian dialect spoken in the city of Leuven in Belgian Brabant. Many immigrants moved to the city after WW2, and use of the dialect reduced dramatically. Intelligibility between Leuvens and the rest of South Brabantian is not known.

Ninove is apparently a South Brabantian dialect spoken in the city of Ninove in the east of East Flanders. It is probably close to Liekert, and hence is very hard for even Flemish to understand.

Elingen is a South Brabantian dialect spoken in the town of Elingen on the border with Hainaut Province. It is not intelligible at all with Brabantian proper (Anonymous January 2010).

Aalsters is a South Brabantian dialect that is very hard for even the Flemish to understand. It is spoken in the city of Aalst in East Flanders, Belgium, on the border of Brabant Province. It is also spoken in Opwijks, Asses and Tenants over the border in Brabant Province.

Tiens is a South Brabantian dialect spoken in Tienen in Eastern Brabant, Belgium. It has Limburgish tendencies. It is dying out and tends to be spoken more by the working classes, but is still pretty widely spoken. Intelligibility with the rest of South Brabantian is not known.

Afrikaans is a separate language, recognized by Ethnologue. It is spoken in South Africa by 13.2 million people, including 6.45 million native speakers and 6.75 million second language speakers. 12-16 million people have basic knowledge of the language.

A study noted that Dutch speakers have 59% intelligibility of Afrikaans (Gooskens 2005), while Afrikaans speakers have 51% intelligibility of Dutch. The combined intelligibility estimate is 55%, close to distance between Spanish and Portuguese. Afrikaans split off from Dutch in about 1675 when Dutch settlers began settling in South Africa. The first written Afrikaans is dated to 1795.

Zeelandic or Zeêuws is a separate language, recognized by Ethnologue as a different Low Franconian language from Dutch. Zeelandic is not easily understood by AN speakers. It is spoken in Zeeland Province and in South Holland Province on the island of Goeree-Overflakee. This area is south of Rotterdam. It is best thought of as transitional between Dutch and West Flemish.

There are a variety of dialects, Walcheren, Zuid-Beveland and Goeree-Overflakee among others. Toward the north, Zeelandic looks more Hollandic or Dutch, and towards the south, it looks more Flemish. The dialects of Zeelandic Flanders are really outside of the definition of Zeelandic and are best described as East and West Flemish instead.

Although it is clearly a separate language from Dutch, Dutch nationalism mandates that it be seen as a dialect and not a separate language, hence the Dutch government refuses to recognize it as a separate language. The language is still in pretty good shape, though it is declining.

It still has 220,000 speakers. In some rural villages, up to 90% of the children still speak Zeelandic. The dialects of the larger cities are going extinct, yet Zeelandic is still in good shape in the rural areas. Surveys conducted in the 1990’s showed that 60% of residents of the area still spoke Zeelandic on an everyday basis. All Zeelandic dialects are intelligible with each other except South Beveland, which is possibly a separate language. Intelligibility between Zeelandic and West Flemish is not known, but may be high.

Along with French Flemish and West Flemish, Zeelandic is part of Southwest Low Franconian. These languages are said to be the remains of the oldest of Old Franconian.

Burgerzeeuws is a Dutch dialect spoken in Zeeland. Though it ought to be part of the Zeelandic language, it is not. It is originally Zeelandic, spoken in the cities of Zeeland, which was then replaced with Hollandic by status conscious upwardly mobile people. Like Stadsfries, this language developed in the 1600’s. It is especially spoken in Middelburg and Vissingen.

In the 1990’s, only 1/3 of urban Zeelanders spoke Zeelandic, compared to 2/3 in the province as a whole. This dialect is still alive though, even among the youth, especially in conservative Christian circles. In some areas this dialect is scorned, while in others it is valued. Burgerzeeuws has unknown intelligibility with AN, but it is probably easier to understand than Zeelandic proper.

Oostvoorns is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the far north of the region that is actually spoken outside of Zeeland proper in the area called Oostverne just to the north. Some say that this dialect is actually Hollandic and not Zeelandic. It’s probably best seen as a transitional Zeelandic-Hollandic dialect. Intelligibility with AN is not known, but it’s probably better understood to AN speakers than the rest of Zeelandic.

Goerees is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the Goeree region of Zeeland. The dialect of the fishing village of Ouddorp is quite different, with many unique words. It is quite a bit different from the rest of Zeelandic. This dialect is still widely spoken.

Flakkees is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the region of Overflakee, east of Goeree. It is spoken in Ooltgensplaat, Middelharnis and Sommelsdijk. Flakkees is divided into three subdialects – West Flakkees, East Flakkees and Brabants Flakkees. Flakkees is still very widely spoken.

Schouwen-Duivelands is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the Zeelandic region of Schouwen-Duivelands. In some places such as Bruinisse the dialect is in great shape, with 90% of youth even speaking it. In other places such as Burgh, Haamstede and Zierikzee it is undergoing decline due to tourism.

Thools is a Zeelandic dialect spoken on the former island of Tholen is Zeeland. It is undergoing some decline due to widespread immigration but is still widely spoken. There is a sharp barrier between Thools and the North Brabant area just to the east. The city of Oud Vesssemer speaks a mixed North Brabantian-Zeelandic dialect.

Walchers is a Zeelandic dialect spoken on the former island of Walcheren in Zeeland. It is spoken in the towns of Domburg, Westkapelle, Koudekerke, Arnemuiden and Oost Souburg. The dialect of the fishing village of Westkapelle is very different, with many unique words. In Westkapelle and Arnemuiden, the dialect is still doing very well. In other places it is under heavy pressure from tourism and immigration.

South Bevelands is a Zeelandic lect spoken in the Zuid Bevelands area of Zeeland. This area is still very rural, so the lect is in great shape. South Bevelands was scarcely touched by Hollandization during the Golden Age of Holland, hence its archaic character.

South Bevelands is extremely diverse, varying wildly from one village and town to the next to the point that communication is so seriously impaired that residents from different towns typically use AN to communicate rather than their town lects. On the face of it, it’s tempting to split off every town as a separate language, but that seems wild and threatens chaos, and until we get more data, it’s thankfully premature.

However, since South Bevelands is not even intelligible within itself, it can’t possibly be intelligible with the rest of Zeelandic, hence it may well be a separate language.

Land of Cadzands is a Zeelandic dialect spoken in the far south of the Netherlands in Zeelandic Flanders. It is properly seen as a Zeelandic dialect transitioning to West Flemish.

Dutch Low Saxon is a group of lects related to Dutch and German that are very hard to classify, especially in terms of their relationship with Low German in Germany and with Low Franconian (Macro-Dutch) in the Netherlands.

I originally put Dutch Low Saxon in with Low German and added it to my German reclassification. However, after thinking this over for a year now, I now believe that Dutch Low Saxon belongs much more in Macro-Dutch than in Macro-German. Nerbonne 1996 makes a convincing case that Dutch Low Saxon is more properly seen as Macro-Dutch than as Macro-German in a scientific paper analyzing Levenshtein distances between Dutch lects.

There is an argument floating around that all of Dutch Low Saxon is intelligible with all of German Low Saxon. This is certainly not true. Looking at Veluws to Schleswigsch, those two languages are not intelligible with each other at all. In fact, even Groningen and Veluws are not intelligible within the Netherlands alone.

Arguing against the notion of Dutch Low Saxon as being a Dutch dialect, many Dutch say that Dutch Low Saxon is not intelligible with Dutch. There is marginal intelligibility of around 90% between Dutch and Dutch Low Saxon (Zweers 2009). And some Dutch Low Saxon lects, for instance Veluws and Groningen, are not fully intelligible with each other either (Smith 2008).

Dutch Low Saxon includes four groups: Friso-Saxon, Westphalian, Gelders-Oaveriessels and Plautdietsch.

Friso-Saxon is a group of Low Saxon lects spoken in Groningen that have all been heavily influenced by the East Frisian language. These lects are Gronings-East Frisian Low Saxon, Stellingwerfs, Westerkwartiers, Kollumerpompsters, Kollumerlands, Middaglands, Middle Westerkwartiers, South Westerkwartiers, Hogelandsters, Stadsgronings, Westerwolds, Veenkoloniaals and Oldambtsters.

It is often stated that Friso-Saxon is intelligible with general Low Saxon across the board across the border in Germany. This is not true; it is only intelligible with East Frisian Low Saxon, which is not part of the greater German Low Saxon language. For instance, Gronings, Westerwolds and Veenkoloniaals have only 57% intelligibility of Bremen Low Saxon in Germany (Gooskens 2009). Friso-Saxon is broken into four principal groups: Groningen, East Frisian Low Saxon, Westerkwartiers and Stellingwerfs.

What is difficult is dividing up Dutch Low Saxon into different languages. Ethnologue has gone too far, with proper Dutch Low Saxon divided into eight separate languages – Gronings, Veluws, Sallands, Drents, Stellingwerfs, Twents, Achterhoeks and Plautdietsch. We have reduced this complexity quite a bit here, by reducing Dutch Low Saxon to Friso-Saxon, Stellingwerfs, Urkers and Plautdietsch – four languages, and a reduction of Ethnologue’s classification by 5 languages.

Gronings-East Frisian Low Saxon is a Friso-Saxon language, consisting of two parts, Gronings in the Netherlands and East Frisian Low Saxon across the border in Germany.

East Frisian Low Saxon is a Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in the East Frisian peninsula of northwestern Lower Saxony, Germany. It is intelligible with Gronings in the Netherlands. However, it has only 57% intelligibility with Bremen Low Saxon (Gooskens 2009). It has 230,000 speakers. There are still rural areas around here where the majority of people under age 40 speak the language. 50% of the population still speaks the dialect on a daily basis.

This dialect has an East Frisian substratum. There is dialectal diversity between the western and eastern branches. There are also speakers of this dialect in Iowa, about 500 of them, mostly over age 50. The classic variety of East Frisian Low Saxon probably looks something like this. Dialects include Hinte, Ems (Emsfriesisches), Weser (Weserfriesisches), Jeverländer, Harlingerländer, Ommelands and Mooringer.

Hinte East Frisian Low Saxon (Hintener) is a divergent dialect of East Frisian Low Saxon, but intelligibility data with the rest of East Frisian Low Saxon is not known. It is spoken in the town of Hinte in Germany on the Dutch-German border. Hinte is spoken in Eastern Friesland (Ostfriesland) in Lower Saxony in Germany and Groningen is on the Dutch side. It is somewhat similar to Twents.

Westerkwartiers is a group of Friso-Saxon dialects spoken in the far southwest of Groningen Province. This is the group of Friso-Saxon dialects that most resembles West Frisian. A good characterization of this group would be to say it is transitional from Gronings to West Frisian. The cities of Leek, Zuidhorn and Marum speak this dialect. The group includes Kollumerpompsters, Kollumerlands, Middle Westerkwartiers, South Westerkwartiers and Middaglands.

Kollumerpompsters is a Friso-Saxon Westerkwartiers dialect spoken in the city of Kollumerpomp and the surrounding area in the far east of Friesland. The municipality of Kollum speaks this dialect.

The Gronings group of dialects that are spoken in all of Groningen Province, some of Drenthe Province, and a bit of Friesland Province in far northeastern Netherlands. They have 320,000 speakers. They have a heavy Old Frisian (East Frisian) substrate.

Along with Limburgish, it is the group spoken in the Netherlands farthest from Dutch. Yet Gronings is intelligible with East Frisian Low Saxon across the border in Germany. Gronings is very close to Drents, but it is far from Achterhoeks, Twents and Stellingwerfs, and is not fully intelligible with Stellingwerfs or Veluws. Gronings appears to have good intelligibility of Drents (Felder 2015). Dutch speakers have 89-92% intelligibility of Gronings. But other Dutch speakers say that Gronings is often very hard to understand and sometimes they cannot understand anything at all of it (Felder 2015).

The original language of Groningen was Frisian, but there was a mass movement of Saxons from Drenthe to the area. They mostly settled in the city of Groningen, but then they radiated out from there. In addition, many East Frisian speakers came from across the border in Germany. This had to do with the reclamation of peat land in Groningen. The East Frisian language was supplanted by Low Saxon long ago, before the 1500’s. Traces of East Frisian still exist, but only in morphology and syntax and not in phonology (Heeringa 2004).

Gronings consists of North Drents, Hogelandsters, Stadsgronings, Westerwolds, Veenkoloniaals and Oldambtsters.

Hogelandsters is a Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in the far north of Groningen in a region called Hogeland. This is said to be the “purest” Gronings of all, and it is the hardest for AN speakers to understand. The cities of Leens, Ulrum, Baflo, Uithuizen, Bedum, Winsum, Loppersum and Uithuizermeeden are located in this region.

Stadsgronings is the Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in the city of Groningen itself. It is close to North Drents. The dialect is dying out in the city itself due to immigration of large numbers of students from outside the region who do not speak Gronings.

However, many people still speak Gronings in the city and some are more or less Gronings monolinguals who do not speak ABN well. These tend to be people age 40+ (Felder 2015).

Noordenvelds or North Drents is hard to analyze, but it is best analyzed as Friso-Saxon and not Drents proper. This dialect is close to Stadsgronings. It is spoken in the north of Drenthe Province in the towns of Roden, Norg, Eelde and Vries by 38,000 people. This is nearly the same speech as Stadsgronings (Felder 2015).

Oldambtsters-Reiderlands is a Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in a part of Groningen called Oldambt. It is related to Veenkoloniaals and Hogelandsters and has heavy Westphalian influence. Oldambtsters has a close relationship with the Rheiderlander dialect of East Frisian Low Saxon across the border in Germany; in fact, it is basically the same dialect. East Frisian was spoken here until 1400.

This dialect is steadily declining, but holds out best in the rural areas. German is still widely spoken in this part of the Netherlands, especially in the city of Winschoten. It is spoken in Winschoten, Scheemda, Noordbroek, Heiligerlee, Beerta and Nieuwe Schans.

Veenkoloniaals is a Friso-Saxon dialect spoken in eastern Groningen on the border between Groningen and Drenthe Provinces and over the border into Drenthe. This dialect came into being due to peat mining in the area. In recent years it has been expanding a lot, probably because it is closer to AN than neighboring lects.

Veenkoloniaals is close to Drents but even closer to Stellingwerfs. Veenkoloniaals lacks full intelligibility with Dutch. Veenkoloniaals is quite close to Stadsgronings and almost sounds like the same lect. There are a few differences between the two. This is a harder Gronings that is even harder for ABN speakers to understand than Stadsgronings (Felder 2015).

Westerwolds is another Friso-Saxon dialect. that, like Veenkoloniaals, is spoken in eastern Groningen. Westerwolds is not fully intelligible with Dutch and has heavy influence from East Frisian Low Saxon spoken in Germany. Although it is Friso-Saxon, it is closer to Westphalian than to Frisian. It has a particularly close relationship to Ems Low Saxon spoken in Germany.

Lately it has been losing ground to Veenkoloniaals. It is spoken in a small corner of far southeast Groningen on the German border in the towns of Stadskanaal, Musselkanaal, Ter Appelkanaal, Ter Appel and Vledderveen. ABN speakers say that this is an extremely hard form of Gronings that is very hard to understand, even harder to understand than Veenkoloniaals (Felder 2015).

Stellingwerfs is a Friso-Saxon language spoken in the municipalities of Weststellingwerfs and Oststellingwerfs in southeastern Friesland Province on the border with Drenthe and Overijssel Provinces and over the border into Drenthe and Overijssel.

It is spoken in towns such as Appelscha, Noordwolde, Tjalleberd, Luinjeberd, Donkerbroek, St. Johannesga, Rotsterhaule, Rotstergaast, Delfstrahuizen, Uffelte, Diever, Vledder, Echten, Steenwijk, Giethoorn, Tuk, Willemsoord, Oldemarkt, Kuinre, Smilde, Wolvega, Oldeberkoop, Oldeholtpa, Nijeholtpa, Dwingeloo and Oosterzee.

Frisian speakers moved into the formerly Drents-speaking area when peat-digging began. This began the process of Frisianization. Stellingwerfs is not usually put into Friso-Saxon, but Heeringa 2004 makes a good case for putting it into Friso-Saxon (Fig. 4, p. 97).

One way to look at Stellingwerfs is to see it as a Drents variety intermixed strongly with a Frisian layer (Heeringa 2004). The process of Frisianization began as early as the 1200’s. Stellingwerfs probably has over 300,000 speakers in two dialects, East Stellingwerfs and West Stellingwerfs. Stellingwerfs is not close to Gronings, Drents, Twents or Achterhoeks, and it is not fully intelligible with Dutch, nor with Gronings and Veluws.

Gelders-Oaveriessels is a dialect group within Dutch Low Saxon. It includes Urkers, Sallands, Drents and East Veluws. This group is also sometimes called West Dutch Low Saxon. This group has heavier Dutch (Low Franconian) influence than the rest of Dutch Low Saxon. The two other groups have heavy Frisian and Westphalian Low German influence respectively. The Dutch influence is primarily an archaic version of Hollandic from the 1600’s.

East Veluws is a Gelders-Overijssels Dutch Low Saxon dialect spoken in the Veluwe, a formerly heavily forested and swampy region along a ridge in northern Gelderland Province. This region has a lot of wildlife and used to be very popular with hunters. There are proposals to turn much of this region into a national park.

Although it is a part of Dutch Low Saxon, Veluws is marginal within this family (Smith 2009), with West Veluws looking a lot like Low Franconian (“Dutch”) proper, and East Veluws looking more like a typical Dutch Low Saxon. West Veluws and East Veluws can understand each other, and East Veluws and Twents are mutually intelligible. East Veluws is more intelligible with Dutch than any other type of Low Saxon, probably due to its close connection to West Veluws, a Low Franconian lect; however, East Veluws tends to have marginal intelligibility with AN.

Veluws is one of the lects where Low Saxon and Low Franconian are very close, similar to Gronings and East Frisian Low Saxon, except that Veluws in closer to Low Franconian, and Gronings is closer to Low Saxon. Nevertheless, Veluws is not fully intelligible with Stellingwerfs or Gronings. There are probably 300,000 speakers of all varieties of Veluws, but there are fewer Veluws speakers than speakers of Gronings, Stellingwerfs and Twents.

East Veluws is spoken in the towns of Apeldoorn, Doernspijk, Oldebroek, Elberg, Hattem, Heerde, Epe, Ernst, Vaasen, Het Loo, Twello, Gorssel, Brummen, Doesburg, Eerbeek and Dieren.

Sallands is a Gelders-Overijssels Dutch Low Saxon dialect spoken in the Salland region in the western part of Overijssel Province. Sallands has fewer than 300,000 speakers. Sallands lacks full intelligibility with Dutch, but is intelligible with Twents. Based on linguistic distance (Fig. 3) it may not be intelligible with Groningen. There is a transitional Sallands-Twents dialect spoken on the border with the northwest of the Twents-speaking area (ter Denge 2009). There is a lot of variability in Sallands.

Sallands is spoken in Zwolle, Zutphen, Nijverdal, Vroomshoop, Kloosterhaar, Marienberg, Hardenberg, Gramsbelgen, Lutten, Heemse, Witharen, Ommen, Oudleusen, Den Ham, Vilsteren, Dalfsen, Kampen, Heino, Lemereveld, Ittersum, Wijhe, Windesheim, Heeten, Olst, Espelo, Holten, Wesepe, Diepenveen, Lettele, Deventer, Bathmen, Genemuiden, Zwartsluis and Blokzijl.

Zwols is a Sallands dialect spoken in Zwolle, the capital of Overijssel Province. It has some similarities to Urkers nearby. 61% of the population still speaks Zwols. Nowadays, it is mostly spoken in the older districts. It contains many colorful slang expressions.

Dêmpters is the name of the Sallands dialect spoken in Deventer.

Zutphens is a transitional Achterhoeks-Sallands dialect that is spoken in Zutphen, a city in Gelderland. It is interesting because it has many Hollands features. Zutphens is still very heavily spoken by the population of the city.

Drents is a Dutch Low Saxon dialect that is in a group of its own. It has over 240,000 speakers in in Drenthe Province, where it is spoken by about 1/2 the population, and it also has some speakers in Overijssel. In towns like Zuidwolde, the majority of people even aged 30-40 continue to speak Drents as the main everyday language.

Every town and village has its own dialect. Drents is quite far from Twents, Achterhoeks and Stellingwerfs, but it is very close to Gronings and intelligible with Twents. Drents is not intelligible with Dutch.

It is spoken in Assen, Rolde, Geiten, Annen, Anlo, Eext, Klooverstervee, Gasselte, Borger, Grollo, Buinem, Elp, Amen, Beilen, Odoorn, Schoonloo, Hijken, Emmen, Valthermond, Zoordsleen, Sleen, Hoogeveen, Noordbarge, Dalen, Coevorden, Schoonebeek, Eursinge, Zuidwolde, Nieuw Amsterdam, Klazienaveen, Nieuw Schoonebeek, Zwartemeer, De Krim, Linde, Staphorst, Ruinen, Balkbrug, Meppel, Dedemsvaart, Rouveen, Den Hulst and Havelte.

Urkers is a very divergent Gelders-Overijssels Dutch Low Saxon lect spoken in the small city of Urks, formerly an island in the Zeelandic Sea. It is a very conservative Protestant town with no less than 17 churches, where 97% of the population goes to church every week for about three hours a day. Women marry young, and cohabitation is unheard of.

Urkers is utterly incomprehensible to AN speakers, and on structural and intelligibility grounds, there is justification for making it a separate language. Further, a linguistic analysis based on Levenshtein distance suggests that Urkers is best analyzed as a separate language in its own right, apart from all other Dutch lects (Heeringa 2004).

Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon is a branch of Dutch Low Saxon. It contains two dialects, Twents and Achterhoeks, is heavily Germanized and collates with the Westphalian Low German spoken across the border in Germany. Twents is one of the most divergent of all of the Dutch Low Saxon lects from AN, especially the dialects spoken in Vriezenzeen, Rijssen and Wierden.

Twents is a Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon dialect with 328,000 speakers, or 62% of the population of Twents, a region in Overijssel.

Every town has its own dialect, but all dialects are mutually intelligible. Twents is not close to Stellingwerfs or Gronings, but it is intelligible with Drents, Sallands, Achterhoeks (ter Denge 2009) and East Veluws. Based on linguistic distance (Fig. 3) it may not be intelligible with Groningen.

In the northwest of the Twents region, there is a transitional Sallands-Twents dialect that has a largely Twents vocabulary with a Sallands inflection. In the towns of Rijssen and Enter, there is a variety of Twents spoken that uses diphthongs where other varieties have monophthongs. This may be a remnant of an earlier Westphalian variety that may have been generalized throughout the Twents region. On the border with the Achterhoeks region, there is no clear dialect border, as Twents and Achterhoeks slide into each other (ter Denge 2009).

Many Dutch speakers find Twents unintelligible.

Twents is spoken in the towns of Vriezenveen, Almelo, Rijssen, Hengelo, Borne, Enschede, Oldenzaal, Tubbergen, Ootmarsum, Weerselo, Reutum, Denekamp, Deurningen, Losser, Lonneker, Glanerbrug, Usselo, Boekelo, Haaksenbergen, Diepenheim, Goor, Delden, Markelo and Wierden.

Achterhoeks is a Westphalian Dutch Low Saxon dialect. Achterhoeks is far from Drents, Gronings and Stellingwerfs but is intelligible with Twents (ter Denge 2009). Based on linguistic distance (Fig. 3) it may not be intelligible with Groningen. Achterhoeks is not intelligible with Dutch. Achterhoeks is in very good shape, and is widely used as an everyday language.

Achterhoeks is spoken Northern Gelderland east of East Veluws in towns such as Doetinchem, Terborg, Silvolde, Ulft, Dinxperlo, Alten, Winterswijk, Meddo, Groenle, Lichtenvoorde, Eibergen, Neede, Borculo, Ruunlo, Zelhem, Hengelo, Lochem, Laren, Almen and Vorden. Interestingly, Achterhoeks speakers in Dinxperlo can communicate with speakers of Westphalian German Low Saxon in Suderwick, Germany, across the border.

Plautdietsch is a Dutch Low Saxon language that originated in the Netherlands, but then spread to other parts of the world. It forms a subgroup of its own and is quite divergent from the rest of Dutch Low Saxon. It is not intelligible with many other Low German languages, Standard German, or Pennsylvania German. Plautdietsch has 50% intelligibility with Hutterite German.

This language was originally a Friesland Dutch Low Saxon lect, but they moved to Prussia after they were persecuted for their religion, and later they moved to the US. This is the language of the Mennonites worldwide.

Map showing the various lects spoken in Belgium, in the Dutch language. 1. West Flemish. 2. East Flemish. 3. Brabantian. 4. Limburgish. 5. Low German. 6. Ripaurian. 7. Luxembourgish. 8. Lorraine. 9. Champenois. 10. Walloon. 11. Picard.
Fig. 2. Map showing the various languages spoken in Belgium, in the Dutch language. 1. West Flemish. 2. East Flemish. 3. Brabantian. 4. Limburgish. 5. Low Dietsch. 6. Ripaurian. 7. Luxembourgish. 8. Lorraine. 9. Champenois. 10. Walloon. 11. Picard. 1-5 are varieties of Dutch, 6-7 are varieties of German and 8-11 are varieties of French. Click to enlarge.

Flemish or Vlaams is a separate language, recognized as such by Ethnologue. Flemish has anywhere from 30% (Zweers 2009) to 66% (Van Bezooijen 1999) intelligibility with AN. However, it is more complicated than that, for in truth, Flemish is more than one language. The primary split is between West Flemish and East Flemish. It’s now widely acknowledged by most that West Flemish and East Flemish are not completely mutually intelligible.

Hinrichs undated makes a strong case for the inclusion of Flemish as a recognized regional language in section III of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages based on linguistic distance to AN. The distance between Flemish and AN is as great as between Low Saxon and Dutch, and Low Saxon is recognized.

Fig. 3. Map of the major Dutch languages, including Hollandic, East Flemish, West Flemish, Zeelandic, Brabantian and Limburgish. Click to enlarge.

VRT-Nederlands, BRT-Nederlands, VT-Nederlands or BT-Nederlands are abbreviations for the form of AN spoken in Belgium. It may be thought as “Dutch with a Fleming accent.” It is easily intelligible with AN, and is increasingly heard on Belgian TV. Further, many Flemings can also speak this language, which is pretty much what they are taught in school under the rubric of “Dutch” classes. There is tremendous confusion between this dialect and “Flemish.”

This dialect is simply a dialect of Dutch or AN. The varieties subsumed under Flemish are completely different languages altogether. This dialect is making increasing inroads in Belgian life and some Flemish speakers are becoming alarmed about this.

Standard Flemish, Verkavelingsvlaams, Vlaamse Tussentaal, VT or Soap Vlaams (henceforth VT) is a koine developed recently in Belgium that is understood by all Flemish speakers and is used often on TV. It is a mixture both of an artificially created Standard Flemish and the local dialects, and AN speakers find it quite incomprehensible. It is nearly the same as Belgian Brabantian. It probably has around 3.4 million speakers in Belgium. VT is fully intelligible with the Brabantian language.

West Flemish or West Vlaams is a highly divergent Low Franconian language that, along with French Flemish and Zeelandic, is part of Southwest Low Franconian and is the closest to the original Old Franconian. This group of languages is interesting because they have retained features of Ingvaeonic or North Sea Germanic features. Ingvaeonic is the postulated language that gave birth to Old English, Old Saxon and Old Frisian, possibly 2,000 YBP. It was spoken what is now the Netherlands, northwest Germany and Denmark. There are also influences from langues d’oil, not so much French proper as Picard, which is spoken adjacent to the West Flemish region.

West Flemish is spoken in Zeelandic Flanders in the Netherlands, West Flanders Province in Belgium and French Flanders in Nord Province in France (see map Fig. 1). East Flemish speakers have a hard time understanding West Flemish, especially the variety spoken in France. For example, West Flemish speakers regularly get subtitles on Belgian TV. Studies have shown that speakers of Antwerp East Flemish cannot understand the West Flemish of Oostende, Diksmuide, or Kortrijk, cities in West Flanders Province (De Houwer 2008).

West Flemish has 1 million regular speakers in West Flanders in Belgium and 70,000 in Zeelandic Flanders for a total of 1.07 million speakers. It also has a few speakers in Flemish Zeeland in the Netherlands.

Brugs is a West Flemish dialect spoken in and around the city of Bruges. It is quite divergent from other West Flemish dialects and even other Flemish find it hard to understand. However, precise intelligibility with West Flemish per se and not Flemish per se (whatever that means) is needed before we can determine whether or not it is a separate language. Brugs is declining in recent days and is being replaced with a more widely spoken Flemish, possibly VT.

Kortrijks is a West Flemish dialect spoken in the city of Kortrijk in the southeast of West Flanders. It is also spoken in the towns of Kuurne, Wevelgem, Ledegem, Moorslede, Muelebeke, Tiens and Izegem. Past Tiens, it starts turning into the Brugs dialect. Past Moorslede, it starts turning into the Ypres dialect.

Ypres is a South Flanders dialect spoken in and around the city of Ypres in the south of West Flanders. It is different from Kortrijks.

Waregems is a dialect spoken in the West Flanders city of Waregem. It is different from Kortrijks and is unique in some ways. It is best seen as a West Flanders dialect heading out towards the East Flanders language. There is an entire area on the border between West Flanders and East Flanders where the dialects may be hard to characters as belonging to either the West Flanders or East Flanders languages. There is a suggestion that only those from the immediate area can understand Waregems well, but until we get better data, it is premature to split it.

Vlaemsch or French West Flemish is a highly divergent West Flemish lect spoken in France that has been diverging from the rest of West Flemish for over 300 years since Louis XIV annexed it to France around 1680. Vlaemsch is full of French loan words, and other West Flemish speakers (such as Oostende West Flemish speakers) have a hard time understanding it, so it is probably a separate language.

Though it is recognized by the French government as a minority language (as “Dutch”), it gets no support from them and has been declining for centuries. It has 60,000 speakers, 20,000 of whom use it every day. The vast majority of Vlaemsch speakers are over age 60. Vlaemsch will probably go extinct in a matter of decades.

East Flemish or East Vlaams is a separate language spoken mostly in East Flanders in Belgium but also in Zeelandic Flanders in the Netherlands. It is not intelligible with AN. For example, the East Flemish speakers in Zeelandic Flanders have a hard time understanding the Brabantian Dutch speakers across the Schelde River. Also, East Flemish speakers have a hard time understanding West Flemish.

West Flemish speakers moving to Ghent in large numbers have created so many problems that the city council took action against them for “speaking a language that no one could understand,” that is, West Flemish.

Not only is East Flemish a separate language, but there is tremendous dialect diversity inside of East Flanders. In fact, it appears that East Flanders is more than one language. East Flemish probably has about 1.1 million speakers, almost all in Belgium, but that figure may be inflated. The true number of speakers is hard to determine. There are 1.4 million residents in the area, but they cannot all speak East Flemish.

Gents is a highly divergent East Flemish lect spoken in Ghent, Belgium that appears to be a separate language. It is considered very hard to understand even by other East Flemish speakers, so it may be a separate language. To South Brabantian speakers, it may as well be Greek.

In fact, there are two different dialects of Gents, one on the west side of the city and another on the east side. In addition, the dialects of the villages around Ghent are also said to be different from Gents itself. Intelligibility data for the various dialects in and around Ghent is not known. This language has many features of a “language island,” in that it differs markedly from surrounding East Flemish lects. Gents has a strong French influence and many French loans.

Dendermonds is another highly divergent East Flemish lect spoken in the city of Dendermode. Studies indicate that other East Flemish speakers have a hard time understanding it (De Houwer 2008), so it may well be a separate language. Dendermode is about 1/2 way between Antwerp and Ghent. This language has heavy Brabantian influence, and that is why it is so different from the rest of East Flemish.

Lokers is an East Flemish dialect spoken in the city of Lokeren in the northeast of East Flanders on the border with Brabantian. Here East Flemish is transitioning to a group of Brabantian dialects called Wase, spoken in the Waseland. This dialect may be close to Dendermonds.

Limburgish is an East Low Franconian language that is spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is a separate language and is not intelligible with other forms of Low Franconian nor with any Low German. As a part of Meuse-Rhenish, it is transitional between Low Franconian (Dutch) and Low German (German).

Limburgish and Dutch had very different geneses – Limburgish came from Old East Low Franconian, and Dutch came from Old West Low Franconian. It has 1.6 million speakers. Each village and city has its own dialect, but they are all mutually intelligible. There are as many as 580 different Limburgish dialects.

Although Limburgish is said to be intelligible with Ripuarian, the truth is that it is not inherently intelligible with it. There are however some Limburgish and Ripuarian dialects on the borders of the two that are transitional between Ripuarian and Limburgish. See the South Guelderish and the Low Dietsch entries here for more on those transitional languages.

Limburgish is one of the Meuse-Rhenish languages. It is often claimed that Limburgish is intelligible with German, but this is not so. The intelligibility situation with regard to Limburgish and AN is confusing.  Some say that Limburgish has marginal intelligibility with AN (Zweers 2009), but other Dutch speakers say that they can barely understand a word of Limburgish. A study concluded that Dutch speakers have about 89% intelligibility of Limburgish.

The real pure Limburgish is not intelligible with Standard Dutch at all, but what is most often spoken nowadays is a sort of a Dutch-Limburgish mixed language that is intelligible to most AN speakers. However, there are still some speakers of the real pure Limburgish around.

This Wikipedia article on Limburgish is wrong. It groups all of Bergish, South Guelderish, Southeast Limburgish and Dutch Limburgish into one “variety” or dialect, and then refuses to call that variety a language.

However, “Limburgish” is composed of at least four languages. Bergish is a separate language, not intelligible with Southeast Limburgish (60% intelligibility), South Guelderish, or Dutch Limburgish. Neither is Southeast Limburgish intelligible with Limburgish. And Venlo may well be a separate language all of its own.

Greater Limburgish, including Limburgish, SE Limburgish, Kleverlandish and Bergish.
Click to enlarge. Greater Limburgish, including Limburgish, SE Limburgish, Kleverlandish and Bergish.

Geleens is an East Limburgish dialect that is spoken in the city of Geleen in Limburg Province in the Netherlands. It differs quite a bit from the dialect of Sittard, even though the two cities have recently merged.

Sittards or Zittesj is an East Limburgish dialect that is spoken in Sittard in Limburg Province, the Netherlands. It’s quite different from Geleens. It is closest to dialects right across the German border, but otherwise it is a transitional Middle Limburgish-South Limburgish dialect, similar to Roermond.

Heerlen Dutch is a Limburgish-Dutch creole or dialect of Dutch spoken in the city of Heerlen in Limburg Province, the Netherlands. In the 1800’s, there were many coal miners in this area and everyone spoken Heerlen Limburgish. As the mines expanded, people came to work from all over the Netherlands and even the Kerkrade region of Germany.

None of them spoke Heerlen, and many didn’t even speak Limburgish. Later a sort of creole based on AN and Heerlen arose. What we have now is a Dutch dialect with a Heerlen base and a strong Limburgish flavor, not really a Limburgish dialect per se. Heerlen Dutch is apparently intelligible with AN.

Hasselts or Hessels is a Limburgish dialect spoken in Hasselt in Belgian Limburg. Dialect leveling has been occurring in the past 50 years as rural residents of the surrounding villages moved to Hasselt. It is best analyzed as a Belgian Limburgish dialect transitional with Brabantian.

Maastrichts is a Limburgish dialect spoken in the city of Maastricht in Dutch Limburgish. It has 60,000 speakers and hence is the largest Limburgish dialect. It is still widely spoken in the city. Maastrichts differs significantly from the dialects of the neighboring villages.

Horsters is the Limburgish dialect spoken in the city of Horst in Dutch Limburg. Some say that everything north of Venlo is outside of Limburgish proper and into South Guelderish. That’s an interesting argument, but we will leave it in Limburgish for now, especially since Limburgish isoglosses extend to just north of Horst. Some see it as transitional between Limburgish and South Guelderish, Kleverlandish and North Limburgish.

Tegels is is a Limburgish dialect spoken in the city of Tegelen in Dutch Limburg. Although it is very close to Venlo, Tegels speaks a typical Limburgish dialect, while Venlo is North Limburgish and is probably a separate language altogether.

They are so different because Tegelen was ruled by the Duchy of Gulik for 750 years, while Venlo was under the Duchy of Gelders for 400 years. The Duchys did not end their rule of both cities until around 1800 or so. Tegelen did not go to the Netherlands until 1817, when it was traded to Netherlands from Germany in exchange for the Dutch city of Henzogenrath, which was traded to Germany.

Weerts or Wieërts is a Limburgish dialect spoken in the city of Weert in Dutch Limburg. It is a Middle Limburgish dialect. Weerts, together with another Limburgish dialect spoken in Hamont in Belgian Limburg and a dialect of Bavarian, has more vowels than any other lect on Earth – 28 of them. The area around Weerts has many forests, sand dunes, bogs and marshes. This part of the Netherlands is also very Catholic. In the far north, it tends to be a lot more Protestant.

Hamont is a Limburgish dialect spoken in Hamont, on the border with the Netherlands in Belgian Limburg.

The map below (Fig. 3) is quite interesting. As we can see below, Limburgish is further removed from Dutch than Veluws, Afrikaans, and Dutch Low Saxon. Much of Dutch Low Saxon is also further from Dutch than Afrikaans.

Map of the Netherlands and Belgium, in Dutch, showing the positions of various lects. The map shows Dutch Low Saxon, Hollandic, Brabantian, Kleverlandish, Limburgish, Low German, Zeelandic, West Flemish, East Flemish and French Flemish and Afrikaans in South Africa. It also shows Indonesia, Suriname and the Dutch Antilles as Dutch speaking regions.
Fig. 3. Map of the Netherlands and Belgium, in Dutch, showing the positions of various lects. Higher numbers are farther from AN; lower numbers are closer to AN. As you can see, some varieties of West Flemish, Limburgish and Dutch Low Saxon are very far from AN.Afrikaans is also quite a ways away. The map shows Dutch Low Saxon, Hollandic, Brabantian, Kleverlandish, Limburgish, Low German, Zeelandic, West Flemish, East Flemish and French Flemish and Afrikaans in South Africa. It also shows Indonesia, Suriname and the Dutch Antilles as Dutch speaking regions. Click to enlarge.

South Low Franconian is the name for a lect spoken in Germany just east of the Limburgs Province in the Netherlands. Dialects include Jlabbacher Platt of central Mönchengladbach, Föschelner Platt of Fischeln in Krefeld, and Dremmener Platt of Dremmen near Heinsberg. The intelligibility of these German lects with the rest of Meuse-Rhenish is unclear, and it may be a separate language altogether. The closest in intelligibility would be to Bergish, Venloos and Southeast Limburgish in that order.

Southeast Limburgish (SE Limburgish) is a East Low Franconian language made up of a number of dialects that are transitional between Limburgish and Ripuarian. It has a close relationship with Limburgish. Some call SE Limburgish/Low Dietsch/Aachen German by an alternate name – Limburgish-Ripuarian of the Three Countries Area.

Some classifications put this language into Ripaurian, but it is possibly better analyzed as Limburgish or better yet Ripuarian-Limburgish transitional. The classification is important since if it is Ripaurian, this language is “German,” and if it is Limburgish, it is “Dutch.” But if we see it as Ripuarian-Limburgish transitional, this language may most properly be characterized as a Dutch-German transitional lect.

It is spoken in Belgium around Eupen, including Welkenraedt, Lontzen, Raeren, La Calamine, Eynatten, Gemmenich, and Moresnet; in the Netherlands between Ubach and Brunssum in the towns of Kerkrade, Bocholtz and Vaals, where it is known as Waals; and in a large area in North Rhine-Westphalia between the cities of Aachen and Eschweiler in the towns of Stolberg, Wurselen, Eilendorf and Kohlscheid. To the east over by Duren (Dürener Platt), we start moving into Ripuarian proper. It is also spoken in the far upper Eifel region around the Hurtgen Forest (Tulipan 2013).

It is a separate language, unintelligible to those outside the region. Most if not all Southeast Limburgish lects appear to be intelligible with each other (Tulipan 2013).

Bocholtzer is a SE Limburgish dialect spoken in the towns of Bocholtz, Bocholtzerheide and Baneheide in Limburg Province. It is still very widely spoken in the area. Intelligibility is about 90% with Stolberg German (Tulipan 2013).

Aachen German or Aachener Platt is a SE Limburgish dialect spoken in this same general region in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia on the border with Belgium. Aachen German has 60% intelligibility with Bergish, the form of Limburgish spoken across the border (Harms 2009). The common notion is that Aachen German and Bergish are the same language. Since they are not intelligible, this is not the case.

Intelligibility with Stolberg German is excellent (Tulipan 2013). Aachen German intelligibility with Ripaurian is variable, but averages 40% (Köhler 2015). Aachen German has 50% with Dürener Platt, 30% intelligibility with Kolsch, and 25% with Eupener Platt.

Stolberg German is a SE Limburgish dialect spoken in Stolberg, Germany, near Aachen. It is intelligible with Aachen German, though it has more Ripuarian influences. and 90% intelligibility with Kirchröadsj, Vaals, etc. Other than with Kirchröadsj and Vaals, etc. intelligibility is not good with the rest of the lects spoken in the Netherlands, including Limburgish proper. Stolberg German is still widely spoken (Tulipan 2013).

Kirchröadsj is a SE Limburgish dialect spoken in Kerkrade in the Netherlands. It is often put into Ripuarian, but we will put it in SE Limburgish instead. Kirchröadsj is not fully intelligible with Kölsch. But it along with Vaals and related lects is about 90% intelligible with Stolberg German (Tulipan 2013).

Low Dietsch is a lect, often thought to be a SE Limburgish dialect, that is made up of a number of subdialects that are transitional between Limburgish and Ripuarian. However, Low Dietsch is better seen as a separate language because intelligibility with Southeast Limburgs is poor (Köhler 2015). When people say that Limburgish and Ripuarian are mutually intelligible, what they mean is that there are languages like Low Dietsch and Southeast Limburgish that are transitional between Limburgish and Ripuarian.

Around Eupen a Low Dietsch dialect called Eupener Platt (Eupen German) is spoken. Eupener Platt has only 25% intelligibility with Aachen German. Aachen Platt speakers say that Eupener sounds funny, like a mixture of Platt, French and English (Köhler 2015). Intelligibility is difficult with Stolberg German (Tulipan 2013).

Low Dietsch has been slowly dying out for a long time, since World War 1, almost a century, and it is not spoken much anymore. However, in recent years it is undergoing a Renaissance, and it is now being spoken more, even by young people, who seem to be spearheading the resurgence (Tulipan 2013). Eupener Platt has high but not full intelligibility with Kolsch (~70%) and the Middle Limburgish spoken in Heeren.

The following is an example of Eupener Platt.

VERTÉLLTJERE

De Ammerekaaner
By Siegfried Theissen

Wi de Ammerekaaner no Öëpe koëmte – iich gelöüf, et woër veerenvärrtech off voëvenvärrtech – wonnde ver ä gene Wéërt. Wi ver no hoërte dat-te Ammerekaaner ä gene Hollefter, a ge Schokkelaates, en gruëte Käüche oppgemaakt hoë, léïpe véër Kaïnder dahään, waïl aïnder es fertaut hoë, dadd-et ta Panneköük ömmesöss güëf. Änn taatsächlech, jédderéïne kräch esuvoël Panneköük, wi-e draage koss!

Änn véër Kaïnder krächte ouch noch en Taafel Schokkelaat, gätt watt fer allt lang neet mië geséë hoë. Dé Schokkelaat woër esu schwarrt wi di ammerekaanesche Köch.

Di Schwarrte doschde suwisuë märr Dénnsmättje schpéële! Obb-ene gouwe Daach gäng derr Vadder métt, änn éïne van di Schwarrte, dé gätt Döttsch koss, waïl-e e gannts Joër bi de Döttsche gevange gewässt woër, vrodde ann derr Vadder, off-e neet föël Gaïlt ferdeene wöül. Derr Vadder woër natüürlech mésstrouwesch änn saat: „ Watt möss-ech da davöër doë?“. – „Véër Schwarrte, saat-é Schwarrte, wäärde van de wétte Offtséëre esuë schléët behaïndelt, ver wäärde ouch esuë schléët betallt, dadd-iich nou oug ens gätt ferdéïne wéll!

Iich hann ene ganntse Kammjong voll Tsigerätte geklaut, änn dé wéll ech nou vöër voëvduusent Frang verkoupe. Et möss waal hü noch séë, waïl möëre wäärde ver versatt!“ Derr Vadder ho jo di voëvduusent Frang geschpaart, mä e saat, e möss terösch métt sinn Vro drövver kalle.

De Modder saat: „ Dat-tönnt fer! Esunne Kammjong Tsigerätte éss en Milljuën wäärt! Di Tsigerätte verkloppe ver ä Oëke, änn dé Kammjong wäärt fer béï ene Buër kwiit.“ Mä derr Vadder woër te bang. E woss neet, wu e dé Kammjong aunderschtélle köss, änn-e saat ouch: „Wänn de Ammerekaaner es schnappe, da schéëte di es, of-fer koëme joërelang ä gene Topp.“ Do saat-e Modder: „No hä ver ens Milljonäär wäärde könne, änn no hass-tou géïn Kuraasch!“ Mä derr Vadder saat märr: „Dou haas-tech förrege Wéëk allt genoch gelaïst!“

Iich woss néït, watt-e damétt maïnt, änn do vertaut de Modder: „ Ä gen Gosspertschtroët sönnd ouch Ammerekaaner änne su Huus, änn jéddesch Kiër wi ech da verbéïkoëmt, vrodde esunne Schwarrte: ‚ No Cognac? I give Cigarettes and Chocolate for Cognac!’ Iich ho allt lang géïne Konnjakk mië, mä ech ho waal noch en léëch Konnjakkflaïsch, médd-et Étikätt änn dréï Schtääre dropp.

Iich di Bubbel voll Tië gedoë, derr Schtopp dropp, alles fië togepläkkt änn no di Ammerekaaner. Wi di di Flaïsch soëge, paggde di mech en Schtang Tsigerätte änn dréï Taafele Schokkelaat änn en Tüüt, änn ië di di Flaïsch oppmaake kosste, léïp iich ewäkk, datt mech de Vokke vloëge. Wänn di mech kréëge häë, di häë miich kaut gemakkt! Mä saïtämm bänn ech neet mië dörrech gen Gosspertschtroët gegange!“

Hôessëlts is a Low Dietsch dialect spoken in Belgian Limburg in the small city of Hoeselt. It’s dying out, but a dictionary of it was recently published.

Dutch to German transition dialects - Kleverlandish in the north, Niederfrankisch in the middle and Ripuarian in the south
Fig. 4 Dutch to German transition dialects – Kleverlandish in the north, Niederfrankisch in the middle and Ripuarian in the south. Click to enlarge.

Aeres, Æres or Ourish is a West Central German Central Franconian language spoken around the German-Dutch border area that is closely related to, but very different from, Limburgish. It is spoken in several villages in the Dutch provinces of Gelderland and Overijssel and in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen.

It has 600 speakers, but there were formerly many more. Most speakers are elderly. Some say it is part of Dutch Low Saxon, others that is close to Limburgish, and others that it is close to Frisian, so its classification is quite confused. Some people say that the whole idea of this language is a fraud since good sources are hard to find, but this seems questionable. On the other hand, the existence of this language has not been well proven.

South Guelderish/Kleverlandish is a Low Franconian language consisting of South Guelderish spoken in Netherlands and and Kleverlandish spoken in Germany. It is part of Meuse-Rhenish, and hence is transitional between Low Franconian (Dutch) and Low German (German).

Dialects include Rheden, Cleves (Kleve, Kleef), Oberhausen, Essen-Werder, Venlo, Venray, Liemers, Cuijk, Groesbeek and Zevenaar, and also the dialects of Northern Limburgish. The Cuijk dialect is typical. South Guelderish has a very heavy Frisian substratum. Based on its distance to AN alone (see Fig. 3) it must have difficult intelligibility with AN, probably along the lines of Zeelandic.

Overbetuws is a South Guelderish dialect spoken in the Upper Betuws region of Gelderland. Cities in this area include Valberg, Elst and Zetten. It was widely spoken until recently, when it began to decline. It is similar to Liemers.

Liemers is a South Guelderish dialect transitional to Achterhoeks that is spoken in the Liemers region in the far east of Gelderland east of Arnhem to the German border. It is spoken in the towns of Didam, Zevenaar, Lobith and Wehl. This dialect is basically South Guelderish transitional to Achterhoeks Low Saxon.

Kleverlandish is South Guelderish spoken in Germany along the border with the Netherlands. Kleverlandish lects are quite a bit different from South Gulderish, but intelligibility data is lacking.

This dialect is often referred to as Kleverländisch. It is spoken southeast of Munster along the border with the Netherlands and north of Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Kleverlandish is not intelligible with Bergish (Harms 2009), as one is an analogue of North Limburgish and the other an analogue of South Limburgish. Venlo Kleverlandish is incomprehensible to most Dutch speakers. Kleverlandish is still widely spoken in Wesels, Germany, at least by the older generation (Anonymous 2009).

Venloos is an extremely divergent Dutch lect spoken in the city of Venlo in the center of Limburg Province. In the north of Limburg, Limburgish is no longer spoken, and the lect changes to more of a Gulderish/Brabantian type.

Venloos is interesting because it is so different. It seems to be transitional between Limburgish, Ripuarian German, and Gulderish/Brabantian. On purely structural grounds, there are suggestions that it is a separate language, but since we are dividing only on intelligibility and not structural grounds here, that won’t cut it. In the linguistic literature, statements are made to the effect, “If Limburgish is a separate language, then Venloos must surely be also.”

Venloos is regarded as particularly incomprehensible by many AN speakers, much more so than Limburgish. Venloos may well be a separate language, as it appears to be poorly understood outside of the Venlo region. Venloos is still very widely spoken in Venlo, even by young people. The Heinisch dialects next to the Dutch border in Viersen (Viersener Platt), Breyellsch Platt of Breyell in Nettetal and Jriefrother Platt of Grefrath are intelligible with Venloos.

A map of the Kleverlandish language, including all of its dialects.
A map of the Kleverlandish language, including towns where it is spoken.

Bergish or Neiderrbergisch is a form of Low Rhenish that is analogous to Limburgish. This is Limburgish spoken on the other side of the border in Germany, but the variety in Germany is a separate language.

There are two high level splits in Neiderrbergisch, Südniederfränkisch or Bergisch and Ostbergisch. However, both appear to be intelligible, so they are dialects of a single language (Harms 2009). The following nonbolded entries are all dialects of Neiderrbergisch Low Rhenish.

Ostbergisch or East Bergisch is spoken around Mülheim an der Ruhr, Saarn and Gummersbach. Gummersbach is a dialect of this language. All dialects are intelligible with Düsseldorver Platt Bergish (Harms 2009). Ostbergisch has a close relationship with the Sallands Gelders-Overijssels Dutch Low Saxon dialect spoken in Zutphen, however, the two are not completely intelligible. Dialects include Duisburg and Wuppertal.

Mülheim an der Ruhr is the classic form of Ostbergisch spoken in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Germany. It is quite different, but it is still intelligible with the other dialects.

Saarn Mülheim an der Ruhr is spoken in the Saarn District of Mülheim an der Ruhr, Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Germany, but it differs considerably from the standard version of Ostbergisch. Nevertheless, it is fully intelligible with the other dialects.

Bergish is one of two high level splits in Neiderrbergisch. It is definitely not intelligible with Cleves Kleverlandish (Harms 2009). This language is based on Low Rhenish but has acquired a heavy Ripuarian layer such that speakers feel that their speech somewhat resembles the Ripuarian language Kölsch, which is nearby (Harms 2009).

There are various dialects of this language, including Krieewelsch, spoken in central Kresweld, Ödingsch of Uerdingen in Krefeld, Metmannsch Platt of Mettmann, Düsseldorver Platt of northern and central Düsseldorf, Vogteier, spoken in Nieukerk, Solinger Platt of Solingen, Remscheder Platt of Remscheid, Rotinger Platt of Ratingen, and Wülfrother Platt of Wülfrath which is located between Düsseldorf and Wuppertal. Solingen, Krieewelsch and Wülfrath are all mutually intelligible (Harms 2009). It is also spoke in Neuss, Remscheid, Mochengladbach and Heinsberg.

Düsseldorver Platt is intelligible with Ostbergisch but not with South Guelderish, Limburgish or Aachen German. Düsseldorver Platt has 60% intelligibility with Aachen German. Düsseldorver Platt is not fully intelligible with any of the various lects spoken in the Netherlands (Harms 2009).

Düsseldorver Platt is mostly only spoken by older people these days, who nevertheless keep it very well alive. Middle-aged people have passive competence, but often not active, and young people may lack either, though some can hear the language.

Solinger Platt is a form of Bergish spoken in Solingen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The link leads to a description of it and a transcription of a short story in the dialect. It is fully intelligible with Düsseldorver Platt (Harms 2009).

The Meuse-Rhenish lects, including SE Limburgish, Limburgish, Bergish, and Kleverlandish.
Click to enlarge. The Meuse-Rhenish lects, including SE Limburgish, Limburgish, Bergish, and Kleverlandish.

References

Anonymous. Wesels Kleverlandish native speaker, Wesels, Germany. Personal communication. July 2009.

Anonymous. Antwerps, AN and Verkavelingsvlaams speaker, Antwerp, Belgium. Personal communication. January 2010.

Berns, J.B. 1991. “De Kaart van de Nederlandse Dialecten”, in Herman Crompvoets and Ad Dams, eds., Kroesels op de Bozzem. Het Dialectenboek, Waalre:24-27

DeEllis, Jonathon. Dutch-English translator and former Venlo resident for 10 years. January 2010. Personal communication.

Felder, Lianne. May 2015. Resident of Groningen City, Netherlands, ABN speaker. Personal communication.

Gooskens, Charlotte & Heeringa, Wilbert. 2004. The Position of Frisian in the Germanic Language Area. In: Gilbert, D. &  Schreuder, M. &  Knevel, N. (eds.), On the Boundaries of Phonology and Phonetics, 61-87. Klankleergroep, Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen, Groningen. Dedicated to Tjeerd de Graaf.

Gooskens, Charlotte and Kürschner, Sebastian. 2009. On the Low Saxon Dialect Continuum – Terminology and Research. In Lenz, Alexandra N.; Gooskens, Charlotte and Reker, Siemon (Eds.). Low Saxon Dialects Across Borders – Niedersächsische Dialecte Über Grenzen Hinweg, Zeitschrift fur Dialektologie und Linguistik. Beihefte 138:9-27.

Gooskens, Charlotte; Kürschner, Sebastian and van Bezooijen, Renée. Intelligibility of Low and High German to Speakers of Dutch. Dialectologia (submitted for publication, not yet published).

Grondelaers, Stef. Linguist, the Netherlands. Personal communication, August 2009.

Harms, Biggi. Düsseldorf Bergish native speaker. Personal communication. March 2009.

Heeringa, Wilbert. 2004. Dialect Variation in and Around Frisia: Classification and Relationships. Us Wurk; Tydskrift foar Frisistyk 53(4).

Heeringa, Wilbert. Jan. 2004. Measuring Dialect Pronunciation Differences Using Levenshtein Distance (Chapter 9). PhD Dissertation, University of Groningen.

Gooskens, Charlotte and van Bezooijen, Renée. 2005. How Easy Is It For Speakers of Dutch To Understand Spoken and Written Frisian and Afrikaans, and Why? In: J. Doetjes and J. van de Weijer (eds). Linguistics in the Netherlands 22:13-24.

Houwer, Annick; Remael, Aline and Vandekerckhove, Reinhild. July 2008. Vandekerckhove Intralingual Open Subtitling in Flanders: Audiovisual Translation, Linguistic Variation and Audience Needs. Journal of Specialized Translation 10.

Hinrichs, Erhard; Gerdemann, Dale and Nerbonne, John. Undated. Measuring Linguistic Unity and Diversity in Europe. Project Proposal. Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

Köhler, Pascal. Eschweiler German and German native speaker. Personal communication. January 20, 2015

Nerbonne, J. W.; Heeringa, E.; van den Hout, P.; van der Kooi, S. Otten, and van de Vis, W. 1996. Phonetic Distance Between Dutch Dialects. In: G. Durieux, W. Daelemans, and S. Gillis (eds.). CLIN VI, Papers from the Sixth CLIN Meeting. Antwerpen. University of Antwerp, Center for Dutch Language and Speech, 185-202.

Smith, Norval. Linguistics professor, the Netherlands. Personal communication. March 2009.

ter Denge, Martin. Twents native speaker, Rijssen, the Netherlands. Personal communication. November 2009.

Tulipan, Laszlo. Stolberg German native speaker, Stolberg, Germany. Personal communication. April 2013.

van Bezooijen, Renée and van den Berg, Rob. 1999.
Taalvariëteiten in Nederland en Vlaanderen: Hoe Staat Het Met Hun Verstaanbaarheid? Taal en Tongval 51(1): 15-33.

Zweers, Steven. Dutch native speaker, the Netherlands. Personal communication. March 2009.

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"Before John Travolta, There Was Pulp Fiction," by Alpha Unit

Upton Sinclair is probably best known as the author of The Jungle, a novel he wrote to draw attention to the living and working conditions of factory workers. Its depictions of what went on inside the meatpacking industry were its legacy (to the annoyance of Sinclair). But before becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Upton Sinclair – like many other writers – wrote pulp fiction.
Pulp magazines were fiction magazines created expressly as entertainment for working-class people. (They get their name from the cheap wood pulp paper they were printed on.) There were many varieties of pulp fiction – science fiction, detective stories, mysteries, westerns, horror stories, superheroes, and so on. But the pulps are most often associated with its more sensationalistic stories, as well as sensationalistic cover art. The “spicy” genre of pulp fiction featured damsels in distress pouring half-naked out of what’s left of their clothes, in the clutches of human or un-human predators!
Pulp publishers thrived by keeping everything cheap. In addition to keeping their printing methods and paper cheap, they paid authors as little as possible. One advantage, though, was that pulps paid upon acceptance instead of on publication. This made them appealing not just to beginning writers but to well-known writers who needed fast money.
Pulp fiction reached the height of its popularity during the twenties and thirties. World War II marked the beginning of its decline. Paper shortages because of the war made it more expensive to make, and after the war, it faced competition from other forms of popular entertainment. One of these was comic books, which some see, perhaps, as the natural heir to pulp.

“Before John Travolta, There Was Pulp Fiction,” by Alpha Unit

Upton Sinclair is probably best known as the author of The Jungle, a novel he wrote to draw attention to the living and working conditions of factory workers. Its depictions of what went on inside the meatpacking industry were its legacy (to the annoyance of Sinclair). But before becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Upton Sinclair – like many other writers – wrote pulp fiction.

Pulp magazines were fiction magazines created expressly as entertainment for working-class people. (They get their name from the cheap wood pulp paper they were printed on.) There were many varieties of pulp fiction – science fiction, detective stories, mysteries, westerns, horror stories, superheroes, and so on. But the pulps are most often associated with its more sensationalistic stories, as well as sensationalistic cover art. The “spicy” genre of pulp fiction featured damsels in distress pouring half-naked out of what’s left of their clothes, in the clutches of human or un-human predators!

Pulp publishers thrived by keeping everything cheap. In addition to keeping their printing methods and paper cheap, they paid authors as little as possible. One advantage, though, was that pulps paid upon acceptance instead of on publication. This made them appealing not just to beginning writers but to well-known writers who needed fast money.

Pulp fiction reached the height of its popularity during the twenties and thirties. World War II marked the beginning of its decline. Paper shortages because of the war made it more expensive to make, and after the war, it faced competition from other forms of popular entertainment. One of these was comic books, which some see, perhaps, as the natural heir to pulp.

Cool Nazi-Era Photos

Here are some cool Nazi-era photos that I just ran across.

The first one below is of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1941, the famous Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact. Any idiot with half a brain knows that Stalin and Hitler despised each other and that Hitler had long ago decided to invade the USSR in order to put the final stake in “Judeo-Bolshevism.”

The USSR was the heart of the Judeo-Bolshevik beast, and only the destruction of the USSR would kill it for sure, since the beast kept sending tentacles out in the form of local Communist movements in Europe that threatened to spread Communism into the heart of the Continent.

Hitler’s hatred for Slavs is hard to figure. The Slavs were said to be a “slave race.” It’s true that the Russians had a reputation for running rather than fighting, but that was the nature of this forest-dwelling peasant people and in fact it was adaptive. When the Scandinavians first invaded down into Russia to conquer part of it, they found it curiously ill-defended. Faced with a superior force, the Russians would fight a bit, then give up land and just melt away into the mysterious forests. The Scandinavians felt it was useless to go find them, and after a while, a peace of sorts was reached.

The Russians were a forest-dwelling people at the time who lived in deep forests, often near rivers. They farmed a bit, lived off wild game and other food from the forest, and especially fished in the rivers. They weren’t exactly hunter-gatherers, but they were as close to that as a European people got at that time. They had a small population and were poorly armed, and typically responded to attacks by melting away into the forests where the enemy could not find them. Military defenses have to be judged by their adaptiveness, and this one worked well.

The Mongols also conquered a bit into Russia, and the Ottomans were so enamored of taking White slaves in the form of Slavs of various sorts that this is where the word “slave” comes from – it means “Slav,” because in Medieval times, so many slaves were Slavs.

Like most of Hitler’s crap, this had a grain of truth along with a ton of bullshit. The Russians were not really a slave race. As fare as stereotypes go, one can make a better case for the Russians as being one of the primitive, barbaric, backwards and even frightening of the White Europeans. This has long been the view from the Continent, especially of, say, the Finns, who despise the Russians as “barbarians.”

Most recently, Hitler’s view had the Russians as a “slave race” once again, this time having allowed themselves, idiotically and cowardly, to be “enslaved” by the Jews in the form of Judeo-Bolshevism. In fact, a vicious Civil War had been fought in the early 1920’s and 5 million Russians had died. Maybe twice that had starved in a horrible famine. Anyway, Soviet Communism wasn’t all that Jewish after 1927, and Stalin was no Jew. The majority of Russians went along with the Soviet program and even supported it. It was certainly better than Czarism.

Stalin hated Hitler’s guts and knew full well his plans to attack the USSR. Much of the wild industrial buildup of the 1930’s, which occurred amidst another 5 million famine deaths (though the famine was by no means intentional and there was no “Holodomor”) was a mad race to build up the USSR in order to withstand a Nazi attack that Stalin had predicted as early as 1933.

Without this mad industrialization and possibly the deaths it entailed, the USSR may not have been able to defeat the Nazis, and World War 2 would have looked a lot different. So in a sense the mad Soviet buildup of the 1930’s saved the West and the world from the Nazi Orcs.

In addition, the purges of the 1937-38, cruel, insane and evil as they were, were actually intended to ferry out Nazi spies. This was the nature of Stalin’s paranoia. It occurred in the backdrop of his increasing knowledge of the Nazi threat.

Hence, anyone with any sense knows that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was a pact between two of the deadliest enemies the world has ever known.

Anti-Communists have never stopped playing up this sad pact as evidence that Nazis and Communists are the same, and that all Communists are really Nazis and all Nazis are really Communists. This makes no sense, as Hitler was much more of an anti-Communist than he was even an anti-Semite, and much of his anti-Semitism stemmed from his view that Jews were a bunch of Commies. These same folks try to say that Stalin was just as much of an anti-Semite as Hitler (this view especially popular with rightwing Zionist Jews).

This flies in the face of the common reactionary stereotype of the “JewSSR” or the USSR as a Judeo-Bolshevik state. Stalin was certainly no anti-Semite, but he wasn’t exactly a Judeophile either. The Jews suffered badly in the purges of the 1930’s. Anti-Semitism was a capital offense. When the Germans invaded later, Ilya Ehrenberg, Soviet propagandist, laid down the line, “You’re either an anti-Nazi or an anti-Semite! You can’t be both!” This at a time when traitors were getting bullets to the head in the USSR. Ehrenberg’s views were approved by and represented those of Stalin himself.

Anyway, the Pact was nothing but Stalin desperately buying another year or so before the inevitable Nazi attack. Another year to build up his defenses and to move most of their industry behind the Urals.

Although this pic is famous, I've never seen it before. That is Molotov signing the Pact, with Stalin and Ribbentrop directly in back of him. Cool pic!

Below is another interesting pic. This is of the special German Army division, the Gebrings Division, or the Handschar, made up of Bosnian Muslims that the Germans set up after they conquered the Balkans in WW2. Zionists, especially Jews, and Muslim-haters never stop talking about this division. It’s unfortunate, but the truth is that huge pro-Nazi paramilitaries were formed by citizens of many of the countries that the Germans conquered.

There were pro-Nazi divisions made up of Romanians, Hungarians, Finns, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Russians, Italians, Armenians, and peoples of the Caucasus.

So singling out 10,000 Muslims for signing up for the German army is a bit absurd. I would think that many more Bosnian Muslims fought against the Nazis as part of the anti-fascist resistance, but I don’t have figures

Bosnian Muslims of the Handschar Division of the German Army reading a Nazi pamphlet called "Islam and the Jews." Notice how White these Muslims look. So much for the White nationalist notion that Muslims are all non-Whites. Don't think so.

The next picture is very interesting. These are East Indians, apparently Sikhs, serving in the German Army. They are in the regular Army, not the SS, as you can see by the insignia on their collars. India was a British colony at the time, and there were Indian soldiers serving in the British Army. A number of these Indians were captured by the Nazis and made into POW’s. The Germans recruited some soldiers for their army from these POW’s. Some of these Indians may have been motivated by anti-colonial feelings towards the British.

This also lines up with the lunatic Nazi notion that they were going to reach India via their offensive in the Caucasus. They would conquer the Caucasus and move on to Iran and then to India, where they would set in motion and armed Indian rebellion against the British colonizers.

The Nazis had some respect for the Iranians and may have even considered them White (the name Iran comes from the word “Aryan”). Nazi race researchers had been running around India researching the Indian Caucasians in order to determine the origin of the Aryan Race. It’s not certain what the Nazis meant by “Aryan,” but I believe it meant the same thing as Indo-European. Yet Slavs were somehow not Indo-Europeans or Aryans? Whatever. Nazi race science never made much sense.

Indian troops serving in the Nazi Army. These are members of the Freies Indien (Free Indian) Division of the German Army

The next pic is really boss. This is a Nazi propaganda poster showing caricatures of evil Soviet troops raping and then murdering teenage German girls. Note that the girls are really almost prepubescent, maybe 12 years old. The blood in the pubic region is from the “pure” virgins being raped. Classic propaganda. Note that the Russians have a pronounced Asiatic look about them in order to make them appear to be non-Whites, while the German girls being raped and murdered are pure blond and blue “Aryans.”

In reality, Russians are probably only about 3-5% Asian genetically, but some have more than that. Most Russians are just another type of White people. It’s true that the Red Army did a Hell of a lot of raping of German sympathizer females, women and girls, on Eastern Front. It was just terrible what they did.

Classic Nazi propaganda shows diabolical Asiatic Red Army troops raping and murdering 12 year old blond and blue pure "Aryan" virgin girls.

Phrasal Verbs – A Nightmare for English Language Learners

Despite the idiot linguists who say that all languages are equally difficult or easy to learn, it’s clear that some languages are harder to learn than others. One of the maddening things about English is phrasal verbs – in most cases, foreigners never completely get the phrasal verbs and continue to have problems with them.

Let us look only at the preposition up combined with various verbs to form a dizzying array of phrasal verbs with widely varying meanings, meanings of which are not always clear and often have little to do with the base verb to which up has attached itself. I assume this list is by no means exhaustive, but I had to stop sometime.

Up combines to form 104 different phrasal verbs that has significantly different meanings from what one might expect. I did not include many phrasal verbs with up in which the meaning is fairly clear – buckle up, pack up, fill up, etc. Note that in many cases, the phrasal verb has more than one meaning and the meanings at times are quite variant. Feel free to add your own, if you can think of any!

Drink up and drink down mean roughly the same thing, as do slip up and slip down. Light up – to torch. Mess up, slip up – to fail.  Walk up, run up, creep up, crawl up, sneak up – various ways to approach s.t.. Cook up – to prepare a meal. Brush up – to go over a previously learned skill. Bone up – to study hard. Play up – to dramatize. Read up – to read intensively as in studying. Stay up – to not go to bed. Come up – to approach closely, to occur suddenly or to overflow. Patch up – to put together a broken thing or relationship.

Make up – to make amends, to apply cosmetics to one’s face or to invent a story. Burn up – burn completely or to be made very angry, burn down – reduce s.t. to ashes, like a structure. Turn up – to increase volume or to appear suddenly somewhere. Run up – to tally a big bill. Dry up – to dessicate. Take up – to develop a new skill, to bring something to a higher elevation, to cook something at a high heat to where it is assimilated. Blow up – to explode.

Dress up – to dress oneself in formal attire. Shake up – to upset a paradigm, to upset emotionally. Hit up – to visit someone casually or to ask for a favor or gift, usually small amounts of money. Wake up – to awaken. Stir up – stir rapidly, upset a calm surrounding or scene or upset a paradigm. Cheer up – to elevate one’s mood. Talk up – to try to convince someone of something by discussing it dramatically and intensively.

Chat up – to talk casually with a goal in mind, usually seduction or at least flirtation. Hang up – to place on a hanger or a wall, to end a phone call. Trip up – to stumble mentally over s.t. confusing. Mop up – to finish off the remains of an enemy army or finalize a military operation. Clean up – to make an area thoroughly tidy. Pick up – to grasp an object and lift it higher, to seduce someone sexually or to acquire a new skill, usually rapidly.

Put up – to hang, to tolerate, often grudgingly, or to put forward a new image. Tear up – to shred. Ring up – to telephone someone. Cut up – to shred or to make jokes, often of a slapstick variety. Meet up – to meet someone or a group for a get meeting or date of some sort. Start up – to initialize an engine or a program, to open a new business to go back to something that had been terminated previously, often a fight; a recrudescence. Crank up – elevate the volume.

Shoot up – to inject, usually illegal drugs, or to fire many projectiles into a place with a gun. Drum up – to charge someone with wrongdoing, usually criminal, usually by a state actor, usually for false reasons. Kiss up – to mend a relationship after a fight. Wait up – to ask other parties to wait for someone who is coming in a hurry. Whip up – to cook a meal quickly or for winds to blow wildly. Touch up – to apply the final aspects of a work nearly finished.

Suck up – to ingratiate oneself, often in an obsequious fashion. Stop up – to block the flow of liquids with some object(s). Suit up – to get dressed in a uniform, often for athletics. Pass up – to miss an opportunity, often a good one. Pop up – for s.t. to appear suddenly, often out of nowhere. Own up – to confess to one’s sins under pressure and reluctantly. Live up – to enjoy life. Lighten up – to reduce the downcast or hostile seriousness of the mood of a person or setting. Knock up – to impregnate. Beat up – to defeat someone thoroughly in a violent physical fight.

Listen up – imperative – to order someone to pay attention, often with threats of aggression if they don’t comply. Man up – to elevate oneself to manly behaviors when one is slacking and behaving in an unmanly fashion. Lock up – to lock securely, often locking various locks, or to imprison, or for an object or computer program to be frozen or jammed and unable to function. Mix up – to confuse, or to disarrange contents in a scattered fashion so that it does not resemble the original.

Measure up – in a competition, for an entity to match the competition. Mark up – to raise the price of s.t. Move up – to elevate the status of a person or entity in competition with other entities- to move up in the world. Hook up – to have a casual sexual encounter or to meet casually for a social encounter, often in a public place; also to connect together a mechanical devise or plug something in.

Hurry up – imperative, usually an order to quit delaying and join the general group or another person in some activity, often when they are leaving to go to another place. Face up – to quit avoiding your problems and meet them head on. End up – to arrive at some destination after a long winding, often convoluted journey either in space or in time. Clear up – for a storm to dissipate, for a rash to go away, for a confusing matter to become understandable.

Close up – to close, also to end business hours for a public business. Cheer up – to change from a downcast mood to a more positive one. Curl up – to rest in a curled body position, either alone or with another being. Crack up – to laugh, often heartily. Back up – to go in reverse, often in a vehicle, or to go back over something previously dealt with that was poorly understood in order to understand it better. Bruise up – to receive multiple bruises, often serious ones.

Break up – to break into various pieces, or to end a relationship, either personal or between entitles, also to split a large entity, like a large company or a state. Build up – to build intensively in an area, such as a town or city, from a previously less well-developed state. Buy up – to buy all or most all of something. Catch up – to reach a person or group that one had lagged behind earlier, or to take care of things, often hobbies, that had been put off by lack of time.

Do up – apply makeup to someone, often elaborately. Dream up – to imagine a creative notion, often an elaborate one. Drive up – to drive towards something, and then stop, or to raise the price of something by buying it intensively. Feel up – to grope someone sexually. Get up – to awaken or rise from a prone position. Give up – to surrender, in war or a contest, or to stop doing something trying or unpleasant that is yielding poor results, or to die, as in give up the ghost.

Grow up – to attain an age or maturity or to act like a mature person, often imperative. Hold up – to delay, to ask someone ahead of you to wait, often imperative, or to rob in a public place with a gun – He held up the liquor store. Keep up – to maintain on a par with the competition without falling behind. Lay up – to be sidelined due to illness or injury for a time. Let up – to ease off of someone or something, for a storm to dissipate, to stop attacking someone or s.t.

Pay up – to pay, usually a debt, often imperative to demand payment of a debt, to pay all of what one owes so you don’t owe anymore. Rise up – for an oppressed group to arouse and fight back against their oppressors. Run up – to spend a lot of money, often foolishly. Show up – to appear somewhere, often unexpectedly. Shut up – to silence, often imperative, fighting words. Sit up – to sit upright.

Speak up – to begin speaking after listening for a while, often imperative, a request for a silent person to say what they wish to say. Take up – to cohabit with someone – She has taken up with him. Think up – to conjure up a plan, often an elaborate or creative one. Throw up – to vomit. Bid up – to raise the price of something, usually at an auction, by calling out higher and higher bids. Be up – to be in a waking state after having slept. “I’ve been up for three hours.”

"Cyberfists of Fury," by Alpha Unit

My Mom, who is the smartest woman I know, says about men, “Men love to fight. If they can’t fight with guns, they fight with words.”
“Why?” I would ask. “Why do they love to fight?”
“It’s fun!” She says. “They love it!”
Well, as she is about so many things, of course my Mom is right once again.
As a boy I was cruel, vicious and sadistic, just like most of the other boys. That sucks, but it was normal, and there were lots of boys worse than I was. There was a Professional Bully class and a Professional Victim class. Being the oldest, I lucked out and got to be a Bully. My younger brother was much worse than I was, and the favorite Victim was my youngest brother. My youngest brother is still pissed about all the shit we did to him. I’ve apologized over and over, but he still wants more.
The other day he asked me why we did it. Did we disrespect him in some way. Of course not! I at least actually respected him a lot on every level. Well then, why bully him?
“Because you were littler! You were smaller, so we picked on you.”
“Yeah, that’s it, huh? Just like animals,” he said.
Exactly. Males are animals, wild animals. I got to play the Victim role a few times myself, and it wasn’t much fun, but it never sank in much. We even tortured animals, but we stuck to bugs (mostly pests at that) and fish we caught, so I don’t feel too bad. When you start torturing mammals, you’ve got issues. I’ve still got a sadistic little boy inside of me, just like most men do. I haven’t killed him, but I like to think he’s locked up most of the time, or at least on a short leash.
Some men never let go of the grinning 13 year old sadist. You see it all over the Internet, the Net Bullies. Almost always males, between teenage and 50 or so, sometimes older. The older guys don’t seem so mean, probably because their testosterone is going down. It’s bizarre to see grown men, sometimes with PhD’s and good jobs, acting like sadistic schoolboys on Usenet, bulletin boards and chat sites.
This is really worse than what we did as boys. When we tormented my brother, we didn’t tease him and run away. We would stand right there and tease him, hopefully provoking him to hit us. Then we’d nail him back. I have some respect for a bully who sticks around.
The Internet Bullies are nothing but Pussies. They’re hiding behind their computers saying shit that they would never dare say in meatspace, because if they did, they’d cause a shouting match or maybe even get their ass kicked. So like complete Pusses, they hide behind their computers and bully each other, because there’s no consequences to their bullying.
That’s like sucker punching a guy and then running away as fast as you can. If you’re going to bully someone, at least stick around long enough to give the victim a chance to fight back. That way you retain at least a hint of honor.
My dad never watched any sport besides baseball. So that was the only sport that I ever saw on TV growing up. In our neighborhood was a softball field, and one of the highlights of summer were the games kids would be playing there. So softball and baseball were the only sports I grew up with any appreciation for, although I myself didn’t play.
I had little curiosity about sports; in fact, the best way to get me into passive-aggressive mode would be to force me to play sports. You would be begging me to get the Hell off your team before it was over with.
The only other sport that snagged a little bit of my interest was boxing. And that was all because of a gleam in my mother’s eye – a gleam reflecting the glory of Muhammad Ali. I believe my mother was in love with Muhammad Ali. It wasn’t just the look in her eyes; she sounded positively girlish talking about him. That alone suggested to me that there was something very special about him.
I just couldn’t get into what Muhammad Ali did. In the ring, that is. Two guys circling each other. Swinging at each other. Jabbing each other. What was even more curious to me was the audience. They loved it. They ate up every moment of it.
What was so great about two guys fighting?
I later learned that boxing has a nickname: The Sweet Science. This is a sport in which two men are to fight each other with fists until one of them can no longer continue. Yet, what’s going on here is said to be “sweet.”
Hitting, punching, and knocking out…mmm.
As most people know, boxers used to fight bare-knuckled. Gloves weren’t required until 1867, with the Marquess of Queensberry rules. And yet, before that, two guys could go at each other for hours.
The longest bare-knuckle boxing match took place in Australia in 1856. It lasted for 6 hours and 15 minutes. This is just breathtaking to me, that two people would endure such punishment. Nevertheless, to the fighters and the spectators, the whole thing must have been incredibly “sweet.”
I’ve been told that men go at each other on Internet forums, goading and savaging each other verbally for hours. It’s not bare-knuckle fighting, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take stamina. Fighting and tearing each other down in this way is “fun,” I’ve heard – like any other sport.
And I believe it. It doesn’t seem to matter what the arena is – put a bunch of guys in it and watch the sweetness unfold.

“Cyberfists of Fury,” by Alpha Unit

My Mom, who is the smartest woman I know, says about men, “Men love to fight. If they can’t fight with guns, they fight with words.”

“Why?” I would ask. “Why do they love to fight?”

“It’s fun!” She says. “They love it!”

Well, as she is about so many things, of course my Mom is right once again.

As a boy I was cruel, vicious and sadistic, just like most of the other boys. That sucks, but it was normal, and there were lots of boys worse than I was. There was a Professional Bully class and a Professional Victim class. Being the oldest, I lucked out and got to be a Bully. My younger brother was much worse than I was, and the favorite Victim was my youngest brother. My youngest brother is still pissed about all the shit we did to him. I’ve apologized over and over, but he still wants more.

The other day he asked me why we did it. Did we disrespect him in some way. Of course not! I at least actually respected him a lot on every level. Well then, why bully him?

“Because you were littler! You were smaller, so we picked on you.”

“Yeah, that’s it, huh? Just like animals,” he said.

Exactly. Males are animals, wild animals. I got to play the Victim role a few times myself, and it wasn’t much fun, but it never sank in much. We even tortured animals, but we stuck to bugs (mostly pests at that) and fish we caught, so I don’t feel too bad. When you start torturing mammals, you’ve got issues. I’ve still got a sadistic little boy inside of me, just like most men do. I haven’t killed him, but I like to think he’s locked up most of the time, or at least on a short leash.

Some men never let go of the grinning 13 year old sadist. You see it all over the Internet, the Net Bullies. Almost always males, between teenage and 50 or so, sometimes older. The older guys don’t seem so mean, probably because their testosterone is going down. It’s bizarre to see grown men, sometimes with PhD’s and good jobs, acting like sadistic schoolboys on Usenet, bulletin boards and chat sites.

This is really worse than what we did as boys. When we tormented my brother, we didn’t tease him and run away. We would stand right there and tease him, hopefully provoking him to hit us. Then we’d nail him back. I have some respect for a bully who sticks around.

The Internet Bullies are nothing but Pussies. They’re hiding behind their computers saying shit that they would never dare say in meatspace, because if they did, they’d cause a shouting match or maybe even get their ass kicked. So like complete Pusses, they hide behind their computers and bully each other, because there’s no consequences to their bullying.

That’s like sucker punching a guy and then running away as fast as you can. If you’re going to bully someone, at least stick around long enough to give the victim a chance to fight back. That way you retain at least a hint of honor.

My dad never watched any sport besides baseball. So that was the only sport that I ever saw on TV growing up. In our neighborhood was a softball field, and one of the highlights of summer were the games kids would be playing there. So softball and baseball were the only sports I grew up with any appreciation for, although I myself didn’t play.

I had little curiosity about sports; in fact, the best way to get me into passive-aggressive mode would be to force me to play sports. You would be begging me to get the Hell off your team before it was over with.

The only other sport that snagged a little bit of my interest was boxing. And that was all because of a gleam in my mother’s eye – a gleam reflecting the glory of Muhammad Ali. I believe my mother was in love with Muhammad Ali. It wasn’t just the look in her eyes; she sounded positively girlish talking about him. That alone suggested to me that there was something very special about him.

I just couldn’t get into what Muhammad Ali did. In the ring, that is. Two guys circling each other. Swinging at each other. Jabbing each other. What was even more curious to me was the audience. They loved it. They ate up every moment of it.

What was so great about two guys fighting?

I later learned that boxing has a nickname: The Sweet Science. This is a sport in which two men are to fight each other with fists until one of them can no longer continue. Yet, what’s going on here is said to be “sweet.”

Hitting, punching, and knocking out…mmm.

As most people know, boxers used to fight bare-knuckled. Gloves weren’t required until 1867, with the Marquess of Queensberry rules. And yet, before that, two guys could go at each other for hours.

The longest bare-knuckle boxing match took place in Australia in 1856. It lasted for 6 hours and 15 minutes. This is just breathtaking to me, that two people would endure such punishment. Nevertheless, to the fighters and the spectators, the whole thing must have been incredibly “sweet.”

I’ve been told that men go at each other on Internet forums, goading and savaging each other verbally for hours. It’s not bare-knuckle fighting, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take stamina. Fighting and tearing each other down in this way is “fun,” I’ve heard – like any other sport.

And I believe it. It doesn’t seem to matter what the arena is – put a bunch of guys in it and watch the sweetness unfold.

Why Did I Get a Degree in This Hokey Field Anyway?

About the title, I received a Masters Degree in Linguistics (ESL option) from a California state university in 1994. I actually publish in the field even though I do not have a PhD. A paper of mine just made it through two separate peer reviews, including one that had some of the top people in the field (they have Wikipedia pages). A version translated to a foreign language will appear soon in a quality academic Linguistics journal, and then a very long (80 pages) version with maps that I and an artist also created will be published in a volume of a 4-5 part Linguistics book series. Both will be published in the Near East. I also sit on the review board of a refereed academic Linguistics journal, also out of the Near East.

I am friends with some fairly big names in the field (or at least in some subfields), and I talk to them occasionally.

The more time you spend talking to linguists, the more you start thinking that the whole field is stark raving bonkers. Many questions that you could ask ordinary Joe Blow on the street about linguistics, he could give you a straightforward, commonsensical answer that “most everyone knows,” that is, in all probability, correct.

But in the overwhelming majority of cases, the nerdy eggheads in the ivory tower are going to disagree with you and tell you that you are wrong. So the eggheads know what the Average Joe does not? Nope. Average Joe knows what he’s talking about. The eggheads have their heads up their overdegreed hinds, as is so often the case.

This is so much the case in the soft sciences, and Linguistics is one of the softest of the soft sciences.

If you going to degree in Humanities, you may as well degree in Literature or English or something like that. Those fields don’t pretend to be scientific. You get a degree, and then you write papers on Keats or Byron or whoever, and none of it’s very controversial. No one is pretending to be a scientist. It’s all just a bunch of opinion. Was DH Lawrence a great writer? Who knows? Some say he was, some say he wasn’t. The reputations of these guys go back and forth, but no one analyzing this stuff ever pretends to be a scientist.

The soft sciences are so much worse. In the hard sciences we can actually prove things, and generally there isn’t a lot of debate going on one way or the other at least once something gets proven. You either proved it or you don’t, and that’s that. If you prove it, fine, most folks agree. If you don’t, fine, most folks agree there too. Sure, there is a lot of debate about things that are not proven yet, but no one ever says that something is not provable or can never be proven!

The soft sciences are a bunch of the silliest, most PC eggheads you can imagine running about screaming, “We can’t prove it! We can’t prove it! We can’t prove it!” Hardly anything can ever be proven in the soft sciences (except their politicized PC theories of the day, which, truth be told, can’t be proven either), and the soft sciences are ecstatic about this.

Whenever we can more or less prove something real and not PC-nothingness, the soft science field usually degenerates into an insane argument about whether or not it was really proven.

Truth is that most of these fields are jokes. Sociology, Psychology, African-American Studies, Feminist Studies, Anthropology, Linguistics, Pedagogy, Queer Studies – it all gets more and more useless. Even Political Science has some serious weaknesses.

Economics has long been a black hole of theory. They don’t call it the dismal science for nothing.

Just to give you an example from Economics, the idiocy and madness that just blew up the whole US economy and screwed the whole rest of the world happened because people in the US were following the latest and greatest economic theories of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School.

If you go to Economics School, you get taught that Chicago School is now the proven way that Economics works, and following Chicago School theory will make everything all groovy. No it won’t. It will blow up the whole economy.

But even after the blowup, the Chicago School crowd went on like nothing had happened, fitting the facts to the theory instead of otherwise. Turns out that Friedmanite Economics had worked just fine, and the reason for the blowup was that the economy had not been not allowed to go full bore Friedmanite enough.

Actually, it was evil government that blew up the economy. Or the niggers*. Or the spics*. Or the spics and the niggers. Or something. Or whatever. Even when their theories blow up in their faces, they still go on blissfully asserting how great they work.

Let’s look at Sociology. According to Marxist political science, now transplanted to liberalism and Cultural Marxism/Cultural Left/Political Correctness (pick your term) at large, the reason that, say, Blacks and Hispanics lag behind in many areas, or  – have excessive pathologies in others, is due to racism. The entire society accepts this as fact. Yet never is it even examined.

Who says that the problems of these groups are due to racism? Prove it. They have never proven that all of these problems are due to racism. But they don’t have to. That’s soft science.

For Blacks in particular, they have a number of problematic issues specific to their group. What’s the cause of these problems? Slavery! They was enslaved! How long ago? Long ago. 150 years ago. And all of the problems of Blacks today are caused by this nebulous “legacy of slavery.” Everyone accepts this. Huge government programs are set up to combat this mysterious legacy. Can we prove it? Of course not.

Is the Third World messed up? Sure it is. And why is that? Say, because of the humans who live in the Third World? Logical answer, no? It turns out that it’s because they got colonized some time ago. Dey done got colonized! Can we prove that colonization did them in? Of course not. But we don’t need to. We’re social scientists!

Let’s look at some areas of Linguistics that Joe Blow accepts, but eggheads don’t.

Most of the linguists’ assertions below were taken from the newsgroup sci.lang, where some of the most annoying linguist jackasses on Earth hang out. Nevertheless a number of the linguists who infest that site are very well-known in the field, and some even have Wikipedia entries. Others have authored well-known books in the field. Others are highly regarded Linguistics professors. I will highlight all of the sci.lang assertions with a footnote.

Joe Blow will tell you that some languages are relatively harder to learn for say, an English-speaking L2 learner, and others are easier to learn. Some of the harder languages for an English L2 learner, many folks would agree on, might be Hungarian, Polish, Finnish and Mandarin.

Linguists don’t agree.1 2 To them, easy and difficult languages are not definable, and therefore any language is as easy to learn as any other. Polish, Finnish and Mandarin, instead of being the mind-bogglers everyone knows they are, are actually no more difficult to learn than say any other language. Or maybe they are the hardest of all. Or maybe they are in between. Or this or that.  Or whatever.

It turns out Tsez is just as easy to learn as Malay! Who knew? Or wait, maybe it isn’t. Or maybe it is. Or maybe we can’t prove that. Or maybe we can’t prove anything.

Most people agree that kids learn languages much better than adults. In fact, we’ve proven that there’s a Critical Period for learning languages, with the window starting to close after age 7, then finally closing around age 14-18. The period is apparently neurological. That this period exists is patently obvious to anyone awake and thinking.

The whole time I was getting my degree, most of my professor-fools insisted that there was no Critical Period. Adults could get a language just as easy as any kid.2 Well, why don’t they then? The reasons were not neurological but psychological.2

They had a whole laundry list of ridiculous reasons why adults do more poorly at this. There’s some preposterous device called the “affective filter” that effects adults but not kids somehow. Adults have all this anxiety about learning languages, yet kids, for some bizarre reason, do not. The lame theories went on and on.2 I actually had to study very hard to learn all this nonsense and regurgitate it back at the idiots who were teaching it to me.

The reason Linguistics refused to accept a Critical Period is because linguists are often in the business of teaching adults languages or if not, they are busy teaching people how to be language teachers. EFL and ESL degrees are offered only by Linguistics Departments, or at least that’s where I got mine. All of my ESL teachers were professors in the Linguistics Department. All of the major ESL theorists are linguists. None are nonlinguists. Saying adults are never going to get as good as kids screws up the whole project, so they lie and say it’s not true.

Ask anyone – are some languages more complicated than others? Are some complex and some maybe simpler, less involved and less insanely convoluted and difficult? Joe Blow says sure.

A simple test case would be verbs. English has five verb forms – steal steals stole stealing stolen. Many Amerindian languages have over 1,000 forms for each and every verb. That right there implies some increased complexity and difficulty.

Turns out linguists say that all languages are equally complex or equally simple, and anyway, we can’t define simple or complex, so the whole argument is moot.1 2 Navajo’s as straightforward as Esperanto.

Most educated folks will tell you that some languages are more regular than others, the others being more irregular.

Turns out it’s not true, the linguists tell us. All languages are equally regular or irregular, and anyway, there’s no way to define “regular” or “irregular”.1

Well, don’t languages have rules, and the degree to which they follow the rules indicates their regularity, and the degree to which they don’t indicates their irregularity? Joe Blow says sure.

Nope! Not according to the linguists!

Turns out there is no way to define “rules.” Further, there is no way to define “exceptions” either. No such thing as rules, no such thing as exceptions. There are no languages that have many complex rules but are regular and others that have few rules but are irregular. There are no languages that are exception-ridden because we can’t define exception.1 I guess all languages are equally rule-governed or exceptional!

Is it possible that, as languages become widely spoken, they start to simplify, as English has lost most of its case, almost all of its subjunctive, the dative pronoun “whom”, merged four 2nd person pronouns into two and has seen “It is I” constructions fall out, among many other things? I would argue that as speakers get more modern and civilized, there is a need to get your point across as quickly as possible, time being money in a fast-paced society and all.

Whereas, more primitive hunter-gatherers spend much of their time sitting around, and, being highly intelligent, are bored. So possibly they enjoy using their often frighteningly complex language as a way of exercising their minds and being creative. This was what one of my professors taught me anyway. At the very least, it’s an interesting theory, and it makes sense intuitively.

Nope, apparently not. It’s not possible for a language to simplify because I guess we can’t define the blasted word or something. Anyway, who says the above is a simplification process? (I do.) It could well be that the language is getting more and more complicated, no? 2 (No, I don’t think so.) Who says primitive languages are often insanely complex? (I do, for one.) Define complexity. Define simplicity.1 You can see where this is going.

Few Americans are versed on the subject, but there has been a lot of research in recent years setting out an excellent case that the Chinese and Japanese writing systems are unnecessarily complex, convoluted and difficult, that they are hard to learn and take much longer to learn than alphabetical forms, that it is hard to add new foreign loan words in a character based system, and that as society becomes more technical, they become more and more of a hindrance.

A number of these researchers suggest that these crazy writing systems are actually economically harming these countries.

Well! This theory is just not PC! You see, in Linguistics, you can’t be all evil and White and stuff and go around dissing other folks’ (non-Whites) precious ‘lil languages. In the case above, this is just evil White racism attacking those poor Asiatic rice eaters.3 Turns out my field says that there are no good or bad writing systems; they’re all just fine for whatever folks are using them.3 Isn’t that dumb?

Ask your average Joe, what’s a dialect and what’s a language?

“Well,” he says. “California English and Massachusetts English are dialects, and Mandarin and Spanish are languages.”

Sure.

Nope! The linguist eggheads have decided that there is no such thing as a dialect and no such thing as a language.1 If you ask any linguist or consult any linguistic textbook on the language/dialect question, you will hear this retarded statement. There is no way to determine linguistically what is a language and what is a dialect. The difference is sociological and political, not linguistic.1 2Then you will get some silly examples like the Chinese “dialects” (really the Chinese “dialects” are more like 2,000 separate languages) and the stupid divisions of Shtokavian in the Balkans. Then you get the ridiculous Weinreich quote about armadas and lects.

So there are no linguistic definitions for the terms dialect and language. It’s all political.1 2 So, really, Spanish and Mandarin could really be dialects of one language, but California English and Massachusetts English could possibly be separate languages, as far apart as Ket and Warlpiri. Because, uh, you know, it’s all, like, political and stuff, dude.

Suppose we say that at a certain degree of structural differentiation, you have two separate languages. Nope, no can do. Define degree of difference. How will you measure it? Impossible.1

Suppose we say at X% mutual intelligibility and above, we have a dialect, and at Y% mutual intelligibility and below, we have a language? Nope, sorry, no go. We can’t define mutual intelligibility, and furthermore, we can’t measure it.1

But we have measurements that we’ve been testing and refining for 50 years now.

Sorry, do not pass go. Who says they really work? Prove that they really work. Who says they are reliable? Prove it, prove it, prove it.1

Further, there is no way to define mutual intelligibility, and since MI measures are measures of intelligibility of some lect, apparently we can’t measure intelligibility either! Because individual variation and lying and bilingual learning and other nonsense.1

The notion that we cannot measure listener intelligibility of lects leads to some interesting conclusions. So if I say I have 100% intelligibility of English, that’s not a meaningful statement. Hell, it could well be 0%. I’m just fantasizing that I’m understanding everyone around me; really I don’t understand a word anyone says. And if I say I have 0% intelligibility of Chinese, that’s not measurable either. I could very well have 100%, and I could easily go live in Shanghai tomorrow, and maybe I just don’t know it.

Are you starting to see some insipid patterns in this splendiferous array of over-educated, egghead, useless junk theory that digests down to an endless fog bank where nothing much at all can be discerned?

Why did I even waste my time getting a degree in this useless field full of mumbo-jumbo speaking propeller-head fools? Looking at the theoretical state of our field, I don’t think that your average citizen should listen to a single thing that linguists say about anything. We don’t seem to have anything intelligent to say to your average person about language or much of anything else for that matter.

At the end of the day, the blue collar rednecks are redeemed. They’ve always scorned domehead nerds in university offices who talk in riddles and seem to not know anything about anything when it comes down to it.

“Want to know the answer to a simple question?” the redneck rhetorically asks. “Ask Joe Blow on the street.”

Don’t ask some pointy-headed egghead who probably doesn’t even know what he’s talking about.

*Used sardonically

1From the well-regarded and famous linguists on sci.lang.

2A commonly held belief in the field.

3A major book came out 10-20 years ago suggesting that the Asian character based systems, Chinese in particular, were inefficient, unnecessarily complex and led to incomplete learning. The book also suggested that nations using these systems were being harmed economically. This book was completely destroyed by the PC Cultural Left types who overwhelming infest the field of Linguistics. Which is really too bad, as I think he had some good points.

“Hired Guns,” by Alpha Unit

I know a man who served in Vietnam and got offered two job opportunities once he got home: police officer and mercenary. He turned down both. I guess he’d had enough of war. Plus, the Marines still owned him, and would for the next few years. He wasn’t about to cross the Corps by screwing up somewhere.

My impression of mercenaries used to be that they were trigger-happy adventurers who for some reason just loved the thrill of war. If only it were that colorful. Soldier of Fortune magazine is said to attract its share of poseurs. But some of the people seeking this employment are regular guys with wives, kids, mortgages, bills to pay. Warfare is what they know. Being a professional soldier is something they’d be good at. And the pay would come in handy.

If you get caught, though, you’re pretty much on your own. The Geneva Convention carefully defines what a mercenary is, but makes a mercenary an unlawful combatant – unless he’s a national of the country that has him in custody. He still has to be given a fair trial, in any case.

If he’s found to be a mercenary, he is no different from any other criminal.

A Vietnam veteran named Daniel Gearhart wanted to be a mercenary, for pressing reasons. He needed the money, badly. So he placed an ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine. He got hired not long after, and went to Angola.

Angola was in the middle of a civil war. A war which some might characterize as yet another proxy war war between the Soviet Union and the United States. The Angolan civil war had broken out not long after Angola had nominally been granted independence from Portugal.

To oversimplify, Gearhart was among those who were on the side of the USA-backed National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA). The FNLA had been opposed to the Soviet-backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).

Gearhart got arrested soon after he arrived in Angola. He was put on trial, along with other mercenaries. He denied ever firing a shot in Angola. But the ad he had placed in Soldier of Fortune was one of the things used against him.

He was executed by firing squad, along with three Britons.

Risky business, being a soldier of fortune. Anyone willing to put himself on the line in this way gets a kind of respect from me, and from many people. What I’ve found eye-opening, though, about the mercenary business are all the allegations lodged against XeServices LLC – otherwise known as Blackwater, labeled “The World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army” by author Jeremy Scahill.

Four “contractors” working for Blackwater were brutally killed in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. The families are suing Blackwater for wrongful death, accusing the company of taking cost-saving measures that may have led to these deaths.

You have to sympathize with these grieving families. And maybe in their place I’d do the same thing they’re doing. But anyone who chooses this line of work chooses all the risks and all the consequences, presumably. Are people signing up for this business unaware of what it might cost them? Are their families in the dark as well?

This country’s propensity for litigation means that it is increasingly unlikely that anyone is responsible for choices freely made. Not even the choice to rush into known war zones, placing yourself in the hands of a private outfit and with little or no legal protection in the event that something goes terribly wrong.

Israeli Scumbags

Just doin’ what comes naturally!

Fuck you, Israelis. And fuck all you idiots who support this shit. That includes the USraeli government and US Democratic Israeli Party and the US Republican Israeli Party. Fuck both of you Jewish-owned political parties and fuck the Jewish-owned US government. And fuck most US Jews, since the majority of US Jews support this crap. Fuck you, Jews.* I got some news for you arrogant weenies. This country’s called America, not Jewmerica. Got it, punks?

Honestly, it’s beyond me how any progressive person could support this sort of shit. It’s blatantly fascist behavior. Or at least rightwing behavior, since the Right generally supports colonialism and oppression of minorities. Only the Left has taken a principled, no-compromise stance against imperialism, colonialism and the oppression of minorities. We’ve even taken the most progressive stance on Earth in favor of oppressed minorities – in many cases, we grant them the right to self-determination.

The Israelis are arguing their usual crap in this case, that the Palestinians were in a “closed military zone” and had been ordered  to leave, but refused, so they got their asses bulldozed. Every time an Israeli official opens up his mouth, he’s probably lying. So listening to them is trying because you have to research every damn thing they say to figure out if it’s a lie or not.

Truth is that the “settlements” are only one part of the story. Israel owns and has jurisdiction over fully 60% of the West Bank. It’s defined as a “closed military zone.” So the Palestinians don’t even own 22% of Palestine anymore. They own 22% – 60% = 9%. And less than that if you include settlements.

In that “closed military zone” there are many thousands of Palestinians living there on their land, just as they have always lived on their land. But Israel conquered and illegally annexed and settled the conquered land in 1967, and that’s why it’s a “closed military zone.” So,  Palestinian homes in 60% of the West Bank are automatically “illegal.”

Same goes for many Bedouin villages inside Israel. After Israel conquered much of Palestine in 1949, 92% of the land was declared to be reserved only for the Jews. There were Arabs living on much or most of this land, as they had for decades to centuries. Automagically, all of these Arab structures became “illegal.” Entire villages and towns were declared “illegal.”

Even inside the 8% of Israel reserved for packing the Arabs in like sardines, the Arabs are hampered. Requests to build new homes or other structures are routinely denied. Arab villages and towns are not allowed to expand. Instead, elaborate and utterly fascist “Judaization” projects surround the Arab villages, towns and even cities in the Galilee and other places, in order to hem the Arabs in and surround them.

These projects are uncontroversial across the political spectrum, with even the Zionist “Left,” such as the Labor Party (a party with socialist roots) completely in favor of this racist crap. Even in the cities, Arabs are not allowed to build new buildings. They can’t even add on to their existing homes, so most Arabs simply build or expand illegally since this is the only way to build. These structures and add-ons are routinely torn down by Israel in what are once again uncontroversial activities, supported even by Labor.

This goes to show you that there is not a whole lot of moral space between the Israeli Right and the Israeli Left. Much of the Israeli political spectrum is devoted to frankly fascist parties of both the right and left. Only Meretz deserves some praise, though I’m not up on their project, and lately they’ve been losing elections. I’ve long been a fan of Hadash, the Israeli Communist Party, though.

*There are definitely some American Jews who most emphatically do not support this crap. For our dear humanist Jewish brothers and sisters, we throw a great big shout out.

PC Gone Bonkers Episode #1,509,472

You’ve got to be kidding.

This must be a joke, right? I’m sorry if any Black person thinks this is a good idea. Blacks are turning into a nation of whining crybabies. Considering how tough and aggro Black culture and many Blacks are, this is ridiculous. It’s like you’ve got this tough, hardass guy covered with tattoos, and someone calls him a name and he starts breaking down in tears and crying for Mommy.

This is what I picture Black people doing nowadays.

Black America: “Mommy, mommy, I just heard an n-word! My ears hurt! Waaaaaaaa!!”

Black Mommy: “Oh, I’m sorry baby. Here’s some cotton for your poor hurt ears. It’s sad that these evil words even exist. Why can’t we just give these words a lethal injection so we Blacks can sleep in peace? Do you want to sleep with Mommy for the next few nights?”

Black America: “Yes, yes, Mommy! I’m afraid of the dark! The dark is Black, and Black is the same color as the n-word, so every time I see Black, I think of the n-word!”

Black Mommy: “I’m so sorry, Black America baby.” Rubs its soft, curly head.

New People’s Army Launches 92 Tactical Offensives in 2009

Nice report of NPA activities in the Philippines the past year. I don’t think that this group is extremely active militarily, though they do have a large army. They probably have at least 10,000 fighters under arms, and probably a lot more. Counting village militia, they probably have 100,000’s of irregular fighters.

For the most part, they concentrate on building the mass base of their movement. The size of the mass base is huge, easily millions of civilian supporters. But I do not think that this group is ready to seriously challenge the regime anytime soon. First of all, most of their strength is in the rural areas. I don’t think they will be able to build up a good support base in the urban areas for decades, but I could be wrong. This is a crucial weakness. The NPA has very ambitious plans to expand the number of fronts from 120 to 180 nationwide in the next few years.

There is no place in Philippines politics for anyone on the Left, even if the NPA disarmed and tried to obtain power peacefully. Leftwingers of all stripes are regularly killed off in the Philippines. Former NPA members left the movement to try to run for office in order to test the peaceful path to power and were quickly assassinated.

I think the NPA has a serious supply problem and is not very well armed. They may have a cash flow problem too. As the Philippines is an archipelago, it’s probably hard to get weapons to the NPA.

In other insurgencies, weaponry is smuggled in from neighboring countries.

In Gaza, Hamas money purchases weapons in Egypt which are then smuggled into Gaza. I don’t know how the Taliban and Pakistani Taliban obtain arms, but I understand Afghanistan is awash in weapons after years of war. In Peru, Sendero is flush with cash and is able to purchase modern weaponry. The FARC is in a similar situation and buys most of its weaponry from arms smugglers. Some probably comes from Venezuela too. Hezbollah has a tremendous amount of weaponry that comes from state sponsors Syria and Iran.

Truth is that without a state sponsor, a lot of these groups have a hard time arming themselves. They also tend to have cash flow problems unless they can tax lucrative drug crops like Sendero and the FARC.

You can see that the NPA generally treats enemy prisoners very well. They are given first aid, treated humanely, and typically released to the Red Cross. At other times, they are simply disarmed. It’s interesting that in many encounters, local police, CAFGU forces and even occasionally the Philippines military refuses to fight, surrenders and gives up their weaponry. They do this because they know that the NPA does not kill POW’s. I never understood killing POW’s. Don’t you want to encourage the enemy to surrender to you?

There are on and off again peace talks in the conflict, but the government doesn’t appear to be serious about negotiations. The NPA has a fraternal relationship with the Muslim rebels in Mindanao, the MILF, but not with the radical Al Qaeda types, who are mostly decimated anyway.

New People’s Army Launches 92 Tactical Offensives in 2009

Ka Oris, National Democratic Front spokesperson in southern Mindanao.

Originally published in the December 21, 2009 issue of Ang Bayan on the Philippine Revolution website.

Even during the first half of the year, it was clear that the US-Arroyo regime’s grandiose Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) campaign was a failure. AFP Chief Gen. Victor Ibrado himself admitted that they failed to meet Gloria Arroyo’s target of crushing the revolutionary movement before the end of her term in 2010. He knew that it would not be that easy to conquer the four-decade armed revolutionary movement in the country led by the Party.

He also knew that while the military and police concentrate their forces on a few limited areas for a set amount of time, the NPA is able to exercise full initiative in other areas to launch tactical offensives like raids, ambushes, acts of sabotage, sniping and arrest operations.

Based on partial reports, the NPA launched at least 92 tactical offensives nationwide from December 2008 to November 2009, the majority of which were ambushes (49) and raids (20). These numbers would be much higher if arrest operations, punitive measures and sabotage operations were included.

On the other hand, during encounters and defensive battles, the NPA was able to seize the initiative from the enemy and confiscate weapons. The NPA was able to confiscate at least 213 firearms, including machine guns like the FM Minimi and M60 light machine gun, M203 grenade launchers, rounds of ammunition as well as other military equipment such as communication radios and GPS (Global Positioning System).

The enemy sustained at least 231 dead and 176 wounded, and nine were captured as prisoners of war. On the other hand, four Red fighters heroically sacrificed their lives in these battles.

Following are some of the most prominent tactical offensives of the NPA from December 2008 to November 2009:

December 22, 2008. Red fighters of Front 21 of the Northeastern Mindanao Region (NEMR) carted away 18 firearms in a simultaneous attack on the police headquarters and San Roque Metal Inc. (SRMI) in the town of Tubay, Agusan del Sur. The arms haul consisted of 10 M16 rifles, three shotguns, three .38 caliber revolvers, two 9 mm pistols, a cal .45 pistol and a cal. 22 revolver.

The guerrillas also seized two VHF radios. A policeman was killed and another one wounded when they resisted. Meanwhile, six pieces of heavy equipment owned by SRMI worth millions of pesos were torched by the NPA as punishment for the company’s destruction of the environment and the livelihoods of the Lumad workers and people due to its mining operations.

January 3, 2009. In Southern Tagalog, the enemy was stunned when guerrillas of the Narciso Antazo Aramil Command of the NPA-Rizal ambushed troops of the 418th Provincial Police Mobile Group (PPMG) near the national capital.

One policeman was killed and another one wounded when the patrol car they were riding was hit by command-detonated explosives (CDEX) in Sitio Calumpit, Barangay Macabud, Rodriquez, Rizal. Rizal is only 12 miles east of Manila. The guerrillas administered first aid to a wounded police before he was brought to a hospital.

The Red fighters confiscated 12 firearms from the police consisting of six M16s, three 9 mm pistols and three cal .45 pistols. Three policemen were taken prisoner and after 83 days were freed by the people’s court and transferred by an NPA custodial unit on March 27 to representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Sen. Jamby Madrigal and Bishop Gabriel Reyes of the Diocese of Rizal.

January 22. In Bicol, the enemy incurred 16 casualties (eight dead and eight wounded) in a raid carried out by fighters of the Nerissa San Juan Command on the Philippine Army and CAFGU detachment in Barangay Poot, Pandan town, Catanduanes Island.

January 31. Twenty troops of the 53rd IB were killed in an ambush launched in Sitio Laknapan, Barangay Gibo, Siason, Zamboanga del Norte by the Front Feliciano of the NPA in the Western Mindanao Region.

February 15. A platoon of Scout Rangers accompanied by four American soldiers were conducting “clearing operations” when they were ambushed by Red fighters of the Celso Minguez Command in Barangay Batang, Irosin town, Sorsogon, Luzon. The Scout Rangers incurred 12 killed and eight wounded when a CDEX was exploded. The AFP and the American troops were preparing for the 2009 US-RP Balikatan Exercises in Bicol.

March 1. In the North Central Mindanao Region (NCMR), six soldiers were killed and three more were wounded in an ambush launched by the NPA in Sitio Tinopongan, Barangay Sta. Cruz, Quezon town, Bukidnon. Among those killed was 1Lt. Ricardo Naguiat, 29th IB commander. The NPA seized four M16s.

May 19. Again, in Bicol, eleven (11) firearms consisting of five carbines, four Garands, an M14 and two cal .45 pistols were confiscated by Red fighters when they attacked the 22nd IB detachment in Barangay Lubigan, Jr., Sipocot town, Camarines Sur, Luzon. They overran the enemy’s camp when elements of the Philippine Army and CAFGU ran in the heat of battle.

May 29. In Eastern Visayas, eight high-powered firearms were added to the NPA arsenal in Northern Samar when six M16s, an M14, an M203 grenade launcher and rounds of ammunition were seized in a raid on an AFP detachment by Red fighters of the Rodante Urtal Command in Barangay Polangi, Catarman town, Northern Samar.

August 9. In the Southern Mindanao Region (SMR), members of the Armando Dumandan Command of the BHB confiscated 15 rifles in a five-minute raid on the 72nd IB detachment in Barangay Napungas, Asuncion, Davao del Norte without firing a single shot. Six M14s, eight Garands, an M16 and the patrol base’s communication radio were taken.

It became easy to enter the detachment when a sergeant of the Philippine Army, who is also the commander of the detachment at the neighboring village was taken prisoner at a checkpoint set up by the Red fighters. No soldier or paramilitary element was hurt because they offered no resistance. The sergeant was released after a few weeks.

August 30. In Eastern Visayas, ten automatic rifles–four M14s, four M16s and two carbines–were carried off by Red fighters of the Arnulfo Ortiz Command when they attacked the CAFGU detachment in Sitio Cambabang, Barangay Cogon, Basey town, Samar.

November 2. Despite the enemy’s taunts, the NPA Red fighters were able to play a ruse on them when they were able to enter the patrol base of the 72nd IB in Sitio New Kapatagan, Barangay Casoon, Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Mindanao. The NPA guerrillas were able to go near the detachment by wearing Special Forces uniforms.

It was too late when the enemy realized that they were outwitted by the 4th Pulang Bagani Company of the Merardo Arce Command of the NPA. The detachment commander, Cpl. Dominador Alegre, was quickly arrested and the CAFGU elements disarmed. The NPA took 18 firearms consisting of 10 Garands, five carbines, two M16s and an M14. An ICOM radio, ammunition and uniforms were also confiscated. Corporal Alegre was taken prisoner and released after a few weeks.

November 11. People’s guerrillas in NEMR once again carted off 18 firearms when they raided the compound of the Surigao Development Corporation (SUDECOR) in Surigao, Mindanao, and disarmed elements of the Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary (SCAA) who were guarding the big logging company. Military, police and paramilitary forces attempted a rescue but were ambushed by the NPA on their way to SUDECOR. As many as 20 enemy forces were killed and five were wounded in this firefight.

Tactical offensives in December 2009

A military officer was among 14 soldiers killed while at least 15 were wounded in firefights reported this December. The New People’s Army (NPA) also seized 17 weapons and other military equipment.

December 20. Thirteen firearms, including four high-powered rifles were seized by Red fighters without firing a single shot in a raid on the Philippine National Police station in San Narciso, Quezon, Luzon. The police fell for it when NPA guerrillas disguised themselves as soldiers of the Philippine Army. The AFP had just finished declaring San Narciso “NPA-free”.

December 18. In Davao Oriental, Mindanao, two elements of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) were killed and three others were wounded when they were attacked by Red fighters of Front 15 in Barangay Sibajay, Boston. The military forces were having lunch when they were besieged by guerrillas riding two dump trucks.

December 14. In the AM, 2Lt. Michael Angelo Quibuyen, commander of the Casay Detachment of the Philippine Army 49th IB and another soldier were killed when they clashed with guerrillas of the Celso Minguez Command in Barangay Tigkiw, Gubat, Sorsogon, Luzon.

The NPA unit was maneuvering to avoid a large military operation when it clashed with fascist troops. The Red fighters were the first to fire. Due to the military’s great embarassment, they covered their casualties with tarpaulin and spread word that these were Red fighters. Even so, the villagers still came to know the identities of the casualties.

December 10. In Samar, two elements of the Philippine Army were killed when they encountered NPA Red fighters in Barangay Binanggaran, Calbiga, Samar.

December 10. A radio operator of the 82nd IB Alpha Coy was killed when his military unit attempted to besiege an NPA platoon under the Napoleon Tumagtang Command of the NPA in Sitio Bayong, Barangay Manampunay, Leon, Iloilo, Panay Island.

December 3. Meanwhile, according to the latest correspondence reports from the field, seven and not three soldiers were killed when Red fighters of the Conrado Heredia Command of the NPA ambushed elements of the 25th IB Alpha Coy in Sitio Paraiso, Diwalwal, Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Mindanao.

In a statement, command spokesperson Ka Roel Agustin II reported the seizure once again of an FM Minimi light machine gun as well as two M16s, a .45 caliber pistol and other military equipment. At least 12 soldiers were wounded. AB had previously reported that four military troopers were wounded.

"Lesson Learned," by Alpha Unit

Thinking of girls I met my freshman year of college reminded me of one girl who ended up leaving school not long after her year began.
I was never particularly close to her, but one of my good friends was. At one point I noticed that I wasn’t seeing this girl, whom I’ll call Jan, on our floor anymore. My good friend informed me that Jan had left. Gone home. She was no longer a student.
“Why?” I asked.
“They ran a train on her,” my friend told me.
Jan had supposedly been in love with this athlete. Well, this athlete and a bunch of his friends had a good time one night at Jan’s expense.
I remember my mother giving me an oblique warning about things like that. I had never thought I would know someone to whom it had happened – or that I would hear about such a thing so soon.
What my mother had suggested to me, of course, was that sex and aggression are interwoven. Especially in young men. And that I had better know it.
Fraternity brothers have gang-raped. Groups of athletes have done it. Military units have. Criminal gangs have. Some of the people who study this sort of thing report that a lot of these young men are actually quite nice to women they actually care about. What could make them treat their victims this way?
It’s simple. She wanted it.
This seems to be the universal defense in these cases once they’re investigated.
“What do you mean, ‘she wanted it’?” you might ask. “Wasn’t she unconscious at the time?”
What you get next, essentially, is the assertion that if she hadn’t wanted it, she wouldn’t have been there.
First of all, this is nonsense. I am the first to admit that naive young women unwittingly put themselves in harm’s way. But a lot of the girls who end up in this awful situation are actually intoxicated when it happens, or they have been drugged specifically for that purpose. Sometimes they are lured into rooms and locked inside.
So, no – not every girl who finds herself a part of the “express” wanted to be.
But, yes, in the minds of some of these assailants, she wanted it. Because the world is divided into two kinds of women: women we respect and women we don’t. And women dumb enough to end up on the receiving end of a gang bang are definitely women we don’t.
According to some, there is nothing within males that causes this behavior, that it is culturally encoded and all about power relations – males proving their “manhood” to one another by asserting dominance over a woman. Any man refusing to go along is something other than a “real man,” to put it nicely.
Maybe so. Or maybe when you have males bonding in a testosterone- and adrenaline-driven environment, heaven help any vulnerable female who wanders into that environment. But what stands out to me is the fact that these guys believe that there are some women you don’t do this to.
To be the kind of woman you don’t do this to, a woman has to be someone with whom there is a bond. She has to be, in some way, a part of him. Whoever is a part of him, he will defend and protect, whether it’s a woman or one of his “brothers.”
Bonds are crucial when it comes to male socialization, as it is widely recognized. A man in a close relationship with someone he feels no bond with can be cold or predatory toward that person. A lot of stepfathers and boyfriends abuse, rape, or kill the children of women they are with. Many don’t, obviously. But this situation is inherently risky, and some women don’t realize it.
In a world where men and women are basically the same, women don’t need men. They can be independent, thank you, and handle their own business. But in the world we actually live in, women need men. The more men that care about you, the better off you are as a woman.
As a naive young freshman, I too put myself in risky situations. Nothing horrible ever happened to me. But I know that in one situation I was in, it was the affection that a certain young man felt toward me that saved me from my own foolishness – and from what might have been brewing in the minds of some of his friends.

“Lesson Learned,” by Alpha Unit

Thinking of girls I met my freshman year of college reminded me of one girl who ended up leaving school not long after her year began.

I was never particularly close to her, but one of my good friends was. At one point I noticed that I wasn’t seeing this girl, whom I’ll call Jan, on our floor anymore. My good friend informed me that Jan had left. Gone home. She was no longer a student.

“Why?” I asked.

“They ran a train on her,” my friend told me.

Jan had supposedly been in love with this athlete. Well, this athlete and a bunch of his friends had a good time one night at Jan’s expense.

I remember my mother giving me an oblique warning about things like that. I had never thought I would know someone to whom it had happened – or that I would hear about such a thing so soon.

What my mother had suggested to me, of course, was that sex and aggression are interwoven. Especially in young men. And that I had better know it.

Fraternity brothers have gang-raped. Groups of athletes have done it. Military units have. Criminal gangs have. Some of the people who study this sort of thing report that a lot of these young men are actually quite nice to women they actually care about. What could make them treat their victims this way?

It’s simple. She wanted it.

This seems to be the universal defense in these cases once they’re investigated.

“What do you mean, ‘she wanted it’?” you might ask. “Wasn’t she unconscious at the time?”

What you get next, essentially, is the assertion that if she hadn’t wanted it, she wouldn’t have been there.

First of all, this is nonsense. I am the first to admit that naive young women unwittingly put themselves in harm’s way. But a lot of the girls who end up in this awful situation are actually intoxicated when it happens, or they have been drugged specifically for that purpose. Sometimes they are lured into rooms and locked inside.

So, no – not every girl who finds herself a part of the “express” wanted to be.

But, yes, in the minds of some of these assailants, she wanted it. Because the world is divided into two kinds of women: women we respect and women we don’t. And women dumb enough to end up on the receiving end of a gang bang are definitely women we don’t.

According to some, there is nothing within males that causes this behavior, that it is culturally encoded and all about power relations – males proving their “manhood” to one another by asserting dominance over a woman. Any man refusing to go along is something other than a “real man,” to put it nicely.

Maybe so. Or maybe when you have males bonding in a testosterone- and adrenaline-driven environment, heaven help any vulnerable female who wanders into that environment. But what stands out to me is the fact that these guys believe that there are some women you don’t do this to.

To be the kind of woman you don’t do this to, a woman has to be someone with whom there is a bond. She has to be, in some way, a part of him. Whoever is a part of him, he will defend and protect, whether it’s a woman or one of his “brothers.”

Bonds are crucial when it comes to male socialization, as it is widely recognized. A man in a close relationship with someone he feels no bond with can be cold or predatory toward that person. A lot of stepfathers and boyfriends abuse, rape, or kill the children of women they are with. Many don’t, obviously. But this situation is inherently risky, and some women don’t realize it.

In a world where men and women are basically the same, women don’t need men. They can be independent, thank you, and handle their own business. But in the world we actually live in, women need men. The more men that care about you, the better off you are as a woman.

As a naive young freshman, I too put myself in risky situations. Nothing horrible ever happened to me. But I know that in one situation I was in, it was the affection that a certain young man felt toward me that saved me from my own foolishness – and from what might have been brewing in the minds of some of his friends.

Business As Usual

In the shitty little country, the Jews’ little hate state.

This is in East Jerusalem, mind you. Not the West Bank. East Jerusalem is not even considered to be part of the West Bank. It’s part of Israel, you know, the only democracy in the Middle East and all that shit. This is the way Israeli Jews treat humans inside their very own beacon of democracy, the City on a Hill. You know, the place where the “civilized Western Judeo-Christian (White) values” of the Jews is most starkly contrasted with the sheer animal viciousness of the Arab primitives. Or so the Jews would have it. Yeah right.

What I don’t get is how Israel gets the support of all these US liberals. I mean, the place is the living embodiment of a contradiction to so many values that we libs hold dear to our hearts.

The whole Israeli project reminds one of the Jim Crow South.

Can you imagine this in the US?

White cop calling an ambulance: “There is someone injured…” White ambulance dispatcher: “White person or a nigger?” White cop: “It’s a nig.” White dispatcher, sneering: “Call the SPCA. We don’t pick up injured animals.” White cop: Laughs. Black boy continues lying bleeding in the street while cackling Whites with evil smirking grins prance around and throw stones at Black people. “Nigger go home!” They yell gleefully as the Blacks, faces clouded in shame, scuttle away.

Now, just replace White with Jew and nigger and Black with Arab and you’ve got the Israeli project in a nutshell.

And the same liberal Whites who recoil in horror at the Jim Crow South squirm their reluctant praise for Israel, all because it’s Jews being the shits, and not White Gentiles. And you know, the Jews got killed in the Ho-lo-caust and all that. So they get to be shits for decades, or centuries, or until we forget the Shoah.

I was talking to a nice White liberal the other day. I told her that the Palestinians believe in Replacement Theology, because it implies that there’s no religious justification for Israel in Christianity. She sighed and said, “They’re all nuts.” I said, “Well, they got their land stolen. They don’t agree with that. What are they supposed to do, pack up and go to some other Arab country?” She gave a disgusted sigh and said, “They might as well.”

This wouldn’t be ok if anyone else but Jews was doing it. This particular White liberal is Judeophilic like so many millions of US White Gentiles, and this leads her to excuse in Jews what she would condemn in anyone else.

I can’t see any liberal supporting Israel.

I can see rightwingers supporting them. They eat oppression, imperialism, colonialism, land theft and discrimination for breakfast every morning. Those are practically conservative values.

If you object to that, then they are surely fascist and racist values. The behavior of those Israelis in that piece above is typical of many fascist states. It’s also typical of racist societies around the world. If we are anti-fascist and anti-racist liberals, what in God’s name are we doing supporting Israel?

Anyone?