The Octoroon Ball

Polar Bear: Were they more business minded in SD, while  in New Orleans, they were more concerned with culture?

Robert’s mentioned the Mulatto Balls, and mulattoes, mostly women, formed an elite group in New Orleans.

The Octoroon Ball in New Orleans. My father told me about that. Apparently they had this even under Jim Crow! The Octoroon Ball was a huge deal. The women supposedly had to be octoroons, that is, 1/8 Black, but I am not sure how this was enforced. On the other hand, racial classifications were pretty strictly enforced under Jim Crow.

My Dad said White men would come from all over to that Octoroon Ball with the hopes of meeting one of those octoroon women. He said a lot of them were very beautiful.

I am not going to comment on the beauty of pure Blacks, although some pure Black women are beautiful. It’s more a matter of taste than anything else – whether you like Black features or not. Some people like Black features and others don’t.

I do think it’s fascinating that if you throw a little bit of Black into a White person, you can often get a very attractive woman. I have also seen 1/3 Black and 1/2 Black women who were total knockouts.

Often you want to ask them a rude question about what race they are because many highly-mixed mulatto women do not appear to be part of any known human race at all. They look very exotic. And they often don’t look very Black either, other than a darker skin color. Often they look more like a White person with a deep tan and some exotic features.

Alt Left: America Made a Pact with the Devil on the Day It Was Born

Another great comment from Francis Meville, this time on our Original Sin and its aftereffects.

Francis Meville: America signed a pact with the devil at its very birthday through her Godfather Benjamin Franklin’s mouth, get over it. It got its independence from Britain for two reasons.

First retaining total unbridled freedom to kill on sight like game Amerindians and other non-conformist peoples in the colonists’ way. This at the time would have become juridically impossible to do if the territory had been considered part and parcel of a “Christian” European country.

Second was in order to practice slavery at will (not only Negro). In the particular case of England, slavery was growing more and more problematic. Quite hypocritically, English country was asking all Europe to phase the practice.

She showed the rest of Europe this good example once she had made all the money to be made by this traffic. No longer needing slavery, England moved on to practice quite another form of colonialism in India which didn’t require the institution of slavery but instead relied on far more modern exploitative practices.

America grew independent from Britain for exactly the same reason as later on Rhodesia would do. Both countries enabled the metropolis to either apartheid, slavery, or Indian slaughter.

Hadn’t there been an American Revolution, there would still be an Iroquois nation along River Hudson most probably enjoying a status quite like Scotland within Great Britain, though probably a very mixed-blood and English-speaking brand of Iroquois people.

Negro slavery would also have been phased out right at the time of the Revolution in order to give way to some form of indentured labor. These two reasons alone justified America’s war for independence and especially Louis XV France’s support of the new entity, which didn’t entail any form of humanistic benevolence whatsoever.

The French people were not a bad one but the French overseas interests were always the top nastiest of the world. For them, America was to become a great model for the French plantation colony.

Also, make no mistake about it, the French so-called Enlightenment movement (contrary to German Aufklärung) from which the American derives grew from the most anti-humanist ideological group of all French society. They were, among others, especially Voltaire, the most opposed to popular elementary instruction. The French diplomats who supported the early American enterprise were all likes of Kissinger.

There was no betrayal of the American revolution by oligarchs, it was an oligarchs’ revolution right from the start. But they had to cover their crimes through a very elegant media presence in Europe so as to make as many “useful idiot” European intellectuals as possible dream instead of inquiring as they should have done. The USSR would later on adopt this same notion in the name of quite a different ideology but to the same effect.

America was a colonial company like the East India Company, both having acquired full sovereignty and right to full secrecy from England. The earliest American flag (13 stars in circle, 13 stripes) was simply borrowed out of whole cloth straight from Sassoon’s East India Company. All the rest was already propaganda.

The right to free expression as defined by the First Amendment was a fraud right from the start. Only chartered private enterprises, not individuals as such, ever had that full right, and that right was always assorted with the right of legal recourse that allowed the targets of such speech to pursue the speakers for defamation.

Allowing an override of the First Amendment is in reality total censorship of opinion exerted by private rather than public interests – the worst of both worlds. In reality, one feels far freer in a country where you have to fear only disagreement from a single state authority rather than from a multitude of private interests and religions liable to declare themselves offended at any of your words.

As for the Second Amendment, the rationale for its existence was never for the right of ordinary individuals to be armed in order to prevent the rise of a tentative tyranny from some ambitious politician. Its purpose was instead the delegation to private interests, especially plantations, of the repression of both slaves and Indians.

It was actually the acceptance of a semi-feudal private state as regards police so as to discharge the state proper of any responsibility. One reason for the state’s abdication of its law enforcement responsibility was due to the vastness of the territory.

Anyway, history shows us that gleeful gun-toters in any case have always sided with would-be tyrants in position of authority against the poor and the free thinkers. A good example of this tendency occurred outside America in the Caribbean.

The new rulers relied on the inheritance from the American “gun rights” as the Americans proclaimed during the American occupation of the Island. A classic example was the triumph of François Duvalier in Haiti. He counted not on any legitimate power of state police but instead on a police force made up of purely voluntary individual gun bearers, later to be known as the infamous Tontons Macoute, to assert his fascistic dictatorship.

Happy 50th Birthday, Woodstock

Canned Heat, Up the Country. Footage from Woodstock.

Wish I could have been there, but I was only 11 years old at the time and I totally hated hippies.

I wish I could say I remembered Woodstock, but I can’t say I really did. Had I been older I probably would have gone there.

By the way, this is really good music. Canned Heat from 1969. Yes, they played at Woodstock. Don’t eat the brown acid!

Guess who the woman in the blue dress is walking to the tent from the beginning until :38. Sure sure looks happy, doesn’t she?

That’s Janis Joplin!

Canned Heat, Up the Country was actually released in 1968. It was performed at Woodstock in 1969.

“‘Cause you got a home as long as I’ve got mine.” Hey, I really like that line. Something special about it.

I’m goin’ up the country, baby don’t you want to go?
I’m goin’ up the country, baby don’t you want to go?
I’m goin’ to some place where I’ve never been before
I’m goin’ I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine
I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine
We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time
I’m gonna leave this city, got to get away
I’m gonna leave this city, got to get away
All this fussin’ and fightin’ man you know I sure can’t stay
So baby pack your leavin’ trunk, you know we’ve got to leave today
Just exactly where we’re goin’ I cannot say
But we might even leave the U.S.A.
It’s a brand new game that I want to play
No use in your runnin’ or screamin’ and cryin’
‘Cause you got a home as long as I’ve got mine

Happy Birthday 1969!

I was only 11 years old, and I was a total nerd who hated hippies, was unpopular, always got picked last in sports, and wasn’t liked by any girls.

Except none of us were liked by any girls in 6th grade, so it doesn’t matter. I didn’t even know what sex was. That year my Mom read a book to me about sex but she lied to me, which was a bit annoying. I was walking home one day with my best friend and we were talking about sex.

He shook his head, “I dunno,” he said. “My Mom said she’s never done it!” A reincarnation of Jesus as an Hispanic woman! I mean his parents had separate bedrooms but obviously this had not always been the case, the last immaculate conception being a couple of thousand years ago, and even that one’s up for grabs. I’m a Christian and I think the IC is a load of hooey, sorry. Mary got laid by Joseph, just like any normal human woman, you know?

I had a ton of friends though with the local boys on and around my street. We all hung out all the time.

I actually played a lot of sports. I was just never good at any of them. All we did was play sports actually.

Don’t forget the antisocial behavior, the best fun of all!

We also had dirt clod wars. And berry wars, with these weird hard green olive-shaped berry things that grew on the plants around there. And play Kill the Man on the Hoppity Hop, otherwise known as Smear the Queer. And bully the faggots, psychos, and crybabies our age! Good times! Bullying is fun! Don’t forget the bullying!

And my two brothers and I, when we weren’t best friends, were busy teasing, tormenting, baiting and beating the crap out of each other. Oh Hell yeah!

Our backyard was undeveloped and a part of it was permanently flooded. That was called Mud River and was to be avoided. The rest of the yard was quickly turned into a series of forts. I think we each had our own forts.

There were construction workers out the backyard building a new tract, and like typical little shits, we stole wood, nails, chisels, you name it, from them. I must say it’s really fun to steal stuff! The rush you get from stealing stuff is almost like no other on Earth. Vandalism is close. I can see criminals do it. Crime is a rush like no other, even surpassing any drug.

We used to the wood the build forts. We used the nails for trading somehow or other. We transported them around in these toy trucks we bought. It sounds boring but it was a blast.

Oh, and we made Creepy Crawlers and had long marches around the house with them. My favorite was named Tim. He was a red spider who had one of his legs cut off. I think he was a General in the Creepy Crawler Army My brothers’ favorites were green horned toads called Horny and Hornet, a male and female. They might have been generals too.

I have no idea the purpose of these stupid marches around the house. My Mom marveled at the absurdity and idiocy of it all. “Don’t you ever get bored of this? The Creepy Crawler marches extended through much of the house, up and down both sets of stairs and winding through the hallways. We didn’t listen to her. What red-blooded 11 year old boy listens to their Mom? Screw that! Listening to your Mom is for girls, sissies and fags!

We also went hiking a lot and around this time. I joined the Boy Scouts and went on a number of trips with them, including multiday backpacking trips far into the High Sierra Mountains that lasted over a week.

My Dad went with us on a lot of these hikes and on a lot of these wild fishing expeditions, often involving deep sea fishing and fishing trips to Ensenada and San Felipe, Mexico. There were so many fish down there you could almost walk upon the sea on the backs of the fish. I have no idea what it’s like down there. I hear they didn’t have much of a commercial fishing industry, so it wasn’t fished out.

That was back when my Dad was a cool guy most of the time. Before he turned into a full-time asshole. He started having problems with his career, and he took it out on all of us kids, as men are so wont to do. That’s called Displacement, Psychology students.

At age 15, the Haircut Wars started, and I was “the ringleader of the rebels,” as he put it. Well, of course I was.

He would sit there and look at me at the dinner table with sheer hatred on his face and not say anything for long minutes. Then he would slam his fist on the table and say, “You look just like Veronica Lake!” I always thought that was funny. Veronica Lake was some hot actress back in the day who was famous for her curly hair. And yeah, I had curly hair. I guess that made me even more effeminate to him.

Men growing their hair as long as women was some sort of an absolute outrage for his generation. Men had short hair. Girls had long hair. And never the twain shall meet. I was never sure if he thought it meant I was a faggot or what. I think there was just something extremely unmasculine about long hair on a man. Like if your 15 year old son starts wearing dresses for no good reason. I’d probably slam my fist on the table too.

Funny thing though was that I was a complete washout with girls until I started growing my hair long, smoking pot, listening to rock and roll and being a typical degenerate teenager of my day.

After a while, I tried to explain to him that girls hated guys with short hair. We were actually growing our hair long to get chicks, Dad! Give us a break! He regarded this as one of the most utterly insane things he had ever heard. Growing your hair long so you look like a pathetic effeminate wuss girlyboy transvestite faggot gets you chicks because this is what babes want?

That does not compute!*

They called it “geek hair.” You could only get away with it if you were a jock or a good musician or a hot surfer. Otherwise you were screwed. We grew our hair long to try to get laid. Actually probably 50% of what sexually mature males do in their lives is nothing but an abject and pathetic effort to get laid. True fact. You don’t have to believe me.

Anyway, pretty incredible times. But things were always better back in the day. You all know that.

*A popular saying back in the day. You all probably never heard of it.

1968-1970: A Remembrance of Things Past

At age 11 years old in late 1968 to late 1969, I was a hippie-hater. My parents of course encouraged this pro-Establishment nonsense, being Greatest Generation squares and all.

Around this time, we started playing a game called, “Boy or a Girl?” every time we saw a boy with long hair, who were starting to get more common at that time. I’m not sure who started the game, my parents or my brothers and I (they were 8 and 5), but our parents sure egged us and on and played along with relish. Little did I realize that in a few short years I would be growing my hair out like a girl myself and a year later turning into a bit of a hippie myself.

My father was a good Cold War liberal of the Bernie Sanders type except that he despised the counterculture, especially “Chaar-lie Manson” and “Aaay-bie Hoffman,” the latter of whose disrespectful performance in the courtroom outraged my staid father. That was the hippie movement for my father. Charles Manson and Abbie Hoffman. That was it.

Yes, I grew up with the Manson Murders, the Watts riots, the RFK assassination, the Chicago Convention in 1968, the whole nine yards. In 1968, I walked the streets for “Clean Gene” McCarthy, the antiwar candidate, with my father, who had turned against the war after the Tet Offensive.

I was a bit of a Vietnam War fan, and every day, they would list the battles that took place the day before and how many were killed and wounded in them. American soldiers were getting killed and wounded every single day in significant numbers. I had a really cool map of Vietnam, and I would go look up the battles on my map.

And of course I remember the Mi Lai Massacre. A lot of people were defending Calley and the rest because they said US troops had taken many casualties in that area recently, and even the women and the kids were serving as guerrillas, setting up booby-traps for instance. I’m not sure how true that was, but I doubt if it justifies slaughtering civilians like that.

One week Time Magazine printed the photos and biographies of all the men who had died in Nam that previous week. We were losing ~200 men a week in one of those years, I forget which. There were maybe 200 of them! I remember that really brought the war home.

People heard the numbers of killed and wounded every week or so, but it never really sunk in. When they saw the 200 faces of those very young men in that magazine who had been in only a single week, it really hit home in Middle America in a personal way.

I watched Walter Cronkite all the time, and I remember when he, to everyone’s shock, turned against the war. The turning point for him as for everyone else was the Tet Offensive.

I was a wild LA Dodgers fan, and we went to a lot of games. Don Drysdale was a great pitcher who set some records back then. Sandy Koufax was another great Dodgers pitcher. Willie Mays of the San Fransisco A’s was at the peak of his game. Mickey Mantle was still around.

We also went to LA Rams and even USC Trojans games. We got to meet some of the Rams at some signature gathering meeting at a local Sears outlet. I met OJ Simpson at a game in Candlestick Park in San Francisco once and got his autograph. He had a permanent smile a yard wide. The charm radiated off of him in waves. There was no way to not like him if you still had a real beating warm-blooded heart.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the street, and the old days were always better than today. If we’ve lived a decent and relatively happy life, one thing we can all say is that we all had a once upon a time.

Elton John, Curtains, from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. Yes, I bought that album in 1975. One of the greatest rock albums ever made.

I used to know this old scarecrow
He was my song
My joy and sorrow
Cast alone between the furrows
Of a field
No longer sown by anyone

I held a dandelion
That said the time had come
To leave upon the wind
Not to return
When summer burned the earth again

Oh
Oh
Cultivate the freshest flower
This garden ever grew
Beneath these branches I once wrote
Such childish words for you
But that’s okay
There’s treasure children always seek to find
And just like us
You must have had
A once a upon a time
Oh
Oh
Oh
Oh
Oh
Oh
Oh
Oh
Oh
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)
Oh (lovely-lovely)

“LaborFest 2019,” by Alpha Unit

The annual celebration called LaborFest has been going on since July 2 in San Francisco. Various cities across the country have their own LaborFest celebrations, but in San Francisco it is a monthlong series of cultural and arts events, including a film festival, to educate the public about the history of organized labor in America.

LaborFest commemorates the 1934 San Francisco General Strike, a key episode in the rise of organized labor in the United States. It was the first time that a major US port city was completely shut down by a strike. The result of the strike was the unionization of all ports on the West Coast.

On May 9, 1934, roughly 10,000 longshoremen went on strike all along the West Coast, to protest below-subsistence wages and the humiliating daily hiring experience known as the “shapeup.” Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, Fred Glass explains:

In this exercise in employer absolutism, workers gathered early in the morning on the foggy docks along the Embarcadero, competing with one another in a desperate race to the bottom of the Depression wage scale.  Once at work, the worker might remain there for 10, 12, 16 or more hours. Injuries accumulated faster than cargo on the dock because of the frantic pace of the work. And should they imagine complaining, there were always more workers waiting to take their place.

Among those who’d had enough was Australian immigrant seaman Harry Bridges, who had started working the San Francisco docks in 1921. Bridges reached out to other maritime unions – including sailors’ unions and Teamsters – in May 1934 and within weeks, the number of striking workers increased to 40,000. Almost every West Coast port was shut down.

Employers had the support of San Francisco government officials, the police, and the local press. Police and employers’ armed “thugs” sent hundreds of strikers and their sympathizers to hospital emergency rooms.

On July 5, known ever since as Bloody Thursday, police shot and killed two strikers near the longshoremen’s union hall – World War I veteran and longshoreman Howard Sperry and marine cook Nicholas Bordoise. After lying in state their bodies were moved to the front of an enormous, silent funeral parade, writes Fred Glass. The discipline of the marchers inspired solidarity among other groups of workers and an outpouring of sympathy from San Francisco’s middle class, “scaring the bejesus out of San Francisco’s ruling elite.” Glass continues:

The conflict escalated into a four-day mostly peaceful…citywide general strike. The work stoppage  brought virtually all industrial and commercial operations of San Francisco to a halt. Although the San Francisco Labor Council assumed leadership of the general strike, its heart was the maritime workers unions’ headquarters. After the display of determined collective power, the maritime workers gained union recognition, substantial increase in wages, and control over their hiring halls.

Every year on July 5 the International Longshore and Warehouse Union honors Bloody Thursday, as a memorial to the lives lost during the strike and as a celebration of what they achieved. For Harry Bridges, the real fruit of the General Strike wasn’t the winning of any particular demand, according to the ILWU website, but an ever-expanding union.

The longshoremen turned San Francisco into a union town and embarked on a warehouse organizing drive that didn’t stop until it reached Baltimore on the East Coast. The ILWU went on to organize the entire state of Hawaii and expanded into Alaska and western Canada.

Now consider the words of William H. Crocker, a prominent San Francisco banker during the time of the General Strike. Crocker had served as a leader and strategist for the employers.

This strike is the best thing that ever happened to San Francisco…Mark my words. When this nonsense is out of the way and the men have been driven back to their jobs, we won’t have to worry about them anymore. They’ll have learned their lesson. Not only do I believe we’ll never have another general strike, but I don’t think we’ll have a strike of any kind in San Francisco during this generation. Labor is licked.

Not yet.

 

 

Alt Left: The “Roosevelt Knew” Bullshit

There has long been a strain of conspiracy theory, which had significant evidence in its favor nonetheless, that Roosevelt knew that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor and allowed the attack to go ahead anyway.

This has long been a favorite of rightwingers then and now. Conservatives at the time thought Roosevelt was a traitor who had deliberately filled his Cabinet with many Soviet spies to whom he gave much classified information.

This is the Commie spy network that Joe McCarthy, etc. set about going after in the 1950’s during the Red Scare. There doesn’t seem to be good evidence for this.

To this day, standard anti-Semitism is almost always rightwing or far rightwing and is heavily tied in with anti-Communism among other things such as anti-modernism and anti-liberalism, two movements that the Jews were seen leading.

Anyway, there were many hard conservatives in the Pentagon around the time of World War 2, and quite a few of them were starting to imbibe the “Jewish Communist threat” line.

Winston Churchill himself was one of the originators of the Jewish Bolshevik hysteria when he made some paranoid and agitated statements along the lines that the Bolshevik revolution was a Jewish one soon after the October Revolution was through.

It was these nutty reactionary anti-Communist anti-Semites in the Pentagon who were responsible for the “Roosevelt knew” line.

Revilo Oliver had worked in intelligence at the Pentagon during the war and later said that Roosevelt had allowed the Pear Harbor attack. Two very conservative admirals stated after the war that Roosevelt should be tried for treason for allowing the attack. These two admirals did not have good evidence for their charges.

Oliver is apparently lying. He was an extreme anti-Communist, a White nationalist racist, a Nazi sympathizer, and a hardcore anti-Semite who later became very active in the early days of the National Review, to show you how tainted the early days of Buckley’s journal were.

Oliver is of course also a Holocaust denier who railed about the bombing of Dresden (which he exaggerated as such types are wont to do) and the Nuremberg trials, which he regarded as an outrageous orgy of murder. Which in some ways it was, unfortunately.

It doesn’t take long to deeply review the case of the Pearl Harbor advance knowledge theory to show that it is nonsense. We never cracked the main code that the Japanese used in the weeks before the attack. The Japanese fleet turned off their radios as they sailed to the attack, a brilliant move.

Radar was in its infancy and worked poorly. Nevertheless a radar operator noticed large blobs on the screen and notified his superiors, who laughed and told him they were clouds. Early radar has a hard time distinguishing between ships and clouds. His observation made it up to a general nevertheless, but the general laughed the blobs off as clouds too.

It is certainly true that Roosevelt was trying to push the Japanese into a corner and many thought he was trying to bait them into a war. I believe that’s pretty uncontroversial. In fact, the US was alarmed at how upset the Japanese were at the US’ moves such as the embargo on oil sales to them.

In fact in the months leading up to the attack, the US increasingly felt that the Japanese were getting ready to attack the US. They weren’t sure it was going to happen, but they thought it likely. What they didn’t know was where and when it would take place, and Pearl Harbor was not considered to be a likely a target. The large US garrison the Philippines was considered a more likely target.

Roosevelt definitely wanted war with the Japanese. He had made statements along the lines that no way was he going to allow the Japanese to run amok all over the Pacific, conquering lands and slaughtering the natives while brutally colonizing them.

There was a telegram sent to the Japanese ambassador in Washington the night before the attack telling him that the Japanese government was going to break off relations with the US. It was in an earlier code that had already been broken.

The Pentagon felt that that meant that a Japanese attack may be imminent. However, a warning to that effect sent out to US forces in the Pacific got lost in the shuffle and was only read too late by most of its recipients.

There were 10 full investigations of the Pearl Harbor attack. No foreknowledge of the attack by Roosevelt or anyone else in the administration was ever demonstrated.

Although there is some interesting evidence in favor of this conspiracy theory, at the end of the day it doesn’t seem to hold water and simply seems to be one more club that the Right uses to bash Democrats along with one of the Right’s most hated Democrats of all, Roosevelt.

Furthermore the people who traffic in this theory are pretty unsavory. It is a favorite of a variety of conspiratorial rightwing types, including fanatical anti-Communists, hardcore anti-Semites, neo-Nazis/Nazi sympathizers, Holocaust deniers, White nationalists and other charming folks.

On Black Women and Prostitution

I am getting an awful lot of blowback on writing about my recent discovery that Black women are far more likely to be prostitutes or quasi-prostitutes than other races of women. This is something that finally dawned on me after six decades of living. It has been suggested that my observation, admittedly not made on a scientific basis but instead on intuition, is simply false.
Well, here are some facts.
Black girls are 13% of all girls in the US. However, 55% of girls arrested for prostitution are Black. So Black girls are 13% of the population but 55% of the girl prostitutes. That’s almost as bad as the outsized homicide rate, where Blacks are 13% of the population but commit 53% of the homicides. The homicide rate is starkly elevated and caused many to sit up and take notice with shock in part because it confirms what they always suspected anyway. The prostitution rate is even more elevated and once again confirms what people suspected based on intuition.
The linked article offers many possible reasons. 49% of Black minors do not graduate from high school. That is an extremely high dropout rate of almost half of all Black minors. However, 75% of Black girls arrested for prostitution dropped out of high school. So the Black girl prostitute population is a population of school dropouts who grew up without significant parental figures.
The article also said that 75% of Black girls arrested for prostitution grew up in homes without either a mother or a father.
From the article:

The fact that more than half of girls who end up turning to lives of prostitution have grown up without fathers, suggests a need for male attention and acceptance. Additionally, the fact that more than ¾ of the girls who end up selling themselves grow up missing one of their parents is a sign that we need to rally behind our children as a community and support our single-parent families, remembering the notion that “it takes a village to raise a child….We need to teach our girls to value themselves and create a culture that supports that value.

Another possible reason for the high numbers of Black females working as prostitutes is the possibility that prostitution is tolerated in the Black community as no big deal. However else they feel about it, prostitution is definitely not tolerated or considered a legitimate job in White, Hispanic, and Asian communities. It is considered a shameful and lowly way to make a living. If prostitution is seen as a legitimate way to earn a living in Black communities, it should be no surprise that Black women are so over-represented among prostitutes.
From the linked study above:

For example, in their study, Carmen and Moody intimate tolerance of prostitution by
the Black community:
Prostitution was no alien thing to black women, who have been sexually exploited since slavery. In every Southern city in the 1920’s and ’30’s, the red-light district was on the other side of the tracks in the black ghetto, and young white boys “discovered their manhood” with the help of the two dollar whore.” Prostitutes were integrating blacks and whites long before there was a civil rights movement.
Arlene Carmen and Howard Moody, “Working Women: The Subterranean World of Prostitution.”

Pimping may also be seen as no big deal or as a reasonable way to make a living in the Black community. This is suggested by anecdotal evidence that almost 100% of street pimps are Black, and these Black street pimps are some of the most horrible human beings you will ever meet.
From New York City. In Brooklyn, Black women make up 1/3 of all women in the borough, but they are 94% of the women arrested for prostitution. This shows how few non-Black women wish to work as prostitutes. Non-Black women make up 2/3 of the population of Brooklyn, an area where prostitution is rife, yet make up almost none of the very common prostitutes on the street, almost all of whom are Black.
One reason that Black women are so commonly arrested for prostitution is that they are far more likely to be streetwalkers than other races of women where women tend to see streetwalking as the lowest of the low.
Here a Black woman who traveled around Europe and Africa as a single traveler was mistaken as a prostitute everywhere she went in Europe. In Barcelona, she was told that there were certain streets she should not walk down after 8 PM because everyone would think she was a prostitute. She goes walking down a street in Barcelona, and every hundred feet there is a new Black woman prostituting herself on the corner. They are all from Africa. How many people in Spain are Black? The number must be very low, maybe 2%. Yet they are 100% of the prostitutes on a major street in Barcelona. A Black female commenter discusses how she was walking down a street in Greece at night, a street filled with African prostitutes glaring at her as if she was one of them.
Twelve women on a tour in Dubai try to get into a bar. They are all barred except for two of them. Later we find out that the other ten were barred on the grounds that they were suspected prostitutes.
As you can see this problem of Black women being seen as prostitutes is related to the fact that so many of them are just that. Among other reasons why this is bad is that Black female travelers get mistaken for whores everywhere they go, much to their consternation. So this harms the Black women who are not prostitutes too.

The Roots of the Modern Conservative Movement, or What Happened in 1992?

Most people date the beginning of the modern conservative or actually reactionary movement. Eisenhower and Nixon were conservatives – the Reaganites+ have been reactionaries or now even fascists. While it is true that Reagan kicked the ball first, it had already been ready for the kicker for a good 15-20 years.
The seeds of Reagan were planted in the Hostage Crisis in 1979 where Democrats came to represent weakness, spinelessness, wimpiness, and lack of masculinity. So Reagan was in part a toxic masculinity backlash.
The movement was truly birthed, as a birth defect, by Goldwater and the Birchers back in the early 60’s, but it never got much off the ground.
It rose again after the two Israeli wars, especially the 67 War, where American Jews, who had been lackadaisical about Israel, suddenly felt that all Jewry was in danger. They’ve been rallying wildly around Israel ever since. The 73 War was even scarier, as Israel was nearly overrun. Many US Jews went rightwing on the military and Israel and turned hard against the counterculture, especially the antiwar movement, as traitors.
In the early to mid 70’s, a large heavily-Jewish group of these newly-minted Jewish conservatives coalesced around Democrat Henry Jackson (the senator from Boeing), one of the worst militarists we have ever had. However, this movement was very small and had little to no power through the 70’s, and most Jews remained liberal as always.
It was in this swamp that the neoconservatives were born and fostered through Reagan’s various anti-Left contra adventures in various countries. Remember General Haig and Jeanne Kirkpatrick? The neocons then grabbed the country after 911 to install their neo-imperial project. Nevertheless, most US Jews remained liberal, and neocons only represent the 20% of Jewish conservatives who vote Republican. But the Bolsheviks proved how powerful a small and determined minority could be.
If you look at the Congress, Congress has been democratic since World War 2 all the way up until the early 90’s. People say Reagan changed everything, but Congress stayed democratic under him. From 1992-2018, a period of ~25 years, Republicans have often been in control of Congress. So the last 25 years have been more reactionary than the previous half-century 1945-1992. They’ve been on a rampage ever since, and it seems like every year they get even more insane and reactionary and move the Overton Window a bit further to the Right to create endless crazy New Normals that aren’t normal at all.
So I am wondering what happened in 1992 that made the country lurch to the Right and stay there ever since? Bill Clinton was elected and the Culture Wars of the 1960’s were reignited, with Hillary and Bill representing the 60’s Left and concurrent Liberation movements, and the conservatives representing the very large portion of the Boomers who hated and rejected the Counterculture. Most people don’t realize that about 50% of Boomers hated the Counterculture and sat it out, seething. War was declared as much on Hillary than on Bill, which leads me to think that the Billary thing was attack on the gains of the feminist movement as reflected by Hillary.
Anyone else have any other theories?

The Rich Only Support Democracy when the Elected State Serves their Class Interests, Otherwise They Try to Overthrow It

Zamfir: Thanks Robert. I appreciate the site, and it’s nice to feel welcome.
Obviously one problem in discussing this is that terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been given all kinds of different meanings. If economic conservatism is identified with free market ideology then I’m pretty ambivalent about that, at best. And if it’s identified with support for whatever this internationalist economic system is that we have now, I’m against it.
I find it very weird that people who are conservative about social and cultural issues often support “economic conservatism” of that kind. It’s so clear that these things are incompatible! Anyway I certainly have no problem with socialism per se. I would only disagree with certain versions, or cases where I believe socialism ends up being destructive of healthy families and cultures (in much the same way that capitalism can be).
As for democracy I’m not sure what I think about it. I think I’m a reactionary to the extent that I don’t believe that democracy, or any other specific system or procedure, is always good or always essential to a good society. My sense is that some democracies or kinds of democracy are fine, while others are really bad. It all depends on some many factors aside from the system or procedure itself.
I do want a society where the interests of most people, including the poor, are taken into account fairly. But I don’t see any reason why that could never happen in a non-democratic state. Or, more precisely, for anything that’s good about some democracies, I don’t see why certain non-democratic regimes couldn’t also have those good things; it would all depend on other factors such as the culture and history of the people, their typical behavior and beliefs, etc.
So I guess I’d support coups against democratic regimes in some cases–though things would have to be pretty bad–and also against non-democratic regimes in some cases. I don’t think coups are always bad. (In fact, that’s one thing that seems silly about a lot of rigid ‘conservative’ ideology–the wish to preserve order and the status quo no matter how terrible it’s become…)
You say the rich don’t support democracy. I wonder if that’s true. Maybe they don’t support the ideal of democracy, for the reasons you mentioned. But, again, bearing in mind the looseness of terminology here, they sure do seem to support systems that we normally call “democratic”. Is the US a democracy in your view?
Are England or Ireland or Canada democracies? If so, then I don’t agree that the rich never want democracy. My sense is that they long ago figured out how to manipulate these kinds of systems to get the results they want. They manage the perceptions and values of the masses so that they always end up “freely choosing” the same garbage that the elites wanted all along.
A good question is whether this is an inevitable feature of democracy. (I don’t know the answer.) It could be that in any feasible form of democracy, no matter how close it gets to the ideal, you end up with powerful interests rigging the process to maximize their own wealth and power. And I don’t like that, because I want the interests of ordinary people to be taken into account. Ironically, then, I’m skeptical about many forms of democracy because I think the masses deserve to have a say.
So I’d be against democracy in cases where ‘democratic’ systems are hijacked by elites and used against the people. That’s what’s happening in most of the western world, I’d say. Not to say I’d support a coup in this situation–and certainly not if the point of the coup was to install an even more extreme form of exploitation. But I’m not entirely sure what to say about democracy. I think the reactionary critique has merit. (But then, don’t communists also criticize democracy for roughly similar reasons?)

The Communist view is that seeking power peacefully would be a great idea except the ruling classes will never allow it to happen. They say that power never gives up without a fight, and I believe that they are correct. Nevertheless, most Communists support Venezuela, Nicaragua and only leftwing democratic countries. But the Communists would say, “Look what happens why you try to take power peacefully. You get Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti, and even Argentina.”
The ruling class will just overthrow the democratic Left state any way they can, always using anti-democratic means to do so. That’s why Lenin called people who supported the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.” He thought it was a great idea but it would never work because the rich would never allow the Left to take power peacefully.
The Communist view is also that you never have democracy under capitalism anyway, as the capitalists and the rich always ending ruling the state one way or another through all sorts of means. And yes, the rich and the capitalists always take over all the media in any capitalist country as you said, they use it to shape the view of the people to support the class politics of the rich. Such support being called false consciousness.
Gramsci said that the ruling class took over the entire culture in capitalist countries and brainwashed the masses into supporting the project of the rich. They did this via cultural hegemony. Marx said that the culture of the rich is always the popular culture in any capitalist country. So the ruling class turns all of us into “little rich people” or “little capitalists” to support their project. They brainwash us into thinking we are the same class as the rich and that we are all capitalists ourselves, so we should support Capital. These are lies, but most Americans are easily fooled.
Ralph Nader called this “going corporate” or “thinking corporate.” He says that in the US, most people adopt the mindset of the corporations and think of themselves are part of the corporate structure whether they are or not. If everyone is part of the corporate structure, then what’s good for corporations is good for all of us, which is the project of the Republican Party, neoliberalism everywhere, the Latin American rich, etc. It’s a big fat lie, but people want to be rich and a lot of workers want to think of themselves are busy little capitalist money-making, go-getter, can-do, Bossterist entrepreneurs because it seems to cool to own your own business.
And the Communists would call this false consciousness and their argument would be that under capitalism, most people adopt false consciousness.
I think in the US, the rich see the tide coming and the rule of the rich is going to end so they want to lock in as much of the state as possible by stacking the courts, gutting the safety net, massive tax cuts that will be impossible to get rid of, and that Constitutional Convention they are two states away from getting where they want to rewrite the whole US Constitution to lock in rule by the rich for as long as possible. The rich see the writing on the wall. That’s why they came up with the computerized elections scam, so they could steal elections as long as people kept voting against the rich.
The gerrymandering of districts now makes it almost impossible to get rid of Republican majorities on state representatives in the House and in Senators and Assemblymen in the states. It’s all locked in.
So as the rich saw the tide turning and demographics moving against them, they instituted a full court press to do all sorts of extremely anti-democratic stuff to stay in power. If the people would just vote for them anyway, they would not have to do that, but apparently most Americans have now turned away from the politics of the rich, so the rich will have to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power from now on.
Also they elected Donald Trump, by far the most corrupt, authoritarian and even outright fascist leader this country has ever had. And this follows too. Whenever there is a popular movement against the rich and the capitalists, the rich and the capitalists always, always, always resort of fascism to stay in power. This has been proven endlessly over time, even in Europe. Trotsky had some great things to say about this. Check out “Thermidor.” Trotsky truly understood what fascism was all about. It is a desperate last ditch move by the ruling class to seize power in the face of an uprising from the Left.
The rich and the capitalists are determined to stay in power, by hook or by crook, by any means necessary, and they will lie, cheat, steal and kill as many people as they have to just to keep the Left out of power. They simply will not allow the Left to rule. They must rule and if they are out of  power, they will use any antidemocratic means to get power back.
Which is the story of the CIA, the Pentagon and 100% of US foreign policy since 1945 and even before then. Read Samuel Butler.
I mean, we on the Left generally allow the Right to take power if they do so democratically. Sure they destroy everything like they always do, but most of us are committed to the democratic means of seeking power. Even most Communist parties will not take up arms against any rightwing government, saying they prefer to seek power by peaceful means. Typically, the CP will issue a statement that the nation is not in a revolutionary situation right now. There are objective conditions under which a nation is said to be in a revolutionary situation. I’m sure you can recall a few. It is then and only then that most CP’s will go underground and issue a call to take up arms.
Frankly, almost all Left insurgencies postwar were defensive. The Left allowed the Right to take power and then the Right started running around killing people. Usually the Left sat there for a while and let themselves get killed before taking up power. I know the Viet Cong just sat there from 1954-1960 while the rightwing Vietnamese government ran amok in the countryside, murdering 80,000 Communists in six years. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms, but the North kept denying it.
The Colombian, Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas only took up guns after the state had been running about murdering them unarmed for years. The Salvadoran guerrillas said they got tired of sitting in their homes waiting for the rightwing state to come kill them, and they decided that if the state was going to come kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves. They also took up arms because the Right kept stealing elections by fraud.
The Right had cut off all methods of seeking power peacefully, so the Left picked up guns. The message is if you elect a leftwing government, sooner or later the Right will overthrow it and then there will be a reign of terror where many Leftists will be murdered. Knowing that, if you were a Leftist in some country, would you not be afraid to put the Left in power knowing you stood a good chance of being murdered once the inevitable rightwing coup took place?
The Colombian and Honduran governments only stay in power by killing people. Lots of people. The Greek Communists only took up arms after the government had been killing them for some time.
Also once a Left government is overthrown by the rich and the capitalists, the new Rightist government institutes a reign of terror where they slaughter the defeated Left for many years. This went on for decades after 1954 in Guatemala, and it goes on still today. After Aristide was overthrown, the rightwing government murdered 3,000 of his supporters.
After Allende was overthrown, Pinochet murdered 15,000 people over a decade and a half. A threat from the Left prompted the Indonesian government to fake a Left coup and murder 1 million Communists in a couple of months. Even before the Korean War broke out, from 1948-1950, the South Korean government killed hundreds of thousands of Communists in the South.
As they withdrew when the North attacked, the South Koreans killed South Korean Communists everywhere they went. After the fascist coup in Argentina, the government decimated the Left, murdering 30,000 mostly unarmed supporters of the Left. The same thing happened in Bolivia with the Banzer Plan when Hugo Banzer took power after the tin miners briefly sought power. The new rightwing government in Brazil is already starting to murder members of the former Left ruling party. They’re not going to stop.
After the fascist coup in Ukraine, the Communist Party was outlawed and many of its members were murdered. War was declared on labor unions. Workers in one union were chained to a heater inside the building and the building was set on fire.
The party supported by half the population (the Russian speakers and their supporters) the Party of Regions, was outlawed, a number of its deputies were murdered and there were attempts to murder the leader of the party, lastly by setting his house on fire which set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. He fled to Russia. Now half the population and all of the Russian speakers had not party to represent them, which is why they took up arms. They were locked out of power.

"From the Mississippi Delta to South Australia," by Alpha Unit

Don Morrison salvages old galvanized sheet metal from sheds and farms throughout Australia. The older the metal, the better, he says; some of this reclaimed metal is over 100 years old. He takes it to his workshop in Summertown, South Australia, where he fashions it into metal-bodied acoustic guitars. Of his material he says:

Galvanised iron, or Galvo, is now an integral part of the Australian landscape and it seemed natural (to me at least!) to try it in a resonator guitar. The result is a truly awesome sound, very loud but with a surprisingly rounded tone. I should call it the Transcontinental guitar – genuine Aussie material, genuine Delta sound!

That “Delta sound” refers to Delta blues, one of the early forms of blues. This music arose in the Mississippi Delta, which, despite its name, is not a part of the actual delta of the Mississippi River. Rather, it is located in the northwestern part of Mississippi, bounded by the Mississippi River on the west and the Yazoo River on the east.

This alluvial floodplain is one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the world. It was here that Black field hands created the music we call blues, using chants, “field hollers,” and songs to make their work go faster. Ed Kopp writes:

While blues lyrics often deal with personal adversity, the music itself goes far beyond self-pity. The blues is also about overcoming hard luck, saying what you feel, ridding yourself of frustration, letting your hair down, and simply having fun.
The best blues is visceral, cathartic, and starkly emotional. From unbridled joy to deep sadness, no form of music communicates more genuine emotion.

Although the sound of a resonator guitar is iconic to blues, blues musicians didn’t start out playing the resonator. The earliest bluesmen played an instrument called the diddley bow.
The diddley bow has been called “the godfather of American roots instruments.” It is the simplest form of the guitar and is the first type of slide guitar used in America. It was very easy to make, consisting of a string of wire tensioned between two nails on a board. A bottle or can wedged under the wire would create tension for pitch. The player would pluck the string while sliding a piece of metal or glass on it to produce notes.

One-stringed bow instruments date back to antiquity and developed in various parts of East Asia and in the west coast and Congo regions of Africa. Rural Black Southerners crafted these instruments and taught their children to play them. They would sometimes build one-stringed zithers on a wall, “with a strand of baling wire, two thread spools for bridges, and a half-pint whiskey bottle for a slider,” as slide guitar player Big Joe Williams recalled to one researcher.

Boys who showed promise on the diddley bow could graduate to a guitar if they were lucky enough to get a hold of one. Musicians such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Elmore James, and B. B. King all first learned to play on the diddley bow.

Once musicians could afford guitars they quickly abandoned the diddley bow. And when the resonator guitar came along, they had a way to present their music to even larger audiences. The resonator, with its crisp metallic ring, created the signature sound of Delta blues. When you listen to Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Son House, or Bukka White – among many others – you’re listening to Delta blues. Others, such as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, started out playing Delta blues.

This Delta sound is what craftsmen like Don Morrison aim to re-create. His resonators, like the very first of their kind, have built-in amplification – a feature that came about by demand.

Back in the early 1920s guitar players performing with dance orchestras couldn’t really stand out from the other players. Since there were no amplifiers, guitars were considered a part of the rhythm section instead of lead instruments. A vaudeville performer and promoter named George Beauchamp wanted an acoustic guitar that could play melodies over the orchestral instruments. He turned to John Dopyera, a violin repairman and luthier whose workshop was close to Beauchamp’s Los Angeles home.

John Dopyera and his brother Rudy experimented with various designs to achieve a smooth and balanced amplified sound and decided to mount cone-like aluminum resonators, similar to speaker cones, inside a metal guitar body. Dopyera found that using three smaller cones instead of one big cone gave the guitar the sound he’d been looking for. The tri-cone resonator guitar was born.

Beauchamp was impressed with the new design and proposed a business venture to Dopyera, who agreed. They created the National String Instrument Corporation in 1927. National guitars quickly became best sellers. The company soon created a wood-bodied model.

There were differences, though, between Beauchamp and Dopyera. Beauchamp preferred a single-cone resonator, not only because it was louder but because it was cheaper to make. For Dopyera, excellent sound and quality were top priorities. The two men finally went their separate ways when Dopyera found out that Beauchamp had claimed the patent for the single-cone resonator. In 1928 Dopyera quit National, with the intention of manufacturing his own single-cone resonator. John and his brother Emil formed the Dobro Manufacturing Company (named for the Dopyera Brothers).

Because National held the patent for his single-cone resonator, John Dopyera had to develop a new style of single-cone resonator. The single biggest change that he made was to the bridge of the guitar.

On a standard acoustic guitar, the bridge is glued directly to the top of the guitar. It has several functions: it holds the strings securely, sets the spacing of the strings, and acts as an external brace to the guitar body. Its other important job is transferring vibrations from the strings to the soundboard of the guitar. On a resonator guitar, the bridge is a part of the resonator cone.
For single-cone resonators, the cone has either a “biscuit” bridge or a “spider” bridge.
The National resonator used a biscuit cone, which is convex (pointing outward). Inside the tip of the cone sits a round wooden bridge (the biscuit), and set into the bridge is a small piece typically found on a guitar bridge – the saddle. The saddle keeps the strings elevated at the preferred height above the fretboard. The saddle transfers the string vibrations to the bridge and the bridge transfers them to the cone. The cone in turn vibrates, moving the air volume inside the guitar out through the sound holes.

For his Dobro resonator, John Dopyera decided to make his cone concave (pointing inward) and used an eight-legged “spider” bridge which straddled the cone. The vibrations from the strings travel from the saddle and down the spider “legs,” providing the cone with eight contact rods for vibration. The result is a loud, full-bodied tone.

Resonator guitars became popular in both blues and bluegrass. Dobro-style guitars, especially wood-bodied ones, were preferred by many bluegrass players. Blues players tended toward National-style tri-cone resonators. But plenty of guitarists break with tradition and use resonators in their own preferred ways.

Players liked resonators because, being louder than regular acoustic guitars, they could play for larger crowds in rural areas that didn’t have electricity for amplifiers. Street musicians, who had to set up without amplifiers, liked resonator guitars for the same reason.

Don Morrison makes both single-cone and tri-cone resonators. For his popular Rustbucket model, he says he flattens the corrugated steel sheets by walking on them so he can fit them through his ancient set of sheet metal rollers. Some of this old metal will still bear the makers’ stamps: Trademark Redcliffe, for example, or Lysaght Queen’s Head Australia or Emu Best. You’ll see these stamps on the backs of his guitars.

On some Rustbuckets he takes naturally weathered Galvo and adds an artificially rusted cone and sound holes, giving the guitar a distinctive, vintage look.

When he isn’t building resonators, Don Morrison is performing music, often Delta blues. During the ’90s his band, The Elmores, played blues classics by Elmore James and John Lee Hooker. He and his band Prawnhead are also a part of a “roots revolution” in popular music.

We honed our style on the streets and markets of Adelaide. We found the faster we played, the more money we made. We don’t play blues or folk, we don’t play country, we don’t play bluegrass, nor do we play rockabilly. But we play a mixture of all of those. We call it bluebilly.

Image courtesy of Slide Guitar for Beginners

"Fishing on the Big Black," by Alpha Unit

The Big Black River, flowing southwest across Mississippi, is the site of a pivotal battle during the Vicksburg Campaign of the Civil War. After a decisive loss at Champion Hill, the Confederates reached the Big Black River on the night of May 16, 1863, under the command of Lt. Gen. John Pemberton, commander of the Confederate Army of Mississippi.

The Confederates constructed earthworks on the river’s east bank and placed 18 guns behind the works. Large sections of Pemberton’s line were protected by a bayou of waist-deep water. A planked-over railroad bridge and another makeshift bridge provided access to additional artillery overlooking the river on its west bank.

Union forces led by Maj. Gen. John McClernand encountered the Confederates early on the morning of May 17. It just so happened that the men led by Brig. Gen. Michael Lawler actually got to the Rebels first, wading through the bayou to overrun the Confederates on the east bank of the river. Inspired by Lawler’s attack, other Union formations surged forward.

Overwhelmed, the Confederates broke for the makeshift bridges to get to the west bank. Most of Pemberton’s men made it across, but Pemberton’s chief engineer set fire to both bridges to cut off any Union pursuit. Many of the Confederates tried to swim across the river and drowned. About 1,700 Rebels were stranded on the east bank and subsequently captured. It was the final battle before the Siege of Vicksburg.

After floods you can still sometimes find artifacts from the gunboat battles that took place on the Big Black River during the War. But most people on the river nowadays aren’t really interested in Civil War artifacts. The big payoff during springtime on the Big Black are flathead catfish – also called tabby cats, shovelhead cats, yellow cats, flatties, and who knows how many other names. The Big Black River will overflow her banks that time of year. As Cliff Covington tells it:

Foraging catfish move into the flooded timber in large numbers. Catfish anglers take advantage of this feeding frenzy by setting multiple trotlines in likely spots along the main channel. Chicken livers, cut skipjack, live goldfish, and pond perch are the baits of choice when a boatload of catfish is the big objective.

Muddy and slow-flowing due to the large amount of sediment it carries, the Big Black River is renowned for yielding blue, channel, and flathead catfish of what Covington calls “mythical proportions.” It is one of the premier handgrabbing destinations in the South. A handgrabber catches fish by placing his hands directly into a catfish hole, and some anglers are very good at it. Covington refers to Woodie Reaves, who says there is no better place for handgrabbing catfish than the shallow waters of the Big Black.

While Reaves’ personal best is a 93-pound whale of a catfish that he wrestled from its underwater bed just a few years ago, his group routinely lands up to 25 big cats, averaging 50 pounds each, every time they venture out on this stream.

Sportsmen say that the Big Black River is also a good place for bowfishing. Bowfishers use highly specialized bows to catch fish, usually on a boat set up just for bowfishing. Hunting fish using a bow and arrow isn’t new at all and is a traditional way of fishing all over the world. Bert Turcotte of Vicksburg has been an avid bowfisher since high school and says that anyone with a regular bow can also fish this way. As he told Phillip Gentry:

All kinds of bows can be used for bowfishing. People who like traditional archery can easily equip a recurve bow for fishing. Any compound bow can also easily be set up, but the range of draw weight is the key. Forty pounds of draw weight or less will get the job done here in Mississippi.

Unlike hunting bows, fishing bows come with reels for retrieving your prey.

In Mississippi you can legally catch carp, buffalo, gar, shad, bowfin, and catfish with a bow. There are restrictions, however, on when and where you can catch catfish in this way.
Gentry says that nearly all bowfishing is done at night when carp, buffalo, and gar can be found hiding in extremely shallow water. Buffalo and carp feed on aquatic vegetation and are especially fond of newly planted areas that have recently flooded from spring rain. Gar are the most commonly sought daytime species, he says, and can be found “sunning” in shallow water or lurking near the surface in deeper water.

Sean Ford of Madison, Mississippi, uses a gas generator on his bowfishing boat to power either sodium or halogen lights for night fishing. He says:

The platform will allow two of us to fish at the same time from the front as we ease along in shallow water with the trolling motor, looking for fish to shoot.

An angler will use a trolling motor on his boat in order to move quietly through the water. You don’t want to spook the fish.

The Second American Civil War, 2016-?

Great post from Judith Mirville.
The country’s pretty much gone at this point in so many ways it’s not even funny. The MSM has completely forfeited its role as arbitrator of truth and instead has transformed into one of the most monstrous propaganda systems the world has ever seen.
The Republican Party is two states away from calling a Constitutional Convention after which they will rewrite the Constitution to end any government role in the well-being of the nation’s citizens. They will also finally dissolve civil rights once and for all, a project they have been whittling away at for a while now. The Voting Rights Act was just overthrown,  taking us back to the 1960’s. The Housing Rights Act is hardly enforced at all. All Republican Presidencies completely defund this arm, and the Democrats don’t do much better.
Every Republican President who comes in completely defunds the EEOC, which is the arm of the government that enforces the Civil  Rights Act in terms of job discrimination. With the EEOC defanged, businesses are very to discriminate as they wish.
The Citizens United case was a dagger deep in the heart of democracy which showed that America was a nation whose only real citizens were the rich and the corporations. The rest of us are servants, peons, sharecroppers, bonded labor, serfs, helots, prisoners or ragamuffin vagabonds.
America is the land of the 1%.
There’s nothing here for the rest of us, the 99%. We are superfluous, and I suppose with the new Trump Wealthcare Act, we are now encouraged to up and die.
The death of what was once a respectable tradition of the GOP began with Ronald Reagan and the move to the Hard Right. The country has been on a rightwing juggernaut ever since, much to its detriment.
Since 1980, we have seen endless conservative treatises to the effect that we are a republic, not a democracy. This requires a bit of shorthand. Whenever a conservative says that, he means he hates democracy.  Conservatives always hate democracy everywhere and and at all times, as conservatism is aristocratic rule by the divine right of kings. This is antithetical to democracy on its very face.
Democracy is rule by the people.
Conservatism is rule by feudal lords, kings, rajahs, czars, Dalai lamas, warlords, emperors, sultans, furhers, generalissimos, caudillos, strongmen, militarists and leaders for life. It is rule by the richest men, the aristocrats, the 1%,  over the 99%, where the money and wealth of the 99% is progressively shoveled upwards to the conservative royalists until the people become more and more impoverished.
When a conservative starts going on and on about how we are a republic, not a democracy, you need to listen very closely to that. He is showing just how much he hates rule by the common man, by the workers, by the salt of the earth, by the people. The state only exists for those wealthy enough to purchase in order to rule in their own name and for their own ends and means.
Since 2000, Republicans have stolen many elections with the use of hacking of computerized voting machines. Indeed Trump’s recent victory was stolen. Not only did he lose the popular vote but he also lost the electoral vote and we can prove it.
Jonathan Simon of Code Red says that the era of election theft from 2000-2107 will be an era of increasingly extreme politics. His reasoning is quite simple. If the Republicans are going to win elections no matter how the people vote, then there are no restrictions on their behavior. They can do whatever they want to without fear of being voted our of office.
The politicians of the aristocracy (the Republican Party) are constrained by fears of being voted out of office. When they no longer have to fear being voted out of office, they can do whatever they want without any fear of the consequences.
Hence we see the extreme Republican Wealthcare Act that throws 23 million off their health care and pulls the plug out from under millions of newborn babies, tens of millions of children, half of the elderly and almost all of the poor. It’s a death sentence for countless Americans. That’s right. A lot of people are going to die, all so the rich can get a tax cut. The Top 400 earners in the US are going to get a $4 billion tax cut with this unspeakably cruel act. Ordinarily, politicians would be afraid to be thrown out of office for voting for such a monstrosity (81% of the public opposes it), but as the Republicans have rigged elections to always win, they have to fear of being voted out so they can act and vote fearlessly.
To me Trump is the proof that the country founded by Franklin and Jefferson rebuilt by Lincoln and Roosevelt just no longer exists: there is no longer any common soul uniting it. The Democratic and Republican parties, though both equally corrupt and dangerous for the survival of humanity, no longer refer to the same country and civilization.
The only thing equivalent elsewhere in the world is the difference between India and Pakistan or between Israel and Palestine: the difference between both in unbridgeable, and the only thing that can bring both under a common government is military occupation of one by the other.
Let’s get over it: Abraham Lincoln’s endeavor never succeeded actually: the Dixieland was occupied and wrought a slow motion revenge onto the rest of the country thanks to military industries and media industries being located in it. It is a different civilization altogether, where doing productive work, or worse still, harboring a mere mental concern for the common good, is considered a shame and something that should be reserved to prisoners and dark people having committed an offence in their previous life. The only other country like that on Earth is the Indo-Gangetic plain where Hinduism and caste are the law of the land.
Lincoln tried to give a common ideal to all Americans, the self-made man, the idea that however lowly is your station of departure in life, there is no limit to your success in life as an entrepreneur, an inventor, a scholar or even a president if you put it the right amount of the right kind of personal effort.
Get over it: the Dixieland never accepted that creed, it is a blasphemy of the God they adore not only as regards Blacks and Mexicans but as regards all social classes the Whites form themselves…and most of the Western Plains conquest was done by Dixielanders even though nominally under Union flag.
Kennedy, exactly one century later, seeing that both countries never united actually, tried to respect the Southern Civilization in the framework of a grander humanistic scheme by devising Political Correctness and multiculturalism as we have been knowing them, and it has proven equally futile an enterprise as Lincoln’s. The Dixieland and the Flyoverland just pounced upon the opportunity given by multiculturalism to enclose themselves in their own cultural no-go zones and also succeeded in having allied recently-immigrated ethnic groups in their enterprise.
However diverse is India, there is just no place in it for Pakistanis, they will rather consider nuclear war rather than accepting diversity of creeds: in the same way, in Kennedy’s new diverse America, there is no place for Dixieland; they already know that multiculturalism is a Marxist scheme organized by extraterrestrials to destroy natural law as they define it.
Secession is the only solution for America.
The present state of America is a Cold War between both countries with presumed spies and traitors from the other side being submitted to punishments and exclusion from professional work as harsh as in the Soviet-occupied parts of Europe (the only thing missing up to know is a new Berlin Wall as in Eastern Germany in the 1950’s just before they built it, but it is Trump’s promise he will never recoil from).
It is also a military occupation of Democratic America by a Republican government in a sweet revenge for the Reconstruction Era: when the Republican cut social programs, they don’t even do it to make their own 1% richer but to punish and crush back down in Third World style misery the 99% of the lands they feel they occupy like the Nazis did in German-occupied France and Eastern Europe during the 1940’s, together with the local 1% as collaborators.
Like the Hitler-led Germans they are ready to suffer themselves all kinds of miseries and revert to Feudal Age renouncement to all modern comforts just to go on with what they feel is their duty : killing once for all the civilization of the Enlightenment.
All KKK-approving lands should have been realistically subject to military occupation following that of Hitler’s Germany, and American citizenship be given back to their own people only on a piecemeal basis as to meritorious Germans at that time. The Civic Rights Movement should have been a military operation with humanistic militants trained for close combat during the Sixties and early Seventies, and devisers of the so-called Southern Strategy within the Republican Party should have been put to death for high treason before the foe.
All strategic industry, especially aerospace, military and media, should have been moved out of that perimeter into friendly territory. But now it is too late: they are the occupiers themselves. It is time for the decent part of America to organize military resistance together with foreign allied countries supporting or just tolerating humanism in the world however undemocratic they are themselves.
Make no mistake about it: the people of Flyover America, now onwards to be known as Murrica, consider all forms of upward social mobility and all endeavors to make the world better as the cardinal sin against their God’s law and the ability to make money in a zero sum game as the physical manifestation of their God’s grace.
They consider that over-educated people, that is to say educated beyond their own capacity to make money and for another aim than personal financial success, have forfeited their right to life, liberty and happiness and should be treated as Indian Untouchables. They actually stick to that dogma with far more fanaticism and less humanity than right-wing Hindu Indians themselves, most of whom abide by that rather play a humorous game in comparison, and all they ask from an Untouchable is not to be educated in Sanskrit and other sciences they consider sacred. They have no problem with one who succeeds to make himself known as an English writer.

PUA/Game: Single Men as a Societal Problem

Single men live much shorter lifespans because they don’t have a woman to take care of them. Men hate going to the doctor. Single men drink more, take drugs more, gamble more, eat poorly, do not mind their health, get into more fights with other men, commit more crimes, drive faster, and take more risks. All of that adds up to a shorter lifespan. Single men are actually a problem for society, and this was one reason that the marriage institution was put into place.
The Gold Rush was a great example of what happens when you flood a state with countless single men from all over the world with greed in their eyes, guns in their pants, and no women to control them. The crime rate in the Gold Rush was 20-30X what it is now. That was exclusively a feature of a hordes of single men, little or no law enforcement, lots of guns, and way too much gold and money. They had hangings in the Gold Rush camps every weekend. Men would get roaring drunk on Friday and  Saturday night, go to the hangings on Saturday afternoon, and clean up and go to church on Sunday. The few women who came to California were prostitutes, and there were not nearly enough of those.
Society realized long ago that single men were a problem and were bad for society. Landlords used to charge them higher rents because they caused more problems. Many occupations discriminated against single men. Eventually it became quite taboo to be single past a certain age when it would be assumed you were homosexual or there was something wrong with you. A lot of the prejudice was simply homophobia but it was also rooted in a deep conviction that the fewer single men you had around, the better and that marriage ameliorated a lot of societal problems.
Prescriptions on premarital sex for women and extramarital sex for everyone made it difficult for single men to get sex without paying for it. These restrictions on women were in part to control female sexuality as all societies do, but they were also as a weapon to be wielded against single men.
“You want sex? Well then, get married. You want to be a bachelor? No problem. No pussy then, guy.”
Back in my father’s day it was not an exaggeration that many men married for sex. Sure, they were in love with their wives too in many cases, but women really do not want to hear about how many men married for sex back then.

November 22, 1963: The Day the Music Died

A very nice comment from one of my commenters.
A friend of mine had lunch with a former attorney for LBJ who had worked in the LBJ Administration. He later got wrapped up in Watergate somehow, I believe as part of the prosecution. Keep in mind that LBJ’s own personal attorney says that LBJ was part of the plot to kill Kennedy. .Some of the gunmen were part of LBJ’s own “hit squad.”
Believe it or not, a lot of big US politicians have their own “hit squad goons.” I believe that George Bush did and I believe the Dick Cheney did too.
In fact, I think that Cheney’s goons killed Paul Wellstone by sabotaging his plane. Barbara Boxer herself has hinted the Cheney killed Wellstone, but she also hinted that everyone who knows is too afraid to speak on the record about it.
Bush’s goons will do things like break into your home, poison your dog, etc. His goons poisoned three dogs belonging to one whistleblower, killing all of them. Some of Bush’s enemies have ended up dead “drown in bathtubs” and by mysterious “heart attacks” in cheap hotel rooms.
Drowning you in your bathtub is a favorite CIA/Mossad/KGB intelligence agency way to kill people. I believe that all three of these agencies are capable of injecting you with a drug that will give you a heart attack and leave no trace.
This man, a high ranking member of the LBJ Administration, told my friend that JFK was killed by “the foreign policy establishment of the United States.” That’s a long way of saying Deep State.
Ever since then, I think every President knows that the punishment for going against the Deep State is “the Kennedy treatment.”
As much as I despise Trump, I realize that the Deep State has it in for him mostly for kissing up to Russia, telling NATO justifiably to go to Hell, and making pretenses at a less imperial foreign policy with fewer wars and armed conflicts.
There was an internal coup in the White House and Steve Bannon etc were sidelined in by a crowd around (((Jared Kushner))). (((Kushner)))’s group were the Deep State neocons. Soon after the coup, Trump attacked Syria as if he were ordered to by his new masters. Trump is now just another neocon in addition to being by far the most Jewish, or really Jewy, President in history.
These Alt Right antisemites need to think this over. Trump is New York, in flesh and bones. Forget Israel. New York is the Jewish state. These idiot Nazis are supporting a fanatical Zionist who is frankly the most Jewish President we have ever had. He’s a Judaized Gentile, but still, if you see Jewishness as a spiritual feature as opposed to an ethnic or religious one, Trump is surely more Jewish in spirit than any President we have ever had. Why these Nazis are falling all over themselves from President Donald SuperJew is beyond me. I think these guys didn’t get the memo.

RL: Everybody who was alive back then knows exactly what they were doing when they shot the President.
When democracy died. When the dream of America died with the Deep State coup. When the joke of American democracy was shown as the pathetic sham it’s always been, a think veneer for Deep State and oligarchic rule, the very story of America itself.”
CB: The day the music died.
Eisenhower warned in his farewell address of a dangerous military-industrial-scientific elite; he’d separately spoken of the CIA’s “legacy of ashes.”
Over the following three years, Kennedy, a womanizer and drug user who very likely owed his victory to vote fraud in Chicago,

  1. Engaged in back channel contacts with Khrushchev and Castro (the public didn’t know of course, but doesn’t the charge sound familiar?).
  2. Turned down the Joint Chiefs’ Operation Northwoods Plan to use false flag attacks (a precursor to 9/11) to justify an invasion of Cuba.
  3. Refused airstrikes in support of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.
  4. Fired CIA director Allen Dulles and his top deputy.
  5. Refused a first-strike nuclear attack during the Cuban missile crisis.
  6. Secretly agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets pulling their missiles from Cuba.
  7. Told associates he would splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the wind, etc.

The Deep State was mightily pissed with Kennedy, and Kennedy knew he was in danger.
The same Deep State still runs things of course, and they are much more open in their hatred for Trump than they were with Kennedy (Hillary was the Deep State/Establishment choice, beloved by the intelligence agencies (at least the people at the top), Goldman Sachs and the other big banks, the EU, the Bilderbergers, the CFR, the Chinese, Rupert Murdoch and most other billionaires, the Bushes, etc. etc. The same media types that covered up for the real assassins of the Kennedys and MLK (and continue to cover up subsequent Deep State crimes) are even more rigidly controlled now than during the days of Operation Mockingbird, open in their allegiance to their Deep State masters.
You don’t have to like Trump to consider that he, like Kennedy, has made some excellent enemies.
Peter, Paul, and Mary were good, and I even saw them in concert once, as well as at Newport. But the song that gave me chills in 1963, and still today, was Dylan’s Masters of War.

Peter Paul and Mary, "Puff the Magic Dragon"


Damn, this was one of my favorite songs when I was a boy.
It came out in 1963 when I was six years old.
When Kennedy got shot. When I saw my father cry for the first time sitting in the old chair grimly watching the flag draped coffin in the grim motorcade with the mournful music on the old black and white TV.
I remember where I was when I heard it. I was in a parking lot of a store. Then we were in the store. They shot the President! They shot the President! Everyone was running around this way and that, not making sense. Nothing was making sense. There was chaos everywhere you looked. The radio was turned on in the store, droning away with the brutal staccato newsmen’s voices. We went back out to our car. There was news, the same news, on every station and nothing else at all. It was in the afternoon, that’s all I know.
Everybody who was alive back then knows exactly what they were doing when they shot the President.
When democracy died. When the dream of America died with the Deep State coup. When the joke of American democracy was shown as the pathetic sham it’s always been, a think veneer for Deep State and oligarchic rule, the very story of America itself.
But this song was always nice. There was always something hauntingly beautiful about it. It’s a silly little kids song, but if it doesn’t warm your heart, then you don’t have one to heat up.
Listen and enjoy. From 1963! The concert, live from 1965. Dig those haircuts!

The War on Poverty Was Not a Failure

Jason Y: Sorry to be so in your face and frank, but why do you think the War on Poverty failed from an Alt Left viewpoint?

I do not think it failed in the first place and the Alt Left does not think it failed. The Alt Left supports the War on Poverty. In this way, we utterly reject the Alt Right which wants to wipe all those gains out.
How well did the War on Poverty work? I guess I would channel Deng and say, “It’s too soon to tell.”
But of course I supported the War on Poverty and I do not believe that it failed, at least not for the same reasons that the Right does. It worked great at least for a time, and we have a ton of evidence to prove it. They started Medicaid, Medicare, Section 8 housing, I think food stamps, all that stuff goes back to the War on Poverty. Of course the DNC wants to get rid of all of that. The Civil Rights Act went right along with it along with the now overthrown Voting Rights Act. The Housing Rights Act came later. The EPA was created around this time as was HUD.
It was a great thing, but they started to defund it after a while. In other words, they surrendered in the War on Poverty and quit funding it. And then to some extent things headed back in the direction that they were before.

Death to America? Sure, Why Not?

I am one of the worst America haters you will ever meet. I am a very happy person. I am not miserable at all. I go on living my life and just say the Hell with the country and assume it’s hopeless anyway. I really hate this country. I hate the government of course, but the government is put in by the people, who know exactly what the Hell they are doing. You can’t hate a government without hating the people who put it there.
This is actually rather painful to me as America is a part of me like my arm or my leg is. Hating my country is almost like hating my own body. It’s hard to take. I would much rather love my country, but how can you? That would be like loving a serial killer. How could I do that? I couldn’t do it if I tried.
Death to the US elites? When do we start? Some people need killing.
Increasingly our elite is even going against what the people themselves want. I am starting to really hate the US elite. Elites everywhere suck balls to the max because that’s all they can ever do in time and space generally. Elites suck because they are human. When a human turns into an elite, he automatically starts to suck if he didn’t suck already.
Our elites are true scum. I haven’t felt this much hate for them in a long time. What is really starting to make me mad is that now the people are starting to catch on to their crap, and they don’t care. They are just blazing right ahead with their elite project, and the Hell with what all of us think. Sheer, utter contempt for the population. What vile people.
Death to America? Good idea. I would love to say it’s too soon to tell, but I will die before then. Anyway it’s been looking pretty self-inflicted for some time now.
Death to the American government? That’s a thousand times more true than the first statement. The US government has sucked balls forever. Even when they get it right on domestic policy (Andrew Jackson, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, JFK, LBJ, and even Nixon), the foreign policy has always been horrific, even before 1900 when US foreign policy was US-internal for all intents and purposes.
Death to the American people? I have always felt this way, but it seems we are finally starting to act sensibly for the first time in many years. Its been ages since I felt any love for the American populace, but in the last year or so, I have felt those faint stirrings in my heart once again. God bless. I am even starting to think that the American people are sort of ok.
But the fact that 40-45% are perfectly willing to elect an incompetent, terrifying, psycho maniac as US President once again makes me think that people who say Americans suck have a good point. No decent people anywhere would come close to electing such a nightmarish nutcase. So maybe half the people are ok, and the other half ought to be taken out and shot, but it’s been that way since the early 90’s.
Bottom line is we have been a ferociously reactionary people for most of our history. What’s to love? Read Dickens and De Toqueville about how much we blew, and that was over 150 years ago. Sucking is in our blood.
Under George Bush, another shameful face of collective America not far off in memory, polls regularly showed that very high numbers of people hated the US and by extension its people. And who could blame them? Bush was the face of America. Sure, he stole the 2000 election (and the press knew that full well and refused to report it) and was sworn in by the most corrupt Supreme Court finding since Dred Scott. And he stole the 2004 election out and out with hacked voting machines but the press was again too corrupt to find out.
But still any decent people should have caught onto this and filled the streets until he left office head in hands.
Lousy people make lousy countries.
 

The Hell with the Pentagon

As the agency which enforces US foreign policy at gunpoint, the Pentagon has always blown.
First of all, there is no such thing as the Defense Department. When has the Pentagon ever defended the country? Pearl Harbor? They did a fine job there, huh?
Obviously the task of the Pentagon is not to defend the US mainland, which is all it ever ought to do anyway.
Its task is to running around the world starting wars and killing people in other countries. Leaving aside whether that is sometimes a good idea (and I think it is,) what’s so defensive about that?
The real name of the Pentagon is the War Department.That’s what it was always called until World War 2, which the War Department won. After that in a spate of Orwellian frenzy, we named an army of aggression an army of self-defense and comically renamed its branch the Defense Department.
It’s like calling cops peace officers. You see anything peaceful about what a cop does in a typical day? Neither do I?
There was a brief glimmer of hope there in WW2 when we finally starting killing fascists and rightwingers instead of sleeping with them, but the ink was barely dry on the agreements before we were setting up the Gladio fascists, overthrowing Greek elections and slaughtering Greek peasants like ants.
Meanwhile it was scarcely a year after 1945 when the US once again started a torrid love affair with fascism and rightwing dictators like we have always done. We were smooching it up right quick with Europe’s fascists, in this case the former Nazis of Germany (who became the West German elite), Greek killer colonels, Mussolini’s heirs, actual Nazis in Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Jew-Nazis in Palestine, Franco (who we never stopped sleeping with anyway), Salazar, the malign Mr. Churchill, the true repulsive Dutch royalty and disgusting European colonists the world over, who we showered with guns and bombs to massacre the colonized.
In 1945, a war against fascism, reaction, Nazism and malign colonialism had ended, and for some reason America had fought against these things instead of supporting them as usual.
1946, and we were back in old style again, hiring Nazis by the busload for the CIA, overthrowing democratic governments and putting in genocidal dictatorships, becoming butt buddies with fascist swine everywhere.
So you see we have always pretty much sucked. World War 1 was fought amidst one of the most dishonest propaganda campaigns the world had ever seen, the Korean War was a Godawful mess where we turned North Korea to flaming rubble with the population cowering in caves while slaughtering 3 million North Koreans.
The horrific catastrophe called the Indochinese Wars, such as the Vietnam War, the Secret War in Laos and the Cambodian Massacre, where we genocided 500,000 Cambodians with bombs, driving the whole place crazy and creating the Khmer Rogue.
Panama and Grenada were pitiful jokes, malign, raw, naked imperialism at its worst.
The Gulf War was a brief return to sanity but turkey shoots are sickening.
Of course that followed on with the most evil war in US history, the Nazi-like war on aggression called The War on the Iraqi People (usually called the Iraq War), the Afghan rabbit hole which started out sensibly enough but turned into another Vietnam style Great Big Mess.
I suppose it is ok that we are killing Al Qaeda guys and I give a shout out to our boys over there fighting ISIS or the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South-Central Asia, Somalia and Yemen. Some people need killing.
But I sure don’t feel that way about their superiors, the US officers who fund and direct ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc. out of an Operations Center in Jordan with Jordanian, Israeli (!), Saudi, UAE, and Qatari officers.
And it was very thoughtful of the Pentagon to cover up the Ukrainian Air Force shootdown of the jetliner which we saw on the radar of our ships in Black Sea.
And it was nice of the US to relay the flight path of the Russian jet to the Turks 24 hours in advance so they could shoot down that Russian jet and kill that pilot.
One hand giveth and the other taketh away. For every good thing we do in Syria and Iraq, we do 10 or 20 bad things. Pretty much the story of the Pentagon.
Sure if you fought in WW2 or one of the few other decent wars, you have something to be proud of, and I can even say, “Thank you for your service,” but the main thing is that you signed up for the rightwing army of the rich that is dead set against the people and popular rule everywhere on Earth. Sure, it’s a great army, professional, super-competent and deadly, but it’s generally tasked with doing lousy things. Why anyone would sign up for that reactionary nightmare of an institution is beyond me. America needs to level the Pentagon and put in a true People’s Army instead. Like that would ever happen.

The Foreign Policy of the United States of America

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.
Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.” Gen. Smedley Butler

This man was a general in the US military. And this is what he spent most of his time doing as a general in the US military – rampaging around Latin America overthrowing governments, raping countries, stealing resources and slaughtering people, all so US corporations could rule over their lands as de facto colonies of the United States. None of these countries were even given the opportunity to pursue an independent course of development. None of these actions were ever done in solidarity, instead they were all done in the name of neocolonial imperialism as part of the creation of the American Empire in Latin America, a project which is ongoing as I write this. That is correct, Latin America is still a colony of the United States. A few places tried to liberate themselves from US colonialism and achieve independence, and look what happened to them: Haiti, Grenada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, and Brazil. Earlier cases involved Guatemala, the Dominican Republican, Guyana, and Chile. Brazil and Argentina just got taken down and the Venezuela is finally in the process of being taken down after over 15 years of unrelenting US warfare.
As you can see, raw, naked US imperialism of the most vicious and brutal kind has always been the way of the United States, dating back all the way to 1900. So we were nice guys before that? Nope. We sucked in the 1800’s too. The US spent most of the 1800’s slaughtering American Indians, stealing their land and stabbing them in the back with fake treaties. That was when we were not invading Mexico and stealing and annexing Mexican land.
Although we didn’t do much in Latin America in the 1800’s, that was only because there was not much to do down there. The US did not have much of a foreign policy period, and US corporations did not tend to operate overseas. Further all of Latin America was in the hands of the vicious and voracious Latin American ruling classes which kept their nations in the most abject poverty and pitiful underdevelopment while the rich stole every nickel the economies ever created, leaving everyone else in rags holding the bag. Rule by the vicious 1% has always been a-ok with the US; in fact, this is how we prefer it. Any nation that overthrows rule by the rich to put in democratic rule by the people is usually taken out sooner or later by the United States, often using the very military that Butler lamented being a part of.
I would like to point out one very sorry thing. First of all, not one single thing has changed about US foreign policy since Smedley wrote those famous words. This is still exactly what US foreign policy in Latin America and to a lesser extent other places is composed of. And in between the time Butler is describing until our present day, what he describes has been US foreign policy the entire time. We’ve never had a decent foreign policy for a day in this country. Even the most liberal regimes pursued vicious foreign policies. FDR’s foreign policy in Latin America was monstrous – “Somoza may be a sonofabitch, but he’s our sonofabitch.” Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive reformer at home and a monster overseas. “Walk softly and carry a big stick” was his vicious, violent, brutal policy of conquest and dictatorial rule in Latin America. In fact, most of the continent was actually officially colonized under Teddy’s rule. This has always been the way in US politics. That disgusting foreign policy described by Butler has been fully embraced by both parties from Day One. The Democrats were down with it just as much as the Republicans. This is what was known as “the bipartisan foreign policy consensus.” The Democrats were only progressive on domestic issues. They were just as reactionary as Republicans on foreign policy. The two parties have always only differed on domestic policy. This year is no different. In fact, this year Hitlery’s foreign policy is actually much more rightwing and imperialist than even the Republican Donald Trump’s! Trump isn’t really an anti-imperialist, but he’s the closest thing to one in US politics – a good, old-fashioned isolationist. The upshot is that his foreign policy actually ends up being a lot more progressive than “liberal” Democrat Killary’s. Unbelievable! The Democrats are more rightwing that the Republicans!
There doesn’t seem to be any way out of this imperial bullshit. This crap has been the America way for so long that I am not sure that we as a country understand any other way of looking at the world. It’s gotten to where this vicious imperial foreign policy is the only thing we understand. We literally do not know how to act any other way. And when you get both parties in on the program along with ~100% of the media, you have what amounts to 100% US political, corporate and media elite consensus on the outlines of a foreign policy along with a full spectrum dominance way of promoting it. Poll after poll for years shows that Americans almost always support whatever shenanigans US foreign policy is up to at the moment. So the elites do not have to worry about the masses marching in the streets over foreign policy. Americans are always in complete lockstep with foreign policy probably due to media brainwashing. Deep state media control is so complete that the entire media spectrum typically supports anything and everything the Deep State does and believes foreign policy-wise. There’s literally no dissent. The media is that controlled, 100% controlled. With wall to wall 24-7 broadcasting, net and news publishing it’s no surprised that on foreign policy, Americans appear about as brainwashed as a North Korean.

Repost: The Smallpox-infected Blankets

Repost from the old site. This is actually one of the most popular posts on this site and it has been linked to from all over, including Takimag. This is one of the best pieces on the Smallpox Blankets story that you will find on the Net. As an aside, there is a lot about an utterly brutal war called The Pontiac War that most have never even heard of. Bottom line is that the Smallpox Blankets story is pretty much bullshit, but it’s bullshit that gets repeated endlessly mostly because it shows how evil we Whites are and hence fits the current anti-White narrative very well.

Oh, how the American Indians love this story! I’ve heard it endlessly.
Did you know that the US gave these evil blankets to Indians all over the country, even here in California? Or Hudson Bay traders gave them to Indians in Canada? That those blankets wiped out “generations” of Indians? That the US gave them out to reservation Indians in the 1800’s? That Puritans gave out the blankets to Massachusetts Indians?
Neither did I.
Ward Churchill said the US Army gave Indians them diseased blankets. He lied, and he should have known better.
It’s always nice to track down a myth, or is it really a myth?
So let’s track it down.
Turns out, Americans never gave smallpox blankets to any Indians anywhere at anytime. Not the government, not the Army, not anyone. So we are absolved on that one. The incident in question occurred in 1763, before there even was a USA, before there even were Americans. And American colonists (pre-Americans) didn’t do it either. It was the British that done the deed, and the one man who is always accused of doing it never even did it.
Further, it was in the midst of a horrible and genocidal war (on both sides) called Pontiac’s Rebellion, which occurred around the Great Lakes area during this time.
This was really a followup to the French and Indian War, with which the rebellion is often incorrectly associated. In the aftermath of that war, the area which had been ruled by the French was now ruled by the British. And the Indians, far from reflexively hating every White man around, had previously adjusted well to French rule and were angry about now being ruled by the British.
The Indians hated the deal they were getting from the British, who were treating the Indians very poorly. There were only a few colonial settlers around at this time.
The Indian goal in the war was to get the French back so they could live under French rule rather than British rule. Towards the end of the war, they may have even wanted freedom.
But freedom for Indians was never going to work out, at least in the short term, because they were stupid. Stupid? Yes, which is why in the mid-1700’s, when the civilized world was starting to get themselves a country or something like a country (monarchical empires), no way could the American Indians have made one.
Why? Because they were so stupid that they had endless deadly blood feuds with most of the surrounding tribes such that they spent way more time fighting and killing each other than they did the White man. Any country they would have gotten would have fallen immediately into mad civil war, with no adults around to sort it out and send one to one room and another to the other.
If you ever find any of those old adolescent novels about the settling of the pre-US Upper Midwest and Appalachia (forget the name), they are a great read. I spent my early adolescence at the library reading those books.
It’s interesting that in the mid-1700’s, these Indians were well-supplied with firearms. They didn’t invent any firearms, but they were smart enough to figure out their great value as weapons quickly, and they even got to the point where they were expert gunsmiths – experts at stocks, barrels and even gunpowder and pellets.
The Whites were selling and giving the Indians good quantities of muskets, pellets and gunpowder in this part of the colonial US at this time, but the stupid Indians were mostly using the firearms to kill their Indian enemies rather than to fight the Whites. This situation went on for decades in the US and seriously hampered the Indians’ anti-colonial wars of national liberation against the White invaders.
In Pontiac’s War, they added firearms to knives, hatchets (not a bad weapon), bow and arrow, flaming bow and arrow and even rocks and clubs. They ingeniously sawed off their muskets into sawed-off shotgun-type muskets so they could hide them under their blankets.
The Indians were horrible and vicious in the course of this war, and the British were too. But it was the British who were really getting pounded. Whole forts were being overwhelmed by 300-strong Indian armies, and after the storming, the Indians would kill everyone in the place, soldiers, women, kids, anyone.
The Indians were raiding towns, settlements and schools and killing every White they could find. These were some of the most hard-ass Indians in the history of the Indian Wars. Further, the Indians actually made an alliance of many tribes living in the area during this war, which is incredible, since the Indians usually hated their neighbors so much they would not even ally with them to fight the Whites.
In the course of the Pontiac Rebellion, a famous British general named Lord Jeffrey Amherst wrote a letter to his subordinate among the besieged British troops in one of the forts suggesting that they give the Indians smallpox-infected blankets. Turns out that this had already been done by that very subordinate. Simeon Ecuyer, the Swiss-born British officer in command of Fort Pitt, was the man who did it.
Although we do not know how the plan worked out, modern medicine suggests that it could not possibly have succeeded. Smallpox dies in several minutes outside of the human body. So obviously if those blankets had smallpox germs in them, they were dead smallpox germs. Dead smallpox germs don’t transmit smallpox.
In addition to the apparent scientific impossibility of disease transmission, there is no evidence that any Indians got sick from the blankets, not that they could have anyway. The two Delaware chiefs who personally received the blankets were in good health later. The smallpox epidemic that was sweeping the attacking Indians during this war started before the incident. The Indians themselves said that they were getting smallpox by attacking settler villages infected with smallpox and then bringing it back to their villages.
So, it’s certain that one British commander (British – not even an American, mind you), and not even the one usually accused, did give Indians what he mistakenly thought were smallpox-infected blankets in the course of a war that was genocidal on both sides.
Keep in mind that the men who did this were in their forts, cut off from all supplies and reinforcements, facing an army of genocidal Indians who were more numerous and better armed than they were, Indians who were given to killing all defenders whether they surrendered or not.
If a fort was overwhelmed, all Whites would be immediately killed, except for a few who were taken prisoner by the Indians so they could take them back to the Indian villages to have some fun with them. The fun consisted of slowly torturing the men to death over a 1-2 day period while the women and children watched, laughed and mocked the helpless captives. So, these guys were facing, if not certain death, something pretty close to that.
And no one knows if any Indians at all died from the smallpox blankets (and modern science apparently says no one could have died anyway). I say the plan probably didn’t even work and almost certainly didn’t kill any of the targeted Indians, much less 50% of them. Yes, the myth says that Amherst’s germ warfare blankets killed 50% of the attacking Indians!
Another example of a big fat myth/legend/historical incident, that, once you cut it open – well, there’s nothing much there.
The tactics in this war were downright terrifying. At one point the city of Detroit itself was surrounded and besieged for weeks on end.
Pontiac was a master tactician, and the history of the war is full of all sorts of evil acts of deception. Fake peace treaties and fake peace delegations. Devious Indian women working as undercover spies for both sides. Indian mistresses tipping off their White lovers to Indian attacks. And the converse, Indian undercover female agents, disguised as workers in the forts, secretly letting the Indians in to massacre the Whites, and Indian mistresses deviously leading their White officer-lovers and the soldiers under them to their deaths.
It took forever for the British to resupply the forts, and many reinforcement missions were ambushed and annihilated by Pontiac’s men. It was not a good time to be White in the Great Lakes region, no sir.
At the end of the day, no one won the war, neither the Indians nor the British.
The Indians had foolishly allowed themselves to become dependent on the fickle Whites for gunpowder and pellets, which the Indians quickly ran out of when the Whites wisely quit supplying them during the hostilities.
Lesson: don’t buy your war supplies from the enemy. When war breaks out, he’ll cut you off.
A little-known aspect of US colonial history.
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How Did Blacks Become 25% White?

To Trash:
American blacks are supposedly 14% – 20% white and this is surprising to me.
So many English colonists pulled their pants down and raped African girls in the Deep South?
Certainly there were violent sexual assaults by white men on black women but you need to look clearly at the early history of the US and slavery. Consider the following – no more than 388,000 black slaves (and some freemen) arrived on the US shores which led to the current 42 million black Americans which are predominantly derived from those slaves reproducing with each other, native Americans, whites, and Chinese plus later immigration from the Caribbean and Africa.
For the first 150 years of European immigration (and black slave importation) into the US blacks and whites could and did intermarry legally and FWIW the first slave owner was allegedly a black man. The color line (and laws to enforce such) became more rigorous after Bacon’s rebellion in the late 16th century. So with such a small population combined with loose rules for more than 100 years it’s not surprising that there were many voluntary unions between blacks and whites.
18% of the mtDNA of black women in the US is European in origin, meaning at some point these women had a white female ancestor which I doubt resulted from a white woman sexually assaulting a black man. Also there were multiple voluntary unions between blacks and whites after the civil war and blacks in Northern states, where slavery was banish before the civil war, have a higher percentage of ancestry than Southern blacks. If the British/US whites had the same sexual attitudes towards black women as say the Portuguese in Brazil, we’d probably have a “black” population that was majority white.

In fact, many of these unions were voluntary. Towards the end of the slavery era into the 1800’s, the plantation economy became so huge that the population of slaves was not large enough to do all the work. Many lower and working class salt of the Earth White types in the South began working in the fields alongside the Blacks. They were paid wages while the Blacks were slaves. Although one would expect these Whites to be brutally racist, in fact, they were a very downtrodden group themselves who had more in common with the slaves than with the rich Whites.
The atmosphere in the fields was congenial and White and Black workers worked side by side in harmony. As one might imagine, quite a bit of romance and sex grew out of this proximity and there were a large number of Black-White unions resulting in mulatto children, mostly from White male workers and Black female slaves. These unions were mostly consensual.
Also there was a lot more consensual sex between slaves and the master’s family and friends than you might believe. Many Black female slaves quickly figured out that sex with the master or his relatives was a great way to earn lots of nice privileges, including moving from the fields to the house and all sorts of other goodies, including possibly even freedom.
After Liberation, there was a lot of sex between Blacks and Whites in the South. White women were very puritanical and were expected to be virgins until marriage and White men were supposed to protect their honor. It became nearly a ritual for White men to lose their virginity on the wrong side of town with a Black woman. There were also quite a few more or less clandestine Black female-White male unions in the South on the wrong side of town, although generally Whites did not care much what young single White men did with their dicks on the other side of town.
Deep into this century, Black women often reported being groped, sexually harassed and propositioned by White men as they walked down the street or went about their business in town. This sort of thing occurred in broad daylight. Alpha told me that some of her relatives related that White men had expressed interest in them and that is was very common in the South of their time. Really no one much cared if White men had sex with Black women, as they were seen as loose, slutty, and fair game – basically free prostitutes. Perhaps the actual sex should be kept out of the public eye somewhat. Young White men often regaled each other with tales of sexual romps on the wrong side of town.
This was sort of an open secret in the South. Everyone knew about it, but you were not supposed to talk about it.
The only real taboo was children resulting from these White male-Black female unions. Any child born of these unions was simply lost to the Whites and White society. The White men would not raise such a child and marriage or living with the Black woman was a no-no. So she simply raised the child herself and the child was raised Black as a part of Black society.
With enough of this going on, you ended up with some awfully light-skinned “Blacks” over there on the wrong side of town and it became common for such folks to try to get a leg up by “passing” as White. Many were in fact able to pull this off (Black women perhaps more than Black men) and there have been a number of books written on this topic including some well regarded works of literature.
Those who “passed” could have sex with either Blacks or Whites in both cases of which the offspring would be light enough to pass for White. If “passers” or light-skinned Blacks had sex with Blacks, the result was lighter than the Blacker partner. Light-skinned Black men were often brighter, more educated and had more money and hence were sought out by Black women for social climbing. In addition, lighter skilled Black women with Whiter features have always been prized by Black men who selected for them to a high degree.
Recent studies show a convergence of Black and White skull phenotypes since the Civil War. It is almost as if we are merging towards a common single race.

Ugly Race Riot in Milwaukee

I am just hearing about this right now, but it has been going on for a couple of days now ever since Saturday night, August 13. There was more rioting on Sunday night on August 14 and early this Monday morning on August 15.
This is a very ugly race riot. It reminds me of the Watts Riots and the LA Riots in 1993. The things that remind me of those riots:

  • Ongoing rioting for more than a day. A riot lasting more than a day is always an ugly riot.
  • Multiple buildings looted and seven businesses set ablaze or destroyed.
  • Eight police wounded. That’s a lot.
  • Heavy gunfire through much of the rioting. During the very bad LA riots mentioned above, there was usually a lot of gunfire such that police were often pinned down and unable to respond.
  • People wounded by gunfire. People getting shot is always bad news. A lot of people got shot in the Watts Riots.
  • Attacks on fire trucks and firemen. When they start attacking the fire trucks and firemen, you know it’s a bad riot. There were a lot of attacks on firefighters in both LA riots. The Watts Riots were especially bad in that regard.
  • Attempts to pull White motorists out of their cars so they can assault them. This is how the famous assault on Reginald Denny occurred in the LA riots. This sort of thing was also going on in the Watts riots. When a bad race riot like this breaks out, all Whites really need to stay the Hell away and not go lookie-looing at it.
  • Two police cars set ablaze and several more damaged. When they start setting police cars on fire, it’s always a bad riot.

When things like that start happening, it is more than just a police riot. Now you have an out and out race riot similar to the ones we had so many of back in the 1960’s.

August 13, Night

Several cars, including one police car, set on fire.
BP gas station, O’Reilly auto parts store, beauty supply store and BMO Harris branch bank set on fire. The gas station was looted before it was burned.
Supermarket and liquor store destroyed.
Metro PCS along with other stores looted.
When police arrived, gunshots were heard. Firefighters could not put out gas station fire at first due to gunshots but eventually got the fire under control. Rioters attacked fire trucks with bricks. One fireman injured when hit with a brick. Reporters and photographers attacked. One shoved to the ground and assaulted.
Four police wounded.
17 rioters arrested.

August 14, Night

Crowd threw objects at police.
White man shot and wounded near the rioting, apparently by Black rioters. Possibly targeted due to his race. Police needed armored car to retrieve him.
Rioters attempted to pull White motorists out of their cars in order to assault them them.
Gunfire reported. 30 shots fired during the rioting.

August 15, early AM

Three police cars and one BearCat vehicle damaged.
One vehicle and one dumpster set on fire.
Windows broken on store.
Four police wounded.
14 rioters arrested.

Repost: The Fake White Slavemaster Rape Epidemic

Here.
This is an oldie but goodie that got posted around a lot back in the day. It even got linked on Amren, though sadly all the comments have been deleted, though you might be able to find them on Wayback Machine. Why Taylor deletes all of his old comments I will never understand. The Amrenners ate it up.
Amren was actually rather more tolerable back then back when Ian Jobling was running the show. He was trying to do something different with the pre-Alt Right, and honestly I think he was sort of an incipient Alt Left guy all along. He finally had enough of being half retard at Amren and left to form his own site, which was sort of an early Alt Left split from the Alt Right. It was sort of like Amren for decent, sane, intelligent people. But then something weird happened and he did a complete 180 to become a completely nuts SJW antiracist.
Half retard to full retard is never a good thing like any reversion, but at least he wasn’t evil anymore. That’s right. SJW’s aren’t evil. They’re just brainwashed and deluded, the poor things. I agree that their hearts are in the right place, and Michael Levin, who has spoken at Amren conferences, agrees with me on that. Their hearts are right, but their brains are wrong. And the biggest fool of all can never be fully evil as long as their hearts are properly anchored. Resisting evil always deserves a tip of the hat.
This about sums it up. Written by a Black Caribbean man.
One of the conceits of the militant Black movement in the US (in practice, that means most US Blacks) is that they are convinced there was some evil White rape epidemic against Indians and Black women. According to this hate Whitey line, White men are the biggest rapists in the past 500 years, or I guess ever. The whole history of White men has been a history of rape of Indian and Black women.
When a Black woman looks in the mirror, she sees centuries of violence, of rape, evil rape, in her veins, in her soul, in her genes. This was a sexist campaign of extermination against Black women. We White dudes conspired to pollute their illustrious and Nobel Prize winning Black gene pool! Such a crime against humanity! And we thought we were just “mejorando la raza” as they call marrying and breeding up-White in Latin America.
What’s curious about all of this is that White dudes pretty much stopped raping Black chicks altogether in recent years. Most of you have seen the figures that drive White nationalists into conniptions. 37,000 White women raped by Blacks every year. Zero Black women raped by White men every year. So, the greatest rapists that ever lived have suddenly knocked it off for decades now.
What happened? For one thing, it’s not legal anymore. At one time, it was about legal for a White to rape a Black woman, and maybe for a Black man too. No one cared. Black female victims did not count.
An interesting figure is that by 1865, 75% of US Blacks were yet unmixed. Yeah, some rape epidemic. Any Latin American country can do better than that. Now, supposedly 75% of US Blacks got some White in dey veins. Now, how’s abouts did dats happen? I figger a lot of sexin of White guys and Black ladies afta 1865. Mostly consensual, too, I bet.
There is a phrase in the South that women cringe at. It’s called “splitting the Black Oak”. It means that young single White guys, back in the day, before sex was free and all that, would go lose their virginity and become a man by sexing a Black girl or lady. They lived on the other side of town and no doubt could be had for a price. Women and girls have never given it away for free too much, sadly.
At the time, loose White chicks were probably in short supply in the South, and most single White women were probably virgins. So you want to pop your cherry, you head over to the dark side of the tracks. Probably not much raping going on here. Black women were very poor and probably screwing White was moving up in the world, as it is to this day. White men offered money, favors, whatever men always do. Black women were happy to trade.
Much of the fake rape epidemic occurred from about 1830 on. After slavery was outlawed, it was awfully costly to go buy yourself a slave. By 1830 or so, 30% of workers in the fields were White “wage slaves” working for hourly wages alongside Black slaves. By 1860, it was 70%. Slaves by that time were largely contained to the largest plantations. No one else could afford one.
The Civil War, like Sendero’s rebellion in Peru in the 1980’s, was a race against time. Slavery was dying anyway. By the Civil War, a slave cost $60,000 in today’s dollars. Few could afford one. We have many reports of owners distressed about White workers having sex with Black female slaves, often for money or various favors. These women were slaves, and they needed every break they could get.
It’s well-known that many slave owners had mulatto mistresses, often to the wife’s consternation. She was a kept woman. For a slave, this was moving up in the world big-time. No doubt it was voluntary on the part of many female house Negroes.
The same Black women who scream that we White guys are the Greatest Rapists That Ever Lived also fume that we say Black women are “unrapeable”. The ultimate insult. Cognitive disconnect anyone? These same Black women fuming about the White male as the most evil creature that ever stalked the Earth openly admit that they want to marry and have kids with a White man.
Go figure.
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The Initiative Process and the Perversion of Direct Democracy

Direct Democracy is supposed to be the fairest type of grassroots democracy. Yet I feel that absent extensive education of the masses, Direct Democracy is often a polished turd.
The US initiative process is a good example of Direct Democracy perverted. The initiative process in the US is Direct Democracy, but the results are as often pro-ruling class as against, which is not how you would expect the masses to vote. One problem is that the initiative process was hijacked in recent years by large corporations and the rich.
The initiative process was initiated in the early 1900’s as a way of fighting such malign institutions as Standard Oil and the Southern Pacific Railroad. These corporations had such a deadly grip on the US political process and media that they nearly ruled the country. Nothing could be done about them. The only way to challenge this Dictatorship of the Monopoly Corporations was via direct vote by the citizenry. The initiative process hence was began as a progressive process of taking issues directly to the people to challenge corporate and ruling class power when the other branches of government were too controlled by Class Power to limit it in any way. The initiative process was a reform process.
Perversely, this progressive reform via Direct Democracy was by the end of the century largely taken over by the ruling class and especially the large corporations, the very things that the process was put in to fight against.

White California RIP

The past is never dead. It's not even past. Except for maybe this scene here.
The end of an era. The past is never dead. It’s not even past. Except for maybe this scene here.

I was born three years after this photo was taken, but the California of my youth was not a lot different from this. Everybody likes to ridicule this era as being too White or too conservative or too racist or too homophobic or too this or that, but it sure was a nice place to grow up.

I hung with this rockabilly crowd 35 years ago. They were ok, but their motto seemed to be, “Yeah! Let’s all go back in the 1950’s!” I laughed about it then and I laughed about it now. It was better in some ways but worse in a lot of others, and anyway, you can never go home again.

Nevertheless, we now have an overcrowded, poverty-infested, drought-striken, politically bizarre, UN Freakshow with Banana Republic demographics and collapsing ecosystems.

The rich on the hills above with their military base-like guarded perimeters. Spreading out down below are the festering slums, often as far as the eye can see.

In the morning, you see the dark-skinned California poor marching up the hills to work as low-skilled laborers in the white-skinned California lands of the rich. At the end of the, the dark poor march back down the hill in the growing darkness to their homes in the slums.

It could be San Salvador. It could be Lima. It could be take your pick. It’s Latin America Reprised. Extreme wealth next to serious poverty and a shrinking middle class in between. Yep, California, the grooviest, hippest most leftwing progressive state in the Union, has decided to copy banana republics as its development model.

What does this mean? How about this? California at least has finally de facto separated from North America to become a part of the Americas, just another Latin American country. Got to wonder when the caudillos, the death squads and the guerilla priests are going to show up. It can only be a matter of time.

Sure from our perspective, the 50’s blew, at least to the extent that we don’t want to go back there.

But there’s a strong popular suggestion today that the California of 2015, this surreal Banana Republic Circus, is better than those uptight Wonder Bread Eisenhower years we all love to ridicule. Of course it’s different. As different as two different planets. But better? Really?

I don’t know man, I just don’t know.

One thing’s for sure. See that White California 1954 in that photo? It’s gone. And it ain’t never coming back.

RIP White California.

"Is a Meal Break This Big a Deal?" by Alpha Unit

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was a landmark piece of legislation that changed life as working Americans knew it. Among the things it brought about are the 40-hour work week, the national minimum wage, guaranteed “time and a half” for overtime, and the end of what it called “oppressive child labor.”
But progressives in California were ahead of the federal government on worker protections. Twenty-five years before Congress passed the FLSA, California created the Industrial Welfare Commission to establish regular wages, hours, and working conditions in California. The state continues to enforce Wage Orders mandated by the IWC.
What most people would consider obvious requirements for workers has been the subject of intense litigation in California for years: providing meal periods and rest breaks. It’s common sense that people working all day need breaks. But workers and employers have been fighting it out in court over this issue regularly in California. Employers say that providing a meal break isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.
Under California law, workers are allowed:

  • a 30-minute meal period for every work period of more than 5 hours
  • two 30-minute meal periods for every work period of more than 10 hours
  • rest periods at the rate of 10 minutes per 4 hours worked, in the middle of the work period if possible
  • an additional hour of pay for each day that the employer fails to permit the meal period or rest break

Employers, however, find these rules cumbersome and vague, says Allen Matkins. The issues confronted by employers are:

  • What does it mean to “provide” a meal period?
  • Do meal periods have to be provided in rolling 5-hour increments?
  • Are early (or late) lunches allowed?
  • Must employers ensure that their employees actually take these mandated breaks?
  • Are meal and rest period claims suitable for class action adjudication?

According to the California Restaurant Association, these regulations can be a headache for supervisors, who feel they have to play lunchroom cop. Clocking in after a break even one minute early subjects restaurant operators to class action lawsuits. It also says these laws are inconvenient for employees.

  • Many table servers are forced onto mandatory breaks in the midst of the busiest times of day when many would prefer to delay or forego a break to collect more tips.
  • Others would prefer to work through their break to be able to leave 30 minutes early to go to school, pick up kids, and so forth.

But employees aren’t of one mind on how inconvenient these regulations are.
In 2004 five employees of Chili’s restaurant filed a case, Hohnbaum v. Brinker Restaurant Corporation, in which they claimed the restaurant illegally denied them meal and rest breaks. They said that the restaurant would have them take “early lunches” shortly after starting work and then work them another 5 to 10 hours without receiving another meal break.
They also said that they should have received a rest break before the first meal period and that they worked “off the clock” during meal periods.
Brinker argued that meal periods need only be “provided” as set forth in the Labor Code. Whether or not any particular manager discouraged or prohibited breaks should be decided on an individual basis and not as a class action.
The case was indeed certified as a class action involving more than 60,000 current and former employees. Brinker appealed this order and prevailed, with the Court of Appeal vacating each subclass. The California Supreme Court accepted review and agreed to settle the uncertainty over meal and rest breaks and the suitability of these claims for class action.
The California Supreme Court finally ruled in 2012, siding with Brinker. It stated:

  1. An employer’s obligation to “provide” a meal period is satisfied if the employee is relieved of all duty for an uninterrupted 30-minute period and is free to leave the work premises. The employee can use the meal period for whatever purpose he or she desires.
  2. An employer does not have to ensure that no work is done during a meal period. Nor is the employer liable for a meal period premium if the employee chooses to work (unless he or she is pressured to work).
  3. The first meal period must be provided after no more than 5 hours of work. The second meal period must be provided after no more than 10 hours of work.
  4. Rest breaks and meal periods do not need to be taken in a certain order.
  5. A 10-minute rest period is owed for every major portion of 4 hours after an employee works 3 and a half hours. Thus, an employee is entitled to 10 minutes rest for shifts from 3 and a half to 6 hours, 20 minutes for shifts of more than 6 hours up to 10 hours, and so on.
  6. Meal and rest period claims can be suitable for class action litigation if the employer has a uniform policy that conflicts with break requirements.

So you would think that the issue of meal and rest breaks in California was made simple by the Brinker case. But it wasn’t. Companies can claim that they are exempt altogether from complying with meal and break regulations. This was the issue in Dilts v. Penske Logistics.
Mickey Lee Dilts, Ray Rios, and Donny Dushaj worked for Penske Logistics and Penske Truck Leasing. At the time in question, Penske provided transportation and warehouse management services to Whirlpool Corporation in California. Employees inventoried appliances and loaded them onto trucks for delivery and installation.
Dilts was a “driver/installer.” Rios and Dushaj were “installers” whose job was to unload and install appliances at their destinations.
Penske had a systematic policy of automatically deducting 30 minutes of work time to account for daily meal periods. It didn’t ask whether workers actually had a 30-minute meal period. Furthermore, company policy didn’t permit the driver/installer to leave the truck unattended. Workers had cellphones for communicating with dispatchers, supervisors, and customers during the day but Penske didn’t allow workers to turn off the cellphones during breaks.
In spite of all this, the issue wasn’t simply whether Penske violated California law but whether those laws were preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994.
The FAAA Act declares that a state cannot enact or enforce any law involving prices, routes, or services of any motor carrier that transports property. Penske argued:

  • California’s law would force drivers to alter their routes. They would have to look for a place to exit the highway and locate stopping places that safely and lawfully accommodated their vehicles.
  • The law would require 1 or 2 fewer deliveries per day to schedule off-duty meal periods.
  • Off-duty meal periods and rest breaks would reduce driver flexibility and interfere with customer service.
  • The law would significantly impact prices. The company would incur the cost of additional drivers, helpers, trackers, and trailers to ensure off-duty breaks and maintain the same level of service.

The US District Court ruled for Penske in October 2011. But the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling, saying that meal and rest break laws are not preempted because they are not the sorts of laws related to price, routes, or service that Congress intended to preempt. Instead they are normal background rules for all employers doing business in California.
The Obama administration had filed a brief supporting the workers in this case, saying that the FAAA Act did not preempt state break requirements because it is squarely within the states’ traditional power to regulate the employment relationship and to protect worker health and safety.
Penske appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Among those who filed in support of Penske were the American Trucking Associations and the United States Chamber of Commerce. But the Supreme Court denied the petition. Dilts, Rios, and Dushaj prevailed after 6 years.
Does this mean there won’t be any more litigation in California over meal and rest breaks for workers? If only it were that simple. Employers and workers have a hard time seeing eye-to-eye on when and how a worker should take a break.

"The Rise, Fall, and Reinvention of an American Company," by Alpha Unit

Overseas competition mortally wounded the Faribault Woolen Mill Company. It finally died in 2009 and joined the ranks of similarly disposed of American companies, all casualties of the ongoing quest for “cheaper” manufacturing.
At the time of its demise, the company was nearly 150 years old. It had been created in 1865 when a German immigrant, Carl Henry Klemer, entered the woolen mill business after arriving in the village of Faribault, Minnesota. Prior to the Civil War, most woolen goods in this country were imported. Says Peter J. de Carlo:

After the war, domestic wool manufacturing increased as the country became more industrialized. The growth of wool production was aided by the Tariff Acts of 1867. The acts provided protection for domestic wool makers and made them more competitive. In Minnesota, the 1860s saw the beginning of many woolen manufacturing companies.

In 1882 Klemer moved his business to a building on the Straight River, in Rice County, Minnesota. A succession of fires over the next ten years ultimately destroyed the facility. In 1892 Klemer bought property on the Cannon River, built a fireproof brick building, and replaced the wooden dam that powered the mill with one made of stone.
During this period, the Faribault mill picked up a military contract with West Point that allowed the business to expand.
The company grew slowly during the early 1900s but built on its success with the military after being awarded a contract with the US Army in 1917 for 100,000 blankets. It also manufactured blankets for the military during World War II. In the postwar years Faribault led its industry with new products like washable wool and moth-proofed wool, with its profits peaking during the 1970s.
Things began to change during the 1990s. A lot of woolen manufacturing had moved offshore, and high-tech synthetics were beginning to inundate the market. Faribault was struggling. In 1998 a majority of its stock was acquired by a businessman named Peter Lytle who was based in the Twin Cities. The company became a subsidiary of a new entity, North American Heritage Brands, which also bought a cotton mill as a hedge.
North American Heritage Brands wasn’t up to the task of saving Faribault. The entity went bankrupt, taking both mills down with it. The Faribault Woolen Mill Company was finished.
The owners shut the mill down abruptly. Employees were asked to leave their posts; blankets were still on the looms half-woven. Nearly everything, from office supplies to spinning machines, was left behind.
To make matters worse, the mill flooded in 2010. The entire lower level had been filled with unattended machinery. According to John Mooty, everything that was still working was tagged to be shipped to a manufacturer in Pakistan. The rest was to be liquidated, and the facility would finally be emptied.
What was left of the once-thriving company was the empty building and the rights to its name and brand. Someone came along and decided that these were worth holding onto. That was John Mooty’s uncle, Paul Mooty, and Paul’s cousin Chuck Mooty. After consulting with the mill’s former controller, the Mootys decided that reviving the mill would deliver a good return on investment. They reopened the mill in September of 2011 and brought back many of the employees who had been let go.
“In less than six months, we went from not having a single usable restroom to selling goods in 50 states,” says Paul Mooty.
The new owners had decided at the outset on a particular strategy, according to Adam Platt. They were going to get the acrylic out of their products, for starters. But more importantly, they saw no point in trying to compete with output from India and China. They were going to bring their products back as a brand.
A major selling point was that Faribault’s products were American-made. Paul Mooty says that a lot of people are seeing now that the country has paid a price for shipping so many jobs overseas. The Mootys see great value in reviving a historic Minnesota business that they don’t want to see tossed by the wayside. In addition, they believe the art of textile manufacturing should be kept alive in America.
The Faribault Woolen Mill Company creates its products from start to finish under one roof, making it one of the last fully vertically integrated manufacturers in the United States.
Some analysts, including the Mootys, say that small manufacturers are going to be the key to bringing back jobs to the United States that big businesses sent overseas. Says Chuck Mooty:

The Chinas of the world were wonderful places for people to get value, but the middle market players are frustrated with rising costs of labor, energy, and transporting products. This is the time for people to step up and take some risks and invest in ventures that produce and manufacture products domestically.

It’s true that manufacturing in America includes many small businesses. Will the “Made in America” movement be the job creator people expect it to be?

The Values of America Are Freedom and Democracy!

Yeah right.
What do you call this?
Guess what? That operation supposedly ended in 1971, but the truth is it was never really shut down. The operation itself was shut down, but all of the illegal tactics used in the operation continue to this very day.

The CIA Is Everywhere


You know, I used to hate this guy, but I think now I am actually starting to like him. For some reason, he reminds me of Oliver Stone.
The former governor of Minnesota and former US Navy Seal has some interesting tales to tell about the CIA. It seems they are everywhere. They are probably under your bed as you are reading this as a matter of fact.
Personally, I think the Agency is completely out of control. We never used to have a CIA. We went through all of WW2 without one and we one anyway. The birth of the CIA occurred in 1946 when Wartime Intelligence was folded into the US state as a permanent entity. That is around the time when the National Security State was birthed. It’s nice to blame rogues like John Foster Dulles, but I really blame Truman for this whole mess. Truman birthed the CIA, the National Security State, and he really ramped up the Cold War like crazy. I used to be fond of him as a domestic liberal. But like most Democratic Party domestic liberals, he was completely reactionary when it came to US foreign policy.