In the US, It's Illegal to Boycott Israel

Is it illegal to boycott any other state on Earth? Of course not.
In fact, boycotting is official state policy; it’s as American as Mom, apple pie and baseball. If you try to not boycott certain countries, you can actually go to jail. What countries? Oh, evil, diabolical countries like Cuba, North Korea, Syria and Iran. Got that? Try to do business with any of them, and you go to jail. You can’t even translate their stuff from Syrian Arabic into English. That’s called “doing business.”
Why can’t we do business with any of these countries? Because they are “enemy states”, and apparently we are at war with them. Officially at war? Of course not. So are we at war, really, with Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria? Not really. So how can we be at war and not at war? You  tell me.
And why do I, an independent businessman, go to jail if I refuse to do business with an Israeli on the basis that I am boycotting his shitty little country? Because I live in a free country, where freedom and democracy reign, and we even spread it with guns all over the world.
Get that? In the US, it’s illegal to boycott Israel, as a private businessman! WTH?

The Mutual Intelligibility of the Scandanavian Languages

In the comments section, heg clears up some of the nonsense about the dialect chain in Scandinavia. It’s commonly held in Linguistics that Danish, Swedish and Norwegian form a dialect chain where they can all understand each other, more or less. Heg points out that this is not really true.
First of all, Heg says that in Jutland, in Denmark, a language called Jutish is spoken. I was aware of this, but I was not sure how different Jutish was from the rest of Scandinavian. Jutish speakers can understand Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, but Danes, Norwegians and Swedes can barely understand a word of Jutish.
Heg also points out that Scots, a separate language from English spoken in Scotland, sounds much like Jutish. He says if you can understand Jutish, you can understand Scots.
This is very interesting, because Scots really is just an Old Saxon lect, let’s face it. Three tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, from southern Denmark and northern Germany, migrated to the UK in the 600’s.
This Germanic tongue became Old English, which, if you have ever tried to read Beowulf, is quite unintelligible to English speakers. As an aside, there is an Old English Wikipedia, there are Old English conferences and magazines, and there are even speakers, readers and writers of Old English! Why people want to learn dead languages is beyond me, but it’s better than committing suicide by fork like most Americans do for a hobby.
Heg says that Swedes can also understand Norwegians and apparently vice versa, though he did not elaborate on whether Norwegians could understand Swedes. Norwegian TV shows are regularly shown on Swedish TV, and most Swedes can understand them just fine.
Likewise, Danes can understand Swedes, but crucially, Swedes can hardly understand a word of Danish.
Further, there are lects inside of Sweden that are not intelligible to a speaker of Standard Swedish, for instance, Dalecarlian. In fact, Dalecarlian itself is split into multiple varieties that are not even intelligible with each other.
There are lects way up on the northwest coast of Sweden near Norway, in Bohuslän that are not intelligible to other Swedes. Gutnish, spoken on the island of Gotland, is not intelligible with Standard Swedish. There are also some highly divergent and unintelligible lects way up in far northern Sweden such as in Överkalix, Västerbotten, Norrbotten and Piteå.
Scanian is not fully intelligible with intelligible with Swedish, although this is controversial. Jamtska is said to be fully intelligible with Swedish..
Heg says that most Danes understand most Norwegians and vice versa.
One of the Norwegian spelling systems was copied over from Danish (Norway was long a Danish colony), and the other was a nationalist response to this that was based on the Norwegian language actually spoken in Norway at the time. So began the Bokmål and Nynorsk wars in Norway.
It’s freezing cold up in Norway, and when they aren’t being evil progressives and engaging in The New Anti-Semitism, Norwegians sit around and engage in the stupidest fight over language that I have ever heard of. Oh well, if it’s that cold, you may as well argue about just about anything if only to warm yourself up.
Bokmål is the one taken from Danish, and Nynorsk is the nationalist one based on Norwegian. They are not so much ways of speaking as they are ways of writing.
Bokmål is clearly more popular, but Nynorsk just won’t go away. You would think that one would be championed by the Right and another by the Left, but it’s not so simple. The Left often champions Bokmål, the language of the colonizer, and Right often supports Nynorsk, the nationalistic tongue. As in other parts of Europe, nationalists here are often rightwingers instead of leftwingers.
To make things even more insanely confusing, there are various forms of Bokmål and Nynorsk, including forms associated with the working class or rural areas and forms that are more urbanized, upscale, etc. While it is true that the Left supported Nynorsk in the 30’s as some kind of populist gambit, by the 60’s, things had reversed. 60’s radical hippies were championing the working class forms of Bokmål. Since then, the Right seems to be taking the Nynorsk mantle.
There is also something called Riksmål, which I guess is transitional between Bokmål and Nynorsk? And there is something called Høgnorsk, which is some kind of purist Nynorsk or something. I’m getting confused just writing about this stuff.
After spending an hour or so reading about this language fight, I still can’t make heads or tails of it. I always try to narrow complex issues down to make them more understandable, but this is one case where I could not do it. The fight makes no sense in sociopolitical terms. It’s about as sociopolitical as people arguing about which way to put the toilet paper on the roll, in or out.
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Standard French Was Not Based on the Parisian Dialect

A very smart female commenter (Why is that foreign women always seem so much smarter than American women?) corrects me on an earlier post in which I said that Standard French was based on the Parisian dialect:

I’m afraid you are wrong saying standard French originated from Paris. Bernard Cerquiglini, in Une Langue Orpheline shows Standard French was in fact elaborated by the “British” administration in today’s western France (Normandy, Anjou) and mixed with other local scripta (the Picard and Champenois ones).
Its adoption by French kings came later. The “Parisian origin” was a construction of French republican ideologists of the XIXth century. As a government lingua franca, it has become more and more distant from local, non-written, dialects of French.

Excellent. I love learning stuff like this.
What’s important is that as a government lingua franca, it has moved further and further from local forms of French, which in most cases, are actually separate languages altogether! See the cases of Picard and Champenois above. Those and other forms of “French” are not intelligible to speakers of Standard French. How do they communicate? Via Standard French.
A very similar thing has occurred in Germany with Standard German, in which a wide ranges of other forms of German are spoken in the country in addition to Standard German. Most of these, like the French lects, are not yet recognized by Ethnologue (only Picard is recognized, and, but Normand, Bourguignon, Champenois, Franc-Comtois, Gallo, Poitevin, Santongeais and Lorraine, (all apparently separate languages, not dialects as Ethnologue states, as I believe that they are not intelligible with Standard French) are not.
As for Angevin, Berrichon and Bourbonnais, I am not sure if those are dialects of French or separate languages.
In Germany, many more German lects are recognized by Ethnologue as separate languages, for instance Alemannisch, Bavarian, Cimbrian, Colonia Tovar German, Eastern Yiddish, Kölsch, Limburgisch, Luxembourgeois, Mainfränkisch, Mócheno, Pennsylvania German, Pfaelzisch, Plautdietsch, Low Saxon, Upper Saxon, Lower Silesian, Schwyzerdütsch, Swabian, Walser, Westphalien, Western Yiddish.
So you can see that there are 21 different kinds of German, mostly spoken in Germany, which are not intelligible with Standard German. There are actually more than that, and I have to do a writeup on that some day.
Similarly, in Italy, there is Standard Italian, and then there are a variety of other Italians, many of which are separate languages. I will go through the Italian lects at another time.
The lect chosen as standard is often rather artificial, though it is often based on the language of a large city, often the capital. I think that Standard Dutch is based on the Amsterdam dialect, but correct me if I am wrong.
Over time, the standard form tends to drift further away from the other lects, though there is also a reverse tendency whereby the other languages start to wear down under the influence of the standard language, and come to resemble the standard language more and more.
We find this happening in Germany, France, Italy and China, where the other Germans, Frenches, Italians and Mandarins are starting to look more and more like the Standard language as they come under pressure from the standard language.

David Kelsey Has a New Site

David is a regular reader of this site, and yes, he is Jewish. His site is  called The Kvetcher. I think he had it up on another site before, but it was in conjunction with a bunch of other writers.
David seems to be a progressive Jew who couldn’t care less about Zionism or Israel. I think, like some of my other Jewish commenters, he just wants nothing to do with either one. They’re not exactly anti-Zionists; they’re just sitting it out. They’re happy in the US, they’re never going to Israel, they seem dubious about the whole project, and they have little or no connection with the place.
I’m not Jewish so it’s hard for me to say what I would do if I were a Jew. But as my Jewish former gf never failed to remind me, screeching, “Admit Bob!! You want to be a Jew! You’ve always wanted to be a Jew!” I sadly had to admit it was true. Just another sorry goy longing to don the kippah.
Nevertheless, I’m not Jewish, so it’s kind of dicky of me to say Jews should do this or that.
Still, the position taken by Dave and others seems to be laudable: as far as Zionism goes, the less said the better, I don’t want to talk about it, and if you’re selling aliyah, thank you very much, but I’m not buying.
Dave and the other Jews on the site are also reasonably (not shrilly and insanely like so many Jews) opposed to anti-Semitism, which makes sense if you are a Jew.
Keep in mind that not all Jews oppose anti-Semitism. I’ve always held that Zionists love anti-Semites as long as they are not too deadly.
This was confirmed for me in correspondence with a hard rightwing Israeli, former high-ranking member of Israeli society, who runs a site which I can’t name since I’m reporting his email comments. He told me in private conversation that he and others like him on the Israeli Right actually like anti-Semites, since they prevent the assimilation of the Jews. And hasten aliya, I might add.
As you can see, there are folks on both sides who have a Machiavellian stake in keeping these fires burning away.
Dave’s a great writer and a really smart guy. I don’t know why, but I actually agree with him a lot.

Does Israel Deliberately Target Civilians?

In the comments section, Dano points out some of the Israeli crimes in the Gaza attack, including targeting the UN building and the use of white phosphorus.
I am convinced that Israel was directly targeting civilians in this Gaza incursion and that they do so regularly. The UN seems to agree with me.
The reason is to make the civilian population pay for supporting Hamas, the PLO, Hezbollah or whoever. Are they trying to kill every civilian in sight? No way. If they were even halfway trying that, there would be 13,000 dead in Gaza in 2 weeks and not 1,300.
So it’s complicated.
They shoot at civilians, ambulances, journalists, hospitals, UN buildings, etc. sometimes, but not all the time.
The message for targeting the places where the refugees were huddled is that “no place is safe.” This is what will happen if you support Hamas, Hezbollah or whoever. This is what happens if you let Hamas, Hezbollah or whoever shoot rockets at us or attack our troops.
The message, as Marty Peretz says in The New Republic, is “don’t fuck with the Jews.” Peretz’ comment set off a lot of criticism, even amongst progressive Jews. If you let these armed groups attack Israel, we are going to invade you. Don’t think you are get away by being a civilian and hiding in the UN building and letting the armed guys take the heat.
Forget that. There will be no mercy for civilians. As a civilian, you will be attacked, in any place you hide, no matter how safe or secure. So keep these damned armed groups on a reign or this will be your punishment.
It sort of works, as you can see – Hezbollah has engaged in few, if any, attacks on Israel since the Lebanon invasion.
For a long time, I did not believe that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians. Their whole thing is we are White and Western and most civilized army on Earth, so we don’t do that shit.
But if you dig around, you find that they definitely do, but it’s in pretty judicial amounts. Do a lot of digging into the attack on the Qana Base in Lebanon in 1996 and it’s obvious that Israel deliberately hit it. There were no Palestinian fighters shooting from the UN school, the UN relief agency, the Islamic University, or lots of other places.
In the case of the UN school where 40 civilians were killed, there were fighters, but they were a couple of streets away, not firing from the building. So, did Israel target the UN school? I’m not sure, but I am starting to think that maybe they did.
There was no firing whatsoever from the UN relief agency either.
It’s well known that Israel and its supporters despise the UN as anti-Semitic. This is a tragic statement. The UN is nothing more than all of the nations on Earth. If these Jews really think that almost all the nations on Earth hate them, then that’s sad and it’s getting into psychopathology, notably paranoia. Is it true? Does nearly every nation on Earth hate Jews? That’s an incredibly dubious proposition.
But keep in mind that the Israelis lie like maniacs, too. First we never used White Phosphorus, now we did use it, but only to light things up. I doubt it. They used it to terrorize the civilian population into knocking off the rockets. Amnesty International has accused Israel of a war crime in using white phosphorus in a heavily built-up area such as Gaza. Amnesty International is a pretty subdued organization, so if they accuse you of war crimes, that’s pretty hard-hitting stuff.
As far as DIME and depleted uranium, Palestinian physicians are saying that they are finding it in victims. I think it’s quite possible that Israel is using DU in Gaza. After all, their munitions come from the US, and many US munitions now include DU, because it is one kickass weapon.
We have a lot of reports that civilians were shot as they were waving white flags and fleeing, that IDF troops stood there and shot civilians over and over as they stood near them.
The response of Israel is always, “These Arabs are lying.” But I’m quite sure that these stories are true.
Once that argument is demolished, the Israelis always say that “they missed.” In general, that doesn’t seem to be the case either.
It’s classic counterinsurgency doctrine that you always arrest, beat, torture, shoot and kill the civilian supporters of any insurgency. Just about every counterinsurgency in the last 100 years has been fought this way. It’s never enough to get just the armed guys. You go after their civilian support base too. It’s called “draining the sea to kill the fish,” and it’s taught at US military schools, for sure at the School of the Americas.
What does a state have the right to do in a counterinsurgency? They can pass laws that outlaw supporting the guerrillas. You can arrest people, take them to court and try to prove that they are supporting the armed group in some way or another. But that never seems to be enough.
States almost always end up committing mass murder of civilians in any counterinsurgency. An exception is Spain’s war against the ETA, but that was not a very hot war anyway.
What can a state do with fighters? Well, try to arrest them, if you catch them in civilian clothes and you think they are a guerrilla. Take them to court, charge them with terrorism, rebellion or whatever, and try to convict them. Typically, states just kill anyone suspected of being a guerrilla. Or they arrest them, take them into custody, and kill them.
Typically, they utilize “non-state actors” like death squads to do this sort of nasty business. Death squads are typically state security forces in civilian clothes. Problem is it’s often hard to prove in court that someone was a guerrilla.
So the rule of law usually gets suspended in a counterinsurgency, and lots of folks just get socked away on “no charges” for God knows how long, or “disappeared.” Sometimes the disappeared turn up alive, but mostly they are killed. When states do go the legal route and try to convict guerrillas in court, it’s not helpful that insurgents often threaten judges and witnesses in the cases.
Peru is a recent example of a state that somewhat went the legal route (at the same time they were committing mass murder against civilians) in its war against the Shining Path. The legal route was not working, so Fujimori came in, created a dictatorship, abolished the rule of law, and crushed the insurgency. He arrested an incredible 15% of the population over the next 1 1/2 years, but he dealt a serious blow to Sendero.
If you strike enough terror into the civilian population, they won’t support the insurgency anymore. Tragically, this does work. Terror works. Nevertheless, it’s terrorism.
You can make just as good of an argument for Al Qaeda’s attacking British, Spanish, Australian and US civilians in the London bus bombings, the Spanish train bombings, the Bali bombings and 9-11. Al Qaeda, as bin Laden has made clear, is attacking the civilian support base of the enemy forces. This is just as moral or immoral as any counterinsurgency on Earth attacking and killing the civilian support base any non-state armed group.
Supporters of counterinsurgency, prove me wrong here! Show me you’re not just as bad as any terrorists out there?
I will point out that Hezbollah, Hamas and the rest are obviously committing war crimes too. They’re deliberately targeting Israeli civilians, right?
I would also note that hardly any armies fight fair in war anymore. Show me an army that is fighting a war or fought a recent war which fought fair and did not commit war crimes? We include counteringencies here. Pretty hard to find, huh?

On Israeli Fears of Palestinian Intentions

In the comments section, a commenter quotes Ahmed Rami the Radio Islam site and wonders what he means by “Hatred, force and ethnic cleansing never originate where self-determination, freedom and justice are guaranteed.” Rami is a notorious anti-Semite Moroccan Arab from Sweden. However, he does have some interesting stuff on his site. He’s a big fan of the Palestinians, so that’s what that quote is all about.
On the other hand, Rami is fanatically in favor of Morocco’s colonization of the Sahrawis’ land in Spanish Sahara, which is awfully close to what the Israelis are doing in Palestine. There’s a reason Morocco has so many UN resolutions against them. By the way, the US has always backed Morocco’s colonization of Spanish Sahara to the hilt.
What Rami means is if Jewish Israelis had “guaranteed self-determination, freedom and justice” for the Palestinians, there would have been no need for Israelis to engage in “hatred, force and ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinians.
On the other hand, the Israeli Jewish argument is that the Palestinians, given half a chance, would not “guarantee self-determination, freedom and justice” for the Jews in Israel, and would engage in “hatred, force and ethnic cleansing” of these Jews.
Statements by Arabs to the effect that “we are going to drive them into the sea” and whatnot haven’t helped to assuage such fears. Arafat himself, asked what would happen in a free Palestine with Jews and Arabs living together, said that the Palestinians would “engage in psychological terrorism” to make the Jews leave.
Hamas has recycled some of the most noxious and notorious anti-Semitic bullshit and stuck it right in its founding charter. It has also refused to amend this charter despite some major efforts by Gulf Arabs at Doha a while back to do so. Doha is where a lot of the Hamas leadership spends quite a bit of its time, by the way. I think they also spend a lot of time in a North African country, possibly Morocco, but I could be wrong.
There’s also some choice Islamic anti-Semitism in that charter that says at the end of the world, the Muslims are going to chase all the Jews on Earth down and kill all of them. Yeah, Mohammad wrote that.
Hamas’ leader, Sheik Yassin, said that all of the Jews in Israel who could not trace their ancestry back to 1917 (Balfour Declaration) would need to take off. The Zionist movement actually began before Balfour, but I guess Hamas is being generous.
Islamic Jihad, in a statement by the leadership in 1992 on their website, is willing to let all Jews stay in Israel, hopefully provided they live under Islamic Law. Their basis for this was that Jews had always lived in Palestine. I haven’t seen any recent statements.
Al Qaeda’s position is that all Jews in Israel need to take off. Even Al Qaeda doesn’t say that they are out to kill all the Jews in Israel! Or at least not now, anyway. Anyway, under any of the Islamic groups, Jews could always stick around provided they convert to Islam. I realize that’s little consolation to 99% of Israelis, but it’s not the same as Hitler’s race-based genocide that tragically left Jews with no out whatsoever, condemned by their genes.
Even the PFLP “bases” reportedly still hold that a free Palestine “must be Arab“, with Jews, if they are present, as a minority in an Arab land. I don’t see how “Palestine is an Arab state” is any more democratic than “Israel is a Jewish state.” Any pro-Pallies want to help me out here?
As far as the PFLP leadership, no one seems to quite know what they think, but Leila Khaled has taken on Hezbollah recently for suggesting that the Jews in Israel all have to take off, based on Islam. She said the PFLP position is that Jews and Arabs can live together in Palestine, and said that the PFLP rejects Hezbollah’s religious-based anti-Jewish position.
Some of the PFLP base people like the Free Arab Voice take the position that all the Jews need to take off too. No one saying this says how they are going to accomplish this task, although the FAV page linked does say that they propose “armed struggle to throw the invaders out of Palestine.”
The original PLO Charter of 1964 signed by Arafat said that all Jews must take off other than those who can trace their ancestry back to 1917. That’s my take on Article 7 after I read some other documents surrounding this typically mealy-mouthed declaration, plus I knew some hardline Arab Commies who read it that way. Balfour again.
So the saner Jews in Israel who might not mind living with lots of Arabs are afraid that the Arabs don’t want to live with Jews as much as so many Jews don’t want to live with Arabs. I must say that unfortunately there is something to their fears.
Nevertheless, even the hardest line factions like Hamas and the PFLP (the ultimate hardliners – one Islamist and the other super-secular Marxist) have more or less said in a mealy-mouthed way that they will support a 2-state solution. Both say they will support it “for the time being” as a temporary solution. Neither one really comes out and says that, but if you read between the lines, that seems to be what they are saying.
Hezbollah, as hardline as their rhetoric is, says that they will support whatever solution that the Palestinians agree to, no matter what it is. If the Palestinians agree to 2-state, Hezbollah isn’t going to say, “Forget that, we are still fighting.” Iran pretty much says the same thing.
So the notion that all of the Arabs are still committed to “throwing the Jews into the sea,” as my dear 87-year old Judeophilic father insists, just does not seem to be the case. On the other hand, are the Arabs ready to join hands with Israeli Jews, sing Kumbaya, and live in peace happily ever after? Well, not that either.
Once again, it’s comlicated.

Ok, Jews Do Run Hollywood

My bad.
I thought things were getting better, but I guess not. I know a local cinematographer who was working in Hollywood 1/2 the time and up in the Sierra Nevada the other half the time. This guy was an out and out anti-Semite, and he insisted Jews ran the whole place. He said you just have to deal and not freak out about it. That’s the way it is.
Looking through the movie ads, it’s hard to see. The lower rungs of the movies, judging by the credits, are quite Gentile these days. In particular, tons of Italians. I’m told they took their Mafia bucks and moved them legit into the movies, Vegas and corporate America, but who knows if that’s true.
This article still pretty much clinches it. Even the CEO of Fox is Jewish. They’ve still got NBC and CBS. Turns out that the National Alliance may be right after all. Darn. I was hoping one of the worst anti-Semitic “canards” of them all was not true. Guess I’m wrong.
So, what to do? Jewish influence is waning nevertheless. This latest crap in Gaza seems to have been the icing. A lot of Americans have just about had it now. They don’t think much of Arabs or Palestinians, but more and more, when you bring up Israel, you get a frown. Even from my hopelessly Judeophilic relatives.
Israel seems to be losing the NY Times and the Washington Post. That’s a good argument right there that Jews don’t run those papers. My commenters from Israel tell me that Super-Jews consider the Sulzberbergers to be lost. They’re all marrying into Gentiles, and they’re lost to the Jews. You can make a good case that the Washington Post never was all that Jewish. Ben Bradley seem Jewish to you?
On the Daily Show, Jon Stewart (yeah, Jewish), staunch cheerleader against Iran and Hezbollah and fully behind the Israeli War on Lebanon in 2006, has about had it. During this Gaza War, he was slamming away at Israel. If you lose the Daily Show, you lose most of under-30 America. Israel’s already losing the Internet, and The Huffington Post seems gone now. That’s the left wing of the Democratic Party right there.
The Lobby really needs to sit down and think hard about this fuckup. They think they won big in Gaza, but as far as public opinion is concerned, they are just piling up the losses.
If you read the Israeli press (I do, diligently, and I recommend it highly for anyone interested in the conflict) the Israelis all think they won this conflict. 100-1 wins in any contest, contact or otherwise. Fine, you, the World Series Champs, win 100-1 against the Little League. Pat yourself on the back. But you lose the Public Opinion War. Israelis like to blow that off, but do they do this at their peril? Curious minds want to know.

"A Jewish and Democratic State"

Tom Segev is ok, and as far as Israeli intellectuals go, he’s a shining star. Like George Habash, we need to praise every little bit of positive movement on the part of progressive Israelis. Segev is one of the “New Historians” so despised by the Israeli rightwing for, well, telling the truth? Even this truth has been rather hedged lately as folks like Benny Morris have started to cave under overwhelming attacks from their fellow Jews.
What’s telling is how Segev keeps repeating this phrase over and over, tick-like, “Jewish and democratic state”. You can Google “Segev” and “Jewish and democratic state” and find that he says this phrase the same way clocks chime the hours. He can’t help it. He’s just programmed to say those words.
But as we think it over, we being sensible folks, doesn’t the argument of the recently-banned Balad Party in Israel (secular Left Arab party loosely allied with the Palestinian PFLP containing not only Arabs but some leftwing Jewish supporters) seem to make sense? Balad says it supports an Israel of all of its citizens, not just Jewish ubermenschen. I guess they got banned for that. All Arab parties must now sign a pledge saying that they support Israel as a Jewish state. As long as that is the case, if you are an Israeli Arab, why bother to vote?
If you’ve gotten this far, I should not have to point this out: A “Jewish and democratic state” is obviously…an oxymoron? Zionists please, prove me wrong here. I mean, it can be either a Jewish state or a democratic state, but it can’t be both at the same time, you know?
Segev is one smart guy; he must know this phrase is oxymoronic on some level. So why does he keep spouting nonsense? Zionism is a secular religion?
P.S. Ditto for all those “Islamic states” out there. You guys don’t get a pass!

Ownership Not Required – An Examination of Jewish Media Control

It’s commonly said that in the West, the Jews run the media. Who says this? Anti-Semites, and some folks who are not anti-Semites.
I have a degree in journalism and I worked in the field for a bit.
At one time, Jews were pretty dominant in the US media, but I’m not sure anymore. Papers are not that profitable anymore, and more and more, they seem to be getting bought out by standard corporate brands as just another business and way to make money.
Putting the Washington Post, Newsweek, etc. in with the Jewish media is problematic. Katherine Graham is not Jewish. Her Dad was Jewish. She’s not even Jewish under Jewish law.
Half-Jews or folks with some Jewish ancestry sometimes have some Jewish identity, but in other cases, they don’t. I’ve known some half-Jews who were ferocious supporters of the Palestinians and had no Jewish identity whatsoever. Others seemed to have a pretty strong dose. The impetus is on the anti-Semites to prove that K. Graham sees herself as a Jew and not as an ordinary very wealthy high society blond White woman, which is what she looks like.
As the media industry corporatizes and consequently democratizes ethnically, the media control charge holds less and less power. Seeing how the US media stood up to Israel in the strongest way it ever has in the course of this latest Gaza outrage was instructive. No Jewish-controlled industry would have done such a thing. If the US media was really Jewish-controlled, it would have read like the Israeli press in this latest Gaza blowup.
Nevertheless, Jewish media control does exist, but not necessarily through ownership. You don’t need to own a paper folks! All you need is one badass, kickass, muthafuckin’ Lobby. And that the Jews have.
They also have a very deadly weapon called the “boycott” – for that, read “Jewish advertiser boycott.” This is one of the real reasons why US papers shy away from criticizing Jews or Israel. Even if no boycott is announced, there is always the veiled threat of one. When something Jewish or Israeli-critical is published in a newspaper, the Lobby goes into action. They all rise up and very loudly demand an apology.
If none is forthcoming, well, then there’s the boycott threat. Before that kicks in, there are usually mass cancellations of the paper by Jewish subscribers, followed by noisy demos outside the paper’s office and floods of letters, emails and phone calls.
I don’t think there is anything criminal or evil about this. That’s the way any effective Lobby, ethnic or otherwise, probably ought to work. They get the job done, hey.
An instructive case is that of Michael Backman, a Business editor for The Age, an Australian newspaper. He recently wrote an article entitled, Israelis Are Living High on US Expense Account. The original article has incredibly been taken down from the web (!!) and the link is to a Malaysian paper that reprinted it.
The counter-reaction was stormy indeed. Articles in JTA and the Australian Jewish News were typical. The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV) both threatened, incredibly, to sue the paper, on what insane basis, God only knows. The organizations termed it “blatantly anti-Semitic”. “This is not 1930s Germany,” they said. “We will not accept this hatred.”

“The Victorian Jewish community’s experience is that such commentary rouses violence and hatred against local Jews,” the groups went on.

This is the typical moral argument used by Super-Jews against their critics. They used to throw it at me in the newsgroups. The idea here is that if you say Boo to Jews to Israel for even 10 seconds, you’re gonna set off a fuckin’ pogrom. Jewish activists actually wrote me emails telling this.
As if some peaceful, loving person reads Robert Lindsay, goes insane, turns into a skinhead maniac, and beats up some Jew on the street. This is designed to hit you in your heart – where it hurts. My words were resulting in poor innocent Jews getting bashed over the head. So how did I feel about that? This is really just moral blackmail. It’s like the Borderline Personality Disorder patient threatening to commit suicide unless the therapist stops criticizing.

“It is inexplicable why The Age would publish such a pernicious article, and why by one of its business columnists, a man whose field of expertise is Asian business and art, a man apparently without credentials on the Middle East, international politics or contemporary religion,” the groups said.

This is another typical feint. Did you know that only “Middle East experts” are allowed to comment on ME matters? Neither did I!
This was another common tactic used in the newsgroups. Lack a Jewish education? Haven’t read all 13,000 pages of the Talmud? Never been to the Middle East, not to mention Israel? Then shut the fuck up, asshole, and let the experts take over. The only experts on Jews and Judaism, of course, being other Jews, and in the West, the only ME experts being Jews or pro-Israeli Gentiles.
The article in question is actually quite innocuous, though admittedly outrageous by the standards of neutered Western journalism. He takes Israel to task for not making peace with Palestinians and pissing off the whole Muslim World. Then he suggests that the 9-11, Bali and London terror attacks were in part a Muslim response to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Which is all arguably true to some degree or another.
According to this over the top slam in The Australian (Murdoch paper?) Backman supposedly lays the Deicide charge on the Jews, but if you read the article, he does no such thing.
Backman also supposedly says Jews are cheap, tight, rude, arrogant and flashy (all supposedly “anti-Semitic canards” though there is tons of truth in them), yet once again, he does no such thing.
Backman merely pointed out that in Nepal, where there are many young Israeli trekkers, the Israelis are widely despised. This in a Hindu country which probably lacks any deep seated anti-Semitism. Why are they disliked? For acting like Sabras. The Nepalese claim that the Israelis are arrogant and rude and haggle over tiny amounts of money. They are so disliked that hostels will tell Israelis the place is full even when there are vacancies.
I can’t see how this is anti-Semitism. I don’t know if Sabras act this way, but this isn’t the first time I’ve heard tales like this. Anyway, this is how they come across to the Nepalese. Are the Nepalese making this shit up because they are evil Jew-hating Gentiles? Really dubious. Is Backman an anti-Semite for reporting reality-based observations of Nepalese? Come off it.
The Australian piece gets down to brass tacks and sums up the real beef against Backman’s piece, The Age’s coverage, the UN (nothing less than every nation on Earth), the world media (nothing less than every paper on Earth):

“But Backman shows that one cannot despise the world’s only Jewish state without much of that hatred rubbing off on the Jewish people as well.”

Oh yeah! The old MLK “Anti-Zionism can only be anti-Semitism” game. And these folks have the nerve to accuse their opponents of canards.
The heads of these same too organizations marched off to The Age’s editorial offices two weeks ago to complain about “biased coverage” in the Gaza mess. I guess they thought they got somewhere, as The Age assured them that coverage was even-handed.
“And yet its editors saw fit to publish this vile piece,” the groups said.
So you see how Jewish media control works in the real world, not the fantasy world of the anti-Semites. Owning the press is utterly unnecessary. All you need is one badass Lobby that plays for keeps.

Jewish Use of the Word "Goyim"

In the comments section, an anonymous coward commenter wrote that Jews demonize Gentiles by referring to them as goyim. Mort Goldman, a well-known psychologist who is also a regular reader of this site, said he had not heard that word in decades, and anyway, it was more derisive that demonizing when and if Jews used it. He also said he thought it was BS that the word means cattle. Actually, it means people.
Maybe goyim does mean cattle according to the Talmud, but I have no idea – I believe there are some Talmudic references equating goyim with cattle, but you would have to look it up, as I’m no Talmudic scholar.
The point is, as Mort points out, that most assimilated Jews in the US have no use for the term.
I dated a Jewish woman for about a year and I never heard her say it once. Well, actually, she did use the term goyischkopf which means something like “my stupidhead.” Jews supposedly say this when they do something dumb. That was my stupidhead talking.
However, she really hated the Orthodox. She used to work at a Jewish agency and this Orthodox woman who worked there was always calling my gf a goyischkopf for not being Jewish enough. My gf used to put her food in the fridge, but this Orthodox woman took over the fridge and said that only Kosher foods would be allowed in there, and I guess my gf’s un-Kosher food was contaminating everything else.
I told her that goy and goyish meant about the same to Gentiles as calling a Black “nigger”, and my gf was dumbfounded. She also acted dumbfounded when I threw a bunch of Talmudic stuff at her. She’d never read the Talmud and she yet she had had some sort of a Jewish education. That’s typical of most Jews I know. They don’t know the Talmud from Adam. So digging up all this sick and evil Talmudic stuff and throwing at assimilated US Jews is idiotic.
I’m sure that there are Jews who have studied the Talmud, but now you are getting into the Orthodox and the people in Israel – what I call the Super-Jews. Especially, you are getting into the Jewish religion.
Most secular assimilated US Jews don’t take Judaism all that seriously. I’m convinced it is pretty much a set of rituals to them. I asked my gf once what she believed in, and she said, “Well, we believe in God, yes, we believe in God…” She couldn’t seem to go much further than that. The religion of most assimilated secular US Jews is awfully minimalist. You go to temple for weddings, funerals, bar and bat mitzvas and that’s about it.
Goy or goyish or goyischkopf seem to be words that some assimilated secular US Jews just say sometimes. They’re not even clear on what it means. If you tell them it’s offensive, they act shocked and dumbfounded.
Some groups have taken on words or phrases they find offensive and tried to get them banned. Nigger, faggot, beaner, Chink, wop, etc. come to mind.
The Aztlanistas are working on anchor baby, but they haven’t been able to socially engineer a banning yet, though they’re working on it. There has been no real effort by Gentiles to protest the use of goy, etc. by Jews, hence many Jews just use it without much knowing the baggage that it carries in some minds.
When you get to Israel and into the more religious and Orthodox Jews, and they start tossing around goy and goyischkopf and whatnot, there’s probably more hostility involved, though as Mort notes in the comments, it’s probably more derisive than anything else.
As for the word goyim, oh boy! Do the anti-Semites love this word! They love it so much that I swear I think I have only heard anti-Semites utter it. I doubt I’ve ever heard one Jew say the word goyim. I’m sure some do, but it’s surely not common.
That your average, everyday, secular assimilated Jew goes around condemning all of us Gentiles as goyim all the time has to be up there on the list of the Big Lies of the Anti-Semites.

The Left's Nonsense on Palestine

Lafayette Sennacherib points out in the comments section that the British Left says that the whole problem in Palestine is “capitalism and imperialism, not Jews.” This can be seen eloquently on the PFLP’s website where they carry recent statements by the KOE in Greece, the ILPS (International League of People’s Struggles) and the CMKP in Pakistan.
All of these are pretty hard-Left organizations. The KOE is a Maoist party in Greece, the CMKP is a more or less unapologetic Stalinist type party in Pakistan and the ILPS is now chaired by Jose Maria Sison, head of the CPP, Communist Party of the Philippines, whose armed wing, the NPA (National People’s Army) wages a Maoist rebellion in the Philippines. So we have two Maoist parties and a Stalinist party.
If you read all of those statements, you will note that they all take the line that Israel is a pawn of US imperialism. It’s US imperialism’s “attack dog” in the region.
I’ve already discussed in previous posts why Israel is of little to no benefit to imperialism at all, and in fact, it’s a great big gigantic fat liability. It’s true, some sort of dysfunctional imperialist-Zionist hegemony has come to define the relationship, but it’s not like we get much out of it, other than maybe letting Israel use our latest weapons.
We now colonize Iraq as a result in part of this twisted co-dependency, but it’s hard to imagine a US imperialism not entangled up with Zionism would be idiotically colonizing an Arab country. Sure, we get to buy influence in the region, but the costs to imperialism of this project would seem to massively outweigh whatever crumbs of benefits we get out of it. Surely there must be a cheaper way, in both blood and treasure, to purchase influence in the Arab World.
I’m not going to say the problem is Jews either, other than Jews being typical primitive humans who have not yet joined the modern world and are continuing to engage in ancient tribal  behaviors.
But it’s downright absurd to say that the problem in Palestine in capitalism and imperialism. The only reason that the Left says this is because nowadays they are terrified to discuss race or ethnicity. And the lunacy of Marxism says that race or ethnicity has nothing whatsoever to do with anything. Why are Jews and Palestinians fighting? Capitalism done made em do it. Why is there racism? Capitalism done turned us into a bunch of knuckle-dragging bigots.
Yet any sensible view of human relations shows that tribal warfare and conflict and the racism that inevitably springs from must be as old as man.
What does capitalism and imperialism have to do with a Jewish settler-colonial project and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian aborigines? About as much as capitalism and imperialism had to do with the settler-colonial projects in North America, Australia, Hawaii or elsewhere. Conquer the natives, steal their land, kill them if they resist, put them on reservations, throw them out of the country.
This stuff is as old as man. Tribes have always been conquering other tribes, throwing them off the land and stealing their land. For 1000’s of years. Before there was any capitalism or imperialism. It’s age-old tribal behavior. The Geneva Conventions after WW2 which outlawed annexing land, ethnically cleansing conquered peoples or settling conquered lands, were supposed to put an end to this age-old bullshit once and for all.
So Zionism really is an anachronism. Neither is it the only settler-colonial project going on the world.
There are others – Chinese settler-colonists in Tibet and Xinjiang in China; Indonesian Malay settler-colonists in Papua New Guinea and Aceh in Indonesia; various settler-colonial projects in South Kurdistan carried out by the Kurds themselves and displacing Shia and Christian Kurds, Christian Arabs, Shia, Sunni  and Christian Arabs and Sunni and Shia Turkmen; various settler-colonial projects carried out in Kosova by the Albanians in which Serbs and Gypsies were replaced by Albanians; the whole mess of the Balkan Wars in the 1990’s where Croats and Serbs carried out various settler-colonial projects against Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks; a settler-colonial project in Darfur and Southern Sudan in which Arab Muslims replace African Muslims and Christians; another one being carried out by Morocco in Southern Sahara in which Sahrawis are replaced by Moroccan settlers; and settler-colonial projects in Syria and Iran involving removal of Iranians, Assyrians and Kurds and their replacement with Sunni Arab settler-colonists.
It’s hard to say whether there is a settler-colonial project going on Mindanao. There was one a while back involving Christian settler-colonists in Muslim Mindanao, but I don’t think it’s ongoing. There are also settler-colonial projects going on in Brazilian Amazon, Mexico (Chiapas) and Colombia where Indians are thrown off their land with violence, which is then stolen by rich people for plantations.
A good argument is that nowadays only fascist regimes engage in settler-colonialism and ethnic cleansing. Any regime doing that nowadays has some serious fascist tendencies. That some are nominally Communist, as in China, makes it all the more shameful.
So you can see there is nothing aberrant about the Zionist project. Similar projects are going on all over the globe. But setter-colonialism and ethnic cleansing define one as a primitive. If you engage in primitive behavior, you’re a primitive. Everyone doing this sort of crap needs to knock it off and join the civilized world.

The Benefits of Anti-Semitism

I realize that that is a provocative title, but stick with me here for a minute.
I’ve already gone over the problems of anti-Semitism on this site before. For one thing, nothing feeds Zionism more than anti-Semitism. The mantra of the Zionist is that no Jew can be safe anywhere on Earth except in Israel. So all Jews in the world have to move to Israel pronto.
Israel actually is a monument to anti-Semitism. Theodor Herzl, the Austrian journalist who founded Zionism, was originally an assimilationist.
With the Dreyfus Affair, he left all that behind. Dreyfus was a French Jew who rose to the top of French society despite considerable anti-Semitism. He was an example that said that Jews could make it in France and didn’t need to be separatists. But then Dreyfus was accused of treason and there was a great big to-do. He lost his high position in society and fell.
It’s generally agreed that the charge was faked by anti-Semites in order to “get the Jew.”  The Jews were crestfallen. Herzl assumed that this meant that assimilation of Jews in France is impossible due to the permanent nature of anti-Semitism. He blamed the Jews as much as the Gentiles. Neither one could stand the other, and it was the fault of both of them.
Herzl wrote that when Jews rise, they become filthy rich and inspire resentment “the power of the purse’ beckoned, “when we fall,” he said, we Jews become bomb-throwing revolutionaries who inspire more resentment against “revolutionary Jews:” (italics by me).

Anti-Semitism increases day by day and hour by hour among the nations; indeed it is bound to increase, because the causes of its growth continue to exist and cannot be removed.
Its remote cause is or loss of the power of assimilation during the Middle Ages; its immediate cause is our excessive production of mediocre intellects, who cannot find an outlet downwards or upwards – that is to say, no wholesome outlet in either direction.
When we sink, we become a revolutionary proletariat, the subordinate officers of all revolutionary parties; and at the same time, when we rise, there rises also our terrible power of the purse. (Herzl 1897)

This was before Communism, as the book, “Der Judenstaat” was written in 1897. The writings of many early Zionists are mirrors of the worst anti-Semitic rants. We Jews suck, here’s why, it’s permanent (must be something in the Jewish soul), no wonder the Gentiles hate us, so it’s time for a divorce. A permanent divorce.
This is not to say that early Zionists were Gentilephilic. Clearly they were not. But in contrast to the Zionists of today, they laid a of it down on the Jews too. We can’t live together. We’re bad, so they hate us and try to kill us. Plus they’re shits too. Anyway, we can’t live together. Ever. Hence Zionism.
The notion that Jews and Gentiles cannot live together in peace and harmony is essential to the discourse of all anti-Semites. However, this same notion is at the heart of Zionism. If we create societies where Jews feel comfortable, there’s no need for Zionism. If all anti-Semitism disappeared tomorrow, Israel would fold up and wither away.
So one of the best ways to fight Zionism, strange as it seems, is to make Jews feel at home in the Diaspora. When you make Diaspora Jews uncomfortable, it makes them want to high-tail it to Israel to get away from the heat. No one likes being pissed on. If I were a Jew, I wouldn’t like anti-Semitism either.
Let me tell you a story.
Once I was in a White nationalist chatroom. I just drifted in there. I’m not sure what happened, but soon I was the enemy. Plus they “figured out” that I was a Jew. I’m not a Jew, but never mind. As soon as the spotted the Jew in their midst, the whole room changed. The mood became ominous, creepy, and homicidal. Even though they couldn’t kill me over the Net, I actually started getting frightened. In mind, I had become the Jew.
I had become the terrified Jew surrounded by hissing anti-Semites. It was like watching a scary movie. I was trembling in front of the computer screen.
Another time I was at a coffee shop and we were talking. One guy is an Italian from New York. At some point, I guess I made him mad. He got this sneer on his face and snarled at me, smirking, “Are you Jewish?” That smile didn’t look too nice. No, I wasn’t. He wasn’t convinced, and he was still smirking. I should have been disgusted, but I got scared again. Once again, I was Jewish for a few minutes.
If you can ever maneuver yourself into a position of empathy like that, you can begin to understand Jewish paranoia. If you’re Jewish, anti-Semites must feel  downright creepy. Maybe they’re scary too. They sure scared me. So now I think I understand Jewish fear and hatred of anti-Semitism, Jewish paranoia, and even the Jewish feeling of need for Israel.
On the other hand, I’m convinced that letting Jews get too comfortable in any society other than Israel is not a good idea. They have a tendency to take the ball and run with it and generate lots of anti-Semitism in the meantime.
Actually, a bit of anti-Semitism is a good weapon against Jewish power and its excessive buildup. Anti-Semites like to go on and on about Jewish control of the media or Hollywood. On the other hand, this is true pretty much only in the US, Israel and to some extent in the UK. In the rest of the world, forget it.
Jews don’t run much media or entertainment in the vast majority of the world. Why not? Well, truth is that most of the world will not let Jews buy up the their media and entertainment industries. Why not? Well, a lot of reasons, but anti-Semitism must be up there on the list.
Do you think the Arab and Muslim World will put up with Jewish media moguls buying up the Arab press, Al Jazeera, the Egyptian movie industry, the Lebanese music industry, or the Arab book publishing industry (Lebanon and Egypt)? Not on your life. Will Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia? Get real.
Will India? Indian nationalism will put a stop to that. China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore? GMAB. They aren’t many Jews in those societies, but for some weird reason, there’s tons of anti-Semitism. You think the Oriental East will let Bronfman, Asper, Sulzberger and Spielberg buy up their media and movie industry? Try again.
Some of my Jewish readers may disagree with this post. But a bit of anti-Semitism does serve as a break on excessive Jewish power. Super-Jews feel that Jews can’t get enough power, but any reasonable Jew knows that the Jews shouldn’t grab for too much.
Do the Jewish media and entertainment moguls send my Jewish readers a check from Jewish Central Control every month? Come on. So would they get a raise if the Jewish information control spanned the globe instead of parts of the West? No way. Would significantly increased Jewish power in the world’s entertainment and media industries increase world anti-Semitism? You bet your sweet bippy!
How much anti-Semitism is enough? Enough that constrains excessive Jewish power, and hence, paradoxically, blocks the waves of anti-Semitism that would follow in the wake of such power.
How much anti-Semitism is too much? Enough that Jews feel frightened and uncomfortable and feel like they want to take off for the Levant.
Tough call. But walking a tightrope ain’t easy.


Herzl, Theodor. 1897. Der Judenstaat, “The Jewish State.” Edited and original translation by Slyvie d’Avigdor revised by Jacob M. Alkow. 1988. New York: Dover Publications. 1946. Reprint – originally published New York: American Zionist Emergency Council.

Site Stats

People are wondering about the site stats. Combined with the two sites, they are running about 950 visitors/day lately. Before Blogger blocked me, I was running at 2,700 visitors/day. So I lost about 2/3 of my traffic right there. Thanks, Blogger! Traffic at this new site is fairly slow yet (but not that bad), but hopefully it will pick up later on. If these WordPress bastards would let me upload some really awesome beheading videos, this site could really take off.
It takes a while to build a brand. It took me 4 years to build the old site up from 0 to 2,700/day. A lot of it has to do with Google ranking, but it’s also just building a brand and popularizing a product.
Most people are trying to make themselves likable, but I’m actually trying to make people hate me.
If I notice there’s lots of Leftists coming around, I post some stuff that drives Leftists up the wall. Unwashed, stinky racists on the site? No problem. Watch me morph into antifa-boy and kick some skinhead ass! Seedy anti-Semites sulking about in trenchcoats and dark glasses? Watch my hidden Judeophile rabbit pop out of the hat! Lots of Israel-haters steaming up the comments threads? Time to bash the suicidal maniac moronic Pallies!
It seems nuts, but it actually worked. I don’t know if people like abuse, or if they just like combat, or if they’re in on the joke, but gimmicks are fine as long as they work.
Those of you getting too comfortable on the site, you just wait!

For MLK Day – The Need to Demonize

As it’s MLK Day, it’s time for a post about the need to demonize our enemies.
If you’re White, no matter what you think of Blacks, Hispanics, Puerto Ricans, etc., there are some reasons you might want to reconsider becoming a White nationalist. For starters, Martin Luther King is just about #1 on their enemies list!
WTH? That sucks. MLK is now as American as baseball, Mom and apple pie. He’s one of my heroes, and he’s the hero of most decent Americans of all colors. Oppose MLK? What’s next? Trash George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Ben Franklin, Jesus Himself?
Yes, he’s one of their worst enemies. Why? He stood up and demanded something completely outrageous for Black folks. Equal rights. We can’t have that!
Now, race realists can go on and on about B-W IQ differentials, high Black crime rates, the tendency of Black districts and schools to decay and get run-down in a variety of ways, gangster rap, Detroit, this and that. Clearly, Black folks have lots of problems. Go to any web forum for middle class Blacks on the web and get an earful of this stuff.
I would like to point something out there. Despite all of the above…Blacks, or any minorities, or any humans, really, are not exempted from the basic principle of democracy and fairness. Why did Blacks deserve equal rights? Because they are human. Does any of the above come into play? Not at all. Having problems certainly does not exempt you from the basic rights of a human.
Now, onto MLK. White nationalists completely demonize this man, as they must, I suppose. Their supposition – that he was an immoral man. Forget for a moment that those accusing MLK of being less than moral are themselves guilty of a severe moral transgression – savage racism. So in this case we have some very immoral persons attacking MLK for being immoral. What’s their problem with that? They should welcome him with open arms if that were the case.
Now, onto the accusations. The standard ones are that he’s a plagiarist, a Communist and a philanderer. The plagiarism accusation is apparently true. I forget what it deals with – possibly his doctoral dissertation. He lifted a few lines here and there.
Heck, I’ve just about done so myself, though not word for word. I’m not stupid! I borrow ideas all the time. People have been writing for a few thousand years, and there are not a lot of new ideas floating around anymore.
The next charge is that he’s a Communist. Apparently not true. MLK was never a Communist. Communists supported him, sure. MLK was a leftwinger with some socialist tendencies, sure. He may have had some Communist friends, but so do lots of folks. The FBI tailed him for years trying to pin this one on him, and they never could.
The next one is that he was a philanderer. Like many Black men, he seemed to be incapable of monogamy. Yes, he cheated on his wife, possibly habitually. I would argue that many great men do such things. Added to this charge is the charge that he hired prostitutes and badly beat them. Apparently not true. That’s a lie made up by White racists out to destroy him.
The scorecard? I would argue that what MLK did was less bad than what his critics are doing. Plagiarizing and philandering are not as bad as being an out and open racist. Sorry racists. My opinion.
Notice here the tendency of people to demonize their enemies.
Let’s take Hitler for example. Now he was a major scumbag for sure, but that’s not enough for those who really hate him. The super-Hitler haters I’ve run into were mostly Jews. Now surely Jews have a beef with Hitler. He killed 75% of the Jews of Europe after all.
But look what the Jewish Hitler-haters say about him (I used to hear all this on the ME and Jewish newsgroups all the time).
He was a failed artist.
He was a sick, twisted, unhappy, neurotic or mentally ill boy, even as young as elementary school.
Supposedly he had a severe flatulence and indigestion problem as a young person. He wouldn’t stop farting! He just stunk outright. They must have called him Adolf Fart behind his back.
After high school, he wandered around Vienna as a footloose starving artist. This is usually parlayed into the “Hitler was a loser” gambit. As an artist, he was a failed artist, they say. They laugh at his paintings, atrocious and horrible, they say. A bitter man, wandering around Vienna, broke and homeless, getting more and more furious at Jews and other successful people.
I’m not sure what they say about his military career. I guess he was a crappy soldier too. They’d probably say he was a coward, except he got badly wounded, so that won’t fly.
Now I have done some investigating into Hitler, and the picture that emerges is quite the opposite of the above. As a child, he seems to have been pretty unremarkable. I don’t think he was either popular or seriously rejected.
I’ve asked some artist friends about his art. They’ve told me that his art is good; it’s not crappy art at all. He just never hit the bigtime is all. Sure, he was a “failed artist.” Almost all artists, writers and musicians are failed artists, writers and musicians if we are going to play that game.
As for his time wandering around Vienna, well, there are starving artist types out there. Orwell was one. Check out Down and Out In Paris and London if you don’t believe me. Big deal. Some of my best friends were starving writers, musicians, artists, etc. What about it?
Now we get to the more crucial part. In Mein Kampf, Hitler paints a picture of Vienna life in which he is growing more and more furious at the Jews and some others in Vienna. I think this is a case of false memory syndrome.
Thing is, if you ask people who knew him back then and hung out with him in cafes and whatnot, he didn’t seem that way at all. He spoke to and befriended Jews and could not be less interested in anti-Semitism, which was pretty popular at the time. When others got on the anti-Semitic kick, Hitler typically waved them off and defended the Jews or said leave them alone.
So what happened? He went off to war, got wounded, and apparently went nuts.
He came out of the hospital, and veterans were being demonized and blamed for the war. It was Vietnam, half a century too soon. The veterans were furious. Then there was Versailles, and Germany was driven to economic ruin.
The Nazi Party grew out of the Freicorps, the far rightwing WW1 vets used by the elite to go into the streets and crush the Left. The worst enemies of the Freicorps were on the Left. They were shock troops to destroy the Left, and they did it well. The elite used them, but the pawns got out of hand. They made Frankenstein, then he got up, walked out of the lab, and trashed his inventor’s home and everything else for miles around.
Hitler is a case of a good to ordinary man gone bad. Way, way, way, way bad. Psychologists insist he had to have been ill his whole life, but I doubt it. Good men go bad, bad men go good. It happens.
One would think that all of Hitler’s crimes would be serious enough. He killed millions of people. Why not leave it at that? Because we can’t allow our enemies to have any positive attributes. It clouds the picture and causes cognitive dissonance. All black or all white. No gray areas. Hitler was a bad man who had some positive qualities, particularly before he went bad. Surely his bad qualities disastrously outweighed whatever good he did in life.
MLK was a good man with some bad qualities, like most of us. I argue that the good he did far outweighed the bad.
People are complicated. We want our heroes to dress in pure white, but their costumes are soiled here and here. We want villains to wear black all the time, but there are splashes of white glinting off their outfits, making us blink and wince.
People are complicated. So is life.
Everything’s a grey area. My motto.

Download The BNP List

I’ve noticed that since I’ve moved to the new blog, I’m just not pissing people off like I was at the old blog. Although I’m supposedly sorry about being Blogger-blocked, the truth is that I was constantly pushing the envelope over there, seeing if I could go this far from getting blocked or removed.
Now I’m over here at WordPress, where it’s next to impossible to get blocked or removed, and I’m a little frustrated. Nothing to rebel against. You fuckers will let me say anything I want to, and you won’t discipline me, block me, shut me down? What the Hell?
The 13 yr old in me strenuously objects! This is no good. This calls for some beheading videos!
Anyway, I see there are lots of White nationalists following the blog now. That’s one of the great things about this blog – there’s no way you can be so extreme you won’t be welcomed in a sort of way here. The comments section is great. Rightwingers fight leftwingers, racists fight anti-racists, anti-Semites have it out with Jews, it’s great! And strangely enough, they all feel at home here.
Anyway, seeing as White nationalists are starting to find a happy home here, I thought I would throw them a great big welcoming party by posting the British BNP Party list. Yes, that list! The one that has the WN’s frothing away. You guys are so cute when you froth. Guys are actually getting fired from their jobs in the UK over being on this list. Great. Always happy to do my part.
I’ll go over why the BNP is bad news in a later post.
Download here. Enjoy. Welcome to Robert Lindsay, guys! Muaaaaaah!

Linguist Joke, One More Time

Since no one seems to be getting this one, we will try it one more time. I tossed it out there on the old blog.
It has to do with polyglots. A polyglot is one who speaks many different languages.
There was a very famous linguist named Roman Jacobsen. He was Russian, and he also spoke many other languages. In fact,  it was said that Jacobsen spoke Russian in 15 different languages.
I know it’s not exactly a floor-roller, but we think it’s kind of funny. Ok, geniuses, now figure out the joke!
Explanations for the joke in the comments please.

Diagnose This Type

I’m going to lay out for you a personality type that is epidemic now in the US, especially among younger people. You also find a lot more of it among minorities, especially Blacks, and particularly if they don’t have a lot of money.
I said in an earlier post that narcissism and sociopathy are a spectrum – a spectrum that starts at extroversion. Now millions of folks will bristle at that suggestion in an extroverted society like ours where introverts are condemned as sick and weird and extroversion is heralded as the only normal way to be human.
But hang on a second.
Let me paint a picture of a couple of types who are employed at an institution run by a friend of mine. They’re a young couple working at a community college in another state back East.
My friend’s boss hired them as a couple. I now think that hiring couples is a bad idea. The man is known as M. and the woman is known as C. They are both hired to work in the Computer Center helping the students who come in to work on the computers. However, M. spends about as much time out of the center, sitting on the benches talking to his younger friends, as he does in the center.
C. also works in the center. However, she is cheating on her time card in various ways. For instance, if she tutors four students at once in a 1-hour period, she counts that as 4 hours! Both M. and C. quickly took advantage of another woman, L. Now L. is a nice young woman who is very short. So short, she is practically a dwarf. She’s also quite heavy. M. is a handsome, strapping, sexy young man and C. is young and beautiful.
Both have smooth, winning, upbeat personalities, excellent social skills in a variety of ways, and are seen as “cool”, “winners”, etc. They have more friends than they can count.
Both M. and C. immediately saw L. as a weak person, or an object to be exploited. Quickly the excuses started coming. “Could L. cover for M.?” “Could L. please cover for C.?”. L. is shy and was probably pleased to be befriended by good-looking and popular couple. The deal was that L. would get paid for the time she was covering for M. and C.
Well, I guess L. is a little slow, because this went on for a while before she figured out that she was getting ripped off. Every hour that L. covered for M. and C., M. and C. stole that hour and marked it down for themselves. L. got zero dollars for the time she covered for the couple. L. finally got up the nerve to complain about it and said she’s not covering anymore. She’s not getting a nickel of the money she deserves, because she’s not fighting for that.
M. and C. are often arguing and fighting with the boss. The boss tells them to do something, and it’s why should I, that’s dumb, or this or that. That’s not how it works around the office. The boss says jump and you ask how high. M. and C. are clueless about whether this is a good idea or not.
Both M. and C. plan to be nurses, though they are at a community college in their late 20’s. Both are quite bright and get excellent grades. However, both cheat in class quite a bit. Apparently they convince other students to let them turn in other students’ notes or lab work as their own. So they get A’s, but it’s not even their own work.
When C. first showed up for work, she quickly charmed the boss into writing a letter of recommendation for her at her new residence, promising that she would be a good tenant. This though the boss barely knew her.
M. has just been fired, and boy is he pissed. One of the secretaries busted him. He had promised the boss that he was going to work 3.5 days a week this semester, even signing a paper pledging to do this, but as it turns out, he is only able to work 2 hours a week. The secretary pointed this out to the boss,  and the boss finally had it. M. is gone.
Instead of being contrite, he called the secretary up at work and blasted her with a string of four letter words and veiled threats.  This is what happens when you mess with M. – you pay.  C. is on the ropes and about ready to be fired too. She was supposed to cover for my friend over lunch, but she called and said she couldn’t. You don’t do that around there. When you’re supposed to cover, you cover. If you can’t, you clear it with the boss first. She didn’t, my friend had to work through her lunch,  and C. is this far being getting canned.
I listened to the story, interested. Then I asked, “Extroverts?” Oh, of course! Excellent social skills, great talkers, always smiling and happy, tons of friends, exude confidence, friendliness, self-esteem. Then I asked another question, “Narcissistic?” Oh yes! They are both headed for greatness.
C. has a story. She’s still in her 20’s, but she has fallen from greatness. She had it all down in L.A., a great guy who made tons of money, a great big house, the good life. She caught him cheating and he “ruined her financially.” He ran up all her credit cards,  destroyed her credit and she ended up broke. She moved out and back to her parents’ house,  humiliated. Now she has nothing, but she’s fallen from greatness. No one is really sure what to make of this story or whether it is true or not.
I’m not really sure what to do with these folks,  but you can see what I mean when I said that the narcissism-sociopathy spiral starts with mere extroversion. The virulent traits of the narcissist and sociopath are already there, often in very muted forms, in the mere extrovert, as the pathology of the avoidant or dependent personality is already there in the introvert.
The spectrum, as I mentioned, goes healthy narcissism -> extroversion -> narcissistic traits -> narcissistic personality disorder -> malignant narcissism -> sociopath.
I’m not arguing that there is anything wrong with extroversion.  Certainly it gets you further in life than the style of us retiring types.
I used to throw parties where 200 people would show up, filling the house, the front yard and backyard and spilling out into the streets, with a live band, kegs of beer and house full of beautiful women.
That was long ago in another world, but it was still me, and in some weird way, it still is me. So that’s a part of me too. The true introverts I know are horrified that I walk up to total strangers and start talking to them. Sometimes they like it, sometimes they don’t, but the real introverts recoil in horror when I tell them this. They could, and would, not approach total strangers just for conversation. So you see, most of us are mixed introvert-extrovert types to one degree or another.
Now, what do we do with M. and C.? They display a personality type that is highly rewarded in our extroversion-oriented society. Even though everyone at the college knows what they are up to, hardly anyone cares, and they have more friends than you could shake a stick it. They are very popular with the students.
They’re also scamming their way through life, exploiting others, lying, cheating, stealing and just being general shits (if you ask me).
If you ask for a DSM dx from a clinician, you may not even get one for M. and C. I can’t think of a DSM dx to give either of them. There’s a bit of narcissism going on, but that’s all over society. They’re behaving unethically in a lot of ways, but that’s not necessarily in the DSM. I don’t believe either one gets Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or any other PD, dx.
This shows you that much difficult behavior is not termed crazy by mental health folks. A lot of folks that others regard as weird, nuts, dangerous, psycho, creepy or unpleasant get a clean bill of mental health from a clinician.
Now, onto something else.
Is it just me, or do these types seem to be getting more and more common? It seems to me that we breed narcissism like rabbits in our capitalistic and hyper-individualistic society. And I’m afraid that stuff like the Internet and blogging just feeds it even more.
Finally, I would add that capitalism can encourage M. and C.’s behavior to epidemic proportions.

More on "Hell is Other People"

As I noted in a previous post, this is a famous saying from one Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous plays, No Exit. Three people die and are sent to Hell. It turns out that they are sentenced to spend eternity in small room with no one but themselves for company. They quickly discover that they are capable of becoming each other’s worst enemies. At one point, one of the characters says, “Hell is other people.”
Misanthropes everywhere rejoice in this phrase and love to quote it. At first, it seems the play is a misanthropic statement.
But Sartre always said that that was a misinterpretation of what he intended. So what did he mean?
First of all, you have understand Sartre. According to Sartre, we are incapable of developing reasonable or real opinions of ourselves via ourselves. So how do we derive our opinions of ourselves? Via others. If we think highly of ourselves and if the feeling is genuine, we probably got that opinion via the adulation or respect of others at some point. Or at some point, we managed to achieve some major successes in life. These successes were acknowledged by others in various ways. I assume that people who think poorly of themselves have gotten these views from others too.
We do have choices. For instance, I have a bit of an ego, but if I wanted to hate myself, I could do that too. How? Just look around. There are people now, and people in the past, who despise and despised me, for all sorts of reasons. I’ve figured out that there is not much I can do about this. On the other hand, since I’m a bit of an egotist, I have not assimilated the view of these folks that I am some of kind of scum of the Earth, most evil person on Earth. I simply reject that.
I also freely acknowledge that my egotism derives in part from the respect and adulation I acquired at another period in life when I was quite successful in a number of ways. So my egotism doesn’t really come from me. It comes from others.
You’re welcome to disagree and think that we are capable of hallucinating real opinions of ourselves out of thin air, but Sartre disagrees. I would add that one can indeed manufacture opinions about oneself, but I don’t think that they are real or genuine. For instance, the narcissist seems to do this.
On the other hand, because his narcissism is rooted in fantasy and not the real adulation of others, it is highly unstable, extremely exaggerated and prone to severe crashes and breakdowns during times of stress when the narcissist, the greatest person on Earth, suddenly become the lowest human that ever lived.
On the other hand, according to Sartre, we want to be our own masters, yet we cannot be. We are doomed to need others, whether we want to or not. This is the “no exit.” It’s also the “Hell is other people.” We are doomed to require respect and even adulation from others. We long to free ourselves from this addiction, but we cannot. We are trapped.
I agree with this. What do people really want? They want to be liked, admired, respected,  even treated with adulation. I would argue that almost all healthy people want this. There are extroverts who always jump all over us introverts saying, “Why do you care what other people think? I don’t care what anyone thinks!” This is one of the lies that people go around telling themselves. They want to believe that they are their own masters and that they are not addicted to feel-good snacks from other humans.
However, what if one of those extroverts who says this would wake up one day and find that everyone hated them? All of their friends and loved ones have abandoned them. They go outside and people spit at them and curse them. I figure they would go home and kill themselves. Seriously. So you see, even those folks who insist, “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me!” are completely wrong. They do care; they care so much.
However, this addiction of ours is frustrating. As I noted in an earlier post, other people let me down. Maybe I expect too much of them. So I avoid going places I ought to go to. I get there after a while, but I tend to put it off a bit. Why, because I fear being humiliated or embarrassed? No. Because I think it’s going to be a drag, and I hate drags. I was told that that’s life and to get over it and take risks. I’m sure there is truth to that.
However, according to Sartre, my dilemma, that others are often letting me down and not treating me how I wish to be treated, is actually the human dilemma of all of us. This is the lesson of “No Exit.” We are addicted to this continuous praise and admiration, or at least respect, of others, but too often we just don’t get it, or we don’t get it the way that we want to get it. Most of all, we want people to love, respect and admire us for ourselves and only for ourselves.
However, in an insanely competitive capitalistic society, what respect, admiration and whatnot we receive is often due to what we can give others or what others can get from us or out of us, not for what we are deep down inside.
Like it or not, others are out to use us in one way or another. If you don’t believe that’s true, watch what happens to a poor person who wins the lottery. Your boss uses you for your work, so he can make money off you. If you are male, women and others befriend and love you or not based on your income, your power, your possessions, your achievements, your stature, your insincere appearance, or your ability to bullshit about like a social actor.
How many people are really interested in befriending us or loving us just because we are great people deep down inside? Not as many as we would like. But this is what we long for. We resent that people only respect, befriend or love us based on superficial crap, ignoring our inner awesomeness. It’s a constant source of frustration, an existential dilemma. It’s the meaning of “Hell is other people.”
Imagine a world where you respect, befriend and love others not for their money, status, power, achievements, possessions, and superficial looks or winning personalities. Imagine a world we we respect, befriend and love others and vice versa purely for their inner greatness and not for any other reason. I believe that this is the world that Sartre wants us to imagine.
Try to create it.
I’ve dealt with some difficult concepts here and most people just reject this kind of thinking off the bat, but I urge you to think about what I just wrote, and see if you can get something meaningful out of it.
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Been Working on the Chinese Language Reclassification

That’s what I’ve been doing lately.
It’s a gigantic job.
It’s come under some withering criticism lately, but I have some top Sinologists supporting me on this, and the critics are just nobodies with big mouths. Ahem.
One of the criticisms was that since I don’t speak, read or write Chinese, I can’t possibly do this. But top Sinologists have told me that this is a fallacy. You don’t really need to be literate in Chinese to study Chinese language, art, history, culture, etc. Sure it helps, but it’s not necessary.
Further, this runs up against the thing that I noted earlier. Linguists do not necessarily speak lots of languages, or even more than one. We just study languages. A lot of us are at least bilingual, but I’ve known some major linguists who were not fluent in much more than English.
As far as classification goes, you don’t need to be literate in any more than one language.
Let us look at one of the greatest classificationists of all time (in my opinion), the recently deceased Joseph Greenberg. Now  Greenberg tried to classify most of the languages on the face of the Earth. In order to do this, he had to study over 5,000 languages, just about every language that is spoken. I’m certain that Greenberg did not speak 5,000 languages, or even 500, or for that matter, even 50. How many he spoke is not known, but I doubt if it was a very high number.

Chinese Teahouse Scam

Chinese tea scam, Chinese tea ceremony scam, etc etc.
Many variations on a simple theme. You are walking along in big Chinese city and you are approached by young students,  male or female, speaking good English. Chinese people have a reputation for being very friendly, so you go along. They want to practice their English. You walk along for a bit and they suggest you go for some tea.
They direct you to some Chinese tea shop. The menu comes, you order rounds of tea. Prices seem a bit on the high side, but not unusual. Some pastries come later. Then the bill comes, and it’s totally outrageous. You’re out $200-750, and you better pay up or else. The nice friendly young “students” act baffled by the whole thing. This scam is spreading all over China and it is nailing Americans and now Brits left and right. It’s epidemic.
You go to the cops and they refuse to do anything about it. Stupid Americans! Haha!
My God, scams are everywhere, aren’t they? Watch out!

The Narcissistic Sociopath – A Type

I can’t go into too much detail about this, but I am dealing with one of these characters right now. All I can say if you run across these people in your life is run, don’t walk, right away from them as fast as you can.
I can’t go into much details about this either, but there has been a narcissist close to me for most of my life. This person is simply out and out harmful to me. They’ve done tremendous harm to me in the past, and if I continue to deal with them, they will continue to try to inflict, or will inflict, harm on me.
I think they can’t help it, but I’m also wondering if they are incurable. Most people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder cannot be helped. Why? They do not wish to be cured, see nothing wrong with themselves, and never will.
A few can be cured, but it’s not easy. You can’t change a tiger into a lion. You can’t change your basic personality. This is a law of psychology. For all personalities, there exists a pathological side and a healthy side. For NPD, the healthy side is called Confident Personality. For APD, the healthy side is called Aggressive Personality. Neither are optimal, but truly healthy personalities are either exceedingly rare or possibly nonexistent.
There are varying degrees of narcissism. First is the narcissism that any healthy person has. Then we start getting into varying degrees of narcissism. At some point, you have to say someone has narcissistic traits, or is a narcissist. That doesn’t mean NPD.
As one starts getting more pathological, we start moving into NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is an extremely serious condition in which the individual ends up causing harm to most of the significant people in their life. As I said above, get all the harmful narcissists out of your life.
Going even further, we get into malignant narcissism. This is getting worse and worse. We may be looking at the narcissist-sociopath. Ted Bundy was one, so was Jeffrey MacDonald, and so, in my opinion, is OJ Simpson. They differ from pure sociopaths in that they need and crave attention and go nuts when you criticize them.
Pure sociopaths pretty much don’t give a damn whether anyone likes them or not. I don’t think they need attention or admiration either – I imagine they could care less about that too. Criticism doesn’t bother them much either. Most sociopaths seem to smile, laugh or glibly explain away any criticism directed at them. That, or they ignore it altogether.
The sociopath is not hurt by your criticism because there’s nothing there to hurt. It’s like yelling at a grizzly bear in a cage. The bear just looks up at you like, “Screw you, human,” and goes back to whatever he was doing.
If the sociopath feels that the criticism may harm him or thwart his plans, he may become alarmed, because these are machines dedicated to carrying out their plans. Thwarted plans don’t get carried out. Not good. So criticism simply spins the sociopath into a dizzying performance of lying, more lying, lies upon lies layered upon more lies, show-business style performance, the Mother of All Personal Charm Shows, on and on.
The “show” is so mesmerizing, baffling, confusing and charming that you can barely understand what’s happening, but a lot of times, you end up going along with the sociopath. Afterward, maybe you wonder why. The sociopath gets up and walks out of the room and out of your life.
Later, picking up the pieces, you are sitting there, dazed, shaking your head. “What the Hell was that?” you are thinking. It’s like you just got hit by a Human Tornado that whirled into your life, trashed a lot of stuff and then twisted off speedily into the sunset. You look outside, and it’s gone. You’ve been the victim of an emotional mugging, and you still can’t make sense of it.
There’s plenty on the Net about both sociopathy and narcissism and I have only barely scratched the surface here. Suffice to say that I feel that the sociopath is at the far end of the narcissistic scale. The sociopath is an ultra-narcissist.
He’s so superior and above it all that he doesn’t even care anymore. He thinks you’re an idiot, and he doesn’t care if you disagree. He will use you, abuse you, maybe even steal from you, assault you or kill you, but then he will sit down and eat a bowl of cereal like nothing else happened. That’s the ultimate in narcissism. You don’t exist as another human being to him. You’re a pure object, a tool, a means to an end. You may as well be a steering wheel or a hammer – that’s how much humanity you have to him.
Here is an interesting post on the difference between a narcissist and a sociopath. I don’t necessarily agree,  but it’s interesting reading.
The truth is that this is all just spectrum, probably emanating from extroversion at one end and moving through narcissism all the way to psychopathy.
This entire spectrum is utterly the opposite of the introvert – fearful – neurotic type, but your average moron can’t figure that out. As a society, we think that shy introverts are “psycho”,  probably because we worship extroversion and despise introversion. Truth is the true, pure, classic introvert is the least harmful or dangerous person, the least likely to hurt an innocent person, on Earth.
True, they are not all wimps, and some will fight back against the abuse they are typically subjected to. But that’s not the same as the abusive aggression of the narcissist and sociopath that targets the innocent.
Why the introvert is generally so harmless is a fascinating subject, but I  will leave it for another post.
I would also point out that most sociopaths are never arrested. These are the “controlled sociopaths” swarming all over the worlds of business, law, politics, law enforcement and the military. All of these professions provide outlets for controlled sociopaths to channel their antisocial and extremely aggressive behavior into. The shyster attorney, crooked businessman, con artist, ruthless executive, lying and wheeling/dealing politician come to mind.
There are many non-sociopaths in LE and the military, but it’s heaven for controlled sociopaths too. There is some evidence that they don’t do well in the military though. They love to blow stuff up and kill people, but they are so fearless and reckless that they often end up dead in wartime. Studies in World War 2 showed that though this type were excellent pilots, they were much more likely to be shot down. They were so fearless that they didn’t even bother to try to save their own skins.
I’m not trying to say that all cops are sociopaths, but anyone who’s had unpleasant dealings with cops (like yours truly) knows they are out there. Personality studies have shown the cops and criminals have remarkably similar personalities. It’s just that cops are channeling their antisocial BS in a healthy direction – busting bad guys.
For more on narcissism, check out Sam Vankin’s fantastic work on the web. Vankin is a fascinating character – he is a narcissist himself!
Google “How to Divorce a Narcissist.”
Joanna Ashmum’s site, How To Recognize a Narcissist, is fantastic, as is her classic essay, And Now We Are Six. Yes. The narcissist is going to be 6 years old for the rest of his life. Ever met a 6 yr old? Think about it.
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Mutual Intelligibility as a Linguistic Concept

As I expected, the Classification of Chinese Language post is coming under some very serious criticism. I’m deleting all of the comments from the individual making them, but I will deal with them in this post.
First of all, it is alleged, by this person and others, that mutual intelligibility is a very fuzzy concept and is unscientific at core. This is not the case at all. I am not aware of any kind of fighting going on in Linguistics, other than complaints by a few cranks, about the issue of mutual intelligibility in general or between any lects. The concept is quite clear – speakers either understand other speakers or they don’t. It’s that simple.
How do linguists determine whether speakers of Lect A can understand Lect B? Real easy. They do something “completely unscientific.” They sit down and ask speakers of Lect A: “Can you understand speakers of Lect B?” Really, that’s how it’s done. It’s called Sociolinguistics, and these determinations are usually made by personal interview. There’s usually no need for fancy tests with phonology, lexicon, tones, or syntax. It’s pretty much a yes or no answer.
Obviously, many times you get something other than a yes or no answer. If they understand Lect B 20%, they say, “We can barely understand those people at all!” If they understand 1/2 of what they hear, or 70%, or 85%, or 90%, that’s a little harder, but people are not morons. Often they will attempt to tell you what percentage of Lect B they can figure out. They will say, “We can understand 50/65/70/85/90% of Lect B.” Really, that’s how it’s done.
Sometimes some speakers say they can understand more than others. There are speakers of Portuguese and Spanish who say they understand the other language perfectly. Are they in the majority? Surely not. In those cases, you just go with the majority. On the other hand, if one person says, “I can only understand 70% of Lect B,” and everyone else in the village says, “We can understand Lect B perfectly,” you go with the majority again and dismiss the first person as anomalous.
If you look at Ethnologue‘s Mexico page, you can see that Ethnologue‘s sources have gone all over rural Mexico determining the variable intelligibility of different lects of Mexican Indian speech. This is in an area where just about every village speaks a different language or dialect. Under Tijaltepec Mixtec, we find the following:

Speakers have 89% intelligibility of San Miguel el Grande and Yosoyúa, 82% of San Mateo Peñasco, 81% of Sinicahua and 66% of Teita.

So how did Ethnologue arrive at those figures? Who knows. Are these figures controversial in the field of Linguistics, that is, do we fight about endlessly in our journals and books? Not at all. Are those figures above right? Probably. Are they wrong? Anything’s possible. Do we fight about it? Other than a few nuts on the Internet, no way.
I assume Ethnologue is just sitting people down in front of tape recordings of the other lects and see how much they understand. I assume there are scientific ways of calculating how much they get and how much they don’t.
What is Ethnologue? It’s the main publication of SIL. Who is SIL? Why,  they are the very folks who are giving out ISO codes, the codes that determine whether something is a language or not – languages get ISO codes, dialects do not. Was giving this job to SIL controversial? Other than a few cranks here and there, not really.
There are currently some great big dustups in Language Policy over a few lects. Valencian speakers are fighting like mad to get their lect recognized as a language apart from Catalan. Ethnologue seems to be turning them down so far, because the two lects can understand each other.
Moldavian was granted an ISO code, then Ethnologue snatched it away and decided that Moldavian was a dialect of Romanian.
Are there intense passions aroused in these fights? Sure. Is mutual intelligibility one of the things that they fight about? Not generally, because the figures are out there, and everyone but for a few cranks agrees that the figures are scientific.
There are also indices of lexical similarity and there are various ways of doing this too. Spanish and Portuguese have 89% similarity, Italian and French have 87%, English and Frisian have 64%,  English and French have 27%,  on and on. Does anyone argue about these figures and say that they are wrong? Other than a few cranks, not really.
Finally, the very concept of a pilot study has been challenged by folks who feel that everything they write down has to be correct. I’ve also been accused of changing my research too much as a result of criticism.
This is wrong on various counts.
Pilot study is the way to go in science. Furthermore, it’s very humble. The first study really is a pilot study. Pilot study just means the first one. Is it making any claims about much of anything? Hardly. So what’s the purpose? To stimulate further thinking, theorizing, criticism and studies. That’s it. It’s the first guy to the lake, tossing out his line and reporting what bites. That’s all it is.
Research, and science, should be anything but certain. If you read academic journals, particularly the more scientific ones, at the end, they usually list about 3-5 reasons why their conclusions might be wrong. That’s as humble as you can get. Then they go through and say why they think all those reasons are probably wrong. Conclusions, when presented, are often couched in tentative language.
Does this mean scientists are a bunch of insecure wussies? Not even.
That’s simply how one does science.
Science minus huge doses of uncertainty and humility might be interesting, but it ain’t science. What is it? I don’t know. Religion, opinion, polemics, politics, advertising, fiction? Any or all of those.

Standard Languages Versus Their Parents

In my older post, I characterized the Beijing dialect of Mandarin as a separate language. This has come under criticism as it has been pointed out that Putonghua (Standard Mandarin) was based on Beijinghua, so how could Beijinghua be a separate language?
When I started that project, I certainly thought that Beijinghua would be intelligible with Putonghua, until I did a lot of reading and found out otherwise. In my research, I determined that many people find the Beijing dialect to be unintelligible. Stories about unintelligible taxi drivers in Beijing are legendary.
So what happened? Obviously, Putonghua and Beijinghua diverged at some point.
Others say that Putonghua was based on the speech of the Beijing suburbs, and not on Beijing city itself. Yes, lects do differ that much in China. I am told that even inside large cities, people from different parts of town speak dialects that have diverged so far that they are not mutually intelligible. I have even heard that there are villages where the people in the north of the village cannot understand the people in the south of the village.
Certainly there are plenty of folks claiming that they understand Beijinghua at less than 90% intelligibility. In this work, I am setting 90% as the point at which I split language from dialect. Over 90% intelligible, dialect. Below 90% intelligible, language.
Interestingly, a similar thing has occurred in Italy, where Standard Italian was based on Tuscan in the 1860’s, yet has diverged so much from Tuscan that now if you see old men from Tuscany on TV, you need subtitles to understand them.
Something similar has happened to German and French. There are actually multiple lects spoken in Germany that appear to be separate languages from Standard German. Standard German is an East Middle German or East Central German dialect that was simply chosen as standard. It’s the lect from around the state of Saxony in the 1500’s and 1600’s.It was mostly a written language until about 1800.
Nevertheless, the Saxon dialect has now diverged from Standard German to where it is a distinct  language – Upper Saxon, spoken around Dresden, Chemnitz and Leipzig – that may or may not be intelligible with Standard German.
In France, there is not one form of French spoken. Although everyone speaks Standard French, there are various French languages spoken in France that are not intelligible with Standard French.
These include the languages of the Channel Islands – Dgèrnésiais (spoken in Guernsey), Jèrriais (spoken in Jersey) and Sercquiais, (spoken on Sark) – Cotentinais, spoken in parts of Normandy, Gallo spoken in Brittany, Picard spoken in the far north of France around Dunkerque and Calais, Walloon spoken in Belgium, Champenois spoken in Champagne, Burgundian spoken in Burgundy on the border of Switzerland and Italy, Franc-Comtois, spoken in Franche-Compté over by Switzerland, Lorrain spoken in Lorraine, part of Alsace-Lorraine on the border of Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg, Portvetin, spoken in Poitou, where the city of Poitiers is in west-central France and Saintongeais and spoken on the central West coast of France in Saintonges, Aunis and Angoumois.
None of these languages is intelligible with Standard French. Standard French was based on the Parisien dialect of Paris a while back, but since then Parisien and Standard French have taken dual trajectories, such that Parisien is now a distinctive dialect, as in the other cases we looked at.

Best Alphabet Ever Made

Alpha-kinetix, the only way to write Tagalog.
Tagalog, Hell. Can’t read Tagalog? No worries. Transform your rigormortized English letters into a rockin’ mass of hyperactive letter maggots with Rotor Script! This shit could turn reading into an aerobic exercise.
The only way to write any language. I’m tired of dead letters just sitting there on my page. I want some rock n’ roll letters that rock my morning paper as I sip my coffee, dammit! Comprehension, heck, who needs comprehension? What’s better than a script that looks like live ants on the page? Can you beat that?
Why invent new alphabets? Shoot, why not? You only go around once, so grab for all the glyphs you can.

Fox in the Henhouse

You’ve all heard the stories.  A predator gets into a place where there are caged domestic animals, typically fowl, and goes berserk, killing all of them. And typically not even eating one. It’s the non-human equivalent of a serial killer. There’s a little Ted Bundy in every bobcat.
Here in the mountains, we had a similar case a decade or so ago. A bobcat got into the neighbor’s yard and killed every one of his ducks. The owner went outside and found a bobcat asleep in his yard at 5 AM in a fenced-in area full of dead ducks. Commit mass murder, then sleep it off. What the Hell, why not? Serial killing is pretty tiring, physically and emotionally.
Enough of the anecdotes. So why do they do it? People are dying to know.
Via an incredibly obscure website called The Alyth Voice, p. 7 “Foxy Business”, our curiosity is sated. What’s The Alyth Voice? Why, it’s only the local bimonthly scribblesheet of some podunk town in Scotland called Alyth in some place called Perthshire.
There are two theories.
First is pure instinct. Foxes and bobcats are smarter than Fido and Fluffy, the domesticated versions, but that ain’t saying much. They’re still emotional robots with stunted frontal lobes, like most of the people in our inner cities. The fox gets into the henhouse, sees all the hens racing around screeching in terror, and he goes into kill mode. A terrified rooster racing away =  kill. Terrified cries of chicks = destroy. Simple equations.  The predator has no choice but to commit mass homicide.
Another more civilized theory says that the predator is a forward-thinking beast, unlike our inner city residents. Sure, he kills way more than he eats, but he only kills to eat, not for kicks like Boston Strangler. He really does intend to come back and chow down all those dead chickens sometime. When? Oh, later.
Yeah right. I go with Theory #1.
Think of it in human terms. Pretend you’re in a porno movie,  except it’s happening in r/l meatspace. You’re been kidnapped and locked in a house full of gorgeous 18 year old females having a mass birthday party. They’re all naked and masturbating, screaming, “Fuck Me!” And they won’t even get jealous if you fuck the other ones. Instead they’ll just yell, “Hurry up and get over here you bastard!”
Your girlfriend/wife is waiting, and you promised to call her, plus you took a vow of fidelity. You can strip of all of your clothes, run around to each of the 10 nubiles, stick your dick in each one for a bit assuming you don’t hair-trigger off, and actually get away with it before you die. It’s almost illegal, but not quite. It’s not serial homicide, but it’s almost as fun.
What do you do? Flashback to Sunday school and race out the door to the nearest payphone and call your girlfriend? Forget it. Like the fox in a henhouse, the forebrain shuts down, you go into limbic mode, and wallow in the temporarily eternal present.
I know it’s a weird analogy, but think about it.

Hell Is Other People

So said John Paul Sartre. Never mind that this statement has been misunderstood and misappropriated by misanthropes.
I’m not usually into misanthropy, though I suppose some folks have a legitimate beef with the rest of humanity. I’m actually quite a proud person, and don’t generally have low self-esteem. I’ve recently met some low self-esteem types, and they mystify, horrify and offend me.
Even if some of my skills are apparently now quite poor, I still think I’m quite the hot stuff overall and deep down inside. This can create problems of its own, and I spent a lot of effort trying not to feel better than other people on some fundamental level. Arrogance, as good as it feels, simply doesn’t work, since all it does is make everyone hate you, but no arrogant person on Earth has ever figured this out, as you may have noticed.
I often feel perfectly at peace, calm, joyously happy and fulfilled, just reading stuff, writing, doing research, or working out theory. I can be perfectly alone for hours or even days at a time like this. It’s not that I dislike others, but that in order to truly love being comfortably alone, you must like yourself. If you hate yourself, surely it must be gruesomely painful to be psychically kidnapped and forced to cohabit with your own awfulness, with no one else around to salve the pain.
It so happens that I’m neither schizoid nor a real loner, and I do have affiliative needs. So I need to get at least once a day and go meet some other humans, even if only for a bit. It’s like a sociability injection. I get that, it feels good or it doesn’t, but anyway it was necessary, then I can go back to the glorious cave again.
Problem is that when I go out, I’m often not as happy as when I’m alone. Why? Other humans. They usually let me down. And especially, try as I might, they often don’t treat me like I want to be treated. Obviously it’s my fault nevertheless, but that doesn’t mean it’s not at least a bit of a drag.
Nothing against people per se, mind you – if the interactions would be as pleasant as I would wish it to me, I might linger for hours, or all day, Hell, why not? But it never is anymore. So it ends up that much of the misery I acquire from life seems to come from other humans, surely not from my perfectly great self.
It is at such times that the poetry of the great British poet Philip Larkin illuminates things well. Philip lived alone his whole life, never married or had kids, and had only one chair at his table. To visitors, the message, seeing that one chair, was unmistakable. Hopefully, they would not be staying long?
This is no philosophy to base your life on, but most of us have flashes of misanthropy now and again. If things get too bad, you can always get a cat.
I don’t know the name of this Larkin poem, but it’s pretty funny.
They fuck you up, your mum and dad,
they may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had,
and add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn,
by fools, in old style hats and coats,
who half the time were sorry stern,
and half at one anothers' throats.

Man hands on misery to man,
it broadens like a coastal shelf.
So get out as quickly as you can,
and don't have any kids yourself.

The Classification of the Vietnamese Language

One of the reasons that I am doing this post is that one of my commenters asked me a while back to do a post on the theories of long-range comparison like Joseph Greenberg’s and how well they hold up. That will have to wait for another day, but for now, I can  at least show you how some principles of Historical Linguistics, a subfield that I know a thing or two about. I will keep this post pretty non-technical, so most of you ought to be able to figure out what is going on.
Let us begin by looking at some proposals about the classification of Vietnamese.
The Vietnamese language has been subject to a great deal of speculation regarding its classification. At the moment, it is in the Mon-Khmer or Austroasiatic family with Khmer, Mon, Muong, Wa, Palaung, Nicobarese, Khmu, Munda, Santali, Pnar, Khasi, Temiar, and some others. The family ranges through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, China, and over into Northeastern India.
It is traditionally divided into Mon-Khmer and Munda branches. Here is Ethnologue’s split, and here are some other ways of dividing up the family.
The homeland of the Austroasiatics was probably in China, in Yunnan, Southwest China. They moved down from China probably around 5,000 years ago. Some of the most ancient Austroasiatics are probably the Senoi people, who came down from China into Malaysia about 4,000 years ago. Others put the time frame at about 4-8,000 YBP (years before present).
A major fraud has been perpetrated lately based on Senoi Dream Therapy. I discussed it on the old blog, and you can Google it if you are interested. In Anthropology classes we learned all about these fascinating Senoi people, who based their lives around their dreams. Turns out most of the fieldwork was poor to fraudulent like Margaret Mead’s unfortunate sojourn in the South Pacific.
The Senoi resemble Veddas of India, so it is probably true that they are ancient people.  Also, their skulls have Australoid features. In hair, they mostly have wavy hair (like Veddoids), a few have straight hair (like Mongoloids) and a scattering have woolly hair (like Negritos). Bottom line is that ancient Austroasiatics were probably Australoid types who resembled what the Senoi look like today.
There has long been a line arguing that the Vietnamese language is related to Sino-Tibetan (the family that Chinese is a part of). Even those who deny this acknowledge that there is a tremendous amount of borrowing from Chinese (especially Cantonese) to Vietnamese. This level of borrowing so long ago makes historical linguistics a difficult field.
Here is an excellent piece by a man who has done a tremendous amount of work detailing his case for Vietnamese as a Sino-Tibetan language. It’s not for the amateur, but if you want to dip into it, go ahead. I spent some time there, and after a while, I was convinced that Vietnamese was indeed a Sino-Tibetan language. One of the things that convinced me is that if borrowing was involved, seldom have I seen such a case for such a huge amount of borrowing, in particular of basic vocabulary. I figured the  case was sealed.
Not so fast now.
Looking again, and reading some of Joseph Greenberg’s work on the subject, I am now convinced otherwise. There is a serious problem with the cognates between Vietnamese and Chinese, of which there are a tremendous number.
This problem is somewhat complex, but I will try to simplify it. Briefly, if Vietnamese is indeed related to Sino-Tibetan, its cognates should be not only with Chinese, but with other members of Sino-Tibetan also. In other words, we should find cognates with Tibetan, Naga, Naxi, Tujia, Karen, Lolo, Kuki, Nung, Jingpho, Chin, Lepcha, etc. We should also find cognates with those languages, where we do not find them in Chinese. That’s a little complicated, so I will let you think about it a bit.
Further, the comparisons between Chinese and Vietnamese should be variable. Some should look quite close, while others should look much more distant.
So there’s a problem with the Vietnamese as ST theory.
The cognates look like Chinese.
Problem is, they look too much like Chinese. They look more like Chinese than they should in a genetic relationship. Further, they look like Chinese and only Chinese. Looking for relationships in S-T outside of Chinese, and we find few if any.
That’s a dead ringer for borrowing from Chinese to Vietnamese. If it’s not clear to you how that is, think about it a bit.
Looking at Mon-Khmer, the case is not so open and shut. There seem to be more cognates with Chinese than with Mon-Khmer. So many more that the case for Vietnamese as AA looks almost silly, and you wonder how anyone came up with it.
But let us look again. The cognates with AA and Vietnamese are not just with its immediate neighbors like Cambodian and Khmu but with languages far off in far Eastern India like Munda and Santali. There are words that are found only in the Munda branch in one or two obscure languages that somehow show up again as cognates in Vietnamese.
Now tell me how Vietnamese borrowed ancient basic vocabulary from some obscure Munda tongue way over in Northeast India? It did not. How did those words end up in some unheard of NE Indian tongue and also in Vietnamese? Simple. They both descended long ago from a common ancestor. This is Historical Linguistics.
The concepts I have dealt with here are not easy for the non-specialist to figure out, but most smart people can probably get a grasp on them.
A different subject is the deep relationships of AA. Is AA related to any other languages? I leave that as an open question now,  though there does appear to be a good case for AA being related to Austronesian.
One good piece of evidence is the obscure AA languages found in the Nicobar Islands off the coast of Thailand. Somehow, we see quite a few cognates in Nicobarese with Austronesian. We do not see them in any other branches of AA, only in Nicobarese. This seems odd,  and it’s hard to make a case for borrowing. On the other hand, why cognates in Nicobarese and only in Nicobarese?
Truth is there are some cognates outside of Nicobarese but not a whole lot. In historical linguistics, one thing we look at is morphology. Those are parts of words, like the -s plural ending in English.
In both AA and Austronesian, we have funny particles called infixes. Those are what in English we might call prefixes or suffixes, except they are stuck in the middle of the word instead of at the end or the beginning. So, in English, we have pre- as a prefix meaning “before” and -er meaning “object that does X verb”. So pre-destination means that our lives are figured out before we are even born.  Comput-er and print-er are two objects, one that computes and the other that prints.
If we had infixes instead, pre-destination would look something like destin-pre-ation and comput-er and print-er would look something like com-er-pute and prin-er-t.
Anyway, there are some fairly obscure infixes that show up not only in some isolated languages in AA but also in far-flung Austronesian languages in, say, the Philippines. Ever heard of the borrowing of an infix? Neither have I? So were those infixes borrowed,  and what are they doing in languages as far away as Thailand and the Philippines, and none in between? Because they  got borrowed? When? How? Forget it.
Bottom line is that said borrowing did not happen. So what are those infix cognates doing there? Probably ancient particles left over from a common language that derived both Austronesian and AA, probably spoken somewhere in SW China maybe 9,000 years ago or more.
Why is this sort of long-range comparison so hard? For one thing, because after 9,000 years or more, there are hardly any cognates left anymore, due to the fact of language change. Languages change and tend to change at a certain rate.
After 1000X years, so much change has taken place that even if two languages were once “sprung from a common source,” in the famous words of Sir William Jones in his epochal lecture to the Asiatic Society in Calcutta on February 2, 1786, there is almost nothing, or actually nothing, left to show of that relationship. Any common words have become so mangled by time that they don’t look much or anything alike anymore.
So are AA and Austronesian related? I think so, but I suppose it’s best to say that it has not been proven yet. This thesis is part of a larger long-range concept known as “Austric.” Paul Benedict, a great scholar, was one of the champions of this. Austric is normally made up of AA, Austronesian, Tai-Kadai (the Thai language and its relatives) and Hmong-Mien (the Hmong and Mien languages). Based on genetics, the depth of Austric may be as deep as 30,000 years, so proving it is going to be a tall order indeed.
What do I think?
I think Tai-Kadai and Austronesian are proven to be related (more on that later). AA and Austronesian seem to be related also, with a lesser depth of proof. Hmong-Mien seems to be related to Sino-Tibetan, not Austric.
The case for Vietnamese being related to S-T is still very interesting, and I still have an open mind about it.
All of these discussions are hotly controversial, and mentioning it in linguistics circles is likely to set tempers flaring.


Author and date unknown, What Makes Vietnamese So Chinese? An Introduction to Sinitic-Vietnamese Studies.

Answering the Afrocentrists

We are having a debate on the old blog about a post I made attacking White nationalists for saying that Africans were still living in the Stone Age on contact. In the post, I noted that Africans had not attained a high level of development. A person who has been dosed with Afrocentrism has challenged this, saying that Africans indeed had reached a high level of development, just as good as Europeans.
I don’t want to get on some Africa-bashing high horse here, but this nonsense needs to be answered.
The evidence for a high level of development was a university in Timbuktu along with numerous written material there and the achievement of ironworking. I have already dealt with ironworking on the old blog.
Sadly, many White nationalists refuse to acknowledge that Africans even worked iron. Working iron is pretty good – most Amerindian tribes never made it to the metalworking stage. If you’re working metal, you’re out of the Stone Age – that’s the definition of the Stone Age right there – Stone Age folks are not working metal yet.
Nevertheless, this achievement does need to be seen in perspective. After a lot of research, I concluded that Africans had not developed ironworking de novo as many Afrocentrists believe. For one thing, they completely skipped the typically essential first phases of copper working and bronze working. What seems like a quantum leap is probably more a case of direct cultural borrowing.
Sure, cultures borrow all the time, and de novo development isn’t real common. Europe Proper didn’t even develop metalworking themselves. It started in Asia Minor, in Turkey, with the Hittites,  and flowed out to Europe, North Africa, etc. from there. After going through this excellent paper (available on this blog here – 55 pages but worth it if you are interested in the controversy), I conclude1 that Africans got iron from Carthage 2,500 years ago (Alpern 2005).
From there, it went to Niger and Mauritania then south to northern Nigeria.
The Bantus in the Cameroon developed this skill very well, and there is good evidence that this is what enabled the famous Bantu Expansion of 2,500 years ago in which the Bantus expanded across Africa. The Bantus had good agriculture and iron. They used the iron to make spears and farm implements, and this was a good enough advantage that they were able to expand across Africa at the expense of the Pygmies and Khoisan who populated it at the time.
So, for the Afrocentrists, even their “miraculous” ironworking is not as great as it seems. It is here compared absurdly to “steel making,” which it is claimed that Whites only got in the 1850’s. Africans were supposedly making this “steel” for 2,500 years, and White Americans never figured it out until 150 years ago. Not going into the whole complex business of forging metals, but that’s a total misrepresentation of the available data.
One thing that the Africans did do was wildly and amazingly expand on the ironmaking technique they got from Carthage. Their ingenuity in creating seemingly hundreds of ways to forge iron was pretty amazing. However, it must be a blow to Afrocentrists that the technology itself came from the hated White man, Carthaginians being probably at most 13% Black, and therefore a mostly-White grouping.
Further, once one acquires iron, one really ought to set about making some sort of machinery. My understanding is that Africans never invented even the most primitive machine, not even a hinge. That’s not so advanced.
The university at Timbuktu, I will grant, is an achievement for Africans. Malians are clearly Black folks, and it’s impressive that they had a university stacked with books.
However, the script that the people in Timbuktu used was Arabic, so the Timbuktu university cannot be used as evidence that Africans developed writing. They did not. They simply borrowed a script from the mostly-White Arabs of North Africa. Once again, Black man borrowing from hated Whitey. Not quite the smashing achievement that Afrocentrists want to see.
Further, it appears there was little or no education of any sort, much less centers of higher learning, south of the Sahara. Nor was there much advanced thinking going on. Yet in Greece and Rome, in India and the Middle East, in China, in southern Mexico, scholars were advancing medicine, literature, philosophy, mathematics, science, political theory, etc.  In Africa? Nothing at all, other than the Dogons figuring out some astronomy.
Further, the Africans in Mali around Timbuktu may be as much as 50% Caucasian. The Whiter Africans were the ones setting up the universities, reading books, writing stuff down and even figuring out astronomy.
A writing script is a very high level of development. The most primitive level are the ideographs and hieroglyphics of the Egyptians.
The first actual alphabet based on sound-symbol correspondence seems to have arisen in the Middle East around the Holy Land maybe 3,000 years ago or so (no, it was not the Hebrew alphabet of the Jews – that is derivative).
From there, it rapidly fanned out all over the world. The other writing systems of the Middle East, Europe, Persia,  South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Indonesia, all the way up to Mongolia and the Hangul of Korea, all seem to have stemmed from this first alphabet from the Holy Land.
It was not just scripts that people were borrowing. They were merely borrowing the concept of a script. As everyone spoke different tongues, each group had to adopt the alphabet to their own language in various ways. This often involved radically new sets of symbols.
It appears that Africans never got around to doing this – feel free to look over the data yourself. There were books in Timbuktu, but they were in Arabic script. Africans never looked at that alphabet and tried to make a sound-symbol corresponding alphabet for any of their own multiplicity of tongues.
It is true that in the last 200 years, some African alphabets have been invented. Some of them are pretty good – the Vai script is one of them. But the Vai script seems to have been borrowed from Sequoia’s Cherokee script. In the past century, more scripts have  been developed, but not that many. It seems that quite a few African languages are not even written down to this day.
Egypt is routinely trotted out as a great Black civilization. It is almost pitiful the way Afrocentrists so long to grab this society for themselves. It doesn’t take a lot of digging to figure out that Egypt was only a Black civilization in the last 200 years, as it was declining towards collapse.
In its final days, Black Nubians (actually ~60% Caucasian) did conquer Ancient Egypt and proceed over its final death throes. They didn’t do much to advance Egyptian civilization. They were more bed-watchers at the hospice of Ancient Egypt.
The great achievements of Egyptian civilization were accomplished by people with approximately the same racial background as the Egyptians of today – about 91% Caucasian and 9% Black. The Black is derived from Ethiopic stock. “Black Athena” is complete nonsense2.
White Nationalists typically use these arguments to hit Black people over the head and call them a failed race, as if the past automatically predicts the future. Were that true,  Germans would be running around in bearskins destroying every building they saw. So that is not my intention here.
While WN’s grotesquely exaggerate the relatively low level of African civilization, Afrocentists hallucinate great things out of thin air. They are both wrong. Africans were surely out of the Stone Age and they had the full array of agriculture, which advances them at least beyond most Amerindians.
Let’s give credit where it’s due. But they’re no challengers to the Chinese, Hittites, East Indians, Greeks or Romans. In many ways, they were bested even by Filipinos and Indonesians.
What does this hold for the future. Who knows? The past is dead and gone. Blacks in the US at least are the smartest, most accomplished and most advanced Blacks on Earth, and now they’ve even seated a Black man at the head of our nation.
Even Africa has modern cities, modern medicine, universities, scholars and world-class mathematicians. The past is the past, nothing can be done about it. What’s important is the achievements of today and especially tomorrow, not beating people up over their report card centuries or millenia ago.


1.The Iron Age in East and South Africa extends certainly from 1,100 YBP, probably to 1,800 YBP, and possibly to 2,500 YBP. There are many Iron Age sites in Kenya. Madagascar was using iron in 1,100 YBP. Iron was also forged in the Kivu in Zaire. Near Lake Chad are Iron Age sites going back 2,000 years. (Shaw et al, p. 456.)Ironworking technology was introduced to Africa 2,500 years ago in many forms, then underwent a remarkable period of development and change over the next 2,500 years. This is the best synthesis of the data.
A new site from southeastern Nigeria goes back 2,500 years. Buhaya in NW Tanzania goes back 2,900 years. (Shaw et al, p. 434.). Copper was mined and worked in Mauritania at Akjoujt 2,900 YBP and in Agadez in Niger around the same time. This is in the same area (Tok) as the earliest iron working dates.
In Taruga in Nigeria and Kagera in NW Tanzania, there could have been a copper-iron transition 3000 YBP. (Shaw et al, p. 433.)
2.“The biological affinities of the ancient Egyptians were tested against their neighbors and selected prehistoric groups as well as against samples representing the major geographic population clusters of the world. Two dozen craniofacial measurements were taken on each individual used.
“The raw measurements were converted into C scores and used to produce Euclidean distance dendrograms. The measurements were principally of adaptively trivial traits that display patterns of regional similarities based solely on genetic relationships.
“The Predynastic of Upper Egypt and the Late Dynastic of Lower Egypt are more closely related to each other than to any other population. As a whole, they show ties with the European Neolithic, North Africa, modern Europe, and, more remotely, India, but not at all with sub-Saharan Africa, eastern Asia, Oceania, or the New World.” (Brace 1993)


Alpern, S. 2005. Did They or Didn’t They Invent It? Iron in Sub-Saharan Africa. History in Africa 32:41-94 (Download on this site here).
Brace, C. Loring. 1993. Clines and Clusters Versus “Race:” A Test in Ancient Egypt and the Case of a Death on the Nile.
Shaw, Thurston, Sinclair, Paul, Andah, Bassey, Okpoko, Alex and others. 1993. The Archeology of Africa: Food, Metals and Towns. London: Routledge.

The Middle Eastern Left and Capitulation to Imperialism

From a Maoist mailing list that I am on, an excellent piece on how Communists and the Left in general have so utterly failed the people of the Middle East. This is part – a small part, but still a part – of why Islamists are so popular. The Left has completely blown it. I had never heard of the Three Worlds Theory before. It’s hard to believe that any Leftists anywhere got behind such nonsense.
The record of the Iraqi Communist Party has been sorry indeed, and I had not heard good things about the WCP’s of Iraq and Iran. It’s incredible that the ICP-MLM’s line is that in the event of a US invasion of Iran, they will fight alongside the US to overthrow the regime. The only reasonable position to take in these cases is to fight the invaders.
I recall that in Iraq, in 1967 and 1973, after there had been a huge purge of the Left, the Communists who were in Iraqi prisons in 1967 and 1973 demanded to be let out in order to join the wars against Israel. They promised to go back to prison afterward. That’s the spirit! Viva patria libre.
This is a good piece. It doesn’t argue for throwing our weight behind fundamentalist nuts, but on the other hand, it doesn’t argue for supporting imperialism either.
However, I would also reject the usual leftwing notion, stated below, that Israel is a pawn, tool or colony of US imperialism. As a recent piece in Counterpunch pointed out, this must be some kind of a joke. Israel offers no benefit to the US or any other Western country. At best, it’s a giant millstone.
A typical Left theory is that imperialism wants to keep the Middle East stirred up and at war so they can sell weapons to it, make money off the weapons sales, and, in the case of Arab nationalists, divide and conquer the Arab World through the placement of an Israeli colony in the middle of it. Or, alternatively, to keep the Arabs dependent on our arms sales, profiting us and insuring their loyalty.
Although this theory is very appealing to Leftists (I even subscribed to it myself for a bit), it’s appalling in its stupidity.
First of all, capitalists want peace, not war. They make way more money when a region is at peace than when it’s at war, the arms industry aside. That Israel is some sort of a colony of the US and not the other way around (as Uri Avnery has noted) is a preposterous theory.
This theory has the advantage of letting the Israelis off the hook. Poor pawns of imperialism, boo hoo. Jew as victim all over again.
Further, it avoids the minefield of the Jewish Israeli Lobby in the West, which the Left does not want to touch.
Much of the Left is still sensitive to anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semites have always been our worst enemies, and they left piles of dead Communists, Leftists and progressives built of tens of millions of our dead, as high as mountains, in the past century. Further, any anti-Semite worth his salt will quickly remind you of the debt we on the Left have to the Jews, who have been instrumental in our movement. Finally, anti-Semitism as a form of racism is of course anathema to us.
The problem here is that Israel, and its heavily Jewish Amen corner in the US, is part of the problem. No mealy mouthed pussyfooting around the issue gets us away from that. That doesn’t mean we turn into anti-Semites. It just means we call em as we see em and place the blame where it lies. The media I read and listen to it is full of Jews screaming about Israel. There’s no logical reason why one must be an anti-Semite to oppose the Zionist regime.
The piece starts here:

…What this implies is that we should only support a communist or progressive national resistance to Israel. But this is just the usual western Left delusion.
What are the Communist forces in the Middle East?
The revisionists such as the Iraqi Communist Party that sat on the Iraq Governing Council as collaborators when the US was carrying out its genocidal attack on Fallujah.
The Worker-Communist Party of Iraq and Iran whose mentor Hekmat openly supported the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
The Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist- Maoist) who repeat the error of the ‘Three Worlds Theory’ by calling for ‘revolutionaries’ to fight to achieve the same objective as the US (overthrow of the current Iranian regime) in the event of a US invasion of Iran.
The Three Worlds Theory was the theory that revolutionaries and progressives should effectively unite with US imperialism to defeat the perceived greater threat of the Soviet Union. The CPI-MLM just takes the same dud theory and applies it to Islamic Fundamentalism.
Communists have sold out the people of the Middle East too often to be trusted now. It is obvious that the US and its proxy Israel is the main enemy of the people of the Middle East and other oppressed nations. They have devastated Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Palestine.
Why on Earth would the people of the Middle East choose to try to resist this dreadful force that is bringing their nations to ruin under the leadership of people that time and time again side with the country that is the cause of all their misfortune?
It’s absolutely ridiculous for Communists to make such a meal of criticising national liberation movements like Hamas. Yes, we know such movements can end up vacillating in their resistance to imperialism. But the Communists who make this criticism of Hamas just use this as an excuse for siding with American imperialism in a far more decisive manner than groups like Hamas and Hezbollah have done.
The vacillations of the national resistance movements are just used as an alibi by the Communists for their capitulation to imperialism.
Rather than criticising groups like Hamas from such a position of abject weakness, Communists should be criticising themselves for the way they have failed the people so dreadfully. Only once this is done can credibility be regained.
Does any of this mean we should tail Islamicists? Not at all, though that is the slander thrown against all Maoists that disagree with the policy of fighting on the same side as US imperialism.
The Maoist line in the case of an attack on an oppressed nation is to unite with all forces that can be united with to resist the foreign invasion. The Maoists therefore form a United Front to wage a war of national resistance. This front must be led by the Maoists, not by the reactionaries.
This leads to an obvious problem that initially the Maoist Party will be small and unable to lead. Therefore their priority is to build up their strength. This can and will lead to conflict with the reactionary government and the reactionary resistance movements, just as Mao’s PLA fought with the Chiang Kai-Shek’s army before and after the anti-Japan United Front had been formed.
Even while engaging in such conflicts Maoists must stress the line that the main enemy is the invader but that only the Maoists can lead successful resistance, not the reactionaries. Such a line is a world away from the line of uniting with imperialism against local reactionaries.
Finally, we must avoid the moralism that says we, who are not in the Middle East, should not tell them how to run their struggles. When Communist parties are going very badly wrong then it is our responsibility to point this out. The CPI-MLM has certainly not been shy of expressing its criticisms of the CPN (M), so I hardly think moralistic considerations should concern us either.

Mutual Intelligibility in the Romance Family

It is often stated that speakers of the Romance languages can all understand each other. I’m not really a fluent speaker of Spanish, but I can speak it ok. I have known some Brazilian Portuguese speakers, and they definitely could not understand Spanish well. And the Latin American Spanish speakers I knew insisted that they could not understand Portuguese.
I’ve known some Italian speakers too. I tried speaking Spanish to them in order to communicate with them, but that was a pretty useless exercise. The Italian speaker I know right now admits he can’t understand Spanish.
I find this whole theory to be ridiculous.
It’s been shown that even Asturian has only 80% intelligibility with Spanish, and Asturian is almost as close to Spanish as a language gets. Surely it’s lower with Spanish and Portuguese.
Even Galician, as close to Portuguese as you can get, has only 85% intelligibility with it.
The “dialects” of Italian are so distant that many of them are separate languages altogether. Why? Because they are unintelligible. And that’s right there within Italic itself.
Franco-Provencal has only partial intelligibility with French, and that’s quite close to French as you get.
Bottom line is the whole notion of “Romance speakers can all understand each other” can be put to rest.
On the net recently, I found these excellent comments on the debate.

The supposed mutual intelligibility of Spanish and Portuguese is greatly exaggerated. Spanish/Portuguese speakers can mutually STRUGGLE through very basic conversations (and usually while speaking very slowly, changing their normal speaking accent, and utilizing lots of hand motions to aid communication), but not much more than that without study.
The phonology of both languages is dramatically different.
And Spanish and Italian are almost not at all mutually intelligible. Too many words, and constructions are TOTALLY different. People need to stop repeating this lie of Spanish/Italian mutual intelligibility…
…I live in an Area (Newark NJ), that has a lot of Portuguese immigrants, and local Hispanics are perplexed by the language they speak, and do not even recognize it at all, and much less understand it.
You’ll hear Puerto Ricans and Dominicans say things like: “What language was that? Was that Russian?”
Portuguese often gets mistaken for some kind of obscure Slavic language by Spanish speakers who have never been exposed to it…
…Most people who have never had contact with Portuguese won’t have the slightest inclination of what a Portuguese speaker is saying, and if so, very little…
…Italian and Spanish are not that closely related, and as a general rule are NOT mutually intelligible at all.

Indeed, I would say that that about sums it up. I can understand a fair amount of Spanish on a video, but I recently watched a video of Wally Gator dubbed into Brazilian Portuguese (the old Hanna Barbera cartoons are insanely popular to this day down in Brazil) and I could barely make out a damned word.
One thing that I noticed is that if you know one Romance tongue, you can pick up another pretty fast. I dated a Brazilian woman once and I used to speak to her in Spanish while she spoke to me in Portuguese. Within mere days, I was picking up the Portuguese, with the help of a dictionary of course. I’m now learning some Italian through interacting with an Italian translator of my work. It’s so much easier since I know Spanish.
I suspect that the other much-daunted “intelligibility chains” between the great languages are pretty much like the above with Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
Note that in the same linked web discussion, there are some individual speakers of Spanish or Portuguese who claim that they can easily understand the other language. This is why linguistic evaluation of mutual intelligibility is such a minefield. Different informants give you all sorts of different responses.
One of the big problems with mutual intelligibility testing is that when dealing with closely related dialects or languages, speakers can pretty quickly start to understand the other tongue after listening to it for a while. I’m not really sure what to do in cases like this. You would have to ask the experts like the folks at Ethnologue who run around doing intelligibility testing of speakers all over the world.
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