Two articles I want to get onto my site… and the first one about Africa I have used in the past… actually, Tokyo’s Medical Association Chairman (Haruo Ozaki) uses this information in his recommending to Japan to use Ivermectin. Here is my response from a conversation posted a while back:
Z.L., Ross T. has no idea what they are talking about. Nor does he actually step outside the boobtube to find out. Some African countries have handed out Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as well as Ivermectin yearly to it population. You can see these countries doing very well. This is part of the reason Tokyo’s Medical Association Chairman (Haruo Ozaki) recommends Ivermectin has again recommended it. He first recommended it in February, but just recently said Japan has not heeded his warning. (RPT: More Straight Talk About Covid-19 Prophylactics)
More on Africa:
…..Last year, health officials predicted millions would die in Africa from COVID, but instead, the continent has a death rate (161.26 per million population) lower than the world average (653.52 per million population), and Africa is described by the World Health as being “one of the least affected regions in the world” in its weekly pandemic reports.
According to a recent report from the Associated Press, COVID-19 seems to have become a thing of the past. In Zimbabwe, for example, only 33 new cases and zero deaths were recorded last week.
A study published in April 2020 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene warned that, “there is currently no evidence that CQ or HCQ, two low-cost drugs for which we have extensive experience for treatment of malaria and rheumatic disorders, has beneficial effects on the clinical course of COVID-19 patients,” and then warned that, “the off-label use of CQ and HCQ to prevent or treat COVID-19 in Africa and elsewhere must be viewed with greatest caution, considering potential serious toxicities and benefit versus risk. If the effectiveness of these and other drugs is established in global trials, therapeutics for COVID-19 will require further operational evaluation in Africa.”
Because of the high rates of malaria in Africa, CQ and HCQ are widely available there and have been used to treat malaria for decades. It’s a cheap, off-patent drug, that was unfortunately highly politicized in the early weeks of the pandemic because President Trump cited a study showing it was potentially a gamechanger in the fight against COVID.
Unfortunately, Democrats cared more about defeating Trump in the election than saving lives, and fueled hysteria against the drugs. Anyone touting the drug’s potential was silenced, including doctors. Many peer-reviewed studies have shown that HCQ contributes to less severe symptoms and lower mortality when administered early. Unfortunately, those studies were ignored while studies that claimed HCQ caused higher mortality were given wide coverage in the media… and some turned out to be bogus.
Imagine how many lives might have been saved had we really been “in this together” instead of so many being “in this to get Trump.”
According to a recent news story, “scientists are mystified” about the low numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in African countries: “Africa doesn’t have the vaccines and the resources to fight COVID-19 that they have in Europe and the U.S., but somehow they seem to be doing better.”
Interestingly, aside from confirming yet again that the vaccines don’t work, the African data also provide evidence supporting the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine. A new study by economists Hideki Toya and Mark Skidmore, which carefully controlled for other plausible contributing factors such as age distribution, healthcare capacity, and sunlight (exposure to which increases vitamin D levels), shows a convincing protective effect of hydroxychloroquine. While this is primarily an antimalarial drug, its antiviral properties have long been recognized. The same is true of ivermectin, which shows compelling activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and also in vivo.
Note that the morbidity and mortality data analyzed by Toya and Skidmore are unaffected by vaccination rates, since they are from early 2020. You can read their study here: LIGHTHOUSE ECONOMICS
A Chicago-area judge saved a grandfather’s life with the single question that exposes hospitals blocking doctors from using a safe, FDA-approved drug: Why? (RESCUE with Michael Capuzzo)
Sun Ng, a retired contractor from Hong Kong, traveled to Illinois to celebrate his only granddaughter’s first birthday. He got covid and was near death in a Chicago-area hospital. All other options were exhausted, but the hospital refused to give Mr. Ng a generic, FDA-approved drug with an extraordinary safety record that a doctor believed could safe his life.
Finally, a judge asked the right question about ivermectin.
“What’s the downside?”
Put another way: If a man is dying of covid in an ICU and all else has been tried, why not order a hospital to give a safe, last-ditch drug?
Edward Hospital, located near Chicago, offered three arguments as to why Sun Ng, seventy-one, should not be given ivermectin:
There could be side effects.
Ordering ivermectin would violate its policies.
Forcing the issue would be “extraordinary” judicial overreach.
On each argument, DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Paul Fullerton firmly disagreed.
“I can’t think of a more extraordinary situation than when we are talking about a man’s life,” he said in a November 5 decision that is a model of rational decision-making in an irrational era.
“I am not forcing this hospital to do anything other than to step aside,” he continued in a Zoom hearing. “I am just asking—or not asking—I am ordering through the Court’s power to allow Dr. Bain to have the emergency privileges and administer this medicine.”
The hospital ultimately stepped aside. Dr. Alan Bain, an internist, administered a five-day course of 24 milligrams of ivermectin, from November 8 through November 12.
Ng, who with his wife, Ying, had come from Hong Kong to celebrate their granddaughter’s birthday, was able to breathe without a ventilator within five days—he, in fact, removed the endotracheal himself. He left the ICU Tuesday, November 16, and, although confused and weak, was breathing Sunday without supplemental oxygen on a regular hospital floor.
“Every day after ivermectin, there was accelerated and stable improvement,” said Dr. Bain, who administered the drug in two previous court cases after hospitals refused. “Three times we’ve shown something,” he told me. “There’s a signal of benefit for ventilator patients.”
Ng’s remarkable progress stands in sharp relief to the repeated attempts by Edward-Elmhurst Health, the hospital’s managing system, to thwart the use of ivermectin. It succeeded in having the court’s initial November 1 order dismissed by claiming Ng was in better health than his lawsuit contended (he wasn’t). It then defied the November 5 order, saying Dr. Bain was not vaccinated (a negative test resolved the issue).
Moreover, after Ng’s treatment was complete, the hospital system filed notice that it would appeal the order that had already been carried out. It did this even though Sun Ng seemed to have benefited greatly.
The patient’s improvement, or condition generally, did not seem to matter…..
Dr. Marik received his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr. Marik did Critical Care Fellowship in London, and Ontario, Canada. Dr. Marik has worked in various teaching hospitals in the USA, since 1992. He is a board certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Neurocritical Care and Nutrition Science. Dr. Marik is currently Professor of Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. Dr. Marik has written over 500 peer-reviewed papers and books, 43,000 scholarly citations of his work, and a research “H” rating higher than many Nobel Prize winners, 80 book chapters and authored four critical care books. He has been cited over 25,000 times in peer reviewed publications.
More heart issues confirmed with the mRNA vaccines:
Bad news about the dangers that mRNA vaccines may pose to the heart and blood vessels keeps coming.
A new study of 566 patients who received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines shows that signs of cardiovascular damage soared following the shots. The risk of heart attacks or other severe coronary problems more than doubled months after the vaccines were administered, based on changes in markers of inflammation and other cell damage.
Patients had a 1 in 4 risk for severe problems after the vaccines, compared to 1 in 9 before.
Dr. Steven Gundry, a Nebraska physician and retired cardiac surgeon, presented the findings at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association’s annual conference in Boston last week. An abstract is available in Circulation, the AHA’s scientific journal……..
In this interview, Steve Kirsch, executive director of the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund, reviews some of the COVID jab data he’s presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during various meetings.
Data suggest 1 in 317 boys aged 16 to 17 will get myocarditis from the COVID shots, and after a third booster, that number may be even higher
VAERS reporting is likely underreported by a factor of 41. Since there are over 8,000 domestic deaths reported to VAERS, and 98% of those deaths are “excess deaths,” this suggests that as many as 300,000 Americans may have died from the COVID shots thus far
Calculations based on government data from 35% of the world’s population suggest we’re killing approximately 411 people per million doses on average. Moderna and Pfizer are both two-dose regimens, which pushes this to 822 deaths per million fully vaccinated. And that’s just the short-term mortality. We still have no concept of how these shots might impact mortality and morbidity in the longer term
An Italian investigation found that if the COVID mortality definition were changed to only include those cases where there were no preexisting comorbidities, the mortality from COVID comes out to just 2.9% of the overall reported number. This suggests that if a COVID death was redefined to being a death actually “from” COVID rather than “with” COVID, the death count could be substantially smaller than 760,000 deaths and may be smaller than the number killed by the vaccines
The deadliest vaccine ever made is the smallpox vaccine, which killed 1 in 1 million vaccinated people. The COVID shots kills 822 per million fully vaccinated, making it more than 800 times deadlier than the deadliest vaccine in human history
This is a not-too-well-known subtitle of Charles Darwin’s work. I have an introduction to this idea entitled, “Racism and Evolutionary Thought“. Stephen Jay Gould notes the affects of Darwinism on culture:
“Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they have increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory”
Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 1977), 127.
Human Zoos tells the shocking story of how thousands of indigenous peoples were put on public display in America in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Above video description:
Often touted as “missing links” between man and apes, these native peoples were harassed and demeaned. Their public display was arranged with the enthusiastic support of the most elite members of the scientific community, and it was promoted uncritically by American’s leading newspapers. This award-winning documentary explores the heartbreaking story of what happened, shows how African-American ministers and other people of faith tried to push back, and reveals how some people today are still drawing on Social Darwinism in order to dehumanize others. The film also explores the tragic story of eugenics in America, the effort to breed human beings based on Darwinian principles.
Human Zoos was an official selection of the African World Documentary Film Festival and has won awards for Best Editing (Oregon Documentary Film Festival), Best in Show (Cinema WorldFest Awards) and Awards of Excellence from the Impact Docs Awards and the Hollywood Independent Documentary Awards.
Be sure to check out these other videos about social Darwinism.
Skull-hunters killed Aborigines and legitimized this act asserting that they were doing it for science. The skulls of the hunted natives were sold to museums after some chemical reactions that would make them look old. The skulls with bullet holes were filled in with utmost attention. According to Creation Magazine published in Australia, a group of observers that came in from South Galler were shocked when they saw that dozens of women, children and men were killed by evolutionists. Forty five skulls were chosen among the killed Aborigines, the flesh of them were set aside and boiled. The best ten were packaged to be sent to England.
Today, thousands of skulls of Aborigines are still in the warehouse of Smithsonian Institution. Some of these skulls belong to the corpses dug from the graves where as some others are the skulls of innocent people killed to prove evolution.
There were also African victims of the evolutionist violence. The most famous one was the pigmy Ota Benga who was taken to the world of the white men to be displayed as a transitional form. Oto Benga was caught in 1904 by a researcher Samuel Verner in Kongo then a colony of Belgium. The native whose name meant friend in his native language, was married and had two kids. Yet he was chained, put into a cage and sent by a boat to the evolutionist scientists who within the same year displayed him in the St. Louis World Fair together with other monkey species as the closest transitional form to humankind. Two years later, he was taken to Bronx Zoo in New York where he was, this time displayed as one of the ancestors of human beings together with a few chimpanzees, a gorilla called Dinah and an orangutan called Dohung. Dr. William T. Hornaday, the director of the zoo who was also a fanatical evolutionist delivered long speeches about how he was proud of having such a precious transitional form. The guests, on the other hand, treated Ota Benga as an ordinary animal. Ota Benga could not bear the treatment he received and committed suicide. (Here is a reggae song dedicated to Oto on A BITTA WORLD by BORROW SHANGO.)
….The many factors motivating Verner to bring Ota to the United States were complex, but he was evidently .much influenced by the theories of Charles Darwin” a theory which, as it developed, increasingly divided humankind into human contrived races (Rymer, 1992, p. 3). Darwin also believed that the blacks were an inferior race’ (Vemer, 1908a, p. 10717). Although biological racism did not begin with Darwinism, Darwin did more than any other man to popularize it among the masses. As early as 1699, English Physician Edward Tyson studied a skeleton which he believed belonged to a pygmy, concluding that this race was apes, although it was discovered that the skeleton on which this conclusion was based was actually a chimpanzee (Bradford and Blume, 1992, p. 20).
The conclusion in Vemer’s day accepted by most scientists was that after Darwin showed “that all humans descended from apes, the suspicion remained that some races had descended farther than others … [and that] some races, namely the white ones, had left the ape far behind, while other races, pygmies especially, had hardly matured at all” (Bradford and Blume, 1992, p. 20). Many scholars agreed with Sir Harry Johnson, a pygmy scholar who stated that the pygmies were “very apelike in appearance [and] their hairy skins, the length of their arms, the strength of their thickset frames, their furtive ways, all point to these people as representing man in one of his earlier forms’ (Keane 1907, p. 99). One of the most extensive early studies of the pygmies concluded that they were “queer little freaks” and
The low state of their mental development is shown by the following facts. They have no regard for time, nor have they any records or traditions of the past; no religion is known among them, nor have they any fetish rights; they do not seek to know the future by occult means… in short, they are… the closest link with the original Darwinian anthropoid ape extant” (Burrows, 1905, pp. 172, 182)….
The first part of this audio is Larry Elder (5-24-19) reading an article by Roger D. McGrath, “GETTING REAL ABOUT REPARATIONS”. The second part is Dr. McGrath being interviewed by Larry Elder (5-28-19) about that article, at the 14-minute mark. This is MUST hear history that should be listened to side-by-side with the audio chapter on slavery from Thomas Sowell’s book, “Black Redneck, White Liberals”. See Roger’s other article at Larry’s site entitled simply “WHITE SLAVES“
…Frederick Law Olmstead, the architect of New York’s Central Park, traveled throughout the South on the eve of the Civil War and was surprised to find, again and again, that Irishmen were used instead of slaves for the work of draining swampland, felling trees, digging ditches, quarrying rock, and clearing forests because “it was much better to have Irish do it, who cost nothing to the planter if they died, than to use up good field-hands in such severe employment.” At a landing on the Alabama River, Irish deckhands caught and stowed heavy bales of cotton after they had come hurtling down a long chute from a towering bluff. When Olmstead asked why slaves were not doing the work, the ship’s captain replied, “The niggers are worth too much to be risked here; if the Paddies are knocked overboard, or get their backs broke, nobody loses anything!”
The death rate among Irish laborers was shocking and had been for several decades before Olmstead toured the South. The New Basin Canal, which connected New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain, was built by Irish labor during the 1830’s. The Irish workmen dug the canal with hand shovels, excavating more than half a million cubic yards of earth. Lacking dynamite, they used axes to fell huge bald cypress trees along the route. They were paid $20 a month and given room and board. Tyrone Power, a famous Irish actor of the period, visited his countrymen and described the scene in 1834, saying he found:
…hundreds of fine fellows laboring here beneath a sun that at this winter season was at times insufferably fierce, and amidst a pestilential swamp whose exhalations were fetid to a degree scarcely endurable even for a few moments … mid-deep in black mud … bearing burdens it made one’s shoulders ache to look upon; exposed meantime to every change of temperature, in log huts, laid down in the very swamp. … Here they subsist on the coarsest fare … often at the mercy of a hard contractor, who wrings his profits from their blood.
More than 10,000—some estimates put the number as high as 30,000—Irish workers died in the process. They died of cholera. They died of yellow fever. They died of alligator attacks. They died of water-moccasin bites. They died in accidents. They were buried where they fell, often in mass graves. White privilege.
Meanwhile, there were more than a quarter-million free blacks in the South and nearly 4,000 of them were slavemasters who owned more than 20,000 black slaves. William Ellison, only one of several hundred black slaveholders in South Carolina, owned 63 slaves as recorded in the U.S. Census of 1860. In Charleston, 125 free blacks were slaveholders, and in Charleston City, the port city for Charleston, the largest owner of slaves was a black woman.
Black partners Justus Angel and Mistress Horry owned 84 slaves each and were notorious for slave trading. In neighboring North Carolina, 69 blacks were slaveholders. The most prominent of them was John Stanly, who owned three plantations and 163 slaves. One of dozens of black slavemasters in Maryland, Nat Butler owned a farm but made his real money from slave trading. He lured runaway slaves to his farm and then, depending on the size of the reward, either returned them to their owner or sold them to plantations in the Deep South.
The largest concentration of black slave owners was in Louisiana. Marie Metoyer owned 287 slaves and more than 1,000 acres of land. The widow C. Richards and her son P.C. Richards had 152 slaves working their sugar plantation. Antoine Dubuclet had 100 slaves on his sugar plantation. Cotton planter Auguste Donatto owned 70 slaves, as did Antoine Decuire. Verret Polen owned 69. Dozens of other blacks owned 30 or more slaves. Every one of the 13 states and most of the major cities that would become part of the Confederacy had substantial numbers of black slaveowners. New Orleans by both numbers and by proportion had the most. A staggering 28 percent of free blacks in the Crescent City owned slaves.
With the Civil War imminent, free blacks in New Orleans pledged their support of the Confederacy, declaring:
The free colored population of Louisiana … own slaves, and they are dearly attached to their native land … and they are ready to shed their blood for her defense. They have no sympathy for abolitionism; no love for the North, but they have plenty for Louisiana. … They will fight for her in 1861 as they fought in 1814-1815.
Black slavemasters are omitted from most textbooks in American history or mentioned only as having bought a family member to free him. That occurred, but only in a minority of cases…..
This UPDATE comes by way of MOONBATTERY, and is followed by the an excerpt from the larger piece:
By necessity if not design, political correctness corrodes standards of value. That’s why its first victim is excellence. Those who draw attention to the corrosion are punished as thought criminals.
Progressives are in the process of reducing the military to a social engineering laboratory. It provides an example:
Two Army Green Berets are fighting for their military careers after being associated with an anonymous email that accused their commanders of lowering standards to enable more soldiers — particularly female — to graduate from its prestigious Q-course.
The anonymous email, signed, “A concerned Green Beret,” accused the leaders of the school of “moral cowardice” for lowering the standards…
The author of the email has already been punished. Now the Army is rooting out people who seem likely to agree with it….
Here is more information via BREITBART:, one can understand some of the disciplin, IN THAT, it became widely public. Here is a bit from the email that could have been more constructive… maybe?
“[The school] has devolved into a cesspool of toxic, exploitive, biased and self-serving senior officers who are bolstered by submissive, sycophantic, and just-as-culpable enlisted leaders,” the email said. “They have doggedly succeeded in two things; furthering their careers, and ensuring that Special Forces [are] more prolific but dangerously less capable than ever before.”
However TRUE it may be… someone’s macheezmo was butt hurt. Here is more on the other two Green Barretes:
Now, the two additional Green Beret instructors, Sergeant First Class Micah J. Robertson, 33, and Sergeant First Class Michael Squires, 31, say they are being punished by association.
Robertson said in an interview that after the email was sent out, commanders put together a list of about seven suspects, including them. He said he believes they were suspected because they had previously brought up concerns during town halls with leaders that were held to solicit their feedback.
Both have been instructors since 2016, before Sonntag took command in June 2017, and say they have witnessed the changes.
“Although Micah and I had nothing to do with it, it spoke true to what’s happening in the regiment. This guy Sonntag, who’s basically the one who’s trying to screw us over — he’s trying to make his career about putting a female through the course,” Squires said. He added that he did not oppose women in Special Forces, but opposed lowering the standards.
“Not only doing that, he’s changed it to where the guys who are coming through the Q-course are not even the same quality of guys we had back in the day. Guys who should have been kicked out for several different things … As instructors, they took our power away.”
Both Robertson and Squires were also served with Article 15s related to the email, as well as to an online app they started building in September 2017 named Kayu, aimed at helping travelers and veterans with similar interests connect.
The Article 15 accused both men of using their positions as instructors “for the purposes of personal gain” by “sourcing information from students that had no relevance to training,” or having their students sign up for the app. Robertson called that “hogwash.”
Former Green Beret and Ultimate Fighting Champion superstar Tim Kennedy said Army recruitment challenges hit the Green Beret force especially hard.
“[For] Special Forces specifically, we are gonna have the biggest deficit of eligible… population, to select from,” he said on The Joe Rogan Experience on May 17. “You have to have a certain level of intelligence, a certain level of physicality, just to be eligible for Special Forces to pick you… that pool is the smallest that has ever been in history.”
Sonntag himself acknowledged those challenges shortly after taking command. He said at a symposium in November 2017 that all three of the Army Special Operations regiments are facing serious challenges in “force structure changes, pipeline production, and recruiting.”
“We are currently not meeting our production numbers. The restructuring of the 85th [Civil Affairs] Brigade has created an imbalanced CA force structure. And our recruitment is down. If something doesn’t change soon, we will short the operational force drastically over the next five years,” he said.
Robertson said lowering standards in order to produce more Green Berets goes against a fundamental SOF truth that every Green Beret is taught….
I wanted to post some commentary on this issue, the first comes from a Marine posting some open thoughts on this “social engineering” grab by the Marines… joining the other branches in making it less safe on our front-lines in the name of Political-Correctness:
Didn’t see this coming Female Marines have received ample time (over a year) to prepare for this test which, oh by the way, still isn’t to the same standard that it is for males. Sure, they have to get the same bare minimum of 3 that males get. However, their max is 8 whereas mine is 20. So, on a maximum 300 point physical fitness test (PFT) where each of the 3 events (pull ups, crunches, 3 mile run) has the potential to give you 100 points, a female Marine only has to do 40% of the work I have to in order to get 100 points for her pull ups on her PFT. I call bogus. That enables her to be as competitive for promotion as me without having to do the work that I do. Not to mention that she can run her 3 miles in 21 minutes to receive 100 points for that while I have to run it in 18 minutes. If you’ve ever run a 5K, 3 minutes is an eternity between two runners.
Some of you will say “Well, that score is only part of what is looked at when considering promotion.” I will submit this to you. Every promotion board for E-6, E-7, and E-8/E-9 (this board is conducted jointly) in the Marine Corps has an after action review written for it. In every one of those after action reviews, the board members are asked “What is the first tie breaker between two Marines if there is one spot left in their MOS field to promote?” The answer is ALWAYS “Their PFT score.”
Now, some on this site will say that I am butt hurt because 3 females passed our infantry course. That is mentioned in the article. Not the case. When I know that 16 females began the course and only 3 passed, I’m not worried. Of the 16, 9 failed due to performance reasons. That leaves 7. Of those 7, 4 broke due to hip and knee problems. Those are the classic female breaking points that I’ve seen in most female injuries. Those occur very frequently at Parris Island as well. So, we have the 3 left. Now, for males, approximately 79% make it through infantry training. 10% of them are dropped for medical reasons. That leaves approximately 11% for performance/legal issues. For those of you who are Marines, it’s the classic, always spoken of, 10% that fail. Also of note, the females were required to carry each other during casualty evacuation, movement courses, etc. So, a female weighing 110lbs-140lbs is carrying around her equivalent weight while the males are slinging whichever casualty they see over their shoulder.
Again, I call bogus. I’m not a big fan of this social engineering crap. DADT was another issue. I wasn’t a supporter of that. It wasn’t performance based. A gay guy can fireman’s carry a casualty just as effectively (though the casualty may be uncomfortable) as a straight guy. But the vast majority of females cannot do the same. This is a performance thing for me. It is a logistical thing. It is a morale thing. Our military is the best in the world yet we want to mess with the very core of its competence. The members of it. I’m not a big fan.
From looking at the scientific literature, we can see that women indeed do, on the whole, get injured more often than men do. But the difference is not quite as drastic as popular wisdom might hold—a 2002 study of around two thousand patients at a Vancouver, Canada sports injury clinic found that women represented 54% of injuries, with men taking up the other 46%. But among some specific injuries, women are at significantly higher risk.
In particular, the following injuries are 50% more common in women than men:
…About 55 percent of female recruits tested at the end of boot camp were doing fewer than three pullups; only 1 percent of male recruits failed the test. Upper body strength critical for combat
The Marine Corps has been using it to test upper body strength for men for more than 40 years. And that upper body strength, they say, is necessary to serve in ground combat: to pull yourself out of a canal in Afghanistan, to climb over a mud wall, to carry an ammunition box.
Exit question – So, how many male Marines have to die in combat in order to satisfy the liberal PC affirmative action crazies before women in combat is repealed?
To which I respond, a maximum amount can never satisfy the Left, look at the MILLIONSkilled by the progressive Left’s attack on the black African’s lives via the non-existent DDT scare!
As I do in these cases, I always like to post David Mamet’s depth on this topic. I say depth because as a lifelong liberal… he finally applied common sense to his views and you have the following:
There is a Liberal sentiment that it should also punish those who take more than their “fair share.” But what is their fair share? (Shakespeare suggests that each should be treated not according to his deserts, but according to God’s mercy, or none of us would escape whipping.)
The concept of Fairness, for all its attractiveness to sentiment, is a dangerous one (cf. quota hiring and enrollment, and talk of “reparations”). Deviations from the Law, which is to say the Constitution, to accommodate specifically alleged identity-group injustices will all inevitably be expanded, universalized, and exploited until there remains no law, but only constant petition of Government….
Another legislative act talked about in the shop after this conversation about polygamy took place, are politicians listening to environmental activists and legislating the regular light-bulb illegal. In January it will be officially against the law to sell most forms of the standard — incandescent — light-bulb (Breitbart). The idea is that if we use higher efficiency bulbs we will “save the planet” from those evil* fossil fuel emissions. (*I picture ‘blood’ dripping from the word as well as evil laughter off in the distance somewhere)
The problem? In every bulb that researchers tested they found that the protective coating around the light creating ‘phosphor’ was cracked, allowing dangerous ultraviolet rays to escape (RPT). You got it… through legislation, the power of government has made many people, in their own homes mind you, at a far greater risk for skin-cancer. A risk that this Irish-man knows all too well. What sounded good and altruistic, “saving the planet,” ironically has deadly consequences.
We cannot live in peace without Law. And though law cannot be perfect, it may be just if it is written in ignorance of the identity of the claimants and applied equally to all. Then it is a possession not only of the claimants but of the society, which may now base its actions upon a reasonable assumption of the law’s treatment.
But “fairness” is not only a nonlegal but an antilegal process, for it deals not with universally applicable principles and strictures, but with specific cases, responding to the perceived or proclaimed needs of individual claimants, and their desire for extralegal preference. And it could be said to substitute fairness (a determination which must always be subjective) for justice (the application of the legislated will of the electorate), is to enshrine greed—the greed, in this case, not for wealth, but for preference. The socialistic spirit of the Left indicts ambition and the pursuit of wealth as Greed, and appeals, supposedly on behalf of “the people,” to the State for “fairness.”….
….But such fairness can only be the non-Constitutional intervention of the State in the legal, Constitutional process—awarding, as it sees fit, money (reparations), preferment (affirmative action), or entertainment (confiscation)….
….“Don’t you care?” is the admonition implicit in the very visage of the Liberals of my acquaintance on their understanding that I have embraced Conservatism. But the Talmud understood of old that good intentions can lead to evil—vide Busing, Urban Renewal, Affirmative Action, Welfare, et cetera, to name the more immediately apparent, and not to mention the, literally, tens of thousands of Federal and State statutes limiting freedom of trade, which is to say, of the right of the individual to make a living, and, so earn that wealth which would, in its necessary expenditure, allow him to provide a living to others….
…. I recognized that though, as a lifelong Liberal, I endorsed and paid lip service to “social justice,” which is to say, to equality of result, I actually based the important decisions of my life—those in which I was personally going to be affected by the outcome—upon the principle of equality of opportunity; and, further, that so did everyone I knew. Many, I saw, were prepared to pay more taxes, as a form of Charity, which is to say, to hand off to the Government the choice of programs and recipients of their hard-earned money, but no one was prepared to be on the short end of the failed Government programs, however well-intentioned. (For example—one might endorse a program giving to minorities preference in award of government contracts; but, as a business owner, one would fight to get the best possible job under the best possible terms regardless of such a program, and would, in fact, work by all legal and, perhaps by semi- or illegal means to subvert any program that enforced upon the proprietor a bad business decision.)*
Further, one, in paying the government to relieve him of a feeling of social responsibility, might not be bothered to question what in fact constituted a minority, and whether, in fact, such minority contracts were actually benefiting the minority so enshrined, or were being subverted to shell corporations and straw men.✣
* No one would say of a firefighter, hired under rules reducing the height requirement, and thus unable to carry one’s child to safety, “Nonetheless, I am glad I voted for that ‘more fair’ law.”
✣ As, indeed, they are, or, in the best case, to those among the applicants claiming eligibility most capable of framing, supporting, or bribing their claims to the front of the line. All claims cannot be met. The politicians and bureaucrats discriminating between claims will necessarily favor those redounding to their individual or party benefit—so the eternal problem of “Fairness,” supposedly solved by Government distribution of funds, becomes, yet again and inevitably, a question of graft.
David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 116-117, 122, 151, 154.
You see… the left loves to feel good. In doing so they ruin the quality of what they touch. From the lives of those who have contact with our first responders, to even composers looked at as the best in history:
Further poisoning musical judgment is the Left-wing value of diversity. In 2011, Anthony Tommasini, music critic of the New York Times, published his list of the ten greatest composers who ever lived. Absent from the list was Haydn, who Tommasini acknowledged was the father of the symphony, father of the string quartet, and father of the piano sonata. Indeed, one of the avant-garde’s most celebrated modern composers (and a justly celebrated conductor), Pierre Boulez, “thinks Haydn a greater composer than Mozart,” and one of the greatest pianists who ever lived, Glenn Gould, thought Haydn’s piano sonatas were superior to Mozart’s. So, why did the New York Times music critic omit Haydn? Because, he wrote, “If such a list is to be at all diverse and comprehensive, how could 4 of the 10 slots go to composers—Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert—who worked in Vienna during, say, the 75 years from 1750 to 1825?” Diversity, not greatness, helped determine the New York Times list of the greatest ten composers. That is why Bartok, Debussy, and Stravinsky made the list but Haydn (and Handel) didn’t.
Dennis Prager, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (New York, NY: Broadside Books, 2012), 52-53
Professor Sommers & the Tyranny of Niceness
“The ideal of liberty and freely speaking your mind is so quintessentially American.”
FIRE Board of Advisors member Christina Hoff Sommers is no stranger to speaking her mind. As the author of books such as The War Against Boys and One Nation Under Therapy, Sommers has taken firm stances on many hot button issues.
But in FIRE’s latest video, Sommers argues that today’s students are afraid to express their own potentially controversial viewpoints. She believes students are enveloped within a cultural phenomenon she calls “the tyranny of niceness.” So concerned with not offending their peers’ beliefs, students are hesitant to take a stand for what they believe in.
“What [students] are supposed to be doing is developing ideas and challenging them, learning how to debate,” says Sommers. “We have a generation of kids who can’t argue. They think that will create tension or there’s something wrong with it. Well, if you can’t argue, you can’t think.”
F.I.R.E. has a FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/thefireorg), a YouTube account, as well as a Twitteraccount.
Education is the same… the dumbing down of children in the pursuit of “fairness” and “equality” is one of these examples that harms our children’s future. First a commentary about high-school, with a video as an example of the harm done to higher education by the PC crowd ruining education:
It has been no secret that we are having an educational crisis in the United States. Public schools are doing worse and worse, unable to compete with private schools, homeschooled children, and for that matter the rest of the world. Some suggest that this is on purpose. By dumbing down our children we are preparing the future generations for more easily accepting authoritarian control by leftist systems of governance.
We are raising young people in our public schools that are illiterate. We are cramming them with bad information from experimental teaching techniques, political correctness, and liberal philosophies so that they will be good, obedient citizens. Informed voters think for themselves, and seek freedom. A dumbed down population is always eager to depend on the government overlords. Mind-numbed followers don’t ask questions.
History is our students’ worst subject. They can’t even answer the simplest questions about history in regards to the Revolutionary War, World War II, or the Korean War. The fault partly lies in the fact that history textbooks are poorly written, and partly because they are not being taught the information in the first place. I remember when my nephew came to me upset because in his History Class they skipped the chapter about the U.S. Constitution. When he inquired why, the teacher explained to him that the class was limited in time and had to skip unnecessary lessons.
In addition to skipping over important parts of history, new history uses political correctness, and caters to pop culture and particular groups in an effort to appease the same groups the leftist political wing-nuts are also trying to appease. As a result, the generations of students that come out of our schools don’t know our past, and as the old dictum goes, he who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.
Educational malpractice in the public schools is not only a problem presented by liberal democrats and Marxists that have infiltrated our educational system, but is also the fault of bone-headed, and unconstitutional, legislation like the “No Child Left Behind” Act. The law that was Bush 43’s baby, despite its good intentions, worsened our education system, took the emphasis away from knowing our history, and of course was unconstitutional just like the Education Department. The federal government has no authority over education in this country. That is a local issue, and for good reason.
The problem is, the local systems have been so influenced by federal dictate that they have also become a part of the madness that is dumbing down America. An example revealed itself recently in Florida schools where, because only 27% of the students were able to pass a fourth grade state written exam, the Florida Department of Education lowered the performance level standard. The decision was made by a four-three vote, reasoning that the kids did so poorly because the test was too hard.
Yes, I just defended that our schools belong in local hands, and here we are with a state board doing stupid things too. Understand, though, that is because of the federal, and hard left, influence.
BTW, LANGUAGE WARNING for the following video (he is an atheist):
One must take note I am a creationist (in fact, a young earth creationist) and reject many of the artistic representations of entire clans and family units from a couple of teeth. I will merely assume “evolutionary” thinking to make my point[s]. Also note that the “out of Africa” and now, “out of Europe” theories have racial overtones and consequences if evolutionary naturalism is true.
If one throws all-in-to naturalistic evolution, you get an “ethnicity” [some call race] evolving before or after others ~ or ~ devolving from an ethnicity [or, species].
Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they have increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory
Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 1977), 127.
Several skeletons up end the sparse evidence for the human evolutionary tree (via TELEGRAPH).
“The history of human evolution has been rewritten after scientists discovered that Europe was the birthplace of mankind, not Africa… two fossils of an ape-like creature which had human-like teeth have been found in Bulgaria and Greece, dating to 7.2 million years ago.”
“The Races Of Man – At the present time there exists upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent in structure. These are the Ethiopian or Negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the Islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America”
George William Hunter, A Civic Biology Presented in Problems (New York, NY: The American Book Company, 1914) 196. (For those that do not know, this was a textbook used in classrooms in public schools.)
7.2 million BC is a HUGE jump back in time that negates MOST of the African fossils. If proto-humans were already living in Bulgaria, or in sites now sunk under the Mediterranean Sea, the ENTIRE collection of African fossils is meaningless.
That is, some Europeans wandered SOUTH around 1 million years ago instead of some Africans wandering NORTH. It would also explain why negroid features exist only in Africa: they’re mutations from the common European stock from which the rest of the world descends.
It should be interesting to see what else turns up in Europe.
Sorry Black Lives Matter, so sad that you are not the cradle of civilization (assuming naturalistic evolution). Two books that just got a boost:
An earlier story has thrown a monkey wrench into the old story of human ancestry:
The thighbone of the 400,000-year-old hominid from Sima de los Huesos, Spain.
Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries.
In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years.
The fossil, a thigh bone found in Spain, had previously seemed to many experts to belong to a forerunner of Neanderthals. But its DNA tells a very different story. It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans. Until now, Denisovans were known only from DNA retrieved from 80,000-year-old remains in Siberia, 4,000 miles east of where the new DNA was found.
The mismatch between the anatomical and genetic evidence surprised the scientists, who are now rethinking human evolution over the past few hundred thousand years….
Consider the following excerpt from a letter written by Charles Darwin in 1881:
“I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilization than you seem inclined to admit…. The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.”
Lest this be considered merely an aberration, note that Darwin repeated this sentiment in his book The Descent of Man, he speculated,
“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes … will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”
In addition, he subtitled his magnum opus, The Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.
And Darwin was not alone in his racist ideology. Thomas Huxley, who coined the term agnostic and was the man most responsible for advancing Darwinian doctrine, he argued that:
“No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathous relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites. The highest places in the hierarchy of civilization will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest. But whatever the position of stable equilibrium into which the laws of social gravitation may bring the negro, all responsibility for the result will henceforward lie between Nature and him. The white man may wash his hands of it, and the Caucasian conscience be void of reproach for evermore. And this, if we look to the bottom of the matter, is the real justification for the abolition policy.”
Huxley was not only militantly racist but also lectured frequently against the resurrection of Christ, in whom “[we] are all one” (Galatians 3:28). In sharp distinction to the writings of such noted evolutionists as Hrdlicka, Haeckel, and Hooton, biblical Christianity makes it crystal clear that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female” (Galatians 3:28). In Christianity we sing, “Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” In the evolutionary hierarchy blacks are placed at the bottom, yellows and reds somewhere in the middle, and whites on top. As H. F. Osborn, director of the American Museum of National History and one of the most prominent American anthropologists of the first half of the twentieth century, put it.
“If an unbiased zoölogist were to descend upon the earth from Mars and study the races of man with the same impartiality as the races of fishes, birds and mammals, he would undoubtedly divide the existing races of man into several genera and into a very large number of species and subspecies.
“ … This is the recognition that the genus Homo is subdivided into three absolutely distinct stocks, which in zoölogy would be given the rank of species, if not of genera, stocks popularly known as the Caucasian, the Mongolian and the Negroid.
“The spiritual, intellectual, moral, and physical characters which separate these three great human stocks are far more profound and ancient than those which divide the Nordic, Alpine and Mediterranean races. In my opinion these three primary stocks diverged from each other before the beginning of the Pleistocene or Ice Age. The Negroid stock is even more ancient than the Caucasian and Mongolian, as may be proved by an examination not only of the brain, of the hair, of the bodily characters, such as the teeth, the genitalia, the sense organs, but of the instincts, the intelligence. The standard of intelligence of the average adult Negro is similar to that of the eleven-year-old youth of the species Homo sapiens.”
Think of the historical consequences that are the direct and logical results of the naturalist worldview. For instance, Adolf Hitler, appealed to the people of his country to have a backbone to advance the logical outworking of their worldview. Now mind you, not all naturalists are racists or killers of the less fortunate… however, this is a logical outworking of philosophical [or, metaphysical] naturalism.
“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”
Hitler referred to this dispensation of nature as “quite logical.” In fact, it was so logical to the Nazis that they built concentration camps to carry out their convictions about the human race as being “nothing but the product of heredity and environment” or as the Nazis liked to say, “of blood and soil.”
It is significant to note that some of the Crusaders and others who used force to further their creeds in the name of God were acting in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ.
The teachings of Osborn, Huxley, Hitler and others like them, however, are completely consistent with the teachings of Darwinian evolution. Indeed, social Darwinism has provided the scientific substructure for some of the most significant atrocities in human history. For evolution to succeed, it is as crucial that the unfit die as the fittest survive. Marvin Lubenow graphically portrays the ghastly consequences of such beliefs in his book Bones of Contention:
“If the unfit survived indefinitely, they would continue to ‘infect’ the fit with their less fit genes. The result is that the more fit genes would be diluted and compromised by the less fit genes, and evolution could not take place. The concept of evolution demands death. Death is thus as natural to evolution as it is foreign to biblical creation. The Bible teaches that death is a ‘foreigner,’ a condition superimposed upon humans and nature after creation. Death is an enemy, Christ has conquered it, and he will eventually destroy it. Their respective attitudes toward death reveal how many light years separate the concept of evolution from Biblical creation.”
Adolph Hitler’s philosophy that Jews were subhuman and that Aryans were supermen (mirroring the beliefs Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood) led to the extermination of about six million Jews. In the words of Sir Arthur Keith, a militant anti-Christian physical anthropologist: “The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consistently sought to make the practices of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.”
Karl Marx, the father of communism, saw in Darwinism the scientific and sociological support for an economic experiment that eclipsed even the carnage of Hitler’s Germany. His hatred of Christ and Christianity led to the mass murder of multiplied millions worldwide. Karl Marx so revered Darwin that his desire was to dedicate a portion of Das Kapital to him. In 1983, the dissident Soviet author Alexander Solzhenitsyn had been awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize for religious progress. In accepting the award, he gave a clear assessment of the tragedy that had been so devastating to his homeland:
“I have spent well-nigh fifty tears working on the history of our Revolution. In the process, I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own towards the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were to asked today the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that has swallowed up some sixty-million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened’.”
It should be noted as well that Darwinian evolution (man evolving from lower creatures) is sexist as well. Under the subheading “Difference in the Mental Powers of the Two Sexes,” Darwin attempted to persuade followers that…
“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by mans attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can women – whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands…We may also infer…[that] the average of mental power in man must be above that of women.”
In sharp contrast to the evolutionary dogma, Scripture makes it clear that all humanity is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27; Acts 17:29); that there is essential equality between the sexes (Galatians 3:28); and that slavery is as repugnant to God as murder and adultery (1 Timothy 1:10).
Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1947):
p 15 – “Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution … as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.”
p 28 – “To see evolutionary measures and tribal morality being applied rigorously to the affairs of a great modern nation we must turn again to Germany of 1942. We see Hitler devoutly convinced that evolution produces the only real basis for a national policy.”
p 72 – “Christianity makes no distinction of race or of color; it seeks to break down all racial barriers. In this respect, the hand of Christianity is against that of Nature, for are not the races of mankind the evolutionary harvest which Nature has toiled through long ages to produce? May we not say, then, that Christianity is anti-evolutionary in its aim? This may be a merit, but if so it is one which has not been openly acknowledged by Christian philosophers.”
p 150 – “The law of evolution, as formulated by Darwin, provides an explanation of wars between nations, the only reasonable explanation known to us. The law was in existence, and wars were waged, for aeons of time before Darwin was born; he did not invent the law, he only made it known to his fellow men.”
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, last paragraph.
“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”
 Charles Darwin, Life and Letters, I, Letter to W. Graham, July 3, 1881, p. 316; cited in Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (London: Chatto & Windus, 1959), p. 343.
 Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 2nd ed. (New York: A. L. Burt Co., 1874), p.178.
 Thomas Huxley, Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews (New York: Appleton, 1871), pp 20-1.
 Henry Fairfield Osborn, “The Evolution of Human Races,”Natural History (January/February 1926), reprinted in Natural History, vol. 89 (April 1980), p. 129.
 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy (New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942), pp. 161-162.
 “The SS Blood and Soul,” one of four videos in a video series entitled, The Occult History of the Third Reich (St. Lauret, Quebec: Madacy Entertainment Group, 1998); Now in DVD – ISBN: 0974319465).
 This is a side note for those who are of the Christian faith: The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name. It is true that it’s possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [“Christians”] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We’re talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of à God. For example: the Inquisitions (2), Crusades (7), and the Salem Witch Trials killed about 40,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana). A blight on Christianity? Certainty. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed; the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of their respective populations dead; etc, etc. The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no natural law is being violated in other words (as atheists reduce everything to natural law – materialism). However, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as to Natural Law.
 Marvin L. Lubenow, Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 47.
 Sir Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1947), p. 230. See appendix for more quotes by Keith.
This book is pretty amazing in that it defines the parameters that essentially make up a dictatorship. This will be especially helpful to all the Hollywood types and hipster douche-bags that like to support regimes in places like Venezuela or Cuba as good for it’s people. The book is a bit dated, but one of AYITTEY’S best.
“A political system based on force, oppression, changing people’s votes, killing, closure, arresting and using Stalinist and medieval torture, creating repression, censorship of newspapers, interruption of the means of mass communications, jailing the enlightened and the elite of society for false reasons, and forcing them to make false confessions in jail, is condemned and illegitimate.”
—Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri
THE TERMS “DESPOT,” “AUTOCRAT,” “TYRANT,” AND “DICTATOR” are used interchangeably throughout this book to refer to a ruler with absolute or unlimited power, but there are subtle differences. A despot may be more reminiscent of medieval monarchs who were convinced that they were endowed with the divine right to rule over their people. In other words, despotism is often infused with a dose of narcissism. An autocrat may have no such grand delusions about himself, but he still wields enormous power. A tyrant is a ruler who exercises power oppressively and harshly. The word dictator may be more applicable to a ruler with a military background who barks orders, issues diktats or edicts, and expects full compliance and obedience. It is possible to make other distinctions, such as “benign” or “benevolent” dictatorship, but this book does not do so.
Modern dictators come in different shades, races, skin colors, and religions, and they profess various ideologies. However, in general, they share common characteristics and idiosyncrasies. They are rulers who are neither chosen by their people nor represent their people.
[p.8>]The political watchdog Freedom House found in 2011 that 60 of the world’s 194 countries are “partly free” and 47 are considered “not free.” That means that the populations of roughly 55 percent of the world’s nations are oppressed.
The continent of Africa has the dubious distinction of harboring more dictators per capita than any other region in the world. Teeming with tyrants, it is the most unfree continent in the world. The usual suspects received the lowest possible ratings for both political rights and civil liberties: Myanmar (Burma), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Tibet, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. But China, Egypt, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela are cited for having stepped up repressive measures with greater brazenness.
Despots are constantly refining their tactics and learning new tricks from each other in their efforts to control pro-democracy forces. To maintain their iron grip on power, despots invent new “enemies.” This enables them to mobilize their security forces, keep their countries on a war footing, and suspend civil liberties. These enemies are often foreign, but they might also come from within, in which case they are labeled “neo-colonial stooges,” “imperialist lackeys,” or “CIA agents.”
In some countries, despots justify their repressive rule by rallying the people around some nationalistic cause or some farcical “revolution.” In Sudan, for example, Lieutenant-General Omar al-Bashir proclaimed an “Islamic Revolution” that will deliver the Sudanese from abject poverty and squalor by tapping the country’s oil and mineral riches to create a model economy.
The despots have grown bolder as the resistance against them appears to be collapsing. The weakness of domestic opposition and inadequate support from democratic countries for that opposition, as well as fatigue, appear to be contributing factors. Unless the resistance—both domestic and international—is strengthened and democratic countries join forces, the despots will continue to gain momentum and win.
THE GALAXY OF DESPOTS: THE WORLD’S MOST ODIOUS AND DESPICABLE DICTATORS
On April 8, 2010, a coalition of opposition groups ousted Kyrgystan’s dictator, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, from power in Bishkek. A continent away, Africans like myself cheered: “One coconut down, 54 more to harvest!” Then, on January 14, 2011, came a loud thud! Another co- [p.9>] conut down, this one in Tunisia, inspiring others to shake coconut trees vigorously. Then another in Egypt on February 11, 2011, with more to follow.
The West was caught completely off guard by the upheavals in North Africa. In fact, the West—or the international community—had lost the will to fight dictators, preferring “dialogue,” “partnership,” or “rapprochement” with such hideous tyrants as Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. Pundits intoned that “these people preferred strong men.” But this author foresaw these upheavals. Despotism has never been acceptable to “these people,” despite the veneer of “stability” despotism projects. There is one insidious and odious aspect of despotism that is particularly infuriating and galling—the political and cultural betrayal. As in Kyrgyzstan, many despots began their careers as erstwhile “freedom fighters,” who were supposed to have liberated their people from repressive rule. Back in March 2005, Bakiyev rode the crest of the Tulip Revolution to oust another dictator, President Askar Akayev. So familiar are Africans with this phenomenon that, it may be recalled, we have this saying: “We struggle very hard to remove one cockroach from power and the next rat comes to do the same thing. Haba! [Darn!].”
In an article published in Foreign Policy, I denounced these revolutionary-turned-tyrant “crocodile liberators” who were joining the ranks of other fine specimens: the Swiss bank socialists, who socialize economic losses and stash personal gains abroad; the quack revolutionaries, who betray the ideals that brought them to power; and the briefcase bandits, who simply pillage and steal. I drew up a list of the “Worst of the Worst” dictators and warned of their imminent demise. Here is my list, based on these insidious, ignoble qualities of perfidy, cultural betrayal, and economic devastation. These criteria are decidedly non-Western.
THE LIST: THE MOST ODIOUS AND DESPICABLE
Omar al-Bashir of Sudan: A megalomaniac zealot who has quashed all opposition, Bashir is responsible for the deaths of more than 4 million Sudanese and has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. His Arab militia, the Janjaweed, may have halted its massacres in Darfur but it continues to traffic black Sudanese as slaves. Bashir himself [p.10>] has been accused of having several Dinka and Nuer slaves, one of whom escaped in 1995.
Years in power: 21
Kim Jong Il of North Korea: A personality-cult-cultivating isolationist with a taste for fine French cognac, Kim has pauperized his people, allowed famine to run rampant, and sent hundreds of thousands to prison camps (where as many as 200,000 languish today)—all while spending his country’s precious few resources on creating a nuclear program. As he succeeded his father, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il is being succeeded by his son, Kim Jong Eun. The country is a “family business and property.”
Years in power: 16
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe: A liberation “hero” in the struggle for independence who has since transformed himself into a murderous despot, Mugabe has arrested and tortured the opposition, squeezed his economy into astounding negative growth and billion-percent inflation, and funneled off a juicy cut for himself using currency manipulation and offshore accounts.
Years in power: 29
Than Shwe of Myanmar (Burma): A heartless military coconut-head whose sole consuming preoccupation is power, Than Shwe has decimated the opposition with arrests and detentions, denied humanitarian aid to his people after the devastating Cyclone Nargis in 2008, and thrived off a threatened black-market economy of natural gas exports. This vainglorious general, bubbling with swagger, sports a uniform festooned with self-awarded medals, but he is too cowardly to face an untampered-with ballot box.
Years in power: 18
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran: Inflammatory, obstinate, and a traitor to the liberation philosophy of the Islamic Revolution, Ahmadinejad has pursued a nuclear program in defiance of international law and the West. Responsible for countless injustices during his five years in power, the president’s latest egregious offense was leading his paramilitary [p.11>] goons, the Basij, toward the violent repression of protests after the June 2009 disputed presidential election, which many believe he lost.
Years in power: 5
Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia: A “rat” worse than the “cockroach” (former Marxist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam) he ousted, Zenawi has clamped down on the opposition, stifled all dissent, and rigged elections. After he stole the May 2005 election, his security thugs opened fire on peaceful demonstrators, killing more than 200 of them, and jailed more than 1,000 opposition leaders and supporters. Like a true Marxist revolutionary, Zenawi has stashed millions in foreign banks and acquired mansions in Maryland and London in his wife’s name, according to the opposition—even as his barbaric regime collects a whopping US$1 billion in foreign aid each year. He won 99.6 per cent of the vote in the May 2010 election—just shy of the 100 percent Saddam Hussein won in a 2002 referendum for another seven-year term.
Years in power: 19
Isaiah Afwerki of Eritrea: Another crocodile liberator, Afwerki has turned his country into a national prison in which independent media are shut down, elections are categorically rejected, military service is mandatory, and the government would rather support Somali militants than its own people.
Years in power: 17
Hu Jintao of China: A chameleon despot who beguiles foreign investors with a smile and a bow but ruthlessly crushes any political dissent with brutal abandon, Hu has an iron grip on Tibet and is now seeking what can only be described as new colonies in Africa from which to extract the natural resources his growing economy craves and in which to resettle surplus Chinese population.
Years in power: 7
Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya: An eccentric megalomaniac infamous for his indecipherably flamboyant speeches and equally erratic politics, Qaddafi today runs a police state based on his version of Mao’s Red Book—the Green Book—which [p.12>]includes a solution to “the problem of democracy.” Under siege by rebels, he vowed to crush “the rats and traitors.” After they seized his compound on August 24, the rebels vowed to smoke out the rat from the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the compound. So who’s the real rat?
Years in power: 42
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela: The quack leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Chavez promotes a doctrine of participatory democracy in which he is the sole participant, having jailed opposition leaders, extended term limits indefinitely, and closed independent media outlets. He has vowed to rule till 2021.
Years in power: 10
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov of Turkmenistan: Succeeding the eccentric tyrant Saparmurat Niyazov (who even renamed the months of the year after himself and his family), this obscure dentist has continued his late predecessor’s repressive policies, explaining that, after all, he has an “uncanny resemblance to Niyazov.”
Years in power: 4
Idris Deby of Chad: Having led a rebel insurgency against former dictator Hissene Habre, today Deby faces a rebel insurgency led by his own brother. Deby has drained social spending accounts to equip the military, co-opted opposition leaders, and is now building a moat around the capital, N’Djamena, to repel would-be insurgents.
Years in power: 20
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea: Obiang and his family literally own the economy in one of the world’s most unequal countries; the masses are left in desperate poverty in a country where oil wealth yields a GDP per capita that should be on a par with many European states. (How much oil revenue the country earns is a “state secret.”) Obiang is a vicious despot who tolerates no dissent and has amassed a fortune exceeding US$600 million. When he accused his government of corruption, incompetence, and poor leadership, the entire government resigned in protest in [p.13>] 2006. He became the chairman of the African Union in 2011.
Years in power: 31
Yahya Jammeh of Gambia: An eccentric military buffoon who has vowed to rule for 40 years and claims to have discovered the cure for HIV/AIDS, Jammeh insists on being addressed as “His Excellency President Professor Dr. Al-Haji Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh.” He claims he has mystical powers and will turn Gambia into an oil-producing nation; no luck yet. He has threatened to behead gays. He is terrified of witches and evil sorcerers, who, he claims, are harming his country. To root out witches, villagers at Jambur were rounded up and forced to drink a foul-smelling potion in 2009. Six people later died.
Years in power: 16
Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso: A tin-pot despot with no vision and no agenda save perpetuating himself in power by liquidating all political opponents and stifling dissent, Compaoré rose to power after murdering his predecessor, Thomas Sankara, in a 1987 coup. He dishonors the name of his own country, Burkina Faso, which in the Dioula language means “men of integrity.”
Years in power: 23
Bashar al-Assad of Syria: A pretentious despot trying to fit into his father’s shoes, which are too big for him, Assad has squandered billions on foreign misadventures in such places as Lebanon and Iraq. After neglecting the needs of his people, they rose up against him in May 2011. But he used tanks and his extensive security apparatus to crush them and maintain his tight grip on power.
Years in power: 10
Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan: A ruthless thug since Soviet times, Karimov has banned opposition parties, tossed as many as 6,500 political prisoners into jail, and labels anyone who challenges his iron grip on power as an “Islamic terrorist.” What does he do with “terrorists” once they are in his hands? Torture them: Karimov’s regime earned notoriety for boiling[p.14>]two people alive and torturing many others. Outside the prisons, the president’s troops are equally indiscriminate, massacring hundreds of peaceful demonstrators in 2005 after a minor uprising in the city of Andijan.
Years in power: 20
Yoweri Museveni of Uganda: After leading a rebel insurgency that took power in 1986, Museveni declared, “No African head of state should be in power for more than 10 years.” He is still in power, winning one coconut election after another. Political parties can be formed legally, but a political rally of more than seven people is illegal.
Years in power: 26
Paul Kagame of Rwanda: A true liberator who saved the Tutsis from complete extermination in 1994, Kagame now practices the same ethnic apartheid he sought to end. His Rwanda Patriotic Front dominates all levers of power: the security forces, the civil service, the judiciary, banks, universities, and state-owned corporations. Those who challenge him are accused of being “hatemongers” or “divisionists” and are arrested. Such was the case with opposition leaders who were jailed days before the August 2003 election. A similar campaign of vilification was waged against the opposition in the run-up to the August 2010 election.
Years in power: 16
Raul Castro of Cuba: Afflicted with intellectual astigmatism, Castro is pitifully unaware of the fact that the revolution he leads is obsolete, an abysmal failure, and totally irrelevant to the aspirations of the Cuban people. He blames the failure of the “revolution” on “foreign conspiracies,” which he then uses to justify even more brutal clampdowns that lead to more failures. He operates from the offensive notion that the entire Cuban economy belongs to the Castro family alone.
Years in power: 2
Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus: An autocrat and former collective farm chairman, Lukashenko maintains an iron grip on his country, monitoring opposition movements with a secret police distastefully called the KGB. His brutal style of [p.15>]governance has earned him the title “Europe’s last dictator”; he even gave safe haven to Kyrgyzstan’s toppled leader during the uprising in that country in the spring of 2010.
Years in power: 16
Paul Biya of Cameroon: A suave bandit who has reportedly amassed a personal fortune of more than US$200 million and the mansions to go with it, Biya has beaten the opposition into complete submission. Not that he’s worried about elections—he has rigged the term-limit laws twice to make sure the party doesn’t end any time soon.
Years in power: 28
The list, of course, is not exhaustive or static; it keeps evolving.
DESPOTIC REGIMES AROUND THE WORLD
An analysis or a discussion of despotic regimes around the world would involve a tedious repetition of brutal acts of repression, injustices, indignities, and grotesque human rights violations. Moreover, despite regime differences, the modus operandi of one despot is strikingly similar to that of all the others. Most despotic regimes are characterized by the following:
Unyielding grip on power: Elections, if any, are farcical and are always won by the despot.
Political repression: Opposition parties are banned or afforded little political space to operate; key opposition leaders are arrested, intimidated, hounded, or even killed.
Intellectual repression: Censorship may be imposed; journalists, editors, and writers are harassed, intimidated, jailed, or killed; newspapers and radio and television stations that are critical of government policies are shut down.
Brutal tactics: Street protests are disrupted with batons, water cannons, tear gas, and even gunfire.
Flagrant violations of human rights: Opponents of the regime are detained without trial; disappearances and murder are common; freedom of expression, movement, and assembly are nonexistent.
[p.16>] Rather than discuss these traits for each despotic regime, I will just list the countries where such practices are most prevalent:
Africa: Algeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe
Asia: Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, and Vietnam
Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
Eastern Europe: Belarus
Latin America: Venezuela
Middle East: Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen
Across Eurasia (comprising 12 states), governments are characterized by strong executives and weak legislatures. The primary focus of politics is on elections and on the constant tussle between presidents and parliaments over their respective authority. Presidents routinely rig elections and rule by decree, bypassing parliaments. Opposition political parties are not well organized and offer few viable alternatives. As such, “there are few intermediaries between high politics and the people, and the press that might play that role relies on the patronage of the state or powerful business cliques with their own agendas.”
The picture is much the same in Latin America. The caudillos (military strongmen) may be back in the barracks but despots now emerge from the ballot box. Once elected, they succeed in neutering and debauching the state institutions. As reported in the Economist:
Mr Chavez has turned Venezuela’s courts into a tool of the executive and used them to jail, harass or disqualify a growing number of his opponents. Nicaragua’s president, Daniel Ortega, has abused his power to rig both municipal elections and the supreme court. Less blatantly, Ecuador’s Mr Correa has tried to muzzle the media, and the Kirchners in Argentina have used the presidency to bully opponents in business and the press. Yet the leaders of the region’s main powers have stayed silent about these abuses.
Even in countries where the separation of powers exists, weak institutions are unable to uphold the rule of law, provide effective government, and advance the rights and freedoms of the people. In Peru, neither the incumbent, Alan Garcia, nor his predecessor, Alejandro Toledo, have commanded much clout or popularity. Political parties in [p.17>]Peru, the Economist went on to say, are just personal vehicles for self-aggrandizement: “For local elections in Oct 2009, no fewer than 60,000 candidates registered in 14,000 municipalities for just 2,000 slates. There is no civil service. There are constant demonstrations, some violent. In a recent poll 22% of respondents outside Lima approved of blocking roads as a form of protest.”
The Middle East is the region most bereft of democracy. Until the recent upheavals, only 3 of the 22 countries in the Arab League—Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories—could be said to be democratic, even with some caveats. With access to the media restricted, chaotic general elections produce predictable results: the autocrats and vampire elites retain power; the opposition is demoralized, even radicalized; and the word “democracy” is bastardized. As the Economist notes:
Every Arab country now has a form of representative legislature, even if most have little power and some, like Saudi Arabia’s, are appointed by a king. Some of these autocracies allow more pluralism than others. Morocco, for instance, has widened its space for debate. Others, such as Kuwait, allow a directly elected parliament, but the ruling royal family, still ultimately in charge, has often rued the legislative near-paralysis that followed.
Whether they are monarchies or republics, the Arab states tend to act much the same. Says Larry Diamond, a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution and board member of the Free Africa Foundation: “The Arab League has become, in effect, an autocrats’ club.” Elections are for show, a window-dressing to let off steam. Technically, they are meaningless. But now the youth have started to change things. Angry street protesters sent Tunisian dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fleeing into exile on January 14, 2011, and brought down Hosni Mubarak of Egypt on February 11, 2011. In Burkina Faso, Libya, Syria, Uganda, and others, dictators put up a fierce resistance. In the end, however, the forces of liberty will triumph.
THE DEVASTATING TOLL
The act of repression not only assails our human conscience and dignity but also exacts a toll in terms of human lives and economic activity. Despotism wreaks economic, social, and human devastation [p.18>]Consider the impact on economic activity: An error made by a despot who does not have the necessary experts advising him could result in commodity shortages, overproduction, or a breakdown in the productive process. Since a despot is not likely to admit this, the problems can fester until they erupt into a full-blown crisis. This was the cause of the demise of the former Soviet Union. To be sure, impressive rates of economic growth are possible under authoritarian or despotic regimes. China and the Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan) are often cited as examples, but there is a caveat. Exceptions do not make the rule. A final day of reckoning eventually arrives. In an interview, South Korea’s former president, the late Kim Dae-jung, asserted in an interview that placing economic development ahead of democracy was “the fundamental cause of the Asian financial crisis in 1998” because “the authoritarian style of government permitted corruption and collusive intimacy between business and government to flourish.”
Economic Underperformance and Collapse
In a dictatorship, the normal order of things and even common sense have been turned completely upside down. There is no freedom of speech, no rule of law, and state institutions are packed with sycophants and praise-singers. Professionalism disappears from the security forces and the civil service. Fealty to the despot counts more than competence or efficiency. Promotions and job security depend upon who can shout the loudest praise of the despot.
Infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, telecommunications, and ports begins to crumble because contracts are awarded by the despot to family members, cronies, and loyal supporters. To sustain the heavy patronage doled out to supporters, the despot may impose heavy taxation and tariffs. Prices—especially food and fuel prices—start to shoot up. The public might vent its outrage in street protests. The despot may clamp down brutally on these street protests and take drastic measures to prevent future price hikes. The hikes are blamed on foreign saboteurs. Property rights are scoffed at. Commercial properties of businessmen alleged to be “anti-government” may be confiscated or seized for distribution to the poor masses in the name of social justice. Such was the case for more than a decade (2000-2010) in Zimbabwe, where the despotic regime of Robert Mugabe organized ruthless thugs to vio‑ [p.19>] lently seize white commercial farmlands. Similarly, in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez “seized rural estates and factories the government deemed to be unproductive, including some assets of Lorenzo Mendoza, Venezuela’s second-wealthiest man, and of H. J. Heinz Co., the world’s largest ketchup maker.” Chavez also seized control of or nationalized oil refineries in 2008. Such contempt for property rights scares off investors, who fear that their commercial properties may be the next to be seized without due process. They flee the country and, without investment, the economy contracts.
The crisis in Zimbabwe, for example, has cost Africa dearly. Foreign investors have fled the region, and the South African rand has lost 25 percent of its value since 2000. Zimbabwe’s economic collapse caused US$37 billion worth of damage to South Africa and other neighboring countries. Although South Africa has been most affected, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia have also suffered severely.
Foreign investors fled Venezuela, too. According to Bloomberg News, such investors “sold $778 million more in Venezuelan assets than they bought in the first nine months of 2006, according to the central bank; a decade ago, in the same period, they added $5.9 billion more than they disposed of”
This is also true of other Latin American countries where private property rights are not well protected because the rule of law is weakly enforced. As a result, despite Latin American economic growth rates that averaged more than 5 percent in 2004 and 2005, capital flows were negative, meaning more money left the region than entered it. The basic reason was an ongoing lack of confidence among long-term investors. Latin America expert Andres Oppenheimer was cited as saying that “only 1 percent of the world’s investment in research and development currently goes to Latin America.”
Rash diktats and reckless mismanagement inevitably produce economic crises. To deal with these crises, despots may take desperate and drastic measures, such as imposing strict economic/price controls, printing currency, and/or revaluing the old currency. However, as we shall see in chapter 5, none of these measures solves the economic crisis. Instead, they exacerbate it, creating black markets, greater scarcities, and even higher prices, resulting in a vicious downward spiral to economic collapse and a failed state (as has occurred in North Korea and Zimbabwe) unless the despot has access to substantial revenues from a mineral resource, such as oil, as has been the case with Saddam [p.20>] Hussein of Iraq, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, and Muammar Qaddafi of Libya.
The Human Toll
The cost of despotism in human terms is impossible to estimate. A handful of despots around the world inflict misery, despair, hope-lessness—and even death—on millions of people who have protested against tyrannical rule. Hundreds of thousands have been jailed. Millions have been killed and millions more have fled their countries to become refugees elsewhere. Among the most infamous despots was Pol Pot of Cambodia, who ruthlessly eliminated anyone who posed a threat to him. Out of a population of 8 million in 1975, 2 million were executed. Another was Idi Amin of Uganda, who butchered as many as 200,000 Ugandans in the 1970s. It should be no surprise that about 70 percent of the world’s refugee population is in Africa and the Middle East—the two regions that harbor the most despots.
Particularly treacherous have been massacres condoned or orchestrated by despotic regimes against particular groups for ethnic, religious, political, or other reasons. Pogroms are violent acts by mobs that are characterized by killings and the destruction of homes, businesses, property, and religious centers. The past four decades have seen attacks on the Copts in Egypt in the 1980s, on the Tamils in Sri Lanka in the 1980s, and on ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan in the 1990s.17 The human toll of despotism can be seen even more dramatically in the pogroms against the Igbo that led to the 1967-1970 Biafran War in Nigeria, the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsis, and the ongoing genocide against blacks in the Darfur region of Sudan. Postcolonial African leaders—mostly autocrats—have caused the deaths of more than 19 million Africans since 1960:
1 million Nigerians died in the Biafran War (1967-1970).
200,000 Ugandans were slaughtered by Idi Amin in the 1970s.
100,000 were butchered by President Macias Nguema in Equatorial Guinea in the 1970s.
Over 400,000 Ethiopians perished under Mengistu Haile Mariam.
[p.21>]Over 500,000 Somalis perished under Mohammed Siad Barre.
Man-made famines claimed over 2 million lives between 1980 and 2000 in Chad, Ethiopia, Niger, Somalia, and Sudan.
Over 2 million have died in the wars of Liberia (1993-1999),Sierra Leone (1994-1999), and Ivory Coast (2000-2005).
Over 1 million died in Mozambique’s civil war in the 1970s.
5 million died in Angola’s civil war, which began in 1975 and continued intermittently until 2002.
800,000 perished in Rwanda’s genocide in 1994.
300,000 died in Burundi in 1993-1994.
4 million perished in Sudan’s civil wars from 1960 to 2006.
6 million died as a result of Congo’s wars from 1996 to 2006.
The rough total of 19.8 million does not include conflict-related deaths in Chad, Western Sahara, and Algeria and those who perished at refugee camps. Historians estimate that the total number of black Africans shipped as slaves to the Americas in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries was about 10 million. Africa lost another 10 million people through the trans-Saharan and East African slave trade run by Arabs. This means that, in a space of just 50 years after independence in the 1960s, postcolonial African leaders have slaughtered about the same number of Africans as were lost to both the West and East African slave trades over several centuries. Think about it.
Every year, the social and economic toll of despotism is driven home by the publication of two indices. The first is the Index of Failed States, drawn up by Foreign Policy magazine in collaboration with the Fund for Peace, an independent research organization. Using 12 indicators of state cohesion and performance, compiled through a close examination of more than 30,000 publicly available sources, the Index ranks 177 states in order from most to least at risk of failure. In the 2010 Index, most of the 20 failed states at the bottom are ruled by despotic regimes. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan may be regarded as exceptions because of ongoing wars in 2009. The majority of the failed states-12 out of 20—are in sub-Saharan Africa, and 11 out of those 12 African countries are ruled by despots. [p.22>]
Even more telling is the United Nations Human Development Index. Of the 24 at the bottom, a staggering 22 are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite its immense wealth of mineral resources, Africa remains mired in abject poverty, misery, deprivation, and chaos. The World Bank adjusted its yardstick for extreme poverty from US$1.00 to US$1.25 a day, which means that 389 million of the 875 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lived in poverty in 2005.
Millions of lives have been lost, economies have collapsed, and whole states have failed under brutal repression. The toll of despotism[p.23>] has been especially devastating for Africa. Africa is poor because she is not free. However, a failed state evolves through various stages. It begins as a vampire state, metastasizes into a coconut republic, and then finally implodes, becoming a failed or collapsed state.
“Anyone who gets to the presidency ends up with way more than he had before, while the poor and working class are the ones always left behind.”
—Roberto Pedroza, a newspaper vendor in Mexico City
The most remarkable aspect of despotism is the rapid deterioration of the institution of government. “Government,” as it is known in the West, does not exist in countries ruled by despots. Leaving aside the democratic requirement that a government must be “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” one expects a government, at a minimum, to care for and be responsive to the needs of the people, or at least to perform some basic services for its people. But even these minimal requirements are often lacking in a dictatorship, where government as an entity is totally divorced from the people and perceived by those running it as a vehicle not to serve but to fleece the people. Dishonesty, thievery, and embezzlement pervade the public sector. Public servants embezzle state funds, and high-ranking ministers are on the take. Government then becomes irrelevant to the people.
What then exists is a vampire state—a government hijacked by a phalanx of bandits, gangsters, crooks, and scoundrels who use the machinery of the state to enrich themselves, their cronies, supporters, and members of their own ethnic, racial, or religious group and to exclude everyone else. It is an apartheid-like system based on the politics of exclusion. One is poor if one does not belong to that charmed circle. The richest people in Africa and many Third World countries are the ruling vampire elites and government ministers. And quite often, the chief bandit is the head of state himself.
Examples of vampire states abound. In fact, one can characterize all communist states as such. They suck the economic vitality out of their people for the enrichment of the ruling communist apparatchiks. Even in post-communist Russia corruption has become a nearly insurmountable obstacle to the country’s economic development. Berlin-based NGO Transparency International rates Russia 146th out of 180 nations [p.24>]in its Corruption Perception Index, saying “bribe-taking is worth about $300 billion a year.”
The PRI party, which ruled Mexico for more than 70 years, though not communist, is another example (its replacement was scarcely better). Said Lino Korrodi, finance manager for Vicente Fox’s 2000 presidential campaign: “It is evident that he (Vicente Fox) got rich during his six years in office, in a very shameless and cynical way.” Mexican presidents are limited to one six-year term. Their last year in office is cynically derided by Mexicans as “el año del dinero” (year of the money). That is when Mexican presidents bare their fangs and suck as much as they can in a frenzy. Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who served from 1988 to 1994, was probably the most bloodthirsty. His name became synonymous with fraud, corruption, and economic devastation, and he fled in disgrace into a self-imposed exile in Ireland. The New York Times reported that “In 2002, Swiss banking authorities found more than US$100 million sitting in a Swiss bank account once controlled by his brother Raul Salinas and froze it.” The loot “was held in the name of a Cayman Islands shell corporation, Trocca Ltd., secretly controlled by Mr. Salinas.”
The regimes of several other Latin American countries ruled by oligarchies and caudillos in the 1980s and 1990s can also be characterized as vampire states. Their rule deepened social and economic inequalities, provoking social discontent and sparking revolutionary movements in such countries as Colombia and Nicaragua. Widespread government dysfunction, corruption, and economic despair forced many Latin Americans to migrate and settle in the United States, often illegally. Known as the “undocumented,” their number now exceeds 10 million.
In the Middle East, the classic example of a vampire state is Saudi Arabia. Others include regimes in Tunisia (under the ousted dictator Ben Ali), Egypt (under Hosni Mubarak), Iraq (under the late Saddam Hussein), Iran, Syria, and Yemen. More examples can be found in Africa, where the state has been reduced to a mafia-like bazaar in which anyone with an official designation can pillage at will. Dictators seize and monopolize both political and economic power to advance their own selfish and criminal interests, not to develop their economies, and they don’t care about the poor. Their overarching obsession is to amass personal wealth, gaudily displayed in flashy automobiles, fabulous mansions, and bevies of fawning women. Helping the poor, promoting eco‑ [p.25>] nomic growth, or improving the standard of living of their people is anathema to the ruling elites. “Food for the people!” “People’s power!” “Houses for the masses!” are simply empty slogans that are designed to fool the people and the international community.
Nigeria is the mother of all vampire states. Between 1970 and 2004, more than US$450 billion in oil revenue flowed into Nigerian government coffers, but much of it was looted by Nigeria’s reckless military bandits. Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission set up in 2003, confirmed the theft of $412 billion over the period from 1960 to 1999. “We cannot be accurate down to the last figure but that is our projection,” said Osita Nwajah, a commission spokesman.
For 18 months (from February 1999 to August 2000), Nigeria’s vampire state was paralyzed by legislators’ wrangling over perks. Its 109 senators and 360 representatives passed just five pieces of legislation, including a budget that was held up for five months. Immediately upon taking office, the legislators voted themselves hefty allowances, including a 5 billion naira (US$50 million) furniture allowance for their official residences and offices. The now-impeached ex-chairman of the Senate from President Olusegun Obasanjo’s own People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chuba Okadigbo, was the most greedy, according to New African:
As Senate President, he controlled 24 official vehicles but ordered 8 more at a cost of $290,000. He was also found to have spent $225,000 on garden furniture for his government house, $340,000 on furniture for the house itself ($120,000 over the authorized budget); bought without authority a massive electricity generator whose price he had inflated to $135,000; and accepted a secret payment of $208,000 from public funds, whose purpose included the purchase of “Christmas gifts.”
And it gets better: President Obasanjo went after the loot that former president Sani Abacha and his family had stashed abroad. There was much public fanfare regarding the sum of about US$709 million and another L144 million recovered from the Abachas and the former president’s henchmen. But then, this recovered loot itself was quickly re-looted! The Senate Public Accounts Committee found only US$6.8 million and £2.8 million of the recovered booty in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
[p.26>] In case after case, government officials in the developing countries get rich by misusing their positions. Faithful only to their foreign bank accounts, these official buccaneers have no sense of morality, justice, or even patriotism. They kill and maim their own people and destroy their own countries to acquire and protect their booty because, functionally illiterate, they are incapable of using the skills and knowledge they acquired from education to get rich on their own in the private sector. Needless to say, they are “derided by some experts as ‘the extractors,’ people who squandered wealth without building for the future.”
The inviolate ethic of the vampire elites is self-aggrandizement and self-perpetuation in power. To achieve these objectives, they take over and subvert every key institution of government: the civil service, judiciary, military, media, and banking. As a result, state institutions and commissions become paralyzed. Laxity, ineptitude, and unprofessionalism thus flourish in the public sector. Of course, the country may have a police force and judiciary system to catch and prosecute the thieves. But the police are themselves highway robbers who are under orders to protect the looters in power, and many of the judges are themselves crooks.
Obviously, there are no checks against brigandage. The worst offender is the military—the most trenchantly perverted institution, especially in Latin America and Africa. In any normal civilized society, the function of the military is to defend the territorial integrity of the nation and its people against external aggression. But under despotic regimes, the military is instead locked in combat with the very people it is supposed to defend. Witness the barbaric brutalities meted out against street protesters by Iran’s Basij militiamen in June 2009. Or those of North Korean security guards against market traders in December 2009. And think of Muammar Qaddafi sending jet fighters to bomb street demonstrators in February 2011. In We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, Philip Gourevitch writes that, “Across much of Africa, a soldier’s uniform and gun had long been regarded—and are still seen—as little more than a license to engage in banditry.” Wole Soyinka handed the postcolonial soldiers a blistering rebuke:
The military dictatorships of the African continent, parasitic, unproductive, totally devoid of social commitment or vision, are an expression of this exclusionist mentality of a handful; so are those immediately post- [p.27>]colonial monopolies that parade themselves as single-party states. To exclude the sentient plurality of any society from the right of decision in the structuring of their own lives is an attempt to anesthetize, turn comatose, indeed idiotize society, which of course is a supreme irony, since the proven idiots of our postcolonial experience have been, indeed still are, largely to be found among the military dictators.
A simple rule of thumb on development has emerged: the index of economic well-being of a developing country is inversely related to the length of time the military holds political power. The longer it stays in power, the greater the economic devastation. Again, a few exceptions may be noted, as in the case of Augusto Pinochet of Chile, but exceptions do not make the rule.
Meanwhile, the vampire state wobbles as it lurches from one crisis to another. Its legitimacy is openly questioned. Some sections of the population are in open revolt and others may even mount roadblocks to keep out state officials, as occurred in many Latin American countries in the 1990s. Such was also the case in Libya in February 2011. The despot barks orders but is routinely ignored. His ruling vampire elites, clueless about how to resolve the economic crisis, resort to desperate measures to keep things under control, but they fail to arrest the deterioration. They readily give up and flex their muscle, daring anyone to hold them accountable or take power away from them. Steadily, the vampire state, infused with the arrogance of power, hardens into a coconut republic and provokes a rebellion: Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere in North Africa and the Arab world.
This invites a distinction. In a banana republic, one might slip on a banana peel but things do work for the people now and then, albeit inefficiently and unreliably. Electric supply is spasmodic and the water tap has a mind of its own. Occasionally, it might spit some water and then change its mind. Buses operate according to their own internal clock. By the grace of God or Allah, a bus might arrive, belching thick black smoke. Food and gasoline are generally available but expensive, if one is willing to contend with occasional long lines. The police are helpful when they are bribed and will then protect the people by catching real crooks. There is petty corruption. Now and then, a million dollars here [p.28>]and a million there might be embezzled. Such a banana republic often slips into suspended animation or arrested development.
A coconut republic, on the other hand, is ruthlessly inefficient, lethal, and eventually implodes. Instead of a banana peel, one might step on a live grenade. Here, common sense has been butchered and arrogant tomfoolery rampages with impunity. The entire notion of “governance” has been turned completely on its head by the ruling vampire elites, who wield absolute power, commit crimes, and plunder with supercilious arrogance. They are not answerable or accountable to anybody and one dares not ask. Impunity reigns supreme. It is here where one finds tyrants chanting “People’s Revolution” and “Freedom!” while standing on the necks of their people. A “revolution” is a major cataclysmic event that brings about an overthrow of the ancient regime. It makes a clean break with the existing way of doing things and establishes a new way or order. In politics, for example, a “revolution” occurs when the subjugated and exploited class rises up to overthrow the oppressors—as occurred with the American and French Revolutions. But in a coconut republic, it is the other way around. It is the dictators who are chanting revolution! Have you ever noticed that those Third World leaders who vociferously claim they are fighting against terrorism in order to receive Western aid are themselves sponsors of state terrorism against their own people?
In a coconut republic, the rule of law is a farce; bandits are in charge, their victims in jail. The police and security forces protect the ruling vampire elites, not the people. The chief bandit is the head of state himself. He and his family and his henchmen have a constant supply of electricity and their water taps run all the time; the people can collect rain water. There are inexhaustible supplies of food and gasoline for them, but not for the people. And there are no buses for the people, period. Those shiny buses that ply the road are for vampire elites. The people can walk. The republic sits atop vast reserves of oil and exports oil, but there is no gasoline for the people since the country’s oil refineries have broken down. Funds earmarked for repairs have been stolen, and refined petroleum products must be imported. The country may also be rich in mineral deposits such as diamonds, gold, and coltan, yet the mineral wealth has produced misery—or a curse.
Here are some examples of life in a coconut republic: [p.29>]
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela forces everyone to listen to his hours-long tirades but dozes off when he listens to them himself.
Saparmurat Niyazov, the late president-for-life of Turkmenistan, erected statues and portraits of himself everywhere and named cities, airports, and even a meteorite after himself. The months and days of the week were named after him and his family, and a family feast was celebrated every day.
When a presidential election was held in Uzbekistan in 2007, President Islam A. Karimov’s three opponents each publicly endorsed him. In the 2009 parliamentary election, all four parties in the race staunchly supported Karimov. Asked if there was any real political opposition and competition in his country, Karimov replied that the 2009 race for the parliament’s lower chamber “had injected genuine competition into the process, largely because the four parties have vocally criticized one another.”
Uganda’s agriculture minister, Kibirige Ssebunya, declared that: “All the poor should be arrested because they hinder us from performing our development duties. It is hard to lead the poor, and the poor cannot lead the rich. They should be eliminated.” He advised local leaders to arrest poor people in their areas of jurisdiction. He died four years later.
A former minister of finance was found hiding—where else?—in a coconut tree: “[Zambia’s] former finance minister, Katele Kalumba, was arrested and charged with theft after the police found him hiding in a tree near his rural home. Mr. Kalumba, who had been on the run for four months, is being charged in connection with some US$33 million that vanished while he was in office.”
The late president of Liberia, General Samuel Doe, summoned his finance minister, “only to be reminded by aides that he had already executed him.”
Tanzania’s anti-corruption czar, Dr. Edward Hosea, was himself implicated in a corruption scandal involving the award of a US$172.5 million contract to supply 100 megawatts of emergency power to a Texas-based company that did not exist.[p.30>]
Coconut Security Forces
In a coconut republic, the police are scarcely professional. Tell a police officer that you saw a minister stealing the people’s money and it is you he will arrest! After the brutal murder of politician Robert Ouko in 1990, the Washington Post reported that, according to Kenyan police, “Foreign Minister Robert Ouko was presumed to have broken his own leg, shot himself in the head and set himself afire. Two years earlier, Kenyan officials suggested that a British tourist, Julie Ward, lopped off her own head and one of her legs before setting herself aflame.”
The ever-ready security forces can unleash the full force of their fury on unarmed civilians with batons, tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets. But how brave are the security forces really? Ambushed by a bunch of ragtag cattle rustlers, Kenya’s elite presidential guards quickly surrendered. Johann Wandetto, a reporter for the People Daily, a newspaper in Kitale, Rift Valley province, published a story in the March 6, 1999, edition with the title: “Militia Men Rout 8 Crack Unit Officers: Shock as Moi’s Men Surrender Meekly.” Wandetto was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison on what the court described as an “alarmist report.”
And the mother of all security forces? When the African Union (AU) peacekeepers’ base on the edge of Haskanita, a small town in southern Darfur, came under sustained rebel assault on September 29, 2007, the AU soldiers fled. According to the Economist, “Ten were killed; at least 40 fled into the bush. The attackers looted the compound before Sudanese troops arrived to rescue the surviving peacekeepers.”
Coconut Elections Coconut elections are, essentially, farcical elections in which the incumbent writes the rules and then serves as a player, the referee, and the goalkeeper. The deck is hideously stacked against the opposition candidates, who are starved of funds, denied access to the state-controlled media, and brutalized by government-hired thugs as the police watch. Opposition parties may be banned too.
By contrast, the incumbent enjoys access to enormous state resources: state media, vehicles, the police, the military, and civil servants are all commandeered to ensure his re-election. Further, the entire electoral process itself is rigged: voter rolls are padded with ruling-party supporters and phantom voters while opposition supporters are purged. The electoral commissioner is in the pocket of the ruling party, as are the judges who might settle any election disputes. During the election campaign, posters of the incumbent are everywhere while pro-government [p.31>] thugs terrorize the populace and anyone perceived to be a supporter of the opposition parties. Innocent civilians are force-marched to attend the incumbent party’s rallies, while opposition rallies are violently disrupted and opposition supporters are brutalized and even killed as the police look on.
On election day, the ruling party resorts to various tricks to steal the election. Ballot papers do not arrive on time, inducing frustrated opposition supporters to leave polling stations. Ballot boxes may eventually arrive but are already stuffed with votes for the incumbent. (Mayoral elections were held in Kampala, Uganda, on February 18, 2011. When the polls opened at 7:00 A.M., ballot boxes were already full of pre-ticked ballots for the ruling National Resistance Movement candidate, Peter Samatimba. This led to the cancellation of the results. Queried, Samatimba denied any involvement. “This could have been done by my opponents to discredit me,” he said.) And if during the vote count the opposition appears to be winning, the process can be halted and the ballot boxes transported to a secret location where the votes are counted in camera. Most often, posted election results do not reflect actual voting. This was the case in Ghana’s 1996 elections, where Major Emmanuel Erskine, a challenger to the brutal regime of Fte./Lte. Jerry Rawlings, did not even get one single vote in his own constituency. That is, the results indicated that he did not vote for himself and his wife and four children did not vote for him. After he complained bitterly about the rigging, the electoral commission tossed six votes his way.
Here is a short list of instances that indicate coconut elections:
The electoral equipment for coconut elections, the results of which are stolen anyway, was itself stolen (Nigeria, December 9, 2010).
Both candidates—Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara—claimed victory and installed themselves as presidents after Ivory Coast’s November 2010 elections.
For the November 7, 2010, elections in Myanmar (Burma), military rulers bestowed upon their country a new flag, a new seal, and a new anthem. The old flags were to be lowered by people born on a Tuesday and the new flags were to be raised by people born on a Wednesday. Then all the old flags were to be burned. Many parties were blocked from participating by fees set so high that in many districts only government-backed [p.32>] candidates could register, by stipulations that the military could allot close to one-quarter of all seats after the election took place, and by the harassment and threatening of opposition candidates who tried, against all odds, to compete. No international observers were permitted, and no foreign journalists were allowed in. The military junta declared victory even before voting started.
At the time of the August 25, 2003, elections in Rwanda, opposition leader Faustin Twagiramungu found his campaign stymied at every turn by government security forces. His rallies were canceled, his workers arrested, and his brochures seized. On the eve of the voting, “police arrested 12 of Twagiramungu’s provincial organizers, saying they were preparing election day violence.” Additionally, “In Mr. Twagiramungu’s home town, soldiers reportedly looked at ballot papers and ordered those who voted the wrong way to try again.” For the August 2010 elections, preparations for the September victory celebration by the incumbent despot, Paul Kagame, began before the voting did.
The year 2010 reaped a harvest of coconut elections in Belarus, Burkina Faso, Myanmar (Burma), Egypt, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, and Rwanda. No incumbent lost an election.
Belarus, a country of 10 million, held its presidential elections on December 19, 2010. Long-term dictator Alexander Lukashenko, who had been in power for 16 years, won handily. His government controls the media, and opposition candidates were denied airtime. An agency called the KGB watched over the people. Intimidation was the order of the day. The government machine that pressured people into early voting was in place, and those who failed to vote early were threatened with the loss of their jobs in the state sector.
Lukashenko won nearly 80 percent of the vote and his closest rival 1.8 percent. Opposition activists and critical journalists denounced the vote as fraudulent, and over 10,000 demonstrators poured into the streets in a protest march toward Independence Square in the heart of Minsk. But heavily armed security and police forces unleashed their full fury on the demonstrators, who were savagely beaten. Seven of the nine opposition candidates were arrested, and over 600 protesters were taken into custody.
[p.33>] The opposition candidate Vladimir Neklyayev, who received 1.8 percent of the vote, was beaten unconscious and rushed to the hospital. While he was being treated for head wounds, he was abducted by several men in civilian clothes. Also severely beaten and rushed to a hospital was another presidential candidate, Andrei Sannikov. And what was the reaction of the head of the Central Elections Commission, Lidiya Ermoshina—who was appointed by Lukashenko? According to an article in Der Spiegel, she “said that her office was aware of only very few complaints about the elections.” Naturally.
Coconut Reform It is clear that the vampire state or the coconut republic must be reformed and replaced with a well-functioning state. To establish one, reform is needed in many areas—in the political system, the economic system, the judicial system, the educational system, and the electoral system. But reform is anathema to the ruling vampire elites and coconut heads, for it would threaten their lucrative businesses and their hold on power.
Ask them to privatize inefficient state enterprises and they will sell the companies to themselves and their cronies at fire-sale prices: examples are Uganda under Yoweri Museveni and Egypt under Hosni Mubarak. Said Muhammad Al Ghanam, the former director of legal research in Egypt’s Ministry of Interior: “The Mubarak era will be known in the history of Egypt as the era of thievery.”
Ask them to develop their economies and they will develop their pockets. Ask them to seek foreign investment and they will seek a foreign country in which to invest their loot.
Ask them to enforce the rule of law and they will force the law to respect their whims. Said The Economist: “In Zimbabwe, the thieves are in charge and their victims face prosecution.”
Ask them to trim their bloated bureaucracies and cut government spending and they will establish a “Ministry of Less Government Spending.” Ask them to establish a market-based economy and place more emphasis on the private sector and they will create a “Ministry of Private Enterprise,” as Ghana did in 2002.
Ask them to reform their abominable political and economic systems and they will perform the “coconut boogie”—one swing forward, three swings back, a jerk to the right, and a tumble [p.34>] to land hard on a frozen Swiss bank account. Swiss authorities froze the bank accounts of Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and Muammar Qaddafi of Libya in 2011.
Ask them to establish democratic pluralism and they will create surrogate parties, appoint their own electoral commissioners, empanel a gang of lackeys to write the constitution, inflate the voters’ register, manipulate the electoral rules, and hold coconut elections to return themselves to power. Even African children could see through this chicanery and fraud. Said Adam Maiga from Mali: “We must put an end to this demagoguery. You have parliaments, but they are used as democratic decoration.”
Reform becomes a charade. The reform process has stalled through vexatious chicanery, willful deception, and vaunted acrobatics. The ruling vampire elites and the coconut heads are just not interested in reform, period. They benefit from the rotten status quo. But without reform, their countries could implode or collapse in a Tunisian-type revolution. In fact, the adamant refusal of despots to reform their odious and dysfunctional political systems has ignited revolutions:
Nicaragua: In 1979, a revolutionary movement called the Sandinistas, led by Daniel Ortega, ousted from power Anastasio Somoza, whose family had ruled the country since 1936.
Indonesia: In 1998, Suharto, who had held power for 32 years, was forced to resign following the Asian financial crisis. In May 1999, Time Asia estimated Suharto’s family fortune at US$15 billion in cash, shares, corporate assets, real estate, jewelry, and fine art. Of this, US$9 billion was reported to have been deposited in an Austrian bank. Suharto was placed highest on Transparency International’s list of corrupt leaders with an alleged misappropriation of between US$15 and 35 billion during his 32-year presidency. His ouster led to the breakaway attempts by East Timor and Aceh.
However, Africa abounds with examples of despots who refused to heed the call to reform and, as a result, saw their countries implode in a violent vortex of chaos, carnage, and destruction, ending with their [p.35>] own deaths: Somalia (1991), Rwanda (1994), Liberia (1991), and Zaire (1996), among others. The cost of rebuilding each country devastated by war is in the billions. Rebuilding Liberia alone would cost at least US$15 billion.
The Coconut Cure Alas, there is a cure for coconut heads. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, there is a place called “the magic corner,” where all and sundry, including politicians, come to be relieved or cured of their problems. “Even those top leaders of the government come to that tree,” said Shabuni Haruni, a private security guard. “Yes, during the election.”
Upon the payment of a small fee, a traditional healer will take a patient to a huge baobab tree, reputed to be the abode of ancestral spirits. Patients remove their shoes and kneel in front of the tree with their eyes closed. At one session described by the Washington Post correspondent Karl Vick,
Rykia Selengia, a traditional healer, passed a coconut around and around the head of her kneeling client. The coconut went around the man’s left arm, then the right, then each leg. When she handed the coconut to the client, Mussa Norris, he hurled it onto a stone.
It shattered, releasing his problems to the winds.
Mike Slater went to the San Diego Pride Parade and played “Which Bigot Said It.”
Here’s the study from the Center for Disease Control: “…Results—Based on the 2013 NHIS data, 96.6% of adults identified as straight, 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual…”
As I am want to do at various times and seasons, is debate hot topic issues. I do not normally do this but rather those who wish dialogue find me out. Case in point, a post elsewhere on the Net about water bottles quickly led to talk about female hormones and HIV/AIDS. I know, its crazy right? Here is where the conversation gets good:
AIDS is largely confined to the drug culture and the homosexual. Since this is the way it is most easily passed on to others. Most heterosexual cases can be tied back to some infection passed through this community.
Which is why I have to sit in amazing disgust about the “barebacking” and “bug chasers” are a sad phenomenon and puzzle to us — gay or straight — whom take a common sense approach to life.
That second article says: “The number of gay men looking to become positive seems to be growing. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (The CDC) reports a new surge in the incidence of HIV among gay males, in part due to this unthinkable practice. But what can drive such a desire? Why would a life with HIV be desirable to some?”
Something I have pointed out Tammy Bruce says in her book The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values. A great read by the way. You get to see why a conservative gay person is so concerned about our culture and maybe how morally equating all choices and actions hurts it rather than helps it:
….What a difference treatment makes! As researchers succeeded in developing ever more effective drugs, AIDS became—like gonorrhea, syphilis, and hepatitis B before it—what many if consider to be a simple “chronic disease.” And many of the gay men who had heeded the initial warning went right back to having promiscuous unprotected sex here is now even a movement—the “bareback” movement—that encourages sex without condoms. The infamous bathhouses are opening up again; drug use, sex parties, and hundreds of sex partners a year are all once again a feature of the “gay lifestyle.” In fact, “sexual liberation” has simply become a code phrase for the abandonment of personal responsibility, respect, and integrity.
In his column for Salon.com, David Horowitz discussed gay radicals like the writer Edmund White. During the 1960s and beyond, White addressed audiences in the New York gay community on the subject of sexual liberation. He told one such audience that “gay men should wear their sexually transmitted diseases like red badges of courage in a war against a sex-negative society.” And did they ever. Then, getting gonorrhea was the so-called courageous act. Today, the stakes are much higher. That red badge is now one of AIDS suffering and death, and not just for gay men themselves. In their effort to transform society, the perpetrators are taking women and children and straight men with them.
Even Camille Paglia, a woman whom I do not often praise, astutely commented some years ago, “Everyone who preached free love in the Sixties is responsible for AIDS. This idea that it was somehow an accident, a microbe that sort of fell from heaven—absurd. We must face what we did.”
The moral vacuum did rear its ugly head during the 1960s with the blurring of the lines of right and wrong (remember “situational ethics”?), the sexual revolution, and the consequent emergence of the feminist and gay civil-rights movements. It’s not the original ideas of these movements, mind you, that caused and have perpetuated the problems we’re discussing. It was and remains the few in power who project their destructive sense of themselves onto the innocent landscape, all the while influencing and conditioning others. Today, not only is the blight not being faced, but in our Looking-Glass world, AIDS is romanticized and sought after…
Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values (Roseville: Prima, 2003), 96-97.
Gay Patriot makes this “moral equivalence” claim as well:
Anyway, the Times, perhaps after failing to find a celebrity to comment on the issue, goes to the next best source for information on epidemiology and behavioral psychology… an English professor from SUNY-Buffalo. Who provides this analysis:
What I learned in my research is that gay men are pursuing bareback sex not just for the thrill of it, but also as a way to experience intimacy, vulnerability and connection. Emotional connection may be symbolized in the idea that something tangible is being exchanged. A desire for connection outweighs adherence to the rules of disease prevention.
And some guys are apparently getting intimate, tangible, emotional connections 10-20 times a night in bathhouses.
It also seems that the readers of the NY Times, based on the comments, are in complete denial that this phenomenon exists, and think the author is just making it up to attack the gay community. Liberals choose to blame the recent dramatic increases in HIV infection rates on “the stigma attached to HIV.” Um, excuse me, but don’t stigmas usually make people avoid those things to which stigmas are attached?
In the real world, stigmatizing a behavior results in less of it: Which is why people don’t use the N-word in public any more and smoking has declined as a social activity. When the social stigma is removed … as with HIV infection and teenage pregnancy … you get more of those things.
To which my young antagonist responded:
….But hold on a sec. You think gay people WANT AIDS? I hope you’re able to see that this really makes no sense at all. Sometimes it seems like you believe gay people are some subhuman race of self hating suicidal maniacs who are addicted to sinful pleasures just so that people like you can hate them for it. They are people. Just like us. They want AIDS just as much as you do.
And i don’t see you complaining to the porn industries every time some poor girl has to take one that way for a film shoot. I’m not sure if you want to believe that this is some kind of plague from god, but the truth is, homosexuals make up a small portion of people infected with AIDS. Most studies conducted found numbers as low as 3% of the total population. A New York times study in 1965 found a prevalence of 10%, which is the largest ever found.
Sorry dude. But AIDS is everyone’s problem.
As you can seer this convo is rolling along now. Not only do I have to deal with an engrained myth of 10% of the population is gay, I have to answer the topic of “the porn industry.” Fun time!
The 10% is a myth. There are entire books on Kinsey’s craziness, the least of which was his study accuracy. I have written and posted great audio about the transition of human sexuality, here is a great example of this idea from my post:
So with such a low number of gay men it is a tragedy that they make up for about 70% of AIDS cases. And as I have pointed out previously both from Tammy Bruce’s book and other studies… there is a growing segment within the gay community who practice unsafe sex and bug chasing as a badge of honor? That is a fact.
Yes, AIDS is transmitted through sex the easiest, so the porn industry, as you rightly point out, is a vehicle for passing it I imagine. However, even this most recent AIDS scare in the porn industry had its genesis in Derrick Burts:
✦ But that didn’t put the matter to rest. The new question became: How did Derrick Burts, who says that outside of work his only sex partner was his girlfriend, get infected? The answer to that question may reveal some hard truths about the porn industry. Burts’ girlfriend tested negative. And no HIV-positive performer has stepped forward to admit to working with Burts. When it comes to working in a sex industry, however, “straight” is a flexible term. Like many male porn actors, Burts sometimes went “gay for pay,” performing in both straight porn with women under the name Cameron Reid, and gay porn with other men under the name Derek Chambers. The reason for two distinct names is that in the porn industry, doing both gay and straight porn—called “crossing over”—is both relatively common and also fairly taboo. Many female performers believe that the risk of contracting HIV during a scene is vastly increased if their male partner participates in gay porn. In October, when the alarm bells were first sounded about the still anonymous Patient Zeta, porn star Courtney Cummz told The Daily Beast she was “terrified” by stars who cross over, and thought the Occupational Safety and Health Administration should step in to prevent it…. For one thing, according to a recent study by the CDC, men who have sex with men are 44 times more likely to contract HIV than men who don’t. But perhaps the larger perceived problem is that HIV testing standards are completely different in gay porn than they are in straight porn. While most of the straight porn industry mandates a monthly HIV testing regimen, a significant portion of the gay porn world uses condoms—yet doesn’t require its performers to get tested. (Daily Beast)
So even in this industry, it seems that the homosexual side of it is masochistic.
Here is the response to my post:
The article i posted showing the results of numerous studies could be worth taking another look at. You say the 10% is a myth (even though most studies find somewhere between 3-6% prevalence) yet you offer me nothing substantial to back that claim up. I understand you get some info from books, but if the studies exist and have credibility, they should be as available as the studies I found. I question your understanding of the disease and its impact on the human race. You may have a bias to condemn people you see to be sinful, but if this were an act of god, then why is it striking Africa harder than any other country? why are 50% of all people with AIDS black. Did they somehow piss god off too?
Maybe if we look at HIV/AIDS for what it is, a non discriminatory disease, the big picture will make a little more sense.
Firstly, one should note God was never part of our discussion. This is telling. I used references to gay authors, court cases, articles, and the like. The fact still remains that in America the gay population is 1.7% but make up over 70% of the AIDS cases. Now the antagonist in the picture is bringing in worldwide statistics on AIDS, not only that, but also has imported God into the picture! I never used theology or my faith to make any of the points. In fact, I will post here the referenced blog I did on the stats aspect of this:
The nation’s increasingly visible and influential gay community embraces the notion of sexual orientation as an innate, immutable characteristic, like left-handedness or eye color. But a major federal sex survey suggests a far more fluid, varied life experience for those who acknowledge same-sex attraction. (from Medved article)
The results of this scientific research shouldn’t undermine the hard-won respect recently achieved by gay Americans, but they do suggest that choice and change play larger roles in sexual identity than commonly assumed. The prestigious study in question (released in March by the National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) discovered a much smaller number of “gays, lesbians and homosexuals” than generally reported by the news media. While pop-culture frequently cites the figure of one in 10 (based on 60-year-old, widely discredited conclusions from pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey) the new study finds only 1.4% of the population identifying with same-sex orientation.
Moreover, even among those who describe themselves as homosexual or bisexual (a grand total of 3.7% of the 18-44 age group), overwhelming majorities (81%) say they’ve experienced sex with partners of the opposite gender. Among those who call themselves heterosexual, on the other hand, only a tiny minority (6%) ever engaged in physical intimacy of any kind with a member of the same sex These figure indicate that 94% of those living heterosexual lives felt no physical attraction to members of the same sex, but the great bulk of self-identified homosexuals and bisexuals feel enough intimate interest in the opposite gender to engage in erotic contact at some stage in their development.
A one-way street
In other words, for the minority who may have experimented with gay relationships at some juncture in their lives, well over 80% explicitly renounced homosexual (or even bisexual) self-identification by age of 35. For the clear majority of males (as well as women) who report gay encounters, homosexual activity appears to represent a passing phase, or even a fleeting episode, rather than an unshakable, genetically pre-determined orientation.Gay pride advocates applaud the courage of those who “come out,” discovering their true nature as homosexual after many years of heterosexual experience. But enlightened opinion denies a similar possibility of change in the other direction, deriding anyone who claims straight orientation after even the briefest interlude of homosexual behavior and insisting they are phony and self-deluding. By this logic, heterosexual orientation among those with past gay relationships is always the product of repression and denial, but homosexual commitment after a straight background is invariably natural and healthy. In fact, numbers show huge majorities of those who “ever had same sex sexual contact” do not identify long-term as gay. Among women 18-44, for instance, 12.5% report some form of same sex contact at some point in their lives, but among the older segment of that group (35-44), only 0.7% identify as homosexual and 1.1% as bisexual.
The once popular phrase “sexual preference” has been indignantly replaced with the term “sexual orientation” because political correctness now insists there is no factor of willfulness or volition in the development of erotic identity. This may well be the case for the 94% of males and 87% of females (ages 18-44) who have never experienced same-sex contact of any kind and may never have questioned their unwavering straight outlook — an outlook deemed “normal” in an earlier age….
(Nope… not God in that post.) It is obvious to anyone that when backed in a corner many liberals merely start to use ad hominem attacks, creating straw-man arguments, and the like. I will come back to the African connection, as it is very important for the reader to be able to respond to such positions/”facts”. However, let us return to the conversation as found on the Net. So picking back up, here is my first response:
If you do not know about Kinsey, I suggest – in the least – reading the second chapter of a book entitled “Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas.” The second chapter which deals with Kinsey is entitled “‘SCIENCE: How a Pervert Launched the Sexual Revolution.” This is where the 10% myth came from, Kinsey.
I have read the major biography of him (“Alfred C. Kinsey: A Life”) as well as two great books entitled:
1) Sexual Sabotage: How One Mad Scientist Unleashed a Plague of Corruption and Contagion on America (there is a generous preview of the book at Amazon) 2) Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences: The Red Queen and the Grand Scheme
All this is to say, I know where the 10% myth came from. And, I linked to one of my posts which not only had audio regarding the study PROVING my point, but also a link to the largest most in-depth study to date. I would listen to the audio portion as well, a gay man calls at the very end of the show making the point supported by the best evidence available yet.
I suggest you listen to the 16-minute audio also found in the post in regards to this study.
More modern survey data has modified even that claim. In fact, an overwhelming majority of the population are exclusively heterosexual. However, of the small number of people who have ever experienced homosexuality on any of the three measures of sexual orientation (attractions, behavior, and self-identification), the number who have been exclusively homosexual on all three measures throughout their lives is vanishingly small—only 0.6% of men and 0.2% of women. Even if we go by the measure of self-identification alone, the percentage of the population who identify as homosexual or bisexual is quite small. Convincing evidence of these has come from an unlikely source—a consortium of 31 of the leading homosexual rights groups in America. In a friend-of-the-court brief they filed in the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas sodomy case in 2003, they admitted the following:
✦ The most widely accepted study of sexual practices in the United States is the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS). The NHSLS found that 2.8% of the male, and 1.4% of the female, population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. See Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sex: Sexual Practices in the United States (1994). So it’s fair to say that the “ten percent” myth has been discredited even by pro-homosexual groups themselves.
The CDC reported that a 2002 National Survey of Family Growth set the number closer to 2.8% of adults claiming homosexuality.
In 1993, USA Today reported that only 2.3% of males ages 20 to 30 said they had a same-sex experience in the last decade.
In 1991, the National Opinion Research Center found that respondents who claimed they were active homosexuals only numbered .7%.
As far back as 1988 a Canadian survey found that 98% of first-year college students under 25 indicated they were heterosexual.
And the 2000 Census found that only .42% of American households consisted of same sex, unmarried couples as heads of households. This is less than 1%.
Still, the largest and most thorough study done yet puts the number of firmly gay people at 1.7%. Some studies put it at slightly more, some less.
So what about Africa? One of my favorite columnists/authors is Michael Fumento. He has some great insights into the problem of Africa. I will post his article on the issue, as, i think it is an important topic… I will highlight portions I think are fitting for this discussion. you will see Michael’s true care and concern near the end:
Ninety-nine percent of AIDS and HIV cases in Africa come from sexual transmission, and virtually all is heterosexual. So says the World Health Organization, with other agenciestoeing the line. Some massive condom airdrops accompanied by a persuasive propaganda campaign would practically make the epidemic vanish overnight. Or would it?
A determined renegade group of three scientists has fought for years – with little success – to get out the message that no more than a third of HIV transmission in Africa is from sexual intercourse and most of that is anal. By ignoring the real vectors, they say, we’re sacrificing literally millions of people.
These men are no crackpots. John Potterat is author of 140 scholarly publications. He began working for the El Paso County, Colorado health department in 1972 and initiated the first U.S. partner-tracing program for AIDS/HIV.
Stuart Brody, who has just accepted a full professorship in Psychology at University of Paisley in Scotland, has published over 100 scholarly publications, including a book called “Sex at Risk.” Economist and anthropologist David Gisselquist has almost 60 scholarly publications to his name and is currently advising the government of India on staunching its potentially explosive epidemic.
These renegades point out that a reason we know vaginal sex can’t be the risk in Africa it’s portrayed to be is that it hasn’t been much of one risk in the U.S. Here 12 percent of AIDS cases are “attributed to” heterosexual transmission, meaning they claimed to have gotten it that way. Of these, over a third are males.
Yet San Francisco epidemiologist Nancy Padian evaluated 72 male partners of HIV-infected women over several years, during which time only one man was infected. Even in that case, there were “several instances of vaginal and penile bleeding during intercourse.” So even the small U.S. heterosexual figure appears grossly exaggerated.
So if vaginal intercourse can’t explain the awful African epidemic, what can? Surely it’s not homosexuality, since we’ve been told there is none in Africa. In fact, the practice has long been widespread.
For example, German anthropologist Kurt Falk reported in the 1920s that bisexuality was almost universal among the male populations of African tribes he studied. Medical records also show that African men who insist they’re straighter than the proverbial arrow often suffer transmissible anorectal diseases.
Yet almost certainly greater – and more controllable – contributors to the African epidemic are “contaminated punctures from such sources as medical injections, dental injections, surgical procedures, drawing as well as injecting blood, and rehydration through IV tubes,” says Brody.
You don’t even need to go to a clinic to be injected with HIV: Almost two-thirds of 360 homes visited in sub-Saharan Africa had medical injection equipment that was apparently shared by family members. This, says Brody, can explain why both a husband and wife will be infected.
For those who care to look, there are many indicators that punctures play a huge role in the spread of disease. For example, during the 1990s HIV increased in Zimbabwe at approximately 12 percent annually, even as condom use increased and sexually transmitted infections rapidly fell.
Or consider that in a review of nine African studies, HIV prevalence in inpatient children ranged from 8.2% to 63% – as many as three times the prevalence in women who’d given birth. If the kids didn’t get the virus from their mothers or from sex, whence its origin? Investigations of large clinical outbreaks in Russia, Romania, and Libya demonstrate HIV can be readily transmitted through pediatric health care.
Good people can differ on exactly how much of the HIV in Africa is spread vaginally – including our three renegades themselves. Nevertheless, their findings readily belie the official figures. AIDS studies in Africa, Potterat says, are “First World researchers doing second rate science in Third World countries.”
There’s no one reason for the mass deception. In part, once people have established any paradigm it becomes much easier to justify than challenge.
“These guys are wearing intellectual blinders,” says Potterat. “Only a handful are even looking at routes other than sex. They have sex on the brain.” Other reasons:
● Grant money goes to those who follow the dictates of the paradigm, not to those challenging it. “Sex is sexy,” notes Potterat. ● There’s fear that blame for the epidemic will fall on the medical profession. ● To the extent vaginal sex does play a role in spreading the disease, there’s fear people will stop worrying about it.
Finally, says Brody, for researchers to concede they were wrong would be “to admit they’re complicit in mass death. That’s hard to admit that to yourself, much less to other people.” Hard, yes. And too late for many. But not too late for millions more in Africa and other underdeveloped nations – if we act now.
So what has been done in the above. The porn industry example was annihilated, the Africa example decimated, and the 10% myth blown apart, and the best available evidence puts AIDS as an epidemic in the bi-sexual, gay, and drug culture, except in Africa, where it is partly the medical fields issue as well. Why is this a problem with anal intercourse?
Homosexuals also continue to contract and spread other diseases at rates significantly higher that the community at large. These include syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis A and B, a variety of intestinal parasites including amebiases and giardiasis, and even typhoid fever (David G. Ostrow, Terry Alan Sandholzer, and Yehudi M. Felman, eds., Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Homosexual Men; see also, Sevgi O. Aral and King K. Holmes, “Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the AIDS Era,” Scientific American). This is because rectal intercourse or sodomy, typically practiced by homosexuals, is one of the most efficient methods of transmitting disease. Why? Because nature designed the human rectum for a single purpose: expelling waste from the body. It is built of a thin layer of columnar cells, different in structure than the plate cells that line the female reproductive tract. Because the wall of the rectum is so thin, it is easily ruptured during intercourse, allowing semen, blood, feces, and saliva to directly enter the bloodstream.
This is why any anal sex should be rejected even in hetero relationships/marriage.
Ahhh, just another day in the trenches… this one just a bit deeper than others.
Not only are there groups of police hunting down lesbians, gay men, and prostitutes. But they also are banning beer. A travesty to liberty as well. This comes via Libertarian Republican and Weasel Zippers:
Police enforcing Islamic law in Nigeria’s city of Kano publicly destroyed some 240,000 bottles of beer on Wednesday, the latest move in a wider crackdown on behaviour deemed “immoral” in the area.
The banned booze had been confiscated from trucks coming into the city in recent weeks, said officials from the Hisbah, the patrol tasked with enforcing the strict Islamic law, known as sharia.
Kano’s Hisbah chief Aminu Daurawa said at the bottle-breaking ceremony he had “the ardent hope this will bring an end to the consumption of such prohibited substances”.
A large bulldozer smashed the bottles to shouts of “Allahu Ahkbar” (God is Great) from supporters outside the Hisbah headquarters in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north….
Angola has seen the violence and destruction Islam brings as it spreads… violently. They are taking measures now to curb this from happening to their people. Will it work though? This comes via Gateway Pundit:
A number of news outlets have reported that Angola has “banned” Islam and started to dismantle mosques in a bold effort to stem the spread of Muslim extremism.
Weekly French-language Moroccan newspaper La Nouvelle Tribune published an article on Friday sourcing “several” Angolan officials, including the Southwest African nation’s minister of culture, Rosa Cruz, who reportedly offered the following remarks, which have been translated from French: “The process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, their mosques would be closed until further notice.”
The media reports have not described why exactly Islam apparently faces a need to be legalized despite its presence in the country for many years.
OnIslam.net reports that the African economic news agency Agence Ecofin wrote that Cruz made the statement at an appearance last week before the 6th Commission of the National Assembly. The website goes on to note that, “According to several Angolan newspapers, Angola has become the first country in the world to ban Islam and Muslims, taking first measures by destroying mosques in the country.”
Angola is the first country to ban Islam. They have noticed, I’m sure, a trend as Islam spreads — and probably have experienced it personally. Islam IS violent, inherently. And it spreads by violence, typically. (Don’t believe me, spend some time on The Religion of Peace. Caution, common sense and honesty needed to draw logical conclusions to form a truthful conclusion.)
Here is a ruff translation from the YouTube I pulled it from, obviously he is sympathetic, whereas I am not:
Once more warn: The destruction of nine (9) above mosques, should be stopped immediately and demand that the President Angola apologize to Muslims worldwide. If not, then we would like to invite the Muslim community to hold peaceful demonstrations in front of the buildings of Angolan embassies worldwide.
And yes, it is out of focus — it’s Africa for God’s sake.