The First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, 1621

 

In the year of 1620,

On the shores of Plymouth, Mass.,

The dauntless Pilgrims landed,

With nary a broken glass.

 

But once ashore they faltered,

Their crops did not do well.

There was no food to harvest.

Their haven turned to hell.

 

That’s when they met one Squanto,

A native, not a WASP.

He dressed in skins and feathers,

And spoke with a foreign rasp.

 

Squanto squinted when he said:

“I tell you what I do.

I give you seed that you can plant,

And corn will come to you.”

 

“Corn, schmorn!” Gov. Bradford said.

His lips were curled with scorn.

“What on earth can Pilgrims do

With your infernal corn?”

 

“You take it or you leave it,”

Said Squanto with a shrug.

“Okay, okay,” Bill Bradford said,

And gave Squanto a hug.

 

Next year, the dauntless Pilgrims,

Their numbers down to half,

Planted corn, and when it grew,

They all began to laugh.

 

“There ain’t no way to eat this stuff.

That native must be nuts.

You chew it and it breaks your teeth,

No ifs or ands or buts.”

 

Then Squanto said, impatiently,

“So waddaya want, you jerks?

I tell you how to plant the corn,

And now you want the works?

 

“Of course, you gotta cook it,

What the heck do you expect?

You try it and you like it.

Now show me some respect.”

 

“Yes, yes, that is the answer,”

Is what Bill Bradford said.

“Majorities make some good points,

Although their skin is red.”

 

He called his group together;

That’s what Bill Bradford did.

He said “My friend is Squanto.

Don’t treat him like a kid.

 

“His folks are very clueless;

Of turkey they don’t know.

Let’s ask them all to dinner,

And make it a big show.

 

“We’ll hunt a bunch of turkeys

And stuff them as we do,

With moistened bread and chestnuts,

Thyme, sage, and parsley, too.

 

“We’ll sit them down to dinner,

Give them a helping hand

With knives and forks and napkins,

And help them understand

 

“Just how we pray and thank the Lord

And give Him credit due

For sending Squanto to us,

A friend in need and true.

 

“Diversity is not so bad,”

Said Bradford with a wink.

“It’s bound to happen, if not now,

Then sooner than we think.”

 

And that is how it came to pass,

That first Thanksgiving Day,

With Pilgrims and Patuxets,

At Plymouth by the bay.

 

 

© 2018 M.L.Wagner

 

 

 

Impeachment Circus – Today’s Bombshell Is Another Dud

Posted by b on Moon of Alabama (MoA) on November 20, 2019. Bernhard, a German blogger, posts as b on his blog, MoA, which deals mostly with geopolitics from a European left perspective.

The impeachment circus continued today with a refreshingly candid opening statement from Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the EU. Sondland was involved in diplomatic efforts in Ukraine. Instead of stonewalling Sondland just let it all out:

Gordon D. Sondland testified that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on the pressure campaign, and that he told Vice President Mike Pence about an apparent link between military aid for Ukraine and investigations of Democrats. Mr. Sondland confirmed there was a “clear quid pro quo” for a White House meeting between President Trump and Ukraine’s president.

The anti-Trump media see this as another “bombshell” that will hurt him.

But it is more likely that Sondland’s testimony will help President Trump and those involved on his side.

The President of the United States thought it to be in the interest of the United States to press Ukraine’s government into publicly announcing investigations into two issues:

        • The successful meddling by Ukrainian officials in the 2016 U.S. election.
        • The evident intervention by then Vice President Biden into Ukrainian politics to the benefit of the owner of a company that paid his son more than $50,000 per month.

Sondland and other U.S. officials were negotiating with the Ukrainians about these demands. There were two potential points that they could  use to pressure the Ukrainians into announcing investigations:

        • The Ukrainian request for a visit by President Zelensky to the White House.
        • The Ukrainian desire to receive military aid that Congress had allocated for that purpose.

It is not clear at all that Trump wanted those issues to be used to pressure Ukraine. Trump never told Sondland that these issues were connected:

Aaron Maté @aaronjmate – 15:58 UTC · Nov 20, 2019

Sondland’s testimony is not as damning as it’s being portrayed. He says Trump never told him that money for US weapons (“security assistance”) was conditioned on investigations. Sondland says that such a condition is what he came to believe based on his own inference.
His interpretation may well be correct (I’d bet it was). But his own interpretation is not direct evidence — it’s an interpretation. Given he’s the star witness who spoke to Trump — & he says Trump never even mentioned “security assistance” — it’s actually an evidentiary hole.
Sondland: “I’ve never heard from Trump that the aid was conditioned on the investigations.” Also says Trump never mentioned “security assistance.” This is the star witness who spoke to Trump, & who relayed conditions to Ukraine — which he now says was based on his interpretation.

Read more

From Lefticon:

Power politics –the geopolitical application of the principles of hard power and realpolitik by the leaders of a nation with the capacity and will to do so.

A form of bullying on a grand scale, power politics is a dangerous game most often played by a superpower in its declared “national self-interest” or the undeclared interests of an ally, with the objective of imposing its will on less powerful adversaries. It is dangerous because it triggers anger and resentment, hardens the resolve of the targeted nation, and is thereby self-escalating and self-defeating.

The tools of power politics include tariffs, blockades, sanctions, economic destabilization, confiscation and freezing of assets, blacklisting, blackmail, propaganda, proxy wars, cyberwarfare, encirclement, border encroachment, subversion, staged demonstrations and insurrections, planned revolutions, regime change by coup, false flags, covert military operations, overt military intervention, and preemptive war. If the hapless target nation does not submit to the demands of the superpower, the usual first steps are economic sanctions and a blockade to cripple a country’s industry by depriving it of raw materials and energy and to impose prolonged hardship on the people by depriving them of essentials like food and drugs. The hope is that the people will spontaneously rise up and overthrow their leader, replacing him with one pre-selected by the superpower. If this does not happen, more aggressive measures come to play, up to the deployment of mercenaries in an asymmetric proxy war, or direct military intervention.

While some of the earlier measures (such as tariffs and economic sanctions) are effective in a relatively short term as a prelude to diplomatic negotiations, the full spectrum of power politics as played in the 20th and 21st century has had a consistent record of failure and an enormous cost in human lives, destruction of property and infrastructure, and the displacement of populations. Some of the most courageous young men on both sides of every conflict went off to war and died or survived with serious physical or mental injuries. Those on the receiving end saw their countries destroyed and families lost to disease and starvation. Those are the known and therefore intended consequences of power politics. An unintended consequence is the emergence of a generation of hardened enemies, labeled as terrorists, bent on vengeance.

Terminally-ill scientist is about to ‘transform’ into world’s first full cyborg

As reported in the UK Mirror on October 11, 2019 …

A terminally-ill scientist who is dying from a muscle wasting disease has taken the final steps to become the world’s first full cyborg.

Dr Peter Scott-Morgan, 61, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease two years ago, but instead of accepting his fate he decided to challenge what it meant to be human. He said he wanted to push the boundaries of what science can achieve so decided to extend his life and become fully robotic – known as Peter 2.0.

The world-renowned roboticist has already undergone a series of incredibly complex and risky operations during his journey. This has included developing a remarkably life-like avatar of his face before he lost any muscle. The avatar is designed to respond using artificially intelligent body language and he has also explored eye-tracking technology to enable him to control multiple computers using only his eyes.

And this week he announced the final procedure in his transition into a robot where he traded his voice for potentially decades of life. He underwent a laryngectomy, meaning he lost his physical voice, but in doing so, he will avoid the added danger of saliva potentially entering his lungs, due to his condition.

Dr Scott-Morgan labelled this final procedure as the end of Peter 1.0 with a post this week on Twitter , and wrote: “This is my last post as Peter 1.0. Tomorrow (Thursday 10/10) I trade my voice for potentially decades of life as we complete the final medical procedure for my transition to Full Cyborg, the month I was told statistically I would be dead. I’m not dying, I’m transforming. Oh, how I love science.”

Dr Scott-Morgan, of Torquay, Devon, has throughout his career been granted ‘unparalleled confidential access’ to government organisations, banks and major corporations.

Read more

From Lefticon:

Transhumanism – a visionary belief in the achievement of the full potential of the human species through applied technology.

Based on the exponential recent growth in data, cloud, robotic, 5G, AI, quantum, nano, and genetic technologies, transhumanists predict the following changes over a period of decades rather than centuries:

    • indefinite prolongation of life;
    • resurrection (with intact memories) of those preserved by cryonic flash-freezing;
    • superintelligence;
    • freedom from disease and aging;
    • reversal of aging when applicable;
    • freedom from stress, anxiety, depression, and despair; and
    • a mental state of sublime and constant bliss.

These changes will be incremental as the necessary technology is perfected. The methods already exist, but in varying stages of development. There will be a transitional period during which an enhanced form of humanity, known as transhuman, will emerge.

Transhumans will be more than a social construct. Becoming a transhuman will not be a simple declaration of transhuman identity, but rather a commitment to the proactive interventions necessary to overcome the fundamental limitations of humanity. It will be more like the full transitioning that occurs in transgenderism but involving multidisciplinary procedures far more invasive than simple reconstructive surgery and hormonal replacement.

The final endpoint of transhumanism will be a posthuman, a transcendent life form unlike any being now in existence. It will be a good kind of genetically modified organism (GMO), not the bad kind that has contaminated our food supply. And it will also be robotically modified—an RMO, so to speak—to achieve super strength and superintelligence.

Posthumans will be gender-neutral, robot-human hybrids. Once man has reached this perfected state, there will no longer be a place for religion or belief in God, creationism, virtue, sin, or an afterlife of heaven or hell. Posthumans, the ultimate elites, will live in their own sustainable heaven on earth.

It will not be possible for all humans to be transformed into posthumans, a limitation which could result in more social inequality. Fortunately, the problems associated with the introduction of a small minority of posthumans into a majority population of regular humans have already been addressed. Posthumans will be programmed to be friendly to organic (non-GMO) humans, and their genes will be edited to make them anti-gun. They will be free of all traces of sociopathy and psychopathy, which alone will make them superior to most ruling-class elites today.

Their sweet and friendly nature will make the benign posthumans an easy prey of organic (non-GMO) humans. While free of disease and aging, their otherwise-eternal life will still be vulnerable to trauma and the effects of war, natural disaster, vehicular collision, or assault with a deadly weapon (such as an assault rifle).

It is possible, though, that some posthumans will be programmed in other, less-benign directions for security and intelligence purposes, just as organic humans were in the CIA Project MKUltra and its predecessor, Project ARTICHOKE.

There is also a serious concern that a posthuman can reach a critical level of development whereby it becomes autonomous and self-replicating, an end-state called singularity. According to leading futurists, this hypothetical state of singularity can occur suddenly and without warning, resulting in a new form of super-being capable of taking over the world and enslaving humanity.

Note:  Transhumanism is not to be confused with transgenderism and trans-speciesism, which also relate to expanding human agentic potential but are restricted to gender and species transformation. Transhumanism may, however, include gender and species transformation as part of the transhumanization process.

 

The NED Strikes Again: How Neocon Money is Funding the Hong Kong Protests

Mnar Muhawesh of Mint Press News reveals the role of the National Endowment for Democracy in support of the civil unrest in Hong Kong. As she points out:

Indeed, much of the protest appears to be geared towards a Western audience.

Protesters are openly calling on the United States to intervene and liberate Hong Kong as they wave the stars and stripes of the American flag. Meanwhile, others broke into the Hong Kong state legislature and hung the colonial United Kingdom flag — a reference to the era before 1997 when the British directly controlled the island as a colony. 

Perhaps what’s more bizarre is that protesters have been seen waving Pepe the Frog flags, a symbol of the Alt-Right. 

This message is getting right to the heart of America’s regime-change hawks, receiving the blessings of none other than Marco Rubio, John Bolton, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo and even President Donald Trump — the same bloodthirsty avatars of war under the current administration that have been openly destabilizing Venezuela by pouring in millions to prop up a right-wing insurgency.

And what’s already taking place in Hong Kong is looking all too familiar, which begs the question: Does Washington have any influence over the protest movement in Hong Kong, whether directly or indirectly? 

A closer look actually gives us a clear answer — that the West has more to do with this movement than it would like us to know. It’s the ugly face of Washington’s long-standing foreign policy directed at destabilizing one of its long-standing economic foes: China.

Gone are the days where the CIA would directly overthrow foreign governments it didn’t like, such as Iran in 1953 or Brazil in 1964. 

Today regime change is achieved through front organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, that influences thought and culture through covert means. 

Washington uses the NED as a “soft power” tool to influence and interfere in the politics and society of foreign countries in order to bring about governments that are conducive to the interests of big business. The NED does this under the guise of being a charitable organization promoting democracy and human rights.

Read more…

From  Lefticon:

Nongovernmental organization (NGO) – an independent organization that advocates a single issue or special interest.

NGOs can be social, political, economic, cultural, environmental, religious, charitable, commercial, local, regional, or national. They are tax-exempt and claim to be non-partisan, but commonly support causes identified with a political party or ideology. Funding is from private donations, philanthropists, charitable foundations, and transfer of funds from other NGOs with a similar agenda.

Though nongovernmental in name, some are operations or fronts set up and controlled by governmental agencies, and work with those agencies covertly in foreign countries and domestically. Many NGOs have acquired special expertise in assisting developing countries in areas like public relations, propaganda, data analysis, focus groups, polling, election monitoring, demonstration planning and staging, civil disobedience, defamation, spray-painting of political graffiti, burning flags and effigies, and similar techniques proven effective in molding the will of the people through the democratic process.

NGOs have been particularly effective as proxy agents of a superpower or a super-philanthropist such as George Soros, who supports over 150 of them. They are indispensable in destabilizing an adversary or facilitating regime change in lesser nations that resist nation building, democratization, globalization, or the benefits of an Open Society.

Soft power – in geopolitics, the power of narrative, presentation, and image, also known as propaganda, as opposed to the hard power of force and foreign aid.

Soft power is separate from economic and military power but does not preclude the application of hard power when necessary. When soft and hard power are used in combination, it becomes smart power.

The concept of soft power was developed by Harvard professor Joseph Nye in the 1990s and was one of the bases of American foreign policy through all presidential administrations since then, with the full support of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Its earlier conceptualization as propaganda, however, goes back to the early twentieth century and Edward Bernays.

NY Times admits it sends stories to US government for approval before publication

As confirmed by an inadvertent disclosure by the NY Times, the Mockingbird is live and well. This was reported by Ben Norton of Grayzone.

The New York Times has publicly acknowledged that it sends some of its stories to the US government for approval from “national security officials” before publication.

This confirms what veteran New York Times correspondents like James Risen have said: The American newspaper of record regularly collaborates with the US government, suppressing reporting that top officials don’t want made public.

On June 15, the Times reported that the US government is escalating its cyber attacks on Russia’s power grid. According to the article, “the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively,” as part of a larger “digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow.”

In response to the report, Donald Trump attacked the Times on Twitter, calling the article “a virtual act of Treason.”

The New York Times PR office replied to Trump from its official Twitter account, defending the story and noting that it had, in fact, been cleared with the US government before being printed.

From  Lefticon:

Operation Mockingbird – a project of the CIA to control the content of the news media in the United States.

This operation took place during the Cold War in the 1950s to the early 1970s, as a reaction to similar Soviet efforts. It involved all the techniques of propaganda including disinformation, censorship, front organizations, and the clandestine involvement of over 400 accredited reporters of major news publications such as the NY Times, the Washington Post, and Time/Life. It was said to have ended after exposure by the Church Committee and other investigative agencies.

There are reasons to believe that Mockingbird never ended but continues to this day to use the corporate media to shape the opinions of the masses.

Manufactured consent – agreement of the masses with the agenda of the ruling class, achieved through propaganda widely disseminated by the corporate media.

In their landmark exposé, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky described how the corporate media changed from seekers of objective truth to a propaganda model, generating popular support for the agendas of the government and corporate elites.

Published in 1988, their observations are still valid today if not more so.

 

Why Are We in Ukraine?

Prof. Stephen F. Cohen, emeritus professor of Russian studies at Princeton and NYU, asks this interesting question.

For centuries and still today, Russia and large parts of Ukraine have had much in common—a long territorial border; a shared history; ethnic, linguistic, and other cultural affinities; intimate personal relations; substantial economic trade; and more. Even after the years of escalating conflict between Kiev and Moscow since 2014, many Russians and Ukrainians still think of themselves in familial ways. The United States has almost none of these commonalities with Ukraine.

Which is also to say that Ukraine is not “a vital US national interest,” as most leaders of both parties, Republican and Democrat alike, and much of the US media now declare. On the other hand, Ukraine is a vital Russian interest by any geopolitical or simply human reckoning.

Why, then, is Washington so deeply involved in Ukraine? (The proposed nearly $400 million in US military aid to Kiev would mean, of course, even more intrusive involvement.) And why is Ukraine so deeply involved in Washington, in a different way, that it has become a pretext for attempts to impeach President Donald Trump?

In the linked video, he discusses the likely reasons with Aaron Maté of Grayzone. A transcript is available at that site.

From  Lefticon:

Interventionism – interference of one nation state in the affairs of another.

The interference can be overt through propaganda, armed intervention, or outright declared war; or it can be covert by election rigging, financing a favored political party or candidate, inciting an insurrection, or hiring mercenary surrogates to wage a proxy war.

The goals of an intervention can include one or more of the following: replacing an oppressive dictatorship with a democracy; regime change for other reasons; acquisition of resources; protecting energy sources and transport; territorial expansion; regional projection of power; stopping human rights abuses; preventing genocide; and other rationalizations. The nominal goals can differ from the true goals which may be known only to the planners of the interventions.

After the Second World War, interventionism became a hallmark of United States foreign policy. Becoming the “policeman of the world” was an irresistible consequence—indeed, a compelling obligation—of being the world’s one and only superpower. Bringing American-style democracy and consumer-capitalism to the rest of humankind was an added benefit, a win-win for the United States and the rest of the world.

At the same time, Soviet interventionism in the West was proceeding overtly through local Communist Parties; covertly by the NKVD/KGB propaganda and espionage cells; independently by Trotsky’s Fourth International; culturally by neo-Marxists of the Frankfurt School; and politically by the Fabians. All were driven by the ideology of Karl Marx and the vision of bringing utopian Communism to the rest of humankind, a win-win for Soviet Russia and the rest of the world.

This clash of American and Soviet ideologies, via reciprocal interventions, became a dialectic that resulted in fascinating reversals, but still no synthesis. Russia went from atheistic, totalitarian Communism, with goals of global expansion, to a parliamentary democracy supporting individual freedom, capitalism, Orthodox Christianity, and national sovereignty. Its antithesis, the United States of America, went from a republic founded by Christians, supporting individual freedom and free enterprise, to freedoms threatened by surveillance and political censorship, free enterprise hampered by cronyism and regulation, national sovereignty impinged by globalization, and a repressed Christian heritage. In effect, Russia became more like the old United States, while the United States became more like the old Soviet Russia but without the autocracy. In the geopolitics of today, the Russian leadership espouses the multipolarity of independent sovereign nation states, while the establishment powers of the United States envision the unipolarity of globalism, a world order eventually controlled by a supranational governing body. It is a dialectic still in progress.

Military-industrial complex (MIC) – the cohesive relationship between the Department of Defense, the military services, and the defense industry in the United States.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his Farewell Address to the Nation in 1961, warned that we must “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

Despite Eisenhower’s warning, the MIC has grown in power and complexity, so that it now includes the intelligence and security agencies, Congress, and the media. It has become the ultimate expression of advanced capitalism in the United States, a public-private enterprise with strong bonds between its interdependent components. A better name today might be the military-industrial-intelligence-congressional-media complex.

The military consumes vast quantities of hardware (aircraft, ships, vehicles, weapons, munitions) and human necessities (food, clothing, shelter). Supplying the military consumer is the defense industry, which is comprised of six major corporations, their suppliers, subsidiaries, sub-contractors, and a plethora of smaller companies and contractors. Intelligence (the collection, analysis, processing, and dissemination of information) is provided by seventeen government agencies and extracted from enormous databases acquired by every public and private technique of surveillance and data analysis known to modern technology. In most of the twentieth century, US intelligence focused on one or two enemies. More recent wars and interventions created many more enemies and adversaries, some capable of coming to America to wage unconventional warfare or terrorism, or portrayable as such. Finding a few terrorist needles in the general-population haystack justifies the expansion of intelligence and governmental surveillance to the entire population.

Funds for the MIC come from the Treasury, which in turn come from taxation of the citizenry, borrowing from the Federal Reserve banking system, and loans from foreign governments. Congress appropriates the funds to the military and is the nominal overseer of their utilization. In return, cooperative congressmen accept choice committee assignments, enhanced media exposure, inside investment information, the favors of lobbyists, and major contributions to their re-election campaigns. Their constituents are rewarded when a defense industry opens a plant in their congressional district.

In a finite budget, money allocated to defense means less available for social programs, and vice versa. For example, the social democracies of western Europe are strong socially but weak militarily; they depend on the United States military to protect them from real or imagined threats. Their defensive alliance known as NATO is totally dependent on the United States and is essentially a projection of American power internationally.

Dialectically, the MIC is the warfare-state antithesis of the welfare state. Politically, it has the bipartisan support of neoconservatives on the right and neoliberals on the left. Its powerful supporters use the mass media, controlled by six major corporations, to provide the propaganda necessary to retain the consent of the people. The media exaggerate the MIC’s successes and minimize its failures, flaunt the superiority of its weaponry and technology, demonize our “enemies,” ignore the human-rights abuses of our “allies,” and maintain the fear that is necessary for a people to sacrifice freedom for security.

Note:  The Department of Defense dates back to 1949. For 160 years before that, it was called the Department of War, which was a more accurate and honest name.

Warren proclaims gender-nonconforming and non-binary people the backbone of our democracy

In response to her  endorsement by the activist organization Black Womxn For, Elizabeth Warren tweeted,

“Thank you, @BlackWomxnFor! Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy and I don’t take this endorsement lightly. I’m committed to fighting alongside you for the big, structural change our country needs.”

Black Womxn For is an organization “intentionally inclusive of all black folks that do not claim male identity. This includes black trans and cis women, gender non-conforming folks and others.”

From Lefticon:

Gender non-conforming – a gender expression different from one’s externally apparent gender.

Gender non-binary – a gender identity for those who feel they do not conform to the gender binary of man/woman.

Non-binary can mean genderfluid or a more customized identity from the numerous potential gender expressions. It can encompass gender categories such as gender non-conforming, gender expansive, genderqueer, and neutrois.

Womxn – an alternative spelling for the word woman and women which changes the cisgender syllables man and men to the gender-neutral mxn, because of the obvious association of man and men with male hegemony and patriarchal oppression.

Note:  This revised spelling of woman has no relationship to the Mexican peso (MXN).

Womyn – an alternative spelling of woman or women, which changes the cisgender syllables man and men to the gender-neutral myn preferred by many feminists.

Like womxn and womzn, which are both singular and plural, womyn sacrifices the distinction between individual and group to avoid the offensive syllables man and men. Furthermore, woman implies that a womyn is nothing more than a man with a womb, which is unsubstantiatable and insulting to womyn.

Thanks to the struggles of militant feminists, the trigger-syllable man has already been expurgated and replaced from common usage for many occupations and titles, e.g., fire fighter for fireman, letter carrier for mailman, law enforcement officer for policeman, sanitation worker for garbageman, helmsperson for helmsman, chairperson or chair for chairman, congressperson for congressman

Womzn – an alternative spelling for the word woman and women which changes the cisgender syllables man and men to the gender-neutral mzn.

Though not widely used, womzn is the third axis in a tridimensional graph representing womxyznhood.

‘Justice’ for trans athletes unfair to girls …

This opinion article in the NY Post was written by the mother of a high-school sophomore/athlete in Connecticut, where transgender girls are now allowed to compete as girls in team sports. She writes:

My daughter, Alanna, now a sophomore, is a rising star in our home state of Connecticut. As a freshman, she led her high-school team to its third straight team championship in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference by winning the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter in one of the most dominant individual performances in meet history. She was an integral component in the team’s first-place finish in the State Open and in smashing a pair of records at the New England championships in Maine…

Since 2017, our state’s high-school athletic conference has allowed biological boys to compete against girls. It’s enough that they subjectively identify as female. Since then, two biological boys have won 15 women’s track championships, titles held by nine different girls in 2016…

Not only that, the same two biological boys have taken away more than 50 chances for girls to compete at the next level of competition, running these girls right off the track and forcing them to be spectators in their own sport…

As we are seeing in Connecticut, a biological boy’s subjective sense of his gender doesn’t cancel out his physical advantage over girls.

Transgenderism is a complex issue with its share of unintended consequences, as this article and many similar others illustrate. The discord has extended even to the feminist community, where there is a reactionary movement called Trans-exclusionary Radical Feminism (TERF).

From  Lefticon:

Gender identity – the personal sense of one’s gender, which may or may not differ from one’s sexual or gender assignment (biological sex) at birth.

Those who are happy with their biological gender are called cis males or cis females, and their identity called cisgender. For those who feel unhappy with their gender assignment, there are other categories. Thus, if you feel you are a man in a woman’s body, you are a man. If you feel you are a woman in a man’s body, you are a woman. Even without chemical and surgical gender reassignment, these men and women are referred to as transgender or the older term transsexual.

Those who feel they do not conform to the gender binary of man/woman are called genderfluid or non-binary.

Gender identity is a social construct based on subjective feelings (self-realization) which can conflict with anatomy and physiology. This struggle between the subjective and the objective, between wishes and the limits to their fulfillment, can create intolerable stress in the transgender, a condition known as gender dysphoria.

Transgender (transsexual) – those who change their gender identity from their biologic gender assignment.

Since gender identity is a social construct, it can be changed at will, with or without voice coaching, gait training, hormonal supplements, gender confirmation surgery, and legal change of name to complete the transformation.

Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism (TERF) – a movement within feminism which refuses to accept trans women as women; also called gender-critical feminism.

Trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) direct their transphobia and transmisogyny primarily toward those trans people who were once men by biological assignment but assume the gender identity of a woman. TERFs object to trans women claiming the minority rights of other (cisgender) women, espousing mainstream feminist causes, competing as women in non-team sports, participating in women’s team sports, and using women’s restrooms. There is validity to their concerns. Trans women have an advantage over biologic women in many women’s sports, and their genitals (unless fully transitioned) are clearly out of place in a female gender-specific restroom or locker room.

Some TERFs prefer eliminationist or exterminationist to exclusionary in the name for their movement.

 

Clapping banned at Oxford University to stop people being triggered

According to a recent Metro.co.uk news report:

Students at the University of Oxford have voted to ‘replace clapping’ with a silent wave because it ‘could trigger anxiety’. They are instead being told to use ‘jazz hands’, where they wave their hands in the air.

Jazz hands is the British Sign Language expression for applause and is considered a more inclusive gesture. Sabbatical Officers Roisin McCallion said: “The policy was proposed in order to encourage the use of British Sign Language clapping during our democratic events, to make those events more accessible and inclusive for all, including people who suffer from anxiety … Inclusivity is one of the Students’ Union’s founding principles.”

A similar ban on clapping occurred at the 2019 annual convention of the Democratic Socialists of America in Atlanta. They also had “quiet rooms” for those triggered by clapping or the noisy clamor of their activist comrades.

From  Lefticon:

Jazz hands – a silent alternative to clapping in which the arms are extended vertically upward with the palms facing forward, fingers widely spread, and the hands are jiggled rapidly, mimicking a coarse tremor. Also called spirit fingers.

Jazz hands and spirit fingers were originally the names of similar movements in the choreography of modern dance.

Compared to clapping, jazz hands (or spirit fingers) have the advantage of avoiding anxiety-triggering sensory overload in those sensitive to loud sounds. Accordingly, they have become popular with young progressives who are constantly on the alert for emotional triggers at their meetings. They are also more accommodating to those with hearing deficits who, obviously, cannot hear clapping. Paradoxically, their use is prevalent at music concerts where the amplified sound level is so high that it would drown out clapping.

Note:  Jazz hands or spirit fingers are ineffective at meetings of the blind; in this special circumstance, traditional clapping is permissible.

Trigger – any word, phrase, or situation that brings about an unpleasant or uncomfortable emotional response (anxiety, anger, fear, hate, disgust), a relapse of an addiction, or memories of a past traumatic experience.

Trigger can also be used as a verb, as in, “The moderator’s use of a gender-specific term, ‘guys,’ triggered anxiety in one of the participants, while the cross-talk and clapping triggered unbearable sensory overload in another.”

Emotional triggers are common in all social interactions, usually unanticipated. They should be avoided at all costs, but when anticipated by the “triggerer” they should be prefaced with a trigger warning.

Trigger warning – a phrase used mainly in the social media, at the beginning of a communication, to warn the reader that the ensuing content could possibly be a trigger to emotional distress.

With Little Fanfare, William Barr Formally Announces Orwellian Pre-Crime Program

Whitney Webb reported this in Mint Press News on October 25, 2019.

Perhaps the most jarring aspect of the memorandum is Barr’s frank admission that many of the “early engagement” tactics that the new program would utilize were “born of the posture we adopted with respect to terrorist threats.” In other words, the foundation for many of the policies utilized following the post-9/11 “war on terror” are also the foundation for the “early engagement” tactics that Barr seeks to use to identify potential criminals as part of this new policy. Though those “war on terror” policies have largely targeted individuals abroad, Barr’s memorandum makes it clear that some of those same controversial tactics will soon be used domestically. 

Barr’s memorandum also alludes to current practices by the FBI and DOJ that will shape the new plan. Though more specifics of the new policy will be provided in the forthcoming notice, Barr notes that “newly developed tactics” used by the Joint Terrorist Task Forces “include the use of clinical psychologists, threat assessment professionals, intervention teams and community groups” to detect risk and suggests that the new “early engagement program” will work along similar lines. Barr also alludes to this “community” approach in a separate instance, when he writes that “when the public ‘says something’ to alert us to a potential threat, we must do something.”

Now that the war on terror showed signs of winding down after our victories in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria against al-Qaeda and ISIS, our mass surveillance capabilities were in danger of going to waste. We then had a rash of shootings that woke us up again, this time to the threat of “domestic terrorism,” where the perpetrators are white-supremacists! These happened shortly after AG Barr’s prediction, and numerous preemptive arrests of suspicious whites were reported in detail by the Huffington Post.

Does anyone remember COINTELPRO?

From  Lefticon:

White supremacy – the concept that whites are superior to nonwhites.

In critical race theory, white supremacy means the special advantages and privileges of whites in a racially mixed society. It includes political and socioeconomic domination by whites and their subordination of nonwhite races and ethnic groups.

Those who believe in white supremacy are called white supremacists. This term has replaced racist as the preferred descriptor of those who oppose diversity, open borders, and the free flow of immigration and voting rights. They are, of course, also racists, but the accusation of racism has become less effective from overuse, and white supremacist suggests  an unsavory alliance with Nazis, neo-Nazis, fascists, skinheads, and the lunatic fringe of the alt-right.

Whiteness – a genetically-determined category of skin pigmentation due to a relatively low melanin content which, together with a characteristic bone structure, defines the white (Caucasian) race.

In critical race theory, which reaches beyond biology and genetics to the social sciences for the conceptualization of racial identity as a social construct, whiteness is a state of mind associated with oppression, suppression, and repression of minorities; slavery, colonialism, mercantilism, imperialism, nationalism, and fascism; self-proclaimed superiority in intelligence and creativity; behavioral dominance, hegemony, intolerance, bigotry, bias, discrimination, and hate.

COINTELPRO – an acronym of COunterINTELligence PROgram, which applies to a series of operations of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover from 1956 to 1971, targeting dissident and anti-establishment political movements which it deemed subversive.

Their techniques were like those used against criminal organizations, including wire-tapping, observation, tailing, infiltration, and entrapment. In addition, they engaged in harassment, intimidation, and use of the media to spread disinformation about the targeted groups.

Among the targeted groups were those linked to the Communist Party USA, radical feminism, right-wing militias, Puerto-Rican independence, Black Panthers, the Civil Rights movement, and the Nation of Islam. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was perhaps the most famous target.