Some of the adorable things president Rodrigo Duterte says that make him such a beloved & revered hero to Assadists:
–“Forget the laws on human rights.”
–“You drug pushers, hold-up men & do-nothings, you better go out. Because, I’d kill you.”
–“Hitler massacred 3 million Jews. Now there is…3 million drug addicts in the Philippines….I’d be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have me.”
–“I will burn down the United Nations if you want. I will burn it down if I go to America.”
–“”If you are corrupt, I will fetch you using a helicopter to Manila & I will throw you out. I have done this before, why would I not do it again?”
One of Duterte’s political critics said: “The purpose of the war on drugs is to stifle opposition & castrate dissent. It is working.” Of course. That’s why China is flooding the Philippines with drugs but Duterte calls it an ally & insists it is unfair to blame Beijing. Instead he sanctions vigilante death squads immune to prosecution to gun down thousands of poor, young Filipinos on the streets.
What affinity do Assad supporters feel with the death squads & these precious & endearing sentiments of Duterte? Is it because the psycho-killer calls himself a socialist? That might explain why so many Assad supporters have become renowned for incoherence & zombie politics & are ardent admirers of Joseph Stalin. The walking dead with assault rifles look like socialists to them.
There are political explanations for these affinities between Assadists, Duterte, Putin, & Trump but the real answer lies in abnormal psychology. It’s called demented.
Teared me right up to hear Russians feel sad because they think we hate on them. Where’d they get that goofy notion? From Sputnik News? It’s not their fault Putin is a putz; we don’t hold it against them. When your president-elect is Donald Trump, who’s in a position to get snotty?
Now I read that Russians think Americans are stupid & simple-minded because our milk cartons & chip bags have directions like “Tear here” or “Open on the other side.” Well how do they know where to get at the milk & chips?
In the interests of resuming detente or entente or whatever the hell that thing was called & putting an end to this regrettable contretemps, let us make the first gesture for world peace. We love your literature & music. At least your classical music; your rock & roll stinks. We don’t hold grudges against you. We do think you should start reading alternative media like the NY Times or Washington Post because Russian mainstream media lies too much. And you might want to consider another revolution if you can’t get rid of this Putin gang.
This is a mother Rothschild’s giraffe with her newborn calf in the city zoo of Chester, UK. Is it anthropomorphizing to see love here? It was common not that long ago to think animals had no emotional life & those who recognized emotions in animals were accused of projecting our own emotions on to them.
Animals lovers consider that accusation peculiar & think only the most obtuse observer of animals could hold such a view. But the human capacity to deny animals emotional & social lives speaks profoundly to the cognitive disorders involved in racism & misogyny.
Rothschild’s giraffes (also known as the Baringo giraffe or as the Ugandan giraffe) were renamed after a member of the banking family who founded the Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum at Tring UK in 1889. It was originally his private collection of stuffed mammals, birds, reptiles, insects. It is now renamed the Natural History Museum.
That was the era when anthropology museums were being established in the US & Europe to house not only stuffed animals but also, in many of the museums, the booty & artifacts from colonial expeditions of what were considered “primitive” tribal societies going extinct. In every way those museums highlight that “othering” phenomenon inherent to colonialism, the steadfast determination not to see other societies as human. Racism is not inherent but was invented to justify colonialism. If one can’t see the humanity of other humans one certainly won’t see emotional lives in animals. Natural history museums were part of constructing the ideology of superior & inferior beings & of white supremacy.
These Baringo or Ugandan giraffes are among the most endangered species of giraffes with only an estimated 1,500 left in the savannas of Uganda & Kenya. There are breeding programs for them in Kenya & in registered zoos around the world. Apparently the Chester city zoo is one of them.
Zoo keepers have the same ideological ancestry as keepers of anthropology museums. It is impossible for animal lovers to visit zoos except to investigate the abusive treatment of animals, especially giraffes, gorillas, & the big cats.
(Photo of Steve Rawlins/Chester Zoo)
In about 1991, I became very concerned by media reports about youth violence in the Black community allegedly related to drug gangs referred to as “narco-terrorists.” It was deeply disturbing because it meant a retreat or defeat of civil rights gains. I wanted to understand what was happening to Black youth & the Black community so I set out to investigate it.
It took me about seven months of studying using the new resources of the internet. There were no books written about it at that time. Using the internet, I went through media crime reports for 24 cities & what I learned was shocking & completely contradictory to the prevailing narrative in media. It was unmistakeable: the violence was not initiated by Black youth but was against them & gangs were not a substantial issue in most cities. In fact at that time, many police departments scoffed at the notion of drug gangs because they were not facing them as a problem. The drug war was imposed as policy on police departments.
When my article was first published in 1992 in a student journal at Harvard produced by two young men I worked with politically, most people thought I was nuts & writing apologetics for Black youth violence. When it was updated & published in 2007 in a Black community newspaper in Minneapolis, again it was treated with scorn by white progressives. But there was no doubt in my mind at all that there was a political war on Black youth to demoralize them & prevent them from organizing resistance to oppression. Since that time not only have other writers confirmed my analysis, including Michelle Alexander who wrote “The New Jim Crow” in 2010, but the Black Lives Matter movement makes it beyond dispute.
Now the homicide rates from the Black community in Chicago make it appear to be an exception & to be a “Black on Black violence” scenario. There have been 700 homicides so far this year, more than NYC & Los Angeles combined, & allegedly related to gangs & gun use. You can’t just accept that narrative without investigation. Impressions, speculations, rumors, prejudices about what is going on don’t cut it. There is a ruthless war on Black youth including violence, incarceration for minor offenses, economic misery. If you understand that then you need to examine the particular pressures & forms it takes in the city of Chicago. It just doesn’t happen in human society that a group of people in a particular ethnicity or city or neighborhood have extreme aggressions for no reason.
For those who would like to read the article on Black youth & gangs: