Travel notes from Doha, Qatar, August 27-30, 2017. Palms, sea, sand, the evening light, and the best of contemporary architecture.
Poll (posted on Twitter). Do you think that you benefit from democracy as much as politicians do?
What’s the point of boasting that censorship bureaus have been dismantled when one can be condemned by a court of law for what he or she writes?
George W. Bush wanted to bomb Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha. (Doha Bus Information)
They are now using self-cleaning windows on Doha skyscrapers (because of sand). (Doha Bus Information)
Msheireb Museums (متاحف مشيرب)
Bin Jelmood House’s Exhibit on Slavery
Modern slavery (الرِّق المعاصر). Qatar, like every nation, has long since abolished slavery. Yet we all continue to be faced with a global problem. Slavery not only continues in the present day but also may be a greater human problem than it has ever been. An estimated 27 million people are victims of modern slavery around the world and almost every country is involved. Most modern slavery takes the form of human trafficking. (A United Nations definition of human trafficking follows.)
It turns out that 80 percent of contemporary slaves are sex workers – presumably most of them women. Asking where these sex slaves work, I think the answer is that the majority of them work in affluent Western countries. Western countries are where the greatest number of slaves are to be found.
The exhibit also says a word on the Islamic kafala system through which ‘guest workers’ are introduced in some Arab countries where they toil under conditions that human rights associations describe as slavery. In this respect Qatar has been specially targeted, in particular regarding the nation’s use of South Asian workforce in the construction sector. The exhibit doesn’t try to contest that kafala is a form of slavery nor to claim that there is no issue; it doesn’t expatiate on the problem very much, however. Yet, as far as I know, and my reflection dates back to a French TV documentary I saw a couple of years ago about kafala in Qatar, there is no doubt in my mind that many beneficiaries of the kafala system are multinational Western companies that operate in Qatar. Yet the documentary of which I am talking failed to report on this. On the contrary, it stressed the case of one German company which CEO was taking steps to release the company’s South Asian workforce from the kafala system, which reporting bias evidently led to the implicit conclusion that all Western companies operating in Qatar were opposing the practise in the same fashion. Nothing was said about other Western companies and I fail to see how, if those do not oppose kafala actively, they would not benefit from this form of slavery. And it is my understanding that a great deal of Western companies are making business in Qatar.
Circassian (white) as well as black slaves were numerous in the Gulf for ages.
Mohammed Bin Jassim House
In a video a gentleman from Pakistan says when he first came to Doha 35 years ago there were no Qatari riyals, today’s national currency – only Indian rupees.
A New Msheireb Development project under the patronage of the Emiress intends to make of this historical central area of Doha a model ‘green,’ i.e. ecological, renewable-energy-friendly neighborhood. Today it has become a rather populous district crowded by South Asian migrants with their shops and businesses. I wonder whether these migrants will still be there once the area has been turned green and fashionable…
After a short cruise on a derelict dhow***, I took a stroll on the Corniche but my mind was not at ease because I couldn’t help wondering how on earth I would manage to cross the road (a densely trafficked two-way street) to the other side to get a taxi. I must have walked more than a kilometer before I met a pedestrian crossing, and as soon as I saw it I decided to stop my anxious stroll. The traffick lights turned green for cars as I arrived, and I must have waited something like ten minutes for the lights to turn red again – and yet they turned green again just as I engaged the second part of the crossing, so I had to trot behind a Somali-looking cyclist who wanted to cross the road at the pedestrian crossing and had turned on an alarm on his bike in case the car drivers would not notice him and would run over him (actually over us) as night was beginning to fall.
***(For this dhow cruise I paid between 5 and 7 times the usual price because I had confused the service I would be offered with a half-day or full-day ‘chartered tour’ with dinner included, of which my information guide gave notice (Marhaba, autumn 2017, courtesy of Radisson Blu hotel). Confused in this way, I hardly bothered to haggle over the outrageous price (which for a chartered tour would have been unexpensive), actually made a very unconvinced and ineffectual attempt at it (asking for a price much too close to the one uttered), and only on board the boat did I realize my mistake. I had probably also been impressed by the crowd of shabby South Asian boatmen who surrounded me as soon as I got off the taxi on the Corniche. Forgetting that they were competing entrepreneurs rather than a single-minded gang of tourist-exploiting thugs, I overlooked that one of them tried to make me understand I was going to pay too high a price by accepting the offer that the sly youngster had made me, when he said, after I asked for water, that there wasn’t fresh water on the dhows for customers (so I’d better reconsider). I was invited to walk in the boat and I walked in, thus agreeing to the outrageous terms. They had no fresh water on board and had to ask some fellow boatmen on the other side of the bay for two bottles, which were proffered to me after about half the thirty-minute cruise. By the time the cruise ended, I had realized my mistake, as I said, and that what was supposed to be one of the cheapest attractions in Doha would be one of the most expensive for me (about 40 euros). When handing his riyals to the boy, I tried to be inconspicuous for I was seeing the other boatmen staring intently at the both of us. The boy took the banknotes and, overwhelmed by delight, started performing monkey shines, grotesquely palpating the notes as if to check their genuineness. I said ‘good bye’ as graciously as I could, as well as to a grey-haired boatman who seemed to be endowed with some authority and who politely answered with his own good bye, and I left the wharf. The boy was unable to repress a brief laugh behind my back, so happy he was, and for a moment I expected the whole of them to burst in prolonged, irrepressible laughters at me and my foolishness. They did not and I feel grateful. Besides, I never perceived the slightest sign of agressiveness on the part of these amiable South Asians. I warmly recommend the dhow cruises in Doha.)
Man walked on the moon and I walked in Doha. It comes as no surprise that the superposh new residential area called The Pearl Doha, built on an artificial island, advertises its property as being ‘pedestrian-friendly.’ An argument of weight, no doubt!
The Pearl Doha is the counterpart of The Palm Dubai, also on an artificial island and also a superposh residential area. I don’t know which copied the other. The Pearl also boasts free wifi for all residents (through the national telecom company Ooredoo’s ‘Supernet’).
To be precise it is the neighborhood which looks like a brand new Venice that is advertised as been ‘pedestrian-friendly,’ but I guess the other parts, like the one that replicates a Swiss Lakes canton, mustn’t be too unfriendly either…
Pedestrian NASCAR dads.
The more cars in a country, the more pedestrian her culture.
No matter how many luxury cars it sports, the bourgeoisie is pedestrian.
Mathaf Museum of Arab Modern Art
Going to a museum of modern art is an adventure, perhaps the ultimate urban adventure: ultraperipheral locations unknown to hotel staff and taxi drivers! I have experienced this recently in Prague, in Sharjah (coming from adjacent Dubai), and in Doha.
To go to Mathaf Museum, Doha, from Msheireb Museums, standing on the pavement I waved my hand to an official Karwa company’s turquoise taxi, which stopped. I said I was going to Mathaf Museum and the driver, who, by the way, had one passenger already, told me to get in. Then he wanted me to confirm that I was going to the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), which is the principal cultural institution in the city and, as I was to find out, about the only one known by hackmen and hotel staff. I said no, I was going to Mathaf Museum. After a few exchanges in which the other passenger, a South Asian gentleman like the driver, took an active part, watching at my map and giving instructions to the driver in a language that was neither English nor Arabic, the driver dropped his other passenger and started toward the peripheral area called Education City where Mathaf Museum was located.
I learned afterwards, from a limousine driver, that Karwa cabs normally don’t go to such peripheral areas. Only because my Karwa driver first had thought I was going to the more central Museum of Islamic Art had he let me in his taxi, and I assume he, when informed of his mistake, did not dare to throw me out!
When we finally arrived at Mathaf Museum –and that took some time because he, and I, had to ask our way to wards and security guards at a few booths here and there in Education City– I learned that the shuttle bus I had expected would drive me back to downtown, did not operate that day (even though the Mathaf was open, as the shuttle is between Mathaf and MIA and the latter was closed that day, so the shuttle did not operate). I asked my Karwa taxi if he could wait for me on the spot and tell me what he asks for the service, but I did not manage to convince him, and he left. So I made my visit to the museum concerned about how I would manage to come back from that remote and rather lonely place… Luckily I had the phone number of a limo driver, Mister Basheer, and in the end was lucky enough to have him drive to the museum to pick me off in no time.
In parenthesis, it reminded me that, although Sharjah is no further than 15-20 minutes from Dubai, tourists in Dubai don’t seem to know the many interesting museums to be found in Sharjah, as Dubai taxi and limo drivers don’t know these museum’s locations. Yet my limo driver there, Mister … (his name will come to me), turned out to very helpful throughout.
In Prague, although one of the two museums for contemporary art I visited was located near a metro station, it was a very peripheral station, serving areas hardly conceived for pedestrian convenience. I had first taken a wrong exit and walked in a desolate industrial spot a dozen minutes, map in hand, before I realized the museum was on the other side of the metro station. Then I came back and took another exit on the opposite side, which led me straight to a… highway – a concrete desert stormed at intervals by zooming metal monsters. I was lucky enough to meet a young man who told me that that second exit was not the right one either for my destination and he was kind enough to accompany me to the museum and give me instructions on how to reach the station after my visit.
Mathaf Museum, although my visit was a little marred by the uncertainty I described, was worth the pain.
Rubaeat (1994), by Palestinian artist Kamal Boullata:
Composition (1970) & The Farthest West (1970-71), by Mohammed Melehi:
In the Depth of Alienation (1972) and Untitled (1971), by Rafa al-Nasiri:
Médina entre deux orages (ca. 1982) (Medina between two storms), by Nejib Belkhodja:
Contrary to Sharjah Art Museum, where I saw the painting Sabra and Shatila by Palestinian artist Bashir Sinwar (posted here), I found no Palestinian militant work in Mathaf Museum.
When you travel to the Gulf, first the nationals’ garments convey to you a sense of worth and dignity alien to Western streets. Then you turn on the TV and see their sitcoms…
Female characters in Gulf sitcoms are depicted in their houses as they are in reality in their houses, that is, unveiled. Does it make sense? You can’t see your neighbor’s hair (sometimes not even her face) but you can see a sitcom actress’s hair! It’s not okay to see your neighbor’s hair in real life but it’s okay on TV! Well, one could say it’s the same as elsewhere: you don’t see, unless by accident, your neighbors naked but you can watch programs with nudity…
More broadly, I guess that makes perfect sense if the veil (and what form of veil) is… a woman’s choice.
Which reflections lead me to the following cultural anthropological questions: Who can see whom’s hair or face? In what circumstances?
A young Christian once described to me I don’t remember what annual meeting of Christian youth in France as a “get-down spot” (f*ckpad). Some acquaintances to whom I told it did not find that incongruous, while taking the testimony at face value. I wonder whether they would find it incongruous if someone described to them the Islamic hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca as a “get-down spot”…
Monogamy might allow more men to marry – if there were no prostitution, a class of unmarried women largely unknown in polygamic countries. According to Schopenhauer, prostitution is the price societies pay for monogamy. This is to be added to ‘serial marriage,’ through which wealthy men get access, serially, to several young women. Both phenomena should be taken into account before attempting any praise of institutional monogamy.
Remember, when you hear the words “sources say” from the Fake Media, often times those sources are made up and do not exist. (POTUS)
“Our traditions of impartiality between the genuine and the fake”: Writer Jean Giraudoux satirizing the press.
After I tweet you no one will want to marry you.
I honestly love being around positive people. You’re not judged, there’s no drama, everyone just wants to relax and have a nice time.
And then you wake up.
A Case in Subliminal Messaging: Hewlett-Packard Ad
Observe how the man on the right is about to grab her. (Click to enlarge)
The handle of the glass door makes the man look as if a stick were stuck in the bottom of his belly, just as if he were a jester’s bauble.
The young black man on the left closes his eyes ensconsed in delight. Her dropping index finger is telling him secretly about the other’s penis. We know the guy on the right has got no penis, by the way, because he’s a bauble.
She casually points to a word or phrase on the board with her pencil. It reads ‘Marry,’ the following word, concealed, must be ‘me.’ She’s going to have the bauble marry her, for his money, while living it up with the young negro colleague.
A major difference between free competition and communism is that free competition cannot exist.
Media as ‘soft power’
Media as soft penis.
Not long ago I saw a video with Jane Goodall releasing a chimpanzee in the wild. Yet we now know chimps murder the lone foreign chimps they meet… The video was from the Jane Goodall Foundation and was released recently as advert. Goodall saw chimps as all love (all good) and has been proven wrong. I’d like to tell them to stop showing videos of chimpanzee releases in the wild, because that was sending the poor creatures to a horrible death.
The Truth About New Holland (A Dialogue)
Australia was discovered by the Dutchman Abel Tasman and it used to be called New Holland.
The first Dutch visit took place in 1606, to be compared with Cook’s travels more than 150 years later, in 1770. It is said that the Dutch made no claim whatever on the land (Wikipedia page on New Holland: “neither the Netherlands nor the Dutch East India Company claimed any territory in Australia as its own“). The activities of Dutch East India Company were marked by extreme secrecy and I’m sure historians have missed something about VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) and Australia.
Dutch explored western parts of Oz extensively but didn’t stay. Read Batavia event, pretty horrific –Indonesians used to trade with aboriginals.
Aboriginal people have blonde in areas where Dutch explorers often came to grief on reef. They explored mostly northern parts in summer and to these it looked very arid coastline – then came collapse of Dutch economy tulips trade. (Australian writer Greg Hoey)
You don’t have to stay somewhere to proclaim it’s yours. See Danes and Greenland.
Indonesians used to trade with Aboriginals, and the Dutch, who traded with Indonesians since about 1600, would think Australia’s a dry rock?!
From 1606 to 1770 they had plenty of time to see the coast in every season, rainy or dry. And land is land.
Very isolated place to explore in such days, WA coastline riddled with dozens shipwrecks from 1500’s through to 1900’s. Abundance coastline of very treacherous reefs with no way home! So integrate become Aboriginal, even become Aboriginal meal: cannibalism existed. (Ibid.)
I’m not saying the Dutch had the means to sustain their claim against jingo piracy, only that they had a claim.
Nova Hollandia, even devoid of any Dutchman, was Dutch. Saying they made “no claim” on territory discovered by them is most absurd.
Dutch did lay claim actually, leaving their declaration on a plate now in WA museum [Western Australian Museum in Perth] on public. Was found 80 years ago however! (Ibid.)
By saying the plate was only found recently, you imply the Britons did not know they were committing robbery when claiming Australia theirs but I guess somewhere a protest exists, either from the Dutch government or the VOC. If the matter was settled by agreement, then I’m sure a document exists too that either Australia or the British crown can produce.
Anyway my claim is vindicated: there’s a Dutch plate in WA museum. The “no claim” story makes no sense at all.
Britons might have claimed a right through vacancy by the Dutch (like a house abandoned by its owner for years) but a formal protest would have voided it.
The trade lines you mentioned between Indonesians and Aboriginals might have been in the VOC’s hands, and a British occupation would cut these to the Dutch’s detriment, so the VOC must have protested formally.
At that point Greg tweeted the article ‘Australia might speak Dutch if not for strong emotions,’ The Conversation, November 21, 2013 here)
Good article, a little further from your notions about Dutch only being shipwrecked and/or eaten alive 🙂 Still just tiny bits, not the big picture.
Arid and barren as the land was, the Dutch were looking for gold mines, which are okay with barrenness.
For all we know, the Dutch may have been preparing a large mining expedition when the Britons claimed Australia theirs and insulted Netherlands. The latter’s descendants now say the Dutch were stupid idiots: “strong emotions,” “no claim” &c., such things that jingos are always eager to believe. They never see the absurd contradictions of their thinking, like that story of Dutch leaving because the land was barren, when they were searching for gold.
I have witnessed similar chauvinistic views many times by way of very superior Euro’s/ Brits/Americans toward Australia coming from lack of knowledge. (Ibid.)
I guess the more or less conscious reasoning is: We’re of the same culture, of which we’re the center and you’re the margin…
In their own eyes and justification, the right of European colonists on American ground is based upon written contracts signed by illiterates.
USA Today complains about lack of ‘women’ and ‘no lead actors of color’ in movie ‘Dunkirk’ (The Daily Wire)
War films can use women, as we all know. Like The Thin Red Line, where a U.S. soldier receives a letter from his wife telling him she divorces lol
While the guy is on duty for the motherland lol
Fox is an alien entity that pressured the U.S. legislator to waiver in its case the 24.9 percent limit of foreign capital ownership in American media: Shady. Murdoch changed his citizenship to U.S. but the parent corporation is still based in Australia because of the tax cuts it’s got there. [Source : Ben H. Bagdikian, The New Media Monopoly, 2004]
Then there is this quote from Donald Trump during the election campaign: “Most people don’t know that the co-owner of Fox News is Prince Al-Waleed of Saudi Arabia.“
Observe how the U.S. legislator uses the same techniques as marketing: 24.9% ownership limit instead of plain 25%.
Hitler Store on Gaza strip and stuff they are selling there. Unbelievable.
And this has nothing to do with Israeli policies: they were born Hitler cultists. => The Hitler Gene.
Winning’s got a price and when the price is a world empire it looks very much like losing. Britain lost a world empire in the war against Germany who had nothing to lose. An empire bled to death by a proletarian nation: bad management.
(My contender here, a British countryman who deleted his tweets a few hours later, said something like all empires peak and decline.)
The iron law is the excuse of bad managers.
(He then said it was difficult to administer a world empire from a ‘small island,’ and he added: ‘too bad you weren’t around.’)
At least I can try my piece of advice: Don’t let your small island shape small minds. Because you’re stuck to it now.
Do you remember the mad cow disease scandal from UK? The disease is named after Hans Gerhard Creutzfeldt, patron member of the Reich’s SS. Shocking.
The Conspiracy of the Bots
A conspiracy of the bots is taking place. Their AI allows them to recognize robot’s trash and like it systematically, enslaving our opinions.
Through the reward system in our brain, gazillions of robot’s likes will enslave mankind.
The ‘like’ function on social networks translates a basic pattern of human interactions. But it’s a schematic translation – a caricature. People are robotized when the scheme becomes the normal procedure in their psychology (robots are schemes/caricatures of humans). And this will be the case for social networks users, as the scheme (a ‘like’) is more rewarding than real routine interaction.
When robots’ likes is what makes us happy, we’ll be the robots’ slaves.
I can’t understand why Western right-wingers always take Israel as a model and never Saudi Arabia. Just look:
Al Jazeera’s clip ‘Thousands of Ethiopians are leaving Saudi Arabia. Here’s why’ (Aug 1, 2017) : ’70,000 Ethiopians have returned home after working illegally in Saudi Arabia. They were given until July 25 to leave or face arrest. They had no legal right in the country. … ‘They don’t even consider us as human beings.’…’
And yet Israel gets all the praise!
Angelina Jolie defends casting process for [her film] First They Killed My Father [filmed in Cambodia].
Putting money before a slum kid, then withdrawing it, and then the unchosen kids return to their slums. So innocent!
I’m sure some of these kids were beaten to death by their parents for not being taken in.
My son did a science project on the nuggets [McDonald’s chicken nuggets]… didn’t mold or rot after 4 months.
When you absorb vitamins you get vitaminized, when you absorb preservatives you get preserved. Eat nuggets.
Having a Facebook account is like going to the disco with one’s mom.
Moon Landing & Other Space Mysteries
Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz (in charge 1993-7) denied the Americans ever walked on the Moon.
“The original recordings of the first landing on the moon 40 years ago were erased and re-used. Yet the restored copies of the original broadcast are looking even better.” (from article ‘Nasa admits to losing moon landing tapes,’ The Vintage News, Dec 12, 2016 here.)
Shameful or… convenient? “NASA admitted in 2006 that no one could find the original video recordings of the July 20, 1969, landing” “they were part of a batch of 200,000 tapes that were degaussed –magnetically erased– and re-used to save money.” (from ‘Moon landing tapes got erased, NASA admits,’ Reuters, July 16, 2009 here.)
Such historical documents! This neglect, regarding unprecedented, historical, groundbreaking events, makes me suspicious. As if it had been the film of a local caucus!… And they had to retrieve copies ‘in the archives of CBS News’!
Hollow earth (concave earth) quote from August Strindberg: “Att jorden kunde vara konkav, visar sig vid luftsegling, då horisonter följer ballongen, han må stiga aldrig så högt; likaså med hafshorizonten, som alltid är i jämnhöjd med ögat, äfven om man stiger uppåt en höjd å stranden.” (En Blå Bok, 1907) Translation: “That the earth may be concave is shown by balloon flight, as the horizon always follows the balloon no matter how high it goes, and likewise with sea horizon, which remains at eyes’ level even if one steps up a mound on the beach.”
In Strindberg one can also read of contradictions in astronomy’s parallax, refraction/aberration, earth movement & speed… (Blue Books, 1-4)
Antigravity Dew: “Dewdrops mock gravity as they start sliding from grass top only as they warm, that is, when they become lighter” (Viktor Schauberger. Full original quote : ‘’Zu Millionen stehen die Tautropfen wie Tränen auf den Spitzen der Gräser, die schon durch ihre Stellung aller bisher angenommenen Schwerkraftgesetze spotten, weil sie sich erst dann abwärts zu neigen beginnen, wenn diese Tautropfen warm und dadurch, wie man allgemein annimmt, leichter werden.’’)
About the election of ‘the first turbaned MP,’ Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, a Sikh, in U.K.:
#NeverForget84 (neverforget84.com): How many British voters know about the issue? 1 percent? 2 percent?
Elected by brainwashed British zombies who know nothing about Sikhs.
I’m interested in his community because I mirror the world. He’s interested in his community because he’s bound to it. See the difference?
Any jingo culture is really but a culture in the ethnographic sense.
We as a whole make our environment, so we make our genes. Light tree bark makes moth’s wings light-colored, dark bark makes them dark.
Any differences in rates of reproduction affect genetic makeup. Differences arise from natural (in my example: predators, which detect dark-colored moths on light-colored bark easily and vice-versa) or sexual selection. Assuming natural selection is largely through with humans (no predators, free from milieu’s pressure), sexual selection remains. I’m not sure in what direction sexual selection works today: the poor or the rich (early Darwinists of Galton’s school, i.e. eugenicists, thought the poor were outbreeding the rich, and to be more precise not as much the working poor as the unemployed poor, while today’s evolutionary psychologists think high-status men outbreed low-status men). But in any case social standards (environment) shape preferences/selection.
Natural selection today would be that if, for example, car accidents are more prevalent for some phenotypes the genes associated with these will decline, all other things being equal. Every factor impacting mortality and fertility differentially and non-randomly.
Origin of the Opposable Thumb Solved! Everyone likes to be thumbed up, so those hominids who thumbed up others more were more successful.
With America’s decline, the more whites find the rewards of their toil don’t meet expectations, the more they’ll be dreaming of re-enslaving the blacks.
Despacito has officially become the most viewed video IN HISTORY and the first to reach 3 BILLION views. (Universal Music CA)
“Heartfelt thanks to our wonderful IT programers for the thousands of clicking bots working night and day. Now we’re famous!”
[Not A but B:
A.They reached 3 billion views because they’re famous.
B.They’re famous because they reached 3 billion views.]
To Dr Richard Dawkins,
Is it because of spandrels that you dislike churches?
Blank Slate & Sex Therapy
We’re all s’posed to be afeard of spiders [my controversial presentation of evolutionary psychology] but most spiders aren’t venomous and those that are “are not ancestrally in Africa” (Robert C. Richardson).
So John Watson‘s conditioning was supposed to be ‘primed’ by evolved, adaptive fears… and was not, as far as spiders and even snakes are concerned. I see no reason why that would be different with Watson’s adorably cute rodents.
As to Stanley Rachman’s conditioning sexual arousal in front of boots, no one has dared say what primes that. The only sure thing is that the guy used human guinea pigs.
As far as arousal and erection are concerned, Rachman’s experiments prove that man is a blank slate. Anything will trigger it as engineered.
Behavorial sex therapies are the only working therapies.
51 million Americans including 14 million children have IQs under 85. It’s a problem. Don’t believe IQ deniers. (Prof. Richard Haier)
The real question is how many jobs need IQs higher than 85.
If average IQ was higher than average IQ requirements, ‘twould be a disaster.
In theory (according to IQ specialists) you’d rather have a Mensa cleanse your crap bowl (he’ll do it better), but he won’t be happy and he’ll let you know.
Besides, you’d cause your society to be suboptimal. [Keep thinking along these lines and I’m sure the IQ maniacs will cool down.]
Around one million tonnes of interstate waste are dumped in Queensland [Australia] each year. (4Corners)
If Queensland’s a big garbage dump, what are Queenslanders?
& to cap it all
The Hashtag Games
When Is Speech Violence (After the title of one New York Times article that, if I understood well, was innuendoing – or perhaps declaring categorically – that Trump’s speech was violence)
When an American tries to speak French.
When a ventriloquist has eaten too much of the frijoles beans tacos.
Any speech from a flatulist, especially a politician.
#friyay‘s for the suckers, I say #thursyay!
Happy #NationalJunkFoodDay from the National Association of Flatulists.
What Happened (Title of Hillary Clinton’s Latest Book)
Shortage of cheat sheets.
An Accident Happened: They Couldn’t Forward the Other Cheat Sheets
Podesta’s Risotto Tastes Like Sh*t
Pizzaed [cf #PizzaGate]
Yes We Pan: The Truth About Pizzas
They drained the swamp… and found U.S. had evaporated.
#SoonWeWillDiscover that 1/5th of British men are vasectomized and that’s the truth.
I would never have known anonymity is for so many people the prerequisite to having fun. What went wrong?
North America is a free country where citizens tweet anonymously on Twitter unless they work in Hollywood (in which case they tweet under their stage name).
#AtMidnightIn5Words GIF worth a thousand words
#SoonWeWillDiscover what’s behind.
#SundayMorning #HashtagGame => #HerWrongDaysOfTheMonth
Credits: I made the first GIF from the movie Savage Streets (1984) by Danny Steinmann. The three others show Australian actress Barbara Constable in Lady Terminator (1989) by Indonesian film director Tjut Djalil, a movie also known as Nasty Hunter and Pembalasan ratu pantai selatan (Revenge of the South Sea Queen) and which is included in my paper ‘’L’Imaginaire indonésien dans le cinéma fantastique national’’ for journal Le Banian, n°23, June 2017.
April-May 2017. Others’ tweets are in italics.
A Fascist is anyone with the wrong shoes.
Imagine calling yourself grand dragon, cyclops, wizard &c straight from the books of the kiddies’ room. What would people think of you?
KKK’s Emperor W.J. Simmons on the Jew (1923): “His people is the chosen of Almighty God.”
Kool Kwality Klothes at Harry Karp’s; Kohn’s Korrect Klothes (advertisement posters, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews vol. 2, NOI Research Department, 2010, p. 418)
The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights, by Dick Lehr (United Black Books)
“The greatest of the Hollywood movie studios, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), was started by Jewish mogul Louis B. Mayer with the profits he earned from distributing the film.” (The Secret Relationship vol.2, p. 414)
[I also comment on The Secret Relationship vol. 1, 1st ed., 7th printing, pp. 203-4. Slavery among ancient Hebrews was not always as lenient as stated by the Jewish scholars quoted, for instance 1 Kings 4:6 “Adoniram son of Abda—in charge of forced labor” was Solomon’s overseer of the hosts of slaves who built the Temple of Jerusalem, quite Pharaoh-like. (One of the scholars quoted is a Dr Feingold claiming that Biblical slavery ‘’was of a precapitalist variety and had virtually no commerce connected with it. Unlike the situation in the plantation South, it did not shape the pastoral economy of ancient Israel which in any case found little use for masses of slaves.’’ So much for the little use.)
Intriguingly, on p. 220, one reads that white abolitionist senator Benjamin F. Wade called Jewish Confederate Judah Phillip Benjamin ‘’an Israelite with the principles of an Egyptian,’’ thus overlooking himself the Pharaoh-like slavery in vigor under Solomon for the latter’s monumental, pyramide-like projects. It is a little disappointing that people –Puritans– who seem to have read but one book do not even know it so well.]
AJUpFront talks to a former Trump campaigner about why the majority of evangelical Christians voted for Trump. (Al Jazeera English)
Because they think he’s a Jew.
If you’re a woman on birth control, stop taking them. Embrace femininity and reject feminism. Have beautiful children and find true love. (David Duke)
Okay, Doc, now please give us your advice on how to find true love–like in the columns of women’s magazines.
Students are led to believe there are no jobs with a liberal arts education and that employment is the sole purpose of education. (Historian Andy Hernandez)
There are no jobs for liberal arts degrees as “culture is the occupation of the leisure class.” (Economist Tibor Scitovsky, in The Joyless Economy)
While I take your point, there are a growing number of employers wanting adaptability and critical thinking–hallmarks of the liberal arts.
Employers were already saying that in the 1950s: cf The Organization Man, by William H. Whyte.
Besides people take liberal arts degrees because they hate the idea of working for business.
Thrilled to be invited to give keynote talk on “Constrained Virtual Reality” at #Vision17. (Richard Dawkins)
If you were cool, you would announce at Vision17 that you’re on Twitter, not on Twitter that you’re going to Vision17. There will never be the least fraction of 1.96M people [the number of Dawkins’s followers on Twitter] at Vision17, whatever that be.
I’ve been a fan of Alice Cooper for more than two decades and my neighbor’s name is Alice Fournier and that’s the truth!
Read Does Altruism Exist? (2015) by David Sloan Wilson if only to understand Ayn Rand’s both success and intellectual mediocrity.
Was Darwin an altruist (High-PRO), or would have mankind lost big if Darwin had spent his time helping others in his neighborhood?
Was deaf loner Beethoven prosocial?
Will the global village, i.e. the end of all subgroups, be the end of between-group competition–and altruism?
You [D.S. Wilson] have made an eloquent demonstration that altruism is the tool of supremacy–if there are to be several groups.
You and I are no different. As a biologist you’ve studied worms, as an historian I’ve done the same.
If I’m a slave with no prospects of mating, shall I sacrifice my life for a chimp knowing he’ll reproduce and possesses 98.5% of my genes? [To Richard Dawkins]
The Red Queen
“There is nothing inevitable about human nature.” (The Red Queen, by Matt Ridley) A fact often stressed by evolutionists and never accounted for by them.
Is there anything inevitable about chimpanzee nature?
As, at the same time, evolutionists call such isolating of humans from other animals ‘’hubristic,’’ they deprecate themselves (as evolutionists).
Environment pressures allow win-win situations but the Red Queen [sexual selection seen as an ‘’arms race’’] discards them. Your optimism does not seem rational, in fact. [Matt Ridley calls himself a ‘’rational optimist,’’ which is the title of one of his books, The Rational Optimist.]
The figures that you showcase [in The Evolution of Everything], global wealth, life expectancy, etc, are fundamentally immaterial… because of the Red Queen.
It’s fascinating that my hair receding is a good argument against my facts. (Matt Ridley, in reply to being called a ‘’balding old Lord.’’)
You could also try to be above quoting the silly and to reply to reasoned objections.
[Earlier, in February, I had quoted Ridley’s book The Evolution of Everything (2015); the quotes are in order here now: “The police have come to resemble an occupying army who see the citizenry as the enemy.” (p. 241) Yet our times have their Robin Hoods: “One of the reasons of the recent decline of violence in the U.S. may be that gangs have managed to impose slightly more order on the drug trade.” (p.238) &
P. 199: Mendel’s laws “ought to have killed eugenics stone dead. Particulate inheritance and recessive genes made the idea of preventing the deterioration of the human race by selective breeding greatly more difficult and impractical.”
‘Tis strange, therefore, that selective breeding gives results with animals at all. Your views on eugenics are based on an ‘’exogenous’’ moral viewpoint, of which I suggest you try to account for ‘’endogenously’’ in a next book. In other, more direct words: try again.
To the first sentence Matt Ridley replied:
No. Domestic animals have shorter life cycles and start with smaller populations. I carefully did not say “impossible”.
Beyond the number of people sterilized, there exist no assessments of the eugenic policies that were conducted, of their effects on the populations. Taboo. You endorse the taboo with all your heart, like a salvation-army major parading as a scientist.
(He did not say ‘’impossible,’’ as he stresses it, yet it is the impossibility, not the difficulty of a thing that kills that thing ‘’stone dead.’’ Rereading the sentence, ‘’greatly more difficult’’ seems to hint at something stated before, and in the light of his reply it would make sense that it means that eugenics is greatly more difficult than animal breeding; thus Ridley would in fact have prevented my remark, had I read more carefully, but then I have perused the whole passage again and found no object of comparison whatever.)]
JOBS, JOBS, JOBS ! @realDonaldTrump
BLOW, BLOW, BLOW !
Could Bolivia become the ‘Saudi Arabia of lithium’? (Al Jazeera English)
Bolivia was the Saudi Arabia of silver in colonial times, and then the Saudi Arabia of tin, but the country has remained poor.
Dear journalists worldwide, I wish to create a “Change for the Sake of Change Award” to help you sell paper. Help me help you.
Rape in India
Explain to me why mass media only report rapes when they happen in India.
Interestingly in India there are 1.8 rapes per one lakh population. USA 23.3 per lakh. European countries on an average 24 per lakh.
Yes, that makes this media practice even more questionable.
Perhaps it means rape is so rare in India that India is the only country where rapes make news…
But these stats are from women who actually report rape, Asian countries are lower because the women are afraid to actually report it?
We could also imagine it’s because Asian women are consenting more… [Not to exclude first off, unless with good reasons.]
The reason why people in the U.S. smile more than people in other countries. (The Science of Us: link)
Because Americans are closer than others to chimps, for which smiling is a threat and, as Capitalists, Americans like to threat one another all the time.
Some psychologists now argue it’s irresponsible to suggest a link between violent video games and mass shootings. (The Science of Us)
It’s always irresponsible to fingerpoint a lucrative business, we all know that, don’t we?
Media violence and gore exposure shifts the acting-out borderline toward the middle of the psychoticism bell curve (Eysenck). For all others, it turns them into… cowards (Kenrick & Griskevicius).
[I don’t even know why I defend these views publicly since I still watch horror movies in my fourties and I consider horror movies to be art for art’s sake…]
Are the US and France fighting the ‘War on Terror’ in Africa, or simply competing for natural resources? (Al Jazeera English)
The answer is different for each. 1/US wants the resources. 2/France has no clue whatever.
Buddhists are atheists and clerical, just as Puritans are theists and anticlerical.
One can be fleeced [by a religious organization] and still get more net money than others. Devout Freemasons will tell you, if you can have them speak.
The best way to silence a chicken: talk about freemasons. Hush hush…
Is Richard Dawkins a Freemason?
Unite against secret societies! #RiyadhSummit May 2017
“Freemasonry is illegal in all Arab countries except Lebanon and Morocco” (Wkpd)
Freemasonry historically has been banned in authoritarian governments. @KsigMason
Secret societies have no place in transparent democracies.
What, a university in Tasmania?! There are universities in every backwater hole and I couldn’t get a single chair!
Reading this article [by Matt Ridley–again] about obesity on The Times online, you may find it interspersed with juicy ads for junk food–depending on your cookies.
About 200 mothers breastfeed their babies at Beach Park in Fuzhou, Fujian province on Saturday to advocate the importance of breastfeeding. (People’s Daily, China)
Read Dr Robin Baker about the constitution and health losses that a bottlefed baby incurs (compared to a breastfed one), and curse the West. [See here]
Uncle Fatty, Thailand, has been placed on forced diet by Thai authorities. (Via People’s Daily, China) [Not a joke: breaking news]
What Was That Glowing Orb Trump Touched in Saudi Arabia? (SMHub News)
As the Kaaba’s Black Stone comes from outer space, perhaps the Saudis salvaged more parts from the spacecraft, like that eerie orb…
Pre-programmed likes and retweets, pre-defined welcome messages: Amazing the amount of interactions I’ve got with actual machines on Twitter!
Not to mention the machines that offer to tweet garbage, usually shallow quotes, for you!
Among other things, AI means millions of tweets that are bot-generated, and millions of users accepting that bots tweet in their name. [They must be millions, as one provider of such services boasts over a million customers.]
How to program your tweeting AI bot to send your prayers to future terror attack victims. Follow to know more.
Saudis take to social media to thank King Salman for successfully hosting two big summits. #RiyadhSummit (Saudi Gazette)
How to program your tweeting bot to send your deepest appreciations to King Salman for Riyadh Summit and future events. Follow to know more.
10,000 prayers a day by our AI Internet bot for your departed beloved–one month: $10, two months: $18. Feel free to ask our brochure.
Already one bot liked this tweet!
How do you know you’re not dealing with an AI tweeting bot? Answer: The guy sounds so weird…
It is good form to overlook that your interlocutor is an AI bot.
The fascinating world of Twitter Turing Test LIVE!
Make no mistake, already people are learning the practice and art of tweeting from AI tweeting bots.
Sometimes you think you’re being harassed by an otaku pervert and it’s an upbeat AI tweeting bot…
Already people are imitating AI bots on Twitter. They think like bots already!
The pronoun for a man-of-war is she.
Unless it’s a Portuguese man-of-war, in which case the pronoun is it.
The 7 Most Awkward Moments From Trump’s Israel Trip.
My favorite moment is when Trump said nothing about moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
Lazy politicians must stop telling people to work.
For previous entries in the series, see Index.
May 24, 2017