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Friday, September 6, 2013

Zara's Curse : New Exciting Book from Writer Andrew Domonkos







Just finished this book, Zara's Curse.  What a wonderful read!  I loved all the characters, but most of all I loved Zara herself!

Okay, so this is vampire fiction.  Technically I guess it would be called paranormal romance, or vampire thriller, who knows, just read it, its good!


Writer Andrew Domonkos has really created some interesting characters in this new book, which is part one of the Empire of Fangs series, which I am now looking forward to.  

Zara's Curse is all about Zara Lane, who falls in love with a vampire named Micah.  But she is torn from her vampire crush and her human love for her friend Twig, who hates vampires and seems to want to destroy them all.  Go figure!  


The fight scenes are fun, and the dialogue is hilarious and realistic.  I really got into the relationships between the Caspari family (Micah's mysterious brood) and especially liked the parts where they talked about their family history that dated back to Vlad the Impaler in ancient Wallachia.  


I would recommend this book to anyone young or old who likes to relax with a good, action-packed story.  Andrew Domonkos is an exciting new writer with a clear passion for his work.  I doubt very much that we will be hearing the last of him!


Check out Zara's Curse by Andrew Domonkos on the Amazon marketplace, it's free for the next 3 days!





comments closed do to dangerous cyber-stalker

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Muslim Problem in Europe

  


The Xenophobe is entirely about keeping an open-mind and getting people to look deeper into the real reasons why they hate or fear something.  These reasons are usually deeper than the superficial excuses people offer up, excuses that are secured with intangible borders and religious differences.

Also, I try to keep an open mind with religions, although I am agnostic and find religon in itself to be the most powerful contributor to xenophobia.  Most devout Christians I have met seem to think the world is comprised of evil sinners that need their help.  To me, that is egomania gone wild.

 Every intelligent scientist believes in evolution, it is such an obvious process that Darwin noticed it with the most primitive tools.  What's more, is that the head weirdo's of Christianity are now toying with the idea of working Darwin's theory into their ethos.  Just like Catholicism is now toying with the idea of "losing" the whole "hell" thing from theirs.  It's clear that to survive, these religions must change and adapt to the times...i.e evolution.  

However silly I find Christianity, I find the Islamic belief system doubly absurd.  The word "Islam" literary means to "submit," or to "surrender," well, at least they are being honest about religion for a change.  Furthermore, the Koran was written by a lunatic, a warlord, a pedophile and a bigot.  Oh goody, you just know this is going to lead to the happy place.  

So now thanks to the mad ramblings of this wannabe Caligula, we are left with women getting pummeled for not covering every inch of their skin, droves of sheep smashing music CD's in the street, beheading of so-called "infidels" (sure they would love to get a hold of my head) and it goes on and on.

And let us not forget the bombings.  You can argue all day about how most Muslims are peaceful law-abiding citizens, and the majority are, but that doesn't excuse that the majority of bombings are in fact the work of Islam-subscribing lunatics.  

The ultimate irony is that Muslims are exactly like the NRA.  When someone goes on a rampage with a machine gun, the NRA whines that it is the action of one man and you should punish all the other kids by taking their toys.  The Muslims do the same thing when some maniac bombs a building, "well, you can't punish Islam for the actions of one man!  You can't take away our silly fantasy books for that!"  

So that is the major problem.  A kid might watch a t.v show about shooting people in the face and then go out and shoot someone in the face, and the show's creators will whine that you can't blame them for an individuals actions.  Even the KKK once argued that they were primarily a group that taught "unity" and that the lynchings of their members were not their responsibility.  Pass the buck, pass the buck...

Every large institution that is backed by feverish loyalty, and worst, large amounts of money, can never be wrong.  Islam, the NRA, Hollywood, you name it, if someone does something horrible it's the individual, not the organization.  Lawyers call this "liability," and I call it "weaseling out of responsibility."  

I'll say it again: I am all for embracing other cultures instead of fearing them, but Islam is xenophobia incarnate.  It is hyper-Christianity, the director's-cut of the old testament.  

France is now experiencing the violence that imports with any large Muslim migration.  The hypocrisy of Muslims (at least American Muslims) is that they are mistreated because of their religion, and yet, here is a group of Muslims attacking Jewish students for the same reason.  

Just as the Jewish people have enough to worry about with the Nazis and Bigots, Now the British have to relive the horrors of the IRA bombing campaigns with new Islamic violence at their doorstep.  But it's not just crafty terrorists who are delivering the blows to the infidels,  their are also rampant beatings in the streets, as well as cruelty only a true psychopath could inflict.

Defend away Muslims, but whenever I hear about a bombing, two things come to mind: Racist lunatic or Islamic lunatic, and 99% of the time it's one or the other, with the rare exception being a bullied teenager or disgruntled employee.  

By now you may be thinking this is hypocritical of me, to say that we should embrace cultures and people but also denounce religious dogma.  But these are two very different concepts.  A man from Iraq or Iran who wants to come to America or England, who thinks Islam is a bunch of rubbish, and wants simply to start a business or raise a family, damn well should be able to.  A man who wants to bring his bitter concept of the world and spread violence by virtue of his religion, should be denied like a cloud of plague knocking at the city gates.  



Islam must be viewed as a type of mental illness. Scientology might be as schizophrenic as any other religion, but at least its relatively harmless (for now).  Catholics have been known to do some pretty awful things too, possibly because any atrocity can be absolved simply by apologizing to God and say a few chants.

Christians believe that without the guiding hand of religion we would have no moral compass.  This is total BS of course, the human species is evolved enough to stand on its own two legs now morally.

To be truthful, the only religion I honestly see as something that is beneficial to mankind is Buddhism.  It seems to be the only religion that preaches unequivocal peace and happiness.  

If Muslims can't rid themselves of this awful disease of the mind, perhaps they can make one tiny concession. Since they claim that Islam is ultimately a peaceful religion, why not remove all the parts of the Koran that call for violence and destruction?  It would not be the first time a religious document has been edited.  As an amateur writer I would suggest losing the whole Jihad "holy war" thing and the 99 virgins.  Perhaps throw in a paragraph or two about how it's wrong to maim and beat up people who are different than you.  

And while we are at it, can someone please edit the Bible, everything Jesus said should be underlined and highlighted, because American Christians now believe that all charity and good will is evil socialism.  It's only a matter of time before they secretly replace the teachings of Jesus with the teachings of Sam Walton or Rupert Murdoch   

















Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Irish and Mexicans - Potato, Patata



Jan Brewer might just be the most beloved figure in American xenophobia.  The stone-cold lizard of the desert has made it her personal goal to rid Arizona of foreigners, or "illegals" as she likes to call them...



Recently, when Obama--the personification of all that is evil in the world to the empathy-lacking neo-con--created a policy that would allow foreigners to be granted differed temporary legal status. 


Brewer countered this by throwing a monkey wrench into the gears of progress by limiting these newly-minted citizens by denying them access to driver's licences and benefits.  It was a desperate act of cruelty and racism.

But hasn't the Tea Party and its ilk, time and time again, voiced that they have no problem with immigrants as long as they are legal?  Doesn't the act of making them "legal" solve the problem?


Well, no.  The truth is that it isn't really about whatever superficial status a foreigner carries.  The real problem is that they flat out don't want to see more Mexicans, legal or illegal, in "their" country.  They also are threatened by new cultures seeping into their own.


If you have ever made a sour face and stated that "the Mexicans" are ruining this country, or the absurd statement that "they refuse to assimilate," to calm down and look at this thing objectively.


Every wave of Immigration, Irish, German, Polish, Africans and Chinese, have been met with native resistance and civil unrest.


In fact, the only wave of immigration met with peace, understanding, and without xenophobia, was the first wave of English, who found a most gracious host in the "Indians," who fed them through the harsh winter, taught them farming techniques, and were all around hospitable to them (later they would be eradicated by their guests).


During one of the largest waves of Immigration in American history, millions of Irish came to America to escape the potato famine.  They were starving, dirty, and ultimately came off the boat in utter exhaustion with nothing more then their family and the dream of prosperity to hold them up.





Aside from New York, where the bulk of the Irish Immigration took place, a great deal landed in the harbors of Boston.  In 1847, the first big year of Famine emigration, the city was swamped with 37,000 Irish Catholics arriving by sea and land.  


At the time, Boston consisted predominantly of English Puritans, and they laughed as the Irish landed and were wearing fashions twenty years behind the times.  The Irish took up residence near the waterfront, taking any unskilled jobs they could find, cleaning yards, unloading ships, and pushing carts.  

The landlords took advantage of them, charging them absurd prices for unsanitary and horrendous living conditions.


Since the only hope of saving money required the Irish to huddle together in both family and community, they were known at the time to have houses crowded with the countrymen.  There were Irish sleeping in the backyards of other Irish, five to a room, as well as alleyways and rooftops, living anywhere they could fit.


The English puritans viewed that as a complete lack of decorum.  They often compared the Irish to insects because of these "human hives" in Boston, blaming them for their lifestyles as if they had a choice in the matter.


Before I continue, let me recap:  


Ridiculed for their fashion or lack there of.


Forced to live in cramped homes with many other people due to extremely low wages.


Likened to a "plague" by the puritans.  


This all seems vaguely familiar, but let us continue...


The plight of the Irish in "their" new country raged on.  Cholera was sweeping through the Boston ghettos and the mortality rate for Irish babies born in Boston at the time was 60%.  Adult Irish lived on average just six years after stepping off the boat onto American soil.


This despair and poverty led to the same thing it always does: crime.  Crime shot up by what is speculated as 400%, especially aggravated assault.  Education was barely available to the Irish immigrants, and since no good Puritan would hire an Irishman for a job that by all rights belonged to "their kind" (Real Americans) the poverty remained stagnant.





The competition for jobs became the biggest issue for the native Bostonian. The Irish would get 8 cents a day on a good day in Ireland.  In Boston, they could get a whopping one dollar a day (which was far less than the natives were used to getting.)  Thus, anti-Irish sentiment swelled once again, and factories and many other businesses began to hang up signs reading 'No Irish need apply."



The perfect American woman on the left, Florence Nightingale, and on the right, what the artist perceives to be the face of an Irish Immigrant, clearly he wasn't using this picture of an Irish woman.. 



Sarah Bolger 

How ironic that so many Americans, who are only here because their Irish ancestors had the courage to come to a place where they were despised, mistreated, and oppressed, are doing the exact same thing to Mexicans, who, like the Irish, are just trying to do what's best for their family.


"But, but, but... (I can hear this already from the neo-con searching his little angry brain for excuses) The Irish assimilated!  Mexicans refuse to adapt to American culture!"


Um, I call bullsh** on this.  The Irish in New York and Boston clumped together like Irish peat.  They clung to their catholic beliefs which was in direct opposition to the puritans.  They already spoke English, but the Germans, Polish, and other immigrants took at least a generation (sometimes two) to speak English.


Every second-generation Mexican in this country speaks English.  Go to any American high school, find a Mexican student who was born here, and sit flabbergasted as they sound like any slang-addled white student trying to sound tough and cool.


It took the Irish decades to get an ounce of respect and the ability to find decent work.  Besides, there were new waves of immigrants to now blame for the impending destruction of America.


The Chinese, who were brought over to build our railroads, and played one of the most important roles in our "manifest destiny" (we were still eradicating the "Indians" at the time) were treated as every other wave of immigration, with violence, fear, and your usual xenophobia.  The Chinese were indeed treated like animals, and lived far worst than the average American farm animal.





It took the Chinese a very long time to assimilate, and the Chinese in the United States still clump together in very exclusive pockets of the country.  The second generation of the Chinese, those born here, prominently speak English, and have filled jobs in very respectable fields.



All I see is men who broke their backs for this country. Put the Tea Party to work swinging a maul all day in the hot sun and see how many heart attacks and strokes you have on your hands.  You wouldn't get a mile built.  

The Mexicans are just dark Irish.  They even have the same religion.  When the Irish came over on great boats, there was no "legal" or "illegal" (who could sneak over an ocean?  And why would you want to?  America was, after all, the great refuge of the oppressed."  Keyword: was.


We have forgotten our ancestral roots.  The Tea Party talk a big game about what "America was built on."  They are of German, Irish, Polish, Swedish, Russian decent, and they are as xenophobic as the puritans who threw rocks at their people who came to this country as humble and scared as any Mexican sneaking in.  The Mexicans are often said to be "exploiting the country and not embracing it," and all I can say is imagine how many Irish in Boston would of survived the 6 year mark had there been even an ounce of sympathy and kindness to the immigrants.  How many mothers would of been spared watching their children die of disease and malnutrition?  All of which would only take a tiny amount of charity.


Not long ago I talked to a British friend of mine, who likes to visit a nearby pub by my house, and ever so often we have a chat.  He was telling me how he is facing possible deportation because some piece of paperwork didn't clear with some mucky muck bureaucrat.  I found this to be the ultimate Irony, it was so absurd I almost felt like pointing at the ground and laughing at what had become of this country.


The English settled this country!  They build the principle ideas, repelled their ancestral invaders! And now, our immigration policy is so muddle with selfishness, so bloated with xenophobia and rampant nationalism, that the very people who originally landed in this country are having a tough time getting in.


My friend had definitely assimilated to American culture, I know this because when I asked what he thought of our country's immigration policy, he shook his head and said, "It's a load of bullsh*t."  I concur.



My thanks to  http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/america.htm, a great source for research, and to my Irish and Hungarian ancestors, who had to suffer so much hardship and abuse from ignorant people.









Xenophobia in South Africa

Zimbabwaen immigrants cross the border from Zimbabwe into South Africa May 27, 2008 over the Limpopo River near Musina. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


It is the opinion of many people who have studied the continent of Africa, from economists who have observed its economic patterns, to journalists who have walked the piss-soaked streets of Monrovia,  that dark continent has long been teetering on complete and utter collapse.

There are a million theories on the plights of Africa, which include disease, constant political turmoil, civil unrest, xenophobia, massacres, and just an all around horrendous quality of life for the majority of people who are stuck there.

I've heard that it is too hot, and it is very true that heat plays a factor in crime. Couple intense heat with poverty and desperation, and you are left with a very volatile country.

But this is a symptom and not a cause.  Extreme poverty causes a lack of education, a lack of education breeds xenophobia and unquestioning nationalism among many other negative traits.  And most of Africa is, very under educated, and very, very poor.

Some say its because of Africa's lack of connection to the world.  The North of Africa is a very long stretch of desert.  To the East is the equally inhabitable regions of Saudi Arabia.  The western ports have long since been ignored by trade and commerce.  The resources of the country, mainly minerals and gems, has already been completely monopolized by companies like DeBeers and other conglomerates.  What isn't stolen by corporations is taken by the warlords and the corrupt government, and every uprising is met with extreme violence.  What can they do?

South Africa has always been the exception to the rule of African plight.  If anything, South Africa works as a perfect example of just what effect money can have on the poorest country in the world. Its as if you infuse money into a region, and suddenly the violence, the hatred, the anger, all disappear.  South Africa is the only instance where trickle down economics works--not to say that the money actually trickles to the poor (this has long since been denounced by anyone who can read a chart), but that all the money in Africa tends to trickle down to the bottom of the continent itself, and collect in South Africa like a gold pan.

But of course, this is just a small chunk of South Africa (mainly the white chunk that has all the money in the country horded at its very bottom tip) .  Just like in America (although much more extreme), if you go outside the small patches of wealth, there are vast expanses of poor, hungry, and tired to go around.

In 2008 South Africans took a page from the Tea Party and became great opponents of immigration.  (I find the whole "legal" illegal" immigration concept laughable, considering 2 million Irish Immigrants came here "legally" by jumping on a boat without a nickel to their name, and yet if a boatload of Mexicans showed up in the San Diego harbor it would not only be rejected, but possible attacked.)

The South Africans were suddenly under siege from emigrants of nearby Zimbabwe.  The Natives of Zimbabwe, like almost all Africans, get jostled around the continent every time a warlord or egocentric general decides to make life a little more miserable for his people.  They pack up, walk a few hundred miles away from the chaos, in hopes of arriving at a location with slightly less chaos and misery, which rarely happens to be the case.

When the Zimbabwe refugees arrived in droves to the bewilderment of South Africans, the first reaction was to keep them out.  The South Africans feared that the new arrivals would steal jobs, a sentiment not lost on your average American.  This is the same old song and dance of the hypocrite, to believe, unequivocally, that a market should be free of all hindrances and allowed to chose its own destiny, but not free enough to hire whoever they want."

The South Africans rioted against the newcomers, slaughtering and maiming the displaced people who were just looking for refuge from their own cruel situation.  Many of the refugees took to hiding in the wide plains outside of Johannesburg, the seat of African sophistry, because it was much more safer than living in the UN encampments and shanty towns.

And this is the xenophobic mentality of South Africa currently.  They have learned a lot from Americans and Europeans: if a limb is diseased, do not medicate it, saw it off.  And besides, those people are different than you, they lack the national identity that so strongly binds your particular patch of grass and dirt.  Xenophobia 101.

It is the grand illusion of the wealthy, that you can just pile the money mountain higher and higher while ignoring everyone around you, and when it gets really bad and the peasants are marching in the streets with pitch forks in the streets, you can simply hop on a plain and find a new spot that the process is repeating in.  And then, in a thousand years, the handful of people with all the chips will be cornered off in some remote place that hasn't been charred or isn't wet with blood, and from high a top their money mountain they will see an army of hungry and exploited approaching.

But then again, you can always just pay one half of the poor to kill the other half.

Here are the pictures courtesy of boston.com.

 A human smuggler cuts a border fence while illegally bringing Zimbabwaen refugees across the border into South Africa May 27, 2008 near Musina, South Africa. Facing economic strife and political oppression at home, Zimbabwaens continue to flood accross the border, despite recent violent attacks against foreign immigrants in South Africa. A human rights group recently reported that up to 49,000 Zimbabwaens are illegally crossing into South Africa each month, adding to the 3-5 million Zimbabwaen refugees already residing in South Africa. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


 A Zimbabwaen refugee looks over the border fence from the South African side May 27, 2008 near Musina, South Africa. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


A general view of a Reiger Park informal settlement outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday May 23, 2008. Thousands forced from their homes by anti-foreigner violence in South Africa are now threatened by disease in makeshift camps, aid workers said Friday, and some immigrants said they felt safer hiding in open fields. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)


African immigrants, displaced by anti-foreigner violence in Johannesburg, warm their hands around a small fire outside the Jeppe police station in the city, May 27, 2008. (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)


A South African police officer tells foreign refugees to return to the Central Methodist Church where hundreds of immigrants are staying, after South Africans attempted to attack them in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday May 24, 2008. Thousands of protesters marched in downtown Johannesburg to protest the recent wave of attacks against foreigners that left over 40 dead and scores homeless.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)


 A crowd, armed with clubs, machetes and axes goes on a rampage on May 20, 2008 during violent xenophobic clashes at Reiger park informal settlement on the outskirt of Johannesburg. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)


 Metro police officers fire rubber bullets as they disperse a mob in the Reiger Park informal settlement outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday May 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)


People run from South African police firing rubber bullets in the Reiger Park informal settlement outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, May 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)


 A Reiger Park neighbor stands near burning homes May 22, 2008 in the shantytown of Reiger Park, South Africa. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


 Displaced immigrants queue to receive blankets at a U.N. temporary camp Germiston, east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Monday June 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)


 A mother and child, displaced by anti-foreigner violence in Cape Town, leave the shelter of a tent at a makeshift camp close to the city, May 29, 2008. (REUTERS/Mark Wessels)


 Immigrants, most from Zimbabwe, rush the gate to apply for refugee asylum permits at a government refugee center June 17, 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Officials were overwhelmed by the crowd of thousands that appeared Tuesday morning, after a three day weekend in South Africa. The wave of immigrants crossing illegally from Zimbabwe continues, despite the xenophobic violence against immigrants last month. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


A man peers through the window as a train carrying displaced immigrants leaves from Johannesburg to neighboring Mozambique Tuesday, May 27, 2008. While the violence was dying down, thousands of displaced people remained in camps and foreigners were streaming back home. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)


xenophobia, xenophobic.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When Neo Nazi Russians Attack : Animal Planet

      Not long ago I watched a particularly jolting episode of Vanguard, one of the many new venues of "ballsy journalism" much like Vice magazine. The show to me resembles a more dignified version of the show Jackass, in the respect that people are putting themselves in grave danger for the purpose of entertainment (yet noble because it is informative and does its work to break apart xenophobia), but still, "I'm Laura Ling, and this is Foreign Deathtrap," wouldn't be inappropriate to introduce most of there segments.

      Although I am a proponent of open-mindedness in other cultures and countries (if you haven't guessed by now) I am not so naive as to think the world is one big rainbow farm. There are many places where the danger and cruelty are greatly exaggerated--although this is not always the case. I only contend that snap judgments based on the superficial evidence handed down by media outlets who thrive on ugliness, is a poor judgement at its best.

      That's not to say that you should ignore these outlets completely, as even though a lens is tuned to see the worst, the worst helps construct a full picture of a country. As with scientific theory, it is important to gather all the information you can before forming a theory or idea about something, and if your able to, a first-hand account beats the grapevine any day of the week.

     The Neo-Nazi element does not represent Russia as a whole. I've known a few people who have regaled me with stories of the beauty of St. Petersburg, and the amazing people they have met in there. But this terrorist group exemplifies the destructive powers of xenophobia at its height. These people have closed the borders to reason, they are not in the business of importing knowledge, only regurgitating nationalistic catch phrases and talking points (that sounds familiar).


      The Vanguard piece was about Neo Nazis in Russia. They were going around beating up anyone who was dark-skinned or just looked out of place. These interviews were conducted in shrouded rooms, not unlike most terrorist hide-outs, or in the woods, where impressionable young people were being whipped into a frenzy of testosterone by gunfire and impromptu karate lessons. These men were claiming that the foreigners were exploiting the fair-and-just country of Russia, and that their success was harming native Russians.

      Later, I found that when discussing this violence with your average American xenophobe, it was almost impossible for them not to grin just a little, and I noticed how hard it was for them to feign disagreement with the nazi mindset. Not that they tried much, usually the response was a shrug and "Well, they probably shouldn't be there in the first place." Which would warrant a good hard slap if their ancestors could hear it, and maybe a "You dolt! You wouldn't even be standing in America had we not the good sense to be immigrants!"

      The neo-nazi's being interviewed were all very proud of being born in the same place. A nationalist sentiment not lost on my xenophobic colleagues who put a great deal of value on their geographical position that they had absolutely nothing to do with, apart from emigrating from balls to womb and then emigrating from womb to world.

     The neo-nazi leaders whined about the brown people "taking their jobs," which was hilarious to me, as the skinheads interviewed had little education, while their targets were mostly people who were dedicated students.


      Perhaps they thought that if the brown people had not come, they would of grown their hair out and become intellectuals. I find this highly suspect as I watched them punch trees in the forest and perform rigorous combat exercises (because when you attack unarmed bookworms, you want to make sure everyone is in peak physical condition.)

     It's not like these people were bombing their cafes and raping their women, they are just being much more successful then the dim-witted nazis. They feel as if they are losing their identity, which is ironic because their own countrymen they are so profoundly in support of, were fighting nazis some 70 years ago. Additionally, it is even more farcical that they feel in order to protect their identities they must all dress alike and get the same haircuts and believe the exact same thing.


     At the end of this program, they showed footage of the nazis they had interviewed along with an update on where they were now, most were in prison. Had they focused their energy on themselves and not people that rubbed them the wrong way, there's no telling what greatness they may have achieved, they might have become janitors, UFC fighters, who knows? Ah, such a waste.

     Watching this program, and listening to the nazis rattle no and on about how superior their country was, I squinted just a bit and saw most of America, a nation built by waves of foreigners, each wave being hated when they landed, and in turn hating the wave that follows them. If his words came out of any republican candidate he would be a shoe-in for any political office.

     Russia has a million reasons--both economically and socially--to blame for its economic failings. Blame a corrupt government, blame it on Russia's overall disconnection to the rest of Europe (in a world-market the hermit does not thrive) blame poor policies, a lack of infrastructure, blame the cold weather if you have to. But blaming people who are studying to be doctors and lawyers is downright ludicrous. They will only help to enrich your countries worth.

     These neo-nazis in Russia are prime examples of what happens when nationalism overtakes human decency and logic. It is a mental state that gains popularity ever-so-often among desperate people.

     Recently a college town near Moscow had to put 2000 students on lock-down because it was Hitler's birthday, a day when the beatings are most severe. But that hasn't stopped the nazis from finding people to jump and stab. They are a terror cell, school yard bullies picking on the smart kids, led by the usual dull-eyed manipulator with a Napoleon complex, who is ensuring that each of them will waste their lives like he did.



     Hatred: alive and well in Russia. Somebody needs to round up these animals and put them in the zoo.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Why Some Americans Hate the French


     “French rifle, dropped once, never fired.” I’ve heard this one a few times, along with the usual American critiques of the French, critiques of personal hygiene, bravery in the face of danger, work ethic, and of course, Rudeness.

     It’s no great surprise that most xenophobes who expound their disgust for France usually have never been there, and have little interest in the country beyond their role in WWII.

     The Military Myth:

     Firstly, France was once a Super Power. You may wonder why so many people speak French in the Caribbean, or in Louisiana, or most of Canada. This isn’t because France sat on its thumbs while the great conquests of the new world were being fought over land and sea, viciously at that. In those days, if you didn’t fight and expand, you didn’t survive. This is why the countries that sat idle in the great expansions usually became provinces and territories of the more ambitious countries.

     As Americans, it’s one of our national pastimes to pick on the French, particularly bullying them for being “weak.” How quickly we forget that this small country has a thousand more years of war in its history than we do. And that our military leaders today still study the brilliance of Napoleon Bonaparte, who came as close to world domination as Hitler or Alexander the Great or even Caesar himself.



     The French beat the Spanish back many times. They took the entire country of Algeria. The French have a long history of battle, which only diminished in scope in the early part of the Industrial Revolution.

     Could it be that a country of 65 million, that is no bigger than Texas (technically it’s smaller), with limited oil recourses, is not as equipped as a military as say, a country of 330 million that spends almost 50% of its nation's taxes on its military? Probably not.

     It seems the Industrial revolution propelled many countries militaries, but also left many small European countries in the dust.

     But there is something more to this seemingly shyness of the French to engage in combat. There are only 3,300 French troops currently in Afghanistan, and the French government has already voiced that it will be reducing this number.

     Yes, the French are becoming more neutral. But where is the outrage for the other neutral countries who find the “police the world” approach of America to cause more strife and hatred than it solves? The Swiss didn’t life a finger against Hitler, nor did a great deal of Europe.

     People also tend to forget, that England is an Island. The German tanks couldn’t just drive on in. England was much more of a defensible country than France. Germany borders France. Hitler’s army was at its strongest when his tanks rolled into France.

     Imagine; had the French drawn a line in the sand against a force that took the combined might of the American, Russian, and English militaries to win, in one of the most hard-fought battles in the history of warfare. There could be only one result in such a standoff: the complete and utter annihilation of the French.

     I don’t that the French are scared easily, I think more so they seem to dislike violence. Observe, the amount of sheer BALLS this Frenchman has. I ask you, how many people—of any nationality—would attempt this?




Derrrrrr! I don't like smarty pants!

     Keepin' it Real. Real Dumb...

     France is also given a bad rap for its artistic nature. In America, there is a new xenophobia taking hold on the flag-waving nationalists. A fear of intelligence. A simple man seems generally affronted by any talk of something beyond his scope. They are suspicious of French-sounding words, and immediately disqualify them from their thoughts as inferior. When confronted with a conversation they cannot engage in, rather than strive to learn from it, they roll their eyes and let that old fear of the unknown take the reigns.

     People go to France to be inspired by its beauty, its architecture, its rich history in the arts. For this same reason do people go to New York City, where there are more art galleries than anywhere in the world. These are two places where you will find a stronger appreciation of intelligence and knowledge, where the mention of Albert Camus or Degas will not elicit blank stares and angry confusion. Hemingway, considered by many to be the quintessential American, who represents the courage and open-mindedness that used to go hand-and-hand, spent many years in his beloved France.

     Old Hem had a slew of great quotes about his second home in Paris, but I think another great American, F. Scott Fitzgerald, summed it up best:

     "The best of America drifts to Paris. The American in Paris is the best American. It is more fun for an intelligent person to live in an intelligent country. France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older—intelligence and good manners."

F. Scott Fitzgerald-

Monday, August 6, 2012

Famous for all the Wrong Reasons

    It seems I'm in a minority with the human race in sharing the utter amazement that not only that the N.A.S.A still exists, but that we are actually landing on Mars. This minor cosmic achievement seems to have been devalued by something far more impressive: a man with a mohawk, capable of intelligent thought. Consider our collective minds blown.

      The young man that has gained so much attention is Bobak Ferdowsi, an engineer and flight director for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission.

      There seems to be a general amazement going around that a man with a “weird” haircut (no weirder than a mullet) is holding such a prominent job at such a revered institution such as N.A.S.A.

      The mission itself was a success, rewarding us with new footage of the red planet. A truly amazing feat if you stop and think about it.


     And yet, I could see this same young man having some issues getting a job at the mall. I remember having a mohawk. I remember people shouting at me from cars, jocks shoving me into lockers, the usual cliché things that are cliché for a reason. It truly bothered people that someone would stray from the conventional, accepted hair-cuts of the time. And forget getting a decent job. Hair can be so intimidating and scary to some people. Eventually I shaved mine under this constant pressure to do so, the constant pressure to “normalize.”

     Now, about thirty years since the Mohawk first started “popping up” around the punk landing points of LA and New York, there are still people making broad assumptions over this hairstyle.

     I've met people in my time that could sense a fashion shift in Paris like a dog sensing coming rain, but couldn’t name five presidents. Additionally, I have met people who dress themselves with the finesse of Helen Keller, and could do advanced calculus on the palms of their hands.

     To me, saying someone is stupid or intelligent based solely on their appearance is asinine. There is a reason so many geniuses look wild or strange. Many find the absurd amount of energy we as a species exhaust on our “look”--when there are so many other things more worthy of our energy--selfish. Others simply do it to make as strong a declaration of their individuality as possible. And some simply don’t care.

    The “professional” look has one true quality: dull. The barbers in the Wall Street district know three or four haircuts, the business world scrutinizes faults in a suit in a way a layman couldn’t even detect with a magnifying glass. This is the look of “confidence” apparently.


     But I suppose this is the difference between a “business” genius and any other kind. Einstein was a scientific genius. He had wild unkempt hair, he seemed to pay little mind to his clothes. Perhaps he had more on his mind than what type of shoes to wear.

    Fifty years ago it would be shocking to see a woman doing just about anything beyond holding a vacuum and smiling. 40 years ago a black CEO would make waves. Now women and people of all races serve in all areas of employment. Yet a haircut a little tight on the sides still carries the stigma of stupidity.

    And if you have tattoos…well then, you must be severely incompetent.
 

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