Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Modern medicine is a hoax

Fact #1: 90 percent of all diseases (cancer, diabetes, depression, heart disease, etc.) are easily preventable through diet, nutrition, sunlight and exercise. None of these solutions are ever promoted because they make no money.

Fact #2: Nearly all the consumption of pharmaceuticals today is a direct result of marketing to the public and covertly bribing physicians to write more prescriptions. There is very little drug consumption based on scientific merit.

Fact #3: No pharmaceuticals actually cure or resolve the underlying causes of disease. Even "successful" drugs only manage symptoms, usually at the cost of interfering with other physiological functions that will cause side effects down the road. There is no such thing as a drug without a side effect.

Fact #4: There is no financial incentive for anyone in today's system of medicine (drug companies, hospitals, doctors, etc.) to actually make patients well. Profits are found in continued sickness, not wellness or prevention.

Fact #5: Virtually all the "prevention" programs you see today (such as free mammograms or other screening programs) are little more than cleverly disguised patient recruitment schemes. They use free screenings to scare people into agreeing to expensive and often unnecessary treatments that enrich drug companies. Breast cancer mammography is a complete scam: The machines actually cause cancer!

Fact #6: Doctors know virtually nothing about nutrition and are still not taught nutrition in medical schools. Expecting a doctor to teach you about how to prevent disease is sort of like expecting a car mechanic to show you how to perform brain surgery. Although there are some exceptions (doctors who have taught themselves nutrition), most doctors remain so nutritionally illiterate that they have no familiarity with the natural plant-based medicines found in everyday fruits and vegetables.

Fact #7: Nobody has any interest in your health except you. No corporation, no doctor, and no government has any desire to actually make you well. Keeping you sick makes it easier for them to control and financially exploit you. Healthy, aware individuals are perceived as a threat to the tyrannical institutions now running this country, and they've figured out that the best way to keep a nation controlled and subdued is to drug 'em all and keep the people in a constant state of brain fog from medications and fluoride. The only healthy, aware, critically thinking individuals I know are all 100% free of pharmaceuticals and processed foods (and watch no television, either).

Remember those seven facts and you'll know more about health and disease than most people. And for your part, stay healthy! Work to safely get off all prescription drugs, eat a diet of natural, wholesome foods (and avoid processed foods), exercise regularly, avoid toxic chemicals in your home (throw out those toxic laundry detergents and switch to soap nuts), and toss those toxic personal care products (skin creams, cosmetics, shampoo, etc.). Stay natural, healthy and alert. Be well, and you'll be the exception! And please, never be so gullible as to think that your government is going to "save you" with a new health care reform plan. Even if we switch to free health insurance for everyone, the whole system is still based on toxic treatments that cure nothing!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Is Thai visa run by dim-witted Westerners who have appointed themselves as "moderators"?

Recently I posted in their forum something critical of the Iraq war and some Bush and Blair lover reported me. The moderators while saying that there was nothing wrong with my post sent me a warning. What an insane thing to do! If there was nothing wrong with it, why send me a warning?!

And when I myself wanted to report something I found that there was no button to do so. So it seems that only some select few are given the privilege of reporting abuse. Which is why I use the word dim-witted.

I contacted them, telling them that what they had done was inappropriate and offensive and guess what happened? NOTHING. They ignored me completely, feeling perhaps embarrassed. I have since unsubscribed from their stupid website.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive. White Americans Did the Same Thing to Thousands of Black People

The United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as gruesome as the "medieval" punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes.

ISIS burned Muadh al Kasasbeh, a captured Jordian fighter pilot, to death. They doused him with an accelerant. His captors set him on fire. Muadh al Kasasbeh desperately tried to put out the flames. ISIS recorded Muadh al Kasasbeh's immolation, produced a video designed to intimidate their enemies, and then circulated it online.
ISIS's burning alive of Muadh al Kasasbeh has been denounced as an act of savagery, barbarism, and wanton cruelty--one from the "dark ages" and not of the modern world.
American Exceptionalism blinds those who share its gaze to uncomfortable facts and truths about their own country.
For almost a century, the United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as gruesome as the "medieval" punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes.
What is now known as "spectacular lynching" involved the ceremonial torture, murder--and yes, burning alive--of black Americans by whites. Like ISIS's use of digital media to circulate images of the torturous death of Muadh al Kasasbeh by fire, the spectacular lynchings of the black body were shared via postcards and other media.
In fact, the burned to death images of the black body were a form of mass culture in 19th and 20th century America.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The story of the brutal Islamic conquests of India.

The following article is from the internet.
It is an often and conveniently ignored fact that the Persian term Hindu Kush, the mountain range that roughly forms the boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan, translates literally as 'Hindu Slaughter' or 'Hindu Killer' (the Hindu name for these mountains was Paariyaatra Parvat). Many believe the name was given by Muslim conquerors of the Indian subcontinent as a warning to Hindus.The Islamic empire had coveted India since the reign of the second Caliph Umar. However, unlike the decadent and aging Byzantine and Persian empires, the Muslims met fierce resistance from the Hindus, and for several decades their razzias into their territory met with disaster. Umar's expeditionary forces to Thana, Bharuch, and Debal in 636-37 C.E. were repulsed. The fourth Caliph Ali sent an expedition in 660 C.E. which also failed; the leader and most of his troops were slain in the rugged terrain of Kikanan. Ali's successor, Muawiyah, sent as many as 6 expeditions by land to Sindh, all except the last ending in great slaughter. He succeeded for a limited time in occupying Makran in 680, but for the most part it remained independent of Islamic rule. Subsequent attempts to control Hindu territory met with various success initially, but were fruitless in the long term.Around the same time Berber invaders were conquering Spain for Islam, the governor of Iraq, Al-Hajjaj (Arabic for 'bone crusher') bin Yousef launched a full invasion. Lusting greatly after Hindustan's incomparable wealth, he promised the Caliph Walid I to repay the treasury double the amount spent on provisions and other items of expenditure for the army, as Walid was apprehensive about the cost in treasury, resources, and lives, remembering the disastrous results of nearly all previous Muslim forays into India. Walid consented and, at Hajjaj's request, sent 6,000 armed men to aid him in the undertaking.Two expeditions were sent against Debal in 708 C.E., both resulting in embarrassing defeat. Hajjaj prepared a third expedition consisting of three massive forces, one sent to Kashgar, another to Kabul, and a third under the command of his seventeen year old cousin, Muhammad bin Qasim, to Sindh. Hajjaj instructed Qasim to bring destruction on the unbelievers, who did not submit to Islam. Qasim found conquest relatively simple, due to the large percentage of Buddhists among the populations who were totally averse to violence, and the collaboration of the Jats, uneducated peasants at the lower rung of the social order, hoping to attain material gain from the invaders; indeed the bulk of the population was indifferent to the invasion. Qasim's forces began at Sindh, and moved on to Debal, where, after a prolonged seige, a defector informed him on how to capture the citadel. As Qasim's men scaled their walls, the besieged Indians opened their gates to the invaders and begged for mercy. Qasim's mercy was that they could accept Islam and if they did not their entire adult male population would be put to the sword and their women and children sold into slavery. They accepted and Qasim proceeded to destroy their temples.After the conquest of Debal, Qasim suffered from a brief lapse in Islamic reasoning, allowing the idolators freedoms in religion and profession so long as as they payed the jizya. This was unacceptable to Hajjaj, who had been exchanging letters with Qasim about every three days, and was virtually under the command of the expedition:
"My dear cousin, I have received your life-augmenting letter ... It appears from your letter that all the rules made by you for the comfort and convenience of your men are strictly in accordance with religious law. But the way of granting pardon prescribed by the law is different from the one adopted by you, for you go on giving pardon to everybody, high or low, without any discretion and without any distinction between a friend of foe. The great God says in the Qur'an: 'O true believers, when you encounter the disbelievers, strike off their heads. This command of the Great God is a great command and must be respected and followed. You should not be so fond of showing mercy, as to nullify the virtue of the act. Henceforth grant pardon to no one of the enemy and spare none of them, or else all will consider you a weak-minded man".
The quick surrender of several Indian towns alarmed Raja Dahar, the Hindu prince who at the time ruled Sindh and its surrounding areas. He set out with his Brahman priests and Kshatriya soldiers to oust the Muslim invader. At Rawar, Dahar was killed and his forces defeated; his daughters and as many as thirty other women of royal blood were taken captive and sent to Hajjaj, along with Dahar's severed head and some sixty thousand other captives, now destined for bondage. Rani Bai (Dahar's princess) took refuge in the fort, garrisoned by some 15,000 fighting men. They were overtaken and, realizing she was doomed, the Rani called together the women of the fort and told them, our glory is gone, and our term of life has come to its close. As there is no hope of safety and liberty, let us collect firewood and cotton and oil. The most expedient course for us, I think, is to burn ourselves to ashes, and thus quickly meet our husbands (in the other world). Thus they perished in the fires of jauhar. Qasim's forces occupied the fort and slaughtered the remaining 6,000 men who remained, and seized Raja Dahar's vast wealth and treasure.Qasim continued his campaign through Brahminabad and Multan. Though Brahminabad surrendered with little resistance, Qasim sat on the thrown of cruelty and put all those who had fought to the sword. Some 16,000 fighting men were thus executed. Qasim, despite Hajjaj's strict orders for treatment of the subjugated peoples, came to realize that such complete and total elimination of the idolators was neither practical nor expedient, especially since Hajjaj had promised him to repay the costs of Qasim's expedition to the Caliph Walid I. And even though the spoils were so vast that Hajjaj was able to repay the Caliph double the actual cost of the expedition, Qasim allowed the temple of Brahminabad to be rebuilt, and old customs of worship were permitted on the condition that they payed the jizya and the kharaj, as well as other taxes, which he exacted with vigor and punctuality, and frequently with insult.Qasim remained in Sindh for three years, when, in a disasterous overreaction, Walid recalled him to Damascus and had him executed for violating two Sindhi princesses meant for Walid's harem. Islamic power declined rapidly after Qasim's departure, and many newly-converted Muslims reverted back to their old faiths, and the remaining Muslims assimilated into Hindu culture - some actually converted to Hinduism. Still, great damage had been done to India's cultural heritage and social fabric, and the wealth that was looted is incalculable.Following the Arab conquests, various Turko-Islamic conquerors wreaked great havok upon the Hindu and Buddhist cultures of India. Mahmud of Ghazni swore to make war against the idolators every year of his life - he led about 17 invasions, and faithfully followed the Qur'anic directive to kill the idolators wherever they could be found. The slaughter he wrought at the temple of Somnath alone, at which Muslim chroniclers claim a toll of 50,000 Hindus, appoints him a place of infamy in Indian history. After his conquests of Varanasi, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi, and Dwarka, not one temple was left standing. In Kangra, besides over 10,000 other temples destroyed by Mahmud:
In the middle of the city there was a temple larger and finer than the rest, which can neither be described nor painted. The Sultan [Mahmud] was of the opinion that 200 years would have been required to build it. The idols included "five of red gold, each five yards high," with eyes formed of priceless jewels. The Sultan gave orders that all the temples should be burnt with naphtha and fire, and leveled with the ground.
Tarikh-i-Yamini of Utbi, Mahmud's court historian, recorded Mahmud's conquest of Thanesar in 1011:
The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously [at Thanesar] that the stream was discolored, notwithstanding its purity, and the people were unable to drink it. Had not night come on and concealed the traces of their flight, many more of the enemy would have been slain. The victory was gained by God's grace, who has established Islam forever as the best of religions, notwithstanding that idolators revolt against it. The Sultan returned with plunder which is impossible to recount. Praise be to God, the protector of the world for the honor he bestows upon Islam and Muslims!
And Nandana in 1013:
The Sultan returned in the rear of immense booty, and slaves were so plentiful that they became very cheap and men of respectability in their native land were degraded by becoming slaves of common shopkeepers. But this is the goodness of Allah, who bestows honor on his own religion and degrades infidelity.
Mahaban 1018:
The infidels deserted the fort and tried to cross the foaming river, but many of them were slain, taken or drowned. Nearly fifty thousand men were killed. The Sultan gave orders that all the temples should be burnt with naptha and fire, and leveled with the ground.
In Kanauj there were nearly ten thousand temples ... Many of the inhabitants of the place fled and were scattered abroad like so many wretched widows and orphans, from the fear which oppressed them, in consequence of witnessing the fate of their deaf and dumb idols. Many of them thus affected their escape, and those who did not fly were put to death. The Sultan took all seven forts in a day, and gave his soldiers leave to plunder and take prisoners.
The Sultan summoned the most religiously disposed of his followers, and ordered them to attack the enemy immediately. Many infidels were consequently slain or taken prisoners in this sudden attack, and the Muslims paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels and worshippers of sun and fire. The friends of God searched the bodies of the slain for three whole days in order to obtain booty ... The booty amounted in gold and silver, rubies and pearls, nearly to three hundred thousand Durhams, and the number of prisoners may be conceived from the fact that each was sold from two to ten dirhams. These were afterwards taken to Ghazna, and merchants came from distant cities to purchase them, so that the countries Mawaraun-Nahr, Iraq and Khurasan were filled with them, and the fair and the dark, the rich and the poor, were commingled in one common slavery.
Muslim conquerers, from Qasim to Mahmud, Muhammad Ghuri, Firuz Shah, Timur, Akbar the Great, Aurangzeb and others, utterly devastated India's Hindu and Buddhist cultural heritage. The great wealth of India has led many apologists to claim that the Hindu conquests were not religious in nature, but, the fact that the acquisition of war spoils is a core tenet of the Islamic faith not withstanding, the religious motives behind the Islamic conquests of India were often well documented by their undertakers. Timur (Tamerlane), who had a particular disdain for his Hindu enemies and wrought unparalleled devastation upon them, spoke of his motivations for invading India in his memoirs:
About this time there arose in my heart the desire to lead an expedition against the infidels, and to become a ghazi; for it had reached my ears that the slayer of infidels is a ghazi, and if he is slain he becomes a martyr. It was on this account that I formed my resolution, but I was undetermined in my mind whether I should direct my expedition against the infidels of China or against the infidels and polytheists of India. In this matter I sought an omen from the Koran, and the verse I opened upon was this, "O Prophet, make war upon infidels and unbelievers, and treat them with severity." My great officers told me that the inhabitants of Hindustan were infidels and unbelievers. In obedience to the order of Almighty Allah I ordered an expedition against them...
The Prince Muhammad Sultan then commented that, not only is India full of gold and jewels, and in it there are seventeen mines of gold and silver, diamond and ruby and emerald and tin and steel and copper and quicksilver, etc., but its inhabitants are chiefly polytheists and infidels and idolators and worshippers of the sun, and as such, by the order of Allah and his prophet, it is right for us to conquer them. After some of the nobles and amirs expressed dismay that, by conquering and establishing a foothold in India, their culture will be diluted and polluted by the Hindus, Timur said,
My object in the invasion of Hindustan is to lead an expedition against the infidels that, according to Muhammad (upon whom and his family be the blessing and peace of Allah), we may convert to the true faith the people of that country, purify the land itself from the filth of infidelity and polytheism; and that we may overthrow their temples and idols and become ghazis and mujahedin before Allah.
Timur informed the Hindus that he would exterminate them to a man unless they consented to submit unconditionally and become Muslims and repeat the creed. Many did not submit, and, at Ajodhan,
all the people of the fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of ten thousand infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels and [the treasures of the land] became the spoil of my soldiers. They set fire to houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground.
Not content with the slaughter, Timur led his armies into the wild to dispatch those who had fled, where he slayed the demon-like Jats [Hindus] ... made their wives and children captives, and plundered their cattle and property. Prisoners of war, over 100,000 held at Jahun-numa alone, were dispatched to hell with the proselyting sword. At Delhi, his troops engaged in slaying, plundering, and destroying ... the spoil was so great that each man secured from fifty to a hundred prisoners - men, women and children.According to Srivastava, Timur
left [India] prostrate and bleeding ... so thoroughly ravaged, plundered and even burnt that it took [the northwestern provinces] many years, indeed, to recover their prosperity. [Hundreds of thousands] of men, and in some cases, many women and children, too, were butchered in cold blood.
Thus, archeological evidence shows that thousands of mosques in the former Hindu empire are built on the foundations of, and, in many cases, from the debris of, demolished Hindu temples. Idols were smashed or mutilated and trampled on before Muslim places of worship, or, if they contained precious metals, were melted down and re-used. Some were turned into toilet seats or handed over to butchers to be used as weights. Sacred Hindu texts were defiled or burnt, and cows were slaughtered upon the temple sites so that Hindus could never use them again.The magnitude of Muslim attrocities in India is so great that I grossly understimate their scope simply by attempting to describe them, especially within the scope of this short essay. By the sword of Islam, an entire civilization was destroyed and the number of dead easily number in the many tens of millions over several hundred years. The value of the booty - jewels and unbounded pearls and rubies, shining like sparks or like wine congealed with ice, and emeralds like fresh sprigs of myrtle, and diamonds in size and weight like pomegranates can never be measured. According to Durant, As a result of [this] fanaticism, thousands of temples which had represented the art of India through a millennium were laid in ruins. We can never know, from looking at India today, what grandeur and beauty she once possessed. India before Islam was one of the most advanced civilizations of all time.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A short history of Islam.


I recently set out to learn more about Islam. I had no agenda at the time except to broaden my knowledge on the subject. What I have learned sickened me. I had previously been accepting of the notion that Islam was a peaceful religion and that the Muslim terrorists who inflict so much pain and death around the world represented a fringe element outside of mainstream Islam. I was wrong.
The Islamic deity, Allah, is a false god. While the term "Allah" does indeed carry the same meaning as "God," Mohammed's Allah is nothing more than a construct of a vile false prophet who sought to create an empire upon the rotting corpses of his enemies. Let's review some history...
In 621 A.D. Mohammed was in Mecca preaching to any who would listen that he alone was the Divine Prophet of the One God, Allah. Meccans eventually grew tired of his ranting and demanded that he cease and desist. With a tiny band of followers, Mohammed sneaked out of Mecca in the dead of night and traveled to the Jewish city of Medina. He and his followers were sick, tired, and hungry and the Jews there took them in and nursed them to good health.
Unfortunately Mohammed was consumed with rage over his being booted out of Mecca and began plotting his revenge. It was this plan that became the basis for the religion of Islam. In January of 623 A.D. Mohammed ordered his band of thugs to attack four unarmed merchants who were transporting their wares to Mecca. All four were brutally murdered and their merchandise (raisins, animal skins, and honey) was stolen. Claiming a Divine Right, Mohammed received one fifth of the take.
Mohammed began to preach to his followers that it was mandated by Allah that nonbelievers (like his perceived enemies in Mecca) were "the worst kind of beasts" and that they must be slain. This cruel rhetoric attracted the sort of people who enjoy such depraved activities and soon Mohammed had an army numbering in the hundreds. Rape, robbery, and murder were all sanctioned as being the Divine Will of Allah, and Mohammed reaped a fortune as his growing army raged across ancient Arabia.
Poets and politicians alike who spoke out against him were tortured and murdered. Even the Jews of Medina, who had shown him such kindness, were eventually driven from their homes while Mohammed's Muslim band pillaged the city. With each new raid, Mohammed would claim to have had yet another "revelation" from Allah that justified their actions. In short, Mohammed led a tribe of barbarians who truly believed that they were doing Allah's will by destroying pre-Islamic Arabia. In all, Mohammed would order 86 raids upon the innocent, 26 of which he led himself. In 630 A.D. Mohammed marched triumphantly into Mecca with 40,000 followers. His revenge was complete, but the horrors of Islam had only begun.
Mohammed's sole purpose in everything he did was to feed his enormous ego and satisfy his perverse sexual needs. In all, Mohammed had eleven wives, nine of them simultaneously, with the youngest being only ten years old. Eye-witness accounts claim that Aisha brought her toys with her when she was delivered to the Prophet of Allah.
Mohammed regarded women as nothing more than sexual toys and servants, and of course justified his actions by proclaiming that it was Allah's will that women always be subjugated to men. Seeing him as their spiritual guide and role model, other Muslim men treated their women accordingly. A cycle of abuse that still endures today in many parts of the world had thus begun.
By the time Mohammed died at age 63, the face of the Middle East had changed from a civilized and prosperous world to one of fear, poverty, and deprivation. Gone was any semblance of free expression or religious freedom. Mohammed and his followers had turned the known world upside down.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Muhammad was murdered.

Did you know that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was murdered? I didn't until recently. Apparently a Jewish woman, angered by Muhammad's persecution of her people, poisoned some meat he was going to eat. He suffered terrible pain as a result and three years later, still in pain, finally died.
Allah, it seems, had no intention of saving a man who claimed to be his "Messenger".

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Email was invented by a 14year old Indian-born boy.

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai was 14 years old when he developed the technology we now know as email. But despite having received "official recognition" of his creation in the form of a government-issued patent, some still question whether he was the veritable founder.
Ayyadurai's former colleague Robert Field explained the discrepancy and defended Ayyadurai in a blog on The Huffington Post. According to Field, "multi-billion dollar defense company" Raytheon BBN Technologies generated "their entire brand ... based on claims of having 'invented email,'" then unleashed a PR campaign to "discredit email's origins" as well as Shiva's claim to having invented it.
Ayyadurai explained in a HuffPost Live interview on Thursday that he thinks these allegations stem from people who are both economically and racially prejudiced.
"The reality is this: in 1978, there was a 14-year-old boy and he was the first to create electronic office system. He called it email, a term that had never been used before, and then he went and got official recognition by the U.S. government," he told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, referring to himself.
Ayyadurai said his modest background prevented him from getting the recognition he deserved.
"After that took place, you have a sense of disbelief among people that comes from not so much the technology issue, but there’s a lot of economic issues associated here," he continued. "[The discovery] wasn't done at MIT; it wasn’t done at the military; it wasn’t done at a big institution. It was done in Newark, NJ, one of the poorest cities in the United States. It was done by a dark-skinned immigrant kid, 14 years old."
The creation of email falls under the pretext of the "American dream," Ayyadurai explained, and he feels that those who challenge him as the inventor are afraid of upward mobility and change.
"The narrative there is what changes and shocks certain people who want to control the narrative that innovation can only take place under their bastions," he said. "The truth is that the American dream is really about [the fact that] innovation can take place anytime, by anybody."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oil -- not global terror.

By CJ Werleman 

We Aren't Trying to End Global Terror: We're After the Oil

You won’t hear Middle East oil mentioned on the cable news airwaves. You will hear “clash of civilizations,”" religiously motivated terrorism,” and any number of similar phrases that are meant to distract and divert us from facing the central dispute between us and the Muslim world: we are addicted to the oil beneath their feet, and we intend to dominate the land they stand on.
The Muslim world isn’t as ignorant as Christian crusaders, the military industrial complex and the vast know-nothing right wing would have you believe. After all, what uncivilized, stupid people could produce algebra, geometry and our concept of the rule of law? The Muslim world is smart enough to figure out that America has invested all of the past 70 years into dominating control of Middle East oil supplies. We have propped despotic regimes and brutal dictators, overthrown democratically elected governments and waged three wars in two decades on Muslim soil. All while we fund and are complicit in Israel’s illegal occupation and theft of Palestinian land.
ISIS is the product of our own imagination and self-serving meddling. After we removed Saddam and his Sunni quasi-government, ISIS was the response by those Sunnis blocked from enjoying economic participation in Iraq.
It’s time to face reality and the monster in the mirror: we are not trying to end global terror, nor are we trying to promote Western secular democracy in the Middle East. Our motivations and desires are no secret. We do everything to ensure that we, and our allies, particularly Japan, have a reliable supply to the region’s liquid gold.
With a total of 44 U.S. military bases in the Middle East and the Central Asia, we have the Muslim world completely surrounded. From Turkey to Saudi Arabia, from Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan, our bases serve as a constant reminder to Muslims that we control their economic future and we are here to stay. And with an economic future that looks bleak for Muslims, the embers for Muslim rage are stoked.
“Terrorism is not a supply-limited phenomenon where there are just a few hundred around the world willing to do it because they are religious fanatics. It is a demand-driven phenomenon. That is, it is driven by the presence of foreign forces on the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. The operation in Iraq has stimulated suicide terrorism and has given suicide terrorism a new lease of life,” writes Robert Pape in Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism.
The U.S. State Department has announced that Westerners, mostly British Muslims, are being drawn to ISIS. Media outlets everywhere ask why. The answer is clear. The UK has the greatest concentration of Muslims among Western democracies. Muslims were pulled from former British colonies during the 1940s to provide cheap labor for the reconstruction of Britain in the aftermath of the second world war. The textile and steel mills in the north of England were filled with Muslim migrants from Asia and Africa.
Industrial collapse turned these mills into dust heaps, and today Muslim urban ghettos in the UK now resemble the socio-economic conditions of predominately black urban ghettos in America. For British Muslims, high unemployment is the norm, as is racial discrimination and anti-immigrant violence. For many, economic and social oppression at home looks a whole lot like the social and economic oppression that is occurring in Muslim countries abroad. The collapse of liberal democracies in the face of unfettered capitalism has failed minorities everywhere in the West.
Socio-economic insecurity is at the heart of all self-proclaimed religiously motivated extremism. Where social justice prevails, and the state meets the economic needs of its people, hyper-religious ideologies lack appeal.
French political scholar Oliver Roy argues, “This notion of a globalized Islam is not the product of any specific ‘Islamist’ organization but a broad sociological trend that has developed across Europe as a result of racism, migration, and globalization.” In Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq, Muslims have been oppressed and had war waged upon them. “In principle—all the struggles for Muslims around the world were to be regarded as equally important” in this global ummah, Roy writes. This is why we now find Western Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
In returning to the Middle East, and its oil, our posture and actions promise to become even more aggressive, as oil reserves inevitably diminish. In an in-depth look into Saudi oil production over the past 40 years, Matthew R. Simmons warns in his book Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy that Saudi oil production is a far cry from the boastful claims long made by the kingdom regarding the robustness of its oilfields. According to Simmons, Saudi oil production peaked at 10 million barrels a day in 1981. Today it is 8 to 9 million barrels and falling. No super giant oil fields have been found in the region since the 1950s.
The very reason U.S. military bases, which are the size of small cities, exist in Saudi Arabia is to ensure our access to this diminishing supply. The oppressive Saudi regime wants us there to ensure neighboring countries don’t eye their oil. The central and founding charter of Al Qaeda was to remove our bases from the Holy Land. It was no coincidence that 17 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.
“We can have peace when we shut down our bases, stay the hand of the Israelis to create a Palestinian state, and go home, or we can have long, costly, and ultimately futile regional war. We cannot have both,” warns Chris Hedges. With our addiction to Middle East oil supplies, we can expect the latter, which means 2001 was the start of our endless war with the Muslim world.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gaza is a crime made in America and Europe as well as Jerusalem.

By Seumas Milne

The carnage unleashed on the Palestinians is part of a decades-old routine that depends on western support.

Global revulsion at the mind-numbing carnage of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza seems finally to have spurred some of the western political class to speak out. The resignation of Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s first Muslim cabinet minister, in protest against her government’s “morally indefensible” stance, emboldened Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, to demand the suspension of arms export licences to Israel.

Last week it was Ed Miliband who condemned Israel’s invasion and the prime minister’s “silence on the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians”. Even the United States administration denounced its strategic protege’s “disgraceful” bombardment of a school, while Barack Obama described Palestinian suffering as “ heartbreaking” – as if he had nothing to do with it.

Now that Israelis and Palestinians have arrived in Cairo to turn the ceasefire into something more long-lasting, perhaps it feels safer to take a stand. But a month of indiscriminate brutality in which 1,875 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed is still presented, grotesquely, as a war of Israeli self-defence – rather than as a decades-long confrontation between occupier and occupied, in which western governments stand resolutely on the side of the occupier.

And while the overwhelming majority of Palestinian dead are civilians – 430 of them children – and 64 of the Israeli dead are soldiers, it is Hamas that is branded terrorist, rather than the Israeli armed forces armed with the most sophisticated targeting technology in the world.

It’s only necessary to consider for a moment what the reaction would have been if the death toll had been the other way round to realise how loaded are the scales of western moral outrage and selective the appetite for action. And it’s only by ignoring the entire history of the conflict that it can be portrayed as the result of some wearisome ancient ethnic hatred.

This week’s centenary of the outbreak of the first world war should help. David Cameron claims it was fought for freedom. In reality, it was a savage industrial slaughter perpetrated by a gang of imperial powers to carve up territories, markets and resources.

Far from defending democracy or the rights of small nations, Britain and France ended the war divvying up the defeated German and Ottoman empires between them, from Iraq to Palestine. A century on, we’re still living with the consequences.

In my own family, both my grandmothers lost brothers in the 1914-18 war. One was George Mackay Clark, who fought with the Royal Scots in Gallipoli and the campaign to conquer Palestine. He was killed in November 1917, just outside Gaza.

Ten days earlier, a British foreign secretary had signed the Balfour declaration, which on behalf of one people promised to a second the land of a third. Palestine would be a “home for the Jewish people” provided that nothing would prejudice the rights of the “existing non-Jewish communities”, as the Palestinians were described.

So began its full-scale colonisation by mainly European settlers – something that could have happened only under colonial rule – which three decades later would lead to the establishment of Israel and the dispossession or expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian people.

Four Arab-Israeli wars on, the 44% of Palestine allocated to the Palestinian majority under the 1947 UN partition plan had been entirely occupied by Israel – and the Palestinians were fighting a guerrilla war for self-determination and the refugees’ right of return.

The other day I came across a copy of Newsweek magazine from March 1978, with a picture of an Israeli tank on the cover under the headline “Israel strikes back”. Then it was south Lebanon that Israel was punishing, not Gaza – and the “terrorists” of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation, not Hamas, that its forces were targeting.

Israel staged an even larger-scale invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and occupied the south for another 18 years. Since the Oslo agreement of the early 1990s failed to produce the Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza it was supposed to, Israel has colonised, bombed and reinvaded the Palestinian territories it illegally occupies (along with Syria and Lebanon) time and again: in 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2012.

The justification is always the same: the security of the occupier must be upheld against the resistance of the occupied and blockaded population. And at every stage Israel has had the military, financial and diplomatic support of the west, the US above all.

Despite the hand-wringing, that backing has been unwavering throughout the past month’s devastation of Gaza. Not only is Israel’s right of “self-defence” in a territory it illegally controls upheld, while the same right is denied to the Palestinians, but the US, whose military aid to Israel runs to $3bn a year, has been re-supplying it with weapons as its troops and aircraft pulverised and massacred their way through an impoverished territory from which its captive people are unable to escape.

Europe is in the same game. Britain has licensed the sale of a startling £8bn worth of military or dual-use equipment since 2010, and £42m of direct arms sales – including parts for drones and tanks used in the destruction of Gaza.

But a month on, Israel has failed to achieve its objectives. It has “mown the lawn”, as Israel’s military likes to describe its campaigns of destruction and bloodletting. But Hamas has been strengthened by its defiance and military performance; its rate of rocket fire was barely reduced by Israel’s attacks; and the united front with other Palestinian groups Israel is so keen to destroy has been shored up by the campaign.

If the Palestinians are going to break out of their current subjection, that will have to go further. For the rest of the world it’s the outrageous big-power backing for Israel’s 47-year illegal occupation, colonisation and denial of Palestinian rights – while orchestrating an endless phoney peace process that simply allows the land grab to continue – that has to be challenged and dismantled.

Global public opinion has shifted decisively in favour of justice for the Palestinians. What’s needed is to turn that into unrelenting pressure for an end to support for occupation, an arms embargo and sanctions, from above and below. The horror of Gaza is a crime made in Washington and London, as well as Jerusalem.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hypocritical rulers of Brunei breaking their own sharia laws.

Hypocritical rulers of Brunei breaking their own sharia laws.

By Jillian Lauren, in the Daily Beast

As a teenager, I was the mistress of his brother—who ‘gave’ me as a gift

to the sultan. And in just one night, we committed at least two offenses

under his newly implemented penal code.On Tuesday, I was greeted by

a familiar face when I read through the morning’s news: the sultan of

Brunei. He looks older now than when I knew him, of course, his face

doughier and more careworn.

When I was still a teenager, I was the mistress of the sultan’s brother,

the prince of Brunei. My usual stance is that they weren’t bad guys,

really. Just human and impossibly rich. I have often wondered what I

would have done in their place, given all the power and money in the

world. I’ve never come up with a satisfactory answer. Now the sultan is

making headlines for implementing Sharia law in Brunei, including a

new penal code that includes stoning to death for adultery, cutting off

limbs for theft, and flogging for violations such as abortion, alcohol

consumption, and homosexuality. There’s also capital punishment for

rape and sodomy.

I am no expert in international human rights. My only qualification in

commenting on this issue is that one drunken evening in the early ’90s,

the sultan and I committed at least two of the aforementioned offenses

as we looked down on the lights of Kuala Lumpur from a penthouse


Let me back up a bit.

I had barely turned 18 when I found myself at a “casting call” at the

Ritz-Carlton in New York for what I was told would be a position at a

nightclub in Singapore. When I got the job, I learned that the job wasn’t

in Singapore at all. Instead, it was an invitation to be the personal guest

of the notorious playboy Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the youngest brother of

the sultan of Brunei. At the time, the sultan was the wealthiest man in

the world. I was a wild child consumed with wanderlust. I was hardly an
innocent, but I was—when I accepted the invitation—very, very young.

I imagine the man I once knew, holed up in a posh hotel suite

somewhere, maybe with another American teenager in his lap, making

laws that legislate morality.

When I arrived in Brunei, I found out that the prince threw lavish parties

every night, in a palace with Picassos in the bathrooms and carpets

woven through with real gold. At these parties there was drinking (which

was not legal in public), dancing, some fairly hilarious karaoke, and,

most important, women—about 30 or 40 beauties from all over the world,

comprising a harem of sorts.

The prince was rakish and clever and yes, even charming at times. I

spent the next year and some change as his girlfriend. For a time, it

was an adventure both glamorous and exciting. It was also lonely and

demoralizing, and full of constant low-grade humiliations, including

being given to the prince’s brother as a gift. Although I was by no

means a prisoner, I wasn’t free to come and go as I pleased. By the end

of my time there, I felt 10 years older and still not wise enough. It took

me a long time to regain my footing, though I did find my way

eventually. My struggles were internal and they were my own. In this

context, they were a privilege.

Stoning is practiced or authorized by law in 15 countries now. It is

disproportionally applied as a punishment for women, often as a

penalty for adultery. Human rights groups, including Amnesty

International and Human Rights Watch, consider it cruel and unusual

punishment and torture. According to the international rights

organization Women Living Under Muslim Law, stoning “is one of the

most brutal forms of violence perpetrated against women in order to

control and punish their sexuality and basic freedoms.”

And yet it is the privilege of the prince and the sultan to misbehave. The

picaresque escapades and legendary extravagances of the brothers are

indulged with a collective wink. For everyone else residing within

Brunei’s borders, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, freedoms are curtailed,

and those limitations now are potentially enforced by brutal violence.

Cast stones at me if you will for my past improprieties—plenty have. Of

course, those stones will be metaphorical. As the citizen of a free

society, it is my right to transgress, as long as I don’t break any laws or

impinge on the freedom of others.

It’s my prerogative to sleep with all the princes I damn well feel like. I

live with my choices.

As the citizens of Brunei face the erosion of their rights, I imagine the

man I once knew, holed up in a posh hotel suite somewhere, maybe

with another American teenager in his lap, making laws that legislate


Jillian Lauren is the author of The New York Times bestseller Some

Girls: My Life in a Harem.

Friday, April 11, 2014

India has got talent.

Ever since waves of Indian graduates poured into Silicon Valley in Northern California in the 1970s and 1980s, talented Indians have made breakthroughs, pushed boundaries and held positions of power in the world of technology and media.

Almost all the big US technology companies have technology pioneers of Indian descent, including the fathers of the USB and technology blogging.

Satya Nadella in February became Microsoft's chief executive, replacing Steve Ballmer, which instantly propelled him into the highest-profile slot, but he is by no means the first Indian to make waves in the technology industry.

Ajay Bhatt

One of the most unsung technology pioneers is Ajay Bhatt, an Indian-American computer architect who is credited as being the father of the USB standard – something that almost every computing device uses today in some form or another.

Born in 1957, Bhatt graduated from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India and then went on to received a master’s degree from The City University of New York before joining Intel in 1990.

He became Intel’s chief client platform architect, but not before co-inventing USB, as well as several other crucial standards in graphics and computer architecture holding 31 US patents.

In recognition for his contribution to the PCI Express standard, which underlies several of the modern computer connection standards including the high-speed Thunderbolt connection, Bhatt received an Achievement in Excellence Award in 2002.
Intel's 'Rockstars' of technology advert featured an actor portraying the father of the USB, Ajay Bhatt.

In 2009, Intel proclaimed Bhatt as a rockstar of tech through a TV advert - despite Bhatt being played by an actor it pushed his profile into the public spotlight.

Vinod Dham

Intel was not short of talented Indians. The father of the famous Intel Pentium processor, Vinod Dham, originally hailed from Pune in India.
Intel Pentium processor The Intel Pentium processor was a massive leap forward in processing power and lead to the chips built into laptops and computers today.
Dham, born in 1950, graduated in electrical engineering from the Delhi College of Engineering is 1971, later moving to the US and gaining a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Cincinnati in 1977.

He specialised in solid state electronics – the technology underlaying the storage found in every smartphone and tablet computer as well as many laptops – working on flash memory at NCR Corporation before joining Intel. There he led the development of the Pentium processor, as well as co-inventing Intel’s first flash memory technology, before rising to the rank of vice-president of microprocessors.

Dham left Intel in 1995 ending up at Intel’s largest rival in the computer chip business AMD, before moving onto a series of startups and then becoming a venture capitalist focused on early stage startups in India.

Vinod Khosla

Born in 1955 in Delhi, India, Khosla was inspired into a career in technology by reading about the founding of Intel in 1968 at the age of 14. He gained a degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi before moving to the US to obtain a masters in biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a masters from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1980.
Vinod Khosla Vinod Khosla, electronic engineer turned venture capitalist.

In 1980, leaving academia, Khosla joined electronic design automation company Daisy Systems before leaving in 1982 to co-found Sun Microsystems along with Stanford alumni Scott McNealy and Andy Bechtolsheim, as well as Bill Joy. There Khosla served as Sun’s chief executive until 1984.

Khosla joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm, as a general partner in 1987 investing in technology firms and Indian finance companies. Khosla then left the company in 2004 to start his own venture capitalist firm, Khosla Ventures, which manages around $1bn of investment capital and invests in clean technology and information technology startups.

Sundar Pichai

Indian talent is woven into the core of the software technologies most people use every day. One of Nadella’s suggested rivals for the job of Microsoft’s chief executive was Sundar Pichai, currently the man overseeing Android, Chrome and apps at Google.
Google Street View car Google's Street View Cars capture the real-life images knitted into the on-the-ground photos integrated into Google Maps.

Born in Tamil Nadu, India in 1972, Pichai attained a degree in technology from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur before gaining masters degrees from both Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Pichai worked at technology company Applied Materials and consultancy firm McKinsey & Company before joining Google in 2004. There he initially led the development of the company’s software, including the Chrome browser, Chrome OS, Drive, Gmail and Maps. He also announced Google’s open-source video format VP8 and WebM in 2010.

When the father of Android, Andy Rubin, move away from Android to take up the lead of Google’s robotics efforts, Pichai was given oversight of the Android mobile software in 2013.

Sabeer Bhatia

Another pioneering web service, Hotmail, was founded by an Indian technology talent who emigrated to the US in the 1980s.
Sabeer Bhatia Sabeer Bhatia, co-founder of Hotmail, the enormously successful free internet email service bought by Microsoft.

Born in 1968 in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, Sabeer Bhatia moved to the US in 1988 to study at the California Institute of Technology transferring from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science. Bhatia then went on to obtain a masters in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Leaving academia, Bhatia briefly worked for Apple as a hardware engineer before moving to a Cannon subsidiary FirePower Systems Inc. He was struck by the fact that software was accessible on the internet via a browser, which birthed the idea of email in the browser.

Bhatia linked up with a colleague, Jack Smith, to launch Hotmail in 1996, which became one of the biggest email providers in the world and was bought by Microsoft in 1998. In 1999, Bhatia then left Microsoft and founded an e-commerce firm, Arzoo Inc, before starting a free messaging service called JaxtrSMS.

Vic Gundotra

Another high-profile, Google engineer from India is Vic Gundotra, who is known as Google’s social tsar and the man behind the Google+ social network.
Vic Gundotra Google's Vic Gundotra is the man behind Google+ and Google's social strategy.

Gundotra, born in 1968 in Mumbai, India, had been a Microsoft man since 1991. He rose up the ranks eventually becoming the general manage of platform evangelism, promoting Microsoft’s services to independent developers. He also played a role in Microsoft’s strategy to compete with Google’s online services with its Windows Live services, including instant messaging and email, which likely lead to his later move.

In 2007, Gundotra joined Google and became vice president of social, instrumental in the development of Google+ and its integration into almost every aspect of Google’s services.

Amit Singhal

Away from Google’s higher profile senior management, a somewhat lesser known Indian talent is Amit Singhal, who oversees Google’s core business of search - something around 1.1 billion people use every month.
Google search Amit Singhal rewrote Google search engine in 2001.

Born in 1968 in Jhansi, India, Singhal gained a computer science degree from IIT Roorkee in 1989 before moving to the US and receiving a masters from the University of Minnesota in 1991. Singhal continued his academic career at Cornell University attaining a doctorate in 1996 and working with the father of digital search, Gerad Salton.

Having joined AT&T Labs in 1996, Singhal worked on search technologies, including information and speech retrieval. He then moved to Google in 2000 to join his friend, Krishna Bharat who was himself an Indian research scientist and the creator of Google News.

Singhal now oversees search for Google, responsible for the algorithms that deliver search results, and rewrote Google’s search engine in 2001. In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and given the Outstanding Achievement in Science and Technology Award at The Asian Awards.

Ruchi Sanghvi

India’s software talent in big US companies is not limited to search. Born in 1982 in Pune, India, Ruchi Sanghvi became Facebook’s first female engineer, joining the social network in 2005.
Ruchi Sanghvi Ruchi Sanghvi, Facebook's first female engineer now works at Dropbox.

Sanghvi moved to the US and gained a bachelors and masters degree in electrical computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2004. She worked at Oracle before breaking the male-dominated engineering mould by joining Facebook in 2005.

At Facebook Sanghvi was one of the primary engineers working on the first iteration of what was set to become the mainstay of Facebook, the News Feed. It was launched in 2006, but Sanghvi and team were rebuked by users and critics alike for its privacy implications. That lead her and her team to a 48-hour coding session, rapidly creating the first iteration of Facebook’s complicated privacy controls.

Later that year, Sanghvi was made a principal product manager at Facebook, overseeing the company’s software platform as well as the News Feed, but left Facebook in 2010.

In 2011, Sanghvi co-founded a collaboration startup called Cove along with another Indian Facebook engineer and Carnegie Mellon University alumni Aditya Agarwal. File syncing service Dropbox announced in 2012 that it had acquired Cove, which led to Sanghvi joining the company, where she is currently the vice president of operations.

Padmasree Warrior

Sanghvi may have been Facebook’s first female engineer, but she was by no means the first female Indian engineer to make it big in technology.
Padmasree Warrior Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s chief technology officer, worked for Motorola for 23 years.
Born in 1961 in Vijayawada, India, Padmasree Warrior gained a degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi in 1982 before moving to the US and graduating from Cornell University with a masters in chemical engineering.

From Cornell Warrior started her 23-year-career with Motorola in 1984. Starting out as only one of a few women at the company’s Arizona facility, she rose through the ranks. Warrior served as general manager of Motorola’s Energy Systems Group, as well as chief technology officer of its Semiconductor Products department and general manager of Thoughtbeam before it was shut down.

In 2003, Warrior became a senior vice president and Motorola’s chief technology officer, before being promoted to executive vice president in 2005. Under her tenure, Motorola won the National Medal of Technology from the President of the United States for the first time in 2004.

Warrior remained chief technology officer at Motorola until 2007, where she left to take over the same role at Cisco Systems, which she holds to this day.

Shantanu Narayen

Indian technology talent also sits at the top of the creative tools industry. Shantanu Narayen, born in 1963 in Hyderabad, India, currently serves as Adobe Systems chief executive; a software and services company the develops the world famous Photoshop among other products.
Shantanu Narayen Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s chief executive, started his career at Apple before co-founding a pioneering digital photo sharing company.
Growing up in Hyderabad, Narayen went to Osmania University in India and gained a degree in electronic engineer before moving to the US. There he obtained a masters in business from the University of California, Berkeley and a masters in computer science from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Narayen started his computer graphics career at Apple before moving to Silicon Graphics to be its director of desktop collaboration products. He then left Silicon Graphics to co-found the pioneer of digital photo sharing over the internet, Pictra Inc.

In 1998 Narayen started his 16-year career at Adobe, joining the company as vice president of worldwide product research. He was later promoted to executive vice president before becoming chief operating officer of the company in 2005 at the age of 41.

Narayen was one of the driving forces behind Adobe’s $3.4bn acquisition of multi-media company Macromedia in 2005 before being appointed chief executive of Adobe in 2007.

President Barack Obama recognised Narayen in 2011 by appointing him as a member of the new Management Advisory Board, which was established by an Executive Order in 2010 to advise on how to implement the best technology practices within the government.

Om Malik

Indian pioneering talent is not isolated to software and hardware engineering, however. Om Malik, one of the forefathers of professional technology news blogging, is another shining example of Indian expertise at the forefront of technology.
Om Malik Om Malik, one of the fathers of the technology news blog.
Malik was born in 1966 in New Delhi and gained a degree in chemistry from St Stephens’ College in New Delhi in 1986. Launching out into a writing career in news, initially as a typesetter in India, Malik moved to New York in 1993 working for India Abroad and Forbes.

In 1994 Malik showed his entrepreneurial spirit launching an events site for Indian emigrants called DesiParty.com, and then launching the South Asian targeted Masala magazine and website that same year.

Malik left Forbes in 1999 to dabble in venture capital investments, but returned to writing in 2000, moving to San Francisco and joining Business 2.0 magazine. But it wasn’t until 2001 that Malik launched his own blog GigaOM, published by the newly created GigaOmniMedia. One of the first tech blogs it is consistently ranked among the top technology news sites in the world.

In 2006 Malik went full time on GigaOM, transforming it from a one-man-band into a multi-writer news site, later adding other blogs including Earth2Tech and The Apple Blog to a newly formed GigaOM Network of blogs.

The other blogs in the network were eventually rolled into the master GigaOM blog, while Malik launched a professional research arm to complement the consumer side of technology news.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Religion can be made to look ridiculous and funny.

By Rob Bricken 

12 Craziest, Most Awful Things God Did in the Old Testament

Before Jesus arrived and his divine father chilled out, the Old Testament God was, ironically, kind of a hellraiser. He was not a nice guy. He really liked killing people. And he may have actually been insane, if his willingness to randomly murder devout worshippers like Moses was any indication. Here are the 12 craziest, most awful things God did in the Old Testament, back before that wacked-out hippie Jesus softened him up.
1) Sending Bears to Murder Children
So a guy named Eliseus was traveling to Bethel when a bunch of kids popped up and made fun of him for being bald. That had to suck, and you can't blame Eliseus for being pissed and cursing them to God. But God had Eliseus' back, by which I mean he sent two bears to maul 42 of these kids to death. For making fun of a bald dude. I have to think Eliseus was looking for something along the lines of a spanking, or maybe the poetic justice of having the kids go bald, but nope, God went straight for the bear murder. But on the plus side, that pile of 40+ children's corpses never made fun of anybody again. (4 Kings 2:23-24 [3])
2) Turning Lot's Wife to Salt
Most folks know about the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities of sin God decided to kill everyone in instead of, you know, making them not full of sin. But this was a town that, when two angels were staying at Lot's place, gathered en masse and asked if they could rape them. I repeat: They wanted to rape angels. So they kind of had their destruction coming. Lot and his family were sent from the city before things went down, and Lot's wife looked back, and God turned her into a pillar of salt. It's generally understood that Lot's wife was looking back in a wistful kind of way at her angel-raping hometown, but the fact is there's nothing in the Bible to suggest this. Nor was Lot's family warned about looking back. Maybe Lot's wife wanted to see Sodom and Gomorrah get what was coming to it. Maybe she was thinking wistfully of the things she had to leave behind. Maybe she wondered if she left the oven on. We'll never know, because God turned her into seasoning for breaking a rule she didn't know existed. (Genesis 19:26)
3) Hating Ugly People
In what should be good news for intolerant religious conservatives, God really does hate people who are different from the norm. Of course, God isn't as worried about skin color or sexual orientation as he is about whether you're ugly or not. Because if you're ugly, you can just go worship some other god, okay? (Even though God will punish you if you do and also they don't exist.) Here's the people God does not want coming into his churches: People with blemishes, blind people, the lame, those with flat noses, dwarves, people with scurvy, people with bad eyes, people with bad skin, and those that "hath their stones broken." Given that God is technically responsible for giving people all of these afflictions in the first place, this is an enormous dick move. (Leviticus 21:17-24)
4) Trying to Kill Moses
In terms of people who God likes, you'd think Moses would be pretty high up on the list, right? I mean, God appointed him to lead the Jews out of Egypt, parted the Red Sea for him, and even picked him to receive the 10 Commandments, right? Yet this didn't stop God from trying to kill Moses when he ran into him at "a lodging place." There is literally no explanation given in the Bible for God's decision to murder one of his chief supporters. The line is "At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses and was about to kill him." The only sensible explanation for this is that God was drunk out of his mind and looking for a bar fight, and you better hope that's correct because the alternative is that God's a psychopath. How was God stopped from murdering his #1 fan? "But [Moses' wife] Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses' feet with it ... So the Lord let him alone." Either the sight of a very unexpected circumcision sobered God up quickly, or he didn't want to touch a dude who just touched a severed foreskin. Still, it's Moses' son who's the real victim here. (Exodus 4:24-26)
5) Committing So Much Genocide
God has killed so many people, you guys. Okay, I mean technically, God has killed everyone if you subscribe to Judeo-Christian thought, but I'm not talking about indirect methods, I'm talking about God murdering countless people in horrible ways simply because he's pissed off. God drowning every single person on the planet besides Noah and his family is pretty well known, but he also helped the Israelites murder everyone in Jericho, Heshbon, Bashan and many more, usually killing women, children and animals at the same time. Hell, God once helped some Israelites kill 500,000 other Israelites. God's crazy.
6) Ordering His Underlings to Kill Their Own Children
God is obviously good at big picture dickishness, but he also took the time to be a dick on a more personal level. Abraham was another devout man who God decided to fuck with, apparently because he knew he could. God ordered him to sacrifice his son to God (God was a fan of human sacrifice at the time). We know Abraham loved his son, so he was probably kind of upset with this, but hey, God's God, right? So Abraham tricked his unsuspecting son up a mountain onto a sacrificial altar and prepared to murder him. This story actually has a happy ending, in that right before Abraham drove a knife into his son's throat, God yelled "Psyche!" and told him it was only a test. And then Abraham received some blessings after that for being willing to kill his own child at God's whim. And all it took was the dread of being forced to kill his own child on behalf of his angry deity and, presumably, a shit-ton of awkward family dinners for the rest of his life. Abraham got off better than Jephthah, who had to follow through with murdering his daughter (burning her alive, specifically) in order to get on God's good side before battling the Ammonites. (Genesis 22:1-12)
7) Killing Egyptian Babies
Let's be completely up front: The Egyptians and the Jews did not get along. According to the Bible, the Egyptians enslaved the Jews, but the Jews had God on their side, if you kind of ignore God letting his people be enslaved in the first place. Rather getting his worshippers the hell out of there, God wanted to show those damned Egyptians what for, releasing 10 plagues that began with turning the river Nile into pure blood, and ending with the slaughter of the first-born of every single Egyptian man and animal. Now, I suppose it's possible that some, or even most of these first-born were adults who were shitty to the Israelites. But some of them had to be babies who didn't even have the time to persecute the Jews yet. And what the hell did the animals do to the Jews to get caught up in this nightmare? Were there proto-Nazi cows running around who needed to be punished for their transgressions against the chosen people? And you realize there were cats in Egypt, right? Cats who had first-born? God killed kittens. (Numbers 16:41-49)
8) Killing a Dude for Not Making More Babies
So you're a dude named Onan and you have a brother named Er. God does not care for Er, and kills him. Standard God operating procedure. Then things gets weird. Onan's dad orders Onan to have sex with Er's wife — not marry, by the way, just have sex with. This is actually pretty awkward for Onan, sleeping with his sister-in-law, and rather than give her any more kids (she had two with Er already) he pulls out. God is so infuriated that Onan did not fuck his sister-in-law to completion that he kills him, too. Now, you could argue that God demands that intercourse be used specifically for procreation, but given how much God loves killing babies and children, I don't think his motives here are exceptionally pure. (Genesis 38:1-10)
9) Helping Samson Murder People to Pay Off a Bet
More evidence that God is possibly a low-level mobster: When his pal Samson got married, he was given 30 friends, and he posed them (a completely insane) riddle. Then he made a bet that if they could solve it in a week, Samson would give them all new clothes, but if they couldn't they would give Samson 30 pairs of new clothes. Well, Samson's wife wheedled the answer out of him and then told these dudes, at which point an angry Samson had to pay up. And here's where God comes in — literally, into Samson, giving him the power to murder 30 random people for their clothes. Only a true friend would help you commit mass murder to settle a completely stupid bet. (Judges 14:1-19)
10) Trying to Wrestle a Guy, Cheating, and Still Losing
And here's more evidence that God is a drunk maniac: Jacob was traveling with his two wives, his 11 kids, and all his earthly possessions and had sent them across a river. At that moment, a guy essentially leapt out of the bushes and started wrestling. It's God! They wrestle all night, and God cannot beat Jacob, so he uses his magic God powers to wrench Jacob's hip out of its socket. But Jacob still won't let him out of a headlock until God blesses him, because Jacob has figured out who this bizarre man is. God blesses him and wanders off, presumably to go get in a bar fight somewhere. (Genesis 32: 22-31)
11) Killing People for Complaining About God Killing Them
To be fair, after God freed the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, they were extraordinarily bitchy about not instantly being in a land of milk and honey. It got so bad that God was ready to kill all of them and let Moses start the Jews over, although Moses managed to talk him out of it. But one of their more sensible complaints was that Moses was lording himself over the rest of them, which was probably true, seeing as God had given him the 10 Commandments and all that. So Moses summoned the three tribal elders who had made the complaint to a Monday morning staff meeting, but two of them didn't come. Neither Moses nor God cared for that, and God opened up the grounds beneath their people's tents, killing both tribes (God also set fire to 250 Israelite princes who'd made the same complaint). Having been well admonished that Moses was putting himself above the rest of the people with God's permission, a number of surviving Israelites were kind of pissed that Moses and God had killed so many of their fellow people to prove a point. God responded by killing another 14,700 of them with a plague. The complaints stopped. (Numbers 16:1-49)
12) Everything He Did to Job
Oh, Job. Other than a shit-ton of babies, no one had it worse in the Bible than Job, who was a righteous, good-hearted man who believed in God with every fiber in his being — which is when God decides to see how miserable he can make this dude before he gets upset. Note: This is a result of a bet between God and Satan. Also note: The bet is God's idea. He's literally just hanging out with Satan — which is kinda weird when you think about it — when he starting bragging about how awesome Job is. Satan points out that Job's pretty blessed — he's rich, he's got a lot of kids, etc., and he probably wouldn't be quite so thrilled with God if he didn't have that stuff. God downs his bourbon, presumably, and tells Satan he can fuck with Job all he wants. Satan does. He kills all of Job's children and animals, burns down his house, destroys his wealth, and then covers him in boils. Job doesn't not curse God, but he does wish he'd never been born (literally) and begs God to kill him, but no dice. This lasts a long time until finally Job wonders why a just God would be so shitty. This is when God pops up and basically tells him."Shut up, I don't have to explain anything to you." Job, having finally done something wrong, pleads for mercy, and God eventually gives him back animals and children — new ones, because the old ones are still dead. Because of a bet. That God made with Satan. For kicks. (Job 1)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why you should not wear glasses.

The following is from the internet.

When your eyesight is bad, corrective eyewear is a big help when doing some important daily activities that require your focus and precision, like driving, reading etc. Most of the people take eyeglasses off only when they go to bed or take a shower. We wear them all the time. Do we need to? Do you know anybody who improved eyesight by wearing eyeglasses or lenses? No. This is, unfortunately, true with most of our health problems, whether it is our eyes, heart or joints. Doctor will give you something (pills, eyeglasses, knee replacement) that will hide the disease, make you comfortable living with it. And it continues to destroy your body. But what about curing, make disease go away - small percentage of doctors can do that.

Why you should almost never wear eyeglasses or contact lenses? In order to answer this question we need to know the way how our eyes work when they need to look at different objects. Our eyes act like camera when it focuses, they constantly adjust the focus, lengthening or shortening their components. The iris acts like the diaphragm of a camera, dilating and constricting the pupil to allow less or more light to get in. The extraocular muscles move and rotate the eye in different directions. They also perform coarse focusing by changing the shape of the eyeball to move retina father or closer to the lens depending on the distance to the objects. Ciliary muscle, which is attached to the lens with small fibers, performs fine tuning on the object by changing the shape of the lens.

As you can see all of the eye components constantly move.

When we wear glasses we give most of the focusing work eye muscles do to the glasses.

Also if you wear eyeglasses try this: look at something on the left and then at something on the right. Did your eyeballs move or you were just turning your head? Fixed position of glasses in front of your eyes and ability to see clearly only by looking at the center of eyeglasses’ lens makes you move your whole head instead of moving your eyes. So eye muscles stop working as much as they used to.

What happens to the astronauts when they come back to Earth after several month in space - they cannot walk, their legs’ muscles weakened by absence of gravitation cannot hold the body. When I had ski accident and couldn’t walk, my strong legs became like matchsticks in 8 months (now I exercise and they are getting back to normal). Muscle atrophy happens fast, first it is cane, then wheel chair, then bed, then …

See analogy – eyeglasses -2, then -4, -6, -20, blindness. Ophthalmologists know that, but why would they care, you will provide steady income for them by regularly changing to glasses with stronger lenses. I also need to mention that eyeglasses change your face structure and therefore your appearance.

I need to highlight another point. I do not think that anybody else mentioned that eye sockets become narrower trying to get used to eyeglasses frame. It makes your eyes look smaller and the eye hollows deeper which does not make you look prettier. The cheeck bones move up and you face does not look proportional anymore. There are certain cranial sacral exercises that can help to widen eye sockets and help to move face bones back to place. But this is later.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This is what happens when you try to visit the United States.

By Niels Gerson Lohman 
Why I Will Never, Ever, Go Back to the United States
This trip, however, was for my dad. He, a trumpet player, loved New Orleans and had died a year ago. It felt like the first sensible trip I undertook this year. I had been searching for ways to forget about the last hours at his deathbed. He had been ill for 15 years and his body just would not give up. It was a violent sight. I had decided the trip to New Orleans would put an end to those memories.
Usually, I barely plan my trips in advance. But this time I had booked everything: my train tickets, hotels and my flight back to Montreal, from which I would depart back to Amsterdam. In total the trip was supposed to take three weeks. The confirmations and tickets I had printed and tucked away in a brown envelope I had bought especially for the trip. I like things to be neatly arranged. At home, in Amsterdam, my house enjoys a slight version of OCD.
The first part of the trip, from Montreal to New York, is known to be one of the world's prettiest train routes. When we had just passed the sign 'Welcome to the State of New York,' the train pulled over for a border check. I put the brown envelope on my lap. On top of the envelope I filled in my migration form with utmost dedication. I love border crossings. Forms don't lie.
The customs officer walked by and asked everybody on the train a few questions. Where they were from, where they were heading. The usual stuff. Everybody who was not a U.S. or Canadian citizen was to head for the dining car to fill in an additional green form.
In the dining car sat a cheerful looking family from the Middle East and a German man with a mouth in which a small frisbee could easily be inserted. I took the seat across the German, who had already filled in his green paper, and started on my own, dedicated, hoping to impress him. He was not throwing me friendly looks. The customs officer took the German's papers and welcomed him to America. They switched seats. He put his hands on the table and looked at me. We must have been of similar ages. He had a goatee and slid my passport towards him like it was a small gift.
I had not finished my novel yet, but my passport was complete. It was filled with pretty stamps. He did not like the stamps.
First, he saw my Sri Lankan stamp. The customs officer raised his eyebrows.
"Sri Lanka, what were you doing over there?"
"Surfing. Traveling. My best friend lives there. He is an architect."
The officer flipped on, seemingly satisfied. Secondly, he found my stamps from Singapore and Malaysia.
"What were you doing over there? Singapore and Malaysia? Aren't those countries Islamic?"
Looking over my shoulder, his eyes searched for his colleague's confirmation.
"Malaysia, I think so, yeah. But not Singapore. It's a melting pot. A very futuristic city. Airconditioned to the ceiling. To Singapore I went mostly for the food, to be honest."
"I'm sorry?"
"Nothing. And how about Malaysia?"
I explained flights departing from Malaysia were cheaper compared to Singapore. That I only went there for a few days, but also, a little bit, for the food. The customs officer went through some more pages. Then he found my Yemeni visa. He put my passport down and stared at me.
"What the hell were you doing in Yemen?"
"I went to the island Socotra, it's not on mainland Yemen. It's a small island closer to Somalia. A very special place, some call it 'Galapagos of the Middle East.' I think 85 percent of the plants and animals there, are indigenous."
"Weren't you scared?"
"Yeah. I was scared. When I was at the airport in mainland Yemen. That entire area is now taken by al Qaeda, I believe."
The customs officer was looking at my passport no longer. If he would have leafed through, he would have found Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi stamps.
That was the first time I had to open my suitcase. Six customs officers went through my two phones, iPad, laptop and camera. In my wallet they found an SD card I had totally forgotten about. They did not like that. By now I was the only one left in the dining car and the center of attention. I had put a raincoat in my suitcase, because I'd heard New Orleans tends to get hit by thunderstorms in the late summer. An officer held up the coat and barked:
"Who takes a coat to the U.S. in the summer?"
I answered it would keep me dry, in case the New Orleans levees would break again. The officer remained silent. He dropped my coat like a dishcloth.
The raincoat seemed to be the last straw. The customs officers exchanged looks.
"We'd like to ask you some more questions. But the train has to continue, so we're going to take you off here."
I looked out of the window. We weren't at a proper station. Along the tracks were piles of old pallets.
"Will you put me on another train, afterwards?"
"This is the only train. But in case we decide to let you in, we'll put you on a bus. Don't worry."
I started to worry. I packed my suitcase as quickly as possible and was escorted off the train. There were three officers in front of me, and three behind. My suitcase was too wide for the aisle, it kept getting stuck between the seats. I apologized to the train in general. While I struggled, the officers waited patiently and studied the relation between me and my suitcase.
Outside, we stopped in front of a white van. The officers permitted me to put my suitcase in the back and I was about climb into the van, when the they halted me.
"You are not under arrest. There is no need to be scared. But we would like to search you."
"I'm not scared. But it's kind of exciting. It's like I'm in a movie. You're just doing your job. I get that."
To me, that seemed the right attitude. They searched me for the first time then, just like in the movies. Before I climbed into the van, I had to give up my phones. I seemed unable to close my belt by myself, so an officer helped me out. This is when the sweating started.
In a little building made of corrugated tin, I opened my suitcase once more. Behind me, there was a man in tears. An officer was telling him about the prison sentence the man was looking forward to. He had been caught with a trunk full of cocaine. The man kept talking about a woman who seemed to be able to prove his innocence, but he was unable to reach her.
After that they searched me again. Thoroughly.
Just like in the movies.
In the room next to me they tried to take my fingerprints, but my hands were too clammy. It took half an hour. An officer said:
"He's scared."
Another officer confirmed:
"Yeah. He's scared."
I repeated, another attempt to be disarming:
"This is just like in the movies."
But border patrol is not easily disarmed.
In the five hours that followed, I was questioned twice more. During the first round I told, amongst others, my life's story, about my second novel's plot, gave my publisher's name, my bank's name and my real estate agent's name. Together we went through all the photos on my laptop and messages my phones had been receiving for the past months. They wrote down the names of everybody I had been in touch with. In my pirated software and movies they showed no interest.
During the second round of questioning, we talked about religion. I told them my mother was raised a Catholic, and that my dad had an atheist mother and a Jewish dad.
"We don't understand. Why would a Jew go to Yemen?"
"But... I'm not Jewish."
"Yeah, well. We just don't understand why would a Jew go to Yemen."
Again, I showed them the photos I took in Yemen and explained how nice the island's flora and fauna had been. That the dolphins come and hang out, even in the shallow water and how cheap the lobsters were. I showed them the Dragonblood trees and the Bedouin family where I had to eat goat intestines. They did not seem to appreciate it as much as I had.
"You yourself, what do you believe in?"
I thought about it for a second and replied.
"Nothing, really."
Obviously, I should have said:
"Freedom of speech."
When I'm supposed to watch my words, I tend to say the wrong ones.
The last hour was spent on phone calls about me. Now and then an officer came and asked me for a password on my equipment. By then, the cocaine trafficker had been brought to a cell where they did have a toilet. I continued my wait. An officer, who I had not seen before, flung the door open and asked if I was on the Greyhound heading to New York. I shrugged hopefully. He closed the door again, as if he had entered the wrong room.
Finally, two officers came rushing into my waiting room.
"You can pack your bag. And make sure you have everything."
They gave me my phones back. All apps had been opened. I had not used my phones that day, but the batteries were completely drained. Because I was soaked in sweat, I attempted to change shirts while packing my bag. It seemed like I had made it.
"How much time do we have? What time will the bus depart?"
"We don't know."
I was unable to find the entrance to my clean shirt. I held it high with two hands, as if it was a white flag.
"So... what's the verdict?"
"We are under the impression you have more ties with more countries we are not on friendly terms with than your own. We decided to bring you back to the Canadian border."
They brought me back. In the car, no words were said. It was no use. I was defeated. To the Canadian border they said:
"We got another one. This one is from the Netherlands."
The Canadian officer looked at me with pity. She asked if there was anything I needed. I said I could use some coffee and a cigarette. She took my passport to a back room and returned within five minutes, carrying an apologetic smile, a freshly stamped passport, coffee, a cigarette, and a ticket to the next bus back to Montreal.
I have been cursed at a Chinese border. In Dubai, my passport was studied by three veiled women for over an hour and my suitcase completely dismembered. In the Philippines I had to bribe someone in order to get my visa extended for a few days. Borders, they can be tough, especially in countries known for corruption.
But never, ever, will I return to the United States of America.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Why is the West trying to destroy Iran?

by Murtaza Hussain 

In 1920, the American historian Theodore Lothrop Stoddard published his famous work "The Rising Tide of Colour Against White World Supremacy [3]". The book is notable today for its frank discussion of the central role that racism played in geopolitics; especially in the context of the Western imperial project in Asia and Africa. In it Stoddard wrote:"The brown world, like the yellow world, is today in acute reaction against white supremacy … when faced by non-white opposition, white men have in the past instinctively tended to close their ranks against the common foe …. Future generations have a right to demand of us that they shall be born white in a white man's land."
While we rightly recoil today from the crude racial categorisations espoused by Stoddard, during his time, such views were extremely popular and were openly echoed at the highest echelons of political power. President Woodrow Wilson argued to his cabinet in 1917 that the United States must "keep the white race strong against the yellow [4]" and that "white civilisation and its domination of the planet rested largely on our ability to keep this country intact".
Going further, President Theodore Roosevelt openly discussed the benefits of "the expansion of the peoples of white, European, blood during the past four centuries [5]" and stated that in his view: "democracy needs no more complete vindication for its existence than the fact that it has kept for the white race the best portion of the new world's surface".
That such men were committed military imperialists [6] flowed naturally from their worldview; one in which the races of the world were organised into a clear hierarchy and where it was their prerogative to brutally subjugate all others.
While it has become impolitic to publicly express the same views today, contemporary events suggest that just beneath the surface the same impulses motivate many supposedly rational advocates of military action against "the brown world" in our own era.
Of Persian snake charmers
Where Roosevelt and Wilson inflicted the brunt of their violence on the peoples of Asia and on the "coloured" populations of their own nation [7], their modern heirs have in recent years directed their own state violence overwhelmingly against the peoples and nations of the Middle East.
The neoconservative hawks who were the architects of Iraq's destruction - apparently unfazed by their ghoulish record in this regard - have in recent years set their sights on the nation of Iran as their next target. To this end, crippling sanctions - designed to literally "take the food out of the Iranian peoples' mouths [8]" - have been implemented in an effort to inflict maximum suffering on the civilian population and to generate favourable conditions for another war. Disregard for the basic humanity of the many Iranians who will die in the course of such policies is a necessary accomplice to this project.
However, in recent weeks it would seem that a major setback has occurred to the neoconservative plan for another US war. A new Iranian government - conciliatory in its tone where its predecessor was shamelessly provocative - has come to power with the stated intention of reaching peaceful detente with the United States. Such a development necessarily makes the possibility of war more remote, and, to the chagrin of the neoconservatives, these overtures appear to have been cautiously welcomed [9] by the administration of President Barack Obama.
With their prized new war seemingly snatched from their grasp, it has been remarkable to watch the vast tantrum of anger and indignation among some hawks, in which the same racist beliefs which characterised past imperialism have bubbled back to the surface with remarkable speed.
From warnings to "beware of Persian snake charmers [10]", to allegations that for Iranians "deception is part of their DNA [11]", the prospect of a peaceful detente with Iran has brought out a seemingly inexhaustible cavalcade of frankly racist rhetoric.
As part of this campaign, long-time Pentagon official and neoconservative stalwart Harold Rohde has published a helpful primer on the apparently-monolithic "Iranian mind" and the dangers it poses in any negotiation. According to Rohde: [12]
"Compromise (as we in the West understand this concept) is seen as a sign of submission and weakness. When the West establishes itself as the most powerful force and shows strength and resolve, Iranians will most likely come on board ... it is for this reason that measures of good-will and confidence-building should be avoided at all costs."
In this are clear echoes of the stunningly ignorant claim - popularised during the era of the Iraq War - that "Arabs only understand force [13]", and that thus uniquely among human beings, they are incapable of appreciating empathy or conciliation.
Similarly, according to this overtly racist argument, Iranians too are unlike any other humans on Earth and are in fact more akin to animals or small children who must be shown firm discipline as opposed to respect or decency in the course of any negotiation.
With remarkably ignorant worldviews such as these informing their strategies, it is unsurprising that US foreign policy in the Middle East has been such a catastrophic failure over the past decade.
Dispatches from 'the villa in the jungle'
On October 1, Binyamin Netanyahu attended the UN General Assembly [14] to deliver an unapologetically aggressive, demeaning and hostile speech directed towards the just-elected president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani. In his address Netanyahu used language completely alien to the typically careful discourse of international diplomacy, calling Rouhani "a wolf in sheep's clothing", characterising him as an untrustworthy liar, and bizarrely stating at one point that "Rouhani thinks he can have his yellowcake [uranium] and eat it too". It is difficult to imagine such language openly directed against any other elected leader in a diplomatic forum such as this.
But as a representative of Ehud Barak's "villa in the jungle [15]" and the state that Theodor Herzl correctly said would exist as "a rampart of Europe against Asia", Netanyahu was not alone in his overt condescension towards Iran and the Iranian people. A senior Israeli official also advised his US counterparts not to trust any Iranian offers of dialogue as "Persians have been using these [duping] tactics for thousands of years, before America came to be [16]".
The darkly humorous coda to this spectacle was Netanyahu's suggestion - days later - that  he would "consider" taking a phone call [17] from Rouhani if one were proffered. Ostensibly, this consideration would come only if the Iranian president were to grovel on his knees and beg for such an opportunity, even in the wake of Netanyahu's unabashed insults and threats towards him.
Live on your knees
In this episode one can glimpse a microcosm of a dynamic that has long been at play in the Middle East. For many, what is desired with Iran is not peaceful negotiation but rather total capitulation. In this view detente would be a failure; what is required is to utterly crush any "Asiatic" country that dares to wield an independent foreign policy in a region otherwise populated by pitiful satrapies.
It's not enough that Rouhani says he wants peace; he must first acquiesce to the absolute subjugation and humiliation of the nation of Iran as a precondition for any negotiation. Indeed, regardless of the government in power, Iran has long been the target of similar malice whenever it has sought to assert its own rights as a sovereign nation.
In the 1950s the liberal, secular, and democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh was faced with almost identical rhetoric as that which Rouhani's government receives today. Before being deposed by a brutal CIA-orchestrated coup, Mossadegh was described in Western press accounts as [18] "an incorruptible fanatic", "impervious to common sense" and a man who by nationalising his country's oil had "issued a defiant challenge that sprang out of a hatred and envy almost incomprehensible to the West".
That Mossadegh was an admirer of the US and a committed democrat made little difference. For the crime of asserting Iran's right to its own natural resources, he and his elected government were utterly destroyed. As Christopher de Bellaigue noted in his seminal work on the topic [19]: "there was disquiet across the white world", about Mossadegh's "show of Oriental bad form".
The religiosity or lack thereof of Mossadegh's rule was completely irrelevant in this formulation. For this reason it can be seen why contemporary Iranian religious leaders such as Ali Khamenei - born out of the blood and ashes of Iran's recent past - have so forcefully and repeatedly sought to convey the message to the United States that: [20] "We are not liberals like [Salvador] Allende or Mossadegh whom the CIA can snuff out."
Racism and war
As much as it did during the time of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the prime impulse behind military imperialism (in addition to seemingly insatiable greed) has always been a barely concealed racism towards the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Liberal Western thinkers have at certain points in history succeeded in checking the most heinous and self-destructive impulses of the hawks who feed off of endless war, but they persist in their machinations nonetheless. As the Iraq War demonstrated, such actors can still exert their will onto the world [21] when circumstances are right.
While we like to believe the polite fiction that our policymakers are generally intelligent, reasoned and rational, at certain moments the mask slips and we learn that of the crude bigotry and arrogance which informs much war advocacy. We discover that the reason war is apparently both necessary and desirable [22] is due to the deficient DNA of foreigners; to their incurable Oriental untrustworthiness [23] and their fanatic desire to assert their own national sovereignty.
While in many ways civilisation has matured, the racist impulse - so clearly articulated by Roosevelt and Wilson - to subjugate and destroy the disobedient peoples of far flung lands has not dissipated in some quarters. It would be prudent to recognise it today for what it is, lest the horrendous crimes of the recent past be repeated.