Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Mumbai Massacre

By Alan Woods
Tuesday, 02 December 2008

Last week the world was stunned by the bloody scenes of carnage in the aftermath of the terrorist onslaught across Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The attack, which began late Wednesday night extended over ten different sites in India's financial capital. It struck Mumbai's two best-known luxury hotels and other landmarks in the city of 18 million. It was carried out by a small group of gunmen, who had apparently arrived by sea, split into groups to attack multiple targets across the city, including the main railway station and a hospital. TV channels described the attacks as "India's 9/11."

The massacre was not brought to a close until Saturday morning. Finally, two and a half days, the final standoff at the Taj Mahal hotel was over, as Indian commandos took the building by force. The Taj, filled with terrified civilians, was a grim sight. "Bodies were strewn all over the place, and there was blood everywhere," a commando said. "Terrorists are far more advanced today. We didn't realize that they had satellite phones for communication or that they would be so advanced and use incendiary bombs," one commando said. The siege was particularly troubling because "they didn't spare women or children." To date, 188 people have been killed and nearly 300 injured.

Azam Amir Kasab, 21, the only terrorist to survive, told authorities that he was ordered to kill "until the last breath," and that the attacks involved just 10 terrorists, who hoped to kill 5,000 people, targeting mostly "whites, preferably Americans and British," according to a report in The Mail on Sunday. It seems the operation was carefully planned six months ago. The terrorists reportedly posed as students during a visit to Mumbai a month ago to familiarize themselves with the city's roads and to film the "strike locations."

Indian investigators said today the terrorists underwent months of commando training in Pakistan. The latest report from Reuters this morning underlined the hypothesis of a Pakistan connection, which is universally accepted in India. Two senior investigators told Reuters on condition of anonymity that evidence from the interrogation of Azam Amir Kasav clearly showed that Pakistani extremists had a hand in the attack. The clean-shaven, 21-year-old with fluent English was photographed during the attack wearing a black t-shirt emblazoned with the Versace logo. He has said his team took orders from "their command in Pakistan," police officials said.

According to a police officer close to the interrogation, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, the terrorists were trained by the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, under the direction of a former member of the Pakistani army. Another senior Indian officer told Reuters: "They underwent training in several phases, which included training in handling weapons, bomb making, survival strategies, survival in a marine environment and even dietary habits".

U.S. and Indian officials are investigating the possibility that the attackers arrived off the coast of Mumbai in a large ship and then boarded smaller boats before initiating their attack, the paper said. A US counterterrorism official said there was strong evidence that Lashkar-e-Taiba had a "maritime capability" and would have been able to mount the sophisticated operation in Mumbai.

Indian security officers believe many of the gunmen may have reached the city using a rubber dinghy found near the site of the attacks. On Saturday the Indian navy said it was investigating whether a trawler found drifting off the coast of Mumbai, with a bound corpse on board, was used in the attack. Navy spokesman Capt. Manohar Nambiar said the trawler, named Kuber, had been found Thursday and was brought to Mumbai. Officials said they believe the boat had sailed from a port in the neighbouring state of Gujarat. Indian authorities stopped a cargo ship off the western coast of Gujarat that had sailed from Saudi Arabia and handed it over to police for investigation.

A Reactionary Provocation



The authorship of these atrocities has still not been established, although a little-known group calling itself Deccan Mujahideen claimed responsibility early on. There are many theories but few hard facts. But one thing is quite clear: This was a completely reactionary provocation, which benefits only the most counterrevolutionary forces in Indian and Pakistan society.

The massacre has struck a heavy blow against the moves towards improving relations between India and Pakistan. In the last few days the streets of Mumbai and other Indian cities have witnessed angry demonstrations with some people demanding war with Pakistan. Whoever was behind the attack must have anticipated and desired this response.

Inevitably the Indian authorities and some other Indian security analysts are pointing an accusing finger at Pakistan. Pakistan has denied that its government had anything to do with the attacks. These denials are almost certainly true, although they do not preclude Pakistani involvement. However, the possibility that the Mumbai atrocities were planned and orchestrated within India itself cannot be discounted. India is no stranger to terrorist violence. It has been shaken repeatedly by terror attacks in recent years. Mumbai itself has been hit by terror attacks before.

In March 1993, Muslim underworld figures linked to Pakistani terrorists allegedly carried out a series of bombings on Mumbai's stock exchange. Those attacks killed 257 people and wounded more than 1,100. On the evening of 11 July 2006 there was a series of eight bomb explosions at seven locations on local trains and stations in Mumbai during peak traveling hours. 52 people were killed in those bombings. In July 2007 a series of seven blasts ripped through railway trains and commuter rail stations, killing about 190 commuters.

India has witnessed a series of terror attacks in recent months. In May, at least 80 people were killed by a series of blasts in the tourist city of Jaipur. In July, about 50 were killed by a series of explosions in the western city of Ahmedabad. Last month, about 60 people died in Assam, in India's north-east, in similar circumstances. These attacks are usually blamed on Muslim militants, but Hindu fanatics have also been involved in bloody terrorist acts. In recent weeks, police have rounded up 10 members of what they say is its first Hindu terror cell. Among those arrested are a serving army officer and a Hindu priest.

The arrest of an Indian army officer adds a new element into the equation. There are elements in both the Pakistan and Indian army who have never been reconciled to the peace process and fear being sold out by America. The Islamic extremists get most publicity, but there are plenty of Hindu, Jewish and Christian extremists too. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is based on Hindu chauvinism and there are many more sinister elements to the right of the BJP: the RSS, VHP and the Shiv Sena (Army of Shiva). They have links with the armed forces and intelligence services in India that mirror the links of the jihadi groups with the Pakistan armed forces and the ISI.

The conditions of the masses in both India and Pakistan are increasingly desperate. Unemployment, poverty, rising food and energy prices - all this makes life for millions of people unbearable. In India the election of the Congress government gave rise to hopes that were soon dashed. In Pakistan, too, the election of the PPP government has solved nothing for the masses. Both Manmohan Singh and Zardari are in trouble and the right wing opposition in both countries wish to take full advantage of the situation.

In the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks there has been sharp criticism of India's alleged lack of preparedness and the conduct of its intelligence services. The sharpest attacks came from the domestic press. This noisy campaign is directed against the ruling Congress government. The growing fury of the masses is also directed against Congress, which is blamed for the intelligence lapses many Indians believe let these gunmen kill 188 people and besiege India's financial capital for three days.

Already two top politicians from the ruling party have resigned, and Congress faces defeat in a series of state elections. The bomb attacks on Indian cities this year - with threats that more would follow - benefit the right wing opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. They have given the chauvinist a stick to beat the ruling party in the run-up to elections due by May. All this is undermining Congress' grip on power, which was already shaky. The latest issue of The Economist writes:

"India's friends and neighbours can hope for a measured reaction, but they should not assume it. After an attack on its national parliament in 2001, India mobilized hundreds of thousands of troops on the border with Pakistan. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), then in power, routinely accuses its successor, the Congress party, of being soft on terrorism. The desperate spectacle in Mumbai could damage Congress's prospects in pending state polls and even cost it the next general election, which must be held by May. The BJP is now choosing its words carefully but a front-page newspaper advert, presumably commissioned before the Mumbai attacks, accused Congress of being ‘incapable and unwilling' to fight terror; a sentiment illustrated with a large splatter of blood."

Is it possible that this latest provocation was organized and planned on Indian soil in order to sabotage the thaw between India and Pakistan and create a wave of chauvinism and war hysteria that would benefit the Indian reactionaries and undermine the Congress government? Such a hypothesis cannot be ruled out. However, the pattern of Hindu extremist violence is very different to what we saw last week. These elements specialize in whipping up mobs for pogroms against the Moslems in India's cities and villages.

This attack - a combination of grenades and automatic weapons - was quite different. The choice of targets underlines the possibility that this was a group connected with Islamic fundamentalism. The fact that they singled out a Jewish centre and killed Israeli hostages (including a US-based rabbi and his wife) is significant. The targeting of Jews lends support to the view that the attack was organized by Islamic fanatics. There is no history of animosity towards Jews on the part of Hindu extremists.

Similarly, the fact that they singled out British and American people links this attack to Islamic fundamentalism. Witnesses said the attackers had specifically rounded up people with US and British passports. The way in which the massacre was carried out is in line with the well-known methods of al-Qaeda. There was no warning message and the gunmen killed men, women and children without mercy. They intended to kill as many people as possible, as in the 9/11 attacks, the London bombings and the atrocity in Madrid.

The other significant point is that the gunmen were well-prepared and well armed. Their detailed knowledge of the targets suggests that they had reconnoitred at least some targets ahead of time. They were also carrying large bags of almonds to keep up their energy. This was no bunch of amateur fanatics but a professionally-trained, well-organized group. "It's obvious they were trained somewhere. ... Not everyone can handle the AK series of weapons or throw grenades like that," an unidentified member of India's Marine Commando unit told reporters. He said the men were "very determined and remorseless" and ready for a long siege. One backpack they found had 400 rounds of ammunition inside. The question is: who trained them and where?

In the past, U.S. and Indian intelligence services have used communications intercepts to tie Kashmiri militants to terrorist strikes. According to one Indian intelligence official, during the siege the militants have been using non-Indian cell phones and receiving calls from outside the country. The implication is that these calls were made to Pakistan.

Indignation in Pakistan



Lashkar-e-Taiba has denied any involvement in the Mumbai killings and condemned the attacks. The chief of the United Jihad Council, an umbrella group for over a dozen Kashmiri militant groups, also denied any role in the Mumbai attack. "We very strongly condemn the attacks on innocent civilians in Mumbai and say it categorically that none of the Kashmiri freedom fighting groups has anything to do with it," group leader Syed Salahuddin said. Pakistan has asked for evidence of the involvement of anyone in Pakistan, but India, it seems, has so far not supplied any. Pakistan denies the allegations and says it only ever gave moral and diplomatic support for Kashmiri freedom fighters. But the Indians will greet this claim with scepticism.

The Pakistani media immediately protested that Islamabad should not be held responsible for the carnage in India's financial hub and the peace process should not be derailed. Pakistan's leading dailies have warned against the "blame-game", arguing that it would hamper the ongoing efforts to normalize relations between the two countries. "India gives Pakistan a dirty look," said a headline in the Daily News, while another paper said Indian intelligence was under fire and seeking to lay the blame elsewhere. The Dawn argued that the two countries "without apportioning blame on each other should cooperate in the investigation to make them productive."

"Although one can understand the anger and concern which is widely felt, one would still advice the exercise of restraint in this hour of crisis," the paper said. "There is need for confidence-building between the two countries." The same tone of sweetness and light was adopted by the Pakistan Daily Times, which said that both India and Pakistan faced the same threat of terrorism and needed to work out a "cooperative strategy". This is very much in line with the views of Washington, which wishes to avoid a confrontation between Islamabad and New Delhi at all costs. Unfortunately, the tensions between the two countries have a logic of their own that may be difficult to control.

The condemnation of the atrocity in Pakistan's official circles has been swift and unusually outspoken. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari promised that he would take immediate and strong measures if proof was provided of Pakistani involvement. He warned India on Saturday against any "over-reaction" after the militant attacks in Mumbai and vowed the "strictest" action if Pakistani involvement was proved.

"Whoever is responsible for the brutal and crude act against the Indian people and India are looking for reaction," Zardari said in an interview with Indian CNN-IBN television. "We have to rise above them and make sure ourselves, yourself and world community guard against over-reaction." These are strong words and go far further than any concessions made to India by the leaders of Pakistan in the past.

The reason for this is twofold: firstly, Zardari mortally fears a war with India that would certainly lead to his downfall in the near future. Secondly, he and his government are entirely subordinate to the interests of Washington, which he hopes will pay his bills and keep his bankrupt country afloat. "This is a world threat and all the more reason we have to stand up against this threat together," he said, echoing Mr. Bush's mantra of the global war on terror.

The involvement of the official rulers of Pakistan in this affair may therefore be safely discounted. There remain, however, the unofficial rulers of Pakistan, who in reality hold much more power in their hands than the elected government and President. We refer to the ISI, Pakistan's sinister Intelligence Services that constitute a state within the state, has close contacts with the Taliban and al-Qaeda and is constantly involved in all kinds of shady activities beyond the control of the government, the foreign office and judiciary.

It is quite clear that elements in the ISI were behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. They would like to destabilize the Zardari government, which they see as too close to the Americans. They would like to halt the actions of the Pakistan army against the Taliban in the tribal areas. The ISI hates India, and is opposed to the peace negotiations. They therefore had every motive to launch a secret operation aimed at provoking India and simultaneously destabilizing the PPP government. A war with India would be ideal from their point of view, as it would bring the war against the Taliban to an abrupt halt, stir up anti-Indian feeling in the population and create the conditions for a coup that would bring to power the army, the ISI and the Islamic fundamentalists. There are also powerful economic interests involved here. The real motivation of the so-called fundamentalists is not the Koran but the lucrative trade in drugs that has flourished thanks to the war in Afghanistan.

In order to deflect the blame from Islamabad, some Pakistan commentators have advanced the theory that this was the work of Hindu extremists. "Ongoing investigations into some [past] terrorist attacks that were alternately blamed on Indian Muslims and Pakistan have shown that they were actually carried out by a Hindu terrorist network," the Daily Times said. That is perfectly true, but on this occasion the facts do not fit the hypothesis of an attack by Hindu fundamentalists. Every aspect of this massacre points to the jihadis and the ISI that manipulates the fanatics for their own interests.

State Within a State



The Pakistani government on Saturday first said it would send Lieutenant-General Arshad Shujaa, the powerful chief of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), to New Delhi to "help with enquiries". This had apparently been the request of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Then the Pakistani government changed its tune, saying only that it would send "a member of the military's Inter-Services Intelligence agency". Finally, in an abrupt (and unexplained) somersault, Islamabad said that it was unlikely that any Pakistani intelligence officer would be going to India in the near future.

This clearly indicated a crisis. Why was this mission aborted? Government sources said the change came after "reservations in top military circles" over the unprecedented move. "The military leadership was not consulted before an announcement was made to the media regarding the decision to send the ISI chief to India," a senior government official said. "Reservations" is code for a blazing row in which the Pakistan military refused to obey the order of the government to go to India. This little detail is significant and can be explained by the tensions between the government and the ISI.

For many years the army, and particularly ISI, was notorious for making and unmaking politicians, political parties and governments. The ISI political wing was originally established by PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto while he was in power to keep an eye on his political enemies. It later turned against him and participated in his overthrow and judicial murder. The ISI would later turn against his daughter Benazir, first by setting up a political party - the Islamic Jhamoori Ittehad led by Nawaz Sharif - against her in the 1988 elections, and later by plotting to overthrow her government. The ISI was also named in the reported rigging of the 2002 elections.

The creation of the pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League (Q) was also the handiwork of the ISI. It systematically worked on politicians in the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and in the PPP to break away and join the new party that was created especially to provide political backing and legitimacy to General (retd.) Musharraf. It was undoubtedly implicated in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

The ISI had the support of the CIA, which conspired with it to further the cause of the anti-Soviet Mujahadin in Afghanistan. But when Washington came into conflict with the Taliban and invaded Afghanistan, a rift opened up with the ISI, many of whose leaders have personal interests in Afghanistan and are heavily involved in the drug trade and remain committed to the cause of the Taliban.

Musharraf played a double game, maintaining an uneasy balance between the Americans and the fundamentalists and the ISI. The election of the PPP-led government gave Washington the possibility of strengthening its hold on Islamabad. Under pressure from the Americans, Zardari tried to take over the ISI some months ago but had to back off hastily when the Army showed its teeth. More recently there were reports that the ISI political wing has "either been disbanded or made inactive". Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told journalists that the political wing had been shut down. He called it a "positive development." However, in the same breath, he described the ISI as "a precious national institution" and said it wanted to focus fully on counter-terrorism activities.

These words show how terrified Pakistan's politicians are of the ISI and indicate the limitations of their scope for action in relation to it. Later reports seemed to have confirmed that the "political wing" of the ISI was to be closed down. Not only was the political wing to be disbanded, but the officials working there were said to have been given "other assignments". These "assignments" were linked to counter-intelligence, which was supposed to be the agency's original role. But to place the same officials who have spent years engaged in political intrigue once more in counter-intelligence is merely to shuffle the cards in the same pack. What is to stop these gentlemen engaging in the same murky game of intrigue in their new positions? The answer to this question is fairly straightforward.

The Dawn newspaper commented the ISI should be able to concentrate more on intelligence about terrorist activity not distracted by its political duties. This was naïve in the extreme. In all countries, including the most "democratic", the secret services act like a state within the state. They meddle in politics and spy even on Cabinet Ministers and other political leaders. In a state like Pakistan, where democracy exists only on condition that it accepts an army boot on its neck, to demand that the ISI should not meddle in politics is plain stupid.

The Army Rules



Ever since Pakistan was established as a state, the army has staged a coup every seven years or so. Military dictatorships alternate with weak democratic regimes in a perpetual game of musical chairs. And even when the generals graciously hand over the trappings of government to the civilians, they still expect to exercise a determining influence over policy, monitoring and managing political activities inside and outside the government. The idea that henceforth the agency would refrain from meddling in politics flies in the face of all experience.

One can imagine the anger in the upper echelons of the ISI at this attempt to trim their claws. It may well have been this that sparked off the recent action in Mumbai. In order to embarrass the Zardari government, and to strengthen the hand of the military in general and the intelligence services in particular, what better than to stir up trouble with India, and this take the heat off the ISI and their Taliban allies? The motive was certainly present, as was their ability to carry it out. The ISI secretly sponsors, arms, trains and finances jihadi groups, which it can manipulate for its own sinister purposes, like the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. It would have been a simple matter to dispatch a small suicide mission to Mumbai. The lives of young fanatics are just small change for these gentlemen, and the political and military dividends of provoking a clash with India represent a handsome return on such a modest investment. As the atmosphere of mutual distrust and suspicion grows, so does the risk of an armed clash between the two states. This would mean many more people killed and wounded than those in Mumbai. But war also would mean that the military (and the ISI) would be back in the saddle. And what are a few tens or hundreds of thousands of lives compared to that?

With every day that passes, recriminations are mounting in India and this is generating an increasingly ugly and dangerous anti-Pakistan mood, raising tensions between the nuclear-armed states. New Delhi has not accused the Pakistan government of involvement but has expressed its frustration that Islamabad has been unable or unwilling to prevent militants using its soil to stage terrorist attacks in India.

This situation suits the right wing extremists, religious fanatics and chauvinists on both sides. It also suits the army generals of both countries. There are others too who would like to see another war between India and Pakistan: the arms traders, gangsters and drug barons. There is a link between the fundamentalists, terrorists and criminal gangs involved in gun-smuggling. Above all, a war would serve as a means of diverting the attention of the mass of poor people who are suffering terribly as a result of the crisis. It would undermine the PPP government in Islamabad and the Congress government in New Delhi, preparing the way for more right wing regimes in both countries.

The interests of Imperialism



Although Washington is very interested in India, especially from an economic point of view, in the short term it cannot dispense with Pakistan, whose army is fighting a war against the Taliban in the tribal areas that lie on the frontier with Afghanistan. Therefore the warnings from Islamabad will alarm the United States and other governments with troops in Afghanistan. Pakistan currently has around 100,000 troops in the border areas, and the army is fighting Islamist militants in several tribal regions. The country's support is therefore crucial to efforts to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan.

Washington must therefore strive to keep both India and Pakistan happy. It does not want a war. The FBI rushed to send a team of agents to India to help investigate, and a second group is on alert if needed. President Bush issued a statement on Friday, saying the wounded were "in his thoughts and prayers": "My administration has been working with the Indian government and the international community as Indian authorities work to ensure the safety of those still under threat. We will continue to cooperate against these extremists who offer nothing but violence and hopelessness." In reality, it is US imperialism - the most counterrevolutionary force on the planet - that offers nothing but violence and hopelessness and is spreading wars and terror throughout the world in defence of its own predatory interests.

President-elect Barack Obama also expressed condolences about what he called "outrageous terrorist attacks in Mumbai," and said he fully supported the Bush administration's efforts to protect US citizens in India:

"The United States must stand with India and all nations and people who are committed to destroying terrorist networks, and defeating their hate-filled ideology," he said in a statement. Senior Bush administration officials met on Friday afternoon for more discussions about the attacks, said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. She said they were focused on "ensuring everything possible is being done to help American citizens affected by these horrible attacks."

In reality, the tears shed in Washington are of the crocodile variety, and crocodiles are very dangerous animals. It was the USA that originally created and nurtured the monster of Islamic fundamentalism as part of its Cold War against the USSR. It was the USA that created Bin Laden and his terrorist gang in their war to expel Russia from Afghanistan. It was the USA that encouraged and armed the Taliban for the same purpose. And it was the USA that created and sustained the criminal dictatorship in Pakistan and worked hand in glove with his Intelligence Agency, the ISI. Now the dog has bit the hand of its master and the master wishes to have the dog put down. But this is easier to say than to do!

Now they are waging a "war on terror" everywhere, which provides them with a convenient excuse to intervene in the internal affairs of any country in the world, to bully, to bomb and to invade with impunity. At present they are waging a bloody war in Afghanistan against their former friends and allies the Taliban and al-Qaeda. This war is killing large numbers of innocent men, women and children every day. But George W. Bush, who is the biggest terrorist in the world, reserves his tears for such cases of terrorism that do not serve his interests.

Barack Obama has not yet taken possession of the Oval Office but is already coming out in his true colours. He has already said that he intends to pull US troops out of Iraq - and send them to fight in Afghanistan. For this purpose he needs the support of the government of Pakistan, and therefore a war between Pakistan and India is the last thing he needs. Pakistan would divert troops to its border with India and away from fighting militants on the Afghan frontier, if tensions erupt in the wake of the attacks on Mumbai, a senior Pakistani security official said on Saturday. "If something happens on that front, the war on terror won't be our priority," the senior security officer told journalists at a briefing. "We'll take out everything from the western border. We won't leave anything there."

This is no idle threat. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. Since both sides now possess nuclear weapons, the danger is very clear. New Delhi said on Sunday it was raising security to a "war level" and had no doubt of a Pakistani link to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. But a war would definitely not suit the interests of US imperialism, whose main concern in the area is the energetic prosecution of the war in Afghanistan. Pakistan cannot fight a war on two fronts! If it is fighting India it cannot fight the Taliban. This is the real motivation for Bush's tears and Obama's earnest pleas for Peace.

America's Real Concern


What worries U.S. officials is the possibility of a flare-up in animosity similar to one that occurred after Pakistani militants attacked the Indian parliament in December 2001. Prompted by these fears, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called the foreign minister of India twice, along with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, since the crisis began. "There were very worrying tensions in the region," said Gordon Duguid, a State Department spokesman. "She was calling the president of Pakistan to get his read on how those tensions might be affected."

The Secretary of State downplayed the threat of conflict between two countries, which almost came to war in 2002 after an earlier attack on India's parliament which also was blamed on Pakistani militants: "This is a different relationship than it was a number of years ago. Obviously they share a common enemy because extremists in any form are a threat to the Pakistanis as well as the Indians," Rice said.

The allies of the USA are also trying to calm the Indians down. In its Asian edition, the Financial Times said Indian leaders should not rush to point the finger of blame at foreign powers. "It is far from clear who is behind the 10-pronged assault, the most devastating in a series of attacks over a miserable year for India," the paper said in an editorial.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is clearly terrified that this incident could precipitate a war. He has appealed to India not to punish his country for last week's attacks. He told the Financial Times on Monday. "Even if the militants are linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba, who do you think we are fighting?" Officials in Islamabad have warned any escalation would force it to divert troops to the Indian border and away from a U.S.-led campaign on the Afghan frontier. This, and not any humanitarian considerations, is what Washington is worried about.

The Only Solution - Socialist Revolution!



The British government was at one stage said to be investigating whether some of the attackers could be British citizens with links to Pakistan or Kashmir. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir and there are many Kashmiris living in Britain. Some British newspapers even published articles saying that some of the terrorists came from Bradford. These scandalous statements were made without a single shred of evidence, and were clearly calculated to inflame racist and anti-Moslem sentiments in the population. Later official statements denied that any of the terrorists were from the United Kingdom. This shows how terrorist acts serve the aims of the reactionaries and imperialists of all countries.

The other theory is that this is the latest incident in a sustained covert war against India in which Pakistan has created and exploited a number of Islamist terrorist groups over more than a decade and a half. The principal focus of this war remains at present the state of Jammu & Kashmir, which India has held captive for over half a century. The people of occupied Kashmir have suffered terrible oppression at the hands of the Indian army. This has engendered a deep feeling of bitterness and desire for revenge among a section of the Kashmiri youth, who are open to be manipulated by sinister forces. This strategy has failed entirely to secure a mass base among India's Muslims, but a handful of recruits - sufficient to sustain a sporadic and, given contemporary technologies, fairly devastating, terrorist campaign - has been made available. This is a bloody blind alley for the people of Kashmir and the youth.

After over half a century, the rival bourgeoisies of India and Pakistan have shown that they are totally incapable of solving the problems of the masses. The people of India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Bangladesh and Nepal are all suffering from the same misery, disease, poverty, illiteracy and homelessness. To the horrors of national and caste oppression, the brutal subjugation of women, slavery and child labour are added the nightmare of pogroms, terrorism and wars.

To the cynical army generals, chauvinist madmen and religious fanatics on both sides war and mutual slaughter are the only solution. But terrorism and wars have not provided any way out for the last 50 years and they will not provide it now. The prospect of an all-out war between two nuclear powers like India and Pakistan present a horrific perspective for the future.

The only way to free Kashmir and solve the problems of the masses is by revolutionary means: through the victory of the socialist revolution in India and Pakistan and the establishment of a Socialist federation of the whole Subcontinent. This revolutionary idea is advancing slowly but surely. The marvellous JKNSF convention on November 29, which united thousands of Kashmiri class fighters under the banner of revolutionary socialism, shows that the best elements of the youth are open to the ideas of Marxism, which is gaining ground against the nationalists and fundamentalists. This is the real way forward for the revolutionary workers and youth of Kashmir, India and Pakistan: the road of socialist revolution that leads to the Socialist Federation of the Subcontinent.

London 2nd December 2008.


RENEGADE EYE

135 comments:

Beamish said...

It's probably well past time to undo the mistake of the 20th Century's greatest dhimmi, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and re-annex the entirety of Pakistan into India proper.

Tere said...

I have spent a lot of concern with these attacks because some politicians Spaniards were there and also the husband of my daughter has to go to work in India and Thailand and we are worried.
Your article is very interesting, you're right all the armies must leave Iraq and Afghanistan

politiques USA said...

It will allow the Industrial Military Complex to be justified under Obama and redeploy the US troops near or closer to Pakistan.
...
Meanwhile the US economy is in ICU.

And 16 days without smoking for me :S

Renegade Eye said...

Beamish: Since independence India and Pakistan, have been more dependant on the great powers than before.

I'm for a united South Asian federation of socialist states.

Tere: I heard the occupation of the airports in Thailand is ending.

The country can't afford another coup. The monarchists will be trying to terrorize the pro democracy forces.

In India there is no guarantee, that there won't be more violence.

Politiques: Welcome back. This is a no smoking blog.

The US doesn't want to send more troops. It is bogged down in Iraq.

If India moves troops to the Pakistan border, Pakistan will move troops from the Afghan border.

See this.

tanyaa said...

Almost two days after terrorists attacked the Indian financial hub of Mumbai, the military is still working to root out the remnants of the assault teams at two hotels and a Jewish center. More than 125 people, including six foreigners, have been killed and 327 more have been wounded. The number is expected to go up, as Indian commandos have recovered an additional 30 dead at the Taj Mahal hotel as fighting has resumed.
----------------
Tanyaa
Advisor

CB said...

Forgive me, but the only answer is socialist revolution? Blaming America?

How about writing an article about hang nail or gout or snake oil scientists pimping global climate change, then at the end say, the only solution is socialist revolution.

CB said...

If for no other reason Bush ought to be impeached for two dumb statements, one, about looking into Putin's eyes and two, on his insistence that Islam is a religion of peace.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I have a bad feeling that socialism isn't the answer, I have a feeling that educating people so that they don't buy into the terrible shit they hear from various religious mouth pieces is the answer; that a world without a god to bless your atrocities would be a better world.

sonia said...

Any commentator who concludes his piece by calling for "socialist revolution" loses all credibility. He might just as well call for the reinstatement of slavery or feudalism...

I wonder which part of "national SOCIALISM" he doesn't understand...

troutsky said...

"religion of peace" has historically been an oxymoron.There are peaceful as well as fanatical elements of course, just as within socialism there are totalitarianand libertarian elements. (something Sonia still can't get her head around)

CB, check into Tibetan glaciers and arctic permafrost. They arent melting due to cooling.

roman said...

Mr. Woods had me reading his report and analysis intently and eagerly until he threw in this gem: there are plenty of Hindu, Jewish and Christian extremists too
Hindu, maybe but Jewish and Christian?!? How idiotic! He's assigning blame to tortured victims seemingly on the same level as perpetrators of this heinous crime. What kind of twisted mindset produces this kind of conclusion?!?
Later, he goes into the "imperialism" of the west thing and it is there that he totally turns away from any remaining little sense of reality that remains. He should have stuck to just the facts instead of weaving both his personal biases and far-left wing propaganda into this tragic reportage.

Larry Gambone said...

This article is by far the best comment I have read on the Mumbai terrorist attack.

And yes, Roman, there are terrorists from other religions than Islam, though admittedly their crimes have not been as spectacular. (The mosque massacre in Jerusalem and the murder of doctors by "Christian" anti-abortion fanatics.)

Larry Gambone said...

Nor is imperialism some knid of fantasy but a bloody reality. Woods is right on the bit!

Renegade Eye said...

I think all the conservatives who left comments, are not talking about Woods's article.

Tanyaa: Thank you for visiting.

They caught. the last terrorist.

CB: Woods didn't blame America.

Guess what. The Pakistan Intelligence Service was turned Islamist, by the US CIA. Revolutionary socialists are the only consistent enemies of Islamism.

Do you think the US would never make a deal with the Taliban?

Islamism is a political movement, looking for a piece of the capitalist pie.

Sonia: Your way off. Woods talked about abolishing borders in South Asia. Does that sound like "national" socialism? Revolutions don't respect borders.

Troutsky: I agree.

Roman: Al Qaeda is the most heinous group of religious fanatics in my lifetime, but not the only. Woods was certain to point out, that Pakistani claims of the terrorists being Hindu was absurd.

During the Afghan/Russian War, if you were a moderate Muslim, the US wouldn't fund your group. I read that in a speech by Karzai.

US imperialism built up support for Islamists in the Pakistani ISI.

Larry: Woods tells people he is conservative about everything, except politics.

roman said...

One man's "imperialism" is another's "progressive modernism".
Where the imperialists see encroachment by 21'st century ideas that upset the balance of the 8'th century ideals another sees progress in equality for the sexes, improvements in health care and updates in the quality of life.
Which side are you on? Anyone? Anyone?

Renegade Eye said...

Oops, I forgot to reply to Daniel H-G.

Daniel H-G: Religion is the heart of the heartless, and the soul of the souless. It isn't a contest of ideas, changing people from having religious ideas, that oppress themselves and others.

You need to eleminate the cause of religion, the alienation of capitalism.

Roman: The Islamists hate socialism.

I don't have to remind you how many death threats there has been against Maryam Namazie and others.

Secular capitalism is superior to Islamism, just as Trotsky pointed out a capitalist democratic government is superior to a fascist government.

Islamism isn't against capitalism. They want their piece.

Groups even as Hamas and Hezbollah, never opposed neoliberalism.

Last year Hezbollah could have overthrown the Lebanese government, and all they did was ask for a government position in the existing government.

In the end the Taliban will be in a coalition government in Afghanistan.

The US created the Islamist machine, to fight the Russians.

FJ said...

Reactionary Provocation? Is that another oxymoron like "social justice"?

Larry Gambone said...

And how pray tell Farmer Boy, is "social justice" an oxymoron?

Oh, silly me. I forgot. "Justice", like "liberty" is the right for a tiny sociopathic minority to steal from and bully the vast majority of us. "Injustice" and "despotism" consist of any agency trying to get these slime-balls to lighten the burden on our backs.

roman said...

Larry Gambone,

And yes, Roman, there are terrorists from other religions than Islam, though admittedly their crimes have not been as spectacular

Yes, I think most of us are aware of this fact. My issue with Mr. Woods is the fact that he placed this little factoid in this report.
It tends to have the effect of deflecting the focus from the REAL perpetrators. I'm very suspicious and question the motivations behind inserting unrelated and somewhat off-topic information in this case. It tends to have the effect of "watering down" the point of who really is at fault for this particular massacre.

roman said...

Ren,

Last year Hezbollah could have overthrown the Lebanese government, and all they did was ask for a government position in the existing government.

Maybe. Maybe not. It is my understanding that Islam teaches its adherents that they need to only take one little step at a time but to move it in the direction of Allah. In other words, it was not neccessary to overthrow the existing government NOW with all the negative consequences that may ensue. By taking over the role of the Lebanese government in providing health and social services under the auspices of their religious organizations, they will in time take over the government anyway.

Renegade Eye said...

FJ: Here is some advice. Mincing words as "social justice," as having insidious meanings, doesn't help your cause.

Roman: It's not unusual for Hindus in India, to hurt Muslims in India.

I think there is some truth in what you said about Hezbollah. My point is, Islamists aren't interested in revolution. They support the system, only want a piece of it. That is shown by Hezbollah's tactics.

If Alan Woods led Hezbollah, the government would have been overthrown long ago.

Larry: Bin Laden didn't surface before the US presidential elections. He is probably long dead.

FJ said...

Justice means giving every man his due. "Social Justice" means ignoring what each individual man is due, and conferring the successful man's due upon a pack of whiney parasitic losers on the basis of irrelevant factors like skin color, rather than actual crimes.

You can't cure Plutus' eyesight Gambone. And tryin' just perpetuates the crime.

FJ said...

Mincing words as "social justice," as having insidious meanings, doesn't help your cause.

Why not simply ask for justice then? Because "social justice" is THE OPPOSITE of justice. The the legal expedient equivalent of a "class action suit settlement" where all the victims get the same settlement regardless of the harm suffered ranging from a "mental anguish" to "death".

Social Justice gives the concept of "justice" a bad name.

Larry Gambone said...

Farm Boy, you are wrong, You know what "justice" is. As I already stated It is the right for a tiny sociopathic minority to steal from and bully the vast majority of us. "Injustice" and "despotism" consist of any agency trying to get these slime-balls to lighten the burden on our backs."

Bringing in skin color is racism in this context since historical crimes perpetuated against peoples of color such as slavery the genocide of native peoples has to be put in context in any real sense of justice, unlike your just-us of the greedy and power-mad.

The Pagan Temple said...

It's amusing how pieces like this invariably call for socialism as the only true solution to whatever ill is being discussed. That's about like trying to cure erectile dysfunction by cutting off your dick.

FJ said...

You wanna know what "social justice" is. It is the right for a tiny sociopathic minority to steal from and bully the vast majority of us.

Larry Gambone said...

Very funny Farm Boy! Except there are billions of us, and only a tiny handful of sickos who think having more wealth and power than entire countries is justified.

Larry Gambone said...

PT, why is it wrong for Ren to call for socialism as a solution, when it is alright for others to call for capitalism? After all the media spouts capitalist propaganda day and night, its not like there was any balance there, OK?

I wouldn't say socialism is the ONLY solution - in theory there are other possibilities such as distributionism (Google it!) social credit, Georgism (Google it!) and a genuine free market economy (one that abolishes corporate law, patents and all the other state-granted privileges) But before Ren thinks I have slipped a cog, the likelihood of any of these being introduced in any large scale is pretty remote. (Say, like right-wingers arguing logically and factually.) If anything positive replaces capitalism it will be some form of socialism. There is another possibility though, and that is the working population being to weak and divided to win and capitalism continuing its slide into barbarism and the whole world turns into a death squad, dog-eat-dog, social darwinist, Third World hell hole.

Renegade Eye said...

FJ: See this. It is charts showing the declining income and wealth of the bottom 60% of Americans, and the growth in assets at the top. Who is stealing from who?

Was it theft when the Union Army took over plantations in the south, in the Civil War?

Pagan: It's useful to agitate for concepts that aren't immediately apparent. We called in venezuela, for workers to control factories, way before Chavez.

Events can change quickly. Even at the start of the year 1917, it wasn't apparent there would be a revolution in Russia.

Larry: When feudalism transitioned into capitalism, it was a combination of circumstances and leadership. The Protestant attacks on Catholicism, created savings by not giving to the church. That created a class that could start other activities, as starting capitalist organization. Nothing to do with utopia. Another example is the transition from slave societies to feudal (Rome).

Big changes had nothing to do with utopian thinking.

I think socialism is not based on utopia.

The Pagan Temple said...

All right, first off and maybe even foremost, I am NOT an apologist for the excesses of capitalism. I am one of the few, maybe the only commenter here, who believes in regulated capitalism, so long as those regulations are tempered and moderate and not unduly repressive.

In any event, I do not subscribe to laissez-faire notions. I think that kind of libertarianism is as utopian as Marxism, and every bit as dangerous.

However, I would point out that the writer of the article which Ren posted called for socialism as the ONLY solution, not A solution. There are many aspects of current policy I have no problem with whatsoever that could easily be described as a kind of socialism, such as Social Security, for example, and Medicaid and Medicaire. Admittedly, all of these programs need some work, as the way they are run now are bureaucratic and inefficient.

All that being said, when you weigh all the positives and the negatives in the balance, the most important thing in the world is not capitalism-it is FREEDOM. That can NOT be accomplished under a socialist system. Sorry, but the state is never going to "wither away", and even if it did, something else would come along to replace it that would be just as "bad" or worse.

You guys just don't get it. You always call for these "revolutions", but you ignore the implications of the most successful revolution in the history of mankind-THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

How was it so successful? Because it allowed for free expression and the ability to improve your status if you applied yourself. It didn't put brakes on economic growth.

Yes, there were abuses, such as slavery and other such things, but by and large, you could make it if you really tried. Of course, some people tried and failed, but that goes with the territory. The facts are, wealth was created, which led to ever growing employment.

If you guys had been in charge since the beginning of America, there never would have been an industrial revolution. I would even go so far as to say there would never be an end to slavery. What would be the impetus to end it? If anything it probably would have been expanded.

I know you will deny that, of course, but look at the reality in the context of the times we are talking about, and ask yourselves, just how we would have handled this controversy? If CB were lucky, he might make it to the status of house negro, and that would have been that.

Why is it that all the advances in the world today came from capitalism? Did you not ever wonder about that? Why was it America who had to save Europe's ass in WWII? How was we able to rebuild Japan and German after that and make them successful, prosperous nations?

While we're on the subject, ponder this. If big government wasn't intrusive and counter-productive, why is it there has never been a major disease cured since the nineteen fifties? Why was polio cured before the era of really big and intrusive government, but since the inception of that same big government control of the medical and pharmaceutical industry, we still have cancer and AIDS, to say nothing of Lupus, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Alzheimer's, etc.

Socialism by its nature leads to government control, it does not limit government control by any stretch of the imagination. Now soon here somebody like Graeme or Gambone is going to come back and say, well we believe in local control. Yeah, okay, but local control of what? Is it okay if local governments have a capitalist system where you can make as much money as you want?

What if my local community wants to bar immigrants from Mexico or other countries, or for that matter other states, from flooding into our town and draining our social services and taking our jobs? Can we do that?

A hint-the answer to this question can NOT be "well, under a socialist system there wouldn't be a need for such mass migrations". That is not the question. The question is, if there is such a mass migration, for whatever unforeseen reason, can our town exercise our right of "local control" to lock the doors to such immigration.

Why do I have this idea that local control is pretty much limited to the right to vote for who is in charge of making sure the streets are cleaned and the garbage is picked up and water and sanitation services are run right, but that's about it, if that?

Now I'm going to tell you what the true "only solution" is-FEDERALISM! That is the only system that can legitimately allow for any true degree of local control. It allows for some states to experiment with liberal ideas and philosophies, and allows others to run their affairs by conservative principles if they wish. Of course the caveat is they have to sink and swim on their own.

The only other limitation is that all states are obliged to adhere to the protections granted by the constitution and the Bill of Rights to all its citizens. What isn't spelled out in those documents is the domain of the various states.

That is your ticket to success. It allows for states to experiment, and other states to learn from them as to what might work for them and what might not, or what the various pitfalls might be.

See, it is actually written into the Federalist philosophy. What is there about local control that is written into the socialist philosophy? All I see is a system that says, you have to do it our way or else.

That's the ticket for America and is one of the major reason, if not THE major reason, for our historical success. If it worked for us, it would work for everybody else, though of course I would never insist on forcing it on anybody else.

Still, I suggest it is something you should consider if you really want "justice" worldwide, whether you want to call it "social justice" or just plain "justice". By the way, I also agree with the pot farmer. "Social justice" is a term that has been abused for the benefit of one segment of society at the expense of others. True justice should be for everyone, even the "evil" white man, Christians, corporate bosses, conservatives and Republicans.

FJ said...

Very funny Gambone! Except there are billions of us, and only a tiny handful of sickos who think that the elimination of free market capitalism would prove a boon to the human race and lead to a socialist workers paradise.

FJ said...

...and Ren, so what? America's the only country in the history of the world where the poor people were so fat that they needed free healthcare to deal with the health effects caused by over consumption.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ: you may have stopped block quoting irrelevant shit and talking to yourself but you're still prone to sweeping statements that illustrate a deep held resentment towards people in need.

Is this becuase you hate poor people?

In Blue and Green said...

this clarifies for me...the current development. Thanks!
Will be back

ps: Its former Red eyes

Renegade Eye said...

Who would ever know the song "Jingle Bells" was written for Thanksgiving? I found that out today.

In Blue and Green: It's hard to keep track of you. You must be a rascal with the ladies.

Pagan: You don't need to explain what your positions are. I can differentiate your politiics, as I can differentiate Sonia from Beakerkin.

The American Revolution occured before scientific socialism. It would be fantasy to talk about socialism in 1776. Capitalism was the best system at the time. Socialists support the American Revolution, and are particularly fond of Tom Paine.

The American Revolution was as progressive as can be for its time. In addition you can look up a previous post I had, of Karl Marx's letter to Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War. He supported the Union side.

I don't think much about the state withering, since it will not be in my lifetime.

Marx again wasn't a utopian writer. This is important to know. He didn't sit down and write a description of a state he invented. His ideas of a state, are based on the real world experience of the Paris Commune of 1871.

In another words, in 1776, there is no chance of advocating Marxism. The other point is that Marxism is based on historical and dialectical materialism, not utopian thought.

Bourgeoise revolution brought reason, seperation of church and state, universal rights etc. Marxism is the next stage. To expand rights beyond the most wealthy.

Daniel H-G: I like your fighting side. A real artist needs one.

FJ: Obesity is related to amongst other things, not having control over your diet. Lots of CHO.

Larry Gambone said...

"I think socialism is not based on utopia."

I am in complete agreement...

Larry Gambone said...

PT, you make the mistake that lots of people do - equating socialism with big government. No group claiming to be socialist until the Fabians and the Stalinists came along ever made such a connection.Marx for one hated what he called "state socialism". See my article: http://porkupineblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/myth-of-socialism-as-statism.html

Larry Gambone said...

PT, I realize that you are not like the reactionaries who comment here, who say any old thing that comes in their heads. I enjoy debating with you because you are civil and at least willing to read what we write.

Larry Gambone said...

"Now I'm going to tell you what the true "only solution" is-FEDERALISM!"

I have been saying something a lot like it for the last 40 odd years. So too, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin and I should add, after the Paris Commune, Marx and Engels.

But federalism is not enough. It is a large-scale organizational structure. You also need self-management at the lower levels - neighborhoods and work places.

Federalism, self management, mutual aid and cooperative production, already occur to varying degrees in society. These same elements are crucial aspects of socialism. Hence socialism is not a utopia or an ideal or scheme to be imposed, but an existing, living reality, in embryo. The creation of a socialist society is merely the generalization of these aspects, or if we wish to continue the previous metaphor, the embryo, becomes a full fledged person. (Or as the IWW put it, creating the new within the shell of the old.) The development of a socialist society will be a long process - providing humanity survives - but its first stage is the conquest of popular power, in other words the move from formal or elite democracy to a more genuine form - of direct democracy, delegates rather than representatives, political power based in the neighborhood councils and workers councils.

FJ said...

FJ: Obesity is related to amongst other things, not having control over your diet.

Too much CHOw, I know! And not having ANY self-control. That's what happens when you live in Gimme, gimme mode all your life.

...and I don't hate poor people, actor boy. I hate FAT poor people.

The Pagan Temple said...

Actually, obesity among the poor is due to lack of a proper nutritionally balanced diet. Too much starch, fat, carbs, etc., not enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Poor people in general can't afford fresh fruits and vegetables, and usually eat white bread (usually of an inferior quality brand) as opposed to whole grain or rye, which is much healthier. They also eat the cheapest meat products, which are much higher in fat.

When you have to subsist on rice and pinto beans, potatoes, and that kind of thing, the results speak for themselves.

All you have to do is go to a grocery store and see what foods are in what particular price range. You will see that the cheapest offerings are precisely those that lead to obesity when they are the main ingredients if not the only ones of a daily diet.

And by the way, I'm not saying this because I am suggesting the government should "do something about it." I'm just saying it because that's just the way it is. It's probably not going to change anytime soon either.

You are never going to solve the worlds ills. That is a fact most people just can't digest, but that's the facts. I would like to see a world where I could open my window in the morning and a group of songbirds sing me the morning news. That will happen right about the same time all the world's other problems are all done away with forever.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ: you're a dman fool that just runs your mouth becuase your dadyy didn't tell you he loved you enough.

And if he did, then you need to make him proud and not be such a mean spirited asshat.

The Pagan Temple said...

Gambone and Ren-

Okay, here's the problem with what you're saying. Let's make the really big leap, just for the sake of argument, that the world is going through, or will sometime go through, a transitional phase that will lead to world-wide socialism.

Okay, first and foremost, that kind of assumption is precisely what defines this kind of thinking as utopian, in my view. You are jumping to a lot of conclusions and making a lot of assumptions as to what that evolutionary phase will or should look like.

All right, now that we're passed that, there's a second and even more pronounced problem here. You are also assuming that everybody is going through this transitional phase at roughly the same time and at roughly the same pace.

Ren has even stated that capitalism in its western form was a necessary step toward the establishment of a socialist world. Well, hell, what about all the people in the world who haven't even made it nowhere that far yet? The Arabs and most Muslim countries are still in some kind of feudal or tribal state. Yes, there's some degree of capitalism in the sense of immense personal wealth and investment, but its hardly the same thing.

There are just so many levels of development in the world, it's amazing that some of these people have to be dragged kicking and screaming towards some kind of modern civility. You would think they would clamor for it. They don't because in a good many cases it seems to be beyond their capacity.

Maybe there is just a difference in the way certain people live because its so deeply ingrained in their DNA. I mean, they've been living in these relatively isolated societies for thousands of years in some cases. There's just no impetus for change in a general sense, because frankly they don't see a need or reason to change.

So how are you going to establish some kind of world wide socialism without government or other kind of force or coercion? Sorry, but some of the kids just ain't going to want to play. You either let them take their marbles and go off to play by themselves, whatever game they choose to play, or you try to use some kind of coercion-whether through government or "activist support"-to herd them along.

Those are your only two choices.

By the way, money and profit, wealth, and power, while there needs to be some regulations for the public good, will always be the most productive incentives for advancing society. A pat on the back for a job well done and an applause at a concert hall or an award won't cut it.

Whose going to produce the music and movies you like? Who's going to publish the books? Finding the writers and artists aren't the problem. Finding the people to invest in filming and production, that's the problem.

Yeah a socialist society can produce films and books, but how many of them compared to a capitalist system? Some of the better stuff might fall by the wayside and never see the light of day based on the decision of some bureaucrat or on some mediocre reviewers personal taste, or some "committee" that decides the work isn't PC enough. A successful studio or publisher in a capitalist system will take at least some chances.

As a result, you get some real classics and some avant-garde art only because of the success of mass entertainment marketing that gives them enough of a profit to invest in those chances.

Now let's look at energy. How many people do you see clamoring to invest in green energy? Oh, yeah, they're dying to invest government funding in it, but how many of them are willing to put up their own bucks compared to people who risked their life savings on the off-chance of striking oil?

They don't do it because its not profitable. That's why the government is always talking about providing incentives. In a socialist society, sans "big government" where is that incentive going to come from? Who's going to supply that incentive?

Of course it will take some kind of considerable regulatory influence-i.e., government. Who's going to run it? Who's going to manage it? Who's going to invest the resources in it necessary to keep it running?

Citizens and worker's councils, perhaps?

You all are trying to create a world without any real class distinction, where everybody is basically the same, and it's just not going to work. Well, there is one way it would work. That way it-wait for it-

Nobody has jack shit. That's pretty much your only chance for "success" in a worldwide socialist system where everybody basically is the same and generally has the same. Why can't you see that?

FJ said...

Poor people in America can afford a very balanced and healthy diet. But why should they spend their limited government food stamps on fresh fruits and vegetables they can redeem them for cigarettes, Big Macs and fries to snack on while they swill their imported beer?

FJ said...

I know, I know, the evil capitalist shopowners MAKE them do it!

How dare they sell unhealthy food to FAT poor people!

The Pagan Temple said...

Sorry, FJ, you lost this argument. To say a poor person can afford to eat healthy is just nutty, because they can't, whether they pay with food stamps or with their meager wages if they are working. On top of their rent, utilities, gas, other bills, etc., and their work schedule, they just don't have enough money to buy fresh fruits and vegetables and healthier meats like fish and stuff, at least and do so on a regular basis, and often they rarely have the time to prepare healthy meals on a consistent basis.

You would add between twenty and thirty dollars a week at least to your food bill doing so, and that's between eighty and a hundred twenty extra dollars a month most poor people just can't afford.

And how many poor people do you know that drink imported beer? They might splurge on some Heineken every once in a great while but you sure aren't going to see them swilling down cases of that stuff from Ireland (can't think of the name right now) any time soon. Most of them can't even afford Samuel Adams or Rolling Rock. They mostly stick to Old Milwaukees or Milwaukees Best. They think they're living high on the hog if they put out for a case of Budweiser.

I think you've got a pretty skewed opinion of what a poor person is. A poor person is a person whose wages don't keep pace with inflation, if they're lucky enough to have a steady job.

I know what you're trying to say, that poor people here in the US have it much better than poor people in most other parts of the world, which of course is true. That doesn't mean they're not poor in their own right. It's all relative. To try to blame obesity on over-indulgence in food is missing the point. It makes for a clever retort against people that don't know any better, but the problem is, I know better.

FJ said...

To try to blame obesity on over-indulgence in food is missing the point.

Not for rational people, it's not.

The Pagan Temple said...

If you're talking about obesity among poor people it is.

Larry Gambone said...

PT, the transition would take a very long time - should humanity survive capitalism. A "world revolution" is only such in the sense that a bloc of countries powerful enough and economically developed enough become socialist and are able to influence, by example, the rest of the world. Think of Western Europe and Latin America, for example if they were to go socialist. Everyone will have to go thru it at their own time and speed, socialism can not be imposed from above or from without. The only real threat to a socialist bloc would be the US. The Islamists just want to be left alone. Fine with me.

Larry Gambone said...

Books will be published and films made just as they are now, by the people who want to do that. Just like now they would look for funding. Today that funding comes from corporations, foundations and governments. With socialism, from the cooperative, the foundations and from the federation. Why should that be any problem? As for quality - An almost pure form of socialism exists already in the form of cooperative radio stations that are found all across Canada. They are funded by donation. Their productions are of the highest quality, at least in comparison to the commercial stations which are just mindless garbage along side them. Cultural production is generally of a much higher quality in Europe and Canada than the US. In the US it is almost entirely corporate. In Europe and Canada government plays a major role. If what you say is true, it ought to be the reverse.

FJ said...

So much for the myth of the malnourished American poor...

On a per capita basis, low income households in 1988 spent 80 cents on food for every $1.00 spent by the median American household. And out of every food dollar spent by low income persons, 32 cents was spent in restaurants.

Surveys conducted by the Department of Agriculture show relatively little difference in overall food consumption between high and low income households. Though the food purchased by low income households normally is of lower quality and less expensive than that consumed by the upper middle class, there is little evidence of material shortages. For instance, the average low income person eats 95 percent as much meat as the average person in the upper middle class. Measured in pounds of food consumed per week, low income persons actually consume 114 percent as much poultry, 109 percent as much fish and 92 percent of the fresh vegetables consumed by the upper middle class.

Table 9, derived from studies conducted by the Nutrition Information Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, shows the average nutritional status of persons from three income groups:

1. Low income persons, from the least affluent 20 percent of the population.
2. Persons receiving food stamps, and those whose income is low enough to be eligible for food stamps but who did not actually receive them.
3. Upper middle class persons from the most affluent half of the population.

The table compares average food consumption in each of the three income groups to USDA recommended nutritional standards. For all three groups food consumption exceeds the standards in almost every nutritional category. Differences between the upper middle class and poor in almost all cases are quite modest.

Food Consumption of Poor Children
Many advocates have expressed concern about malnutrition caused by poverty among young children. In 1985 the Department of Agriculture conducted a thorough study of the food consumption and nutritional status of pre-school children. This study showed very little difference in the nutritional content of food consumed by low income as compared to affluent Americans. Children from families with incomes below 75 percent of the poverty level consumed 54.4 grams of protein per day compared to 53.6 grams for children in families with incomes above 300 percent of poverty (roughly $33,000 for a family of four in 1985).29 Black pre-school children consumed 56.9 grams of protein per day compared to 52.4 grams for white children. Surprisingly, protein and calorie consumption was slightly higher among children in the central cities than in the suburbs.

Average consumption of nutrients was very high for pre-school children of all income classes. Protein consumption among children living in families with incomes below 75 percent of the poverty level equalled 211 percent of recommended USDA standards. Consumption of essential vitamins and minerals among both high income and poor children generally exceeded USDA standards, often by as much as 50 to 100 percent. Shortfalls were found in the average consumption of iron and zinc, but these were unrelated to income class or race.\

International Comparisons
Rich and poor Americans typically eat rich diets in comparison to the rest of the world. The item most associated with an expensive diet is the level of meat consumption; as income increases, the level of meat consumption increases sharply. Table 10 compares the level of meat consumption of persons living in the 20 percent of American households with the lowest incomes, with the average citizen in various other countries. There is very little difference in meat consumption between high and low income Americans, but the differences between poor Americans and the average population in the rest of the world are dramatic. Low income Americans eat 75 percent more meat than the average Briton and 61 percent more than the average Italian. In a nation allegedly afflicted with a "hunger crisis," low income Americans eat twice as much meat as the average Portuguese, and two and a half times as much meat as the average Mexican, and nearly four times as much meat as the average Brazilian.

Poverty and Malnutrition
Malnutrition and hunger caused by poverty are virtually non- existent in the U.S. Protein and overall caloric intake are the most expensive factors of any diet. Nevertheless, in its extensive surveys the U.S. government has found no evidence of significant caloric or protein deficiencies among the poor.34 Indeed, being overweight is the number one dietary problem of both rich and poor Americans.35

Poor persons have lower levels of serum cholesterol than non-poor persons of the same age, sex, and race.36 Moderate deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6 and zinc occur in part of the U.S. population but are unrelated to income class. Moderate calcium and iron deficiencies do occur more frequently among poor women than non- poor women. But such deficiencies normally are the result of the type of food consumed rather than the amount of money spent on food; simply raising the income of poor women would have little bearing on the problem. A more efficient response would be to distribute inexpensive vitamin and mineral supplements to adult female recipients of food stamps and WIC assistance.

The Pagan Temple said...

Gambone-

Who decides what is "mindless garbage"? My favorite television show is Prison Break. I like all kinds of music, including some rap and heavy metal. Ask Ren about the horror novel I published on my blog in installments, and that gave him fits every time I posted one. One man's garbage is another man's Dostoevsky.

Mass culture has its place and its own intrinsic value. Read the John Lennon-Yoko Ono Playboy interviews. Lennon was a big fan of pop culture. Some of his songs were based on television commercials. One of them was based on a Kelloggs Corn Flakes commercial.

Nobody wants to sit and listen to approved music or read the "right" books or be forced to endure a "classic" movie all the time. I know that's probably not your overall intent, but I know how things are in Canada. At one time they would not be allowed to show an American television program in Canada unless there was a mention of Canada at some point during an hour's program.

There have been a few times I've watched something made in Canada on PBS, called the Red Green Show. It's the silliest bunch of shit I've ever sat through, but because its Canadian its supposed to be good I guess. Why else show it on PBS. See, I have this theory that most people that watch PBS aren't as cultured as they like to think they are. Every time I see one of the British "comedies" PBS picks up I wan to shoot my television. This crap ain't any good, but people that watch PBS think its good because its British? Gawd!

I can see these old fucking farts now sitting and watching this drivel and looking at each other when they hear the laugh track smiling and saying "Well, that's really quite humorous isn't it?"

"Yes, dear, much more refined than that low-brow stuff that make people laugh out loud like animals".

As for your socialism goals, I'm glad to see you're not in favor of forcing any kind of socialism on the unwilling, and you recognize that it will be a long time coming before mankind phases into it.

But really, I think you're all missing the boat. The best thing about the American experiment is the part you overlook, but that's not your fault, because we've had our share of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who have abused the system the way it was set up. They've turned it into a shell game.

Still, it has worked better than any system ever devised because it promotes and is set up to defend individual freedom and liberty. That's nothing no socialist system I've ever heard of has ever done. They might hold out the promise of some degree of economic security and limited rights of other kinds, but until they are willing to guarantee true freedom from oppression, including from a coercive government, I can't have much faith in them.

The Bill of Rights was meant to defend the rights of states originally, but it also now is recognized to protect the rights of individuals in those ways spelled out. Freedom of speech and religion, right to bear arms, right to a fair and speedy trial by a jury of ones peers, etc.

You come up with a socialist system that can respect and continue to guarantee those rights within the constitution and the Bill of Rights in the exact words in which they are spelled out, and I will give it serious consideration. Until you can do so, I will have to give it a pass.

The Pagan Temple said...

FJ-

I'm not a big believer in government studies, or for that matter any other kind. I know what makes people fat. Too much food is a factor, but people need so much bulk in their diet. If the only way they can get the necessary bulk in their diet is by cheap foods like rice and dried beans, white bread, and food loaded with transfats, then while they might be consuming too much of it, they are still getting the bulk they have to have. That's only natural. A poor person can eat the same amount of bulk through fresh fruits and vegetables and not gain the same weight, but they will pay more for it, so they don't do it.

I am not going to believe for one minute that poor people across the country eat fresh fruits and vegetables and fish as much as the upper middle class and upper class eats them. They might do so in areas where those foods are readily available, and thus cheaper, but nowhere else.

Poor women in some Oriental countries and in Italy tend to get fat after they've had a few children due to the constant ingestion of rice or pasta. They are not eating too much in the sense that they are gorging on food, they are just getting too much of certain things because they can only afford to eat certain kinds of foods. That's just a fact.

Renegade Eye said...

Pagan: There has never been a historical project. People don't write blueprints. The state of Israel, wasn't formed because Jewish people read the blueprints of Theodore Herzl. Despite what Zionists desired, immigration to Palestine was related to WWII.

You still misunderstand what being utopian means. It's about having a blueprint for a society, and expecting it to occur, because the idea was publicized.

Ancient Rome never had a plan, to be ravaged and turned from a slave society to a feudal agricultural society.

Capitalist relations are worldwide. There is no feudalism, only lesser developed capitalism. Even in the Middle East, no country is feudal. That doesn't rule out backward culture.

Last week in Chicago, a group of workers occupied their factory. It's an embryonic act of what is going to come. I would bet none read Marx or were socialist or anarchist.

The nobleman created his own destruction, when itcreated the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie created its own destruction by creating the working class. You can call that negate the negation.

I reread what Marx meant by withering away of the state. That applies to superabundance in society as the prerequisite.

By not utopian, I mean realistic.

I like both high and low brow culture. I used to have living in my apartment a well known WWE wrestler. My name was mentioned on TNA Wrestling once in an angle. Art thrived in Russia until Stalin.

FJ: Ever hear of peasant food?

The bankruptcy of conservatism, is its disinterest in the problems of the poor. It caught up this election cycle.

Larry: This week I'll send you an email. Graeme and I, have a big fight with Maoists coming up. I'll need creative tactics.

Larry Gambone said...

PT, you did not correctly read my comment. I did not say US culture was crap. Here is what I really said:

"cooperative radio stations that are found all across Canada. They are funded by donation. Their productions are of the highest quality, at least in comparison to the commercial stations which are just mindless garbage along side them."

Now what kind of music do those coop stations play? Jazz, folk, rap, blues, punk, underground and garage rock, reggae, Latin. And I like it all! They also have informative programs and lack the "hate radio" aspect of commercial radio.

Larry Gambone said...

"Larry: This week I'll send you an email. Graeme and I, have a big fight with Maoists coming up. I'll need creative tactics."

Good, the only group I hate as much as right-whiners are Maoists!

FJ said...

The problem of poor FAT people isn't that they don't have enough money... it's that they don't spend it on a healthy diet.

And so like the vast majority of the poor's problems, it isn't one more "money" can solve... and socialist idiots like yourselves refuse to allow others to give them the things they do need to develop the discipline necessary to become truly self-reliant.

And so now you want to give them free health care. Well, if you instilled the discipline of a healthy diet in them, they wouldn't need doctors to tell them that they need to go on diets. You wouldn't need nurses to give them abortions. And you wouldn't need day care for children who's mothers don't have husbands and need to work.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ, you're talking shit, do you actually have any life experience at all, have you ever been poor, have you ever worked with disadvantaged communities, have you ever spent time with poor poeple to understand how they got there, why they're staying there and how hard it is to break the poverty cycle?

Also, poor people are a by-product of the terrible systems we've invented, we have to have people at the bottom of the pile, it's not by choice you asshat that people want to be poor, it's also not from want of effort, poverty is an evil that comes from our economic system.

The problem very much is how much money people have and not all poor people are fat you wildly generalising monster.

You speak with such a lack of understanding of the what it actualy means to be poor, thankfully, others on here have experience, I know I do and more importantly, I spend a great deal of my time either volunterring of working for UK government agencies that work with the poorest and most disadvantaged.

I'd love you to come with me and to see what it actually means becuase you'd suck up your backwards, violent and ignorant attitudes in second becuase you'd have to.

Tell me policy boy, what would your program be for:
"give them the things they do need to develop the discipline necessary to become truly self-reliant."

People will always be in need, one day it might be you and the whole point of a decent and progressive society is that we look out for those less well off than us, we don't need self-reliance, we need community and togetherness, we need less ME ME ME and more US.

I can tell you're an ass becuase you don't like the idea of free healthcare, well healthcare should be free, for everyone becuse health is not an option.

Do you really think it comes down to healthy diet only? And then they wouldn't need the doctor? HA HA HA! Your social and economic knowledge fo how the world works is backward at best but smacks of lack of life under your belt. Get out there, volunteer your time, get people's stories, educate yourself, make yourself proud and those that care about you by actually DOING something rather than exposing your backwardness on a blog comments page and while you're at it, stop with the shit about with a husband the woman doesn't need to work and the nonsense about abortions.

Are you from the 50s? Have you not yet grasped that the world is moving beyond your tiny parameters and that you need to step up, quickly and progress with the rest of us.

As I said, make you dad proud...

The Pagan Temple said...

FJ-

Who's going to "instill in them the idea of a healthy diet"? The government? How much is that going to cost? Who's going to pay for this? Who's going to give them the extra twenty-to-forty dollars a week (at least) that they will need to buy healthy foods. You can talk all this bullshit you want to about healthy foods being no more expensive than the unhealthy kinds, but I know better. I happen to go grocery shopping, and I know for a fact that what you spend for fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthier foods won't stretch your food budget as far as less healthier foods that you pay the same price for.

What you might spend one hundred dollars on might last you two weeks with healthier foods, it will last three with less healthy foods. That's here in Kentucky, and you're still not eating good, you're just making it. Forty dollars a week is about right for two people, which will be about four days a week, maybe five, worth of food if you buy healthier foods. Yeah, sure you'll lose weight if you go two or three days a week without food.

And what does all this have to do with single working mothers having to depend on day care or having abortions? What does that have to do with obesity or the price of food? Is eating healthy supposed to be some kind of form of birth control now, or some kind of magical formula for finding the right spouse?

The Pagan Temple said...

Gambone-

Okay, so what constitutes "hate speech"? Will I be allowed to listen to Laura Ingraham or Rush Limbaugh? I want to listen to Michael Savage. Would I be allowed to? Would they be allowed to broadcast over the public airwaves or will they have to limit themselves to shortwave? YouTube maybe?

You seem okay, like Ren and Graeme, but a lot of the people I read promoting some of your ideas scares the hell out of me, to be frank. I'm thinking of posting a YouTube video of a song by Johnny Rebel. It's not that I agree with the sentiments in his songs, but it is of cultural interest.

If a lot of the more leftist types had their way about it I'd probably be prosecuted at some point in time for promoting hate.

FJ said...

You could take all the money in the world today away from everyone who has it and re-distribute it equally to everyone in the world tomorrow. Within twenty years it'll all be back in the same hands as those who hold it today.

The problem isn't one of "lack of money", it's one of "habit" and "intelligence" which over long periods of time and environmental isolation translates into 'genetics'.

Poor people's unhealthy eating "habits" aren't their biggest problem... it's merely the sympton of a much larger one... an inability to distinguish "good" from "bad". It's a problem religion once served to cure but has returned with a vengeance due to a general "liberal" hatred of religion and the perception of "limits" to human "progress".

FJ said...

In destroying religion and the basis for it, liberals have done more to harm poor people and increase human misery than has ever been perpetrated by any species in the history of the world

FJ said...

The solutions to today's problems have nothing to do with money and EVERYTHING to do with culture and morality.

Larry Gambone said...

I am for free speech. This isn't the problem though - the problem is the INUNDATION of the air waves by people who promote hatred. This is done as a form of indoctrination. Here in Canada the majority of people are social democrats. You have a 100 Watt FM station producing progressive programming and a 50,000 watt AM station spewing reaction. Let's have a little balance, a little democracy here! If in a genuinely free society some reactionaries want to set up a little FM station and broadcast, fine. Cooperatively owned (as distinct from what is called public media) reflects the views of the people who are members. Thus there is no top-down agency telling the station what they can and cannot broadcast.

FJ said...

Aristophanes, "Plutus"

POVERTY. Thrasybulus and Dionysius are one and the same according to you. No, my life is not like that and never will be. The beggar, whom you have depicted to us, never possesses anything. The poor man lives thriftily and attentive to his work; he has not got too much, but he does not lack what he really needs.

CHREMYLUS. Oh! what a happy life, by Demeter! to live sparingly, to toil incessantly and not to leave enough to pay for a tomb!

POVERTY. That's it! Jest, jeer, and never talk seriously! But what you don't know is this, that men with me are worth more, both in mind and body, than with Plutus. With him they are gouty, big-bellied, heavy of limb and scandalously stout; with me they are thin, wasp-waisted, and
terrible to the foe.

CHREMYLUS. 'Tis no doubt by starving them that you give them that waspish waist.

POVERTY. As for behaviour, I will prove to you that modesty dwells with me and insolence with Plutus.


----

The basis for Western civiliation lay not so much in "harmony and cooperation" but w/Eris (Strife):

Hesiod, "Works and Days"

So, after all, there was not one kind of Strife alone, but all over the earth there are two. As for the one, a man would praise her when he came to understand her; but the other is blameworthy: and they are wholly different in nature. For one fosters evil war and battle, being cruel: her no man loves; but perforce, through the will of the deathless gods, men pay harsh Strife her honour due. But the other is the elder daughter of dark Night, and the son of Cronos who sits above and dwells in the aether, set her in the roots of the earth: and she is far kinder to men. She stirs up even the shiftless to toil; for a man grows eager to work when he considers his neighbour, a rich man who hastens to plough and plant and put his house in good order; and neighbour vies with is neighbour as he hurries after wealth. This Strife is wholesome for men. And potter is angry with potter, and craftsman with craftsman, and beggar is jealous of beggar, and minstrel of minstrel.

No sane person will argue when "necessity" set's the poor man's table.

Larry Gambone said...

Farm Boy - "In destroying religion and the basis for it, liberals have done more to harm poor people and increase human misery than has ever been perpetrated by any species in the history of the world."

So the poor in Europe must be really badly off then, since Europe is about 100X more "liberal" than the Excited Snakes.

Trouble is the poor are actually far better off there - so there goes your silly little theory. You Gringos make me laugh - you are so God Damned provincial. The world does not shine out of the USA's asshole. There are other countries out there to compare yourselves to.

Larry Gambone said...

Al you have to do is look north of you. Canadian poor people are better off than US ones. Though successive neo-liberal govts have undermined a lot of our social programs. However, the great fear among most Canadians is TO BE REDUCED TO A US LEVEL.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ is a simple minded fool, not open to what is really out there.

Open your door, take a step out and DO SOMETHING and then you'll learn it's not how you think it is.

Be open!

The Pagan Temple said...

Gambone-

I rarely listen to talk radio, in fact I almost never do. I was just trying to make a point. There is a reason why that kind of programming is popular, and "progressive" programming is not. People want to listen to the former, no one cares to hear the latter. It's driven by advertising dollars. No advertiser would pay money to sponsor a program that no one wants to listen to. If they thought they did want to listen to them, they would have no problem doing so.

Why then should there be a "fairness" doctrine. I'm all for public access to differing points of view, but why should the public have to endure hours of programming of stuff they don't like or want to hear. Actually, it's a silly question, because it can't be done. People simply won't listen to it.

There is a reason Fox News is the great success it is, and that Rush Limbaugh is a multi-millionaire. He gets paid big bucks because people want to listen to him. That's the difference between him and the ten thousand dollardaires of Air America. Nobody wants them.

Fox News is actually the fairest news station out there. I know you'll probably shake your head and roll your eyes when you read this, but its the truth. I've watched it enough, I ought to know.

O'Reilly for example is not the true blue conservative you probably assume he is. He is a right-of-center moderate who believes in minimum wage, regulation of business, and even believes in Goreball Warming and thinks something should be done about it.

They have many others who most mainstream Americans would consider "liberal" and even some far-left types who speak on their programs and give their point of view.

CNN is better than it used to be. Actually, the guy that runs CNN is every bit as conservative as Rush Limbaugh, but I don't think you'll hear the right ever claim that there is a dearth of liberal or progressive views on the particular station.

Even MSNBC, which is so far left it is almost a caricature, has some divergence of thought, with conservative commentators like Joe Scarborough and Patrick Buchanan.

The point is, there is plenty of divergent views out there, it's not like all you can find is nothing but conservatives. Hell, the news anchors of the major networks, along with Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, practically ran their programs as extensions of the Obama campaign.

This crazy idea of a "fairness" doctrine is meant to serve one purpose only, and that is to limit the availability of conservative talk and expression of conservative viewpoints. Why? Because it is an embarrassment to the left that they are so much more successful than the left at getting people to tune in and listen, so they try to invent this supposed conspiracy that their views are purposely being kept from the public. It's all bullshit.

FJ said...

So the poor in Europe must be really badly off then, since Europe is about 100X more "liberal" than the Excited Snakes.

Indeed. They are the worst off of ALL on planet earth. The poor there can no longer reproduce or have children, and are being systematically "replaced" in the work force with immigrant labor.

And the world DOES shine out of the USA's asshole. When the US economy catches a cold, Hugo Chavez's government dies from the associated starvation.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Wrong again!

That piece is speculative, not evidence, of course Europe is getting older, of course we don't breed as much but you're forgetting New Europe, ie: Easter Europe that does not engage in that trend.

That link dind. prove your point, the fact is Europe, in comparison with the US, does well with regards to fighting poverty and standard of living. But then you'd know that if you actually came here...

And all that your silly little mewlings regarding USA USA USA being best do, is make you look a bigger asshat with asshat head buried in sand ignoring facts.

FJ said...

Nope. What I knew when I came here was that the USA not only feeds it's own (they're the fattest on earth), but we feed the rest of the world as well. Our poor have cars, microwave ovens, color televisions, and live the easiest, most leisurely pampered life since the days of the Roman EMpire.

The day when Americans are reduced to emulating Europeans is the day when the rest of the world begins to starve to death.

FJ said...

btw - Anybody not think that welfare and immigration had a lot to do with accelerating the fall of the Roman Empire?

Didn't think so.

FJ said...

ps- Eastern Europe learned the "lesson" of harmful and degrading socialism. They won't be fooled again by your nonsense.

Thanks for pointing THAT out!

Larry Gambone said...

PT, my reference is to the Canadian situation, which is the one I know best. Here about two-thirds of the population are social democratic, yet the mass media are overwhelmingly neo-con. Such a situation can only be seen as an attempt by the corporations to brainwash and control the mass of the population and this is highly undemocratic, smacking more of a totalitarian system. The mass media should more closely reflect the values and desires of the people and not be used as a mouthpiece by a small minority.

I know the far right is popular in the States, not so in Canada.

Renegade Eye said...

FJ: Alan Woods on the Roman Empire: The slave economy had long since exhausted itself, to the extent that the Roman landowners had "freed" their slaves in most cases and converted them into coloni, bound to the land. This was the embryo of serfdom and the feudal system that was later perfected by the barbarians who erected an agricultural society on the ruins of the Roman Empire. But none of this came about as a result of a conscious plan.

Eastern Europe learned the lessons of Stalinism, not socialism. They experienced the thermidor.

Venezuela has a problem of distribution of food, due to conscious sabotage. In addition they import more than they should.

With the food crisis occuring around the world, how does the US capitalist system respond? By cutting production.

Daniel H-G: Aren't even the Tories, way to FJ's left?

PT: When you talk about the Fairness Doctrine, it's liberals that you should address that issue to.

I know O'Reilly has some positions, most liberals are unaware he has. He opposes the death penalty. O'Reilly's interviews are highly edited.

The Fox News audience is 90% conservative.

Larry G: FJ might be surprised to find out conservatives in Canada, brought UHC to the country, to hit the NDP.

The Pagan Temple said...

Gambone-the far right isn't any more popular in the US than the far left. Most people don't identify themselves with such labels. Most people either see themselves as liberal or conservative, but they tend to identify more with the center position of either one of those, not the far fringe groups. Most people aren't so easily pigeonholed if you break them down position by position.

It's only the people who are taken in by group identity politics, whether liberal or conservative, who tend to be extremist in their views. Most people aren't like that. Nixon called them the Silent Majority. They tend not to be politically active and usually express interest only during the final two weeks of an election cycle, or when there is a serious problem or development.

That's why people are so negative now. Now they are paying attention, because it is hitting them where it hurts the most, in their wallets.

It sounded like you were promoting something similar to the Fairness Doctrine, which was why I said that. There is plenty of availability of diverse viewpoints in the United States. Both sides get their views publicized. Before the advent of talk radio, you had to be a skilled diviner to find a conservative forum. Since then, people have flocked to the conservative point of view, and the traditional media does not like it.

Here's the key. People that watch Fox with an open mind will easily see that people with both liberal and conservative views are given sufficient time, regardless of the editorial policy of the network itself. Both sides are treated with relative fairness. People that watch the network news or read most traditional newspapers do not get the same impression. That is why Fox is successful and they are not.

The Los Angeles Times is bankrupt, as is the Chicago Tribune. The New York Times has lost a lot of circulation. There is a reason for that. People don't want to spend money for something they can't depend on to tell them the truth without what they see as an agenda.

Fox does not deny they are conservative, but they strive to be objective at least in their news reporting, and even in their opinion programs. I remember once when O'Reilly lambasted Trent Lott over something. Lott's smug smile faded away almost immediately.

Conservatives make the same misjudgments about CNN. If you heard the head of CNN talk, you could not distinguish his views from those of Rush Limbaugh, and there are a number of conservatives there such as Lou Dobbs and others. Yet, the editorial policy is undoubtedly more liberal than Fox.

Even MSNBC used to have Alan Keyes as a program host. It's just different here than it is in most other places. Everybody has a voice here, so there is no need for any kind of control of content. The viewers control the content by voting with their remotes or with their wallets at the newsstands. What could be more democratic than that?

Larry Gambone said...

My problem is PT, I just don't see a heck of a lot of difference between US cons and libs. The only difference seems to be bugger you with a smile or bugger you with a frown.

The Pagan Temple said...

Yeah, that's true to a great extent. They are both bought and sold, they are both corrupt, etc. I don't have a lot of love for the Republican Party, but by and large at least they do make the pretense of wanting to uphold the constitution the way it is written, while Democrats and liberals, and some moderate Republicans, want to turn it on its head and make it say whatever they can twist it around to mean.

I was all fired up for Fred Thompson when he announced in the primaries precisely because he is a Federalist, a philosophy that I have become a big advocate for. I only voted for RINO McCain in the end because of the presence of Palin on the ticket. I would have voted for Giuliani, who is a moderate and in some ways even a liberal Republican, but he is the exception that proves the rule.

Since you are a Canadian, you would not have the awareness of the intricacies of the constitution and the difference in the two parties concerning it. That's where the real difference between the two is. The real game is in judicial appointments. Where the parties stand in support or in opposition to first one or another social or economic issue is almost irrelevant in comparison.

True, legitimate conservatives, in my opinion, would never try to pass laws that give the federal government national power over the states concerning social issues, they would feel that is the legitimate domain of the states. That's the Federalist position anyway. We have a single currency, a national one, not different state currencies as we did in the days of the Articles of Confederation when states could mint their own money. As such, you can make a case for the federal government to pass laws pertaining to economic policy, as there is a common need and a need for cohesion in policy, but even here there needs to be limits and caution.

True conservatives would also never support the US being the policeman of the world. Our military might should be used defensively, when necessary, and that's all.

Conservatives have lost their bearings in a lost of ways. Liberals never had them to begin with, with a few exceptions, at least not in the sense that most Americans have.

I have a feeling people here are going to be very sorry over their last votes, not just over the presidency, but maybe especially the Senate and House elections. Obama might not overreach at least not in his first term, but Reid and Pelosi I am very much afraid will. I don't think they will be able to help themselves.

Renegade Eye said...

Reid and Pelosi have no principle other than what's good for votes or money. If I were a liberal, I would say they cave in all the time to conservatives. They sell out compulsively. even when they hold all of the cards.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ: yes, America suffers from obesity worse than any other nation but that's not just about food, it's about quality of fodd, attitude to food and amount of exercise and attitude to cars.

The US does not feed the rest of the world, really, you'd think that 8 years of Bush foreign policy would've taught you that Amercia cannot exist in its own bubble.

And your data on the poor in America is utterly wrong, fo course they lives are better than those who are poor in let's say South Africa but that doesn't make it any less of a disgrace that so many children are born into poverty in the US. And they don't have the things you talk of. You really need to get out more.

Can I also pull you back in with your referencing of the Roman Empire, you do know that the Roman Empire is not a great example of a wonderful society to aim for and that using it as a refence point makes you look like a slave endorsing, human rights hating, bigoted asshat?

Americans emulating Europeans? Glad to see you have further prejudice here to cloud any attempt at reasoned and intelligent debate. Some advice, in order for you to be able to engage on a decent level, you have to drop much of the prejudice that is stunting your intellectual growth.

As for Eastern Europe? Have you been? Have you carried out research with the people and collected ideas and thoughts on the passing of Communism. Well I ahve and their feelings towards it arte not as clear cut as you'd think but you wouldn't know that becuase you don't actually go out and out your money where your mouth is and engage with the issues.

And while I'm at it, Pagan Temple:

America is the most conservative Western nation in the world, it is the most right-leaning by a mile, the reasons for this are too long to put here but the reason I say this, is the idea that the US is ome kind of middle-ground hog is frankly bizarre and missing the place that the US fills in the world's political spectrum.

Talk radio and many other news outlets have become lowest commom denominator outlets, propergating untruths, smears and deeply prejudiced nonsense that is poisoning American society. They aren't a blessing, they are a curse and be careful with regards to gragging out the old liberal media bias card when we've had 8 years of the media being fuck all use in holding the Bush administration to rights.

And as an outsider, your spiel on FOX is horseshit, it is so bias it beggers belief, newsmaking like that is not allowed in any other Western society, impartial news is a misnomer in the US.

Rather like FJ but no where near as bad, the sheer level of your partizan beliefs means that you can't embrace the entire truth of a situation and have to resort to so how demeening the other side with ouright lies: "Conservatives have lost their bearings in a lost of ways. Liberals never had them to begin with" WHAT? For good sake you may as well say that all black people are lazy and that French are bad at fighting, wild generalisations just make the person who uses them look like they are an idiot and haven't read enough books or explored the world.

You voted for McCain when he had that odd, backward thinking harpy on his ticket? Hang your head in shame, that woman anywhere near a position of power would have left the US as an even bigger laughing stock.

From your comments you seem to be some backward thinking, isolationist; in love with a poltical viewpoint that is damaging and rtetrograde, not a device that pushes forward the envelope of humanity.

Divisive politics is just that.

The Pagan Temple said...

Daniel Hoffmann Gill-

Democratic politics is by its nature divisive if it's really democratic, unless you think all people believe the same. If they do, democracy is irrelevant anyway.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

By divisive I'm referring to the idea that we carve up the world into smaller (and fictional manmade ideas of identity) and smaller bits.

When we need to realise that by pulling and working together, at the same time recognizing but not making central issues out of our differences, we can get on better.

Larry Gambone said...

PT, I too am shocked by your comment about voting BECAUSE of that loon, Palin. I actually missed that statement at first nor believing my eyes. No one here in Canada, even conservative commentators had any use for that crack pot.

The Pagan Temple said...

Nobody gets Palin, including conservatives, who think she is Ronald Reagan with a pussy. She is not. If Sarah Palin were a Democrat, the Republicans would be bad-mouthing her just like Democrats do now. They would be saying things like-

"No, we don't need Sarah Palin in high office, she engaged in income redistribution against the oil companies. She regulated them harshly and raised taxes on them, and doled out more than a thousand dollars to each Alaska citizen, and then tried to force the oil companies to build a pipeline against their will, and eventually succeeded in getting them to agree to do so."

The Democrats would have been pointing to that, which really did happen, as proof of how progressive she was. Instead, they and you all ignore great things like that which she did and focus on nonsense like her personal beliefs about abortion and her religious beliefs. Who cares about that stuff? Even if you do, there's more than just that. Look at everything. Her experience as a regulator of a major industry-probably the first in Alaska's history that did not do the companies bidding-makes her far more experienced than Obama or McCain either one, and Hillary too for that matter.

How am I supposed to take somebody seriously when they criticize me for believing Fox News (even though I have watched it on innumerable occasions while I doubt the person that criticized me for it has watched it even once aside from maybe a few recorded snippets undoubtedly taken out of context) when they can't even get the facts straight regarding a major political candidate and seem to depend on their views from some hostile source that they choose to believe without question.

Sarah Palin is a breath of fresh air to me. She is not some hack conservative or liberal politician. She's an American patriot citizen leader, the exact kind of person the founders hoped would lead the country as opposed to a bunch of lawyer hacks and ivy-league graduates that don't have jack shit in common with the average American.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Oh we get Palin plenty, the woman is an idiot, terrible policies, lack of understanding of world isues and a long way to the right.

She's not reagan for godsake, she is Bush jnr with a vagina.

She isn;t progressive by any sense of the word, she is retrograde, she is a rollback to a time when an accent and being ignorant won votes against the Washington intelligentia.

She is not a leader of a nation, a small state perhaps but not a nation by any stretch.

FOX NEWS is an international laughing stock becuase it trumpets fair and balanced and is neither and I've seen more than snippets, it's called knowing your enemy.

"American patriot citizen leader", if she is reflective of patriotism, America or a godo citizen then you're fucked and may I add you don;t want an average Amercian leading a nation becuase they aren't leaders, you need exceptional, you need intelligent, you need not average or ordinary.

The Pagan Temple said...

HaHaHaHa you say she isn't progressive as though that's a bad thing. I'm not progressive either, to me that's a recommendation. To me the word progressive is a dirtier word than liberal. It implies somebody that wants to tell me what to do and how to live my life. I'll admit, I can use some advice from time to time, and I don't mind asking for it. I'm not proud. I just don't want some government agency cramming it down my throat "for my own good".

Actually average Americans of intelligence and experience are far more desirable than someone who has spent his life and career being groomed for a life in politics or the law. Those people don't know their asses from holes in the ground. They don't know jack shit about how the average American thinks and feels. How in the hell can they come close to representing me if they don't understand me.

Democracy-republican democracy, American style, is not the same as European style vote-buying and influence peddling, where if you vote for the right candidate you get all the goodies you want as long as you don't expect too much liberty in the meantime.

Hey now I'll admit, it's groovy as hell when a politician can make the trains run on time, but sometimes the trade-off might just not be worth it.

Shit, twenty years from now if you blow your nose in downtown London somebody from Madrid is liable to haul you into court for engaging in germ warfare. You guys wouldn't know freedom and individual rights and liberties if it bit you on the ass.

We really do believe in freedom of speech here, at least true conservatives do. They might lambaste liberals that say stupid shit. The only reason those conservatives might seem hateful to you is because every time a liberal opens his mouth something stupid comes out, so therefore by definition a conservative is going to seem hateful. But at least they don't try to haul them up in court for engaging in "hate speech".

We have a tradition here of standing up for and defending the rights of the minority. I'm talking about minority opinion, not racial minorities, an area where we have also made much improvement.

What's the European record for minority protection? The only thing that comes to my mind is free room and board at Buchenwald. As for the free "health care" you Europeans gave to your "guests" there and other such places, I think I would have preferred to put up with the lice.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'd worry less about words and more about content.

And of course you're against progressive, I've already highlighted your obsession with retrograde action, with backward thinking options, anything that smacks of moving a situation forward, of improvement, of positive policy making.

The US obsession with the cult of the individual, of anti-governence, of self-interest over group interest; is the greatest flaw I think. It's what stops America helping each other because helping each other is some how weak, it propergates the myth of the American Dream, that ANYONE can make it when in reality, they can't.

It keeps poor people poor and the rich rich but stops poor people backing taxes for the rich becuase they too think that'll be like them one day, Bush jnr. was a master of policy that middle and lower class Americans voted for, against their own interest because doing so would go against the model of aspirational rich.

World leader is not a job for the average American, never will be, unless America suddenly becomes very average. You've had a fake average guy in charge for 8 years, the real thing wouldn't be any better. Although in some senses, Bush is very average, both in intelligence, political nouse and awareness of global issues. His personal tastes (a classic guide to averageness) have intruded far too much on policy making.

And in Obama, you have a man who ticks all the boxes. Years spent working with America's poorest, an instigatoer for change but with the qualifications and world view to match.

But a fear of intelligence is a fear of one's own stupidity, Bush was the avatar for anti-intellectual governence and look where it got you.

You attack European style democracy and accuse it of the one thing US style democracy is famous for, large interest groups and business buying votes via lobbying. In Europe, there isn't a lobbying body at all and in the US, there is a multi-million dollar sector devoted to it; so I'd check your facts before you accuse other nations. You are the ones with a government in the pocket of non-elected special interest groups. You are the one with a nation that gets people elected on the back of donations from business and lobbyist which then effects policy, not in Europe, we don't allow that kind of funding into our political system. You do.

Your 20 years scenario is as out of touch as it is confusing, I think you've lost the plot somewhat on the issue at hand, FJ shouting from a hill is one thing but an accurate debate with me is another. Explain this hysterical, ill-informed nonsense or accept you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Your point regarding freedom of speech (an area that the US is far ahead of but inspired by the model you have Europe is making progressive steps to a better position) is spolit by your prejudiced and jaundiced banter on the word liberal, partizan never works, no issue is black or white, blind hatred of someone based on a word is as daft as it is hateful. Grow up, learn a little more, open your mind and you'll find things are better that way.

As for a tradition of defending the rights of the minority...like many American's, you seem to think you invented things like this and freedom and many other buzz words. You didn't but that's okay. I'm not sure what your point is, or the point you tag on about race but my words were not an assualt on America, more an assualt on the mis-truths you were spreading and I must say, the fact that you voted (or wanted to) for McCain is a millstone around your neck with regards to your political knowledge.

It's not that he was a Republican, it's that he was just a very bad candidate with terrible policies, like John Kerry was.

Can I also add that dropping in a reference to Buchenwald is another example of deeply, deeply unsuitable and offensive mis-use of a blog and the comments forum.

A dig using the Holocaust? My, what sense of perspective you have, my, how intelligent you clearly aren't, how desperate you are to shout my effective argument down by being an idiot.

Glad to see the the American record for tolerence to minorities extends to Europe...or not.

The European record for minority protection is excellent, whether that be our social care programmes, or health care programmes, or edcuation programmes. I spend some of my time, when not acting, working with refugees and asylum seekers in this country and we do a good job, could be better, but we will progress, we will learn and Europe will keep being a force for change and for good in the world and it looks like, at last after an 8 year gap; we'll be joined by America again and we'll be happy to partner that fine nation as at last she's grown up after an 8 year attack of the tantrums.

And I'd think long and hard about using the Holocaust as a flawed chaep shot in an Internet debate you silly, little man. I have relatives you were around and involved in the crimes of Nazi Germany, witnessed and suffered at its hands, show respect to a matter that is not befitting a comments section on a blog.

The Pagan Temple said...

Daniel Hoffman-Gill-

"And of course you're against progressive, I've already highlighted your obsession with retrograde action, with backward thinking options, anything that smacks of moving a situation forward, of improvement, of positive policy making."

It's just your opinion that progressive policies are best. I happen to disagree. I think the term progressive is a misnomer. Progressive policies are usually anything but, if anything, they are regressive and punitive.

"The US obsession with the cult of the individual"

And with this statement you've just proven beyond all reasonable doubt that you see people as one great mass not appreciably different from a herd of sheep. Our "obsession" is an appreciation and a respect of individual dignity and right to self-determination. Your characterization of it implies that such respect comes with no expectations of individual responsibility, and this is far from the case. We honor and value individual responsibility, and the rule of law. The rights of all individuals are equally important. We are not cattle.

"It's what stops America helping each other because helping each other is some how weak, it propergates the myth of the American Dream, that ANYONE can make it when in reality, they can't."

No one claimed everybody could get wealthy. The American Dream is a goal, a work in the making, it is not guaranteed to anyone. No one has any guarantees of success. Americans do help each other, every day.

Oh, but I see. You're not really talking about Americans as individuals, you're talking about the government. I get it now. Let's let the government do everything for us, including our thinking. No thanks.

"It keeps poor people poor and the rich rich but stops poor people backing taxes for the rich becuase they too think that'll be like them one day, Bush jnr. was a master of policy that middle and lower class Americans voted for, against their own interest because doing so would go against the model of aspirational rich."

No, it's just that some of us realize that high taxes are a disincentive to economic growth. If I had one hundred million dollars, do you know how much money I would invest in a business?

Answer-not one fucking dime. I'd pay my taxes on it lawfully, but I wouldn't put a dime towards hiring people. It's not worth it having to put up with the crap from government and certain special interest groups I know I'd have to put up with. I'd rather just keep the money for myself and party like there's no tomorrow, or just relax, whatever.

"World leader is not a job for the average American, never will be, unless America suddenly becomes very average. You've had a fake average guy in charge for 8 years, the real thing wouldn't be any better. Although in some senses, Bush is very average, both in intelligence, political nouse and awareness of global issues. His personal tastes (a classic guide to averageness) have intruded far too much on policy making."

I don't vote for world leaders, I vote for American leaders. If I were to vote for a world leader, there's only one I can think of who would fit the bill. Who is he? Wait for it-

ME! And by God, everybody would do what I fucking say or else. You think Caligula was bad? Guess what? I would turn insanity into a fucking art form. I would mandate cat worship, and you would adhere to it. Do you have a pretty wife. I would fuck her. And you would sit and watch, eat a bag of chips, and not open your mouth about it. And, you would like it. I would colonize the moon. I would commission slaves to etch my face across the surface so that every night when people look up at the full moon, they would see me staring down at them from then on.

Of course, I recognize I'm not perfect, so on some days, I'm probably going to lose it and do crazy shit.

But of course, you don't ever have to worry about none of that. I will probably always be just an average American citizen that recognizes that if you give any party, group, or individual too much power, they tend to get corrupt and do crazy shit, and so I'll always support limited government, and the freedom and independence of American citizens.

It doesn't take a genius to run America. It takes somebody with common sense, somebody with experience from the ground up, somebody that has been active in community affairs, starting at the local level, the state legislature, etc., rising up gradually until he or she reaches the level of maturity and experience necessary to be a national leader.

All it takes to be a "world leader" is a fucking asshole.

"And in Obama, you have a man who ticks all the boxes. Years spent working with America's poorest, an instigatoer for change but with the qualifications and world view to match."

HaHaHaHa Obama doesn't even have as much experience in governance as Palin. Which, that's fine with me. I never had a problem with Obama's qualifications of lack thereof. I figured he would surround himself with people with the proper qualifications. My problem with him is his policies. My major problem isn't with him, it's with his supporters who have turned him into the closest thing we've had to a living god since Ramses II.

"But a fear of intelligence is a fear of one's own stupidity, Bush was the avatar for anti-intellectual governence and look where it got you."

I don't fear intelligence, I respect and admire it. I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, enough in fact to tell when somebody is trying to sell me a bill of goods. As for Bush, I was never a Bush supporter. I never voted for the man. I voted for Gore and Kerry. I didn't like either one, but I was afraid Bush was going to bring back deficit spending, which he did, and I realized that he fucked up the Iraq War, which was why I voted for Kerry.

But the main people that have fucked things up are the Democrats. They have been in charge of our Congress for the last two years you know. It was right after they took over in 2006 that things really turned to shit. Explain that.

"You attack European style democracy and accuse it of the one thing US style democracy is famous for, large interest groups and business buying votes via lobbying. In Europe, there isn't a lobbying body at all and in the US, there is a multi-million dollar sector devoted to it; so I'd check your facts before you accuse other nations. You are the ones with a government in the pocket of non-elected special interest groups. You are the one with a nation that gets people elected on the back of donations from business and lobbyist which then effects policy, not in Europe, we don't allow that kind of funding into our political system. You do."

You make a good point here about the American electoral system. I don't like it either. But it's not supposed to be that way. There needs to be serious reform, but the system will never reform itself. The only cure is for people to start paying attention and get involved in all areas of politics, beginning at the local level, and keeping themselves informed and not allowing these special interest groups to lead them by the nose.

As for Europe, you don't have any reason to crow. Yes you do have special interests there, they are mainly corporate, but you also have special interest groups that try to impose their wills through the power of the European Union, because they know the people in many parts of Europe would never put up with it otherwise. That's why the Irish wisely rejected the Lisbon Treaty. Good on them. They already got a taste of the European Unions overreaching with the law against smoking in pubs.

Hey, I have a thought. Why in the hell don't we allow the Irish to decide whether people can smoke in their pubs or not, and if some dip-shit elitist from Brussels don't like it, he can stay his fairy-ass away from the Emerald Isle.

"Your 20 years scenario is as out of touch as it is confusing, I think you've lost the plot somewhat on the issue at hand, FJ shouting from a hill is one thing but an accurate debate with me is another. Explain this hysterical, ill-informed nonsense or accept you don't have a clue what you're talking about."

How about the fact that you can't express an opinion in Europe unless it meets state approval, otherwise you risk being tried for hate speech? My twenty-year scenario was just hyperbole, but it might not be that far from the mark either.

"Your point regarding freedom of speech (an area that the US is far ahead of but inspired by the model you have Europe is making progressive steps to a better position) is spolit by your prejudiced and jaundiced banter on the word liberal, partizan never works, no issue is black or white, blind hatred of someone based on a word is as daft as it is hateful. Grow up, learn a little more, open your mind and you'll find things are better that way."

It's mindsets and group think that I hate, not people. I have some liberal views myself. I've had Mr. Beamish cuss me out and call me a leftist on my own blog. My defense of the workers in Chicago is not exactly a "conservative" position. I criticize conservatives for group think too, but they are pikers compared to you people.

When I pointed out aspects of Sarah Palin's record that were praiseworthy, and by no means "conservative", you refused to even respond to the information and continued to lambast her. You have no credibility on this matter.

As for the "progress" Europe is making on free speech issues, ask David Irving about that, I'm sure he would disagree. He'd better not though, you people might tack on five more years. What's that all about anyway? How is it a British citizen gets hauled into an Austrian court to begin with for expressing his views (which I don't agree with, by the way) and gets sentenced to prison time.

As for a tradition of defending the rights of the minority...like many American's, you seem to think you invented things like this and freedom and many other buzz words. You didn't but that's okay.

We might not have "invented" it, but we codified it and enshrined it in our constitution, so that it could not be taken away due to some temporary whim of some demagogue through mass discontent or mob rule. Some liberal try though, every day.


"I'm not sure what your point is, or the point you tag on about race"

I wanted to make sure you knew I was talking about minority opinion, not minority groups, and I knew if I didn't add the race bit you'd probably come back with some dig about slavery.

"but my words were not an assualt on America, more an assualt on the mis-truths you were spreading and I must say, the fact that you voted (or wanted to) for McCain is a millstone around your neck with regards to your political knowledge."

I didn't vote for McCain, I voted for Palin, and if she runs for President in 2012 or 2016, I will vote for her again. I bet she wins too.

"Can I also add that dropping in a reference to Buchenwald is another example of deeply, deeply unsuitable and offensive mis-use of a blog and the comments forum.

"A dig using the Holocaust? My, what sense of perspective you have, my, how intelligent you clearly aren't, how desperate you are to shout my effective argument down by being an idiot."

You criticize America, but you can't take the heat over your own history it seems. The Holocaust is a perfect example of how Europe historically has treated minorities. Germany was just the star of the show, but she had plenty of eager co-stars who enabled her up until she turned on you all. Europe's entire history is written in the blood of the conquered, the subjugated, and the oppressed. Don't blame me for telling it like it is. Your countries made plenty of money off the American slave trade, and how many pogroms has America conducted again?

"Glad to see the the American record for tolerence to minorities extends to Europe...or not."

Oh, the poor widdle Eowopeons, nobody wikes you anymore and evwebody pikcs on woo, oh waaaaaa.

"The European record for minority protection is excellent,"

Yeah, it's been at least twenty years since you've conducted a pogrom.


"whether that be our social care programmes, or health care programmes, or edcuation programmes."

Yeah, I want to seriously thank you for the health care programs. I sincerely mean that. Your health care programs encouraged the worlds greatest physicians to come to America-not Europe. Thanks for yet another brain drain, sucker. As for the education "programmes", (what we here in America usually refer to as indoctrination) keep it up and maybe we'll end up with the world's brightest students as well.

Oh, wait, I'm sorry, we already have them. They are called "Indians". I guess those ancient British ties wasn't enough to drag them to Oxford or Cambridge. Maybe it has something to do in part with that "excellent" record of European "minority protections".

"I spend some of my time, when not acting, working with refugees and asylum seekers in this country"

Yeah, and that's the bulk of your immigration, people looking for menial jobs and/or government aid. Good luck with that. It's a good thing to help people in need up to a reasonable point, but when that's the bulk of your immigration influx, it does not bode well for your long time economic security.

"and we do a good job, could be better, but we will progress, we will learn and Europe will keep being a force for change and for good in the world and it looks like, at last after an 8 year gap; we'll be joined by America again and we'll be happy to partner that fine nation as at last she's grown up after an 8 year attack of the tantrums."

We had people killed here. How would you like it if two thousand of your citizens were butchered by a bunch of maniacs while people in other places danced in the streets in celebration? Yeah, we got expressions of sympathy from Europe, but the minute you figured out we weren't just going to sit back and take it and not do something about it, you turned on us. So my attitude to Europe is still a big collective "fuck you".

By the way, you won't be "joined" by America, you will be joined by a group of two-bit politicians who think they can line their own pockets by doling out American taxpayer money. They don't give a shit about you. Never did. I know them, all too well, because they don't give a flying fuck about us either. Maybe one of these days, when the majority of Americans stop being so damned complacent and actually stay involved on a consistent basis and keep informed and aware of what's going on, things will really change. Then, maybe you can "join" us, but we will never "join" you.

"And I'd think long and hard about using the Holocaust as a flawed chaep shot in an Internet debate you silly, little man. I have relatives you were around and involved in the crimes of Nazi Germany, witnessed and suffered at its hands, show respect to a matter that is not befitting a comments section on a blog."

Yeah, but every country in Europe made Hitler not only possible, you made him inevitable. You have a hell of a lot to make up for before you go around pointing fingers at America, or for that matter anyplace else. Not talking about it, or suppressing dissenting views about it, or whining about it, or criticizing others for talking about it, just don't cut it or get anywhere near to the point of making good for it. It's going to take more than a fucking museum to make up for that fuck up.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Goodness me, you didn't need to take up that much space to repeat what you've already said and to show off your terrible prejudice and ignorance like a badge.

Far too much rope to hang yourself with and I'll be as brief as I can.

Progressive is a word look it up and don't be stuck on the politcal semantics you've assigned to it.

Don't start making out I generalise when that's all your capable of in this exchange. The cult of the indivdual is what makes the US unique but also is a root cuase for many of its flaws.

The American Dream is a wonderful thing and a dangerous thing, its impact I've already highlighted.

Your government is a representation of the people, if the people don't like it then they engage in a process, you can't pass off the impact of the US government on appreciations of Americaness. That is the other responsibility of voting.

You can't argue the Bush taxation point, it stands as fact the clever manipulation of the aspirational middle classes. Tax breaks for the rich are a bad idea and do not stimulate growth or hold it back. Basic economics.

Your bit about partying was daft so I'll move on.

You can be isolationist all you want, it's retrograde and backward thinking and not the way forward and it doesn't work. An American leader is by default engaging with other leaders making a group of world leaders. This is really basic so do keep up. Your head is buried in the sand regarding global politics and you can't wind time back.

Thanks for the rant, the hole you're in gets bigger. Your politcal naivity is exposed.

Obama was the best person and the best person won, for once. Rejoice.

Kerry then McCain, do you have a soft spot for veterans?

You blame the congress and Dmeocrats for poor policy intiated from the top down by Bush. That's just weird.

Your knowledge of Europe and European politics is limited and I'll say this, the Irish were one of the biggest benefitters from European Union and then they made themselves look like idiots by rejecting the thing that gave them growth.

The anti-smoking legislation did not come from Europe, it was a policy that has been doing the rounds for some time and many countries wanted to get on board.

Ad for your comment regarding letting Irish people decide, they did, you can't take take take from the bounty of economic union and then turn your nose up against legislation that is part of it.

Thankfully, they saw sense and we have healthier environments and the long term effects of that are all good. Success.

Your hate speech thing is fiction and prejudice, again. You talk lies to enable your argument,s tick to facts.

Her record is not praiseworthy, I will not praise her for being able to stand and get up of a morning. Dealt with, again.

David Irving is a Holocaust denyer and anti-semite, you are siding with a hate speech architect and a racist. Good grief man!

'Liberals' don't steal anything you idiot, its under the current Bush regime that human rights and liberties have been infringed upon beyond belief.

Palin hangs around your neck like a millstone, the woman is an ignorant. She will nto win, unless she reads some books and opens her mind.

My own history? Are you mad? It's not heat, it's that the Holocaust is not something to bandy about.

For godsake, Amercia has more than its fair share of killing to deal with, so what? No particular race or group is more laible than another you bigot!

See native americans, witch hunts, Iraq, Panama, Haiti and Japan for reference.

Pogrom's? Sorry, this coming from a nation that was worried its new leader might be a Muslim and uses torture.

Well done!

You are an ignorant and a knee-jerk reactionary, indoctrination? Read back what you wrote, hang head in shame for you are an idiot who calls names to what he doesn't know.

That is not a fair reflection of our immigration, read more books please before you pretend to know about the massive volume fo skilled economic migration that comes to the UK to work.

Have you read any history books, Europe made Hitler possible? Are you out of your tiny mind? Hitler was a result of a massive array of factors that intertwined and created the Nazi movement. You dangerously try and simplify the matter to make your point, you are a horrid little man with no sense of deceny and a lack of what is happening around you and to you.

You seem to be saying, like a fool, that Europe has be sorry for Hitler as it was all our faults?

You need to take a break.

I'll say this, I've debated with many idiots in my time who hold offensive and backward views and you are no where near the worst.

Thank god.

Take care and look after yourself.

xxxx

Larry Gambone said...

"Your health care programs encouraged the worlds greatest physicians to come to America-not Europe"

Correction PT, not the "world's greatest", the "world's greediest"...

If health care was poorer in Europe or Canada, the vital statistics would show it. They show that USians live shorter lives, have higher infant mortality etc than Europeans.

The Pagan Temple said...

What's the matter Daniel Hoffman-Gill, are you too lazy to copy and paste or just too big a coward to let people see a point-by-point comparison of our two points-of-view?

Gambone-The greatest doctors are the ones who will make the grade and will be the ones who will be successful in coming here to practice medicine. Being greedy is worthless if you don't have the required skills to back it up.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I was on my way to meeting a blogger that Ren will be familiar with, Mohamed Hasan, for a night of face to face grown up debate.

I dealt with your madness, now go back to the hole where all Palin fans must live until they get a political conscience.

And speaking of avoiding points, you did a great job of skipping past Gambone's fatal blow.

Be seeing you.

The Pagan Temple said...

Gambone-

Sorry I neglected to respond to your "fatal blow", so I'll do it now, so the two-bit wannabe actor can't say I didn't try.

I know that the American medical establishment and health care in America has a lot of room for improvement, and there needs to be reform. We would probably just disagree on the best way of doing that.

As for the actor above, I hope for his sake he's a mime. When he cries "uncle" in a way meant to save face, he does not know how to do so convincingly.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Hello Mr. Cheap Shot, nice to see you here again.

FYI: I'm not a wannabee because that's how I make my living, acting and as for two-bit, I'm exceptionally good. Just so you clear on that fact, indeed, I think I'm still on American TV at the mo so that's all good.

As for your reposte to Gambone, you didn't deal with it at all, he pointed out the many things America lags behind on in only one field and you reply by saying they need reform.

No shit, thanks for that sharp insight...

As for 'crying uncle', you're right, in the sense that I deserve some mercy for having to deal with your leaden, empty arguments; again and again and again.

Which I have.

Thanks for that.

PS: I'm also a pretty good mime.

The Pagan Temple said...

Good for you, I'm glad you are enjoying success at your profession. What are you in over here?

Doesn't change the facts that you are just dead wrong on a lot of things and don't want to educate yourself on the truth, as you already of course think you know it all. It's impossible to enlighten a closed mind, at least when it's bolt locked from the inside.

I could solve the health care crisis in two or three years time, or at least vastly improve it. No one will listen to me though, because my method wouldn't involve punitive taxes and regulations, so why bother?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Comment ping-pong goes on, more topspin methinks!

Kohler commercial and a feature film hopefully to be out there come Jan/Feb.

We both feel exactly the same way about each other and on that we can agree, I could spin your deadbolt mind thing right back at you but read back over the comments and your language is more partizan than mine.

Glad you have a solution to the health crisis, go tell your congress person and senator, be a hero.

The Pagan Temple said...

Here's what you said that got the ball rolling.

"From your comments you seem to be some backward thinking, isolationist; in love with a poltical viewpoint that is damaging and rtetrograde, not a device that pushes forward the envelope of humanity."

You were pissed off too when you wrote that, I can tell by the multiple misspellings. You just went off on a tangent. You don't know anything about me. If you can't take it, don't dish it out. I am not Farmer John. I am not a knee-jerk Libertarian conservative who toes the party line.

You are a sad little man who lives in a world of make believe. That is not a prescription for valid solutions to real world problems, just more fantasy.

I applaud your concern for world affairs, I just think you are wrong about a lot of things. That is how I "feel" about you. When you're off the stage, people move on and you're just another face in the crowd then, aren't you? Your opinions are no more or, granted, no less valid than anybody elses.

It would help if you were right more often in a days time than a stopped clock.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

No, I said far more than that, which was a reflection on your growing and unchallenged right-wing nonsense you were throwing down to a debate with Gambone.

It's not a tangent, its a response to what you were pushing out.

You don't know anything about me. So what? That's blogging. I judged you on your words, I think you did the same, we are at opposite ends of the spectrum on this.

As for dishing it out, you seem to have an infalted idea of your ability to do that.

I'm not sad, little (6ft 6in) or living in a world of make believe. In live in London.

I constantly enage in valid and genuine solutions, I do plenty of actually making things change rather than running my mouth as you do.

Try it.

I'm not sure what your little thing is about going off stage and what that means, you clearly know as much about acting as you do about politics.

Art is about sharing ideas and enabling change. Something alien to you clearly.

I'm very right but not the way you are.

All the best to you and yours.

The Pagan Temple said...

First off, thanks for the well wishes, they are appreciated if sincere, and I say likewise.

Unfortunately, you are just full of shit in a lot of ways over a lot of things, aren't you?

Art is about sharing ideas and enabling change? Really? Good, but no one has to buy what you're selling or pushing. Get used to that concept. People appreciate artists for their talents and work, or not, depending on the individual case. Nobody follows their lead, because they do not lead, in fact, they just preach to their choirs.

That I do know. I won't deny I don't know that much about acting, but I know a considerable lot about politics. You are welcome to shill for the left all you want. Just accept the fact that that is what you are-a shill-and we can move on.

I bet you could list a bunch of issues without comment, send it to this comment section, and I could fill in the blanks after the words and I would be close to one hundred percent right as far as your "beliefs". I doubt you could do the same with me to anywhere near the same degree of accuracy, in fact I know you could not. So no, you don't know me, but I do know you and your kind all too well.

You are indeed a sad little man with a sad little mind, your physical size is irrelevant. And what in the hell does living in London have to do with it? The point is you are living in a fantasy world and I mean to shake you from your complacency, your arrogant notion that you have all the answers.

"Try it"? I have an idea. Try thinking for yourself.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

LET THE PING PONG COMMENCE!

Full of shit? No more than any other human. NEXT!

Choice with art is a lovely thing, that is the wonder of it, since I'm been a professional artist for nearly 12 years now I know this more than you.

Good owrk enables change and does not preach to choirs, the last show I was in, Zero, was a fine example of that, it is possible and happens often if the writing and performance is good. You really should stay clear of a subject matter you know little about but hey, that hasn't stop you thus far...

Shill for the left? No but I am open to human centred policy making and rights for our ape cousins. I moved on a long time ago, it is you, wailing in the dirt, stuck here but I shall keep you company for along as you need. REJOICE!

As for your 'fill I the blank idea' the answer I'm afraid is no, I love how you think you are somehow above being 'figured out' (classic complex but its okay, your parents did love you). As for 'your kind' comments, that's a dangerous line to follow, i get the feeling you're either a wit us or against us type and if you're not you need to look at your words.

But so I can see you fail try:

Bulgaria
Persian Empire
Cheese
Berlin
Pagan Temples
Badger Baiting
Urban Planning
Single Parent Families

For fear of repeating myself:

I'm happy (home owner, in love, money, career I enjoy, creative life, travel often etc etc), big (at 15 stone and 6ft 6in) and with a tested intellect of 117.

I made it clear I live in London because you seem to think I live somewhere called "fantasy land" which I don't, I live in London, fantasy land is in Disney I think and no one can actually live there, unless you're a tramp.

I never said I have all the answers but you are clearly projecting onto me your won fears of where this debate has taken you. I have no such fears. Project away but in the long term you'll have to face up to your own issues and process them.

"Try thinking for yourself."

Tried it, liked it and done it since I was a boy. Have a go yourself, instread of being a delude mouth piece.

OH I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS TO GO ON AND ON AND ON...

The Pagan Temple said...

No, there's no need in carrying this any further. You can't recognize (or admit) that you're just another leftist shill, so what's the point? Any further discussion between us would have to be based on a mutual understanding of that fact, and you are incapable of the self-honesty necessary for such honest self-assessment. Thus, it's time to move on. Have fun in fantasy land.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm re-reading The Audacity of Hope at the moment and there is a great section and I'm paraphrasing, about some people painting their faces red and some people painting their face blue and calling each other names and believing only in absolutes, no grey areas and one side scores a cheap shot and the other a close victory.

Obama makes it claer and I agree, that this is not politics, never has been never will be but we've been living in a time, I'd say since Reagan, where we have, give or take moments of clarity and that's a real shame.

It's not worthy of anyone on any side.

I looked up shill, it's not a word used much in the UK and it means someone who helps sell the ideas of someone else while pretending to not be involved.

That made me laugh, I wear my heart on my sleeve and my beliefs, I find it funny I suppose that anyone would think that I'd hide any of that but then again you think that liberal is movement.

I urge you to not stay in the face paint world and come join me in the real one.

The Pagan Temple said...

I actually felt sorry for you when I read this. What can I say? The real world is made up of real people living their lives, trying to find some level of fulfillment of their hopes and dreams. When they start depending on politics and politicians to an inordinate degree to fulfill those promises, they come closer to slipping off the edge. Then they become activists and no one pays much attention to them, because they come across not as dedicated, but as-at best-obsessed.

Please, stick to your craft. You might be good, but I doubt you are as good as you think or say you are. You still have a valuable contribution to make, and should concentrate on that, as I would hate to see you waste it by becoming overly involved in politics, which is a false hope and an empty promise.

Sean Penn is probably one of the greatest actors of our generation, and also one of the most disliked. By many he is outright despised. He influences no one who does not already adhere to his point of view-which means he influences no one.

This face paint business is interesting. I think you'd better apply some paint removal. You are so deeply enmeshed in liberal politics you have deluded yourself into thinking you are mainstream. You might be mainstream in Britain, granted, but not America. It is really quite arrogant for you to preach to an American that he is backwards and isolationist, etc., because you want us to join you. Join you in what?

I have said on numerous occasions I have no problem with bi-lateral trade and defense treaties, I am only against multi-lateral treaties. That is a stance against international government and bureaucracy, not isolationist.

Nations can get along quite well without having to wipe each others asses and blow each other's noses.

Europe should step up and make amends for the horrible deeds they have perpetrated over the mass of humanity over the centuries. If you do not, shame on you, but that is your business. It is not for me to judge you. It is however within my right to scream hell no when you expect Americans to clean up the mess you made in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

As long as crooked American politicians continue to do so for whatever reason, I will object fiercely. I could never look at you people as any kind of equal partner in world affairs. If you want America involved in your affairs, then you should know there are those of us who will insist that it should not happen, but if it does, America is the boss, and you are our puppets. Without us, you are nothing and will ever be nothing.

That, Daniel Hoffman Gill, is the "real world".

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

You describe the real world as if, during anything I've written, I'm somehow unaware of it when in reality, due to the variety of things I've done in my life, I am more than aware of what it encapsulates.

You seem to think you have a monopoly on the truth, on ideas of what is right and wrong. You don't. You take a comment that is about working together and make it divisive and that just about sums you up.

You seem to be scared of commitment to ideas, of caring, of doing something, perhaps of failure? Who knows, who cares.

You are obsessed that the one main strand in my life, acting, is all I am, when in reality I am a youth worker, a drugs worker, a counsellor, a local politician, a community worker and many, many other things.

You seem frozen with a fear of actually getting hurt by involving yourself in the deeper workings of the world and of people, as if staying away from politics is possible and at all a good thing to do.

You also seem to subscribe the the flawed thought process that if you are in any way famous then you are excluded from having a political viewpoint. We are all political, we are all humans rich with ideas, discussion and views; you are a repressed person, hell-bent on repressing others.

The whole point of the face paint quote, which you've missed totally becuase all you're interested in is slinging mud, is that no one is just one thing or the other.

Their is no liberal movement, their is no conservative movement and their is no mainstream.

Your ideas are backward looking and isolationist. You want your cake and eat it, you want to have your views but not be fully responsible for what they mean. You can say things like:

"Nations can get along quite well without having to wipe each others asses and blow each other's noses."

By all means but then you have to be prepared to live and die by that sword and be made clear that you're views are prejudiced and offensive becasue you take an idea of a global sense of politcal unity and make it into a diatribe because you're scared (of many things but that's for later) of losing your 'freedoms'.

And then you go and do it again...Accusing Europe of doing horrible deeds as if somehow, your own countries history and actions give you a moral highground, when they do not. You can get bogged down in this kind of tit-for-tat debate or you can move on and deal with issue progressively.

You're stuck.

We live in a world you seem to choose to ignore but I don't think it's that, I think you're terrified of it, of what it means to be part of a global economy, to have global responsibilities. You want to bury your head in the sand and hope time moves backwards.

It won't. And it's a shame you're stuck there. maybe one day you'll shake off the fear and join us.

PS: And Hoffmann has two 'n's, not one.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Do you not also think it's a shame that in a blog post that deals with an atrocity where 173 were killed and some 308 people injured, that we are having this pointless and petty debate?

Does that not strike you as crass and unsavoury? Self-indulgent perhaps?

But then I remember you are a person who uses the Holocaust as a bargaining chip...

The Pagan Temple said...

What a childish person you are. You want to assault any American who doesn't subscribe to your world views, but get offensive when I point out Europe's very real contribution to world problems-to world agony, in fact.

Then when I say you should step up and take responsibility, you complain because I insist it is Europe who shares the burden of the blame for those past misdeeds. If I were to suggest that America should "lead the way" in repairing the damage done by European nations with their hideous colonial rules and policies of the past, I have no doubt whatsoever that you would complain that I was proposing that America boss Europe around.

What part of I have no problem with bi-lateral trade and defense treaties don't you understand? How is that isolationist?

You're goddamned right I don't want to lose my freedoms. I don't want my country to give up one iota of its independence to suit you people. I don't suggest for one minute that America control the internal affairs of European nations or any others, and I damn sure insist that you have no say in our INTERNAL affairs. Get used to it.

You complained over my defense of David Irving on the grounds he was an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier. Well, you are a European, and therefore I can't really expect you to understand the concept of freedom of speech.

You people are the ones scared to death of liberty. For you to accuse me of being afraid is a laugh riot. You should concentrate on being a comedian.

You can't pick and choose what kind of speech is acceptable, and what kind is not, and then portray yourself as a champion of freedom of speech and expression. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. True freedom of speech and expression makes allowances for speech that the mainstream might consider despicable and objectionable.

We have a saying, "sunlight is the best disinfectant". Why is Europe so afraid of the sun? Sorry, you people are deluding yourselves if you think you are examples of freedom and liberty. There are certain Arab and Islamic countries who have as much freedom, all things being equal, as your average country in Europe.

Sure, you can vote for fist one party or another in your sham fuck elections, but what good is that when they are limited and constrained to remian within certain policy or social boundaries that they can never cross over without risking prison or banishment from public discourse?

European democracy is a sad joke and I for one among many want no part of it. America fought a war of independence to free itself from one form of European tyranny. I would have no fucking problem whatsoever taking part in another one.

In fact that would be most fitting, seeing how if it wasn't for America, you people would have probably fought no telling how many wars amongst yourselves over the last sixty years. After all, that is your history, one bloody fucking war after another. Think about that the next time you want to assert to my (and anybody else that knows better) as to how "enlightened" Europe is.

At your hearts and cores of your souls, you people are still a bunch of ignorant, bloodthirsty barbarians hiding behind a thin veneer of civilization. A facade of civility that in truth is a sad joke to the rest of the world.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Childish? No, that'll be engaging in a 100+ comment ping pong match in a thread connected to a terrible event and not knowing when to quit.

We should both be ashamed but you should've been ashamed a long time ago for the shit you keep pushing as reasoned, intelligent debate:

"At your hearts and cores of your souls, you people are still a bunch of ignorant, bloodthirsty barbarians hiding behind a thin veneer of civilization. A facade of civility that in truth is a sad joke to the rest of the world."

You're a bigoted, unintelligent, knee-jerk prick, replace European with...let's say Jews, or Afro-Carribeans and you see my point.

You know so very little about Europe it makes your posturing a joke.

The Pagan Temple said...

I know all about Europe I need to know. A three thousand year history of first one war after another, with very brief intervals of peace in between them. Hundred Year's War, War of The Roses, Crimean War, Franco Prussian War, World Wars I and II, and on and on. War, war, war, from a continent that has the audacity to preach peace to the rest of the world.

Yeah, there have been Europeans who have made valuable contributions in the arts, in science and technology. I would be a fool to deny that. I do not minimize their accomplishments in the least.

By the same token, you deny the savagery of European history, or it seems that you do, while denigrating any American that doesn't want to walk in lockstep along with Europe. Sorry, that will never happen as long as there are an appreciable amount of Americans left to say no. And say no we will, sir.

The history of the violent rapaciousness of European colonialism and imperialism speaks for itself, and will never be repeated on America, however civilized a veneer with which you try to paint your savage, barbaric, bloodthirsty natures.

I actually have no personal quarrel with Europe or European peoples as long as they run their own affairs and keep my people out of it. If you refuse to adhere to that, however, then before I would see my country kowtow to yours-ever again, on any matter involving my country's independence and freedoms-I would gladly see every city in Europe burned to ashes. That's just the way it is.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

You've just shown you know nothing about Europe. Thanks for doing all the leg work for me.

America has plenty of blood on ts hands, as do Europeans, as do Africans as does everyone. So?

You've retreated here from your reactionary posing, good but I'd still throw my shoes at you for continuing this nonsense.

The Pagan Temple said...

If you subtract the lives America has saved from the numbers we've killed, we actually look pretty damn good, unlike Europe. Most of the deaths caused by America-not all, by a long shot, but most-were matters of self-defense in the course of wars, started in no small measure by Europeans if not in most cases, directly or indirectly.

I know all I need to know about Europe-the good, the bad, and the ugly. The bad outweighs the good in the case of Europe, unfortunately.

I've seen you put down the Roman Empire. The funny thing about that is, the Roman Empire was actually quite advanced compared to most of what followed in Europe.

At least the Romans weren't afraid to take a fucking bath. The rest of you fucktards had to see a third or more of your population die as a result of your filth before you caught on to the value of soap and water. For my money I wish you'd waited another couple of centuries before you decided it might be best not to let the smell of your sweaty gross feet and nasty armpits precede you by seven blocks.

The Little Ice Age was caused for the most part by the depopulation that occurred due to your tendencies to toss garbage and raw sewage and gods know what else in the streets and leave it for the rats you were too lazy to try to exterminate. Thus, the plague. What a nasty bunch of fuckheads.

No wonder the pilgrims came to America. They probably figured that was the only shot they had at getting away from the fucking stench, to say nothing of the constant wars and religious persecutions you "tolerant" and "enlightened" Europeans are so well known for.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

You're still going? Have you no shame?

That first bit is bad maths, for a start off you're a young country and you've done a lot of killing in a short time BUT that's not the point, this isn't about saying this continent killed this many and this continent that many, how pointless and vulgar is that?

I like how you dismiss a whole continent, surely you understand that is daft and makes you look small minded and xenophobic. That's because you are.

Indeed Rome was advanced, if you like that kind of thing but then, eventually, it was replaced by a more human friendly model that has been refining ever since. That's progress.

'Your' culture didn't even exist you fool! You slagging off hygiene in a culture when you didn't even have one. YOU ARE EUROPEAN FOR GODSAKE! Humnanity advances, makes mistakes and learns, you seem to imagine that America just appeared! Are you a child? America is an extension of European culture, populated by Europeans who then became Amercians and enacted a genocide upon the native people.

You total lack of understanding of history, human development adn Europe is mind boggling, be careful, you're fufilling the stereotype of thick Americans, filling the world with gas, fat and ignorance.

And may I ask, what purpose does this ping pong serve, you seem locked in a crash course with extreme right wing thinking, have you no shame? In a thread about an actual atrocity?

We aren't going to change each other's minds.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Here is an article I read and I thought of you...

“Let’s just quickly describe in the most dispassionate terms, as few of euphemisms, as possible, where we are and what has happened over the last eight years. We have a law in place that says it is a felony offense punishable by five years in prison or a $10,000 fine to eavesdrop on American citizens without warrants. We have laws in place that say that it is a felony punishable by decades in prison to subject detainees in our custody to treatment that violates the Geneva Conventions or that is inhumane or coercive.

We know that the president and his top aides have violated these laws. The facts are indisputable that they’ve done so. And yet as a country, as a political class, we’re deciding basically in unison that the president and our highest political officials are free to break the most serious laws that we have, that our citizens have enacted, with complete impunity, without consequences, without being held accountable under the law.

And when you juxtapose that with the fact that we are a country that has probably the most merciless criminal justice system on the planet when it comes to ordinary Americans. We imprison more of our population than any country in the world. We have less than five percent of the world’s population. And yet 25 percent almost of prisoners worldwide are inside the United States.

What you have is a two-tiered system of justice where ordinary Americans are subjected to the most merciless criminal justice system in the world. They break the law. The full weight of the criminal justice system comes crashing down upon them. But our political class, the same elites who have imposed that incredibly harsh framework on ordinary Americans, have essentially exempted themselves and the leaders of that political class from the law.”

The Pagan Temple said...

No, I am not European, I am an American of European (mostly Irish) descent. I do not hate Europe or Europeans. I am just pointing out certain aspects of European history that makes it arrogant, to say the very least, for you to judge the country that has saved your ass on more than one occasion, the country whose influence has permitted you to live in relative peace and security for more than sixty years, very likely the first time in its three thousand year history it has done so for such a long stretch. And believe me, it has not been easy.

We still had to step in and stop Milosevic. You enlightened Europeans seemed incapable of handling him on your own. If we had not, you would doubtless be inundated with hundreds of thousands of Albanian refugees to abuse and be abused by. You're welcome.

Our crime rate and the rate of incarceration is directly related to the influence of leftist politics, another European import, which has worked to divide and weaken the family unit, especially amongst minorities, and most especially amongst blacks, who make up the highest percentage of incarcerated Americans.

Leftist politics decided to dole out subsistence wages to minority peoples, especially blacks, in a vain hope of keeping them docile and dependent on the leftist Democratic Party, who decided that a married couple were not qualified to receive them. Thus, families broke up in order to continue receiving the dole, resulting in single-parent families with large numbers of children stuck in neighborhoods that were by their natures mired in poverty, drugs, and all the crime such areas breed regardless of race.

That and the majority of other problems in America can be traced to the influence of leftist politics.

As for the Indians, we also have you to thank for that. It was the French, during the French and Indian War, who agitated them against the Brits and the then loyal colonists, and it was later the Brits who further agitated them against the Americans in the War of 1812.

Before those two events, the first in the 1750's, the second in the 1810's, relations were strained and uncomfortable, but not desperate. Following the savagery of those wars, a turning point was reached from which there was no turning back.

Yes, Americans committed atrocities, but it was by no means one sided, and they were traceable directly back to those two events. Europe's stench permeates both.

You have no stomach to face up to the excesses of your past. Not that I can blame you, it would embarrass me as well. Do you realize how stupid you sound when you refer to the history of your sad, sorry continent as one that was a "more human friendly model".

Really? What replaced the Roman Empire was human friendly? Is that your position? Holy crap, it really is an education to debate one as deluded as yourself.

You people have not advanced or improved. You are the same ignorant blood thirsty barbaric savages that you were two thousand years ago. That is precisely why your leaders have to buy you off with promises of entitlements. It's to keep you people docile, otherwise you're liable to burn your own damn continent down around your ears.

It hasn't been that long ago since Hitler and Stalin, you know. We are not talking about ancient history now, we are talking about people whom some people living today can remember reading about in the news of their day. How much do you think you could possibly have advanced in that amount of time? You would do it all over again without breaking a sweat if not for the influence of the US.

That's the real reason deep down you want the US to be your "partners". You are hoping you can use the US to keep your barbarism in check, and in the meantime you're hoping we won't catch on so you can pretend you are the "enlightened" ones.

Deep down though, you know the fucking truth. You fucking people shouldn't be trusted with sharp objects without supervision. Well, I'm tired of supervising a continent of ingrates who want to pretend they are oh so fucking superior.

Your arrogance sir is exceeded only by your ignorance.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And this still goes on?

THERE IS NO POINT TO THIS!

Ireland is in Europe, deal with it.

Your writing so far has been full of hate and nonsense about Europe and now you retreat. Well done.

As for saving our ass, I wonder how long it would take to come to jingoistic nonsense like that, American people wanted no part in WW2, FDR had to trick them by allowing Pearl Harbour to happen. It was a European nation that helped you become a nation in the first place.

THERE IS NO POINT IN MY COUNTRY/CONTINENT IS BETTER THAN YOURS, BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS WONDERS AND EVERYONE HAS FLAWS.

What does it add to the debate? Nothing.

You know nothing about ex-Yugoslavia, American action and intervention was a mistake, Europe had to mop up the mess afterwards and you seem to forget that European troops served there, including many of my friends, who by the way, are standing shoulder to shoulder with US troops in the Iraq folly and Afghanistan. Please read more books on this matter.

"Our crime rate and the rate of incarceration is directly related to the influence of leftist politics"

WOAH THERE! First off, the whole of America is a European import, or more accurately export, anything that was indigious was destroyed. Second off, the high level of incarceration, execution and criminlisation of pretty much anything but especially drug misuse are all right-wing policies. Any slightly left-wing person would encourage de-crimnilisaion, less people in nick becuase it doesn't work and a removal of the death penalty. Try getting that past any red state...

Next you'll be telling me that 'liberals' invented AIDS...

And so hate welfare as well? Good giref you are a Tory aren't you? Welfare is a good idea, always has been, always will be, it's about helping those who are down to pick themsleves back up. Something you would hate.

"That and the majority of other problems in America can be traced to the influence of leftist politics."

It's that easy is it? That simple, that's the root cause? You're a joke, you're standng on the sidelines with your face painted red thinking that leftist policies are to blame for everything.

May I add you've had 8 years of far-right thinking in charge, may I add that people far cleverer than you I think would've figured it out if it was that simple, may I add that you need to read what you write and realise that all you're doing is inventing a scapegoat that doesn't help anything.

Rather like FJ you throw down plenty of shit but you're not willing to get your hands dirty.

I also love how if its not lefties fault its Europe's fault, is anything the fault of the right or of...GOD FORBID...AMERICANS?

You can't expect that in any face to face debate your ideas would be taken seriously, picture your words in someone's mouth and you'd have to classify themselves as an idiot.

The mistreatment of American Indians by Americans throughout America's history is the fault of...THE FRENCH AND THE BRITS.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

"relations were strained and uncomfortable, but not desperate."

I bet they were becuase you had just stolen their whole fucking country!

I get the feeling that due to being an idiot, no matter what happens its the fault of leftists or Europeans, can't you see that makes you a fool becuase you provide these simplistic answers for complex problems but never offer solutions.

I'll quote you back at you, you bitch:

"You have no stomach to face up to the excesses of your past."

You blame it on everyone else, rather than taking it like a man. It doesn;t surprise me, you are scared and fearful, you want to bury your head in the sand and deny the rest of the world is out there, except to use it as something to put all the balme on.

It's never your fault is it? Is that how you live your life?

THIS ISN'T A DEBATE, IT's APOINTLESS AND PETTY TIT-FOR-TAT THAT YOU SEEM TO HAVE NO SHAME ABOUT ENGAGING IN.

I've also noticed that you don;t bother to deal with points you have no answer for. Great.

"You people have not advanced or improved. You are the same ignorant blood thirsty barbaric savages that you were two thousand years ago. That is precisely why your leaders have to buy you off with promises of entitlements. It's to keep you people docile, otherwise you're liable to burn your own damn continent down around your ears."

You're telling me that in a civilised debate, about Europe, you put those words out there and you'd not be embarrassed? They are the words of a bigot, which you are clearly.

The whole world has to work together, no time for ideas of individual nations protecting self-interest, luckily, Obama is on roughly the same page so for 4 years at least, your kind of idiot values will have to take a back seat.

I tell you this, the silly froth and hatred you pour out on a whole continent tells me a few things about you:

I think you hit women.
I think you are very lonely.
I think you're scared of your place in the world.
I think secretly, you are a racist.
I think you own a firearm, which you insert deep within your belly button and bring off your own guts in a wonderful, sexy way and spray your man glue all over your belly.
I think you like to stick your pudgy cock into Pop Tarts.
I think you rape ovens.

And I know for a fact you're a European.

This debate is over, from now on, I can't take you seriously so madness will ensue becuase, and I don't think you've spotted this, we're not talking or listening, just pissing in the wind.

And your trousers are very, very wet.

xxxx

The Pagan Temple said...

Nope. Everything I've said is right on the money, and you know it is. When you know you've lost, you make shit up, like saying I'm against welfare. Where did you dig that up from? I'm not against welfare, if anything I just think it doesn't go far enough towards addressing the root cause of the problems. It should address job training and responsibility, and should focus on keeping families together, as opposed to tearing them apart. If it was run right it would pay long-term dividends. The left doesn't want to run it right, though, they want to keep people dependent on subsistence level wages for life, and through multiple generations, as opposed to really helping them get on their feet and live independently with a little dignity.

So much for that. Your assessment of American-Indian relations is another laugh riot, obviously based on ignorant, prejudiced European views towards your betters-i.e., people who had the common sense and good fortune to get the hell away from the mad house that was Europe (and still is-a madhouse, that is).

I know the history of the French and Indian War, and the War of 1812. American hatreds of the Indians is directly traceable back to atrocities committed by Indians with the incitement and encouragement of first the French and then the British during those two wars, and to a less extent the Revolutionary War, in places like Kentucky.

That's just the way it is. Also, I know the right has their faults, and they have contributed to many of our problems, just as I know the left has done some good things. On balance, however, the right is far superior. To be more precise, the minds of most Americans are in the center, be that slightly left of or right of center.

The point is, you can't pick and choose what kind of speech is acceptable, or what kinds of policies are acceptable or not for public discourse and consideration. You cannot limit policy considerations and call yourself democratic.

Yes, we believe in the death penalty and our gun rights. Our gun rights is how we make sure our government doesn't ever become a tyranny. It's more than just protecting ourselves from the criminal element or hunting, though those are part of it too.

Your screed against guns and the death penalty is a very good reason why Americans like me want nothing to do with Europe. Our gun laws and death penalty is NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS. IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM US!

Furthermore, if you don't like to take part in this discussion, shut the fuck up and move on.

At least we are in agreement on one thing-Milosevic. If I had had my way, you motherfuckers would have dealt with him on your own. He probably would have been Master of Europe by now, but I frankly wouldn't give a fuck. How could he be any worse than what you have now? If Putin was to take your asses over, I would applaud. You deserve each other.

I am in favor of ending NATO, by the way, something that does not quite meet agreement from the right. Well, too bad. It's time for you fucks to sink or swim on your own, as far as I'm concerned.

As for the "help" you've been in Iraq and Afghanistan, don't make me fucking laugh. Your soldiers have been stationed in the most docile parts of the country, and when things started to turn bad there, you left. HaHa thanks for the "help", Limey. As for Afghanistan, most NATO troops there refuse to do anything other than peacekeeping. They won't fight unless attacked, and then they have to think about it. What a bunch of fucking wussies.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

As I've said a million times, this is pointless and a waste of life. The non-debate is over...

You fail.

The Pagan Temple said...

Failed? More childishness. You failed the minute you started this debate. You assumed, wrongly, that you could browbeat me into submission with your name-calling and insults. Well, you failed. Everything I have said is right on.

I'll give you this much, you are a decent actor, I saw your Keno commercial on YouTube, and you were good, which is saying something coming from a person who can't understand a word of Norwegian.

Maybe I'll get a chance to see Zero one of these days, if somebody manages to post it on YouTube. I think it's a fallacious storyline, but that's irrelevant. I am capable of judging the play by its artistic standards as well as its obvious bias and slant, and will do both. I would like to review it.

You should concentrate on your art, and realize that your stridency and nastiness towards those who do not share your point of view is not conducive to building your career. I just gave as good as I got. Actually, I think I gave you a taste of your own medicine. I have shown you for what you are, an elitist, arrogant snob who has the unfortunate European mindset that you are superior to the rest of the world. You are not. You are just another Euro-leftist who likes to imagine he is enlightened.

Europe has not changed. They spent centuries pillaging, raping, razing, and oppressing the world, and now they are trying to continue using just another tactic, an empire with a smiley face.

Your international aspirations have already caused the world to crash and burn even faster than I thought it would. I blame the leaders of my country for all of this as much as I blame yours, by the way. I am not big fan of or apologist for the American government. Despite their Harvard and other Ivy-League based educations, American leaders in conjunction with those in Europe have brought the world to the brink of ruin and despair.

That is because they have NOT governed in accordance with American Constitutional principles, but have tried to become part of this sham called the "global community" which is nothing more than a further attempt to control the destinies of every country in the world, for their own benefit.

Still, I have no doubt that Europeans will continue to empower those who have led to this state of affairs. In America, we tend to give them the boot when they get out of line. The Democrats and Republicans both have felt our ire, and I have no doubt both will continue to feel it. The Democrats will doubtless overreach, and the Republicans will gradually regain power, maybe quicker than you or even I imagine.

In the meantime, Europeans keep falling for the same old crap, time and again, and blaming America for their own foolishness and short-sightedness, sort of like you blaming Americans for the British governments, as well as the French, policy of exploitation of the American Indian, and their further manipulations of them which led in turn to the problems Americans have had with them.

But that's Europe for you. Never examine your own faults when you can always find another party to blame for your misdeeds, and when something happens you can't sweep under the rug, make a law against discussing the topic and hope it will go away.

Well, I am not going away.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Whoops you did it again...

You Fail!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Review this you condescending twat who wouldn't know debate if it bit his arse or sound politcal thinking, you shameless man.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

War on drugs anyone?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Peshwari nann.

The Pagan Temple said...

A condescending person is one who takes his time to try to reason with one who is by all rights beneath him, as you have certainly demonstrated that you are. By adding the term "twat", you have obviously mistaken me for yourself.

You don't want me to review Zero, I promise you. I would not give it the treatment I have read on certain websites who rate it due to agreement with its political point of view-which as I am sure we are all aware is nonsense. I might give it a thumbs up on the writing and acting, etc., but I would probably come to the conclusion that it is in all probability a bit of propaganda that is not worth the time of the average theater-goer.

As for the war on drugs, I am against it as another example of how our oh so educated American government leaders have acted in matters beyond their normal constitutional prerogatives. No Democrat publicly wishes to end the war on drugs, and in fact I think it was a Democratic controlled government who got the ball rolling in the nineteen thirties when they outlawed marijuana.

Be that as it may, the responsibility for drug laws are shared across the board by liberals and conservatives, by Democrats and Republicans.

I would legalize and regulate marijuana, and all other drugs would be legal, but limited to the confines of medical and pharmaceutical research. I think the US government should buy all the poppy crop in Afghanistan and in time allow the pharmaceutical companies to do so. It would supply the Afghan farmer with real money to invest in other crops and modern farming, it would supply the pharmaceutical companies with the product they need for research, it would deprive the Taliban of a source of income, and it would severely limit the scourge of a dangerously addictive drug flowing into American streets.

As for legitimately recreational and/or spiritual drugs, legalization and the regulations that would follow would bring in enough money to pay for their regulation, while reducing the numbers of people in our prisons. It would also add to the overall economy by adding a popular product to the store shelves which I am sure would make their producers a lot of money, thus enabling them to hire extra workers.

Like I said, you don't know me. But I know you, all too well. You are a man who thinks he knows it all, and doesn't know shit. You kind of put me in mind of a near-sighted cartoon character named Mr. Magoo, constantly stumbling into first one situation after another unaware that he can't see right in front of his nose. He is quite funny as well.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FAIL.

The Pagan Temple said...

The only thing I see failing is your acting career. Your girlfriend will follow that out the window when she decides to find her a real man. I think I might pay her a visit, maybe give her a taste of the real thing. She's probably tired of stroking your over-inflated ego by now anyway, I'd wager.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

YOU FAIL AGAIN!

OH THE PAIN!

The Pagan Temple said...

We'll see who fails and who feels pain when a legitimate mainstream reviewer takes the time to review that silly play you're in, and your acting ability. I'm sure I can convince somebody to give it a shot, if only for the laughs. By the time it's over "Zero" might well be the most accurate description of your acting career.

By the way, women tend to be fickle, and I have heard Brit women are amongst the worse. When a woman takes the time to stoke her boyfriends ego on a public blog that might be a sign of trouble ahead. I wonder how many of your play's performances she sat through. For that matter, I wonder how often the person that got you the job has been in the audience. Do they by chance know each other?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

TOTAL FAILURE!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

PAGAN TEMPLE IS A JEALOUS, LONELY FAILURE SHOCKER!

FJ WILL BE YOUR FRIEND, YOU CAN BE ASSHATS TOGETHER!

The Pagan Temple said...

Okay, number one, I never voted for George W. Bush, for a variety of reasons, though I would never again vote for either Gore or Kerry. Number two, jealous of what, of some guy who writes reviews of his own play on the BBC and hopes people will think it's for real? Or was that your life-partner in your prior play who wrote that drivel? Seems anybody can write a reader's "review" in the BBC. Be that as it may, and as I said before, I wish you well in your chosen career. I meant that, and still mean that, sincerely.

Number three, do you have other such pictures of you and Mohammed? Was this taken after the two of you gazed longingly at each others eyes over dinner, basking in the glow of man-love?

Sorry, but I don't swing that way. Besides, that strikes me as being quite homophobic of you. Better watch out, someone might take your leftist twat membership card away from you.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

CONSTANT, REPEATING, PAINFUL FAIL!

The Pagan Temple said...

Depends on how you define success. I see myself as a "voice in the wilderness". I see you as just another howling jackal.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

"You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts."

Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Anonymous said...

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