Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 2020

Written by Dyami Millarson

Underlying tooth decay, there is a constant battle between demineralisation and mineralisation.

Dental caries may simply be defined as the cumulative result of the cyclical ebbs and flows of demineralisation and mineralisation.

Remineralisation is the term used for the normal daily process whereby the teeth, namely the enamel and dentin, are repaired from demineralisation.

Enamel is the material that covers the outside layer of the teeth above the crown. It is one of the most mineralised and hardest parts of the human body. Enamel is a composite of both organic and inorganic components, and the same is the case for dentin.

Dentin is the hard dental tissue that is the whole body of the tooth . Alternatively, dentin may be more specifically defined as the dental layer under the enamel which covers the surface of the teeth.

Enamel and dentin are also seemingly contrasted with the latter being defined as a mineralised dental tissue and the former as a mineralised dental structure,

Context is relevant for understanding the definition of mineralisation: Mineralisation in this article deals with tooth decay, it is relevant to specify that biomineralization is meant by this.

In the context of soil science, mineralisation is the process by which organic matter is converted to mineral nutrients, which are easy to absorb for the roots of the plants growing in the thus mineralised soil.

However, biomineralization is the process by which biological organisms produce minerals ), and that is the process we are interested in for understanding tooth decay and we mean biomineralization when we speak of tooth mineralisation.

The science of biomineralization is the study of biologically produced materials, such as human teeth, as well as the study of the biological processes leading to the formation of such organic-inorganic composites ).

As a refresher for the reader who might be inundated with new facts, enamel and dentin are composites of both organic and inorganic components.

The formation of hard dental tissues, such as enamel and dentin, involves the following two processes:

  1. a biological process which includes cell signalling and
  2. a biochemical process where the biomolecules interact for the formation of crystal apatite .

Apatite refers to any member of a series of phosphate minerals and apatite comes from an Ancient Greek word for deceit, as apatite resembles a plethora of other minerals .

Apatite is the most common phosphate mineral, and is the main source of phosphorus required by plants in the soil . Apatite is also relevant for soil mineralisation.

Apatite is not popular as a gemstone because it is too soft, and thus considered too brittle for most jewellery use.

Calcium phosphate, which is another name for apatite, is what the bones and teeth of humans and animals are made of, and the biological apatites, of which the aforementioned human and animal hard tissues are composed, are usually hydroxyapatites, also known as hydroxyapatites without an l in the third syllable .

Apatite found in bone has a unique chemical composition as well as unique geometry and the basic composite structure of bone, as seen from the nanoscale, consists of collagen fibrils densely mineralised with hydroxy(l)apatites.

Collagen is the single most abundant protein in the animal kingdom and may simply be defined as an insoluble, hard, fibrous protein that accounts for one-third of all the protein in the human body.

Although there are 16 types of collagen in total, 80-90% of the collagen which is found in the human body consists of types I, II and III.

The collagen molecules as found in the body pack together and form long thin structures known as fibrils.

Type I collagen, of which the vast majority of the fibril-type collagen in the human body consists, is not only found in the human bones and skin, but also in the connective tissues, tendons and fibrous cartilage .

Cavitation occurs once the enamel and dentin do not have the proper structure anymore for maintaining their mineral framework, and remineralisation may be regarded by the dentist as an insufficient treatment at that point).

Remineralisation is therefore a form of preventative medicine, i.e., the dentist seeks to prevent the formation of cavities by means of dental remineralisation .

However, demineralisation is Not a continuous one-way process, but it is a cyclic event characterised by waves of mineralisation and demineralisation.

Although dental remineralisation may, in practice, be employed by the dentist for the prevention, repair and reversal of dental caries, which is a synonym of tooth decay by the way, there is a definite limit to what mineralisation therapies by the dentist can do, provided that they are not accompanied by proper dental care at home.

It is therefore vital that the following be answered:

  1. what, then, is proper dental care? Here are some dental care tips: brush your teeth no less than twice a day and keep in mind more than twice a day may be desirable,
  2. brush your tongue as well,
  3. flossing is equally important as brushing your teeth and so you should never skip this, floss all of your teeth properly no matter how difficult it may be to reach them and so take the time for a proper flossing routine,
  4. drink plenty of water instead of sugary beverages, and generally avoid foods that contain lots of sugar and carbohydrates as well as foods that have a low pH, i.e., foods that are acidic .
  5. Microbial activity is associated with the onset of dental caries, and when one eats too much sugar, carbohydrates or foods with a low pH, one is feeding those cariogenic bacteria with nutrients that they need for breaking down one’s teeth, and so limiting sugar, carbohydrates and low-pH foods is a practical and viable strategy for preventing the onset of tooth decay in the mouth.
  6. Saliva plays an important role in protecting the teeth against damaging microbial activity and natural anti-microbial agents, such as spices, herbs and probiotics, seem effective for controlling cariogenic microbes, i.e., micro-organisms responsible for dental caries

Although my keen interest in phonetics already made me instinctively interested in the mouth, one of the main reasons I was alerted to the importance of oral hygiene was the ageing-related fact that good oral hygiene reduces mortality risk and a good dental care regimen should therefore be taken extremely seriously by those who wish to follow a longevity-promoting lifestyle.

Seeing the link between oral hygiene and longevity is undoubtedly an indispensable health-boosting insight, and I have become much more attentive to dental care ever since I became aware of this fact.

I recall that I watched cartoons as a child about bacteria that were destroying the teeth, and that is when it first dawned upon me that micro-organisms were responsible for tooth decay, which is what made me very concerned about cleaning my teeth and so I never experienced a single cavity until 2020 around my 26th birthday when I had been lax with dental care for a while due to experiencing prolonged heightened levels of stress, which usually makes one vulnerable to developing dental caries.

Natural compounds extracted from the following herbs and spices may be effective against cariogenic bacteria: Bauhinia forficata, Curcuma xanthorrhiza, Licorice Root, Eurycoma longifolia jack, Cinnamomum burmannii, tea tree, Sterculia lychnophora Hance, Melia azedarach L., Tamarix aphylla L., Cinnamon bark, Acacia arabica, Ginger-garlic paste, clove, Acacia catechu, Thuja orientalis, Camellia japonica, Quercus infectoria, Pongamia pinnata, Cymbopogon citratus.

I use a few drops of tea tree oil mixed in a cup of water as my preferred mouthwash product, though one should be careful not to ingest the tea tree oil and therefore one ought to make sure to wash one’s mouth thoroughly with water after one has finished gargling with the mix of tea tree and water to rinse one’s mouth.

When my gums hurt or if my gums are bleeding, I may apply some tea tree and it usually works; I usually spit it out after 10-15 minutes of holding the tea tree in my mouth with increasing saliva formation, and then I wash my mouth with water.

Micronutrients may be essential for oral health, because research has demonstrated that they reduced oral inflammations, such as gingivitis and periodontitis .

Gingivitis, which is basically an inflammation of the gums, is a commonly occurring, mild form of gum disease . This inflammation may be caused by bacteria and if this inflammation is left untreated, it may develop into periodontitis, which is a much more serious medical condition than gingivitis .

Interspersed with all the factual information, let me add one more personal anecdote to this article: I believe that I may have been experiencing an inflammation of my gums due to bacterial overgrowth this year, and what helped me in my case was having more dishes with lots of pepper.

I noticed already this summer that my gums had receded a little bit, and for this reason, I may look into the topic of regrowing the gum in another blog article.

When it comes to habits preventing the formation of oral cavities, it is best to avoid sugary foods, but in case we do choose to engage in such a guilty pleasure, it is recommend that the sugary foods be eaten with a meal rather than between meals .

Although it may be counterintuitive to have sweets with meals, it is truly the best habit for the teeth, and my mind is instinctively making the following analogy: many vitamin and mineral supplements ought to be taken with meals because this is the best habit for the gut.

(Such instinctive analogies that my mind draws for me usually have a mnemonic function.)

As perceived within the context of the notion that saliva may be important for protecting and repairing the teeth, it might be advisable to include salivation-promoting foods in one’s diet: peas, bananas, Brussel sprouts (*31).

Which vitamins and minerals are healthy for teeth?

Vitamins A, B and D, magnesium, iron and not to forget calcium and phosphorus, are relevant for dental and skeletal health

The functions of the following vitamins and minerals are not to be overlooked: vitamin A builds the enamel and keeps the gums healthy, vitamin D deposits calcium in the jawbones that support the teeth and it boosts dental mineral density, phosphorus repairs and protects the enamel, and calcium forties the enamel

While one needs sufficient calcium to fortify one’s teeth and bones, one ought to commit to memory that one needs vitamin D for the absorption of calcium

One may obtain vitamin A from dairy products, oily fish and liver products such as beef liver, lamb liver, liver sausage, cod liver oil, king mackerel, salmon, bluefin tuna, goat cheese, butter, cheddar

One may obtain vitamin B from leafy greens, turkey, legumes, sunflower seeds, yoghurt, milk, mussels, trout, salmon, clams, chicken, eggs, oysters, beef

One may obtain vitamin D from red meat, oily fish, egg yolks and liver products

One may obtain magnesium from nuts such as almonds and cashews, seeds such as pumpkin seeds and chia seeds, leafy greens such as spinach, legumes such as black beans and in smaller quantities from fish and meat

One may obtain iron from beans, nuts, dried fruit, red meat and liver products

One may obtain calcium from leafy greens, dairy products and fish where one also consumes the bones such as is the case with sardines (*41).

One may obtain phosphorus from poultry products such as eggs and chicken and turkey, dairy products such as yoghurt, milk and cheese, lentils, nuts such as cashews, pumpkin seeds, seafood such as salmon and scallops, quinoa, beans, amaranth, sunflower seeds, liver products, potatoes, and beef

Some may also recommend bone broth as a way to help the teeth recover from dental decay

Personal note: I clean my teeth by dipping my brush in white vinegar and adding a little bicarbonate of sodium. You save on all these expensive toothpastes. Best to brush before going to bed in order Not to allow bacteria to accumulate during sleep for lack of salivation. Drink water to wash the teeth before brushing the teeth.

“The Gardens of Light” by Amin Maalouf (Reviewed in April 19, 2007 and posted in 2008)

“The gardens of light” is translated from French. Amin  Maalouf is currently a French Academician from Lebanese origin who immigrated during the civil war. I read all his books

In the middle of 200 AC, Mani set about spreading his Message and he preached for over thirty years a new religion, a mixture of Christianity (Nazarene), Buddhism and Ahura Mazda (Zoroastrianism and whose priests were called Magi).

Mani was born around AD 216 in Mardinu (Mardin, a town east of present Turkey on the North of the Tigris River, a Syrian region that French mandated power offered to Turkey in 1937).

Mani called himself the “son of Babel“. He experienced the unyielding faith, the teachings and the rigorous life style of the White clad Brethren or monks of a Nazarene sect on the Euphrates River banks, where his father Patek was a member and who adopted the doctrines and teachings of this Christian Nazarene sect..

This sect was called “Halle Haware” or white garment in the Aramaic language.

The members of the sect did Not eat meat or drink wine or leavened bread; the disciples wore white from top to bottom.

This sect was scared of fire, a counter faith to the most common Zaradust faith in the region at the time, and thus would eat only raw fruits and vegetables grown by the community.

Food from outside the community was prohibited and considered “female” food because women were banished from the community and the female names in the scriptures were not mentioned unless the names represented calamities and bad augurs.

(I told my young nephew William, who insists on wearing white garment and who spent three weeks in India at a meditation center in Mount Abu, about this novel and he sounded interested but he claimed that his sect (which he would not give it this label as if it is a bad connotation like cult) is far ancient and going back many thousands of years. William is no longer into these “fashionable” trends)

Mani is now a very close advisor to the Divine King of Kings, the Sassanian monarch Shapur, and managed for 3 years to delay a resumption of war with the Roman Empire.

The Roman Emperor Philip the Arab (Born in Syria) had struck a deal with Shapur to cede Armenia to the Persian Empire and to deliver a tribute of 100,000 sacs of gold every year by a caravan of bedouins of his tribe. 

Philip needed badly a truce in order to celebrate the 1000 years of the creation of Rome.

After Philip was assassinated, his successor resumed paying the tribute but was assassinated two years later and four generals were vying for the throne of Rome and the tribute could not arrive.

Shapur succeeded his father Ardashir, the founder of the Sassanid Dynasty, who defeated the powerful Parthian king Artabanus in AD 226, who had previously defeated the Emperor Caracalla in AD 217.

The Parthian Empire was located in Northern Iran and was comprised of the current Kurdistan territory, part of Anatolia (in current Turkey) and the central Iraqi plains and including Babylon.

The Roman Empire had the Western parts of current Turkey with Cappadocia as the main city and all of Syria (Aram) and Egypt. 

The Sassanid Dynasty had Ctesiphon as its Capital, near Babylon, but on the Eastern shore of the Tigris and which used to be the Capital of the defeated Parthian Empire. The Sassanid Empire expanded to include Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

Shapur could have installed his capital anywhere he wanted further to the East but he wanted to be close to the Roman Empire, his arch-enemy.  Shapur succeeded twice more in defeating the Romans and captured Emperor Valerian and made him prisoner in AD 259.

Shapur begged Mani to join him on one of his war expeditions so that he may promote his religion to the conquered territories but Mani declined the offer saying: “My words shall shed no blood. My hands shall bless no blade. My hands shall neither bless the knives of sacrificing priests, nor even a woodcutter’s axe.”

While the Magi were destroying the Gods in the conquered territories of Armenia, Cappadocia, and Syria Mani and his followers “The Sons of Lights” were preaching peace and contempt for all swords and the hands which wield them. 

Mani and his followers prayed at the tomb of his father Patek and his mother Mariam and he felt weak in the natural surrounding of his village.

Patek, the father of Mani, was from a Parthian warrior class and Sittai, and the leader of the White-clad sect had ordered him to go home and bring his son to live within the community after he is weaned.

Mani was 4 years old when he was baptized in the river and lived in the community without knowing who was his father or mother since Patek was not allowed or cared to show affection for his son.

Mani was used to isolate himself and discovered a favorite place for seclusion in a peninsula by the Tigris River surrounded by palm trees. By the age of twelve Mani must have gathered from bits of conversation how he was conceived and his origins and he liked to paint. 

It is at that age that he saw on the surface of the river the image of his “Twin” or “Double” who told him: “Draw what seems right to thee, Mani.  He who sends me knows no rival.  All beauty is the reflection of His beauty”. 

Mani told his close friend Malchos in the community: “Tread lightly on this earth, avoid sudden movements, and do not kill trees or flowers. Pretend to plow the soil, but do not wound it. When others scream and yell, move only your lips.”

When he was 24, Mani’s “twin” told him that it was time for him to get out to the world and spread the Message of tolerance to all religions and bring down the walls among casts and races. 

Mani shed his white garment and wore colorful cloth and walked to Ctesiphon to find his friend Malchos.  Malchos was originally from Tyre (south current Lebanon) and stayed in the community when his father drowned there and then was excommunicated at the age of fifteen.

Patek joined his son in order to bring him back to the community and ended up becoming his first disciple. 

Mani started teaching that every person or object is a mix of light and darkness and it is through the five senses that individuals need to differentiate the good and beautiful in the world and increase their knowledge, sense of beauty and tolerance.

Mani left for Deb by sea, on the estuary of the Indus River (in current Pakistan). This city was where all the ships from West to East stopped and the Kushan princes and kings were tolerant to all religious beliefs and it is said that Thomas, the twin brother of Jesus, was the apostle who spread Christ’s teachings there and in India.

It used to be a treacherous voyage and took a month under the best monsoon conditions around the month of May.

Deb is no more, and the emplacement of Karachi is very close; Ctesiphone is no more, but current Baghdad was built close by.

Hormisdas, the grandchild of Ardashir, had defeated the Kushan princes and was ready to enter Deb.  Mani met him with a delegation, saved Hormisdas favorite daughter from death, and saved Deb from destruction. 

Instead of gold, Mani asked Hormisdas to give him Denagh, a 13- year old daughter of a martyred officer that Hormisdas has taken under his protection. Denagh has stayed near Mani the whole night healing the little girl.

When later Patek wanted to know the kind of relationship Mani had with Denagh he replied: “Her garments trace the boundaries of my nomadic realm“. 

He indirectly answered the implicit question by stating: “What merit would there be in depriving oneself of a pleasure which one had never enjoyed?”

Back to Ctesiphon, Mani met the Divine King Shapur and secured permission to spread his Message under his protection.  Mani was 26 then and his speech was: “I respect all creeds. The religious sects do not want to listen to the good in the other sects but they assemble the flocks of the faithful around hatred because it is only in confrontation that they show their solidarity. 

When men are tired of rites, myths and curses, they will remember that, one day, during the reign of the great Shapur, a humble mortal sent a cry resounding across the world.”

Mani had a special relationship with King Shapur and the latter was ready to adopt Mani’s Message if he agreed to stay close to him at the court. 

Mani declined the deal and the Magi gave Mani hard times because his message was a threat to their cast.  Hormisdas, Shapur’s younger son and King of Armenia and a follower of Mani’s Message, succeeded in the throne for a short period because the Magi poisoned him.

The next king was Bahram who tortured Mani for 30 days and exposed him shackled for everyone in Beth-Lapat to see. Mani remains were hanged naked for three days at the entrance of the city and no one was to know where he was buried. But the wall became a place of pilgrimage.  

The disciples of Mani wrote everywhere “Mani Hayye” (Mani is alive) which was transformed into “Manichean“.

The Magi and the Catholic Church did their best to annihilate his books, paintings, and any icon of Mani.

The Western and Eastern religions succeeded in deforming Mani teachings and casting him as “The Devil”, the “lying demon” and the “pestilential heresy”. 

For a thousand years, he was called “The Apostle of Jesus” in Egypt and “The Buddha of Light” in China.

It is unfortunate that Shapur was dying when the Romans invaded Palmira (Tadmor) and captured Zenobia prisoner. Zenobia had managed to rule over Syria and Egypt from Tadmor.

Note: Mani message was the predominant religion in North Africa when St. Augustine lived in Tunisia

And the Beltway battle cry of “look to the future, not the past!” is what all political power systems tell their subjects to do when they want to flush their own crimes down the memory hole.

Oh Palestinians, Jordanians, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis: You should Not cow down to the colonial powers directives that you are living on individual State Islands and have to fend individually by yourselves. You are one nation, one people and you have got to think, feel and act accordingly. One for all and all for one against the forces that want you isolated, weak and taken apart in our existential future.

Great awakening of the troubling times ahead. Walmart is temporarily pulling guns and ammunition from shelves. Citing rising tensions after police fatally shot a Black man in Philadelphia on Monday, the retailer will require customers to specifically request the items for purchase. Approximately half of Walmart’s 4,700 US stores sell firearms.

Global Debt reached $280,000 bn, mostly printing money with no reserves of any kinds. The many next generations will have to resolve this “funny money” game.

Stephen Hawking wrote: “If you stacked the new books being published next to each other, at the present rate of production you would have to move at ninety miles an hour just to keep up with the end of the line.” For each of these books of, “famous” profitable authors, there’s a cover, carefully designed, to catch the reader’s, and hopefully buyer’s, eye.

French colonialism did the most harm than all the other colonial powers to the people in the Near-East. French institutions have been suckering to Zionist movements since 1870 and preempting their demands all the way.

All billionaires have shares in pharmaceutical companies, in oil companies, in chemical companies… What is worrying is that, eventually, most vaccines (covid-19 and others) will be laced with 5G microchips to control and monitor world population by the superpowers. Mind you that Taiwan is the main manufacturer of those microchips.

Do you trust covid-19 vaccine? I don’t. Especially when they force it on you. and more horrifying, when the pharmaceutical companies are liability-free if you die or are maimed…(The PERP ACT of Trump administration)

The night is much longer than the day. Not just in duration but in exhaustion. Trying to sleep and waking up frequently and filling the void. By day break, you feel that you had done all your mental work

Why and how Israel decided to flatten Beirut?

Is it Out of Spite, Israel/US decided to bypass their totally impotent and greedy Lebanese leaders’ allies?

Hezbollah has plenty of serious grievances against these militia/mafia leaders who have totally sided with US/Israel for many decades, and many of them who supported the Zionist movement before the creation of this colonial implanted colony Israel in our midst.

In fact, the Maronite Phalange Party, created by the French colonial mandated power in 1936, and headed by Pierre Gemayel, totally supported the Zionist movement and the creation of Israel as a counter-power against the predominantly Muslim population in lebanon.

The successive pre-emptive wars of Israel on Lebanon were supported by these “agent” leaders since 1948.

1) Actually, those who were elected in the parliament are the ones who sold their properties and lands in Palestine to the Zionist movement in order to run for election

2) In the first 3 decades of the “Independence” of this pseudo-State of Lebanon, the Southern region and its people were totally ignored in the successive budgets for any worthy infrastructure, schools and hospital.

And that indignity included the Akkar region in the north and the Bekaa Valley people.

3) The Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini dispatched his cleric Moussa Sader to Lebanon in the late 1960 in order to rally the Chia sect around a leader that was Not a feudal and landlord conventional “leader” or za3eem.

Moussa Sader did a great job and his “Disinherited Movement” called Amal grabbed the attention of the conventional Lebanese leaders in power for all that period and this movement became a force to negotiate with.

Hezbollah General Secretary, Hassan Nasrallah, in a speech declared that “All we need is to launch a couple of missiles on the Ammonium plant in Haifa. The conflagration is as powerful as an atomic bomb”.

It turned out that Israel actually executed this idea and stored an amount of ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut and let it be forgotten

Who still believes that this calamity is a simple matter of laziness of every responsible during the last 6 years?

Who is still unable to believe that Israel is Not able to prepare for a long-term catastrophe and hangar #12 was being prepared and targeted for a timely decision to flatten Beirut?

Who still believe this conflagration was Not triggered by an electromagnetic pulse bomb, planted in the hangar?

Who is Shirley Chisholm?

“I ran because most people thought the country was not ready for a black candidate, not ready for a woman candidate. Someday, it was time in 1972 to make that someday come,” she told an interviewer at the time

Before Hillary Clinton. And before Obama. there was Shirley Chisholm

Decades before Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, there was Shirley Chisholm

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

“Tremendous amounts of talent are lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.

“The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, ‘It’s a girl’.”

“What do we want? What does any human being want? Take away an accident of pigmentation of a thin layer of our outer skin and there is no difference between me and anyone else.”

Forty-four years ago this week, Shirley Chisholm made history as she announced her candidacy for the White House. Her bid for the top job was short lived, but the symbolism is as powerful today as it was then.

Marj Henningsen  shared this link
Robert Reid-Pharr via The Feminist WireFebruary 6, 2016

BBC Newsbbc.com

She was a pioneer for her generation, a woman of many firsts – the first African American congresswoman. The first African American to run for president. The first woman to run for president.

“She paved the way for me to be able to set foot on Capitol Hill,” says 22 year-old Kimaya Davis, who works for a congressional committee.

Davis is black and secured her job after an internship with the Congressional Black Caucus.

Founded by Shirley Chisholm, the Caucus represents black members of Congress.

“It’s because of her that I was able to get that internship – it helps young black students. A lot of kids like me, we don’t have family connections and privilege.”

To those who know about her, Shirley Chisholm is more than a role model, she’s an icon and a trailblazer who deserves greater credit and attention than history afforded her.

Despite her many achievements Chisholm is not a household name in the US.

“She was well known in the late 1960s and 1970s, but if you don’t come from that era, it’s easy to be forgotten,” said Ky Ekinci, a social entrepreneur from Florida’s Palm Coast.

A few months ago, Ekinci organised the inaugural Shirley Chisholm Day. Around 50 people in the area met to celebrate her life.

His goal was to get many of the younger people in the Palm Coast area, where Chisholm retired and spent her final years, to learn about her.

He created a hashtag, #IKnowNow, to spread the word further afield, tweeting out bite-size facts about Chisholm.

Born in 1924 in Brooklyn, New York, Shirley Chisholm, spent some of her childhood years living with her grandmother in Barbados, before returning to her parents in New York to complete her education.

After qualifying as a teacher she worked in childcare, where she developed an interest in politics. She served in the New York state assembly, then made history in 1968, becoming the first African American woman elected to the US Congress.

Shirley Chisholm wisdom

“In the end, anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing – anti-humanism.”

Charles Rangel speaks to Witness about Shirley Chisholm

“I have no intention of just sitting quietly and observing. I intend to speak out immediately in order to focus on the nation’s problems,” Chisholm said of her new role.

Her victory, against the backdrop of the civil rights era, was a huge milestone, but with it came challenges.

“Can you imagine being a woman, and black in congress then?” says Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who represents the 13th District of California and is one of 35 African-American women who has served in Congress to date.

The first black woman, and the second ever female on the influential rules committee in Congress, she shattered a lot of glass ceilings, says Lee.

“Some of the men in Congress did not respect her, she just stood out and they didn’t get her. But she wouldn’t back down. She didn’t go along to get along, she went to change things.”

This was demonstrated in the sort of legislation Ms Chisholm worked on as a congresswoman, fighting for the underprivileged and minority groups.

She championed a bill to ensure domestic workers received benefits, was an advocate for improved access to education, and fought for the rights of immigrants.

She sponsored a bill to expand childcare for women, supported the national school lunch bill and helped establish the national commission on consumer protection and product safety.

Shirley Chisholm also worked tirelessly to expand the government-funded food stamps programme so it was available in every state, and was instrumental in setting up an additional scheme, The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (Wic), which provided support for pregnant women

In politics, Chisholm found her gender a particular setback, “I met more discrimination as a woman than for being black. Men are men,” she once said.

She had guts, and she made people believe that they too can be someone, that we are equal, that gender doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the highest office of government,” her goddaughter Marya Boseley says.

That desire to break boundaries was what drove Shirley Chisholm to make a run for president in 1972, seeking the Democratic nomination a mere three years after she became a congresswoman.

Ms Chisholm, whose slogan was “Unbought and Unbossed,” said she never expected to win but hoped her candidacy would “change the face and future of American politics”.

“I stand before you today, to repudiate the ridiculous notion that the American people will Not vote for qualified candidates, simply because he is not white or because she is not a male,” she told supporters as she launched her campaign.

“I do not believe that in 1972, the great majority of Americans will continue to harbour such narrow and petty prejudice.”

Congresswoman Lee first met Shirley Chisholm during her presidential race, and ended up volunteering for her. “She spoke to us in Spanish,” she recalls.

“Then when I said I wanted to work for her she took me to task and made me register to vote first. She told me if I wanted to shake things up, I better get involved in politics.”

The campaign wasn’t easy – Shirley Chisholm survived several assassination attempts and sued to ensure she was included in the televised debates.

She made it as far as the Democratic convention, losing out on the nomination to George McGovern, but leaving a lasting impression.

She served 7 terms in Congress, retiring in 1982, after which she returned to teaching.

She died in 2005, at the age of 80.

Despite her many achievements, those close to her say she never received the place in history she deserved.

“People are ignorant to history,” says Bosely who is 47. “When I was growing up black history was prevalent in schools and now it’s not.”

Congresswoman Lee agrees education around her legacy is lacking, “especially as we are still dealing with many issues as it relates to the inclusion of African Americans in society.”

Lee successfully lobbied for a painting of Shirley Chisholm to be hung in Congress, and for a stamp to be released in her honour.

And, in November of last year, Chisholm was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“There are people in our country’s history who don’t look left or right – they just look straight ahead. Shirley Chisholm was one of those people,” President Obama told the gathered audience at the White House as he presented her award posthumously.

“Shirley Chisholm’s example transcends her life. And when asked how she’d like to be remembered, she had an answer: ‘I’d like them to say that Shirley Chisholm had guts.’ 

And I’m proud to say it: Shirley Chisholm had guts.”

Follow Rajini on Twitter – @BBCRajiniv

THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF THE JFK ASSASSINATION

By JOSEPH P. FARRELL

Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020 – is the 57th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The first thought is that we’ve been living in one long arc of American history from the JFK murder until now, and that Donald Trump will either close that arc, or be just another in a long procession of mediocrities willing to live with the consequences.

We’re living through a major event and debate of a different sort, the evidence (for those that want to bother to look), of massive election fraud and, it would appear on first glance, to steal an election by means of that massive fraud.

And to listen to some “outraged” media personalities, this “just shouldn’t happen” because this is “the United States of ‘Murika,” and not, as we’re constantly reminded, “a banana republic.”

The bad news is, that if the “deep state” is willing to murder a president, out in the open, in public, and then murder – again in public and live on national television – his alleged assassin, and then after all that to lie about what happened and to foist on the public the ridiculous narrative of “lone assassins” firing a “magic bullet” only to be murdered by another “lone assassin” who just happens to be a Mafioso, and after that, to have the national media – three television networks, radio, and newspapers at the time – all publish and push that narrative on the people, then that tells us that nothing, really, has changed.

If they can murder a president, then murder his alleged assassin, and then concoct a crazy narrative and use the media to sell the story, they can certainly commit massive election fraud, send votes to a CIA center in Germany to be “counted” and push a dubious narrative on the public

(See https://conservativedailypost.com/german-city-is-cia-remote-hacking-base-28-states-sent-election-results-there/ and thank you to S.D. for spotting that one!).

In short, if America had not become a banana republic after the excesses of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, it certainly had by the time of the JFK assassination, and remains so now.

A sharp message needed to be sent in 1963: if you attempt to change the ways of the swamp as President, we will kill you, and if you the people attempt to do so, we’ll simply commit massive fraud until we get the results we want. 

And if the occupant of the White House doesn’t want to leave on account of said fraud, then we’ll just send in the Navy Seals and have him forcibly evacuated (method notably unspecified).

That’s another classic behavior of a banana republic: the good old fashioned “presidential palace coup”.

And for those really paying attention, isn’t it intriguing that some of the same players are involved:

(1) two Presidents with their own independent sources of wealth, and not dependent on running the federal government as a a grift or pay-for-play scheme to increase their family wealth,

(2) the “intelligence ‘community’” in the form of the CIA and FBI, which suppresses relevant evidence for months;

(3) the mafia, which is there to stuff ballots into boxes or murder alleged assasins when needed (think Cook county back then, or Philadelphia now, and see

https://cloverchronicle.com/2020/11/15/how-a-philly-mob-boss-stole-the-election-and-why-he-may-flip-on-joe-biden/embed/#?secret=td0zTiUrHC

That is the very definition of a banana republic folks.

All of which brings us the article de jour:

Thirteen People Who Had Foreknowledge of JFK’s Assassination

There were clear signs and indications before the murder of President Kennedy that there was a plot afoot to do so; there was foreknowledge.

I want to focus on three of the people whom the article cites as having had foreknowledge.

US Army private first class Eugene Dinkin, US military code operator David Frederick Christensen, and US military code operator, Richard Case Nagell.

About Private Dinkin, the article says:

U.S. Army Ordinance cryptographic code operator, Private First Class Eugene Dinkin, was stationed in Metz, France when he intercepted and decoded not one, but two messages regarding the coming assassination of President Kennedy.

Image for post
Eugene Dinkin

The first message he intercepted was in October of 1963, the second was on November 02, 1963 (less than three weeks before the assassination).

No one believed Dinkin’s warnings, and when he discovered the Army was going to (conveniently) require him to undergo psychological evaluation, Dinkin instead chose to go AWOL before reemerging on November 06, 1963, at the United Nations in Switzerland, Geneva where he told reporters of his knowledge of the deciphered plot against President Kennedy.

Dinkin was arrested on November 13, 1963. After his arrest he was sent to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but not before first being held at a psychiatric hospital.

The assassination still took place, and Dinkin’s attempt to thwart it was ushered down the memory hole, not even earning a mention in the Warren Report.

You can research more about Dinkin and his attempt to warn of Kennedy’s demise here, including Dinkin’s other sobering revelation:

“In September, 1963, Dinkin noticed material in the Army newspaper, Stars and Stripes, and other print publications, that was negative toward the president and his policies and implied that he was a weak president in dealing with the Russians.

The examples that he found became more negative, the suggestion being that if he were removed as president it would be a good thing.” (Emphasis added)

The official narrative, The Warren Report, and a complicit media “Mighty Wurlitzer” propaganda machine swung into full operational mode, and suppressed a story. Sound familiar?

David Frederick Christensen had a similar experience:

Little is know about David Christensen, but like Eugene Dinkin, Christensen was a code operator for the U.S. military in 1963 who happened upon information he wasn’t supposed to know.

Christensen intercepted a communication sometime in October of 1963 regarding the plot to kill JFK, and just like Dinkin, he was ignored and his sanity called into question.

A letter he wrote to a friend mentioning his foreknowledge of the assassination can be read here.

When one clicks on that link to Christensen’s letter, one reads this:

Nick,

Well after 13 1/2 years I finally found out your whereabouts. Dam(sic), its (sic) been a long time since Kirknewton, Scotland, and the beer we drank on the beach and the club. Had to get your address from the outfit in Texas.

Christ, you remember the position I worked at, in Sgt Praters (sic) section, don’t you? You remember about a month or 6 weeks before I left Scotland, when I picked up a link mentioning the assassination of President Kennedy.

How hard I tried to get it sent out, and because of that f**kin Forney and Delaughter they wouldn’t send it to NSA.

Since I have learned that the man’s name, most mentioned was number 4 in a certain branch of organized crime at the time.

Was number 2 last year. I will send you a form for proof of claim…. The “link was” Lisbon to Tangiers you remember.

How I got my ass chewed for not dropping the link. Have learned that this branch of crime will put out a feeler of forthcoming things. By sending it as a practice message.

Nick it really broke me up after Nov. 22, 63. Especially when I had it all before hand.

And so on.

Finally, we have Richard Case Nagell, about whom we read the following:

Decorated veteran of the Korean War, Richard Case Nagell was a U.S. Intelligence operative for the CIA who discovered that there was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK, and that Lee Harvey Oswald was marked to be the patsy.

Nagell was tasked with attempting to foil the assassination plot, up to and including killing the patsy, but instead—in an attempt to remove himself from all involvement in the conspiracy—he chose to purposely get himself arrested by firing a gun in an EL Paso, Texas bank and then waiting outside for the police to arrive.

Nagell would later tell author Dick Russell that a few rogues in the CIA (and Texas oil interests) were behind the assassination.

You can read all about Nagell’s story in the book The Man Who Knew Too Much (purchase here) by Dick Russell. (Emphasis added)

So what do we have?

Firstly, we have elements of the military – code operators in two instances – who pick up traffic indicating an assassination plot. This alone indicates that factions within the military-intelligence complex were involved in the planning, but it also indicates that some were not, and if Richard Case Nagell story is to be believed, that some were trying to prevent it.

Secondly, and more importantly, we have foreknowledge. Indeed, it would be difficult if not impossible to keep such a widespread conspiracy quiet and free from all leaks and potential detection.

Indeed, there were reports in some of the lesser-known publications and media at the time that getting rid of Kennedy would be a “good thing.”

In short, the “narrative was prepped,” much like we saw in the run-up to the 2020 election, with both sides warning of fraud, of a contested election, and so on.

The bottom line is: we’re still looking at the same Deep State, the same factions, the same players, and the same playbooks. Mafia, CIA, military, and “Texas oil interests”, meaning the Hunts, the Murchisons, and – yes – the Bush family.

And we’re still looking at a banana republic… with nukes.

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”.

His book The Giza Death Star, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”

57 YEARS AGO TODAY: THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF THE JFK ASSASSINATION (gizadeathstar.com)

Civil war as a game for children in Lebanon: A book review

Playing war as children is natural. What if the horrors of war catch up with us as adult?

La guerre comme un jeu

Danielle Laurin offered this Sept. 20, 2014, a review of

Ghayas Hachem réussit à écrire un livre à propos de la guerre qui se démarque, dans un océan de titres sur le sujet.
Photo: Pedro Ruiz Le Devoir Ghayas Hachem réussit à écrire un livre à propos de la guerre qui se démarque, dans un océan de titres sur le sujet.

Play Boys
Ghayas Hachem
Boréal
Montréal, 2014, 224 pages

Nous sommes à Beyrouth, dans les années 1980, en pleine guerre civile libanaise.

Mais du côté des enfants. Du côté de l’imaginaire comme échappatoire, du jeu comme porte de sortie. Au début, du moins.

Puis, la réalité finissait par prendre le dessus.

Play Boys, premier roman du Montréalais Ghayas Hachem, fait se confronter constamment le ludisme et la réalité, tout autant que l’enfance et l’âge adulte. Mais plus on avance, plus les cloisons s’éventrent, les repères s’égarent.

Jouer à la guerre comme un enfant, ou entrer de plain-pied dans l’horreur, comme un homme ?

C’est le dilemme devant lequel l’auteur, lui-même né au Liban en 1973, place son personnage principal, un garçon de 12 ans.

Dilemme qui se pose sans se poser d’une certaine façon, puisque tout se produit comme par enchantement, tout naturellement, par glissements successifs.

Comment en vient-on à commettre l’irréparable, à sombrer dans la barbarie ?

Est-ce que la guerre pardonne tout ?

Comment résister à l’appel du bourreau, de la vengeance ?

Qu’est-ce qu’un traître, pour qui ? Ce pourraient être les questions au centre de Play Boys.

Il y a aussi dans cette histoire à multiples tiroirs, qui n’est pas sans rappeler le percutant Parfum de poussière de Rawi Hage (Alto, 2007), une grande amitié entre deux jeunes garçons. Et la trahison qui entre en jeu.

Il y a la famille, sans tendresse aucune.

Cette famille qui, à cause de la guerre, vit depuis près d’un an dans un appartement qui n’est pas le sien : il appartient à de jeunes mariés émigrés en Australie.

La quête du père. La mère est aigrie. Le frère aîné lui est soumis, lui obéit en tout.

Et le père ? Pas de père, justement. Il est absent, parti. Mystère.

Mystère du père absent, qui traverse le récit. On ne comprendra qu’à la fin, tout comme le jeune héros, ce qu’il en est vraiment.

Au début, il n’en est pas trop question, du père. Des bribes, ici et là.

La mère interdit de toute façon qu’on en parle à la maison. À peine si elle consent à laisser entendre vaguement qu’il est en voyage, parti à l’extérieur… peut-être même pris en otage, qui sait.

Pour le garçon de 12 ans, il est primordial de savoir à quoi s’en tenir. Ça deviendra une obsession.

C’est la trame la plus forte du roman, cette recherche du père manquant, qui donne lieu à tous les égarements.

C’est la couche de fond qui ajoute un supplément d’âme à ce qui pourrait n’être qu’un autre roman sur la guerre mettant en scène des enfants.

C’est ce qui touche le plus. Et puis le punch final concernant la disparition du père, liée de façon intrinsèque au conflit qui balaie le pays, nous rentre dedans.

Entre-temps, nous nous sommes peut-être un peu perdus en route, avec le héros pris en étau, entre deux feux.

Entre son cousin, jusque-là son meilleur ami, et son frère aîné grincheux. Ces deux-là jouent à la guerre en tentant d’imiter les grands, chacun de leur côté. Mais ils prennent la chose tellement au sérieux.

Tout ce que veut notre jeune héros, lui, en dehors de retrouver son père, c’est la paix, la justice sociale.

La fin de la guerre une fois pour toutes, il en rêve. Jusqu’à quand pourra-t-il préserver son innocence, cultiver sa naïveté ?

Si on peut voir dans ces jeux de guerre enfantins une métaphore de la vraie guerre et de ses débordements, de ses enflures, de ses « oeil pour oeil, dent pour dent », de sa soif toujours plus grande de pouvoir, cette partie-là du roman semble un peu trop appuyée.

Elle donne lieu à tant de détails : elle s’éternise un peu. L’impatience risque de nous gagner. Surtout que les 70 premières pages coulaient de source.

La sexualité fantasmée

Dès le début, on est frappés par l’inventivité de l’auteur, par le côté cru de ses images, aussi.

Il tourne en drôlerie la situation du héros de 12 ans, celui qui devient le narrateur de l’histoire, après coup.

Rien de comique, pourtant, quand se font entendre des crissements de pneus, des cortèges de martyrs, des bombardements dans l’autre Beyrouth, des sirènes proches…

Justement.

C’est pour éviter d’entendre tout cela et d’y chercher un sens que le garçon s’évade dans l’imaginaire, dans le fantasme. Avec son cousin de 11 ans.

Il suffit d’imaginer les voisines dévêtues, d’inventer toutes sortes d’ébats sexuels avec elles, en faisant durer le plaisir. Ce que les garçons feront à répétition.

Ils en viendront à investir la chambre interdite de l’appartement squatté. Celle des jeunes mariés qui ont fui la guerre. Elle est tapissée de photos d’eux.

Toutes les histoires sont possibles, derrière la porte close. On peut même substituer au corps de la mariée celui de filles nues sur papier glacé.

La sexualité, fantasmée, mais pas seulement, est omniprésente dans Play Boys. Comme exutoire. Comme récompense, aussi. Comme carburant.

La sexualité, face cachée de la guerre ?

Ce pourrait être par cet aspect de son roman, par la façon frontale dont il l’aborde, que Ghayas Hachem se démarque le plus, finalement.

Any good news in and out?

After Iraq invasion. (December 7, 2008)

Let me offer new facts and then older facts that were not disseminated; then I will ask the question “Why the Bush Administration needed a major war?

Then the follow up question “Why Iraq specifically?”

Then the resolution question “What where the results of this pre-emptive war, what after Iraq, what of the millions of Iraqis who suffered this harrowing invasion?”.

Since the Wall Street crash, the USA has lost over 550,000 jobs and as many in the developed States and there is no end to that trend.  

In 1989, the world experienced a nasty financial crash that destabilized the Asian markets and then Latin America and its ripple effect hit the US as Bush was being inaugurated.  

Thus, before the Twin Tower disaster the US was financially unstable and the joblessness rate was very high and increasing.  

After the 9/11 attack the stock market in the US hit its lowest and the rate of decrease was about 36%, almost as bad as today.  

The major difference was that the financial disaster then was not publicized and the whole affair turned to the necessity of preventing further terrorist activities and defending the “Nation”.

The US needed badly a major war.

First, to absorb the unemployed, especially the Latinos, and

Second, to divert attention from acute economical and financial problems that the Republicans were not equipped to handle under their free, non controlled capitalist policies.

Why Iraq then?  

Afghanistan was a non entity and very poor to launch a major war and invest so much on it. 

 Iraq had no Qaida elements within its territory, simply because Dictator Saddam Hussein was a Sunni leader and would not permit other Sunni organizations to eat from his own dish.  

Iraq had no nuclear weapons; the Nuclear Control Agency said so; the European leaders said so; the UN said so and refused to support this foolish pre-emptive war.  

The Bush Administration went solo against the World community. Why?

Iraq was a State with the highest reserve in oil and second to Saudi Arabia in potentials for production.

Iraq was strategically located amidst the oil producing countries in the Middle East.  Saudi Arabia is a staunch ally to the US.  Iran is too big to swallow.  

Iraq was about right since it had been seriously weakened after 10 years of economic embargo by the Bush Father and Clinton. (Over 2 million babies died in Iraq in that period of embargo for lack of powder milk and basic medicines).  

The neighboring Arab States were easy prey for frequent US financial blackmail to invest in Treasury bonds and other financial gifts such as purchasing redundant military hardware at the highest prices.

For the long term, the US planned to blackmail powerful China, avid of oil, by controlling directly the distribution and production of oil.

When the US forces entered Baghdad, Bush Junior declared “Victory”.  

Two years later Bush Junior revised his declaration “Victory was way premature”.  Recently, Bush Junior was begging the Iraqis to accept the “Security Agreement” to save face for the retreat of his troops.  

What would you expect from an Iraqi government, appointed by the US forces, but to obey its Masters?

What were the results of this long pre-emptive war?

First, over one thousand Iraqi scientists in all fields have been systematically assassinated by the CIA and the Israeli Mossad.  

The names and professions of these scientists and professors are published on the internet. Israel was greatly relieved: The huge brain potential of the Iraqi people was a nightmare for tiny Israel; and backed by huge oil reserves and fertile lands and prosperous industries.  

It is said that the Egyptians write books, the Lebanese publish and the Iraqi read the books.  For over ten years now the “Arabs” have not been reading their published books!

Second, a catastrophic ecological situation has befallen Iraq: the oil that could not be processed or distributed was re-directed to be dumped in valleys; vast areas are lost for ever and ever to any reclamation.

Third, over one million Iraqi civilians died and three fold that number crippled.

Fourth, oil production never reached the level of ten years ago.

Fifth, the US has stolen, highway robbery, the oil produced in Iraq with nothing to show for it but destruction, miseries, and sectarian warfare.  

Security in Iraq is the last thing in the mind of the Bush Junior Administration; the Iraqis can go to hell and why? Why?

Sixth, China re-directed its investment for oil fields toward Africa and the US is totally impotent.

Seventh, China has struck deals with Russia and India and the oil pipelines are almost finished and freed from maritime transport and US blackmailing tactics.

Eight, the hatred and animosities against the US policies in the Arab and Muslim people has reached the zenith and no public image gimmicks would do.

Nine, Russia has checked the US-NATO expansion toward its borders.

Tenth, the US is totally bankrupt and humiliated economically, financially, and militarily.  Shall I go on?

The cycle is back from where we started.  

The financial conditions are worse than in 2001 and unemployment rate even worst.  What then?  

Which country is now ripe for another pre-emptive war in order to suck in the jobless population and to blackmail the Arab State for financial secure?   

Saudi Kingdom is ideal: nobody like this savage, ignorant, narrow minded Wahhabi sect of this theocratic monarchy family.  

The world can do without this hotbed of terrorism, salafist, wahabi sect which is the source of the Al Qaeda and its numerous branches; except the USA obviously.

Don’t you hate this hypocrite of a monster claiming that he was against war but the CIA lied to him?

The case is to be handled by the International Tribunal of war crimes and perpetrators of genocides on a wide scale.  

If the International community fails its duty towards this massacre of the decade and persists in acting biased toward the developed colonial nations then the underground organizations will take over in the name of justice and for a long, long time.

How Albert O. Hirschman progressed into adopting basic projects that allow the underdeveloped people to overcome difficulties on their own.

How many conflicts each colonial projects generated in underdeveloped nations?

The pertinent question is: How many conflicts has the project brought in its wake?

Hiding Hand principle?

When people from organizations like the World Bank descended on Third World countries, they always tried to remove obstacles to development, to reduce economic anxiety and uncertainty.

They wanted to build bridges and roads and airports and dams to insure that businesses and entrepreneurs encountered as few impediments as possible to growth.

Obstacles led to frustration, and frustration to anxiety. No one wanted to be anxious. But wasn’t anxiety the most powerful motivator—the emotion capable of driving even the most reluctant party toward some kind of solution? In the field of developmental economics, this was heretical.

As Albert O.Hirschman thought about case studies like the Karnaphuli Paper Mills and the Troy-Greenfield folly, he became convinced that his profession had it backward. His profession ought to embrace anxiety, and not seek to remove it.

As he wrote in a follow-up essay to “The Strategy of Economic Development”:

“Law and order and the absence of civil strife seem to be obvious preconditions for the gradual and patient accumulation of skills, capital and investors’ confidence that must be the foundation for economic progress. We are now told, however, that the presence of war-like Indians in North America and the permanent conflict between them and the Anglo-Saxon settlers was a great advantage, because it made necessary methodical, well-planned, and gradual advances toward an interior which always remained in close logistic and cultural contact with the established communities to the East.

In Brazil, on the contrary, the back-lands were open and virtually uncontested; the result was that once an excessively vast area had been occupied in an incredibly brief time span, the pioneers became isolated and regressed economically and culturally.

The entrepreneur takes risks but does not see himself as a risk-taker, because he operates under the useful delusion that what he’s attempting is not risky.

Trapped in mid-mountain, people discover the truth—and, because it is too late to turn back, they’re forced to finish the job.

“We have ended up here with an economic argument strikingly paralleling Christianity’s oft expressed preference for the repentant sinner over the righteous man who never strays from the path,” Hirschman wrote in this essay from 1967.

Success grew from failure:

And essentially the same idea, even though formulated, as one might expect, in a vastly different spirit, is found in Nietzsche’s famous maxim, “That which does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” This sentence admirably epitomizes several of the histories of economic development projects in recent decades.

As was nearly always the case with Hirschman’s writing, he made his argument without mathematical formulas or complex models. His subject was economics, but his spirit was literary.

He drew on Brecht, Kafka, Freud, Flaubert, La Rochefoucauld, Montesquieu, Montaigne, and Machiavelli, not to mention Homer—he had committed huge sections of the Odyssey to memory.

The pleasure of reading Hirschman comes not only from the originality of his conclusions but also from the delightfully idiosyncratic path he took to them.

Consider this, from the same essay (and, remember, this is an economist who’s writing):

“While we are rather willing and even eager and relieved to agree with a historian’s finding that we stumbled into the more shameful events of history, such as war, we are correspondingly unwilling to concede—we find it intolerable to imagine—that our more lofty achievements, such as economic, social or political progress, could have come about by stumbling rather than through careful planning. . . . Language itself conspires toward this sort of asymmetry: we fall into error, but do not usually speak of falling into truth.

Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman” (Princeton), by the Princeton historian Jeremy Adelman, is a biography worthy of the man. Adelman brilliantly and beautifully brings Hirschman to life, giving us an unforgettable portrait of one of the twentieth century’s most extraordinary intellectuals.

The great influence on Hirschman’s life was his brother-in-law, the Italian intellectual Eugenio Colorni. Colorni and Hirschman were as close as siblings, and when Colorni was killed by Fascist thugs in Rome, during the Second World War, Hirschman was inconsolable. Adelman writes:

“Colorni believed that doubt was creative because it allowed for alternative ways to see the world, and seeing alternatives could steer people out of intractable circles and self-feeding despondency. Doubt, in fact, could motivate: freedom from ideological constraints opened up political strategies, and accepting the limits of what one could know liberated agents from their dependence on the belief that one had to know everything before acting, that conviction was a precondition for action.

The phrase that Hirschman and Colorni would repeat to each other was that they hoped to “prove Hamlet wrong.” Hamlet shouldn’t have been frozen by his doubts; he should have been freed by them.

Hamlet took himself too seriously. He thought he needed to be perfect. Colorni and Hirschman didn’t. “Courage required the willingness “to always be on guard against oneself. Colorni wrote,

Doubt didn’t mean disengagement.

In the summer of 1936, Hirschman volunteered to fight in Spain on the side of the Loyalists, against General Franco’s German-backed Fascists. He was twenty-one and living in Paris, having just got back from studying at the London School of Economics. He was among the first wave of German and Italian volunteers to take the train to Barcelona. “When I heard that there was even a possibility to do something,” Hirschman said, “I went.”

Hirschman rarely spoke about what happened in Spain.

Decades later, Adelman recounts, Albert and his wife, Sarah, went to see a film about the Spanish Civil War. Afterward, Sarah asked Albert, “Was it like that?” His response was a deft non-response: “Yeah, that was a pretty good film.” On this subject, as on a few others, Sarah felt a certain reticence in her husband. Still, as Adelman remarks, “the scars on his neck and leg made it impossible for her to forget.”

Adelman interprets Hirschman’s silence as disenchantment: “The endless debate rehearsed in Berlin and Paris over left-wing tactics was more than a farce, it was a tragedy of epic proportions.

Hirschman saw the Communists move in and, in his mind, the spirit of the cause became contaminated. It broke his heart.

But Hirschman would come to recognize that action fueled by doubt allows for failures to be left behind. Spain was a tragedy, but it was also, for him, an experiment, and experiments go awry.

Hirschman liked to say that he had “a propensity to self-subversion.” He even gave one of his books that title.

He qualified and questioned and hedged as a matter of habit. He never trusted himself enough to indulge in grand theorizing. He pursued the “petite idée” to come to an understanding of reality in portions, admitting that the angle may be subjective.”

Once, when a World Bank director sent him a paper that referred to the “Hirschman Doctrine,” Hirschman replied, “Fortunately, there is no Hirschman school of economic development and I cannot point to a large pool of disciples where one might fish out someone to work with you along those lines.”

Hirschman spent his career in constant motion.

After doing graduate training in London and Italy, fighting in Spain, and spending the first part of the war in France, he left for the United States, by which point he had begun to lose track of his own movements.

“This makes my fifth emigration,” he wrote to his mother. He accepted a fellowship at Berkeley (where he met the woman he would marry, Sarah Chapiro, another émigré), did a tour of duty for the O.S.S. in North Africa and Europe, and, with the war concluded, served a stint at the Federal Reserve Board, where he grew so unhappy that he would return home to his wife and two daughters in Chevy Chase, shut the door to his study, and bury himself in Kafka.

He worked for the Marshall Plan in Washington, providing “the thinking behind the thinking,” only to be turned down for a transfer to Paris because of a failed national-security review. He was in his mid-thirties. On a whim, he packed up the family and moved to Bogotá, Colombia, where he worked on a project for the World Bank.

He crisscrossed Colombia with “pen in hand and paper handy, examining irrigation projects, talking to local bankers about their farm loans, and scribbling calculations about the costs of road building.”

Writing to her parents about the family’s decision to move to Colombia, which was then in the midst of a civil war, Sarah explained, “We both realize that you should think of the future—make plans for the children etc. But I think we both somehow feel that it is impossible to know what is best and that the present is so much more important—because if the present is solid and good it will be a surer basis for a good future than any plans that you can make.”

Most people would not have left a home in Chevy Chase and the security of a job in Washington to go to a Third World country where armed gangsters roamed the streets, because they would feel certain that Colombia was a mistake. Hirschman believed, as a matter of principle, that it was impossible to know whether Colombia would be a mistake.

As it happened, the 4 years the family spent in Bogotá were among its happiest.

Hirschman returned to Latin America again and again during his career, and what he learned there provided the raw material for his most brilliant work. His doubt was a gift, not a curse.

Hirschman published his first important book, “The Strategy of Economic Development,” in 1958. He had returned from Colombia by then and was at Yale, and the book was an attempt to make sense of his experience of watching a country try to lift itself out of poverty.

At the time, he was reading deeply in the literature of psychology and psychoanalysis, and he became fascinated with the functional uses of negative emotions: frustration, aggression, and, in particular, anxiety.

The impulse of the developmental economist in those days would have been to remove the “impediments” to growth—to swoop in and have some powerful third party deal with the “war-like Indians.” But that would have turned North America into Brazil, and the pioneers would never have been forced to develop methodical, well-planned advances in logistical contact with the East.

Developing countries required more than capital. They needed practice in making difficult economic decisions.

Economic progress was the product of successful habits—and there is no better teacher, Hirschman felt, than a little adversity.

Hirschman would rather encourage settlers and entrepreneurs at the grass-roots level—and make them learn how to cope with those impediments themselves—than run the risk that aid might infantilize its recipient.

He loved to tell the story of how, at a dinner party in a Latin American country, he struggled to track down the telephone number of a fellow-academic: “I asked whether there might be a chance that X would be listed in the telephone directory; this suggestion was shrugged off with the remark that the directory makes a point of listing only people who have either emigrated or died. . . . The economist said that X must be both much in demand and hard to reach, as several people had inquired about how to get in touch with him within the past few days. The subject was dropped as hopeless, and everybody spent a pleasant evening.”

Back in his hotel room, Hirschman looked in the phone book, found his friend’s number, and got him on the line immediately.

A few years after publishing “The Strategy of Economic Development,” Hirschman was invited by the World Bank to conduct a survey of some of its projects. He drew up his own itinerary, which, typically, involved almost an entire circuit of the globe: a power plant in El Salvador, roads in Ecuador, an irrigation project in Peru, pasture improvement in Uruguay, telecommunication in Ethiopia, power transmission in Uganda, an irrigation project in Sudan, railway modernization in Nigeria, the Damodar Valley Corporation in India, the Karnaphuli Paper Mills, an irrigation project in Thailand and another in the south of Italy.

Adelman is struck by the tone of optimism in Hirschman’s notes on his journey. The economist was interested in all the ways in which projects managed to succeed, both in spite of and because of the difficulties:

Instead of asking: what benefits has this project yielded, it would almost be more pertinent to ask: how many conflicts has it brought in its wake?

How many crises has it occasioned and passed through? And these conflicts and crises should appear both on the benefit and the cost side, or sometimes on one—sometimes on the other, depending on the outcome (which cannot be known with precision for a long time, if ever).

Only Hirschman would circle the globe and be content to conclude that he couldn’t reach a conclusion—for a long time, if ever.

He was a planner who really didn’t believe in planning. He wanted to remind other economists that a lot of the problems they tried to fix were either better off not being fixed or weren’t problems to begin with.

Late in life, Hirschman underwent surgery in Germany. When he emerged from anesthesia, he asked his surgeon, “Why are bananas bent?” The doctor shrugged. Hirschman, even then, could not resist a poke at his fellow economic planners: “Because nobody went to the jungle to adjust it and make it straight.”

While fighting for France during the Second World War, Hirschman persuaded his commander to give him false French papers and he became Albert Hermant. After the country fell to the Germans, Hirschman ended up in Marseilles, along with thousands of other refugees. There he learned that an American named Varian Fry was coming to France as part of the Emergency Rescue Committee—an American group that sought to get as many Jewish refugees out of France as possible. Hirschman met Fry at the train station and took him back to the Hotel Splendide. They hit it off instantly.

Fry had access to U.S. visas. But he needed Hirschman’s help in figuring out escape routes into Spain, procuring false passports and identity papers, and smuggling in money to fund the operation. Hirschman was invaluable. He spoke Italian like an Italian and German like a German and French like a Frenchman, and had so many fake documents—including a card attesting to membership in the “Club for People Without Clubs”—that Fry joked he was “like a criminal who has too many alibis.”

Fry nicknamed Hirschman Beamish, on account of his irrepressible charm. Beginning in 1940, the Emergency Rescue Committee helped save thousands of people from the clutches of Fascism, among them Hannah Arendt, André Breton, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, and Alma Mahler.

Hirschman was as reluctant to talk about his time in Marseilles as he was to talk about the battles he fought in the Spanish Civil War.

As a fellow at Berkeley, in the early forties, he was placed in the International House, and the other graduate students urged him to speak about what had happened to him in Europe. “The newcomer sat there,” Adelman writes, “with his handkerchief twisted in his fingers, nervously waiting for the calls to pass.”

Hirschman moved out of the International House as soon as he could. “I couldn’t stand being considered as sort of a wonder of the world or something like that,” he later recalled. “I just wanted to be myself.”

The closest Hirschman ever came to explaining his motives was in his most famous work, “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty,” and even then it was only by implication.

Hirschman was interested in contrasting the two strategies that people have for dealing with badly performing organizations and institutions. “Exit” is voting with your feet, expressing your displeasure by taking your business elsewhere. “Voice” is staying put and speaking up, choosing to fight for reform from within. There is no denying where his heart lay.

Early in the book, Hirschman quoted the conservative economist Milton Friedman, who argued that school vouchers should replace the current public-school system. “Parents could express their views about schools directly, by withdrawing their children from one school and sending them to another, to a much greater extent than is now possible,” Friedman wrote. “In general they can now take this step only by changing their place of residence. For the rest, they can express their views only through cumbrous political channels.”

This was, Hirschman wrote, a “near perfect example of the economist’s bias in favor of exit and against voice”:

In the first place, Friedman considers withdrawal or exit as the “direct” way of expressing one’s unfavorable views of an organization. A person less well trained in economics might naively suggest that the direct way of expressing views is to express them!

Secondly, the decision to voice one’s views and efforts to make them prevail are contemptuously referred to by Friedman as a resort to “cumbrous political channels.” But what else is the political, and indeed the democratic, process than the digging, the use, and hopefully the slow improvement of these very channels?

Hirschman pointed out the ways in which “exit” failed to send a useful message to underperformers. Weren’t there cases where monopolists were relieved when their critics left?

“Those who hold power in the lazy monopoly may actually have an interest in creating some limited opportunities for exit on the part of those whose voice might be uncomfortable,” he wrote. The worst thing that ever happened to incompetent public-school districts was the growth of private schools: they siphoned off the kind of parents who would otherwise have agitated more strongly for reform.

Exit is passive. It is silent protest. And silent protest, for him, is too easy. “Proving Hamlet wrong” was about the importance of acting in the face of doubt—but also of acting in the face of fear.

Voice was courage. He went to fight Fascism in Spain. It ended in failure. When the Nazis came hunting for the Jews, he tried again. “Expanding the operation meant, increasingly, that Beamish’s work was in the streets, bars, and brothels of Marseilles, expanding the tentacles of the operation,” Adelman writes. “If the operation had a fixer, it was Beamish. It was a role he relished.”

Beamish screened the refugees, weeding out potential informers. He cajoled first the Czech, then the Polish, and, finally, the Lithuanian consuls into providing fake passports. He made deals with Marseilles mobsters and a shadowy Russian émigré to get money into France. He held secret meetings in brothels. Several times, he was nearly caught, but he charmed his way out of trouble.

When the authorities finally caught onto Hirschman, he escaped across the Pyrenees to Spain on foot, equipped with false Lithuanian papers.

On the ship to America, he played Ping-Pong and chess, and romanced a young Czech woman. As Adelman’s magnificent biography makes plain, it was hard not to fall for Albert Hirschman.

A colleague from his Marseilles days remembered him, years later, as “a handsome fellow with rather soulful eyes . . . taking everything in, his head cocked slightly to one side. One of those German intellectuals, I thought, always trying to figure everything out.” ♦

Note 1: Malcolm Gladwell published in The New Yorker this June 24, 2013

Note 2: Hirschman was born in Berlin in 1915, into a prosperous family of Jewish origin. His father was a surgeon, and the family lived in the embassy district, near the Tiergarten. Hirschman was slender and handsome, in the mold of Albert Camus. He dressed elegantly, danced skillfully, spoke half a dozen languages, and had a special affection for palindromes.

He was absent-minded and distracted. While lecturing, Adelman writes, “He rambled. He mumbled. Mid-sentence, he would pause, his right hand supporting his chin, his eyes drifting upward to fasten on a spot on the ceiling.” He would call his wife upon taking his car somewhere because—as he once said—“I do not know how to put it among two other cars on the sidewalk.”

“When you spoke to him,” a friend said, “it was sometimes five or ten seconds before he would show any sign of having heard you.” He was also deeply charming when he put his mind to it.

Africa. Connecting the dots: Colonialism, Zionism and Blood Money. Part 1

Part one is a general review of the history of Africa and its written languages (with slight editing and rearrangement):

“Africa is almost four times the size of the United States of America in land size and in all kinds of riches, especially in raw materials such as platinum, cobalt, uranium, tantalum, gold, diamonds, oil…

There is hardly an agricultural product that cannot be grown in Africa. Africa’s arable land for food security is reported to be the largest in the world.

Africa’s riches including her human resources have been brutally looted by imperialist countries for centuries and still are, even under supposedly liberated Africa.

To this minute, Africa’s natural wealth are fuelling the economies of imperialist countries. 

Africans remain the land of the poorest people in the world, amidst their own riches in their own African Continent

Africa was destroyed by imperialist Europe and is still being destroyed by Europe. The effects of colonialism past and present are visible all over Africa.

Africa is maybe the Mother of Humanity. Ancestors of Africa built the pyramids which even in this 21st century no one can reproduce.

Africans built the city of Memphis in ancient Egypt in 3100 B.C.

Greeks built Athens in 1200 B.C.

The Romans built Rome in 1000 B.C.

Up to the 14th century A.D. Africa was ahead of Europe militarily and wealth. There were many vast and rich empires in western and eastern Africa and were connected to the world through caravans to Egypt and northern Africa, and maritime routes to India. And these empires were mostly Islamic, except the empire in actual South Africa.

The Romans used spears and Africans used spears in war.

Earlier educated Greeks received their education in Africa, to be precise in Mizraim (ancient Egypt).

Africans invented writing. It was Hieroglyphics before 3000 B.C. and Hieratic alphabet shortly after this. Demotic writing was developed about 6OO B.C., while a Kushite script was used in 300 B.C.

Other African scripts were Merotic, Coptic, Amharic, Sabean, G’eez, Nsibidi of Nigeria and Mende of Mali. There were many others such as the Twi alphabet of the Twi people of Ghana.

Africa remains the privileged source of the manifestations of intense human creativity.

The “Atlantic” Ocean was called the Ethiopian Sea as late as 1626, and the “Indian” Ocean the Azanian Sea.

The Azanian civilisation, has a long history. The people of Azania (colonialists called it “South Africa”) mined gold and copper in Mapungubwe as early as the 9th century. Azania like Kush, Mizraim, Egypt, Kemet, Ethiopia means Blackman’s country or continent.

In 1930, excavations at Mapungubwe in the area of Limpopo River revealed skeletal remains of people who became known as ancient Azanians. These Africans were also referred to as Kushites or descendants of Kush.

In 1990, Dr. Gert Viljoen who was F.W. de Klerk’s Minister of Constitutional Affairs gave reasons why his apartheid colonialist regime would not negotiate with those African revolutionaries who subscribed to the Azanian school of thought.

Africa has suffered the worst genocide at the hands of the architects of slavery and colonialism.

What is called “European Renaissance” was the worst darkness for Africa’s people.

Armed with the technology of the gun and the compass that it copied from China and the “Arab” empire, Europe became a menace for Africa against her spears.

The so-called “civilised” Europe also claiming to be “Christian” came up with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

There was massive loss of African population and skills. Some historians have estimated that the Gold Coast (today’s Ghana) alone, lost over 2 million of its people to slavery for in 4 hundred years.

What would have been Britain’s level of development had millions of her people been put to work as slaves out of their country over a period of four centuries?

As if slavery had not already done enough damage to Africa’s people, European leaders met in Germany from December 1884 to February 1885 at the imperialist Berlin Conference.

The Belgian King Leopold stated the purpose of the Berlin Conference as “How we should divide among ourselves this magnificent African cake.”

Africa was thus plunged into another human tragedy.

Through the Berlin Treaty of February 26, 1885, the European imperialists sliced Africa into “Portuguese Africa”, “British Africa”, “German Africa”, “Italian Africa,” “Spanish Africa”, “French Africa” and “Belgian Africa.”

There was no Africa left for Africans except Ethiopia (until Mussolini of Italy conquered it), encircled by paupers of land dispossessed people who were now the reservoir of cheap native labor for their dispossessors.

Part 2 will describe the colonial devastation of the African people

Note: The first part, out of four, was sent in reply to my post https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/mania-of-rebranding-africa-disaster-vogue-of-italy/ by Nalliah Thayahbaran under “Colonialism, Zionism and Africa”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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