Friday, October 27, 2023

Word of the day

I know I'll get pummeled for this, but: I keep seeing children in Gaza being pulled, some dead, some alive, out of rubble created by bombing and shelling. The ones lucky enough to be alive will likely go to a hospital with no water, no fuel and thus no electricity, so that they'll only remain lucky if all they need is a band-aid. The word that keeps coming to mind is:


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Invasive species...

 I never caught the story, but last week on the CNN news crawl the theme of the global cost of "invasive species" showed up a number of times.

No mention that I saw included Humans, and yet Homo sapiens is invasive everywhere outside of Africa.

Ad don't even think about the cost to the world of that species' invasions...

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

A couple of thoughts...

Tommy 🥔ville wants the military to bend to his personal fantasies about the world. But in the past, the military has sometimes led the way in establishing rights that "society" has tried to withhold. Access to health care is a human right, not subject to whatever he thinks his imaginary friends want.


Asa Hutchinson says that women's reproductive health access should be up to each state. I call Bullshit. This is a human rights issue, and not up to the whims of Alabama or Mississippi. Or Iowa.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Neandertals, again...

OK, so it has been a while.  I'm trying to gear up for more writing here.  Meanwhile I posted this on Facebook this morning, edited a bit:

Yesterday after the verdict in the E. Jean Carroll trial was announced, tRump's lawyer Joe Tacopina came out and took a few questions. A heckler in the back kept yelling at him "Fucking Neanderthal! You're a fucking Neanderthal! ..."
So this is when I would have liked to be there to lecture the crowd on the humanity of the Neandertals, and the extremely unlikely chance that any male N would have behaved in his band like the former president has behaved all his life. Such a male Neandertal would have long since been cast out of the group or killed, maybe by the women.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

"Neandertal" republicans

 Last night (May10) on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, law professor Lawrence Tribe described republican efforts to drag women back to pre-Roe days as "Neandertal." I just want to go on record as saying that the Neandertals were very likely nowhere near as misogynistic as these thugs.

Artist: Tom Bjöklund

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Guest blog: On Whoopi Goldberg and the "race" thing

My Anthropology colleague Daniel Cring posted this on Facebook a couple days ago and I thought it best go up here as well. 


Whoopi Goldberg:

“Let’s be truthful, the Holocaust isn’t about race, it’s not. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man, that’s what it’s about. These are two groups of white people.”
She continued: “You’re missing the point … let’s talk about it for what it really is. It’s about how people treat each other. It’s a problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, Jews … everybody eats each other.”
As an anthropologist who created and taught a college course on “race and racism”, I believe that Whoopi has a point that people are missing here.
Johann Blumenbach (1752 -1840) was a German physician, naturalist, physiologist, and “anthropologist”, who pretty much created the concept of “race” as a way to classify human biological diversity. Today we know that this is a taxonomically invalid taxon. Human biological diversity is continuous and not discrete. The concept of “race” has no scientific validity but yet people continue to use it to discriminate because of population pressures.
And now the term “ethnicity”, not biological diversity but rather cultural diversity including religious diversity. Because of exogamy, “race” and ethnicity are not coterminous even though people use these two terms interchangeably.
Eugenics and racism were increasingly more prevalent in the 20th century because of population pressures cause by colonialism and imperialism. And most certainly Nazi Germany believed that they were the Master “Race”- the Aryan Race. But they also believe in eugenics, so that many other people died in the death camps- Poles, Russians, homosexuals, Roma People, handicapped, and apparently even some Soviet prisoners of war. I remember seeing the mortal remains of the victims of Auschwitz in the British contemporary documentary “Memory of the Camps” and one victim wore a Christian crucifix that they took to their grave when they were buried in a mass grave with all the other victims of the Nazi atrocities- Jews, Poles, Roma, homosexuals, mental and physically unfit Germans, and Soviet POWs.
I once sat in a sociology class “Minority Groups” here at UL and I saw how students started to argue which minority group had been persecuted the most throughout history, and I remembered the sacrifice by three young men in Mississippi- one “black”, and two Jewish men in June 1964 during the Civil Rights Movement- “The victims were James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi, and Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner from New York City. All three were associated with the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO)” (Wikipedia).
What the hell are we humans doing to ourselves? We have conquered nature, but not ourselves.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Some things that are pissing me off

"America."  The people who have these red MAGA hats and other paraphernalia have no idea that "America" refers to not just the United States, but to the whole hemisphere.  And for the most part they don't care.  What they want to "make great again" is just the little part of America that's in the US. 

And actually, they can't even do that, because the US has never been "great," and therefore cannot be made "great" again.  The US has, for its entire existence, been a nation built on exploitation, oppression, genocide, and internal colonialism; a nation built on two kinds of slavery: chattel slavery (people owning people), and wage slavery (people owning other people's labor).

Republicans.  The people who yell "Make America Great Again" the loudest have no intention of actually doing so.  They continue to block: efforts to raise the minimum wage, and thus make wage slavery a little less onerous; efforts to put in place a truly sane national health care system by eliminating the "health insurance" industry; attempts to reform laws regarding the possession of firearms;  elimination of student debt and extension of free public education to college/university; elimination of medieval restrictions on women's reproductive health care (and why are males even a part of this conversation?); etc.

Critics of Critical Race Theory.  As far as I can tell, these critics don't understand the terms "critical," or "race," or "theory."

China.  Yeah, China, for its obviously genocidal treatment of the Uyghurs, but also for its stupidity in mistaking communism for fascism.

Владимир Путин.  He's on my list for wanting to reconstitute the old CCCP by armed force instead of making Russia a place these other countries, like Ukraine, want to hang with.  

The Vaccine Refuseniks.  These people who equate remaining unvaccinated with "freedom" and "liberty" are killing us.  And they're pissing me off.  If nearly all of them had gotten vaccinated when the rest of us did, we'd probably be pretty much over this thing. You know, like how we're over smallpox, and polio, and etc.

Educational administrators at every level.  Mark Twain wrote:  "In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."  See the recent spate of Boards removing books like Maus (about the Holocaust) from their curricula, or banning use of the word "gay" in classes.  People on these boards seem to work under the illusion that children are snowflakes.  Well, they aren't.  They're tough.  They can take it, often better than their parents.

This is only a partial list; I'll be back.

Word of the day

I know I'll get pummeled for this, but: I keep seeing children in Gaza being pulled, some dead, some alive, out of rubble created by bom...