Archive for June 2012


convert or die… or wait a few hundred years

June 30th, 2012 — 4:39pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

You probably missed the phenomenal article on China in the LA Times a while back, which came on the heels of more and more morose news of what’s looking less and less like a recovery of the American economy. Among other points, one of the more central themes the article focused on was that Chinese culture is not American culture:

The Chinese have a powerful sense of their identity and worth. They have never behaved toward the West in a supplicant manner, for reasons Westerners persistently fail to understand or grasp.

China is simply not like the West and never will be. There has been an underlying assumption that the process of modernization would inevitably lead to Westernization; yet modernization is not just shaped by markets, competition and technology but by history and culture. And Chinese history and culture are very different from that of any Western nation-state.

And so far as I can tell, no one protested this observation as bigoted or racist or even remotely controversial. It’s simply a cultural observation.

Chinese culture is not Western culture. It is, as they say, what it is.

Cultures instill different values, they have different norms, they lead to markedly different behaviors. As the article so aptly put it, our “failure to understand the Chinese has repeatedly undermined our ability to anticipate their behavior.” Western culture, it’s often said, is rooted in “Judeo-Christian” values. These values have become imbued in our legal systems and constitutional rights, over thousands of years religion has seeped into our sense of justice – of right and wrong.

This exact same argument of culture dissonance can be made when it comes to religion, between Christianity and Islam, although just about everyone seems terrified to bring up the obvious.

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Comment » | 9/11, al-Qaeda, Charlemagne, Christianity, Clovis, condoning violence, faith, islam, islamist, Muslim, news, Nicene Creed, organized religion, terrorism

when Justice lies

June 27th, 2012 — 6:18pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

When you are sworn into Federal Court, you are exhorted to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Each of these phrases carries a slightly different angle against any possible lie – not only are you swearing to speak no lies, but also to not hold any part of the truth back, and to not mix in lies among the truth you do tell.

And so by its own standards, the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics has been openly and unabashedly lying about the racial divisions that remain within the American penal system for at least the past seven years.  It’s a lie so patently absurd that if our current President was incarcerated, the Department of Justice would pretend he wasn’t there, and whitewash his existence from their racial prisoner data entirely.

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Comment » | controlled substance, Current Events, diversity, economics, innercity violence, islamist, marijuana, organized crime, politics, prison system, racial inequality, racial tension, racism, reform, war on drugs

the iron law of prohibition

June 21st, 2012 — 10:28am

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Much like pinatas, there are a plethora of reasons to legalize marijuana.  There’s the fact that it’s easier for American teens to buy than alcohol anyways, the fact that legalizing marijuana alone would raise nearly $20 billion in taxes and savings, the fact that its illegality helps directly fund the muderous multi-billion dollar international drug trade, the fact that scientifically it’s markedly less harmful than either alcohol or tobacco:


But if you’re at all interested in the issue, you’ve likely heard all of the above arguments before. After all, our drug laws have never really been about public safety, but instead “on the belief that there is a class in society that can control themselves, and there is a class in society which cannot.”  However, one argument you may not have heard applied to America’s ongoing War on Drugs is the the Iron Law of Prohibition:

The law says that the more you try to enforce prohibition (bigger budgets, larger penalties, etc.) the more potent and dangerous prohibited drugs become. This is based on the premise that when drugs or alcohol are prohibited, they will be produced only in black markets in their most concentrated and powerful forms. If all alcohol beverages are prohibited, a bootlegger will be more profitable if he smuggles highly potent distilled liquors than if he smuggles the same volume of small beer. In addition, the black-market goods are more likely to be adulterated with unknown or dangerous substances. The government cannot regulate and inspect the production process, and harmed consumers have no recourse in law. When applied to rum-running, drug smuggling, and blockade running the more potent products become the sole focus of the suppliers.

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14 comments » | Breaking Bad, controlled substance, crystal meth, drug violence, gangsters, legalize marijuana, legalize weed, marijuana, news, organized crime, oxycodone abuse, oxycontin, politics, prison system, Prohibition, racial inequality, reform, war on drugs

top 10 reasons you shouldn’t be afraid of terrorists

June 21st, 2012 — 8:23am

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

10. After the bungled Glasgow International Airport attack, one of the terrorists was apprehended by a Scottish cabby who kicked a burning terrorist in the balls so hard he tore a tendon in his foot.

9. The Times Square Bomber, Faisal Shazhad, locked the keys to both his get-away car and his house inside the car-bomb he rigged.  The car bomb consisted of a bunch of fireworks stuck in a bucket, and a bunch of fertilizer.  Inert, non-explosive fertilizer that only served to muffle the blast.

8. While terrorist “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was hiding out in the Philippines, he kept a low profile by renting a freaking helicopter and making fly-overs of the building where the “cultural dancers” he wanted to date worked. They were impressed enough to allow him to take them on a date. He chose the local Wendy’s.

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1 comment » | 9/11, al-Qaeda, Glasgow bombing, islam, islamist, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, kick a burning terrorist in the balls, news, Pentagon, politics, shariah, stupid terrorists, terrorism, Times Square, war on drugs

more blowback in the Windy City

June 20th, 2012 — 1:17pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

UPDATE: The summer gun violence hasn’t calmed down at all: the weekend of June 17th saw 7 killed and nearly 40 injured by gun violence in Chicago, the next weekend pushed the total June bodycount to 20, and on the 4th of July alone 5 were killed and 21 wounded,

So far 2012 is on pace to be the bloodiest summer ever in the Windy City, there have been far more murders in the city than U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan, and the annual homicide rate is up 38% from last year.

A little while back al-Qaeda’s American-born spokesman “Adam the American” released a video exhorting Muslims in America to wage the “death by a-thousand cuts” version of jihad.  Instead of looking to stage large dramatic attacks which would require months of preparation and planning, he implored would-be jihadis to simply buy guns and start shooting people:

Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders, and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam waging war on their religion, sacred places, and brethren.  This is a golden opportunity.

“The way to show one’s appreciation and thanks for this blessing, is to rush to discharge one’s duty to his [community] and fight on its behalf with everything at his disposal.  And in the West you’ve got a lot at your disposal. Let’s take America as an example, American is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms…

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Comment » | Chicago, innercity violence, news, politics, racial inequality, racial tension, reform

the racism instinct

June 16th, 2012 — 9:29am

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Love at first sight. A feeling of fate, destiny, of Meant to Be. We’ve all been there, enthralled by a sense that in someone else we’ve found a missing piece ofourselves. From the time we’re kids, we’ re told that this is the most wonderful compulsion in the world, that we should all be so lucky to have love sweep into our lives with and wash away all of our fears and hesitations with its tempestuous embrace.

And yet, like all things, love too has a hidden side that we’d rather tell ourselves isn’t really there at all.

10,000 years ago something funny began to happen within the human genome.  We didn’t know it at the time, but minute changes that would haunt every generation to come were slowly and imperceptibly unfolding inside each and every one of our ancestors.

Almost like flipping a switch, what had once been a steady rate of mutation  suddenly increased, and “the pace of change accelerated to 10 to 100 times the average long-term rate.” These changes were driven at least in part by the development of agriculture, the domestication of both plants and animals.  Some human guts retained the ability to digest lactose as adults, others adapted to deal with a grain-heavy diet. Although agriculture wasn’t the only factor and there were certainly other forces at play, we do know, without question, that 10,000 years ago mutations in our genome began to accumulate at a pace never before seen in human prehistory.

Life as we’d known it would never be the same.

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Comment » | Africa, anthropology, biological racism, genetic compatibility, genetics, human genome, human migration, immunology, impact of agriculture, MHC genes, racial tension, racism, smell a mate, war on drugs

do the work behind the work

June 14th, 2012 — 8:27pm

“Every book, every volume you see, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens…” 

-Carlos Ruiz Zafon

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Hopefully before too long Steven Pressfield’s newest creative manifesto, Turning Pro, will be bound together and sold part and parcel with The War of Art, his original attempt to bind and deliver exactly what it takes to launch a creative endeavor.  In these two works, Pressfield encourages the prospective artist to push through the roadblocks, both real and perceived, that are keeping him from actually producing the Work that he was put here to create.  The most common form these roadblocks take is Resistance, an umbrella term for everything from classic procrastination to the self-doubt that might prevent someone from tacking their artistic calling:

Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. 

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1 comment » | books, do the work, e-books, muse, Steven Pressfield, The War of Art, turning pro

getcha pita-bread ready

June 14th, 2012 — 5:58pm

(read the book free online - read the Reddit AMA)

Unrest and instability plague a predominately Muslim nation after an economic recession creates growing swells of social upheaval, street demonstrations, and violence.  Islamists are poised to fill a growing power vacuum, but right as their scraggly grasping fingers are closing in on control of the state, the military steps in to prevent them from gaining control.

Sound familiar?

But what’s going down in Egypt isn’t by any means unique, the description at the top of this article was cribbed from the Wikipedia entry on the 1971 Turkey coup d’etat, the second coup in what ended up being a half-century of repeated military interventions that were each enacted to preserve a democratic Turkish state.

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Comment » | After the Arab Spring, Arab Spring, Attaturk, civil rights, Egypt, islam, islamist, John Bradley, news, politics, reform, revolution, shariah, terrorism, Turkey, you can't make an omelette

blowback in the windy city

June 12th, 2012 — 7:06pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

A little while back al-Qaeda’s American-born spokesman “Adam the American” released a video exhorting Muslims in America to wage the “death by a-thousand cuts” version of jihad.  Instead of looking to stage large dramatic attacks which would require months of preparation and planning, he implored would-be jihadis to simply buy guns and start shooting people:

Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders, and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam waging war on their religion, sacred places, and brethren.  This is a golden opportunity.

“The way to show one’s appreciation and thanks for this blessing, is to rush to discharge one’s duty to his [community] and fight on its behalf with everything at his disposal.  And in the West you’ve got a lot at your disposal. Let’s take America as an example, American is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms…

Continue reading »

Comment » | Chicago, domestic terror, innercity violence, news, politics, racial inequality, terrorism, Uncategorized, war on drugs

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