Sunday, December 31, 2006

Habeas what-us?

At one end of a converted trailer in the U.S. military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, a graying Pakistani businessman sat shackled before a review board of uniformed officers, pleading for his freedom.

The prisoner had seen only a brief summary of what officials said was a thick dossier of intelligence linking him to al-Qaida. He had not seen his own legal papers since they were taken away in an unrelated investigation. He has lawyers working on his behalf in Washington, London and Pakistan, but at Guantánamo his only assistance came from an Army lieutenant colonel, who stumbled as he read the prisoner's handwritten statement.

As the hearing concluded, the detainee, who cannot be identified publicly under military rules, had one question. He is a citizen of Pakistan, he noted. He was arrested on a business trip to Thailand. On what authority or charges was he even being held?

"That question," a Marine colonel presiding over the panel answered, "is outside the limits of what this board is permitted to consider."


Friday, December 29, 2006

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Evolution Edition

No one ever saw a Negro, Mongol, or Indian, born from any but his own species. Has any one heard of an Indian child born from white or black parents in America, during more than two centuries that these races have been living here? Is not this brief and simple statement of the case sufficient to satisfy any one, that the diversity of species now seen on the earth, cannot be accounted for on the assumption of congenital or accidental origin?

--Josiah Clark Nott, Types of Mankind, p. 58.

As I remarked to my brother when I read this, it's exactly the same logic bandied about still by creationists who try to deny evolution: "You never see a dog give birth to a cat, or a cat to a kangaroo. Therefore evolution isn't true." I was just amused to see it applied to proving that the races of mankind were different species.

I should probably note that Nott wasn't a Biblical literalist; in fact, he railed against the Bible and people who used passages from it to defend monogenism. However, though he didn't accept Bishop Usher's chronology exactly, he didn't deviate from it much, and believed that humanity was only several thousand years old. Therefore, the fact that races were distinct several thousand years ago was proof that they were fixed and permanent, and couldn't have all evolved from common ancestors. After Darwin published, and the span of humanity went from thousands to millions of years, Nott found evolution and monogenism more palatable. As William Stanton says in The Leopard's Spots,
Nott himself recognized the damage done by the Darwinian time scale and told a friend that he "would not have published" Types of Mankind "if the pre-historic period of men had been so firmly established" then "as it is at the present day."


Monday, December 25, 2006

I, um... I don't think so

Now we know the real threat to gays. It's not AIDS, or Christians, or Muslims--it's themselves.
The young man, in this interview, confirmed what many Jamaicans have known all along but which some human rights and gay rights groups have tried to convince the world was the opposite - that most of the murders of gay men in Jamaica are committed by their lovers.

"Let me tell you something, all the violence of the number of gay men who have been killed in the last two to three years has not taken place because of hate crime. It's passionate crime, a jealous situation," he says, pointing out that some of the cases, including the killing of gay rights activist Brian Williamson, were cold-blooded murder.

Why is this, you may ask? Because gay people are mentally damaged, of course!
"Our love is unusual. It's not normal, and the passion, it's a passion for somebody.we don't even want our partner to have a best friend, to even be close to somebody, the moment we realise we start assuming. We say, 'You a talk to dis one and you a cheat pon mi', so insecurity, lack of confidence and trust. In rational sense, I have acknowledged in this gay life, there is never somebody you must call a hundred per cent yours, never."

And their evidence for this blatant lie? Well, first they have the above testimony, given by some random 22 year-old gay man. Of course, they keep him anonymous and the only credentials he has that might give him any reason to be trusted on this is that he has gained a "foothold ... in the gay community." After quoting Gareth Williams, "programmes co-ordinator and co-chair of the local gay rights group, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG)", as saying that's a bunch of bull, they refute him with the following statistic: three gay men have allegedly been killed by lovers in Jamaica over the course of four years. They also cite a case from 1985 as evidence, but the men charged (and acquitted) of the crime were two men that the victim had picked up that night. They don't even say if the victim's lover was eventually found guilty of the crime, or even if he had a lover.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Insane Edition

I had been planning on doing a post on a different topic entirely, but I came across this in my book today and couldn't resist writing about it.

In 1840, the sixth census of the United States included for the first time information about the "insane and idiots" of the country. After perusing the data, a remarkable trend was found:
[W]hile there was no appreciable difference between the incidence of insanity among the whites of the North and those of the South, the incidence among Negroes of the Free States was 1 in 162.4, whereas in the South it was only 1 in 1,558. In the North the ratio of insanity between Negroes and whites was 6 to 1. In the South it was 3 to 5.1

Nor was this all. The census showed that in the free state of Maine every fourteenth Negro was afflicted with mental disease or defect, in Michigan every twenty-seventh, in New Hampshire every twenty-eighth, in Massachusetts every forty-third. In contrast, in the deepest South, where slavery was most firmly entrenched, the rate of mental handicap among Negroes ranged from one to 2,117 in Georgia to only one in 4,310 in Louisiana. Finally, New Jersey, with the lowest Negro insanity rate among the free states of the North, had twice the rate of its neighbor Delaware, just below the Mason and Dixon line, which had the poorest showing of all the slave states!2

You can imagine what people did with this knowledge. John Calhoun, then ex-vice president and Senator, triumphantly declared:
Here is the proof of the necessity of slavery. The African is incapable of self-care and sinks into lunacy under the burden of freedom. It is a mercy to him to give him the guardianship and protection from mental death.3

The census and other authentic documents, show that in all instances in which the states have changed the former relation between the two races the condition of the African, instead of being improved has become worse.4

And Edward Jarvis, who debunked the erroneous findings of the census, wrote in summary that
[t]hroughout the civilized world, the statement has gone forth that, according to the experience of the United States . . . slavery is more than ten-fold more favorable to mental health than freedom . . . The slaves are consoled with the assurance that although another man's will governs them, yet their minds are not bound with insane delusions, nor crushed in idiocy, as are those of their brethren who govern themselves . . .5

This is really just a variation of a common theme--blacks weren't ready for freedom, they were suited to slavery, they were happy as slaves, it was best for them to be kept as slaves. And people attempted to show that they were better off as slaves by showing that they were more prone to disease or criminality as free men. But I think this is the first time I'd heard of people putting forth that freedom would make them more prone to insanity.

1. William Stanton, The Leopard's Spots: Scientific Attitudes Toward Race in America, 1815-59, p. 58
2. Albert Deutsch, "The First U.S. Census of the Insane (1840) and Its Use as Pro-Slavery Propaganda", in Bulletin of the History of Medicine 15 (1944), p. 472
3. Ibid., p. 473
4. Ibid., pp. 477-78
5. Ibid., pp. 474-75


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Shocking, no?

James Dobson, of Focus on the Family,

Sunday, December 17, 2006

No more Mr. Nice Prison Guard

Apparently, Guantanamo will soon no longer be the pleasure spa it's been up 'til now:
After two years in which the military sought to manage terrorism suspects at Guantánamo with incentives for good behavior, steady improvements in their living conditions and even dialogue with prison leaders, the authorities here have clamped down decisively in recent months.

Security procedures have been tightened. Group activities have been scaled back. With the retrofitting of Camp 6 and the near-emptying of another showcase camp for compliant prisoners, military officials said about three-fourths of the detainees would eventually be held in maximum-security cells. That is a stark departure from earlier plans to hold a similar number in medium-security units.

Why the change? Because the people imprisoned there are even more vicious than before--or so we must assume, as they'll never be charged with anything.
The commander of the Guantánamo task force, Rear Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., said the tougher approach also reflected the changing nature of the prison population, and his conviction that all of those now held here are dangerous men. "They're all terrorists; they’re all enemy combatants," Admiral Harris said in an interview.

He added, "I don't think there is such a thing as a medium-security terrorist."

Admiral Harris, who took command on March 31, referred in part to the recent departure from Guantánamo of the last of 38 men whom the military had classified since early 2005 as "no longer enemy combatants." Still, about 100 others who had been cleared by the military for transfer or release remained here while the State Department tried to arrange their repatriation.

[Shortly after Admiral Harris's remarks, another 15 detainees were sent home to Saudi Arabia, where they were promptly returned to their families.]


Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Quick Post Before My Last Final Edition

Marriage has nothing to do with race.

Marriage is clearly a matter in which race difference has a natural and specific operation....


Thursday, December 14, 2006


In July 2006, Warner Bros. announced that the first DVD of the U.S. version of Whose Line? would be released on September 26, 2006. It is the first volume of the first season, and two versions have been released. One is a "family-friendly" DVD, which contains the episodes as they were broadcast on ABC, and an uncensored DVD, which holds material more suitable for mature viewers that did not reach the air. Both releases are made up of the first ten episodes of the first season, plus outtakes. Currently the DVD is selling rather well, with the uncensored DVD reaching as high as #22 on's Top Sellers in DVD sales.

Why was I not informed of this!?

Nnng. Russian final in two hours, and I'm thinking about homoerotic improv.

I'm really not a liar, redux.

Two weeks ago I wrote about Charles Carroll, concluding
Perhaps worst of all is that this work was fairly well-received, from all accounts. I recall reading one contemporary account that called the book the Bible of the poor man, it was so common; unfortunately, I cannot seem to find this quote (and I have spent quite a while looking).

I finally found the quote:
It is difficult to determine what, if any, influence Carroll's ideas enjoyed. In 1909 an observer suggested that The Negro A Beast had "become the Scriptures of tens of thousands of poor whites," who maintained its doctrines "with an appalling stubbornness and persistence." Another reported four years earlier that the book was "said to be securing a very wide circulation among the poor whites of the cotton states."

From Jim Crow's Defense: Anti-Negro Thought in America, 1900-1930 by I.A. Newby.

Newby continues, however,
These opinions, however, are mere surmises, and, since both observers found Carroll's views repulsive, they were inclined perhaps to overstatement. The suggestion that Negroes are beasts of the field was so totally at variance with popular interpretations of the Bible that it probably had little influence among any group, even in the deep South. Carroll was never cited by popular writers, and few racists seem to have read his works.



In my on-going quest to find racist spiels so as to compare past arguments against miscegenation to current arguments against gay marriage, I picked up today from InterLibrary Loan a speech, "A Christian View on Segregation". This was a statement made by Reverend G. T. Gillespie, D.D. (what does that D.D. stand for anyways?) in 1954 (several months after Brown v. Board, incidentally). Later it was disseminated by the Citizens Council of Mississippi as a small, 16-page leaflet.

The copy I have is bound in some sturdier, cardboard cover with an interesting design. But I was very amused when I got to the end and found a stamp proclaiming "Gaylord: Gaylamount ® Pamphlet Binder".

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Veganism is destroying America's values!

The WorldNetDaily has discovered what causes homosexuality: soy!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The American education system at work!

The people at Verizon don't know the difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents.

No, literally. I will quote, verbatim, from the clip, about 15 minutes in:
George: Do you recognize that there's a difference between 1 dollar and 1 cent?
Manager: Definitely.
George: Do you recognize that there's a difference between half a dollar and half a cent?
Manager: Definitely.
George: Then, do you therefore recognize that there's a difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents?
Manager: No.

Mind you, this is around the fifth person he has talked to with this problem, and the second in that sound clip. And at the end, she claims that their disagreement is a "difference of opinion". Frankly, that reeks of creationist ideas to me--where opinions are allowed to be substitutes for facts.

If you don't want to listen through a 25-minute recording, a transcript has been posted here.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Your Russian tidbit of the day

The Russian word for Saturday is суббота, from "Sabbath". But following European convention, it's still the sixth day of the week.

I think someone is confused.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Bifurcation Edition

There are no free negroes in the Northern States, Canadas, the West Indies or Africa. They are all in the service of Satan when deprived of the guardianship of the white man.


It would not be scoffed abroad if the Christian world could be made to see clearly the momentous truth, that the negro must, from necessity, be the slave of man or the slave of Satan.

--Dr. Samuel Cartwright, "Negro Freedom: An Impossibility under Nature's Laws," DeBow's Review, XXX (May-June, 1861).

Mindless drivel!

My statistics professor is Russian, so before class yesterday I wrote С Рождеством! (Merry Christmas!) on the board.

Apparently she found this amusing enough that she didn't want to erase it. So she spent the class writing around it--which got to be awkward at times because I'd wrote in fairly large letters. moral to the story, except maybe don't write things on chalkboards.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

...and the bad news.

Meanwhile, in Latvia, the human rights chairman defended his homophobia by saying that gays aren't a legitimate minority and don't deserve rights:
Janis Smits told a press conference this week that gay people are not a legitimate minority and should "recover normal sexual orientation."

The chairperson of Latvia’s Parliamentary Human Rights and Social Affairs Committee said: "The only thing I can do is call on these people to return from their sins, be healed by God and recover normal sexual orientation. I am consistent.

"I do not call for any activities against homosexual people. God loves all his creatures, also those who have sinned, and all the people need the grace and forgiveness of God," the Baltic News reports.

Sure, you don't call for any activities against gay people; you just don't believe they should be treated like real people.

Got our foot in the door.

Conservative Judaism's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards held a vote yesterday that allows for same-sex "commitment ceremonies" and the ordination of gay rabbis. They passed three teshuvot, one gay-affirming (to a point) and two not (one apparently decidedly so); all of these are now considered halakhically acceptable, so basically anyone can choose which decision to follow.
The complicated decision by the Conservatives Movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards leaves it up to individual seminaries whether to ordain gay rabbis and gives individual rabbis the option of sanctioning same-sex unions. Reform Judaism, the largest branch of the faith in the United States, has ordained openly gay men and lesbians since 1990 and has allowed its rabbis to perform same-sex commitment ceremonies since 2000. Orthodox Judaism does not countenance same-sex relationships or the ordination of gay rabbis.


After years of discussion and two days of intense debate behind closed doors at a synagogue on Park Avenue, the law committee accepted three teshuvot, or answers, to the question of whether Jewish law allows homosexual sex. Two answers uphold the status quo, forbidding homosexuality.

But a third answer allows same-sex ceremonies and ordination of gay men and lesbians, while maintaining a ban on anal sex. It argues that the verse in Leviticus saying "a man shall not lie with a man as with a woman" is unclear, but traditionally was understood to bar only one kind of sex between men. All other prohibitions were "added later on by the rabbis," Dorff told reporters.

Naturally, not everyone was pleased with the outcome:
Four of the law committee's 25 members resigned in protest of the decision.

These four included the two authors of the anti-gay positions:
In protest, four conservative rabbis resigned from the law committee, saying that the decision to allow gay ordination violated Jewish law, or halacha. Among them were the authors of the two legal opinions the committee adopted that opposed gay rabbis and same-sex unions.

One rabbi, Joel Roth, said he resigned because the measure allowing gay rabbis and unions was "outside the pale of halachic reasoning."

Roth was the author of one of the anti-gay positions.

Some apparently were just confused:
It takes the votes of just six panel members to declare an answer to be valid -- meaning that it is a well-founded interpretation of Jewish law, not that it is the only legitimate position. Thirteen members voted in favor of allowing gay ordination and same-sex ceremonies, and 13 voted against -- meaning that at least one rabbi voted for both positions.

This wasn't all well and good for gays, of course. The pro-gay position only barely passed, while the other two passed handily:
Levy’s paper passed with six votes - the minimum number required - while the other two garnered more widespread support, each passing handily with 13 votes.

And ones that were completely gay-affirming were flatly rejected, according to the NY Times:
The committee also rejected two measures that argued for a complete lifting of the prohibition on homosexuality, after deciding that both amounted to a "fix" of existing Jewish law, a higher level of change that requires 13 votes to pass, which they did not receive.

And the pro-gay law that did pass says that same-sex couples can be "recognized but not blessed", and gays ordained as rabbis, as long as they don't engage in male-male anal sex. Of course, as some pointed out, "in practice, it is a prohibition that will never be policed."

The very anti-gay position apparently holds that "gay men and lesbians are best advised to find 'restorative therapy' to change their sexual orientation."

So there's a modicum of progress there. I especially enjoyed co-author of the pro-gay position's rationale:
Though stopping short of endorsing same-sex marriage, the rabbis wanted to allow commitment ceremonies "because in Jewish sexual ethics, promiscuity is not acceptable either by heterosexuals or by homosexuals, and we do in fact have both a Jewish and a social and a medical need to try to confirm those unions," said Rabbi Elliot Dorff of Los Angeles, one of the authors of the change.

At least someone recognizes that there's an inconsistency between deriding same-sex relationships for being "promiscuous" while at the same time refusing to affirm monogamous relationships.

I don't believe the full positions have been released; hopefully they will be soon. In the meantime, let's all have a good laugh at this comment on the Washington Post article, in response to someone saying that there should be a "happy medium" between religions changing with the times and maintaining tradition:
The "happy medium" between heaven and hell is what, exactly? Hard to fathom how salvation ever could cease to be relevant.

Yes, because Heaven, Hell, and Salvation are so central to Judaism.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

He's no Preston Brooks, but it's a start.

Senator Pete Domenici has been reportedly walking around Congress in his pajamas.
He says they're "hunting pants", but that's no fun. Mayhaps he's afraid of admitting that he wears pajamas--I think somebody needs to be reminded about how awesome pajamas are:


Monday, December 4, 2006

I believe the appropriate response would be, 'Duh'.

Digby talks about a New York Times article on Jose Padilla. There's talk about how he's suffered so much that psychiatrists deem him unsuitable to stand trial. Naturally, the government isn't going to admit to torturing him, so what do they say about such allegations?
"His basic needs were met in a conscientious manner, including Halal (Muslim acceptable) food, clothing, sleep and daily medical assessment and treatment when necessary," the government stated. "While in the brig, Padilla never reported any abusive treatment to the staff or medical personnel."

Really? He didn't complain about abuse to the people who were abusing him? Why might that be?

Maybe because that he's been broken to the point where he suspects his own lawyers are part of an interrogative plot?
Mr. Padilla’s lawyers say they have had a difficult time persuading him that they are on his side.

From the time Mr. Padilla was allowed access to counsel, Mr. Patel visited him repeatedly in the brig and in the Miami detention center, and Mr. Padilla has observed Mr. Patel arguing on his behalf in Miami federal court.

But, Mr. Patel said in his affidavit, his client is nonetheless mistrustful. "Mr. Padilla remains unsure if I and the other attorneys working on his case are actually his attorneys or another component of the government’s interrogation scheme," Mr. Patel said.

Maybe because he's afraid of reprisal because he might have to suffer through it all again?
Dr. Hegarty said Mr. Padilla refuses to review the video recordings of his interrogations, which have been released to his lawyers but remain classified.

He is especially reluctant to discuss what happened in the brig, fearful that he will be returned there some day, Mr. Patel said in his affidavit.

Maybe because he's been broken to the point where he simply doesn't react at all?
In his affidavit, Mr. Patel said, "I was told by members of the brig staff that Mr. Padilla's temperament was so docile and inactive that his behavior was like that of 'a piece of furniture.' "

No, I suppose it's because interrogators are known for treating prisoners like candy and sunshine.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

*bites lips*

In reference to Condoleeza Rice, filkertom rhetorically asked:
Jayzus, what is it with these people? Are they literally a different species?

Must... refrain... from commenting.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Zombie racism redux

This article tells us that several activists are going to Washington D.C. to demonstrate outside the Supreme Court building when it hears arguments in a case involving affirmative action.

And from the comments on this article, I find this zombie racist quip:
Amen,fjord,I can see why they want forced mixing,can anyone name one country in history with black leadership that was more than a country?Just history,why?Can "Jesse"tell me?

I assume he means Jesse Jackson, whom the article mentions is expected to make an appearance at the demonstration.

Won't somebody please think of the kittens?

Every time you have sex, God kills a kitten.

Unless you're married or over thirty years old.
The federal government's "no sex without marriage" message isn't just for kids anymore.

Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.


Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the revision is aimed at 19- to 29-year-olds because more unmarried women in that age group are having children.

Government data released last month show that 998,262 births in 2004 were to unmarried women 19-29, the ages with the most births to unmarried women.

Although I have to wonder--do these include people who do have a significant other in their life, but just haven't married them? And how large a percentage would that be?
"They've stepped over the line of common sense," said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that supports sex education. "To be preaching abstinence when 90% of people are having sex is in essence to lose touch with reality. It's an ideological campaign. It has nothing to do with public health."

What, they've only now stepped over the line of common sense?

'Cause funding abstinence training to tell kids things like this is still in touch with reality:
For condoms to be used correctly, over 10 specific difficult steps must be followed every time. This tends to minimize the romance and spontaneity of the sex act. (Choosing the Best, p. 25).


"Women need affection while men need sexual fulfillment; women need conversation while men need recreation companionship; women need honest and openness while men need physical attractiveness; women need financial support while men need admiration, and women need family commitment while men need domestic support" (WAIT Training, p. 199).

I like that the WAIT Training logo includes the rhetorical question "Why am I tempted?"

But please, think of the kittens:

[Edit] Oh, and no masturbating, either.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Down the Rabbit Hole Edition

I do not mean by the title of this post to imply that Lewis Carroll was a racist. Instead I shall be talking about Charles Carroll, whose bizarre racist worldview is rivalled only by those members of the Christian Identity movement who believe that "Jews" are literally the spawn of Satan and biologically incapable of being good.

Last Friday, I made cursory mention of the tendency to view race problems as black and white, ignoring other peoples. In most cases, this is just a lamentable oversight--or sometimes even intentional, simply because in a particular region the only significant percentages of peoples are blacks and whites. In fact, this was the defense Virginia used when asked why their anti-miscegenation law only made illegal marriages between whites and blacks. From the oral arguments of Loving v. Virginia:
MR. MC ILWAINE: ... As I say, the statistics show that all other races combined, outside of white and Negro, constitute less than 1/100th of 1 percent of Virginia's population, according to the 1960 census. And those figures have not varied more than 1 or 2 percent from the 1950 population figures. So that the problem of other types of interracial marriages which caused interracial marriage statutes of western states to consider the Oriental problem, just simply doesn't exist in Virginia.

Where some simply overlook the existence of other races, this was not the case with Charles Carroll. He truly believed that there were only blacks and whites. That is just the start of his lunacy.

Carroll was very prolific--I have read two of Carroll's books about "the Negro", and I know that there were more. I even bought one of his works: "The Negro a Beast" or "In the Image of God" (which I just found out is available on-line). When I first got this book, I was truly afraid I would be unable to finish the thing--I didn't even get to the first page before its mind-boggling ideas forced me to put it down. The Table of Contents alone was too much for me, when I found that the eighth chapter of the book was titled "It was not God's original plan that His Son should be crucified, but amalgamation and disobedience of the human family made it imperative." Yes, Carroll believed that miscegenation was responsible for the death of Christ, along with a great deal else.

Looking back on it now, though, the insanity begins with the title, for "the Negro [is] a Beast" is the book's thesis. Many people said that blacks were sub-human, and bestial, but still believed that they were a part of the human race--just a "lower", less-developed portion of it. Not so Carroll; he was a polygenesist, and believed that blacks were created before whites. They were in fact the "beasts of the field" mentioned often in the Bible, created by God to be the servants of the whites. Since God commanded Adam to have dominion over the earth, but he did not toil until after his expulsion from Eden, Carroll figured that he must have had a servant to do physical labor for him--one with just enough intelligence to understand his masters. Who else but blacks?

Carroll was not alone in this belief--there were many other polygenesists, who insisted that "Negroes" were the "beasts of the field", and that they were created before the white race, which began with Adam and Eve, and that they were a separate species from the whites. However, many of them believed that the other races, such as the Chinese, were also specially created before Adam and Eve. Carroll insisted that there was no biblical support for this notion, and that God created only two types: whites and blacks.

Whence then came the other races that clearly exist? According to Carroll, all other "so-called races of men" were formed by interbreeding between blacks and whites; in fact, he titles chapter six "Red, Yellow and Brown Skin Denotes Amalgamation of the Human Family with the Beast, the Negro." His support for this idea? Anecdotes of mulattoes looking like Native Americans, from which he lept to the conclusion that this is how the entire race was, and is, formed (The Tempter of Eve, pg 450):
Thus we find that we are producing Indians here in the United States, by amalgamation between whites and negroes. But this is merely the fullfilment of the predictions of the most competent observers. Referring to the writings of Mr. Reclus, and l'Abbe Brasseur de Bonbourg, Quatrefages says: "Both these authors seem to admit that at the end of a given time, whatever be their origin, all the descendants of whites or of negroes who have emigrated to America will become red-skins." (The Human Species, p. 255).

Also he finds important the fact that people of the same race can vary in skin tone (The Negro a Beast, pgs 171-172):
The so-called "brown, red and yellow races" have no characters peculiar to them. No anthropologist will assert that the classification of the so-called "human species" into "five races of men" was based upon what the atheist would term "racial purity," but that it was based solely on geographical divisions. In Europe, the complexions range from pure white to brown; in Africa, we find the complexions to be nearly white, brown, red, yellow and pure black; in Asia, they range from light yellow to black; the same is true of Oceanica, the home of the so-called "Malay race;" in America, previous to its discovery by Columbus, the complexions were nearly pure white, brown, red, yellow and black. Fontaine says: "If a congregation of twelve representatives from Malacca, China, Japan, Mongolia, Sandwich Islands, Chili, Peru, Brazil, Chickasaws, Comanches, etc., were dressed alike, or undressed and unshaven, the most skillful anatomist could not, from their appearance, separate them." [How the World Was Peopled.]

Prof. Winchell says: "The ancient Indians of California, in the latitude of 42 degrees, were as black as the negroes of Guinea, while in Mexico were tribes of an olive or reddish complexion, relatively light. Among the black races of tropical regions we find, generally, some light-colored tribes interspersed. These sometimes have light hair and blue eyes. This is the case with the Tuareg of the Sahara, the Afghans of India, and the aborigines of the banks of the Orinoco and the Amazon." [Preadamites.] It will be observed that these characters are identical with those presented by the offspring resulting from amalgamation between whites and blacks in our midst. We have demonstrated here in the United States that the way to produce these so-called "brown, red or yellow races" is to mingle the blood of the white with that of the negro.

He also decided that whites were the only race capable of civilization, but since other races had primitive forms of civilization, it was somehow evident that they inherited them from white ancestors.

All well and good, but hardly very disturbing, is it? Well, this is merely the launching point for his tirades. In the beginning of The Negro a Beast he says that there were a total of three "creations", by which he meant "the introduction into the material universe of some element, that had no prior existence there." On pages 12-13 he approvingly quotes:
"In the first verse [of Genesis] we are taught that this universe had a beginning; that it was created--and that God was its Creator. The central idea is creation. The Hebrew word is bara, translated by create. It has been doubted whether the word meant a creation, in the sense that the world was not derived from any pre-existing material, nor from the substance of God Himself; but the manner in which it is here used does not seem to justify such a doubt. For whatever be the use of the word in other parts of the Bible, it is employed in this chapter in a discriminating way, which is very remarkable, and cannot but be intentional. Elsewhere, when only transformations are meant, as in the second and fourth days, or a continuation of the same kind of creation; as in the land animals of the fifth day, the word asah (make) is used. Again it is a significant fact that in the whole Bible where the simple form of bara is used it is always with reference to a work made by God, but never by man."

And what are these creations?
The Mosaic Record teaches that there is just three creations. The first of these is described in connecetion with "the heaven and the earth, in the beginning." The second creation is described in connection with the introduction of animal life on the fifth day; and the third creation is described in connection with the first appearance of Man on the sixth day.

He extrapolated that these creations were: matter, mind, and soul. Thus all things were made up of matter; animals were made up of matter and mind; and Man was comprised matter, mind, and soul. And since blacks were not Men but beasts, they did not have souls.

Furthermore, he concocted a theory of reproduction. He posited that men's sperm held half each of their component parts: matter and mind in animals, and mind, matter, and soul in humans. Women's eggs held the complementary halves, and upon conception these halves would unite into a whole. But as blacks did not have souls, if a white bred with a black, the soul half from the white would not meet any other half to complete it, and so the child would also be soul-less. From The Tempter of Eve, pages 420-421:
The negro, like every other animal, being merely a combination of two creations--matter and mind--it follows that one side or part of the matter creation, and one side or part of the mind creation, exists in an imperfect state in the male negro; the corresponding sides or parts of these imprefect creations exists in the female negro. In the sexual act each side or part of these creations maintains its individuality, and acts as a magnet which attracts its corresponding side or part in the opposite sex; and when united and perfected in the female, conception and birth ensues, and the two creations--matter and mind--are reproduced in the young negro.

Thus, two creations--matter and mind--combine to perfect the negro. But it requires the combination of the three creations--matter, mind, and soul--to perfect man. Hence, while but two creations--matter and mind--exist in an imperfect state in the germs of the male and female negro, as mutually dependent sides or parts of the life system of the animal, the three creations--matter, mind, and soul exist in an imperfect state in the germs of the male and female man, as mutually dependent sides or parts of the life system of man; and so great is the attraction between the matter and mind creations as they exist in the imperfect state in the germs of man and the negro, that sexual intercourse between the two may unite and perfect these two creations. But the imperfect side or part of the soul creation as it exists in the germ of the man, finds no corresponding side or part in the negro; as a result the soul creation having no attraction, remains passive. Hence, if conception ensues from the union of the germs and the consequent perfecting of the matter and mind creations of man and the engro, this passive creation forms no part of the offspring of this unnatural union. Thus, neither the male nor the female side or part of man can transmit the three creations--matter, mind, and soul--to their offspring by the negro, in whom the matter and the mind creations alone exist. In other words, the male and the female can only transmit to their offspring such of these creations as are common to both parents.

This doesn't mean good things for those of mixed races. From The Negro a Beast, pg 129:
"But," says the enlightened Christian, "If a man is married to a negress, will not their offspring have a soul?" No; it is simply the product resulting from God's violated law, and inherits none of the Divine nature of the man, but, like its parent, the ape, it is merely a combination of matter and mind. "Then, if the half-breed marries a man, will not their offspring have a soul?" No! "Then if the three-quarter white marries a man will not their offspring have a soul?" No. "If the offspring of man and the Negro was mated with pure whites for generations, would not their ultimate offspring have a soul?" No!

He puts it more succinctly in The Tempter of Eve, where on page 423 he says "no mixed-blood has a soul." And given his very broad definition of "mixed-blood", there are an awful lot of soulless people out there.

You may have noticed his description of mulattoes as the product of "God's violated law". Yes; he, like so many, believed that God outlawed miscegenation. But again Carroll takes it a step further. From his assumption that God created only blacks and whites, he concluded that God's plan for creation did not include mixed-bloods:
The offspring of Man and the Negro is not upon the earth in deference to Divine will, but in violation of Divine law. Hence, it is not a part of God's creation.

He in fact had some rather harsh words for mixed-bloods. He interpreted Jeremiah 16:2-3 as saying "[t]hat, in the eyes of God, the offspring of Man and the Negro is only fit for dung on the face of the earth." And Ezekiel 29 he believed "shows that a country which is occupied solely by mixed-bloods is in the eyes of God 'waste and desolate' and not 'inhabited.'" And he concluded further, citing Leviticus 20:15-16 as support, that mulattoes have no rights--and he meant none. From The Negro a Beast pg 161:
Thus, the immediate offspring of man and the Negro--the mulatto--was doomed by Divine edict to instant death in the very moment of conception. Hence, neither the mulatto nor his ultimate offspring can acquire the right to live. This being true, it follows that these monstrosities have no rights social, financial, political or religious that man need respect; they have no rights that man dare respect--not even the right to live.

In Tempter of Eve, page 482, he repeats this charge and adds that there can never "be any peace between God and man as long as these monstrosities are allowed to defile the earth with their presence."

The fact that they do live continue to "defile the earth", and are granted rights, apparently makes God frumple.
Tempter of Eve, page 431:
Amalgamation is the sole charge recorded against the antediluvians, as shown by the following: "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted His way on the earth. And God said to Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth." (Gen. vi, 11, 12, 13).

The Negro a Beast, page 159:
He specifically charges the Canaanites with lying with beasts, which, as shown in the case of the antediluvians, would result in corrupting the flesh of Canaan. In each case the penalty of death was visited upon this corrupted flesh and those who were instrumental in corrupting it. In the case of the antediluvians by a universal deluge; in that of the Canaanites by a war of extermination.

Page 287:
Our country, already laboring under the curse of God for its social and religious equality with the Negro, was further cursed for its amalgamation by being plunged in a civil war."

Page 234:
But in the course of ages they forgot God, descended to amalgamation, and this, in its turn, gave birth to idolatry. "Then was war in the gates." God in his wrath and disgust showered his curses upon them in the form of war, famine, pestilence and disease, and destroyed them from the earth, laid their civilizations in ruins, and transformed their once prosperous country into the abode of savages....

Pages 324-5:
This vain, criminal effort to elevate the Negro and mixed-bloods to the lofty plane of man and womanhood, in contempt of God's Plan of Creation and in violation of HIs law is what its modern advocates term an experiment. Experiment, indeed! This so-called experiment is very nearly as old as man. Its destructive results are demonstrated by continents shattered and torn from their foundations and hurled beneath the waves, under the curse of God; nations blotted from the face of the earth; civilizations laid in ruins; vast areas, once teeming with an intelligent, industrious, happy and prosperous population, transformed into barren wastes or made the abode of the barbarian or the savage.

Tempter of Eve, page 223:
These "beasts of the field" were servants of the Israelites; they owned tens of thousands of them. It was their criminal relations with these apes which led to the destruction of the Israelites as a nation, and their dispersion among the nations of the earth.

And finally in Tempter of Eve, pages 405-406, he simply says that treating blacks like people is responsible for all sin in the world:
We are taught by the modern theologians that Adam and Eve committed their first sin by eating the forbidden fruit; but to accept this theory we must disregard the narrative of creation, which teaches that the design of God in creating man, was that he should have dominion over the animals; and that when man was created he was assigned to this task. Inasmuch as the tempter of Eve was an animal, it follows that it was the duty of Adam and Eve to control it in common with the rest of the animals. But instead of controlling this negress, Eve accepted the negress as her counselor, and allowed the negress to control her, and induced Adam to do likewise; and she counseled them to their ruin. Thus, it is plain that when Adam and Eve accepted this creature as their counselor, they not only violated the laws given man in the creation to "have dominion" over the animals, but they outraged the very design of God in creating man. Their acting upon the advice of the negress by eating the forbidden fruit, was their second offense; when they accepted the negress as their counselor, they necessarily descended to social equality with her. This reveals the startling fact that it was man's social equality with the negro that brought sin into the world. This being true, it follows that man's social equality with the negro will keep sin into the world, and will bring upon man the just condemnation of God. Besides, man's social equality with the negro tends to political and religious equality; and these three, or any one of them, inevitably leads to amalgamation--itself the most infamous and destructive crime known to the law of God.

And on page 182 of The Negro a Beast, Carroll claims that amalgamation was responsible for every punishment God meted out:
This reveals the startling truth that, underlying all of God's arraignments, and punishments of Israel, and her surrounding nations, for their idolatry, was this loathsome crime, amalgamation.

He also concluded on page 476 of The Tempter of Eve that "strange as it may seem, amalgamation is not only the parent of atheism, which denies the existence of God, but is also the parent of idolatry with its worship of many gods."

Moreover, Carroll claimed that the entire Bible "is simply a history of the long conflict which has raged between God and man, as the result of man's criminal relations with the negro." Although two years later Carroll qualified this when he wrote "the Bible is largely a history of the long, destructive conflict which has raged between God and man, because of man's social, political, and religious equality with this beast, and the amalgamation to which these crimes inevitably lead" (emphasis mine).

Perhaps worst of all is that this work was fairly well-received, from all accounts. I recall reading one contemporary account that called the book the Bible of the poor man, it was so common; unfortunately, I cannot seem to find this quote (and I have spent quite a while looking). At any rate, this book was popular enough to warrant mention in the 1907 work, The Devil Between the White Man and the Negro, where it was lumped together with Thomas Dixon's infamous The Clansman. And even today, Carroll is cited approvingly (referred to as "Professor Carroll") by such racists as the Christian Party.

Page 185 of The Devil Between the White Man and the Negro

[Edit] I found the quote about the popularity of Carroll's works.


Hadn't seen it that way.

Some analysis of the latest Veronica Mars story arc. As the poster writes:
After catching the latest episode of Veronica Mars this past Tuesday, I was sort-of left feeling empty about how things ended. It just seemed that there were some key elements I've been used to seeing in the previous big mysteries solved, something that made me think "ah ha!" when looking back at previous evidence. After reading comments last week from some observant commenters, it all becomes clear now ... and it's pretty damn cool.

Indeed it is.

Congrats, Pakistan

Pakistan's rape law amended:
Pakistan has a new rape law that makes it easier to prosecute sexual assault cases.

President Pervez Musharraf signed the measure into law today, even though thousands of religious conservatives rallied against the changes.

A Pakistani official says the new law safeguards "the rights of women." The changes take effect immediately.

The new law allows judges to decide whether a rape case should be tried in criminal court or under the old Islamic law, which requires the testimony of four witnesses. It also drops the death penalty for sex outside of marriage.

This is a significant event, given the bill was previously blocked by the opposition party.

Text of the bill can be found here.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Best quip I could think of

New evidence that Jesus is gay.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's official!

A study by a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University says that the mentally ill were more likely to vote for Bush:
[Christopher] Lohse, a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush.

Lohse says his study is no joke. The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush.

They're also more ignorant:
Knowledge of current issues, government and politics were assessed on a 12-item scale devised by the study authors.

"Bush supporters had significantly less knowledge about current issues, government and politics than those who supported Kerry," the study says.

The reason behind this trend, the author puts forth, is that "psychotic patients prefer an authoritative leader."

Monday, November 27, 2006

Lucifer's a dirty hippy

Now we know why Satan has killed so many fewer people than God, adding to my conclusion that he's really a great guy. He's a pacifist!
DENVER (Nov. 27) - A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan.

Some residents who have complained have children serving in Iraq, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He said some residents have also believed it was a symbol of Satan. Three or four residents complained, he said.

See? The peace sign is a symbol of Satan. I think that's fairly damning evidence.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Will anyone tell Santorum?

The right wing is finally beginning to realize that Stephen Colbert isn't one of them.

The comments in the original piece are amusing, in a mind-numbing sort of way:
The sad thing is I have several college educated liberal friends who think that the Daily Show is good for news. They think that it is REAL news with jokes. They dont realize that they make up most of this stuff out of whole cloth. This is what the left has to do, they have to make up news to keep their consitutents uninformed. The left fears the informed voter.

Yes, they make up the news. And doctor all the video clips they show along with it, I suppose.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Define 'violence'

Former spy Alexander Litvinenko died recently of radiation poisoning from polonium 210. According to a friend, on his death-bed he accused Putin of involvement.

According to Yahoo! Alerts,
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko is a tragedy, but he sees no definitive proof it was a "violent death."

Um, no? He just stumbled across polonium-210 then, did he?:
One ton of uranium ore contains only about 100 micrograms (0.0001 grams) of polonium.

Due to its scarcity, polonium is usually produced by bombarding bismuth-209 with neutrons in a nuclear reactor. This forms bismuth-210, which has a half-life of 5 days. Bismuth-210 decays into polonium-210 through beta decay. Milligram amounts of polonium-210 have been produced by this method.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: Colored Edition

While I have been discussing coloreds all this time, in Friday Dead Racist Blogging thus far I have only discussed racism against blacks. I have in fact noticed a tendency to equate "racism" with "whites discriminating against blacks"; at least once I have read the phrase "the two races", as though no others existed. So today, I bring you Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau, a very influential dead racist, discussing the three—count them, three—races of the world:

I HAVE shown the unique place in the organic world occupied by the human species, the profound physical, as well as moral, differences separating it from all other kinds of living creatures. Considering it by itself, I have been able to distinguish, on physiological grounds alone, three great and clearly marked types, the black, the yellow, and the white. However uncertain the aims of physiology may be, however meagre its resources, however defective its methods, it can proceed thus far with absolute certainty.

The negroid variety is the lowest, and stands at the foot of the ladder. The animal character, that appears in the shape of the pelvis, is stamped on the negro from birth, and foreshadows his destiny. His intellect will always move within a very narrow circle. He is not however a mere brute, for behind his low receding brow, in the middle of his skull, we can see signs of a powerful energy, however crude its objects. If his mental faculties are dull or even non-existent, he often has an intensity of desire, and so of will, which may be called terrible. Many of his senses, especially taste and smell, are developed to an extent unknown to the other two senses.

The very strength of his sensations is the most striking proof of his inferiority. All food is good in his eyes, nothing disgusts or repels him. What he desires is to eat, to eat furiously, and to excess; no carrion is too revolting to be swallowed by him. It is the same with odours; his inordinate desires are satisfied with all, however coarse or even horrible. To these qualities may be added an instability and capriciousness of feeling, that cannot be tied down to any single object, and which, so far as he is concerned, do away with all distinctions of good and evil. We might even say that the violence with which he pursues the object that has aroused his senses and inflamed his desires is a guarantee of the desires being soon satisfied and the object forgotten. Finally, he is equally careless of his own life and that of others: he kills willingly, for the sake of killing; and this human machine, in whom it is so easy to arouse emotion, shows, in face of suffering, either a monstrous indifference or a cowardice that seeks a voluntary refuge in death.

The yellow race is the exact opposite of this type. The skull points forward, not backward. The forehead is wide and bony, often high and projecting. The shape of the face is triangular, the nose and chin showing none of the coarse protuberances that mark the negro. There is further a general proneness to obesity, which, though not confined to the yellow type, is found there more frequently than in the others. The yellow man has little physical energy, and is inclined to apathy; he commits none of the strange excesses so common among negroes. His desires are feeble, his will-power rather obstinate than violent; his longing for material pleasures, though constant, is kept within bounds. A rare glutton by nature, he shows far more discrimination in his choice of food. He tends to mediocrity in everything; he understands easily enough anything not too deep or sublime. He has a love of utility and a respect for order, and knows the value of a certain amount of freedom. He is practical, in the narrowest sense of the word. He does not dream or theorize; he invents little, but can appreciate and take over what is useful to him. His whole desire is to live in the easiest and most comfortable way possible. The yellow races are thus clearly superior to the black. Every founder of a civilization would wish the backbone of his society, his middle class, to consist of such men. But no civilized society could be created by them; they could not supply its nerve-force, or set in motion the springs of beauty and action.

We come now to the white peoples. These are gifted with reflective energy, or rather with an energetic intelligence. They have a feeling for utility, but in a sense far wider and higher, more courageous and ideal, than the yellow races; a perseverance that takes account of obstacles and ultimately finds a mean of overcoming them; a greater physical power, an extraordinary instinct for order, not merely as a guarantee of peace and tranquility, but as an indispensable means of self-preservation. At the same time, they have a remarkable, and even extreme, love of liberty, and are openly hostile to the formalism under which the Chinese are glad to vegetate, as well as to the strict despotism which is the only way of governing the negro.

The white races are, further, distinguished by an extraordinary attachment to life. They know better how to use it, and so, as it would seem, set a greater price on it; both in their own persons and those of others, they are more sparing of life. When they are cruel, they are very conscious of their cruelty; it is very doubtful whether such a consciousness exists in the negro. At the same time, they have discovered reasons why they should surrender this busy life of theirs, that is so precious to them. The principal motive is honour, which under various names has played an enormous part in the ideas of the race from the beginning. I need hardly add that the word honour, together with all the civilizing influences connoted by it, is unknown to both the yellow and the black man.

On the other hand, the immense superiority of the white peoples in the whole field of the intellect is balanced by an inferiority in the intensity of their sensations. In the world of the senses, the white man is far less gifted than the others, and so is less tempted and less absorbed by considerations of the body, although in physical structure he is far the most vigorous.

Such are the three constituent elements of the human race.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Damn you, harlot! Science and I know what we're doing!"

Morton thought he could discern "the osseous framework of the famous upswept buttocks of the "Hottentot Venus" and hoped he might have an opportunity "to examine this structure more carefully, and report the facts to the Society."

In other words, he was looking for a grant to go trollin' for booty.

Now that's science.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Rotten pears

If you grew up around my step-father, you'll probably have heard that some study showed that people can affect the output of a pseudo-random number generator with their thoughts.

I recently learned about what I believe was the group he was talking about: PEAR, the Princeton Engineering Anomaly Research Center.

As might be expected, their work is a lot of hooey. They basically admit that all their data is statistically insignificant, then cull it to create specific subsets that show "interesting" results.

Science shows the way!

What's more dangerous than Giant Killer Bees from Mars?

Robotic Killer Bees from Israel
Israel is using nanotechnology to try to create a robot no bigger than a hornet that would be able to chase, photograph and kill its targets, according to an Israeli newspaper.

The flying robot, nicknamed the "bionic hornet," would be able to navigate its way down narrow alleyways to target otherwise unreachable enemies such as rocket launchers, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth said on Friday.

I suppose if Uncle Frank's proposal ever got off the ground, we'd have Giant Robotic Killer Bees Sent to Mars by a Jew, which would clearly combine the most vicious talents of the other bees.

Sexual hypocrisy isn't limited to closeted Republicans

In 1895, the constitutional convention of South Carolina included as a delegate Robert Smalls, a black man who had been a state Representative and Senator, as well as a federal Representative during Reconstruction. During the convention they considered a portion of law reading "The marriage of white persons with a Negro or a mulatto, or person who shall have one-eighth or more of Negro blood, shall be unlawful and void." Mr. Smalls proposed an amendment that would make illegal not only interracial marriages, but also interracial cohabitation, by appending to the above sentence the phrase "and any white person who lives and cohabits with a Negro, mulatto, or person who shall have one-eighth or more of Negro blood, shall be disqualified from holding any office of emolument or trust in this State, and the offspring of any such living or cohabiting shall bear the name of the father, and shall be entitled to inherit and acquire property the same as if they were legitimate."

He then gave a speech to the delegates, wherein he said:
If a Negro should improperly approach a white woman, his body would be hanging on the nearest tree filled with air holes before daylight the next morning--and perhaps properly so. If the same rule were applied on the other side, and white men who insulted or debauched Negro women were treated likewise, this Convention would have to be adjourned sine die for lack of a quorum.

Hee hee.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

"Do they contain real girl scouts?"

I'm not sure this article could be given a better title: Sausages affected by draconian trade laws
A SPICY sausage known as the Welsh Dragon will have to be renamed after trading standards’ officers warned the manufacturers that they could face prosecution because it does not contain dragon.

The sausages will now have to be labelled Welsh Dragon Pork Sausages to avoid any confusion among customers.

Now we know the real reason that Congress renamed their food to "Freedom Fries"--there weren't any real French in them.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Someone needs a history lesson.

Via Atrios, I find this perfect example of zombie racism:
For years, it was an open secret at North Dallas' Preston Hollow Elementary School: Even though the school was overwhelmingly Hispanic and black, white parents could get their children into all-white classes. And once placed, the students would have little interaction with the rest of the students.

The result, a federal judge has ruled, was that principal Teresa Parker "was, in effect, operating, at taxpayer's expense, a private school for Anglo children within a public school that was predominantly minority."


The judge also had sharp words for the district's attorneys, who argued that segregation would cause no harm to the minority students because their teachers used the same curriculum as those teaching white students.

"The court is baffled that in this day and age, that [DISD relied] on what is, essentially, a 'separate but equal' argument," the judge wrote.



Well, now I'm even happier that I made that Google Books downloader.

[Edit] Hrm. Some of the scans of Google Books are fairly poor... but I've found a better source.

So now I have to modify my downloader to work with this other site, as well. Sigh.

Ensoulment explained

In Minnesota, a state senate seat was won by incumbent Satveer Chaudhary, a practicing Hindu. His opponent, Rae Hart Anderson, sent a bizarre e-mail after the election that briefly congratulates Anderson in the first paragraph, then spends the next seven trying to convert him to Christianity.

Anderson couldn't be reached to comment, but his former campaign manager had some words on the matter:
Later in the afternoon, Anderson's former campaign manager, Barbara Black, told us Anderson wrote the e-mail because "Chaudhary is not Christian, and he needs to find his soul."

I like to think this means that ensoulment doesn't happen until one accepts Jesus. Would that make abortion okay, then? Or would it only be okay to abort heathen fetuses?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Irony redux

Radio host Dan Savage, homophobic asshole, is at it again. I won't subject you to his noxious screed, except to point out this:
When I said, the other day, for example -- and they went crazy in the media -- they keep bashing me now because I said that the homosexual mafia will not stop until we all bend our knees to the homosexual agenda. They couldn't stop quoting me. All of these guys, who are probably gay themselves, are shocked that somebody would actually say the truth.


I told you to be aware of the homosexual agenda; how powerful the homosexual movement is in this country as witness the fact that you never hear any criticism of them.

So you never hear any criticism of gays, despite the fact that people can't stop quoting Dan Savage doing just that.

Unfortunately, that's about the most logical and inoffensive thing to come out of his mouth.

Does this mean Bush is in league with the terrorists?

This is stunning. Y'all recall how, about a month ago, it was revealed that one of the administration's sources for an Iraq-al Qaeda tie revealed that misinformation after being tortured? Well, a European intelligence agent who infiltrated al Qaeda has claimed that he said this on purpose in order to get the U.S. to invade Iraq:
A senior al-Qaeda operative deliberately planted information to encourage the US to invade Iraq, a double agent who infiltrated the network and spied for western intelligence agencies said.

The claim was made by Omar Nasiri, a pseudonym for a Moroccan who says he spent seven years working for European security and intelligence agencies, including British intelligence (MI5). He said Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who ran training camps in Afghanistan, told his US interrogators that al-Qaeda had been training Iraqis.


Asked whether he thought Libi had deliberately planted information to get the US to fight Iraq, Nasiri said: "Exactly".

Nasiri said Libi "needed the conflict in Iraq because months before I heard him telling us when a question was asked in the mosque after the prayer in the evening, where is the best country to fight the jihad?" Libi said Iraq was chosen because it was the "weakest" Muslim country.


What is new, if Nasiri is to be believed, is that the leading al-Qaeda operative wanted to overthrow Saddam and use Iraq as a jihadist base. Nasiri also says that part of al-Qaeda training was to withstand interrogation and provide false information.

If true, this would mean that basically the entire war was according to al Qaeda's plans. (Would that make the Bush administration guilty of giving aid and comfort to the enemy?) I'm skeptical about whether it's true or not, though. Surely this war was a godsend for al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist organizations--it created a haven for terrorists and undoubtedly a huge boost in recruitment--but it was premeditated by them? I find that a little hard to swallow.

Friday Dead Racist Blogging: "It's Alive!" Edition

I've been seeing a lot of racism recently; I was originally going to characterize it as a resurge of old-time racism, but I really don't know that it is. I suspect that it's been there the whole time and I just wasn't aware of it.

Still, there are people making statements that sound like they could be lifted verbatim from an anti-abolition tract, except that they're less eloquent. Say what you will about 19th-century racists, they could at least turn a phrase. Given that they're rehashing ideas that were dead decades, if not centuries, ago (although some of their ideas are bizarrely novel) I have affectionately dubbed these racists, "zombie racists."

I mentioned it at the time, but a few months ago Pat Buchanan came out with a new book, State of Emergency. Therein he commented on his regret that columnist Sam Francis was fired for expressing what he felt to be obvious:
"The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted by a different people."

Obviously, this is hardly a new idea. In 1899, Gustave LeBon described what he termed the "soul" of a race:
The elements of classification which anatomy, languages, environment, or political organisation are incapable of furnishing are supplied by psychology, which shows that behind the institutions, arts, beliefs, and political upheavals of each people, lie certain moral and intellectual characteristics that determine its evolution. It is the whole of these characteristics that form what may be called the soul of a race.


The moral and intellectual characteristics, whose association forms the soul of a people, represent the synthesis of its entire past, the inheritance of all its ancestors, the motives of its conduct.


This aggregate of psychological elements observable in all the individuals of a race constitutes what may rightly be called the national character.

Now, it's hardly racist to declare that each nation has its own national character, a set of generally-shared or assumed beliefs and/or traits that help mold a nation's culture. According to LeBon and Francis, though, this 'national character' is not cultural but racial, and hence members of other races are unassimilable:
A negro or Japanese may easily take a university degree or become a lawyer; the sort of varnish he thus acquires is however quite superficial, and has no influence on his mental constitution. What no education can give him, because they are created by heredity alone, are the forms of thought, the logic, and above all the character of the Western man. Our negro or our Japanese may accumulate all possible certificates without ever attaining to the level of the average European. It is easy to give him in ten years the culture of a well-educated Englishman. To make a real Englishman of him, that is to say a man acting as an Englishman would act in the different circumstances of life, a thousand years would scarcely be sufficient. It is only in appearance that a people suddenly transforms its language, its constitution, its beliefs, or its arts. For such changes to be really accomplished, it would be necessary that it should be able to transform its soul.

Clinton Stoddard Burr said much the same in his 1922 work, America's Race Heritage:
One of the country's leading nativists, Clinton Stoddard Burr eulogized Nordics and their role in the nation's "racial history." His America's Race Heritage was an effort to demonstrate that Americanism was "actually the racial thought of the Nordic race" and that Nordics alone possessed the "moral fiber, intellectual character and hereditary traits" to perpetuate it.

And as Josiah Nott put it in his letter The Negro Race: Its Ethnology and History:
But what has been the history of the negro race during these thousands of years, while others, even the Chinese, the Hindoos, and Mexicans, were marching on, according to the strength which nature endowed them with respectively? In the language of Dr. Robert Knox, of London, "Human history cannot be a mere chapter of accidents. The fate of a nation cannot be always regulated by chance; its literature, science, art, wealth, religion, language, laws, and morals, cannot surely be the result of mere accidental circumstances."

If it's not the result of circumstances, what else but race?

More recently, Pharyngula excoriated a work on the average IQs of African countries. I haven't read the article itself, and some commenters said that the Guardian summary was a mischaracterization of the work, so I'm not going to comment on that. However, in defense of the work, a commenter, James G, popped up and said in part:
IQ tests are only biased in the sense that they test for a westernized notion of intelligence. But why shouldn't they? After all, "developed nation" today is practically synonymous with "westernized". If African countries want to step out of poverty, it looks like the only path they can take is a western path. And to do that they need western intelligence. Of course it is always possible they could invent some new "African" mode of development that somehow didn't require western intelligence, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.


This guy is observing the differences and trying to come up with an explanation. Do you have a better one? Why couldn't the colder, more rugged climates of Europe and Asia provided more novel challenges that the lush jungles of africa? I certainly would rather have lived in Africa.

The notion that "developed nation" or "civilization" is only Western is an idea that permeates old racist works. In effect, blacks weren't civilized because civilization belongs only to whites. Again, Josiah Nott chimes in:
The Rev. Theodore Parker, who was educated and lived at the "hub of the universe," will certainly be received as good authority on this subject. He says:

"The Caucasian differs from all other races; he is humane, he is civilized, and progresses. He conquers with his head as well as his hand. It is intellect, after all, that conquers—not the strength of a man's arm. The Caucasian has been often master of other races—never their slave. He has carried his religion to other races, but never taken theirs. In history all religions are of Caucasian origin. All the great limited forms of monarchies are Caucasian. Republics are Caucasian. All the great sciences are of Caucasian origin; all inventions are Caucasian; literature and romance come of the same stock; all of the great poets are of Caucasian origin; Moses, Luther, Jesus Christ, Zoroaster, Budha, Pythagoras, were Caucasian. No other race can bring up to the memory such celebrated names as the Caucasian race. The Chinese philosopher, Confucius, is an exception to the rule. To the Caucasian race belong the Arabian, Persian, Hebrew, Egyptian; and all the European nations are descendants of the Caucasian race."

Some people, like Mr. G above, strove to explain the inferiority of other races, especially blacks, rather than just accept them as a given. And similar ideas were repeated—the idyllic plains of Africa were such a paradise that blacks simply never had to develop, unlike Europeans who were challenged by their harsh environment. One example of this is Edward Eggleston, who in The Ultimate Solution of the American Negro Problem described the ancestors of today's races as they ventured out of Africa.
When the race had once established itself in such latitudes as Central Asia and Europe its dietary necessities were greatly changed; more heat-producing animal food and less vegetable matter was necessay. Moreover, it no longer had the variety and abundance of fruits and vegetables that nature so lavishly furnished in its equatorial habitats. In great measure the substitution of flesh for vegetable matter had become necessary and the former could be had only by effort and ingenuity. It could have been no easy matter even in these early times—when the lower animals were much more abundant than at present—for the various tribes of the primitive race to resist the cold, capture their food, and maintain themselves against hostible tribes as they penetrated deeper and deeper into the unknown wilds and frigid regions of both north and south. We trust it has been made sufficiently clear then, that as primitive Man forced his way out from the equator his wits were continually whetted and sharpened by the very nature of his new condition. It should also be apparent that those who went out were, for reasons already mentioned, the select element mentally and physically.

These pilgrims, who braved all sorts of new dangers—thus eliminating all but the fittest—established themselves in various and sundry localities, some more suitable for racial development than others, but all better than his torrid birthplace. Those who continued to dwell in hot climates underwent little change, and all succeeding generations perpetuated this simple life and many primitive race characteristics. This is the very environment that has produced the Negro race. Very slight adaptational changes have occurred in this division of the race, thus he has remained much closer to the original stock than have the higher branches of the race.

Finally, I was reading this post by Glenn Greenwald, describing how certain people on the right are blaming the Iraqi people for the failure of their pet war. But what jumped out to me was this statement by Paul Mirgenoff of Powerline:
The Iraqis, of course, are not the first people to make a very bad decision at the polls. The fact that they did so is not necessarily evidence of some national "genetic" flaw, much less a demonstration that democracy can't work in the Middle East. It just means that the Iraqi people did less than what a difficult situation required, and that we must face up to and deal with the consequences.

It is not necessarily evidence of a "'genetic' flaw"? Who even suggested such a thing except you? This "not necessarily" strikes me as his exerting the least of efforts to hide the fact that he's a zombie racist. The idea that some people are simply genetically incapable of handling democracy is hardly new:
Convinced by such authorities as Frank, Hawk, and Humphrey, William Joseph Simmons, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, felt the Klan's treatment of the Negro to be fully justified. The race's "state of biological evolution," he stated, made Negroes "physically, and hence morally" unfit for democratic responsibilities. "The cause is biological."

And I just now came across this post, which quotes the editor-in-chief of the New Republic as saying:
Give George W. Bush his due. He took down the Taliban. And he also took down the savage Caesar. These are achievements. What he did not grasp--and what, for that matter, Baker and those for whom he speaks also do not grasp--is the sheer and relentless butchery of which both Sunni and Shia are capable. The fiendish barbarism of decapitated heads and mutilated bodies is now a reflex of the warriors and nothing exceptional, a commonplace. Even the bare rudiments of civilization will not soon come back to the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates."

Hm. Savages and barbarians too busy killing themselves to create the bare rudiments of civilization? I don't suppose that aspersion has ever before been applied to a minority.

These four incidents are hardly all of it. The anti-immigration (and anti-Mexican) furor reeks of the 1920s Immigration Act and "Americanism". Some years ago several liberal bloggers were criticizing the Bell Curve for its claims about race and intelligence. Trent Lott, who believes that if only Strom "Sperm" Thurmond had become president we wouldn't have the problems we do today, was just elected minority whip. Going back a bit further, Rush Limbaugh praised Thurmond for his ability to filibuster over 24 hours to prevent the passage of the Civil Rights Act. And so on.


Some tidbits about Russian

I recently learned some interesting facts about Russian.

For one, мир ("Mir") means both "peace" and "world", which leads to the neat phrase МИРУ МИР: "Peace to the World".

Also, the word восток ("vah-stoke") is Russian for "east". A town on the east coast of Russia, Владивосток ("vlah-dee-vah-stoke") is a combination of that and the verb владеть ("vlah-dyet"), which means "to rule". So Владивосток is "ruler of the east".

If you combine these tidbits, you find that the name Владимир ("Vladimir") means "ruler of the world". At least that's according to my textbook; according to Behind the Name, it means "to rule with greatness" or "to rule with peace." But I much prefer my textbook's interpretation.

Also, our teacher gave us an interesting hand-out today--a list of pairs of English words or phrases that non-native speakers often confuse, and a similar list for Russian words and phrases. As an example, on the English side she had such words as "desert"/"dessert", "chemistry"/"cemetery", "surgeon"/"sturgeon", and my favorite, "My name is"/"mayonnaise".

On the list of Russian mistakes, she had "замок"/"замок" (the difference is in which syllable is stressed), which can be the difference between "castle" and "lock". One of the more amusing ones is "мука"/"мука". Again, the difference is in the stress of the syllables--if you stress the second syllable you get "flour", but if you stress the first you get "torment, suffering". Given how negligent most of my classmates have been of properly stressing their words (which has irked me quite a bit) I consider it highly likely that if they continue Russian they will one day ask to borrow a cup of suffering. In fact, she included a Russian poem that seems to make fun of this awkward pairing.

But the absolute best has to be the first item on her list: "Не за что" versus "Ни за что". The first one means "Don't mention it!" or "You're welcome!" The second means "I won't forgive you."

She mentioned that many students do not forgive her when she thanks them.

I'm really not a liar. Not when the truth is so much more amusing.

A few weeks back, I made a claim that I did not provide any evidence for:
This need to protect the infiltration of white blood with black also explains, to a small degree, the sexism involved in miscegenation. Whereas white men could generally get away with sleeping with black women, the reverse was much more readily condemned. I cannot at the moment find any quote to this effect, but the argument was sometimes put forth that white men could sleep with black women because all that did was inject white blood into black. But white women should not sleep with black men because women, as bearers of children, were guardians of the race--a white woman having a mulatto child would have allowed the injection of black blood into the white race.

I doubt anyone has been obsessing over this lack of citation, but when tidying up some of my sources I came across a quote saying exactly this:
We admit and deplore the fact that unchastity has poured a broad stream of white blood into black veins; but we deny, and perhaps no one will affirm, that it has poured even the slenderest appreciable rill of Negro blood into the veins of the Whites. We have no excuse whatever to make for these masculine incontinences; we abhor them as disgraceful and almost bestial. But, however degrading and even unnatural, they in nowise, not even in the slightest conceivable degree, defile the Southern Caucasian blood. That blood to-day is absolutely pure; and it is the inflexible resolution of the South to preserve that purity, no matter how dear the cost. We repeat, then, it is not a question of individual morality, nor even of self-respect. He who commerces with a negress debases himself and dishonours his body, the temple of the Spirit; but he does not impair, in anywise, the dignity or integrity of his race; he may sin against himself and others, and even against his God, but not against the germ-plasma of his kind.

--from The Color Line: A Brief in Behalf of the Unborn, by William Benjamin Smith.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Good old-fashioned bigotry

Glenn Beck of CNN seems to have serious problems with Muslims.

First he practically accuses Representative Keith Ellison, the first-ever Muslim in Congress, of being in league with the terrorists:
With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, "Let's cut and run." And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.

And then he expresses surprise that a Muslim would criticize Al-Qaeda:
A couple of months ago, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq urged his supporters to each kill at least one American in the next 15 days. It was a shocking statement, but hardly surprising.

Then, just a few days later, I came across a response to that message of hate that was surprising. It said, "You hid in your caves and behind the faces of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq. You have abandoned God and have started worshipping your own satanic egos that rejoice at the killing of innocent people."

Why do I say that statement, something that many of us agree with, is surprising? Because the man who wrote it is a Muslim. He lives right here in the United States.

He claims that he knows and likes Muslims, but wants a Muslim Congressman to prove he's not working with enemies of the country. And he says that he doesn't "believe that Islam is a religion of evil", that he thinks "it's being hijacked", but expresses surprise that a Muslims criticizes terrorists.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm torn.

As you know, South Africa recently passed a law allowing gay marriages. As best I can determine, they allow true, full-blown gay marriages, and not some marriage-lite substitute like civil unions. Reading through some of the articles, I saw them saying that the bill was being attacked by both sides of the aisle--religious groups I expected, but apparently some gays were saying it didn't go far enough. I really wanted to know what more they wanted.

Well, I finally found out:
The Roman Catholic Church and many traditionalist leaders in South Africa said the measure denigrated the sanctity of marriages between men and women.

To ease some of these concerns, the bill allowed both religious and civil officers to refuse to marry same-sex couples on moral grounds.

Gay-rights groups criticized this "opt-out" clause, saying they should be treated the same as heterosexual couples, but in general, they praised the new measure.

I'm not sure whether to be horridly pissed at this conscience-clause cop-out, or just take this as the major victory it is. Maybe I can do both--work occasional barrages of cursing into whoops of elation.

How can anyone hate the Colonel?

KFC has constructed an 85,000 square-foot image of Colonel Sanders, so that it is visible from space:
The KFC Corp. on Tuesday launched a rebranding campaign with an 87,500 square-foot image of Colonel Sanders in the Nevada desert which the company says makes Kentucky Fried Chicken the world's first brand visible from space.


The logo consists of 65,000 one-foot by one-foot painted tile pieces that were assembled like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Their rationale for this is hilarious:
"If there are extraterrestrials in outer space, KFC wants to become their restaurant of choice," KFC President Gregg Dedrick said in a statement.


"If we hear back from a life form in space today - whether NASA astronauts or a signal from some life form on Mars - we'll send up some Original Recipe Chicken," said Dedrick.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Last December, the highest court of South Africa recognized a same-sex marriage and told Parliament it had a year to recognize same-sex marriages.

With a few months to spare, South Africa has finally done so, according to Yahoo! Breaking News:
South African parliament passes legislation recognizing same-sex marriages, in a first for the continent.

At least they learned something from their absurd marriage laws.