Death Camps: An american tradition

The Slave Trade.

The Gnadenhutten Massacre.

The Trail of Tears.


The Exclusion Act.

Wounded Knee.

Balinga Massacre.


Prison camps for ethnic Japanese people.

No Geun Rhi.

Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Dominican Republic and dozens of others.

My Lai and other massacres in Vietnam.

Iran-Contra and Operation Cyclone.

Azizabad, Kandahar and Kunduz.

Puerto Rico.

[Read more…]

Out To Launch: Annoying Orange is even more clueless than you thought

It’s easy to understand now why Rex Tillerson described Trump as a….   Trump wants the US to increase its nuclear arsenal by ten times. Exactly whom is it going to be used against? ISIS bases in Syria?

It’s long past time for the US military to overthrow the cast of clowns. There’s nothing left to salvage. Could a one year military dictatorship – until a new presidential and senate elections are held – really be any worse than this?

Excuses Excuses: A hollyweird mogul’s operandi

It doesn’t shock me at all that Harvey “Swine-Slime” Weinstein has been knocked from his predatory pedestal.  No, I didn’t know it would specifically be him, but rumours have abounded for decades about the “hollywood casting couch”, of women raped by coercion.  Cue the scum who say “They consented.  How else did they get the roles?  Why didn’t they report it sooner?”  Asia Argento begs to differ, unequivocally stating that Weinstein raped her.  And other people such as Terry Crews – a man, and ex-NFL player – have reported being sexually assaulted by other, different hollywood executives.

This is another example of something I’ve said before about Donald Sterling, about Tiger Woods, about Bill Cosby: People knew and they kept their mouths shut.  The media knew, powerful people knew (NBA owners, hollywood actors and executives), and they protected the perpetrators with a code of silence.  Their careers and access to the halls of power would have been cut off if they had spoken.

There is a lot of heavy criticism for actors like Matt Damon and Russell Crowe who helped silence a 2004 New York Times expose on Weinstein, and for other actors who have said nothing about him since the story broke.  Their silence speaks volumes.  But their silence doesn’t bother me as much as backslapping and congratulating being given to George Clooney, Mark Ruffalo and others who are speaking up.  I suspect they also knew and are protecting themselves.  You can’t be around and spend that much time with Weinstein and his ilk and never hear a single rumour.

The most appalling thing I read today was in a Taiwan feminist group on facebook.  A friend posted a comment by a piece of garbage she once considered a “friend”.  He said, “Following the demise of Harvey Weinstein, artors wishing to make it in Hollywood will now have to rely on their acting ability.”

The level of tone deafness and rape culture advocacy is astounding.


Murder Rates: Lies, damned lies and atavistics

In the Snopes group on facebook, a man named Michael McLaughlin published an interesting correlation of data. He compared the rates of gun deaths in 68 countries versus the wealth (GDP per capita) of each. Wealth is directly related to the education of a country, whether as a cause or an indicator.  His graph shows a strong correlation between wealth and a low gun death rate, and poverty with a high gun death rate, with the US as the biggest exception. [Read more…]

Shells Fall: They are not the hollow men

Mass shooters in the US are not the hollow men of TS Eliot’s poem.  Eliot’s men were hollow because they afraid to carry out their violence.  But there are plenty of potential hollow men in the US – neo-nazis, white supremacists, anti-abortionists, militia militants and other extremists trying to work up to it.

But the mass shooters in the US can be considered hollow men as people, as emotionally stunted and (mostly) white males.  The writer linked and quoted below has an excellent argument for the abundance of white male shooters.  It is primarily about the US, but applies equally well to mass shooters in other countries (e.g. Marc Lepine, Thomas Hamilton, Martin Bryant)[Read more…]

Blog Rules: A reiteration

Recent unpublished comments require this.  I can’t expect everyone to go back to my first post and read them, so I’m repeating them here:

– – – – –

What are your blog’s policies?  I will start simple and evolve or expand it where or when necessary:

  1. Be nice.
  2. No heated arguments.
  3. No profanities.
  4. No insults.
  5. No misrepresentation or quotemining.
  6. No personal attacks upon myself or others.

Most FtB writers have…animated conversations, to put it politely.  I’m not making comment on other people’s blogs by saying or having those rules.  It’s more a stylistic choice than about controlling conversations.  Not allowing certain things doesn’t prevent anyone from saying or doing such things elsewhere, and it doesn’t tread on anyone’s rights or ability to speak here.

Cancer Sticks: Capitalist racism

In July, I wrote about the way tobacco companies are shifting their businesses away from certain regions to others.  What I failed to point out then was the inherent racism of such “marketing”, and of governments who let them do it.

Of the five largest tobacco companies in the world (there used to be six before 2017), they are US owned, British owned, UK-US, from Japan and China.  Together, they sell and estimated 94.5% of all tobacco products sold.

Due to rising rate of cancers and public ire, tobacco laws have regulated, controlled and limited the advertising, sales and use of tobacco in wealthier countries.  Even those which have long been filth-pits of cigarette smoke (e.g. Czech Republic, China, Russia, Philippines, France, Italy, South American countries) have enacted strong legislation to curtail smoking and limit who can.  Combined with falling numbers of smokers in G7 and G20 countries, tobacco companies have been desperate to find new suckers (pun definitely intended) to buy their filth.  Even the Chinese and Japanese governments have begun an anti-smoking campaigns and legislation. [Read more…]