Politi dating

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2020.09.15 18:42 StevenStevens43 From Mempricius to Saul

From Mempricius to Saul
Mempricius was King of Cornwall and Loegrie, after his Mother queen Gwendolen from Cornwall, conquered Loegria by killing her husband Locrinas, and king of Loegria, in battle, at the river Stour.
This has already been established in my previous article, "From Gwendolen to".
Mempricius (Welsh: Membyr) was a legendary king of the Britons), as recounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. He was the son of King Maddan and brother of Malin.
Now apparently Mempricius met his death by being mauled by a pack of Wolves.
While on a hunting expedition, he was separated from his companions and attacked by a pack of wolves. He died and was succeeded by his son Ebraucus as monarch.
Link for photo

It is also not unbelievable that he could have been mauled by Wolves, as the Wolf was not made extinct in Britain until 1684 AD, and 1770 AD, in Ireland.
Wolves have been persecuted in Europe for centuries, having been exterminated in Great Britain by 1684, in Ireland by 1770
Link for photo

Wolf distribution
Now, according to legend, Mempricius reigned during the same period that Saul was the king of Judaea. And Eurysthenes was the king of Sparta.
According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, he reigned at the same period of time as Saul, the King in Judea, and Eurysthenes, King in Sparta.
Link for photo

Dorian Spartans:
Now, the legends of Sparta, are actually extremely consistant with contemporary historical understandings, that i have revealed on other articles, available to read in the lobby, complete with sources, with that understanding being, that what we officially call, the foundations of Sparta, was in fact not the foundations at-all, and was actually the conquest resulting from the Dorian invasion, and the "official founders of Sparta", were in fact considered as foreigners, by indigenous Spartans, that originally denied the foreigners the right to rule Sparta.
However to attempt to resolve the war, they agreed to a co-regency, were there would be two lines.
There would be an indigenous line of Spartans.
And there would be a foreign line of Spartans.
Of course, what does this do?
Well, it makes it possible to have historical records that actually depict a war between Spartans, and Spartans.
And whenever there is a war involving Spartans, it is hard to actually fathem whether this is the Greek Spartans, or the Northern invading Spartans (Dorians).
Anyway! At the right hand side of the page given in the link below, you should find out that Eurysthenes reign is attested to as being 1104 – 1066 BC, so that should roughly correspond to the period of Mempricius, and Saul.
The title of archēgetēs, "founding magistrate," was explicitly denied to Eurysthenes and Procles by the later Spartan government on the grounds that they were not founders of a state, but were maintained in their offices by parties of foreigners. Instead the honor was granted to their son and grandson, for which reason the two lines were called the Agiads and the Eurypontids.[3]
Link for photo

Now, i need to find out a little bit about Saul.
Saul was apparently the first king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah.
Though Celtic legends only attest to him being the founder of Judaea.
Biblical scholars also give his reign as being possibly 1037-1010 BCE.
However Celtic legends give an approximate more like 1104 – 1066 BC.
You will need to read my other articles, to decide whether or not you think Celtic legends have ever let me down yet.
Saul (/sɔːl/; Hebrew: שָׁאוּל‎ – Šāʾūl, Greek: Σαούλ, meaning "asked for, prayed for"), according to the Hebrew Bible, was the first king of the United Kingdom of Israel (Israel and Judah)). His reign, traditionally placed in the late 11th century BCE,[1] supposedly marked a transition from a tribal society to statehood).[2]
Link for photo

Now, there was an Egyptian pharoah named Smendes that rose to power in Egypt during this precise period.
Hedjkheperre Setepenre Smendes was the founder of the Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt and succeeded to the throne after burying Ramesses XI in Lower Egypt – territory which he controlled. His Egyptian nomen) or birth name was actually Nesbanebdjed[5] meaning "He of the Ram, Lord of Mendes",[6] but it was translated into Greek as Smendes by later classical writers such as Josephus and Sextus Africanus. According to the Story of Wenamun from c. 1000 BC, Smendes was a governor of Lower Egypt during the Era of the Renaissance
1077/1076–1052 BC[1]
Link for photo
Jar of Smendes
Era of the Renaissance:
He was notable for reigning during the Egyptian Renaissance, which was the end of the old kingdom, and the birth of the new kingdom.
Wehem Mesut
The period of ancient Egyptian history known as wehem mesut or, more commonly, Whm Mswt (Manuel de Codage transliteration: wHm msw.t) can be literally translated as Repetition of Births, but is usually referred to as the (Era of the) Renaissance.[1]
Therefore, Smendes, is almost definitely the person being referred to in Celtic legends.
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2020.09.10 12:43 Tweenk Trump's Greatest Hits

In case someone you know is still not ridin' with Biden, copy and paste this list - maybe they forgot how bad Trump is. I omitted aesthetic things such as mocking the disabled reporter, the pussy grabbing tape, disparaging war dead, etc.
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2020.09.08 09:22 niuz-bot Cele trei modalități de a dovedi Poliției că ai asigurare RCA, în Monitorul Oficial: Poți prezenta contractul pe hârtie, în format electronic sau interoga baza de date AIDA - [Economie][Asigurari]

Începând din această săptămână, șoferii vor putea dovedi că au asigurare RCA valabilă, în cazul unui control în trafic al Poliției, prin oricare din următoarele trei modalități: prezentând polița și contractul RCA pe suport de hârtie sau în format electronic ori prin informația rezultată din interogarea bazei de date AIDA care conține polițele RCA valabile, încheiate pe teritoriul României. Aceste modificări legislative au fost publicate luni, 7 septembrie, în Monitorul Oficial și vor intra în vigoare în următoarele 3 zile de la data publicării.
Citeste in continuare: https://economie.hotnews.ro/stiri-pensii_private-24274683-asigurare-rca-hartie-electronic-baza-de-date-aida-control-trafic-politie-monitorul-oficial-lege.htm
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2020.09.06 14:40 AB1908 Fact check: Trump was tougher on Russia than the previous administration

You can see my previous fact checks here and here. I've seen an oft repeated claim on /AskTrumpSupporters by a certain user stating the following:
Trump is tougher on Russia than your softball administration ever was (1) (2) (3) (4)
The evidence does not appear to (strongly) support the conclusion. I have attempted to read through all four articles as well as their corresponding citations and I present my findings here. I would also welcome any feedback or corrections in any form. I doubt a limited amount of reading would present a full picture of the scenario.

Analysis of given articles

Article 1

From [1] which, to note, is an op-ed:
For starters, it was President Obama who, according to Reuters, was “caught on camera” saying to a Russian leader that he’ll have more flexibility after the election — not President Trump.
This excerpt cites an article from Reuters [2] and has been mischaracterised as can be seen below:
The exchange, parts of it inaudible, was monitored by a White House pool of television journalists as well as Russian reporters listening live from their press center.
The United States and NATO have offered Russia a role in the project to create an anti-ballistic shield which includes participation by Romania, Poland, Turkey and Spain.
But Moscow says it fears the system could weaken Russia by gaining the capability to shoot down the nuclear missiles it relies on as a deterrent.
It wants a legally binding pledge from the United States that Russia’s nuclear forces would not be targeted by the system and joint control of how it is used.
“This is my last election ... After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama said, expressing confidence that he would win a second term.
Additionally, this was in 2012, during his re-election, much prior to the 2014 annexation of Crimea and thus, is not relevant to the discussion in any way. However, subsequent paragraphs in the article do appear to make accurate claims such as addition of new sanctions that directly penalised President Putin's inner circle and several wealthy individuals. It is also noted that the sanctions from the previous administration remained in place which, although true, aren't exactly helping the point of President Trump's administration being "tougher on Russia".
The following excerpt from the article states that he made even more progress by signing Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA, in 2017.
In August 2017, Trump signed a bill slapping even more sanctions on Russia — this time specifically aimed at the country’s energy and defense industries. Congress made the legislation Trump-proof, meaning that no executive order could ever undo such sanctions; yet Trump signed it anyway.
This excerpt cites a piece from CNBC [3] which states the following:
Trump and his secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, had expressed concerns about the sanctions’ possible effects on U.S. relations with Russia. The administration has pushed to improve relations with Moscow but has gotten tripped up by the probe into Russian attempts to affect the election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.
In a statement after the signing, Trump said he wanted to “punish and deter bad behavior” by North Korea and Iran. The president wanted to make “clear that America will not tolerate interference in our democratic process.”
However, Trump argued that the measure “encroaches on executive power, disadvantages American companies and hurts the interests of our European allies.” Trump needs congressional approval to roll back sanctions under the measure.
This is corroborated by a statement from The White House [4]:
Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies.
My Administration has attempted to work with Congress to make this bill better. We have made progress and improved the language to give the Treasury Department greater flexibility in granting routine licenses to American businesses, people, and companies. The improved language also reflects feedback from our European allies – who have been steadfast partners on Russia sanctions – regarding the energy sanctions provided for in the legislation. The new language also ensures our agencies can delay sanctions on the intelligence and defense sectors, because those sanctions could negatively affect American companies and those of our allies.
Still, the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.
Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.
Some critics noted that the imposition of sanctions was far too slow as the bill had been signed in August but sanctions were imposed in April. The administration deserves criticism for failing to miss its October 1 deadline of producing a list individuals to be sanctioned but they still deserve credit for the move in its entirety [5].
Here is yet another excerpt:
In fact it was Trump — not Obama — who ordered the closure of Russian diplomatic properties in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York City that appeared to be a threat to American security.
This is misleading as it cites a piece by NYT [6] that clearly states the following:
The administration’s response had been expected for the past month, since Russia ordered the American Mission to cut its staff by 755 people — a sign of its displeasure after Congress imposed sanctions because of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
President Trump has kept his distance from the dispute. He expressed gratitude, rather than anger, toward Mr. Putin when was asked about the Russian president’s action to reduce American diplomatic personnel.
“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down the payroll,” Mr. Trump said, “and as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go a lot of a large number of people, because now we have a smaller payroll.”
Mr. Putin’s move was also a delayed reaction to President Barack Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and his seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds last year. Mr. Obama was acting after American intelligence agencies concluded that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 election. The administration said there was no decision on whether the Russian government would be allowed to take back those facilities.
The rest of the article seems to be fairly accurate except for engaging in a hypothetical in the following excerpt:
To be sure, Obama kicked 35 Russian diplomats out of the country after suspected election meddling by Russia, but only after Trump won the 2016 election. It is questionable whether he would have done so had Hillary Clinton succeeded in being the victor.
and making the following misleading claim:
Furthermore, it was President Trump who led the world in expelling Russian diplomats after the Russian government was suspected of carrying out a nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom against one of their former spies. President Trump moved swiftly to expel 60 Russian diplomats from U.S. soil, and other countries followed suit by expelling dozens as well.
As evidenced by the Reuters article cited in the above excerpt, the administration actually joined other countries instead with Australia joining in later [7]. However, it may have been referring to the claim that it was expelling the highest number of diplomats, in which case it would be accurate but again, not noteworthy as it likely has the highest number of diplomats of all nations involved [citation needed]. The article, however, goes on to note that he had expressed sentiments earlier of wanting to work together. To quote:
Trump, who before he took office in January last year promised warmer ties with Putin, last week congratulated the Russian leader on his re-election, drawing criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike. Trump said the two leaders had made tentative plans to meet in the “not too distant future”.
He did not bring up the poisoning attack in his phone call with Putin.
Trump himself was silent on Monday on Twitter, where he often comments about his policy decisions. However, the White House said later it would like to have a “cooperative relationship” with Russia.
“The president wants to work with the Russians but their actions sometimes don’t allow that to happen,” White House spokesman Raj Shah told a news briefing. “The poisoning in the U.K. that has kind of led to today’s announcement was a very brazen action. It was a reckless action.”
Overall, the article does have some valid points regarding the sanctions but a thorough analysis of its effects are required before we can objectively conclude it has been "tough on Russia". A report from the Congressional Research Service may prove useful for said analysis. Still, I would say this does appear to support the claim of the President being "tough on Russia" but whether it was "tougher than your previous softball administration" remains to be examined.

Article 2

The Washington Post op-ed by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) [8] also appears to make a few misleading claims. With regards to the Pentagon budget:
More broadly, under Obama, the Pentagon’s budget was slashed by 25 percent from 2010 to 2016.
This cites a report by the Heritage Foundation [9] that states the following:
In total, since FY 2010, the defense budget, including overseas contingency operations (OCO) spending, has been cut 25 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.[10]
FY 2010 and FY 2011. While the FY 2010 budget slightly increased the defense budget, the department began cancelling major programs that year. For the FY 2010 budget, the department announced:
  • Cancellation of the F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft;
  • Cancellation of the VH-71 presidential helicopter;
  • Cancellation of the vehicle portion of the Future Combat System;
  • Cancellation of missile defense programs, including the Airborne Laser and the Multi-Kill Vehicle;
  • Cancellation of the CSAR-X search and rescue helicopter; and
  • The end of C-17 Globemaster III military transport production at 205 aircraft.[11]
In FY 2011, the cuts focused on modernization spending:
  • Ending C-17 production at 223. (Congress blocked the first attempt.)
  • Cancelling the F-35 alternate engine program.
  • Cancelling the CG(X) future large cruiser.
  • Cancelling the Navy’s EP-X future intelligence aircraft.[12]
In some cases, these cuts were necessary because the program requirements were not a high priority or because the program was too costly. On the other hand, other cancellations have led to serious problems for the military today.
Note that this is also somewhat contentious as this is fails to take into account the fact that the (then) administration started pulling out of Iraq and was also bipartisan, as stated in a fact check by Politifact [10]:
Has the military budget dropped under Obama, and if so, who is to blame?
Overall spending on national security includes the Pentagon budget as well as spending by other agencies, such as the Energy Department’s work on nuclear weapons. Spending increased in 2010 and 2011, but it has fallen every year for four years since then by a cumulative 15 percent.
Other ways of looking at the question show declines as well. National security spending made up 20.1 percent of the federal budget in 2010, but in 2015 it was 15.9 percent. Over the same period, spending fell from 4.6 percent of gross domestic product to 3.3 percent.
There are two main reasons for the spending drop. The first is the Obama administration’s decision to start removing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. The second has to do with a process known as sequestration.
Sequestration refers to the framework for automatic, across-the-board cuts to both military and non-military spending that were originally designed to force bipartisan negotiators in Congress to strike a deal in 2011. When negotiations fell apart, the cuts went into effect.
The bipartisan nature of the sequestration provision means that both parties merit a share of the blame, experts say.
The most recent Obama budget proposed a 7.8 percent increase in the base Defense Department budget between 2015 and 2016. The spending bill enacted this fall puts the defense budget on a path to start growing in fiscal year 2016, up about 6 percent from the previous year.
"It’s still not quite as much as the president requested, but it’s much closer," said Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Another claim made is the following:
After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, Ukrainian leaders desperately requested from President Barack Obama defensive anti-tank weapons systems that could fend off the invading Russian T-72 tanks in eastern Ukraine. In 2015, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee — Democrats and Republicans — encouraged Obama to grant this request to help Ukraine defend itself. Obama refused. Soon after coming into office, Trump changed course , and the Ukrainians now have Javelin anti-tank weapons systems from the United States. Russian tank drivers have a lot more to worry about today.
The initial sentence cites a report from Foreign Policy [11] that corroborates the statement that T-72 tanks were invading eastern Ukraine but they were controlled by separatists and appear to have had some ties to Russia in the form of funding. It is very slightly misleading to call them "Russian" forces. To quote:
Fighting has not stopped, and the rebels have continued to retake territory. The Russian military took advantage of the deals and continued to supply weapons and troops to the separatists, and this conflict is not any closer to resolution than it was before the deals were signed. On the other hand, each carried with it at least a temporary de-escalation in fighting, bringing needed reprieve for civilians who have been stuck in the crossfire.
The claim of President Obama denying anti-tank weapons is also correct as corroborated in an article by the AP [12]. However, the overall claim is misleading. His administration actually refused to provide lethal weaponry for fear of escalating conflict and instead relied on non-lethal aid. To quote from the USA Today article [13] also cited in the excerpt:
The White House refused to include weapons in an aid package announced Thursday for embattled Ukraine despite an impassioned plea by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for more military assistance.
The Obama administration is providing $46 million in non-lethal security assistance and $7 million for relief organizations providing humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians affected by the conflict between government forces and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern region.
The White House announcement came shortly after Poroshenko stood before a joint session of Congress and pleaded for more political support and military equipment beyond the non-lethal aid the United States has pledged.
Poroshenko said blankets and night-vision goggles from the USA are important, "but one cannot win a war with blankets!"
What the White House offered was a military aid package that will provide body armor, helmets, vehicles, night and thermal vision devices, advanced radios, patrol boats, counter-mortar radars, rations, tents and uniforms. U.S. military and civilian advisers will help Ukraine improve its defense capacity, the White House said.
The new aid brings the total U.S. assistance package for Ukraine to $291 million, plus a $1 billion loan guarantee. The Obama administration has refused to provide lethal aid for fear of escalating tensions.
This is further corroborated in a fact check by PolitiFact [14], an article which I would recommend reading in its entirety. Here are some relevant excerpts:
At the time, Obama officials were debating whether to send lethal military equipment amid the conflict with Russia, particularly Javelin anti-tank missiles. Obama rejected a request from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for lethal aid in 2014, though the White House approved a $53 million aid package that included vehicles, patrol boats, body armor and night-vision goggles, as well as humanitarian assistance.
U.S. officials were concerned that providing the Javelins to Ukraine would escalate their conflict with Russia. Key allies, including Germany, were not keen on sending weapons into the conflict zone, said Michael Kofman, an expert on Russia and senior research scientist at the CNA Corporation.
Under Obama, the federal government started the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which sent other kinds of U.S. military equipment to the country. From 2016 to 2019, Congress appropriated $850 million.
In the last year of the Obama administration, Congress authorized lethal aid, but it didn’t include the Javelins.
"The first lethal deliveries came from Trump," said Jim Townsend, deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO Policy during the Obama administration.
In July 2016, the White House announced a $335 million security assistance package for Ukraine that included "counter-artillery and counter-mortar radars, secure communications, training aids, logistics infrastructure and IT systems, tactical UAVs, and medical equipment."
In 2017, the Trump administration said it would sell lethal aid to Ukraine, and in 2018 it approved a plan to sell Ukraine $47 million in lethal Javelin Missiles. Even though the Trump administration has allowed the weapons, they are far from the frontlines.
Congress approved another $250 million in military assistance in 2018, which Trump temporarily withheld along with $141 million in State Department aid in July.
Overall, the article does very little to support the claim that President Trump has been tougher on Russia than his predecessor. It is somewhat misleading, tries to conflate numbers so as to make them look favorable and does not produce concrete evidence to support the claim. There is also the issue of witholding aid from Ukraine despite pledging support in terms of lethal weaponry. However, credit should still be awarded for continuing to provide assistance to them. Note that being pro-Ukraine isn't necessarily anti-Russia, so this is poorly supportive of the claim at best.

Article 3

The third article linked mostly goes on to state the several actions taken by the current administration without providing much context or history behind the moves but is still a decent source [15]. It was subsequently cited in the NPR article on President Trump's actions against Russia. It can be said that he has a decent stance against Russia.

Article 4

The fourth article from NPR [16] weighs the President's rhetoric versus his policies. It notes that his policies have largely been in the right direction as noted in the opening:
President Trump is in the process of inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to Washington, D.C., this fall to continue the talks they started in Helsinki earlier this week.
It's another sign of Trump's efforts to build closer ties with Moscow, even though he insists his administration has taken a hard line toward Russia.
"There's never been a president as tough on Russia as I have been," Trump told reporters on Wednesday.
That might sound like hyperbole, but in this case, there's actually some basis for the president's boast.
After describing a list of actions taken, it then notes:
Whatever tough policies the White House may have adopted toward Moscow also have to be weighed against Trump's rhetoric, which is consistently friendly to Putin. He suggested inviting Russia to rejoin the G-7, a group Moscow was suspended from following the illegal annexation of Crimea. Trump also congratulated Putin on his suspect re-election victory, despite explicit instructions from his advisers.
"There's a real disconnect between the president's words and the underlying policy," said Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security.
While Trump has no qualms about criticizing leaders of allied countries like Germany's Angela Merkel, Canada's Justin Trudeau or the U.K.'s Theresa May, he almost always treats Putin with kid gloves.
"The president very rarely speaks about Putin's transgressions and when asked about them expresses the hope that everyone can get along," said Fontaine, a former national security adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Just last week, Trump told reporters in the U.K., "If we could develop a relationship which is good for Russia, good for us, good for everybody, that would be great."
The article goes on to cite a report from The Washington Post detailing the President's attitude in private [17]:
The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies — part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.
“We’ll match their numbers,” Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. “We’re not taking the lead. We’re matching.”
The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials — far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.
The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.
His briefers tried to reassure him that the sum total of European expulsions was roughly the same as the U.S. number.
“I don’t care about the total!” the administration official recalled Trump screaming. The official, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Growing angrier, Trump insisted that his aides had misled him about the magnitude of the expulsions. “There were curse words,” the official said, “a lot of curse words.”
The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration’s increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Some close to Trump say the recent measures are the product of an ongoing pressure campaign to push the president to take a more skeptical view of the Russian leader.
“If you’re getting briefed by the CIA director on all this stuff, there’s a point where, even if you’re Donald J. Trump, you think, ‘Hmm [Putin’s] a really bad guy,’ ” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal Trump adviser.
Others note Trump’s ongoing unease with his own policy. Even as his administration has ratcheted up the pressure on Putin’s inner circle, Trump has continued in recent weeks to make overtures to the Russian leader, congratulating him on his election win and, in a move that frustrated his national security team, inviting him to visit the White House.
“I think I could have a very good relationship with Russia and with President Putin,” Trump said at a news conference just days after the largest expulsion of Russians in U.S. history. “And if I did, that would be a great thing. And there’s also a possibility that won’t happen. Who knows?”
Trump came to the White House believing that his personal relationships with other leaders would be central to solving the world’s thorniest foreign policy problems, administration officials said. In Trump’s mind, no leader was more important or powerful than Putin, they said.
A cooperative relationship with the Russian leader could help Trump find solutions to problems that bedeviled his predecessor in places such as Ukraine, Syria and North Korea.
Former president Barack Obama had a tense relationship with Putin. Trump said he could do better but felt stymied by the media, Congress and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Any conciliatory move he made toward Putin came under heavy scrutiny. “When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship is a good thing,” Trump tweeted in November. “They are always playing politics — bad for our country.”
Privately, he complained to aides that the media’s fixation on the Mueller probe was hobbling his effort to woo Putin. “I can’t put on the charm,” the president often said, according to one of his advisers. “I’m not able to be president because of this witch hunt.”
As the months passed, the president’s options for improving relations with Russia narrowed. In late July, Congress overwhelmingly approved new sanctions on Moscow that were widely seen as a rebuke of Trump’s efforts to reach out to Putin. It took aides four days to persuade Trump to sign the bill, which had cleared with a veto-proof majority.
Trump advisers were reluctant to even raise the topic of Russian interference in the election, which Trump equated with Democrats’ efforts to undermine his victory. “It’s just kind of its own beast,” a senior national security official said. “It’s been a constant from Day One.”
Gingrich and other Trump advisers said CIA Director Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state nominee, was one of the few advisers who could address Russia without raising the president’s ire.
In January, Pompeo told the BBC that he had “every expectation” that Russia would make an effort to disrupt the 2018 midterm elections. Privately, he pushed Trump to take a tough line on Moscow.
One area where aides worked to change Trump’s mind was on a proposal to sell antitank missiles to Ukraine. Obama had opposed the move for fear of angering Moscow and provoking a Russian escalation.
Trump initially was also hesitant to support the move, which had the backing of the Pentagon and State Department. “He would say, ‘Why is this our problem? Why not let the Europeans deal with Ukraine?” a U.S. official said.
Aides described a lobbying effort by Pompeo, Haley and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in support of the lethal aid. “I just want peace,” Trump would say when pressed on Ukraine.
His aides countered that the weapons would help achieve peace by deterring further Russian aggression.
To bring the president around, U.S. officials argued that the $47 million military aid package could be a boon to U.S. taxpayers if cash-strapped Kiev stabilized and someday became a reliable buyer of American military hardware.
To the surprise of even his closest advisers, the president agreed late last year to the weapons transfer on the condition that the move be kept quiet and made without a formal news release.
Aides tried to warn him that there was almost no way to stop the news from leaking.
When it broke, Russia hawks in Congress praised the president. “Another significant step in the right direction,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a frequent Trump critic. But Trump was still furious, an administration official said.
“For some reason, when it comes to Russia, he doesn’t hear the praise,” a senior administration official said. “Politically speaking, the best thing for him to do is to be tough. . . . On that one issue, he cannot hear the praise.”
The poisoning in Britain in early March of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with a nerve agent upped the tension between Trump and his advisers.
Initially, the president was hesitant to believe the intelligence that Russia was behind the attack — a fact that some aides attributed to his contrarian personality and tendency to look for deeper conspiracies. To persuade him, his advisers warned that he would get hammered in the press if he was out of step with U.S. allies, officials said.
“There was a sense that we couldn’t be the only ones not to concede to reality,” the Trump adviser said.
The next task was convincing Trump that he should punish Putin in coordination with the Europeans. “Why are you asking me to do this?” Trump asked in a call with British Prime Minister Theresa May, according to a senior White House official. “What’s Germany going to do? What about France?”
He was insistent that the poisoning in the English city of Salisbury was largely a European problem and that the allies should take the lead in moving against Russia.
Trump told aides in an Oval Office session on March 23 that he was confident French President Emmanuel Macron would deliver on promises to expel Russian officials but that he was worried about German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country depends on Russian oil and gas.
The next day, at his Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump’s aides gave him the final memo with the precise number of American expulsions.
Trump was furious as news reports described the expulsions as the largest purge in U.S. history and noted the wide gap between the United States and its allies. “If you had told me France and Germany were only doing [four], that’s what we would have done,” one official recalled him saying.
Some officials said it was a simple misunderstanding. Others blamed the president’s strained relationship with his top aides, including H.R. McMaster, his former national security adviser.
“Anytime McMaster came in with a recommendation, he always thought it was too much,” the Trump adviser said. “They were just oil and water on everything. So his natural impulse was, if this was your recommendation, it must be too far.”
Less than a month after Trump shocked his foreign policy advisers by inviting Putin to the White House, the prospects for a visit anytime soon seem remote. No date has been set, White House officials said.
“We’re not rushing to do this meeting,” a senior administration official said. “Our team wasn’t thrilled about the idea.”
The report certainly paints an unflattering picture of the President's attitude towards Russia but the NPR report concludes the following:
However grudging Trump's moves against Moscow might have been, though, his defenders say the actions speak for themselves.
"It is hard for me to believe that he was dragged kicking and screaming through each and every one of these decisions," Vajdich said.

Counter Analysis and Evidence

Overall, from the evidence presented, we can safely say that the policies certainly do appear to be a step in the right direction but they have done little to deter Russia. Crimea is still occupied and military operations against Ukraine have expanded to nearby waters [18]:
Debates about the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia continue in Congress, in the Administration, and among other stakeholders. Russia has not reversed its occupation and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, nor has it stopped sustaining separatist regimesin eastern Ukraine. In 2018, it extended its military operations against Ukraine to nearby waters. At the same time, Russia has not expanded its land-based operations in Ukraine, and Moscow participates in a conflict resolution process that formally recognizes Ukraine’s sovereignty over Russia-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine. With respect to other malign activities, the relationship between sanctions and changes in Russian behavior is difficult to determine. Nonetheless, many observers argue that sanctions help restrain Russia or that their imposition is an appropriate foreign policy response regardless of immediate effect.
Examining his record outside the data presented, however, paints a different picture. For example, he failed to bring up Russian interference in election during early talks in 2017, despite overwhelming evidence produced from multiple intelligence agencies [19]. Notably, in 2018 in Helsinki, he cast doubt on Russia's role in the interference, putting forth a "both sides" narrative on both US Intelligence and Vladimir Putin. To quote the interview published in a fact check by FactCheck.org [20]:
Reporter, July 16: Just now, President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. What — who — my first question for you, sir, is who do you believe? My second question is would you now, with the whole world watching, tell President Putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again?
Trump: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee?
I’ve been wondering that, I’ve been asking that for months and months and I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know where is the server and what is the server saying?
With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coates came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be. But I really do want to see the server.
But I have — I have confidence in both parties. I — I really believe that this will probably go on for a while, but I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing; where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s e-mails? 33,000 e-mails gone — just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily. I think it’s a disgrace that we can’t get Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 e-mails.
I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer. Ok? Thank you.
Further, he also pushed for Russia to be included in the G7 Summit, much to the disapproval of other member nations. In an article from Reuters [21]:
Trump over the weekend had raised the prospect of expanding the G7, whose members are the world’s most advanced economies, to once again include Russia, which had been expelled in 2014 following Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Final Conclusion

All these events, combined with the indictment of his campaign officials certainly cast doubt over the "tough on Russia" claim. The claim of being "even harder than the previous administration" becomes even more outrageous, especially since relations were already strained during the previous administration and Russia was not as aggressive in its operations. I would therefore have to reject the claim of "Trump was tougher on Russia than the previous administration" and label it as somewhat true but still disputable at best if considering only policies and not personal actions, as Russia's aggressions warranted action regardless of the sitting President, and false at worst when considering the broader picture.

Potential Improvements

The actions of the Trump administration with regards to Syria and Iran have not been examined. Further, there are additional ties that the President seems to have to Russian oligarchs but they have been left out in the interest of examining the evidence presented. The report on the sanctions by the Congressional Research Service has also not been thoroughly read and thus, its findings have been left out at the time of writing.
submitted by AB1908 to RussiaLago [link] [comments]

2020.08.31 01:14 Chronic_Worrywart When did the Romans stop considering themselves to be a Republic?

I know that historians date the transition from Republic to Empire to reign of Caesar Augustus, but I also understand that, from perspective of the Romans themselves, it didn't really seem like that at the time. The emperor at first was seen as just a very powerful politician. The Senate and the other trappings of the Republic remained.
But clearly, at some point, the ideal of Rome being a Republic was fully discarded. Eventually, the very word "emperor" came to mean an especially powerful or superordinate monarch. Certainly, by the time of the Emperor Justinian, the "Republic" was indistinguishable from any other despotism. And Charlemagne was literally coronated as the ostensible heir to the Western emperors.
So when did the Roman citizenry stop thinking of their polity as a representative Republic? When was the term "republic" discarded, and when did the concept of emperor as "great king" replace that of emperor as "powerful politician"?
submitted by Chronic_Worrywart to AskHistorians [link] [comments]

2020.08.28 07:21 saintash I(34f) haven't spoken to my mother (63f) in 6 months.Today she tried to buy me off.

So I would not say I had a good or happy childhood. My parents had a Pretty rough divorce when I was 3. My father remarried to a Woman who was abusive. And My mother Hardly showed up on custody weekends (I spent a good chunk of them with my grandmother.)
Now I have done a TON of emotional digging with my issues and family issues and While i haven't necessarily forgiven , My father for being distant and just letting the abuse happen, why My stepmother was the way she is. Hell even my mother had a pretty shitty childhood her stepmother was addicted to speed pills.
So I try really hard to keep an open mind.
Last year I was working a job that critically underpaid me. It Made me miserable, and I was living with a Really really shitty Roommate. So I made Plans to meet some online friends for the first time up in December, One of which I had a Massive Crush on to get me through the day to day.
Just as I took that job, My stepmother had left for Italy, and my dad raced to help me get a really old car 1998 rav 4 behind her back. Now I had planed to Bike to work 5 miles until winter and hopefully saved up enough by then to get a something. But This was just an Awesome unexpected thing my dad did for me. the Car was in pretty great shape needed a little work but only had 113K miles on it.
My mother was pissed as she had been trying to talk me into a car for years/promising she could help me get one. and with my Father getting me the car to her I was just listening to him and doing what he said.
Cut to a two week before my friends are coming, Two major things happen.
Now of course the week she is coming Is the fucking week My friends are Due in and she wants me to come up and visit I lived In PA, My sister a little upstate from the City in NY. I explain that not only did I Have plans that week , But I'm extra stressed from the Dealing with car accident stuff. My Mother pushes back she wants to see me that I should just blow my friends off one day and just come do a Christmas thing with her and the grand kids.
I don't back down and I meet up With my Online friends, Get drunk tell My friend I like him, He likes me back. We start dating. I visit him in January, we make plans to move in together In June.
Now while I Am making almost nothing at my crappy job, I did get some good PTO time at the start of the year, And now knowing I don't have to save it for all year. I call up my grandmother and offer to come Visit for her Birthday.
I tell my mother I am coming down for My grandmothers the birthday and she wants me to visit my grandmother for the one day and go back to her place 4 hours away from my grandmother.
My mother doesn't get along with my Step-grandpa, they fight a lot. so she doesn't want to stay at my grandparents.
I have no interest going back to her home. As its not only that was going to be a Ton of traveling for me in the 4 days I took off. there are other factors for one my Mothers car is not in the best condition, and has a pretty rough reminder for me in it. to not get into the rougher details, My sister broke the front seat belt shoot up. she holds her phone while driving and isn't a good driver with two hands.
So from January to march she is constantly trying to get me to go back to her house and I'm not interested. I offer to put her up in a cheep motel for a night or two and she instantly starts calling me "money bags"
I'm making 11.50 and hour.
Finally I go to On this trip. and basically she Walked In, Instantly started to make work calls. Upsets my step grandfather. And basically does everything she can to make me Regret Not going back to her house. then turning to me and going "see i told you this would be horrible."
Finally after two days of this I snap and say." she is lucky I'm even talking to her right now." and this Turns into a HUGE fight, where she dramatically threatens to leave, in the middle of the night in her shitty car, my grandma is crying, My step grandpa is ready to throw me out.
My mothers Problems with me are many but the big ones boils down to three things 1) she is mad about the car thing, thinks because my father helped me with the car I jump and do whatever he says.
2) she is Mad i didn't visit her on when she visited my sister, while at the same time and tries to claim I am not giving her credit that her advise about 'finding a man to make me happy'
3)That iim resentful and she can tell because she gave birth to me.
So I basically worked two weeks for this shitty trip and I am fucking done, For my grandmothers sake I play nice for the next morning. i speak Polity and calmly to her when she calls to say she made it home, And I haven't spoken to her since.
she sent a stupid Apology filled with fucking emoticons, saying she didn't mean most of the horrible stuff she said and I haven't responded.
As I said I didn't have a great childhood and there has been times when I distanced myself from my Dad and step mother, gone a few months with out speaking to my mother to calm down. But this one this one I needed a lot of time. I let her know I was alive after I moved, and haven't texted or answered her calls since.
The thing is I know she has a lot of hard times in her life some her fault, some not. She is a lonely woman, who refuses to get therapy, as she grew up with so many people judging her she just believes that he any therapist she talks to will.
Today she sent me a text "I want to send you some money Maybe then you will call me and thank me."
I am just flabbergasted that she doesn't understand why I'm not talking to her, Its not about money I don't want her money she doesn't have any to spare. its how she treats me, then thinks I just should let it go when she says terrible shit to me and I'm incredibly insulted she thinks cause I'm broke she can Pay me to talk to her.
Now my wonderful boyfriend thinks that she is just looking to talk to me and i should keep it simple with a "I'm okay no thanks" if im going to respond to her at all.
TL;DR: My mother ruined my trip to my grandmothers, is now trying to bait me into talking to either by giving me money, or have me respond to that insult.
submitted by saintash to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2020.08.13 10:03 pog99 "Aryans sailed to Africa and brought them Iron!"

Where to begin?
Much like my last post on lynching, this was an old internet page that I thought was too stupid to be true.
Here's the first slip and fall into logic and research.
Notice the high instance of R1b in the exact same spot as the origin of the spoked wheel chariot. The most likely way such a genetic hotspot could exist after all those centuries of invasion was if it was the source.
But what could be the reason for the R1b hotspot in Africa, along the Camaroon/ Nigerian border? According to the Chariot map, Aryans were crossing the channel into England around 500BC, so they must have had some seafaring capability in the 6th century BC.
He believes that, paralleling the expansion of Aryans into the British Isles, Aryans used their sailing skills to arrive in Central Africa.
Before anyone starts playing Devil's advocate, it's been known since 2010 at least that the variant of R1b, R-V88, is closer to divergent lingeages within the continent by various Nomadic groups than to Modern Day Europeans or old Aryan DNA. Closest variants outside of Africa are among the least "Aryan" parts of Western Asia, Sardinia and Lebanon.
This post was made in 2015, and had he read deeper into the genetic he wouldn't have made this post.
"The Sao civilization may have begun as early as the sixth century BCE, and by the end of the first millennium BCE, their presence was well established south of Lake Chad and near the Chari River."
[This is the same area as the R1b hotspot]
"Little is known about the Sao's culture or political organisation: They left no written records and are known only through archaeological finds and the oral history of their successors in their territory. Sao artifacts show that they were skilled workers in bronze, copper, and iron. Finds include bronze sculptures and terra cotta statues of human and animal figures, coins, funerary urns, household utensils, jewelry, highly decorated pottery, and spears. The largest Sao archaeological finds have been made south of Lake Chad.
... Oral histories add further details about the people: The Sao were made up of several patrilineal clans who were united into a single polity with one language, race, and religion. In these narratives, the Sao are presented as giants and mighty warriors who fought and conquered their neighbors."
[my bold, italics. ]
There is no evidence of iron working anywhere in Africa before this date, yet not only did this group suddenly have skilled metal workers, but they were using it to make coins and jewelry. Creating valid money is something native Africans have not mastered to this day.
Okay, if you were able to withstand the insipid nature of this stream of logic, let me help you.
The Wikipedia page, as of now (not sure what it was like in 2015) clearly shows archaeological work indicates a local development (even hyper-diffusionist Dierk Lange notes how the archaeology, by itself, supports a local development), in fact the lack of writing would make it quite odd to associate its development to such a foreign people.
This data was established at least a decade before this post, another case of lazy research.
There are three major Sub Saharan sites of Iron Metallurgy around 500-400 B.C, Nok in Central Nigeria, Walalde in Senegal, and Urewe in the modern Great Lakes region of Central-East Africa.
The Sao isn't one of those for this interval. The earliest appearance of Iron alone anywhere in the area is Daima at a much later date than Taruga at Nok. Metallurgy for the Sao seems much later. These good, such as coins (which I haven't seen in primary sources) are most likely imported.
Moving on with the stupidity.
"In summary, there is no proof that iron working technology was taken across the Sahara into sub-Saharan Africa; nor is there proof of independent invention. ...
Even though the origin(s) of iron smelting are difficult to date by radiocarbon, there are fewer problems with using it to track the spread of ironworking after 400 BC. In the 1960s it was suggested that iron working was spread by speakers of Bantu languages, the original homeland of which has been located by linguists in the Benue River valley of eastern Nigeria and Western Cameroon. It has been since been shown that no words for iron or ironworking can be traced to reconstructed proto-Bantu..."
The Benue River is the river the R1b invaders would have had to go up to reach the R1b hotspot. That hotspot is right at the point the Benue river crosses from Nigeria into Cameroon. In other words, iron working magically appeared in a spot, and the blacks that lived there did not invent it because they did not invent the words to describe it, instead they borrowed the words from whomever did.
Okay, we already established that the earliest SSA Iron sites are not R1b "hotspots". Here we have a blatant example of manipulation of the Wikipedia entry, where it clearly shows researhc that traces origins for the words to either central Chadic or Proto-Bantu.
Although some assert that no words for iron or ironworking can be traced to reconstructed proto-Bantu,[29] place-names in West Africa suggest otherwise, for example (Okuta) Ilorin, literally "site of iron-work". The linguist Christopher Ehret argues that the first words for iron-working in Bantu languages were borrowed from Central Sudanic languages in the vicinity of modern Uganda and Kenya,[30] while Jan Vansina[31] argues instead that they originated in non-Bantu languages in Nigeria, and that iron metallurgy spread southwards and eastwards to Bantu speakers, who had already dispersed into the Congo rainforest and the Great Lakes region.
The Sao were urban in a land of herdsman and subsistence farmers.
Ah, so the Vikings grew Pearl Millet and kept herds of African cattle?
"Even today the remarkable culture of the Kotoko city-states, located south ofLake Chad, impresses visitors. According to oral traditions collected byanthropologists, the founders of the city-states were the Sao from whom theKotoko claim to descend. ...Yet, the question ofthe emergence of the Sao urban culture as such and hence of socialcomplexity remained until recently largely unsolved.
Followers of the Culture History School interpreted the Sao urban culture onthe basis of architectural features, furniture, and techniques as remnants ofan old Mediterranean civilisation that was once wide-spread across theCentral Sudan. It had been swept away “by the Islamic overflow and youngermigrations but retained by splinter groups and pagans as sunken culturalremnants”. On the basis of preliminary archaeological and oral dataspecialists of the Sao-Kotoko culture also first advanced the hypothesis of aMiddle Eastern origin of the town builders south of Lake Chad.
Nowadays, archaeologists agree on a purely local process leading gradually tosocial complexity. They suggest that the Sao-Kotoko towns were protected bytown walls in a middle phase only. According to most recent archaeologicalstudies, the first proto-urban settlements emerged at the western andsouthern fringes of the firgi flood plains around 500 BC. Initially,archaeologists explained this development with a climate model according towhich increasing desiccation led to urbanisation. Yet, further results showedthat the aquatic environment had not substantially changed by the middle ofthe first millennium. Therefore it seems necessary to search for alternativeexplanations for the emergence of social complexity in the Lake Chad area."[my bold italics][In other words, right around the time that Aryans were sailing into England, a group appeared up a river in Africa that started a process of urbanization that can't be explained by environmental reasons. At that very point advanced iron working also just happened to appear.]
"In view of it being impossible to ascribe tothe Sao a distinct linguistic identity, it should be considered whether theethnonym did not originally refer precisely to those people who introducedcity-building and social complexity into the region of Lake Chad."
"Everywhere in the former Borno Empire, the most prominent pre-Islamicinhabitants are called Sâo, Sâu, Sô or Sôo. They are said to having been giantswho built large buildings and produced high, thick-walled clay pots. HenceKanuri consider them town builders and producers of much larger containersthan in use nowadays. In Kawar and southern Fezzan they are thought tohave been the builders of mighty castles. The Kotoko likewise ascribe tothem the imposing clay architecture, the former town walls, and the large claypots that served as storage and burial containers. We are apparently facedhere with old and relatively precise traditions common to Kanuri and Kotoko,which refer to craftsmen no longer in existence."
"The Sao were not at all the autochthonous inhabitants of the Borno Empire asis often assumed. Various traditions confer to them a far-away place of origin..."
The passages are quotes from Dierk Lange, an improbably Hyper-diffusionist that connect medieval African states to Assyrians and the like. Here Lange argues, rather than Aryans, that semites in some shape or form contributed. By comparison Lange is on firmer ground, where at least there are legitmate cultural parallels. The Issues with Lange is the lack of evidence of diffusion beyond his linguistics.
So we see here, this commenter believes that sailing the Benue (from which starting point from the Niger?) Aryans brought Iron to Sub Saharan Africa (which has no relation to the "hotspots") in a manner he speculates to be a "colony" (something that was harder for advanced Europeans to pull off due to severe disease).
The genetic remnants?
"The Bororo Fulani, tall, thin nomads with lighter complexions than their sedentary kin, drive herds of cattle through this region."["this region" = northern Cameroon]
Ah, the Fulani. A favorite of the Hamitic Hypothesis now reinvented to serve as "Aryans". There are multiple problems. One, the Fulani are Niger-Congo Speakers that arrived to Cameroon in the late Medieval age, not 500 B.C. Two, the highest concentrations are in Chadic speaking groups) in Cameroon, not the Fulani (except for Fulani in Eastern Africa who are thus closer related to local Chadic speakers compared to Western ones). Fulani do seem to provide information on the origin of r1b.
I don't have any particular political or ideological axe to grind, but I thought it was a very interesting theory. It makes me wonder if in 2000 years someone might put forth a similar theory about the genetic peculiarities and myths in the southern tip of Africa.
Anyone familiar with anything you brought up would be aware of these blatant omissions and asinine speculation.
submitted by pog99 to badhistory [link] [comments]

2020.08.04 03:34 jw_mentions /r/TheMotte - "Culture War Roundup for the Week of August 03, 2020"

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Submission Culture War Roundup for the Week of August 03, 2020
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Related Comments (11):

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Author Viva_La_Muerte
Posted On Tue Aug 04 03:22:51 UTC 2020
Score 8 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:18 UTC 2020
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How do they reconcile their attitude to government with Romans 13, which says that the governing authorities were established by God?
I may have gone a bit overboard in the 'governments are tools of the devil' description. They don't believe every government official is being personally directed by demons or anything. They share the belief a lot of Christians do that God works all things, including evil, towards his ends. So even if human government is evil, God can still use it to maintain order and protect people. Much like how in the OT God used pagan kings for his purposes, but would not have allowed his people to worship pagan deities or partake in pagan rituals, I suppose.
And what is their general attitude towards the Bible
Inspired word of God, literal for the most part. They don't believe in evolution, but are flexible as to the age of the earth, for example. They believe the flood literally happened, as did the Tower of Babel and all of the events described in the OT.
Watchtower literature is supposed to be only interpretation and guidance, without any real divine authority. In practice though, it's got quite a lot of heft. The Governing Body (the leadership of the whole WTS, the collective pope of the JWs, more or less) is often accused by ex-JWs of twisting the Bible to their own ends, though of course they would argue otherwise.
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Author Viva_La_Muerte
Posted On Tue Aug 04 05:15:57 UTC 2020
Score 1 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:18 UTC 2020
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I feel a bit weird defending the WTS because, honestly, I'm not a fan despite my upbringing and the vaguely positive tone of the OP. The shunning is definitely a dealbreaker for me, as is some of the really ridiculous shit they ask their members to believe (some of the latest there is the 'overlapping generations' teaching. Originally, the world was supposed to end in 1914. It didn't, so it turns out Jesus assumed his invisible kingship in heaven that year instead. But the generation alive in 1914 will definitely see the end. Of course, that generation is now dropping like flies, so the Governing Body came out with the genius concept of overlapping generations. That is, anyone who was alive at the same time as anyone who was alive in 1914 is now part of the same generation. So they've probably bought themselves another good eighty years with that one, at least.) Nevertheless-
A lot of JWs definitely do have that 'robot' reaction and revert to an 'NPC script' upon confrontation. Though I've known some JWs who are able to give relatively erudite defenses of their beliefs, even if those beliefs are absurd, I would concede that the majority of JWs probably just accept what the Governing Body/ WT literature says and don't think much about it. But I would say that's probably true of most other believers, as well, if you swap out "Governing Body" for "the Church" or "their pastor".
I have met lots of people of other religions (and indeed, of no religion) who also have a bad habit of just 'repeating a script' or seeming completely unable to grasp a simple point if that point is directed against their doctrine. I suppose it would come down to "do JWs do it more than others" to which I would say...maybe?
The shunning is definitely something I myself am opposed to. But I think the only real difference between the JWs and other conservative Christians (and presumably other conservative religions with which I have little experience) in that respect is how institutionalized it is with the WTS. I know people who have basically been disowned by Evangelical or Catholic families for becoming unbelievers or other perceived sins, even if they're not mandated to do so by anyone.
So again I suppose it's a matter of degree. All religions have their degree of 'cultiness.' Do JWs have it to a greater extent than other religious groups? Again...maybe?
But I wouldn't (and obviously, I'm biased) be comfortable saying so with any real certainty.
but my impression was that the teachers would often avoid overtly identifying themselves as specifically teaching their faith, instead presenting themselves as just generally offering "Bible lessons." That always felt a bit underhanded to me.
I only rarely went out on field service, and never officially because I was a kid, but IME JWs are generally pretty open about belonging to a specific faith and trying to spread it. Of course, I expect that varies strongly from congregation to congregation and person to person.
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Author DWXXV
Posted On Mon Aug 03 23:24:45 UTC 2020
Score 19 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:18 UTC 2020
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I once had a JW patient who had sickle cell.
The disease can require blood transfusions and can be excruciatingly painful, more so without transfusions and such.
Patient still refused the transfusions.
I think it was crazy but gotta respect that level of dedication to something.
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Author OrangeMargarita
Posted On Tue Aug 04 07:08:56 UTC 2020
Score 1 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:19 UTC 2020
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Good post, thanks for the insights.
One of my parents has a cousin who married a JW and converted, and they raised their kids JW. We never discussed religion, when we'd see them at family gatherings once a year or so we'd just talk about the same random stuff everyone else would. They've always seemed to me about as normal as anyone else I could imagine. They homeschooled their kids which was the only major difference, but their kids weren't in any way socially awkward, and were way ahead of their public school peers academically, so I found that kind of impressive. But I guess when they first got married his conversion caused a bit of a stir in the family.
Growing up there was a Kingdom Hall on the other side of my block but I didn't know anyone who was a member there. Maybe their kids were homeschooled too, or maybe being such a small religious minority in our community JW kids didn't really advertise that they were JW's in school?
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Author solarity52
Posted On Tue Aug 04 02:52:24 UTC 2020
Score 18 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:19 UTC 2020
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A great essay on a subject I always wanted to learn more about. My curiosity was piqued many years ago when I read Hitler's Table Talk which was a transcription of his nightly conversations with whoever happened to be his houseguests. I found it very interesting that the only religious group which Hitler spoke about with genuine respect were the JW's. He admired their incredible resistance to renouncing their beliefs, even while being subjected to horrific torture and brutality. It certainly didn't prevent him from doing everything in his power to wipe out the German JW's but he was mystified and amazed at the strength of their inner resolve.
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Author Viva_La_Muerte
Posted On Tue Aug 04 00:36:49 UTC 2020
Score 17 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:19 UTC 2020
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I wouldn't say that in their personal lives JWs have a higher or lower proportion of great people than any other religious group, but they certainly do put a lot of effort into presentability and coming across as personable.
Where I was, facial hair was largely frowned upon, but it's seen as a 'conscience matter.' Most JWs I know also sent their kids to public school, so your homeschooling comment surprised me a bit. That's probably also a regional variation, or it may be something that's changed with time, too. They have a rather poor retention rate that is getting worse, AFAIK, so that may also be part of it.
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Author Madgreeds
Posted On Mon Aug 03 23:42:51 UTC 2020
Score 29 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:20 UTC 2020
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I work in a public facing job (beauty industry) in a JW heavy area. Oddly enough, this makes me one of the few non-JW who frequently talks with JW outside of explicit proselytizing.
Almost all are great people. The whole believing in demon stuff is about the only thing that Id describe as outwardly odd about them. When I ask about their homeschooling routines they almost always feel the need to drop that they wish they could do public schooling but there is too much “satanic influence” there.
A point some may find interesting about JW: They take their appearance very very seriously. Grooming and fashion standards vary regionally. For example in my area keeping facial hair is acceptable, but in areas where its less common it is discouraged. Modern hairstyles are fine, but anything too fancy like a mullet or faux hawk is avoided.
They do this because they believe their message is ultra important and thus they want to “fit in” as much as possible stylistically where they live.
Dunno why it surprised me so much when I was starting out, but it was very interesting to me how much effort JW put into their outward appearance.
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Author Gbdub87
Posted On Tue Aug 04 00:57:19 UTC 2020
Score 14 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:20 UTC 2020
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First, thanks for writing this! It was interesting and enlightening.
The “everyone in earthly authority is controlled by demons, and if you try to participate in those things you’ll be overcome by demons too” idea seems like it would be a natural barrier to ever being anything other than a fringe minority. For purely practical reasons, not (just) because that belief is a hard sell today.
What I mean is, say the JWs are much more successful at proselytizing and most of the world converts (in theory, a massive success!). Wouldn’t society collapse out of everyone being unwilling to manage worldly affairs?
I think that’s one thing that makes it feel “culty“ - the idea that being a fringe, intentionally apart from the rest of society, is a core part of the identity.
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Author xab31
Posted On Tue Aug 04 02:25:18 UTC 2020
Score 12 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:21 UTC 2020
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How do they reconcile their attitude to government with Romans 13, which says that the governing authorities were established by God?
And what is their general attitude towards the Bible -- literal Word of God, figurative, supplemented by Watchtower books, etc?
I guess I may still be a Jehovah's Witness at heart.
...it's had a real impact on my ideals and character to this day
I was raised Church of Christ, another obscure denomination with its own peculiar beliefs (although oddly common in this sub, it seems, although I think there are reasons for that), and though I don't believe it any more, I can totally sympathize with this.
What I find so fascinating about the JWs is that as a religious group they seem to have succeeded as far as it is possible in charting a truly neutral course and abstracting themselves from the world
I think the more "weird" beliefs a religious subgroup has, the more staying power it will have, for two reasons. One is that it makes you look odd to the rest of society, and you will therefore find it more convenient to hang out with your insular group. The second reason is that some of these beliefs require real commitment (no transfusions??), and therefore they weed out casuals, which tend to liberalize religions, ultimately watering them down into meaninglessness.
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Author Viva_La_Muerte
Posted On Mon Aug 03 22:52:40 UTC 2020
Score 104 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:22 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 29
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Some here may be interested to learn some about a group in American society that you are probably are familiar with, but likely don’t know much about. More specifically, that group's position (or lack of position) in what seems like an all-consuming culture war: the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I was semi-raised as a JW. Neither of my parents were actually baptized (my father was actively hostile to the Watchtower Society), nor was I. But many of my aunts and uncles were, and I was largely raised by them as a kid because my mother and father were gone a lot.
Everyone knows the image of Jehovah’s Witnesses going door to door annoying the neighborhood and asking if “you have a moment to talk about our Lord and Savior” (though they never use that actual language), and might know they don’t celebrate holidays or accept blood transfusions, but a lot of their beliefs are unknown to most Americans.
Like Mormons, they have a lot of bizarre theology that really sets them apart from most of mainstream Christianity and leads to most other Christians not actually counting JWs as fellow Christians.
They don’t believe in the Trinity. They believe Jesus is not God, but God’s first creation, identical to the Archangel Michael, and also the agent through which Jehovah created everything else. They also don’t believe the Holy Spirit is God, or even a person, but rather simply a term for Jehovah's ‘active force’ working in the world.
They don’t believe in heaven or hell (they believe Heaven exists, but it is the abode of Jehovah and the angels, not a destination for humans--with some caveats). The soul does not persist apart from the body. Unbelievers (i.e, non-JWs) will be destroyed at Armageddon, and simply cease to exist. The righteous (i.e, JWs) ‘fall asleep’ upon death, and are resurrected on the last day to live forever on a renewed paradise earth.
Where I think the JWs are especially interesting is in the realm of political and social issues.
On first glance, they map pretty neatly to the conservative, right-wing value system. They believe marriage is between one man and one woman, wives and children are to submit to the 'headship' of the man of the house, smoking, drinking (‘to excess’), and premarital sex are sinful, divorce is not allowed, etc. Racy media and media with occult themes are to be avoided. They are certainly not religious pluralists or ‘all paths lead to God’ types, and firmly believe their belief system is the only way to eternal life. They frequently bemoan the (as they see it) increasingly corrupt, perverse, and godless state of the world.
In those respects, they strongly resemble Evangelicals, the group I would say they have the most commonality with (except maybe Mormons in other ways).
But that’s about where they part ways with the mainstream religious right.
The first big difference is their attitude towards patriotism. Evangelicals are notoriously patriotic, and of course one of the GOP’s most solid bases. I think they've been found to have the highest reported rates of patriotism of any religious group in the US.
JWs on the other hand have more disdain for patriotism than the most hardcore cosmopolitan liberals. For them, the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ isn’t a nice phrase for the fellowship of all Christians or anything—it’s a literal supernatural polity and they are its subjects. On the other hand, all human governments are tools of Satan in his capacity as ‘god of this world,’ and will be destroyed by Christ at his second coming. Consequently, serving in the military, running for office, endorsing a candidate, voting, political lobbying, or even pledging allegiance to the flag are tantamount to swearing fealty to Lucifer. You will never hear a JW say anything like 'we need to turn the country back to God' or 'bring prayer back to schools', and you will never hear one say, ‘God bless America.’
They would consider a conservative Evangelical claiming that God is working through Trump, or a liberal Christian claiming that Jesus would support modern notions of racial and social justice, to both be uttering blasphemies.
Which leads to the next point—their racial/ethnic diversity. Evangelicals and the American religious right in general are notoriously white. Ditto for Mormons and probably most other small Christian denominations (many of which, like the Amish, are ethnic groups as much as denominations), save perhaps some which are instead overwhelmingly black. JWs on the other hand have no majority race/ethnicity and are quite remarkably diverse. I can testify to that from personal experience. Kingdom Hall meetings are mind-numbingly boring, so when I was little, I often counted faces to pass the time. Those faces were very multichromatic.
Statistics bear this out. JWs have no majority race/ethnicity. They have very a slim white plurality, followed by Hispanics, and then blacks. I have also, personally, noted a very high rate of interracial marriage among JWs, though I can’t back that up with stats. I suspect if you gave the average JW one of those racial in-group bias tests, they would score as low or even lower than your average white liberal.
Something you might not grasp if you just look up ‘what do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe’ is that they really, truly believe in Satan and demons. Not just in a ‘oh Satan is tempting me’ way or even in a 'yeah demonic possession can happen' way, but as in they deeply believe there are hordes of evil spirits wandering the earth right now that can and will fuck with you, personally and this is something you, personally, need to be worried about. Even the more religious conservative Christians I’ve known may say things like ‘demons are very real’ or ‘Satan is not a metaphor,’ but by and large (obligatory in my experience) they don’t really act like it. If you tell an evangelical or a traditionalist Catholic that you’re pretty sure you were attacked by a demon last night they’re probably only a little less likely than anyone else to give you a weird look.
JWs absolutely walk the walk in this respect. If you are a JW you almost certainly know someone who claims firsthand experience with demonic possession, cursed dolls, witchcraft, etc. I personally have several family members who will swear they’ve been personally assaulted by the forces of the evil one. My uncle believed he had nearly been killed by a clown doll, and my aunt insisted upon covering up the Catholic iconography in a house we once stayed in for fear it would draw demons to us, something she said had happened to her before. I also knew some people who believed Criss Angel had actual supernatural powers. Go search ‘demons’ or ‘demonic’ on /exJW if you want some fun stories.
So, in summation you have highly socially conservative people that also despise patriotism and ethnic and tribal loyalties, consider government and political participation to be literally Satanic by default, and live in a 24/7 Conjuring movie.
JWs are quite strict and serious about their religion. They will certainly kick you out if you insist on violating their teachings and will coerce your friends and family still in the faith into shunning you or else suffering the same penalty. They have often been labelled a cult, especially by ex-JWs understandably upset about such treatment. They certainly have cult-like aspects, like the aforementioned habit of 'disfellowshipping'. The Watchtower Society also has a bad habit of predicting the end of the world and being wrong. They finally stopped setting dates after the last embarrassment in 1975, but Armageddon is still perpetually just around the corner. The WTS also has an impressive ability to pull absurd teachings out of thin air that all but flatly contradict previous teachings, and pretend they never taught differently. But personally, I would not say they are a cult any more than Mormons or Evangelicals (though that's not necessarily a great compliment IMO). And I believe the only real distinction between 'cult' and 'religion' is size.
What I find so fascinating about the JWs is that as a religious group they seem to have succeeded as far as it is possible in charting a truly neutral course and abstracting themselves from the world, and really do live in another reality wherein the political and social battles that are so dear to most everyone else just don’t matter. How could you care about wealth inequality, or woke corporations, or whether progressivism is destroying the country or Trump has dictatorial ambitions when you’re fighting literal demons? There’s no side to take because, top to bottom, left to right, liberal to conservative, it’s all the same side: the devil’s side. It's a waste of time trying to change it, and the only good thing that will ever happen to 'this system of things,' as they call it, is its imminent destruction by an army of angels.
That's more or less how I grew up, and even though I haven't believed in anything the WTS teaches in a long time, it's had a real impact on my ideals and character to this day. Certainly, I'm still instinctively leery about things like tarot cards or fortune telling, even though I don't believe in demons or witchcraft. I have a lot of gut conservative instincts probably traceable to the WTS, but notably I have never had the least patriotic sentiment. I tend to find myself regularly thinking along the lines of 'the whole system is evil to the core anyways, what's the point?' and am quite politically disengaged (beyond online intellectual masturbation) because engaging in real life politics still makes me feel rather dirty.
I guess I may still be a Jehovah's Witness at heart.
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Author TracingWoodgrains
Posted On Tue Aug 04 04:42:01 UTC 2020
Score 25 as of Wed Aug 05 05:14:22 UTC 2020
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Thanks for the fascinating post! "Inside view of childhood faiths" is, ah, a genre I'm quite fond of.
I would not say they are a cult any more than Mormons or Evangelicals (though that's not necessarily a great compliment IMO)
Oh hey, catnip. Don't mind if I do.
I would.
Well, I wouldn't use the word "cult" because I don't like it and don't think it's helpful, and I do think there are some Mormons and Evangelicals who would fit the same description, but JWs have always unsettled me more than all but the most hardcore Evangelicals. The shunning and coercion around people who leave is the biggest factor by far. The average Mormon doesn't do that, Mormonism doesn't encourage it, and someone who did would in most cases quickly be called out by others. They have trouble with boundaries around "less-active" members, but there's no shunning. I really can't underscore enough how big a deal this difference is. Losing your belief structure is hard enough. To know that the people around you will be instructed to cut you off if you step away? I can't imagine that, and see it as wholly evil. Some evangelicals do the same, but my impression is that it's more codified among JWs.
Back when I was an active Mormon, I pointed to all the missed apocalypses, but Mormonism has its own problems with rewriting history so I'll call that one a draw. Evangelicals don't have as much recent history to rewrite.
More, though, my encounters with Jehovah's Witnesses were generally qualitatively different to my encounters with almost everyone else. A Baha'i, Seventh Day Adventist, or Quaker? You could have a great conversation if they weren't busy. Atheists? They'd mostly laugh or just dismiss you. Assorted Christian denominations? Anyone's guess - usually negative but not strongly so. Jehovah's Witnesses? I don't know, man. It got weird.
One of our regular encounters with them was more second-hand: We'd talk to someone, and they'd talk about how they had a couple of bible teachers come by sometimes, and we'd realize "oh, shoot, they know JWs." But my impression was that the teachers would often avoid overtly identifying themselves as specifically teaching their faith, instead presenting themselves as just generally offering "Bible lessons." That always felt a bit underhanded to me.
Weirder, though, was when a JW agreed to actually sit down with us and hear one of our "lessons" out. I have never in my life felt more like I was talking to a video game NPC than in that conversation. It was like she had a memorized script that she was determined to revert to no matter what we said, culminating in her pulling out the Bible to point us to one of the verses with the name Jehovah in it (probably Exodus 6:3), then looking expectantly at us. Like, we had plenty of conversations where people disagreed with us, but few that felt so cold or robotic.
One last story—my favorite. We ended up chatting with this friendly bloke, youngish and a bit lonely seeming, and found out he was a (not particularly hardcore) JW. What followed was a hilarious few minutes where he began to explain, by analogy, why we might have gotten a cold reception from other JWs in the past. I'll try to recapture it: Okay, okay. Imagine you pick up an apple and find out it has a rotten bit, right? Now, some people—like me—they might be comfortable just eating the rest of the apple around the rotten bit. But others, after seeing one bit that's rotten, will just throw the whole apple out. So anyway, your religion is kinda like the rotten bit of the apple, so a lot of us figure it's just best to avoid you, but I don't mind. We had a great conversation with him all told, but that sort of encouragement towards isolation strikes me as unhealthy in a way other faiths don't.
It might just be narcissism of small differences speaking, but Mormons tend to read JWs as extremely unsettling/culty, and my personal encounters haven't dramatically shifted that impression. At least in my circles, the scale of perceived religious weirdness looked something like: Scientology < FLDS < JWs < Islam? < everything else. I'd rank things a bit differently now, but any group that practices the sort of shunning they do earns pretty hard opposition from me.
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2020.07.30 10:29 Reddit-STD-4-FREEDOM “Charity” Accused of Sex Abuse Coordinating ID2020’s Pilot Program For Refugee Newborns

If the networks of the U.S. military, the U.S. intelligence community and a slew of other U.S. federal agencies were running the software of a company with deep ties, not only to foreign companies with a history of espionage against the U.S. but also foreign military intelligence, it would — at the very least — garner substantial media attention. Yet, no media reports to date have noted that such a scenario exists on a massive scale and that the company making such software recently simulated the cancellation of the 2020 election and the declaration of martial law in the United States.
Earlier this month, MintPress News reported on the simulations for the U.S. 2020 election organized by the company Cybereason, a firm led by former members of Israel’s military intelligence Unit 8200 and advised by former top and current officials in both Israeli military intelligence and the CIA. Those simulations, attended by federal officials from the FBI, DHS and the U.S. Secret Service, ended in disaster, with the elections ultimately canceled and martial law declared due to the chaos created by a group of hackers led by Cybereason employees.
The first installment of this three part series delved deeply into Cybereason’s ties to the intelligence community of Israel and also other agencies, including the CIA, as well as the fact that Cybereason stood to gain little financially from the simulations given that their software could not have prevented the attacks waged against the U.S.’ electoral infrastructure in the exercise.
Also noted was the fact that Cybereason software could be potentially used as a backdoor by unauthorized actors, a possibility strengthened by the fact that the company’s co-founders all previously worked for firms that have a history of placing backdoors into U.S. telecommunications and electronic infrastructure as well as aggressive espionage targeting U.S. federal agencies.
The latter issue is crucial in the context of this installment of this exclusive MintPress series, as Cybereason’s main investors turned partners have integrated Cybereason’s software into their product offerings. This means that the clients of these Cybereason partner companies, the U.S. intelligence community and military among them, are now part of Cybereason’s network of more than 6 million endpoints that this private company constantly monitors using a combination of staff comprised largely of former intelligence operatives and an AI algorithm first developed by Israeli military intelligence.
Cybereason, thus far, has disclosed the following groups as lead investors in the company: Charles River Ventures (CRV), Spark Capital, Lockheed Martin and SoftBank. Charles River Ventures (CRV) was among the first to invest in Cybereason and has been frequently investing in other Israeli tech start-upsthat were founded by former members of the elite Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200 over the last few years. Spark Capital, based in California, appears to have followed CRV’s interest in Cybereason since the venture capitalist who co-founded Spark and led its investment in Cybereason is a former CRV partnerwho still has close ties to the firm.
While CRV and Spark Capital seem like just the type of investors a company like Cybereason would attract given their clear interest in similar tech start-ups coming out of Israel’s cyber sector, Cybereason’s other lead investors — Lockheed Martin and SoftBank — deserve much more attention and scrutiny.

Cybereason widely used by US Government, thanks to Lockheed

“A match made in heaven,” trumpeted Forbes at the news of the Lockheed Martin-Cybereason partnership, first forged in 2015. The partnership involved not only Lockheed Martin becoming a major investor in the cybersecurity company but also in Lockheed Martin becoming the largest conduit providing Cybereason’s software to U.S. federal and military agencies.
Indeed, as Forbes noted at the time, not only did Lockheed invest in the company, it decided to integrate Cybereason’s software completely into its product portfolio, resulting in a “model of both using Cybereason internally, and selling it to both public and private customers.”
Cybereason CEO and former offensive hacker for Israeli military intelligence — Lior Div — said the following of the partnership:
Lockheed Martin invested in Cybereason’s protection system after they compared our solution against a dozen others from the top industry players. The US firm was so impressed with the results they got from Cybereason that they began offering it to their own customers – among them most of the top Fortune 100 companies, and the US federal government. Cybereason is now the security system recommended by LM to its customers for protection from a wide (sic) malware and hack attacks.”
Rich Mahler, then-director of Commercial Cyber Services at Lockheed Martin,told Defense Daily that the company’s decision to invest in Cybereason, internally use its software, and include the technology as part of Lockheed Martin’s cyber solutions portfolio were all “independent business decisions but were all coordinated and timed with the transaction.”
How independent each of those decisions actually was is unclear, especially given the timing of Lockheed Martin’s investment in Cybereason, whose close and troubling ties to Israeli intelligence as well as the CIA were noted in the previous installment of this investigative series. Indeed, about a year prior to their investment in the Israeli military intelligence-linked Cybereason, Lockheed Martin opened an office in Beersheba, Israel, where the IDF has its “cyberhub”. The office is focused not on the sales of armaments, but instead on technology.
Marilyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s CEO, said the following during her speechthat inaugurated the company’s Beersheba office:
The consolidation of IDF Technical Units to new bases in the Negev Desert region is an important transformation of Israel’s information technology capability…We understand the challenges of this move. Which is why we are investing in the facilities and people that will ensure we are prepared to support for these critical projects. By locating our new office in the capital of the Negev we are well positioned to work closely with our Israeli partners and stand ready to: accelerate project execution, reduce program risk and share our technical expertise by training and developing in-country talent.”
Beersheba not only houses the IDF’s technology campus, but also the Israel National Cyber Directorate, which reports directly to Israel’s Prime Minister, as well as a high-tech corporate park that mostly houses tech companies with ties to Israel’s military intelligence apparatus. The area has been cited in several media reports as a visible indicator of the public-private merger between Israeli technology companies, many of them started by Unit 8200 alumni, and the Israeli government and its intelligence services. Lockheed Martin quickly became a key fixture in the Beersheba-based cyberhub.
Not long before Lockheed began exploring the possibility of opening an office in Beersheba, the company was hacked by individuals who used tokens tied to the company, RSA Security, whose founders have ties to Israel’s defense establishment and which is now owned by Dell, a company also deeply tied to the Israeli government and tech sector. The hack, perpetrated by still unknown actors, may have sparked Lockheed’s subsequent interest in Israel’s cybersecurity sector.
Soon after opening its Beersheba office, Lockheed Martin created its Israel subsidiary, Lockheed Martin Israel. Unlike many of the company’s other subsidiaries, this one is focused exclusively on “cybersecurity, enterprise information technology, data centers, mobile, analytics and cloud” as opposed to the manufacture and design of armaments.
Haden Land, then-vice president of research and technology for Lockheed Martin, told the Wall Street Journal that the creation of the subsidiary was largely aimed at securing contracts with the IDF and that the company’s Israel subsidiary would soon be seeking partnership and investments in pursuit of that end. Land oversaw the local roll-out of the company’s Israel subsidiary while concurrently meeting with Israeli government officials. According to the Journal, Land “oversees all of Lockheed Martin’s information-systems businesses, including defense and civilian commercial units” for the United States and elsewhere.
Just a few months later, Lockheed Martin partnered and invested in Cybereason, suggesting that Lockheed’s decision to do so was aimed at securing closer ties with the IDF. This further suggests that Cybereason still maintains close ties to Israeli military intelligence, a point expounded upon in great detail in the previous installment of this series.
Thus, it appears that not only does Lockheed Martin use Cybereason’s software on its own devices and on those it manages for its private and public sector clients, but it also decided to use the company’s software in this way out of a desire to more closely collaborate with the Israeli military in matters related to technology and cybersecurity.
The cozy ties between Lockheed Martin, one of the U.S. government’s largest private contractors, and the IDF set off alarm bells, then and now, for those concerned with U.S. national security. Such concern makes it important to look at the extent of Cybereason’s use by federal and military agencies in the United States through their contracting of Lockheed Martin’s Information Technology (IT) division. This is especially important considering Israeli military intelligence’s history of using espionage, blackmail and private tech companies against the U.S. government, as detailed here.
While the exact number of U.S. federal and military agencies using Cybereason’s software is unknown, it is widespread, with Lockheed Martin’s IT division as the conduit. Indeed, Lockheed Martin was the number one IT solutions provider to the U.S. federal government up until its IT division was spun off and merged with Leidos Holdings. As a consequence, Leidos is now the largest IT provider to the U.S. government and is also directly partnered with Cybereason in the same way Lockheed Martin was. Even after its IT division was spun off, Lockheed Martin continues to use Cybereason’s software in its cybersecurity work for the Pentagon and still maintains a stake in the company.
The Leidos-Lockheed Martin IT hybrid provides a litany of services to the U.S. military and U.S. intelligence. As investigative journalist Tim Shorrock noted for The Nation, the company does “everything from analyzing signals for the NSA to tracking down suspected enemy fighters for US Special Forces in the Middle East and Africa” and, following its merger with Lockheed and consequential partnership with Cybereason, became “the largest of five corporations that together employ nearly 80 percent of the private-sector employees contracted to work for US spy and surveillance agencies.” Shorrock also notes that these private-sector contractors now dominate the mammoth U.S. surveillance apparatus, many of them working for Leidos and — by extension — using Cybereason’s software.
Leidos’ exclusive use of Cybereason software for cybersecurity is also relevant for the U.S. military since Leidos runs a number of sensitive systems for the Pentagon, including its recently inked contract to manage the entire military telecommunications infrastructure for Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). In addition to maintaining the military telecom network, Cybereason is also directly partnered with World Wide Technologies (WWT) as of this past October. WWT manages cybersecurity for the U.S. Army, maintains DISA’s firewalls and data storage as well as the U.S. Air Force’s biometric identification system. WWT also manages contracts for NASA, itself a frequent target of Israeli government espionage, and the U.S. Navy. WWT’s partnership is similar to the Lockheed/Leidos partnership in that Cybereason’s software is now completely integrated into its portfolio, giving the company full access to the devices on all of these highly classified networks.
Many of these new partnerships with Cybereason, including its partnership with WWT, followed claims made by members of Israel’s Unit 8200 in 2017 that the popular antivirus software of Kaspersky Labs contained a backdoor for Russian intelligence, thereby compromising U.S. systems. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the alleged backdoor but did not mention the involvement of Unit 8200 in identifying it, a fact revealed by the New York Times a week later.
Notably, none of the evidence Unit 8200 used to blame Kaspersky has been made public and Kaspersky noted that it was actually Israeli hackers that had been discovered planting backdoors into its platform prior to the accusation levied against Kaspersky by Unit 8200. As the New York Times noted:
Investigators later discovered that the Israeli hackers had implanted multiple back doors into Kaspersky’s systems, employing sophisticated tools to steal passwords, take screenshots, and vacuum up emails and documents.”
Unit 8200’s claims ultimately led the U.S. government to abandon Kaspersky’s products entirely in 2018, allowing companies like Cybereason (with its own close ties to Unit 8200) to fill the void. Indeed, the very agencies that banned Kaspersky now use cybersecurity software that employs Cybereason’s EDR system. No flags have been raised about Cybereason’s own collaboration with the very foreign intelligence service that first pointed the finger at Kaspersky and that previously sold software with backdoors to sensitive U.S. facilities.

SoftBank, Cybereason and the Vision Fund

While its entry into the U.S. market and U.S. government networks is substantial, Cybereason’s software is also run throughout the world on a massive scale through partnerships that have seen it enter into Latin American and European markets in major ways in just the last few months. It has also seen its software become prominent in Asia following a partnership with the company Trustwave. Much of this rapid expansion followed a major injection of cash courtesy of one of the company’s biggest clients and now its largest investor, Japan’s SoftBank.
SoftBank first invested in Cybereason in 2015, the same year Lockheed Martin initially invested and partnered with the firm. It was also the year that SoftBank announced its intention to invest in Israeli tech start-ups. SoftBank first injected $50 million into Cybereason, followed by an additional $100 million in 2017 and $200 million last August. SoftBank’s investments account for most of the moneyraised by the company since it was founded in 2012 ($350 million out of $400 million total).
Prior to investing, Softbank was a client of Cybereason, which Ken Miyauchi, president of SoftBank, noted when making the following statement after Softbank’s initial investment in Cybereason:
SoftBank works to obtain cutting edge technology and outstanding business models to lead the Information Revolution. Our deployment of the Cybereason platform internally gave us firsthand knowledge of the value it provides, and led to our decision to invest. I’m confident Cybereason and SoftBank’s new product offering will bring a new level of security to Japanese organizations.”
SoftBank — one of Japan’s largest telecommunications companies — not only began to deploy Cybereason internally but directly partnered with it after investing, much like Lockheed Martin had done around the same time. This partnership resulted in SoftBank and Cybereason creating a joint venture in Japan and Cybereason creating partnerships with other tech companies acquired by SoftBank, including the U.K.’s Arm, which specializes in making chips and management platforms for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
SoftBank’s interest in Cybereason is significant, particularly in light of Cybereason’s interest in the 2020 U.S. election, given that SoftBank has significant ties to key allies of President Trump and even the president himself.
Indeed, SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son was among the first wave of international business leaders who sought to woo then-president-elect Trump soon after the 2016 election. Son first visited Trump Tower in December 2016 and announced, with Trump by his side in the building’s lobby, that SoftBank would invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 jobs. Trump subsequently claimed on Twitter that Son had only decided to make this investment because Trump had won the election.
Son told reporters at the time that the investment would come from a $100 billion fund that would be created in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund as well as other investors. “I just came to celebrate his new job. I said, ‘This is great. The US will become great again,’” Son said, according to reports.
Then, in March of 2017, Son sent top SoftBank executives to meet with senior members of Trump’s economic team and, according to the New York Times, “the SoftBank executives said that because of a lack of advanced digital investments, the competitiveness of the United States economy was at risk. And the executives made the case, quite strongly, that Mr. Son was committed to playing a major role in addressing this issue through a spate of job-creating investments.” Many of SoftBank’s investments and acquisitions in the U.S. since then have focused mainly on artificial intelligence and technology with military applications, such as “killer robot” firm Boston Dynamics, suggesting Son’s interest lies more in dominating futuristic military-industrial technologies than creating jobs for the average American.
After their initial meeting, Trump and Son met again a year later in June 2018, with Trump stating that “His [Son’s] $50 billion turned out to be $72 billion so far, he’s not finished yet.” Several media reports have claimed that Son’s moves since Trump’s election have sought to “curry favor” with the President.
Through the creation of this fund alongside the Saudis, SoftBank has since become increasingly intertwined with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS), a key ally of President Trump in the Middle East known for his authoritarian crackdowns on Saudi elites and dissidents alike. The ties between Saudi Arabia and SoftBank became ever tighter when MBS took the reins in the oil kingdom and after SoftBank announced the launch of the Vision Fund in 2016. SoftBank’s Vision Fund is a vehicle for investing in hi-tech companies and start-ups and its largest shareholder is the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Notably, Son decided to launch the Vision Fund in Riyadh during President Trump’s first official visit to the Gulf Kingdom.
In addition, the Mubadala Investment Company, a government fund of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), gave $15 billion to the Vision Fund. UAE leadership also share close ties to the Trump administration and MBS in Saudi Arabia.
As a consequence, SoftBank’s Vision Fund is majority funded by two Middle Eastern authoritarian governments with close ties to the U.S. government, specifically the Trump administration. In addition, both countries have enjoyed the rapid growth and normalization of ties with the state of Israel in recent years, particularly following the rise of current Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and Jared Kushner’s rise to prominence in his father-in-law’s administration. Other investments in the Vision Fund have come from Apple, Qualcomm and Oracle’s Larry Ellison, all tech companies with strong ties to Israel’s government.
The Saudi and Emirati governments’ links to the Vision Fund are so obvious that even mainstream outlets like the New York Times have described them as a “front for Saudi Arabia and perhaps other countries in the Middle East.”
SoftBank also enjoys close ties to Jared Kushner, with Fortress Investment Group lending $57 million to Kushner Companies in October 2017 while it was under contract to be acquired by SoftBank. As Barron’s noted at the time:
When SoftBank Group bought Fortress Investment Group last year, the Japanese company was buying access to a corps of seasoned investors. What SoftBank also got is a financial tie to the family of President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.”
According to The Real Deal, Kushner Companies obtained the financing from Fortress only after its attempts to obtain funding through the EB-5 visa programfor a specific real estate venture were abandoned after the U.S. Attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission began to investigate how Kushner Companies used the EB-5 investor visa program. A key factor in the opening of that investigation was Kushner Companies’ representatives touting Jared Kushner’s position at the White House when talking to prospective investors and lenders.
SoftBank also recently came to the aid of a friend of Jared Kushner, former CEO of WeWork Adam Neumann. Neumann made shocking claims about his ties to both Kushner and Saudi Arabia’s MBS, even asserting that he had worked with both in creating Kushner’s long-awaited and controversial Middle East “peace plan” and claimed that he, Kushner and MBS would together “save the world.” Neumann previously called Kushner his “mentor.” MBS has also discussed on several occasions his close ties with Kushner and U.S. media reports have noted the frequent correspondence between the two “princelings.”
Notably, SoftBank invested in Neumann’s WeWork using money from the Saudi-dominated Vision Fund and later went on to essentially bail the company out after its IPO collapse and Neumann was pushed out. SoftBank’s founder, Masayoshi Son, had an odd yet very close relationship with Neumann, perhaps explaining why Neumann was allowed to walk with $1.7 billion after bringing WeWork to the brink of collapse. Notably, nearly half of SoftBank’s approximately $47 billion investments in the U.S. economy since Trump’s election, went to acquiring and then bailing out WeWork. It is unlikely that such a disastrous investment resulted in the level of job creation that Son had promised Trump in 2016.
Given that it is Cybereason’s top investor and shareholder by a large margin, SoftBank’s ties to the Trump administration and key allies of that administration are significant in light of Cybereason’s odd interest in 2020 U.S. election scenarios that end with the cancellation of this year’s upcoming presidential election. It goes without saying that the cancellation of the election would mean a continuation of the Trump administration until new elections would take place.
Furthermore, with Cybereason’s close and enduring ties to Israeli military intelligence now well-documented, it is worth asking if Israeli military intelligence would consider intervening in 2020 if the still-to-be-decided Democratic contender was strongly opposed to Israeli government policy, particularly Israel’s military occupation of Palestine. This is especially worth considering given revelations that sexual blackmailer and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who targeted prominent U.S. politicians, mostly Democrats, was in the employ of Israeli military intelligence.
Notably, Cybereason’s doomsday election scenarios involved the weaponization of deep fakes, self-driving cars and the hacking Internet of Things devices, with all of those technologies being pioneered and perfected — not by Russia, China or Iran — but by companies directly tied to Israeli intelligence, much like Cybereason itself. These companies, their technology and Cybereason’s own work creating the narrative that U.S. rival states seek to undermine the U.S. election in this way, will all be discussed in the conclusion of MintPress’ series on Cybereason and its outsized interest in the U.S. democratic process.
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2020.07.29 12:52 niuz-bot VIDEO Peste 200 de oameni la o întrunire religioasă la care au cântat și s-au rugat să dispară coronavirusul, la Galați / Amenzile date de Poliție - [Actualitate][Coronavirus]

Peste 200 de oameni din comuna Umbrărești din județul Galați s-au adunat în curtea unui localnic, unde s-au rugat să dispară coronavirsul și au cântat cântece religioase, iar la întrunirea religioasă ar fi participat și primarul, scrie Viața Liberă. Poliția s-a sesizat după ce organizatorul a transmis live o parte a evenimentului, astfel că au fost date amenzi de peste 52.000 de lei.
Citeste in continuare: https://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-coronavirus-24200090-video-peste-200-oameni-intrunire-religioasa-care-cantat-rugat-dispara-coronavirusul-galati-amenzile-date-politie.htm
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2020.07.27 16:52 MissMilu Seeing MIL for the first time in almost 7 months

I've been lurking this sub for the better part of a year. I've wanted to post before, but always backed out. English isn't my first language an I'm on mobile. I'm sorry, this is going to be long.
D(ear)H and I are together 10 years, 4 married. We welcomed our first LO in January. MIL is a boundary stomping, self-absorbed woman with no respect for others and their opinions. FIL is out of the picture.
A little backstory. My DH moved out of his childhood home after two years of dating at 23. He comes from a family who never move to far away, maybe 15 minutes but that's it. He moved an hour away to a big city to work. We started living together parttime, as I was still in school in another country but just an hour and a half away, and after a year we moved in fulltime. After a few months, he proposed and two years later we got married and moved across the border to my home country. He still works in the same city, although we don't live there anymore. The last two years DH has been in therapy and put a lot of effort to come out of the FOG.
In January we welcomed our first LO to our lives. A lot happened during my pregnancy and we had to set boundaries with MIL. We talked about going NC but DH was very against it. We had a lot of conversations about how I/we wanted the first few weeks after giving birth. Nothing special, but the highlights were no one gets to know the due date, no one posts anything about us or LO on social media and no one but us gets to hold LO in the first week. We planned a water homebirth but after 31 hours of labour, we had to go to the hospital where LO was finally born after two hours of pushing and a ventouse. We were exhausted but healthy and had to stay one night in the hospital. A few hours after the birth we called our immediate family to tell there was a new addition to our family. That night, we invited my veryJYparents. They came to the hospital, brought food for us, gushed over LO and stayed an hour before going back home.
When we got home the next day, JMBIL1 and JYSIL1 called and asked if they could come and meet LO this weekend, because they both had to work for the next couple of weeks. We agreed and asked if they could bring MIL with them. She always claims to be afraid to drive to us, although she has no problem driving anywhere else, and we wanted to accommodate her. And my husband really wanted to see his mum.
So the next day, she came along with BIL1 and SIL1. Husband explained downstairs that we were still very tired and sore and because of the ventouse delivery, no one was allowed to hold the baby. They understood. I was sitting in my bed, holding LO in my arms. MIL sat down on a chair next to the bed and other then exchanging some pleasantries, said nothing. BIL and SIL were lovely and gushed over LO. After an hour and a half, the maternity nurse shooed them polity out of the house. Everything was fine.
At least, so we thought.
Three days later, my husband received a lot of texts from MIL, basically saying we did all sorts of things wrong. It made my sleep-deprived husband cry and me very angry. We decided we didn't need that negativity in our lives at that time and that she was put in time out, for at least two months. She was "disappointed" in us and "she didn't mean it like that". We stood out ground.
When LO was six weeks, she texted again, we "should be over it by now", it broke her heart and she did nothing to deserve this. We never texted back. A couple days later, his younger sister, SIL2 texted asking what happened, that MIL was so sad, never seen her like this and we really should call her. DH texted her back saying everything was fine and if she wanted to know what happened, please talk to MIL.
Two/three weeks later, we decided it was time for a chat so we set up a phone call. MIL was apologetic, but kept saying she didn't know what she did wrong. DH told her everything. And when I say everything, I really mean everything. MIL was quiet, cried and kept saying she couldn't do anything right. This really triggered DH and he pointed out to her that she was manipulating her and to stop doing this. And that if she ever wanted to have a relationship with us and see her first grandchild, she would have to stop being so dramatic.
The highlight of the conversation was when she said she didn't love LO, because she only saw LO once and never got to hold LO. Still angry when I think about that.
In the end, we decided on calling weekly to chat so things wouldn't become so tense again. A few days later, the borders closed for everything non-esssential.
The following weeks we did just that. DH called every Friday, talked about his work (he is an essential worker), LO and the pandamic. This continued for a few weeks but then one Friday, she didn't pick up the phone and never called back. Same thing the next week. DH decided he wasn't gonna call again after that.
Two months ago, authorities announce the borders will open in a couple weeks. MIL was ecstatic, finally we would come over to her for a big family reunion! With all the siblings and their partners, everything she has eve dreamed of! I was hesitant, but DH really wanted to see his mum again so we made a deal, we would meet somewhere in the middle for a social distance walk. MIL was not having this. We wouldn't budge, take it or leave it. It took a few weeks, but she choose to take it. Only downside, SIL2 HAS to come with. Fine, whatever, we give her some dates we are available. She says she can't make it and we asked her for dates. She never responded. A few weeks later, same things happen. Only now we don't give her dates, only ask her when she is available. No response. Same thing again.
In the mean time, I'm texting with SIL1 to set up a visit with just the two of them and asked her to not tell MIL. She understands completely and we decided on a date, next Saturday. I'm looking forward to this visit and maybe talking to BIL1 and SIL1 about this, but DH would rather not. But how do you start a conversation like that?
Finally, DH and MIL come up with a date that works. Next Sunday it is. We both don't really want to, but DH feels like he has to. I, on the other hand, wouldn't mind to never see her again. But she is the only parent he has left and although she isn't a good parent, it is all DH has left. He wants to try and I get that.
How can we make this visit a, somewhat, pleasant experience? LO is now almost 7 months old and MIL hasn't seen LO since that first time. I'm anxious about the visit and I really really don't want to. For me, this is the last chance she gets. She misbehaves and it is over, NC for me and LO. I'm counting on it, actually. DH knows this. How can I make sure she won't boundary stomp? I'm planning to put LO in a wrap, but is that a good idea? I'm really at loss.
Thanks for reading.
submitted by MissMilu to JUSTNOMIL [link] [comments]

2020.07.24 13:28 Crystalidus [Election] Total Parliament Reforms A New Prime Minister

It is time to stop using the Rotting System

Our National Pride

Since 1994 our nation has been going downhill, while our neighbours dropped the regurgitated Soviet History our Politicians held onto it until their last breath. We must reform this system and turn it completely around. Not only has the current Government stagnated our economy, but it has also been undermining our progress, arresting opposition and killing political enemies. I can not see any of these people leading our nation and using the Presidential Power given to me have decided to act.
Today, on September 14th 2022 President Viktar Babaryka has put out a Presidential Decree of disbanding the current Parliament and announcing new elections 2 Weeks later. Part of the Decree has also said that for the first time in more than 15 years opposition will be able to run and won't be barred from the Elections.
It has been also decided that parties that have contact or operate from Russia will not be able to participate, seen as they are a direct threat to National Security. Due to its Pro-Russian Policies and Unionism Ideas, it was decided to suspend the Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus. The suspension will be removed after the party reforms itself and cuts all ties with the Russian Federation.

September 28th 2022 - Parliamentary Elections

The bell has rung and the time of change has come. Finally, we are having Free and Fair Elections in our country, where people can vote for what they see fit. With the change that has come to Belarus, many parties have changed around and either reformed themselves or disbanded completely. Now let us all look at the results and congratulate the victors.
National Parliament
Party Name Seats Won Party Information
Belarusian Reform Party 38/75 Created from the members of the Belarusian Independence Bloc, especially the BPF Party and the Conservative Christian Party of the Belarusian People's Front this new party pushes for national reforms and westernization of the country. It is currently the most popular party in the Nation and pushes for Close Cooperation with its Neighbours. The party has been increasing in Russophobia as well due to the Russian-Belarus War. It is also especially interested in UK Political System.
The Liberal Party 23/75 A Coalition Party of Liberal Parties from both abroad and at hope. One of the leading forces are members from the United Civic Party of Belarus. The party speaks for freedom of voice and expressions, cooperation with EU and NATO as well as Equality.
Belarusian Social Democratic Party 9/75 Created from the members of European Coalition Free Belarus and the Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly the party seeks to advocate economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented mixed economy. The party advocates for peaceful resolutions of conflicts and sees warfare as a last effort decision.
Green Coalition Party 3/75 A total mix of different political parties, but the members have one goal - preserve the beauty and nature of Belarus. They advocate for the protection of Wildlife and National Parks as well as the protection of Pripyat Swamps that they call "The Lungs of Eastern Europe".
Independent 1/75 Independent Members
Speaker 1/75 The Speaker of the Lower Parliament
Total Seats 75/75 -
It a blast off for the Reformist Party seen as they managed to gather the majority in the elections with the Liberal Party coming in second. All Party congratulated each other on their achievements in the elections and have decided that they will be all working together to rebuld the nation and to progress in the future. A new page has been turned in the history of Belarus, a Page that will bring us a bright future.

The New Prime Minister

While the Elections were on their way the President was in the works of reforming the Ministeries and ousting corrupt ministers that can also cause national security problems. This was a grueling task no one would want to do, but it had to be done if we wanted to continue our progress. After only the compitent and trustworthy ministers were assigned it was decided that it is the time to find a new Prime Minister. A man that would be trust worthy and would want to return Belarus to its prior greatness. And who can be better than the main man of the Opposition - Alaksandar Milinkievič.
Candidate for the 2006 Presidential Elections Alaksandar has been holding the main front of the opposition forces leading them to greatness. Awarded the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament he has been speaking his mind before many of us. That is why he is the best candidate to be the Prime Minister of our Nation
Date: September 29th
submitted by Crystalidus to Geosim [link] [comments]

2020.07.11 03:45 BloodOfPheonix King Bengzi and the Temple Noodle Pool

Known by his many epithets (Idiot King, The Bad One, Pepper-Chewer, among other things), King Bengzi and his wife Tazhi were the semi-mythological rulers of Minzha during the migration of the Jušerin Horde. Several contradicting accounts exist that detail the events of his rule, but a few commonalities have been found between them.
While many aspects of Bengzi’s reign have no doubt been embellished over time, archaeological evidence found in the Tulia excavation site has provided some cautious support for a few of the ancient anecdotes. Most notably, the presence of a small, rudimentary perforated press dating to Bengzi’s purported era has piqued the interests of a few historians; some have suggested that it might have been used to make some of the world’s first rice noodles. However, Bengzi’s reign is best seen as a symbolic starting point for the centuries that followed, in which greater stratification and urban growth began to rise in the area.
Given the context of her storied rise to power, the prominence of Taizhi in the myths surrounding Bengzi’s reign is also quite notable. She is said to be the daughter of another noble in most versions of the story, taken as a war bride after Bengzi’s conquests. Taizhi was the bellow to Bengzi’s inferno of vice, and her deft manipulation of the king eventually led to his downfall and the rise of other rulers in Minzha. While it is easy to interpret her as just another temptress, Taizhi’s cunning could also be read as direct retribution for the conquests, or as a symbol of the succeeding rulers’ right to rule.
An idiom has stemmed from Bengzi’s misadventures, acting as a glimpse into the excesses of his rule. “Temple Noodle Pool” referred to one of his myths, and was used to describe blasphemy and extravagance. It introduced Taizhi as an angel sent to dismantle Bengzi’s kingdom through contrived plots, and painted the king as a prideful heretic.
Temple Noodle Pool
Under the light of the moon, Benzgi was sprawled on the dirt. Leaving an outline of wine-soaked cups on the ground, he sat up and belched to the night. Bodies were strewn around him, felled not by weapons, but pure indulgence. Months prior, Bengzi invited every noble in the river valley to Tulia for the feast. On the same day, he sacked and executed every priest in the city’s temple and banned the worship of Janomu indefinitely. The feast was to celebrate the return of the former gods, and to show the river valley that Janomu had no power over his rule. The whole city was mobilized into a kitchen to prepare, brewing rivers of wine and a mountain of salted meats. The temple itself was converted to a dining hall, and hundreds of idols were carved into its walls.
The day arrived with piercing heralds and ripped drums, and in time the feast grew to encompass the entire city. After enough alcohol to drown an elephant was downed by the nobles, Bengzi asked the revelers if they wished to continue the feast in exchange for perpetual fealty. Unsurprisingly, there was a consensus among them to accept the offer. With another toast to the idols, Bengzi was crowned king of the Minzha.
Though most of the bodies around Bengzi were merely unconscious, a few had already died from all sorts of excessive action. Stepping on the corpses, the king lurched into the temple to search for his bedroom. While pacing through the pitch-dark building, he saw a light coming from the roof at the very end of the hallway. Rubbing his eyes, a glistening statue seemed to appear before him, standing proud below the light. It was an idol he had never seen before, and he was struck still by its beauty. But this did not last long, as he began to tremble towards it with a terrible desire. His finger had barely dirtied the statue’s leg before it collapsed at his side, erupting into a cloud of dust and rocks. Coughing on the debris, he made a run for his bedroom door, and slammed it shut behind him.
The next day, a woman arrived at the front of the temple doors. Her hair was the shade of melting snow, and the blue of her cheeks was a sign of death to most and charm to the dim. When the drowsy king opened the doors, he only saw the latter.
As he stepped towards her, the woman unsheathed a dagger made of ice. The king stopped in his tracks, and began to grovel on the stairs for his life. Smiling, the woman put the blade back, and introduced her intentions.
“My name is Taizhi. As my weapon prevails under the sun, so will I remain unbroken. I offer my presence to present a boon: impress me and I will sit at your side. I expect much from your city, though it pales to the heavens.”
Shivering, Bengzi nodded furiously and crawled back into the temple.
The king paced around in his chambers for hours, trying to think of something—anything—that would appease Taizhi’s demands. Either inspiration or incense had struck him at midday, when he ordered the construction of a gigantic pool at the center of the temple. It was to be filled to the brim with boiling soup, seasoned with buckets of salt and butcher-waste, and topped with giant rice noodles. Once again, the city was turned upside down, and was forced to become a factory of cooks.
All of the animals that remained in Tulia were slaughtered, and their bones were thrown into the empty pool. In exchange for a lifetime supply of wine, a few of the surviving nobles were sent back to their own cities to seize salt from their subjects. Two great implements were constructed for the soup: a man-sized pot to boil the water, and a giant wooden press to form the noodles.
After a month, the preparations were complete. The temple doors were brought down, replaced by a gaping hole in the wall large enough to fit the heaving noodle press. It took a dozen people to push it to the pool, and another dozen to force the rice dough through it’s mesh. All the boiling water was dumped in at the same time, scalding the bones that were scattered at the bottom of the pool. Servants poured salt in all four corners, and ran around with oars to mix the noodles with the soup.
Bengzi leapt in once the pool stopped bubbling. Neck-deep in noodles, he looked at Taizhi with an assured smile. But she did not meet his gaze, instead, her face was turned to the crowd.
On the other side of the pool, a servant moved to get a taste of the soup. One of the guards kicked him to the floor, while another servant rushed ahead with a knife. More soldiers came in with clubs as the cooks began to throw stone bowls and firewood across the room. In seconds the pool became the site of a full-on brawl, as crowds of furious workers poured into the temple to take their share.
Only then did Taizhi smile.
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2020.07.05 19:57 inkspring Why don't Chinese people hate their authoritarian government as much as we think they should? — Kaiser Kuo explains

I've been PMed by multiple people to repost this after my original SSC post was deleted, so here it is again:
The following was originally written by the talented Kaiser Kuo as an answer to a question posed on Quora, but for the sake of easier readability, shareability, and the mobile users who don't want to create a Quora account, I've decided to repost it in text post form. I've also added the last part of the answer and postscript in the comments because of Reddit's character limit. Apologies in advance if that breaks any rules. Anyway.
Why do many people feel that the Chinese can't possibly be basically okay with their government or society?
I’m going to attempt an answer in three parts.
First, I’ll look at the gap in political culture between China and the liberal western democracies, especially the United States. I’ll argue that there is little appreciation among most WEIRD individuals—that is, Western, Educated people from Industrialized, Rich, and Developed nations—for just how highly contingent political norms they take for granted really are from an historical perspective. I’ll sketch the outlines of the major historical currents that had to converge for these ideas to emerge in the late 18th century. Then, I’ll compare this very exceptional experience with that of China, which only embraced and began to harness those engines of western wealth and power—science, industrialization, state structures capable of total mobilization of manpower and capital—much later. And late to the game, China suffered for over a century the predations of imperial powers, most notably Japan. Hopefully, I’ll show why it was that liberalism never really took hold, why it was that Chinese intellectuals turned instead to authoritarian politics to address the urgent matters of the day, and why authoritarian habits of mind have lingered on.
Next, I’ll argue that a lot of unexamined hubris lies not only behind the belief that all people living under authoritarian political systems should be willing to make monumental sacrifices to create liberal democratic states but also behind the belief that it can work at all, given the decidedly poor record of projects for liberal democratic transformation in recent years, whether American-led or otherwise. It’s important to see what the world of recent years looks like through Beijing’s windows, and to understand the extent to which Beijing’s interpretation of that view is shared by a wide swath of China’s citizenry.
Finally, I’ll look at the role of media in shaping perspectives of China in the western liberal democracies and in other states. A very small number of individuals—reporters for major mainstream media outlets posted to China, plus their editors—wield a tremendous amount of influence over how China is perceived by ordinary Anglophone media consumers. It's important to know something about the optical properties of the lens through which most of us view China.
Part I — The Values Gap: The Historical Contingency of Liberal Western Thought and Institutions
One evening, I was chatting online with a friend here in China, another American expatriate living in another city, about the great disconnect in recent Western understandings of China—the thing that this question and answer seeks to get to the heart of. He suggested that at least for Americans (we’re going to use Americans here, mainly, to stand in for the Anglophone western liberal democracies) the question underlying the disconnect boiled down to this:
“Why don’t you Chinese hate your government as much as we think you ought to?"
The modern Chinese party-state, after all, is a notorious violator of human rights. It cut its own people down in the street in 1989. It prevents with brutal coercion the formation of rival political parties and suppresses dissent through censorship of the Internet and other media. It oppresses minority populations in Tibet and in Xinjiang, depriving them of religious freedoms and the right to national self-determination. It persecutes religious sects like the Falun Gong. It behaves in a bellicose manner with many of its neighbors, like the Philippines, Vietnam, and India. It saber-rattles over disputed islands with its longstanding East Asian adversary, Japan. It presses irredentist claims against Taiwan, which has functioned as an effectively sovereign state since 1949. It has pursued breakneck economic growth without sufficient heed to the devastation of the environment. It has not atoned for the crimes committed during the Cultural Revolution or the Great Leap Forward, when tens of millions died because of absurdly misguided economic policies. It jails rights activists, including a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. I could of course go on.
Why then would any American not ask this question? Seems pretty obvious from the perspective of anyone from a liberal western democracy that this is a political system that needs to go, that has failed its people and failed to live up to basic, universal ideas about what rights a government needs to respect and protect. They’ll have heard the argument that China’s leadership has succeeded in other ways: it has allowed China to prosper economically, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty, creating a substantial and comfortable middle class with expanded personal (if not political) freedom. And the Chinese Communist Party has managed to ensure a relatively long period of political stability, with orderly leadership transitions absent the political violence that had accompanied nearly all others until Deng Xiaoping’s ascent.
"Yeah, but so what?" asks the American. "Anyone who would trade a little freedom for a little personal safety deserves neither freedom nor safety,” he asserts, quoting Benjamin Franklin. He quotes this as gospel truth, ignoring the irony that many Americans advocated just such a trade in the aftermath of September 11. That aside, why shouldn't he quote it? It’s deeply engrained in his political culture. Political liberty is held up practically above all else in the values pantheon of American political culture.
The American myth of founding sees the Puritan pilgrims, seeking a place where their brand of Protestantism might be practiced freely, crossing the Atlantic in the Mayflower, creating en route a quasi-democratic quasi-constitution, the Mayflower Compact, landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620, and over the next 150 years growing into the colony that would lead its 12 sisters into rebellion for freedom from the "tyranny" of King George III. Americans hold the ideas enshrined in their founding documents very dearly, and can't really be blamed for doing so: they are, after all, some very high-minded and frankly very beautiful ideas.
What he doesn’t quite appreciate is the precariousness of the historical perch on which these ideas—ideas he holds so strongly and believes so ardently to be universal truths—ultimately rest. Americans, like everyone else for that matter, tend not to take much time to understand the historical experiences of other peoples, and can't therefore grasp the utter contingency upon which their own marvelous system rests.
I'm going to grossly oversimplify here, in this grand backward tour of European history, but the political philosophy that gave rise to modern American political ideals, as even a fairly casual student of history should know, emerged during the 18th century in the Enlightenment—an intellectual movement of tremendous consequence but one that would not have been possible save for the groundwork laid by 17th century naturalists who, taken together, gave us an "Age of Reason" (think Newton and all the natural philosophers of the Royal Academy). Their great work could be pursued because already the intellectual climate had changed in crucial ways—chiefly, that the stultifying effects of rigid, dogmatic theology had been pushed aside enough for the growth of scientific inquiry. That itself owes much to the Protestant Reformation, of course, which people tend to date from 1517 but which actually reaches back over a century earlier with John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, arguably Erasmus, and the other pre-Lutheran reformers.
And would the Reformation have been possible without the rediscovery of classical learning that was the animating spirit of the Renaissance? Would the Renaissance have been possible without the late medieval thinkers, such as Abelard, who sought out to subject theology to the rigors of Aristotelian logic and reason? Would all this have been possible, if not for the continuous struggles between Emperor and Pope, between Guelph and Ghibelline factions—partisans for the temporal power of the Vatican and Holy Roman Emperor? The fact is that this series of historical movements, eventually carving out politics that was quite separate from—indeed, explicitly separate from—theocratic control, was only really happening in this small, jagged peninsula on the far western end of the great Eurasian landmass. And in the rest of the world—the whole rest of the world—none of this was happening. Political theology remained the rule with rare, rare exceptions.
What we've now taken as the norm and the correct form for the whole world—liberal, secular, democratic, capitalistic—is truly exceptional, recent, rare, fragile, and quite contingent.
Let’s turn and look for a moment at China, which is arguably much more typical. China is a civilization that didn’t until much later and perhaps still doesn't fit neatly into the modern conception of the nation-state; a massive continental agrarian empire, a civilization with an integrated cosmology, moral philosophy, and political philosophy which together formed the basis of a holistic orthodoxy, deep knowledge of which was required for any man (alas, only men) who wished to climb the only real available ladder of success: the Civil Service Exams.
The China that the West—in this case, chiefly the British—encountered in the late 1700s was really at or just past its peak, ruled by a reasonably competent and conscientious Manchu emperor who history knows as Qianlong, ruling a land empire matching, roughly, the contours of the contemporary People’s Republic, almost entirely self-sufficient but willing to sell its silk, porcelain, and especially its tea to anyone who brought minted silver bullion—two-thirds of the world’s supply of which, by the time of the American Revolution, was already in Chinese coffers.
What followed was a crisis that lasted, with no meaningful interruption, right up to 1949. Foreign invasion, large-scale drug addiction, massive internal civil wars (the Taiping Civil War of 1852-1863 killed some 20 million people), a disastrous anti-foreign uprising (the Boxers) stupidly supported by the Qing court with baleful consequence, and a belated effort at reform that only seems to have hastened dynastic collapse.
The ostensible republic that followed the Qing was built on the flimsiest of foundations. The Republican experiment under the early Kuomintang was short-lived and, in no time, military strongmen took over—first, ex-dynastic generals like Yuan Shikai, then the militarists who scrambled for power after he died in 1916. China disintegrated into what were basically feuding warlord satrapies, waging war in different constellations of factional alliance. Meanwhile, China's impotence was laid bare at Versailles, where the great powers handed to Japan the colonial possessions of the defeated Germany, despite China having entered the Great War on the side of the Allies.
During this time, liberalism appeared as a possible solution, an alternative answer to the question of how to rescue China from its dire plight. Liberalism was the avowed ideology of many of the intellectuals of the period of tremendous ferment known as the May Fourth Period, which takes its name from the student-led protests on that date in 1919, demonstrating against the warlord regime then in power which had failed to protect Chinese interests at Versailles at the end of World War I. (The May Fourth period is also referred to as the New Culture Movement, which stretched from roughly 1915 to 1925). The "New Youth" of this movement advocated all the liberal tenets—democracy, rule of law, universal suffrage, even gender equality. Taking to the streets on May Fourth, they waved banners extolling Mr. Sai (science) and Mr. De (democracy).
But with only very few exceptions they really conceived of liberalism not as an end in itself but rather as a means to the decidedly nationalist ends of wealth and power. They believed that liberalism was part of the formula that had allowed the U.S. and Great Britain to become so mighty. It was embraced in a very instrumental fashion. And yet Chinese advocates of liberalism were guilty, too, of not appreciating that same contingency, that whole precarious historical edifice from which the liberalism of the Enlightenment had emerged. Did they think that it could take root in utterly alien soil? In any case, it most surely did not.
It must be understood that liberalism and nationalism developed in China in lockstep, with one, in a sense, serving as means to the other. That is, liberalism was a means to serve national ends—the wealth and power of the country. And so when means and end came into conflict, as they inevitably did, the end won out. Nationalism trumped liberalism. Unity, sovereignty, and the means to preserve both were ultimately more important even to those who espoused republicanism and the franchise.
China's betrayal at Versailles did not help the cause of liberalism in China. After all, it was the standard bearers of liberalism—the U.K., France, and the United States—that had negotiated secret treaties to give Shandong to the Japanese.
Former liberals gravitated toward two main camps, both overtly Leninist in organization, both unapologetically authoritarian: the Nationalists and the Communists. By the mid-1920s, the overwhelming majority of Chinese intellectuals believed that an authoritarian solution was China's only recourse. Some looked to the Soviet Union, and to Bolshevism. Others looked to Italy, and later Germany, and to Fascism. Liberalism became almost irrelevant to the violent discourse on China's future.
For anyone coming of age in that time, there are few fond memories. It was war, deprivation, foreign invasion, famine, a fragile and short-lived peace after August 1945, then more war. Violence did not let up after 1949—especially for the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, who were "class enemies" on the wrong side of an ideological divide; or for the hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers sent to fight and die in Korea so soon after unification. And even with peace, prosperity didn't come: 1955 saw Mao announce a "high tide of collectivization," which was followed by the tragic folly of the Great Leap Forward and ensuing famine, in which tens of millions perished.
A friend of mine named Jeremiah Jenne who taught US college students at a program here in Beijing once said something to the effect of, “When Americans create their movie villains, when they populate their nightmares, they create Hitler and the SS again and again: Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers.” The fear of the liberty-loving American, he implied, is of a surfeit of authoritarianism.
What of the Chinese? The Chinese nightmare is of chaos—of an absence of authority. And such episodes of history are fresh in the minds of many Chinese alive today—only a handful are old enough to actually remember the Warlord Period but plenty can remember the Cultural Revolution, when Mao bade his Red Guards to go forth and attack all the structures of authority, whether in the classroom, in the hospital, in the factory, or in the home. And so they humiliated, tortured, sometimes imprisoned and sometimes even murdered the teachers, the doctors, the managers, the fathers and mothers.
In the 25 years since Deng inaugurated reforms in 1979, China has not experienced significant countrywide political violence. GDP growth has averaged close to 10 percent per annum. Almost any measure of human development has seen remarkable improvement. There are no food shortages and no significant energy shortages. Nearly 700 million Chinese now use the Internet. Over 500 million have smartphones. China has a high speed rail network that's the envy of even much of the developed world. China has, by some measures, even surpassed the U.S. as the world's largest economy.
So try telling a Chinese person that anyone willing to trade a little personal liberty for a little personal safety deserves neither liberty nor safety, and they’ll look at you like you’re insane. Therein lies the values gap.
Part II — The View through China’s Window: Liberal Hegemonism in US Foreign Policy
In the first part, I laid out a case for why it’s quite natural, given the tendency of Americans (as with all people) to ignore or understate historical contingencies and recognize their own privileges and prejudices, for Americans to be puzzled by Chinese acquiescence toward—indeed, by their often quite vocal support for—a political system so execrable by certain American standards.
The hubris of some Americans about their own political system seems to me especially natural, even forgivable, in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union. From the vantage point of 1991, a kind of triumphalism was inevitable: the liberal west, with America at its vanguard, had just vanquished the second of the century’s great ideological enemies. First was Fascism and Naziism with the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945 (never mind that Bolshevik Russia, from the time Hitler invaded Russia, never faced less than two-thirds of German divisions in the field), then Bolshevism with the end of the Cold War.
And what was on the minds of Americans—who had watched the Berlin Wall come down, Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel assume the Polish and Czech presidencies, Yeltsin defend the Russian parliament and Gorbachev declare the Soviet Union’s end—what was on their minds as they turned thoughts to China?
Tiananmen, of course, with its incredibly potent imagery: a million people in the Square, Tank Man, and the Goddess of Democracy. Looming ever present in nearly every conversation about American perception of China in the last quarter century—now in the background, now in the fore—is the bloody suppression of the 1989 student-led protests in Beijing. (Fun Fact: The first democratic elections in Poland were held on June 4, 1989, the very day of the crackdown on the Beijing protests).
The years that followed the end of the Cold War would see gathering in American foreign policy a new ideology that would come to supplant the realist school that had dominated from the time of Richard Nixon. This is what the MIT political scientist Barry R. Posen calls Liberal Hegemonism: an activist, interventionist thread that believes in the pushing of liberal democratic politics and capitalism through all available means from “soft power,” to operations aimed at destabilizing authoritarian governments, to actual preemptive war (the Bush doctrine) and the “regime change” of the Neoconservatives. Some of its basic assumptions—not all, but some—are shared both by liberal interventionists and NeoCons. For American liberals, it was guilt from failure to act in the Rwandan Genocide, or to the “ethnic cleansing” that characterized the wars during the breakup of Yugoslavia, that gave impetus to this; for NeoCons, it was the unfinished business of Desert Storm. They found much common ground in their support for “color revolutions” in the former Soviet republics. They may have debated tactics but the impulse was to spread American values and institutions, whether or not doing so would serve a specific and definable American interest. That could be done the Gene Sharp way, or the Paul Wolfowitz way. Neither way was something Beijing wanted done to it.
And I don’t think it takes a whole lot of empathy to see what things have looked like from Beijing over the last 25 years. Deng Xiaoping, while he was still alive, pursued a policy of “biding its time and hiding its power” as he focused on building China's domestic economy, avoiding any real confrontation and trying to rebuild relationships post-Tiananmen.
But it wasn’t long before tensions sparked. In May of 1999, US smart bombs fell on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and virtually no Chinese believed the American explanation that it was a mistake, the result of an out-of-date map that showed the embassy as an arms depot. Later, in April of 2001, the collision of an American EP-3 spy plane with a Chinese fighter jet off of Hainan Island, off China’s southern coast, sent another chill through Sino-American relations. And things looked like they might have taken a turn for the worse, had not September 11 taken the pressure off.
The “War on Terror,” which China could notionally join in, distracted the U.S., which quickly found itself fighting two long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Meanwhile, the Chinese economy was in high gear, chugging along at double-digit growth rates right up to the eve of the Financial Crisis. The Sino-American waters were probably never calmer than in the years between 2001 and 2008.
Perhaps history will see 2008 as an important turning point in these attitudes: during the same year that China staged its first Olympic games, the financial crisis, which China weathered surprisingly well, walloped the West (and much of the rest of the world) with what was arguably its signal event, the bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers on September 15—happening just three weeks almost to the day after the closing ceremony of the Beijing summer games on August 24.
It was China’s turn to feel a kind of triumphalism, which often took the form of an unattractive swagger. Meanwhile, a sense of declinism gnawed at the American psyche. After 2008, China became the object of global (read: American) attention again, fueled for some by anxieties over the rapidity of its rise, in others by anger over major flare-ups in western China: riots in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, in March, 2008, and in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, in July, 2009. Factory conditions became a growing concern as Americans realized that even the most sophisticated electronics they sported—everyone had an iPhone by then, right?—were manufactured in China.
Remember, too, that excitement over the political potency of social media was also enjoying something of a heyday in this period of liberal hegemonic ascent. As one color revolution after another was live-tweeted (Moldova was perhaps the first, but not the only, of the street movements to be called “The Twitter Revolution”), as every movement had its own Facebook page and Youtube channel, China’s reaction was to censor. There is, after all, one belief about the Internet that the most hardline Chinese politburo member shares with the staunchest American NeoCon: that the Internet, unfettered, would represent an existential threat to the Communist Party’s hold on power. They have of course very different views as to whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing. But can we really be surprised that, able as they are to open to the op-ed section of any American broadsheet and find this idea that Internet freedom is the key to toppling authoritarian single-party rule, the Communist Party leadership would conclude that their approach to censorship is correct? But this of course has created another potent issue over which Americans, very naturally, express outrage—and puzzled frustration that Chinese aren’t (literally) up in arms over Internet censorship.
Beijing obviously lamented the Soviet empire’s incredibly rapid implosion. It doubtlessly chafed at how NATO expanded its membership practically up to the Russian doorstep. It certainly hasn’t loved it that American troops are operating from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and were present in great numbers in Afghanistan (which by the way borders China, if only at one end of the narrow Wakhan Corridor). Beijing has surely fretted as American-backed NGOs (the National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, is the big boogeyman for pro-Beijing types—perhaps as Confucius Institutes are the bête noire for their anti-Beijing American counterparts) conspired, or so they believe, with the instigators of color revolutions. And it certainly sees the Pivot to Asia—now rebranded the “Rebalancing”—as a species of containment. But what I suspect really has Beijing freaked out, what really seems to have confirmed that America still has its cherished liberal hegemonic ambition, was the Arab Spring. Is Beijing so wrong, looking out on the smoldering wreckage of Libya and Syria, at the mess that Egypt still remains, to want to avoid that outcome at whatever price? Or to think that America’s true, ultimate intention might be regime change in Beijing? Kissinger once famously said that even a paranoid can have enemies.
What does all this foreign policy stuff have to do with Chinese attitudes toward their government? It’s fair to ask this; after all, the question I’m trying to answer isn’t specifically about the Chinese state and how it sees things, but rather the Chinese people, and the attachment they seem to have toward a state that comes up so short by American measure. It’s the rare person who can truly separate, at both an intellectual and an emotional level, criticism of his or her country from criticism of his or her country’s government—especially if that government is not, at present, terribly embattled and is delivering basic public goods in a reasonably competent manner. States tend to try to reinforce that conflation of people with state (and in China’s case, party). They encourage the basic state-as-family metaphor, something that in the Chinese case is part of the deep structure of Confucian political thinking and is therefore probably easier to nurture than to extirpate. I don’t doubt that propaganda has a role in this, but I would assert that its role is generally exaggerated in American thinking about China.
In any case, if you’ll indulge some pop psychological speculation, I’ll go out on a limb and posit confidently that external criticism of a leadership will tend to, if anything, reinforce a citizenry’s identification with the state and blur the lines even more between “government” and “people.” Perhaps I’m wrong. But most people I know who are known to bitch occasionally about their own parents get awfully defensive when people outside the family offer unsolicited criticism. This seems especially to be the case with mothers.
And so it is that many ordinary Chinese citizens, online and inevitably aware now of the timbre of China discourse in English-language media, tend to elide criticism of the state and Party with criticism of China, and take it personally. They feel a distinct sense of having been singled out for unfair criticism and will reach easily for handy explanations: Hegemonic America can't abide another serious power rising in the world, and just wants to sow discord and strife to keep China down; America needs to create a boogyman, an enemy to replace its fallen Cold War foe and placate its military-industrial complex. And in any case, America doesn't appreciate just how far we've come under the leadership of this party, however imperfect.
People will debate what the Party’s real role has been in poverty alleviation: is it accurate to say that the Chinese government “lifted 300 million people from poverty” or is it more correct to say that they mostly got out of the way and allowed those people to climb out of it themselves? (I tend to like the latter phrasing). That’s not the only accomplishment in China’s 35+ years of reform that will be fought over. But the simple truth is that by many, many measures of human development, the great majority of Chinese people are undeniably better off today than they were before Deng inaugurated reform. The grand unofficial compromise, in a kind of updated Hobbesian social contract, that the Party made with the Chinese people—“You stay out of politics, we’ll create conditions in which you can prosper and enjoy many personal freedoms”—has been, on balance (and to date), a success.
No thinking Chinese person of my acquaintance believes that the Party or its leadership is anything close to infallible. Most can be quite cynical about the Party, the venality of officials, the hidden factional struggles, the instinct for self-preservation. They’re fully appreciative of the Party and leadership's many shortcomings. They don’t shrink from criticizing it, either; they aren’t reflexively careful of what they say and who might be listening.
But they don’t bandy words like “revolution” about casually. They tend to have a sober appreciation for what’s at stake, for the price that would have to be paid. They’re realistic enough to understand that the Party is not apt to tip its hat adieu and go gently to history's proverbial dustbin. They still believe, and not entirely without evidence, that the Party leadership is attuned to public opinion and will respond when the will of the people is made manifest. They support reform, not revolution.
I’ve little doubt that desire for more formal political participation, for a renegotiation of terms in that unwritten contract, will grow stronger. That’s in the cards. You’ll get no argument from me that it’s been a raw deal for many people with very legitimate grievances. There are many who’ve broken with the Party-state, who openly or secretly dissent, whose relationship with it is entirely and irreversibly oppositional. Among these are many whose courage of conviction and towering intellects I deeply and unreservedly admire, and others who I think are mere gadflies or attention-seeking malcontents without a sense of what’s at stake. In the case of all of them, regardless of what I think of them personally, I regard it as a black mark on the Chinese leadership each time a dissident is locked up for ideology, speech, religious belief or what have you. But most Chinese people tend to be pragmatic and utilitarian; the state’s ability to deliver social goods gives it a kind of “performance legitimacy." The good (prosperity, material comfort, sovereign dignity) and the bad (a censored Internet, jailed dissidents, polluted rivers, smog) go on the scales. For now, it’s unambiguous in which direction those scales are tipping.
Part III — The Anglophone Media Narrative on China and Sources of Bias
If you're a denizen of the Anglophone world, your impressions of China are almost certainly formed primarily by the media that you consume. There are of course exceptions: some 100,000 Americans have, in the last five years, spent time working or studying in China; there are several thousand enrolled in East Asian Studies graduate programs, or taking serious upper-division undergraduate coursework on China, or pursuing an academic discipline that focuses on China; and there are probably a few thousand more who, for personal reasons, have taken more than a passing interest in China and have read a good number of books on contemporary China or on modern Chinese history, have undertaken the study of Chinese, or have otherwise immersed themselves in trying to gain a deeper understanding of China. Taken together, though, these people represent a small percentage of the general media-consuming audience—the college-educated American who, say, reads a paper once in a while, watches cable or network news with fair regularity, listens to NPR on her drive to work, and occasionally clicks on a China-related tweet or on a friend's Facebook page, or her counterpart elsewhere in the Anglophone world. All told, that's several tens of millions of people, I'm guessing, in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
It's worth reflecting on that, for this majority of news-consumers, impressions of China are almost entirely dependent on the reporting produced, at least regularly and in the main, by probably fewer than a hundred individuals. I'm talking about the reporters for the major newswires like Reuters, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, and AP, whose stories appear not only in the major papers and on news portals online, but also in smaller metropolitan and even local markets; the journalists who write for the major newspapers and news magazines; television news reporters; and the foreign desk editors, subeditors, and producers working with the reporters. There are also the news assistants, unsung heroes without whom many of the China-based reporters who haven't mastered enough Chinese to read local media or documents, or conduct interviews in the native tongue of their interviewees, would be unable to do their jobs. If we include them, the number perhaps doubles but it's still no more than 200, perhaps 250 individuals whose contributions to the gathering, reporting, writing, and editing of news and the creation of news-related commentary actually matters.
What, though, do we really know about these people? If this is the lens through which so many Americans (once again, I'll remind folks that "American" here is really shorthand for Anglophone westerners) view China, it seems to me very sensible that we should wish to understand something about the optical properties of that lens. Does it distort? Of course it does; it could not but distort, could not but offer only a partial and selective view—this mere few score of reporters trying to present a picture of the world's most populous nation as it hurtles ahead with unprecedented force (in the f=ma sense).
This is not an indictment. These are people who I very much respect—indeed, the very people who these days comprise most of my personal circle of friends—and they are people who have my sympathy for what they must often endure in reporting from China. It's not an easy place to report from, especially if you're reporting on things that the Chinese government, or someone at least, doesn't want reported—and what else, after all, really qualifies as news reporting? They are subjected to some pretty shabby treatment, everything from the talk-to-the-hand they'll get from government ministries, to veiled and not-so-veiled threats related to visa renewals, to roughing-up by local thugs or plainclothes cops or even uniformed ones, to surveillance and harassment. I think if there's a source of bias with which I'd start my list, it's this. Seems only natural that this kind of treatment of a journalist anywhere would beget less than rosy coverage of the institutions doling it out. Negative coverage begets more of that nasty treatment, and so on in a most un-virtuous circle.
Should the journalists be faulted for focusing on the things that power, whether political or corporate, wants to hide? No, I don't think so. Rightly or wrongly—and I'm unambivalent in my personal belief that it's "rightly"— this is what gets the journo juices flowing. Journalism is not about the quotidian.
The historian Will Durant once wrote in The Age of Faith, "We must remind ourselves again that the historian, like the journalist, is forever tempted to sacrifice the normal to the dramatic, and never quite conveys an adequate picture of any age." I would note that while the historian can write enormously lengthy monographs in which some of that normal can be restored and that picture made more adequate, the journalist just doesn't have that leisure, and his sacrifice of the normal is more forgivable.
And yet it has an impact on perception; it's still a source of distortion, of bias. This failure to focus on the more "normal" is, I would assert, one of the major reasons for the disconnect at the heart of the original question: the prevalence among Americans of "Why don't you hate your government as much as I think you ought to?"
One of the more regrettable outcomes of this particular bias in the way China is reported reflects in the (notional, educated, mainstream-media-consuming) American public's understanding of the Chinese intellectual. Reporters tend to focus not just on critical intellectuals but on the more outspokenly critical ones, on the full-blown dissidents, on the very vocal activists, on the writers who challenge the establishment on human rights issues, on freedom of speech, on rule of law, on religious policy, on minority nationality policy and so forth. Of course they focus on these people; they're "the dramatic," in Durant's phrase. They set out to excite so no wonder that many of them are exciting. They play to the American love of the underdog. They flatter American values.
It's right, I believe, to focus on intellectuals. One could make a very serious argument that China's history is at some important levels driven by the dynamics of the relationship between intellectuals and state power, whether dynastic or Party. Dissidents and the more stridently critical intellectuals certainly are part of that dynamic. But I would submit that it's actually more important to understand another type of intellectual, and another mode of relations between the intellectuals and state power, between, if you will, the pen and the sword: the "loyal opposition," who during most times—including this time—comprise the real mainstream, and who see it as their role to remonstrate and to criticize but not to fully confront. It's these voices, a kind of "silent majority," to use an apt phrase whatever its connotations in the American polity, who go too often ignored in our reporting. Because "Noted Chinese scholar is basically okay with the government, though he thinks it could be improved in X, Y, and Z" is not a particularly grabby headline or a compelling read.
There's also a kind of source bias that's related to this and it's regrettably caught in a bit of a feedback loop, too. The general impression is that Anglophone media is pro-dissident, and so dissidents will tend to go on record with or speak at greater length with Anglophone reporters; moderate or pro-Party intellectuals will tend to decline interviews and comment, and the impression that Anglophone media is biased in favor of the dissidents gets reinforced: the narrative that they want is buttressed while the other is marginalized or weakened.
Another almost ineradicable bias in Anglophone media reporting, so prevalent that it's almost not worth pointing out, is bias in favor of democratic polities. Authoritarian states like China tend to get reported on unfavorably because they behave like authoritarian states. They don't allow, by definition, rival political parties to freely form. They don't allow a free press. They censor the Internet. And of course journalists in the Anglophone world are themselves on the front lines of these speech and press issues. It's almost tautological that the press of the free world would want to free the press of the world.
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2020.07.03 22:25 Daedalus_27 Turning Seawards

As the Dingusu state entered the second millennium BCE, it appears to have grown from a basic network of local polities into a more centralized institution. This is supported by archaeological evidence indicating a period of growth in the capital coinciding with the decline of several regional centres as well as an increase in the scale of public works projects.
Existing irrigation systems were greatly expanded upon in this time, with some sections potentially functioning as early transportation canals. These systems likely served both to increase agricultural productivity and mitigate flood damage, increasing the amount of viably arable land. This is also when the first road networks begin to appear, linking together several major cities.
Following the severe floods of the thirty-third century BCE, a large number of Lakrun were displaced from their original territory around the [Yangtze Delta]. The refugees of this event established settlements along [China]’s southeastern coast. Some of these Lakrun reached as far as the island of [Taiwan], where they settled and became the ancestors of the Nusantao. While there appears to have been notable cultural divergences between the groups, likely caused by centuries of separation as well as intermarriage with local peoples, there is evidence that they remained in contact and that there was sustained trade between them.
One instance of such trade appears to be shown in the jade artifacts found at various sites along the coast. Though varying in design, their overall styles and carving techniques are remarkably similar and most of the raw material appears to have been sourced from either [Taiwan] or Tak Telu Danum. This trade may also have caused the spread of several plant species and technologies back into the Lakrun urheimat.
Though no intact wrecks have yet been found, several jars dated to the Dingusu period have been found depicting what are believed to be early outrigger or catamaran vessels. Likely developed and used by the Nusantao peoples for inter-island voyaging, these ceramics show that the mainland Lakrun peoples were aware of such craft and may themselves had used similar canoes. This theory is further supported by the fact that some jars have been found to contain the seeds of c. cassia and t. populnea, species thought to originate in southern [China] and [Taiwan] respectively, indicating a possible connection between the region and the ships.
Starting around 1900 BCE, the lands around [Hangzhou Bay] begin to show signs of increasing integration with the Dingusu state. Originally inhabited by a people related to but distinct from the Lakrun to their north, artifacts from the region become largely indistinguishable by the 1600s BCE. The ruins of a Lakrun-style city have also been excavated near the mouth of the [Qiantang] river, seemingly built on top of the site of a previous settlement. This city, connected to several others with Dingusu-era roads, would likely have been one of the largest outside the capital based on its footprint and quantity of artifacts. Referred to as Shalung Pintung in later writings, it appears to have been of some religious significance with altars and carved totems occurring in greater frequency than even the capital.
The prominence of the Shalung Pintung site seems to follow a trend of heightened Lakrun activity along the coast. While seaside settlements had always existed, they increased in both number and size simultaneously to the bay area’s apparent assimilation. It has been speculated that this phenomenon was caused by the adoption of more advanced boatbuilding technology, allowing for greater connectivity throughout Dingusu’s littoral territories. Supporters of this theory point to the possible dockyard structures found at several locations, postulating that they may have allowed for the construction and use of larger, sturdier vessels capable of trade as well as fishing and personal transportation.
(Sidenote: Sorry about the bordergore, unfortunately that empty province doesn’t really start existing for another 500 years and isn’t fully above water until I think the modern era)
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2020.07.01 09:22 subarnopan Strangely there are two political parties in India with identical names, CPI (Marxist) & CPI (Maoist) both shortened to CPI(M) who actually support China against India officially and formed by splitting undivided CPI during 1962 War for this reason only!

THE WRITINGS are philosophical, alarmist, despondent, critical, some even questioning whether Nehru invited war on India by pricking Chinese without adequate preparations or background. All this is a good exercise if we learn from history and vow never to let 1962 happen to India again. We may have learnt the lessons from across the border, but have we learnt any lessons from within our borders? A few commentators note that we discovered happily that Indian people stand as one when faced with external aggression, inspite of fractious polity and wide divergence in faith, language and geography etc.

There is one aspect that has either escaped the attention of the analysts or is has deliberately been pushed under the carpet , viz. role of Communists in 1962 war. I do not know if this is collective amnesia of predominantly left oriented media. The dubious record of Communists tells us how parties influenced by foreign ideologies or finding inspiration from outside can weaken the country.
People vaguely recall that Communist party was pro-Chinese and supported Chinese claims, first on Tibet and then Chinese aggression. Politically conscious citizens also know that split in Communist Party was due to difference in world view as seen through Russian or Chinese glasses. As long as Russia-China were on the same page, the line of Communist party of India was simple – rebroadcast their truths as Communist views about Indian issue. But, with Chinese choosing their own path, our own Communists were in a quandary. The more ‘left of the leftists’ split and formed CPI (M) while other ‘right among the left‘ Russia and Congress oriented ‘revisionist’ group were left in the earlier avatar of CPI. But, we never bothered to critically examine how dependent Communists were on their comrades overseas to decide what was good or bad for India.
I wished to avoid going too much back into history as I would like to stick to 1962. But, it is important to understand the nature of Communist movement in India. Communists supported 1942 Quit India movement as Russians and British were in opposing camps in initial parts of World War II. But, as soon as they came together, Communists opposed Quit India vehemently and were instrumental in getting many Congress leaders arrested. Immediately after Independence, they launched farmer ‘rebellion’ in Telangana, Tripura and Kerala as they believed that time was ripe for ‘revolution’. However, it abandoned the strategy of armed revolution by 1950 in favour of working within the parliamentary democracy as a strategy, as wikipedia. Later, they went onto support Naxalbari uprising in 1967 (the forerunner of current Naxalite movement). Thus, their actions were not directed by sense of national good, but by their sense of internationalism as seen through Russian or Chinese eyes.
Coming back to their dubious role dictated by ideological straitjacket, I tried surfing in a little focused manner and came up with some information, of which I am only quoting two documents due to constraints of this column.
Defenceforumindia.com has an article titled – Role of Indian Communists and 1962 War, dated 30th November, 2009 published by a gentleman with acronym ‘ppgi’. It was gleaned from declassified documents of CIA. The CIA dossier on Communists in these documents is around 165 pages. Infact, the author found that CIA calls the role of Communists during 1962 as ‘high treason by Indian Communists’. It would not be fair to quote the whole article verbatim, so I am just quoting the summary highlight of the article.
•H K Surjeet (later famous for stitching together a ‘Third Front’ and also supporting minority Congress government for some time) was influenced by Russia to setup an underground organization
•CPI did proceed to recruit a secret organization within the Indian Army
•China and Russia insisted that the CPI must develop a standby apparatus capable of armed resistance, while intensifying penetration of Indian Military forces
•With the PLA now present along the Indian Border the Indian Communist Party had a channel of support for Armed Operations and a potential liberator in the event of mass uprisings
•In Sept 1959, 4 powerful radio sets had been installed in the office of the China Review in Calcutta to listen to broadcasts from Peking.
•Chinese Financial Subsidies were given in 1959 to sections of the CPI particularly the left faction strongholds in West Bengal. A foreign supply base was now available for the underground organizations with Chinese occupation of Tibet and other frontier areas
•A letter asking for collaboration in Indian underground organization work aimed at an eventual revolution, because China has a border with India and can provide arms and supplies
• Jaipal Singh, head of the illegal organization within the Indian Army decided to reactivate his organization in May 1961 following the hard left faction gaining control of the party.
The documents reaffirms that Communists looked for direction from Russia and China, sought support and approval and sub-ordinated national interest at the altar of a dubious ideology and subservience to the Chinese. It is noted that Ajoy Ghosh in his report to the Central Executive Committee in February 1959, noted that China-Russia insisted that the CPI must develop a standby apparatus capable of armed resistance, while intensifying penetration of Indian Military forces.
In April 1959 Ranadive met with the Chinese Ambassador during which he Offered CPIs support to China on Tibet, and advised China to concentrate its attacks on rightist Anti-Chinese Indian leaders like Praja Socialist Party and Jan Sangh.
In Sept 1960 the first signs of a vertical split in the CPI became evident with the hard left faction comprising Jyoti Basu, Harikishen Singh Surjit, Basavapunniah, Sundarayya and Ranadive supporting the Chinese position on the Indo-Sino border dispute. When Z.A. Ahmed indicated that the Party should take a nationalist stand on Chinese incursions to India, he was severely berated by the West Bengal faction.
If we go back to news on domestic front at that time and figure out Communist role during 1962, we can see overt and covert Communist support to Chinese war effort. The water transporting union in North East served a strike notice. This created problems for food and supply of other materials to Indo-Chinese border. Nationalist unions Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh understood the conspiracy and they withdrew all kinds of strikes and put all demands on hold. They gave a call to workers to increase production in defence production and assist in all defence related efforts. They worked hard to restore supplies to the borders. Role of RSS during the war was so noteworthy that Pandit Nehru, no friend of RSS, invited RSS to the next Republic Day parade of January 1963 in which nearly 3000 swayamsevaks took part, as per the book ‘RSS- Vision in Action’ by H V Sheshadri, Chapter 1, Page 30.
We are reminded once again that a nation can grow only on its own genius, not by transplanting alien ideas in one’s own soil. Look at how Columbia came out of shadow of drug lords and guerrilla wars in just a decade, and racing to the top position in Latin American countries. The Communist folly was also a result of looking at all issues from Russian or Chinese standpoint through Marxist glasses. For Communists nationalism is a decadent thought not in line with feel good internationalism. We can see that Communist movements went their own way in different parts of the world in line with their nationalist characteristics. But, in the meanwhile, India suffered, her security suffered; and we as a nation suffered grievous harm.

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2020.06.30 10:50 Milkhemet_Melekh To what degree does the label 'Hellenistic' accurately describe Judean art and architecture?

TL;DR - Title. How influential was the art and architecture brought from Greece in displacing, in part or in whole, the native Levantine style inherited from the Assyrian, Egyptian, and Canaanite (Phoenico-Hebrew) traditions?
Judea, as Judea rather than Israel or Judah, was a polity existing first as a vassal of the Persian Empire, but had longstanding indigenous Canaanite traditions often said to be a unique mix of Assyrian and Egyptian styles. The customs of the Israelites also played a significant role in shaping aspects of Judean art and architecture, such as a frequent complete lack of human figures, and the use of the Four Species as well as pomegranates, dates, olives, and grapevines as decorative motifs. Discs similar to those in both Assyria and Egypt appear in ancient Israel, as do rosettes which are also common to all three cultures - with the Judeans taking an eventual spin on this, pun intended, and reliefs on rock-cut tombs are described as being inflicted with horror vacui - a fear of empty space - and said to be characteristically Judean in the elaborate overlapping designs that fill out the entirety of a space such as a tympanum or the outward-facing side of an ossuary. Tombs feature the occasional curved ridge of the Egyptian style and a haphazard pyramid or two, and buildings of all sorts seem to use distyle in antis and sometimes even columns carved into walls for aesthetic, while other buildings have depressions in the walls resembling those of the reconstructed ziggurat of Ur. Nabataean architecture was supposedly quite popular regionally, and Herod supposedly pulled from it at least a little bit.
"Hellenistic", meanwhile, seems to me to be a fairly broad term. It is not so narrow as "Hellenic" or "Greek" or "Grecian", which specifies something actually done in the Greek style - contrarily, entire architectural styles from Arabia to Afghanistan to Italy have been called "Hellenistic", even when only a couple of things are shared between them. Some of these things most often dubbed Hellenistic influence are difficult to distinguish at all from a native tradition, when it seems any decoration on a column or a doorpost has a Greek term to explain it, and the lack thereof also has a Greek term to explain it, that both having a decoration and not having a decoration are equally considered Greek features. The habit of three parallel lines with a design between them occupying the cornice could be considered Doric, but appears often in native Egyptian designs as well. The Greeks were not an island, and things they adopted from the outside world could be recycled back outward, or things that were Greek and coincidentally resemble other stuff could lead to classifying the other stuff as Greek-inspired.
This post, made with much frustration over the inconclusive answers I have gotten in trying to independently research this, only to be met time and time again with "A combination of Western and Eastern styles", vague references to particular things that may or may not be Greek but may or may not have precedent preceding the Hellenistic era, and a hearty lack of information about what aspects of Nabataean architecture make it unique, poses the following questions:
How does one define Hellenistic art and architecture as part of, or as the whole of, classical Judean architecture?
To what extent did the rule of the Seleucids and Ptolemies displace native artistic and building traditions? Completely? Or was it more of a superstrate on top of what had come before?
Is the broad use of Greek terms relating to styles like distyle in antis indicative of a Greek origin, or is it simply a description of a local style through analogy - something the Greeks did famously often?
To what degree did Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Canaanite art continue to exist alongside Hellenistic civilization in the Levant?
How did the art and architecture of the Hasmonean period differ from that of the Herodian style?
What traits were considered distinctive of Nabataean architecture that it could supposedly be noticed in style as far as Syria, that distinguished it from "Hellenistic" form and that could've been applied in classical Judea?
Is "Hellenistic" even a useful label as anything other than a time period? It is meant to reference Greek influence on different societies, which is well and good, but my attempts at research into the field make it seem like the broad application of the label "Hellenistic" is slapped onto things that might not be definitively tied to the Greeks at all, or even things that outright aren't, only because of a trend among select regional elites. It might be more tolerable in its more literal meaning of "Greek-ish", rather than the implication or insistence that all these things are full-on "Greek"
In sum, what was Judean art and architecture really like, how much of it was local versus Greek-influenced versus full-on Greek, and how good of a label is "Hellenistic" in retrospect?
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2020.06.30 02:56 VorpalAuroch The history of the Galaxy

I've changed a number of things to make them less ridiculous, as you may have noticed from the IA posts. This also extends to galactic history, e.g. "Seriously? The War in Heaven was 60 million years ago? The Eldar Empire started then and continued to M30? Really?". I have edited this to make some fucking sense. Here is everything up to the beginning of the Great Crusade. Also, cameos by the Minn, and a preview of what I've done with the Necrons.
ca. M{-5000}: Old One civilization spreads across the galaxy through mastery of the (calm) Warp. They spread many cunningly-designed species, most of which quickly develop into sapients or near-sapients.
ca. M{-4000}: Necrontyr civilization develops space travel, meets the Old Ones, and tries to bargain for secrets of immortality or life extension. They are refused, and declare eternal vengeance against them. This informal declaration of war is ignored, as the Necrontyr cannot traverse the stars quickly enough to bother the Old Ones.
ca. M{-3994}: After several millennia of fruitless research into immortality, contact is made with one of the "Seh Tan" star-spirits, and living metal bodies for them devised. The Seh Tan (also written C'Tan) pledge their support for the Necrontyr in war against the Old Ones. The C'Tan called the Messenger delivers the ultimatum of the Silent King: Share the secrets of immortality with the Necrontyr or face total war against all the might the Necrontyr and C'Tan can muster. Despite the obvious power of the C'Tan, the Old Ones again refuse, and rally their many creations to a war footing. With hindsight, this was probably intentional on the part of the Messenger, who will later be known as the Deceiver.
ca. M{-3990}: Despite their superior mobility and the might of half the planets in the galaxy, the Old Ones and their client species are unable to damage the C'Tan enough to win; they merely lose slowly. They create new warrior species, which fare somewhat better, and take the field in person, though they hold back substantially to minimize the danger to their persons. This produces a stalemate. The C'Tan develop a taste for the eating of souls, a much more flavorful feast than the energy of stars.
ca. M{-3990}: The Old One responsible for work on primate species of the third planet from a certain sun, a green, watery world which has a very large moon, discontinues their prior projects to work on new warrior races which are needed to fight the C'Tan. This abandoned species slowly develops on its own, and in a few million years will become somewhat significant.
ca. M{-3985}: With the Old Ones showing no signs of giving in and the Necrontyr unable to claim the worlds the C'Tan have conquered due to the limits of their mortal frames, they become frustrated. The Messenger and the Dragon describe "re-forges", great artifices which will replace the feeble flesh bodies of the Necrontyr with living metal bodies like those of the C'Tan, powerful and ageless. Completing construction of these forges will take centuries, but the Necrontyr eagerly begin it anyway, suspending their near-dead in stasis and ceasing to send out generation ships in anticipation of overtaking them in superluminal craft carrying their new metal bodies.
ca. M{-3984}: The Messenger flies through the galaxy destroying every Necrontyr generation ship it can find from their records, which it accesses under the pretense of preparing reforges for their arrival. It is fully aware that the Necrontyr aboard them will not be happy to see what the reforges have wrought on their kin, and wants to prevent internal dissent from those who will still be capable of it.
ca. M{-3983}: The reforges are complete and every Necrontyr world sends all its people through them. The C'Tan feast on the souls shed in the process. Individuality is utterly lost, but the C'Tan and their new "tools" are noew decisively winning the War in Heaven.
ca. M{-3950}: The Old Ones have observed that C'Tan have little resistance against the Warp, and now that they are in serious danger, take steps to use that vulnerability. They create a new crop of Warp-attuned warrior species, including the Slanni, who have Warp-fortified bodies which can withstand most of the C'Tan's attacks, and the Eldar, who are all gifted psykers and can act as the speartip to kill cornered C'Tan.
ca. M{-3948}: The gods of the Eldar coalesce as self-aware beings within the Warp. They can emerge to do single combat with the C'Tan on equal terms, and reform a few centuries after their death. However, the Warp is growing more turbulent from the many strong psykers which now people the galaxy. The Old Ones have ceased to hold back in their fights, and have brought the War in Heaven back to stalemate.
ca. M{-3940}: The Warp grows more tumultuous, and the Old Ones less able to master it. They risk losing the war, and so create a new crop of species. The Krork are a brutal hammer of a warrior race, nearly impossible to eradicate from a world, with a shared psychic gestalt which insulates them from the new predators of the Warp. The Minn can make bubbles orthogonal to the Warp, and are exceedingly good spies and infiltrators, gathering intelligence on the C'Tan and their slaves and performing undetectable sabotage. These new Warp-active species aggravate the storms in the Warp, and it will never be peaceful again. But the C'Tan begin to again lose the war.
ca. M{-3935}: The few scattered Necrontyr generation ships which had escaped the notice of the 'Messenger' arrive at their destinations and are appalled at the metal revenants in their image that they find there. They attempt to make common cause with the Eldar but are rebuffed, though not actively attacked. They assemble histories of their people and how those histories came to an end, and rename the Messenger with the title 'Deceiver'. The name "Necrontyr" means "the eternal people", an aspiration rather than a description; in an ironic echo of this aspiration, they give the metal copies the name "Necron", literally "the eternal(s)".
ca. M{-3934}: As the C'Tan become hard pressed by the Old Ones' psychic warriors, the Necrontyr remnant and what allies they secured from the Necrons strike, using incredibly powerful weapons to shatter the C'Tan into many smaller shards, with the intention of binding them under the control of those Necrons who retained their minds. This is only partially successful; the C'Tan are greatly weakened, but still far too strong to bind. The C'Tan abandon the War in Heaven to retaliate against their traitorous servants.
ca. M{-3930}: In running battles between Necron Phaerons and their armies and sharded C'Tan, several C'Tan devour the bodies and minds of multiple Phaerons, and a smaller but significant number of Phaerons subdue shards and consume them instead. Phaerons are weak but have personalities nearly as strong as C'Tan, so where several of them coexist in a mind, they tend to become the dominant intellect controlling them even when they were initially devoured by a C'Tan. The mixtures of Necron and C'Tan become known as "Hemneb", "avatar-kings". Some have Necron components which were Crypteks; these and Hemneb whose C'Tan part is a shard of the Dragon are supremely technologically skilled and called Rekhneb, "avatar-scholars". Hemneb and Rekhneb almost all switch sides and fight for the Necrons against the C'Tan.
ca. M{-3930}: The forces of the Old Ones attempt to capitalize on the C'Tan's civil war, but are attacked from behind by a new opponent. The chaotic Warp has either awakened, created, or attracted an ambiguously-sapient race of Immaterial creature called the Krell Enslavers, which seized control of most Eldar and Slann, and many of the older warrior races like the Jokaero, and used them to breach the barriers of reality and gain material form. The surprise opening of a second front overwhelms the Old Ones, and the Enslavers's abilities within the stormy Warp now exceed those of the Old Ones. They are wiped out, as are the Slann and most of their warrior species.
ca. M{-3929}: The first record of daemonic entities dates from this period. They are weak by modern standards and have little ability to affect the Materium. Descriptions match the modern category of daemon known as "Furies".
ca. M{-3925}: The Eldar and Minn, hard-pressed by the Krell attacks, each successfully construct pockets where they can hide from the enslavers. Their numbers have been devastated and much knowledge lost, but they survive. At the same time, the C'Tan cut their losses and permanently abandon both civil and heavenly wars, disappearing to backwater corners of the galaxy to eat stars and subsapient creatures in peace. The Hemneb and Rekhneb are all mildly to severely insane, and fall to infighting, wiping out many of their worlds and fragmenting. They are, however, virtually immune to the Krell. The Necrontyr remnant, however, are not immune, and the last of them die at this time.
ca. M{-3923}: Szarekh the Silent King, Overphaeron of all Necrons and Hemnet of Zarhulash the Potentate, determines that though their wars are won, as long as the Krell infest the galaxy there is little to be gained from expansion, and no possibility of regaining bodies and souls. He exercises his command protocols to send all Necrons into long-term hibernation until such time as the galaxy has abundant flesh sapients resistant to the Krell, and the creations of the Old Ones are not powerful. Szarekh leaves some trusted Praetorians awake, with instructions to attempt to seed Warp resistance into near-sapients of the galaxy. Feeling responsible and guilty for the deaths of the War in Heaven and the loss of bodies to the reforges, Szarekh himself goes into self-imposed exile beyond the galaxy.
ca. M{-3910}: Krell infestation finally burns itself out. Necron Praetorians successfully seed the Pariah Gene in the species which will later become humanity.
ca. M{-3800}: Jokaero are the first sapients to recover from the Krell infestation. The Jokaero Empire begins, and expands to cover a large section of the galaxy. The Webway is probably constructed at this time.
ca. M{-3440}: Jokaero encounter several pockets of C'Tan Shards. Lesser War in Heaven begins.
ca. M{-3437}: The Jokaero observe that the shards are becoming more powerful as they consume Jokaero worlds. They successfully subvert a number of Nightbringer shards to war against their fellows, but initiate desperate research plans to defeat them before they become as powerful as the old C'Tan.
ca. M{-3435}: Mighty superweapons destroy most of the C'Tan shards, but the most powerful withstand it. The research project determines that they are too powerful to sustain themselves on subsapients, but sapient minds and souls are making them more powerful. In a dangerous gambit, the Jokaero genetically engineer themselves to suppress their sapience while leaving most of their combat and invention skills intact. Artificial intelligences are left in place to reverse this when the threat of the C'Tan has passed.
ca. M{-3430}: The gambit succeeds, and the remaining shards expire from lack of nutrients. However, Necron Praetorians destroy the custodian AIs before they can recognize the victory and restore the Jokaero.
ca. M{-3400}: Eldar seers in their webway-like pockets detect the end of the Lesser War in Heaven, which they mistake for the end of the Greater War in Heaven. They emerge from seclusion and begin attempts to pick up the pieces of their wartime civilization.
ca. M{-3350}: The Eldar 'homeworlds' are settled and become the heart of the renewed Eldar civilization. Eldar 'Age of Legends' begins.
ca. M{-3330}: Second Krell War. Eldar society devastated.
ca. M{-3225}: Eldar win Second Krell War.
ca. M{-3100}: Eldar again expand to the stars.
ca. M{-3195}: Eldar fight the remaining Krorks for the first time.
ca. M{-3190}: Krork Quarantine begins. Krorks begin a slow weakening process due to lack of conflict.
ca. M{-3180}: Eldar fight coherent daemonic armies for the first time. Suppression of daemon cults leads to an increased importance of religion in their society.
ca. M{-3170}: Eldar Holy Wars. Many Eldar go into diaspora. Age of Legends ends, with only patchy records preserved from before this point.
ca. M{-3160}: Eldar-Hrud War begins. It will end with the shattering of both civilizations.
ca. M{-3100}: Eldar-Hrud War ended by this time. First record of the Saga of the Rhana Dandra. In what pieces of this ancient version remain, Phoenix Lords are mentioned specifically, but only by allegorical titles. The group is referred to as "the Brotherhood of Eternal Rising" and the member said to sound the call that draws them to the final battle is referred to as "First Father of Fire". Interestingly, preserved scraps also refer to a "Brother of Eternal Falling" returning to the Brotherhood unexpectedly, a portion with no equivalent in modern tellings of the saga.
ca. M{-2800}: Eldar society begins to recover. The homeworlds unify politically. The seeds of the great Eldar Empire are sown.
ca. M{-2403}: The first Dragon King of the Eldar is crowned. The Eldar Empire's calendar was counted from this date by M{-2000}.
ca. M{-900}: The Eldar automate all important tasks in their society. This leaves them following their diverse and scarily single-minded whims, without any needs to rein them in. This plants the seeds of their Fall.
ca. M{-100}: The Eldar Empire discovers, or possibly rediscovers, the Webway
ca. M{-23}: Generally considered the peak of the Empire, when their achievements in knowledge, technology, and art had developed to their greatest height and their decline had not yet begun in earnest
ca. M{-11}: First recorded "pleasure cult" in the Eldar Empire, where ordinary sensuality gave way to increasingly bizarre and sadistic indulgence. Unlike later cults, this did not involve murder, and their torture victims were consenting members of the cult.
ca. M{-11}: First recorded Exodite settlement, a planet where most technology was banned and what remained was integrated into the ecosystem, self-sustaining rather than built by Eldar hands.
M{-4}: First human writing. Human history begins.
M03: Humanity develops interplanetary spaceflight.
ca. M05: Most Exodite settlements are founded around this time. Pleasure cults are endemic to the home worlds, though still not at the extreme levels they will later reach. Trading fleets begin to take notice.
M08: Humanity tests its first superluminal engine to disastrous results, as it is passing through the Warp unprotected. The failure is poorly understood and no second test is conducted; humanity relies on light-hugging generation ships for the next several millennia.
ca.M11: Large portions of the Eldar elite move to the Webway, forming many secret societies out of sight of law enforcement. These societies host the most extreme of the pleasure cults.
M11: Human experts in genetic manipulation create the Men of Gold, who proceed to lead humanity forward in dramatic bounds. Sometimes considered the beginning of the Golden Age of Technology.
M12: Humanity develops the Gellar field, making it safe to traverse the Warp; expansion increases dramatically. This is usually considered the beginning of the Golden Age of Technology, or by later observers the Dark Age of Technology.
M14: Men of Stone created by the Men of Gold to assist them in governing across the increasingly large galactic holdings of humanity
M17: Men of Stone supplant the Men of Gold as the primary driving force in human politics.
M18: Men of Stone create the Men of Iron for similar reasons to their own creation by the Men of Gold.
ca.400.M18: The man who will later be called the Emperor launches a sublight journey to the world of Molech alongside a few other Perpetuals.
ca.800.M18: Foreshocks from the Birth of Slaanesh make the Warp increasingly tumultuous.
ca.100 M19: The perpetuals' pilgrimage reaches Molech. The Emperor enters a gate of unknown function and returns. The returning men and women use their sublight ship to reach the closest settled human system and use ordinary Warp-leaper ships to return to Terra and/or disperse.
ca. 600.M22: Trading fleets of the Eldar recoil at the perversion on display in the home worlds and begin to follow the Exodites into self-imposed exile. Instability in the Warp leads them to fit all their trading vessels with powerful sublight engines in addition to the Webway gates and warp drives previously standard.
ca. 100.M23: Commorragh's identity as a polity is established, and manipulation of the Webway's corridors secures its place as the center of the Webway, where all corridors lead.
ca. M23: Rebellion of the Men of Iron. Mass death across all of human space. All sources which consider the Age of Technology as a "Golden Age" place its end at this time; most sources which consider it a "Dark Age" place the end date later, when the Long Night begins.
ca. 900.M23: Decadence and thrill-seeking of the Eldar Empire reaches its peak. A few scattered refugees come to their senses and flee aboard whatever Warp-capable voidcraft they can find.
000.M24: Departure of the Masques; the Harlequin devotees of Cegorach universally find that mystical communion with Cegorach, used to guide them to places their art is most wanted or needed, is universally pointing them away from the homeworlds.
001.M24: Fall of the Eldar. Birth of Slaanesh. Consumption of the Eldar gods, excepting Khaine, who is shattered, and Cegorach, who flees into the depths of the Webway. The Warp becomes engulfed in galaxy-wide storms of a severity not seen since the War in Heaven. This cuts off all human settlements from their neighbors, beginning the Long Night. (Also called the Age of Strife, or in the Imperial era the Old Night.) All sources which do not label the rebellion of the Men of Iron as the end of the Age of Technology place the age's end at this time.
ca.500.M29: The Emperor's Unification of Terra begins
ca.900.M29: The Emperor and his gathered geneticists begin the Primarch Project
985.M29: Production of astartes begins, using the mostly-completed genomes of the primarchs.
997.M29: Primarch's uterine tanks stolen from under the Himalazian Mountains by the Chaos Gods. Production of astartes continues.
003.M30: First combat deployment of astartes, a battalion of Legio I fighting in the Siege of Ababa, as half of a pincer strike with the other half being Thunder Warriors. Despite being substantially outnumbered by the Thunder Warrior contingent and facing equally secure fortifications, the Angels of Death use their superior senses and coordination to storm the battlements entirely, and by the time the Thunder Warriors established their first beachhead through the enemy line, the astartes had passed through the central palace and greeted their allies, telling them the battle was already won. Satisfied that his proof of concept has been demonstrated, the Emperor scales up the production of Legio I and begins production of the other nineteen legions.
025.M30: The First Legion is deployed in numbers, at least fifty thousand strong, in fighting for the Greyzim hive cluster against Sudafrik's Deebrass Underlords; they secure the hive in six days. It is nearly fifty years before any other legion deploys at this scale, during which time the First sees this level of engagement roughly three times per year.
057.M30: First recorded deployment of Legio XVII; a squad, in black power armor with ornate faceplates, advances under flag of parley to holdout regions of Terra, speaking for the Emperor and offering his ultimatum: submission or destruction. They carry out this duty numerous times throughout the last century of Unification; this earns them the cognomen Imperial Heralds.
224.M30: Astartes Legio VII are deployed widely across Terra in the Unification Wars, taking a number of daunting fortresses and raising equally daunting ones to hold the ground. After taking the city of Roma and repelling a mighty counterattack a few short weeks later, they are awarded their first major battle honour and the cognomen "Rocks of Roma".
ca. 220.M30: The Warp finally calms after the birth of Slaanesh, making safe interstellar travel possible for the first time in six millennia.
230.M30: The Astronomican is completed.
231.M30: Massacre at Gadaure, Ararat Purge. Unification of Terra ends.
submitted by VorpalAuroch to VulkaniteHeresy [link] [comments]

2020.06.29 13:27 RobertWEIJ The police confiscated chalk because people including myself were chalking hearts and wishing people love and liberty.

The link with pictures:

Here a translation of the article:
"Police seize sidewalk chalk at the Malieveld
Date: Saturday, June 27, 2020 11:47 PM
The Hague - The police confiscated sidewalk chalk from several people at the Malieveld on Saturday evening.

"A few people were busy on Saturday evening with drawing hearts and texts with sidewalk chalk on a path along the Malieveld. In addition to hundreds of hearts, the text: 'For freedom and love' was also written on the path. A runner, who happened to walk by, thought it was a nice initiative and helped.

The plan was to use hearts to chalk the entire path along the Malieveld. The police saw it happening and asked them to stop it.

After extensive consultation with the police, the people had to stop chalking and the boxes of sidewalk chalk were confiscated. On Sunday they can pick up the confiscated sidewalk chalk at the police station. The details of the persons were also noted, after which they were allowed to continue their way.

The organization behind Virus Madness would like to demonstrate again at the Malieveld against the corona measures. Mayor Remkes has banned the demonstration.

The police are already extra alert on and near the Malieveld on Saturday evening. Councilor Boudewijn Revis fears that people will not care about the ban and will still come to the city to cause unrest. Last Sunday the demonstration against the corona measures ended in disturbances. The police then made more than 400 arrests.

Video and photos: Daan van den End"

Here is my perspective of that evening:
Our mayor forbid the demonstration the next day and the municipality kindly "reminded" potential protestors that they could risk two months jailtime or 3600 euro fines for attending this very dangerous protest endangering national health.
I was going out for a jog and some pullups in the park in the forest in the evening. I ran past the Malieveld that was to be the location of the protest against both a law that even our national bar association condemned for being completely unreasonable and unnecessary in a human rights democracy like ours.
I posted before about the girl I know whose student house was illegally entered along with the bedroom by police to check for 1.5 meter violations between housemates.
I am not in favour of this hasty law for which I believe corona serves merely as an excuse rather than a justified reason. I do not want to check under my bed for police, call me crazy I don't like it. I also don't like it if they suddenly lie next to me after illegally entering except if the policewoman in question is gorgeous and in for a swell time, I am jesting ofcourse.
The protest is also against the 1.5 meter rule as people do not feel corona is a threat big enough to warrant a societal dystopia. Some of the media scared everyone by continuously showing young people dying of corona, and now people are done with the hysteria. Also it is not fair to everyone wanting a normal life and it is unrealistic too, if you own a cafe in the Netherlands. There is no 1.5 meter distance possible.
Full airplanes are allowed if you wear a cloth before your mouth. Full terraces on the streets, people in the inner city are completely ignoring the 1.5 meter and i agree with them. Eventhough the 1.5 meter rule is suddenly gone for airplanes and for full traines by wearing a cloth before your face (full trains can you believe it) if you want to exercise your right to demonstrate in this country, it is an affair the government loves to deem as dangerous and irresponsible. Football games for christ sake will be allowed and the government pretends the supporters won't sing or stand too close to one another. But still don't these protestors know it is a pandemic? You should roll over and surrender liberties because we say so.
I jogged by and I saw three people drawing hearts. I asked them why and they told me that with the last demonstration, there was a lot of police intervention (I know I saw it too) against normal people. Water canon, police on horse, arresting normal people for exercising their right to demonstrate. The woman told me that she was hit in the head the last time while sitting down and peacefully protesting. She hoped that eventhough the next day could turn into a battlefield, police and protestor would still be reminded that ultimately we are all human. And eventhough we might disagree now: love and liberty for all is something we should all cherish. Let's not grow hate each other and let's care for our fellow human.
We struck up a conversation and talked about how all of us had been impacted and we had a great time. She asked me if I was willing to join in and I said sure!
Because drawing hearts with chalk is not a crime, and a statement wishing people love and liberty should never be controversial. A heart should not be offensive to anyone, regardless of a demonstration happening the next day.
I wanted to draw too, because I feel for these people as I am one of them. A concerned citizen who values civil liberties. I emphatize with these people. And the protest ban that I deem more controversial than the protest had not been in effect yet.
I thought about not joining because I did not want to get in trouble and I was promptly ashamed of myself to for a minute of ever considering declining for this bullshit pathetic reason. I am not ashamed of chalking a heart to wish people liberty and love.
I never will be ashamed or intimidated into believing these things are controversial!
We drew the hearts, and 20 minutes later 5 police officers came up in two vans with shining lights.
They came up and they were nice though. They asked what we were doing and we said we chalked hearts for libery and love for everyone. Whatever happens on that protest the next day, let's not forget we are all humans and we all have loved ones.
The officers though they were nice said that we were not supposed to protest, and I said that the ban was for tomorrow, we were complying with the law. Still they kept trying to tell us that we were protestors, no we are not, the protest is tomorrow we just want it to not devolve into another grimm affair.
Still they were nice eventhough of our difference in view of this. I asked if we were to go or could continue and they said they had to discuss this with their superiors.
There was a 20 minute "politietop" overleg. "Top" here refers to upper management/leaders.
There was a 20 minute deliberation what to do with this situation and I personally believe they als deliberated on whether they should take us in:
For chalking hearts.
The officers at the scene, they changed a bit. I could sort of tell that they would have liked to tell us to chalk whatever it is that we want as we were not breaking the law. That they did not like their superiors were discussing a matter this trivial.
I legitimately asked if I could maybe not have to go to the station or sit in a cell for this as I do not want to get in trouble, and I could sort of tell that the police officer was face palming inside for this entire situation and the ridiculousness of this question being posed with sincerity and belief. That question was a sort of monthy python-ish level of crazyness. How did we ever end up here, that somebody asks not to go to jail for chalking hearts.
I still honestly think that it could have happened. My girlfriend is a criminal rights lawyer and she said that she could have seen it happen as more crazy things happen, but I might be wrong.
Local journalists enter the scene, tell us they really like the initiative, nice those hearts! They find it crazy funny that the police upper management is involved in a discussion what to do with these chalking deviants drawing hearts and all.
I was still busy chalking hearts as I could not leave and was nervous. Officer was still nice and said they started to look weirder and weirder and I told him honestly that I was getting nervous and did not want any trouble, with a nervous laughter.
Luckily we are being let go, and the police officers apologize for how this situation came to be and wish us the best before we leave. I think the officers felt as bad as we did.
But they did confiscate the crayons. They quoted The Hague municipality law. Some people shared sources online that using crayons on the street has been taken out of that law in 2017 and it was illegal to take them from us. The woman pointed it out too but did not want to press it because atleast we could go. They could be picked up the next morning, but yeah crayons why bother.
And we left.
The police upper management had a 20 m discussion what to do with people using crayons to draw hearts.
On twitter and facebook it got some exposure and people were quite angry.
I was honestly happy that people also saw that this was unnecessary and disproportional.
I would like to say that these particular officers: I don't think they are to blame. They were really nice and they felt bad for us, I think it was the police chief and friends that created this weird situation. Please don't castigate them as they were hurt too I believe.
As the hearts indicate: these officers are fellow humans too, with friends and people they hold dear. We should never forget that.
submitted by RobertWEIJ to NoNewNormal [link] [comments]

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