Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Thursday, February 15, 2018
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
You are welcome in my country. You may use food stamps, welfare, and any other type of government entitlement to which I have personally contributed with my income and other types of taxes while you get to your proverbial feet. Feel free to bring your extended family with you. If you happen to be Muslim, I look forward to hearing about your religious views and learning about your native national and spiritual culture.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Interesting comments. The problem I see with it is that nobody is born with the ability to provide for themselves. People can only survive by getting the cooperation of others, which means that we have to prosper in the system that we are born in. Free markets by far have been the best system for rising people out of poverty, and socialism has been a colossal failure. And socialism by its nature is far more coercive than the supposedly coercive capitalism.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Monday, January 29, 2018
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Friday, January 26, 2018
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
In plain English: s--- is everywhere. People defecate on the open ground, and the feces is blown with the dust – onto you, your clothes, your food, the water. He warned us the first day of training: do not even touch water. Human feces carries parasites that bore through your skin and cause organ failure.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a few decades later, liberals would be pushing the lie that Western civilization is no better than a third-world country. Or would teach two generations of our kids that loving your own culture and wanting to preserve it are racism.
Last time I was in Paris, I saw a beautiful African woman in a grand boubou have her child defecate on the sidewalk next to Notre Dame Cathedral. The French police officer, ten steps from her, turned his head not to see.
I have seen. I am not turning my head and pretending unpleasant things are not true.
Senegal was not a hellhole. Very poor people can lead happy, meaningful lives in their own cultures' terms. But they are not our terms. The excrement is the least of it. Our basic ideas of human relations, right and wrong, are incompatible.
As a twenty-one-year-old starting out in the Peace Corps, I loved Senegal. In fact, I was euphoric. I quickly made friends and had an adopted family. I relished the feeling of the brotherhood of man. People were open, willing to share their lives and, after they knew you, their innermost thoughts.
The longer I lived there, the more I understood: it became blindingly obvious that the Senegalese are not the same as us. The truths we hold to be self-evident are not evident to the Senegalese. How could they be? Their reality is totally different. You can't understand anything in Senegal using American terms.
Take something as basic as family. Family was a few hundred people, extending out to second and third cousins. All the men in one generation were called "father." Senegalese are Muslim, with up to four wives. Girls had their clitorises cut off at puberty. (I witnessed this, at what I thought was going to be a nice coming-of-age ceremony, like a bat mitzvah or confirmation.) Sex, I was told, did not include kissing. Love and friendship in marriage were Western ideas. Fidelity was not a thing. Married women would have sex for a few cents to have cash for the market.
What I did witness every day was that women were worked half to death. Wives raised the food and fed their own children, did the heavy labor of walking miles to gather wood for the fire, drew water from the well or public faucet, pounded grain with heavy hand-held pestles, lived in their own huts, and had conjugal visits from their husbands on a rotating basis with their co-wives. Their husbands lazed in the shade of the trees.
The Ten Commandments were not disobeyed – they were unknown. The value system was the exact opposite. You were supposed to steal everything you can to give to your own relatives. There are some Westernized Africans who try to rebel against the system. They fail.
We hear a lot about the kleptocratic elites of Africa. The kleptocracy extends through the whole society. My town had a medical clinic donated by international agencies. The medicine was stolen by the medical workers and sold to the local store. If you were sick and didn't have money, drop dead. That was normal.
So here in the States, when we discovered that my 98-year-old father's Muslim health aide from Nigeria had stolen his clothes and wasn't bathing him, I wasn't surprised. It was familiar.
In Senegal, corruption ruled, from top to bottom. Go to the post office, and the clerk would name an outrageous price for a stamp. After paying the bribe, you still didn't know it if it would be mailed or thrown out. That was normal.
One of my most vivid memories was from the clinic. One day, as the wait grew hotter in the 110-degree heat, an old woman two feet from the medical aides – who were chatting in the shade of a mango tree instead of working – collapsed to the ground. They turned their heads so as not to see her and kept talking. She lay there in the dirt. Callousness to the sick was normal
Americans think it is a universal human instinct to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's not. It seems natural to us because we live in a Bible-based Judeo-Christian culture.
We think the Protestant work ethic is universal. It's not. My town was full of young men doing nothing. They were waiting for a government job. There was no private enterprise. Private business was not illegal, just impossible, given the nightmare of a third-world bureaucratic kleptocracy. It is also incompatible with Senegalese insistence on taking care of relatives.
All the little stores in Senegal were owned by Mauritanians. If a Senegalese wanted to run a little store, he'd go to another country. The reason? Your friends and relatives would ask you for stuff for free, and you would have to say yes. End of your business. You are not allowed to be a selfish individual and say no to relatives. The result: Everyone has nothing.
The more I worked there and visited government officials doing absolutely nothing, the more I realized that no one in Senegal had the idea that a job means work. A job is something given to you by a relative. It provides the place where you steal everything to give back to your family.
Friday, January 19, 2018
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
From: John Coffey <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 5:15 PM
Subject: Core Values
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Saturday, December 23, 2017
Friday, December 22, 2017
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi' leans into political frayBut the latest movie, "The Last Jedi," appears to lean into the political fray, from its egalitarian message to a more specific critique of callous plutocrats.More pointedly, the mission undertaken by Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) leads them to a planet where the ultra-rich congregate at what amounts to an intergalactic casino. Moreover, it's noted that most of those one-percenters earned their money from war profiteering -- selling weapons to the First Order and Rebels alike -- while subjugating and exploiting those around them.
The pair's escape also weaves in an animal-rights theme, as the two rebels liberate a creature used for a kind of horseracing entertainment. The beast eventually wanders off free, regaining its natural state.
There's obvious irony in a money-making enterprise like "Star Wars" -- fattening the coffers of the Disney empire -- decrying capitalism run amok. Yet even if that's a minor, peripheral element in a fantasy set in a long-ago, far-away galaxy, rather than being reluctantly drawn into such debates, "The Last Jedi" signals its willingness to at least be part of the conversation by addressing issues in the here and now.