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Sunday, August 30th, 2009
1:10 pm - Useless Eaters: Disability as a Genocidal Marker in Nazi Germany


The methods used for mass extermination in the Nazi death camps originated and were perfected earilier use against people with physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities. This describes the historical context of attitudes towards people with disbilities in Germany and how this context produced mass murder of people with disabilities prior to and during the early years of WWII. Several key marker variables, the manipulation of which allowed a highly sophisticated Western Society to officially sanction the murder of people with disabilities, are examined. Important implications must continually be drawn from these sad events as we work with people with disabilities at the dawn of a new century.

This process was faciliated by each panelist being aware of what previous panelists had decided. Decisions were made exclusively on the basis of the information of the regristration from, thereby transforming life and death decisions by the state into macrabe administrative exercise.

There are certain lines, when crossed, are hard, if not impossible, to re-establish as boundaries...

Professor Lupin is a damaged person, literally and metamorphically. I think it is important for children to know that adults, too, have their problems, that they struggle. His being a werewolf is a metaphor for people's reactions to illness and disability.


According to JKR, then, Lupin represents the disabled of the Holocaust. Werewolves are like the terminally ill or the disabled percent of Germany's populaion- - whom were unfortunately exterminated. They may or may not be Jews, Pure-bloods or half-bloods, but they are still discriminated against and are left seemigly with no privileges nor opportunities due to the fact that they are rejected by their own society because of their condition.

current mood: cheerful

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1:03 pm - Communist Animals: Sarabi and the Soviet Union


When the Soviet Union captured Romania from the Nazis in August of 1944, the citizens of Romania passed from one hell into another. Tens of thoousands of innocent people, both men and women were arrested and sentenced to years of torture in prison or labor camps. One pastor, Richard Wurmbrand, served two prison terms, returning with 18 deep scars on his back- a most treacherous result of brutal torture. When the communists came a second time to arrest her husbnd, Sabina Wurmbrand turned to a friend and sobbed relentlessly, ''Again they have stolen my Richard!''

In spite of her pain, Sabina remained strong, pastoring the couple's small underground church.

Sarabi, Queen of the Pridelands in The Lion King, is a character who is in many ways like Sabina- worthy of admiration and respect, and forever loyal to her husband...

current mood: tired

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1:00 pm - Is It The Bottom of the Food Chain...or The Russian Revolution?


Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

-Whoopie Goldberg

The Lion King
is a great ultra-conservative cold war propoganda movie.

This is why:

Hyenas are the bottom of the food chain in The Lion King. In that sense, they are like proletariat. They have been chained to the bottom of a system without any explanation, and they refuse to accept that. So they want the lion-slash-tzar that starves them out of the way. They ally with an intellectually superior individual (Scar) who is higher ranking in the food chain for this to happen.

So what happens when a socialist system is imposed in the Pride Lands and the hyenas are given equal opportunities as lions? They starve. It just doesn't work. It disrupts the natural cycle with such a crazy culture clash. It just can't be. They need a helping hand (Simba) to restore things back to order: some people upper class, some people middle class, and some people lower class. This may be The Circle of Life according to Mufasa but it is a system that Scar wants to change; he wants to defy such a system. However, experiments like this only result in a regime of terror.

But when the poor hyenas, the riff-raff dangling at the bottom of the Food Chain (only in The Lion King, not in real life, mind you), batten on carrion- their natural function, after all- they are stigmatised as ''poachers''; when, under the foul ursurper, they are allowed to claw their way up the Darwinian hierarchy, the place goes rack and ruin. This is what happens, the movie says, when under-dogs rise above their station. At one bizarre point, they are even seen goose-stepping. Should I elaborate on it more?

Everyone should know this by now. The Nazism is too obvious... What about the Communism? What about the Education for Death, the Indoctrination Military Conduct?

It is clear the hyenas have very, very vacant expressions. One word: Brainwashed. They look much like the recruited school boys in Afghanistan during the Taliban's reign, reciting ''Death to Israel, death to America!'' 24/7.

''Long live the King!''  and ''Death to Israel, death to America'' is pretty much the same thing as ''Heil Hitler''.

Some critics say the hyenas represent a particular minority: Blacks.

I don't believe any of this. It is clearly a stereotype on minorities of any society. Particularily, speculation surrounds only Blacks. Well, Blacks are clearly not despoilers of any land. Why it is portrayed like this in The Lion King is beyond me. For as long  as Blacks have been on this earth, they have never despoiled the land. Any one color or race can be a despoiler, including Whites. Color and race has nothing to do with it. However, a  particular race or group of people, viewed as ''minorities'' for centuries such as Blacks and Jews are not the source of all Wickedness in the world. To make a long debate short: There are good Jews and bad Jews. There are good Blacks and bad Blacks just like Whites. However, the entire race should not be labeled ''Wicked'' or ''Despoilers'' due to one's act. Yes, this includes Muslim terrorists. Because of a few Muslims' bad acts, ALL Muslims are labeled terrorists. You know, there is such a thing as WHITE terrorists, who, I am sure, are Christian or Catholic. But do we label WHITE PEOPLE as terrorists? No, just Muslims because of 9/11. What is wrong with the world???

I actually believe the hyenas represent rebellious Russian peasants or recruited Taliban members. Perhaps even Muslims who eventually turn on their dictator.

Anyways, back to the topic:

The hyenas are technically the dregs of society. And yet many people think they represent poor Blacks living in the Ghetto. Perhaps... but have you ever drew comparisons with the poor Russian peasants neglected by the Tsar?

Shenzi: Just look at you guys...No wonder we're danglin' at the bottom of da Food Chain.

Banzai: Man, I hate danglin'.

Shenzi: Ch'yeah? Ya know, if it weren't for them lions, we'd be runnin' the joint.

Banzai: Man, I hate lions.

Shenzi: So pushy...

Banzai: And hairy!

Shenzi: An' stinky!

Banzai/Shenzi: And man are they... UUUUUGGG-LY!

They even mock lions the same way it was very popular to mock the tsars in Russia. In fact, despite what a great and noble politician/leader King Mufasa was, he failed to acknowledge the hyenas, a minority, and welcome them into their social circle of survival and natural function. Ironically enough, he emphasiszes
that ''We are all apart of the Great Circle of Life,'' yet, he neglects a particular society of under-dogs that deserves the hunting grounds and environment of the Pride Lands as much as anyone else.

The hyenas, then, represent the poor Russian migrant farm-workers, and Mufasa represents Nicholas Romonav, the Last Tsar of Russia. Then Scar must represent Lenin- right?

They could aslo represent Iraqis and Sadam Hussein. After all, the Iraqis began mocking him near the end of his fall.

In the ''Be Prepared'' scene, Scar began his song and while the lyrics and music were appropriate, the images on the screen were incredible- and not in a good way. Notice how Scar first sings to the mentally challenged and moronic Ed, then to the other two, and then he masses. It was known for Lenin to naturally intimidate the slower, weaker citizens. Also, somewhere along the song the hyenas are tricked into confusing ''helping Scar'' with the military. When they agree to help him they are ''accidentally'' wearing bony helmets.

Coincidentally, as he sings, a shadow of himself is projected behind him, portraying a much larger and menacing lion than he really it. Mussolini/Stalin/Hitler, anyone?

Anyways, then the hyenas begin to parade before Scar in a very militaristic, facists, Nuremberg Parade choregraphed-style fashion. Ah, so it's not about Communism anymore. Also, Nazism is being thrown into the bag. (This, however, is clearly obvious and always has been.)

Also, the rest of the scene is strangely colored in red while the beginning was green. No, not Christmas colors. Christmas Time was long since over when this film was released. Red could possibly represent many things, but the Nazi Flag was always fresh in my mind. Green for the uniforms, perhaps? Or the Pakistani Flag? Where is the Taliban now? Pakistan, right?

When Scar jumps up to a rock and the camera pans down to reveal him in full power above the hyenas, he rises above a half-moon which can be interpreted in two ways. It strikes similarity between the image on the Communist flag with the hammer and the ox. This is perhaps  a theory that  is an anti-Islam message.

Islam, Communism, and Nazism. All things anti-American bashed into the same 5-min sequence. That is definitely a movie for your kinds to watch.

current mood: bored

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12:55 pm - Shadowlands Plague


The Great Plague of London, though on a far smaller scale, was a recurrence plague of the Black Plague of 1348 and the second ''Black Death'' pandemic of 1347 and 1353; a massive yet virtulent outbreak disease in England that killed an estimated 100,000 people. That's 20% of London's population.

While I was viewing The Lion King once more, I noticed the similarities between this historic tragedy and Scar's newly established totalitarian-state.

Scar's reign relates to the last plague epidemic of England. Many died or were affected greatly by the plague; many also lost their families or were near death. It is the same in The Lion King because of Scar. He is like the Masque of the Red Death. (After all, there are no such thing as red lions with BLACK manes... Mistake? I think not.)

During times of plagues, red crosses are painted (sometimes in animal blood as in The Ten Commandments) above the door frames of houses of plague sufferers, declaring them dead. When Rafiki smeared Simba's ceremonial crown on his painting it represented the death of not only Simba but his entire kingdom as well, for he was the future of the Pride. Nala is a bage lioness, yet, sometimes she appears almost white in the darkness. Therefore, she represents hope or faith as she was the one who brought Simba back. And lastly, the hyenas are a blessing in disguise like the Great Fire of London, for they killed Scar, just as the fire ended the Black Plague.

On  2 and 3 September, the Great Fire of London destroyed much of the most crowded housing. At about the same time, the plague outbreak tapered off, probably due to most of the infected fleas and flea carrying rats being killed in the fire itself.

-Great Plague of London, Wikipedia Article

Coincidence? If I remember correctly, there was a great fire at the end as well and it surrounded Scar and the hyenas as they devoured him savagely. The fire was gradually washed away by black rain, miraculously enough. 

The theme of The Lion King is described as follows: The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human/animal nature. The moral is that the shape of a society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system, however, apparently logical or respectable. The whole film is purely symbolic in nature .

This is, of course, merely a casual summing-up on the film's part of its extremely complex and beautifully woven symbolic web, which becomes apparent as we follow through the film, but it does indicate that The Lion King is not, to say the least, a simple coming of age story of the love between a father and son and a King's responsibility. In fact, the implications of the story go far beyond the degeneration of a few lions, warthogs and meerkats. We clearly see that with all the overladen politics and correlations to nefarious eras such as Nazi-Germany and the Black Plague of England in 1348 and its recurrence The Great Plague of London in 1665-1666.

current mood: bored

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Thursday, May 21st, 2009
5:36 pm - Tarantino and Pitt Rewrote History

Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt have spun some revisionist history on how World War II ended.

Their war saga "Inglourious Basterds" premiered Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival, presenting a band of Jewish Allied soldiers led by Pitt who play a pivotal role in taking down the Third Reich with a strategic strike against the top Nazi brass.


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Thursday, January 29th, 2009
6:50 pm - 'Valkyrie' Press Conference in Moscow

Hollywood star Tom Cruise and director Bryan Singer came to Moscow to promote their brand new movie 'Valkyrie'. Tom attended the press conference and answered the questions of journalists. It’s interesting to mention that the questions about his family and religion were strictly forbidden.

Valkyrie is a historical thriller film set in Nazi Germany during World War II that depicts the July 20, 1944 plot by German army officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Tom Cruise appears as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the key plotters.

Friday, April 11th, 2008
1:02 pm - The Showa Emperor

A very virile Hirohito
Hirohito, the Showa Emperor

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Sunday, December 30th, 2007
3:53 pm - Tribe - a loaded term


I'm hoping that this will generate some discussion. My take is agreement: I ask you, can you define "tribe" clearly?

Using "Tribe" and "Tribalism" Categories to Misunderstand Africa
African Studies Program Outreach, University of Wisconsin-Madison
By David Wiley, African Studies Center
Michigan State University (1981)

Tribe, a concept that has endeared itself to Western scholars and journalists for a century, is primarily a means to reduce for readers the complexity of the non-Western societies of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the American plains. It is no accident that the contemporary uses of the term tribe were developed during the 19th-century rise of evolutionary and racist theories to designate alien non-white peoples as inferior or less civilized and as having not yet evolved from a simpler, primal state. The uses and definitions of 'tribe' in the sociological and anthropological literature are varied and conflicting-some authors mean common language, others common culture, some ancestral lineages, and others common government or rulers. As anthropologist Michael Olen notes, "The term tribe has never satisfied anthropologists, because of its many uses and connotations. Societies that are classified as tribal seem to be very diverse in their organization, having little in common--(Morton H.) Fried contends that the term is so ambiguous and confusing that it should be abandoned by social scientists."

Read more...Collapse ) The term had no validity in the pre-colonial period. It has less legitimacy now.

Follow-upCollapse )
Your thoughts?

Cross-posted to Cloudstrider and anthropologist

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Saturday, December 8th, 2007
3:16 am - seeking equivalent for Deutsche mark in fifties

500 Deutsche marks - how much it was in 1952 ?

Maybe somebody knows some costs in the fifties in Germany (how much cost house or bus ticket or anything?)


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Saturday, November 10th, 2007
1:18 am - Reference material

I wanted to share a website I have been putting together on the Pre-Renaissance Muslim contribution to Science and Technology in history.

I hope some may find it useful:


Comments and suggestions always welcomed!

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2007
12:29 pm - Excerpt: Steve LeVine on Caspian Oil Deals
free_excerpts I have permission from Random House to distribute an excerpt from journalist Steve LeVine's mammoth new book, The Oil and The Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea.

The excerpt is called "Azeri Oil" and follows the final negotiations for development of Azerbaijan's massive offshore oil fields. After three years and six changes of government, a deal is finally struck between private and state-owned oil companies as diplomats from Russia and the United States spar in the background. Overnight, $230 million in cash put up by the oil companies disappears into private bank accounts, apparently benefiting Azeri leader Heydar Aliyev and his associates. It's just one of the stunning, billion-dollar deals documented in this book.

"This is the new way wars are fought," says journalist LeVine, who covered the region for a string of global media companies including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Newsweek. Serving 11 years in the Caspian, LeVine was flown home on a stretcher when a Chechen rocket grenade shattered his leg.

The excerpt from The Oil and The Glory is available at the following URL:



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Friday, May 4th, 2007
12:34 pm - National Geographic Maps Now On-line

National Geographic has dozens of its maps--from over the past 100 years--available on-line now:

Indian Ocean Map 1941

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Saturday, March 31st, 2007
4:01 pm - Mongols

Can anybody recommend any sources of information on the affects the Mongols had on European development?  I am doing some independent study and have run into a wall here.

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Friday, March 23rd, 2007
12:33 pm - Guano Happens

I just read The Great Guano Rush (Jimmy M. Skaggs, The Great Guano Rush: Entrepreneurs and American Overseas Expansion. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994.) It provides a look at a really interesting, pertinent but overlooked, part of world history--the 19th century imperial scramble for guano islands. The book specifically looks at the U.S. role in supporting its private citizens to claim islands, particularly Peruvian ones.

Here's a review:
Book reviews: The Americas.,  By: Eifler, Mark A., Historian, 00182370, Fall96, Vol. 59, Issue 1.

"Guano happens, according to economist Jimmy Skaggs. His book, The Great Guano Rush, details the late nineteenth-century activities of entrepreneurs and politicians to secure American title to nearly a hundred islands, rocks, and keys around the world. The goal was guano--bird droppings, in some cases over a hundred feet deep, deposited on rocky out-croppings by ocean-going birds, Early in the nineteenth century, these deposits were discovered to be excellent fertilizer and were in great demand by American and European farmers. Peruvian guano, taken from Chinca Island in the Pacific, initially ruled the international market, but when American and European farmers complained of exorbitant prices, shrewd entrepreneurs smelled the aroma of potential profits if they could find their own sources of guano. Thus began the guano rush.

The rush was anything but orderly. American entrepreneurs clashed with foreign governments who suddenly claimed previously unknown islands, with entrepreneurs of other countries who claimed the backing of their nation's navies, and with each other. The details of these squabbles are complex and at times mind-numbing. Skaggs carefully recounts each of these fights in detail from an impressive array of sources. Many of these conflicts occurred outside the public spotlight, and Skaggs is to be commended for diligently tracking down these stories.

At the core of this detailed study, however, is the making of public policy regarding the discovery and exploitation of guano. Skaggs refutes any popular notions of free-market economics. To him, the great guano rush provides "a case study in activist public economic policy designed to encourage growth and development...[It] demonstrates that however clearly public policy may be conceived, it is often confused and inconsistent in execution and sometimes thwarted by bureaucrats who arbitrarily or even purposely rewrite regulations and even negate laws with little or no regard for constitutional procedures" (ix-x).

To protect American entrepreneurs, Congress passed the "Guano Island Act" of 1856. Under this statute, private citizens could claim guano islands around the world under the authority and protection of the United States government. The result was American overseas expansion before the acquisition of Alaska, Hawaii, or the Philippines, though the great majority of these appurtenances were later disowned. Furthermore, the government not only found itself backing American businessmen against foreign governments, but also having to settle disputes between the overlapping claims of Americans, in rancorous haggling, which was often more noxious than the guano that lay at its center.

Skaggs not only recounts the economic and political deals involved in dealing guano, but also the brutal conditions facing laborers on guano islands. Skaggs contends that no nineteenth-century job "was as difficult, dangerous, or demeaning as shoveling either feces or phosphates on guano islands" (159). His chapters on labor tend to bear this out.

Skaggs's complex and detailed book is written with a light touch, and though his scatological puns sometimes wear thin, his study retains its scholarly depth. While the topic may turn some readers away, his insights and conclusions deserve thoughtful consideration."

current mood: content

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Wednesday, March 14th, 2007
7:43 pm - Yucatán

"When the Spaniards discovered this land, their leader asked the Indians how it was called; as they did not understand him, they said uic athan, which means, what do you say or what do you speak, that we do not understand you. And then the Spaniard ordered it set down that it be called Yucatan." - Antonio de Ciudad Real, 1588

Quoted in Clendinnen, Inga. Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570. 2d ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

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Tuesday, March 13th, 2007
7:38 pm - Long story short


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Thursday, November 30th, 2006
2:09 pm - Ancient tsunami

A volcano avalanche in Sicily 8,000 years ago triggered a devastating tsunami taller than a 10-story building that spread across the entire Mediterranean Sea, slamming into the shores of three continents in only a few hours:


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2:08 pm - Earliest Human Ritual

A startling discovery of 70,000-year-old artifacts and a python's head carved of stone appears to represent the first known human rituals.


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Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
9:49 pm

Just curious:

Would any of you be able to recommend books on the history of World War II?

(I know this isn't a very detailed question, as to exactly what I mean dealing with the subject, but any books at all that deal with it is what I'm looking for.)

Thanks. :)

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Wednesday, October 11th, 2006
9:03 pm - '655,000 Iraqis killed since invasion'


That says it all.
And the best is that Bush is denying the toll.
Will this enter history, in the same way WWII's, Stalin's, North Korea's ... death statistics did?
Will US school's history programs teach tha Bush was acriminal?

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