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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cultural Roles Index - Growing List of Who We Are, What We Do. Can Anything Change?

Roles in America.

An Index to The Actors in our Evolving Cultural Narrative. Overview of What We Do
A smattering, for a rough idea of our clattering machine's components:

1. Fodder, the Expendable. See also racial fodder in England, at Racial Fodder, England .
A/k/a the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse, from some teeming shore, the tempest-tossed, the homeless. See the Lady in the Harbor, and Emma Lazarus' poem, 19th Century, inscribed there, ://

2. The Partisan . Dedicated. Dangerous if extremist.

3. The Buyer . Busy preserving and enhancing lifestyle. Do not interrupt.

4. The Fiduciary . Balancing interests of others.

5. The Extractor . Taking, regardless of interests of others.

6. The Follower . Mimic. Swallower. Likes celebrity.

7. Government. Takes the form the people let it: Ideological, extractive, or fiduciary, capable of taking on the characteristics of its people who elect its leaders (we deserve our leaders), the dance of governments and the governed

8. Leader. Also takes the form the people let him or her. Ideological, extractive, fiduciary, taking on the characteristics they seek to promote any of the above: vulnerable to becoming extremist because power is like that.

9. The Visionary. Analysts, musicians, arts, protesters, non-extremist religious and philosophical and political theorists, etc. Option seekers, expressives; and

10. The Corporate Quasi-Person - a very odd arrangement indeed. This is a "legal" person for some purposes, but people can hide in them. Must bow.

Who else is out there?

11. The Thieves. Theft of rights to know, honor, reputation, self-determination.See also Theft of consent.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Phrygian Caps in the Senate, State Seals, even Hatpins

Tracking Symbols 

The Phrygian cap, with its curl on top toward the forehead, appears in governmental and historical sources. By way of update 2012, it is specifically connected (in this site) to the worship of ancient Mithra.  Mithra worship was an ancient religious system to which only males could adhere and worship, the god himself as male: and a system familiar to Paul of Tarsus, and whose practices were transposed into early Christian practice. See Mithra at

Phrygian Cap. Mithraic origins. Here, on an Edwardian hatpin.

The Phrygian Cap on the head of Lady Liberty in France has been used in official seals and representations in many places.

Here are more, and a proposal for further application of the cap and its meaning.

First, the Caps:

This example of a Phrygian Cap is from our long hatpin from 1923, the date on the reverse side where the rod attaches. See Hatpins Collection Tour, Metal Faces.

The shape of the cap also appears in children's wear. And TV. See the white ones worn by the Smurfs, at ://

Phrygian style in children's wear. Pull over the top a bit.Look up the pictures of the cap, at the sites here. It already is widely used, this friendly cap with the forward-pulled top. See background and more at Hello, Fodder, The Liberty Cap, The Phrygian Cap.

Continuing earlier lists where Phrygian caps are already part of our culture: see, e.g.,; and

1. Liberty Seal, US Senate, liberty cap with coat of arms; "red liberty cap" is all the history that the Phrygian cap is given at

The Senate Seal -- wonderful to think of its pagan origins: Ipankonin (Vectorized from  SVG elements from) [CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
2. State Seal, North Carolina, at

3. On State flag of West Virginia, at ("Liberty cap" atop rifles);

4. On State flag of New Jersey, a red one but not identified as such at; or at

5. On State flag of New York, a yellow one, even described as a Phrygian cap, in some places, but a "Liberty cap" at

6. On the seal of the United States Senate,;

7. On many South and Central American coats of arms:  Phrygian caps go secular.
A fine picture of an antique one, and a relief depiction, is at this blog -- Imagine a somewhat larger watch cap, taller, looser, but without the roll rim. Then you may recognize it. The top pulls over.

Look at the Liberty Dollar - she sits with a Phrygian cap on a stick. Here it is at North Carolina, at ://

Second, Its Uses.
  • International relations boost. Phrygia is part of the now-Turkey, ://; the old Anatolia, with an impressive building heritage, later fallen into a source of slaves for Greece, see :// They may have arrived from the Bulgaria area, and were once attacked by Amazons, says i-cias.
  • Political Unifier. It would befit some candidate, or both, to adopt the cap. It promotes justice, truth, freedom from oppression, free thinking. Use red, blue, perhaps purple for mix. Or Smurf white. Or attach a mood-ring type device so the color changes with attitude. Or red, white and blue stripe, for waving at rallies, like the Terrible Towels of the Pittsburgh Steelers, see ://; or for wearing, like the Cheeseheads, see :// You could do big ones on sticks in foam. We need to lighten up politicking here.
  • Why not a new Phrygian popsicle shape? In both red and blue. With the little flip forward on top. Or rename the Dairy Q shape. No longer a curl on top, but a Phrygian Flip.
The symbol that won't go away. See proposal to establish the Phrygian Cap formally as the symbol of Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, and a Fifth added, at PoseJuxta: Phrygian Cap Symbol for Independence.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Serbia's Territory and Woodrow Wilson's 1918 Fourteen Points WWI. Kosovo.

The Peril of Ignoring Public Opinion


Serbia's violent reaction to the declared independence of its province, Kosovo - what is their view, as fodder, not mattering any more. What could this country have done, and what can it do, to stabilize the issue. Why act so abruptly, brusque with people's lives and histories, with this matter now polarizing nations as well as the populations there.

1. We Set Expectations that Now We Break.

Woodrow Wilson in his Fourteen Points for going to War in 1918 (WWI) set as a goal for Serbia the restoration of its territory and access to the sea, the Adriatic.

Here it is: Point 11.

"Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into." See //

2. Setting at the time.

The Ottoman Empire had been pushed back, and the interest was in restoring what had been lost for several centuries. This is more than, as Condoleezza Rice said, reported in the Hartford Courant today, Saturday, February 23, 2008, that it was time for Serbia to get over its loss of Kosovo in 1389. This said in support of the United States fostering independence for Kosovo in its quest for independence.

3. Have history and culture been factored in this time.

This administration has not been known for its appreciation of cultural and historical background before barging in places.

As I recall, even NATO's involvement in Serbia promised respect for Serbia's boundaries - checking the site.

For current Serbia and Balkan news, here is the site for the inside piece on Kosovo, navigate all around: go to B92 Politika at ://

Since 1918 there have been additional horrors. Orthodox set to death in Fascist and Nazi concentration camps, with Roman Christians looking on (do a search for Stepinac and see the variations in views here, decide for yourself); and yet it was Serbia that bore the brunt of the Ottoman Empire advance, keeping it out of Europe. Do they have reason to feel betrayed? See Jasenovac post at Croatia Road Ways, Post 12/6/06 - Jasenovac Concentration Camp.

Yes, Serbia was criminal in its ethnic cleansing/ genocides in trying to get the ethnic Albanian Muslims back into Albania. Yet, why not address the issue with federation, not secession? Look at the rioting going on. Is this a new Ireland-Northern Ireland that we are fostering. Battle of the Boyne, Battle of Kosovo. Don't we know better? Read the epic poetry from the defeat at Kosovo Field.

4. Needed in the Public Interest.

Will someone who is neutral and on the syndicated newspaper circuit please do this - give us a cogent, thorough look at the historical reasons why the US has taken this step at this time. Help us see the view from Serbia, not just filtered news geared to persuade us to support US policy. What are the valid reasons why Serbians protest this last severance of its lands in the loss of Kosovo, even given their own missteps. Look at the loss of Montenegro (leaving Serbia with no access to the Adriatic Sea) a few years ago. Now the loss of Kosovo. Earlier parts of Bosnia's Serbs were let go. This concern for the feeling of humiliation acknowledges, does not minimize, Serbia's criminal attempts at genocide/ethnic cleansing to get back what it lost to the Ottomans. Its means of ridding itself of those who had converted to Islam, and followed into Serbian lands with the Ottomans, and from Albania. We reject immigrants here, when they reach a critical mass and to not assimilate, don't we; in other ways.

5. Looking ahead.

Currently, and historically, we understand that Muslim Albanians have been "laid back" compared to other cultures that do not tolerate other religions. They lived for centuries together with Orthodox and Roman Christians, we understand. See the compatibility at this Orthodox site, and the overview of the epic poems springing from the battle, reflecting King Lazar as in the imitation of Christ: "Kosovo in the History of the Serbian Church." at :// if there is an Islamic State in the Balkans, how long will moderation last. See, as an example, concerns for radicalization at at :// Do we appreciate the depth of feeling on the part of Serbians, or, is time up in the modern world, as Condoleezza Rice suggests in her exasperation, her view of this kind of obsession with 1389. Yet, read the epic about the Maid of Kosovo yourself, one of the series of poems, at ://

Is our interest in Kosovo primarily military advantage (and that does have pros and cons); and if so, are we missing an important point needed for resolution of violence. We need to acknowledge.

Serbians have a counter view point, on their fault or not, and the West manipulating ethnic tensions, not just Serbian evildoing, at :// Factually correct or not, it is a belief to be reckoned with. We have substantial military operations there already, including Camp Bondsteel, see // How humanitarian are our interests?

At least lay out an analysis of the factors, and let us follow the reasoning: military vs. humanitarian vs. "justice." This won't go to rest until the cultural narratives are addressed. See overview at ://

Amateurs like this blog need better info, and our local papers are just publishing dandruff.

6. Immediate questions.

Could we not have waited several months before going full throttle forward. These issues are of our own making, as to expectations, even looking at all the Balkans did for us Europeans over centuries, as much as history's. See what we think we know at an amateur overview, see Bosnia Road Ways, Kosovo and sites linked there.

Why this great cheer for secessions? The question will not go away. The North in the US did not allow the South to secede, what other nations fear secessions, maybe that is good, maybe not, but we the people seek background information here. Why not federate Serbia?

Precipitous positions, disaster. This latest policy sounds precipitous, not long-term fact-based. It appears even political, in destabilizing this already troubled area at this particular time. A distraction by its timing. W are looking for reasons to trust, leadership and policy. Condie's belittling Serbs by referring only to the Battle of Kosovo is not enough.

FN 1 Update August 2008 to original post. See Woodrow Wilson and George Creel in 1917, the Committee on Public Information at Hello Fodder, CPI. Then see here, Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points in 1918. Those were part of that effort: an articulated, cogent series of reasons for going to war. People could examine, discuss.

Then see why we are failing now. Serbia, Kosovo, and another update (this is August 2008) for looking at that - Georgia, Russia, South Ossetia, Azhkazia.

The topic for 2008 is not a World War, already in progress, with the issue being whether and when the United States enters in. The issue is our intervention in the matters of other nations, Serbia, and its province Kosovo. Kosovo declared independence. Fine. But is our "national interest" well placed there, and is it being well executed. What confidence do we have in the thought process and what it may lead to.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kosovo as Fodder: Disinformation, Misinformation, Missing Information

Kosovo and the turmoil in the Balkans.

Cetinje, Montenegro, Directions sign

Note on the fun sign here: the way to the Louvre, the Vatikan, the Uffizi Gallery. This, in the mountain city of Cetinje of Montenegro, outside an ancient monastery, in the Balkans. We all need to orient ourselves, and seek recognition as part of a mainstream, even with a healthy dose of humor.
Which way to go.

Why are Serbians so tied to Kosovo, when they currently comprise only some 10% of the population, and the rest is mostly Albanian Muslim? Why not let the Muslims have the area? And why are Serbians, as mostly Orthodox Christians, tied to Russia. Why not more pro-West, aside from the West's current support of independence for Kosovo.

We treat Serbians and Muslims both as fodder if we do not look deeper. Start with how those in the area define their history:

Kosovo. Look at the epic poems and images that emerged from the Battle of Kosovo 1389, a pivot point in national identity. See its history, even if you go no further than our rough outlines at
These deal with cultural memory and battles, with an identity-pull that supersedes later-known facts. We, as humans, often remember the spin, not the truth - we also do not remain open to later truths once a commitment to a position has been made ("emoticon dominance"). In those days, as ours, the spin became the truth. But at least they had no way of documenting otherwise - and we do, as to our own spins. This battle, on Kosovo Field, entered hearts.


First, get a flavor of the Balkans.
Our sense is that they are frustrated at being marginalized, because their location has put them so much in the path of other people's interests, and they have sacrificed so much over the centuries, as a buffer against the Ottomon Empire, that benefited Europe - with little thanks. Is that so?
Second, in Serbia and for Serbs in Kosovo, more is at stake than land. Boundaries have changed over time.

But there is apparently a particular part of land in Kosovo, "sacred land," that is essential to Serbian historic identity. It is like a "child" of the heart, and though the beloved child is lost, it is fervently believed that effort will restore him to the hearth. Read about the pivotal battle that was fought and lost to the Turks in 1389, the Battle of Kosovo. Some would hold all of Kosovo as that precious.

Battle of Kosovo. Its long saga is laid out at:// The epic poems that emerged as the cultural narrative about it, are at :// Read especially the poem about the Maid of Kosovo, on the battlefield, tending wounds, at ://

Custody analogy. Kosovo's issues, especially with Kosovo Plain, hit deep emotions, much like a custody battle: where one parent has taken the child out of state, and is trying to keep him there by filing a lawsuit, and the other parent protests and brings brought a suit at "home" to get him back and keep him there. We may need to work out in essence a fiduciary parenting plan - visitation in the old word - for it, to lay out who has what responsibilities to preserve, foster and protect the specific territory. What access will each have, what responsibilities, for this joint treasure. If some other country's people took over Gettysburg and surrounds, would we seek any less.

Why pay attention? Because we owe the Balkans. We need to pay attention here. Arthur Miller understood the need for dignity. "Attention must be paid." See Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," Linda talking about Willy Loman, :// It takes more to address deep issues than for other countries merely to line up to agree or disagree with independence.

The Balkans have long been History's Invasion Express Route of Choice. Its history is long and complex, and Europe has long benefited from the Balkans - the Venetians taking its lumber for its ships, merely paying tribute to the Turks (no burden, given Venetian wealth at the time), leaving the Balkans to actually have to fight them, the Balkans' sacrificing and only ultimately serrving as the buffer area beyond which the Ottomon Empire could Turkish armies, this one in neighboring Montenegro. Wind, hairpin, up in your car, one lane with a few laybys, and don't look down.

Read the history at; and :// Specifically, look at Kosovo there.

Ostrog, Montenegro, Cliff monastery

Our treating Kosovo in isolation now is so surface as to constitute misinformation, disinformation. False reporting.

Third, appreciate Russia's long association here. It was Russia in the 19th Century that made it possible for Serbia to become its own nation when the Ottoman Empire that had engulfed if was forced to withdraw. See 5.2 here. The Serbian cultural narrative says that Russia is their friend. Is that correct? Serbs, please respond. We're trying to work this out here. To understand.

Read the Russian views here - very strong, at this Serbian-Balkan news source, B92 Politika. The original mandate to NATO was to respect Serbia's boundaries, so we cannot be surprised at the violent reaction to those boundaries being unilaterally compromised. ://

Fourth, appreciate the religious element, among Christians. There are centuries-old rivalries, and even perceived genocide: Roman Catholic Christian (example, in Croatia, where Jasenovac Concentration Camp is located, and Cardinal Stepinac is a focal point of accusations of complicity vs. praise for saving Jews, see 5.4 here. Just do a search for "Stepinac" and see both views come up) vs. Eastern Orthodox Christian (mostly Serbian). During WWII, the allegations of mass murder, genocide, and complicity with the killings, were aimed at high levels, and just as hotly denied. Why should Orthodox Serbs favor or trust the West, where the Serbian cultural narrative tells them that they were targeted by Roman Catholic Christians along with the fascists in WWII, and those same Serbs were defeated by the Ottoman Muslims, and there is a tinderbox of resentment.

It goes back further. Remember the Roman branch's crusades against "heretics" - I believe the Byzantines may also have targeted "heretics" in the Balkans, have to check, but the point is that it was not Russia. Not Slav against Slav. The cultural memory.

We need to factor in cultural narrative, whether it is factually correct or not, in with policy. If it is not factually correct, it still must be dealt with.

Where in our policy do we address the land-custody aspects of Kosovo's history, especially the role of cultural narrative in how that area is seen (the heart of Serbians). Do we have a history of being Serbia's trusted ally, more than Russia. The West is the home of the Roman Catholics who have been, in the past, the enemy of the Orthodox.

And where to we address the narratives themselves, the cultural issues about the Battle of Kosovo, for example, and its role in Orthodox-Muslim relations, may be as important as the gaffe in failing to understand Sunni vs. Shi'a in Iraq - apparently that was not even known by our leaders until we were already there and Humpty was already off the wall.
Look up the history. Please appreciate how much more is in issue here than the papers or the evening news.

1. Ancient history. From vast BC to the Year 1 AD, see: // Everybody, Celts, Illyrians, Dacians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. The Metropolitan Museum in NY has a fine timeline - see ://

2. Byzantine Empire - Orthodox Christians. Then came the fall of Constantinople 1104 to the Roma Catholic Christians (!) (the sack of Constantinople, its own issue); and then the Ottomans taking over in 1453. See://

3. Other Middle Ages events, Crusades, Venetians: Invasions by Venetians, deforestation to outfit Venetian merchant and military vessels. See how the boundaries of Serbia and other countries moved :// Here is one showing the boundaries of the Balkan Countries during the Crusades - click on it to enlarge, at :// See there "Slavonia" next to Croatia - that is part of Croatia now, and different from Slovenia, another country entirely but part of the Balkans near Italy, and different from Slovakia, that used to be part of Czechoslovakia.

This sounds so convoluted, no wonder people take one look and give up on it.

Don't. Stay with it.

4. Here enters Kosovo, the Battle of Kosovo 1389, and Medieval Serbia - This subject is of passion, more then mere nationalism, for Serbs. Here is an extensive accounting, from the Serbian perspective, at :// The Turks defeated the Orthodox Christian Serbs at Kosovo Plain, Kosovo Polje. Do an Images search for Battle of Kosovo. See it.

5. Modern Era. Go here for maps showing the boundaries changing, and empires, and countries at varying time periods, :// at 1.
Read the entire article at

5.1 As an outline, from 1815-1839, look at the expanse of the Ottoman Empire, the Muslim advance from Turkey. The Ottoman Empire included Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania. Greece achieved its independence from the Turks in 1829.

5.2 Then the Turks over time were driven back, and by 1914, other European powers had filled the domination gap. The Austro-Hungarians took over Bosnia and Croatia. Russia helped a new Serbia to emerge as a country (remember the Serbian who assassinated the Crown Prince of Austria in Sarajevo, Bosnia, triggering WWI).

5.3 After WWI, various countries were united as a new Yugoslavia, a kingdom of the South Slavs. These countries included Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro. There were many Muslims in Bosnia, and those were not given special identity.

5.4 1942- Hitler's Axis powers controlled Yugoslavia, with a puppet government in Croatia - fascists who engaged in genocides, had concentration camps.

Jasenovac, Croatia, concentration camp memorial

Serb Orthodox Christians were killed there, along with, gypsies, Jews. Finally, Tito emerged as the new leader of communist partisans who, with Serbian royalists (Chetniks), then fought the Nazis and Tito became the president of the new Yugoslavia. Serbia never forgot its deaths; and many harbor deep anger at Roman Catholic authorities who stood by, in their view. Do a search for the two versions of the Stepinac situation, if this interests you. It relates to the Serbian outrage and now being deprived yet again. Just search "Stepinac" and read both sides.

5.5 1945-1990: "Cold War" stability, of sorts. Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia. Macedonia is now known as the Republic of Macedonia, to distinguish it from areas the Greek consider their historic "Macedonia," the "Macedon" near Thessaloniki, where Alexander the Great was born, see :// Communism began to fail, and Slobodan Milosovic, Serbia, pushed Serbian nationalism even to areas outside Serbia's bordes, where Serbs lived, and that helped bring down Communism as well.

5.6 1991-1995: War. Slovenia seceded, peacefully. When Croatia seceded also in 1991, fighting broke out. Spread to Bosnia in 1992, with great atrocities (genocide to the Muslims, ethnic cleansing to the Serbs, war crimes tribunals have since conducted some trials of Serb leaders). In English, see the handwritten sign for any tourists, the plea that we not "forget."

Mostar, Bosnia, Turkish Quarter

5.7 Then in 1995, a Peace Accord was signed in Dayton Ohio, - The Dayton Accords, largely through efforts of President Clinton. By then, and after, Muslims who had moved in from Albania, starting with the Ottoman Invasions, were still there, despite the killings by the Serbs to push them back to Albania; and many Serbs moved out.

6. TODAY: Kosovo has declared independence from the rest of Serbia. The TV news tells us 2/17/08 Sunday evening that the population in Kosovo now is 90% Albanian and 10% Serbian.

Here is a helpful site, that focuses on neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina's experience and genocide of its Muslims by Serbs, but it offers a historical chronology of the Balkan area as well: see :// Even that got complex, so we outlined some of the basics at Bosnia Road Ways, history, divisions.

People who accept spin without requiring facts, can be used as fodder where the facts are hidden, or there - but were not dredged up in time, to be absorbed before emotional narratives, based on partial facts, took over. Kosovo - the emotional narrative took over long ago, and facts were undocumented, so nothing ever refuted it. Now look. And our policies are leaving that entire issue out -indeed like deciding a divorce without looking at custody.

The Balkans can teach us so much. But our reporting is like an oil slick over an entire ocean's habitat. The turmoil in Kosovo, its roots, its perpetuation, is far below the surface.

We ourselves are falling into the same trap of simply reporting war situations, or potentials, without looking into the background. This is not just another "tinderbox" in the Balkans. This particular tinderbox has roots that affect us in the United States because we are following its model: The spinners are taking over from facts, and people adopting the spinners regardless of later facts coming out.

Hiding facts, or having no facts for whatever reason, lets spinners take over, and once spinners take over and people set their minds, no later facts will change the original persuasion, easily. Another Kosovo is born, through myth.
Meander. Some of us, with computers, can look things up on the internet to check on reporting. Many households do not have computers, so what is reported in TV or the local paper, just bought, prevails. Talk about creating fodder. That is why new media ownership concentrations are frightening. If media is concentrated as to ownership, the offset should be every house indeed with a computer, wired to internet. See Hello, Fodder: FCC Fleecing Sheep.

As with people in the Balkans, we have people here whose deepest loyalties and needs are indeed ignored by others, particularly in access to this here internet - left unwired even as we pull back on protections for neutrality in TV news. And there are TV's. Our own disposable populations.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Yale Frat Boy Virus Spreads To UConn. Rankism. Apply Pinkie Wiggle.

Headline: "400 Rally In Response to Rapes"
University of Connecticut
See Hartford Courant 10/18/2008

UConn. Still Out of Control. Headline. A12

Recurrent themes. Address it again. Women drugged, raped, outraged. And no help from the administration of the university (in loco parentis any more?) in any effective way. We first addressed this topic on February 11, 2008. Rankism, see See :// See Berger, Daniel (August 2005). "Book review: Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank". Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 198 (8): 571.

Rankism as a mental disease. Is that is? And does the syndrome comprise the abuse, exploitation and infliction of powerlessness. Rampant. And now worse - the rapes are routine.

Background: Here is the gist of the earlier post, when the issue was "only" public groping and thrusting and humiliating: The News. UConn Stands By - Time to Humiliate Somebody. Everybody Watch. See FN 1

Here is the latest installment in an area we had hoped would go away: examples of cultural rank enforcements. Who forces. How is the pattern, learned young, carried over to other areas - force over merit.
Abuse, humiliation, forced groping, strangers in public, small event, in terms of world affairs. But part of a larger whole - forcing people into a fodder role - again. Would you have more concern if this were your daughter. Or is life just this way.

Why is this list even necessary?

1. Stand up. Institutions, these are on your watch. Time to stand up and be counted because damage is building. Past similar issues: for your own research see Theft of Consent; Joy of Equivocating, Yale Cultural Dhimmi.

2. Significance. Powerlessness does inflict damage.

We will not be surprised if UConn and Yale and all the other institutions helping shape the young continue to doze, however. Research: As people get older, they get less able to see old problems in new ways, held in by their own histories, see Hartford Courant OpEd "The Age Factor, What Learning Research Tells Us About Candidates," by Robert Epstein 5/4/2008 at C-1; at ://,0,2902271.story

That learning limitation, old ones, is also why we need to address the issue with those who are young, when they are young.

3. Just how stuck are we.

What are we stuck in? Rankism. Is there a short-cut to changing behavior. FN 2.

Try a visual, get into a personal experience.

Here we are, in a little room with both sides open so we could indeed get out (the portcullis is up). Imagine being in there, escape in sight, but nobody moves - everybody just stands there and takes the abuse poured down from above.

Bojnice Castle, Slovakia.

See it at Slovakia Road Ways, Bojnice Castle.

Is that what it is like? Nobody physically trapped, but nobody moves. The culture prevents the push-back needed.
Entitlements of the men, assumed rank superior to women, role patterns, all stay the same year after year.

That familiarity does not mean we are safe. Look above there, in this and other castles. The murder hole. From that little place can come all the arrows and spears and boiling things.

The rule: When there is a murder hole above you is to keep moving or you may well die.

We can't afford that old mindset of who is entitled to be on top merely because of a status of race, gender, all that. We need every brain, every talent, every skill we have, in whatever status package, and free of crippling by others.

4. Rankism in all its forms stunts people; and undermines democracy.

The effects of humiliation and forced powerlessness are real injuries to the person. A crippling in important ways. Have you read "The Kite Runner," by Khaled Hosseini, recently in film. There is indeed damage when someone witnesses abuse, and who, out of self-interest, does nothing. Pretends he saw nothing. Who me? But the damage of humiliation and doing nothing about it is huge, on both sides. Damage to the victim who realizes how unimportant he or she really is; and to the one standing by, who cannot tolerate his own cowardice. So blames the victim, etc. etc. Lives altered forever. See the cycle of abuse in families - do a search. What is done to you, you do - to someone else. The poison is not purged by ignoring it. Some may move forward, but the direction is far different.

5. Force and humiliation are the theft of consent, theft of dignity.
Theft is taking value. It includes Theft of Personhood. Turning a person simply by asserting supremacism, into a Thing for one's own relief. For starters, see Theft of Consent, Theft of Dignity. Read in the Kite Runner that all that is evil is theft. How to get across the depth of the outrage, to finally root it out entirely. You have no right to do that to someone, to invade their life.

6. Name the deed. Rankism.
Asserting rank by status, rather than merit, as these boys did (we are male and we get to do it, see?) kills a culture in time, and is doing that now. This is not a new analytical topic. Rankist describes those whose identity depends upon proving they are ahead of defined others on a line of importance, or a pyramid, such that the only way to get "ahead" is to push off that person ahead, or otherwise stomp their way to get what they want. The rights of others to dignity or consideration? You-must-be-kidding. This is a dominant mode of living among many of us in our culture's history, see Rankism. Rankism, supremacism, unbridled capitalism. All the same - leading to broad instabilities in the society,

The issue is: are there alternative ways of organizing ourselves so we all survive without killing each other.

A high rank for anyone in a democracy must relate directly to

a) superior set of skills, merit, accomplishments,
b) derived on a level playing field with no competitors kept out for reasons of their status, and
c) operation for values for the common good. A Fiduciary.

A high rank based on force, deceit, elbowing, hoarding, propaganda, secrecy? No. Starting at our earliest education levels.

7. The Digital Neutralizer is needed.We need to extinguish or modify the rankism using established behavior modification methods. Here, the Digital Neutralizer.

How to remove the reward for offensive behavior: Apply common behavioral modification theory. Remove the reward. In this case, as probably in others, apply the pinkie. Is it possible to keep a sense of humor in all this, or is humor offensive in serious matters? We vote for humor. Accordingly, we use a weapon of choice in order to do the following:

Deprive the actor of the reward.

This technique is part of any doggie or baby training. How does it work? Meet Tippie. Here, Tip!

Now: The idea is not to reward the behavior you want to extinguish, or at least modify.

Don't ignore it. Don't excuse it. Don't pretend it did not happen.

If it happened to you, or you saw it, or heard of it, push it to conclusion so it will not happen again. No more mere hope, lady. Hope helps the head, but enforces nothing to change things for the better for the next person.

Hope motivates, as Barack the Obama says. But without the will to action, it is watery soup. Did he also say that?

So, take away the reward for boorish, humiliation-targeting, dominance by force, intimidation actions. Let it fall of its own weight, and if it doesn't then act.

How to do that when the boys cheer other boys on, and the girls play along (do a search for the Stockholm syndrome for some parallels - identifying with the abuser).

A Digital Neutralizer.

The pinky wiggle was tried in Australia. With some danger.
The Australian solution. Read about it at :// Some boor got offensively macho, and the woman in response wiggled her pinky at him. He went ballistic - fine to subject the goose to humiliation, but for the goose to pass it back to the gander? Watch out.

See also Hydra Goes to College. That looked at Yale recently, where Frat Boys lined up in a gauntlet, chanting "Dick!dick! dick!" on both sides as women sought to continue on their way.
The pinky wiggle was proposed as a way to get the point across that the behavior would not have consequences in kind.

So, is Pinky Wiggling a Good Antidote to Rankism. Or is one group entitled to make those assertions, and the recipient group not - the risk too great.
  • Pro. It may be the only gesture that conveys the depth of the insult, reverses the feeling, the outrage at forced domination by someone asserting supremacism not out of merit, but out of a status circumstance - gender. If Administrations and an entire culture will sit back and treat it as a prank, and an entitlement, a mere rite of spring, ladies, take matters into your own hands.
There is a point where elbowing back is needed. No other language is understood, so that the perps themselves feel what the issue is, is the only recourse. Don't let it go on. Obviously more cops on the paths and mere discussions got nowhere. There comes a time to elbow back - in a measured way. Quietly. Effectively.

Spot the trouble, but hold back until you see how much is needed in response, and are sure of the facts; and only then do it.
  • Con. But is there is a place for force, even this subtle kind of "cultural invasion" to get a job done? Or not? We object to invasions of countries just for our national self-interest, so how justify a cultural invasion at home? This stuff is taken for granted all the time. Human dilemma. When is force ok. But we are pacifists, above all that, we say. We want to solve problems, not fight, not lower ourselves to that level.
The Pros have it.

But do not take it lightly. The Pinkie is one among several remedies, but one you always have with you. Women at Yale, Women at UConn. Make your point digitally. Publicly. Loose Your Pinkies. When you see the perps on campus - you know who they are because you watched, and they know who they are - just let the littlest digits fly. Do it yourself, ever so elegantly, but pointedly. Every time.

Be forewarned. Sometimes the antidote itself - the making "little" of things on which some people rely for ego - may bring on such an Enhanced Viral Outbreak that you'd better wear your running shoes. The survival manual says to do it on the sly. And at a distance, until you see if the perp has a sense of humor and can say,"Ok, I get your point - I'm back in line." Or some such.

So, for safety, do it deniably. Who me? Just smoothing my eyebrow over here. Mmm-hmmm.

Implications for deterrence. The new cold war.

Would the mere threat of this keep their behavior in check. Oh, sing for the drive for human dignity and reacting when it is being denied - You do that to me, and I will see that you are laughed at, and no kudo rewards come your way.


FN 1
  • The editor of a student newspaper at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, soon to graduate, was assaulted as she walked home after a party at night on a party weekend. There was no "injury" of the medical kind: she was forced back against a tree and repeatedly thrust against by a groaning boor. She yelled and fought.
  • A crowd gathered and watched. The boor said something like, "You think that was assault?" and then he pulled down her top, "grabbing her breasts." The crowd just stood there. Read it at the Hartford Courant, at ://,0,4385454.story/
What next for her? She may not pursue the issue, other than to report it and hope it doesn't happen again, hope that a crowd may act to stop abuse. Hope that she and other female people, even after partying on a party weekend, can walk home.

This was UConn. Yale had its naughty-naughty but do-nothing moment a few months ago. See Yale's history. There was a Rankist Virus outbreak at Yale University at New Haven, a burg nearby, not long ago - read about the "Dick! Dick! Dick" gauntlet by the Yale Frat Boys there, at Hydra Goes To College.

The reward to the inflictor, from these cumulative intimidations inflicted on others. The inflictor gets power from the passive onlookers. Turn away, watchers. Entitlements asserted and noone steps forward. Again. Abusers learn early that it works, abuse keeps people down, and abuse will not be punished. Not a whit. Rewards! Kudos! High fives!
Guys, keep your sense of humor, quit it, and we all can Live While Human. Time. Is. Up.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rank, Rankism and the Dignitarian - Social Roles

 The Evolution of Rankism

I. Rankism. 
A.  Evolution. How does prejudice grow. Look at the role of a concept called, "Rankism."

It starts with the idea that the rank and file ("fodder"* to this site), regular people, can be regulated and kept in a particular role by those who seek a higher status than the rank and file and so enforce a particular rank system.  A group or an individual sees his or her self-identity as above or below someone else, and so forces a low esteem status upon anyone possible, in order to attain security for himself or herself. See; and "Rankism - The Mother of All Isms" - see It is a matter of behavior, how the other is treated.

B  Dignitarianism counters Rankism.

2.1  Those who champion the downtrodden would apply the antidote of Dignitarianism.

The Dignitarian's approach is to treat everyone with dignity, regardless of status, seen as above or below. The dignitarian may well see himself or herself as above or below, but that does not affect how that person treats the other. See The Dignitarian Movement - founder, Robert Fuller, see :// He coined the word, "Rankism."

Read his book, "Somebodies and Nobodies," by Robert Fuller, see Nobodies are too many times belittled, invalidated, humiliated, by the Somebodies in Power. See also ://

The idea is out there - its own meme. A cultural idea that spreads like a little brain virus, head to head, see :// A new meme, that everyone is indeed to be treated with dignity, may be emerging and spreading - see ://

Yale can use some Dignitarians.
Rankism at Yale's Fraternity, Zeta Psi.
See the recent news article about frat boys asserting "rankism" by humiliating women at Yale. Note, of course, that the rude ones have, and had, no superior "rank" at all, but are simply "rank." See Joy of Equivocating, Yale Dhimmi.

C. Dignitarianism in story and history. Go back to Ulysses, Odysseus.
Ulysses, asked his name by the blinded Cyclops, said, I am No-Man.  No identity at all.

The Power of No-man. The ultimate "fodder" title, the ultimate "rank and file" person. Remember that from the Travels of Ulysses, Latin; or Odysseus , Greek.

Greece, near Delphi

All Ulysses wants is to get home, after Troy, this hero of the Greeks to his Penelope, back in Greece. He has many adventures as he sails around through storms and misadventures with his men.

Join with us now, as we find him and his men in the cave, in a land far away, where they are trapped with the sheep and the one-eyed Giant Cyclops.

Cyclops is eating the tasty men, handful by handful.

Ulysses and the men manage to blind Cyclops with a hot poker, and Cyclops bellows out, "Who Did This To Me?"

" 'No man' is my name," says Ulysses.

And Cyclops runs out for help. "Noman, Noman did this to me!"

Say his friends: "If no man did it, then it is the work of the gods, and yours to bear." See

No man, the Nobody, did it, and can again.
* Rank and File

II.  Rank.

Great word. It has several meanings, see including military connotations and odoriforous. Rank and file. Stay in single file, stay in line, see the spinning out in a long thread ://, leading to humiliation of those below.  Here, it is seen as the "illegitimate" use of rank to disregard, disrespect others, see

The rank and file now have a yell. See this 2006 article, "A battle cry for the rank and file," at

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Immigrants and Equity. Racial Fodder. England. A Tale of Three Immigrants. Barber, Turpin, Oluwale

 Immigrants. Bondages of Other Times

"Of black men the numbers are too great who are now repining under English cruelty."
Johnson: Idler #87 (December 15, 1759) at://

Immigration and Equity
People, Hope, and Reality 


This, from Akure, Nigeria, a political rally in 1966, Yoruba. People in their own land. What happens to choice when people become a minority, kinds of bondage. We think we know, but follow some stories.

Go to Caryl Phillips' book, Foreigners, see // Phillips writes in the voice of the era, so that his account of these real people is told as they would themselves have told, and others heard, it. FN 1


Francis Barber was the the black companion and loyal servingman to Samuel Johnson, that famous 18th Century lexicographer (tracing words) and essayist, see ://  Johnson lived 1709-1783.For an overview on Samuel Johnson, see this broad roadmap site at //  Samuel Johnson "...had been a great champion of the negro people, and he had loudly expressed his opinion that slavery could never be considered the natural condition of man." Foreigners at page 8.

Immigrant servingman, or slave? Sources vary.  Either way, he ended up from Jamaica, in England. Francis Barber according to most had been sold as a child, age 8, to an Englishman from a plantation in Jamaica, and brought to England.  He ended up with and served Dr. Johnson, and was later freed.  For Francis Barber himself, start at // See :// Sources, biographers, historians often disagree.  Facts move about.  This source suggests Barber was a willing immigrant - not according to other sources. Now, see ://

"Dr. Johnson's Watch."  Their relationship became trusted, devoted, mutual. But the environment was hostile to blacks at the time, and to any idea that station in life was influenced by conditions, not just character.

An Englishman bought Francis Barber, slave. Or was Barber a servingman?

Character.  Character determines a life, not context, believes the narrator.

The narrator of Francis Barber's story in the book is of that 18th Century era, and maintains his observing distance.  That means his superiority, a role he does not question. The narrator relates detached fact after detached fact, seeing no influence except Barber's own shortcomings that affect the course of his life in England.  Character and never context control.

If he was a slave, when was he freed?  Not clear.  As a servingman, Francis Barber made his way trying other routes than serving Dr. Johnson, including seamanship, but ended up again with Dr. Johnson and served him for 30 years.

Marriage.  Francis Barber married a poor white Englishwoman.

Life after Johnson's Death.  Upon the death of Samuel Johnson, Barber's fortunes fell off sharply - he had been left a small annuity by Dr. Johnson, but that was soon lost to local sharks and his own mishandling.  He lost his health, his family became destitute.

Francis Barber is always less than a full human to the contemporary narrator -  referred to as the sooty fellow, blackamoor, piccanninny, ebony personage, "the negro," and constitutionally unfit for the climate.

The narrator, at the end, finally brings himself to do a token gesture but has hardly changed his own mind. Those people do not belong.


Randolph Tupin, see the Foreigners section "Made in Wales,"  was a black middleweight boxer in England, who defeated Sugar Ray Robinson 1951. "You were real good. I have no alibis. I was beaten by a better man" Sugar Ray Robinson, quoted at this tribute and video site, at ://

The story is similar to that of Francis Barber - he was never accepted. See him at ://, and //  See the bout at at :// section about Randolph turpin is entitled, "Made in Wales."

Turpin, born in 1928, was the first black boxer to win an ABA championship.  He had setback after setback after a rematch, which Sugar Ray Robinson won, and finally committed suicide in 1966.  


The last section, "Northern Lights" is about David Oluwale. He was a stowaway to England from Nigeria 1951. David Oluwale, what was your group in Nigeria?.

After his arrival, he finally got work in foundries without proper protective clothing, worked also in industrial Leeds.

He became ill, was hospitalized, was in trouble.  A Doctor once tells him, "Cheer up sunshine. Perhaps you should try going to the cinema. That'll make you feel better., Everybody's the same colour in there." At page 171.

David Oluwale was found dead in the river Aire 1969, a suspicious death, a battered body - read the investigative book about it, "The Hounding of David Oluwale," at the Institute of Race Relations site at  :// See the compelling photograph.

See also :// And //

His story became a play, in Leeds, also The Hounding of David Oluwale.  See :// The review notes that some police officers called him their favorite playmate. Two officers were found guilty of assault, and served prison time: but noone was charged with murder. This was the first time white officers in Britain were jailed for assaulting a person of color.

In the play, we understand that the narrative framework is an ongoing conversation between the Scotland Yard inspector investigating the death, and Oluwale himself, putting the pieces of the story together.

Blacks have been in England since the time of the Roman legions. See page 160.


FN 1 

Minority bondage forms. What choices are open to minority groups, individuals, here and in the past. When one path ends, what does or does not open up. Some eras or individuals say that is a matter of character, others say it is context, as anything, we say blend. Meet Francis Barber, Randolph Turpin, David Oluwale.

Update.  Issues of immigration, and the immigrant experience.  We read (this is several years later) that Utah has entered laws to control illegal immigration in its borders, while enabling a registration process for work there. That is somewhat of a balance, that Arizona would not include; but attitudes are still hostile.

Republican Representative Chris Herrod:  see his rigid, punitive reaction, based on what appears to be ignorance of what law is made of. Equity is part of an adjudication.  It belongs.

  • Immigration:  never easy into settings with limited space and established people who see themselves as tenured and the newcomer as a threat. For example, a politician there in Utah (R) objected to the work permit idea, with the excuse that the State would be seen as weak, not dedicated to the rule of law. See ://  Nonsense.  Equity has been a component of our jurisprudence for centuries, geared to overcome the rigidity of English Common Law -- the very rigidity peering nastily at us now, see ://  Equity is now merged with 'law'. See a dull but detailed and worthy overview at ://

Elijah the Tishbite was an immigrant.  See ://

    Euphemism as a Sales Tactic - Propaganda Method.

    We use language twists to convince fodder of something they otherwise would not "buy" or agree with.

    Make something sound benign when it isn't. See Clap, and someone believes. Torture is euphemized into enhanced interrogation so the people can't even talk about the same thing without having to use different words. See post on euphemism and torture ("enhanced interrogation") . See "When Force Is An Agenda, How It Is Sold".

    We euphemize routinely in our culture, and do not think of it as propaganda - a way of selling something. We even make a joke of it. See :// Are we really dulling ourselves, blunting some realities needing change; perpetuating a sub-status by perfume.

    Not all cultures accept that idea.

    1. Gypsies don't.

    Isabel Fonsaca, in her fine "Bury Me Standing, The Gypsies and Their Journey," that Gypsy cultures do not euphemize.

    A young woman with mental disabilities and unattractive appearance, who is unlikely to find someone to marry her, and such a marriage indeed would be frowned upon, is told that to her face from the start. It is part of her, and her place is secure. No secrets. She has her place in the world, and other people have theirs. If something is, they say it. Truth and reality may hurt, but expressing it is better than pretending it is not there. We treat Gypsies as fodder, but they have survived and we can learn things from them. See Gypsies, Roma.

    2. We do it because it makes eases persuasion. Get the result without facing the facts.

    To us, words like stupid and ugly are themselves ugly and politically incorrect. We prefer to make up words for our world, and sell the new words, rather than deal with the words that the world is. We say "sanitation engineer," implying a professional health-oriented advanced degree in performing a function, if a person indeed does the hard work of collecting garbage, and it takes admirable strength and reliability, but where it requires no special training. We say Blue Skies Act when the legislation increases pollution or permits company reduction of cabin bathroom feces removal while stuck on the tarmac for six hours from once every six hours to not at all. Just take off.

    Start your own list in the kitchen. No Child Left Behind. Then don't fund it. Operation Iraqi Freedom. Then plant your own profiteers and jimmy the rudders.

    3. Euphemism works because it keeps us comfortable.

    We should not be comfortable, yet. That allows the infection to slide through inspection under different names, body language, rhymes. Does banning a word ban the underlying problem. If we don't express it, does it disappear. Snoop Dogg doesn't think so, in his finding utility in the n word. See advocating limited and focused use of it at //

    4. We even call it "news" coverage when it is merely squaring off opinionators.

    "Newsweek." This pulped weekly has hired two partisans (dedicated to a view angle), Marcus Moulitsas (Daily Kos) and Karl Rove (White House), to comment on the election cycle 2008, and take up space that could have been used for facts and evaluation. Is the magazine primarily "news" or has it morphed into another promoter of partisanship for cash.

    By pitting one partisan against the other, without a neutral ongoing to assess fact and merit re what is said as it is said, the issues become poison-ball tennis matches.

    I go for Kos, but prefer those views to be presented in a neutral, objective setting, not as a foil for a Rove. Rove is a creator and seller of ideas that benefit His People. And he is highly skilled. That does not mean the ideas are good for anyone but his chosen group. Putting a Rove approach (sales without demonstrating underlying facts as to the common good, or merit) diminishes Kos. The placement allows the Kos view to be marginalized because of the setting, not on merits of each as to a common good.

    What is likely to happen in terms of thinking. It will not increase. Watch the imitator partisans line up before dawn behind their chosen champions before the partisans even start the show.

    This isn't "news." News at Newsweek has become a euphemism for opinion wars. It saves them money because they don't have to investigate, come to their own measured assessment. Newsweek can provide slant over fact and fosters more stereotyped volume, division, and derision, not the dissemination of the unspun information citizens need to form their own opinions. Newsweek now overtly waters the imitators and consumers, and more partisans and extractors, not citizens.

    Needed: an equally high profile assessment professional for the coming political poison-ball tennis matches. Point out the spin on both sides, ruthlessly. Apparently the Fox people also do not like their views possibly diluted by another. See // For "dysphemism," making things sound worse - another sales tactic, as is euphemism, at Joy of Equivocating, Dysphemism, Euphemism, Sales Tactics.

    Saturday, February 2, 2008

    Hydra Goes to College - Fodder's In The Ivy League: Yale Frat Boys



    A Small Play in Repetitive Acts

    Act I of I
    The breakfast nook

    Scene 1 of 1
    The Antidote - A Manual for Digital Management*


    She: (reading the paper): Fodder's in the Ivy League. Yale.

    He: (enters, stage left): Surely, not back there!

    She: (clicking) Not that fodder. The kind you use up. It goes where the boys are. Look. Suddenly it's 1960. Every time there's some progress made somewhere, the The Hydra appears again. Turn around and it rears its ugly head. History repeating. No change. Tedium. Tedia.

    He: What is It?

    They're ba-a-ack. They sure are. (shows the story header).

    He: (reads, passes back the paper) Why the fuss? Just the guys and a prank. Big deal. Can't they take a joke.

    She: Right. No big deal.

    [Time passes. She thinks, looks at He, shakes her head, goes back to paper]

    She: Look! Here it is again (passes over the paper). But it's flipped! Down under! Hey!


    She: (humming) Um-hmmmm. Roit you are. Why the fuss? Just the gals and a prank. Big deal. Can't they take a joke. (He stomps out, She looks up from paper) Shoe's on the other foot? (Looks at her hand, turns it) This little pinky.... just another wag of... We are now looking at the true power of digital communication (takes out cell phone, pokes). Even if done sub rosa. Even think it!

    Hello, Yale Daily News? May I have your Women's Pages editor? Thank you. (Waits) Of course, they could also just carry little fake flowers and sweetly hand them out, like the daisies in the guns, and just think the pinkie. Safety in florae. Soothing. Time to adjust. Time's up.

    Fade. Curtain.

    * Fair use intended of this form of direct linking, for the creative purposes of the drama, dramatic license-like.