lunes, 24 de abril de 2017

The communism that cost the lives of hundreds of millions in the 20thcentury still survives today.

The Communism that Has Drenched Mankind in Blood
Since the communist ideology that claims to represent equality, social justice and freedom actually holds materialist and Darwinist beliefs that favor conflict and explicitly denies the obvious existence of God, it has inflicted countless tragedies on all the countries in which it has been applied. The communism that cost the lives of hundreds of millions in the 20thcentury still survives today.
We can see the kind of world that communism desires by looking at previous examples:
The Savagery of Lenin
Lenin adopted a new interpretation of Marxism by saying that the revolution needed to be carried by a Communist Party made up of professional revolutionaries, run with military discipline and empowered to speak on behalf of the working class. And that interpretation made revolution based on terror and violence an inseparable part of communism. Lenin’s view, which appeared in the magazine Proletari as early as 1906, 11 years before the Bolshevik Revolution, in the article “The phenomenon in which we are interested is the armed struggle,” (Vladimir I. Lenin, 30 September 1906, Proletari, No. 5) led to the establishment of ruthless, oppressive regimes that ruled with violence and persecution in the wake of that revolution.
In the wake of the October revolution, both Red Army units and the secret police organization known as the “Cheka,” set up by Lenin, inflicted wave after wave of terror on those sections of society they regarded as counterrevolutionary:
From Nakhimovksky, all one could see was the hanging bodies of officers, soldiers, and civilians arrested in the streets. The town was dead, and the only people left alive were hiding in lofts or basements. All the walls, shop fronts, and telegraph poles were covered with posters calling for "Death to the traitors." They were hanging people for fun. (S.P. Melgunov, La Terreur rouge en Russie, 1918-1924, p. 81)
In all the towns and villages they entered, the Bolsheviks slaughtered those sections of society that did not support their ideology, and carried out extreme acts of violence for the purpose of terrorizing the people. The orders for many of these massacres came directly from Lenin himself.
For example, in one telegram to the Central Executive Committee of Penza soviet, he said:
Comrades! The kulak uprising in your five districts must be crushed without pity.The interests of the whole revolution demand such actions, for the final struggle with the kulaks has now begun. You must make an example of these people. Hang (I mean hang publicly, so that people see it) at least 100 kulaks, rich bastards, and known blood-suckers. Publish their names. Seize all their grain… Do all this so that for miles around people see it all, understand it, tremble… Reply saying you have received and carried out these instructions. Yours, Lenin. 
(Russian Center for the Conservation and Study of Historic Documents, Moscow (RTsKhIDNI), 2/1/6/898, Pavlyuchenkov, Krestyankskii Brest)
As a result of many other orders and measures similar to the one above commanded by Lenin, tens of thousands of people were executed without trial. Many opponents of the regime were sent to be worked to death under the harshest conditions in the concentration camps known as the "Gulag"; most didn't survive these camps. As a result, hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants who rebelled against the Bolshevik regime in 1918-1922 were slaughtered.
Man-Made Famine
A famine that cost the lives of 5 million people across Russia took place under Lenin’s government. In 1918, a policy of abolishing private property was initiated with a command issued by Lenin. The most important consequence of this was the nationalization of peasants’ lands and the confiscation of food products.
A quota to be given to the Bolsheviks was determined for each peasant. But in order to meet that quota, most of them had to give up all that they had harvested. Peasants who tried to resist were savagely silenced. Some of them hid part of their harvests in order not to have to hand over all their wheat; but such behavior was regarded as “betrayal of the revolution” by the Bolsheviks and was punished with unbelievable savagery.
On February 14th, 1922, an inspector went to the region of Omsk and described what happened there:
Abuses of position by the requisitioning detachments, frankly speaking, have now reached unbelievable levels. Systematically, the peasants who are arrested are all locked up in big unheated barns; they are then whipped and threatened with execution.Those who have not filled the whole of their quota are bound and forced to run naked all along the main street of the village and then locked up in another unheated hangar. A great number of women have been beaten until they are unconscious and then thrown naked into holes dug in the snow. (Black Book of Communism, Harvard University Press Cambridge, p. 119)
He enforced a ruthless sanction in 1920: Not only were all the peasants’ foodstuffs to be confiscated, but also their seeds. Confiscation of these seeds meant that the peasants could not grow new crops and would inevitably starve to death: And that is exactly what happened. In 1921 and 1922, fully 29 million people were confronted with starvation inside Russia’s borders, of whom 5 million eventually starved to death. 

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Commercial surrogacy: commodification of human life to create profit and fulfill the narcissistic desires of an entitled elite.

Trading on the Female Body: Surrogacy, Exploitation, and Collusion by the US Government

by Kathleen Sloan

Commercial surrogacy is the ultimate manifestation of the American neoliberal project of capitalist commodification of human life to create profit and fulfill the narcissistic desires of an entitled elite.

With every passing year, commercial surrogacy in the United States grows by leaps and bounds. Because the media operate as the public relations arm of the fertility industry, the reality of surrogacy is ignored.

Media portrayals of surrogacy feature beaming parents and adorable babies, hiding the blatant class exploitation and profiteering, the commodification of women and children, and the serious, even life-threatening health risks to women who sell their eggs or rent their bodies as surrogates. The New York Times, for example, published a marketing article on surrogacy and placed it in the Fashion & Style section of the paper, as if children were must-have accessories for narcissistic elites. Drawing on patriarchal stereotypes, surrogates are presented as selfless, giving women who exist only to be of service to others.

In reality, commercial surrogacy is a predatory, profit-driven industry that preys on marginalized women, creating a breeder class for the wealthy, be they heterosexual or homosexual. It subjects women to life-threatening health risks to produce custom-made children and children being intentionally severed from genetic and biological sources of identity—human rights be damned. In essence, it is the ultimate manifestation of the American neoliberal project of capitalist commodification of human life to create profit and fulfill the narcissistic desires of an entitled elite.

Who Are These “Breeders”?

Shamefully, the US surrogacy industry feeds on the use of so-called military wives as breeder stock. Depending on the area of the country, it is estimated that between 20 and 50 percent of surrogates in the United States are military wives. Since there is virtually no regulation of surrogacy in the United States, exact numbers are impossible to obtain. It is certain that any numbers that are proffered are much lower than the reality given the “Wild West” nature of surrogacy in this country. These women represent an ideal supply source for the industry.

They are low-income (between $16,000 and $30,000 per year) and proven breeding stock, as they tend to get married and have their own children at very young ages. The prospect of doubling their income by serving as surrogates is a powerful incentive. Most surrogates are paid between $20,000 and $25,000. They are easy recruits to the fertility industry because military culture indoctrinates recruits with a service mentality. While their husbands are serving their country abroad, they are told, they can “serve” at home. Perhaps the most enticing feature of military wives is that they are assumed to be celibate if their husbands are stationed overseas; surrogates are instructed not to have sexual intercourse for the duration of the process.

These women have few legal or regulatory protections, making them sitting ducks for exploitation and fraud. It is no coincidence that surrogacy brokers and clinics are concentrated in states such as Texas, California, and Florida where there are large military bases. As with ads for eggs in college newspapers on campuses, military publications such as Stars and Stripes and Army Times are filled with surrogacy broker ads. Because the military heavily recruits from working class and poor demographics, these people are especially vulnerable to being exploited for their reproductive capacities by profit-driven private enterprise. Most American citizens have no idea that taxpayer-funded Tricare health insurance, provided to members of the military, is being used to cover the pregnancy and childbirth costs of surrogate pregnancies for contracting buyers.

The Legal Status of Surrogacy

Surrogacy in the United States is governed at the state level; there are no national laws or regulations governing surrogacy or egg selling. The US fertility industry is a four-billion-dollar business modeled on the factory farming of animals in agribusiness—just substitute women for chickens and cows. A patchwork quilt of laws and regulations covers the fifty states, ranging from “anything goes” systems in California and Connecticut to legal bans in Michigan and New York. In the middle are states like Louisiana, which restricts surrogacy to married couples using their own gametes. Any surrogacy arrangements outside of this are subject to civil and criminal penalties.

It should be noted, however, that the various laws, regulations, and penalties on the books are often not enforced. Even in states where paid surrogacy is illegal, government agencies will usually recognize the buyers as the legal parents in post-birth orders. In same-sex surrogacies, most states list the buyers as Parent and Parent on the final birth certificate.

Surrogacy law, whether by statute or case law, has been moving inexorably toward legalization across the country. Ninety-two percent of all states allow surrogacy in some form. Only four states—Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington—and the District of Columbia ban it outright. However, legislation has already been proposed in New York, Washington, DC, and New Jersey to legalize commercial surrogacy. It is only a matter of time before such legislation passes.

In most states, surrogacy bills are written by profiteers such as surrogacy attorneys and brokers or gay legislators who have used surrogates to obtain children, as in New York and DC. In the states where surrogacy is permitted but there is neither a statute nor a ruling from the state’s highest court governing the process, the question of pre-birth orders is determined on a county-by-county and even on a judge-by-judge basis, greatly complicating the whole process.

State-level surrogacy laws and policies can be broken down into four basic categories from the most permissive to the least. The most permissive category includes the eight states in which surrogacy is legal, pre-birth orders are granted, and both Intended Parents and buyers are named on the birth certificate. The second category includes eleven states where surrogacy is allowed but with potential legal hurdles. The third category is the largest: twenty-seven states that allow surrogacy but with various legal complications, such as post-birth parentage orders or other post-birth legal procedures. The fourth category includes the four states plus DC where surrogacy is currently illegal or a birth certificate naming the buyers as parents is prohibited.

Some of the complexities include venue (the county where the child is born, where the buyers live, or where the surrogate lives), whether hearings are required to obtain a post-birth adoption order, whether step-parent adoptions are required, and whether states recognize surrogacies that took place in other states.

Collusion Between US Government and the Fertility Industry Internationally

Not only are most Americans unaware of the reality of surrogacy in the United States, they are completely ignorant of the collusion of their government with the fertility industry regarding surrogacy internationally. The US State Department has been holding meetings in Washington, DC, of interested stakeholders to discuss and strategize the creation of an international surrogacy enabling agreement. The meeting participants are overwhelmingly from the fertility industry and its supporters: surrogacy clinics, attorneys, brokers, ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine—while technically it is an NGO advocacy organization, for all practical purposes it functions as the lobbying arm of the fertility industry), and sympathetic academics.

For example, at a meeting on February 9, 2016, the discussion was dominated by surrogacy attorney extraordinaire Steve Snyder of Minnesota and John Weltman, owner of Circle Surrogacy in Boston, a gay man who has used a surrogate. Tellingly, the two State Department employees who ran the meeting, Michael Coffee and Lisa Vogel, clearly knew the industry people and were on a first-name basis with them. A vocal non-US participant was Australia’s most prominent surrogacy attorney Stephen Page.

When a couple of the professors mentioned human rights and exploitation, I, a radical feminist, was the only meeting attendant who directly spoke out against surrogacy as pure class exploitation, endangerment of women’s health, a violation of women’s and children’s human rights, and the commodification of women and children.

The industry chorus sang in unison about American exceptionalism as applied to surrogacy: surrogacy functions wonderfully in the United States, they asserted; surrogates are not exploited here, they all have incomes between $40,000 and $100,000 (!), they are “counseled” (i.e., brainwashed into compliance), they have their own legal representation, and they are well-educated. In sum, the United States is a virtual heaven-on-earth for surrogates. Not only is this blatantly false, it is manipulative and contrary to an objective process of analysis: in the current parlance, “fake news.”

All of these industry stakeholders—attorneys/ABA (American Bar Association), brokers, clinics, and the ASRM—are profiteers who should not even have been consulted since they possess an inherent conflict of interest regarding surrogacy. In fact, the very same month the State Department meeting was held, the ABA adopted a resolution on the Hague Convention on private international law concerning children—including surrogacy—urging the State Department to exclude human rights considerations, to ignore the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children, to cease restricting and regulating, and to treat surrogacy solely on the basis of “intent-based parentage.” The resolution reflects an approach that protects the wealthy buyers and the industry that profits from them while ignoring the human rights, dignity, and well-being of the women being used as brood mares and the children commodified as products for sale.

As if there could be any doubt about whose interests the US government is serving, Lisa Vogel, the leader of the US delegation to the Hague Conference of Experts, blatantly asked the industry representatives who dominated the meeting how to make the case to other countries for an international surrogacy enabling agreement based on the US “exceptionalist” model of surrogacy in all its forms. The only disagreement expressed at the meeting concerned whether a treaty should be based on adoption law. The main priority of the industry and its US government partner is determining the best way to ensure enforceable contracts and establishing citizenship for the children in the buyers’ home country. In sum, it was like an industry convention with the US government there to serve its interests. A second similar meeting was held on September 13, 2016, with identical dynamics and results.

Unbeknownst to virtually the entire country, the fertility industry in collusion with the US government is steamrolling an international treaty legalizing and facilitating the creation of a global breeder class of marginalized women for the wealthy, gestating and giving birth to children as products for sale and commerce.

Why Aren’t Feminists Fighting Surrogacy?

Most American feminists are completely uninformed about the reality of the surrogacy industry. It is simply not an issue for them. Even when educated about it, many are, in contrast to their European counterparts, terrified of opposing surrogacy. European feminists have been working to ban surrogacy and holding anti-surrogacy conferences such as a recent one in Rome covered by The Atlantic. This uniquely American feminist fear has three principal causes.

First, the corporate media have very successfully portrayed opposition to surrogacy as only existing among right-wing Christians who also want to ban abortion. Any association with those opponents is considered toxic.

Second, most mainline feminist organizations in the United States have been co-opted by neoliberalism through a combination of funding and cultural conditioning. As with support for the gender identity movement and the prostituting of women and girls as “sex work”—the other side of the surrogacy coin—objectification of women and the erasure of their rights becomes acceptable in this ideological framework. What these neoliberal phenomena represent are the marriage of capitalist commodification and the cult of the self.

Third, many American feminists have internalized patriarchal misogyny and placed the desires of gay men over the interests of women. Since gay men overwhelmingly support surrogacy for their own selfish interests, it is seen as homophobic by many to oppose it. Such an accusation induces terror in many American feminists.

The only hope for stopping surrogacy is to form an international network of feminists and their allies who grasp the reality of exploitation at the heart of the surrogacy industry. To stop this juggernaut, we must build alliances between left and right, fighting to protect the human rights of at-risk women who are being targeted and endangered by those who would use their reproductive capabilities for their own profit.

- Kathleen Sloan is a former member of the board of directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Executive Director of Connecticut NOW, a consultant on third-party reproduction issues, and co-author of the book Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth and Culture. She has a master’s degree in International Relations and has traveled the world advocating women’s rights, including at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York.


It is only when the story is fully told that we can locate ourselves within it

The Limits of Information

by Daniel N. Robinson

There is a long, winding, and vexing wrangle among philosophers on the nature and validity of our knowledge of the physical world. Take the example of color. A stroll through the garden reveals a busy bee extracting nectar from a yellow rose. I see the yellow rose owing to certain pigments in the cone receptors of my retina. In a normally sighted person, the neurochemistry of vision operates over a range of wavelengths from about 360 to 760 nanometers (nm) — roughly violet to a deep red. What English-speaking percipients describe as “yellow” is in the near vicinity of 580 nm, a little above the eye’s peak sensitivity. For the honey bee, matters are quite different. Its compound eyes are equipped with three types of retinal receptors — one for very short wavelengths (peaking at 344 nm, or ultraviolet), a medium-type (peaking at 436, or blue), and one for long wavelengths (peaking at 544, or green). Though we and the bee may share floral preferences — revealed in the bee’s foraging and in our table settings — the bee’s representation of the external world clearly includes features to which we are blind.

Were all sources of electromagnetic radiation to fall at wavelengths shorter than 340 nm, the affairs of the world would pass us unseen. (And eyes like ours wouldn’t work very well anyway, since excessive exposure to ultraviolent radiation renders the human lens increasingly opaque as a result of cataracts.) Our inability to see (or to endure) much ultraviolet radiation is a heavy price to pay for our eyesight, but it does protect the human retina from destruction by this same radiation. The moral of the tale so far is that creatures are fitted out for the world as given, and modes of adaptation come at a price.

Is this explanation of human perception no more than a poor glimpse into evolutionary forces? Here we face yet another of philosophy’s enduring engagements, to wit: What counts as an explanation, and what standard is to be applied in evaluating competing explanations?

Explaining the World

In 1814, Pierre-Simon Laplace presented his famous “demon,” as it has come to be known. Imagine a superior intelligence who, knowing the precise location and momentum of every atom in the universe, can account for the past and predict the future from the laws of classical mechanics. For this intelligence, Laplace wrote, “nothing would be uncertain and the future, as the past, would be present to its eyes.” To explain the nature of a thing or occurrence, by this way of thinking, would require that we know with certainty the physical processes at the smallest level, because they determine the events at any larger level.

But then, some two centuries after Laplace, comes Werner Heisenberg and quantum mechanics rendering uncertain any attempt to specify a particle’s position and momentum simultaneously. Of course, uncertainty at the quantum level may impose no barrier to determinism at the macro-level, but even this proposition raises questions regarding the nature of explanation and the level at which scientific explanations are of the right sort.

But why assume there is a fixed and right sort of explanation? Sometimes taken to be the “realist” position in the philosophical debate between realists and anti-realists, the idea that there is a right sort of explanation is predicated on a core of metaphysical precepts. Dominant these days among such ideas is physicalism, which takes physical events and objects to be the sole and ultimate furniture of reality. Explaining such events and objects then calls for what is finally a causal account. In principle, all that is really real, even all that we cannot yet observe, is subject to explanations located within a causally closed system — that is, one admitting only of physical causes.

In 1980, Bas van Fraassen published The Scientific Image in opposition to the prevailing belief that scientific theories offer a true and closed account of how things “really” are. His “constructive empiricism” limits the reach of science to what is observable. Accordingly, to endorse a scientific theory entails no more than the belief that the theory is empirically adequate, which does not require that we make any grand claims about the nature of reality. This is a more modest position, requiring only agnosticism in the matter of hidden variables and unseen processes. Allegedly complete systems are simply too grandiose for serious consideration.

In his later book The Empirical Stance (2002), van Fraassen argues for the rejection of metaphysics as foundational for science and, indeed, the rejection of “foundationalism” itself — “the project to construct all knowledge on a foundation that cannot be false, by a method that cannot introduce falsity.” A commitment to empirical adequacy can never satisfy the lust for indubitable certainties regarding reality. Whereas the scientific realist begins with metaphysical presuppositions that would have authority in the matter of relevant and irrelevant observations, the empirical stance puts one in a different position: that of an observer whose choice of observables is aimed at adequacy in accounts of how things are. This stance, on van Fraassen’s understanding, liberates one from the burden of futile gestures.

Let’s pause to summarize these main points. First, the search for universally valid physical explanations must be futile, for some physical phenomena themselves lack the requisite certainty, as we know from quantum mechanics. Second, that aspiration cannot include a systematic understanding of what counts as an explanation in the first place. Imagine a Martian, sent to Earth to discover what human beings are. Returning to Mars, the “earthopologist” submits a report accurate in every detail regarding the composition of bodies identified as “human”: potassium, water, calcium, and so forth. All the empirical data are accurate and reproducible, but nothing in the account explains anything of interest about human beings. While this might count as an explanation of the chemical composition of human bodies, it cannot be considered an explanation of what it means to be human.

Of course, we are all inclined or even forced to make truth claims about objects and events “out there” in the world. For instance, things dissolve in water, and this occurs under so many and different conditions as to lead one to the belief that water is a universal solvent. And there are countless other reliable facts that have the potential of generating beliefs about the world. The process of belief formation begins when, in the welter of worldly things, we focus on some facts at the expense of others, in the same way that our Martian examined the chemistry of human beings but not their artistic productions. Moreover, we have a choice to make about our overarching orientation — our stance — that determines how these facts are to become part of our understanding of the world. Is the right stance that of the rationalist, who requires a body of facts to fit into a more general rational framework, ultimately reducible to, say, a “theory of everything”? Or does one adopt an empirical stance that demands no more than an adequate basis on which to make accurate predictions and achieve practical goals?

It is not my intention to defend anti-realism. My own stance, if it’s even worth considering, is the Kantian position that, like it or not, we are all destined to be metaphysicians, so it’s a good idea to prepare for the mission. Van Fraassen, however, draws attention to the non-scientific dispositions and orientations endemic to the pursuit of knowledge: the choice of facts we attend to in our reasoning, and the stance one adopts in that process. There are also emotional and motivational factors that contribute to our choice of explanations. Once a revolutionary challenge to a previously uncontested scientific theory is vindicated by the facts, the scientist committed to that theory undergoes something akin to an emotional breakdown. There are real personal and psychological forces at work in a realm that textbooks treat as antiseptic and “objective.”

Information vs. Meaning

In attempts to account for distinctly human endeavors, explanations have a narrative quality. Thus, Jane’s aspiration to be a concert violinist accounts for — that is, explains — the many hours of practice expended over a course of years. Henry wishes to understand the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. The story — the explanation — runs along these lines: Wellington, after the battle of Quatre Bras, moved his forces to Waterloo. The allied Prussians moved to positions drawing a large portion of the French forces away from Waterloo to Wavre. With Prussians attacking Napoleon’s right flank and Wellington attacking the center, Napoleon’s fate was sealed.

Try to translate these two explanations — for why Jane practices the violin, and for why Napoleon was defeated — into terms faithful to evolutionary biology or neuroscience or the concentration of potassium in the human body. Try again. Alas, the thing just doesn’t work. Now adopt the empirical stance and see if you can come up with a theory of any sort that, even if not complete, would still be adequate for explaining these events. This won’t do much for us either, for events of historical moment express the beliefs, skills, powers, and plans of specific persons who, if removed from the narrative, leave us with an entirely different set of events. No doubt, absent a properly functioning nervous system, Jane can’t even hold the bow of a violin. Absent the evolutionary roots and branches, there are neither armies nor nations. We might agree with all of this and, at the same time, acknowledge the unique, personal, individuated character of those responsible for the events in question. There could not be War and Peace had there not been a developed language. But there could not have been War and Peace had there not been Tolstoy. What we search for to account for the great novel is not a causal theory but a deeper understanding. Here, then, is the Verstehen school of historiography, which does not try to find a causal explanation of an event based on objective factors alone, but rather to understand the particular intentions and contexts from the standpoint of the people involved.

A word more about battles and unintended consequences: The Battle of the Bulge cost both Germany and the Allied forces heavily. It was decisive as the Second World War moved to a close in the European theater. Until this battle, black U.S. soldiers were assigned to segregated units. Heavy casualties in the Battle of the Bulge resulted in the decision by General Eisenhower to integrate the services for the first time. More than 4,500 black soldiers volunteered for service at the front, a fact that later supported the cause of desegregation nationally. So, if we seek to identify the causal factors leading to desegregation, the Battle of the Bulge has a place in the narrative. Finding a comparable place for evolutionary or neurocognitive processes is an exercise in absurdity.

In May 2009, M.I.T.’s Technology Review published a brief online essay titled “The Foundation of Reality: Information or Quantum Mechanics?” After citing some leading-edge theorizing, the essay concludes that

it is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round. The implication is extraordinary: that somehow, information is the ghostly bedrock of our Universe and from it, all else is derived.

“Information,” of course, is not palpable. Its place is found within advanced theories that rely on unseen properties and events that are probabilistic in principle. It is said that ours is an “information age.” This is apt at several levels. Thanks to Claude Shannon, Warren Weaver, and other mathematicians, engineers, and cryptographers, we now have a veritable metric for information, and we are but a click or a swipe away from megabytes on any topic of our choosing. Our world’s broadcast technologies alone were able to transmit some 430 exabytes (1018 bytes) in the year 1986 and 1,900 exabytes three decades later. The sky’s the limit. Yet, the bounty might be fool’s gold to those who merely click their way to facts. Consider the Oxford English Dictionary, the second edition of whichcontains 59 million words and requires 540 megabytes of storage. Randomly accessing the contents is unlikely to generate a string yielding King Lear. We cannot explain Shakespeare’s achievement by noting how much information is contained in a play, or how much information was available to him when he wrote it. Nor are the uncertainty relations revealed at the quantum level of any consequence here.

Shakespeare’s “stance” was a narrative stance; by revealing the reasoning and ambitions of his characters, their foibles and highly individuated personalities, he was able to tell a story. The story of the person is readily recognized as the story of a type of person. And then one discovers that each such type is present in each of us, to be tapped or suppressed by opportunity, fate, contingency, or mere luck. “The play’s the thing” reminds us that it is only when the story is fully told that we can locate ourselves within it. What counts here is not information in the dimensionless sense of bytes, but meaning in the full sense of a story told.


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domingo, 23 de abril de 2017

Macron, Le Pen, pas de consigne...Fillon a opté pour une ligne anti-FN ...

Quels sont les choix des candidats pour le second tour ?

Election présidentielle. Dès dimanche soir, les candidats ont fait savoir à qui ils apporteraient leur voix au second tour.

Dès les premiers résultats publiés dimanche soir, les candidats recalés et leurs entourages ont commencé à faire connaître leur choix en vue du second tour de l'élection présidentielle. Voici ce qu'ils ont décidé.

A gauche, la stratégie du barrage au Front national

Benoît Hamon a été le premier à réagir après l'annonce des résultats du premier tour. Le candidat du Parti socialiste, relégué à la cinquième place avec 6,5 % des voix, a souhaité un barrage “clair et total” au Front National. “Il faut faire distinction claire et totale entre un adversaire politique et une ennemie de la République”, a-t-il encore ajouté.

A droite, François Fillon a également opté pour une ligne anti-FN, loin de la stratégie du “ni-ni” adoptée par son parti lors des élections régionales. “Il n'y a pas d'autre choix que de faire barrage au Front National. Je voterai donc Emmanuel Macron”, at-t-il déclaré dans une allocution à son QG de campagne.

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Fillon: Dans le sens du vent ...

Pendant près de trente ans, Gérard Fretellière, conseiller municipal (Front de gauche) de Sablé-sur-Sarthe, a été son opposant local le plus constant. 

Il n’a pas constaté chez François Fillon de prosélytisme catholique particulier.

 « C’est un élu de droite classique, sans excès, témoigne-t-il. En conseil municipal, ou en campagne électorale, il n’a jamais mis spécialement sa foi catholique en avant. Il est très représentatif de la petite bourgeoisie provinciale. C’est plus un gestionnaire qu’un idéologue. » 

Gérard Fretellière lui trouve bien une caractéristique particulière, pas vraiment religieuse :

« Il a tendance à aller dans le sens du vent. Sur des sujets importants, on l’a vu changer deux ou trois fois d’avis. Un peu comme son mentor en politique, Joël Le Theul, dont il a été l’assistant parlementaire : il était pour de Gaulle sous de Gaulle, pour Pompidou sous Pompidou et pour Giscard sous Giscard. Il a d’ailleurs été ministre de deux d’entre eux ! »


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Macron soutient l'extrémiste islamique Mohammed Saou

Pensant être hors antenne, Macron soutient l’islamiste sulfureux Mohamed Saou

Polémique. Emmanuel Macron a clairement soutenu, aujourd'hui sur Beur FM, le référent En Marche ! qui a tenu des propos radicaux sur les réseaux sociaux. Le candidat pensait être hors antenne.

Sur #BeurFM#Macron ne sait pas que le live n'est pas coupé et confie que son référent #MohamedSaou est radical mais que c'est un type bien

Déjà embarrassé par l'affaire Mohamed Saou, le référent En Marche qui ne cache pas son accointance avec les Indigènes de la République et le CCIF et qu'il n'a pas écarté de son mouvement malgré les propos radicaux qu'il tient sur les réseaux sociaux, Emmanuel Macron vient de remettre une pièce dans la machine polémique. 

Aujourd'hui sur Beur FM, pensant que ses propos n’étaient pas enregistrés, le candidat à l'élection présidentielle s’est lâché en apportant un soutien franc et total à l’islamiste sulfureux...


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Emmanuel Macron et Marine Le Pen au second tour

Presidentielle: suivez les resultats du premier tour

sábado, 22 de abril de 2017

Le spectre d’une "troisième Guerre mondiale" a recommencé à hanter les esprits

Pourquoi le spectre de la 3ème Guerre mondiale n'est pas une simple vue d'esprits en mal de frissons

Par Alexandre del Valle

Après les mouvements de l’OTAN en Europe de l’Est aux frontières de la Russie puis ceux de la marine américaine et en Mer de Chine, puis après les bombardements américains en Syrie (7 avril) et en Afghanistan (13 avril), subitement décidés par une Administration Trump qui semble ainsi rompre brutalement avec l’isolationnisme annoncé pendant la campagne présidentielle américaine, le spectre d’une "troisième Guerre mondiale" a recommencé à hanter les esprits.

L’idée que l’Europe et l’Occident puissent connaître à nouveau la guerre en conséquence des tensions occidentalo-russes autour de l’Ukraine du bourbier syrien - où se côtoient dangereusement les armées occidentales, russe, syrienne, turque et iranienne, - ou en réaction aux essais nucléaires et balistiques de la Corée du Nord (sans oublier la revendication de la Mer de Chine Méridionale par Pékin), ne cesse de gagner du terrain. Et les attentats islamistes presque mensuels et parfois même hebdomadaires dans des capitales européennes font dire à certains qu’une guerre est déjà livrée depuis des années sur notre sol et qu’il s’agit à la fois d’une guerre civilisationnelle et pas seulement terroriste puis d’une guerre asymétrique à la laquelle nous avons le plus grand mal de faire face.
Deux décennies de doctrine pacifiste béate qui ont bercé les Européens dans l’illusion de la Paix universelle et de la tolérance ont finalement débouché sur un brutal atterrissage dans le réel et dans le retour de la tragédie.
L’expression Troisième Guerre mondiale paraît, donc, exagérée, dans la mesure où les risques de guerre les plus imminents sont régionaux, locaux (Inde-Pakistan ; Inde-Chine ; Corée du Nord/Asie méridionale et orientale; Syrie ; Iran ; ou Ukraine), et dans la mesure où l’arme atomique a un fort pouvoir de dissuasion, puisqu’elle peut décourager à la fois le faible et le fort, dès lors que l’un des deux ennemis est capable de rayer de la carte la capitale de l’autre avec des conséquences et séquelles inimaginables à côtés desquels ceux d’Hiroshima et Nagasaki seraient des détails.
En janvier 2017, c’est une personne plutôt réputée pour sa modération verbale ; Michaël  Gorbatchev, qui a tiré la sonnette d’alarme et a averti qu’une troisième guerre mondiale semblait en phase de préparation à la lumière du réarmement constaté partout dans les grands pays du monde et autres puissances émergentes, exceptées la vielle Europe de l’Ouest. Ainsi, le rapport sur le Monde en 2035, publié par la CIA évoque « les paradoxes du progrès » selon lesquels en dépit des opportunités économiques et technologiques, jamais nos sociétés n’ont été menacées par autant de risques de guerre (Ukraine, les tensions en mer de Chine méridionale, la Syrie, l’Iran, etc).
Déjà, avant l’arrivée au pouvoir de Donald Trump, l’ex-Chef d'État-Major de l'Armée de Terre américaine, le général Mark Milley, déclarait à son auditoire sur un ton très martial, lors de la réunion annuelle de l'Association of the United States Army à Washington-DC : "La volonté stratégique de notre nation, les États-Unis, est remise en cause et nos alliances sont testées de manières auxquelles nous n'avons pas été confrontées depuis de nombreuses décennies (…). Je veux être bien clair avec ceux qui veulent nous faire du mal ... l'armée des États-Unis - en dépit de tous nos défis, en dépit de notre tempo opérationnel, en dépit de tout ce que nous avons fait, nous allons vous stopper et nous allons vous battre plus durement que vous ne l'avez jamais été auparavant. Ne vous méprenez pas à ce sujet (…).

Lire la suite:

Why Are So Many Lesbians Getting Pregnant?

After Easter: The Political Theology of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of the Messiah

by Paul R. DeHart on April 17th, 2017
When we think of Jesus as providing a model for behavior for the religious, private, or civic realm but not for politics and government, we adopt a fragmentation utterly foreign to the New Testament.
by Nathaniel Bruno on April 18th, 2017
All children are equally valuable. Their bodies are equally deserving of protection, regardless of their religious status.
by Glenn Stanton on April 19th, 2017
One’s sexual orientation is supposed to be locked in and unchangeable, like sex, race, or ethnicity. But high pregnancy rates among lesbians confound that narrative.
Harm, Neutrality, or Truth: What Is the Basis of Liberalism?

by Christopher O. Tollefsen on April 20th, 2017
Kevin Vallier’s recent book is a rich and rewarding attempt to reconcile people of faith with public reason liberalism.

The Accessible Federalist: Historical Documents and Human Nature

by S. Adam Seagrave on April 21st, 2017
Although The Federalist is indeed a historical document that emerged from and was directed to a particular time period with particular concerns, historical sensitivity itself should also lead one to view The Federalist as something more than this. Adapted from the introduction to The Accessible Federalist.

Ese cuerpo torturado es la fotografía del amor que se dona, del pecado expiado, de la salvación consumada.

«La Sábana Santa es como leer un quinto Evangelio», dice una científica tras 40 años estudiándola

Es Emanuela Marinelli, experta en Ciencias Naturales, co-autora en 18 libros

Emanuela Marinelli, licenciada en Ciencias Naturales y Geología, ha estudiado casi 900 libros sobre la Sábana Santa de Turín, ha analizado más de 300 artículos científicos sobre el tema, ha escrito ella misma 18 libros con estudiosos de diversas disciplinas y ha realizado alrededor de 3.000 conferencias en todo el mundo, desde Brasil a Kazajstán, de Rusia a Burkina Faso, proclamando por las cuatro esquinas del mundo la evolución de la evidencia científica que posiciona la autenticidad de la Síndone.

Pero cuando tuvo su primer contacto con esta misteriosa imagen, hace ya 40 años, no le prestó demasiada atención, aunque sí le intrigó. Lo explicó así a la revista italiana Famiglia Cristiana: 

"La primera vez que vi la imagen del rostro de Cristo impresa en la Sábana Santa fue en 1975; yo estaba en la Via della Conciliazione en Roma. Miraba la vitrina de una tienda de recuerdos y ver esta cara me llamó la atención. Lo reconocí, por supuesto, pero no sabía quién era el autor, pensé que debía ser una litografía o alguna técnica especial. Así que fui y pregunté a la monja que estaba allí. Me respondió sobre qué era esto de la Sábana Santa, lo esencial. Me fui escépticapensando que si la fe se reducía a esto, era bien poca cosa. En ese entonces yo tenía 25 años y sin duda no estaba pensando con claridad sobre esta reliquia".

Investigando polen en la tela... así se implicó

En 1977 llegó el "amor por el misterio de la Síndone" al corazón de Emanuela. El director científico de la policía de Zurich, Max Frei, un botánico protestante, anunció que había encontrado en la Síndone rastros de polen de 58 plantas diferentes, incluyendo 38 no europeas, algunas de las cuales son propias de Jerusalén. Como científica, licenciada en Ciencias Naturales y Geología, decidió investigar. Lo primero que hizo fue inscribirse en un curso de la Iglesia sobre la Sábana.

"Mi vida con la Sábana Santa es así, casi casual. Nací en una familia católica y practicante, con un padre y mis cinco hermanos recitando el rosario en latín; con un tío que es cura. Mi fe era firme, pero la Sábana Santa habla a mi inteligencia y mi razón, así como a mi corazón".

Cuatro años después era una catequista de la Pasión, y también una especialista en ‘Sindonología’. Recopilaba y estudiaba artículos científicos, libros, testimonios, todo lo relacionado con la Sábana Santa. Así el ‘amor’ se transformó en obras y esta mujer quepor 36 años fue una profesora de ciencias, se convirtió en una apóstol de la Síndone.

Animada a difundir lo que aprende

El conocido historiador y periodista Vittorio Messori fue quien invitó a Emanuela a escribir su primer libro sobre la Sábana Santa. "No he hecho nada para alentar todo esto", dice con sencillez y agrega: "Solo seguí las señales de Dios en el camino. Nunca pensé que mis estudios científicos podrían servir como testimonio… El Señor es sorprendente y, como diría mi padre, nunca se sabe cómo Dios usará lo que eres".

"Contemplar la Sábana Santa es como leer un quinto Evangelio”, prosigue Emanuela. "Tienes la sensación de inclinarte ante el umbral del misterio, de la resurrección de Cristo. La Sábana Santa es el icono de la misericordia de Dios, que da a su Hijo, el Cordero, para salvación de la humanidad. Ese cuerpo torturado es la fotografía del amor que se dona, del pecado expiado, de la salvación consumada. Ese rostro que después de la salvaje flagelación y crucifixión estaba hinchado, pero sereno, garantiza la dulzura del perdón… expresa profunda y divina majestad".

(Basado en un artículo original de

Si Fillon est élu président, il disposera d’une majorité. Aucun autre candidat ne pourrait y prétendre, y compris Marine Le Pen. Or la France a besoin d’être gouvernée

Je voterai Fillon

Par Denis Tillinac / Jeudi 20 avril 2017 à 18:103

Edito. Pour sa conception du patriotisme, pour sa résilience, parce qu’il disposera d’une majorité à l’Assemblée, parce que la France a besoin d’être gouvernée.

Le capitalisme financier qui régente l’économie mondiale nous conduit tous à la ruine. Cheminade dénonce ses méfaits. Il a raison. Mais on vote pour élire un président, pas pour cautionner une thèse. La remarque vaut pour Asselineau, qui décrit pertinemment l’impasse où les nations européennes se sont fourvoyées avec ces institutions ubuesques. Voter pour Dupont-Aignan équivaudrait à soustraire une voix à Fillon. Les pronostics sont trop incertains pour que je puisse m’y résoudre.

Dimanche, je voterai donc Fillon sans la moindre hésitation. S’il est élu président, il disposera d’une majorité. Aucun autre candidat ne pourrait y prétendre, y compris Marine Le Pen. Or la France a besoin d’être gouvernée, chose impossible si l’exécutif se discrédite en racolages au coup par coup à la buvette de l’Assemblée. D’ailleurs, Fillon est le seul à ne pas envisager l’enlisement de la démocratie dans les micmacs inhérents aux scrutins à la proportionnelle.

Je voterai Fillon parce qu’une certaine conception du patriotisme a été revendiquée par ceux qui le soutiennent : sens de la mémoire, de la transmission, de la permanence. Tout ce que la gauche incarnée par Macron, Hamon ou Mélenchon accable de son mépris. Je voterai Fillon parce qu’il s’inscrit dans un double héritage, celui de Séguin qui fut son mentor, celui de Retailleau qui est son lieutenant le moins… friable. Un gaulliste admirateur de Napoléon III, un Vendéen raisonnablement catho : les deux font une paire bien française.

Je voterai Fillon parce qu’il a résisté à la meute. Parfois avec maladresse, mais enfin il a tenu le choc, ça présume un homme d’État capable d’affronter les coups de tabac prévisibles dans un monde où les têtes d’affiche s’appellent Trump et Poutine, mais où sévissent aussi Erdogan, Kim Jong-un et Assad, sans compter Dae’ch et autres acteurs de la mouvance islamique. D’autres à la place de Fillon auraient détalé, ou se seraient flingués : pour l’essentiel cette campagne aura été une traque dont il fut le gibier — et les chasseurs soudain épris d’une vertu de dame cathéchiste n’étaient pas tous de gauche.

Je voterai Fillon pour qu’il soit dit que les forces de l’argent, appuyées par l’artillerie lourde des médias et étayées par le snobisme, ne font pas toujours la loi dans ce pays. Ces forces ont choisi Macron au moment où Fillon était considéré comme le favori. De Séguéla à BHL en passant par Minc, Bergé, Lescure, Attali, le parisianisme a élaboré le produit de synthèse qui convenait à son cynisme néobobo. Jamais l’opinion française n’aura été à ce point manipulée, pour ne pas dire matraquée, en vue de la convaincre que Macron allait inaugurer une ère nouvelle. Jamais autant de “com” n’aura habillé si peu de substance. Jamais autant de mots technocratiques, enrobés de sucreries faussement évangéliques (« Je vous aime ! ») n’auront maquillé une telle méconnaissance de l’âme de la France. Et un tel degré zéro de la pensée géopolitique.

Quand Hue, Madelin et Delevoye viennent en renfort de Bayrou, de Valls et de De Rugy pour nous vendre de la macronite, ça ne promet que les arrangements à la Mollet, à la Pflimlin de la fin de la IVe République. À ceci près qu’il n’y a plus personne à Colombey pour nous dépêtrer ; la suite aurait pour théâtre la rue. Ou ces banlieues en état d’incandescence, avec tous ces jeunes mal dans leurs pompes et impatients d’en découdre. Je voterai Fillon pour éviter à la France l’implosion inéluctable s’il n’est pas élu.

En cette veille de scrutin, tout demeure possible et fragile.

C’est au premier tour qu’on élimine…

Par François d'Orcival

Edito. Alors que toutes les valeurs de droite se sont imposées comme des impératifs de survie nationale, les électeurs de droite ne peuvent pas être privés de leur voix au second tour.

Des quatre tours de scrutin qui nous attendent, les deux de la présidentielle, les deux des législatives, celui-ci est décisif. Les neuf premières élections présidentielles au suffrage universel direct de cette République ont montré que le premier tour était déjà une éliminatoire. Depuis 1965, la droite n’a jamais été absente du second tour, alors que la gauche l’a été deux fois. Ce n’est pas au moment où toutes les valeurs de droite se sont imposées comme des impératifs de survie nationale — la nation, la patrie, les racines, l’histoire qui constituent une identité propre au coeur de la mondialisation — que les électeurs de droite peuvent être privés de leur voix au second tour.

La droite a mis cinq ans à se reconstruire après sa défaite de 2012, une reconstruction âpre, déchirante pour tous ceux qui portaient en eux ses espoirs. Cinq années de travail pour bâtir un projet d’alternance et de rupture avec le passé. Cinq ans de scrutins intermédiaires, des européennes aux régionales, où la droite a reconquis les positions prises par une gauche qui se croyait installée au pouvoir pour l’éternité. Et c’est à cette gauche désavouée par ses erreurs, sa morgue, son sectarisme que l’on remettrait à nouveau les clés ?

La violence inédite avec laquelle a été attaquée la campagne de François Fillon, le candidat élu de la primaire, est une preuve supplémentaire de la nécessité de l’alternance et de la peur qui s’est emparée des fameuses “élites” entraînées par un glissement de terrain, comme si tout risquait de s’eff ondrer autour d’elles. Il ne fallait plus seulement démolir le projet de la droite mais détruire celui qui le défendait. Et d’une certaine manière, c’est François Bayrou qui en a fourni l’explication. Au mois de septembre dernier, au micro de Jean-Jacques Bourdin, il parlait d’Emmanuel Macron comme d’un « hologramme » derrière lequel se dissimulaient de « très grands intérêts, fi nanciers et autres, qui ne se contentent plus d’avoir le pouvoir économique, ils veulent avoir le pouvoir politique ».

À ce moment-là, la primaire de la droite n’était pas jouée, Hollande n’avait pas renoncé. Macron était encore un “phénomène”, un “ovni” de la politique. Du jour où Fillon gagne, où Hollande renonce, Macron devient le héros de la modernité, le champion de l’avenir et en réalité le candidat du sauvetage. Bayrou le rallie en fanfare. Mais cela a un prix. La gauche qui mêle argent et morale lui demande des gages. Il les lui donne — sur la colonisation, « un crime contre l’humanité », sur notre identité, « il n’y a pas de culture française », sur l’intégration, il salue les communautarismes à Marseille. Le voici devenu “Emmanuel Hollande”.

Le dimanche 5 mars dernier, alors que la tempête faisait rage, les électeurs de droite les plus déterminés prêtaient serment place du Trocadéro : celui d’être fidèles à leurs convictions jusqu’à la victoire. Celle-ci va se jouer à un, deux, voire trois points près. Mais ce n’est pas une nouveauté. En 1974, entre Giscard et Mitterrand, l’écart victorieux fut d’un peu plus de 400 000 voix ; en 1981, Mitterrand prit sa revanche avec plus d’un million de voix d’avance, mais, sans les 500 000 voix chiraquiennes qui s’étaient portées sur lui, son sort basculait ; en 2002, Chirac profi ta des 2,32 % de Taubira (660 000 voix) qui éliminèrent Jospin dès le premier tour ; en 2012, Hollande retrouva contre Sarkozy le score de Mitterrand en 1981 — ce fut encore à 600 000 voix près que se décida ce quinquennat, des voix qui manquèrent à droite.

En cette veille de scrutin, tout demeure possible et fragile. La France de droite peut-elle remettre son sort entre les mains de la gloriole sans avenir de l’un, tandis qu’elle se casserait les dents sur le programme sans issue de l’autre ? Au terme de cette incroyable campagne qui ne s’achèvera que le 18 juin, François Fillon incarne, en dépit de tout, la seule alternance possible pour rendre au pays sa liberté.

À l’écran. Le lundi à 20 heures, dans les Informés, sur Franceinfo (canal 27 de la TNT et à la radio).