Intersex and proud: model Hanne Gaby Odiele on finally celebrating her body

This is an extremely rare but important article not only for understanding the disaster we often bring to the lives of our children, but also it shines a bright light on the sheer depth of society’s ignorance and fear of those we see to be “different.”

Think about it. Why is society so ignorant in matters of its genetic heritage and sexual nature. The root cause, I’m convinced, is hereditary religion. We are taught from tot-hood that everyone is born genetically the same–male and female, and never the twain shall meet. It ain’t so, Joe!    —Author


Intersex and proud:

When the Belgian model revealed she was intersex earlier this year, she gave voice to something she’d always been told to hide. Here, the face of Balenciaga talks about knowing she was different.

intersex and proud1

Shirt by Ellery.com; skirt by joseph-fashion.com. Photograph: Jody Rogac for the Observer

Like many models, Hanne Gaby Odiele has a lovely limber angularity. Sitting in a Manhattan restaurant booth she seems to open and close like an umbrella, expanding when she’s in full flow, folding up when she’s mulling something over. Folded up and closed off was how she felt for a long time. As a child, she knew something was different about her. Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2017/apr/23/intersex-and-proud-hanne-gaby-odiele-the-model-finally-celebrating-her-body


 

PROFILES IN DISHONOR: The True Legacy of the Confederate Flag


 

The South fought for the constitutional right to treat their property as they saw fit

The South fought for the constitutional right to treat its property as it saw fit – From Pinterest: Citation unknown

The True Legacy of the Confederate Battle Flag

So many times in the past I have argued that in order to find the reason for the occurrence of an event is to look for the root cause. This applies as well to many folks, especially in the South, who claim that the Civil War was not about enslaving human beings, but about State’s rights. So, let’s look at the root cause of South Carolina’s secession, and ultimately starting the Civil War:

Section 2 of Article IV of the Constitution of the United States stated:

Section 2 – Privileges of Citizens of each State. Fugitives from Justice to be delivered up. Persons held to service having escaped, to be delivered up.

  1. The Citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of Citizens in the several states.
  2. A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee justice, and be found in another state, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.
  3. No person held to service or labour in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due.(This clause superseded December 6, 1865 by Amendment XIII)

A current argument:

1. Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States guaranteed that a “person held to service or labour” would be returned to their owners from any State where they were apprehended.

2. The non slaveholding states of the North violated Article IV, Section 2 when they, and the new liberal president, Abraham Lincoln,  decided to refuse to return runaway slaves.

Conclusion ∴ The Northern States, breached the Constitution’s guaranteed State right to have their lawful property (slaves) returned–a States’ rights issue.

Debunktion:

South Carolina’s articles of Secession

(Slave ghosts added by author)

Confederate States of America – Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union (from The Avalon Project)

The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

Slave with Iron Bit. Citation unknownAnd now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to

herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act.

In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, “that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.”

      Slave with Iron Bit. Citation unknown

They further solemnly declared that whenever any “form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government.” Deeming the Government of Great Britain to have become destructive of these ends, they declared that the Colonies “are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

In pursuance of this Declaration of Independence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exercise its separate sovereignty; adopted for itself a Constitution, and appointed officers for the administration of government in all its departments– Legislative, Executive and Judicial. For purposes of defense, they united their arms and their counsels; and, in 1778, they entered into a League known as the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed to entrust the administration of their external relations to a common agent, known as the Congress of the United States, expressly declaring, in the first Article “that each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right which is not, by this Confederation, expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled.”

Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave (1796) by William Blake.  Citation: Wikimedia/Public domain

Flagellation of a Female Samboe Slave (1796) by William Blake.
Citation: Wikimedia/Public domain

Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: “ARTICLE 1— His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof.”

Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.

In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the Articles of Confederation, and on 17th September, 1787, these Deputies recommended for the adoption of the States, the Articles of Union, known as the Constitution of the United States.

The parties to whom this Constitution was submitted, were the several sovereign States; they were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them agreed the compact was to take effect among those concurring; and the General Government, as the common agent, was then invested with their authority.

If only nine of the thirteen States had concurred, the other four would have remained as they then were– separate, sovereign States, independent of any of the provisions of the Constitution. In fact, two of the States did not accede to the Constitution until long after it had gone into operation among the other eleven; and during that interval, they each exercised the functions of an independent nation.

Burning a Slave, 1741 From Skepticism.org, Original citation: unknown.

Burning a Slave, 1741
From Skepticism.org, Original citation: unknown.

By this Constitution, certain duties were imposed upon the several States, and the exercise of certain of their powers was restrained, which necessarily implied their continued existence as sovereign States. But to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, which declared that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people. On the 23d May , 1788, South Carolina, by a Convention of her People, passed an Ordinance assenting to this Constitution, and afterwards altered her own Constitution, to conform herself to the obligations she had undertaken.

Thus was established, by compact between the States, a Government with definite objects and powers, limited to the express words of the grant. This limitation left the whole remaining mass of power subject to the clause reserving it to the States or to the people, and rendered unnecessary any specification of reserved rights.

We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence; and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other; and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences.

In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.

The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”

This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.

The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.

The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.

Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.

We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.

Adopted December 24, 1860

The real history of the Confederate flag


So, yes. It was about States’ rights–the right to enslave and brutalize human beings for dominance and financial gain. While it is true that the non-slaveholding States were in violation of the Constitution, that violation was caused by the North’s refusal to be a party to the institution of slavery and inhuman brutality–the root cause.

As for the “Heritage not Hate” argument for displaying the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia on public property to honor those who fought for States’ rights, either these supporters are completely ignorant about the real cause of the Civil War, or they know it and don’t care. Both conditions are usually a result of poor parental nurturing in humanity and indifference that has been perpetuated from one generation to another.

All that people of reason and empathy can do is to state their disgust in as civil a manner as possible, demand the removal of all confederate symbols from publically owned property, demand that their politicians institute laws and policies that designed to bring true social justice to the U.S., and ask supporters of the flag to try to see it from the eyes of a poverty ridden, historically repressed population that was subjugated and brutalized beneath it. Perhaps some will listen.

Mothers, Orient your Daughters to Independence and Self Worth . . .

. . . rather than focusing them on society’s empty trivialities such as glamour and becoming eye candy for men.

See The 5 Kick-Ass Women This Mom Dressed Her Daughter As Instead Of A Disney Princess

The only change I would make in the examples presented in the article would be to toss out Coco’s cigarette and add a civil rights activist such as Angela Davis or Rosa Parks.

Okay, I’ll stick my neck out here and go further than the article. At a much younger age for both girls and boys, I suggest orienting the TV programs they watch to subjects about nature (especially non-animated nature) and various subjects of science and cultures. As well, I suggest toys of a more intellectually-nurturing nature such as animals and science oriented toys, puzzles, and games. Avoid toys for boys such as guns, military hardware, and weapon/war figures. Avoid toys for girls such as fluffy dolls and tea sets.

As I’ve mentioned before, along with all this, it is important to teach them empathy for others and the value of sharing.

And before you mothers out there take up torches and pitchforks and come after me for stereotyping mothers, I know that there are many mothers who do much, if not all of the above. You, I salute! You are the path to a better future.

A Wealthy Man of True Integrity

This one speaks for itself.

IS GOD DEAF?


God is deaf

Art by ExChristian.net

In 2004, the World Council of Churches(WCC) established the International Day of Prayer for Peace. Each year since, on the 21st day of September, the WCC issues a call for all people of faith to lift their voices to Heaven in a tsunami of supplication for peace. This day of mass prayer coincides with the United Nation’s annual International Day of Peace established in 2002 to encourage all the world’s combatants to stand down, at least for one day.

Every year since the first Peace Bell tolled in Jisenji-no-hana, Japan in 1947 in prayerful remembrance of the horror wrought by the Atomic Bomb, Peace Bells peal and citizens pray in many countries on various days of national commemoration. The United Nations Peace Bell, gifted by Japan in 1954, rings out every year on Earth Day, its bell-cord blessed and presented to the U.N. by Shinto priests in 1990.

Today, one can find on the Internet thousands of sites offering prayers for peace from individuals, to interreligious foundations, to large religious organizations.

These are certainly heartwarming displays of compassion for all humankind by tens of thousands, perhaps millions of good people from many religions around the globe, but are they effective?

The number of conflicts in the world at any given time varies depending on the criteria used for defining the nature of a conflict. WarsInTheWorld.com calculates the number of periodic border clashes, international shooting wars, and internal struggles. By their measure, as of November 13, 2013, there were 60 countries at war, among most of which 490 militia-guerrilla, separatist, and anarchic groups were engaged in internal conflicts.

HistoryToday.com uses a different scale to determine the number of international conflicts at a given time. They do not include internal struggles, but calculate only the number of pairs of countries (conflicts between states) engaged in hostile acts. Their definition of “conflict” includes all aggressive acts such as full-scale shooting wars, gunboat diplomacy (threat by show of strength), blockades, and border closings. By this method, they calculate that the rate of growth of conflicts in the world has increased significantly since the end of World War II in 1945. During the Cold War, the rate of growth was 31%, and during the 1990s, the rate of increase reached 36% per year.

Clearly, intercessory prayer is powerless in reducing the level of hostility in the world.

Attempts at direct mediation by religious organizations have been few in number and relatively ineffective. The United States Institute of Peace cites only two conflicts where mediation by religious groups brought about a cessation of fighting; the first Sudanese civil war of 1955-1972 during which two million people died, and the Mozambique civil war of 1975-1992 which resulted in one million deaths. Both conflicts displaced millions of individuals and families.

The Sudanese civil war erupted again in 1983. Mozambique still holds on to a shaky peace after the Renamo guerrilla leader, Afonso Dhlakama, declared an end to the 1992 peace accord on October 21, 2013. As of this writing, some fighting has occurred, but it was limited in scope.

Even though economic and social conditions have improved significantly in the country during the two decades, peace appears to be breaking down. As of November 10, 2013, foreigners were leaving the country and guerrilla fighting has begun in central Mozambique.

One might rightfully ask, then, is it even possible to achieve world peace and social harmony when mass prayer, and secular and religious intervention have brought about such dismal results? Is there no path to world peace?

There is a path, but to take it, we must shift our focus. This is not to say that religious and secular mediation attempts should not continue. Indeed, these are all we have. So, where is the path?

True peace and social justice, as Socrates suggested in Plato’s Republic, begins within each individual. For there to be harmony and justice in society, there first must be harmony and justice within each citizen.

Yet, by nature, individuals are not given to harmonious relationships with everyone else. Because this fact was not lost on Socrates, he suggested that the rulers of society must propagate a religious, noble lie of such a nature that everyone would accept his god-given place in society and work in harmony with everyone else.

Socrates’ approach has never worked. Governments are not composed of benevolent philosophers, relatively few citizens would dare to change their religious beliefs for any reason, and many citizens are not religious at all.

Additionally, most conflicts today have little to do with religion. The Sudanese and Mozambique civil wars are over oil and mineral rights. The true root causes of armed conflict, then, are religious intolerance, economic disparity, greed, and insensitivity—also the driving forces of economic disparity—not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Currently, most of our efforts to bring about peace are reactive, and there seems to be no other way. I suggest that the proactive, long-term solution is to target the root causes by first concentrating on the children. Teach them, instead of exclusive, religious dogma, the greatest concept to which most people already agree but tend to ignore or forget; The Golden Rule.

A child is born neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Muslim, nor atheist, nor an adherent to any other brand of religious or philosophical order. A child is born a human being with an ability to learn, and from this raw material society builds her walls of nationalism and religious certitude.

M. Jefferson Hale, Beyond Paine, 2025: The Empathy Imperative, p7


 

— Max T. Furr is author of The Empathy Imperative, a novel featuring a trial of God in an ethereal courtroom where He is charged with creating evil, willful and harmful negligence, and with terrorism. His interrogators are a professor of evolutionary biology and a professor of psychology.

Is the god of the Bible amoral? Do true-believers believe that whatever their god does, he does because it is the moral and right thing to do, or are his actions right and moral because they are his actions? –A paraphrasing of a question originally posited by Socrates

Confessions – Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist

Yanis Varoufakis, I fear, is yet another voice drowned out by the deafening cacophony of voices from the socially positioned, privileged, entitlement minded “free-market” capitalists (the neoliberals).

This article, from which I derived the quote below, is a must read for anyone remotely interested the root causes of economic disparity. Although he is writing to the economic crisis in Europe, his words ring out a warning to all capitalist nations, especially the U.S. and Britain. Liberals and progressives, in reading the article, need keep in mind his reason for not offering a radical change at this time. Remember the old adage; The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

Both electricity and labour can be thought of as commodities. Indeed, both employers and workers struggle to commodify labour. Employers use all their ingenuity, and that of their HR management minions, to quantify, measure and homogenise labour. Meanwhile, prospective employees go through the wringer in an anxious attempt to commodify their labour power, to write and rewrite their CVs in order to portray themselves as purveyors of quantifiable labour units. And there’s the rub. If workers and employers ever succeed in commodifying labour fully, capitalism will perish. This is an insight without which capitalism’s tendency to generate crises can never be fully grasped and, also, an insight that no one has access to without some exposure to Marx’s thought.

Here is the ever widening gap of economic disparity in the United States:

income disparity in the USincome_inequality

Believe It or Not, the World is Becoming LESS Violent

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With My Face To The Rising Sun

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A broad blogs broadly on women’s & men's psychology: sex, relationships, equality

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A Hopefully Formerly Depressed Human Vows To Practice Self-Approval

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