FTAC: On the Preservation of Political Heritage and Memory


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With standards set by the definition of speech-related crimes (conspiracy, incitement, sedition, and a very few additional regions associated with prohibitions, rightly), I have been absolute about “Freedom of Speech” prerogatives for Americans. I not only see nothing wrong with such a statue but everything right if connected to greater contemplation requiring greater knowledge and humanity.

I own here a copy of Mien Kampf.

It doesn’t make me a Nazi.

In the area of public display managed by public offices or services, see this morning’s wall on Back-Channels.

In general, I endorse Milan Kundera’s observation, “The struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

States and their leaders do have their icons and standards, and it’s those that may be favored or disfavored across time and adjusted by public consensus openly as part of the process of governance. It would seem that gross historical revisionism has accompanied extremist ideologies and absolute power across time. Certainly, it has been “Communists”, “Fascists”, and “Socialists” along hard lines that have sought to erase the past. Perhaps an exception may be made for the eventual erasure of the names of Palestinian mass murderers who have been made into heroes beneath the despicable and upside-down guidance of Soviet Era thought about the relationship between State Power and “The Masses”. Extreme revolt against that would seem in order today — when and as the Palestinians learn how they have been abused by Moscow — but Confederate flags, statues of despots, books — place them where they belong, but keep them somewhere and don’t forget them or what they said they stood for, or what they really did with their lives.

Today . . . it’s last week’s Big Topic: from the post-Civil War statues of Confederate military nobility to one of Lenin in Washington State, American extremists have engaged in minor battle over what’s in the public presence while the public has been urged to review policy and, perhaps, considering “moving the furniture” of the public lawn or into the back rooms we call museums.

Here’s Laura Southern on the matter:

And here a statement from the National Trust on Historic Preservation (June 10, 2017): https://savingplaces.org/press-center/media-resources/national-trust-statement-on-confederate-memorials#.WZoELdQrJlZ


A Little Wisdom: On Evil, Memory, Time, and Goodness


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Posted to YouTube April 9, 2013.

For how long should the sins of the fathers be visited on their sons?

It’s a timeless question.

To forestall the reemergence of similar evil, the answer is “forever”; to facilitate the doing of good, perhaps the answer should be “Not one more day.”

When I was a little boy recently moved into a new suburb, the still plain dirt yard of a neighbor’s new house and the clean siding of the same proved a too tempting target for the neighborhood’s eight-year-old mudslingers.


It’s different with kids, of course.

How different adults are from children in their expanded powers, and yet how similar (in history and today) when it comes to a malicious thoughtlessness and “everyone else was doing it.”

Knowing how the Nazis worked as an infernal mafia, one may sympathize with the family business that intended to stay in business through the Nazi Era and now lives with the long hangover from a bad case of “civilizational narcissism” (reference Mobarak Haider’s work on the Taliban for more about that).

To the end of his life, my father who may have possessed a personality formed in the Depression Era and WWII, would not buy major manufactured German anything.

If today is different, it needs to be kept different and the past firmly consigned to the political period between The Great War and the end of the even greater insanity that came to its end for Germany 72 years ago.

Related Online

Accusation and guilt prove perennial if — or if not — haunting.

http://www.dw.com/en/bmw-dynasty-wants-to-uncover-nazi-ties/a-2814154 – 9/10/2007.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/breaking-the-silence-bmw-s-quandt-family-to-investigate-wealth-amassed-in-third-reich-a-511193-2.html – 10/12/2007.

http://www.dw.com/en/german-industrialist-family-breaks-silence-over-nazi-ties/a-3530701 – 1/8/2008.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042405/Family-dynasty-BMW-admits-using-50-000-slave-labourers-Nazi-era.html – 9/28/2011.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2786189/Joseph-Goebbels-wife-s-descendants-Germany-s-richest-family-Relatives-Nazi-propagandist-s-stepson-worth-24-5-billion.html – 1/9/2014.

http://www.turtlegarage.com/the-dark-side-of-a-great-company-bmw-and-the-third-reich/ – 6/15/2017.

Moral Courage (web site)

Related in Literature

Golding, William.  Lord of the Flies.  UK: Faber and Faber, 1954.

Related on BackChannels

https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/12/27/excerpt-1920s-the-spread-of-hate-russia-germany-laqueur/ – 12/27/2016.



Those Seeking to Divide Us . . . .


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Now who would seek to divide the American political campus against its own best interests?

The above played live on YouTube earlier today.  It’s now appears or sounds like a recording.  (Post-Publication Note: the YouTube poster revoked third-party replay (perhaps) because it knows its feed was designed to present Charlottesville and the United States of America as a House Mightily Divided, and while it has seemed that through the election season and this most turbulent of Administrations, we may not be so divided as confused by so much media devoted to the dramatizing of extremes.  “Active Measures”?  Could be.  The poster, “CCW News”, boasts (boasted) some arrangement with PressTV — and, reliably (if you click over to YouTube), listen to who is talking, masking away history, and framing the present.

Here, I will leave the copy as initially published.


We are told that we are divided.

Are we?

We’re “reminded” in the Jahi Issa interview that southern slavery was a colonial enterprise apparently absent of African and Arab practices in conquest and trade.

Here’s a block of URL’s on the history of the world’s most spiritually dismal industry:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_slave_trade https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_the_Muslim_world http://autocww.colorado.edu/~toldy2/E64ContentFiles/AfricanHistory/SlaveryInAfrica.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_Sudan https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/history/slave-trade.php

Contemporary (and a sad thing to note):

http://www.africanholocaust.net/articles/21stcentury%20slaves.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_contemporary_Africa http://www.dw.com/en/as-slave-trade-abolition-is-celebrated-millions-of-africans-continue-to-live-as-slaves/a-18337189 |
Portal Page: http://www.stoppingslavery.org/slavery-in-mauritania.html

Regarding the “southern” contribution, which seems archaic in this day and age: “blood and soil” and “the Jews will not replace us . . . .” — even absent of close-up evidence, the process has Moscow’s political “fingerprints” all over it.

Color codes previously noted and applied on Backchannels:

Red = Old Comrades (Soviet Era communists)
Green = Islamists (strident of Islam)
Black = Black Segregationists

“Red-Green Alliance” serves to represent the effort in the 20th Century to combine political forces to unseat the political intentions of the liberal democratic west.   The “Black” component flows down, imho, from older radical politics.

“ANTIFA” is a mystery organization with a global footprint, BackChannels wonders who is behind its development, recruitments, and evidently (and ironically) uniform counter-demonstration programming.

Regarding the New Nationalism (and resurgent feudalism and embrace of the medieval mode) in Europe and North America, BackChannels has suggested that Islamic Terrorism (“Allahu Akbar Terrorism”) has been channeled to goad Americans and Europeans toward the defense of their respective homelands.

Related Reference



FTAC: Islam, God, Nature, the Universe, and 7,000 Languages: A Note and Declaration


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” . . . remember that I have bestowed favours upon you . . .”

Is that God?

Is that God and the Prophet?

” . . . remember that WE have bestowed favours upon you . . . .”

Mohammed will proclaim that the Jews perverted the Torah, but the Jews — and let’s acknowledge that the Torah has been “set” in history (okay, it was a committee) and then transcribed by hand on parchment in Hebrew for every living Torah letter by letter by scribes devoted to that extraordinary and regimented art — may claim that not one letter of the Torah has been altered through the ages . . . through the ocean of time between finality and what is read today.

What is “supersession” but a political attempt to “one-up” the Torah and claim final authority in the interest of personal aggrandizement and enrichment?

No Moses?

No Muhammad.

No Constantine?

No Church of Rome.

Frankly, I blame Hillel the Elder for striving to make Judaism accessible to the “restive of Rome”.

He succeeded.

But the Romans, whatever they were, were not necessarily Jewish in soul. They could and did abandon the Pantheon of the Gods (good thing), but they needed the symbols of the divine as Divine.

And oh ye Muslims . . .ye cannot brag the slaughter of the Banu Qurayza on one hand and convincingly tell of “no compulsion” on the other.

It doesn’t wash.

I’m an American of Jewish descent — an American Secular Humanist.

I appreciate the full range of thought about God, nature, and the universe, and much the appreciate today the fewer than 7,000 living languages into which our thoughts have been packed, each language representing an isolated People’s way of inventing responses to their own environmental and social challenges.

If I were drawing salary as an academic or writer, I would embark on a lengthy period of research and discussion about “modernity”, humanism, comparative religion, and multiculturalism.  However, unpaid, occasionally validated, I may leave the above to stand as it stands.

Here is the renowned but under-publicized Daniel Everett on his experience with Christianity, primitives, language, and faith:

Everett’s terrific, a capable scholar of unquestionable integrity.


FTAC: Antidote to What Poisoned the Palestinians


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. . . the Palestinian street doesn’t learn because they’re disinformed and misdirected by leaders who have been “handled” by Moscow / and, since the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Moscow-Tehran in their bid to sustain our world in their politically feudal mode.

Do those in the “middle east peace industry” really want to sustain the conflict by limiting the scope of observation to the Palestinian masses?

For the _earlier_ Arab world, post-WWII, latched previously to Hitler, and afterward courted by the Soviets who used anti-Semitism as a lever with which to seduce a few powerful leaders and their followers. the refugees as refugees conventionally managed would have been a lasting reminder of a lost war — a shame, in other words. The creation of a People’s Liberation Movement with a history to match handily solved that issue and “weaponized” the minds of the dislocated population.

Instead of continuing to reinforce negative Palestinian self-concept through condemnation, which is what write-offs do, perhaps moving better information into the main base of the community would undermine the sources of the kind of energy it puts on display when it “chest bumps” Israel on flimsy pretexts and outright lies.

We should be dismantling the political culture informed by the Nazis and later the Soviets. It’s the phantoms of those vicious political movements — plus the fascist or supremacist element in Islam — that may be keeping the Palestinians locked into too small a worldview and boiling with anger.

Almost an aside: a lot of these movements associated with dictators or dictatorship won’t concede their absurd positions until force or freedom alters their political perception.

I would prefer that it was freedom that reached the Palestinians.


FTAC: A Little Wisdom: On Virtue


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Inspiration for the response:

Since there is good and evil in all of us, may God grant us the compassion and wisdom to see the good and not the evil.


“Since there is good and evil in all of us, may God grant us the compassion and wisdom to know the good and do it and not the evil.”

Language: such statements may be about our capacity for the doing of good and evil, and what may be most important, day by day, decision by decision, is that we do good and care to lean toward what is good.

The Persian Faravahar has come to my mind as symbolic of both the tension between good and evil and the taking of the direction of the good.


Image File Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Faravahar-Gold.svg

The awesome conversation has been working around the issue of virtue in other threads.  BackChannels’ own political virtues have long been posted near the top of the left sidebar: Compassion, Empathy, Justice, Humility, Inclusion, Integrity.

In Wikipedia, one may find listed the “Cardinal Virtues“: “Prudence, Temperance, Courage, Justice”.

Of course, there are other characterizations of what is good, but all may be reduced to {normative values x context / intentions} and good intentions further reduce to loving consideration and thoughtfulness.  Hillel the Elder distilled all of that into one golden expression:

“That which is distasteful to thee do not do to another.”

Barbaric cultures of cruelty complicate our lives as do the insatiable needs of the malign narcissists who set their lowest standards and tones, but even within those one hopes the good will continue striving to be so.

On goodness, never give up.



FTAC – Middle East Conflict (MEC) – The Big Wrap


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In the bridge between the medieval and modern eras, Germany’s Luther had at least opened the coffin’s lid:

“Luther’s influence was not decisive, and certainly not neutral, but ambivalent. So, for example, his writings communicated a generalized distrust, describing Jews as thieves in his preface to the 1528 edition of the influential 15th-century handbook for policing vagrants, the Liber vagatorum. This “evolved into a powerful and all-embracing stereotype—‘that of the Jews as a people of thieves and robbers extraordinaire,’” except that Luther by no means propagated this message alone.”


We shouldn’t be writing with crayons, but on the web where ideas move quickly in these small tiles, broad statements and telegraphing are what we do.

The intellectual history of modern “Jew hate” appears to move from Russia (with the “Protocols”) via White Russian emigre fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution; at the end of WWII, the Soviet Union was in position to amplify and leverage anti-Semitic sentiment in the middle east into political influence and power.


The Arab World could not have hated the Jews quite so much prior to WWII and Nazi and later Soviet influence for it’s states sustained a population of (that well-known figure) 800,000 Jews and their businesses and synagogues. There’s certainly a minority experience contained in the memory of that population, but that it was there and working tells us that the politics of the World War and its immediate aftermath set the stage both for the birth of Israel and the Arab expulsion of the Jews.

IF the Kingdom represents today’s Arab world, it is heavily invested in western success through Kingdom Holdings. It has taken small steps toward updating its culture (I have yet another blog piece standing signal to that), and it has taken interest in developing technology requiring the western interface. Nonetheless, the narcissistic medieval worldview needs must prevail for the time being, and cultural inertia continues to leverage anti-Semitism. (just a little more).

Rival Iran — Moscow / Moscow-Tehran — challenges the liberalism of the west with “absolute power” — the rule of the emperor or king for his own desired ends and with sufficient contempt and cruelty to enforce a malign will. One may consider the destruction of Syria by a tyrannical Assad as flanked by Putin and Khamenei merely a demonstration of the “principle” of absolute ownership of an entire people.

In 2011, Barack Obama offered President Putin a gambit: lean west — and Putin rejected the role of tempering Assad and instead embraced the KGB past — that which groomed Arafat and approved Abbas — and here we are. By focusing on ISIS and some on Tehran while “working with Russia”, we avoid a fast disaster.

For the Palestinians, all of the above involving Russia’s historic influence, has been a disaster, and this view — I don’t think I’m the only one propagating it — may be reaching the Arab World on the “Anglo and western axis”. The other channels and manipulates and incites along medieval lines that it means to sustain, and it wants the wars of all against all that lend it glory.

An earlier post noted social media’s unsuitability for “long copy”.

In “Life Online”, readers much prefer epigrammatic statements and slogans to digested narratives or overviews — we want to get the message quickly and then get back to the next social moment or breaking news.

I’ve tried with BackChannels to find a place between the scholarly tract and the lay observation with hope that other journalists — more powerful — and some in the generally interested public would pick up on the blog’s themes.

Of course, I place some faith and hope in each post at the moment it’s published, and often that is all a writer may do.


Also in Media: “Can Ayaan Hirsi Ali Liberate Islam from Islamism?” | by Andrew Harrod | Religious Freedom Coalition | July 20, 2017


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“Dawa is to the Islamists of today what the ‘long march through the institutions’ was to twentieth-century Marxists,” writes Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her latest monograph, The Challenge of Dawa:  Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It.  In it the Somali-born political activist accurately analyzes the threat of, and necessary response to, Islam’s faith-based political ideology, yet the feasibility of her desire to reform this “Islamism” out of Islam is questionable.

Analyzing dawa’s call to Islam, Ali calls for a “paradigm shift that recognizes how violent jihad is intertwined with the ideological infrastructure of dawa,” the “subversive, indoctrinating precursor to jihad.”  Reflecting a commonplace myopic focus on jihadists, President George W. Bush “often referred to a ‘war on terror,’ but terror is a tactic that can be used for a variety of ideological objectives.”  Accordingly, “nonviolent and violent Islamists differ only on tactics; they share the same goal, which is to establish an unfree society ruled by strict sharia law.”

Source: Can Ayaan Hirsi Ali Liberate Islam from Islamism?