Self-Right​eousness in Everyday’s Life and the Loss of Our Sense of Humor and Perspectiv​e When Talking about Organic & GEO/GMO — Written 05/20/2012

“There’s a line of research showing that when people can pat themselves on the back for their moral behavior, they can become self-righteous,” says author Kendall Eskine, assistant professor of  the department of psychological sciences at Loyola University in New Orleans.”

“”There’s something about being exposed to organic food that made them feel better about themselves,” says Eskine. “And that made them kind of jerks a little bit, I guess.”

Why does eating better make us act worse? Eskine says it probably has to do with what he calls “moral licensing.”

“People may feel like they’ve done their good deed,” he says. “That they have permission, or license, to act unethically later on. It’s like when you go to the gym and run a few miles and you feel good about yourself, so you eat a candy bar.””

“”At my local grocery, I sometimes catch organic eyes gazing into my grocery cart and scowling,” says Sue Frause, a 61-year-old freelance writer/photographer from Whidbey Island. “So I’ll often toss in really bad foods just to get them even more riled up.””

“Self-righteousness (also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness, a holier-than-thou attitudes) is a feeling of (usually) smug moral superiority derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person.

The term “self-righteous” is often considered derogatory (see, for example, journalist and essayist James Fallows’ description of self-righteousness[3] in regards to Nobel Peace Prize winners) particularly because self-righteous individuals are often thought to exhibit hypocrisy due to the belief that humans are imperfect and can therefore never be infallible, an idea similar to that of the Freudian defense mechanism of reaction formation. The connection between self-righteousness and hypocrisy predates Freud’s views, however, as evidenced by the 1899 book Good Mrs. Hypocrite: A Study in Self-Righteousness, by the pseudonymous author “Rita.””

“Superiority complex is a psychological defense mechanism in which a person’s feelings of superiority counter or conceal his or her feelings of inferiority.”

“”If a person is a show-off it is only because he feels inferior, because he does not feel strong enough to compete with others on the useful side of life. That is why he stays on the useless side. He is not in harmony with society. It seems to be a trait of human nature that when individuals – both children and adults – feel weak, they want to solve the problems of life in such a way as to obtain personal superiority without any admixture of social interest. A superiority complex is a second phase. It is a compensation for the inferiority [feeling] complex.”

“The superiority complex is one of the ways which a person with an inferiority complex may use as a method of escape from his difficulties. He assumes that he is superior when he is not, and this false success compensates him for the state of inferiority which he cannot bear. The normal person does not have a superiority complex, he does not even have a sense of superiority. He has the striving to be superior in the sense that we all have ambition to be successful; but so long as this striving is expressed in work it does not lead to false valuations, which are at the root of mental disease.”

“From Alfred Adler’s point of view, an individual faced with a task, wants to overcome or master the task. This is known as striving for superiority. For a well adapted individual, this striving is not for personal superiority over others, but an overcoming of the task, or finding useful answers to questions in life. When faced with the task, the individual will experience a feeling of inferiority or a sense that the current situation is not as good as the it could be if the task was accomplished. This feeling is similar to stress. If the individual has not been properly trained, the task may seem too much to overcome and lead to an exaggerated feeling of inferiority, or intense anxiety. The individual may, after several unsuccessful attempts to accomplish the task, give up on mastering the task, experiencing the inferiority complex, or a depressed state. The individual may also make several attempts at solving the problem and find a solution to the problem that causes problems in other areas. An individual who answers the question “How can I be thin?” by not eating will become thin, but at the cost over their overall health.”

“An individual who is not properly trained to answer life’s problems may turn from striving for superiority in useful ways to that of a personal superiority at all cost. If an individual cannot be better than other on their own merrit, they will tear down the other person or group to maintain their superior position.”

“Other authors have argued that it is a mistake to believe that both the superiority and inferiority complex can be found together as different expressions of the same pathology and that both complexes can exist within the same individual since an individual with a superiority complex truly believes they are superior to others. An inferiority complex may manifest with the behaviors that are intended to show others that one is superior; such as expensive material possessions, or an obsession with vanity and appearances. They express themselves as superior because they lack feelings of adequacy. Superiority complex sufferers do not always care about image or vanity, since they have innate feelings of superiority and thus do not usually concern themselves with proving their superiority to others. The term “superiority complex”, in everyday usage, refers to an overly high opinion of oneself. In psychology, it refers not to a belief, but a pattern of behaviors expressing the belief that one is superior. Similarly, one with an inferiority complex would act as if they were inferior, or not up to the task.”

“Those exhibiting the superiority complex have a self-image of supremacy. Those with superiority complexes may garner a negative image in those around them, as they are not concerned with the opinions of others about themselves. This is responsible for the paradox in which those with an inferiority complex are the ones who present themselves in the best light possible; while those with a superiority complex may not attempt to make themselves look good. This may give off an image that others may consider inferior. This is responsible for the misconception that those with an inferiority complex are meek and mild, but the complex is not defined by the behavior of the individual but by the self-image of the individual. Not that a person with a superiority complex will not express their superiority to others, only that they do not feel the need to do so. They may speak as if they are all-knowing and better than others. But ultimately they do not care if others think so or not, and will not care if others tell them so. They simply won’t listen to, and don’t care about, those who disagree. In this regard, it is much alike the cognitive bias known as Illusory superiority. This is juxtaposed to an inferiority complex where if their knowledge, accuracy, superiority or etc. is challenged, the individual will not stop in their attempts to prove such things until the dissenting party accepts their opinion (or whatever issue it may be). Again this is another reason that those with inferiority complexes are often mistaken for having superiority complexes when they must express and maintain their superiority in the eyes of others. Many fail to recognize that this is a trait of low self-opinion who care deeply about the opinion of others, not of those who feel superior and have high-self esteem and do not care at all about the opinion of others.”

“The moral lesson is to avoid hypocrisy and censoriousness. The analogy used is of a small object in another’s eye as compared with a large beam of wood in one’s own. The original Greek word translated as “mote” (κάρφος karphos) meant “any small dry body.” A proverb of this sort was familiar to the Jews and appears in numerous other cultures too. For example, the poet Robert Burns famously wrote:

Oh, wad some Power the giftie give us,

To see ourselves as others see us!”

“According to the UK’s Food Standards Agency, “Consumers may choose to buy organic fruit, vegetables and meat because they believe them to be more nutritious than other food. However, the balance of current scientific evidence does not support this view.” A 12-month systematic review commissioned by the FSA in 2009 and conducted at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine based on 50 years’ worth of collected evidence concluded that “there is no good evidence that consumption of organic food is beneficial to health in relation to nutrient content.” Other studies have found no proof that organic food offers greater nutritional values, more consumer safety or any distinguishable difference in taste. A review of nutrition claims showed that organic food proponents are unreliable information sources which harm consumers, and that consumers are wasting their money if they buy organic food believing that it contains better nutrients. Minor differences in ascorbic acid, protein concentration and several micronutrients have been identified between organic and conventional foods, but it doesn’t appear that these have any impact on human health.

Although it is commonly claimed that organically grown food tastes better than conventionally grown food, reviews of the literature that looked at the sensory qualities of the two have not found convincing evidence that there are any significant differences.”

“In looking at possible increased risk to safety from organic food consumption, reviews have found that although there are theoretical increased risk from microbiological contamination due to increased manure use as fertilizer from organisms like E. coli O157:H7 during organic produce production, there does not exist sufficient evidence of actual incidence of outbreaks that can be clearly tied to organic food production to draw any firm conclusions. Other possible sources of increased safety risk from organic food consumption like use of biological pesticides or the theoretical risk from mycotoxins from fungi grown on products due to the lack of effective organic compliant fungicides have likewise not been confirmed by rigorous studies in the scientific literature.”


“Demand for organic foods is primarily concern for personal health and concern for the environment. Organic products typically cost 10 to 40% more than similar conventionally produced products. According to the USDA, Americans, on average, spent $1,347 on groceries in 2004; thus switching entirely to organics would raise their cost of groceries by about $135 to $539 per year ($11 to $45 per month) assuming that prices remained stable with increased demand. Processed organic foods vary in price when compared to their conventional counterparts.

While organic food accounts for 1-2% of total food sales worldwide, the organic food market is growing rapidly, far ahead of the rest of the food industry, in both developed and developing nations.

World organic food sales jumped from US $23 billion in 2002 to $52 billion in 2008.

The world organic market has been growing by 20% a year since the early 1990s, with future growth estimates ranging from 10%-50% annually depending on the country.”

“Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as “an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term:

Satisfy human food and fiber needs

Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends

Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls

Sustain the economic viability of farm operations

Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

Sustainable agriculture in the United States was addressed by the 1990 farm bill. More recently, as consumer and retail demand for sustainable products has risen, organizations such as Food Alliance and Protected Harvest have started to provide measurement standards and certification programs for what constitutes a sustainably grown crop.”

“Protected Harvest is an American non-profit organization headquartered in Soquel, California that certifies sustainably grown crops. The goal of the organization is to provide a standard measurement of what constitutes a sustainable product and use it to assure retailers and consumers that they are purchasing sustainably grown items. Protected Harvest was founded in 2001 as an independent non-profit organization and merged into SureHarvest in 2008. According to, a non-profit monitoring certification programs, “Protected Harvest is an eco-label with the stated mission of helping farmers meet environmental standards that yield high quality products and preserve healthy land for future generations.” Pest-management in particular is among the specialties of Protected Harvest, according to Consumer Reports.”

” Possible sources of nitrogen that would, in principle, be available indefinitely, include:

  • recycling crop waste and livestock or treated human manure
  • growing legume crops and forages such as peanuts or alfalfa that form symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia
  • industrial production of nitrogen by the Haber Process uses hydrogen, which is currently derived from natural gas, (but this hydrogen could instead be made by electrolysis of water using electricity (perhaps from solar cells or windmills)) or
  • genetically engineering (non-legume) crops to form nitrogen-fixing symbioses or fix nitrogen without microbial symbionts.”

“Without efforts to improve soil management practices, the availability of arable soil will become increasingly problematic.

  • Some Soil Management techniques
  • No-till farming
  • Keyline design
  • Growing wind breaks to hold the soil
  • Incorporating organic matter back into fields
  • Stop using chemical fertilizers (which contain salt)
  • Protecting soil from water runoff”

“What grows where and how it is grown are a matter of choice. Two of the many possible practices of sustainable agriculture are crop rotation and soil amendment, both designed to ensure that crops being cultivated can obtain the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Soil amendments would include using locally available compost from community recycling centers. These community recycling centers help produce the compost needed by the local organic farms.

Many scientists, farmers, and businesses have debated how to make agriculture sustainable. Using community recycling from yard and kitchen waste utilizes a local area’s commonly available resources. These resources in the past were thrown away into large waste disposal sites, are now used to produce low cost organic compost for organic farming. Other practices includes growing a diverse number of perennial crops in a single field, each of which would grow in separate season so as not to compete with each other for natural resources. This system would result in increased resistance to diseases and decreased effects of erosion and loss of nutrients in soil. Nitrogen fixation from legumes, for example, used in conjunction with plants that rely on nitrate from soil for growth, helps to allow the land to be reused annually. Legumes will grow for a season and replenish the soil with ammonium and nitrate, and the next season other plants can be seeded and grown in the field in preparation for harvest.”


“There may be some techniques of farming that are inherently in conflict with the concept of sustainability, but there is widespread misunderstanding on impacts of some practices. Today the growth of local farmers’ markets offer small farms the ability to sell the products that they have grown back to the cities that they got the recycled compost from. By using local recycling this will help move people away from the slash-and-burn techniques that are the characteristic feature of shifting cultivators are often cited as inherently destructive, yet slash-and-burn cultivation has been practiced in the Amazon for at least 6000 years; serious deforestation did not begin until the 1970s, largely as the result of Brazilian government programs and policies. To note that it may not have been slash-and-burn so much as slash-and-char, which with the addition of organic matter produces terra preta, one of the richest soils on Earth and the only one that regenerates itself.”

“Terra preta’s capacity to increase its own volume-thus to sequester more carbon-was first documented by pedologist William I. Woods of the University of Kansas. This remains the central mystery of terra preta.

  • The processes responsible for the formation of terra preta soils are:
  • Incorporation of wood charcoal
  • Incorporation of organic matter and of nutrients
  • Role of micro-organisms and animals in the soil”

“New Harvest is a non-profit organization promoting research on the development of in vitro meat and other meat substitutes. New Harvest was formed by researchers actively promoting tissue engineering. In 2005, P. D. Edelman, M.Sc., D.C. McFarland, Ph.D., V.A. Mironov, Ph.D., M.D., and J.G. Matheny, M.P.H. published their research in the journal Tissue Engineering, proposing new production methods.”

“Matheny says lab production of meat would be “cleaner, more efficient, more sanitary,” and “solve all of the animal welfare problems” of current meat production. According to New Harvest’s FAQ, “Within several years, it may be possible to produce cultured meat in a processed form, like sausage, hamburger, or chicken nuggets, with modifications of existing technologies.” The organization seeks to fund these technologies while focusing on their economic viability. A preliminary study was commissioned in 2008 in order to analyze costs of different technologies.”

“New Harvest currently funds university-based research to develop new culture media, bioreactors, and methods of tissue assembly for the production of cultured meat. In addition, it is funding an environmental assessment of cultured meat compared to conventional meat, looking at the relative efficiency in land, water, and energy use.”

“New Harvest has received press coverage by US News and World Report, Time,The Washington Post, and The Economist”

“A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms that have inserted DNA from a different species. GMOs are the constituents of genetically modified foods.”


“GMOs are used in biological and medical research, production of pharmaceutical drugs, experimental medicine (e.g. gene therapy), and agriculture (e.g. golden rice). The term “genetically modified organism” does not always imply, but can include, targeted insertions of genes from one species into another. For example, a gene from a jellyfish, encoding a fluorescent protein called GFP, can be physically linked and thus co-expressed with mammalian genes to identify the location of the protein encoded by the GFP-tagged gene in the mammalian cell. Such methods are useful tools for biologists in many areas of research, including those who study the mechanisms of human and other diseases or fundamental biological processes in eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells.

To date the most controversial but also the most widely adopted application of GMO technology is patent-protected food crops that are resistant to commercial herbicides or are able to produce pesticidal proteins from within the plant, or stacked trait seeds, which do both. The largest share of the GMO crops planted globally are owned by the United States firm Monsanto. In 2007, Monsanto’s trait technologies were planted on 246 million acres (1,000,000 km2) throughout the world, a growth of 13 percent from 2006. However, patents on the first Monsanto products to enter the marketplace will begin to expire in 2014, democratizing Monsanto products. In addition, a 2007 report from the European Joint Research Commission predicts that by 2015, more than 40 per cent of new GM plants entering the global marketplace will have been developed in Asia.

In the corn market, Monsanto’s triple-stack corn-which combines Roundup Ready 2-weed control technology with YieldGard Corn Borer and YieldGard Rootworm insect control-is the market leader in the United States. U.S. corn farmers planted more than 32 million acres (130,000 km2) of triple-stack corn in 2008,[14] and it is estimated the product could be planted on 56 million acres (230,000 km2) in 2014-2015. In the cotton market, Bollgard II with Roundup Ready Flex was planted on approximately 5 million acres (20,000 km2) of U.S. cotton in 2008.

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), in 2010 approximately 15 million farmers grew biotech crops in 29 countries. Over 90% of the farmers were resource-poor in developing countries. 6.5 million farmers in China and 6.3 million small farmers in India grew biotech crops (mostly Bacillus thuringiensis cotton). The Philippines, South Africa (biotech cotton, maize, and soybeans often grown by subsistence women farmers) and another twelve developing countries also grew biotech crops in 2009. 10 million more small and resource-poor farmers may have been secondary beneficiaries of Bt cotton in China.

The global commercial value of biotech crops grown in 2008 was estimated to be US$130 billion.”


“The safety of GMOs in the foodchain has been questioned by some environmental groups, with concerns such as the possibilities that GMOs could introduce new allergens into foods, or contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance. According to a study published in 1999, there was no current evidence to suggest that the processes used to genetically modify food were inherently harmful. However, a number of more recent studies  have raised concern, and environmental groups still discourage consumption in many countries, claiming that GM foods are unnatural and therefore unsafe. Such concerns have led to the adoption of laws and regulations that require safety testing of any new organism produced for human consumption.”


“GMOs’ proponents note that because of the safety testing requirements imposed on GM foods, the risk of introducing a plant variety with a new allergen or toxin using genetic modification is much smaller than using traditional breeding processes. Transgenesis has less impact on the expression of genomes or on protein and metabolite levels than conventional breeding or plant (non-directed) mutagenesis. An example of an allergenic plant created using traditional breeding is the kiwi. One article calculated that the marketing of GM salmon could reduce the cost of salmon by half, thus increasing salmon consumption and preventing 1,400 deaths from heart attack a year in the United States.”


“Hybrid seeds were commonly used in developed countries long before the introduction of GM crops. Some hybrid crop seeds cannot be saved, so purchasing new seed every year is already a standard agricultural practice for a majority of farms.

There are technologies evolving that contain the transgene by biological means and still can provide fertile seeds using fertility-restorer functions. Such methods are being developed by several EU research programs, among them Transcontainer and Co-Extra.”


“The phrase naturalistic fallacy, with “fallacy” referring to a formal fallacy, has several meanings. It can be used to refer to the claim that what is natural is inherently good or right, and that what is unnatural is bad or wrong (see also “appeal to nature”). This naturalistic fallacy is the converse of the moralistic fallacy, the notion that what is good or right is natural and inherent.”


“The naturalistic fallacy is related to (and even confused with) the is-ought problem, which comes from Hume’s Treatise.

Another usage of the phrase was described by British philosopher G. E. Moore in his 1903 book Principia Ethica. Moore stated that a naturalistic fallacy is committed whenever a philosopher attempts to prove a claim about ethics by appealing to a definition of the term “good” in terms of one or more natural properties (such as “pleasant”, “more evolved”, “desired”, etc.).”






Once Upon a Time: Marcelle Chanaux-Vo​illemin, Annette Chanaux’s Mother, Jeanne Marie Jondet Cousin ex-Martign​y-les-Bain​s (Vosges, France) Mayor & General Council of Lamarche Canton — Written 05/16/2012

(Annette Chanaux, my cousin on my mother’s side, is the fifth one, second rank  from the top. If you drag your mouse on the face in her picture the name should appear)


The Dangers of Satire: It’s Not Funny, But, Could It Be a True Reflection of a Majority Attitude, Hidden from the Outside World? — Written 05/15/2012

For Your Entertainment (FYE) IF NOT For Stirring Up Your Xenophobia, Hate and Revolt Against Expats/Foreigners…….;+)

Beware cartoonists, NOT only Muhammad the Prophet is taboo, Vietnamese comments are seemingly, too……..;+)

“The 114-page comic features conversations among “the Director” of the office, a male assistant and a female secretary.

In one conversation, the assistant informs the director about “an intern for the dairy cooperative of Kaikai” and when the director asks, “what is he going to do there?” the assistant replies, “make cheese and milk the cows and when he has had enough he can milk the village girls …”

In another conversation, the secretary quotes a study in Australia as saying that office life would double the risk of colon cancer and advises consumption of vegetables like carrots, zucchini and cucumbers. Then the male assistant chimes in: “in suppository is more effective.”

But the conversation that got the goat of many had to do with 54 communities in Vietnam [53 ethnic minorities and the majority Kinh].

The director asks, “What is an ethnic minority?” and gets an answer: “Those people [who are] backward, limited, lazy, dirty, stupid, etc.”

They also add that the ethnic minorities are respected mainly because they attract tourists and bringing in dollars.”

” would agree with this position except for the very obvious problem that the letter writers overlook in their rush to suggest that things should be left alone and “if you don’t like it, don’t live or visit here”: Vietnam must change if it is going to continue to grow its economy. The letter writers seem to have overlooked the fact that the country is not doing such a great job of this.”

“If Vietnam wants to be taken seriously along with its ASEAN neighbors whose economies are growing like Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, as a place for companies to invest, tourists to visit and foreigners to retire to, it must work on the society to develop modern ways. The well-intentioned letter writers who say that expats and tourists should go somewhere else if there are things about the Vietnamese they do not like are completely missing the point of the articles they criticize. People should not be encouraged to continue… whether it is driving on the wrong side of the road or urinating in the street by saying, “Just let the Vietnamese be themselves.” We can help by calling attention to these things in a polite and constructive way.”

“Shortcomings in the country’s infrastructure have got to be addressed: Bridges under construction collapse, roads a few years old fall apart when it rains. Unless there is total stupidity in the planning bureaucracies that have been responsible for these, the obvious fact is that somewhere between approving and funding the construction of a road or a bridge and its opening there is unrestricted corruption. Although corruption plagues all countries, most obviously my own United States, there is no reason to tolerate it.”

“Self-censorship is the act of censoring or classifying one’s own work (blog, book(s), film(s), or other means of expression), out of fear of, or deference to, the sensibilities of others, without overt pressure from any specific party or institution of authority. Self-censorship is often practiced by film producers, film directors, publishers, news anchors, journalists, musicians, and other kinds of authors.

In authoritarian countries, creators of artworks may remove material that their government might find controversial for fear of sanction by their governments. In pluralistic capitalist countries repressive judicial lawmaking can also cause widespread “rivercrabbing” of western media. Self-censorship can also occur, particularly in order to conform to the expectations of the market. For example, the editor of a periodical may consciously or unconsciously avoid topics that will anger advertisers or a parent company in order to protect her or his livelihood. This phenomenon is referred to as soft censorship.”

“There is also a culture of self-censorship in politics. This is especially acute in authoritarian regimes, and can be observed in the former Soviet Republics, as well as in many of the most regimented Asian regimes. James Gomez writes about this phenomenon in his book Self-Censorship: Singapore’s Shame. He argues that citizens and foreigners in Singapore practice self-censorship that results in the censorship of others when it comes to political matters. This illustrates a more general phenomenon: that “self-censorship,” when practiced by those having influence in the public sphere, results in an interference with democratic discourse that affects the free expression of persons and entities other than those who are presumed by the term to be censoring only themselves.”

“Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement.[1] Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

A common feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm—”in satire, irony is militant”[—but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. This “militant” irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to attack.

Satire is nowadays found in many artistic forms of expression, including literature, plays, commentary, and media such as lyrics.”


But, how do you know about satire, when it is ‘forbidden” in your country and your country expelled all the expats/foreigners who could teach you about it???

Maybe, the “illumination”  will come when all expats/foreigners gone back to their respective countries will push their respective governments to stop sending any funds through the IBRD(World Bank),IMF,ADB, ODA, OD, funds that allow Viet Nam to survive………;+)

The more you see these attacks on expats/foreigners, the more you realize that Doi Moi 1 is unraveling and in dire need of reinforcement by Doi Moi 2, Doi Moi 3, …..Doi Moi N, as Viet Nam’s Prime Minister was right when he warned that Viet Nam has still a very long way to go,…… all levels…….

And, this is said by people who love Viet Nam more than their own lives, which is more than you can say about all the corrupted people out there……….;+)

From Greco-Pers​ian Wars, Alexander the Great, Enderun Ottoman Islamic Empire School for the Janissarie​s Christian Children How to Get a Glimpse at a Western Civilizati​on Future Extrapolat​ion — Written 05/14/2012

“Before adopting Islam—a process that was greatly facilitated by the Abbasid victory at the 751 Battle of Talas, which ensured Abbasid influence in Central Asia—the Turkic peoples practiced a variety of shamanism. After this battle, many of the various Turkic tribes—including the Oghuz Turks, who were the ancestors of both the Seljuks and the Ottomans—gradually converted to Islam, and brought the religion with them to Anatolia beginning in the 11th century.

In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the Muslim dhimmi system, Christians were guaranteed limited freedoms (such as the right to worship), but were treated as second-class citizens. Christians and Jews were not considered equals to Muslims: testimony against Muslims by Christians and Jews was inadmissible in courts of law. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride atop horses, their houses could not overlook those of Muslims, and their religious practices would have to defer to those of Muslims, in addition to various other legal limitations. The system commonly known as devşirme (“blood tax”) was effectively used in the Ottoman Empire for centuries: in this system a certain number Christian boys, mainly from the Balkans and Anatolia, were periodically conscripted before they reached adolescence and were brought up as Muslims. These selected boys were trained either in the arts of statecraft or in the military to form the ruling class and the elite fighting force, Janissaries, of the empire.

The Ottoman Empire was, in principle, tolerant towards Christians and Jews (the “Ahl Al-Kitab”, or “People of the Book”, according to the Qur’an) but not towards the polytheists, according to the Sharia law. Such tolerance was subject to a non-Muslim tax, the Jizya.”


“Under the millet system, non-Muslim people were considered subjects of the Empire, but were not subject to the Muslim faith or Muslim law. The Orthodox millet, for instance, was still officially legally subject to Justinian’s Code, which had been in effect in the Byzantine Empire for 900 years. Also, as the largest group of non-Muslim subjects (or zimmi) of the Islamic Ottoman state, the Orthodox millet was granted a number of special privileges in the fields of politics and commerce, and had to pay higher taxes than Muslim subjects.

The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II allowed the local Christians to stay in Constantinople after conquering the city in 1453, and to retain their institutions such as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.

In 1461 Sultan Mehmed II established the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. Previously, the Byzantines considered the Armenian Church as heretical and thus did not allow them to build churches inside the walls of Constantinople. In 1492, when the Muslims and Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II sent his fleet under Kemal Reis to save them and granted the refugees the right to settle in the Ottoman Empire.

The state’s relationship with the Greek Orthodox Church was largely peaceful, and recurrent oppressive measures taken against the Greek church were a deviation from generally established practice. The church’s structure was kept intact and largely left alone but under close control and scrutiny until the Greek War of Independence of 1821–1829 and, later in the 19th century, the rise of the Ottoman constitutional monarchy, which was driven to some extent by nationalistic currents, tried to be balanced with Ottomanism. Other Orthodox churches, like the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, were dissolved and placed under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, until Sultan Abdülaziz established the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870 and reinstated the autonomy of the Bulgarian Church.

Similar millets were established for the Ottoman Jewish community, who were under the authority of the Haham Başı or Ottoman Chief Rabbi; the Armenian Orthodox community, who were under the authority of a head bishop; and a number of other religious communities as well.

In 1514, Sultan Selim I, nicknamed “the Grim” because of his cruelty, ordered the massacre of 40,000 Anatolian Shi’ites, whom he considered heretics,[149] reportedly proclaiming that “the killing of one Shiite had as much otherworldly reward as killing 70 Christians.”[


“In the Ancient Near East along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers there were many shrines and temples or “houses of heaven” dedicated to various deities documented by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in The Histories where sacred prostitution was a common practice. It came to an end when the emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD destroyed the goddess temples and replaced them with Christianity.

As early as the 18th century B.C., the ancient society of Mesopotamia recognized the need to protect women’s property rights. In the Code of Hammurabi, provisions were found that addressed inheritance rights of women, including female prostitutes.”

“The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and city-states of the Hellenic world that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered Ionia in 547 BC. By Greek accounts, enmity between Greek and Persia continued for more than two centuries, culminating in the dissolution of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great; the principal events of the wars, however, unfolded during the two failed Persian expeditions against Greece, in 490 and in 480/479 BC.

The Greeks themselves referred to those wars as the “Median affair” (Μηδικά, Mĕdiká). Although they were perfectly aware that the Achaemenid Empire, their enemy, was ruled by a Persian dynasty, they retained for this empire the name under which they had known it first, that of the Medes.”


“Some of Alexander’s strongest personality traits formed in response to his parents. His mother had huge ambitions, and encouraged him to believe it was his destiny to conquer the Persian Empire. Olympias’ influence instilled a sense of destiny in him, and Plutarch tells us that his ambition “kept his spirit serious and lofty in advance of his years”. However, his father Philip was Alexander’s most immediate and influential role model, as the young Alexander watched him campaign practically every year, winning victory after victory while ignoring severe wounds. Alexander’s relationship with his father forged the competitive side of his personality; he had a need to out-do his father, illustrated by his reckless behavior in battle. While Alexander worried that his father would leave him “no great or brilliant achievement to be displayed to the world”, he also downplayed his father’s achievements to his companions.

According to Plutarch, among Alexander’s traits were a violent temper and rash, impulsive nature, which undoubtedly contributed to some of his decisions. Although Alexander was stubborn and did not respond well to orders from his father, he was open to reasoned debate. He had a calmer side—perceptive, logical, and calculating. He had a great desire for knowledge, a love for philosophy, and was an avid reader. This was no doubt in part due to Aristotle’s tutelage; Alexander was intelligent and quick to learn. His intelligent and rational side was amply demonstrated by his ability and success as a general. He had great self-restraint in “pleasures of the body”, in contrast with his lack of self control with alcohol.

Alexander was erudite and patronized both arts and sciences. However, he had little interest in sports or the Olympic games (unlike his father), seeking only the Homeric ideals of honor (timê) and glory (kudos). He had great charisma and force of personality, characteristics which made him a great leader. His unique abilities were further demonstrated by the inability of any of his generals to unite Macedonia and retain the Empire after his death – only Alexander had the ability to do so.

During his final years, and especially after the death of Hephaestion, Alexander began to exhibit signs of megalomania and paranoia. His extraordinary achievements, coupled with his own ineffable sense of destiny and the flattery of his companions, may have combined to produce this effect. His delusions of grandeur are readily visible in his testament and in his desire to conquer the world.

He appears to have believed himself a deity, or at least sought to deify himself. Olympias always insisted to him that he was the son of Zeus, a theory apparently confirmed to him by the oracle of Amun at Siwa. He began to identify himself as the son of Zeus-Ammon. Alexander adopted elements of Persian dress and customs at court, notably proskynesis, a practice that Macedonians disapproved, and were loath to perform. This behavior cost him the sympathies of many of his countrymen. However, Alexander also was a pragmatic ruler who understood the difficulties of ruling culturally disparate peoples, many of whom lived in kingdoms where the king was divine. Thus, rather than megalomania, his behavior may simply have been a practical attempt at strengthening his rule and keeping his empire together.”




Are Years 2012-2025 going to be history stuttering from Years 1912-1945? Hope Not! — Written 05/13/2012

“Some of the most important long term or structural causes are:

  • The growth of nationalism across Europe
  • Unresolved territorial disputes
  • Intricate system of alliances
  • The perceived breakdown of the balance of power in Europe
  • Misperceptions of intent – e.g., the German belief that the United Kingdom would remain neutral
  • Convoluted and fragmented governance
  • Delays and misunderstandings in diplomatic communications
  • Arms races of the previous decades
  • Previous military planning
  • Imperial and colonial rivalry for wealth, power and prestige
  • Economic and military rivalry in industry and trade “


“One of the common misconceptions about the Yugoslav Wars is that they were the result of centuries of ethnic conflict. In fact, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the ethnically mixed region of Dalmatia held close and amicable relations between the Croats and Serbs who lived there, and many early proponents of a united Yugoslavia came from this region, such as Dalmatian Croat Ante Trumbić. However by the time of the outbreak of the Yugoslav Wars the historical hospitable relations between Croats and Serbs in Dalmatia had broken down, with Dalmatian Serbs fighting on the side of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Clear ethnic conflict between the Yugoslav peoples only became prominent in the 20th century, beginning with tensions over the constitution of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in the early 1920s and escalating into violence between Serbs and Croats in the late 1920s after the assassination of Croatian nationalist Stjepan Radić. Severe ethnic conflict occurred during World War II during which the Croatian Ustase movement committed genocide against Serbs, while the Serbian Chetnik movement responded with reprisals against Croats as well as murdering Bosniaks. However the Yugoslav Partisan movement was able to mobilize large numbers of Yugoslavs from the multiple Yugoslav ethnicities, to fight against the Axis Powers, the Ustase, and the Chetniks.

In Serbia and Serb territories, violent confrontations occurred particularly between nationalist Serbs towards non-nationalist Serbs who had criticized the Serbian government and the Serb political entities in Bosnia and Croatia. Serbs who publicly opposed the nationalist political climate during the Yugoslav wars were reported to have been harassed, threatened, or killed.”

“While most of mainland Greece and the Aegean islands were under Ottoman control by the end of the 15th century, Cyprus and Crete did not fall to them until 1571 and 1670 respectively. The only part of Greece that managed to escape long-term Ottoman rule were the Ionian Islands, which remained under the sovereignty of the Republic of Venice until their capture by the First French Republic in 1797, then the United Kingdom in 1809 and finally their union with Greece in 1864.

While Greeks in Constantinople and the Ionian Islands lived in prosperity, much of the population of mainland Greece suffered the economic consequences of the Ottoman conquest. Heavy taxes were enforced, and in later years the Ottoman Empire enacted a policy of creation of hereditary estates, effectively turning the rural Greek populations into a serfdom.

The Greek Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople were considered by the Ottoman governments as the ruling authorities of the entire Christian population of the Ottoman Empire, Greek or not. Although the Ottoman state did not force non-Muslims to convert to Islam, many did so superficially as they received tax benefits from the authorities.

The Ottoman administration of Greece varied. Some cities had governors appointed by the Sultan, while others, (like Athens), were self-governed municipalities. Some regions of Greece, like Crete and Epirus, remained effectively autonomous from the central Ottoman state for many centuries.

When military conflicts broke out between the Ottoman Empire and other states, Greeks usually took arms against the Empire, with few exceptions. Prior to the Greek revolution, there had been a number of wars which saw Greeks fight against the Ottomans, such as the Greek participation in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the Epirus peasants’ revolts of 1600-1601, the Morean War of 1684-1699 and the Russian-instigated Orlov Revolt in 1770 which aimed at breaking up the Ottoman Empire in favor of Russian interests.”

“After liberation, Greece experienced a bitter civil war between communist and anticommunist forces, which led to economic devastation and severe social tensions between rightists and largely communist leftists for the next thirty years. The next twenty years were characterized by marginalisation of the left in the political and social spheres but also by rapid economic growth, propelled in part by the Marshall Plan.

King Constantine II’s dismissal of George Papandreou’s centrist government in July 1965 prompted a prolonged period of political turbulence which culminated in a coup d’état on 21 April 1967 by the United States-backed Regime of the Colonels. The brutal suppression of the Athens Polytechnic uprising on 17 November 1973 sent shockwaves through the regime, and a counter-coup established Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannidis as dictator. On 20 July 1974, as Turkey invaded the island of Cyprus, the regime collapsed.

Former prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis was invited back from Paris where he had lived in self-exile since 1963, marking the beginning of the Metapolitefsi era. On 14 August 1974 Greek forces withdrew from the integrated military structure of NATO in protest at the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus. The first multiparty elections since 1964 were held on the first anniversary of the Polytechnic uprising. A democratic and republican constitution was promulgated on 11 June 1975 following a referendum which chose to not restore the monarchy.”

“Meanwhile, Andreas Papandreou founded the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in response to Karamanlis’s conservative New Democracy party, with the two political formations alternating in government ever since. Greece rejoined NATO in 1980. Traditionally strained relations with neighbouring Turkey improved when successive earthquakes hit both nations in 1999, leading to the lifting of the Greek veto against Turkey’s bid for EU membership.

Greece became the tenth member of the European Communities (subsequently subsumed by the European Union) on 1 January 1981, ushering in a period of remarkable and sustained economic growth. Widespread investments in industrial enterprises and heavy infrastructure, as well as funds from the European Union and growing revenues from tourism, shipping and a fast-growing service sector have raised the country’s standard of living to unprecedented levels. The country adopted the euro in 2001 and successfully hosted the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.

More recently, Greece has been hit hard by the late-2000s recession and central to the related European sovereign debt crisis. The Greek government debt crisis, subsequent economic crisis and resultant, sometimes violent protests have roiled domestic politics and regularly threatened European and world financial-market stability in 2010-11.”

“Pasok, having been the second-largest party in the outgoing coalition government, only achieved third place with 13 per cent, and retained just 41 seats.[29]

After the elections (6 May 2012), Karolos Papoulias, the President of Greece, mandated Antonis Samaras (ND) to form a coalition government. 7 May 2012, Samaras gave up this try. 8 May 2012, Papoulias mandated Alexis Tsipras president of the Synaspismos political party and head of Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary group with the same. Each one mandated for that in Greece gets 72 hours for his try.”

“The regions that consistently support PASOK are Crete, West Greece, the Ionian Islands, the vast majority of the Aegean Islands and, in recent years, Thrace. In Crete there is a long tradition of republicanism, liberalism and progressivism from the tradition of Eleftherios Venizelos. West Greece is the birthplace and powerbase of the Papandreou family. The Ionian Islands, partly because they escaped the ravages of Ottoman rule, have always been the most politically progressive Greek regions and it was in these islands that the Greek socialist movement first developed. The Aegean Islands have benefited from various welfare measures implemented by successive PASOK governments, while in Thrace, the local Muslim minority consistently prefers PASOK over the right-wing New Democracy. On the other hand, PASOK usually comes second to the conservative ND party in the Peloponnese, in Central Macedonia and in West Macedonia. Other regions such as Thessaly and Central Greece do not have a very strong political identity.”

“The Panhellenic Socialist Movement began as a democratic socialist party and is a member of the Socialist International.[11] During Andreas Papandreou’s leadership, wages were substantially boosted and capital gains were progressively taxed. At the very beginning, the members and the leadership of the party, were very critical of NATO and the European Economic Community. This attitude was soon abandoned and the Greek participation in EEC was enforced. Papandreou wished to create a world where wealth and power would be shared by more countries than just the United States.

After Papandreou’s death, Kostas Simitis was elected president of PASOK. Simitis represented the centre-left and centrist factions of the Movement and he moved to modernize PASOK, making it a purely social democratic party. Tight fiscal policies, privatization of state enterprises and a broadening of the tax base (by shifting the tax burden to the lower quintiles) were implemented. As a result of these policies, PASOK was defeated at the polls in the election of 2004. The strictly neoliberal New Democracy policies adopted by the new government, forced PASOK to turn left under the promising leadership of George Papandreou. Five years later, PASOK triumphed in 2009 elections. After the 2009 electoral sweep, expectations ran high. However, it very quickly emerged that the deficit that had run up in the years leading to 2010 was of an enormous, unmanageable scope. Greece was faced with imminent insolvency – would be unable to either make current debt payments or borrow to fund government obligations unless it received urgent large loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB). In exchange for further loans, the European Union required, and the PASOK government adopted, neoliberal austerity policies. Such austerity measure included further privatization of state enterprises, further salary cuts, and heavier taxation of working and middle class citizens. Unemployment soared.

However necessary to maintain solvency, PASOK’s abandonment of its original principles and ideas and the resulting economic disintegration, disenchanted many party members. The social disruption flowing from the austerity policies sparked major demonstrations against the government, with the participation of more populist factions of the PASOK party itself. Though restructuring of private bonds and new support from the (IMF) and the (ECB), were secured as a result of the austerity, in the May 2012 elections that followed, PASOK placed only third.

Against this backdrop, during the in September 2012 assembly of the National Council in memory of the foundation of the party, an ideological debate is scheduled.”




Samuel P. Huntington & The Clash of Civilizati​ons and the Remaking of World Order, Revisited – Written 05/04/2012

Sixteen (16) Years, since! What have we done to improve and to protect ourselves ?

Maybe, we should read Huntington quotes again…….The smart man already escaped and died just for Christmas December 24, 2008 at eightyone (81) ……….


Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Samuel P. Huntington

It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation-states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do —— The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, p. 51.

Hypocrisy, double standards, and “but nots” are the price of universalist pretensions. Democracy is promoted, but not if it brings Islamic fundamentalists to power; nonproliferation is preached for Iran and Iraq, but not for Israel; free trade is the elixir of economic growth, but not for agriculture; human rights are an issue for China, but not with Saudi Arabia; aggression against oil-owning Kuwaitis is massively repulsed, but not against non-oil-owning Bosnians. Double standards in practice are the unavoidable price of universal standards of principle —— The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, p. 184.

In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral; and it is dangerous . . . Imperialism is the necessary logical consequence of universalism —— The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, p. 310.

In Eurasia the great historic fault lines between civilizations are once more aflame. This is particularly true along the boundaries of the crescent-shaped Islamic bloc of nations, from the bulge of Africa to central Asia. Violence also occurs between Muslims, on the one hand, and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Buddhists in Burma and Catholics in the Philippines. Islam has bloody borders

Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards. The fundamental problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilisation whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power —— Huntington’s 1998 text The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order.

Cultural America is under siege. And as the Soviet experience illustrates, ideology is a weak glue to hold together people otherwise lacking racial, ethnic, and cultural sources of community —— Who Are We? America’s Great Debate, p. 12.

The effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups. —— Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission

A government which lacks authority will have little ability short of cataclysmic crisis to impose on its people the sacrifices which may be necessary… We have come to recognize that there are potential desirable limits to economic growth. There are also potentially desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy.

Such a transformation would not only revolutionize the United States, but it would also have serious consequences for Hispanics, who will be in the United States but not of it. Sosa ends his book, The Americano Dream, with encouragement for aspiring Hispanic entrepreneurs. “The Americano dream?” he asks. “It exists, it is realistic, and it is there for all of us to share.” Sosa is wrong. There is no Americano dream. There is only the American dream created by an Anglo-Protestant society. Mexican-Americans will share in that dream and in that society only if they dream in English. —— “The Hispanic Challenge” from Foreign Policy, p. 45.

A world without U.S. primacy will be a world with more violence and disorder and less democracy and economic growth than a world where the United States continues to have more influence than any other country in shaping global affairs. The sustained international primacy of the United States is central to the welfare and security of Americans and to the future of freedom, democracy, open economies, and international order in the world. —— “Why International Primacy Matters,” International Security (Spring 1993):83.

The architects of power in the United States must create a force that can be felt but not seen. Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate. —— American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony, p. 75.”

“The New York Times obituary on Samuel Huntington notes, however, that his “emphasis on ancient religious empires, as opposed to states or ethnicities, [as sources of global conflict] gained…more cachet after the Sept. 11 attacks.””

” To understand current and future conflict, cultural rifts must be understood, and culture — rather than the State — must be accepted as the locus of war. Thus, Western nations will lose predominance if they fail to recognize the irreconcilable nature of cultural tensions.”

“Huntington argued that this post-Cold War shift in geopolitical organization and structure requires the West to internally strengthen itself culturally, by abandoning the imposition of its ideal of democratic universalism and its incessant military interventionism.”




1996-The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.


Busted! “Coeur Mechant””C​urmudgeon”​”Cranky Grumpy Old Man” “The Can Tho Curmudgeon​” and “All That Jazz!” – Written 04/29/2012

For Your Entertainment (FYE) from your Can Tho’s “Coeur Mechant” (“Curmudgeon”) “Cranky Grumpy Old Man” “Ong Gia Nhan Nhan Hoai!” opening the Internet Blogging “Pandora Box”…..;+)

“John Ash (c. 1724–1779) was an English Baptist minister at Pershore, Worcestershire, divine, and author of an English dictionary and grammar books.”

“Ash’s New and Complete Dictionary was noteworthy for the number of obsolete and provincial words contained in it. It incorporated most of Nathan Bailey’s collection of canting words. This dictionary was the first to define in English the previously omitted words fuck and cunt. His debt to Samuel Johnson was demonstrated in a famous error in his etymology of curmudgeon, as deriving from the French for “unknown correspondent”; Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language from twenty years before explains that the word derives from “cœur méchant” (malicious-hearted), attributing his information to an “unknown correspondent”.”

“”If you look up curmudgeon in Samuel Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary of the English Language, you will find the following in parentheses before the definition: “It is a vitious manner of pronouncing coeur mechant, Fr. an unknown correspondent.” Coeur means ‘heart’, and mechant means ‘bad’. Dr. Johnson had apparently lost track of who had given him this etymology, and the “Fr.” stands for ‘from’. However, a man named John Ash published a New and Complete Dictionary of the English Language in 1775 in which he took Dr. Johnson’s “Fr.” to mean ‘French’ and, knowing no French, provided the etymology “from Fr. coeur ‘unknown’, mechant ‘correspondent’.” An embarrassing lexicographical moment.””


“Do me a favor. Put your lip over your head… and swallow.”


” Kids; Can’t live with them, can’t shoot them.”


“When I had an ulcer, I was farting razor blades.”


” You’re supposed to be smoking filter cigarettes.

I’m 94 years old. What the hell do I care?”


” You mean the low-life, ass-wipe, egg-sucker John Gustafson?”

“Have you seen him?”

“The man’s crazy. Loco. Always hanging out around those kinky strip bars. You know, the ones where the men take their clothes off. That’s of course if he’s taken his medication.”


“Yes, without it he could be anywhere. Wandering around talking to the trees. I’m telling you the man’s a menace, he’s always drinking, starting fights.”


” John, when was the last time you made love?”

“October 4th… 1978. ”

“Oh, I think we’re safe.”


“Who’s the guy yakkin’ at your door?’

“Just mind your own business, will ya?”

“Mind your own business, will ya? Mind your own business. Why don’t you tie your shoelace, you’ll fall on your stupid head.”

“Cold enough for ya? Brrrrrrr!”

“Oh, shut up, fatass!”



“John! John! Are you dead?”

“Not yet. But I don’t want to die looking at your ugly face.”