Monthly Archives: June 2020

Hey look! Squirrel!

Since I’ve been following, and commenting on political events, and following the reactions to my comments a little bit too heavily, which is a distraction from the historical and other research I want to be working on, I’ll do a little bit of distracting of my own. For reading, “Mamelukes”, by (mostly) Jerry Pournelle, published posthumously, was one of the better ones. although the storytelling was getting tired. Still, Ave Galloway Imperator! . I’ve also been reading mysteries by Christy Barritt. Lots of fluff there, this is recreation. I’ve been also been doing some binge watching on Netflix…”Turn” is one of my most recent. Reruns of Star Trek (The Original Series)…yes, I’m old enough to have seen a few episodes when it was first broadcast, and I think I’ve seen all the episodes when they were rerun in syndication, and no, with accumulated life experience, they aren’t really as good as when I first saw them. They’re still better than almost any of the sequels and follow-ons. Feel-good movies about characters overcoming various obstacles to succeed in…sports, or the arts. (Why isn’t it ever success in accounting, or life insurance, real estate, or civil engineering? Never Mind.)

Yes, I would support President Trump if he sent in the military to Seattle. Surrender to the demands of violent rioters and revolutionaries does not appease them, it only makes them bolder. Didn’t we learn a costly lesson that way with Hitler in WW II? The longer these activists get to thumb their noses at legitimately constituted authority, the more it will embolden others like them in other places. It’s a metastatic cancer, which must be fought early and aggressively if it is to be fought at all. Anarchy is inherently unstable. It always devolves to rule by the most ruthless thug with the biggest club. If these people set up a fortress or compound in defiance of municipal, state, or federal government, (which they are trying), rather than try to storm it and create martyrs, I recommend siege tactics.

Murky

As I work through early prehistory, the fossil finds get more numerous as I get closer to the present. However, there are still not many, and I still suspect paleoanthropologists of hanging heavy weights on slender threads of evidence. I have Pliocene prehistory, Early Pleistocene prehistory, and Early Mid Pleistocene prehistory pretty much covered until l get to finer divisions of other subjects. In the mid Pleistocene period, homo erectus began to go extinct, and the fossils of Heidelberg man, Neanderthals, and Denisovans began to appear, as well as some early homo sapiens. Regional variations become more pronounced, and the time span that is covered gets shorter, but will still need to be subdivided. I am not going deeply into this at present; I want to get to more recent periods.

Not What You Think


I’ve been somewhat distracted from my work in prehistory by current political concerns. I recently saw an argument that white racism is responsible for black-on-black criminality. There is an argument to be made for that…but it comes from the direction that it is policies enacted by white people, (for instance substituting the state for husbands and fathers) which are responsible for the destruction of poor black families, and for fostering a climate of dependency and entitlement instead of self-reliance. Yes, there is racism in law enforcement…but again, it’s not what you think. It’s not so much the ill treatment of criminals as the utter neglect of their victims. There is racism in education…but it is the “soft bigotry of low expectations”, the lowering of academic standards under the assumption that black people can’t compete with whites otherwise. There has recently been a great show of contrition and apology on the part of “liberal” leaders, which would be all well and good, but without going through the hard parts of recognizing how and why they have been racist, and amending it, it’s all theatric posturing.

The earlier I go in prehistory, the more it depends on fairly low level areas of the knowledge base. Religious and political developments, which consume so much attention in written history are less important than the fundamental principles of anthropology. When there are no written records, more importance has to be laid on what can be inferred from stones and bones. When people lived by hunting and gathering and were closer to nature than we are in our cities, paved highways, and houses, elements of biology and earth science need more emphasis. I’m working on this, now that culture and anthropology are now connected to centuries of classical and medieval times an antiquity, but it’s still slow going.



Fools gonna fool

The degree of “political correctness” that is becoming prevalent in some quarters is appalling. Some of the inanities that are being pushed in quarters of academia and by some corporations include:

“Silence is violence”. That is, if you don’t actively support groups such as BLM, you are racist and perpetrating injustice.

“Only women menstruate”. Umm, correct. But if you agree with this, you can be persecuted or even fired from a university position.

There are many more that I could list if I looked for them, but these two examples will suffice for now. I have observed elsewhere that getting involved with “Social Justice” causes primes people to agree with, and repeat, some of the most blatant absurdities ever concocted to gull the gullible. It involves persecuting people who see and state the obvious. I have no interest in the kind of popularity that requires me to agree with such absurdities. I am thankful that I am not in a position where my livelihood depends on it. I don’t care to be censored by the so-called “Woke” whose pretense of compassion masks burning hatred of what I call good. I will never apologize for speaking the truth as I see it. I aspire to more backbone than Lumbricus terrestris, and I’m contrary enough to spit in the eye of political correctness and make a few pointed observations about the collective intelligence of mobs, be they Twitter mobs, Facebook mobs, or any other kind.

Working forward

After a couple of passes through early prehistory, I’m making progress on the period I call early mid Pleistocene prehistory. This includes remains classified as Homo erectus, which began to appear outside of Africa, in Asia and Europe. I’m not quite done with sorting them by region, but I have made progress. I now have African peoples connected to centuries of antiquity, so from this point, I will be working forward with Middle Eastern peoples and African communities. Culture is also well connected, and social change and anthropology are nearly done.

Without Saying

This really shouldn’t have to be said because it’s common knowledge among the law abiding, but given how many formerly sensible people have taken up cries of “police brutality” and “systemic racism” it seems like it bears repeating.


The police were created to fight crime; muggings, beatings, robbery, burglary, arson, rape, murder, drug dealings, prostitution, irresponsible drivers, and even the drunk and noisy. People who do those things are the people who get oppressed by the police; they are also the ones who complain most about it. You don’t want to be oppressed? Don’t do those things. Don’t protect and shelter those who do. Don’t walk like them, talk like them, dress like them, or act like them. There may not be much you can do about looking like them, so you’ll have to let that pass, but the other things, you can control.


Don’t treat police like the enemy. Treat them with respect and cooperation, because they are doing a dangerous and dirty job so you don’t have to, and chances are excellent that after checking to be sure you aren’t lying to them, (what? criminals lie about it and try not to get caught? inconceivable!) they will leave you alone, whether you are black, white, brown, yellow, orange, green or purple. Yes, some of them sometimes get overzealous about it, just like some of them are lazy about it. That’s true in every occupation there is.

When you break the law, there is the possibility that the police/judicial system will overreact and treat you worse than you deserve. S***tuff happens to the undeserving all the time. It’s part of the world we live in. And, once again, since it’s standard operating procedure for lawbreakers (in common with young children) to scream about how abused they are in hopes of getting away with something, it’s almost to be expected that some police officers, and even entire departments get rather jaundiced and cynical, and dismiss all complaints.


Yes, complaints about police brutality or misconduct should be investigated, because sometimes they are justified, and who guards the guardians? But it does not follow that they need to be broadcast over and over and over and over in a one-sided, sensational, and almost certainly incomplete accusation, or taken as typical, or proof!!! of systemic racism, and it does not mean ACAB (All Cops Are Bad (to put it politely)). I do not believe it is merely coincidence that this is what nearly all criminals would have everyone believe. In this whole brouhaha I detect the delicate aroma of deceased rodent.

Follow up

I notice that the places where rioting is worst are principally those places where the political leadership is the most dominated by leftists. For all the rhetoric about racism, has nothing changed since in the half century since 1968? Has all the effort poured into redistribution of income through progressive income taxes and tax credits for the poor accomplished nothing? Has all the effort poured into eliminating racial and sex discrimination and assuring civil rights gone in vain? Has all the effort gone into police training been wasted? O, perhaps, have the ills of society been misdiagnosed and the prescribed treatment actually made matters in some respects worse?


Rioting is not the language of the unheard. It is the language of the undisciplined and violent, those who cannot or will not think of the consequences of their actions. It is the language of the privileged and entitled, who think the world owes them a living and will take it by force if it isn’t given to them. It is the language of the ungrateful and selfish who care nothing for their neighbors.


Rioting has next to nothing to do with skin color and very little to do with actual wealth. It does not matter much whether the rioters are the privileged white children of academics or common dark-skinned thugs from the poorest of minority neighborhoods. It has everything to do with culture absorbed from family, the neighborhood, at school, and the popular media. It is the language of those who have been raised in a culture where gangsters and criminals are praised and emulated and the police and other civil authorities are the enemy, where positive role models and moral teachers are weak or absent, and where efforts to educate and improve oneself are derided and punished.


For civil authorities to sympathize with the rioters demonstrates either cowardice or complicity. “Stand down” is no way to fight either a fire or a riot. “Let it burn” is abject surrender to an inferior force. How can anyone expect good morale, effectiveness, or preparation in police departments which are persecuted from both the bottom up and the top down? How much revenue are you going to collect next year from the burned out shells left to bankrupt owners? Figuratively speaking only, political heads should roll. Yes, I’m looking at you, Minnesota and New York.

Thus ends today’s political rant. Due to more medical silliness, I haven’t made much progress with early prehistory, although I’ve mostly finished with a regional view of early Pleistocene prehistory and made solid progress with early mid Pleistocene prehistory. Progress in connecting Culture, Anthropology, personal studies, and sciences to earlier periods will eventually help with this.

Back to work

The continuing violence and rioting in various cities in the sickens me. There isn’t a great deal I can do about it, except to say that property damage, looting, arson, and shooting of police officers do absolutely nothing to combat racism or any other social evil. Those who condone them are in fact encouraging perpetration of greater evil. Those who are black and riot in fact contribute to the fear and suspicion that are part of racist attitudes. Those who are not black and riot only attract resentment and hatred to themselves.

Progress in my studies of prehistory is slow going. The Middle East is being connected to centuries of antiquity, and African peoples are being connected back to earlier centuries of antiquity. I am starting to connect Asian cities forward, and social change is being connected to classical and medieval centuries. Institutions in general are finally connected to centuries of prehistory. Culture in general is being connected. I am at the point of reviewing my findings in the early Pleistocene period.

What to do?

Although I don’t watch television news, (either CNN or Fox) I do try to follow commentary on current events and political problems. I’ll start off by a couple of observations.

I’m not a great fan of President Donald Trump. I think he talks like a blowhard. However, what he actually does is rather more restrained, and it’s usually on the side I favor. He is certainly not Satan, the father of lies and root of all evil. He has certainly proved a better President than his opposition in 2016 promised to be, or his current opposition in 2020 promises.

I don’t draw. But If I were to draw a political cartoon, it would be a couple of scruffy characters, one with a brick in one hand and a lit molotov cocktail in the other, the other with a tv set under one arm, coming out of a burning store with broken windows and glass underfoot, wearing t-shirts with “Antifa” and “BLM”, and “All cops are bad” and “Love, not hate!” with a speech balloon “Don’t worry, we’re here to save you from your oppressive masters!” Yes, I can be sarcastic. But as I read the scriptures, even Jesus Christ was sarcastic on occasion.

I do not believe the recent and ongoing spate of rioting in cities across the US is a spontaneous demonstration of fury at the treatment of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. There is evidence that it is a coordinated and orchestrated attempt to cause disruption and disorder for political ends, among them to provoke an overreaction on the part of Federal, state, and municipal authorities. I haven’t seen much overreaction yet, although I have seen negligent inaction; most notably in places where the authorities have expressed the most sympathy for the so-called protestors. There is a difference between “protesting” and “rioting”.

Activists have been preparing the ground for this for some years now , claiming that “All cops are bad”, which rather glosses over the fact that robbery, rape, murder, and arson are worse. They have been aided and abetted by the sensational and irresponsible reporting of major news media.

I’ll have to defer a deeper analysis of the social factors that underlie all this for another time; I have personal medical issues that are calling for attention. But I do think about them, frequently.