“Written to enlighten, guaranteed to offend”
A Publication of Seth J. Frantzman
June 31, 2009
1) Amazing stupidity: James Carrol, a leftist American who recently declared in support of Islamism ‘God is Greatest’ has claimed that the gun is the main tool of “white supremacy.” He perhaps forgets that Turkish soldiers armed with modern rifles defeated the Russians in the 1870s at Plevna. Hardly a tool of the ‘white man’.
2) Richard Bernstein’s blindness: In a recent book on sexual encounters between the East and West Mr. Bernstein makes many claims. He and those reviewing his book have once again become blind to the actual realities.
3) Where Health Care in the U.S Went wrong: Health care in America is so expensive not because of the insurance company bogey-man but because of hospitals that bilk people out of money and because of the existing government plans that don’t work, because of illegals and because of malpractice madness.
Seth J. Frantzman
June 23, 2009
On June 23 James Carrol wrote a strange article in the New York Times entitled “More than mere lunacy.” He was talking about a white supremacist who murdered a black security guard at the Holocaust Memorial. He claims that the murder was because of “a set of extravagant hatreds combined with a mysticism of the weapon laying bare multiple connections.” He believes that it is due to “an effervescent lethality that is peculiar to the culture that comes from Europe. What we call ‘racism’ can be traced to the 15th century Iberian idea of ‘blood purity’…that idea combined at about the same time with assumptions of innate European superiority over the ‘savages’ encountered in the first wave of colonialism.”
Carrol tells us that European imperialism “unlike say the imperialism of ancient Rome, depended on the ideology of absolute ranking by race.” Carrol tells us that the murder of the Jews by the Nazis was merely the latest round of what the Europeans had done in South America and apparently in “Colorado.” And “one thing alone empowered Europeans to wreak such havoc wherever they went and that was the gun. The gun was the epochal tool of white male supremacy.”
Who knew? It just so happens that I have been reading American Rifle by Alexander Rose. The rifle was indeed invented by the White Man. But the gun wasn’t and neither was the first destructive affects of its cousin, the cannon, first felt by the “inferior savages.” In fact it was the15th century destruction of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks which was carried out through the gun, in this case used by the Ottomans. The Ottoman army in fact employed not only small Abus guns (really cannons) but also flintlocks in their conquest of eastern Europe. Here they colonized and enslaved and dare say ranked the peoples according to race and according to religion. Later, as Alexander Rose informs us, it was the purchasing of Remington rifles by the Ottomans in the 19th century that led to the deaths of 40,000 Russian soldiers at the battle of Pleven (Plevna) in 1877.
The Europeans of the 15th century had no such belief in their superiority over any savages. Cortes and Pizarro were certainly true believers that God might well get them through their hardships while conquering the Aztec and Inca empires but neither was under any false notion that his was the superior force. Both were heavily outnumbered by the “savages” who would certainly have overwhelmed them if not for fortuitous events. In Cotez’s case it was the fact that many of locals helped him and in Pizarro’s case it was that he kidnapped the enemy king. There were few guns among Cortez’s men and his ‘army’ numbered only in the hundred anyway. But let us recall that the 15th and 16th century conquistadores were not actually setting out to conquer ‘ savage’ places but rather to skirt the Muslim empires’ control of the spice islands. While Europeans hacked and butchered their way through parts of Africa, South America and India they were never under the impression that they were always the stronger, in fact the bloodbaths, when they occurred, resulted from their know they were weak and would be overwhelmed if they didn’t strike first. Only some of the civilizations they encountered were truly primitive and those were in the Northern most parts of America and Australia.
Carrol, like most people in the West who cannot distinguish black from white and future from past and up from down, confuse the 15th century with the 19th century and anyway confuse battles like Rourke’s drift, where rifled firepower proved devastating against Zulu ranks, and Isandwala where the Zulus overwhelmed British units that were much better armed. Anyway the ‘savages’ certainly understood the importance of guns. The Native Americans were rumoured many times to be better armed than their American adversaries because they purchased modern rifles at times when the U.S army was still issuing muskets made at Springfield to its units.
But the supposed “white supremacy” and love of the gun that propelled it was not directed so much at the ‘savages’ as it was directed against other whites. More whites died from white made bullets than ‘savages’ ever died from them. How many native Americans are supposed to have died in what the extremist Ward Churchill called the “American genocide.” 100,000? 200,000? But how many American whites died in the Civil War, which was waged of course to set a bunch of those “inferior savages” free? 500,000. How many whites died in the Great War? Millions. And how many in the Second World War? 40 million (not including Jews and Asians).
The gun has been the major killer of white people, not blacks and Asians and “savages” and “inferior” people. That white supremacists use the gun is because the gun is a reasonably cheap advanced weapon. Oddly for Mr. Carrol when Muslims use the suicide bomb vest he doesn’t speak of it being the “epochal tool of Muslim male supremacy.” But that is because the worldview of Carrol and those like him is imbued with endless drudgery of “races” and “Savages” and “inferior people” and “blood purity.” If one were to add up all the people like the white supremacist, who was himself not very supreme but rather some hapless savage individual, who opened fire at the Holocaust Memorial and one were to add up all the leftists like Carrol one would find there are more leftists who divide the world into “races” than there are racists who do. The perpetuation of race theory and discussion of “racial purity” and ridiculously racist and ignorant statements like “one thing alone empowered Europeans to wreak such havoc wherever they went and that was the gun. The gun was the epochal tool of white male supremacy” is entirely the province of leftists. Only the end of the weird obsession to be racist in order to condemn racism will end the idiotic idea of race that wasn’t invented in the 15th century but rather in the late 20th, primarily as a straw man for people to oppose.
Richard Bernstein’s blindness
Seth J. Frantzman
June 23, 2009
Richard Bernstein was born in 1944 and apparently grew up on a poultry farm. He attended the University Connecticut and at Harvard. In 1973 he went to work for Time magazine. Later he became a bureau chief for that magazine in China which began a life-long obsession with that country. While living there he married a “beautiful Chinese dancer” named Zhongman Li. This became his “vision of the East.” Bernstein seemed to be on the right track in 1994 when he wrote Dictatorship of Virtue: Multiculturalism and the Battle for America’s Future in which he noted “we find ourselves immured in an Orwellian culture, where language has become an instrument of political coercion and institutions created for intellectual enlightenment have been turned into bureaucracies of untruth.”
But now he has gone one step further with The East, The West and Sex: A History of Erotic Encounters. Bernstein decided to do what Edward Said has done with Orientalism but do so through the medium of sex. He decides to describe the “East” as everything from North Africa to Japan, including the pacific islands. Yet his expertise and apparent experience is mostly with China. No matter. His book argues that the east was “a place where sexual pleasure was not commonly associated with sin” Reviewing the book Toni Bentley, whose qualification to review it is that he was a dancer “with the New York City Ballet for 10 years and author” agrees mostly with Bernstein’s views but faults him for writing a “not very sexy book about a very sexy subject.”
Bentley writes that the Mormons should be given “credit” for trying to bring “Harem culture” to the uptight west. He argues that “India was playing twister-the Kama Sutra version” more than a thousand years before Columbus.” Bernstein argues that until the 19th century “most of world still subscribed to what I have been calling the harem culture.” Bernstein likes this culture because it is “more realistic about male sexual desire than Western culture.” Bernstein appears to disagree with Said, the West didn’t create a fake eroticized East, it was in fact more erotic. According to Bentley “many of the different cultures that Bernstein studies do have ancient histories of sexual sophistication and often sweetness far beyond what’s been attained in the West.” Christianity simply has no “interest in exploring human sexual desire or potential.” Bernstein claims that it was Western men who met the erotic east and had sex with most of it and have continued to do up until today through the ‘sex tourism’ of places like Thailand. Meanwhile “it would seem implausible, if not entirely impossible, for there to be a story of say a Frenchwoman who falls in love with a Persian or Arab adventurer.” Bentley elaborates that the Western men and their Eastern women leave “Western women and Eastern men awkwardly conversing in the Jacuzzi.” And according to these two experts the Eastern woman is “more plumlike than melonlike of breast, spare rather than full of buttocks and hips.”
Bernstein should be congratulated for attacking a controversial subject and for daring to pin prick the evils and wrongheadedness of Orientalism. But he should not be congratulated for being blind. By blind I mean he is blind on many levels. He is blind on the physical level. While Bernstein’s “vision of the East” in the form of his Chinese wife may be slender of breast and buttocks, he seems to have ignored the rest of the female East and mistaken the silicone implants so common among Western women with their actual appearance. Western women are not “melonlike” of breast and neither are they “full of buttocks.” Let us be honest. They are more flat chested and poorly endowed than they let on, with some exceptions. Western Woman have better diets today than they used to but even with them the European obsession with being skinny has kept them poorly endowed. With some exceptions of hybrid vigor, found in Texas and California, they have remained less well endowed. And Bernstein is comparing the wrong women, he is comparing Chinese women with what he is familiar with in New York. He should be opening his eyes a little bit because the diversity of breast and buttocks is hardly what he makes it out to be. But alas here it is not his fault. He can’t be expected to have done research on this issue among the half billion Muslim women that make up his “east” because they are all covered up with chadors, burkas, purdah, abbays, veils, hijabs and niqabs. So unlike the Arab slavers of the 19th century who used to strip the female slaves they took from Africa and Ukraine naked to examine them, he can be forgiven.
But let us move on to more blindness. We are told that the Indians are more liberal in sex because of the Kama Sutra. But the Kama Sutra in the second century CE. Bentley and Bernstein have seemingly projected the Christian West of the 18th century back to the Second. But despite the fact that Christ and lived and died by that time it is not true that the ‘bad’ uptight ways of Western Sex had yet destroyed the greatness of what was once a very sexual Roman and Greek culture. The Greeks of course must be slightly forgiven, theirs was not a Kama Sutra that involved women, but they apparently enjoyed sex greatly. The Romans were not prudes, they had sex with lots of women on their marching back and forth across the Mediterranean. Their sin was that they didn’t have enough harem apparently. But they did have slaves, so Bernstein and Bentley should forgive the West. We had slavery into the 19th century, just like the East, and anyone who has read Albion’s Seed is familiar that the Southern plantation owners “sexual mores” were far from Victorian. They had a lot of sex with all sorts of people, mostly their slaves, sort of like the Arab slavers. So they should be celebrated. The Portuguese in Brazil and Spanish elsewhere in the 16th century developed many harem cultures. So rather than condemned as uptight we should also celebrate them. If not for those obnoxious voices such as Abraham Lincoln and Bartholomew De Las Casas we might have had our own ‘harem culture’ and then we could be as open minded as the East. So we too were “realistic” about the sexual needs of the male. Maybe we should have kept this realistic culture up. We too used to beat our wives; one Russian nobleman even wrote a book about the proper way to do it. Men in the West also used to go out on benders and have sex with lots of women while their women stayed home modestly. We used to be more “realistic”. From the appearances of Amsterdam where men can stroll along the street where women sit naked in the windows and choose what they want it seems we are still “realistic.” So why all the condemnation. We had slavery and harems and rape and lots of sex. The problem seems to have been our abolition of the institution of slavery and equal rights for women, but the institutionalization of the sex slave trade seems to be bringing us back to a “realistic” view of the male humans need.
According to Bentley the East has done better because it understands the male “potential” and “Sweetness” and “sophistication.” Part of this sophistication, so we are told, is the fact that the Ottoman Sultan had “1,60 virgins, each hoping to be chosen for one night of honor” with the sultan. Yes, this is more sophisticated, at least for the few men who become sultan. It is more sweet, apparently, for those men. Is it sweet to the women, most of whome were kidnapped as slaves from Africa, India, Eastern Europe and elsewhere by Muslim slavers and pirates and sold to the harem? I guess it must have been sweet for those women like Sarah la Preta from Ethiopia, taken from her Christian family at 8 by Muslim raiders and transported to Jerusalem and sold in a slave market. Sweet and sophisticated. And her potential was fulfilled. When she died she had no last name except that attached to her by the family that purchased her. Very sophisticated. But we in West were just as sophisticated as anyone who has read or watched Roots can testify. We took those Negroes from Africa and we raped the women and kept them as mistresses and took their names and tribes from them. They fulfilled their potential too. So why the insults for the West. The Boers in South Africa fathered an entire nation through sophistication and so did the Spanish conquistadors.
But now that we have proved that the West did just as good as Islam and the East let us also prove that the second corollary of this book is a myth. Bernstein claims that the Eastern man and the Western man are being left out of this sexual equation. This is his apparent experience in China where few white women arrive to find Asian men to date. But that is an accident of history which has painted the Asian male as not very well endowed, sexy or interesting. But Western women have, for a very long, time been meeting Eastern men in other milieus. From Othello to the slave markets of Istanbul and Cairo, where Greek, Ukrainian and Georgian women were still on sale in the mid 19th century, the Western woman has met lots of Eastern men. And from books such as The Lustful Turk to movies such as Under the Sheltering Sky or the 1986 film Harem where “Jessica, a young British girl, goes off to Arabia with her father to be with her fiancé when he's called there suddenly on diplomatic duty. On a tourist journey she's kidnapped by what appears to be a Bedouin tribe and sold into the harem of the Sultan” there is enough imagination about Western women and the erotic Eastern man.
Bernstein’s book had a good premise but in its insinuation that the West didn’t do enough to duplicate the “realistic harem culture” he has made a serious error. There are lots of things that might be more realistic in our society that we might well adopt from the wonderful east. Beating women for infidelity or killing our daughters for defaming family honour might be realistic. It would certainly prevent what has happened in Moldova and Ukraine where one in four women seems to have sold herself into sex slavery and there are few women left in some small towns. Slavery is pretty realistic. Maybe we should bring it back. It is a very unrealistic idea that all of us should have to work when we could just kidnap others to do it for us. Genocide is quite realistic, along with religious extremism, after all no one wants to have live next to people that aren’t like them. And legalizing rape is realistic, as Islam has done by stoning and whipping women for the ‘crime’ of adultery when they are raped, because men need to rape, they can’t control themselves. Bernstein and Bentley are correct. The East was more “realistic”. But Bentley and Bernstein might be unhappy to find out that their Jewish and peasant stock from which the former and latter came might not have brought them the plaudits they have received in our unrealistic boring Western society. Bernstein would be back in his realistic ghetto making shoes for the sultan or selling his wares on the streets and cleaning the gutters on Shabbat and wearing a blue turban, as Jews were forced to do in Muslim countries. And Bentley, we he would be some useless Fellahin, some peasant considered less than a dog to be whipped and beaten at his masters will. Realistic. Sophisticated. And don’t worry Mr. Bernstein and Bentley, your wives and daughters will be in the sultans harem being treated with sweetness.
Where Health Care in the U.S Went wrong
Seth J. Frantzman
June 28, 2009
The Economist recently reported that the U.S pays almost twice what most European countries do on health care per capita. That includes both public and private spending. What is more shocking is that the U.S public spending is about equal to what European countries spend per capita. To make sense of this think of it this way: the U.S government spends exactly the same amount as European governments do to insure less than 25% of the people. Even if the U.S abolished all of the private insurance funded health care and private individuals paying for health care it would still spend as much as the Europeans and yet most Americans would therefore not even be receiving health care.
Why is it like this? Is it because Americans are less healthy? Do they go to the doctor more? Do they simply like to spend more money? Is it because the availability of private health care means wealthy individuals pay huge amounts for special health care regimes that are not available in the socialized systems elsewhere? No. But if that is not the culprit then surely it must be the American Health Insurance system of private insurers who charge individuals too much? No.
What causes the U.S to spend so much on health care is consists of the following; Government funded health care regimes such as medicare that are bilked by hospitals which charge ten times what other countries charge for simple procedures, needless operations and drug companies that bilk them out of huge amounts for prescription drugs. Second is he uninsured mass of 50 million Americans who visit hospitals, and being poor visit them more than the wealthy, and don’t pay their bills forcing the hospitals to pass that on to insurance companies and the government. Third is the ability of the hospitals and doctors to bilk insurance companies by charging whatever they please for whatever, sometimes non-existent, things they want to charge for. Thus in the U.S a visit to the emergency room by a patient who is perfectly healthy can result in tens of thousands of dollars in charges for a few hour stay. Staying overnight in the hospital can result in tens of thousands of dollars in bills and an operation or being seen by a doctor can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills.
Those who set their sights on the HMO or private insurer as the bogey-man of the U.S health care system are missing where the actual charges are coming from. Insurance companies charge exorbitant amounts for health insurance, running into the hundreds of dollars a month. But these companies don’t make windfall profits. In fact they charge these huge amounts because they are forced to pay hospitals huge amounts in the off chance that their insured members must visit a hospital.
Americans and critics like to point to the ‘good old days’ before the insurance company when doctors made home visits. This story usually makes the listener believe that it was the advent of the insurance company which ruined this bucolic scene. But in fact insurance companies didn’t change the old practice of doctors going door to door. What changed is the doctors decision to stop going door to door and instead to charge millions of dollars for useless procedures and for doing absolutely nothing. Anyone who has visited a hospital can report that doctors do very little. They may complain they are overworked but that is not the fault of the patient, who barely gets to see a doctor these days. And the reason for there being overworked doctors is not because of the insurance companies but apparently because of the health care profession where fewer people become doctors or because of hospitals who don’t employ them, or some other reason. But what is true is that the doctor charges exorbitant amounts to his patients because he and the hospital know that few of the patients actually pay the bills and because of the huge malpractice insurance doctors must now pay.
Why do doctors and hospitals charge so much? It is partly because they want to bilk insurance companies and the government out of money, a fact for which they should be imprisoned for violating racketeering laws. However what actually causes it is the fact that so few of those who walk into a hospital actually pay their bills. There are 300 million Americans. Some 50 million are uninsured. Another 13 million are illegal aliens. They don’t pay for their health care or hospital visits but for all intents and purposes receive it free. F bills are sent they never come back except by “return to sender.” There are another 50 million Americans on medicare because they are over 65, a fact caused by the burgeoning number of old people living longer and who were part of the ‘baby-boom’ generation. Lastly there are the supposed 250 million insured Americans who are either insured by private insurers or by some government insurance for the poor. These insured Americans are the trough at which the hospital eats. For all the money that they cannot recoup from the sickly illegals and the poor uninsured there is an insurance company or a government which will cover. The government and insurance companies don’t know they are covering these 63 million but in affect they do because costs are passed on to them.
Consider it this way. If there is a clothing store that sells four shirts a week for $10 a shirt and during that week one of the people comes in and takes the shirt without paying and this goes on for weeks on end eventually the business must charge $13.33 for those same four shirts in order to recoup what it would have made on the four shirts. The slippage, or stolen shirt, is passed on to the paying consumers.
But consider our health care system. In that system there is a company that insurers people against needing a shirt. In the off chance that they need a shirt the insurance company pays for it. There is a government that also insurers old and poor people against needing a shirt. Now, given the same system, the shirt company finds it can charge whatever it wants for the shirts, knowing that people will need them and that someone else will pay. The more they charge for shirts the more the insurance company passes it on to the individual in a viscious cycle until the cost of a shirt might very well be $100. Meanwhile the people stealing the shirts, knowing that no one cares about them stealing, steal more and more and since poor people tend to be dirtier they need more shirts so they must steal more and more and more. And with time illegal aliens arrive and because a store can’t apparently charge them they too get free shirts, and when there are free shirts people are sure to take as many as possible. But the insurance company can very well tell the shirt buyers that “you only pay $10 a week” for that shirt. Same $10 as the shirt originally cost, except now the shirt costs $100 and yet it has remained the same shirt. This is what happened to health care.
The free-market has failed to solve this problem because free market theory and capitalism does not take into account a mixed system of government care for some people, free health care for certain other people, poor people who don’t have to pay, foreigners who don’t have to pay, and a small contingent of people who actually pay for a good. Free markets and economics speaks of supply and demand but is usually predicated on some sort of vacume that doesn’t take into account bankruptcy and insurance or honesty or illegal aliens and laws preventing hospitals from questioning them about their ‘status’. The tragedy of Americans confronting the health care evil foisted upon them is that they have continued to be honest in the face of it. In order to defeat the government mandated evil that allows foreigners to get better health care in the U.S than American tax payers the U.S tax payer should simply refuse to provide I.D and immigration status the next time he visits a hospital. As an illegal alien he will receive first class health care. I’ve seen this first hand with friends of mine and relatives of theirs. Foreigners don’t pay for hospital visits in the U.S and actually receive better care, because of NGOs and clinics, than Americans do. It is time for every American to become an illegal alien since they receive better services from the U.S government than Americans themselves.
Health care failed us. Rather than being bankrupted by health care costs it is time for Americans to declare war on a system that rewards foreigners over ourselves, to the degree that we should become foreigners in our own land in order to over-burden the system and force the government to change the law that allowed foreigners to get better health care than us and to stop NGOs from providing free health care, and better health care, to illegals. Capitalism has failed us in the mixed government-private funding for health care and rather that punish insurance companies for this failing it is better for doctors and hospitals to be punished and for those lawyers suing for malpractice to be punished through tort reform legislation. Making it illegal to charge $8,000 for a ten minute visit to an emergency room would be a start.