Monthly Archives: January 2017

DONALD TRUMP’S WALL AND WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN…. a debate inspired by Pat Buchanan’s “What Trump’s Wall Says to the World”

Asmodeous Rex • an hour ago
Donald J. Trump intention to build a wall at the southern border is an insult to all of Latin America.
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Tim in NY to Asmodeous Rex • 13 minutes ago
Uh huh…
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Charles Edward Lincoln, III to Asmodeous Rex • 43 minutes ago
I don’t see that the WALL is anything more than a re-inforced border. By your standard, Mr. Asmodeous, isn’t every border an equal insult?

Does your house have walls? is that not an insult to nature, or at least to your local weather and all your neighbors?

Walls don’t work against every kind of invasion or catastrophe (modern bombs and the IRS can penetrate almost everyone’s walls) but walls do serve to establish and declare one’s claim to private space, of reasonable expectation of peace and tranquility within a space that we can call “home”.

I don’t think Trump’s wall is going to change America—but it MIGHT help prevent MORE change than has already happened, and perhaps we can start deporting millions of people BACK on the other side of the wall who should never have crossed the border.

As a Symbol of National Sovereignty and Identity, I accept the need for a wall, although we will need to back up that SYMBOL with substantial action—I’d like to see every Latin American, African, and Asian Naturalized in 1986 by “Amnesty” to illegal alines or who immigrated after that date, lose his or her citizenship….

America is the New Jerusalem of the Europeans, by the Europeans, and for the Europeans….
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Asmodeous Rex to Charles Edward Lincoln, III • 36 minutes ago
O.K. Your reply is sensible and polite enough but the USA should be building bridges to Latin America; not promoting distrust and hostility. Are you aware that the USA has spent a lot of money and energy and lives trying to prevent that region from turning to communism?
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Charles Edward Lincoln, III to Asmodeous Rex • 26 minutes ago
That’s kind of preposterous: we have thousands of bridges of every type (air, land, and sea) to and from everywhere in Latin America. It’s easier and quicker to reach Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cancun or Acapulco from any major airline “hub” in the USA than it is to reach Alaska, which is one of our own states. It also easier and cheaper to take a cruise in the Caribbean than to Hawaii or American Samoa…or again, along the “inland passage” to Alaska… just compare the effort it will take you to get to Curacao compared to the Aleutian Islands…. I’ve done both trips….

As it happens, I turned 18 as a legal resident of Honduras while working on an archaeological research project at Copan sponsored by Harvard and the World Bank. And since then I have lived about a quarter of my life in Latin America since then, in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela….

And I have been living and or visiting in several Latin American countries during Coups…. or kidnappings (I once watched the helplessly as the German Consul in Guatemala was kidnapped)…. And on top of it all, my grandfather did major business with the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, so yes, I’m quite aware of the U.S. attempts to fight communism all over Latin America….

So what exactly is your point? That because we have more-or-less succeeded in keeping communism from taking root anywhere except for Bolivia and Venezuela, and for a time in Chile—we should let all the rest of them in?

Chileans and Argentinians are pretty much “white people”…. as are MOST Colombians and many upper class Mexicans and Brazilians, for that matter, but other areas are much more racially mixed, and “upper class” immigration into the USA is NOT the source of any problems I’m aware of….
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Asmodeous Rex to Charles Edward Lincoln, III • 17 minutes ago
So then what is your point? What you’re saying is that there is already a lot of trade and commerce with that region. Shouldn’t that continue? Why create new hostilities in a region that wants to further integrate. I do hope sane people will stop all this recent madness.
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Charles Edward Lincoln, III to Asmodeous Rex • a minute ago
I guess we’re basically talking past each other about totally different things. You’re talking about Trade I guess, mostly, but I’m talking about the need to preserve America’s cultural and racial integrity by stopping the flood of immigrants. I don’t despise Latin American elites or peasantry IN THEIR CULTURAL CONTEXT. I think a lot of valuable lessons can be learned from the study of the Ancient AND Modern Maya—among other things, the value they have placed since the Spanish Conquest on resistance to cultural and racial assimilation.

The Maya of Yucatan and Guatemala are a great noble people. But that doesn’t mean they need to all move to Los Angeles. Out of heir historical physical environment and cultural historical context, I don’t think their nobility will survive any more than their culture. Los Angeles and Phoenix do not need to become Maya Cities—or Quechua cities or Nahuatl Cities for that matter.

Los Angeles has now the largest ZAPOTEC SPEAKING population IN THE WORLD…. larger than any city in the Zapotec Native (Mexican) State of Oaxaca. This is bizarre and perverse. The Zapotec will NEVER become real Americans but they won’t be real Zapotec anymore either. The Nahuatl (Aztec) speaking population of Los Angeles is not far behind. This is insanity. This is a perversion of nature.

And as for Trade, which seems to be your focus, I DO disagree with you if you think that NAFTA has been good for Mexico or that CAFTA is good for Central America.

Many if not MOST of our real racial problems, and especially those of Europe, come from the heritage of a Colonialism which was abandoned, not because the British and French and Dutch (or the Belgians or Germans, for that matter) FAILED at their enterprises of Colonialism, but because of the post-World-War II ideological shift….. towards communistic insanity and the demented doctrine of unearned freedom and meritless equality….

But NAFTA and CAFTA are essentially new Colonialist programs WITHOUT the benefits of Colonial Administration and Education. NAFTA and CAFTA have led to the mutual cultural degradation of North America AND Mexico and Central America…. and I applaud President Trump for his willingness to back away from these catastrophic enterprises (and to avoid new ones like the Trans-Pacific, which would have been the same only MUCH BIGGER and hence much worse).

Isolation leads to diversity…. and diversity leads to greater value in exchange…. So I think that we need to return to a world model where each region develops itself according to local traditions and environmental circumstances, and trade is an exchange of positive values developed in different regions, not moving plastics and electronics from cheap labor areas to expensive consumption areas.

So no, I think that fewer bridges and more barriers will benefit EVERYONE.
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Funruffian • 20 hours ago
“To the tens of millions for whom Trump appeals, what the wall represents is our last chance to preserve that nation and people.’

This wall is more than just Political theater and a way to stymie the bureaucratic onslaught of the Multicultural monster. This is a bold statement White America is making against the world who has intentions of undermining and destroying us. Many other nations have criticized America for years, but at the same token they want to reap the rewards and benefits America has to offer. I know that President Trump finds this attitude obscene.
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Harvey M. Bricker and the Passing of the Great Race’s Memory of Facts: the Culture of Traditional Education

Memories of Memorization, Traditional Education, and the Old Archaeology that came from WASPY Old “Traditional” Harvard.  Education of a kind that almost no one has anymore, from an Educator without fair modern parallels, because of my Memories of a serious man with a wry and dry sense of humor who wore bow-ties and proudly (if somewhat ironically and daringly) sported a Hitler-style “toothbrush” mustache….

Word has come to me second-hand via HSC from the desk of my old honors’ thesis advisor E. Wyllys Andrews V that Professor Harvey M. Bricker of Tulane University passed on, joining his professors and other “Dead White Men” of Academic History in the the Great Symposium in the Sky last Sunday January 15, 2017.  I rarely have occasion to write  or even think about my undergraduate college professors in the 1970s, but Harvey without any doubt was one of my two top favorites out of a faculty of Archaeology and Historical Anthropology that I simply loved, really idolized, and almost worshipped as a younger than average teenager in New Orleans.

It is hard to believe that he must have been 76 or 77 when he died.  Harvey and his wife Victoria R. were among the young generation of professors who totally remade Tulane as a modern university in the 1970s.  (Vicky Bricker was, in fact, my very first professor of Anthropology, and the reason I switched from Political Science to Anthropology as my freshman declaration of major).  

Harvey was an uncompromising traditionalist, an “Old Archaeologist” of the Hallam L. Movius (Harvard) and Francois Bordes/Bordeaux French Palaeoloithic School of careful excavation and stone tool typologies.  Harvey made no attempt to conceal his contempt for the “New Archaeology” of the “Processualists” and for that I absolutely loved him.

He was a great classroom professor, although I’m sad to say I apparently only managed to take two classes from him, namely “Man in the Pleistocene” and “Rise of Civilization”, then catalog numbered Anthropology 625-626.

Today, I am most grateful to him for emphasizing a much maligned feature of learning: memorization.  “Memorization of Facts” is denigrated in the modern world as almost beneath contempt.  “Give me Big Problems; Teach me how to think outside the box; don’t try to lock me in” whine the modern millennial students.

I have always wondered how you ever think outside of the box if you don’t know what’s IN the box.  It’s a serious question.  I firmly believe that thought unanchored in knowledge of all that came before is pretty much worthless.  But that is the way and the story of the modern world: “let’s forget everything that the Dead White Men thought day before yesterday” and “let’s just think whatever we want to think and do whatever we want to do”—that’s a surefire strategy for disaster, and it’s what the cultural marxists are doing with modern education at all levels. 

Harvey Bricker awarded high grades ONLY for recitation of facts.  “Facts are low level observations” which do not require much in the way of comparative thought, while “Theories are Higher Level, synthetic observations.”  Or so I learned another (much  more “Processual”, “New”) Archaeologist, Columbia’s Barbara J. Price, who herself died in New York City, February 18, 2016, at the age of 75.  

To look at the forest or the trees, that is the question.  Except it is really no kind of question: if you don’t look up very close, you won’t, you can’t possibly, know what kind of trees are in the forest, what is the mix of species.  And to really study forest ecology you need a pretty exact census of each tree, vine, and bush in your study area, together with the contents and depths of the soil, the worm and insect population, not to mention the birds and mammals.

So Harvey M. Bricker taught like they did back in my grandparents’ days, back in the time of Madison Grant (the one who wrote of “The Passing of the Great Race”), and Harvey expected students to learn the names of local site phases and radio-carbon dates and the typological contents of tool assemblages.

I was fortunate because my grandparents had required me to memorize lists since I was a kid, and to recite them and test my memory was our family’s version of fun and game time.  My grandfather’s practical point was simple: “Memorization is the key to any kind of business success. I have companies (H.B. Meyer & Son’s, Al Meyer Company, Bell Chemical Company) that depend on sales to very sophisticated corporate and government customers who have “procurement departments” whose employees do nothing but look at the available products’ cost benefits all day long.  If my salesmen can’t remember every single product we have without consulting a catalog, they won’t be able to push the right product to the right customer.  If they can’t remember every chemical component of every product, when it was patented, by us or someone else, and how it was used, they won’t be effective in presenting the substance of what we offer. So these are the same games we play at the office: who can remember the most detail. You’ll never regret learning how to memorize.”

So the attack on memorization of facts is part of the modern “dumbing down” of people to serve computers.  Computers are based on memory, but can a computer really sell a product, or an idea, as effectively, or with as much flare and enthusiasm, as a personal conversation can do?

Academics, of course, both creates and consists of (at least theoretically, ideally) the great marketplace of ideas.  Harvey Miller Bricker belonged to this old school that an archaeologist needed to be (in essence) as good a salesman for his ideas as anyone on my grandfather’s well-disciplined sales team.  In the modern world of “safe spaces” and “trigger words” and political correctness gone mad, well, forcing people to memorize facts is tantamount to forcing them to work, and to accept the world as it is.

But if we haven’t studied the world as it REALLY is, how can we even know for sure that we don’t like it?

I remember my big bulging blue spiral ring notebooks with gold embossed “Tulane University” on the covers, chocked with page after page of notes in my fair-to-awful handwriting and internal manila “pocket” containers stuffed with class handouts, quizzes, and graded tests and papers.

For Anthro 625, “Man in the Pleistocene” (a survey of Old Stone Age/Palaeolithic Archaeology) from the first choppers below the bottom of the earliest floors at Olduvai Gorge to the final end of the ice age and dawn of the Mesolithic, Harvey’s lectures were filled with facts, and I basically couldn’t write down the facts he gave in those speeches fast enough.  I wrote my paper for that course, “Comment Vivaient les Rennes a l’Age de l’homme Préhistorique” hypothesizing that the Later Magdalenian people of Upper Palaeolithic France had domesticated the reindeer, at least to the same degree that the Lapp of Finland have done so in modern times.  (It was at least two years before the release of the Christmas kids’ song, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”… but “L’Age du Rennes” or “the Reindeer Age” is an old-fashioned French expression naming the Upper Palaeolithic.  Harvey made me rewrite it about four times.  It was a great experience.  I remember reading and criticizing the work of an English archaeologist named D.A. Sturdy, and Harvey told me (wrote on one version of my paper) I shouldn’t be so hard on him, that Sturdy wasn’t necessarily “that stupid.”  I was only 17 but Harvey spent a great deal of time with me.

For “Rise of Civilization”, Harvey required us to memorize the local sequence of Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age in each sector of Europe, including the infamous “Reinecke” series.  Thanks to Harvey, names like “Starčevo-Körös-Cris”, Vinča, Vinitsa,  Lepenski-Vir, Dolni Vestonice, Dunaújváros, were fixed in my mind and remained ready to resuscitate talking to archaeologists in 1989-90 when my former Greek wife and I toured Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe during and after the fall of the Iron Curtain while I had a Volkswagenwerk Fellowship at the University of Bonn….  In essence, Harvey  in New Orleans had taught us about local sequences as well as and as thoroughly  as locally specialized archaeologists learn about their own backyards in (the former) Czechoslovakia, Hungary, (the former) Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria.

I never got to go on a dig with Harvey at the Châtelperronian site of Les Tambourets in the Pyrenees in southern France or ever even to see him in action, except in the classroom, but I heard so much from him, and found him so inspiring, that I feel like I did.  

http://www.worldcat.org/title/chatelperronian-of-les-tambourets-haute-garonne-france/oclc/907679210

http://www.paleoanthro.org/media/dissertations/Scandiuzzi2008-abstract.pdf

I don’t know how it is now, but in those days the Anthropology Professors at Tulane all ate at the University Cafeteria with the students, and so we got to spend lots of time with them out of class.  Harvey at a table with students was always funny in his stern dry way, twitching his mustache  meaningfully in ways that the Führer himself could never have matched.  He and Vicky had their share of the Anthro Department parties, including the annual Ritual of the Passing of the Golden Bough, at their home on Cherokee Street.  I miss those days…. they were so carefree and fine and fun…. and so very interesting.

The passing of a great old fashioned professor like Harvey is a very sad moment.  He and Vicky, starting 42-40 years in the past, so long ago, played a major role in shaping my life, my mind and intellect, such as it is….and they definitely formed a large part of how I look at the world…. through their very conservative lenses of cultural evolution and archaeological prehistory, the evolution of civilization and the development of cultures.  I did not know them when they were focused on Maya astronomy and all that has remained pretty much beyond my grasp until the present day anyhow…. I am ashamed that I do not even own their magnum opus as of today, although I plan on buying it immediately:

https://www.amazon.com/Astronomy-Codices-Memoirs-American-Philosophical/dp/0871692651

But above all I remember them walking across the Tulane campus together looking so dedicated, so serious, and determined.

America in general, Tulane in particular, was different back then.  But if we remember and rebuild, mixing memory and desire, as T.S. Eliot wrote in the Wasteland, perhaps it could be that way again.  Perhaps students will rediscover the joys of memorization and building knowledge carefully and slowly, one brick, one stone tool, one Palaeolithic burin or type of clay at a time…. and both our theories and the world may be better for this.

SEE ALSO:

http://obits.nola.com/obituaries/nola/obituary.aspx?n=Harvey-Miller-Bricker&pid=183715426

http://www.legacy.com/memorial-sites/tulane-university/