Saturday, April 23, 2011

Crap on Canada election 2011

I haven't said anything yet about Canada's federal election. Here goes.

If THIS NDP surge is true then that is great for two reasons.

First, it would wipe Iggy off the map. I dislike that Harvard man. Disgusting US-minded elite. A service intellectual who once argued that torture was a necessary evil via its "security" benefits and who now wants to save Canadian values...?!

His education plan is to bribe all high students and their parents into huge financial debts for overpriced and useless university degrees. Can you tell that the financiers are behind the man's campaign?

Harper and Ignatieff are by far the two most Zionist leaders in the race, both dedicated to supporting the Israel war-criminal state at all costs and both committed to geopolitical waring. It would be good if at least one of them completely crashed.

Second, it would give more power and leverage to Layton who is most apt to look for coalition governance, including with Quebec.

Coalition is this strange concept where representatives of the majority of Canadians get together and govern by being forced to get along and find the best compromises and solutions. Other countries call it democracy.

Harper now calls it "anti-democratic" and Ignatieff is against it.

Two damn good reasons to vote NDP.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How anti-racism protects class structure and dominance hierarchy

By Denis G. Rancourt

I consider that there is a fundamental distinction to be made between (1) racism of belief or opinion of the individual and (2) racism of action (or inaction) in the systemic oppression of others.

There is an extensive and baseless sociological literature advancing that belief or opinion racism of the individual (on its own and largely independent of the hierarchical context) generates racist oppressions of peoples, all the way to genocide.

The latter proposal is used to advance the "obvious solution" that belief or opinion racism of the individual must be continuously eradicated using coercive methods including: propaganda, "education", the legal apparatus, and the state-NGO-civil-society anti-oppression complex.

In other words, the physical reality of dominance hierarchy oppression racism is supposedly "attacked at its root" by social engineering premised on attitude manipulation and a causal original sin within.

Agency and responsibility are turned away from attacking the racist dominance structure directly; by focusing on a false and ancillary "cause", by blaming the internal beliefs of some individuals instead of emphasizing the needed praxis of liberation of all individuals subjected to the dominance hierarchy.

What results is a classic divide and conquer where oppressed victims are divided by race, gender, etc., and where a hierarchy of the oppressions becomes the focus within each stratum of the dominance hierarchy instead of actual fighting back.

What results is that the slaves fight among themselves to ensure that they are oppressed fairly. There is a focus on defining and enforcing inter-slave rules instead of supporting rebellion.

What results is that each group in the hierarchy of the oppressions is further cantonized and embedded into its victimhood while insisting that the solution is for the "less" (or not) oppressed individuals to "recognize their privilege" and to change their ingrained oppressive behaviours.

Following Freire, I believe that the latter approach is a senseless tactic and a harmful diversion:

"[T]he oppressor, who is himself dehumanized because he dehumanizes others, is unable to lead this struggle. However, the oppressed ... are inhibited from waging the struggle for freedom so long as they feel incapable of running the risks it requires. ...

It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free their oppressors. The latter, as an oppressive class, can free neither others nor themselves..."

The problem with disallowing all violence is that it removes violence as a means for self-defense against a violent attacker. To disallow the use of force is to support the oppressor who uses force by unjustly depriving the oppressed of an important instrument of self-defense.

Similarly, much oppression is race-based, where the oppressor class is racially defined. In such circumstances it is a natural defense mechanism for the oppressed to recognize the oppressor on a race basis. Here the oppressed need to be racist as a question of survival and efficient self-defense.

Indeed, it is a natural instinct to learn to recognize dangerous animal species or predatory groups of the same species. Such "racism" is an essential survival reflex. Such an ingrained reflex is practiced and modified by culture. It is part of our humanity. Like violence, it is not in itself and out of context positive or negative. Only the objective circumstances that make racism or violence necessary or advantageous as part of self-defense are objectively negative.

Therefore, to attack belief or opinion racism rather than the oppressors who have created the circumstances for the development of racism is to substitute one effect of the dominance hierarchy for the cause. As a consequence one mostly avoids the necessary (and feared) confrontation against the oppressor.

At a given time and place, whites are either in solidarity or are oppressors. If they are in solidarity then they also must fight the common oppressors. If they are oppressors then they must be fought. It is not an attitudes workshop. It is a praxis of liberation driven by authentic rebellion.

The anti-racism of thought crime racism is a barrier to free expression and to the dialectic interactions that must occur within one's stratum of the dominance hierarchy, within each community. As long as there is the possibility between individuals to challenge, insult, verbally intimidate, attempt to convince, reason, seduce, influence, shame, expose, and so on, without significant objective consequences to physical safety and well-being and without resorting to mobbing then the conditions exist to build community. As soon as one appeals to organized coercion, irrespective of the grand principle being espoused, then one is representing and supporting the hierarchical oppressor and generating a new intra-stratum control structure.

All structures that stabilize and reinforce slave relations while masking or impeding the possibility of rebellion support slavery.

An activism centered on creating a "safe space" by the method of internal organization rather than by pushing out the invader is an activism that supports that all other spaces are not safe. And its "safe spaces" will never be safe or even feel safe.

Community building must be an integral part of liberation. It cannot be an escape from the oppression of the dominance hierarchy. It cannot be an avoidance of liberation, no matter how sophisticated. An internalized and invisible oppression is the most devastating.

Relevant References

"Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire, 1970.

"Pacifism as Pathology" by Ward Churchill, 1998.

"How Nonviolence Protects The State" by Peter Gelderloos, 2007.

"Denis Rancourt on anti-hierarchy activism - Nine-part video mini-series"

"On the racism and pathology of left progressive First-World activism" by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010.

"On the question of Israel’s “right to exist” and on Israel’s racism" by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010.

"Self-Image as Primary Concern and the Road to Good" by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010. (See endnote "NOTE on limits to free expression".)

"On the Need to Embrace Hatred" by Denis G. Rancourt, 2009.

Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science (including physics and environmental science) which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals and several social commentary essays. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009. His dismissal case is scheduled to start court hearings in 2011.

Friday, April 8, 2011

US bio-warfare evil -- video summary

I don't agree with the spin but this is a good historic summary of selected aspects of US elite evil.

(It's not like they make these "foreign aid", "public health" and "security" decisions in an open and transparent process consistent with democratic principles...)

Can we have another swine flue campaign again, just for practice?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Anti-smoking culture is harmful to health

On the truth problem of public health management

By Denis G. Rancourt

Smoke screen?

We are all going to die from secondhand smoke on outdoor patios?

The medical profession agrees and the government allocates significant resources to negative propaganda and enforcement against smoking.

Ever wonder why these good folks are so concerned about our health? Are there much larger health risks that we never hear about? Are there systemic or societal reasons in the selection of those health risks targeted to be actively vilified by the establishment?

Fatty diets, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, car seat-belts, work safety... What do all these health and safety recommendations have in common? How do these risk factors compare to the real killers? What are the real killers?

In Canada, according to government scientists, 85% of lung cancers are due to smoking and lung cancer is the leading type of cancer deaths (one quarter of all cancer deaths).

This sounds like all smokers are going to die of lung cancer. In fact, IF each and every individual in Canada smoked approximately one pack of cigarettes per day then the resulting death rate from lung cancer would nonetheless only be less than 2 deaths per 1000 inhabitants per year, less than 20% or so of the death rate from all causes, and this would typically only kick-in after 20-30 years of such sustained smoking by the entire population.

Get a grip. Smoking is not going to cause extinction of the species.

This also means that most heavy smokers (two packs a day say) will not die of lung cancer. More than 80-90% or so of heavy smokers will not die of lung cancer.

In addition, lung cancer rates in smokers are highly non-linear with amount smoked, such that a meaningful cancer risk cannot be attributed to light or occasional smokers. So paleeese stop having visions of your early lung cancer death when you trot by an outside smoker holding your breath.

Medical error?

Now why do so many heavy smokers not die of lung cancer? And why do other smokers get lung cancer? And why are 15% or so of lung cancers not due to obvious causal agents? This may be related to the real killer that I am going to tell you about.

But before we talk about the real "natural" killer of people let me remind the reader of the established fact that is virtually absent from establishment propaganda and establishment public health policy development: The third leading cause of death in North America is medical error, after cardiac disease and cancer [1][2].

This is an apropos reminder that establishment scientists are service intellectuals and that establishment medicine may have little to do with public health [3]. It is a reminder of just how much we may have been misled about the real dangers to our own bodies...

Anarchy as the only healthy lifestyle?

As it turns out, there is extensive and conclusive scientific research - that simply does not get talked about in the controlled mental environment and that is virtually not taught in medical schools - showing that dominance hierarchies are the greatest threat to human health in stable and "advanced" societies [4]. [Excluding war and imposed deprivation; which also arise from dominance hierarchies.]

The violence of human dominance hierarchies in our stable "advanced" societies is corroborated by documented empirical facts and experimental results establishing a dominant causal relationship between socioeconomic status and human health and mortality; which is not simply due to differences in resource allocation, access to medical care, life-style differences (smoking, drinking, diet, exercise, etc.), work accidents and other such relatively “incidental” whole-population factors but which instead is due to the direct impacts of dominance hierarchy on physiological functions [4].

In a word, the boss makes you sick - whether you like him/her or not.

Socioeconomic status is the single most dominant predictor of health, and the physiological mechanisms for this causal relation (from socioeconomic status to individual health) are being elucidated by population studies and laboratory experiments.

The vector is psychosocial stress which significantly impacts the immune system, fertility, the brain (see below), the heart (hypertension, pathogenic cholesterol profile), and adrenal gland function [4]. This is particularly relevant when we consider the canonical link between the immune system and cancer (second leading cause of death) and the fact that the first leading cause of death is cardiovascular failure.

The known main stress-causing social circumstances arising from dominance hierarchies are [4]:

“(i) low degrees of social control and predictability ...; (ii) a paucity of outlets after exposure to stressors ...; (iii) a paucity of social support ...; or (iv) high rates of physical stressors ...”

This explains why we seek protections via rules, laws and regulations; why we seek outlets and social support; and why we avoid contacts with the hard end of the dominance hierarchy.

In addition [4], "subjective [socioeconomic status] can be at least as predictive of health as is objective [socioeconomic status]," meaning that one's self-perception as a subordinate individual in the dominance hierarchy can be as important as one's actual status. This in turn implies that culture and propaganda are significant public health factors in dominance hierarchies.

Public health cover up?

If this is the truth about health then the establishment has a truth problem. The establishment is dedicated to maintaining and benefiting from society's dominance hierarchy yet this hierarchy is bad for public health and quality of life.

The obvious solution is cover up. But the evidence is so startling, so evident to even a neophyte observer of society, that the cover up needs to be broad and sustained. It needs to involve every educational institution and professional school [5], every propaganda instrument, and every relevant management ministry.

"Indeed, the interests of the oppressors lie in 'changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them' [Simone de Beauvoir]; for the more the oppressed can be led to adapt to that situation, the more easily they can be dominated." [6]

In such a cover up, like any cover up, one needs a proper patsy; or an array of diversions conveniently locked into our hierarchy-induced wants for protection and the reassurances that obedience will provide rewards.

The main diversion, therefore, is to invent or exaggerate health risks that can be reduced by personal lifestyle choices, by discipline and obedience. Of course those with the luxury of such lifestyle obedience are also of higher socioeconomic status, thereby providing a convenient false corroboration of the public health policy.

There be smoking. And trans-fat, and residual carcinogens, and flue shots, and heavy metals in urban drinking water, and cancer screening, and annual check-ups, ... The violently debilitating dominance hierarchy is a given that cannot be examined (we can't even question the concepts of low corporate taxes and mobile capital) and all health problems are either accidental or related to lifestyle "choices" in a "free and democratic" society. Tadaaaa...

And it makes you stupid?

Dominance hierarchy stress on the subordinate individual is directly a killer; and... it makes one stupid [4]:

“Animals who are socially stressed by the dominance hierarchy for prolonged periods undergo neurobiological changes as well. This can involve inhibition of neurogenesis, dendritic atrophy, and impairment of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and altered patterns of apoptotic cell death (increases in the cortex and decreases in the hippocampus)”

Fortunately, there is a lifestyle practice that can make you smart [6]:

"But in the last analysis, it is the people themselves who are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system [of education]. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other."

Here Freire's "praxis" means an authentically rebellious praxis of liberation anchored in a fervent dedication to fighting one’s own oppression, against one’s objectification [6][7][8][9].


[1] "Is US Health Really the Best in the World?" by Barbara Starfield. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol.284, No.4, 2000, pages 483-485.]

[2] "Health 'Care' in the United States": Dr. Barbara Starfield interviewed on CHUO 89.1 FM Ottawa (Canada), The Train.

[3] "Some big lies of science" by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010.

[4] “The influence of social hierarchy on primate health (Review)” by Robert M. Sapolsky, Science, vol.308, p.648-652, 2005. (and references therein)

[5]“Disciplined Minds” by Jeff Schmidt, 2000.

[6] “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire, 1970.

[7] “Need for and Practice of Student Liberation” (essay) by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010.

[8] “On the racism and pathology of left progressive First-World activism” (essay) by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010.

[9] “Roundabout as conflict-avoidance versus Malcolm X’s psychology of liberation” (essay) by Denis G. Rancourt, 2010.

Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science (including physics and environmental science) which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals and several social commentary essays. He developed popular activism courses and was an outspoken critic of the university administration and a defender of student and Palestinian rights. He was fired for his dissidence in 2009. His dismissal case is scheduled to start court hearings in 2011.

Monday, April 4, 2011

York U's Linda Briskin::: Feminist scholar or misogynist feminist?

"Despite our desire to focus on course content, my own experience working with university students suggests that a "hidden" curriculum about power interrupts both learning and teaching."
--Linda Briskin (LINK)

Well Professor Briskin certainly interrupted Teaching Assistant (TA) Tasia Alexopoulos' learning and teaching! (LINK)(LINK)(MEDIA)(MEDIA)

But now a settlement has finally been reached and York University (Toronto, Canada) had to provide Alexopoulos with:
  1. A written apology
  2. A cash payment
  3. A promise that she would not have to work with Briskin ever again
  4. A promise that she can teach again immediately, without being discriminated against in the future
See the signed Minutes of Settlement and apology HERE. Arbitrator Brian Keller remains seized of the matter for the purpose of enforcement and implementation.

Alexopoulos' union had to work hard for this victory against a non-cooperative university.

The TA had been removed from teaching and disciplined in reprisal for having filed a harassment grievance against Briskin.

Briskin's harassment of Alexopoulos started after Alexopoulos held her ground regarding her professional independence to grade her students following her best pedagogical judgment.

The undergraduate student response was inspired (HERE) but was not enough to save Alexopoulos from the harsh reprisal.

Despite the well documented circumstances Briskin was not investigated or disciplined and continues to supervise TAs.

So much for the reality of checking one's "hidden curriculum about power".

[Addendum: The original title of this post was "York U's Linda Briskin: Feminist scholar or alpha bitch?". Please comment on the title change.]