Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day and the problematic issue of creating new people

2:20 am.

Can’t sleep. Memorial Day everywhere on television and radio. Heroes who gave their lives for our freedom. In Korea I don’t recall anyone, ever, talking about protecting American freedom, or talking about fighting for his country. We were just there. Some of us were there because we were looking for something. It wasn’t freedom. Others were there because they had been drafted by the State. The contest itself interested everybody, volunteers and draftees alike. When a contest involves life and death both, the events of the contest interest everyone in the game. It was the same in Vietnam as in Korea, and I would suppose the same as it is in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Finished Jim Crawford’s Confessions of an Antinatalist. He gets better as he goes along. His first book. He’s got a career ahead of him.

I can’t find the paragraph in Crawford’s book where he lays out his thesis in a few lines. The next best thing is to quote what he quotes of David Benatar’s Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence.

“Each one of us was harmed by being brought into existence. That harm is not negligible, because the quality of even the best lives is very bad—-and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of further possible people. Creating new people is thus wholly problematic.”

The logic of the statement appears incontrovertible to me. Creating new people is problematic. Billions of them. The amount of suffering in the world is inestimable. Every day hundreds of thousands of women giving birth. At this very moment the agony, the exploding water, the blood. All over the world. For what? To feed our yearly Memorial commemorations? If we were truly interested in ending suffering, we would just stop making people.

It’s not going to happen.

At the same time, I’m not certain I agree that “the quality of even the best lives is very bad …” Maybe I don’t understand what Benatar means by “best.” My own life is not among the best in any sense of that word, yet it does not seem to me to be a very “bad” life either. I think we are talking about suffering here. There has been some suffering, but not near enough of it for me to not want more life. It’s been an ordinary happening, and will soon be finished. Outside the human construct, meaning itself is meaningless.

The great adventure.

Crawford can write a fine line of poetry. In Looking Out Schopoenhauer’s Window his first line reads: “Passions coagulate to form a man.”

He writes. “Hold nonexistence in your right hand, and an eternity of unbearable agony which must be borne in your left. Is there any question as to the most favorable state you would want your child to end up in, after her body has gone to ground?”

Now the brain recalls the night in Hollywood in our rented apartment in the little canyon behind Grauman’s Chinese Theater when I literally paused in my passage from the kitchen to the dining room which was now our bedroom. At that moment the brain had recalled that my wife was pregnant, that we were going to have a child, and that child was coming into a world where atomic warfare could break out at any moment, every moment of the day and night. For a brief moment the brain thought about the horror of bringing a child into a world when what could happen is probably going to happen sooner or later, people being what we are. I didn't know what to do with what the brain had given me.

Well, the child is 24 years old now, she’s had a difficult life, a bad life I suppose, but she hasn’t been nuked yet, and there is no sign that she wants out of it. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

The Holocaust Taboo at Northwestern University

Northwestern professor Arthur Butz is interviewed by the Iranian news agency Mehr. Smith points out the irrational vocabulary used by the President of Northwestern and Northwestern faculty in response to Butz's observations. Irrational in that it slanders and condemns Butz but is unwilling to address publicly what he has written, or what is reported he says in the Mehr interview.

View this video here

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Taboo and the Professorial Class at Northwestern University

Here Smith introduces the specific irrational vocabulary used at Northwestern, from the President of the university on down through the departmental ranks, when the orthodox Holocaust narrative is questioned.

View this video here

Monday, May 24, 2010

Third Segment : Smith Speaks at Cal State Fullerton

In this segment Smith addresses the irrational vocabulary of a fundraiser produced by Sara J. Bloomfield, director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Bloomfield's fundraiser uses the controversy created by a seven-word text link Smith placed in the online edition of the student newspaper at U Wisconsin-Madison, the Badger Herald. From the Badger Herald right up the Holocaust Marketing food chain to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

View this Video here

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Catching up with Smith's Report, YouTube, and Inconvenient History

I’m here for awhile, I’m gone for awhile. A very sick child is my excuse for the last ten days and longer. There is the work, and there is the family, and oftentimes the twain does cross. Anyhow, the worst is over and I’m back to work.

Issue 172 of Smith’s Report has been uploaded so you can read it online. The hardcopy edition is with the printer and will go out in maybe four days, about the 27th. I’m working on the next issue of SR now.

We’re still working on producing segments of my talk at Cal State Fullerton for YouTube. Tomorrow we will upload the third. The production values of the filmed talk itself are not very good. We recognize that. They will get better -- after we buy a new camera and some lighting equipment. About a thousand, twelve hundred dollars I suppose. Any thoughts?

One thing that I have not yet noted anywhere is that as the event at CSUF was winding down I realized how much I liked being there in the room with the students and the professors. I was actually enjoying myself.

As with everything else, I am behind the curve with fulfilling orders for the bound, Volume One of Inconvenient History. Please cut me some slack here. We’ll be on it tomorrow.

Too distracted by events to work the last couple weeks, I distracted myself from one distraction to another. In the evenings with reading Inventing Western Civilization by Thomas C. Patterson. I suppose the core idea of the book is that the concept of civilization is one created by the ruling class for the benefit of the ruling class and over the last three centuries the benefit of the State, which was created in turn by the ruling class. I have marked the book and will review it shortly. The one thing that is certain is that human behavior remains what it was before the invention of civilization. This is all kind of obvious I suppose. Reminds me of how Chomsky speaks routinely of America as a “criminal" state.

Last night I turned to reading Confessions of an Antinatalist by Jim Crawford, who I am pleased to announce is a short-order cook who lives in Riverside, a town near Fullerton. A working man. Like yours truly, more or less. I have a small fantasy of stopping off one day when I’m on the other side to chat him up.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Far Is It from Nuremberg to Guantanamo?

From the place where the victorious Allies of World War II legitimized their genocidal depredations on the heart of Europe to the Caribbean limbo to which the US consigned the bought-and-paid-for "perpetrators" of 9/11 - how far could that be?

Not far at all, in the geography of victors' justice that governs in such matters, it turns out. This article on the Future of Freedom Foundation's Web site amply details the organized (and well financed) frauds on which the rounding-up of "guilty parties" is based that supports the government's claims to have apprehended those who it says have caused concern to the peace-loving taxpayers of America.

The taxpayers of America do indeed love peace, but unfortunately, those taxes they pay foster not peace, but war, and the threats to peaceful existence that war portends. At Guantanamo, one may readily see repeated those depredations against the truth that have supported wars ever since wars (including all of America's) began.

It's all there - and readily recognizable to those familiar with the record and having even a minimal ability to recognize patterns - coercion of witnesses, incarceration for indefinite periods (eight years?), hearsay "evidence," a national agenda of revenge, and so on. Viewed from the perspective of history, it's a tedious repetition indeed, and that's for a mere observer, to say nothing of its victims.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Second segment: Smith speaks at Cal State Fullerton

Smith addresses the irrational vocabulary of the professorial class with regard to the taboo that protects the Holocaust question from open debate. Here he focuses on the language used by the Chancellor of U Wisconsin-Madison, Biddy Martin, and how it is adopted by student journalists there. Why would it not be, Smith asks?

View this video here

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Daily Titan reports on Smith's talk at Cal State-Fullerton

Holocaust revisionist speaks at the Titan Student Union

By ZAM ANWAR
Daily Titan Staff Writer
Published: May 09, 2010

"The purpose of Smith’s appearance was to argue that the American professorial class, allied with special interest organizations, supports a taboo over the free exchange of ideas regarding the Holocaust question, and that student journalists who do not cooperate put their careers at risk."

"Smith went on to address the heart of the controversy; banner advertisements that Smith’s office had been placing in several American campus newspaper websites that linked to his blog or his home page for The Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust.

"In April, the Daily Titan ran a similar advertisement on its website featuring only the text: 'The irrational vocabulary of the American professorial class …' that linked to the full transcription of a talk Smith gave at the Tehran Holocaust conference in December 2006. The advertisement was taken down, and Smith speculated on the decisions of the editors who decided to pull the advertisement.

“'There’s a taboo against running such ads, (that) link to such information and such opinions,' Smith said. 'But [the Titan] was being advised, too, by professors on campus and by special interest organizations.'”

“'It is my guess that there is not one professor at CSU Fullerton who would stand up in public to defend any journalist or the newspaper itself if they proceeded to publish anything that questioned the orthodox Holocaust story,' Smith said."

Read more>>

Friday, May 7, 2010

Smith speaks at Cal State University--Fullerton

Yesterday I spoke to a modest room of students, professors and perhaps some press at Cal State University-Fullerton, California. Fullerton is in Orange County near Disneyland. It’s grown into a more upscale town than I remember from the 1940s. I titled the talk The Student Newspaper and the Question of Taboo.

The text focused on The Irrational Vocabulary of the Professorial Class, the talk I gave in Tehran at the Holocaust Conference there in December 2006, and on the language used by academics in responding to revisionist provocations at U Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern U (twice), and Cal State Fullerton itself.

The decision to talk at Fullerton came up at the last minute, as it were. We had been running an ad in the online edition of the Daily Titan, the paper decided to pull it gave their reasons here. At the same time we were inserting ads in student newspaper on other campuses, which in turn were being suppressed.

Hernandez telephoned the Executive Editor of the Titan, Sergio Cabaruvias, to find out what he could about the story. Cabaruvias didn’t really want to talk, but it was our understanding that in the editorial meetings that took place to decide what to do about this revisionist ad, the faculty advisor was present, among others. We presumed he was “advising” in the manner that American faculty advisors advise with regard to a free exchange of ideas about the Holocaust story. Put a stop to it!

I’m trying to nail down in my mind the exact moment when I made the decision to go to CSU-Fullerton. I can’t put my finger on it. We had the beginning of a story. We were being suppressed in the routine way that we are suppressed campus newspapers (to say nothing of the off-campus press). The academic year was ending and soon students would be on summer break and the moment would pass. There was the fact that the Fullerton campus is only 120 miles from where we live here in Baja.

Odd. I don’t really know what made me decide to go. All of the above, and probably something in the moment itself. I like to be able to identify these little moments of decision, the environment of the moment. This time I cannot. Maybe it will come to me.

Anyhow, on the evening of the 5th Hernandez and I drove north across the border to Fullerton, stayed the night, and the next afternoon we went to the University. There was one story on the front page of the Daily Titan featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and another featuring Bradley Smith. I spoke for 35-40 minutes, so there was time for a Q&A. What occurred then was surprising.

I’ll write this all up for Smith’s Report, which was scheduled to go to the printer tomorrow, a deadline I will not be able to meet. But ASAP.