Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Where the hell is Scheizerland?

with 4 comments

That was my mystery for today. Someone sent me an email about shipping costs to Scheizerland. You’d think that it would be easy to google “Scheizerland” and figure it out. No such luck. My best guess so far is that it’s misspelled Dutch for Switzerland. Why would someone writing to me in English from Switzerland use a misspelled Dutch version of Switzerland though? If some linguist has any insight into this, I’d appreciate it, I’m clueless. And reminded of the European joke: “If a person who speaks three languages is trilingual, and a person who speaks two languages is bilingual, what do you call a person who speaks only one language?” Answer: American.

Moving right along, I didn’t have a pre-written blog for today so the mystery of the Towton Rose is going to have to wait. I’ll just go to the BBC news and see what the exciting headlines are for today … and the BBC didn’t let me down. There’s great news this morning! The last US combat brigade is leaving Iraq! Yes, Mission Accomplished, again! How many countries can win the same war, twice! Of course Iraq is still a ghastly bloody failed state where the violence is not only ongoing, it’s been getting worse. Details. I predict that before every major election in the US from now on we will be “winning” some war or another. I mean, once one bases a foreign policy on lies and fantasies, and the public buys it, there’s no limit!

The second headline is about a bomb blast in western China. It was apparently set off by a Uighur separatist. There were deadly riots in western China last year as a result of conflict between Uighurs and Han Chinese. What can I say. While I admire the pragmatism of the Chinese government, their policy towards minorities is, well, evil incarnate. They are doing what so many countries are doing, cultural genocide. Which is to say they aren’t actually killing or deporting their minorities, they are simply settling so many Chinese in minority regions that the minority culture is basically extinguished. A great example is Tibet, two thirds of the population of Tibet is ethnic Chinese now. That makes it a pretty good bet that Tibet’s chances of ever achieving independence again are pretty slim. Lot’s of countries practice this sort of silent ethnic cleansing, and the Chinese are particularly adept at it. Still, it doesn’t always work. The Russians settled huge numbers of Russians in the Baltic republics, yet they managed to achieve independence again. Still, a sad state of affairs for minorities living in China.

The third headline is that France is starting  mass deportation of Roma (gypsies.) Some claim it is a purely political move on the part of the French government to pander to racist voters. The French government claims it is a humanitarian gesture to close squalid refugee camps, and fully within EU law. The first is certainly true, pandering to racism and prejudice is the wave of the future in western politics … and if you’re gonna pick a popular target, the Roma are some of the most hideously demonised people on Earth. The second is at least partly true, in that at least it’s an acknowledgement that there is a problem. As long as some parts of the world are poor, and some parts are rich … there’s going to be “illegal” immigration. And since the disparity between the rich and poor parts of the world is growing, not shrinking, this “problem” is only going to get worse. And sadly, the ability of politicians to stigmatized people who are simply trying to seek a better life seems to be increasing. And what is covered up in this frenzy of calling people “illegal” is any discussion of the west’s policies that have put millions of people out of work in the third world. Oh well, I’ll post on NAFTA someday, but this whole anti-immigrant frenzy is so depressing because our leaders are basically blaming the victims of their own greedy actions. And worse, a huge section of the public is falling for it.

The next headline is about a Spanish bull that leaped into a crowd. That’s right, the number four story on the BBCs main news page is about a bull leaping into a crowd. And people wonder why some of us rail against the mainstream media? Forty people and one bull suffered minor injuries. Somehow I suspect that there are more important stories out there, but as the mainstream news today is more about entertainment and distraction than education, we get leaping bulls. Sigh.

(The above image is a free desktop wall paper I got from this site, so I’m pretty sure it’s in the public domain. And I’m not using it for profit in any event. No particular reason for choosing it, other than the usual, it goes nicely with the theme of Doug’s Darkworld. And I’m glad I still get to post fantasy war pics instead of Israel attacks Iran war pics. So far.)


Written by unitedcats

August 19, 2010 at 7:59 am

4 Responses

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  1. LOL! I’d say your living in it! Joking or no?….lol


    August 19, 2010 at 11:43 am

  2. Two points … first, you gave some nice examples of modern cultural genocide, but I thought it might be worth mentioning North America while on the subject of cultural genocide. However “efficient” at it others may have been, few cultures have been so thoroughly exterminated as the North American Native. While we criticize China for their current attempts to marginalize minorities, lets not forget that we in north America are only here as a result of our own ancestors very successful campaign of cultural genocide against Natives.

    Second, the story about the bull in Spain, IMO, has more worth than you gave it credit for. I agree it’s “trivial” in the grand scheme of things, but you left some details out. This was a bull in the middle of a bull fight, and the crowd he jumped into was the same crowd cheering for the bull’s death. If I didn’t know better, I’d call it a case of poetic justice. It may not have the import of other stories, but but there’s a certain, fun irony in a story about a bull in a bull fight that decides to say “screw the fight … lets go after the bloodthirsty crowd cheering it on.”

    Lyle Bateman

    August 21, 2010 at 1:31 am

  3. As for Scheizerland, I sent the guy a quote for postage to Geneva, and he subsequently made a bid.

    Yeah, someday I might do a post on the lakes of blood in America’s past, but it’s depressing, and want to find an angle that might make at least one or two people think. Especially since the blood is still flowing.

    Oh, the “bull bites man” story is interesting, it’s just that having it among the top headlines of a purportedly world news site struck as another example of how news has morphed into “infotainment.” —Doug


    August 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

    • Sounds reasonable … I honestly think that if people had been bored by a bull during the running of the bulls, it wouldn’t have been so high in the list. I THINK what put it high on the list was the idea that it was a bull at a bull fight “fighting back.” I honestly think the irony of the story makes it legitimately on the list of “high value” news stories.

      “Dog bites man” isn’t a story … “Fighting pitbull attacks Michael Vicks” IS a story, because of the irony value. I think the same principle is at play here with the bull :).

      Lyle Bateman

      August 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm

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