Friday, March 31, 2006

Musings on Other Cultures X: Wife Beatings

In the West, we assume that wife beatings are misogynistic. But are they? In fact, wife beatings are very common in cultures that are superior to ours.

Let's look at the data.

While only 22% of American and Canadian women were physically assaulted by an intimate partner, the figure is 67% in rural Papua New Guinea, 47% in Bangladesh, and 58% in Turkey. Now, smug Americans can condescendingly sneer on wife beatings in Papua New Guinea, but the average Papua New Guinean can (justifiably!) sneer back at Americans for not allowing full First Amendment rights for prison inmates.

So, who is right? Of course, the Papua New Guineans are. One person's wife beating is another's expression of culture. And if your culture is an honest one, then wife beatings are an honest expression of that culture. After all, who are we, the capitalist imperialists, to lecture anyone else on what is right? Did Papau New Gunea invade Iraq? Does Bangladesh deny union benefits to Wal-Mart workers? Does Turkey impose its Christianist genocide on the rest of the world?

In fact, that 58% of Turkish women have been beaten is a good argument for Turkey to join the European Union; i.e., other countries can learn from the Turks, like Norway (where only 18% of women have been beaten) and Switzerland (where only 21% of women have been beaten). If you support diversity, you would have to support the inclusion of a wife-beating country in the European Union.

Now, let's look at attitudes. 71% of Palestinian men approve of wife beating if the wife is suspected of committing adultery. And 57% of Palestinian men say that wife beatings are justified if the wife "answers back or disobeys". People, these are the Palestinians saying this! These are the victims of Zionist oppression, and these are the people who know what Amerika is all about . They are the fountain of moral wisdom!

For that matter, in Egypt, 59% or urban women and 78% of rural women say that wife beatings are justified if the wife answers back or disobeys. Or, phrased another way (in an admittedly dubious blog)...

In a sample of 13 African countries between 1999 and 2004, 52% of women surveyed say they think that wife beating is justified if she neglects the children; around 45% think it’s justified if she goes out without telling the husband or argues with him; 36% if she refuses sex, and 30% if she burns the food.

And this is what the women think.

The question for my students who are reading this is: Could America rise the cultural level of African and Middle Eastern countries if wife-beatings increased here?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Integrate the Toilets, End Sexist Apartheid

The last bastian of blatant sexism (besides "singles" web sites) is in the toilet.

Did I just make a joke? No, regrettably not. Jim Crow still lives in bathroom.

Did I just make another joke? No, nothing is funny. Ever. Not when womyn are herded into the public extermination rooms instead of being permitted to use the men's rooms.

As a feminist, I am deeply offended by this bigotry. Are we not good enough to relieve ourselves where we choose? Oh, no, not at all. Womyn are not even permitted to look inside men’s rooms. The shrine of manhood, the urinal, must be protected from femyle eyes!

This is something that disturbed me from when I was a young child. I remember, standing outside the womyn’s room, weeping for the womyn who were not allowed into the adjacent Male Room of Hate. How I despised this abuse of womyn! And as I grew older, I felt guilty about how privilege was mine because of my genitalia (and because I was nominally white). I wondered why the Civil Rights Act did not abolish restroom apartheid. I wondered where the protestors were. They were silenced by the Christianists, that's where!

But things might be changing.

Following the City of Eugene Human Rights Commission hearing to add transgender identity to the city’s anti-discrimination code, a small protest took place on 13th Avenue to pressure the surrounding businesses to convert their male and female bathroom facilities to unisex.

This is nothing short of a grass-roots revolution! Freedom to womyn! And, just as important, freedom to the transgendered to decide for themselves which bathroom to use! Currently, in Eugene, "anyone has the right to confront a transgender person who looks to be walking into a bathroom of the opposite sex."

But read what the Nelson Mandela of the toilet movement has to say:

Shanti employee Rebecca Palak thinks it is “totally discriminatory” to be able to stop someone who does not look like they belong in a particular bathroom.

But until the day of equality is universal, there are steps that we, as a society, and as a community, and as a eco-habitat, can take:

1) Remove all urinals from men’s rooms so that the lines will be as long as those at womyn’s rooms. If that doesn't work, remove all stalls except for one. If that fails, remove all plumbing and let the male pigs defecate on the floor. And if that fails, close men's rooms entirely and let them fend for themselves.

2) Convert men’s rooms to facilities for womyn, the transgendered, the alternative gendered, and the ambiguously gendered.

3) Raise taxes; that always works.

Here on campus, we actually do have a few unisex bathrooms. I seek them out, and occasionally hold seminars in them. (We pull out the modular stalls and sit on the toilets. I teach while sitting in a urinal.) In other cultures, the bathroom without stalls is normal. Perhaps, one day, we too will have no stalls, no gender differentiation, and no inequality at all.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Democrats: Real Security

Have you seen the new Real Security Plan announced by the Democratic Party today? It almost makes me want to switch my official party affiliation to Democrat! But then, we agree on so much anyway that it hardly matters which party I belong to.

In any event, the Democrats have synthesized a strategy into five plans of action. After six years of Bush confusion, the Democrats will solve everything in five steps. Just like that!

1) 21st Century Military

Enact a GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century that guarantees our troops -- active, reserve, and retired -- our veterans, and their families receive the pay, health care, mental health services, and other benefits they have earned and deserve.

Even I never considered the possibility that soldiers should have their own Bill of Rights. Good for the Democratic Party! Soldiers, past, present, future, and all of their relatives, really do deserve free lifetime benefits for everything. Put another way, if civilians are entitled to free lifetime benefits, then why not include the military, too?

Now, you might say something like, “But Professor Kurgman, the military is comprised of murderers!” But you would be wrong because the Democratic plan also says that troops will…

… never [be] sent to war without accurate intelligence and a strategy for success.

And since it is impossible to obtain “accurate intelligence” (especially since I won’t cooperate), and it is impossible to guarantee success in any war, that means that thousands of military people will be receiving free lifetime benefits without having the possibility of fighting in a war!

Today, soldiers; tomorrow, everyone else.

2) War on Terror

Double the size of our Special Forces, increase our human intelligence capabilities, and ensure our intelligence is free from political pressure.

Double the size of the workforce! Increase capabilities (and budgets)! No political pressure! Just do whatever feels right, as long as there’s no fighting!

Instead, let’s have real combat:

Eliminate terrorist breeding grounds by combating the economic, social, and political conditions that allow extremism to thrive; lead international efforts to uphold and defend human rights; and renew longstanding alliances that have advanced our national security objectives.

After reading that paragraph, I really do want to switch party affiliations. It’s going to take a lot of money and a lot of academic power to address all those root causes! Combating economic conditions (capitalism), social conditions (Christianism), and political conditions (Zionism) will be some job. But together with our "renewed longstanding alliances" (France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc.) we’ll get it done.

3) Homeland Security

Prevent outsourcing of critical components of our national security infrastructure -- such as ports, airports and mass transit -- to foreign interests that put America at risk.

I use mass transit a lot. And when I take the bus to work, I just know that the vehicle construction was outsourced to some non-union sweatshop. American jobs for the American working class! Buses made by American labor is essential for security.

4) Iraq

Basically, it would be good-bye to Iraq; we’ll end our genocide. But even better:

Hold the Bush Administration accountable for its manipulated pre-war intelligence, poor planning and contracting abuses…

I assume that this means a People’s Trial for criminals Bush, Cheney and all the other murderous thugs that associate (or have ever associated) with them, like John Ashcroft, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, the Bush daughters, Nancy Reagan, Sam Walton’s heirs, the Boards of Directors of all Fortune 500 companies, the editorial board of Fortune, and the entire Israeli Government (except for its Arab members of parliament).

5) Energy Independence

Achieve energy independence for America by 2020 by eliminating reliance on oil from the Middle East and other unstable regions of the world. Increase production of alternate fuels from America's heartland including bio-fuels, geothermal, clean coal, fuel cells, solar and wind; promote hybrid and flex fuel vehicle technology and manufacturing; enhance energy efficiency and conservation incentives.

Since every part of the world is unstable, this means no more oil. Good. Much better to tax rich (i.e., all) businesses to pay for bio-fuels and clean coal. But the important part is conservation incentives. I’ve already started conserving by recycling my feces (why does the recycling truck usually not take this?) and by inviting illegal aliens to sleep in the corridors of my university.

Incidentally, did you see which words were missing from the Security Plan? There are no fascist terms like “victory”, “win”, “Western”, “culture”, “liberty”, or “freedom”. And there is also no racist scapegoating of Islam. There is no mention of Islam!

I am proud to support the Democrats.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Extended Warranties: Make Them Mandatory!

Have you ever been cheated by unscrupulous businesses? The answer, of course, is: "When have I not been cheated by unscrupulous businesses!"

As we know from basic economic theory, all profits come from either the exploitation or the plundering of the working class. Some other time, we'll discuss the exploitation of the working class, but for now, I would like to focus on the plundering of the working class.

Just as nations became rich by stealing from the disadvantaged (think of Amerika plundering Venezuela, Amerika plundering Grenada, Amerika plundering Nicaragua, Amerika plundering Iraq, Amerika threatening to plunder Iran, etc., etc., etc.), businesses became rich by stealing from the poor-- the bigger the business, the more that was stolen.

Turning our attention to the biggest business, Wal-Mart, we note that they have become rich and powerful by selling defective merchandise to their customers (who, I may add, would never shop at Wal-Mart if they had a choice). The customers bring their products home, they break, and then they pay to re-purchase them. Is it a coincidence that Wal-Mart hardly ever offers extended warranties on their merchandise? No it is not; honesty is inimical to profits.

Allow me to relate a recent personal experience.

At the food coop the other day, I purchased a container of extra-soft tofu. (It was for my digestive issues; some other time, I will dicuss them in great detail.) The tofu cost $1.99, and upon being charged, I demanded an extended warranty.

"If this tofu does not relieve my digestive ailment," I thundered at the cashier, "I will need a replacement product. I demand an extended warranty!"

The cashier feigned ignorance, and told me that the food coop does not offer extended warranties on soft tofu.

At this point I lost justifiably lost my patience and screamed, "WHAT? Did I inadvertently walk into a Wal-Mart? I DEMAND to see the manager at once!"

The manager came out, and I informed him that it was my right, and that it was every person's right, to get an extended warranty. The manager then asked, "Aren't you the guy who was recently in here demanding reparations?"

At that point, I knew how the tortured prisoners at Guantanamo felt, and then, within an inch of the manager's face, I told him that, as a black woman, I will not endure such disrespect.

No, I am not a black woman. But at that moment, when he brought up the topic of reparations, I felt a surge of commonality with my sisters who are still under the yolk of slave-driving racist pigs such as the one standing in front of me.

As the manager wiped my spittle off his face, I promised him that I will never stop fighting for the right of every person to have extended warranties on every purchase.

"Listen to me, you right-wing profiteering scum, and I will explain why everyone is entitled to extended warranties. Have you ever been sick? Have you ever tried getting health care in this depraved country? Well, there are plenty of poor people, old people, young people, minorities, and unemployed who have no access to health care and they simply crawl into the gutter and die when they are not feeling well. That's why we fight for universal health care, and its why we have public education, public housing, public transportation, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, HUD grants, farm programs, energy subsidies, and especially academic grants. People must be protected from the likes of you, and this is accomplished by government generosity. Your damn products are going to fail, and people need protection. And not the false protection of so-called "choice", but the real protection of an all-encompassing guarantee.

"But not everyone can afford to pay for extended warranties -- they have other expenses to pay, like taxes. You therefore can't give them a choice. Instead, you just have to give them. Give them what they need to survive. Give them extended warranties on every product, everywhere, every time. And the people are not asking you, they are demanding it."

If the people deserve universal health insurance, then they also deserve universal consumer-product insurance. If it works with one, it must work with the other.

And, as it happened, the tofu did not ease my digestive issues. So, the next day, I called who anyone would call when they are not feeling well: The ACLU. My experience at the food coop was akin to getting raped. And I will see the rapists in court.

I detest Amerika.

Monday, March 27, 2006

An Open Letter to Zacarias Moussaoui

Dear Zac (if I may call you that):

My name is Professor Peter Alan Kurgman, and I am a progressive altruist/thinker who sees better things for humanity. I also happen to have three doctorates -- but please do not be intimidated by that! (Very often, people think I am much smarter than they are, and will therefore shy away. This, as you will see, is nonsense. Shying away only inhibits their ability to be nurtured by me.)

I am of two minds about you. On one hand, the optimist in me would like you to attend my my classes. On the other hand, the realist in me wants you to run for Congress. Of course, you can attend my classes while I coach you on your political aspirations, but regardless, I am compelled to let you know that you have many admirers in Amerika.

And now, although you are modest, I will request that you indulge my wish to enumerate your positive qualities:

1) You wanted to destroy the White House. Yes, we all want to destroy the White House, but you were actually prepared to carry it out! On the downside, without a White House, we wouldn't have known where to stage last weekend's protests -- but your cause was nevertheless just.

2) You want to kill all Jews and destroy the United States. This is strong language to be sure, but it's a credit to your rhetorical skills that you can make such forceful statements. You are clearly familiar with (and maybe even a member of!) the movement for Voluntary Human Extinction.

3) You are standing up to the Amerikan judicial system and are acting as your own attorney. There is no higher calling than the legal profession (except, of course for social science academics) and we already know that you would have made an extraordinary lawyer. But beyond that, you are standing up to the Christianist-controlled courts! If you would only take the Bar exam, you could join the fight against the Ten Commandments defacing our courthouses, and instead help us focus on true diversity.

4) You are a man of honest faith. Anyone who criticizes you is also criticizing Islam, which is a blatantly racist attempt to insult, repress and legitimize oppression over resistance.

5) You are a warm Sun Person, a true Person of Color; i.e., a living, sensitive being who appreciated the diversity of our planet, and is concerned with the human specie-cide of creating anxiety among hatching fish within 500 miles of urban areas.

Zac, please contact me so I can arrange to have some of my students spend time in your cell; I think that they can learn a lot from you after about a month or so. In fact, I will make it a course requirement. Please think about it; I know that your shared concern for Earth and its inhabitants will say "yes"!

In Solidarity,

Dr. Prof. Peter Alan Kurgman, PhD, PhD, PhD

Sunday, March 26, 2006

False Dilemmas I: Love the Soldier, Hate the Military

Here's a question that I was asked by a student at a recent anti-war protest:

"Professor Kurgman, I know that we should protest Bush's genocidal oil war because it is killing our soldiers. But isn't the U.S. Military also the enemy of the people? How can I reconcile these views?"

I thoughtfully considered his remarks, and then told the student that his question is very stupid. Of course it is possible to be concerned about the soldiers and to also hate them.

First, as any mother can tell you, our children are being taken from our bosoms and hurled onto Haliburton-manufactured minefields for sport. Our children, our future, are being sacrificed for Dick Cheney's sick sexual fantasies. (Speaking of which, when will the trial be held for his "hunting accident" murder?) This murdering of our children makes me want to scream, which in fact is what I was doing all weekend in order to stop the war.

But yet, I also scream at individual soldiers. Or, at least at heterosexual soldiers because they are racist homophobic imperialist killing machines who discriminate against sexual minorities and are only interested in gratuitously torturing people in other countries. Ideally, we would have an all-gay army that would be pacifist and sympathetic towards other cultures. And an all-gay Army of Color would of course be even better. Best of all (at least in the context of our mongering aggression against Iraq) would be an all-Islamic army. What better way of showing our solidarity with the People of Islam than to send our own American Islamic Army to their nations with gifts procured from our capitalist criminals?

Realistically, though, we won't be having an all-gay or an all-Islamic military in the near future. Therefore, the only feasible option is to reduce military spending by about 100%, and reallocate these funds to teachers unions to educate our children. Which brings us to the only downside of disbanding the military, which is the jobs that returning soldiers will be stealing from union workers. So, in order prevent a war between the working class and the war-criminal class, we will need to greatly increase taxes on business profits.

I would explain more, but I'm afraid this is all I can say for now to an audience that is not paying tuition.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Musings on Other Cultures IX: Shantytowns

The New York Times recently showed its appreciation of other cultures by publishing an article advocating the construction of shantytowns in the United States. Shantytowns as a New Suburban Ideal

[Teddy Cruz's] ideas about Tijuana's hardscrabble settlements have generated a buzz. In a patchwork of plywood hovels, auto repair shops and hasty additions, Mr. Cruz has found a humane model for rethinking America's suburbs. He has been pushing that vision as an antidote to the gated communities that have sprouted from Southern California to Israel to mainland China in recent years.

American housing patterns are yet one more symptom of this depraved and racist culture. Being rich, spoiled, and fat, Americans (that is, white Americans) assume that it is their birthright to seal themselves off from the greater society.

Being rich, they stay away from the poor.

Being white, they stay away from the Color.

Being heterosexual, they stay away from the gay community.

Being handed everything, they stay away from those who must steal to pay for their children's survival.

Being cold and aloof, they stay away from the warmth of the humble street beggar.

Being insured, they stay away from people with open sores.

Being stingy, they stay away from those who demand slavery reparations.

The only solution is to democratize the people, and the best way of achieving that is by relocating suburban inhabitants to new diverse shantytowns where they can hear their neighbors, breathe the same air as their neighbors, smell their neighbors, and rub up against their neighbors.

Throughout the world, people live in densely-inhabited environments without the wasteful luxuries of capitalist excess, such as running water, electricity, and the products that the pharmaceutical industry has been raping us with. This inequality can only be addressed with relocations to shantytowns. We desperately need this Great Equalizer. And ideally, we will achieve true integration when entire families are integrated into the same apartments. Co-familial habitation is the solution to many problems, from elitist domination to energy conservation. Space is the imaginary province of the rich; they did nothing to deserve it, and it must therefore be returned to the people.

Yes, the fat stuffed-shirt corporate executive will wake up in the morning covered with the pus that oozed onto him from his syphilis-infected co-family's diseased orifices! That is democracy! Just try making money when you have to care for your tuberculosis!

Shantytowns: The vindication of the people against profits!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fuck You and Fuck Your Hummer

Ingenious! "Flip the bird" at Hummer drivers to disourage (and publicly chastise) them for their selfish lifestyles. It’s the Official Hummer Salute!

Tell a Hummer owner what you think and show 'em the bird. If you do, send us a picture--we'd love to post it on our site.

Hummers, and in particular H2s, are polluting poseur death machines that are operated by people whose wealth was made on the backs of the uninsured working poor. And womyn. And gays. Of course, you can make that claim about any motor vehicle, but the H2 is the biggest offender.

I of course do not own a car; I use public buses to get around. But that does not stop me from flipping the bird at H2s! Granted, so far I have only done this with parked H2s -- but as soon as I get the opportunity, I will stick my finger right in the face of the criminal polluters!

I hate the United States.

Rachel Corrie Memorialized by Nazis

Well, I wouldn’t make too much of Nazis memorializing Rachel Corrie. After all, who didn't admire her fight for the Palestinian people? And besides, you take your friends where you can find them.

(Say what you will about Nazis, but you can’t say “National Socialist” without the word “Socialist”!)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Airtight Case for Human Extinction

I am a member of The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Here is what we are all about:

Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense.

You see, people are the enemy of Earth. Our presence has polluted the planet, and our greed has robbed other species of the valuable resources that they desperately need to survive. And because the ecology of Earth’s biosphere is paramount, the death of all human beings, as a species, is the only possible solution. It is necessary, it is humane, and it is right. This is what biology tells us, it is what morality tells us, and it is what mathematics tells us. To do otherwise would be wrong.

Of course, some people have objections to this. Naturally, Christians are horrified by such a prospect, but their influence is basically irrelevant because after human extinction, there will be no Christians.

A more serious objection would be the thought of a planet without the descendants of Professor Peter Alan Kurgman, PhD, PhD, PhD. This is not to be taken lightly, for even in Earth’s natural pristine condition, its rightful inhabitants would certainly need some guidance; recall that science tells us that visionary academics are needed to produce outcomes of perfect equality – which is a necessary condition for all life forms.

But also remember that inequality is caused by the aggressive colonialist fascists of Amerika and the Zionist Entity, which would no longer be a concern after human extinction. (Yes, yes, I know all about the claims that the Zionists are not humans – but has this really been proven yet?)

And finally, we have the objection that voluntary human extinction would be too slow. I agree with this, and would support legislation for mandatory human extinction. After all, why should anyone have the right to produce resource-consuming children?

Regardless, how do we do accomplish this? To avoid the extinction program being racist, white people must go extinct first. Fortunately, this is already happening, so we will soon be ready for the second stage, which is universal gay sex. Of course, there will be some exemptions from gay sex for those people who sympathize with gays, but do not care to indulge in gay sex themselves. In the end, though, I would predict just a few more generations until The Earth will again be pure.

A Joke from the Mailbag

At first, I thought that the following was a genuine warning, and almost sued my doctor for not inoculating me. But then I realized that it was just a joke. And perhaps one of the most clever jokes I have ever come across, as it is replete with irony and satire, and yet can be enjoyed on so many levels.

Not that I want to spoil your fun, but look at the end of the joke, You see, it refers to a disease from a “bush” found in Texas. It took a little while, but I realized that this was a pun, a play on words, that uses humor to convey the dark threat posed by the genocidal lunatic in the White House.

Enjoy. I am still chuckling.

But I stopped chuckling when I remembered that there are too many people in Amerika without health insurance.

Please send copies of this joke to all of your relatives and everyone you know.


The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of Sexually Transmitted Disease. The disease is contracted through dangerous and high-risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim and pronounced "gonna re-elect him." Many victims contracted it in 2004, after having been screwed for the past four years.

Cognitive characteristics of individuals infected include: anti-social personality disorders, delusions of grandeur with messianic overtones, extreme cognitive dissonance, inability to incorporate new information, pronounced xenophobia and paranoia, inability to accept responsibility for own actions, cowardice masked by misplaced bravado, uncontrolled facial smirking, ignorance of geography and history, tendencies towards evangelical theocracy, categorical all-or-nothing behavior.

Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how this destructive disease originated only a few years ago from a bush found in Texas

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Slavery Reparations...NOW!

When I was but a gifted youth, my mother told me a story about how her grandmother erupted into an explosion of violent fury upon returning from the grocery store one day in 1911. My mother knew, from her grandmother's hoarse yelps and the infamous spittle dripping off her lips, that there was a serious problem. The truth was that she was cheated by the grocer. Upon checking her receipt, she realized that she was overcharged for some pork. (This was, obviously, long before my family boycotted the pork industry for their unwillingness to support necrophilia -- to say nothing of my vegan diet today.) Without money in her purse, they faced the prospect of no food, no health care, and no housing.

Fast forward to last week at the food coop, when I approached a cashier and demanded $5 in reparations in the name of my great grandmother. Yes, the legacy of supermarket duplicity has left its bitter mark on me, placing me at a societal disadvantage and forcing me to carry the burden of victimhood throughout my entire adult life.

Let's listen to the interchange at the food coop:

Me: I demand five dollars in reparations.

Cashier: Excuse me?

Me: How dare you question my claim to what is my right, you scummy ra
cist pig!

Cashier (Obviously feeling the pain of moral guilt): Let me get the manager.

Me (Shouting after the slave driving filth): You can't escape from your obligations, and the abuse that my people endured under your oppression!

Manager: Can I help you, Sir?

Me: Talk
is cheap from the class enemy; let's see some action. I demand reparations!

Manager: Sir, we would be happy to help you if you would explain yourself.

Me: Don't patronize me, white man! A grocer cheated my great grandmother in 1911, and now you owe me reparations!

Manager: Sir, we have nothing to do with that grocer.

Me: Is this food coop not a grocer? Maybe you can fool the common person, but now you are going up against three PhDs!

Manager: I'
m very sorry that your great grandmother suffered a misfortune in 1911, but you have to realize that we...

Me: I am not demanding reparations for myself, I am demanding justice for all the other victims of 1911 grocer theft! As an altruist, I am doing this
on their behalf! And as a scheming descendant of a corrupt industry, you are still profiting from the money that your industry stole from these people! An entire class of people! A class of people who require action! I demand justice, and I demand justice NOW! Do you understand, or (waving my cell phone in his face) do I call my lawyer now?

Manager (Handing over a $5 coupon): Sir, the food coop apologizes for what has happened. Please accept this coupon as a recognition of what we owe you.

Me: I'm not done with you yet, fascist! You haven't seen the last of me!

Now, multiply the above incident by several million, and you can see the challenge that faces us today. Millions of people of color (to say n
othing of womyn, gays, lesbians, veterans, Muslims, felons, physically challenged, developmentally delayed, emotionally unbalanced, the hungry, the poor, the cold, the warm, the tall, the short, the old, the young, the overweight, the underweight, the just right, etc., etc., etc.) have a claim on white men, and in particular, white men who are "successful"; i.e., those that have plundered the poor to get rich by way of capitalism.

The solution is two-fold. First, reparations must be made. Second, slavery must end.

In the court of morality, you are guilty of everything if any of your ancestors were guilty anything. And you are guilty of everything if you look like anyone whose ancestors might be guilty of something. And you are entitled to justice if you look like someone who might have had an ancestor wh
o was a victim. That, friends, is what objective law looks like.

And yes, those concepts are hard for the non-academic mind to grasp, so let's just say that the above criteria is the same as saying that white equals guilty. (Some racists might think that grandchildren of a black rapists should therefore also be held accountable for their ancestor's crimes. However, such thinking is racist in itself, and people with such offensive thoughts are especially lia
ble for making reparations payments.) And that's why we look to respected religious leaders and presidential candidates to show the way to a future of reparations.

But of course, reparations for past slavery will not suffice. We must end slavery today, right here in America. When I see segregation, I see slavery. When I see prisons containing People of Color, I see slavery. When I see any inequality whatsoever, I see slavery. Reparations, though vital, are merely short-term remedies. In the long run, inequality itself must be abolished. When no one is better off than anyone else, we'll finally be able to say that slavery is over. When our society is finally able to prevent anyone from "getting ahead", we'll have long last achieved social perfection.

For now, though, I need to return to the food coop.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Will I be in Michael Moore’s Next Movie?

Mr. Moore’s next movie, Sicko, will expose the health-care capitalists for what they are, and result in a major upheaval of the entire industry. To that end, Mr. Moore is now recruiting people to appear in his movie. These people will tell of their suffering at the hands of the medical fascists, with their stories illustrating what everyone already knows about our corrupt medical system. To determine who should appear in the film, Mr. Moore has invited the public to share their worst medical stories:

Send me a short, factual account of what has happened to you – and what IS happening to you right now if you have been unable to get the health care you need. Send it to I will read every single one of them (even if I can't respond to or help everyone, I will be able to bring to light a few of your stories).

Thank you, all of you, for your help and your continued support through the years. I promise you that with "Sicko" we will do our best to give you not only a great movie, but a chance to bring down this evil empire, once and for all.

And yes, I have medical war stories so compelling that Mr. Moore will certainly select me to appear, if not star, in Sicko.

I have sent a message to him, which I am reproducing below. When he responds, I will publish that, too.


Hello Mr. Moore:

My name is Professor Peter Alan Kurgman, and I hold three PhDs. I am also a tremendous fan of yours, having read all of your books and have seen all of your movies at least two times.

As you are a humble human being, I will not embarrass you with an excess of flattery, but I do feel compelled to tell you that as progressive force, you have no equal. Your vision, your honesty, your morality, and your caring spirit have already brought immense benefits to people everywhere. Although your many accomplishments are far too numerous to list, their impact has improved the lives of all. I tremble with utter fright at the thought of what our world would be without you.

And that is why I am so excited that your upcoming film, Sicko, will illustrate the horrors of our cruel so-called “health care” system. Just as Roger & Me brought justice to the American workplace, and just as Bush will be impeached because of Fahrenheit 911, I am convinced that Sicko will bring immeasurable improvements in people’s health. No doubt, the pre-release promotions alone will increase our life expectancies by six months.

Furthermore, as a professor and a scientist, I am gratified to see that your methodology for examining the health-care crisis is fair and unbiased. That is, since we already know the answer, it is just to ask everyone, regardless of their race, for their worst horror stories to support our claims.

And now, may I take you up on your invitation to share my health-care horror stories? I have some that will make you absolutely sick! (But don’t look for any cures in this corrupt country!)

A few years ago, I attended classes at The Yoga Institute of Marin County. After three months, however, they sent me an invoice. “Surely,” I chuckled, “This is an error. After all, yoga is a vital component of my health care, and should therefore be free.” I recycled the invoice, and two weeks later, I received another invoice. Enraged, I called them up and demanded to know why they were extorting money from me. I reasoned, I pleaded, and I wailed. I did not beg for myself, but instead it was for all the other yoga students who might have to pay for their services. How dare anyone charge them? This case is still in litigation.

And as if that is not shocking enough, here's another story:

At my last medical checkup, I had to wait in excess of three minutes to see my doctor. And then, she demanded a co-payment! Yes, yes, I know that I am among the lucky 5% of Americans that have health insurance – but what good is it if I have to pay anything at all? Let alone a $10 co-payment that goes straight to Bush’s genocide machine! I was livid, and called my attorney right then and there.

Meanwhile, I saw a family of poor Mexicans in the waiting room, with a small child who apparently had a life-threatening infection. How I was embarrassed that they left their warm Sun Country for abuse at the hands of American Nazi doctors! “Please,” I begged them, “Take your child elsewhere. You probably have no insurance at all, and the doctor will charge you for antibiotics!” As it happened, another patient told me that they had Medicaid benefits, so I then urged the family to boycott American doctors until we all have Medicaid to pay our bills. They did not understand English (and why should they need to?) so I called some grad students to hurry over for a last-minute sit-in to block the doctor’s office to everyone. This case is also in litigation. The child regrettably passed away, but every war has its heroes. You and I, Mr. Moore, are those heroes.

Can I be in your movie?


Professor Peter Alan Kurgman, PhD, PhD, PhD

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Prisoners are Released: Another Civil Rights Victory

Peeps, we are going to smash this filthy corporate state after all! As we are now pulverizing it in Portland OR, where the Multnomah County jail is releasing “convicted” “criminals” because of a lack of jail beds!

Welcome to The Resistance, gentlemen (and ladies) who were victimized, brutalized, and exploited by the fascists “in charge” and their pig police forces doing their thuggish dirty work for them. You have earned your freedom! And dammit, get yourselves some good public lawyers and fight for compensation from those evil bastards.

Releasing “criminals” has a rich tradition, from Fidel’s release of almost 1000 prisoners for the Mariel Boatlift in 1980 to Saddam Hussein’s releasing 9000 prisoners in 2002. Fidel, Saddam, and Portland OR – three amazing visions of civil rights.

Just look at the beautiful faces pictured above. Remember them, for they are our true models of people’s rights -- the very embodiment of honesty, intelligence, and compassion. They are human!

They fought for you, now you must fight for them.

French Students are Revolting

Among my fondest memories are the days I spent on the Left Bank of Paris, educating passersby on the merits of global socialism, while relaxing with a baguette, a cigarette (French cigarettes are healthy!) and le frommage du stinque. And in my ultimate dreams, I am joining with students in a spasm of violent resistance of draconian laws imposed by the fascists.

Last week, my dream arrived, though without my presence.

French police clashed with youths protesting a government jobs plan yesterday in an hours-long melee in the French capital that left nine officers injured, one hit in the face with a paving stone, officials said.

The students resist! The fascist police are attacked! The people struggle! How I weep with joy!

The law in question would permit employers to fire people within their first two years of employment. This is insane; why would any company give a job to someone who they can later fire? And why would anyone want to have a job without complete job security? Believe me, as a tenured professor, I can attest to the value of lifetime employment without interference from
the enemy classes. Lifetime employment with the freedom to realize your own career vision is not a luxury – it is a right! Keep resisting, my French brothers and sisters! You are the jewels of our Planet Earth; without France, we are nothing.

And so, over
the weekend, hundreds of thousands were protesting all across the great French nation to protest these vile laws.

Organisers estimated the turnout nationwide at 1.3 to 1.4 million, with up to 400,000 of them in Paris. As usual, the official count was lower -- the Interior Ministry reported 503,000 nationwide, with 80,000 in Paris.

The protesters demanded Villepin withdraw the "First Job Contract" or CPE, which lets firms fire workers under 26 without explanation in their first two years on the job. He launched it to spur wary employers to take on new staff.

But the unexpected then took place when…

Unexpected violence broke out in Lyon when a march of about 2,500 Turks protesting against a memorial to Armenian victims of a 1915 massacre in the then Ottoman Empire crossed paths with the anti-CPE demonstrations.

Struggle and resist, all of my French comrades! You are entitled to the riches that the capitalist class expropriated from you. And you are entitled to not be offended by a memorial to the alleged “genocide” victims of Armenia.

Friday, March 17, 2006

A Letter to a Young Man

There is a conversation on the People's Cube that involves a very misguided young man who yearns for help. I heard his cries, and helped by crafting a letter to him. The entire conversation is here, but if you only want to read the educational part (i.e., my thoughts), I have reproduced my letter below:


My name is Professor Peter Alan Kurgman, cousin of economist Paul Kurgman, and I have three Ph.Ds.

I have been reading your intelligent commentaries with great satisfaction because you could have been one of my own pupils. Of course, you were not really in my classes, as your MIT pedigree includes being educated by professors who, at most, have only one Ph.D. My educated guess (as though it would be possible for me to have any other type of guess!) is that you too have a Ph.D., because of your eloquent locution and incisive analyses.

And yet, you betray your innocent youth by asking questions that have long been answered by those with expertise; i.e., me. Specifically, in reference to the "burning towers", you ask, "Why did they do it?" Well, for starters,we really don't know if those "9/11" attacks actually happened. But if they did, they were caused by a combination of many complex factors:

1. A Mossad plan to frame Arabs.

2. Resistance against the "little Eichmanns" in the buildings.

3. Bush's secret plan to distract the nation from his corrupt oil deals, his stolen elections, his genocide in Iraq, his upcoming genocide in Iran, his goal of establishing a Christian theocracy, and his vice-president's cold-blooded shooting that I will never forget.

4. A divine plan to resolve nineteen personal inner struggles.

And then you ask another earnest, yet naive, question: "Could we find different ways of preventing this from happening?"

Of course we can. In fact, we (meaning our small collective of powerful academic minds) are responsible for the course of all human actions. You see, people are driven by deterministic components; i.e., they have no choice in how they behave. Our professorial input goes in and their personal behavior comes out.

If people succeed, it is because of our visions. If people fail, it is because we did not pursue our visions with enough vigor.

Therefore, with regard to "9/11", we did not pursue our visions hard enough. To be sure, the easy solutions would be to...

1. Abolish the Zionist entity.

2. Imprison the little Eichmanns and all other exploiting capitalists.

3. Impeach, and imprison, Bush.

4. Promote Islam.

But as theoreticians, we (that is, "I") look at the big picture, which is the total application of international scientific socialism in order to subjugate the capitalist class and finally bring true power and equality to the working people. Will you help us make it a reality?

Now, allow me to help you with some of your misguided comments.

Yes, you can wait for time and maturity to clear your thoughts, but it will be faster if I guide you. You may think of me as your Father of Knowledge. If you are a Christian (which I doubt, given your advanced level of education), then you may think of me as your new and better Jesus.

1. You defend Google. Are you not aware that Google is a private (Strike one!) profit-making (Strike two!) American (Strike three!) company? As we all know, the only path to profits is on the backs of the poor. How is it that you have not mentioned the unionization of all Google employees? For that matter, you claim to have worked at Microsoft, which is a non-union shop! Are you aware that your employment at Microsoft took a job away from a union employee? No, you are not aware of that. But, please, never accept employment at a non-union shop again.

2. Your aunt, by believing that "the enemies of the people existed and needed to be squashed" was a wise woman. Do you not empathize with that?

3. You place equal blame on both parties, and on liberals and conservatives. Were you my intellectual equal (which might happen someday!) I would challenge you to mention even one liberal ideal, one cause supported by Code Pink, or one goal of United for Peace and Justice, that is flawed in any way.

4. You say you agree with parts of "The Fountainhead". Please reread that book. I never even picked it up and I detest everything about it. Only through youthful indiscretion could you find anything even remotely positive about that vile volume of fascist trash.

5. You attended a school with Noam Chomsky on the faculty, and did not take one of his classes? I hope you never regret that.

6. You would consider joining the military? The military? First, you do not support unions, and now you would support the military? I spent my entire sophomore year camping outside the dean's office (without changing my clothing even once!) to resist the military, and you would support the military?

7. As a feminist, I take great offense at your mention of "sagging breasts". Do you really intend to diminish and objectify an entire gender like that? And I'll bet you like having sex with them, too! Why not? After all, what else are they good for! I suppose that you also feel that womyn come with "expiration dates"? And that they cannot be firepersons? That they cannot succeed in the NFL?

Yes, a person with less sympathy than yours truly could easily paint you as an exploitative, misogynistic, and militaristic fascist. But as your new Jesus, I forgive you.

Normally, when I hear offensive speech, I either call a boycott or call my lawyer. But in your case, I have sincere hope that you can and will be educated without legal action. You see, this is where I disagree with Mr. Red Square. He blames your education, but I do not. Clearly, you went to the wrong school and studied the wrong disciplines. Science and computers certainly have their place for those with shallow, numeric minds -- but you have the potential to continue beyond that, into the dimensions of feelings and expression.

Let your emotions guide you, and remember my helpfulness.

You are, after all, a person with unlimited potential.

Professor Peter Alan Kurgman, Ph.D., Ph.D, Ph.D.

"Keep your feet on the ground, and reach for the stars."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Three Die in Denny's Shooting; Sue Denny's, Boycott Denny's

From Reuters, a story about Wednesday's mass shooting at a California Denny's:

A man opened fire with a pair of handguns at a central California Denny's restaurant at lunchtime on Wednesday, killing two people and wounding two others before apparently taking his own life, police said.

First of all, I am glad to see that the Reuters headline mentions that three people died in the Denny's shooting, which means that they regarded the gunperson's suicide as being the third victim.

The next step, obviously, is to sue Denny's -- and to sue them hard, because they are incorrigible enemies of society. Specifically,

1. In 1993, six black secret service agents claimed that they waited too long for their food, and that white people were being served before them. To amend for this, Denny's settled a class-action suit for $54 Million in payments to four thousand other bias claims, adopted an affirmative-action program to remove all all racial elements from their business, hired 300 new minority managers, promised to spend $700 Million on African-American suppliers, and increased the use of minority professional firms. (In my opinion, they got off lightly.)

2. In 2000, the U.S. Department of Justice fined Denny's $89,400 (why so little?) and ordered them to retrain their managers after an 18-month investigation revealed that their San Diego restaurants "requested specific documents from newly hired non-citizen employees proving they were eligible to work in the United States."

3. In 1996, the U.S. Department of Justice, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, ordered Dennys's to pay one Andrew Freeman of Lumberton NC $1,000 (an insulting amount) for refusing to seat him and his dog in the restaurant section that he demanded. Denny's was also ordered to post signs in prominent areas of its restaurants that customers with service dogs are welcome in their restaurants, whether or not the owner has proof that the dog is in fact a "service animal".

4. Many other people have sued Denny's on racial grounds (further proving that Denny's is racist); e.g., the Arab-American Discrimination Committee sued them for $28 Million in 2005, and a group of Asian and African-American students sued them in 1997.

5. In 2002, one Russell L. Long sued Denny's for $1 Million because he claimed that there were maggots in his milk .

Had I been the judge in any of these cases, I would have gone a little further and make Denny's serve vegan-only meals. Or, at a minimum, tax 100% of their profits and imprison their executives.

But now, Denny's has gone too far, by enabling the murder of three people. Compensation must be made to the families of the dead, including, of course, the family of the gunperson. May I recommend confiscating the homes of Denny's stockholders? That should cover the financial needs of the victims, with perhaps enough left over for cost-of-living increases for the African-American plaintiffs of prior discrimination cases.

As soon as we bring justice to the victims of Wal-Mart, Denny's will be next. We have not forgotten. Boycott Denny’s.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

In Defiance of American Aggression, "9/11" Mom Hugs Moussaoui Mom

From CBS News:

The mother of Zacarias Moussaoui was tearfully embraced by the mother of a World Trade Center victim at a church gathering. Aicha el-Wafi appeared at the "welcoming gathering" on Sunday in White Plains, about 25 miles north of ground zero, before returning home to France. The event included peace workers, anti-death-penalty activists and mothers from Memorial United Methodist Church.

I want to hug Mr. Moussaoui, too, because I respect a man who has strong, yet compassionate, beliefs :

I pray to Allah for the return of Andalusia, Spain, to the Muslin and the liberation of Ceuta and Medilla. I pray to Allah for the return of India to the Muslims an to the liberation of Kashimir.

I pray to Allah, the severe punishment for the destruction of the Jewish people and states and for the liberation of Palestine by the Muslim, for the Muslim.

I pray to Allah, the protector, for the destruction of Russia and the return of the Islamic Emerates of Chechnia. I pray to Allah, the powerful, for the return of the Islamic Emerates of Afghanistan and the destruction of the United States of America.

Now, I say: "Innocent!"

And Zack's mom, Aicha el-Wafi (who, like other mom's of Bush's War, has absolute moral authority), explains that her son is like this because of racism and a broken home :

Maybe there are two factors that have paved this road: Racism in France. And because of racism he really wasn't able to do the studies he wanted; he was rejected by the system. And the lack of father can be another reason...

Ms. el-Wafi, you deserve an honorary doctorate at my university for those insights!

But the truth of the matter is that she knows her son, who is clearly incapable of causing harm to anyone, is just an American scapegoat:

...he has been turned into a scapegoat because it's as if America needs someone who is responsible.

So who can blame Connie Taylor, American mom from the United Methodist Church, for hugging Ms, el-Wafi?

More and more, I am almost respecting churches. First it was the Prebyterian Church boycotting Israel and the Church of England divesting from Israel, and now we see the Methodist mothers honoring the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui. Talk about complete absolute moral authority!

But who is this "mother of the World Trade Center victim"? Especially since there is plenty of evidence that "9/11" never even happened!

Then again, there are plenty of instances of reconciliation between victims and dubious aggressors. For example, my favoite Jew, Noam Chomsky, has made peace with Nazis. And, of course, David Berkowitz has forgiven himself.

But I digress! May I suggest that a more sincere expression of remorse would be for the "families of the victims" to convert to Islam? Or, better yet, perhaps the entire Presbyterian and Methodist churches should compel their members to convert to Islam.

Yes, yes, I know. Where does one draw the line between respect for Islam and hatred of religion? Well, we make compromises, such as my sponsoring of the university's "lesbians in burqas" no-touch dance last semester, and my protesting the death penalty except for blasphemy cases. Yes, it is difficult to be brilliant.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Musings on Other Cultures VIII: Cannibalism

From Papua New Guinea to the Donner Party to Jeffery Dahmer, cannibalism has been a popular cultural trait that few in our sick Western world have come to appreciate.

And, I am ashamed to say, even I am reticent to endorse cannibalism.

To be sure, cannibalism seems like a respectful activity. That is, if aboriginal people indulge in it, then there must be merit to it. But then, I put on my vegan hat, and I say, "Eating meat is wrong". Hence, a true dilemma ensues, which can only be resolved by a sharp and focused academic mind after many hours of self-reflection.

But I now hear you cry, "Professor Kurgman, cannibalism is only eating meat if you consider humans to be animals! And certainly, humans are beneath animals!"

I hear your cries. Humans are beneath animals. And that makes me ponder and ponder. And ponder and ponder and ponder and ponder and ponder and ponder and ponder. Can one be a vegan and enjoy eating human flesh? Or, in my case, can one be a freegan who eats the flesh of corpses decomposing in dumpsters? Does it matter if the corpse is male or female? (Remember, if it's female, there's a hideous sexist element that must be considered!)

The sphere of academic inquiry is mind-boggling: Can one eat the fecal matter of a male vegan corpse?

And yet, there is a solution. The government should manufacture human organs made of tofu (or vegan feces), and pay people of warm sun cultures to substitute human flesh with these tofu organs. We all win this way. The culture of cannibalism can thrive, veganism (and our government!) can spread, taxes will go up, and I will have yet another notch in my well-worn "helping humanity" cap.

I must go at once to the food coop to demand that they stock these products! (And perhaps I can volunteer to produce some!)

Monday, March 13, 2006

NY Times: A Sensitive Portrayal of An Imam in America

Last week, The New York Times had a series of articles about the hardships faced by "An Imam in America". And yes, I wept when I read about how this man, Sheik Reda Shata, the imam of Brooklyn's Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, has suffered at the hands of our cruel and insensitive society. In poetic prose, we learn that

The imam begins his trek before dawn, his long robe billowing like a ghost through empty streets. In this dark, quiet hour, his thoughts sometimes drift back to the Egyptian farming village where he was born.

Most tragically, however, the imam and his fellow immigrants from The Middle East have arrived in a country that deeply offends them:

In the West, what Islamic law prohibits is everywhere. Alcohol fills chocolates. Women jog in sports bras. For many Muslims in America, life is a daily clash between Islamic mores and material temptation. At the center of this clash stands the imam.

To me, this is akin to slavery. How else can one describe the situation where people come to live in a country whose culture offends them?

The solution, clearly, is for America to accommodate the purity of our cultural superiors.

And to that end, the NYPD has undertaken cultural sensitivity seminars, as shown below:

Yes, imam Sheik Reda Shata, who instructs the police, is an expert in cultural sensitivity – as illustrated in these quotes from the article:

The imam exalted a young Palestinian mother, Reem Al-Reyashi, who blew herself up in 2004 at a crossing point between Gaza and Israel, killing four Israelis. Mr. Shata described the woman as a martyr.


When Sheik Ahmed Yassin the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, was killed by Israelis in March 2004, Mr. Shata told hundreds who gathered at a memorial service in Brooklyn that the "lion of Palestine has been martyred."

I have three questions, though:
  1. Why did The Times bury these quotes in the middle of the article? To highlight the imam's cultural superiority, I would have placed these sentiments at the start of the article -- along with a picture of how those who disrespect diversity (like the war-mongering citizenry of the imperialistic apartheid Zionist entity) are educated by courageous martyrs.
  2. Brooklyn's Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, which Sheik Reda Shata presides over, was where Rashid Baz worshipped before he opened fire on a van full of Jews on the Brooklyn Bridge, murdering two of them. Why didn’t the New York Times highlight the struggle of Mr. Baz, and how he single-handedly resisted Zionist aggression in America?
  3. Why did The Times forget to mention that the imam’s “Lion of Palestine” and his Hamas organization’s primary function is to kill Jews? For sure, that would underscore the imam’s sensitivity!

In short, I agree (as I always do) with the enlightened people who send letters to The Times.

Your articles about the imam of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, were magnificent. Humane, sympathetic, objective, informative.


The series has given a human face to Muslims and Islam in America, thus correcting a lot of misperceptions and diminishing many people's fear of Islam and Muslims.

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