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There’s a stupid fucking idea going around that goes like this: Everything was swell and peaceful in the Middle East until those nasty Christian Crusaders rode in and started hacking the sweet lovable locals to pieces. That’s wrong. Borderline retarded. Why? First of all, history did not magically start with the Crusades, and people before […] The post History with Swear Words – Part 37 – The Fucking Crusades appeared first on McClure's...
There’s a stupid fucking idea going around that goes like this: Everything was swell and peaceful in the Middle East until those nasty Christian Crusaders rode in and started hacking the sweet lovable locals to pieces.
That’s wrong. Borderline retarded. Why?
First of all, history did not magically start with the Crusades, and people before that weren’t just sitting around the campfire singing fucking songs.
Thousands of years before either Christianity or Islam existed, people were fighting over the place. Egyptians, Canaanites, HIttites, Persians, Jews, everyone.
Eventually, Rome kicked everyone’s ass and took over. And right around the Roman takeover something relevant to the ‘crusade’ myth happened. There was a guy called Jesus who walked around doing magical shit. I mean, you can’t have a Christian crusade without a Christ, and here he was, Jesus Christ Superstar. Anyways, the Romans didn’t like his show, so they nailed him to a cross for doing magic without a license (or something like that).
The Romans had bigger problems back in Rome with a bunch of barbarians, so while they weren’t looking the sneaky Palmyrans took over in the Middle East.
After a super-barbarian by the name of Constantine took over Rome, he decided he wanted the Middle East back too. A dream told him he’d win if he painted crosses on his troops, so he converted to Christianity, beat up the Palmyrans, and retook Syria and Israel.
It was at this moment that the West became Christian. Constantine told all the useless fucking bureaucrats around the Roman Empire that if they wanted to keep their jobs, they had to convert to Christianity too. Presto-chango, out with Zeus in with Jesus.
He didn’t trust the douchebags back in Rome, so he built a New Rome, a new capital city for the eastern part of the empire, the first city founded by Christianity: Constantinople.
Constantine really wanted everyone else to convert to Christianity. He was kind of a dick about it actually and the current residents of the ‘Holy Land’ weren’t all that interested. The Jews in particular did not want to convert, they said, “Son of God my ass, that Jesus kid used to throw rocks at my goat.”
But what about the Muslims? What did they have to say about it? NOTHING. There was no such thing as Muslim at the time. Mohammed wouldn’t be born for another 300 years.
THE MIDDLE EAST WAS RULED BY CHRISTIANITY BEFORE ISLAM EXISTED.
Christianity continued to spread throughout the Middle East for the next 300 years, with major religious centers at Jerusalem, Antioch in Syria, Alexandria in Egypt, Constantinople in Turkey, and finally Rome. Four of the five Holy Christian Cities were in the Middle East.
Not everyone was happy about this. It was mostly bad news for Jews. And the Arabs weren’t impressed with being told to obey the magic books of the Christians and Jews, so some Arab guy wrote his own magic book. And surprise surprise, his magical book said that he ought to be in charge and that anyone who disagreed was an asshole.
People liked his book. It became a bestseller. So what happened next? Did the newly founded ‘religion of peace’ spread love and tolerance throughout the region? No.
In 634 Muslims conquered the Christian city of Antioch
In 635 they took Damascus
In 638 they starved Jerusalem into submission
In 639 they conquered Cairo
In 641 they took over the Christian city of Alexandria
By 644 they controlled all Egypt
And they did not stop. They kept on capturing territory and subjugating infidels. Syria, Persia, Libya, Morocco, and on and on until the Islamic Caliphate was twice the size of the Roman Empire at its peak
So the idea that the Middle East was a peaceful place until Christian crusaders invaded the place is absurd. The exact opposite of reality.
The Christians were already there, along with the Jews and others for hundreds of years. Whatever sins the Christians and Jews may have been guilty of before that were NOT against Muslims, because there were no Muslims.
But after the founding of Islam, the Muslim conquest went on for 400 years before the First Crusade. FOUR-HUNDRED FUCKING YEARS before the Christians got tired of turning the other cheek. The First Crusade re-captured the holy cities of Antioch and Jerusalem, set up a Kingdom of Jerusalem, and mostly went home.
Were they mean and nasty in retaking those cities? Yes, of course. Everyone in every act of war is mean and nasty. Being mean and nasty was not unique to the Crusades. Saying someone was mean and nasty in a war says nothing.
And besides, what did the Muslims do? Did they sit around the campfire crying about how mean and nasty those darn Crusaders were? No. They went right back to being mean and nasty themselves as they took those cities back and tried to conquer Europe.
They ruled over Spain for 700 years, only being ejected in 1492. They failed to take France, but they captured Constantinople in 1453, the first city founded on Christianity, and still hold it today. They call it Istanbul now, and Christian prayer is forbidden at what was the largest Christian cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years.
And still they did not stop.
By 1529 they were at the gates of Vienna, and again in 1629. And there, finally, the Islamic military conquest was stopped. For hundreds of years, hundreds of thousands of Muslim soldiers were deployed to attack and subjugate formerly Christian lands, well into Europe.
While the crusades were a handful of brief military excursions waged not to conquer new territory, but to retake what had been lost. And though they had brief successes, they all eventually failed.
So were the Crusades the origin of the conflict in the Middle East?
Are the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East all the fault of those nasty Crusaders?
The post History with Swear Words – Part 37 – The Fucking Crusades appeared first on McClure's Magazine.
Whether you’re just visiting San Francisco tourist attractions and activities or a long time resident seeking a relaxation escape, make sure to schedule a treatment (or two) at a local Thai Massage spa. Here’s our top 10… 1. Suchada Thai Massage Embarcadero The new flagship location of San Francisco’s original Thai Massage provider, Suchada was […] The post San Francisco Best Thai Massage Spas appeared first on McClure's...
Whether you’re just visiting San Francisco tourist attractions and activities or a long time resident seeking a relaxation escape, make sure to schedule a treatment (or two) at a local Thai Massage spa. Here’s our top 10…
The new flagship location of San Francisco’s original Thai Massage provider, Suchada was named for the founder’s mother, and the spa retains a cozy family feeling, despite its phenomenal success. Most importantly, Suchada boasts the most certified therapists with training from the Bodhi Panya Institute.
38 Bryant Street, San Francisco, 94105
Call for an Appointment: (415) 644 0808
The first and original Suchada Thai Massage in San Francisco. Because this location offers a special “couples escape” massage that combines Traditional Thai massage, Thai Herbal Massage, Aroma Oil Massage, and includes a body scrub, shower, and sauna, for 2 hours of pure bliss and togetherness. Make it a massage date.
2 Division St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Call for an Appointment: (415) 644 0808
Palenee is located in a beautiful decorated Victorian style building, Palinee Thai Spa is a small scale massage studio with a group of native Thai massage therapists trained in traditional healing techniques. Their passion is to see all their clients live free of pain. Sporadic opening hours. Often closed for summer.
1618 Union St., San Francisco, Ca 94123
From the moment you enter Pure Organic Spa, everything you feel and touch is pure and gentle. A secluded and private spa offers luxurious comfort and relaxation in a warm, sensuous, soothing environment to help you reach your destination feeling completely renewed, refreshed and rejuvenated.
518 Sutter Street. 3rd Floor, San Francisco
“Superb authentic Thai massage in a peaceful environment. Request for lower back therapy was performed professionally to perfection with long slow sustained stretches. At some point it was almost painful, but the release thereafter was well worth it. Great relief!! This is such a great modality – almost assisted yoga when we feel a bit lazy. What a treat.”
3699 17th Street, San Francisco 94114
Call: (415) 578-9700
6. 4D Bliss
A private practice by David “Dalayan” Clark. Through 4d Bliss he offers luxurious bodywork treatments and holistic healing modalities including Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Massage, Swedish Massage, Traditional Thai Massage, Yoga Therapy, Nutritional Supplementation and Wellness Consulting. David is a certified Yoga Instructor of “Deep Yoga.”
4200 18th Street San Francisco, CA 94114
7. Marina Thai Massage
Ranked #40 by Trip Advisor, we feel that Marina Thai Massage is actually far underrated for the level of comfort and service provided by a small independent massage spa in the Marina district it really is hard to match without traveling across town.
3288 Steiner St. Suite 100
A visit to Royal Thai Spa can be a hit-or-miss affair. When it’s good it’s among the very best, but when its not, it’s not. Although the prices are a bit higher than other spas, if the location is convenient then its well worth rolling the dice for a visit.
685 N Point St. San Francisco
Located in the Outer Richmond, Balance provides a convenient place to relax and unwind for city commuters. Massage can be a voyage of self – discovery, revealing how it feels to be more relaxed and in tune with ourselves, to experience the pleasure of a body that can breathe, stand and move freely.
5754 Geary Blvd. San Francisco
10. Essence Thai Spa
With a friendly and highly experienced staff. Essence uses healing therapies and traditional Thai style techniques that soothe away the stress. They specialize in Thai massage, holistic body massage, foot reflexology, deep tissue massage, therapeutic massage, Swedish massage and body scrubs.
505 Beach St. Suite 131, San Francisco 94133
I Am Sub-Human I know, I know, you’ve suspected all along. Well I’m here to confirm it. I am not entirely human. I am part something else. Part Neanderthal. Until very recently, the scientific consensus had been that Neanderthals went extinct 30,000 years ago. But recent DNA testing has proven the vast majority of Europeans […] The post Neanderthal Lives Matter appeared first on McClure's...
I Am Sub-Human I know, I know, you’ve suspected all along. Well I’m here to confirm it. I am not entirely human. I am part something else. Part Neanderthal.
Until very recently, the scientific consensus had been that Neanderthals went extinct 30,000 years ago. But recent DNA testing has proven the vast majority of Europeans and Asians have from 1% to 2% percent Neanderthal DNA.
Our ancient ancestors interbred, enough so that traces of that cross-breeding remain with us today. From hair color, disease resistance, psychology, skin pigmentation and more, a little bit of Neanderthal goes a long way. Tens of thousands of years.
The Neanderthals are not extinct. We are them. If only a little bit.
The Denisovans were another proto-human species, and traces of their ancient DNA have been found in East Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Australian Aborigines. So people from that region have a tri-species background: Homo sapiens, Neanderthal, and Denisovan.
These are momentous discoveries. That call into question many standing theories of how we came to be who we are. Especially considering the number of other proto-human species such as Homo Habilus in Tanzania, Homo Floresiensis in Indonesia, Homo Erectus throughout Asia, and many more.
So far no DNA connection has been found to these other proto-humans, but we ought not be surprised if and when they are. Something that is surprising about the DNA connection to Neanderthals and Denisovans, is how little controversy has arisen. It’s been reported dispassionately in TIME, National Geographic, NPR, CNN, FOX, and numerous science publications.
I think that’s great. Science ought to be seeking the truth for the truth’s sake, and neither emotion nor politics ought to be involved. But it’s only a matter of time.
For with these discoveries, the story of human evolution has also changed irrevocably. Instead of a single species (homo-sapiens) migrating out of Africa and then evolving to local conditions throughout the world – it now appears that significant parts of modern human-diversity were due to ‘cross-breeding’ with other proto-human species that had already adapted to local conditions.
It raises a politically incorrect question that no one dares ask, “Are the human groups we see today and differences between them result, at least in part, from different species?”
Current DNA evidence leans towards, “Yes.”
In a politically fortunate turn of events, those of direct African descent can currently claim to be “pure” homo-sapiens, 100% human being. And I suspect this has something to do with the lack of controversy.
I mean, could you imagine the reaction if it had been found that only Africans were part Neanderthal and everyone else were “pure” human? The scientists would have been accused of being racist, lost their jobs, and the story buried somewhere beneath the scientists careers.
Or I could be mistaken. Perhaps we have “evolved” enough to treat the science as just the science. But I doubt it. The preponderance of evidence shows otherwise, and it’s only a matter of time before this ancient DNA research blows up into some sort of fiasco.
As for me. Well, I’m part Neanderthal. So what? Big deal. It’s interesting but doesn’t affect me in any big way. Oh sure, it might make me more susceptible to Type-2 diabetes, sunburn, or depression, but I can deal with that.
Neanderthal DNA or no neanderthal DNA, life goes on and so do I.
To celebrate my newfound diversity I decided to meet a friend down at Starbucks. While I was waiting, one of the staff told me I had to order something or he’d have to ask me to leave. I said, “What are you some sort of Neanderthalist?”
“Sir, please calm down, it’s store policy for everyone…”
“Neanderphobe! Discrimination! I demand justice, a free latte, and mandatory sensitivity training. Neanderthal Lives Matter!”
“Nothing I say is provocative. They are just facts.” — Morrissey The Smiths front man Morrissey finds himself increasingly in trouble with the press, but if his reaction is any indication, he doesn’t give a damn. At his peak in the 1980’s he famously asked, “How Soon is Now?” Well, now is now. And the […] The post Bigmouth Strikes Again appeared first on McClure's...
“Nothing I say is provocative. They are just facts.” — Morrissey
The Smiths front man Morrissey finds himself increasingly in trouble with the press, but if his reaction is any indication, he doesn’t give a damn. At his peak in the 1980’s he famously asked, “How Soon is Now?”
Well, now is now. And the rebellious 80’s have given way to the sensitive 10’s, where everyone is offended by everything 24/7. And Morrissey’s words are finding no shortage of people to offend.
He recently said, “London is debased. The Mayor of London tells us about ”Neighborhood policin ” – what is ‘policin’? He tells us London is an ”amazin ” city. What is ‘amazin’? This is the Mayor of London! And he cannot talk properly! I saw an interview where he was discussing mental health, and he repeatedly said ”men’el ” … he could not say the words ‘mental health’. The Mayor of London! Civilization is over!”
The pop star added that London police were incapable of properly responding to the recent surge in stabbings and acid attacks because to admit there was a problem would re-affirm uncomfortable realities.
“London is second only to Bangladesh for acid attacks. All of the attacks are non-white, and so they cannot be truthfully addressed by the British government or the Police or the BBC because of political correctness. What this means is that the perpetrator is considered to be as much of a victim as the actual victim. We live in the Age of Atrocity.”
For his critical words regarding the use of his native language and violence perpetrated by immigrants to his native land, Morrissey was called “racist.”
To which he replied, “But of course, we are all called racist now, and the word is actually meaningless. It’s just a way of changing the subject. When someone calls you racist, what they are saying is “hmm, you actually have a point, and I don’t know how to answer it, so perhaps if I distract you by calling you a bigot we’ll both forget how enlightened your comment was.”
After he was smeared again as a bigot for approving of a man waving a Union Jack flag at one of his performances. Morrissey spoke out on Brexit:
“Brexit did not happen. The EU wouldn’t allow it to happen. It is now a dead issue,” he said. “The people said Leave but the EU said no. People wanted to leave the EU because of the complete erosion of freedom under EU rules. And the fair-minded majority now see in even more frightening ways how very much they are hated by the EU, not to mention the British political elite.”
Now Morrissey says he won’t talk to mainstream media anymore because all they do is try to misrepresent him. But Morrissey has no problem representing himself when he slammed current politicians in the UK from his own website:
“The Conservatives conserve nothing in modern Britain. In fact, they are the prime destructors of British heritage. Labour are no different from the Conservatives in that they do not object to grooming gangs, halal slaughter, child marriage, and so on.”
Emphasizing that both parties support halal slaughter, where animals are tortured and bled to death in line with Islamic beliefs, Morrissey said, “Halal slaughter requires certification that can only be given by supporters of ISIS, and yet in England we have halal meat served in hospitals and schools. UK law is pointless!”
For his outspokenness continues to be attacked. In his ongoing feud with The Independent newspaper, he asked, “What are they independent from? Truth? Shame?” In a way, Morrissey foresaw his relationship with the press 30 years ago in the lyrics to one of his biggest hits, Bigmouth Strikes Again…
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt
Now I know how Joan of Arc felt
As the flames rose, to her Roman nose
And her Walkman started to melt
Morrissey was a man of his times, but update the technology and the song still rings true. If as Churchill once put it, “We owe London to Rome,” then the flames are rising ever faster, as civilization melts around Morrissey’s iPhone.
Imagine you are on a soccer team. The opposing team plays ‘normally,’ but your team does not. Some members of your team have decided they will pass the ball to ‘anyone’ and shoot at any goal. In order to be more “fair” they will not discriminate between your team and the other team. Which team […] The post In-Group Preference & the Game appeared first on McClure's...
Imagine you are on a soccer team. The opposing team plays ‘normally,’ but your team does not.
Some members of your team have decided they will pass the ball to ‘anyone’ and shoot at any goal. In order to be more “fair” they will not discriminate between your team and the other team.
Which team will win the game?
Of course the other team will win. It doesn’t matter how hard you play if half your team is indifferent, or even hostile to your success.
What is it the other team has that your team lacks?
They prefer their own to all others. It isn’t because they hate your team, nor because they believe themselves superior or inferior, but simply because they prefer their own.
Preference is an act of love, not hate.
What is true of a soccer team is also true in nature. Zebras prefer zebras, gazelles prefer gazelles, and monkeys of one troop prefer their troop to all others. To deny in-group preference is to deny nature.
And since science is the study of nature, denying in-group preference is also to deny science.
Don’t be a science denier.
If you have a child, you prefer your child to all others. This is not only good, but necessary and natural. Humanity as a species would never have survived without in-group preference. If babies were left to fend for themselves, if families and tribes dispersed to go it alone, our kind would have perished long ago. Just an evolutionary accident that made a good snack for lions and tigers.
What is true for species is also true for civilizations, countries, and cultures. In recent decades, much effort has been spent in the Western world to cultivate hatred for the Western world by Westerners themselves. To remove in-group preference.
It’s working all too well. In fact, to despise and seek to destroy one’s own culture is now considered an “education.”
Nowhere else is this true. Not in Asia, not in Africa, not in the Middle East, not in Latin America, not in Eastern Europe, nor even the North Pole.
Only the West.
If one team, or many teams, have in-group preference, while another doesn’t. The one that doesn’t will lose. In evolutionary terms that means extinction.
I didn’t choose the game. I didn’t make the rules. I don’t even want to play. But like it or not, the game is being played.
I won’t be a spectator.
Mr. Prigozhin sold hot dogs. It was the early 90s, the Soviet Union had just collapsed, and Prigozhin needed to make a buck. So he set up a hot dog stand in St. Petersburg. Soon, Prigozhin was able to open a restaurant, where he served cheap food for high prices, and attracted local celebrities and […] The post Hot Dogs and Sock Puppets appeared first on McClure's...
Mr. Prigozhin sold hot dogs. It was the early 90s, the Soviet Union had just collapsed, and Prigozhin needed to make a buck.
So he set up a hot dog stand in St. Petersburg. Soon, Prigozhin was able to open a restaurant, where he served cheap food for high prices, and attracted local celebrities and politicians.
Prigozhin made good contacts.
A few years later, Prigozhin, moved to Moscow and used his contacts to get into the business of catering lunches to schools and the military. The money was good, but people hated his food. Children wouldn’t eat it, complaining that it smelled rotten. Parents complained.
As bad publicity mounted, Mr. Prigozhin had an idea. He hired people to flood the internet with comments praising the food and dismissing the parents’ protests.
“In five minutes, pages were drowning in comments,” said Andrei Ilin, whose runs a discussion board about public schools. “And all the trolls were supporting Prigozhin.”
The trick worked beyond expectations.
So Prigozhin started a new business. He hired low paid temps to post on message boards and social networks for whatever his customers wanted. Have a bad online reputation? Prigozhin can help. His company will flood the net with positive remarks about you. Your bad reputation replaced by a good one.
To get the best results, Prigozhin’s temps created multiple personalities. Better to have 50 different people vouch for a product, than one person vouch 50 times. The Internet doesn’t care if they are real people or phony.
This virtual crowd of “sock puppets” can then be used to push personalities, products, or political opinions.
There is nothing new about this. Every Western public relations company offers a similar service, and they do so for big bucks. Mr. Prigozhin decided he wanted some of those big bucks too.
So he got together with his Moscow contacts to form a company, and then sent staff to the USA to make friends, take pictures, and learn to communicate in an ‘American’ way.
These staffers, then created multiple ‘American’ sock puppet personas, and set about attracting online reputation and connections. Prigozhin planned to enter the U.S. Market with a cost advantage, since his managers were paid as little as $1200 per month, and the sock puppets much less.
No U.S. company could compete, and so, they would hire Prigozhin. But first he had to have the influence. A big enough list of followers to sell.
The 2016 U.S. Election was an excellent opportunity to acquire followers and influence. And so the sock puppets went to work. Political affinity was not important. The sole point was to gain as many followers as possible who could be segmented along social-political lines and then marketed to the companies customers.
The sock puppets made Facebook groups, websites, shared mainstream news, and sent friend requests. Some posted pro-Hillary slogans, some anti-Hillary stuff, some were pro-Trump, some anti-everyone, some urged not to vote, others to vote for third party candidates. Some were anti-Islam while others pro-Islam. They promoted “Lock Her Up” and “Not My President,” rallies. Even AFTER the election was over.
They did whatever it took, to get clicks, likes, and followers, and they succeeded.
People visited their sites and pages. Some ‘liked’ their puppy pictures or the rant for or against LGBT and further spread them. Some click the Google ads. Although each page was a small effort for a small revenue, the scheme was highly scaleable. Money then flowed into Prigozhin’s pocket.
Just one problem.
Prigozhin’s pocket was still in Moscow, and U.S. sanctions on Russia made it difficult for Prigozhin to get the money. Mr. Prigozhin didn’t like that. And so a new plan began.
Prigozhin’s IT guys would find (hack) the names, social security numbers, and birthdates, of real U.S. citizens, open PayPal accounts using their identities, and the money could then be transferred from there to Moscow. The person who’s data was used to create the account would never learn of it and would have no loss or other damage.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, something did go wrong. Donald Trump won the election. And all of a sudden there was a whole lot of interest in “Russian Meddling.” Robert Mueller and the FBI were put on the case and indictments against 13 Russians have been made.
And who are these 13 Russians?
They are Prigozhin’s internet sock puppets and fake PayPal account makers. That’s what this whole supposed scandal is about. An ex-hot dog salesman trying to make a buck in the PR industry.
This is the supposed “threat to democracy.” But no one will tell you this.
• The Democrats want to shift the blame.
• The Republicans want to expand the state power.
• Warmongers want to maintain hostility with Russia.
• Big oil wants to stop Russian pipelines.
• The Israel lobby wants to weaken Russian influence in the Middle East.
• And CNN loves the ratings.
In short, everyone’s got a hot-dog to sell.
When Yevgeni Prigozhin, the hot dog caterer who allegedly owns the internet promotion business, was asked about the indictment he responded:
“The Americans are really impressionable people, they see what they want to see… If they want to see the devil, let them see him.”
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