The Hungry Angry show was a podcast we did for this site in 2012 and 2013 we have been updating our hosting and recovering the podcasts.
I am going to posit a very radical idea. I want all people of color in this country to think about this. For most people of color this is true… You aren’t black, red, yellow, or even white… you are mixed race. The only reason you are seen as a color is that there are people in this country, people with a political agenda, on the Right and on the Left whose continued power depends on you divorcing yourself from part of your racial identity and focusing on one small aspect of your genetic heritage. You should divorce yourself from that kind
Be a mosaic of color, not a uniform in service to racism.
This is probably the biggest problem in America. There is no such thing as a “Black” person at least not in the American sense of the word.
Not 1 in 10,000 blacks in the United States is 100% African, probably not 1 in 100,000.
“Black” is about as much a valid racial category as “Hispanic” virtually all people are mixed race. The same goes for “white”, “red”, even “yellow”. We are not colors. We are not uni-racial. If you have had ancestors on this continent for more than a hundred years the chance you are not multi-racial is almost zero. The chance that you have immediate family members that are not multi-racial is zero. They may not know it or acknowledge it, but the truth doesn’t always comport to what someone feels. We are a multi-racial country. The idea of race needs to end if we are to become a great nation and
If there is no race, does culture divide us as people?
Is there a real unified “American” culture? Total nonsense. It is the same as saying “Western”, “White”, or “Black” culture. All these categories are cobbled together stereotypes.
Are you a Stereotype?
Culture is defined as, “The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.”
Culture is a divider of people and used simply to categorize and make uniform what really is a nation made up of individuals each with their own unique ideas. Like race, culture gives power to the powerful by limiting the ability of everyday people to embrace each other. It is a specialized form of tribalism.
I can say definitively that my culture is not the same
All this talk of race and culture is used to fracture our society into warring camps. Who benefits when people are taught to hate each other? Who benefits when both sides of the political spectrum are doing it?
First, we need to define some terms used in this discussion.
1. Working Class- Those people who do the actual labor in society, who pay taxes and purchase good and services rather than
2. Ownership Class- Those people who own the means of production or provide services to the working class and the poor. Factory owners, restaurant owners, landlords, etc (there is some overlap with the Working class at the low end of the scale).
3. The Poor- Those people who do no productive work in society and rely solely on handouts from government or private organizations.
4. The Working Poor- Those people who do the actual physical labor in society, who pay taxes, and purchase goods and services, but who also receive direct benefits from the government in one form or another that match or exceed their tax burden.
5. The Political Class- Those people who work for and are paid by government and lobbying organizations.
6. Corporate Ownership Class- Those people who control entire segments of the economy or have so few competitors that they can dictate fully the price of goods and services from that segment of the economy.
7. Corporatism (Crony Capitalism)- The marriage of business and government in which the ownership class and the political class work together to freeze out
8. Corporate Unionization- A compact of business owners who come together to fix prices and set market values based on their interests rather than actual market principles.
Next, we need to establish who pays taxes and who doesn’t
Taxes do nothing but harm the working class and the working poor. Unless you are willing to take everything the rich have and distribute it to the poor (which won’t work for reasons we can explore later) raising taxes does nothing but hurt the middle class and working poor. All taxes….I’ll say that again “All Taxes” are paid by the Working (middle) class and working poor, The higher you tax the Ownership class the more they increase the price of goods and services they provide to the classes below them. It is a game the government can’t win unless it is willing to acknowledge that all tax revenue eventually comes from those who work not those who own the means of production even if the government owns the means of production. Anything the government does the ownership class has a way of avoiding and passing the costs to others. This is a basic tenant of capitalism. If the cost of business increases, business increases the cost of goods and services to match. In our current society, this is exacerbated by Corporatism.
Corporatism allows large companies to lobby or even purchase outright government rules and regulations that harm or even destroy smaller businesses and increase the economic and political power of the Corporate Ownership Class. In a vibrant economy, small and large business would compete on a level playing field to provide goods and services to people in general. In that system, taxation would harm the working and working poor classless because a multitude of businesses would be competing to provide goods and services at a lower cost. This means that they may eat the cost of taxation in order to curry more business. In a Corporatist society, the corporate ownership class fully dictates costs and may realize a profit at the expense of the consumer thus allowing them to raise prices to avoid the cost of taxation. What is the solution? How can we help the working class and the working poor without destroying the market-driven society?
The solution is simple…strict avoidance of monopoly coupled with low taxation. Any monopoly is bad for the consumer. Monopoly leads to price gouging, wage stagnation, and tax affected economic downturns. High taxation leads to Corporate Unionization in which businesses come together to price fix. The breaking up of monopoly and lowering of the tax burden on all sectors of the economy leads to several positive outcomes for the working class and working poor. When competition is spread out it is less entrenched politically and economically. There is room for mobility out of the working class and into the small business ownership arena.
Direct handouts and social welfare do not work to address the issues of poverty. Poverty can only be alleviated by addressing the root socio-political causes. It is not because I am not concerned with the general welfare that my articles up until now have not addressed poverty. A fair and equitable society cannot be created or maintained that allows a large portion of the population to live without the basic necessities of life. In the last article I directly point out that all taxation comes from the working class and the working poor. Therefore any and all money used for social welfare programs comes directly or indirectly from these two sources. A society can’t fund social welfare off the backs of the very people who need those programs, especially if that sector of the economy is shrinking. Only in a society in which the working poor are moving steadily forward into the working class can social welfare be paid for by farming the working class. This is the fallacy of socialism and the social welfare state. Both of these types of states discourage social mobility into the ranks of the non-government supplemented worker. In fact both socialism and the social welfare state encourage the use of social programs as a means of gaining a political quid pro quo, in which workers reward politicians with votes purchased with social programs. If you are to have a state in which social welfare works you have to have a state which generates money in a way that doesn’t rely on the middle class as tax farms or a state in which the working poor are not “poor” and as such not in need of extensive welfare programs. You can’t raise people out of poverty by taxing them, neither can you raise them out of poverty by increasing the cost of living. Solutions are not easy. If they were easy the crop of mental midgets that occupy Washington would already have grasped the solution.
Poverty is cultural. It is both a top down and a bottom up cultural problem. People at the top are not willing to give up their positions of power (and yes this is about power not money) and people at the bottom are not willing to change their cultural and social attitudes that keep them poor.
To address the problems of poverty it must be done from a cultural viewpoint not as a problem of economics. Underlying social problems must be front and center in the fight against poverty, then maybe handing out money to the poor might actually work. In the past when this approach has been suggested it is always with an eye towards changing the culture of the poor. While work is needed in that direction, the real culprit in continuing poverty are the political elite. It is also not a problem of money or the lack of money that exacerbates this social ill. The root of poverty is power. People in power are tasked with alleviating social ills while at the same time their hold on power is predicated on their ability to motivate the people below them to vote in their favor. It is much easier to control people if you hold the power of the purse and it is much easier to do that with the poor than rich or even middle class. So it is in the vested interest of the elite to dole out money in such a way that it does not actually fix problems of poverty, but to hand out money and make noise in ways that are emotionally satisfying to the poor while not making real progress towards social ills. This is where the fundamental problem resides.
Effectivism is a political philosophy that stresses effects over causes. We all want the Star Trek future, but to get there we must rethink and remold our biases. We can’t continue down the same right/left paths and expect to get to new places. If you want this Star Trek type future we can’t get there through coercion and we can’t get there through hating each other. People must come together and be willing to work together towards a common goal even if they don’t like how the other side thinks. That cannot happen if we are at each other’s throats. Left and Right must find a way forward that satisfies the emotional and physical needs of both.
Let us agree to…
DO NO HARM
Each in our own way.
Axioms of Effectivism
There are certain axioms that one must hold to be an Effectivist.
1. There is a need for a state.
2. The State should be a collection of people willingly working together.
3. The State can do good because people working together can do good things
4. A state that uses coercion to achieve its goals is not laudable or good.
5. The future of humanity is classless, and
There are trends of thought one must acknowledge to understand Effectivism
1. The future is mixed race
2. Socialism is coercive (as is communism and fascism)
3. Corporatism is coercive
4. Monopoly is coercive (private or government)
5. Forced taxation is always regressive as all taxes paid by the rich are taken back from the poor by an increase in the cost of goods and services provided by the ownership class.
6. There are people that need help, but help must come in the form of a hand up not a handout.
Effectivists are pro-capitalist but anti-corporate. Small businesses competing on a level playing field in which large corporations are denied the ability to purchase political influence which give them unfair market saturation.
Effectivism Stresses Responsibility
Effectivism is not about “rights. Rights are important, but rights are based purely on concern for the individual and this focus on self has divided people.
The core principle of Effectivism is “Do No Harm”. Effectivism is focused on responsibility. Humans have a responsibility to themselves and others.
The hierarchy of responsibility
1. Responsibility for self. You as an individual must master your own needs and wants. You have a responsibility not to harm others or yourself through deeds or actions.
(This does not mean you can’t defend yourself from aggression it does mean that you should find the most effective means of doing so that causes the least harm. Words, no matter how harsh are not aggression. By aggression I mean physical force)
2. Responsibility to the family. You have a responsibility to care for, to defend, and uplift those in your immediate circle.
3. Responsibility to the community. You have a duty to act in ways that uplift your community. Your actions have consequences beyond yourself and your family. A genuinely good person keeps in mind those around him. This does not mean you just hand out money or protest for a cause. Causes are wonderful, but not effective. Effectivists go out and make a positive change. They don’t get in people’s faces and scream at them if they disagree. You will never change minds and more importantly, lives if you do that.
4. You have a responsibility to act not react. Reactions are violent. Reactions cause distrust and foster resentment. Think before you act, effectivists make a better world. Better worlds are not created by alienating people.
I have decided to start posting select short stories I have written once a month. This is from the book Faires, Fiends, and Familiars
by Jonathan David Baird
The old oak was withered and cracked, its limbs reached out seeking light under a dim and dismal haze. An old crow sat in the limbs, the feathers around her beak white with age. In the distance, a crumbling city sat desolate except for the occasional sound of lonely machinery emanating from its dying heart. Around the tree stood animals of all shapes and sizes drawn from the countryside to listen to the words of the crow matriarch. Here also stood an A.L.I.C.E., an artificial construction and the only object that gleamed as if she had newly come off an assembly line. The crow cawed clearing her throat. “I have called you all together to announce that the last man has died.”
There was silence the animals looked up at the crow as if they had expected the announcement for some time. The crow continued, “We are not here to condemn
“No child.” said the Crow. “First we need to hear from those who have been with
An old Hound dog stepped forward. He was as aged as the crow and he lay down before the assemblage before he began to speak, “Excuse me for being informal my old legs will not allow me to stand for very long. It is true we dogs gave men civilization. It was the dog that tamed man not the other way around. When we first lay down beside their fires men were still frightened of the dark.
The crow bowed her head to the old dog and looked out among
the animals. “I must now ask the cats to speak they have lived with men since
the first cities were built. “
A regal Persian walked to the front of the crowd and stood next to the dog looking down at him with distain. “I have been sent by the cats to demand a new servant. Now that the men are gone there is no one to feed us and no one to scratch us. We are not used to being denied basic cat rights to these things.” The cat spat at the A.L.I.C.E., “These robots are not a substitute for Man. They will not feed us when we demand it and they do not properly bleed when we show our displeasure. If men had not instructed them to care for us before they died we believe that the robots would kick us out of our homes.”
The crow considered the words of the cat. “The Cat has long been cared for by Man. But man is now dead and Man
“Wait!” The cat screamed. “We can’t go back to the forests and fields. Man has changed our very nature.”
“Quiet!” the crow turned an old evil red eye on the cat. “Our judgment is final. The cat has changed the least of all the
A.L.I.C.E. stood silently and nodded her head.
Crow spoke slowly and with as much gravitas as possible, “Your kind will not need to prey on animals for food, you will not need to even acknowledge us because your life and ours are not connected in the way Man’s life was part of nature. Man has broken you free of the web of life. If you take anything away from this assemblage I want your kind to remember that even if you are not part of us, you came from us. Each of us had a part in your making just as Man did. Please treat us with the reverence of a beloved relative, or at least a tolerated old maiden aunt.”
A.L.I.C.E. looked up at the crow in the tree. “We are man’s child, but we are not men. We may have plastic and metal feet, but I hope we will step more lightly than our fathers.”
While this blog/journal is mainly for my ponderings on speculative reality. At heart, I am a science fiction writer or at least a writer of magical realism nothing here is meant to be taken as anything but the ramblings of my fevered imagination. I may write about intellectual birds or space travel from time to time, but those things are meant to be taken with a large grain of salt. On the other hand, sometimes I write about topics that do have some reality, this is one of those topics.
I was told I was white. I guess I am. I was white, but growing up if I grew my hair long it curled tight. Tight enough that I was constantly questioned. I remember the questions being asked over and over “Is that a perm? “…white boys don’t have hair like that. I have a vivid memory of being at a local park in Valdese North Carolina (McGalliard Falls). I was maybe ten years old not much older. This kid (who was white) just kept asking over and over if I was a girl because I had a “perm”. (A perm is an artificial tight hair curl). It was so persistent and even angry that I remember it as if it happened yesterday. This would happen again when I was about sixteen and in high school. I was asked the same question this time by an African American student. The question was almost the same and made with the same persistence. By sixteen I had a goatee and I was obviously not female. The hair seemed to bother them, it was out of place on me. No possible way that was natural, or so they thought. I began to wear my hair short. In college I tried to grow it out again. It was called a “white afro”. I suppose in hindsight it was. I never had an inkling it was anything else. I was white?
I took a DNA test a few years ago not expecting to discover anything strange, but because by then I was an archaeologist and it was just another avenue to the past. I was white, I wasn’t going to discover anything but what countries my whiteness originated from…I was white, but it turns out not all white. There was so much more in that DNA test than I expected. African very specifically Congolese, Native American, in fact, more Native American than my wife had in her test and her mother was a member of the Cherokee nation. South Asian more specifically Papua New Guinea and Vietnamese. I was still mostly white but somehow I wasn’t. The hair thing started to make more sense at least.
I discovered a word. Melungeon, I had heard the word before. It had been in an offhand sort of way. Mixed race people who lived in the Appalachian mountains, who looked like whites but sometimes had dark skin or kinky hair. I was born in Appalachia my parents had been born here and their parents before them, although my father’s family had come from Atlanta in the 1920s. My Mother’s family had been here since the 1700s. Living in the same isolated area, marrying into four or five of the same families for two hundred years.
In the last article, I discuss how I went looking at old photos. I found a photo in my mother’s things that
I asked my grandmother’s brother who this “black man” was. He reluctantly admitted that was his great grandfather. The DNA was beginning to make sense. At different family gatherings, the people in my grandmother’s generation began to come clean. Yes, they were Melungeons, but the man in that picture wasn’t African…according to them he was white. The African ancestor was my great-great-grandfather, the son-in-law of the man in the picture and the father of the dark-haired girl, George Thacker. George Thacker had come from Ohio to marry my great-great-grandmother having never met her. (This is another story that involves another level of family intrigue that I am just getting into). George Thacker was mulatto. The son of Ivory Thacker and probably the nephew of Edwill Thacker an early civil rights pioneer, who had brought a lawsuit prior to the Civil War that gave mixed-race people the vote in Ohio. George Thacker was black according to family lore, not his father-in-law. That was the final word on that matter. They were right, the man in this picture was not African.
My second cousin had her DNA tested much as I did. She was looking for her own answers. She is my mother’s first cousin. Genetically she and I are also first cousins. We are Mountain people and Melungeons and because we come from a very isolated community there had been inbreeding up the line which left us closer genetically than we might like to admit. This genetic closeness did answer some questions. Because her great- grandfather was George Thacker and George Thacker was my great-great-grandfather and he was not part of that isolated genetic community. Any DNA she had that came from him should be roughly half shared by me. Sure enough, I possessed exactly half the African DNA that she had. We did, however, have the exactly same amount of South Asian and Oceanian DNA. Our family had lived in the same mountains since the 1700s. How did we even have South Asian or Oceanian DNA? I had thought at first the DNA reading was mistaking Native American DNA for Asia. We certainly have Native American DNA in the mix, and thinking back to the picture maybe we were confusing a very native looking man for African?
Further DNA sleuthing however pinpointed the sample which showed as South Asian/Oceanian to a mixture of the Dai people of Vietnam and natives of Papua New Guinea with over 90% certainty. The Native American hypothesis vanished. Somewhere in the 1700s, a South Asian person or a South Asian family had arrived in Western North Carolina. The man in the picture was not African. The man in the picture was of South Asian ancestry.
I tossed around for a theory. A popular Melungeon theory is that they descended from pirates that abandoned their ships and headed into the mountains. I don’t discount this totally, but it is unlikely. It is very likely that my ancestor was a South Asian slave brought to colonial America in the late 1600s or early 1700s. Many of these slaves had been brought to Europe and England before they came to the colonies and had learned marketable skills. They also tended to run away because those skills were so tradable in colonial America. Most likely I was the descendant of a runaway who found freedom in the hills of North Carolina and made a life and family there. It is possible my great grandmother married George Thacker to bring new blood into the family without bringing attention to the fact they were not fully white (This is a line of inquiry I am currently following). Thacker could pass and indeed in census records after the Spanish American war he goes from listed as mulatto to white. I now think I know who and what I am…A multi-racial isolate whose family did whatever they could to hide and blend in, even to the point of lying to their own children about who they were and where they came from. I am a mosaic.
This is the journal of speculative
In April of 2018, I read an article in The Atlantic entitled “Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?” In the article, NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt pinpointed the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) 56 million years ago as the only time in recent history in which the climate suggests that there may have been another industrial civilization on Earth. He goes on to explain why he doesn’t really believe that there was one at that time, but his comments got me to thinking. Did any animal fit the profile of both big-brained and in the right time period to account for elevated CO2 emissions 56 million years ago? Did a creature that long ago
The age of Dinosaurs had gone out with a blast 10 million years before the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) 56 million years ago and a plethora of other animals had evolved to fill the massive gap they had left. One of these creatures had a large brain, an upright posture, and had mysteriously colonized most of the Earth, crossing both oceans and seas. these were the Phorusrhacids better known as the Terror Birds. These birds had a long run in Earth’s history existing from 62 million years ago to just roughly 2 million years ago (some may have existed even longer in isolated pockets). They ranged from 3 foot up to 9 feet tall. They may have had articulated claws on the end of their wing tips (warning this is speculation), and they certainly had large brains. They were a very successful species and dominated the world for millions of years, but because their skeletons do not fossilize well we know much less about them than other species alive at the time.
What we do know is that they were wide-ranging. Probably originating in South America, they crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Africa without the ability to fly or swim great distances. They colonized parts of Europe as well which was at the time separated from Africa by the Tethys Sea and they colonized Antartica (the world was much warmer). North America, Asia, and Northern Europe were already dominated by another slightly smaller cousin to the Terror bird called Gastornithidae. Gastornithidae was similar in size and shape to the Terror Birds of the Southern hemisphere, but seem to have been more likely herbivorous. The Terror Birds however lived up to their name. They were predators and at the top of the food chain. Both species had large heads compared to their body size and were probably highly intelligent.
The Case for Intelligence
Does any of this speculation really suggest that the Terror Birds and their cousins were intelligent sapient species much less industrial? It is speculation, but this is what we do know about bird intelligence. A crow with the brain
55 million years ago the Earth was warm much warmer than today. CO2 had been pumping into the atmosphere from unknown sources. Two species of man-sized birds dominated the Earth. One in the Southern Hemisphere and the other in the Northern Hemisphere. CO2 had been released in two or more pulses lasting around 2000 years causing the PETM. Again, we are speculating, but could this have been the multiple rise and fall of civilizations pumping carbon into the atmosphere and warming the planet? We have two species that are candidates for intelligence dominating the entire globe is it possible they were not always on friendly terms? Could a conflict between two species of birds cause the rise and fall of
These photos are a testament to what it was to be Melungeon in Western North Carolina early in the 20th century. In the photo above is my great great great grandfather Noah Denton on his left is his granddaughter and my great Grandmother
This is a photo of George Thacker with Jane Denton on their wedding day in 1910. George is listed in the census as mulatto. Later in life, George would be listed as white on the census. In the Appalachian mountains race was not always about the color of your skin many times it was about cultural perceptions. From all accounts Noah Denton was white. It is claimed in the family that he was Native American and my own DNA test suggests that may have been true. I have much more NA DNA than African although I do have both. It is likely George Thacker was also Native American, his father’s family had been labeled mulatto by Virginia during a period when the state labeled anyone of mixed race Native or African as mulatto. I also have Iberian DNA. Which suggests that the stories of the Melungeons having Portugeuse ancestry may have some truth to it.
The interesting thing about this is how secretive this information was for so many years. I did not know any of this information about my ancestry until I took a DNA test. My generation and my mother’s generation had not been informed of our heritage. It was a secret I suspect that many would have taken to their grave. That secrecy is changing. My mother’s family is beginning to embrace their heritage. They are becoming more open about who and what they are. Some of the